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Takras

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Review 21 games and receive a total of 2270 positive review ratings.
Go to the The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game page
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Go to the Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game page
Go to the Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar page
2
Go to the Villainy page

Villainy

16 out of 18 gamers thought this was helpful

So when I got this game I was really curious. The graphic design choices were quite awkward. The box itself is going for a super hero comic magazine and it sort of achieves its goal. The color choices are very dark and contrasty, which kind of distorts the art from coming out nicely. Add that to a box with low quality as expected from Mayfair, you get a pretty poor result.

Inside the box you’ll find dozens if not hundres of components which you have to punch out, and it takes quite a while to do so. You get a whole lot of useless counters with verbs on them, so that you can name your own villain. Oh yeah, you play as a super villain in this game, which is kind of nice. The first villain to defeat the cities superhero becomes the victor of the game. You can’t do it by yourself, however.

In order to win you need to start small, hire henchmen and work yourself up. You need money, so sometimes you just have to go to work. Even your henchmen can go to work. Each henchmen and yourself have three types of statistics: strength, charisma and dexterity – or something of the sorts. To keep track of the stats, you have some cardboard punch outs which functions as knobs that points at the right stat. This seems kind of smart at first, but it really doesn’t work well in the long run.

On your turn you can either do something yourself as the villain, or you can send a henchman to do it for you. When the action is done, you become tired and have to go to work in order to act again later. This is really clunky and seems very half arsed when looking at the whole picture. The mechanism is there to keep you from going berserk with actions, but the whole upkeep step and control of this just doesn’t work well. It feels very forced upon you and not a natural part of the game.

I could go on explaining all the different mechanisms, but they all come down to the same issue: it feels like a half baked game. There’s no polish on the surfaces and a lot of the game doesn’t flow well. You can initiate tons of fighting which easily could go to the strongest player each time. You draw random cards which also initiates fights a lot, and you have to pause the game to roll dice and check the winner. This happens all the time.

The theme is good and the humor is definitely there, but everything else is fiddly and doesn’t fit the games premise. Also, when facing the super hero after you have deleted the internet (and saved all the funny cat videos first), it’s easy to be knocked back to the stone age. The game lasts too long and before it’s done you probably just want it all to end anyway.

I cannot recommend this game. Fiddly, ugly and cheap components and it takes too long. It’s not easy to learn either, because the mechanisms doesn’t feel natural to the theme.

5
Go to the Dungeon Roll page

Dungeon Roll

69 out of 76 gamers thought this was helpful

I noticed this on Kickstarter and hopped on the wagon since it was a hugely popular project and it looked like a fun filler game, which is something I would like to have for those few minutes of waiting for other players during a game night. So, what did I get?

The components:
First of all it comes in a box shaped as a treasure chest. Bonus points for that. Secondly, the dice are all engraved with custom shapes and colors. And lastly, the cards and tokens in the game are also of good quality, and everything fits nicely back into the box.

Setup:
This is a very easy step. Each player has a handout with all the tokens and icons explained, and they get to choose a hero from the avaliable hero cards, or just given one randomly. Lay out the cards that make the graveyard and dragon lair and set the D10 dice to 1. The hero player takes the white dice while the player to the left takes the black. And you’re ready.

Gameplay:
You are delving into a dungeon. And of course, the deeper you get, the more dangerous it gets. The first level has 1 enemy dice, the second 2, and so on. The hero player rolls their dice only once during their entire adventure. The player to the left takes care of the monster dice.

For each level, the dice has to be resolved. But to resolve a fight, open a chest or cast a potion, you need to sacrifice dice. When a hero fights, he is placed on the graveyard for some reason, and is out of the game for this round. When you choose to delve further, you have less dice of your own while the dungeon/monster dice keeps growing. Also, if the dragon appears, you will have to face that one as well as the other dice.

You can quit any time you want after a confrontation is over. Then you get experience points equal to the level you’re at. Next round, you have to start over. But items from treasures and dragon loot might give you an advantage later on. But you only have 3 dungeon delves for the game before it’s over. The one with the most experience points is the winner.

Dungeon Crawler?
The typical dungeon crawl is often represented by a or many heroes that physically goes into a dungeon and face the creatures there. There will of course be fights and choices to be made in order to win the battles. In this game, you don’t get many choices. Some hero type can defeat many of the same monster types, so they are almost always a given. The only choice you will be faced with is: will you delve further?

You do have a hero character on your hero card. That hero has two special abilities, and may be used appropriately. When you get 5 experience or more, the character levels up, and you flip it over. Now you have better abilities.

But this game doesn’t feel like a dungeon crawl. It has the looks of one, but that’s it. But that’s also what I expected when I backed it on Kickstarter. A light push your luck-game that looks cool and plays fast. And that’s exactly what this game is. You probably won’t play more than 1 session at a time.

Conclusion:
I got what I thought it would be. It’s a game to bring to the table when you have 15 minutes to kill. So why not kill monsters and have some fun while you wait? The box is small and easy to take with you, and it has an appealing look for those who like the fantasy genre.

Another thing to point out is the downtime between turns. 2 players are engaged at a time, one being the hero party and another the dungeon. Other players aren’t really engaged in what happens with this hero, other than paying attention to what the result was and how many experience points were won.

So, for what it is, it’s a good game. Nothing more.

4
Go to the Sentinels of the Multiverse page

Sentinels of the Multiverse

114 out of 145 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve read and heard so many great things about this game, so I went head over heels to aquire it myself. I got the enhanced box with a lot of space and card separators, I can’t imagine how you’d store this in the original box. So if you want to get this game, make sure you get the later edition. So, over to the review.

Setup
The setup is very easy. Each player pick one hero each, then you decide on a villain and location. The villain card comes with its own setup instruction. Just follow that, and you’re ready to play.

Gameplay
It’s very easy to play this game. Basically, what you do on your turn, is to pick a card from your hand (consist ususally of 4 cards), play it, and then choose a hero power. Draw a card, and you’re done. The hero powers are printed on the hero cards, and you may choose only one power per turn.

When each player has done their turn, you go over to the environment deck. First, check existing cards for text that might apply at the start of that phase. Then, draw a new card and apply that text.

Then you start over with the villain phase, which consist of the same as the environment deck. The villains vary a lot, where some cards come with a lot of things to do, while others are one-offs. When the villain phase is over, the heroes goes again.

In order to win the game, you have to get the villain to 0 hit points and/or follow the win condition on any villain cards that might apply to alter this rule.

Fiddlyness
First off, the villains. They have a lot of text on their main card, and you have to pay close attention to what the card instructs you to do at the start of the villain turn. Then, check all the played villain cards for “start of turn”-text and follow their instructions. Then you draw another villain card and play it, and apply the text here if applicable. Now, go through all the cards one more time and see if there’s anything that happens during the villain phase. If not, check all the cards again for “end of turn”-text and follow the instructions. Be sure that you also check your own cards and the location cards for effect that might apply.

Now it’s your turn again. You have very few cards to choose from, and only one power to use. What will you do? There’s no less than 9 different damage types in this game, and the damage type matters a lot. Check what type of damage you are able to do, and check all villain cards to see if one of them are able to nullify, ignore or be hit by your certain type of power. You may play a card now, and later use a power. But be sure that you check all the cards, including the location cards and your fellow hero-cards.

“Holy mackerel, Batman!” is what comes to mind.

The theme
Superheroes are cool, no doubt. These are original works of art since they don’t have the license from DC Comics or Marvel and such. That’s ok, they do seem familiar to existing heroes so it’s easy to connect the hero with his or hers abilities.

The heroes do get beat up a lot, and the villian is super strong. Even if a player is beat down to 0 hit points, the hero is still able to partake in the action with an extra ability that is usable when beat down. The more cards a hero is able to get out there, the stronger it gets. And when getting near the end, you have tipped the scale and are able to beat up the villain more than you receive beating.

So the theme makes sense, no arguing that. Although you might almost feel like a superhero yourself afterwards, having to keep up with so many cards with so much text that might apply.

Conclusion
How so many people can love this game is beyond me. The game forces you to keep up with a ton of card text and apply them, and making sure that you keep in mind with the other cards from the heroes deck, location deck and villain deck that – again – might apply. Did you remember that X was immune to “Energy” damage this turn, unless he is hit by a “Projectile” damage and the villains minion dealt more than 10 damage in total this round, while a hero player chose to omit his turn to nullify the location card? Oh wait, the minion dealt only 9 damage, because 3 of the damage was “Ice” damage which my hero is immune to…

Yeah, it is like that! I’ve given this game many attempts, but I still don’t see a game here. It’s more fun to do my taxes.

9
Go to the Village page

Village

133 out of 143 gamers thought this was helpful

The word “Village” is probably not a term we use a lot today. Suburbs and towns are more likely used. But if we go back a couple of hundred years, there were towns and cities just as today, but also small villages acting as a small community. That is the setting for this game. You play as one of the families in this village, and you want to make a name for yourself. But the most interesting part in this game, is that your workers actually die as time passes by.

Game components
The board is highly detailed with great artwork. On some areas you’ll find colored spots representing places where you may perform certain actions, just as any other worker placement game. These spots do stand out from the artwork, and seem like an afterthought. I’d prefer if it was a part of the artwork itself. But it is a very minor detail, as the rest of the board is very nice and illustrates a small village very well. You have the blacksmith, church, market, windmill and more.

Each player also gets a homestead handout, with equal quality as the main board. The workers are all marked with a number, representing what generation of your family they are. The homestead is surrounded by a river, and a number of clouds with a sand timer on it. This represents time, and time is an essential part of this game.

The spots on the board will be populated by small cubes of different colors. The cubes are pulled randomly from a bag and placed with a certain quantity on each of these spots.

The board provides for many actions, and you can have many professions. Blacksmiths, monks, travelers, mayors and farmers. On the lower right you’ll find the town record, with a given number of spaces for the avaliable professions in the game.

Gameplay
Each family (player) starts with its first generation workers. On the homestead, you keep your grain and keep track of your own time. When you want to perform an action, you need to pull a cube from one of the spots on the board. If there is no cube avaliable, you cannot perform that action. So, let’s say you want to train a worker to be a blacksmith. You take a cube from the board, and place your worker on the blacksmiths house. Training will of course take some time, so you advance the time track as many spaces as are required. You may at the same turn spend additional time to create something that your new apprentice has learned to make, and you get it at no cost other than time itself. That’s the end of your turn. The cube you picked is placed in your homestead for later use.

When the timer has made a full circle, one of the earliest generation will pass away. And you have to choose which worker that is. This is a very important choice. The village keeps a record of all the greatest artisans and priests, and you want to have made an impression to the village with your family. If your blacksmith pass away, you’d place him in the record, and he will be remembered throughout the ages. But the record has a finite space for these persons. The first blacksmith was a great man (or woman, of course), but later blacksmiths won’t be remembered, as the first ones will always have an elevated position in the towns history. If your blacksmith dies and there’s no more room in the record, he will be placed in an anonymous grave, absent from the records.

Once there are no cubes avaliable for pickup, the round will end. Now you have a chance to make some religious members of your family. But there is only room for 4 apprentices. You may bribe (donate) money to the church to make sure your children are chosen first in line. If not, they are randomly picked from a bag, along with some neutral pieces.

The game ends when either the graveyard or the town record is full. There are many ways to get a final scoring, but the most popular one is the town record, so that your workers don’t die in vain.

The theme
This is a eurogame with both worker placement and pushing of cubes. The cubes are of different colors and may be used in particular areas to purchase whatever produce is available there. Each color is supposed to represent something in the game, such as religion, skill and experience. The areas that you use these cubes are logical for the color, but really, this is one aspect of the game that really falls flat. You don’t feel like you’re picking up religion for use in the church later, but rather a brown cube to spend on the brown action. If you’ve played Lords of Waterdeep, you’ll know what I mean, since it’s basically the same thing.

But what makes the game very special is the time aspect. You get new family members as people get married, and these members are less experiences and pass away after the first generations. And when the third or fourth generation has come to this world, they’ll want to make way for their own benefit, and hoping their grandparents pass away sooner rather than later. And this is an area the game shines on. You’ll have to time your actions, place the correct generations on the spots you want and have them pass away before your opponents family members. If you’re too late, you won’t be remembered.

Conclusion
The game oozes of quality. We’ve played it many times in my gamegroup of about 15 active members, and we named it game of the year last year, with over 250 different games played in all of 2012. So it’s not hard for me to state that this game has great replay value, and a lot of choices to make during play. The random placement of cubes and avaliable merchants in the market adds to the variety, and at the same time doesn’t favor one player above another due to luck.

It’s very easy to learn and get the hang of this game, as it all makes sense. You want to make something? Then you either pay with your resources to get the item there and then, or have your family make it for you at a small time cost. Sometimes you’d probably only want to make time pass so your member pass away at a specific point in the game. You want to travel to other towns or villages? That takes time, of course, but also requires a wagon to travel with. Do you need food? Then a horse or oxen along with a plow will do the trick. But these needs to be bred and trained, which also makes sense.

I enjoy this game still, and it’s always exciting to see what I’m able to do and how my opponents will counter it, and vice versa. And there is no text in the game, making it totally language independent, as long as the rules are known.

Pros:
– Easy to learn
– Great theme
– Unique mechanism
– Good replay value

Cons:
– The spot colors don’t match the artwork

9
Go to the Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar page
129 out of 136 gamers thought this was helpful

Tzolk’in. Tzolk’in. Tzolk’in. That seems so hard to pronounce, but really isn’t. Just as the game isn’t hard to play, even though it looks very complex with the gears and all. Initially, it’s just another worker placement game with some cogs that move. But the truth is a lot better. The game is not about the doomsday that didn’t happen, but the life of the Mayans that lived by the calendar. And you’ll have the privilige to play along.

In order to win you need to have the most victory points at the end. But to get to the end, you need to feed your workers, please the gods, and time it right. And the calendar is there to help you time your moves and make the best of the situation. So let’s check out the player board.

The game board
The main board really stands out from other boards. Its background has nice graphics with pretty colors, and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for as well as blending together nicely. But what you’ll also see is a large cog in the center of the board, with 5 smallers cogs connected to it. When you spin the middle cog, all the other cogs move along in the opposite direction. On the smallers cogs you’ll find spaces for small worker pieces, and when you spin the cog, the pieces move along with it, moving it from one available action to anoter.

Each player receives 3 workers which are just small cylinders, but they fit nicely into the cog areas. Resources consist of wood, gold and stone, which are just small cubes. The gold and stone might be a bit hard to separate because of similar colors, but that’s not really a problem throughout the game. Food tokens are nice, and are all placed on the big cog in the center, making it available for everyone. But the real neat part is the crystal skull. Transluscent and blue plastic crystal skulls.

Gameplay: Not just a gimmick
On your turn you must do only one of two things: place workers, or retrieve workers. When you place a worker you must pay the cost in food. The more workers you place on the same turn, the more expensive it is. You must also place each worker on the cheapest available spot on the cog you wish to use. When you retrieve workers, you perform the action it was placed on. You may place or retrieve as many workers as you want or can afford, but you cannot do both.

When the cogs turn, the workers will move along to the next available spot – which usually is a more profitable action. This means that the longer you wait to retrieve a particular worker, the better its action will be later in the game. There are 5 cogs to place you workers on, each providing their own special actions. I won’t go into detail, because there’s a lot of them. One area is all about food and wood, while another focuses on stone, gold and crystal skulls. A third allows for technological advances and buildings, and the fourth provides more workers and favor with the gods. The fifth cog is all about favoring the gods and placing crystal skulls in a holy circle.

Once all players have done one action, the cog turns. The start player gets a special action once in the game: turning the cog two steps instead of one. This can really have a deep impact on the game, and might finish the game sooner than you’d like.

Four times during the game, there’ll be some kind of worshiping of the gods. There are three gods represented by their own temple, and you may position yourself on the temple steps, gaining the favor of the gods. When it’s time to worship, you’ll get victory points or goods. But first, you’ll need to feed your workers using corn, which also acts as currency in this game. At the same time you must be careful not to anger the gods, or you’ll receive negative points. You’ll anger them by not having enough corn during the came to place workers, and you can beg for help to receive some corn. The more workers you have (up to 6), the more corn you’ll need.

The theme
What I really like about this game is the theme. The cogs themselves are not just there for show, they act as a calendar – just as they used to for the Mayans. When you place a worker, you are kind of predicting when it’s best to sow and harvest to get the best spoils. The longer you stay on the cog, the earlier you were prepared, knowing what seasons were to follow.

The calendar itself was also turned to indicate the day and season of the year. Turning the cogs just feel right for this game, and the actions are more lucrative as the cog turns. I really enjoy this mechanism.

Conclusive thouhts
This is a game with almost no luck. Starting resources and available monuments for purchase are drafted at the start of the game. Other than that, the buildings are refreshed half-way throught the game and when purchases are made. The rest is all up to the players. Everything is visible for everyone, so you can plan ahead and make sure you get the benefits before your opponents.

Since there is such little luck involved, it might almost seem very repetetive. But fortunately, the game is very different every time. When you place, where you place and what the opponents do. Almost never the same. If playing with 2 or 3 players, dummy-workers are placed at the very start of the game, just to occupy certain spaces.

Every cog is available from the first move, and every action will become available shortly. With the many technologies, buildings and actions so available, it might seem overwhealming at first. There’s a lot to take in. The worker placement part is very easy, but all the options will take a play-through to really grasp. The second game will be a lot better.

Pros:
– Great components
– The theme really comes through
– Much variety
– Almost no luck
– Unique mechanism

Cons:
– Steep learning curve
– Prone to analysis paralysis
– Very “bump-unfriendly” game

6
Go to the Elder Sign page

Elder Sign

158 out of 172 gamers thought this was helpful

Imagine the worst of the worst, the most sinister of the sinisert, and you’ll be pretty close to that of Cthulhu. This is a horrible being (or god) that is currently resting beyond the deep ocean. But when it returns, it will create chaos and the most horrid nightmares come true for all mankind, enslaving us all. It all comes down to a museum, where ancient and occult artifacts have been collected for a long time. These artifacts have become too close to one another, causing instability to another world. Gateways are starting to open, and the world beyond is complete terror. It is up to you to stop it.

So how do you complete such a feat? You will have to use your abilities as an i nvestigator, and approach dangerous and horrific areas. And your tools: dice! If you’ve ever played Arkham Horror, you’ll find that they both have a similar theme. But Elder Sign is set up to be played a whole lot quicker, and is far more easier to learn. Time is against you and your companions. If you can’t stop the gateways from opening, a terrible being will attack and devour you all. If the creature wins over you, the entire world will be enslaved.

Gameplay:
On your turn you may choose between at least 6 different areas of the museum. Each area comes with their own challenge, and a reward and punishment, depending on the outcome. A challenge is divided into one or more tasks. Each task has to be solved in its entirety, or else it won’t be approved. To complete a task you need to collect the correct set of symbols on the dice, matching those of the task. This has to be done after a single throw of the dice. The dice consist of these symbols: 3 Magnifying glass of values 1, 2 and 3, 1 Terror symbol, 1 Scroll and 1 Skull.

If you complete a task, you may select another task, or complete the challenge if that was the last task avaliable. However, if there are more tasks, you’ll have lesser dice to throw, since the other dice are locked on the previous tasks. If the challenge is complete, you may receive cards which give you special abilities, clue tokens which allows for rerolls of the dice, new monsters (it’s a bad thing, but it happens), and the most valuable item: an Elder Sign. If you can collect enough of these, you’ll seal up the gateway and save the world.

However, if you fail the task, you are able to make another attempt. But at a price. You must remove one of your dice, giving you less to roll later. Luckily, you may keep one of the dice from the previous result, in the hopes of getting use of it later that challenge.

After each player is done, time moves forward. There’s a large clock which keeps track, and for each turn, 3 hours will pass. Whenever it strikes midnight, something horrible may happen. Monsters can appear in the rooms, and the main creature will come ever closer. The problems with monsters is that they add tasks to already difficult challenges. Some challenges require 6 dice to be completed, and if you add a monster, that monster may add additional 2 symbols. Fortunately, it’s not always as bad as that with monsters.

The theme:
The theme of the game falls kind of flat. Although the game itself might be hard and sometimes feel impossible, it’s all about looking at the symbols required and what you have avaliable. It’s not the theme that makes it hard or feel tense, it’s just the game mechanism itself. If you want that thematic feeling, go play Arkham Horror, although it’s a lot harder and has a lot more stuff to it. If you want a more simple Yatzy-inspired game where you’ll have several options to choose from, then this might be the game for you. And being a cooperative game, you either all win, or none of you will win.

Conclusive thoughts:
Being cooperative, I feel that this game removes the alpha leader role a bit, which is very fortunate. There is no “right way” in this game, it’s all about what you feel you are able to complete of the tasks. Luck is a great factor in this game. I enjoy this game, but not if I play it alone. 2 or 3 persons is fine for this game. Any more, and you’ll probably do some waiting.

However, if you do choose to purchase this game, here’s a requirement from me: download the new rules from Fantasy Flight Games. The one that comes in the box will fill you with questions and feel very incomplete. That’s because they are. The new rules are very well done and come with a lot of examples.

Pros:
– Easy to learn
– Relatively fast to play
– Great artwork and illustrations
– Good quality components

Cons:
– The theme might turn you off
– The theme doesn’t really matter
– Doesn’t scale very well with many players

8
Go to the Alien Frontiers page

Alien Frontiers

77 out of 84 gamers thought this was helpful

Space, the final frontier. Oh well, we do know there’s a lot more frontiers than this, for instance other dimensions and Chthulu-stuff (which of course is real!). A whole lot of worlds. Fortunately, since we’ll never have a chance to prove or disprove any of this in our lifetime, we can enjoy a lot of fun in the world of science fiction. And Alien Frontiers includes space, and mystical alien structures.

The setting
The setting of Alien Frontiers is the finding of a new and empty planet. However, the planet isn’t really empty. Orbiting around the planet are abandoned facilities which provides extra possibilites. There are also abandoned facilities on the planet, enabling additional powers to the one controlling the area. To win in this game, you need to have the most victory points when a player places his last colony on the planets surface.

Gameplay
To use the facilities oribting around the planet, you need to dock your spaceships in them. Of course, the space is limited, and some stations don’t allow for many ships at a time. Your spaceships are represented by your dice. These dice are rolled, and depending on the result, can be placed at the various stations. At first it sounds like pure luck is involved in this game, since rolling the correct result gives the best options. However, there are a whole lot of means to alter the result, such as the alien technology cards that are avaliable. And all that is required to get one is that you roll more than 8 in total of your 3 dice. And of course, there has to be room for another spaceship.

Your ships occupy that space until it is your turn again, blocking all opponents to place where you have. Some stations have room for more ships, but that space might also be blocked. When it is your turn again, you pick up your dice from the board, and roll them again. You may place it back where you got them if you meet the criteria, and of course if you want to do that at all. You always have at least 3 dice at your disposal, and it’s possible to purchase up to 6 dice, and 7 if you have control over a certain space on the planet.

The facilities
The orbiting stations are the main focus of the game. You cannot place ships on the planet, only colonies. But the choices are many. Each station has their own requirement for ship placement, easily identifiable by the iconography.

If you want to purchase a new ship, you need two dice with identical value. You’ll also need fuel and ore, and how much depends on how many ships you currently have at your disposal. This station has space for two sets of ships at a time. For solar fuel, you only need 1 dice, and the higher the number on the dice, the more fuel. You may also trade fuel for ore, where ore is the more valuable resource. Here you’ll need two dice with identical value, and the trade ratio is one to the number of your dice. So here you’d like to have a lower value on the dice.

There are many more stations, and then there’s the additional powers on the planet, which gives a bonus to a matching station orbiting the planet. If you want to purchase another ship and control a certain area on the planet, you get a discount of both 1 ore and 1 fuel. That makes for a huge difference to the game. Other areas give bonus to a corresponding orbiting station.

It sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t.

Components
The game board has great visuals set in a retro sci-fi theme. Each station has their own neat design, matching all other artwork in the game. The planet itself is just large and orange and gives me a feeling of the planet “Arakkis” from Frank Herberts “Dune”. That being said, each sector on the planet is named by a famous science fiction author, such as “Herbert Valley”. I don’t know many of the names, but I do know what they give homeage to.

It’s very easy to recognize the possible actions. Each station is a square as the size of a die, and the way the squares are connected show if you can place a die alone, or if you need more. It also tells you what rule they go by. I’m impressed how easy it is to read. The cost is also shown with easy recognizable symbols of fuel and ore. The planets bonuses are the same, and you can pick up the bonus chip to get a closer look.

The dice feel great in your hand, and are a bit larger than what I would call “normal” dice. The colors are easily distinguishable from another (I don’t know how they are for color blinded). However, the colonies themselves are just small drops of wood, giving no flavor to the game. They are quite uninteresting. Colonies aside, the game looks really great.

Conclusion
If there is one game I would compare with this, it would be Kingsburg. You use your dice and allocate them to gain resources. However, Alien Frontiers offers a lot more depth and control over your dice, and you are not limited to just collecting resources. I keep both in my collection, using Kingsburg for a more introductionary game, and Alien Frontiers for a deeper game.

Alien Frontiers is a good game, but I will strongly recommend you purchase the visual upgrade kit. It introduces awesome colonies, with a transparent plastic dome over each piece. Also, figures for some of the field generators that can be used, as well as tokens to place when playing with 2 or 3 players to hide unavaliable actions. This is one of my favorite games to play.

If you grab the expansion, this game is a real blast, and allows for up to 5 players. And I really recommend the expansion. Maybe not 5 players, but it does work if no one is prone to think a whole lot.

Pros:
– A lot of ways to alter the dice results
– Many paths to victory
– Much interaction
– Great theme
– Relatively easy to learn

Cons:
– Some downtime
– Ugly colony components
– Seems harder to learn than it is

8
Go to the Escape: The Curse of the Temple page
128 out of 141 gamers thought this was helpful

Okay!

5 dice! 10 minutes! 1 temple! RUN!

Introduction
If your life depended on it, and you only had 5 dice to save your own skin in a 10 minute timeframe, I’d reckon your pulse would’ve reached new heights. That is the case in this game. Each player has their own set of 5 dice, and have to use these to navigate the temple, activate switches and get out of there as soon as possible. You have to cooperate with other players and make sure that everyone reaches out alive. But that’s not all. It’s all done simultaneously! That means that there are no turns, and you just roll those dice as much as you can.

Gameplay
In this game all playes start in the middle of a collpasing temple. It’s almost as if a team of adventurers all fell down a hole toghether, and the only way out is finding a way through the temple. But it’s not as easy as just finding the exit. The temple is self-sealed, and you have to activate several switches in order to get the exit to open up. And these switches are hidden throughout the temple. Sounds fair enough, except for the fact that a soundtrack is playing in the background, and you only have 10 minutes to do so! If only 1 player is still in the temple when it finally collapses, the game is lost for everyone. But not only that! Two times during the soundtrack, you have to hurry back to the start room before the gong hits, or you’ll face a penalty of losing 1 die for the rest of the game, each time you don’t reach back!

How to play
The base game is very easy to learn and also to play. The goal of the game is to get rid of a given number of crystals that lies in a pile next to the board. For 3 players there are 11 crystals at the start. The more crystals that you remove from the cache the better. And in order to remove crystals from the cache, you have to activate switches all around in the temple.

In order to move from one room to another, you’ll need two matching symbols on your dice and on the room you’re trying to enter, ie a symbol of a man and a torch. When you have those symbols, just pick up the two dice matching those symbols, move your figure, and roll those dice again. You get to choose which dice you want to roll, and may keep whichever dice you want to keep, all the time. Other rooms might require two identical symbols. The rooms are either empty, or they have a switch you can enable. To enable a normal switch, it’s usually required that you possess 4 dice of the same symbol. So if the room requires 4 torches, you need to roll until you have at least 4 torches. Sounds like a roll-fest? It is. Sounds easy? Think again.

The dice consist of different symbols. A man on two of the sides, a torch, a key, a curse and a blessing. The symbols are generally used to navigate and activate switches. But the blessing and the curse have their own purpose. When you roll a curse, you’re not allowed to re-roll that dice. It’s locked. The only way to free it, is to have a blessing. One blessing allows you to roll up to two cursed dice. So if you have 3 torches and two curses, you’ll never get 4 torches unless you re-roll one or more of your torches. Alternatively you may borrow a blessing from another player who is in the same temple room as you are. This is especially helpful in cases where all your 5 dice are locked.

Some rooms enables full cooperation. There are 3 switches, and you may choose only one of them. If you gather 4 of the same required symbol, you may place 1 crystal on it. But then you may not use the other two switches. If you as a team get 7 of the same required symbol, you can place 2 crystals on it. The last requires 10 symbols, but lets you place 3 crystals on it. Imagine 3 out of 11 total, just in one room!

Adding more complexity
When everyone gets the hang of the game, you are able to add some additional modules. The game comes with optional rules for curses and treasures, which really ups the ante. When you discover a new tile with a curse symbol on it, you must draw from the curse stack. The curses really makes the game harder, and adds even more tention to the game. The curse lasts until you roll the required set of dice to remove it. So, what do they do?

– Hold one hand on your head. Yes, you physically have to keep one of your hands on your head, while rolling and moving with your other. It can really get tiresome if you don’t get rid of the curse, and is a lot worse than just keeping your other hand idle and resting.
– Be silent. You’re not allowed to talk. If you want to communicate, you’ll have to use other means, like pointing and such.
– Really cursed. Normally a blessing allows you to re-roll up to two cursed dice. With this curse, you may only re-roll one cursed die.
– Lost dice. In this game it’s not unusual that dice go off the table. With this curse, those dice are lost for the rest of the game! Even if you manage to cure yourself, those dice are lost.

The curses are nasty! But they really make for good fun. Luckily, the module also consist of treasures! They are always positive:
– Everyone can re-roll their cursed dice once.
– You may create a shortcut between two rooms.
– You get two key symbols for later use.
– You get two torch symbols for later use.
– You may teleport to another player once.

Each session lasts a maximum of 10 minutes, which is a perfect length for what the game is. If the game lasts any shorter, you’ve most likely won the game. Or you’re really unlucky and everyone has locked all their dice at the same time and can’t move any further. But then you just play again. And again!

Conclusion
The game is visually appealing, with high quality components. The board pieces are of thick and solid cardboard, able to withstand a lot of plays. All the dice have indented symbols with strong colors and easily identifiable symbols on them. The player figures all have an Indiana Jonesy look to them, and are easily spotted on the board. The soundtracks (3 of them) that comes with the game are all very tense, and really brings out the thrill of the game. If you won’t or can’t play music, the game also comes with a sand timer to replace the music. I haven’t played with it yet, but it’s set for approximately 3 minutes.

I really enjoy this game. It’s fast, easy to learn and chaotic every time. The expansions allows for an additional player, and introduces more curses, new treasures and new illusion rooms which disappears from the map during gameplay. I really recommend that as well as the promotions that are avaliable. They each provide variety to the game and new challenges.

Pros:
– Easy to learn
– Fast play
– Nice components
– Great music
– No down-time
– Very tense
– A lot of shouting
– For the entire family

Cons:
– Takes longer to learn than to play
– Very tense
– A lot of shouting

9
Go to the Discworld: Ankh-Morpork page

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork

105 out of 112 gamers thought this was helpful

I didn’t know any lore in Discworld before this game. However, once I saw the enormous amount of characters displayed in this game, and the engagement of the other players who knew Discworld, I started reading. Now I appreciate this game even further.

So, to the game! A small note though: I’ve only played the deluxe version, so component wise I’m really impressed. The regular version contains a smaller board and wood components.

Each player starts with a hand of 5 cards each. These cards all have unique art on them, usually representing a character or more from the Discworld series. These are all great-looking. The cards serve one purpose: to perform one action. Above the portrait, you may find different symbols representing actions. The kind of actions are limited, but all players also receive a sturdy handout for quick referense, in case something is unclear.

Every turn you must perform an action by playing a card. Play it, and draw until you have 5 cards. Then it’s the next players turn. Some cards have special text which allow for other cards to be played, steal something, force upon and many more other actions.

The goal of the game depends on what role you receive at the beginning of the game. These roles remain hidden throughout the game, and they state your win condition. The board consist of 12 areas. On these areas you may populate minions or erect a building. Depending on your goal and number of players, these are your win conditions:

– Place at least one minion in X different areas.
– Have control over X different areas.
– Have trouble markers in X different areas.
– Have a total value of 50 in gold and buildings.
– The draw pile goes empty.

There are a couple of copies of the first one, only different names. These are shuffled and dealed out, so you never know what win conditions are in play, only your own. If the condition is met at the start of your turn, you flip over your role card and declare yourself a winner. All of these roles are stated on the handout, so everyone has a chance to make sure no others get close to their goal.

The game is as simple as playing a card, placing a figure, and waiting for the next turn. The variations on the card makes for a different feel every time, and also adds to the varied gameplay throughout the game. It’s very unpredictable, and a lot can happen before your next turn.

Luck is a big factor in the game, but that is also a good thing as a game for beginners, or those who want a light session. Thumbs up!

Pros:
– Fast gameplay
– Easy to learn
– Varied in play
– Nice illustrations
– Anyone can win

Cons:
– Anyone can win
– Very random
– Might feel unfair at times

7
Go to the Mammut page

Mammut

43 out of 45 gamers thought this was helpful

Mammut is centered around a single mechanism: dividing the resources. It’s the core of the game. But to make it interesting, there are a lot of factors in the game which scores points, which makes some resources avaliable a lot more attractive than others.

To score points in the game it’s all about having the most of or least of a token. If you have least, you’ll get negative points. If you have most, you’ll score. These items are all mingled together in a common resource pile at the start of the game. All tokens are two-sided with different resource on each side. Some are even question-marks – a hidden resource.

At the start of the game, everything is in the center. The first player may choose as much as he wants from the pile, and whichever pieces he would like. He could take everything. But the round doesn’t end until everyone has a share. So the next player takes everything from you. But when stealing from other players, you need to put aside one resource of your choice, and place it back in the center. The next player may then choose to take whatever is in the center, or everything from you again, leaving yet another resource in the center.

As the round progresses, the resources are divided more evenly. When everyone has a share, the game’s over. And the last player to draw, took the remaining in the center. Then it’s scoring time.

Players have hidden cards which gives bonuses depending on the amount of resource you have. You may choose to play this card, and put it face-down in the center. When everyone has bid or not, the cards are turned over, as are the question-marks. Depending on the card you played, another play might win instead.

The game teaches us a lot of how we share stuff. We can be greedy, selective, or very modest. It’s a great tool to learn younger children about sharing, but it’s also fun in an adult environment.

Pros:
– Fast gameplay
– Learn about greed
– Great mechanism
– Fits the theme well

Cons:
– Not very exciting artwork
– Might seem too simple for some

9
Go to the Lancaster page

Lancaster

38 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

Great Britain is under attack by the French! You must use your knights and influence to help withstand the enemy. But you don’t really need to help out, the enemy will back out eventually – which is kind of a flaw in the game. I’ll get back to that later.

Each player has a castle. The castles gives several actions themselves, but is also the place where you keep your avaliable knights and noblemen. At the start, everyone receives a knight in each level ranging from 1 to 4. 4 is the most powerful and influental knight, but there is only 1 per plays in the game, as is it with a level 3 knight.

The board has 2 areas: land and sea. The sea represents the invading French army, and it’s possible to place knights there. But the main course is of course the land area. This area consists of many castles. Each castle gives you a boon if you control it at the end of a round. But in order to control it, you use your knights.

Some castles requires a level 3 or 4 knight in order to enter at all, but most castles are level 1 and 2. To control a castle, you simply put a knight of your choosing there, as long as it meets the requirement. You may back it up by using disposible squires thus making it stronger. If another player is able to put a stronger knight than what you represent, you are kicked out. But the knight is returned to you, giving you a new action for later. The squires you had used, however, are not returned.

So this is a battle of influence. The game round doesn’t end until every player have placed their knights, either on the main board or in your own castle. Those in your own castle can never be kicked out during a round, but the powers from the main board are far better than the castle ones. But eventually, you may not have another choice.

Alternatively, you may go and fight off the French. You just place a knight in an avaliable spot in the fight, and if the battle is won, you get victory points. If it’s not won, the battle just goes away after a round or two. But then, all knihgts represented in a losing battle are taken hostage. If you can’t pay their price, they are lost. And knights are expensive to buy the regular way.

After each round all players get to vote on some laws. There are always 3 laws present, but some or all may be replaced, but only if the players vote for it. If most vote against it, the new law is just discarded. These laws give immediate victory points or other benefits after the laws have passed or not, and are very important in order to win the game.

The game goes for a set number of rounds, and whoever has the most points at the end is the winner.

It’s a very nice game with a lot of strategic thinking. But it favors the early player to get more knights, which is a bit of a bummer, since the game is of great quality and fun.

Pros:
– A lot of options
– Great components
– Very thematic
– Easy to get an overview

Cons:
– Battles are won eventually without penalties, even if no one participated
– Can be some downtime
– A bit hard to learn regarding small rule details

7
Go to the Hey, That's My Fish! page
66 out of 70 gamers thought this was helpful

This is an older game that has recently received a reprint by Fantasy Flight Games. And by this you can be sure of one thing: great components! They have tokens for everything and plastic molds of other things that aren’t really needed. And now with a reprint of Hey, that’s my fish, it just proves my point further.

The game is very easy to learn, even for a younger audience. The board is actually just loose tiles which are randomly placed so that is makes a symmetric pattern. Each tile has fishes on them from 1 to 3 fishes. The game starts with all players placing a penguin on a tile, one by one, and only on tiles with 1 fish on it.

A game turn consists of 1 thing only: move a penguin. It’s that simple. But here’s the catch: when you move a penguin off a tile, that tile is removed from the game and placed in your score pile. No penguin may cross there any more. Also: no penguin may cross another penguin. So the placement and moving of your penguins is heavily decided on how you also want to hinder your opponents!

This game is a lot better with 3 or 4 players than it is with 2. You never know whom to trust or who will stop you the most. And before it’s your turn again, a lot can happen since the game board is fairly small. This way, the game is both deep and shallow, since you may manipulate other players with table talk, or you can just wait until it’s your turn and do what you feel for at that moment.

Pros:
– Nice components with strong colors
– Funny looking figures
– Encourages rematches
– Fast played

Cons:
– Long setup-time
– Prone to analysis paralysis

8
Go to the Neuroshima Hex! page

Neuroshima Hex!

115 out of 123 gamers thought this was helpful

This is based on an RPG of which I’ve never played or know what is about. I’m mentioning this to explain the reason why the four factions avaliable are totally different to play.

The game supports 2-4 players, and the board consists of a 3*3 grid, making out the form of a hexagon. Each player chooses a faction to play, and there are 4 factions to choose from. Expansions permit more factions to choose from, but there are no official rules for more than 4 players. Each faction has very different abilities, based upon the faction background in the RPG world. You don’t need to know anything at all about the backstory, but you may read a quick summary on the backside of the handout. The handouts also include a nice tip for beginnes playing exactly that faction, plus a very nice, condensed overview of all the pieces.

Each player puts out their HQ. Each HQ has 20 hitpoints. When a players HQ reaches 0, that player is out of the rest of the game. As you can tell, it’s all about attacking other players’ HQ, and surviving. The game ends when there’s only one player remaining or if a player is out of tiles to draw.

A turn consists of the following: draw up to 3 tiles from a stacked pile of tiles. These are all showed to the other players. One of the tiles must be discarded. The two others may be saved for a later round, or he can choose to play one or both, and even discard them. If the player places a tile so that the board has no free space or if he plays a special battle-tile, a battle commences.

Each battle is fought after an order of initiative. The initiative is printed on each unit, and each unit that has the same initiative, plays simultaneously. This means that two units fighting eachother at the same initiative will kill eachother. The highter the initiative, the earlier you get to go. Each HQ has an initiative of 0, but they also have the largest attack area.

Because the factions are so different, each players choices and tiles will be different than yours. And that makes the game unpredictable and fun. You can never plan far ahead, since a lot of things can happen before you go again. Suddenly someone decides a battle is to commence, and when it’s your turn you might have no units left on the board. Or you have a great advantage all of a sudden.

Pros:
– Great variety
– Easy to learn
– Fast play
– Great components
– Has a great iPhone/iPad-app!

Cons:
– Hard to tell if it’s balanced

9
Go to the Dungeon Lords page

Dungeon Lords

89 out of 96 gamers thought this was helpful

“This is not for heroes” it is stated on the box. Actually, I would say it is, because the game is quite heavy, and not for newcomers. However, the game comes with two versions: beginner and advanced!

The rulebook is pure fun to read. Almost everything that is needed to know is told by an imp in a funny manner, and it’s written in such a way that makes it easy to remember. An example of this is how the food purchase works. The first player sends an imp to buy food. That costs 1 gold and the player gets 2 food. The next player wants food, but they say they have none. But you take it anyway. For free. The third player comes. No more food? Lies! They take the rest of the food, get a bit more evil, and takes the gold that the first player paid.

If you’re still with me, you would probably understand that this is a worker placement game with an element of reverse dungeoncrawling. As you buy monsters and do evil deeds, your evil-meter rises. And heroes loves to smite evil. Each year, heroes gather to smite you. The more evil you are, the stronger your enemy will be. Each player fights his own hero party. If you’re very evil, the paladin will come your way, and that’s not good. Usually.

I like the theme. It reminds me of Dungeon Keeper for the PC a while back, and it captures the same essense. Your imps do your bidding and digging, while your monsters fight in the dungeon rooms against the enemy. And as in the PC-game, you have to provide upkeep and payday for all the monsters. Or they’ll leave.

As a boon for those advanced players out there, you can download the “expansion” rules from the games’ website. The expansion requires some new tokens. Luckily, they are already in the game box. You just don’t have those rules. The advanced rules are not in the game for a reason: it would be too much for a first game.

If you like worker placement, hidden actions and a great deal of fun and schadenfreuden, then this is a game right up your alley. Great game experience with a great theme. I recommend playing 4 players, and 3 is o k. But not with 2.

7
Go to the Citadels page

Citadels

53 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

The goal of the game is to build buildings of great point values and end up with the greatest score. But there’s a catch!

Instead of going around the table in turn order, there are roles to choose. The current start player (or king) chooses between the 8 roles avaliable. Then sends the rest to the next player, who chooses her role and so forth. When all have a role, the rest is put face down, and no one really knows what the others have chosen. Then, going from a pre-defined order, the roles are activated.

The first is the Assassin, which may kill off another role. It’s possible that a role isn’t in play, but that’s part of the plan. If a role is assassinated, that player won’t be able to take her turn.

You may never target a player, only a role, making the game more about bluffing and psychological “warfare”. If you get the roles correct and psyche out the other players, you will build your city, and hopefully score the most points in the process.

It’s a fun game. First plays may take a while to get used to the different roles, but when everyone’s accustomed to it, a game is very quick.

9
Go to the Troyes page

Troyes

88 out of 103 gamers thought this was helpful

Ok that’s only half the truth. You might want to take a small break after the first try, but later on… now that’s an entirely different story.

This game adds some randomness to what we know as worker placement. In such a game, one has a set number of workers that needs to be placed on different tasks. The earlier you get to choose, the greater the rewards – usually. Troyes uses dice as workers, and meeples as your loyal servants.

Each round consists of dice rolls. You receive a given set of dice depending on where you have your servants placed. These dice may then be used to “pay” for actions. The greater the dice value, the greater the outcome, so you must be early to use those high dies. But you only get one action per turn, and the other dice you got from the start are not at all safe. They can be bought from you by all the other players, and you can’t refuse.

I love the way they have used the dice as a means of action. You must decide how you want to place your servants, and then you have to decide which dice to use and buy in order to enable those actions. Since you have no control what dice will be left over for your next turn, the first choice is quite crucial.

There is a lot of room for analysis paralysis, unfortunately. So after a game you might be a bit tired. I’m usually ready for another game, because:

– Each new game is unique, given random action cards
– You get a feeling of control
– You get a feeling of accomplishment
– The game is fast
– It looks great

7
Go to the Colosseum page

Colosseum

131 out of 141 gamers thought this was helpful

Days of Wonder has always been good at one thing: production value. And Colosseum just goes to prove that this is the case. The board itself, together with extraordinary senate pieces really makes this game a joy to look at. But does it have any good gameplay?

You are putting on a show for the public of the Roman Empire, and your colosseum has to produce the greatest show of them all. The game consists of different phases, which will ble played out each round. You have to bid for new actors for your show, maybe trade some actors with other players, and then finally run your show. Preferably a new one, or else you won’t gain points.

At first it can be a daunting task to figure out what you want to do. The game comes with a total of 30 shows that can be bought. But they all reqire different actors in order to run successfully. Fortunately, each players are given a handout with an overview of all the shows and what they require in terms of actors, but there’s a lot to take into account. It can be quite a handful at first, but after a few rounds, you should have chosen your path to success.

The trading with other players is a time for negotiations. There aren’t many rules here, you just have to haggle with other players as best as you can. It’s a vital part of the game, so you had better have some enjoyment of this, or else it might be a bust.

Some dice rolls defines who of the senates will move and how far. And you want them to oversee your shows, that brings a much larger audience. The good thing about the game is that it’s impossible to really know who will win. At the final stage, there may be a couple of surprises where other players have seen something you have not.

It’s a nice game, but might be a bit overcomplicated at first. But once you’ve given it a go, the next game would be much better.

5
Go to the Zombie Dice page

Zombie Dice

37 out of 44 gamers thought this was helpful

Not much to say about this game, actually. Roll dice, see if you survive, and push your luck and roll more – or not. The one with most points wins.

But ok, there’re not points here, but brains. You pick 3 dice from a bag, so you don’t know which dice you have. Of these dice there are three color types: green, red and yellow. The green has the most brains on them, whilst the red has most shotguns. If you get 3 shotgun icons before you quit, you’re dead. If you get brains, you save these as points.

There is some tactic in this. The colors. You know what colors you’ve pulled, so you know what the chances are of certain colors left in the bag, and which you might pull out. Still, there is the chance that even the green dice gets you shotgunned.

And that’s it. The one to first get 13 brains wins. But all players still get one more chance once this happens, just to even the score.

Easy, fun, not very replayable. A filler game.

6
Go to the Shadow Hunters page

Shadow Hunters

38 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

I like deduction games. Nay, I love them! Especially if they’re nicely made. Shadow Hunters falls in between somewhere, whereas it’s not fantastic nor is it bad. It’s good.

As the title says, there are both Shadow players and Hunter players. In addition, you’ll find neutral players. In order to win the game you need to fullfill the requirement of your specific character. Shadow players need to eliminate all hunter players, and vice versa. The neutral players all have their own specific win condition.

But no one knows who is who! You only know what you are. Health tracking is done on the games board which states when some characters die. The problem is, you only know the color of the other players. But there is hope in finding out who they are.

The hermit can foretell what they are. A card might say “Lose 1 health if you are a shadow players.” If you give this card to a player and he doesn’t lose a health, then you know he’s either hunter or neutral. No one else knows, because they didn’t know what the card says. That also goes if he did lose a health; he’s shadow.

The game goes around several rounds and it’s more of an experience than a game. The game opens for a lot of accusations and blame-pointing. And in the end, someone wins.

If deduction / party games doesn’t suit you, then this game won’t fix that. It’s fun for what it is, but I don’t find it hitting the table a lot.

7
Go to the Catan: Seafarers page

Catan: Seafarers

104 out of 124 gamers thought this was helpful

Finally! The sheep is useful again. From the core game of Catan, there’s usually not much use for sheep other than trading in for other resources. That’s always been a shame, since all the other resourcer are so high in demand.

Seafarers corrects this by adding ships. In order to build a ship you need sheep and wood. No more need for clay, in other words. And not only that, but ships can be moved from their location as long as they are not connected on both ends. And that’s another thing: islands!

There’s a new tile type avaliable now: gold. Gold isn’t a new resource in the game, instead, it acts as a wildcard, where you may choose one of the existing resources instead. And reaching an island first grants victory points.

It seems so little, at first. Boats. But it adds a lot more to the game, including several scenarios in the rulebook. Over half the content in the games rulebook are scenarios, in fact.

If you want a new experience for Settlers, either try this, or Cities & Knights – my favorite of the expansions.

5
Go to the Munchkin page

Munchkin

43 out of 54 gamers thought this was helpful

This game… This game is both fun and dull at the same time. The first couple of times can be fun, especially if you’ve done some RPG before. Then the humor gets to you on another level.

But the actual gameplay is rather unforgiving. You can build up a character with weapons, armor, headgear, more weapons and some equipment. And if you want, you can get a *** change, grow extra arms and whatnot. All fun and well, but not exciting.

When you’ve finally built up a rather good character you need to beat monsters in order to win. When you win a battle, you usually gain one level. The first one to reach level 10 is the winner. So when you have spent the last 30 minutes to build up a character and are about to kill the last monster, you get stabbed in the back by everyone else at the table, and you have to start over.

It’s all about interaction and backstabbing. If you like to annoy other players, then get this game! But only if they would enjoy that too. Otherwise, I’d stay away and get more exciting card games than this. It’s overrated.

8
Go to the Brass page

Brass

96 out of 105 gamers thought this was helpful

When it comes to complicated games, Martin Wallace is a master! But he’s also excellent at creating highly balanced and good games. Brass is one of those games, but it does have its caveats.

What you do in this game is expand and build factories or other production buildings. When upgrading them, you gain points depending on the connection to other players and a harbor that hasn’t been used yet. But in order to place a factory, there are several requirements that needs to be fullfilled.

You have a hand of cards which allows you to build certain buildings, like harbor, mining facility and more. But you can’t play them anywhere, they have to connect. And it’s rarely easy to find a location which benefits only yourself, but you have to do something. So the game flow is simple enough.

But regarding rules, there’s a lot more to consider. To place one of these buildings, there are so many things to take into account. So many, that it might be overwhealming for some. And when you finally think you’ve figured it out, there’s something new to learn to prohibit you from doing what you want.

This is a good game, but it needs to be played once just for the training. The next game would be more fair. Experience here is key. Also, the game can last for a couple of hours or maybe more.

If you like heavy brain burning and good planning games, then this is for you. If you’re in for more casual play with your friends, this isn’t one to pick up. It requires dedication from all players.

9
Go to the StarCraft: Brood War Expansion page
51 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

The expansion adds some things and fixes other things. For one thing, it removes the factions victory-condition. But not entirely. This condition is now placed in to a set of cards of which you may choose this condition, or gain an ability instead. For each of the 3 phases, you may choose more abilities.

It also adds the defense order. This helps you if you are afraid of an attack, and the order is played immediately. But it’s no rescue if you’re deep in it.

And of course what’s an addon without new units and planets? Quite a few cards are replaced with new ones, and you add event cards as well. The new units are of the same quality as the old.

Half of the rulebook consists of scenarios, which were non-existant in the original game. The scenarios can be quite challenging, and it adds more components to the game which aren’t used the same as the scenarios change. Of course, you may play a regular game as well.

In summary: the expansion is essential and fixes a lot of broken things, as well as adding new content that changes the game to the better.

8
Go to the StarCraft: The Board Game page
49 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

If you don’t like wargames then turn around. Starcraft offers plenty. This is a game where war isn’t an option, it’s a fact. The map is so overcrowded that the only way to get anywhere is to overtake other territories. Or you’ll lose.

Pick a race at first. There are two factions for each race, and each faction has their own win condition. For example, one of the Protoss factions has a victory condition to just survive long enough. While this faction is in play, the victory goal is moved from 15 to 20 points for everyone else.

A game round consists of actions. Before each round, each player chooses 4 actions out of many. One by one, they place the actions on a planet they want to make it on. It could be on an enemy planet, on your own, or a neutral one. But what action you chose is hidden. No one knows if you did a build action, a movement action or a research action. Nor do they know what your intentions are.

However, the game is vastly deep ability-wise. You have a whole deck of cards with different abilities which will help in combat. But knowing which to pick and when to pick is really hard. It can be quite challenging for new players.

Combat is the easiest thing to learn, and that is quite hard too. When combat is set, each player involved draws a few cards to their hand. These cards must then be placed behind each skirmish. A battle consists of many skirmishes, depending on how many units are on each side. They are also placed face down. When all are placed, they are revealed one by one. The powers on the card is dependent on the icons on the card and the unit it’s played on. If it’s a match, it gets the higher power. Or maybe it’s an ability.

As I said, there are tons of detail to take into account. But the gameplay is simply teriffic, and the downtime is low, since each order is taken one by one, going around the table.

But the game suffers from the FFG-syndrome. Terrible, horrible rulebook! Come on, guys, why do we have to “see page 23, then see page 40, referring to page 10, which refers to a card in the game”… It doesn’t give you that nice of a clue, you have to find out the page numbers for yourself – if it’s even in there. Some things are printed on the handouts.

Other than that: thumbs up! Great wargame, great replayability. But get comfortable, it takes a while.

7
Go to the London page

London

67 out of 74 gamers thought this was helpful

That’s a name you should remember, as he’s designer of the most highly rated games there is. There’s just a problem: they feel pretty similar to one another. London is an attempt to appeal to the more casual gamer.

This game is about drafting cards and playing them, making your city. Then you’ll have the option to “activate” your city. Depending on your cards and how many cards you have, you’ll get poverty. Poverty is recorded by black discs that gives a lot of negative points at the end of the game, and it’s hardly avoidable to get at least some.

The game board is almost not useful. I’ve played the limited edition which brings 3d pieces of city markers, but these flat ones are uninspired and, quite frankly, dull. All the board does is to count how many areas you’ve built in. Sure, there are a few things more, but really, it could’ve been solved without this map, which is more a placeholder for cards than anything else.

But when it comes to gameplay, it’s quite solid and balanced. The drafting gives you more cards. And to play a card, you have to pay with another card, and perhaps some money as well. When you discard a card, this card is up for grabs by all other players, so you have to choose carefully.

That is also the only interaction in the game. The drafting of cards. But it works for what it is, giving you enough to think of already. You have to avoid getting poverty, and activating your cards gives you just that. But not activating it gives you absolutely nothing. You’ll have to find a way to balance what you get with the poverty you’ll also get.

London is a serious game. I won’t recommend it to beginners, although it’s easy enough to grasp for me, newcomers won’t find it very easy. But as a gamer, I can enjoy a game of London.

4
Go to the Risk page

Risk

25 out of 45 gamers thought this was helpful

You’re probably reading this with Risk-playtime behind your ears. So I’m gonna cut to the point: Risk is outdated, even in this new revision – which actually makes the game worse.

And here’s why: Dice is king. You could – theoretically – defend your country against 20 incoming units using only 1 unit. Or you could overrun the entire world in one turn, unless you use house rules.

Gaining new troops are also one aspect which I find unbalanced. The more countries you have, the stronger you’ll get. And the one’s not so strong have to fend for themselves in the hopes they won’t have a bad time playing.

There’s usually a player or two who gets picked on at the very start, because he’s easy prey. The gamer might become frustrated or even angry, ruining the game for the rest.

I still haven’t had a game of Risk that I truly enjoyed. The choices are too limited, and there are so many other games like it that does this job so much better. I can’t recommend Risk to anyone. I’ve yet to try the 2210 A.D. version, which I hear is quite good.

6
Go to the Formula D page

Formula D

46 out of 100 gamers thought this was helpful

The more players, the longer it takes, and a whole lot of downtime, using the rules fitted with the game. It shouldn’t be played with too few or too many players. 6 is my absolute maximum, as more just drags it out too much.

There’s really not much to do to affect the outcome of the game. If the first players get a good run, they will win. Only nearing the end will the chances be greater, and the order of victory might change, but rarely because a player overtakes another. An accident has to happen.

But for a driving game with 3-5 players it’s ok, and it’s fun to be able to shift up and down and throw the dice to see how far you’re able to go. But there’s not much to this game, and I don’t understand how people can play this over and over again, and why there are so many maps to it.

It’s a popular game, no doubt, but I can’t see why.

9
Go to the Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game page
58 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

When opening the box for the first time, you’ll be amazed at the content there. You’ll also be wanting to throw away the insert that comes with the game and provide plastic bags for everything, because the insert is utterly useless.

The game is about building up your civilization and getting to a certain goal before anyone else. And there are many ways to achieve this. The game provides the current victory condtions, and all are about getting there first: Military victory, take over another players capital. Cultural victory. Economic victory. Scientific victory.

With so many options, there’s a lot to take into account. You must explore the world that consist of some tiles. Every tile except the starting tiles are face down, so you don’t know what to expect. And depending on the locations, you must choose where to build a second or third city. The designers have made the map quite small, making conflicts unavoidable. So be ready to fight.

It’s impossible to win by focusing everything in one direction. The other player would beat you up in other ways. Cultural victory provides great powers. Research makes you stronger, and military makes you really dangerous, but not unbeatable.

It can drag out, but I’ve never felt that a game has been boring or dull, it’s exciting from start to finish. And there is never a clear leader, things might change around very quickly, which makes the game very interesting.

It’s very hard to learn. The game round itself is easy, but there are so many factors that you’ll have to take into account before doing something, and it’s very hard to know what good it does in the long run. Truly a gamers game, but very, very enjoyable.

7
Go to the The Hunt for Gollum Adventure Pack page
68 out of 77 gamers thought this was helpful

I was really looking forward to this. But I didn’t know what to expect at all. So I was a bit confused when I started my first game. My initial thought was: this is it?

The pack comes with a lot of locations, so be sure to pack enough characters to beat the quests and place extra progress markers on other locations. When the first phase is over, the next one is a bit shorter. And you may choose between more cards from the draw pile and discard the rest. When the second part is over, you’ll need clue cards. If you don’t have any at the end of a round, you go back to the second phase.

There’s not much to this pack, other than a lot of travel. It’s thematically correct, but it feels a bit dull. However, the game is challenging, especially when having step back to the second phase.

I suggest you get this pack afterall, since you get some neutral song cards, and some useful eagle cards. And a nice adventure.

7
Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
54 out of 63 gamers thought this was helpful

Everyone I know knows Monopoly. My brother is a non-gamer (totally) as he refers to Monopoly each time to mock me. He doesn’t get it. And that’s a fact with many other non gamers. When someone suggests to play Monopoly, I bring a copy of Catan and suggest that instead. Usually I am able to convince them.

And then the fun begins. Going from a system where dice roll is king, it’s now possible to make trades openly. If you don’t get resources, try trading your highly sought for trees with more of another resource. Anything’s possible, and the atmosphere is very friendly every time.

The goal in this game is to settle the island of Catan. You have two initial settlements with one road each. As you play, you’re able to expand to ohter areas and receive more resources later. But don’t get too greedy, or you’ll be targeted when the robber is moved. And if you have too many cards on hand when that happens, you’ll lose half.

Settlers plays faster and is much more enjoyable. You actually feel you have control over what happens. The only thing random are the resources. Even this can be amended by using a set of dice rolls which starts over, making it reliant. But when chance is involved, there’s more excitement.

I suggest you try out the Cities & Knights expansion. It really changes the game and provides a lot more to do each turn. Highly recommended, I hardly play without it anymore.

6
Go to the Tobago page

Tobago

99 out of 129 gamers thought this was helpful

There’s a whole island full of treasure! To find these treasures, clue tokens are played from your hand to narrow down the locations of these treasures. Here’s an example of how to find a treasure:

First clue: it’s near the largest lake. Ok, now you put clue tokens around the largest lake. It’s one of those.
Second clue: it’s 2 spaces from a palm tree. You identify all palm trees which are 2 spaces from existing cubes, and remove the cubes that don’t match this and the previous token.
Third clue: it’s in the forest. Aha! Now there’s only one possible tile where the treasure is.

First one to get there gets to start the treasure drawing. And this is the part I don’t like. Everyone who’s contributed to the clues gets their chance at receiving treasure. Every of those players get dealt one card each, showing a treasure value or a skull. Then everyones card is shuffled back, and the treasure finder draws the first card. He knows of one of the treasures, but not the rest. If he knows there’s a skull in that pile, and draws a low value card, he might take it. Or he could pass in the chance of getting a larger value.

It’s too much randomness dealing out treasure. And moving around on the board seems futile as the clue tokens change so much. And when you play a clue and help the others, you’re too far away to get it yourself. Being first is important in the drawing phase.

But, the thematic sense of the game is good, and the components are awesome. I could play this with a younger audince, but probably turn down a game otherwise. Nice family game, no gamers game.

8
Go to the Survive: Escape from Atlantis! page
82 out of 89 gamers thought this was helpful

First of all: the components are truly great. Sure, they’re not plastic figures with great detail, but they are sturdy and of good quality. Now to the game.

You build up a random island consisting of three types of tiles. Beach, forest and mountains. Since this is Atlantis, it’s gonna sink. And it starts with the beach tiles and goes upwards to the mountains. On the tiles are your people. You have to get them to safety to one of the four surrounding islands. But much peril awaits, as sharks, whales, squids (expansion) and sea monsters are there to eat you.

But during your turn you have the ability to move one of these monsters. Of course you will try to eat your opponents, or move them away from your people. There’s a lot of interaction and pleading going on. You have to convince the other players why you’re not a good target, but another one is. It’s a ton of fun, and the actions are mercyless.

When the volcano tile is revealed, the game is over, and eveyone still swimming or on Atlantis will die. Then you can take all your surviving people and look under them. There’s a scoring number below which everyone counts up, and the one with the highest score wins. Of course you can look at these numbers when you place the figure, but never again until the game is over.

Game for kids? Sure. But it’s also great fun for adults. Don’t underestimate this game. At least give it a shot.

5
Go to the UNO page

UNO

35 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

Some games are more popular than others. Take Monopoly, for instance. It’s not a good game, but everyone know it and – unfortunately – buys it. Uno is one of those games. It doesn’t deserve to be so popular. However, there is a reason to it.

Bring a kid along, and you’ve got yourself a chance to experience real joy. The ability to punish other players, or even skip their turn can be really amusing for smaller kins. And then there’s the collecting bit, where you try to get more of the same color, just so you alone can play those cards. And when you change the color – oh man! That can be interesting.

Personally I don’t care much for the game. But if a kid asks me to play, I will. If an adult asks me, there must be really nothing else to attend to for me to say yes.

9
Go to the Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game page
53 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

One thing is quite certain: you need some knowledge of the TV-series in order to enjoy or even understand this game. It’s thematically heavy, and character options and abilites are heavily reflected from the show.

That aside, it’s a highly enjoyable game with great replayability. Each player represents a character from the show, and your goal is to reach Kobol. But there are problems on the way. The Cylons are chasing you, and you have limited resources. And to top it all, you’ll have to face a crisis after each players turn.

The crises may vary from being short on water, heavy civil uprising and a lot more. In order to overcome the crisis and don’t face the bad stuff, you’ll have to contribute with your cards, which are very limited from round to round. Will you help? Can you help? You can’t show your cards to anyone. And to make things harder, two joker cards appear from a stack of random cards, that will either help or be negative.

Of course, in the series there are Cylons on Galactica portraying humans. That’s also a fact here. At the start of the game, each player receives a Loyalty card. That states whether you’re a Cylon or not. If you are, your job is to make it as hard as possible to win the game. But don’t make it too obvious, or they’ll put you in the brig and maybe execute you. So as a Cylon, try to put the focus on another player, and make everyone suspicious on other than yourself.

The game mechanism is on the light side, but the experience and suspicions is what makes the game. What do you do and how do you do it? Are you able to conceal yourself as a Cylon. Is there even a Cylon at all? That might happen, no one knows.

This is my favorite game, and it’s also my favorite TV-show. I can play this over and over with the right group of people. And a pro tip: learn the game well before getting an expansion – they really change things around.

8
Go to the Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus Expansion page
46 out of 51 gamers thought this was helpful

Or are they? It’s hard to know in this expansion. You may now play as a Cylon Leader character. That player is given a hidden agenda card, and that card might be beneficial for humans or not. It’s hard to tell. Depending on the number of player, the chances of getting a pro-human card varies. So don’t execute the player yet, it might be bad for you.

So you now have a Cylon amongst you, and you all know who it is. But that player is able to walk around on Galactica and Pegasus – the new ship in this game. Limited in cards to play, but helpful in other ways. But how can the player win? Example: if 6 or more vipers are damaged or destroyed, and the humans wins. Then the cylon player also wins. So the player has to make sure something bad happens, just to spread enough discontent and uncertainty.

New Caprica is also added. It’s a game changer, and I find it quite the anti-climax. Once you’ve reached a destination of 7, you reach New Caprica. Here, you’ll settle and be occupied by Cylon forces. While waiting for Galactica to return, you try to free up civilian ships and sabotage Cylons. Suddenly everything is narrowed down to tiny actions, and I never felt this module does anything good. I don’t play with it.

And also: plastic basestar models! Finally. I never understood why we got fantastic Vipers and Raptor models, and only cardboard basestars.

In total, you should definitely get this expansion for the Cylon Leader option and plastic models. It’s not the best expansion of the two, but it’s great!

7
Go to the Dixit 2 page

Dixit 2

58 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

The name is a bit interesting. Dixit 2? It’s an expansion, so why name it a sequel? Well, the first Dixit didn’t require a game board, it’s only used to keep track on points. In fact, Dixit 2 can be played alone, just know the rules or download from the game producers game site.

If you already own Dixit and like it, then get this game/expansion. Stop reading and get it. It adds more cards. More amazing artwork. And more replayability. That’s basically what you get.

8
Go to the Rattus: Pied Piper page

Rattus: Pied Piper

21 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

The original Rattus came with 6 classes, and you had to play with all those every time. The games would be a bit repetative, and it lost a lot of replayability.

Rattus: The Pied Piper amends this, and adds 12 new card for a total of 18. You may now pick and choose between these 18 roles, as only 6 are played each time. The expansion cards are all unique and provide a lot of different options. And since each game usually contains different roles, the replayability just got real.

I won’t go into detail on what the actions do, but the Pied Piper is true to its name, and you may choose a player cube to pull rat tokens with it into another country.

If you’re looking at Rattus, then get this expansion at the same time. It’s that important!

9
Go to the Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion page
69 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

Oh my, where to begin? If you hate Battlestar Galactica the board game, this won’t fix it at all! However, if you love it and want more, then this is just the fix for you. Exodus makes the game a bit more complex and longer, but it also fixes some problems – and adds new ones.

First modules it provides is the Cylon basestar board. Instead of Cylons appearing over time before FTL, they stay behind and gather. Before, they were just removed. Now they’re moved to a staging area, in which more and more Cylons gather before jumping in after you. And when they do, they are many. Pilot characters have a more important role this time around, as they also need to save civilian ships. They aren’t taken away at FTL either.

Second module is the Ionian nebula. Each player receives some tokens, and they can be three things: good, bad, death. During the game, you may seek the help of other non-player characters. They have two options, usually one good and one bad. But it’s the trauma token which decides this, and they are hidden on the character. You have to take a chance, but it’s a chance to rid yourself of bad tokens as well. At the end of the game, trauma tokens might decide if someone is executed. You might even be executed at any time in the game, if you pull out that one death token.

Of course the expansion also gives you more characters to play as, which is always a welcome sight. However, if you mix it with the Pegasus expansion, be aware! There are many modules which don’t mix well in the rules provided. Forget New Caprica. Like, totally!

So lenghtier play time, but there’s a lot more to do, and you never know what will happen next or how long you’ll live. It’s a great expansion and I play with it every time. Of course I use most modules from Pegasus, but never New Caprica.

3
Go to the Agricola page

Agricola

64 out of 82 gamers thought this was helpful

And I mean that wholeheartedly. Before I’ll explain my low score, let me tell you why you probably should buy this game, or at least play it.

You’re homesteaders in old Germany, and your job is simple: survive. You and your family have to provide the necessarry food and animals to survie from season to season. Later on in the game, each season is a lot shorter, and food shortage is imminent. By then you have to have a working food production machine, or you’ll end up in the poor house.

And that’s the great thing about this game: it makes sense. You provide wood to build houses or fences. You get seeds to grow vegetables. You plow your property to make fields. You may have a good collection of animals, which then may be slaughtered when the season is over. Everything is logical and sensible, and that’s about the only part I really like about the game.

But then there’s the food shortage. I have never had a fun time playing this game. Never. I’m usually very close to winning, also, but I don’t have fun. Every season you need to provide food. Food don’t earn you any points at the end, it’s just a necessity. Everything you do has to do with getting more food. Get more food! Or you’ll be punished. Do you want to get more livestock? Forget it, you need more food, there’s almost end of season. Finally got livestock? Great! Now you slaughter them all to get more food.

For me this game is an eternal struggle against food. It’s work! When the game is nearing completion I feel anxiety. I don’t know if I will survive the final struggle. Then it’s scoring time, and I can relax, and go play something fun.

8
Go to the Puerto Rico page

Puerto Rico

63 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Puerto Rico was one of the first games – after my recollection – that introduces asynchronous game turns. What I mean about this, is that when one player chooses an action, every other play is directly affected by this. And the one to choose the action gets a boon in form of extra bonus the action provides.

There are many actions to do, as well, but one action may only be selected once per game round. You can select to get more colonists, build, produce a new plant, produce goods, trade or ship your goods back to the mother country. The order of which these actions are played are very important, depending on where in line you are. If someone ships the goods away, and there’s no room for your goods on the ships, you might lose everything you have.

It opens for a new way of thinking, and it’s important to mind what the other players have avaliable. You want to earn points, but you don’t want your opponents to benefit on behalf of your actions.

It’s a great game, and it’s quite easy to learn. No game is the same, and there are many ways to optmize your point machine. 3 or 4 players is the best in this game.

7
Go to the Power Grid page

Power Grid

76 out of 91 gamers thought this was helpful

During the game, you’re supposed to buy power stations and build them around the country you’re playing in. But the stations themselves don’t do anything until you can provide a type of power plant. It can be wind powered, coal, garbage or even nuclear.

Each round there are 4 types of power plants avaliable for grabs, and it’s possible to see which other 4 power plants might be avaliable later. But in order to get this plant, you have to go through a bidding phase. Here you’ll bid until everyone has either passed or bought a power plant. And here is my problem with the game: money planning.

It’s an excellent game for those gamers who enjoy these sorts of games, such as St. Petersburg, where you have to save your money for the next round, or you won’t receive any noticeable income. But if you’ve spent money the previous round, you won’t be able to expand your network either. I don’t handle St. Petersburg very well, and that’s a quite simple game. And bring in more complex calculations in this game, and I’m lost.

And that’s another thing. You have to calculate your money at all times. If you buy this, you’ll have to spend 3 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 2 + 3 money. But then a player buys something ahead of you, and now you have to calculate all over, and find out how much you have left, and what you can afford to bid with when the power plant phase is on.

If you have a head for numbers and can plan ahead to the next round in a game with very long rounds, you might find this game extremely good. I know it is, but I just can’t cope with it.

7
Go to the Ascension page

Ascension

33 out of 39 gamers thought this was helpful

Ok, before I’ll get on the actual gameplay, let me explain the components rating I gave it (3/5). The component quality is great. Durable and it feels awesome. However, I really can’t stand the artwork. It’s very… special. I can’t get a feel for the game, and the pictures repel me from playing another game. However, I will play more.

Because, the game is fun. You start with 10 card of basic resources, and draw 5 at a time. With these 5 cards, you may buy from the 6 random cards in the center, and/or from the 3 permanent decks on the side which gives more resources later. Then you discard the cards, and draw 5 more. When there are no more to draw, you shuffle the discard pile and start over with a new deck.

With only 6 cards in the middle, there’s little downtime, since there’s no need for heavy thinking. Also, you may buy more than one card per round if your resources allow it. You may battle enemies, gain more resources or banish cards from the board.

It’s very dynamic, more interactive than Dominion, and plays a lot faster. Setup is a sinch! Just bring the decks from the box and you’re ready to go. No need to sort or choose cards, just go!

Aside from the horrible artwork, I still recommend this fast played game.

8
Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

48 out of 64 gamers thought this was helpful

As you may see in the other reviews, it’s Pandemic Light. Mostly true, but that was also the intent of the game designers. But don’t be afraid, this game doesn’t have the same serious theme, and it’s far more forgiving.

Each player is a treasure hunter, and they have to collect four different treasures on an island that is going under. Everyone plays with open cards, and it’s very important to play nice and together. It’s also great to play with kids (approx. 8 years and up), who have to learn that it might be better to give away a treasure card than have it yourself, for the sake of the fellowship.

The games difficulty can easily be adjusted from easy to insane when starting a new game. It’s also very easy to set up, and plays in under 30 minutes. Recommended on all family shelves! Even if you own Pandemic.

8
Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

56 out of 78 gamers thought this was helpful

Easy to learn? Maybe. But new players may need to be guided through the first game. But that’s the great thing, it’s fast to play, and very enjoyable to play another game. So usually after one round, the new players have understood the game, and the next round is a lot easier.

The game is easy, don’t misunderstand me. However there are so many icons and things to be aware of at first, it’s hard to understand what they all do. Once that’s done, the game is a blast. I’ve found many people who don’t play games that enjoys this game a lot.

Each time is also different. The wonders you recieve are random, and the placement of the people around you may be as well. Then there’s the random hand of cards you receive. No game is alike, and it’s impossible to declare a winner until the very end.

Exciting, easy, and highly recommended. I haven’t found anyone yet who doesn’t like this game.

6
Go to the 7 Wonders: Leaders page

7 Wonders: Leaders

31 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

Basically, what these cards do is to give you great cards at the beginning of the game. The cards are only great if you are able to fullfill the requirements on the cards, which is a simple enough.

But for a first try of 7 Wonders, the task is suddenly daunting, as you have no clue as to what these powers actually do during the game. Sure, you may sell the card for gold, but then you’d lose some possible points.

After understanding the basic game and then adding this expansion, then it is an enjoyable experience. There’s not much added, and it doesn’t change the gameplay drastically. It does, however, open for 8 players and it doesn’t make the game any longer.

Not very much new, but it gives the game a little “extra”, so it’s a nice expansion to own.

8
Go to the Dixit page

Dixit

32 out of 50 gamers thought this was helpful

For a game involving only cards and some cute little bunnies for score tracking, it has a lot of depth to it. Mainly because of the fantastic artwork on the cards. It’s easy to look at a card and just get lost in the world that is drawn upon it.

So basically you have 6 of these wonderful cards on hand. The start player (or story teller) picks one of his cards, places it face down, and describes it as vaguely as he can. You and the other players have to take that description, and pick one of your cards to also play face down. The cards are then shuffled and placed face up in the center of the table.

Now! You have to guess which card belongs to the storyteller. You only know your own card. If you guess correctly, you get points. If you guess wrong, someone else gets points.

Fantastic components, very easy to learn, and has a great replay value. It’s all up to your imaginations.

7
Go to the Carcassonne page

Carcassonne

49 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

It’s really fun to see how far this game has come. From a standalone game to a series of other standalones and expansions. But what makes it so appealing?

First off, it’s very different from Monopoly. There aren’t any complicated rules, except for the field scoring, initially. Just draw a tile, and maybe place a meeple on it. Wait for your turn again and repeat.

Even though it’s totally random what piece you pull out, there is a lot of tactics and chance involved. It’s also possible to predict what the other players will do with their pieces, if they get the correct tile.

So you can adjust the depth of the game from time to time, or just play very casually. Simple to pick up, no necessarry setup time, and just play.

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