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Millhouse

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7
Go to the Alea Iacta Est page

Alea Iacta Est

16 out of 17 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve played a few games where dice are rolled and used as worker placement mechanics, but Alea Iacta Est throws in a very nice twist into the works and creates a really good game.

Gameplay is easy and fun. Starting with your eight die, you roll, and chose any number of those die to play on one of the buildings to gain their benefits. Here are a rundown of the buildings you can choose from

Templum: The first player to play here uses one die of any value and then the second has to you two die to total higher value. Third, three higher and so on. Playing here gives you the bonus of random victory points.

Castrum: Here you play sets of die to get to choose from a number of lands that have “been conquered”, although no conquering is actually done in the game. The player with the higher number of die, not value selects first and down from there. Each different land has a victory point number attributed to it.

Senatus: Play your die here in a run to get a selection of Senate cards. These cards are multipliers and bonuses that work with what you have built.

Forum: Place your die here to get to select members to govern the lands you have conquered. Each member comes with victory point amount similar to the lands. You can have one man and female for each land. You can place any value die here, or values of 1 & 4, or 2 & 3, can be played in one turn. However, the higher the value will get bumped down the line of selection as others played until they are bumped into the latrine.

The Latrine: is the last place to go and is where all of your left over die will end up at the end of the round. For each die you get a reroll chip.

Once you chose a building to play on the turn goes to the next player. Once everyone has placed on a single building all players reroll their die for new results and place again. However, one person may only play one die and another may play a whole set of die, but once one player has placed all their die the round ends and whatever die you have left end up in the Latrine.

The game ends after the fifth round for 4-5 players and sixth round for 2-3 players. At that time the players count up each of the points they have gained from each of the buildings. Reroll chips are worth 2:1 VP’s and lands without governors are worth one less than their total value.

Mechanics that I Enjoy: I like how in most cases for the buildings you play on it is the number of die that you are rolling, not their total value that wins you the right for first pick. So if you have four one value die, you go before someone who has two sixes in the Castrum.

Additionally, I like now there is a good amount of interaction as players are fighting over the first action on a building. Players are often trying to one up their opponent to get the land or action they want first.

I don’t want to sell the interaction in this game short because that is what sends it home for me. (Also, all the dice) But because you can only place one spot each round before rerolling you will have to choose, do I play another die to make my set or run longer, or place someplace else. Someone could play against you and challenge your place, so you want to secure it, and you also do not know what your die roll will be next! Also, if you dilly dally too long then your opponents will use all their die and send you to the Latrine. So as you can see there are a good amount of options with overwhelming you. Great balance.

The one con that I do have against the game is that the iconography on the Senate cards is about as readable as hieroglyphics. You will need to have the rules handy to figure it out during your first few play throughs.

Overall, I like this game. I would say this is a good waist deep game. The strategy and mechanics are not so much that new players and gamers are going to be in over their head. And at the same time its not like playing in the kiddie pool either. Its has a nice bit of strategy even though there are dice. The interaction is also nice for new and mature gamers. Plus,. it has dice! Lots and lots of dice rolls that are always fun.

From Wikipedia: Alea iacta est (Latin: “The die has been cast”) is a Latin phrase attributed by Suetonius to Julius Caesar on as he led his army across the River Rubicon. With this step, he entered Italy at the head of his army in defiance and began his long civil war against Pompey and the Optimates. The phrase is still used today to mean that events have passed a point of no return, that something inevitably will happen.

9
Go to the Belfort page

Belfort

104 out of 111 gamers thought this was helpful

I must say that I am impressed. Quite simply, this is a really good game. In a way it is the Inception version of a worker placement, a worker placement inside a worker placement game. Really it is more area control, but it feels something like worker placement inside worker placement.

Game Play

You start the game with blue prints that you are going to build to manage the areas you want to control. When you have the resources that you need you can use these blue prints and build the buildings to place on the board, each one offering a benefit of some kind. The board is broken up into five identical districts and victory points are awarded for how many buildings you control in a certain district.

There are three types of workers that you can use to collect the resources that you need for your buildings. Elves are going to collect wood for you, dwarfs stone, and gnomes are special. They are like house elves from Harry Potter residing in the one building you place them in never to leave. But they will work in your building for different benefits.

Other then wood and stone there are other resources that you can collect. Either of the two can collect gold to make purchases. And both together can mine for ore. There are also guilds that you can place on IN the city you are working to control that will give you an extra benefit above and beyond the work of a normal worker. But these are limited and usually go first in the round. Your own personal buildings that you build will also give you resource benefits and the last place you can collect resources is at the trader. At the trader you can swap a resource or two for another at a set ratio depending on what you want to trade.

Mechanics I Enjoyed

Taxes are a neat mechanic in the game. Depending on the total victory points you have earned you will have to pay a certain amount of taxes once a round. It adds a little part where you have to be prepared for what is coming in the future. I think of it as in Agricola when you have to feed your family. Although failure is not as destructive in Belfort
Turn order is a big deal in Belfort as it is in most worker placement games; you want that one spot before anyone else gets there. But there are some benefits that I think I will get to in the tips page.
You can also create Super Elves and Dwarfs that will work twice as hard and bring you double the normal resources then a normal worker.

Pros

• Great artwork that I enjoyed. A new style of art that was fun, bright, and inviting. Art is always a big deal for me. Also the components are very nice and thick cardboard
• The game offers some replayability by having different guilds that you can switch in and out to mix it up or add more interaction.
• The game offers a deep level of play with diverse strategy.

Overall, This is not the game that you would play with your family or new gamers. It is going to be for avid to power gamers, which is most likely what appeals to me. I like that the game is deep enough that you can really sink your teeth into it. Just from what I have seen there are different paths that you can take and focus on that will lead you toward victory, and I really like that in a game.

7
Go to the Say Anything page

Say Anything

24 out of 28 gamers thought this was helpful

We have all played Apples to Apples and most of us have utterly despised every second of it. This game is a little similar, but way, way better.

A starting person draws a card and on the card is a number of different questions. You pick one of the questions on the card and ask the rest of the group the question. Instead of selecting from a number of cards in their hand the other players write their answer on a reasonably sized dry erase board. Once all the answer are presented the person asking the question uses the “Select – O – Matic 5000” and decides which answer they like best. Then the other players vote on what they think the selector voted for with two token chips they have.

Points are awarded for having your answer selected, placing your token on the right answer, and to the selector for every token on the answer they selected, up to three points per person per round.

The fun in the game is in its namesake, that you can Say Anything! And the questions bring that out as well. Questions such as…

“What is the best part of being a guy?” …. Standing up to pee!

“What’s the worst thing to say to a cop after getting pulled over?” …. Did you see how fast I was going?!?!

And

“What can you say to your dog that you should not say to your spouse?” …. Fetch me my slippers!!!

So as you can see there are a lot of possibilities with this game, and with the right group of party goers it is easily a hit. My wife and I have used it when having other couples over just to hang out and it is great when we are celebrating birthdays with the family.

As a Party Game I would give it a nine or ten, but on the big scale of things I would prefer to play something with more depth. That is where I came up with my grade of 7 for this game. But if you are looking for a great party game to mix into your collection Say Anything is another party game hit by North Star Games, who also made Wits and Wagers.

7
Go to the Kingsburg page

Kingsburg

98 out of 105 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve been playing this game a bit recently both on the board and with their app and have come pretty accustomed to its game play. The game is pretty solid, but I’m not overly impressed. Let me dive in and explain a few things to offer my opinion.

The idea of the game is that you are a governor proving your worth to the king as you build up your territory and collect points by doing so. The game is broken up into season where you are collection your resources to build and then actually getting down to the business of building your land. At the end of the year in winter you are attacked and have to defend your lands from the enemy. Doing so will reap you a reward, but failure will destroy you almost. This is especially true later in the game.

The game mechanic is a worker placement with the use of die as your workers. You have three die that you use to collection the resources you need. The board is made up of different advisors you can place on to collect the resources you need. Generally, the higher your roll, the better resources you can collect. (Check out the tips section because its not completely true, there are ways around low rolls.) When placing your die you can use all three of your die to gain an high total or break them up however you see fit to collect your resources. This is a mechanic that I like with the options and risk verses reward.

After a season of collecting resources you have an opportunity to build. Each building adds something extra to your land. It could be more defense against the oncoming horde or a resource benefit. This rotation of collecting and building happens twice before the attack comes, so make sure you are ready for that as well!

Pros:
• The artwork is really nice as expected from a Fantasy Flight game.
• Game play and entertain most gamers as well as new gamers. And the art for the game will draw them in as well.
• I enjoy a game with a little bit of luck that can be worked and strategized with and this game offers that with the roll of the die. A bad roll can hurt you, but it won’t destroy you. Its manageable.
• I like that the battle aspect and destroy your whole game if you are not careful. I guess it has some pros and cons itself. I like that it is a real risk, it will hurt you, especially later in the game as they become more difficult. But at the same time it drives you toward one certain strategy.

Cons:
• There is not much interaction between players. It is almost a solitaire game.
• It could be that I am not stretching my game play ability far enough, but there is not much strategy. Whereas some games offer a number of ways to play or gain the victory, I have found one main way that works greatly.

As I said above, I’m not overly impressed with the game. It’s not one that I would veto if someone wanted to play it, but it’s not something that I would beg for either or want to play over and over again. If there expansion brought more interaction then that may change that some. Personally, I already own a few worker placement games so I would not want to add this to my collection.

As for the App: It was an app I bought before I played the board game. Some have had problems getting it to load or play but it has worked just fine for me. It is a little clunky, but its not a bad app. If you enjoy the game I would suggest it, but I had the hardest time learning how to play the game from the app only. It wasn’t until I played the game that it made any since.

9
Go to the King of Tokyo page

King of Tokyo

73 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

What a great game. I could not be happier with this addition to my collection. I heard a lot of good things about the game and it has generously lived up. While the game is not deep with strategy, you will find great depths of fun and laughs. Just brace yourself for the pounding!

Game play is very easy. Each player gets their own monster whose sole purpose is to destroy Tokyo. Through dice rolls you gain energy to upgrade your monster, heal your monster, launch them into an attack, or score victory points. On your turn you roll the die and keep what you want after three rolls. If you score a set of numbers, 1, 2, or 3, then you score those victory points. The six sided die allow for each outcome to develop equally.

You score through the rolling of the die to create sets of numbers, but also entering Tokyo and completing a round in Tokyo. But victory points are not the only way to win the game. You can also smash all your opponents into oblivion! Each monster has 10 life points for you to attack and to heal yourself.

The components are done wonderfully and the design used on the pieces and cards is equally great. I was very impressed with the turn wheel that keeps your score. It was put together to withstand a beating. Some have complained about the dice, but mine are embossed so I have not had any problems. I believe earlier copies had the icons simply printed onto the die. It seems that they have rectified this.

The great thing about this game is that it can be played in any setting. We use it as a filler or time killer waiting for others to arrive or as a wrap up for the night after some heavy games, but it is also great with people who don’t game at all such as in family gatherings. Sure you can’t really sock your Uncle Frank in the face, but you can send your Cyber Bunny to take care of you light work!

The one knock on the game is that it is too short! While correctly designed to be so, it is a shame that this much fun cannot continue longer. I guess we’ll just have to play it again!

Some have also noted that they game should include unique powers for each of the monsters but I disagree. That would take away from the aspect of building energy and purchasing cards to upgrade your monster.

Overall, this is a great game. Normally I would prefer a game with more depth and strategy, but the fun that this quick game provides makes it a great addition to your collection. You may not rack your brain formulating your next move, but when was the last time you laughed this much over Squares of the Melancholy Mediterranean Trader? Lighten up for 20 minutes, you’ll be glad you did.

8
Go to the Ticket to Ride Europe Pocket page
18 out of 21 gamers thought this was helpful

I’m pretty much grabbing whatever board gaming app I see on a regular basis now and think it’s a great way to fill my lunch break or oil change wait. When I saw Ticket to Ride Europe was available I grabbed it right away, and now I kind of wish that I would not have. Two reasons, one I think I paid a bit more to get it right away. Second, its not that much different than the original game app.

I find this second point a bit perplexing because I would prefer the Europe board over the USA board on the table, but in an app I vote for the USA map. I think the main reason for this is because the geography of it all. With a map I am accustomed to since 1st grade I can pick out major cities from a 4” screen, but with Europe it’s a bit more difficult.

This is especially so on the trek over to England where the congestion really builds it can be difficult to see the routes and I have more than once thought I completed a route only to realize at the end that I did not. I will also point out that is my fault because there are other icons on the app that show you what routes you have left.

Perhaps if I was more accustomed to the Euro map this would not be as much of a problem, and I’m sure on an iPad it is less of a problem, or of course if you are from Europe, but… `Merica!

Pros:
The game still looks great with vibrant colors and the bots and extra downloads are great.
You can get a good game played in a short amount of time
The bots are smart, but any more the bots are always smart.

Cons:
I don’t know my geography very well.
The map is a bit small for the congestion that takes place in a few areas.
The train station mechanic has not always worked for me as I would like.

Overall, I think the app is a good to great version of the game. However, I would suggest only purchasing one of the apps, not both. You will get enough of what you are looking for in one of that apps that the other is not necessary.

6
Go to the Infiltration page

Infiltration

107 out of 114 gamers thought this was helpful

Infiltration is a game full of pros and cons to me. Being as such it has truly thrown my feelings in a twist about this enigmatic game. I love you, I love you not.

The game play is simple which is a plus to me. You are a thief breaking into a building to download and steal data and make it out without getting caught. The building is made up of cards that represent different rooms of the building. You control your thief’s moves by selecting an action along with the other players then playing your action card in turn order. The actions are Advance or Retreat to an adjacent room, Download file (VP’s) or Interface with a room’s special ability. Each player also has a set of special cards they can play for bonus abilities.

This is a fun mechanic that adds to the strategy of the game. Because all players are selecting there actions at one time and then playing them in order you don’t know what the other players are doing. You have to make assumptions about where they are going and when they are going to try to score data/victory points.

At the end of each round a die is rolled and that number is added to the alarm. In order to finish the game you must make it out of the building before the alarm meets 99.

There are a number of things that I really like and that drew me into this game, but as I played it more and more there are different things that I also really didn’t like and found myself adjusting a few of the rules that I felt left holes in the game.

Pros:
• The theme of the game is great. It builds great that you are searching through a building looking for something but knowing that you only have a little bit of time before you are busted on the alarm goes off. You sense the suspense and it builds into the strategy of the game.
• The look of the game is also fantastic, but it’s a FF game so it is expected. One thing I will add is that it has “Finger Cards” where you can fit about 12 of them into the palm of your hand. I wouldn’t mind paying $5 more per game for a larger card.
• The game play is great for a quick fix, and even repeat, and simple enough for anyone to learn.

Cons:
• There are a few rules that I feel leave a hole in the game that I think would actually improve the theme. For instance, it only makes since, with many bank heist movies, that you should be able to escape from the roof! This would draw more people further into the game and add to the theme.
• I don’t care for the one and done function of the special cards and it seems difficult to acquire more. If the right rooms are not in the mix you are kind of screwed.
• I would also prefer to have unique character abilities for the thief you use. It could have simply been created to put a special card on the player card as a special ability but they just worked it into the rules as something you could do. It seems like they were thinking about it but didn’t commit for some reason.

I can find myself picking out what game I want to play and the struggle for strategy vs. theme will come into play. What do you want? Great theme? This is your game! Lots of strategy? You may want to pull something else off the shelf because there is a good amount of chance. This will play into my overall score for a game since I grade on what I would want to play out of all the games I have graded.

Overall, I think it discourages me to get a game from a great publisher that has a lot of excitement from it and play a few times and see holes in it. But I guess its not that big of a deal and the theme and suspense of the game do make up for most house rules in play. I’m happy I have this good, but not great game. It has a place on my shelf, but I would encourage you to play if first. There will often be other games I would prefer to play.

PS. Check out the tips section for some rules to make improvements.

6
Go to the Blokus page

Blokus

77 out of 85 gamers thought this was helpful

Blokus is a fun game that I would best describe as a puzzle styled game. At first look you would think Tetris the Board Game, but that it is not. The game is plays out very simply with two to four players.

One of the first things that you will notice about this board game is that the production is very high. The pieces and board are made of high quality plastic that work great with one another. When you place a piece on the board it fits nicely into its slotted place on the board. Big plus!

Game play is pretty simple. Starting from a corner of the board you place a piece and continue in turn laying pieces corner to corner. No flat side of your color piece can touch the flat side of another piece of yours. Through this you will spread your colored pieces across the board, usually into the middle and onward into your opponents hopeful territory.

Eventually you will work you pieces to a point where there are no moves left. Once all players have done this the game will end with a fight to the death with your only weapon being your final piece! I have been most victorious with the cross that I like to use as a ninja star. If you don’t like that ending and want something more family friendly then the end goal and winner is the player with the least pieces left.

Pros
The game looks great with quality pieces and is pretty inviting to many types of players, even those who do not play games. It can be learned in a flash a provides with a unique style of strategy.

Cons
The game does not get very deep and may be repetitive. Also, for some reason it stresses me out.

Overall, it works nicely in the niche I play it the most, with the extended family over. For what it is as a puzzle game I would give it a 7.5 out of 10, in the broad scope of all games I would like to play I would list it as a 5 out of 10.

One nice note, the mobile game is a quick pace version I think for .99 that can entertain for a good amount of time. The graphics are not that great, but the game is still fun. I actually like it better as a mobile game, most likely because I can play a few games in the time it would take to play one board game and get my fill faster.

9
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
61 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a game that is quickly climbing my charts becoming one of my favorite games in my collection. I am very happy I took a risk and made the purchase without ever playing the game myself. Let’s dive in and see what we are getting into.

Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game that is set in a town from the Dungeon and Dragon theme, but that doesn’t really matter because outside of the names and flavor text this game has nothing to do with D&D.

Game Play:
In the game you are completing quest to score victory points and win the game. But to complete these quest you need a number of recruits and resources. In the game you are sending your agents to gather these recruits and resources by playing them in different parts of the city. For instance, you can send an agent to the arena to recruit two fighters, aka orange cubes, to your cause. When you gain the requirements necessary to complete a quest you do so on your turn resulting in a reward usually of victory points or some other benefits such as additional resources.

There are a few other aspects of the game that I think are very intriguing. My favorite are the buildings. You can build different building that provide the players with more places to send their agents. The great thing about this is when someone else sends an agent to your building there is a reward that you get every time as the owner.

The other mechanic is in intrigue cards. These cards allow you to interact with the other players some. Sometimes you are attacking them, sometimes helping them. The great thing about this is to play a card you have to send an agent to the harbor. At the end of the round, eight rounds in total, you get to take your agent from the harbor and send him to another location. Very beneficial!

Components:
This is one aspect that I feel the game has generated a good amount of buzz about. And they are pretty great pieces and top quality, but nothing is really mind blowing. What I have heard a lot about is the box and holder for the pieces. Honestly, it can be frustrating. All the pieces have their own place which is great, but some of the spaces are a little tight and I have more than once shot gold tokens all over trying to get them into a slim space. Over all though good to great.

Two to Five Players:
I’ve played this game with different numbers of people; maybe not three, but the game scales great. I really appreciate when a game plays well with just myself and my girlfriend, but also with the guys. I also like that it plays more than four, I think it adds a lot more chances to get to the table and get your money’s worth out of a game when you can play it with more people.

Ease to Learn:
One of the things that really drew me into this game was how easy it was to learn. The first time I saw it in person I was late to a game night and game in at the middle of the game. I sat at the table and just starting watching. Pretty quickly I was able to figure out the game play just based on the action players were taking and the icons on the board. I didn’t have to ask too many questions to be ready to play, everything just kind of lines up.

Blemishes, Not Flaws:
Some of the negative things I would say about the game is that it may not be very deep. I’m not sure if there are more than one or two routes to victory. It would also be nice if some of the lord cards you get that influence play were a bit more varied in what they did. They are all the same minus one. I also think this could make the game a bit deeper. One idea I had was a lord who earned bonus points for completing quest over 20 vp. Another would be extra points for when you end the game with left over money, maybe the most or recruits.

Overall:
As I’ve stated this game is quickly climbing up my charts and I don’t have any real flaws with the game after a multiple play through, only ideas to improve. It can easily fill multiple rolls with a good amount of strategy, play length being about an hour, ease of learning and number of players. This is a game that I’m very happy to own and would suggest to many.

5
Go to the UNO page

UNO

23 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

What is that place you may ask? I know, with such a basic game it’s hard to see. But the place for this simply card game is around the table with the family. Especially with the kids, grand kids, and the nephews and nieces. A tradition of Uno can lead to more complex games with the young ones when the families come together.

The game is simple, playing cards from your hand matching colors or number until you can scream “UNO!” and then be the first to play your final card. Throw in a few twist and turns here, a reverse there and a skip here and you have yourself a few golden minutes with the little ones a hopefully a few teachable moments as well.

Playing nice, loosing with a smile, patience, and taking turns are all easy lessons to learn and teach in this very basic card game. Don’t forget colors and numbers as well!

Easy to find and cheap to own or even give as a stocking stuffer. Take the time to sit down and create a moment with a simple game and find those teachable moments for your little ones.

9

BoardGaming.com – The Website

45 out of 50 gamers thought this was helpful

This little site has been a joy of mine since the beginning of the year and Oh how I have loved thee. Daily I come to this site to log my different actions and see what others have to say about games that I am both interested in and could care less about. But I still love seeing what they have to say about different games and how they work. I love seeing new games and the ways that they work.

Outside of seeing what others are doing you are also able to dive in and offer your own opinion and experience and reap the rewards of the different quest. Each quest has a little bit of a different feel and can offer different impression for different gamers. If you just enjoy lots of different games without much thought then you can log those games in the gamer quest. If you like to tinker and tear mechanics apart then the professor would appeal to you. There is a little bit of something for everyone!

One of my favorite aspects is the tips section for the different games. Here I can see the ideas and strategies my gamer kin have used on different games to bring about their victory. Reading this gives me a hands up above my opponents at the table.

I also love giving my opinion about the different games that I have played. Its kind of like hearing the sound of my own voice.

Another thing that is easily to love that most people do not even realize when that are on a website, unless its broken, is website usability. And this site does it great. If you are on other sites for board gaming, its looks like they just threw up code all over the place. But here you get great usability, links take you where you think they will, and the artwork while you are exploring is terrific.

Overall, there are a few things I would like to see added to the site that could bring more people back for longer periods of time, such as news or enhancing game discussions. But there must be a good amount here already. Why else would I come back multiple times a day for months on end. I would also say that it is very easy to point out things that we would all like to improve, but I know the guys who are running the site are working hard to give all of us the best experience without losing their life to the site. For that I say thanks!

7
Go to the Infinite City page

Infinite City

27 out of 28 gamers thought this was helpful

Infinite City is a decently fun tile game where you are expanding a city and the pieces you control. If you can expand your control and capture enough pieces of the city then you will rule Infinite City BWAHAHAHAHAAAAA!

Ok, it’s a pretty fun game, but I don’t know if its Bwahaha fun. The game is pretty simple, but still has a surprising amount of strategy and forward thinking involved. I consider this a big plus.

Gameplay starts with four face down tiles to start the city and you will play your tiles in turn face up. When you place a tile, it must go next to an adjacent tile and you would usually place one of your colored markers showing that you control this tile of the city.

Each tile has its own special ability that will allow you to influence the city in some way. For instance, the stadium tile works in a way that it draws in the adjacent tile’s player markers on to its own. Similarly working with the idea of a crowd of people heading to the game at the stadium. Each of the cards are similar to this. They have some different type of a city such as a port, library, police station and so forth. When you play these different tiles they will affect the board in a fashion after which they were named such as the stadium does.

Some other examples to give you an idea of game play:
Construction Site: Place one more tile.
Library: Look at the top five deck tiles and take one of them into your hand.
Embassy: All tiles must be played adjacent to this tile as long as possible.

Hopefully you can see some how the tiles interact and work with the theme of the game being with you building a city.

To score you must have at least a connection of three adjacent tiles with your occupying token on them. As you advance through the game the tiles and tokens are moved around quite a bit by yourself and by other players so strategy is a good part of scoring. You can also score by playing certain tiles that have bonus points on them.

The good features of this game is that is fast, cheap, and has a great amount of strategy considering how basic it is. This fact alone makes this a good game in my opinion. It is a great game to pull out to fill a short hole. It has bascailly no set up and you are good to go right from opening that box. The instructions are basically do what the tile says, anyone can play it.

The bad features would be that there is a lot of backstabbing. You could start your turn building off of the tile you just played and have your next three turns lined out only to have that base tile moved to a completely part of the city by the time it gets back to you. In this sense your strategy will be changing a lot. You know the gamer who whines and complains when someone puts the robber on his tile, you’ll want to kill him before the end of the game.

Overall I really like the game. It’s a good thing the price is low, because with such a basic game I would have a hard time paying much for it. One thing I do believe, too much of this game would wear on me. Which, being a short game is easy to do, but it is well made, good strategy needed, and fills a need. That scores high in my book.

5
Go to the Four Taverns page

Four Taverns

67 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. You have a tavern where you are hiring different adventures such as wizards, warriors, rogues, and clerics to go out into the land to complete quest to earn you prestige! Once you are able to recruit enough adventurers then you can complete the quest for gold and prestige. Does this sound anything like any other recently released game? That’s right, Lords of Waterdeep.

If Lords of Waterdeep continues to have success Wizards should consider buying this smaller publishers rights from them and remarketing and redesigning the pieces as a card game follow up to Lords of Waterdeep much like games such as Ticket to Ride.

Now the game is not at all a rip off of Lords of Waterdeep. I don’t even know which one was published first, I’m just saying they are very similar in theme. Eerily similar.

Game Play:
With Four Taverns you are drawing your resources from a deck verse worker placement. The cards you draw are mostly adventure cards with a different value on them. These are adventures that have entered your tavern that you have an opportunity to pay and send out on quest.

The quest are in a separate deck and require a certain point level from each of the four adventurer types to complete. For instance on one quest you may need a level four warrior and rogue, a level 1 cleric, and a level two warrior.

Now, if you have a level five of each in your hand then you can pay each one their gold due, which is one, and then play these cards and complete the quest. Or if you do not have them you can play them in hopes that you can complete the quest the next time around. You could keep the cards in your hand as well, but you have a card limit based on how many victory points you have.

There are a few cards in the deck that allow you to play special actions such as steal an adventurer or play adventure cards that act as two in one for their ability, but that about sums it all up.

Pros:
• The game was quick and easy to play. You could quickly play it between games and easily teach it to anyone.
• If you have a young one at home learning addition, this could be a fun game. It would not be over their head and you could use the adventurer numbers to help them learn.

Cons:
• The game is produced by a smaller game company and the components are not the best quality. The cards are a bit thin and the art did not very much appeal to me.
• There is not much to the game and it is almost too simple for me.

Overall:
I really appreciate this new company working hard to develop this game as a new startup company. At the booth for Gen Con they were dressed up in their steam punk costumes and really working hard. However, the quality of game play and the pieces just do not do it for me. The basic game play and complete random chance are a turn off for me. I would not seeing this making it to the table very often.

9
Go to the Summoner Wars page

Summoner Wars

46 out of 52 gamers thought this was helpful

I am a huge fan of the Plaid Hat Podcast, but have actually never played one of their games. When this app came out and it was free!!! I was pretty excited to get to play one of their games and try out some of what I have been hearing about from their podcast and from the Dice Tower as well. I was not disappointed.

In the game you choose a different faction of characters to fight against one other faction and you two battle it out on a battlefield grid. The goal of the game is to kill your opponents summoner. Whoever does this first, wins.

Each faction has their own unique special abilities that you have to learn and strategize to best your opponent. One thing that I like about this is each faction’s abilities match who they are. So the Tundra Orcs have ice and brute strength abilities while Cave Goblins come at you in numbers, but lower strength.

Fighting is done with a simple roll of electronic die. On rolls of three or more you score a hit. Melee fighters need to be adjacent and range fighters need to be at least three spaces away.

You also have different types of cards that you have to manage such as your leader the Summoner, champions, commons, and special event cards that can really separate you from your enemy. Let’s check it out.

Summoner: This is the guy you are trying to kill and trying to protect. But that does not make him a liability on your side. These guys have their own special abilities that will save your butt time and time again.

Champions: You have three champion in your deck, but each one is unique. These are your power house guys that come on the board and start to clean house. Think of the scene in TLOR when they are in the dwarf cave fighting those goblins and then the cave orc comes in and tears the **** out of the place, its like that.

Commons: These are low power guys. You will have a few of them in your hand and each will have unique powers, but you will have a few of them. Think of more like a squad. So you’ll have a few squads all with the same ability.

Events: These are cards that you play and will boost your faction in some way or hinder your opponent. Playing these cards at the right time can turn the tides of the game.

One additional component to the game is building magic. You need magic to summon your guys on to the battlefield. You get magic by killing off your opponent’s men, and by discarding cards from your hand. So you have some hand management you have to work with as well. Learning to do all these things in turn will result in your victory.

Pros:
• The game is free! If you have never played it before you can at least get a taste for it before diving right in. Now, even though it is free, you only get a few of the factions to try out. If you want to get real involved you will have to make a purchase.
• There are a lot of factions, even though not all of them are available on the iOS. The nice thing about this is when you get bored with one, just move on the next one and try it out. Each one also has its own strategy, so if one does not work for you there are more options. I also like this feature because it stretches me as a gamer and makes me play with strategies that I am not as comfortable with.
• The artwork and play of the game is really nice. Visually, it is a great crossover to the iOS.
• The deck building portion of the app works great! You can customize your deck however you like with different fighters from your own faction or add in some mercs and mix it up. Again, a great way to stretch you and your abilities to think outside of the box.

Cons:
• The AI can be a little slow. I know others have mentioned this, but it’s not that bad. It usually makes good decisions which means that it is harder for me.
• The usability is not something you will be able to sit down and understand, especially if you have never played the game before. This is not a huge bust, but I like games with easy usability. You will most likely need to watch the tutorial.
• There have been times that the AI has had a clear shot at my summoner and instead attacked a wall or a common. In my opinion, this should not happen. If you have a shot at a summoner you take it. Especially if its between that and attacking a wall???

Overall:
I love this game! I want to pick it up and play whenever I can. I don’t usually play online vs. other players, but this game is taking me there. It has a lot to offer and can be quite addicting. Its like a crazy form of chess. If you can get this game, its free, and you need to at least give it a college try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. And if you don’t listen to the Plaid Hat Podcast you should. They are pretty funny and give good insight into a board game company.

PS: How do you grade “Components” on digital games?

6
Go to the Quarriors! page

Quarriors!

88 out of 95 gamers thought this was helpful

Imagine a world where your box games awoke in the middle of the night while you are sound asleep. They run around your house like little gnomes. Dominion is coming out of the bathroom pulling up his zipper. Random dice are walking into the kitchen to cook up some waffles. Their eyes meet and its love at first sight. After a trip to Vegas they are officially wed and nine months later… Quarriors!!!!

Break This Bad Boy Out:
The game set up can take a bit of time as you will have to take the die out of their little baggies or separate them if you have simply dumped them into the pot. Its not so much the time it takes, its more getting the die out of these tiny bags that I find annoying, but necessary.

One great thing about Quarriors is the cards the show what the die represent. Although there are only one set of die, there are multiple cards representing those die. What this offers is more replay ability as you can have different versions of a die via what is shown on the card. Each time you play, the different cards power the same die, resulting in the die interact with each other a bit differently each game.

Once you have your cards and die set up, you are ready to start playing the game.

Let’s Get It On:
Quarriors is a dice building game where you are buying different warriors to fight against one another to score glory points. You capture these warriors by rolling the die in your bag to produce the currency for the game call quiddity. You spend quiddity to both capture and to activate the Quarriors you have captured.

Much like Dominion you have a starting pile of die with a few worthless pieces mixed in. Your turn you get six die to roll for your hand essentially. If you have creatures you have collected to fight you will most likely activate them and put them into your ready area.

Creatures in your ready area fight as a team against each of your opponent’s individual die. So if you have two creatures with an attack of 2 each, 4 total, the attack your opponent with a defense of 3. That die is killed off and put into your opponent’s used pile. If you get your creature to survive one whole round and get back to you then you score glory points and that creature is put back into your used pile.

This continues until a player reaches the necessary glory to win the game.

What Rocks:
• Its nice that the different cards are used to add replayability to the game. You can each card also has its own setting: normal, strong, and mighty. So you can make a game with just the weaker cards for new people or go big and play all mighty!
• The game plays pretty quick, in about 20-30 min. Makes it a nice filler or something to squeeze in at the end of a night.
• The game is very each to teach, especially if people have played Dominion.

Meh:
• Of course the game is luck based, that’s a give when 99% of the game is dice, but it does not offer much strategy. Basically, when you roll quiddity, purchase the largest thing that you can. There is not much thought in it, just buy the most expensive thing that you can. It lacks depth
• There are a few things that are a little shaky in the rules. They have since then come out with a few expansions that have addressed these things, but I have not taken the time to dig them up. But as you play through you can see some of the holes.
• It can only be played with four players. And you can’t stretch the rules because you don’t have the die to make it happen.

Overall:
I believe that this is going to be one of those games that makes a big splash when it comes out, but I don’t think it will last the set of time. There just is not enough depth to keep bringing people back for more. The combat is nice, and when the game is close you may be on the edge of your seat, but with most dice games, and roll will make you or break you. My fiancé really enjoys this game, but it’s not one that I care too much for, I’d rather invest my time in a game that will make me think a bit more.

10
Go to the Ticket to Ride: Switzerland page
104 out of 111 gamers thought this was helpful

I would guestimate that most of us have played Ticket to Ride in some form or another, be it over a table top or on your mobile device. This wonderful expansions takes the regular game and perfectly sizes it to accommodate two to three players. Let’s check it out!

Components / Art:
As a Days of Wonder Game and one of their headliners, if not their bestselling line, you get a top quality game. The components are pretty basic as this expansion simply a new board and the destination tickets, but they are top notch. Both with the board and the tickets you also get great artwork. The colors and details are vibrant, and it is easy to appreciate the work that was put into the game.

Rules:
There are tunnels in Ticket to Ride: Switzerland, and that will greatly influence your game play and decision making. And along with tunnels the use of wild cards are solely playable on tunnels. Also, you play Switzerland with five less trains then the other games that allow you to speed up the game a bit. Additionally, if you have an internal clock for your train count, it will be off a little since you are short now.

Special Features:
There are two special features in this game that I don’t believe are featured in any other Ticket to Ride game. That being the destination tickets that direct you from one country to another, or from a city to any country. While Switzerland is the main focus of this game, you can also travel and visit a few other countries while you are traveling. Those countries are France, Italy, Austria, and Germany. With the right destination cards you can either connect two of these countries or a certain city to a country. These destination cards will most likely prove to be your big ticket cards.

The nice thing about these cards is it gives you a chose. It will tell you for example that you have to connect France to one of the other countries and offer you three different point values for each one depending on how far you have to travel. The same thing with the city to country. You will have to connect Chur to one of the four countries for a point value.

With this you can either chose to take the longest and connect France to Austria, or you can take the easy route and connect France to Italy. Another nice feature is that each country has multiple routes into it, even though each route into a certain country is a dead end.

With these routes that offer different choices as to where you are going you may ask what happens if you fail to achieve your goal? Well in that case you simply are penalized the lowest value on the card. So these cards can have a huge reward with very little penalty.

The last feature that I like about these country cards is that it always takes an extra move to get into the country. You are never going for a city and a country at the same time, the country is a dead end essentially. If you and your opponent are heading into the same city, only one of you can get into the country from that point!

Overall:
I didn’t really list too many negative features to this game, and the reason is that there are not many. I do a lot of gaming with just me and my girlfriend and this is one of my favorite games to break out. It is one that we are both very comfortable playing, but at the same time offers a good amount of tension with competing routes and strategy. This game sets out to fulfill a niche on your gaming shelf and it does so perfectly. Flawless Victory!

7
Go to the The Castles of Burgundy page
119 out of 126 gamers thought this was helpful

Castles of Burgundy is a fun Euro styled game where you play the role of a price expanding this kingdom. However, as the case in most Euro games, the theme is pretty thin. And while there is no actual “storming of the castle,” that does not stop this game from being a fun mind bender as you grow your land.

RULES:
When we started playing this game and the rules were explained to me, my head was spinning. When you sit down to do the same be ready to be overcome with lots of details. Take a deep breath, its ok. Once you dive in you’ll start to get it and everything will be awesome. I’ll try to share some of this with you now, brace for impact.

The main bulk of rule explanation comes from the many different tiles that are the main focus of the game. These are the tiles you use to add to your kingdom and see it grow. There are six different tiles and each one has a different benefit.

It’s not necessarily each of these tiles that make the game a little complex, but the focus should be on two tiles, the knowledge/science tiles and the building tiles. While the rest of the tiles have one specific function, these tiles are a little special and each one is a little different, providing you with unique abilities that can separate you from the group.

SET UP:
The game is set up with a buying market where land tiles are placed into groups one through six. If you want to select a tile from group four, then you need to have a die roll with a four on it.

On your player board you have a land mass you are trying to fill with different colored spaces and numbers on them. The colors represent the type of tile that can go into that space, and the number represent what roll you need to fill that space.

GAME PLAY:
At the start of the turn the players roll their dice and this shows the players what selections from the market are available to them or what spaces they can use on their board. While some may not like this use of dice in a Euro game, the luck factor is narrowed. For one you have worker tiles you can spend to influence your die roll. Additionally there is always something you can do with what is rolled. I have never felt like I missed out on something because of a bad role.

The game progresses through five rounds that replenishes and replaces the tiles in the market area after each round.

There is also a little economy involved in the game as you mine for silver and also can trade/sell your goods for VPs and silver. The silver can be used to purchase tiles from the market, but these tiles are only available through purchase.

PROS:
• There are several player boards that I think will add to the replay ability. Once you think you have a map down, you can change it and the way your kingdom is built will be completely different.
• There are multiple ways score victory points in this game and I love that. That tells me there are multiple ways to win the game. Multiple strategies and tactics that can be used. I can look at the game and head in one direction and my opponents in another and we can all win. Most likely I’ll lose, but I have a chance. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”
• I’ve seen this game online for under $40. A game you can add to your collection with great replay ability and strategic game play for under $40 is a great game.

CONS:
• The game is only playable with 2-4 players. That is pretty limited to me and I prefer games with more options for players. For me this is the biggest knock on the game.
• The rules may come over you like a tsunami. This is not a game for new gamers, so make sure you know who you are playing this with. However, don’t let this stop you from playing. If you can get past the rules and are willing to sit down to actually play the game, it makes more sense and will not be over your head.
• Again, know who you are playing with. This game can cause paralysis by analysis. At the same time, make sure that you are not the one slowing the game and giving the other players a bad taste for the game.

OVERALL
I know that I have a pretty balanced pros v. cons, but the more that I think about this game the more I want to get it back to the table. Not only play again, but this is a game that I would love to own. I love how this game is deep, but not deep enough to drown people. It takes a bit of time, but not so much that your whole night is lost. There is a bit of luck, but not enough to ruin your game. All in all it is a greatly balanced game that will stretch many with its diverse strategy.

8
Go to the Alhambra page

Alhambra

96 out of 103 gamers thought this was helpful

Alhambra is a fun euro styled economy/building game where you are the designer of a great city. Published in 2003 this game won the 2003 Spiel des Jahres in the same year. I was introduced to this game when I made my first visit to my local game store’s game night, which now I love to go to as much as possible.

Game Play:
At the start of the game everyone is given a fountain that acts as the center of their city. All of the sections that added to your city must be built from this fountain, and the must also be facing the same direction as the fountain, that being up right.

Along with your fountain you are also given money at the start of the game. Money in this game is in card form and there are four different currencies. Each player is dealt their money cards until they have an amount of twenty. This could come in three cards, or nine, so every player has a different amount of cards, but about the same value as you could go over. The player with the fewest cards starts the game; an interesting mechanic.

On your turn you can do one of three actions.
1) You can buy an building for your city. This purchase can be added to your city directly or to a reserve you have to be added later. When adding to your city there are a few rules you must follow. You must be able to walk to your addition from your fountain, it must face the same direction, and it must be have walls consistent with those around it. Meaning if it has an inner wall, the adjacent piece should also have an inner wall. This makes more sense when you can see the piece.

Another interesting mechanic is that if you purchase your piece with the exact amount needed, then you earn an additional action. This can be repeated until there are no pieces left to purchase.

2) You could also take money from the money pile and add it to your hand. An interesting mechanic here is that you can as many cards as you want, as long as you do not break a currency amount of five. So you take a Two and Three in two cards, or a nine. It’s your choice, but remember, if you get the exact amount when you buy you earn another action!

3) For your final action you can take a piece from your reserve and add it to your city or swap another piece out.

Scoring happens at the end of three rounds. Points are awarded to each player based on who is the leader in a certain type of building that has been added to their city. The first round it is only the leader, then the second it’s the leader and second place, and so on.

Each building type has a certain value. The purple towers are the most, whoever has the most of these will be rewarded the most points at the end of the round. These pieces are also the most expensive. The red city pieces are the cheapest pieces to add, but they are also the least in point value.

The game ends when you are down to four city pieces. At which time all four pieces are offered on a selling block and auctioned off. Another fun mechanic.

Pros:
• Its nice to have a game that can be played with 2-6 players. Most game top out at 4-5, this one fills that hole.
• The game is pretty easy to teach and starts with little set up.
• It offers unique mechanics that you won’t find in many other games. To me this is what truly sets this apart.
• There are a butt load of expansions out there. If this is a game you truly love, you can go crazy with it. I have not played any of them yet, but I know they are out there.
• Its also nice when anyone can sit down at this game and win. Some games you have to play a few times and get the hang of it. Not so with Alhambra.

Cons:
• I know that this game has been reprinted, but the one that I have, the designers must have looked at the box and the pieces and thought, “How can we NOT get these pieces to fit in this box.”
• I wonder about the replay value, and there is not very much interaction. You could easily sit through an entire game and not say anything to another player. In this area it is somewhat like Ticket to Ride. It is only when your desire is taken from you that interaction will occur. If you are in a race for first for a certain city type, you will see lots of interaction, but if not, it’s a bit more quite.

Overall:
The first time that I played this game I knew it was a hit for me. It is easy to see why it won the Spiel des Jahres, and so many other awards. With a number of unique mechanics, easy to learn, and quick game play this game has what it takes for greatness. And with the number of expansions, I would imagine the publisher agrees.

7
Go to the Elder Sign page

Elder Sign

93 out of 100 gamers thought this was helpful

This game was purchased with the intent to develop a taste for Arkham Horror to my gaming group and introduce that game to them. I have since given up on this conquest and turned my gaming attention elsewhere, but this games still serves a good purpose in my gamming collection.

This horror based dice rolling game sets you and your team of investigators up in an old spooky museum where the forces of darkness are about to be unleashed to mop the floor with mankind. That is unless you can role the necessary dice to defeat monsters, search through rooms, and collect enough elder signs to seal away the Ancient One from entering this realm.

GAME PLAY
The game is pretty simple to play. There are six room cards in front of you for you to investigate. You complete a room investigation by rolling die to achieve a pattern of die. There are usually two or three different patterns for each room and if you do not get one of the patterns in a single roll then you lose one die and try again. This keeps going until you either accomplish your goal or have no more die to roll.

If you accomplish your goal then you are rewarded with spells, companions, or unique items that will give you different bonuses such as extra die or special abilities. You can also gain life or sanity.

If you fail your quest then you are dealt damage to your life or sanity, of course if you run out you die. Other penalties may be unleashing a monster or moving the doom tracker one step closer to unleashing certain doom in the Ancient One.

There is a clock mechanic that after every turn advances 15 minutes. Every time the clock strikes midnight, a Threat Level Midnight occurs and Michael Scott jumps out of the game box and starts shooting people? No. Okay. But something bad does happen. A new doom card is reviled and usually brings with it some curse that will advance the doom tracker. These are random and can either really hurt you, or sometimes help. Mostly they are used to force you to take actions you would not want to take as they are tougher.

ITS JUST NOT TRUE
The compliant that I hear most about this game is that it is too easy to win. I say, it’s just not true. The game has a lot of variables in it that can make it really easy or pretty tough. There are a number of investigators that each have a special ability and you can pair these up to be almost unstoppable if you want. There are also a number of Ancient Ones to choose from to be the final boss. If you want an easy one or someone who is going to eat you alive, it’s your choice.

SOME PROS
• The game is very easy to teach to others. Many compare it to Yahtzee and I won’t go that far, but it is easy to teach.
• The pieces are amazing. This is my first Fantasy Flight game and I can see why some people are FFG groupies. The components are truly top of the line.
• While the theme of the game does not really scare you at all, there is a good amount of suspension and tension from rolling the die. The die add a lot to this feeling of doom.
• There are a good amount of final bosses and investigators to choose from to give the game a good amount of replayability.

THE CONS
• The game says that it can play up to eight. While I’m sure it is possible, I wound not suggest it. I believe less is more. With too many players people are just waiting for their turn to roll the die.
• As a dice rolling game, there is not much strategy. On a scale of ten I would give it a one or two. It is a little light for those looking for a deeper game to sink their teeth into.

OVERALL
There have definitely been gaming moments where we felt like we were going to lose and only had one die left to roll. I’ve looked at my gf and said, “Just roll it, but it isn’t going to happen.” And wouldn’t you know it she rolls just what we need. Celebration erupts and high-fives all around. Moments like this make for a great night.

It is because we have had a good amount of moments like this Elder Signs is a game that we really enjoy. There is a feeling that we are not going to make it that adds to the theme of the game which is also very enjoyable. While there is not much strategy, it is made up for in fun and entertainment.

5
Go to the Dungeon Lords page

Dungeon Lords

90 out of 123 gamers thought this was helpful

I did not really care for this game, and usually I will play a game a few times before I write a review, but I don’t care to play this game again so I’m going to write this up now before its lost in the memory box of “Never Again Please”.

Game Overview:
Dungeon Lords is a worker placement game where you are the lord of a dungeon. The idea is you are building your dungeon as a young dungeon lord. You have imps in your dungeon to mine for gold and hopefully make you rich. But the more you build your dungeon the more evil you become and of course the heroes of the land want to come to the best dungeons with the most evil prestige and best loot so you have to hire creatures to come and protect your dungeon as well as build traps to keep them out. The player who can build the best dungeon, capture the most heroes, and a number of other things win the game.

Components:
The components are really the best part of this game. They are pretty good components. The imps are small, but you need a lot of them. The rest of the pieces are cardboard and three wooden minions for each player. The art on these pieces is very good.

Overall:
I played this game with some very experienced gamers, one was a prof at Notre Dame and now owns the game shop I played at to give some background, so I’m sure they explained everything right, but the whole time there was a general feeling that something was missing.

For instance , goals to win the game were not the most clear. The winner may be the person with the most points at the end of the game, but how do you get those points? There were so many options to score points it was a lot to keep track of.

Combat, which at first I was excited to hear about, was just a series of checks. Your creatures would fight until they were tired? No fool! In my dungeon you fight until you’re dead! Now get back out there! In a way the mechanics didn’t match the theme I guess. Where with many games the mechanic would make sense and go with a theme, here they did not always compliment one another as in other games.

There were a lot of different aspects to keep track of such as your food, gold, creatures, heroes and so on. This is a game where you will have to play through a few times to get a good handle on everything. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like the fun level warranted another play through.

In the end one of the other players said it best. The investment of time is not worth the return of fun you get back. Its just not there.

10
Go to the Ticket to Ride Pocket page
135 out of 143 gamers thought this was helpful

I have not played very many board games converted over to mobile devices, but the production of this game is top notch in my book. There are a lot of things the developers took from the game and did right, and I think you will find very little they did wrong. Here is a little list of what I see…

PROS:
The artwork is great. And this carries over from the game, but even more, they went the extra mile in the little things. For instance, each train as it is placed on the board has its own shadow and it positioned on the board. So a train going east has a different shadow from one heading northeast.
There are lots of options for play. You can play by yourself, pass and play, play online, play with two bots, play with four. Whatever you choose.
The bots are smart. They programed them to make good decisions. They know to take certain routes such as HOU to NO right away or you’ll have to pay for it later. The same with other routes.
The bots are aggressive. And they will screw you. I have been screwed over by the bots way more times in the mobile game than in the real game. I’ve also seen them take routes that I can figure out why they took them, but this is a little more seldom
Fast play is great. You can get a game in in just a few minutes. This is nice because it allows you to test out some different strategies that you may not try in a real game.
The accomplishments are hard. There are a good number of accomplishments that seem really tough. For instance, don’t use one or two spaced routes. It can be hard and egg you to keep playing.
Cheap, cheap, cheap

CONS:
Don’t care for drawing tix. From a usability point of view its one too many clicks to draw new tickets. I know its small, but it kind of makes me crazy.
• Girlfriend yells at me for playing too much.

So obviously the pros far outweigh the cons here. This is a great little game that works for all sorts of people. Even people I know who are not big fans of Ticket to Ride enjoy the quick version on their iphone. If you’re wondering about if this would work for you go for it, you won’t be disappointed.

Side Note: It would be sweet if they released some of the additional maps, but some of different play mechanics would have to also be adjusted.

7
Go to the Carcassonne page

Carcassonne

109 out of 116 gamers thought this was helpful

Carcassonne is a fun tile laying euro game where your meeples set out to claim farmlands, cities, roads, and cloisters. Draw the right tiles and claim the right property and you can find yourself ahead and victorious!

GAME PLAY:
Carcassonne is an easy game to teach and learn. There are only a few basic moves and the pieces repeat regularly so there are no curve balls half way through the game. The game is played by drawing and playing a tile. On each tile there may be a city, road, cloister, and/or farmland. Only you can claim an area on your tile and you can only claim one area, even if there are several different area types on a single tile. You claim an area by playing one of your meeples on it to show that it is your land. Here’s a rundown of the different areas and how they work and score.

Farmland: Takes the most space of your land. It can yield quite a few points, or if you’re not careful, none at all. To claim a farmland you play your meeple on his side and he gets points for all the completed cities within your pasture land.

Roads: Simple to score and can quickly return your meeple back to your collection. You get one point for every section of road.

Cities: Cities give you two points per section if it is completed and one if not at the end of the game. There are also bonus tiles with a little blue shield that earn you two times the points for that tile.

Cloisters: These are your money makers. You get one point for every square around them, up to nine, counting itself.

Once you close a tile off by completely closing in your city or cloister you will get your meeple back to play him again on another piece of land, but you have to be careful in how you use them or you won’t have enough to go around.

COMPONENTS:
The components are pretty simple. Classic nice wooden meeples and sturdy cardboard tiles. We have played through this game many times and have seen little wear on the cardboard. You will get lots of play out of the pieces.

PROS:
• The game is easy to teach. There are just a few actions that can take place in the base game that make it easy for new players to learn how to place.
• Game play is fairly quick. It won’t take long to teach or play, allowing for lots of replay value.
• There are lots of expansions for this game to add on to it. You can play a short quick game with the base, or draw it out and really make it last with a few expansions.

CONS:
• I think the game is more luck based then strategy based. You never know what tile you are going to pull, but you do have to know how and where to put your meeple.
• At first its difficult to say Carcassonne. We pronounce it car-cas-sone.

OVERALL:
I would say this is a pretty decent game. All of the components and mechanics work very well. That being said, Carcassonne is not a game that I long to play. I was recently at a dinner party, and while some of us guys were waiting on the ladies we hashed out a game. It’s a good filler game, and I could see how others would be more obsessed with it and want more or all of the expansions. Final words… I’m glad one of my friends owns it, but that I don’t.

8
Go to the Heroscape: Game System Master Set page
94 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

It is my belief that playing board games is a little dorky. I think we try to make it more main stream and less dorky with more mainstream games like Ticket to Ride, but when you bust out the miniatures and custom terrain you’ve reached dork level 99. That being said, I love Heroscape and wish not only was it a game still in my collection, but one that was still in production as well.

GAME PLAY:
You are leading a group of heroes selected from across time and dimensions on a battlefield in Valhalla. With the army you have drafted you battle your foes through the rolling of attack and defense die. Each hero or band of heroes has special abilities only that can perform to give your squad the upper hand in battle. If you can use your army to navigate the custom terrain and formulate the perfect strategy you can be the victor!

COMPONENTS:
The components in this game are very nice. All of the miniatures are full color plastic with decent detail to cuts and shadows. The terrain pieces are equally nice and durable. It is also nice that there are a crazy number of additional miniatures that you can find around the web or on eBay to add to your collection.

PROS:
• The rules are very straight forward and easy enough for anyone or any age to understand, which is really great. You can play it with your little 8 year old brother or your gaming group of adults.
• Building your own terrain is awesome. The starter box will give you enough terrain for maybe a coffee table, but of course you can add to that and make it as big and wide and tall as you like. Your imagination really is the limit.
• You can have control of the time of the game, as in you can decide how big of a game you want to play. You can draft an army that is 500 pts. or 5,000 pts. depending on how long you want the game to last.
• With all of the different expansions / player packs you can buy, there is lots of replay value. Sure you will have your favorite characters, but you can mix and match different armies to formulate different strategies. Same with custom terrain. Board with this board, tear it down and build a new one!

CONS:
• It is getting harder and harder to find different pieces for this game as it is no longer in production. The pieces you do find are also becoming more and more pricey as they become more rare.
• Its difficult to store. The pieces may never fit back into their box and you will have to get a tub at the least as your collection grows.
• Tear down & set up can be a pain if you have to do this every time you play. Its best to have a place out of the way where you can keep your landscape.

OVERALL:
The pros by far outweigh the cons. This game is great on an epic level and is one that many people are searching for parts to like the holy grail. It’s a shame that Hasbro has not kept this game in production as it is loved by many. Personally, Heroscape is one that I’m looking to add back into my collection as I regret letting it go.

7
Go to the The Resistance: 3rd Edition page
48 out of 54 gamers thought this was helpful

The Resistance is a character deduction game of espionage. Wherein you play the role of either a member of the rebel resistance or a turn coat spy, set to sabotage the work of the resistance.

GAME PLAY:
Each player is given a card in secret that will dictate their role as a spy or a member of the resistance. Before the game begins, while everyone’s eyes are closed, the spies are given a moment to reveal themselves. With this knowledge in hand the spies set out on their path of destruction.

The game is played in five rounds where a leader selects a number of people to go on a mission. This selection is voted on and approved by the players. The people on the mission secretly vote if the mission succeeds or fails. It only takes one vote for the entire mission to fail, but who cast that vote? Who is the spy!?!?! If the spies are able to sabotage three missions they win. Figure out who the spies are and the resistance can over through their oppressors.

PROS:
• The components are small, but nice. I like how they have packaged everything into as small a space as possible. It makes it easy to store and get around. Even though it is small, it’s still top quality.
• The game is easy to learn, there is basically no learning curve other than learning how to lie to people’s faces! But the game play is pretty simple.
• The game definitely produces good memories. There is lots of laughing and accusing. There will be lots of times where you will be shocked by who was what. At the end of the you’ll stand up and shout, “I Knew You Were a Spy!!!!”
• It’s very quick, depending on the number of people its usually under 30 min.
• It can be played with a very large group.
• It’s a good mix if you have a group of party gamers.

CONS:
• CAUTION: This game has caused arguments. Lots of people shouting a accusing.
• Make sure you have the right people for the job. There are some people I wouldn’t want to play this game with, or would at least say they wouldn’t shine in this game, such as overly shy people. I’m my small group we have a few shy people who basically wouldn’t talk the whole game. I’ve also played with people who didn’t understand it was ok to lie in the game?

OVERALL:
While some of the more strategy board gamers didn’t care much for it, I think this game fills a great role in a game night. It works great as a filler, or something to bring a large group together at the end of the night. Some might say there isn’t any strategy, but disagree. I feel like this game has tons of strategy. When you are the spy you have to say exactly the right thing and accuse the right person to deceive the rest of the group. If you fail at that, then your whole group fails. Hopefully I don’t sound too evil trying to explain that.

8
Go to the Puerto Rico page

Puerto Rico

106 out of 113 gamers thought this was helpful

Puerto Rico is a role selection euro game. The premise is that you’re are building a colony, harvesting goods, and shipping them to the mother land. But in order to do this you need to hire different people to help you grow your plantation. As you are loading your goods on the ship you gain victory points (there are a few other ways to gain VPs as well), the colonist with the most VP’s at the end of the game wins!

COMPONETS:
I give the components for Puerto Rico a high ranking. We have played a few dozen times and can see little wear and tear on the pieces. That being said, there is little handling of the pieces vs. a game like Dominion where the pieces are constantly in your hand. The pieces are all cardboard or wooden pieces, the norm for your classic euro. The one down side I will say is the size of the “colonist” pieces, they’re little wooden pieces half the size of a dime.

GAME PLAY:
The player with the governor card starts every round selecting the role/ character to hire to help with their colony. Each of these characters have their own ability that they bring, and for the most part there is only one to hire per round. Sometimes hiring this person will only help you, or it will help everyone, but give you a bonus for selecting them.

Mayor: Brings colonist to work on your plantation and activate your buildings and plantations. BONUS: you get one extra colonist for selecting the Mayor.

Builder: Allows everyone to build buildings. These buildings have special abilities that range from gaining bonus VP’s to being able to store your goods. Additionally each building is worth any number of VP’s. BONUS: building cost you one less coin.

Captain: Every player is able to ship their goods and sailing them home to the mother land. For every good you ship home you receive one VP. BONUS: you get an extra VP for selecting the captain.

Trader: Allows players to sell on of their goods on the trading block for coins. BONUS: selecting the Trader earns you one extra coin for selling your good.

Prospector: Simply gains you a coin. Other players gain nothing.

Settler: Each player can start a new plantation to produce goods. There are several different goods to produce such as corn, indigo, and sugar, but only a handful to choose from. BONUS: You can chose to build a quarry over a plantation. Quarries allow you to build minus one less coin on the building phase.

Craftsman: Allows all plantations with a colonist to produce a good to be shipped home. BONUS: you get one extra good of your choice.

The game mechanic that watch out for is the number of ships. Each ship you can load your goods on can only take one type of good, and there are not a enough ships to load every good. If you don’t get your goods on the right ship they will spoil and you will lose them. Essentially losing victory points.

Once the round is over and everyone has selected a role, the governor is passed to the next player, all characters not selected gain a coin to make them more tempting next round, and all players with too many goods without the proper warehouse must discard their spoiled goods if they didn’t get them on the ship.

OVERALL:
The game is quick and not too difficult to learn, both pluses. There are a number of different strategies that can result in a victory, also a plus. Affordable is a plus. Plays with more than four is a plus, but not two players is a minus. While I’m sure it’s not the hardest brain burner, there is a lot of trying to figure out what is the best possible move. It proves to be a challenge on multiple levels. All in all the game is a plus. I believe most people consider this a classic and I know it receives much love. I say it is rightfully earned.

9
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

99 out of 106 gamers thought this was helpful

Seven Wonders is a game that came on the scene recently and was instantly loved by many games. Rightfully so. The game offers stunning art work, creative mechanics, and plenty of strategy. But is it enough to last?

CONCEPT:
The idea is that you are building your empire of one of the seven wonders of the world in this civilization based card game. You will be collecting resources, military might, and science to grow your wonder and gain victory points.

Some have said that you really feel the civilization part come out. I do not agree. It’s more of a card game to me then a civilization builder, but don’t let that detour you, it’s a very fun game.

GAME PLAY: (In a nut shell)
There are three ages/rounds where each player is player is dealt a hand of cards. From these cards the player selects one to benefit their ancient wonder. Each type of card is with its unique ability is represented in a different color. This card could be a resource such as ore, brick or wood. These cards are brown or grey, and are the base to any good civilization. They will

Brown & Grey – Resources: such as ore, brick or wood, resources help you to build larger items later in the game if you collect them earlier.
Red – Military: These cards represent your wonder’s military might. If your might is stronger than your neighbors then you gain VP’s every round and while they lose them.
Blue – Buildings: These cards usually represent VP’s.
Gold – Bonus Cards: These cards are kind of a miscellaneous card. They do a number of different things and usually have crazy iconography on them. They are usually give your money or VP’s.
Purple – Guild Cards: These cards are your money makers. They show up in age three and they can make or break your entire game. Hopefully you are in the right position to reap the large amounts of VP’s these purple guild cards offer.

Once you have selected your card, you take your hand and pass it to the person next to you. This mechanic is a little different, but makes sense in the big picture of things. You do this each round until you only have one card left in your hand that is discarded. After this you’ll work through each age. At the end of the third age you tally your points and hopefully win.

PROS:
• Time: it takes to play this game is a huge plus for me. You can play multiple games in an hour, and you will want to as well.
• Quality: the cards have great art work on them and the cardboard money and boards are top notch.
• Innovative: in my opinion this game uses creative game mechanics that make it fun to play.
• Variety: there are multiple ways to play the game and win. You can collection resources, build military, go for science! Its your call.
• It plays with a great number of people, up to seven!

CONS:
• Iconography: it can get a little crazy at times and will take a few play through’s to get it all down.
• Explanation: I find this game hard to explain to other people. Its better to sit with them and play open handed and help them along. There is a lot to know, again the icons, that can overwhelm new gamers and players alike.
• Interaction: is very limited. It would be nice if you could do something to screw with another player’s empire, go to war or something, but you can’t.

OVERALL:
The fanfare for this game is well deserved. I appreciate the creative game mechanics and quickness of play. It also does well to reach multiple levels of gamers. The only real downside is the lack of interaction, but it is easily overlooked. Anyone who is looking to add this game to their collection will be please.

6
Go to the Wits & Wagers page

Wits & Wagers

32 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

I don’t care for party games. There’s usually not much thought or real strategy. If I win or lose I don’t feel like I’ve done anything. Often times there is too much randomness. While much of this can be applied to Wits & Wagers, for a party game, its ok by me.

Wits & Wagers usually makes an appearance at some of the family functions. It works well in this setting, but it does have its ups and downs.

Game Play:
The game is very simple to play. There are seven rounds, each with a completely unanswerable question with a numerical value of some sort. This could be, “What year did Jackie Robinson hit his 100th homerun” to “How many presidents were left handed?” All the questions are number based and each player/ team answers then they are arranged highest to lowest on the felt board.

Once all the answers are laid out for all to see everyone wagers on what answer they think is the closest without going over. We call this Price is Right rules. Each player has their own player chips that they can wager that they never loose. But as they answer questions correctly they also gain actual chips. You can also bet with these chips, but if you’re wrong you lose these chips. Whoever has the most chips at the end of seven rounds wins.

Components:
I would grade the components pretty high. I like the felt piece that is the board. Gives you a nice “wager” feeling when you’re betting. The boards you write your answers on with dry erase markers are also nice and a big step up from just writing on paper. The one down is chips you actually win. They are your common plastic poker chips. Nothing special.

Pros:
• Everyone is welcome in this game. It can be played with few people or break up into teams and it’s just as fun. Very inviting.
• No one can answer these questions. That’s not even the purpose of the game. So people who are afraid of looking stupid should have no fear.
• The rules and questions are set in a way I think it would be impossible for anyone to get upset and turn over a table. A must for all party games.
• No one has to sing or dance or act anything out. Those with a shy personality are welcome.

Cons:
• There is no reward for having the correct answer. This is a slight downer.
• The game is designed to end after seven rounds, resulting in everyone betting all their chips on the last round trying to make up the difference. Not a huge fan of this mechanic.
• It’s a party game.

Overall:
I’ve played a few times with the family and every time we have a good time. The questions are pretty out there and bring with them relaxed play, decent conversation, and laughs. There are some out there who will only play party games, if you’re with them at least this game is tolerable. As a Party Game I give it 8/10. On the broad scope of all games I would prefer to play 5/10.

9
Go to the Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 page
84 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

Ticket to Ride is an amazing game and for many people the prefect gateway game for new gamers. I know I use Ticket to Ride often to introduce board games to new players often. Having this little expansion can add a lot to your Ticket to Ride experience.

Here are a few things you will get with your USA 1910 Expansion.

Replay Ability: For me, the best part of the 1910 expansion is that it ups Ticket to Ride’s replay ability. Being able to play the game online or with a number of handheld devices, the game can get a little stale and predictable. The USA 1910 Expansion adds a number of new routes for you to complete.

Man Hands: No, you don’t get man hands, that would just be awkward. But if you already have man hands this expansion updates the train cards to match the size of your hands. No more playing with those Thumbelina sized cards! Now your man hands have man sized cards.

New Achievements: Travel the World!!! Or just the United States, but whoever does the most, collecting the most tickets receives a bonus.

Affordability: It’s nice that for such a low price, you can add so much to an already amazing game.

Overall Ticket to Ride is one of my favorite games. As much as we play it and use it to introduce to new players, this USA 1910 Expansion is a must have. Your man hands will feel the relief.

5
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
67 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

Admittedly I’ve only played this game once, but I’m not the biggest fan. Usually I play a game a few times before reviewing, but I don’t think I’m going to give this game that chance. There were some good things about the game, but there were some bad too.

The general idea is that you are locked in this house laying tiles representing each room you are going to explore. As you explore the different rooms certain events take place that randomize the game. Eventually, you’ll collect a number of events that will cause you to roll die triggering a betrayal and everything will go bat crazy.

The Good:
• I like the idea of exploring a house and laying tiles to see what will happen and how the game advances.
• Every game can have very unique scenarios depending on when and how the betrayer is triggered. The game comes with large play books that mix up the task of the betrayer and of the team trying to get out of the house. Unique play is a big plus.
• The rules seemed pretty easy to learn and understand, until you triggered the betrayer. Then again bat crazy.

The So So
• The components were ok. The tiles were nice thick cardboard, but pieces to keep track of your stats were shotty. The little arrow that was to stay on a certain number kept falling off its player disc. The wheel piece found in King of Tokyo or Rex seem like they would be better used here.
• Reading the scripts on the cards, they are pretty tongue in cheek. Sort of like a bad B horror movie. If you like this kind of stuff, this may hit the spot for you. Obviously it was just so so for us.

The Bad
• I didn’t like how it felt like two games. One was exploring this old house seeing what treasure you could find and random things to fight. Kind of like a dungeon crawl. Then you trigger a betrayal and it’s a different game. You’re either trying to kill the betrayer or rectify the situation.
• The trigger can happen at any time. Which is kind of nice, but its completely random based on a dice roll. You could play the game for an hour and still not set the betrayer in motion. It can kind of drag on.

Overall
It was the whole feeling of two different games that really killed it for me. However, there is a lot to like here as well. Both halves of the game I think could make something great, but the two together just isn’t for me. For you… this may be the game you are looking for. Lots of unique scenarios, B movie tongue in cheek script, with a horror theme…. Here it is!

9
Go to the The Settlers of Catan – 5-6 Player Extension page
27 out of 31 gamers thought this was helpful

Do you like Settlers of Catan? Want to play with a few more friends and spread the love around? HEY! This is the game for you!

Like an island rising from the ocean, the land of Catan has grown to accommodate 5-6 more settlers. Included in this expansion are eleven more land tiles to wrap around the island offering more space for extra players, and of course the player pieces necessary for those extra settlers.

The one additional factor that you will have to take into account when playing with this amazing expansion is the Special Building Phase. Between the turn of each player, every player has an opportunity to build, build only! They can build roads, cities, development cards, whatever their heart’s desire. However, they cannot trade with other players.

The reason for this additional phase? Due to additional players you will be collecting resources more readily with your turns spaced further apart. Meaning more likely you will be collect over seven cards and have the theft rolled causing you to discard half your commodities.

I know the score on this is a little high. I scored this a while ago and am only now writing the review, but the real reason is because Catan is the game that started it all for me. Other than the fact that they probably should just include this in the original game, it flawless as an expansion goes.

8
Go to the Citadels page

Citadels

54 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

Citadels is a character selection game where your goal is to build the best city by hiring the right people to benefit you. But watch out! Others are out there trying to do the same. And instead of keeping up with the Jones’s, they would just prefer to kill the Jones’s off.

COMPONENTS – Pretty simple, four different parts
District Cards – There are five different categories of Districts you can build, four coordinating with a different character and one category that allows each card to have its own special ability.
Gold – Use it to buy your Districts, and in special cases to beatify or earn VP’s. These are made up of nice, thick plastic pieces.
Crown – Wooden crown signals who goes first. You get the crown from the King Character Card.
Character Cards – This is the heart and soul of the game. Each character has their own special ability that will benefit you in building your city.

LETS GET IT ON
You start the game with some gold and some district cards. On your turn you get to make an action of getting two more gold pieces or drawing two cards and keeping one. Kinda lame so far, but the real magic happens in the Character Cards.

Starting with whoever has the crown the character cards are shuffled and each person selects a character to help them build their city, or… or kill another character or destroy an opponent’s district. Character cards do everything from drawing extra cards, getting extra gold, building extra districts, to assassinating another character. Picking the right character to help you is key to winning the game, but if you are too predictable in your selection you make yourself an easy target for assassination.

The games ends with the first player getting to eight districts, but that is not how the game is won. The winner is decided by the value for each district, plus a few bonuses. Each district is worth its value in VP’s. Additionally, you can gain bonus VP’s by being the first to get to eight, getting eight districts in that final round, and by having one district of every category.

PROS
• I like how the game scales. I think playing with two players is my favorite, but it plays well with four and five as well. It can play a few more, but it could drag on a bit long.
• The artwork is very nice on all of the cards and even the gold pieces are great.
• The game is very easy to learn, it’s harder to explain then to learn I think. I usually just tell people to play along for a practice round and then they get it.
• The player interaction is nice, it’s not on every round, but when someone is assassinated it’s great. And when someone is tearing down a district with the warlord there is lots of swaying going on.
• The fact that it comes with an expansion already in it is great. This makes it easy to mix up the character cards when things start to get stale.

CONS
• The cards take a beating from shuffling them 20 times or so in a game. They see a lot of wear on them. I guess this is to be expected for a game you’re going to play a lot.
• You may have to stay on people to make a choice quickly or the game will drag on. If you’re looking for a game that you can talk over though, this is a great choice. You can talk all you want when its not your choice as long as you get down to business once it is.

OVERALL
The big pluses for this game are that its great with a lot of different sizes and is very easy to learn. The big down is that the larger the group, the longer the play. Of course this is par for most games. I’m very happy with this buy, but can tell it’s not for everyone. Give it a try before you wash it away for sure.

9
Go to the Dominion: Seaside page

Dominion: Seaside

73 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

After getting the first Dominion game and playing through it a few dozen times with all numbers of people I knew this was a hit! Right away I knew I would need an expansion to keep it fresh. A great feature about Dominion is the number of expansions available to mix up the action of its base game. But which one do I go with?

“Why did I go with Seaside?”
First, I did some leg work looking in to the different expansions and a good amount of people were suggesting Seaside as the way to go. It also had a decent ranking/rating by several trusted individuals. Second factor was the bang for my buck. It came with 25 new cards and some of the other sets were a bit smaller. I also didn’t have the need for the new treasure cards and victory points Intrigue provided.

MECHANICS:
There are two new mechanics that Seaside brings to the table. The first being Duration cards. These orange colored cards allow you to perform an action now, and then again on your next turn perform actions. For instance, +2 Cards this turn, & +1 Card on your next turn. They are very nice when you might be worried about the suck factor of your next hand, at least you know that you have your duration card to help out your next hand.

The other component (may not be the best description) are found in the following three special cards. Each of these cards allow you a special action where generally you are collecting items to save up for use later.
Pirate Ship: An Action/Attack card, take Treasures from your opponents to use for yourself later.
Native Village: Collect a number of cards to use in one GIANT swoop.
The Island: Sort of like a storage box, take cards that fill your hand (Estates) and put them “on your island” and you can get them at the end of the game.

FAVORITE CARDS IN THIS EXPANSION:
Treasury: +1 Card, +1 Coin, +1 Action, if you don’t buy a VP put this card on top of your deck. COST=5
Fishing Village: +2 Action, +1 Coin. Next Turn +1 Action, +1 Coin. COST=3
Treasure Map: A fun card, collect two of these in the same hand gains you 4 gold cards. Trash after use

OVERALL:
A great expansion. I have yet to play any of the others, but my friends love Dominion so even if I do not get any other expansions I’m sure they will. This is such an excellent game, if you were looking for an expansion to add to your collection, I would have a hard time thinking you could go in a wrong direction with any of them. I’m giving this score because I think this game is basically flawless.

10
Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
75 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

I believe this is true for lots of gamers out there and it is certainly true for me, Settlers is the game that opened Pandora’s Box and started us on our journey. Because of this, unlike other games, Catan holds a special place in the heart of many gamers.

THEME: You are a new comer to the land of Catan striving to build and grow your land. Get the commodities you need and you will be able to build roads, cities, other developments on your way to victory.

COMPONENTS & SET UP: Traditional Euro. Cardboard pieces and wooden blocks. The part that sets Catan apart from other board games are the land pieces that make up your map. Every game you shuffle these 19 hex pieces and lay them out to create a new land of Catan, changing the board from the last game.

As you are laying these hex pieces you will also lay a number tile on top that will signal when you will be able to draw that commodity pictured on the hex.

You also have a number of cards that represent the commodities you are collecting and different developments you may have built. Developments cards are mostly soldier cards that you can use to move the thief, but there are also victory points and special actions that are available as well.

GAME PLAY: Each game begins with each player drafting/choosing the place of their first settlement. Each player is able to place two settlements in a snake draft style (1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1). The placements are at the intersection of three hexes. Based on the numbers that are placed on the hexes, when that number is rolled you are able to draw that commodity.

EXAMPLE: You’ve placed your town at the intersection of wheat, ore, and a sheep. Each one is represented respectively with the number 9, 6, and 4. Whenever a 4 is rolled you will be able to draw one sheep card into your hand. Whenever a 9 is rolled you would then draw a wheat. If a 7 is ever rolled the thief is placed by the player who rolled on a commodity blocking that commodity from being drawn. Additionally the player who rolled the 7 gets to choose a card from an opponent who was drawing from the commodity.

As you collect different commodities you will be able to build and grow your settlement. Here is a list of what you need and can develop and what they will earn you.

ROAD: ( 1 x Tree and 1 x Brick) Having the longest road in the game will earn you two points.
SETTLEMENT: (1 x Three, 1 x Brick, 1 x Wheat, and 1 x Sheep) Each settlement is worth one point, even the two you start with.
CITY: (2 x Wheat and 3 x Ore) A city is worth two points.
DEVELOPMENT CARD: (1 x Sheep, 1 x Wheat, and 1 x Ore) Development Cards have victory points in the deck. Also, having the most soldiers/largest army earns you two points.
The game ends when the first player reaches ten points.

IN CONCLUSION: As I stated earlier, this game means a lot to me as a gamer. When I go back home, this is the game we always break out and play. It is fantastic for new gamers and bringing new people into the fold. It has a good amount of skill and a good amount of luck that anyone can win, even first time players. I would suggest this for anyone looking to get into gaming or get others in the field.

5
Go to the Ticket to Ride: Alvin & Dexter page
89 out of 96 gamers thought this was helpful

A simple expansion that can be played with any version of TTR. Its simplicity is both in play and price as it is easily on the cheap. However, as Whatale shared, it can be recreated for free really.

PLAY:
These two tormentors are rampaging through different cities preventing you from entering. You pay a wild locomotive and you can move them up the three cities away. (Or two wilds for six cities) In addition to preventing you from entering a city, if they are on one of your destination at the end of the game that destination ticket is worth half the points. The person to move each tormentor the most at the end of the game get 15pts bonus.

THE PROS:
– It does add a bit more trying to figure out how you are going to slow someone down or hurt them. It adds a little “Take that!” in addition to taking someone’s much needed route.
– It is pretty inexpensive and works with any other TTR.
– The pieces, while not painted, are pretty nice.
– You can move the pieces in addition to your turn, a nice addition to something to do.

THE CONS:
– I feel like +15pt bonus for having the most moves is a bit much. Moving Dexter twice won you 15pts in our game, the same as going across the country.
– I don’t care for working the whole game to get from LA to NY only to have those pts. halved by one of these fellas. This is a big con for me. Especially if there are multiple routes out of that city.

OVERALL:
While I did win with this expansion in play, I did enjoy their play as much as I hoped. It did up the interaction a little, but I felt bad for playing them on someone’s route they worked the whole game for. I’ll give a few more tries, it was nice to add a little spice to a game I play a lot as an introduction, but right now its not getting a high score.

8
Go to the Thurn and Taxis page

Thurn and Taxis

132 out of 139 gamers thought this was helpful

Thurn and Taxis is a surprisingly fun euro styled game. The idea is you are a mail man creating routes through different towns in the European country side. I think the game actually crosses a number of European countries, but my geography isn’t the best.

COMPONENTS: As a euro styled game it features wooden post offices, city cards, and a map/board. The quality is nice, but its reflective of your average euro game. Be prepared to have your socks kept on.

GAME PLAY: The board is set up with cities in different regions that you will attempt to chain together these cities to create your multiple mail routes. Creating a route is done by collecting city cards. The city cards are laid out six at a time for you to choose from. On your turn you have three basic actions and a special action you can perform.

Your basic actions are take a city card, play a city card, and score points if possible. These actions are performed every turn.

The special moves, each represented by a member of the postal service, are the letter carrier who lets you collect two cities on your turn. The Postmaster who lets you play two city cards. The Administrator allows you to clear the six city cards laid out a choose a card from a fresh six. And finally, the Cartwright who allows you to score extra points with a route that is short by two cities. Example, you have a four city route, you can claim a carriage value of six.

SCORING: Accomplished in a number of ways that I think adds a lot to the game and creating a strategy. You receive your base point by collecting carriages from turning in routes. These can only be collected in order of short to longest. So even if you start with a 10 city route you’re only going to receive base carriage. You also get points for the length of the route, having offices in every city in a region, and having an office in every region.

OVERALL: I was genuinely surprised by how much enjoyment I got from playing this game. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, maybe because of low expectations, but I had enjoyed the play, options, and strategy of it all. I think it was also nice that the first time I played it I came in second and the winner had also never played. A good sign of a easy to understand game. I give it two thumbs up.

7
Go to the Shadows over Camelot page
74 out of 85 gamers thought this was helpful

Shadows over Camelot is a coop game set in the medieval time of Camelot, King Arthur, and his knights of the round table.

The game starts with the choosing of the different knights each player will play with. Each knight has a special ability that is unique to them makes them better suited for different parts of the game. Along with choosing of the knights each player is given a loyalty card, someone among the group is a traitor!!!! But who? What is their role? And how did this knife get in my back?

Components
Shadows over Camelot comes with several boards with this game, all featuring a different quest that the knights can go on to complete. Set in the theme of Camelot there is a quest for Excalibur, the Holy Grail, fighting a dragon, and a few others.

Game Play
On your turn you have two phases, an evil phase and a good phase. Evil is up first and you can choose from three different actions. You can cause your knight to lose a life point, play a siege engine against Camelot, or draw a black/evil card and perform action the card tells you to do. Drawing a black card will usually have an action that will strengthen an opposing army such as the Sax or move Excalibur against you. These effects are manageable and expected. But be careful! There are other cards, very powerful cards of dark magic and treachery in there that can greatly damage your knights.

As a knight of the round table you are trying to manage these evil effects against Camelot, but as the traitor you are trying to cause the most damage without being caught.

Along with the evil phase there is also a good phase on your turn that will benefit the knights. Through the good phase you can gain a life point, accuse a traitor, move to a quest, or play the also good white cards you will be collecting.

As knights complete different quest they receive the treasure from that quest. The usually consist of life points gained, extra cards into your hand, special goods such as armor or Excalibur itself. But most important are the white swords added to the round table. This is how the game is actually won. If you are able to fill the table with swords and have the majority as white then you are able to win. However, there are multiple ways to lose. Your knight can lose all their life points and die. Camelot can be overcome by siege engines. You can lose also lose too many quest resulting in too many black swards, or “evil influence” in Camelot.

Setting Itself Apart
The thing two things that do set it apart are the quest, I feel like they overcome the “Alpha Gamer” in a way, allowing you to do more you want instead of being managed by one player. The second is the traitor. This can be a lot of fun, but the Pandemic expansion also allows for this somewhat, and it seems the traitor can easily thrash you without much to stop him.

In Conclusion
Overall, this isn’t a game we break out too often. Some of the quest are a little daunting, such as the grail. And for some reason it just doesn’t have that much of a “fun” level. Whenever I lose at Pandemic, I want to get back in there and give it another go. When I lose at Camelot, I’m just like, “Oh, that stinks! What’s next?” It’s not the best coop game I’ve played, but it’s not the worst. It’s nice to breakout once in a while and blow the dust off of.

8
Go to the Ticket to Ride: Europe page
58 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

Played last night for the first time in a few years and really enjoyed it. I own and play the USA version occasionally so it was nice to mix it up with a different board and a few more game mechanics.

OVERALL GAME PLAY: Ticket to Ride is a simple game where players are collecting colored train cards to connect two cities as a route. At the beginning of the game the players are given Destination Tickets that will combine several routes. Point are awarded exponentially for completing routes (4pt for a three train track, 7pts for a four train track, and so on) and also rewarded points for completing Destination Tickets. Destination Tickets not completed at the end of the game count as a negative. The game ends when one player only has two trains left to place. At this point everyone has one turn left.

There are a few differences, other than the board, in the Ticket to Ride: Europa Version.

TUNNELS: Tunnels are a new aspect of the game that add a level of fun and frustration to the game play. Once you are ready to lay a route and have the cards for it you declare the route. At that time you turn over three cards from the draw deck. If any of them are the color of your route or include a wild then you have to pay an extra card of the color for every matching card to complete the route.

For instance, you have a route of three yellow trains. Your draw your three cards from the deck and there is a blue, yellow, and wild. You will have to pay two extra yellows for the yellow and wild.

WILDS: Not too crazy of an idea, but different from the US version, there are some routes where you must have wild card to complete it. Just a little twist.

STATIONS: Stations are little building that you can play on a city to piggy back on some one else’s route who has cut you off from your destination. These little guys can help when you lose a route and don’t see an easy way around.

IN CONCLUSION: As with the other Ticket to Ride games I have played the art work and quality is great. The game play is fantastic. I love the feeling when your side of the board is starting to get full and you’re not sure if the next player is going to take your route or if you’re going to make it to your destination. While the player interaction is at its highest level, this aspect of the game does bring that out. The Ticket to Ride series is a great game for all gamers of any level.

7
Go to the Monopoly Deal Card Game page
51 out of 58 gamers thought this was helpful

This has been sitting on my girlfriend’s shelf for some time, even though some of our lighter gamer friends have raved about it. The game is simple and can be explained in about 60 sec, but it is a lot of fun too! With the original concept of Monopoly in mind you are trying to gather your monopoly of three different property sets to win.

COMPONENTS
Money Cards: Used to pay rent
Action Cards: Action cards are divided up into two groups, rent and deal. Rent cards you play against others to cause them to pay you rent. If they don’t have the money then they have to cough over a property to cover it. Deal cards allow you mostly to steal properties from other players. There are a few odds and ends also like Go, Happy Birthday, and one similar to get out of jail.
Property Cards: Just like the original board game you are trying to collect properties, but now its simply with the goal to get three sets.

GAME PLAY
You start with five cards and on your turn you draw two cards and can play up to three cards from your hand. The cards you play can be money into your bank, properties you are collecting, or an action you are performing against others. If someone is performing an action against you, you have to play the cards played in front of you to pay them. So you either have to pay them out of the money cards you’ve played into your bank, or if you don’t have enough money you will need to pay them with properties. One neat aspect of the game is that change is never given. If you owe someone 3 Million, but only have a 5 Million card on the table, they make an extra 2 Million. You go around the table trying to steal properties to be the first one to three and win.

PROS
– The game is very easy to learn, I think you could play it with anyone who could read or isn’t color blind.
– Very inexpensive and easy to find at any Wal-Mart.
– Fast play makes a great filler while another, bigger game, is being set up.

CONS
– The rules are a little weak, especially when playing with less players. Check out some house rules to make this more competitive.
– The cards are a little flimsy, but its only $5 so what do expect.

Overall, we had fun playing it and will surely do so again, but the rules were so thin after the first game I started to alter them to make it a bit better.

8
Go to the Pandemic page

Pandemic

132 out of 139 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a game where I love to loose. It is obvious by how quickly I want to reset the board and give it another go. We have played through Pandemic about a dozen times and I think I’ve only won about two times. But every time we lose it feels like you are so close and, “One more time!!!” is being shouted across the table.

GAME PLAY:
You are a team of researches out to cure several epidemics ravaging the world. Each player has a special ability that makes this a bit easier for them. On your turn you draw one infection card that puts a new disease marker on the board and you also draw a player card that will hopefully get you closer to curing the disease.

Curing a disease is done by gathering a number of like color cards and getting them to the research center on the board. For instance, five blue cards cure the blue disease. Get it to the a research center and you can start curing the people.

Does finding a cure save that region the disease spreading? NO! There are still people out there without the cure running around not washing their hands spreading their filth all over the place! In order to eradicate the disease you have to cure each city, wiping out the disease.

Do this with each of the five diseases and you can win. It’s a tall order, especially since there are a number of ways to lose. Running out of disease cubes, running out of infection cards, or too many outbreaks could all lose the game for you. You better like losing to play this game because it will chew you up and spit you out!

COMPONENTS:
Their nice, but nothing special. I think the board has nice art work. The pieces are more functional then a piece of stunning art.

PROS:
Great replay ability. It will have you coming back for more.
It has a short training time, making it easy to teach to new comers.
Decently short play time allows for multiple play thorughs
Good price point

CONS:
I think you’ll hear this over and over as you read through the reviews, and it pretty common with co-op games, but look out for the general. That one player who is always trying command the other players where to go and what to do. It’s not a con on the game, and just like most games, you have to have the right people to bring the best of the game out for all to enjoy.

OVERALL:
This is a fun game where the theme does a great job driving the game and making you feel the pressure that things are getting out of control and you are going to lose. One of the great things about this game it can often time be more fun to lose to than to beat. When you lose you feel like you were so close and you just needed on more move or break or card and you could have saved the world. Win or lose, this is a game that you will enjoy.

8
Go to the Heroscape Marvel: The Conflict Begins page
59 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

Like those before me I’ve written a review for the Heroscape main stage, and absolutely love Heroscape. I’ll put that review below this tib about Heroscape Marvel, but there is one important factor that I think is being missed.

When we purchased Heroscape Marvel and added to our Heroscape world we were very excited to add this new dimension to the game. However, we quickly realized one important factor. These Marvel characters are very much over powered for their cost verses the rest of the Heroscape world. After one defining game where Silver Surfer fell around our custom made world and almost single handedly took out the opposition we decided we could no longer mix the two worlds with drafting our armies. It was a sad day in Valhalla.

While the game alone deserves a glowing review, I’m going to mark it one notch less than Heroscape the main game because I don’t believe they should be mixed due to Marvel being overpowered when compared. Now for my original review…

Its been about a year or so since I’ve played some Heroscape, but here’s what I remember about this game.

1. If we were all a little honest to ourselves we would admit gaming is a little dorky. We try to act like its not there while we play Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, or some other semi mainstream game, but when you bust out Heroscape you’ve reached dork level 99.

2. This game is awesome and its hard to start with what makes it awesome, but lets give it a swing.

a. Components: As I’m sure you’ve read they have very nice components. Each piece is about as top notch as you can get for a plastic piece out of a box. Secondly they are very durable. Sometimes too much so. Taking apart your scape after a few games can prove to be a pain in the behind.

b. Game Play: The rules are very straight forward and easy enough for anyone or any age, which is really great. You can play it with your 8 little year old brother or 35 year old wife (I dig an older lady, what can I say!)

3. Building your own terrain is awesome. The starter box will give you enough terrain for maybe a coffee table, but of course you can add to that and make it as big and wide and tall as you like. Your imagination really is the limit.

4. Time can be a variable with certain games. Maybe you don’t want to dedicate your entire Saturday night to a single game of whatever. Heroscape allows you to create games both with landscape and with your predetermined time in mind. You can draft a army worth 600 pts. or 5,000 pts. depending on how long you want to play. You want to play on long game, Great! Want to play several short games, Knock yourself out!

In conclusion, I love and miss this game. I may have to reinvest in it once again and introduce it to a few new friends. Hopefully they are dorky enough to play with me.

9
Go to the Acquire page

Acquire

98 out of 108 gamers thought this was helpful

Acquire is currently my favorite game, which is odd I think because there is not much to it and also because this game is almost 50 years old! Here’s how you play one of my favorite games…

The components are made of a board with a grid and cardboard pieces that represent spots on the board (such as D4 or A7) and the different hotels you are buying stock in. Nothing fancy, but tried and true.

Game play consist of players playing their tiles from their hand to create one of the seven hotel chains. Whenever two tiles are laid adjacent then a hotel is created, pending one of the seven is available. As more adjacent tiles are added to a hotel that hotel’s stock and price go up.

Once a hotel chain is on the board and it’s your turn you are able to purchase one of its stocks. During your turn you can purchase up to three stocks. However, while purchasing stocks you want to keep in mind how much money you have. You don’t want to run out of money either, so how do you get more money?

Money is gained when a larger hotel overtakes a smaller hotel. This is done with two or more hotels share an adjacent tile. Whichever hotel was larger before that tile was placed absorbs the smaller one. Once this is done the players whose stock has been bought out can get some cash back. Bonuses are given to the largest and second largest shareholder, and everyone with shares can sell their stock for cash, trade them for 2:1 for stock in the acquiring hotel, or simply keep them for later.

At first it will seem like the goal of the game is to have stock in the largest hotel, and if you’re not careful you can get swept up in this idea, but the true goal is to have the most money at the end of the game. Strategy may be best based on being diverse over having a lot of stock in one large company. Often this will result in you not having any money through most of the game.

The game will end once a hotel reaches a certain size or if there are no more tiles that can be played.

Notes:
– There is an aspect of this game that would seem it is left up to luck. You need to get the right tiles to grow your hotels and merge them with the others at just the right time. However, I think that the luck is minimal as the same guy in our group wins a majority of the time.
– We’ve found this game to be hard to explain to people. As we’re explaining their eyes just start to gloss over and they have gone to some other place. That’s when we tell them to just sit down and play. It’s much easier to play then explain. We don’t even try any more.
– Even though I love playing this game, I usually get rolled over by my buddy who is a relator. So if that’s you, this could be the game for you.

8
Go to the Heroscape page

Heroscape

68 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Its been about a year or so since I’ve played some Heroscape, but here’s what I remember about this game.

1. If we were all a little honest to ourselves we would admit gaming is a little dorky. We try to act like its not there while we play Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, or some other semi mainstream game, but when you bust out Heroscape you’ve reached dork level 99.

2. This game is awesome and its hard to start with what makes it awesome, but lets give it a swing.

a. Components: As I’m sure you’ve read they have very nice components. Each piece is about as top notch as you can get for a plastic piece out of a box. Secondly they are very durable. Sometimes too much so. Taking apart your scape after a few games can prove to be a pain in the behind.

b. Game Play: The rules are very straight forward and easy enough for anyone or any age, which is really great. You can play it with your 8 little year old brother or 35 year old wife (I dig an older lady, what can I say!)

3. Building your own terrain is awesome. The starter box will give you enough terrain for maybe a coffee table, but of course you can add to that and make it as big and wide and tall as you like. Your imagination really is the limit.

4. Time can be a variable with certain games. Maybe you don’t want to dedicate your entire Saturday night to a single game of whatever. Heroscape allows you to create games both with landscape and with your predetermined time in mind. You can draft a army worth 600 pts. or 5,000 pts. depending on how long you want to play. You want to play on long game, Great! Want to play several short games, Knock yourself out!

In conclusion, I love and miss this game. I may have to reinvest in it once again and introduce it to a few new friends. Hopefully they are dorky enough to play with me.

6
Go to the Pit page

Pit

23 out of 34 gamers thought this was helpful

This game can be a lot of fun with the right people. We usually bust it out when we are with the in-laws or other family functions. The nice feature is pretty much anyone can play it young or old and it accommodates a large number of people.

Gameplay is simple, you have a number of cards in your hand you are trying to get them all to match as the same commodity. For instance, 10 wheat, or 10 oil, whatever you decide to go for, there is no preset. So the way you trade is by offering a number of like cards. The idea is you are trading stocks in the stock market and as in the stock market you are yelling what you are selling. As so the game goes like this…

“Two, two, two, two,”
“I got two”
“Ok!… ugh”
“Two, two, two”

At the same time everyone else is trying to trade their stocks/commodities by yelling the number of stocks/commodities they are trying to trade. Once someone gets their hand to one like stock/commodity then they ring the bell and have cornered the market to win the round. Points are based on the type of stocks/commodities they have acquired and you play to a set total of points.

Im not going to give this game to high of a score because Im not really into these types of games, looking for more strategy based play, but it defiantly has its place and time. And for such a low price its worth it.

9
Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

46 out of 62 gamers thought this was helpful

The Good: I try to use this game to get new comers to feel comfortable with something other then scrabble. I try to tell them its like candy land for adults. If you get the right color, you move to this space kinda thinking. Its very entry level and anyone can play it. It take little strategy, but strategy will help you win.

The Bad: Umm… babies can eat the pieces??? I’m not sure what is bad about this game. Its so awesome they have made about a dozen expansions for it.

The Awesome: Last time I played this my sister had her route taken a few times and she was out of it. In turn she just started placing in random routes and taking them from others. Everyone was scared where she would go next. We all had a good time with this, at least I did, I won.

Side Note: As I said earlier, the pieces are small enough to fit in the mouths of infants. They are also very light in weight. Knocking the table around can move the pieces. I wouldn’t say this is a con, but one time playing with a friend with a short fuse, his route is taken toward the end of the game. He slams his fist on the table in anger, in slow mo all the pieces life from the table and crash down all over. Also, very funny.

9
Go to the Dominion page

Dominion

77 out of 93 gamers thought this was helpful

The Good: This was my first experience with card based gaming and this game opened me up to more games of the like. There are a lot of pros to this game. It is very easy to set up, explain, and play. If you’re playing with experienced gamers the functions are so easy they’ll have it down in a few minutes. If they are new gamers, they will have it down in a few rounds.

Its also great with any number of people. I love playing it with just my gf, or we have modified it a bit by adding some of the blank cards to the VP’s to make it compatible for up to seven. It goes so fast there is pretty much no waiting on others to take their turn, supplying you with constant action.

The Bad: We have torn into this game, and because it is a fairly quick game, you will play it over and over. This is great, but you can start to see the toll on the money cards and VP’s. It would be nice if they had an expansion just for those cards. Of course if they did then we could also make the game more playable for extra people.

The Awesome: Every game is different with a different strategy. Just change out a few cards and you have a different game with a different strategy making repeat games very fun and easy. Any level of player can enjoy this game and they have a number of expansions with new ideas to ensure it doesn’t get old easy.

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