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Timberella

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Amateur Reviewer
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Review 3 games and receive a total of 40 positive review ratings.
Go to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords (Base Set) page
Go to the Arkham Horror page
Go to the Elder Sign page
Go to the Pandemic page
Go to the Android: Netrunner page
Go to the Eldritch Horror page
4
Go to the Elder Sign: Omens page

Elder Sign: Omens

60 out of 67 gamers thought this was helpful

UPDATE – After another miserable, failed go at Cthulhu, I have decided to a) delete the game from my iPad; b) downgrade it from my initial ‘7’ to ‘4’; and c) never speak of this again. If you want more info on why I quite this game and gave it a bad score, read my Impression under the Discussions tab.

I bought this for my iPad after I became addicted to Elder Sign. While Omens is a great way to scratch that ES itch, it has some shortcomings that will keep it from replacing the board game.

THE GOOD – It’s mobile. It’s Elder Sign in the go! It comes with some terrific video tutorials. Can be helpful for figuring out those sometimes-hard-to-interpret Fantasy Flight instruction manuals.

THE BAD – It would be nice to see an animation of cards (mythos, common, unique, etc.) being ‘drawn’. Without that, it doesn’t look like a board game. That is in no way a deal breaker, but it IS something I had to get used to. The digital version also did away with the Ancient One battles that sometimes occur when the doom track fills up. It was quite jarring when I expected Yog-Sothoth(sp?) to awaken and do battle with my investigators. Nope. I was treated to some animation of the world coming to an end and a “You failed” message. Ummmm, okay.

THE UGLY – There’s something ‘off’ about having the sensation of rolling physical dice removed from me. Yes, it’s digital and therefore mandates the need for artificial dice rolling, but that feeling is gone…and with that feeling come another, less appealing sensation of the game somehow ‘loading the dice’ with rolls AND location cards. Example, after taking it to Cthulhu in the museum (7 elder signs to his 0 doom tokens), everything got turned upside down in the second half of the game. Suddenly there were THREE “at midnight” effects in play, two of which were adding one or more doom tokens per round. That coincided with my investigators’ dice rolls suddenly going cold. Mysteriously, conveniently cold. The very same thing has happened to me when playing the board game version but again, I go back to the dice rolling aspect. When I roll dem bones and they come up useless, it’s all on me. When the game does it for me, I have my doubts.

SUMMARY – Elder Sign Omens is a GREAT game for when you’re on the go. It plays smoothly and channels the board game quite well. It DOES have what I feel are some dubious dice rolls and location appearances, plus the latter half of most Elder Sign encounters (battling the Ancient Ones) is simply not there. Is it worth the cost? I say yes. Does is replace the board game? No.

10
17 out of 18 gamers thought this was helpful

Unlike that ‘other’ board gaming web site, THIS one is more of a social experience than the other’s cold, calculated layout and execution. Here, you can post anything you want, as long as its clean of course. Only through peer review are your comments, opinions, tips, etc. judged and deemed worthy of paying attention to. That ‘other’ site pre-screens every review via a team of moderators and handles rejected submissions with the deft skill of a sledgehammer on an egg shell. Seriously, what site tells you whether your review is worthy of being posted or not!?! I guess if I’m not ‘in’ their clique, or of their same mindset, I’m not a viable reviewer. Isn’t that for the users to determine??? But enough about boardgamegee…oops, shouldn’t mention them here (sorry about the sour grapes, folks, but they really peeved me off!). Boardgaming.com is more than an information site; it’s a great way to find and meet other like-minded folks, share and discussion opinions and best of all, earn experience while doing it! What a brilliant idea, incorporating that feature into the web site! If more sites did that, traffic would increase across the board! My wife, an English teacher by day and Carcassonner by night, is intrigued by this concept and is trying to figure out a way to engage her students using similar tools. My hat’s off to you, Jim & Co. – this is a (insert superlative I haven’t used yet) web site, one that I return to daily!

8
Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

57 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

Quick to set up. Seriously, how long does it take to lay down 24 island tiles, shuffle two decks of cards, pick your characters, set the difficulty level and start? Bada bing…

Easy to comprehend. Take your actions, draw your cards, flood tiles. Bada bang…

Hard to win. “What do you mean we just drew ANOTHER ‘Waters Rise’ card!?!” “We just lost another treasure tile!” “Can ANYONE shore up Fool’s Landing???” “SON OF A…!” Bada d’oh!

Win together or lose together, there is no in-between. Forbidden Island to me wins the award for most deceptively hard game out there. At least Pandemic, also by Matt Leacock, has the decency to appear somewhat complex. Forbidden Island looks so simple that many potential buyers might pass over it, thinking its too easy. Big mistake.

For the ~30 minutes it takes to set up and play this game, it is easily one of the best values on the market.

9
Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

139 out of 153 gamers thought this was helpful

Arkham Horror is to board gaming as Differential Equations is to arithmetic. Just because they’re related, and just because I’m good with the two latter items did NOT make me good at the former ones. Arkham Horror is easily one of the most complex games I’ve attempted (the Squad Leader collection of games being THE most complex). I’ve only played solo, in part because I dread the thought of trying to explain it to others. The HORROR! There are so many little rules, so many subtle things going on all at once that I have yet to get through a play-through without discovering that I forgot to implement an Ancient One’s minion ability, or add markers to the doom track, or advance the terror counter (or vice versa), etc.

However, it is this very complexity that brings me back every time. Adjusting my investigators’ sliders in anticipation of a possible Will, Sneak or Lore check is gloriously agonizing. Drawing a random location encounter card is always a bit palm-sweat-inducing, especially since each location deck is re-shuffled every time, meaning that the frustrating encounter from the last turn that messed you up might just pop up again. Watching the game swipe defeat from the jaws of victory with just one card draw, gate opening, monster encounter, whatever, is equal parts maddening and thrilling. As frustrating as it can be to get an effect that keeps gates from being sealed, it is just as exhilarating to draw a card that lets me sweep all monsters off the board and out of my way. My wife walked by during one of my solo sessions and said, “My god, that’s complex.” I gleefully replied, “YEP!”

As is typical of a Fantasy Flight game, Arkham Horror is rife with wonderful components. I get a strange joy from punching out the cardboard pieces from an FF game. The board is a bit ‘busy’ which can make spotting the various gates and monsters difficult to see at a glance. I addressed this by using the plastic counter stands, provided primarily for investigator tokens, for gates and monsters. There aren’t enough provided for a fully tricked-out game (when on-board gate and monster allowances are maxed out) but I handle that by using similar counter stands from Eldritch Horror and Descent 2nd Ed. (also wonderful FF games). I love the artwork of this game, especially that of the individual investigators. The cardboard used for the tokens is nice and thick, with a good, strong heft to it. Even the dice are meaty, not the smallish ones FF used in Eldritch Horror (those pathetic, tiny black dice in EH are embarrassing). On the flip side, if you happen to have a lot of money burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy a copy of Mansions of Madness and use the investigator & monster miniatures from that game in Arkham Horror AND Eldritch Horror.

I highly recommend this game, but only for those who acknowledge that it is complex, lengthy and above all, very unforgiving!

P.S. – With all the references to Eldritch Horror in here, I realized this is almost an indirect review of that game as well. I merely mentioned it frequently due to its inseparable relation to AH.

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