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Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
61 out of 68 gamers thought this was helpful

Settlers of Catan is the first non-mainstream boardgame I ever purchased. I had read several reviews on this “European Style” game (more on that later) and so I decided to try it out. In Settlers of Catan, players try to develop to build settlements, roads and cities on the island of Catan. This is done by collecting different resources that the island produces and using those resources to build your domain. As you build your domain you collect victory points and the first to 10 wins.

Hardcore Score: 7

Even though this is a gateway game. Serious gamers still like to pull out the ‘ole tried and true’ Settlers. Because each game is different based on how the island is built, each game will have it’s own strategies that must be developed and tweaked during gameplay. The biggest drawback to the game for serious gamers is the amount of luck in the dice roll. Even though you may have your settlements built in the best locations to obtain resources. If the those numbers never come up on the dice then you are ‘resource starved’ which keeps you from building the things you need to obtain victory points

Wifecore Score: 7

Since this is an excellent gateway game, this is a great way to introduce casual gamers to a different style of game than they are used to playing. The rules aren’t overly complicated and by playing just once or twice they will have a good feel of the game and how to develop their own strategies. The only drawback is that setup takes 5-10 minutes and a game could last up to 90 minutes. A casual gamer might not be used to taking such a long time to play one game, so it might be worth giving them a heads up before they play.

Kidcore Score: 4

This game is probably best played by kids 8/9 and up. While the rules aren’t hard to grasp, sometimes the strategy can be just because there are so many options that can be done each turn. Plans must be made several turns in advance in order to be competitive. And due to the length of the game, I’ve had my younger kids get bored and leave the table. While this is a great gateway game for adults, it may not be for young kids.

Go to the Tsuro page


77 out of 84 gamers thought this was helpful

Tsuro (Calliope Games) is a easy to learn strategy game that consists of nothing more than laying a lined tile down on the game board, then taking your token and following the path on the tile onto other tiles until the path ends. The goal is to keep your token on the board and while trying to cause other players token to follow a path off the board. The last token on the board wins.

Number of Players: 2 – 8 players

Average Game Length: 20 minutes


Tsuro is game that can be taught and played in a matter of minutes. It’s very easy to understand the rules thus making it a great game for children and those who don’t want to spent a lot of time learning games with 40 page rule books (like Starcraft: The Board Game). Because there are so few game pieces and games are quick, it’s a good game for pulling out of the closet and playing at a moments notice. There is downtime between turns, but the pace of the game moves pretty quickly so you won’t spend too much time waiting on others to make their move.

Hardcore Score: 5

This game is good in short bursts, but it’s not something a hardcore gamer is going to play hours upon hours. There isn’t a lot of strategy involved and your best plans can be thwarted by someone throwing down a random tile and totally messing up your path.

Wifecore Score: 7

Due to the quick setup and easy to follow rules, this is a very good casual game. In addition, my wife likes it because its a great social interaction. You don’t have to spend a lot of time planning out your next move so during your downtime you can chit-chat with everyone around the table.

Kidcore Score: 9

Of all the games I’ve played, this is by far one of the most kid-friendly. Probably anyone ages 5 and up can play because there are so few rules, no reading is needed, and you don’t have to hold many tiles in your hand. Now a 5 year old may not be able to plan their moves in advance. But it’s easy to understand that your piece follows the path until it can’t go any further. Highly recommended for kids.

Go to the Pandemic page


103 out of 115 gamers thought this was helpful

Pandemic is cooperative game that is based on the theme of eliminating diseases that are breaking out all over the world. Players take on different roles within the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and must work together to try to and find the cures for diseases and eliminate them. Diseases are represented by different color wooden cubes and players collect cards of those disease colors as a means to find the cure. Five matching color cards allow a disease to cured. So players collect and trade these cards as they travel around the world map trying to keep the continually spreading diseases under control.

Hardcore Score: 7

Pandemic is not as easy game to play. The rules provide three modes of play, easy, normal and hard. And even on normal the game can be challenging. The game flow is very dynamic based on where diseases pop up. As such, strategies need to change quickly in order to keep the game from getting out of control. Hardcore gamers will probably also be the ones that are very vocal about strategies and guiding others on what to do. When a group of hardcore players are playing, discussions during turns can be lengthy, but at least there is very little downtime for players. In addition, hardcore players may find the game involving too much luck based on card draw.

Wifecore Score: 9

Due to this game being a coop game, this is a great game for the wife. Not having to play against others removes the intimidation factor. Furthermore, playing within a group allows casual players to be involved as much or as little as they want. The rules are pretty easy to follow, so casual players won’t be faced with a steep learning curve. This is one of the better games for casual players…highly recommended.

Kidcore Score: 4

While the rules aren’t hard to follow, working out strategies to win the game may be a little tough for kids. In addition, if the kids are playing in a group of adults, it typically turns out that the adults tell the kids how to play their turn which isn’t any fun for the kids at all. If it’s just a group of kids playing, this score will go up as they will tend to work together and not just wait to be told what to do.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
49 out of 55 gamers thought this was helpful

Lords of Waterdeep is one of the best new games I’ve played in a long time. While worker placement games are nothing new, Wizards has taken a popular genre and put a fresh of coat DnD paint on it. While at its core, quests are the best way to accumulate victory points. But by playing intrigue cards and owning buildings, you can affect others resource collections which in turn can hinder their ability to collect victory points.

There isn’t a lot of luck to the game except the quest cards that are revealed at Watchcliff Inn. Sometimes you’ll miss the opportunity to claim a high reward quest. But if that happens, you can hinder that person that claimed that quest by trying to starve them of adventurers or playing mandatory quests on them.

Lords of Waterdeep is one of those games where your strategy may have to change as the game is played. So it’s be important to be able to adopt a new gameplan mid-game.

The components in this game are top notch. All the buildings and tokens are made of heavy stock cardboard and the cards have a textured surface to them which gives them a high quality feel. In addition, Wizards has provided a well designed storage tray to hold all the pieces once the game is done.

Gamer Geeks – This game was immediately liked by my gamer geek friends.There’s enough depth and strategy to keep a player interested. And due to the many intrigue, quest and building cards, there is a good replay value to it.

Parent Geeks – After just one game played with the family, they all were anxious to try it again. My wife, the casual gamer, had no problem understanding the rules and developing a strategy over the course of the game and even won our first game. As such, this is good game for the casual gamer and a great introduction to the worker placement genre.

Child Geeks – My three sons, ages 9, 12, and 15, had no problems grasping the rules and after one round the rulebook wasn’t referenced again. While my 9 year old understood the rules, he had a little trouble developing a decent strategy. I think that will develop over time. But child geeks below 8 may lose interest in the game over time. In addition, good reading comprehension is needed to understand the quests and intrigue cards.

My biggest knock on the game is that once we got several rounds in the game, the theme of the game started to be lost. Over time we stopped calling the adventurers rogues, wizards, fighters and clerics and instead called them black, purple, orange and white cubes. We also started to gloss over the quest flavor text and just started looking at the quest requirements and rewards.

But aside from that, I’m very pleased with this game. In the multiple games I’ve played, long after we finished we continued to talk about the game, the strategy, what to do in the future and when we were going to play again. For my family and gaming group, this game is going to have some staying power. Waterdeep, City of Splendors, is a city well worth visiting again and again.

Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

32 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

This game gets a lot attention with my friends and family. It’s easy to learn, fun to play and supports up 7 people which is great for larger groups.

One of my favorite aspects of the game is that there is no downtime. Typically in games with large groups there can be downtime as you wait for your turn. With this game, everyone is playing at the same time. This also means that regardless of how many people play, all the games take about the same amount of time.

Expansions add to the experience and with Cities you can even play up to 8 players.

Highly recommended

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