Player Avatar
Critic - Level 1

RichardHS

gamer level 3
781 xp
followers
17

Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
http://boardgaming.com/register/?invited_by=richardhs
profile badges
...
...
...
...
recent achievements
Subscribed to BG News
Subscribed to BG News
Subscribe to the weekly BoardGaming.com newsletter (from the home page).
Reporter Intern
Reporter Intern
Earn Reporter XP to level up by completing Reporter Quests!
Observer
Observer
Follow a total of 10 other gamers.
Gamer - Level 3
Gamer - Level 3
Earn Gamer XP to level up!
10
Go to the Fantastiqa page

Fantastiqa

172 out of 184 gamers thought this was helpful

I have played this game at least 20 times now and never seem to tire of it. It’s a deck builder. It’s a board game. It’s a strategy game. It’s one of the best-produced products to come on the market in some time. And….it’s just plain fun.

There’s a story as to how you have entered a fantasy realm where common household items have magically become weapons that can defeat creatures blocking your path, but I won’t go into that. It’s a well-written piece at the beginning of the rule book that brings the game to life.

GAMEPLAY
You start with a preset deck of cards, from which you draw your starting hand. On the board, there are randomly placed locations disks which have randomly placed statues (Gryphon, Tower and Chalice). Between the six locations, there are paths upon which creature cards are placed. Each creature card has two icons on it – at the bottom, the weapons that must be played in order to defeat it (put it into your hand — the deck-building aspect), and one in the upper left corner, which is the weapon you gain in order to defeat more powerful creatures. To move from one location to another, you must defeat the creature. However, you start with three magic carpet tokens, and you can use those to fly over an area if you can’t defeat the creature blocking your path. However, you never gain more tokens, so they must be used judiciously.

Some creatures give you gems. Those gems can be used to buy things when you visit statues. Because, when you are at a location, you can choose to visit a statue rather than quest (move from one location to another). The Gryphon lets you purchase more powerful creatures to help you. The Tower lets you buy spells that can wreak havoc on your opponents. And the Cup/Chalice lets you gain new Quests.

Quests are want you ultimately want to achieve/beat, because each game has a point value you want to be the first to achieve. The point value can be chosen randomly, or you can decide how long a game you want to play based on how many points it takes to win. Each defeated Quest gives you a certain number of victory points. But be careful….each Quest you haven’t defeated counts against your victory points. So…if you are going for a 7-point game and you have defeated a Quest that puts you at 8 points, but you have unfulfilled quests valued at 3 points, you only have 5 and you have not met the victory conditions.

That’s a quick synopsis….

The Cons
Sometimes the game can feel like it bogs down slightly if you have a situation where you can’t move or you don’t have enough gems to purchase anything. But…that has only happened a couple of times when I played.

One comment I received from an opponent was that he loved the artwork except for the weapon icons, which felt too cartoonish to him.

It’s on the high-end of the cost scale because of the component quality, but I’m sure you can find it for less than suggested retail online.

The Pros
Once you get the small intricacies of the game, this is a highly competitive, highly strategic game that takes the deck building genre into whole new realms.

The components are probably the best out there. Very high quality, including an archival-quality box to store them in.

There are low-cost expansions to the game that add more strategy

Conclusion
This is a great game with superb replayability. Very strategic. Very quick to learn. And excellent addition to anyone’s game collection, especially fans of deck builders looking to get into something very different.

5
Go to the Batman: Gotham City Strategy Game page
66 out of 79 gamers thought this was helpful

And like Cranekick, believe it has a lot of potential but lacks a number of mechanics that would allow it to reach that potential.

It does bog down in the final rounds.

I really dislike that you can move all your minions and villain anywhere on the board by paying one small token. It feels…..wrong.

I’ll add another minus: There are just not enough cards, especially Batman cards. The game becomes extremely repetitious because the same cards are played over and over and over again.

Great minis that can also be used in games of HeroClix, which I don’t play. The minions are microscopic, and for people with large hands (like myself) they are somewhat hard to handle. I do like playing the villains, though. But I think I’ll take Crankick’s idea of Risk-esque movement and incorporate it in my next game…..if I can find anyone willing to play it.

7
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: Dice Building Game page
29 out of 29 gamers thought this was helpful

Quarriors is one of my favorite games. But, for some reason, the production value on the dice, even in the newer versions, leaves a lot to be desired. Now comes Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game, a semi-cooperative dice builder from the same company that put out Quarriors — WizKids.

LotRDBG is not a rehash of Quarriors. It actually has more of a board game feel to is as you gain access to different areas of The Wild. Initially, you can only draw from one row of cards/dice in the Wilds, the Shire, in order to prepare yourself for the dangers that lurk outside this peaceful setting. Quickly, though, you will find yourself traveling to these fearsome locations, and as you do, Sauron will notice and attack (the turn’s first player will act as Sauron at the end of the round, turning over the first player marker to the player on the left). Anyway…you can read the full description above.

So the good and the bad:

The Bad –
– This game feels a bit rushed. There are errors in the printed rulebook (you need to go online to get the updated one).
– The printing on the dice is shoddy, to say the least. I have two dice where the ink runs so badly, the icons look like they grew hair.
– There is no real mention this is a semi-cooperative game where you work together to defeat Sauron and destroy The One Ring, but for every decision each player wants to gain points in order to have the most points at the end of the game and be the uber-savior of Middle Earth. Nothing really points this out and it’s glossed over in the rulebook.
– The rulebook is horribly written and you’ll need to read through it multiple times to really get a feel for gameplay.

The Good –
– It captures the feel of progression through Middle Earth, with impending doom always nipping at your heels.
– It has dice!

I’ll admit, I did enjoy the game once we took about 45 minutes to get used to the mechanics, try to find answers to our questions in the rulls, and watched how-to-play videos. It’s really not a difficult game, but if you’re a Quarriors player, it might prove more challenging than you expect. There are similarities, but major differences (do I Muster — set aside dice to fight and give me points if they survive the round like in Quarriors — or do I Prepare so I can gain a point if another player decides to fight Sauron and his minions, or not gain a point if a battle does not ensue?)

It’s a good game, but not great. It adds a strategic element to the Dice Building genre. But until WizKids gets their act together and delivers some quality control, their products will always feel haphazard.

9
Go to the LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game page
21 out of 32 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ll start by saying I’m addicted to deck building games. Dice building games, too, but that’s a different topic. With The Lord of the Rings Deck Building game, a welcome and enjoyable addition to my collection has been purchased.

Using the Penny Arcade engine, which seems to be most well known via the DC Deck Building Game, Cryptozoic has added some welcome mechanics that take LotRDBG into a more breathless realm as added dangers lurk with every reveal of every card. This new mechanic wreaks havoc with the next player, often causing great strife to that player’s strategy, and really adds a sense of dread to the overall game play.

No matter your opinion of DC Deck Builder (I enjoy it as the light filler it is), you owe yourself to play LotRDBG at least a couple of times. It’s familiar, fun, and nasty. What more can you ask of a game?!

5
Go to the Skyline page

Skyline

27 out of 29 gamers thought this was helpful

Every gamer needs that simple, non-brain wrinkling game that fills some time between other, more hardcore offerings on game night. That simple game that takes less than a minute to teach, doesn’t take up much time to play, and literally doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is – a simple game.

Skyline is that game. A press-your-luck dice roller in which you try to construct more buildings than your opponents over the course of nine rounds. You have three different sets of dice – ground floor dice, middle floor dice and penthouse dice. Each round, you pick dice from the central pools (known as the Construction Yard) — it could be all ground floor dice if you want or a combo of ground, middle and penthouse dice, it just depends on what you’re going for this particular round. There are three types of buildings you can build – low-rise (1 or 2 stories), mid-rise (2 to 4 stories), and high-rise (3 to 6 stories). Each is built using their specific color (purple, blue, orangish-yellow). No mixing/matching allowed.

The game play itself: Roll the dice. Keep any you want, then roll again. Keep any you want, then roll again. You can roll any number of the dice up to three times on your turn. Once you have completed a building, you turn in the dice and place a building’s scoring marker in its place. That’s it. Repeat this process over and over again for nine rounds.

There are two options in the game that, even through repeated readings, I have yet to figure out why you would use them. 1) There is a set of three dice (ground, middle and penthouse) laid to the side of the small round marker board that is called the Abandoned District. Instead of using all your dice, you could place them here for someone else to use. 2) You can demolish a building (either a set of dice or a finished structure). I have no idea why you would want to do that when you’re going for the highest score, but it’s an option.

That’s the game. Choose the dice you want to use, roll, build buildings, claim points. Simple. Easy. Mind-numbingly repetitive.

PROS
– Simple and easy to teach
– Takes only 10 or 15 minutes to play
– Lots and lots o’ dice

CONS
– Quality Control: Lots of dice are not painted correctly or paint has worn off before ever opening the baggies.
– Repetitively redundant
– Unexplained options that, on the outset, make no sense to gameplay/strategy

This is not an award-winning game. It was originally a freebie that came with another game if you funded it on Kickstarter. And it feels like it. It’s fun once. Maybe twice. But not much longer than that in an evening. Bring it out every so often, but like unwanted guests at a house party, it will overstay its welcome very quickly.

2
Go to the Ghost Stories page

Ghost Stories

58 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

I had heard a lot about this game; about how difficult it was, how unforgiving, how utterly addictive. And, after about ten tries, I have totally and completely given up playing this thing. And not just the iOS, but the board game (which a friend owns) as well.

Basically, you are one of four monks assigned to try and defeat a big bad ****** man whose ancient evil is trying to return to wreak havoc on the Chinese world via a small village somewhere on the other side of the Great Wall. Or something like that. Doesn’t matter. You’re moving around on a 3 x 3 grid trying desperately to get rid of or slow down the ghostly attacks that never seem to quit. On each space of this 3 x 3 grid are a set of convoluted symbols that I have yet to fully figure out, but that give special powers to the monks. Then there are special symbols on the ghosts, some of which signify the ghost is going to come and take over one of the squares, then another, then a third (at which time you’ll lose the game) unless you send it back to its host ghost or rid the row of said host ghost (I just like typing that! Host Ghost!) Anyway…..

After playing it on the iOS, I tried my hand at my friend’s physical game and guess what….it was worse! I thought the iOS rules were long and convoluted. The physical book was yet one more study in frustration.

Yes, it’s a challenge. A massive, frustrating challenge. It’s a challenge to figure out all the symbols. It’s a challenge to figure out all the special powers. It’s a challenge to figure out how to last longer than four rounds (which is my record so far).

I have played Fantasy Flight’s Elder Sign and, while that’s tough, it makes sense and can be beaten. Ghost Stories, to me, is only frustrating and so demonically evil that I really have no interest in ever opening this app again.

8
Go to the Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead page
71 out of 78 gamers thought this was helpful

Or this could be called Settlers of the Zombie Pandemic. There’s no way around it, Pandemic and Settlers of Catan will be the games most people will associate with Zombie State, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

In Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead, the world is being overrun by decomposing reanimated corpses. No longer do we try to survive on the intersections of streets or in a single town or in an area like Atlanta. No! Now we’re looking at controlling the outbreak on a global scale. Now we’re seeing those undead invading and expanding in each country around the world. We see how the epidemic plays out and how survivors are quickly overwhelmed. And I mean Quickly! There is no mincing words here, this game is designed to kill you! If there was ever a case to have some blood pressure medication at the ready when playing a game, Zombie State is it.

A VERY BRIEF OVERVIEW
In this game, you are basically playing the leader of defenders on a particular continent. The population of each country or state within a continent is shown and modified using a d6. So, one region might start off with a population of 6, but each round, as zombies eat the survivors, you rotate the dice to reflect the loss of life. Each round a zombie remains in your area, one survivor will die and the d6 will change to reflect the new population. Plus, with each death, new zombies are spawned. As the zombies overtake an area by eating all the survivors there, they migrate to the next most densely populated region adjacent to the one they are in. Suffice it to say, zombies multiply quickly.

You’re not defenseless, though. Remember I said there was a Catan-like mechanic to the game? During each round, you collect resources. Those resources are generated via the map, as a few regions of each continent produce specific resources such as food, ore, oil, etc. At the start of each round, you collect a resource for each resource region that still has survivors. By trading in resources, you can use the gigantic player’s guide each player gets (see the bottom-most photo in the game’s description above) to research different actions such as building tanks or walls or finding cures. After turning in the cards, you roll a dice to see if you successfully gained that ability. If so, you can begin using it; if not, you get a +3 to your next d12 die roll.

That is the game. Gain resources, research to be able to use more powerful technology to eradicate the expanding horde, get eaten, watch zombies spawn, watch them migrate across the map, try to get more resources to gain more knowledge to fight the flesh eaters, get eaten, and try to stay alive. The winner of the game: The one with the most survivors at the end (you count the pips on any dice remaining on your continent).

This is a tense, highly interactive game that will grab you from the first round and not let go until the final play of the game.

PROS:
– Highly thematic and gives a feeling of impending doom
– Strong strategic gameplay
– Really nice components for the most part, although the next time I play I might break out a Bag o’ Zombies!!! babes and glow-in-the-dark zombies and use plastic minis rather than cardboard zombie chits.
– Your population is going to dwindle. No…it’s going to get eaten. Nom! Nom!

CONS:
– Cardboard zombie chits.
– The resource management cards are EXTREMELY large. You better have plenty of table space to lay those puppies on.

There are so many strategic options to work with, this game has a lot of replayability. I have played three times and have tried different strategies in each session, one with pretty good success.

One other thing. You would think there would be a semi-cooperative mechanic to this game; I mean, each of us is trying to survive the outbreak. But, each player is also trying to save more of his people than the others, so it’s really a game about manipulating numbers and building defenses that force the horde to invade other countries and give the competition new headaches.

If you’re looking for a Pandemic variant, if you love the idea of zombies taking over the world, if you enjoy resource management games, Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead cannot be more recommended. This is a really, really fun game for three to five players. If you see this one at your FLGS, pick it up.

9
Go to the Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery page
124 out of 133 gamers thought this was helpful

And in Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery you’ll be backstabbing, making promises you never intend to keep, and generally doing your best to keep the other Dominuses (Dominie?) reeling while you advance your influence and win the game.

First, I’m going to say this right up front: With the right group of people, this is probably one of the best games I have played in a long, long time. That might be colored by the fact that it’s a game based on a TV series (historically, the kiss of death for board games). Despite this fact, Spartacus is dripping in great gameplay that would make it a fun game even without the program license.

So, with that said, here’s a quick rundown. You’re the head (the Dominus) of a Roman household. In the game, there are four households, each with their own strengths that give extra options that add to your strategy. You are to run the house, managing the slaves (which give you money each round) vs your gladiators (who make you pay out money — there’s a lot of upkeep in feeding and watering Gladiators!). At the start of each round you settle with the bank; the more gladiators, the more you have to pay so if you don’t have enough slaves to collect payment with, you might find yourself with a deficit.

Following this, you take three intrigue cards and begin negotiations with the other players, playing cards, bribing or coercing the others to help you or to team up against another player. Of course, you can make deals….but you don’t have to keep them. This is ancient Rome. This is every Dominus for him/herself. This is Treachery with a capital T. You can also sell your cards to get more coin. It’s up to you whether you want to sc**w your competition or just add coinage to the bank so you can better prepare for the next phase of the game.

The third phase is going to market where you can trade your slaves, gladiators. Cards are laid out, the amount based upon the number of players, where you can bid on more gladiators (possibly Spartacus himself), weapons, armor, more slaves, etc. This is a blind bid with everyone participating. Whoever bids the most coin gets the spoils. But you will want to hold back some of that coin because, at the end of this phase, you bid on hosting the gladiatorial games, which, if you are successful, will give you influence. You then choose the houses that will participate (yours can be one) and the games begin.

Players bet on which gladiator/house will win, whether a gladiator will be wounded, or whether a gladiator will be decapitated. The mechanic here is literally Risk, matching die (high to high, etc) to determine who is wounded or who blocks an attack. At the end, the host is able to give thumbs up or down , letting the defeated gladiator live……or die. Of course, bribery to keep that gladiator alive is definitely OK. And expected.

Pros:
• Highly interactive with very little downtime for each player.
• Strong thematic gameplay that is totally engrossing.
• Easy to learn (you’ll have the flow of the game down within a round or two)

Cons:
• This is not for younger players. The warning label saying the game is 17+ is true. There’s a few F-bombs in the cards, and one card referring to male genitalia (or a male rooster. Yeah…a male rooster, that’s it!!!)
• The gladiatorial battles aspect can slow down the game if you get a participant who prefers running rather than just getting in there and battling it out.
• The game board and the Dominus cards warped shortly after opening the box.

This is an engrossing game that was a total blast to play. The game lasted about two hours and it left us wanting it to go on longer. We had a great time backstabbing each other and undermining each others’ plans. Many have put this game at the top of their Top 10 lists, so I was a bit skeptical. But, the pundits are correct. This is a fantastic game that should be in every adult’s collection

8
Go to the Catan page

Catan

50 out of 56 gamers thought this was helpful

Catan was THE game that got me into the gaming hobby. I was introduced to it over ten years ago at a game store I frequented. The guy who introduced me to it was an uber-competitive **** cavity who, if he began to lose, would find ways to cheat or quit. But….other than him, I was introduced to Catan and began playing it with others. I even participated in the Catan World Qualifiers in Columbus, OH, almost a decade ago and made it to the final round. So…I was in the top four! Yee Haw!

But in the real world, the non-competitive world, unfortunately, I didn’t always have people to play the game with. So the box sat. Lonely. Forlorn. Calling to me to come visit it again, to bring it out and play it. But I couldn’t. So Catan sat idle for a long, long time. It still sits on the shelf more times than not. But I can now get my fix no matter where I am or how many people are around. Catan-iOS came along and I quickly snatched it up. And I play it on a regular basis. It’s Catan! It’s the classic resource management game on my iPad. But….it’s not without its flaws.

Even though I have played the Catan competitively and know the game fairly well, I had trouble getting used to the iOS game. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) isn’t very intuitive. Even after playing this for months, I still can’t figure out where my victory points are being displayed. I have had the game freak out on me a few times, letting me roll the dice then skipping immediately to the next player whose dice were rolled and the switch was immediately made to the next player….ad infinitum. Those instances are few and far between, but they do happen.

I have yet to really play it online. I don’t know why; I just don’t have a desire to do that. I tried once, it was really slow, and I haven’t tried since.

iOS Catan is, despite those flaws, the best board game simulation experiences I have had. It allows you to get your fix no matter where you are. If you love Catan and an iDevice or Android device, this is a must have game. Even with the flaws, you can’t go wrong.

NOTE: I have given Components 3 stars, but the components are sprites. Little electronic pixels. There ARE no components. I’m grading this on the the GUI. And the GUI could use some work to be more intuitive.

8
Go to the Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre page
65 out of 72 gamers thought this was helpful

OK. First, the name is unwieldy. Second, there is a lot of VERY mature language in the rule book and some hormonal teen humor in the name of some of the cards. But, looking past that, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre is one of the most fun, most laugh-inducing games, drawing the players in quickly with its simple ruleset, fast gameplay and pure tongue-in-cheek playability.

The game: You have a hand of eight cards. From those cards, you can choose 1, 2 or 3 of them to combine into a spell designed to totally eviscerate your opponents. A spell can be made up of a single Source (the magician who came up with the spell and is being lauded for it), Quality (a portion that inflicts some traumatic effect on the target(s)), and the Delivery (which determines the damage the target(s) will take). You can only have one of each in your attack unless you have a card that says you can do otherwise. The object is to twixe be the last wizard standing.

Strategy is almost non-existent, with the only true strategic element of this game is whether to perform a 1, 2 or 3 part spell. Whoever uses the least number of cards in their attack gets to play first. So, if you’re low on health or you have opponents who are about to be destroyed, you will want to play fewer cards in hopes to attack them before they have the chance to attack you. Otherwise, it’s coming up with card combos that will quickly and painfully destroy your competition. For instanc, I ended up going last on the opening round of the second turn of the game I demo’d at my FLGS the other night. By the time it came to my turn, I was down to one hit point left (out of 20) and was out of the game so fast it made my head spin.

But boy did we have fun and have a good laugh over the combos created that wreaked so much havoc on my poor wizard, aptly named Fey Tinklebottom!

Pros:
Quick and easy to learn
Fast gameplay (games won’t last more than 40 minutes for the most part)
Comical, whimsical artwork

Cons:
Comical, whimsical artwork that has a cartoonish goriness
Some teenage hormonal sexual innuendo/play on words text on the cards
EXTREMELY adult language in the rule book. (Personally, I don’t see the reason for using that type of language in the rule book.)

If you’re looking for a light filler game, one that can be enjoyed by a fun-loving, albeit more mature (age-wise) group, you should definitely check out ESWOTBW:DAMS. If you like tongue-in-cheek card games, you should definitely check out ESWOTBW:DAMS. Actually….just check out this game. You won’t regret it. Just skip the first two pages in the rule book because it contains offensive, inappropriate and unnecessarily foul language.
———————
We have played this game numerous times now and have found that it’s best played with 3 or 4. We have played two 6 person games and the really drags out. One game lasted over 1.5 hours, the other we quit after an hour and fifteen minutes (during the third round) when it looked like a third person was going to get the Last Wizard Standing token. Just too many playing and it got a little stale.

8
Go to the DC Comics: Deck-Building Game page
57 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

There is going to be a lot of comparison between this and the Marvel Legendary deck building game. Some of it is to be expected – DC vs. Marvel for one, mechanics vs mechanics as another – and this review will be no different. DC Comics Deck Building Game comes across as DBG lite in comparison to the other game. But….that’s not bad. And in some ways, it makes DC the better game.

DC Comics Deck Building Game uses Cryptozoic’s deck building mechanic (which will also be in the upcoming Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game) which isn’t all that different from every other deck builder out there. You have a hand of starting cards, a main deck from which you will build your deck, and a stack of super villains you will have to defeat. From the main deck, you create a line-up (five cards are laid out). This lineup can be made up of heroes, powers, locations, villains, and equipment. Locations, when played, are left in front of you giving you ongoing effects. Other cards are placed into your hand and can be used to purchase new cards or to fight the Super Villain deck.

This is a super (all puns intended) simple game that is a perfect introduction to Deck Building Games for those who enjoy the super hero genre. There is nothing really new to this game. Nothing that jumps out and says WOW! It does what it sets out to do: give players a fun, quick experience. It doesn’t utilize a story mechanic that Marvel Legendary does, nor does it have a “semi-cooperative” mechanic like Legendary. What it has is a down and dirty beat your opponent by grabbing more points theme that is a lot of fun.

If you purchase this one thinking you’re getting the same type of experience as you would with the much more expensive Legendary, you’ll be disappointed. If you want to purchase a game that features comic book staples such as Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and others, then this game will be a great addition to your collection. However, it is in desperate need of expansions for some more heroes and super villains to add some spice to the game.

3
Go to the Doctor Who: The Card Game page
40 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

I love Doctor Who. My teenagers consider themselves Whovians. In fact, both of them have the full, unabridged Doctor Who theme in their music libraries. So, when Doctor Who: The Card Game was announced, it was a no-brainer purchase. I mean….It’s Doctor Who. It’s a Martin Wallace game. It’s gotta be good, right?

Not really.

In this game you play location cards and try to defend yours while taking control of the other players’ locations. You do this by playing attackers (Sontarans, Daleks, Cybermen and other Doctor Who baddies)on locations while the owners of those locations defend with The Doctor, River Song, Amy Pond and Rory. There are support cards to help you along the way. So, during the game, you’re playing both sides – The Doctor and the Baddies. There are regulations that need to be followed such as You can only have one race of attacker attacking a location (so if you play the Sontarans you can only use Sontarans, you can’t mix them with Cybermen or The Silence). The attacks are done face down, so the player being attacked has no idea the strength of the combined attacking cards. To defend, that player lays down a combination of hero cards in hopes that their combined value is greater than the attacker’s. However, you cannot play more than one Doctor or River or Amy at a time.

That’s one strategic element you have to deal with. The other is hand management. You start with five cards. (I don’t know what it is with some many games starting with five cards – deck-builders for instance – but that seems to be the magic hand number.) You have a series of actions you can choose to take: Play a Location, Play Defender Cards, Play Enemy Cards, Play Support Cards, Buy extra cards with your Time Points, Place Cards in Your Reserve, or Discard Cards to get more Time Points. You can do as many actions as you want….as long as you have three cards left at the end of your turn. At that point, you pass those three cards to the person on your right. Remember that….your RIGHT. Then play passes to the LEFT with the next player doing their turns. So…you end up with no cards in your hand at the end of your turn. At the start of your next turn, you will have been given three cards from the person on your left and then you draw two to bring your hand up to five. Make sense? That little game mechanic made Doctor Who: The Card Game feel like a study in frustration.

Pros: Quality components
Nice artwork

Cons: Game play
Game play
No fun factor
The strange ‘hand the cards to the right – a nod to Doctor
Who’s timey wimey-ness – makes learning the game more
difficult than it should be.

There’s a fun game to be had here. I know it. But after playing it three times with my Whovian family (who doesn’t want to play it ever again) and then a couple times with my gaming group (which has banned the game from the table), I just can’t seem to find where that fun game is. What it comes down to is: The game does not capture the intrinsic fun of Doctor Who; that whimsy and the character(s) that have made the show the longest running program in history (almost 50 years at this writing). I so so so wanted to like this game. I tried to justify it’s lack of engrossing game play. But in the end, this is a Martin Wallace and a Doctor Who game that completely misses the mark.

8
Go to the Guillotine page

Guillotine

55 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

There are a number of reviews that talk about how to play this game. There are a number of reviews that talk about the theme of this game. There are a couple of reviews that left me shaking my head because they said one thing then came back later countermanding what was said earlier. So, what more can be added that hasn’t already been mentioned?

This game is hilarious. It is tongue-in-cheek. It doesn’t take itself seriously. And, while it is built on gallows humor, it never reaches the point of crossing any lines of societal decency. However, with that said, I can understand where some might find the theme of chopping off the heads of nobles could be less than savory. I can understand how parents of younger children (5, 6, 7) might be reticent about that theme. So….turn it into a noble’s party. You’re inviting nobles to your castle for a party, but you only want the best, most influential nobles to attend. Remove the cartoon guillotine and change the theme. Simple as that.

The artwork is fun, conveying the sense of whimsy that is supposed to be the underpinning of the game. The game play is fast. This is a filler game; something to bring out at the start of the evening or to end an evening of gaming. It never fails to get people laughing, talking and groaning as that higher point noble goes to someone else, or when someone thinks they have a winning move only to be cut off by someone who changes the card order.

Highly recommended for a light, whimsy-filled time.

9
Go to the Tsuro of the Seas page

Tsuro of the Seas

85 out of 94 gamers thought this was helpful

Tsuro of the Seas is the latest iteration of the Game of the Path. And while the game mechanics are virtually the same, but what changes have been made render this a much more satisfying experience.

If you have never experienced the joy that is Tsuro, here are the basics: There are a stack of tiles, each with a series of paths printed on them. You hold three tiles in you your hand, choosing one of them to place on the board. Your piece then moves along that path until it reaches the end of the tile. If that end happens to go to the edge of the board, you exit the board and lose. If the end of the path causes you to run into another player, you both lose. And, if an opponent lays down a tile that adds to your path, you have to move as well. The object: Be the last player on the board. It’s a game of spacial recognition and planning, plotting your course to avoid the other players and the edge of the board while forcing the competition to do exactly that. It’s an easy game. A quick game. A perfect introduction of gaming to non-gamers.

Tsuro of the Seas takes that concept and adds an added hiccup – Sea monsters. Sea monsters are placed on the board based on the roll of two dice. Each sea monster tile has numbers as well that come into play at the beginning of each turn. The player rolls a die for each sea monster one at a time. Depending on the number, the sea monster will move or rotate in place. If the monster goes off the board, it’s gone off the edge of the world never to be seen again. If it moves in your direction, you could be eaten. It’s a brilliant, simple addition that adds even more strategy to the game.

Tsuro of the Seas is a must-have. If you own Tsuro, you still should get Tsuro of the Seas; you will end up putting Tsuro away and probably never opening it again. Why? Because once the sea monsters are gone, Tsuro of the Seas becomes Tsuro. If you don’t have Tsuro, purchase Tsuro of the Seas. It’s actually a better game.

10
Go to the Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game page
68 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Legendary is one of those games that gets better with each play. The first time I played it was when a friend brought it out at my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). Out of the three players, I was the only one who hadn’t played the game before. Within a round, I was up and running and feeling as if I was an old pro. That speaks volumes for a game that has some thematic differences from deck-building games such as Dominion.

Here are the rudimentary basics: You are recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to thwart a master villain’s bid for city-wide domination. I would say worldwide domination, but the henchmen and sub-villains make their way through a single city, so that master villain must be using this unnamed city as a testing grounds prior to world domination. Anyway…you have a Villain deck in which villains and henchmen are revealed each turn and move up a track that starts in the sewers, moves into the streets and, if you’re unlucky, escape to wreak havoc somewhere else. Included in this deck are innocent bystanders who can be captured by the villains and dragged along as hostages. There’s also a hostage deck that from which some villains take hostages or from which you can save them and gain points. Also in the villains deck are Scheme Twist cards which make bad things happen to you, or Master Strike cards that activates the Master Villain and his dastardly destructive powers.

Each game has a scheme, a storyline if you will, that determines the conditions in which the game beats you. Each Scheme Twist drawn draws you ever closer to losing the game. Your victory condition: Defeat the Master Villain four times. Simple as that.

Marvel Legendary is, at its core, a deck-building game. So, on another track on the massive playing board that comes with the game, your heroes are revealed. You can purchase heroes to give you extra attack or purchasing power from this track. Or you can purchase S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that give you extra attack power. As your deck increases, so does your power and ability to beat the bad guys before the city is overrun.

OK. That’s the game in a nutshell. Reveal a villain. Play your hand of cards to purchase and/or fight. Stop the villains from escaping the city, while trying to contain the scheme and ultimately defeating the Master Villain.

With over 500 cards, Legendary is, well, almost legendary in size. You randomly choose the cards that will make up the hero and the villain decks. And, as the latter begins to dwindle down to nothing and you still haven’t defeated the big bad guy and your one or two scheme twists away from losing, the pressure mounts and you feel the tension increase. Making this game so durn fun!

Downside: With over 500 cards that you really want to protect, buying deck protectors will cost you an added $60+ or so. And, with the game already at a pretty hefty price (between $60 and $70 on average), that puts this at the high end of gaming experiences.

On the Upside: Great artwork. Great theme. Great components (it’s an Upper Deck product, and it shows!). Hulk, Green Arrow, Captain America. Thor. And the box has plenty of room for the expansions that are sure to come.

Marvel Legendary is a great game, giving a strong storyline to the deck-building genre, adding depth to the game play, and making you want to play over an over and over again. This is not a game that will gather dust on your shelf.

9
Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page
94 out of 113 gamers thought this was helpful

OK. I love this game. I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I’m an old comics guy from way, way, way back. I enjoy the DC Comics Deck Building Game and Marvel Legendary. But what draws me into this one is the non-specific yet easily recognizable characters you can play. It’s a super hero game where you can actually be the super hero without trying to put yourself into the cowl of Batman or the red/blue tights of Superman.

This game has tons of strategy and is anything but a pushover. Its mechanics are such that you have to really play this game to win. And, being a cooperative game, if one person loses their focus, it can spell disaster for the entire team.

However, I have a bit of a conundrum. I’m the only one in my family or in my gaming group that enjoys playing it. And I don’t know why. Any time I mention bringing it out, other games are brought up and played. It’s a bit disconcerting. Plus, no one can tell me why this happens. They all say the enjoy playing the game, they just want to play other games more.

So, I play with myself, taking three or four heroes and fighting the super villain by my lonesome. And, that’s OK with me, I guess.

I truly recommend this game. It’s fun. It’s fairly quick. It’s tongue-in-cheek. It’s a game that salutes its theme and shows how much that theme is loved. I just wish I could get others to play it with me.

8
Go to the Fiasco page

Fiasco

131 out of 144 gamers thought this was helpful

Fiasco is a game that works well if you have the right group of people. If not, it can quickly devolve into a study in frustration that will seem to drag on forever.

My gaming group recently had a get-together where everyone, and I mean EVERYone, wanted to play Fiasco. In addition to myself, there was one other person who had played the game before, so I figured I had some help when it came to rules or just teaching people how to play. The others who played were mostly boardgamers with one hardcore D&D guy. I thought the boardgamers would be our weak link. But I was wrong. It was the D&D guy.

Everyone got into the spirit of the game, getting into character and acting out their parts. Coming up with dialog and just generally interacting with each other. The D&D guy, though, kept giving descriptions of what he was doing rather than acting out the part. “I’m bashing down the door and looking in the room. What do I see?” He couldn’t get out of that genre of gaming.

Later that day, after the D&D guy left, we tried it again. We tried the Salem Witch Trials scenario. And, much like you might have seen on Tabletop over at Geek & Sundry, we had a blast playing characters and interacting with each other and generally creating an environment that could turn out in no other way than a true Fiasco.

So…with the right group, this is a fantastic game and a great way to kill an hour and a half or so. But it better be the right group of people. Even one person who can’t get into the spirit of the game can turn Fiasco into a fiasco of epic proportions.

9
Go to the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game Starter Set page
67 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ll start this off by saying I am not the biggest Star Wars fan in the world. I enjoyed Episodes 4/5/6 when they first came out, but I never connected to the mythos like many others have. So, it wasn’t the Star Wars theme of Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game that caught my attention, but the actual game mechanics.

I was looking for something that was a reasonable price and that offered a strategic level beyond hex-based board games. I had a choice: Wings of War or X-Wing. I chose the latter mainly because I felt like I was getting in on the ground floor and there weren’t myriad additions that made me feel as if I had to spend a small fortune to get up to speed.

So, after watching a few videos, reading the rules, and clearing a 3’x3′ space, my teenage son and I set about playing our first game. Neither of us was expecting much; just a light quick game of dodging and shooting. Little did we know just how strategic the game was going to be. We were whipping around our makeshift space battlefield, dodging, maneuvering, taking damage, dealing damage, all the while getting strange looks from my wife (most of which contained some sort of smirk as if she were saying to herself “boys will be boys”). My son and I had a blast!

I had one problem in that, when I began taking the stands apart to put the game away, the connectors broke, effectively rendering my game useless. I got online and wrote to Fantasy Flight games, and within a week, I had a replacement ship and my son and I were off to do battle once again. Kudos to FF for being so responsive and helpful!

I’m not sure I’m thrilled with the prices of the new ships coming out, with the Millennium Falcon costing more than the base game, but then again I don’t have to buy it either! (Yeah, right! Like the Falcon isn’t going to become part of the game! And with it being a medium sized playing piece, I can only imagine what the Death Star will set me back when it comes out — which I’m sure it eventually will.)

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is a worthy addition to any gamers’ collection. Just realize that like other collectible miniatures games, it’s going to become like plastic crack, where you just have to keep adding playing pieces to the game.

9
Go to the King of Tokyo page

King of Tokyo

39 out of 54 gamers thought this was helpful

There are plenty of reviews that walk you through game play and describe the contents of the game, so I’m not going to go there. Let’s just talk about what’s most important with a game: fun and replayability.

With King of Tokyo you have the ultimate party game. One that’s easy to teach, plays quickly, and gets people interacting with each other. Playing 1950s-esque monsters out to become the uber-creature to end all uber-creatures by either being the last one to survive or reaching 20 points first, this game elicits laughter and trash-talking in a way few games do. Dealing damage to the player who’s in Tokyo is fun, especially knowing the player can’t heal themselves while in the city. But what’s even more fun and gets the other players blood boiling (in a good way) is when you attack from Tokyo and every other player takes damage. You have six players, five of whom are outside of Tokyo, all five will take damage. Ah…the groans that elicits!!!

Then there’s the dice. Everyone loves rolling dice. Here, you have big ol’ honkin’ dice that feel hefty and make a wonderful noise which gives great satisfaction when rolled.

This is a game where everyone, young and old, can gather ’round the table and have a great time. I have never pulled this game out and only played one time; players want to play it over and over to try different strategies.

This is a must-have for any and all gaming collections. I just wish an creature like Mothra was in there somewhere. Maybe in an expansion.

8
Go to the Eaten By Zombies! page

Eaten By Zombies!

62 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

But who will be the last to survive? That’s the question in Eaten by Zombies. This is a deck-building game with a twist. Some new mechanics threw us the first few times we played, such as not discarding your entire hand at the end of your turn; you keep whatever cards you decided not play and then refresh up to the base six cards. You don’t take what you purchased and put it into the discard pile for later use, you put the item directly in your hand for use on your next turn. The mechanics definitely make the learning curve a little higher for seasoned dbg-ers, but…….

Draw a zombie. Then, the basic strategy is: Should I fight or run? If the latter, you’re going to lose an item from your hand or deck, meaning it goes into the items pool where others could purchase it, whether you successfully get away or not. Hey…you run, you drop something. The question is, how much will you lose? If the former, you might gain some zombies in your hand that can be played on others. Ah yes! Screw your fellow survivalist by setting more zombies on them!

You can do one or the other (fight or run)but not both. And the value of the fight or flee cards played are what might be able to be used to purchase something. Might, because if you lose a battle or you run, you don’t get to purchase anything that turn.

The cards are extremely high quality and the artwork on them is fun and fanciful…and sometimes slightly gory, but not anything that is inappropriate for kids over 10.

Yes, this turns the deck-building genre on its ears. But for seasoned dbg-ers, it will take a couple of plays before all the differences kick in. Once they do, this ’50s-style horror film homage will become a regular part of your gaming night.

9
Go to the Resident Evil Deck Building Game page
87 out of 112 gamers thought this was helpful

I never played the video game. I have no idea who the characters are in this game. Resident Evil is based on that video game, bring the (well-known) characters into the deck building genre. And, in my humblest of opinions, does so very well.

At first, it seemed…..OK. A fun game, but nothing really out of the ordinary. Then — Wham! We’re literally getting nervous exploring the mansion. We’re frantically trying to come up with the right hand in order to beat the big baddie….wherever he is in the mansion deck.

This game grabs you unexpectedly. It draws you in slowly, with an insidious calm that hides a taught quest of survival. And if you do happen to die? Well, like in a video game, you come back for more…only with less hit points than before. Die and again and, well, you die.

The main game has a limited number of cards, meaning limited replay. But with one or two expansions, you have a game with a ton of replay value that both entertains and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. A great alternative to the deck building genre.

8
Go to the Quarriors! page

Quarriors!

50 out of 84 gamers thought this was helpful

Quarriors proved to be exactly what I thought it was going to be: light, quick, fun entertainment that was a perfect filler between heftier titles. My family loves deck building games. And who doesn’t love rolling dice. So now, we have the best of both worlds — a deck building game that uses dice rather than cards.

With different levels of creatures and spells, there’s enough variation in the base set to play the game numerous times. With the expansions, the strategies and replay value increase exponentially.

In the first edition (in the tin), the printing on the dice is horrid. On many of the dice you can’t read the numbers and have to refer to their “card in the wild” counterpart. The second edition, the one in the box, fixes this problem somewhat, but the printing can still be a bit “fuzzy”.

Every time I introduce someone to this game, though, they want to play it multiple times. Quick to learn. Quick to play (around 30 minutes). Lots of groans and laughs as the dice act ****** during the roles. Highly recommended!

5
Go to the Zombicide page

Zombicide

101 out of 162 gamers thought this was helpful

I played Zombicide a couple of times, hoping beyond hope I would eventually feel the game was worth it’s price of admission. While the rules were light and easy to digest – taking one round to figure out most of the rule nuances – I felt like I was playing a slightly souped up version of Zombies!!! Some different mechanics (pull a card and the type of zombies brought out will be based on your level vs. roll the dice to see how many zombies will appear), when all is said and done, it’s too familiar for me, personally, to justify its $80 – $90 asking price.

Great minis, I will say that. And, yes, there are different types of zombies rather than just the one type in the aforementioned other game. And Zombies in Zombicide move 1 or 2 LARGE spaces rather than the single space in the other game. No, there isn’t the hulking zombie that can only be taken down by a molotov cocktail in Zombies!!!, but overall I never felt overwhelmed or like I was being overtaken by the zombies in Zombicide. I do when I play Zombies!!!

I can purchase Zombies!!! plus a package of 100 extra zombies for half the price (if not less) of Zombicide. And, again, I feel like I’m playing virtually the same game.

While it was fun and a light, albeit expensive, game, unlike others, I’m just not that impressed.

× Visit Your Profile