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1
Go to the Ghostbusters: The Board Game page
6
Darkhogath {Avid Gamer} Sep 20th, 2017
“fun to play”

Ghostbusters
Board game review
The miniatures are well sculpted especially the ghosts and I don’t feel like these need painting.
In the box are 10 double sided tiles about 13 ½ x 13 ½ Centimeters, 1 Spirit world tile, 1 PKE Meter tile, 20 proton stream tokens, 16 slime tokens, 5 gate tokens, 4 Ghostbusters character cards, 6 Ghost cards, 15 Scenario cards, 4 Ghostbusters figures, 40 ghost figures including 3 ghost boss figures these are translucent and 1 Ecto-1 car figure with corresponding tile, 1 eight sided dice 1 six sided event die and four six sided die.

Setup time varies depending on the scenario but is usually pretty quick, game length also depends on the scenario. The box says 30 -120 minuets but id say add at least 30 minuets for your first game and at least 15 to 20 from then on.

This is a cooperative game that uses dice; players have levels and a limited number of actions. The player goes then the ghosts react to what the players do, the ghosts follow a pattern of if hit do “action” if missed do “action” style of play, there is also an end of round mechanic that can differ depending on the scenario you are playing, you also roll an event die which can cause more ghosts appear or all ghosts to go into a frenzy this makes ghost actions hard to predict.
This game is fairly easy to play the hardest part is remembering to use the special abilities of your character, and the ghosts forgetting these can mean the difference between winning and loosing.
Each scenario has a level and its best to play them in order, a single play through one level will teach you the rules, I don’t think once you play through all the scenarios (although there are 15) you would go back and play them again, Cryptozoic does have a random scenario generator on their web site and some Expansion Packs, overall though the game is fun to play and I believe it would be a good one for families.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Go to the Pandemic: The Cure page
9
Steve {Avid Gamer} Sep 15th, 2017
“A nice quick version of Pandemic!”

Pandemic has long been near the top of many gamers’ cooperative lists, as it makes a wonderful entry level game and there’s not fighting. There’s also no dice in the game. It also does require quite a bit of space and time to play Pandemic. So what’s a gamer to do if they don’t have a lot of space or time? Zman answered this by making Pandemic the Cure. So what’s the difference between it and the original; and is it worth buying?

The first difference is that there’s no board so to speak in this game. I mean, there’s a ring that you track the infection rate and epidemics on, and there are circles representing the continents, but it’s not a map board like the original. The good thing about this is that it results in saving lots of space to play the game. It’s a nice tight circle that you can put the continents quite close to the fairly small ring, and so you don’t need much space to play. There’s also not a lot of cards. There are the event cards you can choose, but this game is largely determined by the dice, most of which are in a bag. This is one of the other good points. This game is very quick to set up. All the parts are easy to place out, pull some dice, and while the rind does split into two pieces, you can actually put the ring back in the box in one piece if you so choose. Obviously, it may come apart in transport, but you can in theory.

Gameplay is fairly simple, though by no means is this game easy. As in the original, you have several different roles, which have different specialties. Each has their advantages and uses, pretty similar to what they did in the original. They have custom dice they roll to determine what they can do, reflecting their roles. As the continents are set up in a circle, moving between them is moving between adjacent circles, unless you can fly, in which case you can move to any location. To determine where the infection spreads, it’s not always concentrated in areas that are already infected. To put diseases out, you roll dice and that’s where the diseases go. The dice color corresponds to the various continents, like the original, so you’ve got a rough idea of where these diseases are going to land, but they can land in any location that matches their color. These disease dice aren’t all bad, however. If you roll a cross on them, then instead of spreading disease they give you the ability to buy the cards to help you. This, unfortunately, is quite random, as I’ve played games where we were overflowing with crosses, and there were others where they just never came up. You can probably guess the times we won and when we lost. The other problem this causes is that instead of several cities across a continent to absorb the disease, there are SIX locations; so where you could use the cities to have lots of diseases in the original, here they add up FAST! More than once this has led to epidemics adding up VERY quickly. For this reason, I find this game much easier with 3-4 players. Having the extra roles out there, and players to move around, makes things much easier. When I’ve played with only myself and one other, we lost almost every time. We didn’t win every time with 3-4, but then I felt I could play to win, as opposed to how close would we get to winning. One nice thing is that with either player setup, it’s quite fast to play…just with a different usual outcome. It’s definitely quick enough that if I lose, I’m not feeling tired of it, and am willing to immediately give it another go.

Regarding the components, they are for the most part good. The dice are of excellent quality and easy to read, and the hard plastic will stand up to repeated use. The cards have a good feel to them. My main complaint on this front is the markers for the diseases and epidemics don’t fit too well in the holes. The holes are too tight, and I just feel that I’m going to accidentally snap them one of these times trying to force them in. I definitely like the size of the components. This game is very portable. The box is actually quite a bit larger than it needs to be, and you could carry it in a smaller bag if you had to for portability reasons. That’s another reason to consider this game if you just can’t play Pandemic for whatever reason.

So, should you pick up this game? Yes! I wouldn’t quite call it a filler game (unless the dice really hate you that day), but it’s nice and quick and portable. It’s simple enough to teach to new or non gamers and get them interested, but also enough to hold the interest of veteran gamers. For those who want quick setup and teardown in a Pandemic game, and love to chuck dice, this is for them! I know I’ve never turned it down!

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5 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
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6
Novice Reviewer
I Own a Game!
Explorer - Level 3
Go to the One Deck Dungeon page
9
Smuge {Avid Gamer} Sep 9th, 2017
“Campaign Mode is the Boss”

One Deck Dungeon (ODD) takes an adventure (or two or four) into a dungeon with the goal to get through three levels and defeat the boss. I play this primarily as a solo game so my references will be to a single hero rather than constantly put hero(s). This is a good cooperative game for 2 players and there are rules for expanding it out to 4 players but I have not played it with more than 2.

How it works
ODD contains oversized player cards, some health markers, a pile of dice, dungeon cards, and a deck.

The cards in the deck are used in several ways, but the most obvious way is as obstacles for your hero to overcome. These obstacles are either perils (traps) or foes. The cards are also used as a timer. Some obstacles will cost you time rather than life. Each time you go through the deck, you have descended a level into the dungeon and the challenges become harder. The deck is also used as rewards for the hero to use to become more powerful. After facing a challenge (usually, win or lose), you take the card and use it as experience, a new skill, or to increase your stats. Each card has a skill, item, or experience reward, so you have to select how you will use the reward when you get it. Harder obstacles will have better rewards.

Your character has several different stats; strength, agility, mana, and health. The number you have of that stat is how many d6 dice you have to roll for that stat. They have colored dice that match the color of that stat. The number of health is how much damage you can take.

Facing a peril card gives the player a choice of two ways to get past a peril. These usually give you a choice between two stats and one usually costs more time than the other. You choose the method best for your character, gather the number of dice you have for that stat, add bonuses that you might have, and roll. If you succeed, you gain the card for the reward. If you fail, you pay the life or time and then gain the card.

When facing foes you roll all your dice. The foe may have a special effect, but all foes have boxes with different target numbers to fill for different stats. A foe may have 3 strength boxes, each with targets of 4. A foe may also have 2 agility boxes. The first is a larger box allowing you to put in as many agility dice as you would like but have the target of 6 and another may be the small box only allowing one die to be placed with the target of 5. Some boxes may require they get filled before you can fill other boxes. Each box has a consequence that will take place if the box is not covered appropriately by dice. These consequences are primarily damage and time. Using acquired skills and character abilities, along with heroic dice that can be used as wilds and some other mechanics, it is a fun puzzle to see how you can best defeat the foe and suffer the least amount of damage.

When you get to the bottom of the deck, you find the stairs to the next level of the dungeon. The dungeon card (there are several to choose from with varying levels of difficulty) shows a unique added rule that applies to all encounters that take place on that level. When you descend to a new level, you reveal the next level challenge that increases the difficulty of the dungeon. When you descend past the 3rd level, you flip the dungeon card over and face the boss of the dungeon. When facing the boss, it will take several attempts while you both take damage.

There are other details about leveling up your character, healing and other potions, and dice manipulation, but that is the main points.

What I think
Timer mechanism – using the cards are a timer has you discarding cards from the deck all the time. This is a thematic approach that says if you are able to accomplish something fast, you will have more time to explore before you have to descend. If you take the safer path, you will have less time to spend on that level (before the difficulty ramps up). This also allows you to only encounter a fraction of the cards each time you play a level. It randomizes the encounters and you don’t know which you will get this time or not.

Hard game – the game gets harder as you descend levels, but you also get stronger the further you go. Even with that, it is a hard game. I tried time after time on the easiest of dungeons and failed all the time. Then I tried the campaign mode. Campaign mode allows you to adjust the starting conditions to tailor the difficulty to your situation. You are rewarded for incremental accomplishments (levels achieved and floors cleared) by checking boxes off a campaign sheet where you can unlock new abilities. This allows you to face harder dungeons with new starting abilities after you have unlocked them in earlier delves. You get more rewards if you choose a more difficult starting condition.

I don’t play solo games much. This is the exception. The campaign mode makes the game for me. It is also an enjoyable two-player game I will play with my son. I don’t care for confrontational games so most 2-player games are out. We both enjoy this one.

One Deck Dungeon has a new version that was kickstarted in May 2017, Forest of Shadows. This new version is an independent version of the game that introduces some new effects. It can be combined with the original ODD. I am particularly looking forward to getting the optional player mat add-on they offered during the campaign.

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9 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Go to the Tiny Epic Quest page
9
Steve {Avid Gamer} Sep 6th, 2017
“A Truly Epic Game!”

Tiny Epic…an oxymoron if there ever was one. I’ve played Galaxies, and Defender, and Kingdoms. I’ve liked them each to varying degrees, but the sheer concept of a game that’s not just a filler game being able to fit inside a small box is intriguing to me on the face of it. It’s nice being able to carry several big games at once, and there are definitely some games in my collection big enough that I ask if anyone wants to play it before taking it out of the car. So, how was this one?

In four words, Zelda in a box. I know, I know, pretty much [b]EVERY OTHER[/b] reviewer has made this comparison, but only because it’s true…to a fault. Even the icons and symbols and characters. The artwork is great, but it does seem like they tried to get themselves as close as possible to Zelda without getting sued by Nintendo.

What about the game itself? Even that reinforces the theme. The day and night phase are nicely divided into moving and questing. The random board set up increases the replay value infinitely, and prevents any one super strategy from taking hold to allow one experienced player from being able to automatically win almost every game. It may just be difficult for one player to reach something, meaning they’re better off just foregoing that route this game. I’ve played plenty of other games with the lead and follow mechanism, and it’s a nice challenge that a player may not be able to do something this round simply because the combo move they need to make to get to a spot either doesn’t get picked at all, or at least not in the right order. That leaves some nice decision making as one has to decide “do I focus on this objective this turn, knowing I may not make it, thus wasting a whole turn?” Plus, the follow mechanism keeps everyone engaged, in both planning one’s moves and actually following the card when their move comes around. Having quests based on movement also gives players something else to shoot for if all the temples they need are occupied to capacity. It’s also nice to get the quick boost from them. The only problem there is that the movement quests are useless in round one since you’re already topped off for energy and life.

The night phase is when things get really interesting. It’s nice to have a number of methods of scoring points so that everyone isn’t going for the same thing at the same time. Some others have said they don’t like having negative points in the track, but I like this method of forcing players to diversify. Obviously, the goblin killing is the most points, but the other methods are necessary. The various quests give other advantages to your meeples which carry over to the spells, movement, replenishing stats, or combat, so those are attractive options. And the mechanic of passing the damage again involves you at all stages. It also means that it’s not super devastating to roll lots of goblin heads, but that can also come back and bite you when the player before you is well powered and you’re near death, it’s no skin off their nose to keep pressing the die rolls, but that could be the end of you, although most of the time it seems everyone finishes their tasks at the same time. Also, everyone is kept involved because [b]everyone[/b] gets to use the scrolls, torches, and fists to complete their quests. The lack of downtime is excellent! And the temples are thematic! With several different temples, there’s always something for a player to chase, whether it be a quest, or their Legendary equipment. That being said, this is one of the few sore points to be had. I have seen games where the scrolls and torches just don’t come up, and so several turns are wasted in a temple, and there are only 5 turns. It’s also incredibly frustrating to take a shot at a temple and someone else beats you to the end and so you have nothing to show for it, and I’ve seen in the forums here that lots of people are frustrated that having to cycle quests out to have at least 1 of each quest type has resulted in a quest someone has been working a couple of turns for just disappears!

Of course, no discussion of this game would be complete without talking about the components of the game, and the star component is the Item meeples! Yes, they’re awesome! It’s fun sticking the little items into the holes on them! They could have very easily just had us use the quest card for reference, or had us put the plastic pieces on our player board, but this is way cooler! It even draws new players in! I’ve played this quite a bit at the local shop, and two of the regulars love to play this game just because of those little pieces, and they kind of go “SQUEE!” when they hear I have the game with me. I love how Gamelyn Games has said this is just the beginning, with possible back mounts and head mounts on future versions. Indeed, while I feel this is a great game in its own right, this one component has been a huge part of the game’s success!

Regarding the rest of the components, they’re all pretty good. The map cards are excellent, with the texture having a nice feel and seems like it can stand up to quite a bit of use. Having two sides is awesome, and allows for a bigger challenge once one feels ready for it. I also like the inclusion of the first expansion in the box to add some more flavor and variety. The rest of the cards are of normal quality as well. Some of the chits feel a little fiddly, and it is a chore at times making sure not to drop them. I like having a designated area to roll the dice so you don’t have to risk the board or find an area. It’s also nice having the order of resolution [b]everywhere[/b], although by the end of one round I had it down pretty good. My only major complaint about components is the item rack. It’s cute, but not really practical. I’ve gotten pretty good at setting it up fast, and I really don’t feel like wasting the time putting them in it. One time when I played, another player decided to put them all in, and then when he had to get an item out, it was a blast crawling around on the floor when it got fumbled. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could store the items in the box in the tray, but to be able to properly close the items have to come out. I’ve also heard in other places that if the item rack is used regularly, they become loose in the holes pretty quick. I didn’t throw out my item rack, but if I lost it I wouldn’t be too upset.

In closing, I’m not even going to pose this as a question…I love this game! To me, it’s easily the best and deepest of the Tiny Epic series. While I’ve been happy with all the games, it does feel on some others that they have to shrink down some gameplay to be able to fit the game into a small box. This game is different. While there are other games that cover this type of theme more in depth in bigger boxes, this is the first game where they didn’t seem to”miniaturize” the gameplay itself to make it Tiny Epic, or at least not noticeably so, if that makes sense to anyone. The modular board also increases the replayability, meaning one should get plenty of plays out of this game! Check it out!

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12 out of 13 gamers thought this review was helpful
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1
Amateur Grader
Go to the Eldritch Horror page
10
Hengst2404 {Avid Gamer} Sep 6th, 2017
“A Challenging, but awesome Cooperative Game”

This game is very much a situation where you will get from it, what you put into it. It does feature a lot of rules, a ton of components and a box that will cry out for an organizer. On top of that it is highly challenging at times, but let’s take a closer look.

Taking place in Fantasy Flight’s Arkham Horror series, this game is the follow-up to the popular Arkham Horror. Having said that, this game is a beast all it’s own. It is streamlined from Arkham Horror, featuring far fewer rules, but still having the familiar theme of working together with other investigators, in an effort to prevent the Ancient Ones from rising up and destroying mankind.

Players take turns moving around the globe, acquiring weapons, spells and allies to help them in their tasks. Ever present is the doom counter, which will tend to move on nearly every turn and if it gets to one, the Ancient One awakens and you are really in for a world of hurt.

I enjoyed this for its cooperative nature, coupled with an often sadistic opponent in the form of the game mechanics. Every round you have a mythos phase, where you sometimes get more enemies, a rumor that can cause you to lose the game if not addressed, not to mention events that can cause you to become injured or lose some of your sanity points. Unlike Arkham Horror, when you lose all of your sanity or health, you are essentially done and forced to draw a new character in order to continue.

I could go on, but take a look at the game on youtube and see if it suits you. The games can run from 2-5 hours, depending on the experience and number of players. I must warn that the game has some seriously hard Ancient Ones, a level of randomness that can undo the best players and additionally a total of 7 expansions that each add new characters, Ancient ones, enemies and often new play mechanics that can make the game more interesting.

This is currently my favorite cooperative game and we try to play this at least once a month. It can be played solo, although make sure you use at least two investigators. Bear in mind that random numbers of players often makes it more challenging for reasons I have not yet figured out. There is a wonderful online community out there that is very passionate about this game, do not hesitate to reach out and use them as needed!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
7 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful

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