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Gettin' Higgy with It

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Go to the Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deckbuilding Game page
Go to the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective page
Go to the Arcadia Quest page
Go to the Twilight Struggle page
Go to the Stone Age page
Go to the Darkest Night page
Go to the The World of Smog: On Her Majesty's Service page
8
Go to the Bohnanza page

Bohnanza

52 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

Each player is a farmer and the crop of choice is beans – 17 varieties of them. To play this game, you’ll need a total of 2-7 people to compete in the high-stakes profession of bean farming.

Each player is dealt 5 cards. At no point during the game can you rearrange the cards in your hand. The coin to bean ratio is on the bottom of each card. Also given are the number of each variety of that bean in the deck, which can be helpful for all of you who like to count cards (like myself).

You have two imaginary bean fields that you can plant your beans in, but only one variety of bean can be planted in each. When it’s your turn, you play the first bean card in your hand, plus your second card if you wish. You then turn over 2 cards from the deck for everyone to see. You use these, along with the bean cards in your hand, to trade and barter with your fellow farmers.

When all trading is done, you have to plant all the cards you gained or couldn’t trade. Everyone you traded with also has to plant the cards they gained. Since you are forced to plant these cards you may have to dig up one or more of your bean fields. Once everyone is settled, you draw 3 cards from the deck that go in the back in of your hand (remember you have to keep them in order). It’s now the next player’s turn.

Once you have enough beans to cash in, you dig them up and collect your pay. Once you have enough money, you can add a third bean field, which is extremely helpful. Once the deck runs out, you then reshuffle all the used and dug up bean cards and create a new deck. You do this up to 2 times depending on how many players there are. At the end of the game, everyone counts their coins and whoever is the richest farmer is the king, or queen, of beans.

What do I like about this game?

Personally I love the trading aspect of it. My family can get into some very lively trade deals and that makes for some interesting game nights. I especially enjoy trying to pull off some obscure trades. But hey, that’s why I’m the Supreme World Leader of Bean Farmers.

What don’t I like about this game?

It’s tough to play with someone that isn’t completely invested in the trading aspect. Also, patience is a must since some people take longer to make deals than others. But these are minor things and are more related to your fellow players than the game itself.

All in all, this game is fun to play and depending on how many people are playing, it’s a good hour of gaming entertainment.

Check out our video review: Gettin’ Higgy with Bohnanza

9
Go to the Darkest Night page

Darkest Night

24 out of 28 gamers thought this was helpful

Darkest Night is a co-operative board game for one to four players. Designed by Jeremy Lennert, the game is from Victory Point Games.

Choose your heroes. The base game ships with nine to select from. Each has power cards, giving you special traits and abilities. Each hero gets a turn indicator that allows players to change the order of player turns. This can aid in the turn order strategy your group leverages to take on the baddies.

To start the round there are special character powers that can affect your hero at the start of their turn. If you have ventured out of the Monastery you draw an event card. Events include all sorts of bad things to fight or affect you or the game.

There are plenty of actions for your hero to take. If you are hanging out in The Monastery, why not try your luck at praying by rolling two dice? You can attack a blight at your current location. Roll a die that is equal to or greater than their might and the combat was a success. If it wasn’t a success you suffer the failure consequences. You can also choose to allude if you are not as powerful as your opponent.

Search a location by rolling two dice to see if you were successful in searching. If you rolled a number that is equal to or greater than the search difficulty number, you were successful. Select a Map card to see what you found.

Have your hero retrieve a Holy Relic after collecting three keys. This will allow you to ultimately defeat the Necromancer. Near the end of your turn, you also have to defend any blights that are in your location.

After all of the heroes have taken their turn, it’s time to find out where the Necromancer is going and what he is spreading. After his move is finished, the darkness tracker is advanced, which in turn gives him more power. Reset all the turn tokens and you are ready to go again.

You win the game by either killing the Necromancer with a Holy Relic in tow, or by gathering three Holy Relics in the Monastery. The only way to loose is by having the Monastery become overrun with blights.

What do we like about this game?

The game strikes a nice balance between a lot of things going on – but not too much that you will become overwhelmed. The boxed version comes with a thick laser cut game board and game pieces. The quality of the artwork is also impressive. Clark Miller and Daniel Taylor did a nice job of setting the mood. We were pleasantly surprised by this title.

What don’t we like about this game?

The game ships with a soot “Wipes-A-Lot” napkin. The laser cut wood pieces – which we love – leave a black laser dust that gets everywhere. It will take a couple of plays to get it off of all the game pieces. The box that the game comes in could end up getting damage. The slide over cover will get banged up or ripped. We plan on pulling this game out a lot and it’s bound to happen.

Check out our video review: Gettin’ Higgy with Darkest Night

8
Go to the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective page
40 out of 48 gamers thought this was helpful

Sherlock Holmes is a co-operative board game for one to eight players. This game was first published in 1983 and has found new life in a recent reprint. It has players taking on the role of the Baker Street Irregulars.

Grab one of the ten case files that come with the base game. It’s best to do them in chronological order since the provided documents may reveal a clue from an earlier mystery. The game also comes with a map of London, a location directory of people and places in London, and key editions of The Times newspaper.

A list of allies is provided to assist you in your crime fighting. This list consists of the corner, Scotland Yard, informants, and even Sherlock Holmes himself. You will also need paper and a pencil to take notes as though you are an actual detective.

Open up the case file and read the introduction text. By getting names from the intro text and by looking though the newspapers you will start to build the evidence trail. Each player takes a turn investigating a clue. You can work as a team or as individuals.

The game ends when you think you have enough evidence to solve the crime. There are also a couple of questions that add to your final point total. Sherlock Holmes is really easy to pick up and to start playing since the game basically starts right after you read the introduction to the case.

What do we like about this game?

We tend to not worry about our final point total – the chase is what makes this game a lot of fun. It does a great job of revealing leads that give the feeling you are getting close to solving the crime. We actually use a large white board where we lay out our suspects so we can discuss the case as a group as we go along.

What don’t we like about this game?

The text size in the London directory is small, really small. This makes it harder to read for those of us without perfect vision. The font for the leads that you chose is also hard to read – but, this makes sense as it helps obscure other leads that are printed next to the one you are reading.

Check out our video review: Gettin’ Higgy with Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective

7
Go to the Machi Koro page

Machi Koro

34 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

Machi Koro is a light dice card game that plays from two to four players. It seems your town just held an election and you have been made Mayor.

The game is broken down into three phases. Roll Dice, Earn Income and Construction. The starting player rolls one of the dice. Based on the roll result, the different face up cards that the player owns can be activated. This is called the Earn Income phase. After earning income you can construct one property from the play area or complete one of your landmarks.

The more pieces of property you own, the more coins you can collect either from the bank or your fellow player. Once constructed, the Landmark cards give you extra bonuses such as more dice or more coins when certain cards are activated.

The player that constructs all four of their landmarks first wins the game. It’s that easy.

What do we like about this game?

Like I said, it’s an easy game to pick up and has some simple strategy so it fits nicely into the category of a gateway game.

What don’t we like about this game?

Since this is a dice driven game, you’re screwed if you don’t get the rolls, even if you have a great strategy planned. The card stock is good but the size of the box is totally overkill unless they plan on releasing a **** ton of expansions to keep in it.

You will have no problem picking this up.

Video Review

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Machi Koro

9
Go to the Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deckbuilding Game page
136 out of 152 gamers thought this was helpful

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game is a new title from Upper Deck. It plays up to five players in a fully cooperative game experience and includes scenarios for each of the four Alien movies.

The base game comes with a handy player mat that includes spaces for all the game play cards. The game includes a location and objectives based on the particular movie that you have selected to play.

What do we like about this game?

The ability to play all four Alien movies is a lot of fun. It’s all here. The way the Hive decks are stacked to go along with the movies provides you with a close association with the movie narrative. You definitely work together to survive the Alien onslaught. You can coordinate attacks and resources between players – you have to help each other to win.

The play mat is laid out well, has a non-skip backing, and rolls up nicely for storage in the game box. Having this is great to keep the many different category of cards in their proper stacks.

What don’t we like about this game?

Blank cards. This initially confused us as we thought we had misprints or missing cards. It ended with us counting and sorting all the cards a couple of times to make sure we had the complete decks. Not the way you want to start out playing a game. The game also has differing art styles for each scenario. This might be a little bit of annoyance, but doesn’t take away from the gameplay.

And finally, the text on each card is also really small and at times very hard to read. This makes building the Hive decks and Barrack decks very interesting for people without perfect vision.

Video Review

This game is dripping with theme acid. The suspense that the hive deck provides moving through the complex has to be experienced. And, start popping the corn and melting the butter, because once you complete the game, you’ll want to dig out your copy of the movie “Alien” and settle in for the night.

Check our our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Legendary Encounters: Alien

6
Go to the Munchkin Adventure Time page
15 out of 17 gamers thought this was helpful

Munchkin is a dungeon clearing card game where over the years has had different themes applied to it such as Pathfinder, zombies and Cthulhu. The most recent version is an awesome combination of Munchkin and Adventure Time, the cartoon series that follows the adventures of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human throughout the Land of Ooo.

What do I like about this game?

The transition of the Adventure Time theme to Munchkin seems to be a perfect match. If you’ve ever seen the show you know that everything they do looks and feels like an adventure game. Now, we can finally play along through those adventures. Also, the little references on the cards are great.

For example, the “Spot the Snail” Level Up card gives you 10 seconds to find a snail on any of the cards in play in order to gain a level. Also, every character card has the gender swap on the opposite side which can come into play if certain cards are played. It’s a nice nod to the show’s popular Ice King Fan Fiction episodes.

What don’t I like about this game?

Even though you’re supposed to solve disputes with “loud arguments” some people may not like that too much. Also, when we were playing it sometimes the classes were contradicting to the character you were playing as. For example, Princess Bubblegum wasn’t considered royalty unless she had the Royalty class card.

For newcomers, this probably isn’t an issue since you’re not as concerned about who your character is in the show, but for people like us who know which characters are actually musicians, heroes, wizards, and royalty, you might accidentally give yourself a bonus when you shouldn’t. But, this may just be me thinking too much about my character. I’m sure most people won’t have this problem.

Video Review

Check our video review on this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Munchkin Adventure Time

7
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
56 out of 67 gamers thought this was helpful

Nothing says danger like a creepy house located on a creepy hill. All the players enter the house as happy explorers and at some point in the game – well, one of them randomly turns on the rest of the group.

Betrayal is the most challenging for the traitor since they are usually on their own, meaning that if they overlooked some detail in their Traitor Tome, there’s no one else to possibly catch it. Although, if you have experience in games like D&D or other similar role-oriented games, Betrayal shouldn’t be too difficult. And for those of you who don’t, this game may be a little bit of a challenge, but a worth-while experience.

What do we like about this game?

Betrayal kind of feels like two games in one because before the haunt begins you’re mainly exploring and collecting items in a very simple dungeon crawl kind of way. Then, when the haunt actually begins, it turns into a full-fledged fight for survival.

Also, since there are 50 haunt scenarios, you’re almost guaranteed to have a new game every time you play, meaning it’s well worth the price based on replay ability alone. But, having slightly new rules every game can be a bit challenging.

What don’t we like about this game?

Well, it’s pretty well known that the clips on the explorer cards stink. You would think that with the reprint, this would have been fixed – it wasn’t. We ended up having to use post-it-notes to mark the cards. And unfortunately, this is a significant flaw since players are always fiddling with their explorer card during the game.

Video Review

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Betrayal at House on the Hill

10
Go to the The Resistance: 3rd Edition page
31 out of 35 gamers thought this was helpful

In The Resistance, you and your fellow players are a group of resistance fighters. But, some of your fellow players are actually spies trying to thwart your plans. Who the spies are and why that person across the table from you didn’t approve your mission is what you’re trying to figure out.

What do we like about this game?

The interaction between players is outstanding. If you’ve ever attempted game nights and things just aren’t clicking for some reason, this is the game to pull off the shelf. The Resistance is a game that gets more fun the more you accuse your fellow players of being spies, even though YOU might be a spy yourself. Don’t hold back…cause confusion! Even the quietest people can get caught up in the role playing. We’ve had some stunned faces during the last mission because one of the spies was so good at, well….lying.

What don’t we like about this game?

Personally, we don’t care too much for the 2 person missions because they almost always succeed. If they don’t succeed it’s really easy to narrow down who at least one of the spies is unless you’re a really good actor. Another thing is that a minimum of five people are needed to play. Sometimes it’s a let-down because we don’t always have five people hanging around when the urge to play strikes.

Video Review

There is a slight learning curve just to get the idea of how to figure out who the spies might be and knowing how to act so your fellow players aren’t tipped off to your role. Be careful not to get too personal with how you accuse someone of being a spy.

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with The Resistance

8
Go to the Rivet Wars page

Rivet Wars

15 out of 19 gamers thought this was helpful

Rivet Wars is a 2 player (or 2 team) game where you play as either the Allied or the Blight Force. It comes with 9 double-sided terrain tiles to compose various battlegrounds. Each team has 19 high-quality, stylized miniatures of Rivet soldiers and vehicles with a stat card for each.

What do we like about this game?

The style of the figures and the artwork are extremely well done and visually appealing. It’s an interesting take on a war theme that is different from what we usually see. The teams are well balanced in their abilities so whether you choose to play as the Allied Forces or the Blight Forces you’ll have a good game experience either way.

What don’t we like about this game?

The mechanic is very back and forth and doesn’t feel very strategic. But, on the positive side of this, future expansions are said to feature new units, such as planes and heavy artillery that will have hardier armor and enhance the dynamics of the game.

Video Review

Rivet Wars was easier to pick up then we had expected. We were up and running within the hour,

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Rivet Wars

7
Go to the Splendor page

Splendor

63 out of 70 gamers thought this was helpful

In Splendor, you are a Renaissance gem collector who acquires gem tokens and bonuses with the hopes of being visited by nobles. Some bonuses give you prestige points, as do all nobles. Be the first to acquire 15 prestige points and you will be dubbed The Duke or Duchess of Splendor!

What do I like about this game?

The one thing that really stands out are the weighted poker chip-like gem tokens. They look, feel, and sound great while playing the game. Just listen to that! Plus, there’s nothing better than a single-fold rule book, as long as it’s well written. This one is is pretty good.

What don’t we like about this game?

We don’t understand the intro written in the Rule Book that talks about acquiring resource mines, transportation methods and artisans that will allow you to turn raw gems into beautiful jewels. It sounds like there’s a level to this game that just isn’t there.

Cards should be referred to as Mine, Transportation and Artisans instead of levels 1, 2 and 3. Requiring at least one card from each of those categories before getting a Noble visit would give this game a bit more depth and purpose of play.

Video Review

Check out our video review: Gettin’ Higgy with Splendor

8
Go to the Stone Age page

Stone Age

36 out of 43 gamers thought this was helpful

Stone Age is a beautifully illustrated, well-balanced game and a great choice if you’re new to resource management play. Your meeples are workers that claim resources and then those resources are collected and used to build huts, purchase civilization cards, and add points to your score.

This game is a great introduction to worker placement. It’s said that this is a gateway game, and you will get no argument from us. It’s fun, simple and easily expandable to add a bit more gameplay for when you want it.

What do we like about this game?

Most of us were new to resource management games and we’re really glad we started with this one. It’s easy to understand, and there is just enough strategy involved to be interesting but not so much to make it confusing and lengthy.

What don’t we like about this game?

You really need to play this once or twice to devise some sort of strategy for what to collect. Until you do, the scoring at the end of the game can really catch you off-guard and usually it’s not to your benefit.

Video Review

The instructions were not too hard to understand and once you get familiar with the scoring at the end, you’re good as gold. Or stone. Or clay. Or wood.

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Stone Age

8
Go to the Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game page
113 out of 129 gamers thought this was helpful

Dead of Winter is the new board game from Plaid Hat Games. It boasts a new game mechanic, called Crossroads, that will be the start of a series of board games from them. This game was the darling of both Origins and GenCon this year, selling 400 copies in the first and only hour it was on sale at GenCon.

The objective of the game is to survive the hazardous winter. It’s complicated by the fact that you and your friends are also smack dab in a full blown zombie apocalypse. You control a group of survivors that are there to help the colony, but you can also be there to hurt or disrupt the colony’s chances of making it through the winter alive.

What do we like about this game?

The Crossroad cards are the coolest feature of this game. When they are activated, that is when the stories of survival get interjected into the game play. The look and feel of this game is spot on and all of the game components scream cold zombie apocalypse.

What don’t we like about this game?

We wish the Crossroad cards would trigger more often then they do. They’re usually just put back into the pile. Also, if you’re playing with several people, the game play drags a bit while waiting for your next turn and can be tough to hold your interest. This is especially obvious when a player is down to only one survivor, while others are still controlling groups.

Video Review

Dead of Winter has a lot of things going on, but once you get everything set up, it’s pretty straight forward. We are putting it just a little higher than normal to pick up and learn.

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Dead of Winter!

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