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Row Boat

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Go to the Survive: Escape from Atlantis! page
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Go to the Railways of the World page
10
Go to the Railways of the World page

Railways of the World

152 out of 166 gamers thought this was helpful

I find it hard to give any game a 10/10 score, due to the fact that it means that there isn’t any way to improve the game. However, I find this is an exception. Railways of the World is a tremendous game where players take the place of a railroad baron looking to expand their rail network across the map and delivering goods in the process, trying to make the most money and steaming along the scoring tracker.

Based on the popular PC franchise ‘Railroad Tycoon’, this game depicts the PC game with the base game of Railways of the World including a giant map of Eastern U.S. and another smaller map of Mexico.

Setting up the game is probably the worst part of this game. I only say this because if you play the Eastern U.S. map with 4 or more players, you’ll be looking to find extra space on the table to put all the pieces on. The map is 91cm x 76cm, which is great for the size to play on but also not so great if you have a smaller table as you won’t fit everything on. I had to extend my dining table to accompany this and to fit all the tiles/trains/cards etc. and I thought I had a large table to start with.

Gameplay starts with players choosing between two baron cards given to them, each having a different goal which will score points at the end of the game. Starting with no money, players then bid on the ‘First Player’ card to go first in the round. Positioning can be crucial, as once the first player is determined, play proceeds clockwise once the round has started. If you’re last to play, especially early on, it may end up ruining your plans to begin with.
All players will take bonds (debt) out at the start of the game to fund their railroad early on and most likely further on in the game. Income and dividends are paid out at the end of the turn, so the more bonds you have, the more you’ll have to pay back to the bank. If you’re not careful with your money, you’ll find you have to take a bond out to pay the dividends for your bonds, sending you in a spiral of debt. Income is determined by how far you are along the score tracker. Further along = more income, though this will reverse and you’ll get less income when you surpass a certain point on the tracker. This is a great mechanic will allows other players to earn more if they’re behind the player in the lead, allowing them to have more money to play with, which could be beneficial in circumstances.

Each turn consists of 3 rounds, so each player will have 3 rounds of actions in a turn. At the end of the 3 rounds, the turn is over and that’s when income and dividends are paid out, and the ‘First Player’ card is bid for again.
During your 3 rounds of actions, you can:
1. Buy and install rail.
2. Take an ‘Operations Card’ which can be beneficial in most cases.
3. Urbanise a town into a city, allowing you and other players to deliver goods to and from it.
4. Upgrade your train, allowing you to deliver goods to cities farther away.
5. Deliver goods from one city to another, scoring points in the process.

When players decide to deliver goods, a goods cube from the city they’ve taken it from is removed from the game and put into a goods cube bag. If all cubes on a city are taken and delivered, an empty city marker is placed on the city. Players can still deliver to the city but the city has nothing on offer to take. The game ends when the last ’empty city’ marker has been placed on a city. ‘Empty City’ markers differ with the number of players, but it’s common once one goes, it can start to spiral fast and a number of them can go in quick succession, especially later in the game.
Once the last ’empty city’ marker has been placed, players get to the end of the turn and a full turn after (which could be up to 6 actions, depending on when it is placed in the turn). This gives you time to plan ahead to make the last minute deliveries.

The game is scored by the players score on the score tracker minus the number of bonds they own. After that, players reveal their baron cards to see if they have completed it. If you have, you score the points on the card. If not, nothing happens and you stay where you are. The player who wins is the player furthest along the tracker.

Overall, all the games I’ve played so far have been really intense at times but also very enjoyable. Introducing this to a number of other gamers and non-gamers, they’ve enjoyed it and it’s one of those games which you say ‘play again?’ once you’ve finished. Of course, it takes a few hours to play, depending on number of players, however, I find it’s such an enthralling game to play, that it deserves the rating I’ve given it, with the enjoyment adding to the rating. With plenty of expansions too, the base game is good enough for me to want to invest in the expansions.
A top quality game and you’ll enjoy chugging along the tracks and so will your friends!

8
Go to the Escape: The Curse of the Temple page
131 out of 142 gamers thought this was helpful

I followed this game for a while and was eager to purchase it on day of release. I must say after a solo play and a team play, it was well worth the money and everyone I’ve played with has given it the thumbs up.

The idea of the game is a real-time strategy game which lasts only 10 minutes and plays along to a soundtrack. Using dice, players must explore a cursed temple which can only be escaped by activating magic gems to make it easier for the players to escape and thus win the game. It’s a co-operative game and with it being such a fast paced game, can bring players to life as you see them trying to roll the specific side of the dice.

Dice have 5 different symbols on a 6-sided die. These being:
Man x2
Key x1
Torch x1
Cursed Mask x1
Golden Mask x1

You roll 5 dice at a time (7 for solo play).

The symbols for man, key and torch all relate to moving and exploring rooms, as well as activating gems in the cases of torches and keys. The cursed mask, if rolled, stops the player from using that dice again until a golden mask is rolled which breaks the curse of up to two dice, thus allowing the player to pick up the dice again and continue to roll.

The game play for this title is great! I really enjoy the concept and idea of it being an actual real-time game. Having to start off in a safe room with two rooms adjacent, you must move into the explored rooms and then continue exploring by rolling dice and matching the symbols that relate on the corresponding tiles to the dice and move through the temple like so. As it only lasts 10 minutes, you have to be on top form to be aware of what you’ve just rolled and everyone else (especially for activating gems and cursed masks) and what to pick up and what to leave in terms of dice. You explore the temple to find the exit tile. When you find the exit tile, the strategy would dictate to move into a room where you can activate magic gems to make it easier for you to escape.
To escape, you have to roll the number and one extra of ‘key’ symbols as there are magic gems left in the depot (i.e. if there were 5 gems left, you’d need to roll 6 keys to escape).
To activate gems, different rooms have different requirements. Once these are met, you can take the gems from the depot and place them in the room you activated them from.

At three points of the soundtrack, a gong will sound, informing the players they have a 30 second countdown until they have to get back to the safe room in the first two instances (or risk losing 1 die for the rest of the game) or on the third and last time, escape from the temple. As you can get heavily involved in dice rolling, when the gong sounds, it becomes all hands on deck as you try and squander your way back in to the safe room or exit. It brings tension and relief, especially in close circumstances.

Overall, this game is a real treat to play and I haven’t had any bad reviews from my friends about the game. It’s got a lot of praise and I certainly feel it is something fresh in the collection and definitely something fresh on the market in terms of real-time playing and the overall fun factor that you’ll get from the game when you play it. Top quality and certainly well worth buying.

9
Go to the Settlers of America - Trails to Rails page
74 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

This game has to be my favourite of the various additions to the Settlers of Catan collection. This game was my second purchase way back when I first started board gaming on a regular basis and with my friends who I regularly play with, I’ve definitely got the money worth out of this game.

The idea of the game is to drop off all cargo you have in your area to other players cities by building a rail network. Starting in the east, the idea is to gradually move west, where you can prosper with the resources available and take resource tokens from the east side of the map. The game is essentially split into two halves. Staying east at the start can be worth it, to build up your resources for buying settlers and being able to move them around to settle in new cities. However, going west early can be advantageous for later on in the game when you need the resources to join up cities using your rail system. It’s a fine balance, and strategy is key on where to settle in order for what resources you need. Of course, when the luck of the dice roll comes into play, anything can happen.

Starting off, in player order clockwise, each player places a house on a purple marked city. Then when that is done, it goes anti-clockwise, then clockwise again so that everyone will have 3 houses down on the board to start the game. Players receive the resources from their last house to place which is your starting hand. Everyone then places a single rail and train down by one of their cities in a direction of their choice.
Of course, when placing houses, on many occasions you might take a city that someone else was wanting. There’s nothing wrong with that, however, expect that to happen later in the game when you’re trying to get as quickly across the board to settle in the west and someone snatches a city that you were eyeing up.

The game then starts and the turn order goes as follows. With the first player, the dice is rolled. Everyone receives resources if they have a city which is connected to the number which is rolled. If you do not have any, you receive 1 gold. This gold can be used towards purchasing resources, which is a nice addition that isn’t in the original game. As with original Settlers, if a 7 is rolled, then the robber comes is used by the player who rolled the dice. He/She places it on a chosen hex, blocking any further resources to be collected from that space until the robber is moved and then takes a resource randomly from the player(s) that they blocked from.
From here, the player then can use their resources to purchase what they wish, from settlers to development cards or moving their settler or train. The items that they purchase must be used immediately (unless it is a development card, which they cannot use until their next turn) and cannot be stored. Generally, there is never any need to store items, as you need it straight away. Players are allowed to trade resources with other players if they wish and if negotiations are met.

After all actions are taken for the player who rolled, the game then opens up to the other players for an added ‘Extraordinary Phase’. In this phase, since the game can be so long and other players may acquire more than 7 cards over time before their go, all other players are allowed to purchase settlers, rails, trains or development cards. They cannot trade in resources or move their settlers or trains. You may choose not to build anything, though there is the moment when you are running the risk of rolling a 7 and it’s the only number that you don’t want to come out. Many moments have my friends including myself ran the risk and got bitten by it. For everyone else, it’s a roar of laughter, for you, it’s head in hands or a face palm. If that is the case, you have to half down your cards, rounding down.

This is a basic turn order for each player on every turn. What you do on your turns is up to you, but scenarios will appear when you need to connect rails together to connect to another city to be able to take your train to that city and drop off the cargo.
When you connect two cities together, whether or not it is occupied by another player, you get a gold bonus for the shortest route connected by rail. If two or more players have the shortest route, the gold is split by the number of railway track that is placed by each player. As an example, if you have 3 to other players 1, you’d receive 3 gold and the other player 1 gold.
To drop off cargo, you need to go to a city which IS occupied by another player, using your train to get to do so. The train doesn’t need to come from a specific place or city, as long as you can get to the city of another player which hasn’t already got cargo delivered to it. If it does have cargo there already, you can’t deliver cargo there.

The only rule to dropping off cargo is if you have less houses than you have cargo left. What I mean by this when you move your settler around and land on a city, you replace the settler with a house, taking from your pile in your turntable in front of you. When you remove a house to put it on a city, you open up an available cargo to deliver. The idea is to go settle west with your houses, open up the amount of cargo you are able to deliver and from there try and drop off the cargo to the other players.
The game ends by the player who has dropped off all their cargo first.

All in all, the game is a cracker. It is one of my personal favourites and though the game play is around 2-3 hours, on many occasions, even in the early hours of the morning have me and my friends said we should have another game of it. Just one more…
The game deserves to get a lot of praise and is definitely the strongest of the Catan additions. I’ve played many of the other expansions but we all agree that Trails to Rails is the best and favourite amongst our group. It is very much a strategic game but also a lot of fun, or annoying depending if you’re on the receiving end of a dice roll of a 7. A great game, and a great addition to anyone’s board game collection.

5
Go to the Zombie Survival: The Board Game page
22 out of 23 gamers thought this was helpful

From the first look at Zombie Survival, I thought this would be a fun game to play. The outlook from playing this game, it is no where near as fun. The reason being the rule book, and nothing but the rule book. You have better clarification predicting weather for the next month than getting your head around the rules that Twilight Creations supply with this game.

Setting the game up is easy as it gets. Everyone gets a house and yard tiles, putting everything else in their respective places. The great part about setting up is the mass choice of items that you can put into your house.
All players take it in turn to fill up their houses by picking items that they think they will need in order to survive. It’s not as simple as it sounds though, as some items will need other items in order to use them (A torch/flash light will need batteries etc.). If you have more people in your house, you’ll need more food and water, thus more weapons (if you want) and items to be able to supply your people. It’s a great mechanic and is one I thoroughly enjoy about the game. You can finish filling up the house being satisfied with your picks or wondering whether you’ve made the wrong choice on one or two things.

From then on, the game begins and the problems start. The first player rolls the dice and which ever number it lands on, zombies enter all yard tiles on that number, on EVERY player’s yard. So everyone will get four zombies at once on their yard tiles.
Then the first player turns over the next event card which applies to all players. This will screw you over in some shape or form depending on what comes out.

The turn order goes through with players able to build barricades, combating zombies and sending people in to town to pick up supplies, if they wish.

The problems with the game starts with the event card. Other than screwing you over, some have writing on the bottom of the cards such as ‘food, batteries, water’, which all have a number next to it. The rules don’t properly indicate what needs to be done. It tells you briefly the details of the rule but it left me and the other players wondering whether it means one thing or another.

The next and most problematic part of the game is combating zombies. Selling you a game with the main aim being combat and not state the majority of the rules about combat perplexes me to no end.
The best part about combating zombies is the picture of the zombie on the underside of the box lid. This is where you throw dice to see whether you hit the zombie or not. It is one of the best mechanics I’ve seen in a game of this type as you are trying to aim to kill with the dice instead of just the luck of the dice roll, though the luck of the roll does occur if you don’t get an immediate kill. However, this is about as good as it gets.

At the start of the game, after all items have been picked, they are put into the grid of the house. When you fill it up, that’s when it’s at maximum capacity. This also includes the amount of people you’ve chose to have in your house. When you get round to killing zombies, there is no player movement. You essentially pick a person and weapon, pick a zombie and roll the appropriate amount of dice. There is no movement spaces, and the rules dictate that if you are more that one space away from it, you get -1 die. With no movement in the house, a player’s person might be in the centre of the house to combat a zombie. But does the person move to the window or go outside to kill the zombie? The rulebook has slight inklings of this, but it left my head hurting and wondering what the heck I do. There is also problems with barricaded doors and windows and the problems that comes with that for combat.

I could go on about the lack of rules but all in all, looking at the game from the set up looks great. There should be a great deal of fun about it, however, I would say only 30% of the rules are explained in the rule book, and not a great deal of that percentage is for when you are in combat. There is a lot of grumblings about this game and its rulebook. So if you were to purchase this or play the game, be prepared to make your own rules a lot of the time. It essentially stops the flow of the game play whilst you make house rules and because they’re so many, it can be very frustrating from the outset.

I have taken it upon myself to rewrite the rule book for this game so I can get it back out on board game nights instead of collecting dust in the cupboard.

9
Go to the Survive: Escape from Atlantis! page
86 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

First of all, this is a terrific game! Survive: Escape from Atlantis is quite a self-explanatory title. It’s how you escape which can determine the life and death situation.

To start, each player clockwise places a terrain tile in any space they wish within the thick black band line to create the island. The great thing about this is the configuration of the island has so many different possibilities that you won’t have the same configuration twice. There are three different types of terrain tile. Sand, Forest and Mountain.
Once the island has been set up in it’s configuration, in turn order again, each player gets to place one of their people on to the island. Each player has 10 people to place on the island. All pieces have a different number on their bottoms, ranging from 1 to 6, which aren’t visible when placed upright. These are the points you accumulate if they successfully escape from the island. Placing people at the shore line has a greater advantage as they’ll likely be the first to escape, but not definite.
After everyone has place all 10 people tokens on the island, each player gets two boats to place on the shore of the island which are used to jump on and escape.

After set up, the players play through the turn order one after another, using tiles (if they have any to play and the exception on the first turn), moving their people all together, then taking away a terrain tile one at at time and finally rolling the creature dice. It’s quick and simple.

The idea is to escape from the island and get to the four shores at the edge of the board. However, there are creatures that are out to stop you (other than the other players). When a terrain tile gets removed, the player immediately looks at the tile. Depending on the tile, a whale, shark or boat could be placed on the space the tile was removed from and brings another dimension into the game. In two or three turns, you’ll have a sinking island with whales and sharks prowling the water, as well as the already present sea serpents.
When the creature dice is rolled, the outcome of the dice determines which creature can be moved for that player. Players can be knocked out of boats by whales, swimmers eaten by sharks or both boat and people completely annihilated by a sea serpent.
There’s a tense moment when the dice is rolled and you are hoping it’s not the creature you eagerly want to get away from. Though if you aren’t lucky enough, this is when the cut-throat nature of the game comes into the play. You could be affected by your people being exposed in some way to the sea creatures on the board, putting you at more risk of escape or the loss of points if someone dies in some form.

The game continues in this manner, removing the sand tiles first, then forest tiles and finally the mountain tiles. The game ends when the volcano tile under the mountain tile has been shown, and all players who still have people that haven’t escaped to the shores, get brutally killed.
The points get tallied up by counting the numbers on the bottoms of the players’ people who escaped. Highest wins!

Even if you don’t win at Survive: Escape from Atlantis, this is far from a bad thing as you have a thoroughly great time in the process of doing so. Highly recommended for all gamers!

8
Go to the Carcassonne: Catapult page
72 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

This expansion of Carcassonne is a great addition to the base game.

Like every expansion to Carcassonne, you get extra tiles to place. This time, the new tiles are circus tiles. When a player picks up a circus tile and places it, he/she then gets to choose a discipline to use with the Catapult which then compiles into a catapult round for all players.
There are four disciplines, these being:

*Catch – each player gets a turn catapulting the catch token to the player on their left, and different rules for how the points are awarded whether the catch was made or not.

*Target Practice – each player gets a turn catapulting the target token at the tile that has just been placed. Closest wins!

*Knock Out – each player gets a turn catapulting the knock out token onto the board. Any followers it hits, whether it be their followers or another players followers, must be removed from the board and given back to their respective players.

*Seduction – each player gets a turn catapulting the seduction token onto the board. The token must land on the board to count. If so, the player is allowed to switch the closest follower to the token with one of their followers.

You are awarded additional points for the disciplines after all catapulting has finished for that turn and the game continues as normal.

Whilst this expansion has a different approach to the base game and the other expansions, I feel it adds an additional fun factor to the game.
It takes away from the flow of the game and there is an essence of luck which wasn’t the case with the base game. Setting up the catapult to fire every time for all the players takes a little bit of time, slowing the game play but none of the other people I’ve played with have been discouraged by it. It’s been the opposite and they’ve wanted to continue to play this expansion.
I personally thinks it’s great fun and a great expansion. It adds a little bit of randomness to a strategy game.

6
Go to the Save Doctor Lucky page

Save Doctor Lucky

24 out of 24 gamers thought this was helpful

Let’s start by saying the game overall is fun and overall, an okay game. It has its perks and it has the downsides.

So you’re on a ship and it’s gradually sinking, and you have to Save Doctor Lucky, surprise surprise. The ship has 4 decks, each comprising of their own set of card decks.
There are three different types of card. These are:
*Location Cards
*Save Cards
*Fail Cards

The idea is to be in the same room to attempt to save Doctor Lucky with a ‘save card’ which has a save value, but only when someone can see you through line of sight from the same or another room. If no one can see you, you can’t save him. If one or more people can see him, then you may attempt to save him. You may use a card from your hand with a save value to save him, and clockwise from the players left, all other players have an attempt to foil the attempt and play a ‘fail’ card which has it’s own value, if they have one, of course. If the players reach the same fail value as the save value, then the save attempt has failed and Doctor Lucky continues on his way, continuing onto the next player.
Doctor Lucky moves around the ship after each players go, so you’re constantly chasing after him. If you can’t reach him or don’t have a location card which allows you to move further than you’re allocated movement per turn, then you move continue around the ship, trying to predict where he is going to end up so you can try to save him. Until then, you build your deck of cards. This is where the fun begins.

Each deck of the ship comprises of its own deck of cards. When players pick up cards, they pick up from the lowest deck of the ship. When all cards on that deck have been taken, that deck of the ship sinks and no players, including Doctor Lucky have access to that part of the ship from then on. Over time all decks of the ship will gradually sink with this game mechanic, which I feel is the best part of the game. This restricts Doctor Lucky’s movement and thus creates a problem.

Each player in clockwise orders takes their turn, unless Doctor Lucky moves into a room where one or more players are already occupied. When this happens, the player order skips to the player(s) who are in the room. If one or more players are currently in the room, the player who would have their go first in clockwise order from the player who played last would have the priority. What the player can do if this is the case is move to the next room that Doctor Lucky will move into, thus have another turn when they finish their turn and Doctor Lucky moves into the room they’re occupied in. They can do the same again if Doctor Lucky will move into that room after the room he’s currently in. This is called ‘chaining’. What this does is allow this player to have constant play and stop anyone else having a turn until they cannot move into the next room Doctor Lucky will end up in and player order continues in a clockwise motion. The big flaw to this is one or more players may not have a turn due to this chaining, and can create a scenario where only a couple of players are constantly having turns due to Doctor Lucky’s movement and cards they play.

Towards the end, only one deck of the ship will be left and all the players are forced up onto the deck. This creates a fun atmosphere as everyone is trying to save the Doctor before the last deck of cards run out (if you choose to take them), meaning the the whole ship sinks, thus meaning no one wins and everyone drowns a horrible death.

The player who wins is someone who attempts to save him and the other players can’t match the save value with their combined failed value.

Overall, the game is fun if you have the maximum 7 players, but can also get quite frustrating if one or more players are chaining and you have to watch and are unable have a turn due to this.
A fun family or social game to play. I’ve played it on several occasions with different players on each occasion and have had mixed responses. Not a bad purchase overall but it doesn’t get chosen regularly to play.

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