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1
Go to the Forbidden Island page
8
5 of 6 gamers thought this was helpful
Matthew McNaughton {Avid Gamer} Feb 15th, 2018
“Simple concept with a nice twist.”

Forbidden Island is a clever game in which you plunder a sinking island full of treasures. By working together as a team, you must collect four treasures and leave the island before it sinks into the watery abyss. An interesting mechanic is that you must decide how much of the island is expendable and how quickly you need to get treasures before they’re gone for good. It’s very easy to learn and once you’re proficient the game only takes 30 minutes. It’s fun for all ages and it’s a blast working together to collect everything.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
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7
I'm a Real Person
Smash Up Fan
I play yellow
Comic Book Fan
Go to the Clank! in Space page
 
6 of 6 gamers thought this was helpful
burgerchief {Casual Gamer} Feb 15th, 2018
“Clanky”

With Clank! In! Space! The theme is you are a space thief who has boarded a spaceship and now want to steal artifacts from the ship and then escape. You are(kinda) racing other thieves who are also trying to steal an artifact. Along the way you make noise (clank), and then if you have made more noise than the others playing, when the boss attacks, you are more likely to be the one who is hurt. The thief who escapes with the most valuable loot is the winner.

In this game, you build a deck of cards that allows you to navigate the board (a spaceship), acquire new cards, and attack, among other abilities. Players can also acquire money they can use to purchase a limited number of items from a market. This game mainly uses deck building, point to point movement, and push your luck.

Some events, cards and actions taken may produce “clank”. When you produce clank, you add clank cubes of your color to the clank area and when a boss attack is triggered, you add all the cubes into a bag and then pull out a certain number of cubes as indicated, and anyone who has a cube pulled out loses a health. So players need to build decks, acquire items, navigate around the ship, steal an artifact and then get off the ship all while getting points and trying to not add too much clank to the bag. There are other mechanisms and bits to the game but I won’t cover them here.

This game also uses a modular board that changes the possible routes that players can take. Additionally, different routes may be preferable depending on the deck a person builds and items they purchase. For instance, if someone purchases a warp key, they may plan a different route from someone who uses the train in the middle of the map.

What I liked:
-narrative element, it does feel like a story unfolds as you play
-Modular board mixes things up
-items that allow for different strategy
-skill, attack, movement and money “currencies” are all useful and important to winning the game
-There were different factions on cards that allowed for some combo-ing (vaguely like star realms factions)
-companion app makes for an interesting solo experience, and can add more variety to regular game

Meh:
-board is overwhelming at first
-fun sci fi references and flavor text
-modular board doesn’t fit great and is hard to store in box
-Player elimination
-Some AP as people decide best way to navigate board
-Not a lot of cards that allow you to thin your deck

I didn’t like:
-takes a while to set up
-rulebook leaves out some details
-kind of a longer game for a deck builder
-faction powers are kinda weak, many times will have negligible effect on outcome
-low player interaction

In all-
I’m not a solo gamer- but I may like this more as a solo game. The gameplay feels like you play your own game even with other players and the solo app is very good.

With other players there’s not as much direct interaction as I like in a board game. There is some indirect interaction through buying shared cards, taking artifacts, using escape pods, buying from market, etc. but it never really seemed to greatly affect gameplay. The game runs a bit long for what is basically a deck builder, and takes a bit of time to set up.

The deck building with factions strategy I’ve found pretty unsatisfying. There are many faction cards but many don’t have a faction ability so the comboing of factions is kind of weak in my opinion. It can be a factor but frequently not. It seems to me like they wanted to include it but not have it be the driving strategy like in star realms so ended up with a weak mechanism. Also, without a lot of ways to thin out your deck, your deck can get big. This can happen in all deck builders, but with a deck of 100 cards there seem to be precious few that allow trashing of cards. I like deck builders where you can get a tight, quick deck, but they don’t really encourage that here. None of these really ruin the game,

All this being said, it’s a pretty fun game solo or with others. Pressing your luck with clank works, the narrative of exploring and navigating an evil space lord’s ship is fun, you have choices in the game that are meaningful. There have been a few games where we can pinpoint when someone pressed their luck too much, or made the right decision. So your choice matter. With so many good cards, we’ve found that usually everyone ends up with a pretty good deck. It’s maybe better at 2p than at 3 or 4 because games will be faster. But because it takes a while to set up and play for what it is, I’m not sure how often I will play this game. Everyone I’ve played with has enjoyed it- but they don’t want to play it again that same night.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
I play blue
Zealot
Go to the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures page
7
10 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
Squall611 {Avid Gamer} Feb 13th, 2018
“The game is afoot!”

Players are members of the Baker Street Irregulars, assisting Sherlock Holmes in cases. You follow leads, study clues, and try to answer a series of questions at the end of each case. The goal is to try and beat Sherlock’s scores for each case, which can prove to be very difficult.

You follow the story through the casebook. It will contain the leads that you follow. You also have newspapers to scour for clues. The map of London will show you all of the destinations and leads that you can follow. Have paper and something to write with handy to take notes on the different clues and leads as well.

On each player’s turn they can follow any lead he or she wishes. Leads are tied to addresses, which can be found in the casebook, in the London directory, in the newspapers, or on the map of London.

When the players think they know everything they need to know about the case, they turn to the back of the casebook and answer Sherlock Holmes’s questions. Points are scored based on correct answers and how many leads it took you to finish the case.

My group has played through the first two stand alone cases and we really enjoy the game. If it’s your first time playing it’s recommended to start with the 5th case to get a feel for how the game plays. The first four cases are part of a campaign.

For us, we found more enjoyment in the game when we weren’t focused on beating Sherlock. Beating Sherlock can be very difficult and may turn some away from enjoying the game. We just enjoy the experience of the mystery and trying to figure out the best clues and leads to follow.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
10 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Dixit Journey page
 
2 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
stros82 Feb 9th, 2018
“the artwork, wow!!!”

what brings me back to this game over and over is the artwork of each card. every time you give description of a card it takes on a different interpretation. the more you play the deeper it can get. i would really try and look at each card and see how in depth they are. you will be surprised what whats in each card. the speed of the game is so so. it can be fast paced or it can drag if you don’t have a timer on the decision making process. once you can get pass that, the game flows well. give it a try and i hope you have as much fun as we have with it!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the King of Tokyo page
9
2 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
stros82 Feb 9th, 2018
“Fun, Fun, & more Fun!!!!”

bought this game and brought it home to play with the wife and 2 young kids. with in a few rounds everyone was enjoying themselves and trying to build up energy to buy better cards to win the game. the dice rolls made it fun either you rolled to attack everyone or to build up health, or gain energy cubes. really fast paced game, which made it easy if playing with young kids! i would and still play this game and even take it with me for game nights.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
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6
North Star Games fan
Go to the Cross Hares: Testing Ground page
8
13 of 13 gamers thought this was helpful
Tiana901 {Family Gamer} Feb 3rd, 2018
“Let's all be bunnies”

Cross Hares: Testing Ground is for 2-4 players, where players are a rabbit or similar critter trying to be the first to reach the Factory at the end of the board and WIN!

Positives

The game is simple to grasp and has no steep learning curve. Although it is based on a roll and move mechanism, there are elements that make this game much more engaging and fun than some other games with that mechanic. The story of the game, which you learn about through the cards and other in game text, adds a light role-playing quality. Characters can also add items to their inventory, and objects can be used during game play. There are Events that can be good or bad news, and there are Adventures you can go on with positive or negative outcomes.

Because this game is simple to grasp, I have found that non-gamers enjoy it as well as gamers. A lot of our friends with children play this game and the kids and adults seem to enjoy it equally well. I could also see this as a good gateway game for people getting into boardgaming, as well as a lighter boardgame alternative to the mental exhaustion of trying to save the world from disease or zombies, or zombie disease.

The characters have different strengths, which can offer variety when you play. The Events vary as you play, and may not be triggered at all during some games. I have personally found that I enjoy the game more if I remove some event cards from the deck (Bomb Blast and Toxic Pollen).

It has a light Take That element, enough to make it interesting, but not so much that you can’t speak to your spouse after the game because of what they did.

The artwork in the game is beautiful. The game designer also created a graphic novel and you can really see that in the game art.

All in all, there are several things that make this game engaging.

Negatives
For gamers who want high strategy, this game is not for them, although … it could be a way for them to get their spouse or kids to play a game with them.

Cross Hares is a game that I enjoy playing and it is a satisfying game for me, because I feel engaged in the story and the character (player) interactions and invested in the outcome.

In the interest of full disclosure I want to menton that I am related to a member of the publishing team.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
13 out of 13 gamers thought this review was helpful
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7
I'm a Real Person
Smash Up Fan
I play yellow
Comic Book Fan
Go to the Villages of Valeria page
9
9 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
burgerchief {Casual Gamer} Jan 29th, 2018
“Strong game in a small(ish) package”

Not all games need to do something new, they just need to do something well. Mechanics are adopted from one game, given a tweak (or combined with other mechanics) and different theme and a new game is born.

In Villages of Valeria you and your opponents are in charge of a town that hopes to become the capital city of Valeria. The game is mostly 2 decks of cards. One is the building deck, which are buildings of one of 4 factions that provide victory points and sometimes one time bonuses or continuing bonuses to a specific action. The building cards can also be developed into resources that are needed to build buildings. The other deck is the adventurer deck, the adventurers can be recruited to join your village if you have the required faction buildings.

It is a tableau builder so, you manage an ever changing hand of cards, and by using money and resources, make your town into something more grand. This is done by attracting adventurers and playing building cards by using your money to activate different resources that are required for each building. These are a few of the important features/mechanisms of the game:

Lead and follow actions. Each turn the active player chooses one action to take and the other players, get to follow this action with a weaker or more costly version.

Multi use cards. The cards in your hand can be built as a building, developed as a resource to help gain other buildings, or discarded to help pay for an action.

Public Resources and limited money. To use a resource you spend one gold. Your resources may be used by other players and you can use other players resources. When you use someone else’s resources you lose your gold to them, but you gain that resource and prevent others from using it. Gold is a limited resource and counts towards your VP total at the end.

Set collection. Building sets of certain types of buildings gives bonuses and allows you to recruit adventurers from a separate deck which gives you more abilities and powers.

Pros:
-Lead and follow action mechanic keeps everyone involved in the game on other players turns.
-Plays quickly with 2 and 3.
-Strategy in choosing which resources to develop, buildings to build, and adventurers to pursue.
-Additional strategy in how to out build or recruit your opponent, when do you take which action and when do you wait for your opponents to take the action.
-Iconology very intuitive after the first couple plays.
-Race like feel at the end is very exciting
-easy to teach, partly because there’s not a lot of new mechanics

Meh:
-Can potentially lose by luck of the draw, but unlikely
-game takes tried and true mechanics and combines them in a new way but some people may own games that use these mechanics already and not feel the need for another game.
-base game greatly improved with the 3 current expansions by adding new buildings, adventurers, a new Monument deck and events.
-Your engine is only fully operational for a few turns before game ends.

Cons:
-Without expansions, the base game can get old
-In base game, (especially in 2p)not enough adventurer variability and possible for someone to wait for a certain adventurer to come out, or get lucky with initial building hand and be able to recruit way more than others (expansions help with this)
-Monuments deck should have been a part of the base game.

My impressions/opinion-
This was my most played game in 2017. I mostly played 2 player with my wife but occasionally 3. It’s probably best at 3 or 4 but is strong at 2 in my opinion. I do own all of the expansions and play with all of them except the event cards.

So often with engine builders everyone is playing their own game and then someone wins at the end. This one has a lot of indirect and a little direct interaction between players which makes it interesting to play repeatedly and with different players since different strategies evolve. It also benefits from repeated plays since players will better understand how to use the cards they have or when to take different actions. 2 player games are more reliant on luck of the draw, but the constant back and forth and ability to focus on what your opponent is doing and then work around or against that makes the game exciting. Overall, it’s a game I am always willing to play even a year later.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
9 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
 
5 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
SirNuggles33 {Avid Gamer} Jan 28th, 2018
“Easy learn, a perfect introduction to board games.”

Catan is a simple, easy to learn game for beginners. The simple art and interactive play style allows for gamers of all levels to become engrossed in its beautiful simplicity.

Pros:
Easy to learn
Infinite replayability
Fun for all levels of gamers
Unique style of play

Cons:
May be boring for experienced gamers
Pieces are bland and simple
Very much luck based

The perfect game for beginners, Catan becomes dull after mastering the many strategies it gives you. The easy play and cooperative trading gets everyone involved and keeps every game interesting, making it a great game for most players.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Scythe page
 
5 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
SirNuggles33 {Avid Gamer} Jan 28th, 2018
“Solid game, a little slow paced and clunky gameplay”

The first thing you see when you get Scythe is the art. The wonderful, futuristic, yet simple box shows how complicated the game is. Every turn requires a handful of minutes to take. This game requires great patience and strategy many turns in advance. Scythe is a great game for people who take time to think many turns ahead. This game is not for the feint of heart, it would take the average player many hours to master this monolith. Scythe is good for intense gamers, but is much too complicated and strategy heavy for beginners.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Amateur Advisor
Go to the Takenoko page
6
11 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Angrod Vardamir {Avid Gamer} Jan 26th, 2018
“It's cute and pop out but the luck is too high!”

Okay, my girlfriend (now is my wife) like other girls was drawn into the cute panda and colorful bamboos. She had me to get the game and it’s a bit fun. The game is simple and pretty much straight-forward.

During the game players will roll a die (resolve it) and take 2 actions from the available ones. The goal is to collect the most points by completing goal cards. There are 3 type of goal cards, Panda, Terrain and Farmer cards. Panda cards need you to spend certain number and color of bamboos, while Terrain require you to have irrigated terrain tiles arranged in particular way and Farmer cards need you to grow particular type of bamboos in particular heights and condition.

The actions are simple:
– Draw 3 terrain tiles and choose 1
– Move Panda in straight direction and eat a bamboo
– Move Farmer in straight direction and grow a bamboo
– Draw one goal card
– Take 1 irrigation token

But to make it more interesting there’s a way to manipulate the actions. The weather die is rolled at the start of each player turn (except the firs turn) and the result is resolved. The weather die allows you to get:
– A third different action
– Taking the same action with both of your actions
– Freely move the Panda anywhere and eat a bamboo
– Grow one bamboo shoot in one of the tile
– Getting a special token
– Free to choose one of the above result

I found the game to be simple, easy to play (children definitely can play this game) but also requires some thinking and decisions. What I don’t like about it are the dice roll result, the luck of the draw of goal cards and getting screwed by other players.
Yes, getting a specific side of the weather die is like praying for miracle. If you are bad at rolling (if there’s such thing) then you might hate this game. The side you really want wouldn’t come out and you should forget to get this.
The luck of the draw is really high to get the goal that you really wanted.

Once you played the game several times, you will realize that the game has low replay value. The game will be the same from time to time. Of course there are many things or variants that will help the game to up the challenge but I am not sure it will totally change my review.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
11 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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