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2
I play red
Go to the Lords of Vegas page
9
Fuzzus {Avid Gamer} Jan 28th, 2015
“A True Vegas Experience”

Hardcore gamers have an iffy relationship with luck. Luck disrupts strategy. Luck takes the beautiful, crystalline mountains of game theory math and shatters them on a lucky dice roll or the draw of a card. My more mathy and logical friends lament that something should or shouldn’t have happened, that it was “pure luck.” And if you’re the kind of person that feels this way…..

….Lords of Vegas is going to drive you insane.

I’ve played the game maybe five or six times, and I’ve been probability stretched and twisted and bent and outright broken so many times it’s ridiculous. My brother-in-law gambled $25M at a casino controlled by my sister, rolled double-sixes, and won $50M from her — every last cent of her money for that turn (and spawning an impressive marital argument!). But the very next game, a random card draw gave her control of his sprawling eight-lot casino. You can plan and scheme and strategize to great effect in Lords of Vegas, but luck is always going to be a factor. And really, that’s part of the charm of the game.

Playing Lords of Vegas is a lot like gambling in Vegas. You can be on top of the world one turn, see your empire crumble the next, and then ascend to even greater glories three turns later. It’s a roller-coaster ride of greedy expansionism, lucky payouts, and struggles for control via reorganizing, repainting, and rezoning casinos.

Every lot has a die placed on it that determines the amount the casino there pays, and similarly-colored adjacent casinos count as one large casino for the purpose of victory points….and only the boss of the casino (controller of the largest die in the complex) gets the VPs. However, anyone who’s willing to pay $1M per pip of the dice in the casino can force a reorganization — a reroll of every die in the casino, which can result in a new boss. I’ve seen a player with a single die rolling a six beat a player rolling six dice. Like I said, probability itself warps around this game, and stunning upsets somehow seem to be more usual than predictable losses.

There are a couple of small issues with the game: there’s no real come-from-behind mechanism beyond those swings of luck (though they definitely can let you come back). On top of that, while the cardboard casinos are pretty thick and sturdy, I did tear the bottoms of a few of them slightly while punching out their square centers.

The game is sheer fun, a solid strategic base combined with an exhilarating dollop of luck. Enjoy the ride, hang on, and make the smartest decisions you can to come out on top!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
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8
Gamer - Level 7
I'm Completely Obsessed
Explorer - Level 4
Mask of Agamemnon
Go to the Claustrophobia page
10
10 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
inmarg {Avid Gamer} Jan 28th, 2015
“Poor man's Space Hulk?”

Intro:

Claustrophobia is a 2 player dungeon crawl where one player takes on the role of humanity (a redeemer plus a few condemned warriors) and fight the demonic forces controlled by the second player in the world of **** Dorado. This is a low complex but highly thematic game .

Setup:

Determine who will play as human and who will take on the role as demon player. Then decide which of the scenarios you’ll be playing with several being included in the book. Each scenario can be played several times as there is no secret information being revealed during the adventure. Often the goal will be for the human player to complete a task, escape, seal a gate etc and the demons will try and prevent the humans of doing said task.

Preparing the teams is done in a matter of minutes, it is pretty ready to play out of the box. The human team is built up by a redeemer and several condemned warriors and usually receives some weapons, advantages as well. The demon player has a horde of Troglodytes and a specific demon for the scenario he may call upon. Lastly the big heap of tiles need to be shuffled well after the start and finish tile has been prepared.

Gameplay:

Claustrophobia is a perfect example of how easy it can be done. Each turn starts of with the human player rolling one die per adventurer he controls and then assigning one die to each. The value of the die is important as that determines the stats (movement, combat and defence) for that character until the end of the round. Advantages controlled by the redeemer can also be activated on a specific die value.

Movement: Determines how many tiles a character can move
Combat: Number of dice rolled
Defence: When attacked a hit is scored for each result equal or higher.

After the human player is done for the turn the threat phase starts in which the demon player rolls three dice and may use this on a board with several abilities which may be activated on specific numbers or dice combinations (2 even numbered dice, 1 odd and 1 even etc) The two most used abilities will often be to gain threat tokens and drawing cards. Threat tokens are used to summon troglodytes and sometimes a demon while the cards will allow several different effects and can be very handy.

Troglodytes are weak, but attack in numbers. Due to the quick nature of the game it never turns repetitive either despite more or less there only being one type of demon pieces. For one threat the demon player may summon one troglodyte, but only to a tile with no human character and with an undiscovered opening. While each human character has a specific combat value, the demon player rolls one die per troglodyte on the tile. Hits scored by humans simply removes troglodytes 1 for 1, while a hit by the troglodytes/demons forces the human player to remove one of his six stat lines and after a sixth hit the character is killed and removed from the board. Simply ingenious.

Conclusion:

Just simply ingenious indeed. Poor man’s Space Hulk? Very far from it, while they have similarities they are quite different games. In my book Claustrophobia is THE 2 player dungeon crawl go to game and often a scenario will be played twice with each player getting to play both teams. Another great feature is the amount of tiles with every tile having an ability with some being good for the humans and some good for the demon player, and from time to time it might even be the opposite of what you thought.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
10 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
Follow a Local Game Store
Go to the Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deckbuilding Game page
9
12 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
“Game Over Man! Game Over! - but a good game over”

Legendary: Encounters takes the Legendary Deck-Building system, themes it in the ultra-gritty science fiction universe of Alien, and the proceeds to punish you for deciding to play it.

In Legendary: Encounters, you and a team of fellow characters work your way through a set of 3 objectives that follow the same storyline as the movies. You are given a starting deck, plus a card unique to your character (like a Battlefield Medic card or Gunner card) and then with those cards, you purchase more characters from the barracks, or scan and kill anything moving its way through the complex.

It appears extremely complicated on the surface but as you start playing, the game falls neatly into place. Add a card to the complex; play your hand; buy what you want; kill what you; move on.

What makes this game truly unique to me is the story aspect. Usually, if you’ve played one Deck-Building game, you’ve played them all. Gain; Draw; Play; Shuffle; Repeat; but with the game following a narrative and the enemies growing in power as you progress, plus the random enemies from the Drone Deck that are added in, Legendary: Encounters not only differentiates it from all deck-builders, it differentiates itself from every other play through.

Add in the co-operative element, and you’ve got a game that removes competitive tension between the players and replaces it with a shared experience of fear, creating a universal bond with the players for the entire play time… until someone dies and decides to play as the alien. Then all bets are off.

This game is fun but I wouldn’t recommend it to the novice gamer. If you love the Alien franchise, this is a must have.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
12 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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6
Canada
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
8
26 of 27 gamers thought this was helpful
Game Ninja {Avid Gamer} Jan 27th, 2015
“Sure, I will totally explore a haunted house with you!!”

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a great addition to our game collection. After seeing it played on Tabletop we searched high and low for a copy only to be disappointed by the fact that it was out of print. The day I randomly found it at our FLGS was an exciting day!
What’s in the box?
The game components are super simple. A bunch of room tiles (either basement, ground floor or upper floor), some dice, a miniature for each character, three decks of cards and a pile of tokens for certain scenarios. Then there is the super important haunt book! I’ve heard lots of stories about the room tiles warping with time but we haven’t noticed that yet and I think the publisher will replace them if they do. My least favourite components are the little clips used to track your characters stats. They slip all over the place and a slight knock can send them flying. We have replaced ours with coloured paper clips.
How’s it play?
Betrayal is essentially a semi-cooperative dungeon crawler. Players work together to explore a creepy house until the haunt occurs. As rooms are explored players might find items, have events occur and discover omens, while rolling dice to accomplish tasks. Every time an omen is found the player roles a bunch of dice and if the number of omens is greater than the pips on the dice then the HAUNT happens! This means someone is revealed as the traitor and they work to sabotage the other players. The other players work to accomplish a secret goal and escape from the house.
Overall Impression
Betrayal quickly became one of my favourite games. I love playing it with our friends that enjoy getting into the setting and playing up their characters. The variability in order of room discovery and the number of haunts available really adds to its replayability, which is super important to us. Another plus is that the mechanic of flipping tiles and rolling dice is super easy to teach to new players. Also, once the haunt is revealed most new players have gotten the idea of the game and are able to work through being the traitor if that turns out to be the case. Overall, I love suggesting this game to friends and it definitely will not be leaving our rotation anytime soon. :) Happy Gaming!!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
26 out of 27 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Reviewed My First Game
Go to the Munchkin Adventure Time page
6
4 of 5 gamers thought this was helpful
“Floop The Pig!”

Munchkin is a dungeon clearing card game where over the years has had different themes applied to it such as Pathfinder, zombies and Cthulhu. The most recent version is an awesome combination of Munchkin and Adventure Time, the cartoon series that follows the adventures of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human throughout the Land of Ooo.

What do I like about this game?

The transition of the Adventure Time theme to Munchkin seems to be a perfect match. If you’ve ever seen the show you know that everything they do looks and feels like an adventure game. Now, we can finally play along through those adventures. Also, the little references on the cards are great.

For example, the “Spot the Snail” Level Up card gives you 10 seconds to find a snail on any of the cards in play in order to gain a level. Also, every character card has the gender swap on the opposite side which can come into play if certain cards are played. It’s a nice nod to the show’s popular Ice King Fan Fiction episodes.

What don’t I like about this game?

Even though you’re supposed to solve disputes with “loud arguments” some people may not like that too much. Also, when we were playing it sometimes the classes were contradicting to the character you were playing as. For example, Princess Bubblegum wasn’t considered royalty unless she had the Royalty class card.

For newcomers, this probably isn’t an issue since you’re not as concerned about who your character is in the show, but for people like us who know which characters are actually musicians, heroes, wizards, and royalty, you might accidentally give yourself a bonus when you shouldn’t. But, this may just be me thinking too much about my character. I’m sure most people won’t have this problem.

Video Review

Check our video review on this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Munchkin Adventure Time

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Ireland
Go to the The Settlers of Catan – 5-6 Player Extension page
7
6 of 11 gamers thought this was helpful
HarryCallaghan79 {Avid Gamer} Jan 27th, 2015
“More people to the party”

I am going to keep this review short as everything is the same as the original game, but with more players. Any differences at all?, you ask. Just a slight rule change. Now there is an extra ‘special building phase’ after each person has taken their go. Any body can then build before the next person takes their go.
I’m not as fan of this system, someone can win the game when it is not their go.
In my league we ignore this rule and play it without the extra building phase.
Yes, the game is longer, but the tension is ratcheted up as you wait for your go after trading for what you need. Imagine the kick you get when the robber is rolled as you build your resources. It’s great.
Does the expansion make a better game? No. It is perfect with 4.
But it is a reason to play with up to six and more Catan is not a bad thing.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 11 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Indie Board & Cards fan
Go to the Pit page
6
6 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
Alex {Casual Gamer} Jan 27th, 2015
“Fast paced card drafting”

You will play this game round after round after round because it is just so fast paced and action packed.

This is one of those games where there are no turns. Everyone goes all at once and it is loud, it is frantic and it is so full of high energy. Just like the stock market, people are constantly yelling out trading orders to “corner the market”. And it is that kind of energy that really makes the game fun.

You have to be quick in grabbing cards and also be quick and aware of the cards you currently have before someone rings the bell and has the monopoly on their commodity. This is a game with a lot of replay value because most rounds just end in minutes and you’ll want to keep on going. This is a great party game and also a fantastic ice breaker game especially if you want people to be very interactive with each other.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Indie Board & Cards fan
Go to the Ultimate Werewolf Deluxe Edition page
8
10 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
Alex {Casual Gamer} Jan 27th, 2015
“Great party game!”

If you are a gamer who enjoys gaming with large groups, Ultimate Werewolf is the must get game. I’ve seen this game compared to Resistance and Mafia but while I find that the main game mechanic is very similar, what makes Ultimate Werewolf great is the thematic element of it.

During the night phase, the Wolf Team takes out a member of the human team without them know. And then during the day phase, the humans take a somebody whom they suspect is the wolf.

And then of course there are the other human characters who have special abilities. It pretty much plays out like a period small town horror film.

This game will get people discussing and talking a lot during the day phase. And I love the simplicity of it. All the different human roles might seem complicated but honestly, the person with the biggest responsibility is the games master. Everyone just follows instructions and then start voting people out and that’s it.

I really enjoyed this game and can’t wait to bust it out on my next gaming night.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
10 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Reviewed My First Game
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
7
43 of 49 gamers thought this was helpful
“Hey overly cute creepy girl, what's with the horde of monsters?”

Nothing says danger like a creepy house located on a creepy hill. All the players enter the house as happy explorers and at some point in the game – well, one of them randomly turns on the rest of the group.

Betrayal is the most challenging for the traitor since they are usually on their own, meaning that if they overlooked some detail in their Traitor Tome, there’s no one else to possibly catch it. Although, if you have experience in games like D&D or other similar role-oriented games, Betrayal shouldn’t be too difficult. And for those of you who don’t, this game may be a little bit of a challenge, but a worth-while experience.

What do we like about this game?

Betrayal kind of feels like two games in one because before the haunt begins you’re mainly exploring and collecting items in a very simple dungeon crawl kind of way. Then, when the haunt actually begins, it turns into a full-fledged fight for survival.

Also, since there are 50 haunt scenarios, you’re almost guaranteed to have a new game every time you play, meaning it’s well worth the price based on replay ability alone. But, having slightly new rules every game can be a bit challenging.

What don’t we like about this game?

Well, it’s pretty well known that the clips on the explorer cards stink. You would think that with the reprint, this would have been fixed – it wasn’t. We ended up having to use post-it-notes to mark the cards. And unfortunately, this is a significant flaw since players are always fiddling with their explorer card during the game.

Video Review

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Betrayal at House on the Hill

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
43 out of 49 gamers thought this review was helpful
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4
Reviewed My First Game
Go to the The Resistance: 3rd Edition page
10
14 of 15 gamers thought this was helpful
“You're a spy, no you're a spy!”

In The Resistance, you and your fellow players are a group of resistance fighters. But, some of your fellow players are actually spies trying to thwart your plans. Who the spies are and why that person across the table from you didn’t approve your mission is what you’re trying to figure out.

What do we like about this game?

The interaction between players is outstanding. If you’ve ever attempted game nights and things just aren’t clicking for some reason, this is the game to pull off the shelf. The Resistance is a game that gets more fun the more you accuse your fellow players of being spies, even though YOU might be a spy yourself. Don’t hold back…cause confusion! Even the quietest people can get caught up in the role playing. We’ve had some stunned faces during the last mission because one of the spies was so good at, well….lying.

What don’t we like about this game?

Personally, we don’t care too much for the 2 person missions because they almost always succeed. If they don’t succeed it’s really easy to narrow down who at least one of the spies is unless you’re a really good actor. Another thing is that a minimum of five people are needed to play. Sometimes it’s a let-down because we don’t always have five people hanging around when the urge to play strikes.

Video Review

There is a slight learning curve just to get the idea of how to figure out who the spies might be and knowing how to act so your fellow players aren’t tipped off to your role. Be careful not to get too personal with how you accuse someone of being a spy.

Check out our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with The Resistance

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
14 out of 15 gamers thought this review was helpful
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