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Rated 5 Games
Go to the Potion Explosion page
ShoggothLord {Avid Gamer} Oct 23rd, 2016
“Explosive Potion Making at it's finest in this "Or Not" Game.”

I love many of the Cool Mini or Not published games…most of mine having the minis. This was the first I picked up from them in the “Or Not” category, which has been growing to the point that they are sort of re-branding themselves as CMON for Board Games that don’t have the minis (I think). Since this acquisition, I have also picked up Looterz. How’s Potion Explosion you ask?

Well, it’s a very fun light family (and gamer), game. If you have played video games like Bejeweled, or Columns, you will understand how the main mechanic works as you pull colored marbles representing your ingredients out of the charming dispenser that you also get to build (just the 1st time as the box was properly designed to hold it after being built). Explosions occur when two ingredients that match roll together after pulling your ingredient from the tray. This can lead to successive explosions and lots of ingredients to build with.

There are a number of interesting potions that can be created, and then consumed when you wish to use them for their special abilities (such as stealing another player’s ingredients from their flask to use yourself). However, make sure when you drink them, you employ an interesting vocal sound or phrase to accompany said quaffing of the potion for that much more fun. Such as shouting, “Down the Hatch!”, or the equally enjoyable, “glug, glug, glug…”…as you then laugh at someone’s inane “slurping” noise as they drink their Potion of Magnetical Attraction.

Earn points from completing those potions, and bonus points from getting three of a kind, or 5 unique potions. Once all the bonus tiles have been doled out by the professor, the highest total wins.

Overall – a very fun game for the entire family, and a great filler game for your more avid gaming groups as it doesn’t take a long time to play, unless you have some AP (Analysis Paralysis) players in your midst, as they carefully consider all possible ingredient pulls, which at 4 players can cause a bit of drag…but if you nicely encourage them to try to plan their moves as they can leading up to their turn, they may still have the ability to go more quickly than expected. That is until the player before them takes the ingredients they were planning on taking for themselves…

Now, excuse me, as I need to get a few more samples of Ogre Mucous, while he’s still snoring away over there…shhhhhh…

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
I Am What I Am
Go to the Power Grid page
Matt Adlard {Avid Gamer} Oct 23rd, 2016
“Good fun, great with new players, clever.”

Played this one a couple of time and have to say this is a fun and enjoyable game that does not use luck to win.

Firstly the game box looks a little dated and seeing this one on Amazon was not taken with it as a must grab and purchase it. That was a shame as one has been missing something.

Simple but clever mechanics, where you are trying to buy resources for your power plants but are also juggling the fact you may be looking at buying new power plants that may require different resources to run, so its all a balancing act while trying to invest and out manoeuvrer the competition.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
I Am What I Am
Go to the Hanabi page
Matt Adlard {Avid Gamer} Oct 23rd, 2016
“Good fun easy to [play works well with younger gamers”

This is a simple game that is very much a competitive and social pleasure.

The mechanics work well, and the emphasis on both remembering what you have and trying to be tactical in play and work with others means that you are juggling both facts and your tactics as well.

It is a clever premiss and we often find ourselves being competative against the game its self, which is a very strange place to find your self.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Rated 5 Games
Go to the Pandemic page
ShoggothLord {Avid Gamer} Oct 22nd, 2016
“Pandemic is an epidemic of cooperative goodness!”

Ok – so I am embarrassed to say I have had this game for a couple years now, but with everyday life, have not had time to play this until recently. Oh boy, was I missing the fun to be had in this game!

Matt is well known for his designs and being a bit of the founder of the co-operative game genre with this title (if memory serves). I can see why. Each successive game I played, I kept thinking the new role I played was not going to be as good as the one in the last game (Scientist, vs. Quarantine Specialist, etc.), and yet each time was proven wrong.

Even when we lost, we still have a lot of fun. A very tense game as you progress up the Outbreak and Infection tracks. I also like that this game is easy to teach and for the young ones in the family to pick up and get right away. And, even though 2-4 players, you can definitely play solo (which I recommend to learn this so it can be easily taught to others).

Yes, it can be a bit of an issue with Alpha Gamers (those that want to take over for everyone else), but with some expectation setting up front that can hopefully be mitigated. Make sure everyone only discusses the various options with no “You should do this and this…” and ensure the person who’s turn it is makes the final decision, and you should do fine.

Overall – this is an outstanding game, and one that most people should probably have in their collection if they like Co-Op games. Now, time to get back to eradicating those diseases…

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
8 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Go to the Mystic Vale page
Tedmiami Oct 22nd, 2016
“You'll Soon See Through The Mechanics !!!”

This is a deck building game fairly consistent with other games in this genre as far as game play goes but it does include some differences that make it more than a worthy adversary to those games for space in your game collection. It uses AEG’s “crafting system” where the 36 Vale (Reward) cards, the player’s starting decks and subsequent Advancement cards are all printed on strong but flexible clear plastic which slide into sleeves to build the cards whilst also building your deck.

Each player chooses a similarly constructed deck, the cards of which are slipped separately into clear plastic sleeves. The Advancement cards show illustrations in either their top, middle or lower section that show through the clear plastic when slipped in with cards from the player’s own deck, thus building the card’s abilities. A 9 card grid is formed in the centre of the table from the Advancement cards along with Fertile Soil cards; players build their hands from these.

The game relies on players skills in deck building. There are no Dungeoneering or Adventure groups, no weapons or equipment that to be attached, just skill with a little amount of luck in the market-place, and even then your savvy can affect your luck. There is no real player interaction as you do not fight opponents in any way, neither can you steal cards from them. All of this means that games can be played and enjoyed in 30-45 minutes.

Definitely for players who enjoy deck building but want something a little more quirky and generally faster to play.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful

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