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Aaron Perkins

gamer level 6
8135 xp
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8
Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

45 out of 74 gamers thought this was helpful

I was a little skeptical about this game at first glance of the rules, and it took me a few read throughs to get the hang of everything. Once I played my first four player game this game took off…Man we had fun!!! This game is a very difficult Coop, but very thematic and fun. There were moments when we were cringing to see what happens, and moments we were standing up cheering out loud because we finally caught some minor break. (This game keeps the pressure on you!) All in all I really cant wait for our next game, we are 0-2 and I really want to win one!! This game is a tad on the long side, it took us about 4 hours with 4 people, always add another hour per person. Although this game is long, we had so much fun the time flew by, and we left feeling like we had a fulfilling and rich experience. Even though we have been driven insane by Yig, and Devoured by Ithaqua, I will be back for more and more!! I highly recommend this game for fans of Coops, horror games, or thematic story telling games.

8
Go to the A Few Acres of Snow page
111 out of 200 gamers thought this was helpful

After the first two plays of this game, I have to say that the 60-90 minutes per game listed on the box is not true unless you are playing with a very fast player. It took us about 3 hours total to finish one game. That being said, A few acres of snow is an amazing game, and the use of the Dominion mechanic to manipulate pieces on a board game is brilliant. This game is relatively easy to teach if one player knows the game. We picked it up and were rolling with it with minor glances at the rules. I can’t wait to play this game more and dig into deeper strategies

8
Go to the Tide of Iron page

Tide of Iron

52 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my review of the game Tide of Iron, and while the game has been out for some time now, it is new to me. While there are many reviews out for this game already, It has had a big an impact on me I felt like I needed to review it.

THEME
When I walked into my local gaming store and saw Tide of Iron sitting on the shelf, my eyes must have bulged out of my head like some kind of lusting cartoon character. World war two has always been an area of intense interest for me, and this game looks and feels like the best war movies I have ever seen.

PRICE
While the price of Tide of Iron is about as steep as they come, once you open the box you will immediately understand why. You definitely get what you pay for, and I am very pleased with the amount of bang that I got for my buck.

QUALITY
The quality of the maps and hexes that come with the game are amazing! The boards are an extremely heavy card stock, and at first glance I thought that they were made of wood. I used to play Axis and Allies Miniatures, and one of my biggest, (but not my only) gripes about that game was the quality of the maps. The Soldiers and squad bases were something that I was the most excited about when I found this game, and being able to have that level of customization is a good idea. While the squad bases and pegged Soldiers are a good idea, they could have been done a lot better. The Soldiers are extremely difficult to get into the bases, and I ended up breaking off one of the little pegs on my first game rendering that unit completely unusable. The squad base problem was fixed in the Days of The Fox expansion, but a re-release of the originals would be much appreciated. The squad base issue can be fixed with a razor and a little bit of time, so this doesn’t really detract from my rating that much.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Tide of Iron is top notch, and is evident from the moment you see the painting on the front of the box. This game looks absolutely stunning, and everything from the design of the inserts to the old World war two photographs in the scenario guide make you feel like the creators took the games “attitude” very seriously.

LEARNING
Learning this game can take a few read throughs of the manual and even after a few games, we were referring to it on occasionally. Once one player has a firm grasp on the rules, it is not very difficult to teach others how to play, and while it is a decently complex game, it is not overburdened with complexity. After the first play through we found that we were playing a few of the rules wrong, and after two or three plays we were still finding small things that we weren’t doing right. Learning this game to the point that you feel like you have everything down can take a little while depending on your experience level. Don’t get me wrong, Tide of Iron is not a difficult game to learn, but the rule book could have been done a lot better and definitely adds to the confusion new players can feel because it is packed full of errata. While I was able to look past the errors in the rule book, I feel it shows poor attention to detail by Fantasy Flight games and makes the game feel like it was rushed out.

COMPLEXITY
Tide of Iron hits the sweet spot for complexity, and if it were any less complex I wouldn’t have wanted it. I have played Axis and allies (Both Standard and Minis), and while I liked them both to some degree, I was looking for something deeper. The level of complexity in this game is its strong suit I believe, and the ability to add or remove the more advanced additions to the game from scenario to scenario is great. The game does a very good job of introducing new mechanics over the course of the different scenarios if you play them in order. I like the ability to call in air-strikes, or artillery missions. I like the ability to direct bombing runs, or deploy the airborne. Tide of Iron incorporates most of the advanced abilities with strategy cards. Strategy cards can be bought with a currency called command, (earned by controlling important objectives). While not a card game, these cards can have a huge affect on play and really do well to simulate the different technologies or logistical benefits of each particular side in the conflict. While the complexity of this game could possibly put off some new players, I recommend that you stick with it. I have definitely come to appreciate the level of Tide of Iron.

INTERACTION
This is a war game, so of course there is going to be tons of interaction here, and trash talking (usually on my part). I haven’t played any four player or three player games yet, and doubt if I would like them anyway. This games seems just about right for two players and I think the addition of extra players could bog down the flow of the game.

WAITING
The way that the game is organized into actions, turns, phases and rounds can be a little confusing at first, but serves well to divide up the things you can do and moves the game along rather nicely. You don’t have to sit and wait for your opponent to move his whole army and move in response, (something I hated about Axis and Allies). Every player gets to take a certain number of actions, (usually three), and then it is your opponents turn. Play continues like this until every piece have been activated, and every player has no more actions they can take.

LENGTH
The game itself lasts anywhere from two to three hours, but with set up and tear down it can take much longer. Although this is a lengthy game, it doesn’t really feel like it because the action is so intense. I have had many hours fly by playing this, and when the scenario was complete, I wanted to play another. I think that the way the game is organized really make play seem to move along at a fairly rapid pace for the amount of things that are going on.

RE-PLAYABILITY
The level of customization available here is overwhelming, and there are tons of different ways the game can be set up and played out. While there are only six scenarios included in the base set, there are a ton of scenarios available in expansions, online, and there is even a scenario editing app put out by Fantasy Flight. While expansions will certainly add to the game, they are not necessary to have tons of options available. If anything, I think the expansions only add the tinier details. I will be playing this game for the next 10 years, if not longer.

OVERALL
I think that Fantasy Flight delivered an amazing war game here, and love the mechanics. While some of the components look stunning, the Soldiers could have been done much better and take away in some small degree to my rating. While war games are not usually balanced entirely, these scenarios tend to favor the Americans most of the time, (Or so it seemed to me). I wish there was a points system for each unit so that players could field their own armies in a more balanced way, and maybe allow for some kind of tournament rules. I love this game, and plan to buy all the expansions, and while it might be great for me, those that do not like anything heavier than Axis and Allies should stay away.

***UPDATE*** After writing an email to Fantasy flight games, they sent me replacements for all of the broken components, and a few extra. I haven’t had any of the Soldiers break since that first day playing it. Good job Fantasy Flight, and it is good to see that kind of support for their players…Now if only I could get Microsoft to send me the Xbox game who’s box I opened and found empty…

6
Go to the Pandemic page

Pandemic

72 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my review of the game Pandemic, and while the game has been out for some time now, it is new to me. While there are many reviews out for this game already, it is new to me and felt compelled to review it.

Pandemic as a whole really didn’t sound that exciting to me. Running around the world playing the part of a Center for Disease Control employee fighting diseases represented by colored wooden cubes didn’t really sound all that exciting to me. I bought this game simply because I wanted something I could get my wife to play with me, and I thought a cooperative game would be good, (She thinks I am too competitive). I trusted the judgement of its BGG ratings on this game, and hoped I didn’t hate it, much to my surprise, I loved it.

THEME
The theme, while it may not have sounded that exciting to me in the beginning, drives this mechanic like a formula one race car. I can’t picture this game being about anything but the spread of disease and infection, and they gameplay matches this idea well.

PRICE
Pandemic can be picked up in most game stores, or around the internet for around 20-25 bucks!

QUALITY
Let me just start by saying that the game board for this game is GORGEOUS! A map of the globe is laid out with different cities around the world highlighted as potential locations of future outbreaks. The cards are glossy, and of a great quality. My only complaint is that some of the artwork could have been done a lot better but this in no way detracts from the game.

LEARNING
Learning this game is incredibly easy, and we were playing it correctly within minutes of opening the box. Every person I’ve taught this game to, whether a native English speaker or not, has picked it up very quickly. Since Pandemic is a Coop game, the other players can walk the newer ones through until they get the hang of it. I am confident that I could play this game with a 10 year old and have a good time.

COMPLEXITY
While the game is fun, it isn’t very complex. The underlying strategy from game to game is essentially the same, lay down a couple of research stations around the map, and collect cards to cure disease. Simplicity in a game doesn’t necessarily make for a bad game experience though. I can pick this game up, and without having to review the rules, play it. The level of complexity of this game might make it more attractive to friends and family that aren’t hardcore board gamers, so I feel it deserves a place in my collection.

INTERACTION
The interaction in this game is what makes it so much fun, and players can work together to develop an overall plan to beat the game. When we were playing everyone was talking, and planning, and dreading the eventual flip of the dreaded epidemic card. I have heard people say that one player can tend to dominate other players, by telling them what to do during their turn, but haven’t found this to be the case when I played it. If one person feels compelled to dominate though, I believe the problem lies with that person and not the game.

WAITING
While you do have to wait your turn, there is a lot to watch during the other players turns that effects everyone so it doesn’t even seem like you are waiting at all. During the down time, you can have just as much fun as when you are making your plays.

LENGTH
The length of this game varies drastically from game to game, but never has gone over an hour for me. Some games end very quickly when the board is overrun with disease and players pull epidemic card after epidemic card. Most games we played were in the range of 45 minutes though.

RE PLAYABILITY
The re-playability here is about 65% I’d say, as the game really doesn’t change that much from play to play. While I have had tons of fun playing it, I have also found that after a few plays it gets repetitive. I would definitely like to check out the expansion, and wonder if this would freshen things up as much as I have heard.

OVERALL
Overall this is a fun game, that is easy to teach and quick to play. Pandemic has been a lot of fun the times that I have played it, but after a while it can lose its thrills. This is a game I will be keeping though, and feel like it will definitely get pulled off the shelf from time to time when I feel the itch. The game is great to play with non-gamers, and is definitely one my wife would play with me so that is a big plus. If you like competitive games this is not for you, but if you want a game that is fun and requires team work you would probably enjoy this. There are some intense situations where every player is biting their nails and wondering when they will be overrun with disease, and that level of emotion adds to my rating.
***UPDATE*** After over 30 plays, I tend to find it very easy to beat, even on the hardest difficulty, I rate Pandemic 6 out of 10.

9
Go to the Alien Frontiers page

Alien Frontiers

73 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my review of the board game Alien Frontiers, by Clever Mojo Games.
I am always on a quest to find board games to play with my wife, and friends that are by no means “Gamers”. Finding a game that appeals to me and the masses can be at times a monumental task. At first glance Alien Frontiers appears to be a little too meaty for this kind of group. When friends of mine glance at the back of the box, they always say, “This looks complicated”, but explaining how to play this game is a breeze, and after the first few turns everyone seems to be getting into it nicely.

1. Theme:
In Alien Frontiers you are attempting to colonize a moon by utilizing the various orbital facilities around it and managing the resources or tools that they provide. Facilities are used by rolling dice, (Your fleet of ships) and docking them at a facility to use that facility’s ability. One ship you may dock at the Lunar Mine, allowing you to receive one ore, and a different ship you might dock at the Solar Converter, allowing you to claim a certain amount of energy. Ore and energy can be used for all sorts of things at the other facilities, like building colonies, building new ships, activating Alien Technology cards, and so on. When a player has enough resources and has met the right requirements, they can place a colony on the surface of the moon scoring points and maybe claiming a special bonus associated with the territory. The mechanic in this game reinforces the theme very well, and you really do feel as if you are racing to colonize a new world. My wife and I are not necessarily huge sci-fi buffs, so I was a little worried about buying a game in that genre, but now that I have it, I find the theme quite pleasing.

2. Price:
The game is priced around 50 dollars, but Amazon is currently selling a few copies as high as 75 dollars; this is due to the games availability. I was lucky enough to have preordered the game so I received a substantial discount and received a promo card and some rockets used for score keeping. Now, here is the question, would I pay 75 dollars for this game if I had to buy it again? I would say yes and would feel very satisfied with my purchase. I have paid 90 bucks for some of the Fantasy Flight big box games that I didn’t enjoy half as much as Alien Frontiers.

3. Quality:
The board and the components included are of extremely high quality, and you can really tell that the crew over at Clever Mojo is extremely proud of their creation, (and rightly so). The wooden pieces are well made, durable and fit along with the theme very well. My only complaint is that territory bonuses are fairly large and don’t fit into their perspective colony very well and can cause the board to seem slightly cluttered to a new player, (This is only a very minor concern and does no way detract from the game play). The board and scoreboard are extremely high quality, and oozing with style. I love the components of this game and am completely satisfied with their design.

4. Artwork:
The artwork for this game is done in a 1950’s retro sci-fi style and really does a great job of defining how this game feels. The board and all of the cards are beautifully illustrated and really drive the theme along. I can’t describe how utterly disgusted I was when I opened up Castle Ravenloft and saw the cards were all so bland, not here. Each card is glossy and well designed. The artwork reminds me of the early sci-fi movie posters, and that is a huge accomplishment.

5. Learning
The learning curve here is quite low, despite a ton of different strategies and abilities. Like I stated earlier, the game looks complicated, but it can easily be taught in the first few turns, (most players pick it up by turn three). The truth is, a new player has just about an even chance of winning the game as an experienced player, so it is uncommon to just get railroaded by someone that plays often. My wife did so well her first game that the other players actually had to team up to take her down. The rulebook is of high quality and is very easy to read and interpret. It was refreshing to read a rulebook once over without having to shift through pages of errata and faqs to understand.

6. Weight
While Alien Frontiers is a medium weight game, there are a ton of different strategies to victory. If one player is obviously going for one path, the other players can decide to move along another path with no setbacks. Most of the fun of this game revolves around placing your dice creatively and in the right sequence to achieve your desired outcome and can be EXTREMELY satisfying. Alien Tech cards allow you to manipulate your rolls by paying resources, and territory bonuses allow you to bend the rules in certain ways making these combos very possible. A lot of people say that this game causes analysis paralysis, but my wife (Being the worst AP sufferer) has no problems playing.

7. Luck
This is a dice oriented game, so some small degree of luck is involved, but using cards to manipulate your rolls, and the fact that the different orbital facilities require different types of rolls, really takes the luck factor down (Almost to the point of non existence). I have never felt that this game is dependent on dice rolls but more how you use the rolls that you have. There is a ton of strategy in this game, and even if the rolls are not with me, I have never felt like I had a turn where I couldn’t do something productive toward my strategy.

8. Interaction
There is a lot of interaction in this game, and that is accomplished by allowing players to block out facilities, steal cards and resources and even use other players dice for your gains. The more players you play with the higher the level of interaction there is, but the game scales well for two or three players. Just watch whom you steal from with the Raiders outpost because you might have made an enemy for the rest of the game.

9. Waiting:
Waiting for your turn can take a while in this game depending on whom you play with. Some people take a long time figuring out which orbital facilities to use and how to spend their resources. I find that even with the players that take forever, most games are done in an hour and a half.

10 . Re-playability:
I have gotten about 25 plays of this game in, and see myself and my friends playing this game for years to come. There is enough weight and enough player interaction to keep this game interesting for a long time. I enjoy exploring the different strategies and feel great when I actually pull one of them off. This is a game that you can’t really master, and even new players will keep you on your toes. I will be looking forward to the expansions and will DEFINITELY be preordering them, but there is enough substance to the base game to not even buy them if you are having a good time with it.

11. Overall:
Alien Frontiers has quickly become the favorite game in my household, and my wife actually asks me to play it (Score). This is a rare gem that should definitely be picked up if you enjoy resource management games or just games in general for that matter. I have recommended it to other gamers, and they have responded to my emails with praises about this game. Non-Gamer players have remarked to me that they have never played a game like this before, that they had a blast, and I have even caught them telling others about it.
I would feel very confident recommending this game to anyone and hope that you have as much fun playing it as we have. I rate Alien Frontiers a SOLID 9 out of 10

8
Go to the Quarriors! page

Quarriors!

52 out of 58 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my review of the game Quarriors, the new game designed by Mike Elliot, and published by Wizkids games

THEME
Quarriors oozes theme, and reminds me of a comical version of Thunderstone in that respect. The cartoon characters on the cards are well illustrated, and the whole package comes together very well. Some people have said that they had a problem with all the Q names in the game, but I don’t mind them at all. I am really looking forward to seeing where they go with future expansions.

PRICE
The price for this product is surpisingly low, props to the designer and Wizkids for putting this game out so cheap, especially since it contains 130 dice!

QUALITY
The quality of this game is good, but not great. The tin the game comes in is well done, and holds the game in a stylish manner, but some of the contents inside could use a few minor improvements. The cards included in the game were surprisingly thin, and semed like they wouldn’t hold up very long if I hadn’t sleeved them all, and several of the dice had unpainted sides or illegible paint. These faults are minor, and were easily fixed with a nail file and some white paint so no biggy. Overall, the game is beautiful, and the dice look sharp in the many colors that were chosen.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Quarriors is tip top, and the illustrations on the cards look simply amazing. Everything about the game was designed well from the tin, to the cards, to the dice themselves. The layout of the cards and dice is easy to understand, and aesthetically pleasing. I love the many colors of the dice, and they really seem to fit the characters on the cards if that sounds strange.

LEARNING
This game can be easily taught in 5 minutes, and the wording on all of the cards is easy to understand. I was able to teach one of my Korean speaking friends how to play very quickly and he really enjoyed the game. I think this would be good for someone who is just beggining develop an interest in board games. I could easily play this game with children of a moderate intelligence level possibly as young as 8 to 10.

COMPLEXITY
Complexity isn’t what Quarriors is all about, it is a simple, light little game that plays quickly. Quarriors has been compared to Dominion, but I think that this game is really in a different sort of league. Dominion has depth, this does not. Even though Quarriors isn’t necissarily a deep game, don’t think that it isn’t a blast to play because it is.

INTERACTION
This game has a lot more player interaction than most deckbuilding games I have played, and it can be a lot of fun to mangle your opponents cratures. There is even a creature that lets you trade it for one of your opponents. Me and the friend I have been playing with spent each and every game wincing every time an opponent rolled.

LENGTH
This game takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on who you are playing with. The short time that it took us to complete a game meant that we played over and over. It was fun to see who ended up on top from game to game.

RE-PLAYABILITY
The amount of variety in this game is huge, and should keep this game interesting at least long enough till the expansion comes out. I can see this game gaining momentum and variety with more creatures and spells thrown into the mix. I would like to see a different mechanic introduced, and have heard rumors of a poison die…hmmm

OVERALL
I think Quarriors is a fun game that I could teach to just about anyone, but it’s randomness and lack of depth might not be for some players. I really enjoy the game personally, and look forward to my next session. This is the second game designd by Mike Elliot I own (the other being Thunderstone), and I enjoy both of them.

7
Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
26 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

I heard this game described as Monopoly for strategists, and I can’t agree more. If you can get four players together and break this out you are going to have a good time. Some gamers complain that it is too random, but I like rolling dice so who cares. This game is easy to teach, doesn’t take long to play and my wife even likes it so that s a huge plus. It is definitely worth checking out this game.

8
Go to the Thunderstone page

Thunderstone

30 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

When I was in my local game store I happened upon Thunderstone, a deck building game that was Non-collectible. I had played a little Magic the Gathering in high school, so I thought I had some general idea of what a deck building game should be, but now I think have a better definition. I would now consider Magic the be a BUILT deck game, where in games like Thunderstone and Dominion you are required to build your deck as a part of the game play. An element I always hated about Magic was that it seemed like the richest guy always wins, so when I found out a little bit about the mechanics and how it was avoided in this game, I had to pick it up. I didn’t write a review when I bought the base game, and I am already three expansions deep thus far, so I will just try to give you my opinion on many of the different options and components available in the game as a whole.

THEME
The theme of Thunderstone was immediately what jumped of the shelf at me. The theme is a fantasy world that is rich and vibrant, filled with monsters, exotic heroes and treasures of course. This game does have plenty of color, and the mechanics re-enforce the storyline well. I only wish the cards had some small text in the bottom with a little bit of background about the hero or spell, similar to what Magic the Gathering did. I think knowing a small fact about a certain hero, monster or spell would have fleshed the game out even more. Although the theme in the base game is good, it has seemed to improve dramatically from expansion to expansion. In Wrath of the Elements, we were introduced to traps, and Do*ate legion brought us treasures. The element of suspense and danger added by the traps, and the rewards offered by the treasures make the theme more life like (Assuming their were such things in real life). I was playing with a Korean friend of mine, and he even remarked about how much it really felt like he was getting ready for a battle every time he drew a new hand, and I have to agree. The moment you draw your cards, and start equipping heros with weapons and spells to do battle, I think you will feel the same.

PRICE
The price of the base game is roughly 25-30 dollars, depending on how you shop, and each expansion was roughly 20 bucks after that. I think that for that price you are definitely getting a good deal, and for every 20 bucks you spend on it, you will have added a significant amount of detail to the game. I will gladly fork over another 20-25 bucks every time the newest expansion is released, and feel good about it if AEG maintains this level of quality.

QUALITY
The cards in this game are well designed, glossy, and will hold up to heavy levels of play. I do have some concerns about using black borders, (usually meaning they will wear out quicker), but sleeving them will solve this nicely. The boxes for the game have gotten better since the original, and the designer has included some brilliantly designed separators to keep everything organized.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Thunderstone is absolutely amazing, and it is hard to comprehend that one guy was able to make all of it, (until Dragonspire). Jason Engle has got to be the worlds hardest working fantasy artist, and if I were him, I would be very proud to have my name and artwork displayed on this product.

LEARNING
This game can be a challenge to learn, not because it is a very complex game, just because the rule book is absolutely HORRENDOUS! It took me a couple of read throughs, and several forum searches to figure out what was going on. Once one player has picked the game up though, it is a snap to teach others how to play. I have found that even on the first play through, players can understand what they are doing enough to win the game, (something that couldn’t be said about Dominion even though it is a simpler game to teach).

COMPLEXITY
The game starts out at it’s easiest level with the base set, and introduces new mechanics through the various expansions very nicely. I have seen the game growing increasingly complex through each one, and so play time has also increased. Those looking for a simpler game might want to stick to the base set, and if they feel the need for something different add in one or two other sets. Truthfully, I love this games level of detail, and every new mechanic introduced so far has made the game better and better. I am completely excited about Thornwood Siege coming out in June.

INTERACTION
There is not a whole lot of player interaction in this game, and only a few cards truly punish your opponent. This game does feel like you are playing solitaire with other people, but **** who cares if it is as fun as this is. So far everyone I have taught this game to, has had a really good time playing it. There are times you have to think about what your opponent is doing, but this usually only means going up against a monster that you know you can’t beaten just to deny your opponent those points. I will be waiting to see how future expansions change the level of interaction between players, but for me it is a non-issue if the game is strong enough on it’s own, (besides, it is a game about fighting monsters in a dungeon, not another player).

WAITING
The wait time in this game is very short, and if playing with experienced players it seems like it is your turn again before you even finish drawing new cards sometimes. So if you don’t like to wait, you are definitely in luck here. The only time I have even a player take a long time for their turn was in the beginning of their first game when they had to read all the cards in the village before deciding what to buy. After a few turns everyone involved will have an idea what kind of strategy they are going for, and down time will shrink.

LENGTH
The designer claims that the game lasts 45 minutes, but I have found that it usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. The length of the game depends on what type of layout you have, and how new all the players are of course. As for me, it is good to have a card game that lasts over 30 minutes though, and I don’t mind the longer games at all.

RE PLAYABILITY
The level of customization available here is overwhelming, and there are tons of different ways the game can be set up and played out. While the base game might be rather limited in cards, the addition of one or two expansions make the game seem HUGE! I like the fact that I can set out my own custom layouts with only a few seconds of thought, or even use a randomizer like the iThunderstone iphone app. I will most likely be playing this game for the next 10 years, and am curious to see what the future holds for this game. I would rank it’s re-playability among the best there is on the market, and look forward to every game.

OVERALL
I thing that AEG delivered a solid product here, and a game that is not only fun to play, but looks great too. I get a great feeling when I pick up the box with all the expansions in it and feel how incredibly heavy it is. I think this game deserves a place in anyones collection that likes card games with fantasy themes. The production quality is amazing, and AEG really seems to listen to what their customers are saying. I see this product getting better and better, so I would highly recommend it. I rate Thunderstone 7 out of 10 as a standalone game, and 8.5 out of ten with all the current expansions added to it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

8
Go to the Shadows over Camelot page
50 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

This game is probably the most fun accessible coop board game on Earth. I like the fact that someone could possibly be a traitor, (Something Pandemic lacks). Games with hidden traitors are just generally more fun and tense because accusations are flying wildly around the table. This game is more fun when you really get into it and play with a bunch of players that aren’t afraid to use silly voices. Shadows over Camelot is easy to teach, and would be a great gateway game.

9
Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

22 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

Is this game light? Yes…Is it easy to teach? Yes….Does it have quality components? Amazing…Will my non-gamer love it too? Without a doubt. I have not met one person yet that didn’t like ticket to ride…This game is fun, cutthroat and can be quite tense. I can play this game over and over and over. The usual quality from the best board game company on Earth…Days of wonder

8
Go to the Small World page

Small World

28 out of 70 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a fun game and I love to play it, but there really isn’t that much depth to it. The game is pretty much summed up like this: Race A has special power B and there are more of race A than there is race B so race A wins. Eventually your race will become spread thin and have to go into decline (Still scores points but loses all special powers and abilities) and you will draw a new race and continue for a set number of turns. The key to winning is learning when to push your race further, and when to go into decline. The amount of races and special powers in this game make it highly re-playable. I would recommend this as a gateway game to introduce new gamers too.

9
Go to the Dominion page

Dominion

64 out of 101 gamers thought this was helpful

This is the game that killed colectible card games for me. I usd to be an avid Magic the gathering player but hated buying boosters, and then there was the imbalance between decks. This game takes the best part of a MTG style draft, and puts it in one complete box. Everything you need to play this game is included, and the only reason to buy more expansions is if for some reason you want to add a little more. Unlike MTG, this game is incredibly easy to learn and teach and even non-gamers tend to adore it. Dominion is a definite favorite!!!

10
Go to the Puerto Rico page

Puerto Rico

57 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

This is my review of the game Puerto Rico, and while the game has been out for some time now, it is new to me. While there are many reviews out for this game already, It has had a big an impact on me, and I feel that reviewing it felt oddly necessary.

THEME
The theme here is one that I was a little unsure of, being a settler in the early years of Puerto Rico did not necessarily sound like my cup of tea, however; the theme is very rich and fits well into the mechanics of the game. Puerto Rico really makes you feel like you are starting a colony from scratch so I have to give it high marks here. As it turns out, producing goods and shipping them to Spain is a lot more fun that it sounds. The game is played by selecting one of the different roles, the craftsman, the trader, the builder, the captain, the mayor, the settler and the prospector. Each role lets the players perform a certain task such as building buildings, producing goods, or simply receiving a gold doubloon. The way to win the game is by earning victory points by either owning buildings, or producing and shipping goods back to Spain. While the victory conditions may seem easy to achieve, there are many different strategies to accomplish them and this gives the game an amazing level of depth.

PRICE
The price of Puerto Rico falls into the sweet spot of around 30 dollars, and with the high level of quality of the components you are definitely getting your moneys worth.

QUALITY
From the moment I cracked the box open, I was impressed by the level of quality. The individual player boards are thick glossy card stock, and have held up well over the course of many games. The wooden pieces and cardboard chits included are all well designed, and fit well into the plastic compartmented liner that comes with the box. The game comes included with several bags to contain the many small pieces, and Rio Grande even threw in a couple of spares which I thought was a wonderful touch.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Puerto Rico is really not its strong point, and while the art looks good and serves its purpose, it is nothing to write home about. Although the art is nothing spectacular, it functions well to drive the theme along, and does not detract from the overall quality of the game.

LEARNING
Puerto Rico is a simple game to play, however it can be quite difficult to explain to others what is going on. The manual is well written, and will be an invaluable tool in teaching new players the ropes of the game. It might take a 5-6 turns before you can get a grasp on what is really going on, and it might take a game or two before you start to develop your own strategies.

COMPLEXITY
This game has a lot going on, and there are tons of strategies. There are a couple of main strategies that will be very apparent from game one or two, and several that will take much more experience to develop. There is NO LUCK involved in this game, victory depends completely on your strategy and how well you manage or mismanage your resources. While Puerto Rico is a very complex game, the overall rules are very simple. The complexity in this game comes from the many varieties of options available. Players who suffer from Analysis Paralysis will definitely have a hard time choosing their roles and other options.

INTERACTION
While there isn’t much direct player interaction, the various roles that you chose will definitely affect the other players. It is very important to pick a role that benefits you the most, and your opponents the least. While each player has his own turn, the different roles affect all players at the same time, and only offer a small bonus to the player that picked it. Picking the craftsman for example (the role that produces goods), can set the next player up to ship all of those goods back to Spain scoring points if you are not careful.

WAITING
Waiting your turn in this game is a non issue, as you get to take an action on every players turn. The pace of the game is great, and the mechanics are absolutely ingenious.

LENGTH
The game lasts around an hour, to an hour and a half depending on the level of player skill. The more experience players have the faster the game will move along, and I have had games play as quickly as 45 minutes.

RE PLAYABILITY
Puerto Rico is insanely re playable, I have played it over fifty times since purchasing it, and feel like I am never going to get sick of it.

OVERALL
Puerto Rico has become one of my favorites, if not my favorite game. I am always down to play a game, and think about the games I have played long after they are completed. What did I do right? What could I have done better? Like I said earlier, this game involves a ton of strategy, and discovering new ones is half of the fun. This game is like trying to build a machine, and then watching as it comes to life. I would highly recommend this Puerto Rico, and am truly glad to have purchased it.

9
Go to the Thunderstone: Dragonspire page
31 out of 36 gamers thought this was helpful

When I was in my local game store I happened upon Thunderstone, a deck building game that was Non-collectible. I had played a little Magic the Gathering in high school, so I thought I had some general idea of what a deck building game should be, but now I think have a better definition. I would now consider Magic the be a BUILT deck game, where in games like Thunderstone and Dominion you are required to build your deck as a part of the game play. An element I always hated about Magic was that it seemed like the richest guy always wins, so when I found out a little bit about the mechanics and how it was avoided in this game, I had to pick it up. I didn’t write a review when I bought the base game, and I am already three expansions deep thus far, so I will just try to give you my opinion on many of the different options and components available in the game as a whole.

THEME
The theme of Thunderstone was immediately what jumped of the shelf at me. The theme is a fantasy world that is rich and vibrant, filled with monsters, exotic heroes and treasures of course. This game does have plenty of color, and the mechanics re-enforce the storyline well. I only wish the cards had some small text in the bottom with a little bit of background about the hero or spell, similar to what Magic the Gathering did. I think knowing a small fact about a certain hero, monster or spell would have fleshed the game out even more. Although the theme in the base game is good, it has seemed to improve dramatically from expansion to expansion. In Wrath of the Elements, we were introduced to traps, and Do*ate legion brought us treasures. The element of suspense and danger added by the traps, and the rewards offered by the treasures make the theme more life like (Assuming their were such things in real life). I was playing with a Korean friend of mine, and he even remarked about how much it really felt like he was getting ready for a battle every time he drew a new hand, and I have to agree. The moment you draw your cards, and start equipping heros with weapons and spells to do battle, I think you will feel the same.

PRICE
The price of the base game is roughly 25-30 dollars, depending on how you shop, and each expansion was roughly 20 bucks after that. I think that for that price you are definitely getting a good deal, and for every 20 bucks you spend on it, you will have added a significant amount of detail to the game. I will gladly fork over another 20-25 bucks every time the newest expansion is released, and feel good about it if AEG maintains this level of quality.

QUALITY
The cards in this game are well designed, glossy, and will hold up to heavy levels of play. I do have some concerns about using black borders, (usually meaning they will wear out quicker), but sleeving them will solve this nicely. The boxes for the game have gotten better since the original, and the designer has included some brilliantly designed separators to keep everything organized.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Thunderstone is absolutely amazing, and it is hard to comprehend that one guy was able to make all of it, (until Dragonspire). Jason Engle has got to be the worlds hardest working fantasy artist, and if I were him, I would be very proud to have my name and artwork displayed on this product.

LEARNING
This game can be a challenge to learn, not because it is a very complex game, just because the rule book is absolutely HORRENDOUS! It took me a couple of read throughs, and several forum searches to figure out what was going on. Once one player has picked the game up though, it is a snap to teach others how to play. I have found that even on the first play through, players can understand what they are doing enough to win the game, (something that couldn’t be said about Dominion even though it is a simpler game to teach).

COMPLEXITY
The game starts out at it’s easiest level with the base set, and introduces new mechanics through the various expansions very nicely. I have seen the game growing increasingly complex through each one, and so play time has also increased. Those looking for a simpler game might want to stick to the base set, and if they feel the need for something different add in one or two other sets. Truthfully, I love this games level of detail, and every new mechanic introduced so far has made the game better and better. I am completely excited about Thornwood Siege coming out in June.

INTERACTION
There is not a whole lot of player interaction in this game, and only a few cards truly punish your opponent. This game does feel like you are playing solitaire with other people, but **** who cares if it is as fun as this is. So far everyone I have taught this game to, has had a really good time playing it. There are times you have to think about what your opponent is doing, but this usually only means going up against a monster that you know you can’t beaten just to deny your opponent those points. I will be waiting to see how future expansions change the level of interaction between players, but for me it is a non-issue if the game is strong enough on it’s own, (besides, it is a game about fighting monsters in a dungeon, not another player).

WAITING
The wait time in this game is very short, and if playing with experienced players it seems like it is your turn again before you even finish drawing new cards sometimes. So if you don’t like to wait, you are definitely in luck here. The only time I have even a player take a long time for their turn was in the beginning of their first game when they had to read all the cards in the village before deciding what to buy. After a few turns everyone involved will have an idea what kind of strategy they are going for, and down time will shrink.

LENGTH
The designer claims that the game lasts 45 minutes, but I have found that it usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. The length of the game depends on what type of layout you have, and how new all the players are of course. As for me, it is good to have a card game that lasts over 30 minutes though, and I don’t mind the longer games at all.

RE PLAYABILITY
The level of customization available here is overwhelming, and there are tons of different ways the game can be set up and played out. While the base game might be rather limited in cards, the addition of one or two expansions make the game seem HUGE! I like the fact that I can set out my own custom layouts with only a few seconds of thought, or even use a randomizer like the iThunderstone iphone app. I will most likely be playing this game for the next 10 years, and am curious to see what the future holds for this game. I would rank it’s re-playability among the best there is on the market, and look forward to every game.

OVERALL
I thing that AEG delivered a solid product here, and a game that is not only fun to play, but looks great too. I get a great feeling when I pick up the box with all the expansions in it and feel how incredibly heavy it is. I think this game deserves a place in anyones collection that likes card games with fantasy themes. The production quality is amazing, and AEG really seems to listen to what their customers are saying. I see this product getting better and better, so I would highly recommend it. I rate Thunderstone 7 out of 10 as a standalone game, and 8.5 out of ten with all the current expansions added to it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

8
Go to the Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements page
20 out of 23 gamers thought this was helpful

When I was in my local game store I happened upon Thunderstone, a deck building game that was Non-collectible. I had played a little Magic the Gathering in high school, so I thought I had some general idea of what a deck building game should be, but now I think have a better definition. I would now consider Magic the be a BUILT deck game, where in games like Thunderstone and Dominion you are required to build your deck as a part of the game play. An element I always hated about Magic was that it seemed like the richest guy always wins, so when I found out a little bit about the mechanics and how it was avoided in this game, I had to pick it up. I didn’t write a review when I bought the base game, and I am already three expansions deep thus far, so I will just try to give you my opinion on many of the different options and components available in the game as a whole.

THEME
The theme of Thunderstone was immediately what jumped of the shelf at me. The theme is a fantasy world that is rich and vibrant, filled with monsters, exotic heroes and treasures of course. This game does have plenty of color, and the mechanics re-enforce the storyline well. I only wish the cards had some small text in the bottom with a little bit of background about the hero or spell, similar to what Magic the Gathering did. I think knowing a small fact about a certain hero, monster or spell would have fleshed the game out even more. Although the theme in the base game is good, it has seemed to improve dramatically from expansion to expansion. In Wrath of the Elements, we were introduced to traps, and Do*ate legion brought us treasures. The element of suspense and danger added by the traps, and the rewards offered by the treasures make the theme more life like (Assuming their were such things in real life). I was playing with a Korean friend of mine, and he even remarked about how much it really felt like he was getting ready for a battle every time he drew a new hand, and I have to agree. The moment you draw your cards, and start equipping heros with weapons and spells to do battle, I think you will feel the same.

PRICE
The price of the base game is roughly 25-30 dollars, depending on how you shop, and each expansion was roughly 20 bucks after that. I think that for that price you are definitely getting a good deal, and for every 20 bucks you spend on it, you will have added a significant amount of detail to the game. I will gladly fork over another 20-25 bucks every time the newest expansion is released, and feel good about it if AEG maintains this level of quality.

QUALITY
The cards in this game are well designed, glossy, and will hold up to heavy levels of play. I do have some concerns about using black borders, (usually meaning they will wear out quicker), but sleeving them will solve this nicely. The boxes for the game have gotten better since the original, and the designer has included some brilliantly designed separators to keep everything organized.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Thunderstone is absolutely amazing, and it is hard to comprehend that one guy was able to make all of it, (until Dragonspire). Jason Engle has got to be the worlds hardest working fantasy artist, and if I were him, I would be very proud to have my name and artwork displayed on this product.

LEARNING
This game can be a challenge to learn, not because it is a very complex game, just because the rule book is absolutely HORRENDOUS! It took me a couple of read throughs, and several forum searches to figure out what was going on. Once one player has picked the game up though, it is a snap to teach others how to play. I have found that even on the first play through, players can understand what they are doing enough to win the game, (something that couldn’t be said about Dominion even though it is a simpler game to teach).

COMPLEXITY
The game starts out at it’s easiest level with the base set, and introduces new mechanics through the various expansions very nicely. I have seen the game growing increasingly complex through each one, and so play time has also increased. Those looking for a simpler game might want to stick to the base set, and if they feel the need for something different add in one or two other sets. Truthfully, I love this games level of detail, and every new mechanic introduced so far has made the game better and better. I am completely excited about Thornwood Siege coming out in June.

INTERACTION
There is not a whole lot of player interaction in this game, and only a few cards truly punish your opponent. This game does feel like you are playing solitaire with other people, but **** who cares if it is as fun as this is. So far everyone I have taught this game to, has had a really good time playing it. There are times you have to think about what your opponent is doing, but this usually only means going up against a monster that you know you can’t beaten just to deny your opponent those points. I will be waiting to see how future expansions change the level of interaction between players, but for me it is a non-issue if the game is strong enough on it’s own, (besides, it is a game about fighting monsters in a dungeon, not another player).

WAITING
The wait time in this game is very short, and if playing with experienced players it seems like it is your turn again before you even finish drawing new cards sometimes. So if you don’t like to wait, you are definitely in luck here. The only time I have even a player take a long time for their turn was in the beginning of their first game when they had to read all the cards in the village before deciding what to buy. After a few turns everyone involved will have an idea what kind of strategy they are going for, and down time will shrink.

LENGTH
The designer claims that the game lasts 45 minutes, but I have found that it usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. The length of the game depends on what type of layout you have, and how new all the players are of course. As for me, it is good to have a card game that lasts over 30 minutes though, and I don’t mind the longer games at all.

RE PLAYABILITY
The level of customization available here is overwhelming, and there are tons of different ways the game can be set up and played out. While the base game might be rather limited in cards, the addition of one or two expansions make the game seem HUGE! I like the fact that I can set out my own custom layouts with only a few seconds of thought, or even use a randomizer like the iThunderstone iphone app. I will most likely be playing this game for the next 10 years, and am curious to see what the future holds for this game. I would rank it’s re-playability among the best there is on the market, and look forward to every game.

OVERALL
I thing that AEG delivered a solid product here, and a game that is not only fun to play, but looks great too. I get a great feeling when I pick up the box with all the expansions in it and feel how incredibly heavy it is. I think this game deserves a place in anyones collection that likes card games with fantasy themes. The production quality is amazing, and AEG really seems to listen to what their customers are saying. I see this product getting better and better, so I would highly recommend it. I rate Thunderstone 7 out of 10 as a standalone game, and 8.5 out of ten with all the current expansions added to it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

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