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Go to the Happy Salmon page
WaldenPawn Nov 13th, 2018
“Fast and Fun!”

This game takes a minute to learn and 5 minutes to play; fun for almost any age. 6 player or with the Blue Salmon expansion 12 players. But spectators will be as entertained as the players.

I have gifted this game to several young families because of its simplicity and silly fun. If you can high five and fist bump, you can play. Happy Salmon has also come out with Funky Chicken which can be mixed with Happy Salmon for more crazy fun.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 2 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Intermediate Reviewer
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Guardian Angel
Master Grader
Go to the Alien Frontiers page
brodie {Avid Gamer} Nov 13th, 2018
“Purchased due to amazing reviews on this site - and not disappointed at all”

This game scratches a lot of itches for me – worker placement, dice, and sci-fi.

I have the 4th edition proudly displayed and played many times. I love it very much.

Based on the reviews on this site, I purchased it, and due to the policy of the publisher (which may have recently changed) of not allowing it for online sale, I went to many retailers to track it down. It was very worth the time invested, as the gameplay is top-notch.

My main criticism is that it’s too good – it has spawned eleventy-billion expansions, some of which are okay, but none are as strong as the core game. I see them available, and I remember how awesome the base game is, and I purchase them without doing any research. When they add little to the core, and I expel them in favour of the clean awesome core game, I get a bit of remorse. Not much, though.

Thank you!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Grand Master Grader
Advanced Reviewer
Rosetta Stone
Go to the Pandemic: On the Brink page
Dicey Exploits {Avid Gamer} Nov 10th, 2018
“Ill fated for mankind, but a perfect prescription for any Pandemic fan”

A swift opinion:
*Nice amount of add-ons for a decent price.
*Modular extras that can easily be swapped in or out dependent on how challenging you want your game.
*Even more variations to make each game interesting.

A video opinion:

A wordy opinion:Expansions are… delightful little curiosities. Cardboard add-ons are nowhere near as egregious as some of their video game counterparts have become, but near to all the ones I’ve added onto my tabletop experiences have surmounted to a party wide exclamation of ‘Oh, that was neat!’ before delving into discussion about the main mechanics that existed before we even bolted it on. Barely any have made an impact, but one expansion in my collection is one that’s shuffled itself so well into its base game that I never play a game without it.

Pandemic: On the Brink comes with a whole host of add-ons, both positive and overwhelmingly, Earth endingly negative. Leading the flu frontline for the latter is a 5th disease, a fresh batch of Purple Pain (working title). Purple cubes can litter themselves around the map in unpredictable ways, through mutation cards hiding in the infection deck that, when drawn, spawn cubes according to the card in the bottom of said deck. Whilst these aid those cubes appearing, 3 Mutation cards hide in the Player deck to ensure they can spread in ingenious/annoying ways.

This 5th disease adds air of unpredictability to the game, as literally any city can succumb to its wrath, and with only 12 cubes, the danger of running out of them looms over the entire game. But if that’s not worrying enough, you can always add the new set of blood red Epidemic cards to proceedings.

Virulent Strain Epidemic cards both replace regular Epidemic cards and do the unthinkable; make you miss the pesky little blighters that caused so much pain in so many games of vanilla Pandemic. When drawn, not only do they add a trifecta of cubes and shuffle previously infected cities back, they can also hit the players with extra negative effects that could last the remainder of the game. Whereas the addition of Purple Pain (Patent Pending) feels like a funky mod to shake things up, this feels like a true step up in terms of difficulty. Before, Epidemics were a disgusting nuisance. Now, they can potentially be a genuine blow to a team’s morale.

Thankfully, the team has backup. 6 new vaccine viscounts enter to find a cure to the cubes, ranging from the humble Generalist who has 5 actions instead of 4 to the stern Field Operative who can hold cubes of a certain disease in a bid to lessen the number of cards needed to find its cure. The Containment Specialist almost acts like a toned down version of the souped-up Medic post cures, removing a cube from cities that have 2 or more of them. They’re an interesting bunch, ones that don’t complicate the abilities of the original team and bring enough variation to be welcomed into your squad.

One new role isn’t so handy though. The Bio-Terrorist can be claimed by a player if they wish to play an odd variant of Pandemic where they go in direct competition with those trying to save the world. As the team attempt to hoover up cubes as best they can, whoever is playing as the Bio-Terrorist is spreading purple cubes in a bid to end the game early. As their moves on the board are shrouded in secrecy unless a player crosses paths with them, in which case they must declare their presence. It plays like a strange hidden movement game that’s… fine? Just fine. It’s a nice variation on the formula, but doesn’t exactly add much to a game which brings so much joy to teams that come together against a faceless, relenting foe.

That negativity doesn’t really effect the end product though, thanks to On the Brink’s modular format. Anything that makes the game more of a challenge can be easily added or disregarded depending on how much pressure you want to be put under, and the more positive aspects like new team member and event cards shuffle in so easily, they practically become part your vanilla Pandemic experience.

It take a truly special expansion to integrate itself so well into its main companion that you can’t really imagine playing without it. it also takes a truly special expansion to add copious amounts of stress to an already daunting experience and still make it enjoyable. Pandemic: On the Brink fits the bill, and out of the three expansions the game offers, is arguably the most essential.

Oh, it also includes petri dishes for your cubes. Sorry to waste your time with the above, as I know those make it an insta-buy.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the The 7th Continent page
6 of 6 gamers thought this was helpful
emspace {Avid Gamer} Oct 30th, 2018
“More story than Robinson Crusoe; much less replayable”

I was very happy with this game for the first 2 sessions playing the Voracious Goddess curse scenario.

By the third session, my interest and excitement had worn off completely. Playing the next 7 sessions to finish the scenario was torture, even though we unwittingly cheated for the first 5 games until we realised what we misinterpreted what we were doing to shuffle discards back into the deck.

We also misunderstood a key card, or rather, didn’t realise we’d found an object that would’ve given us more information, so we spent 2 extra sessions wandering around looking for something we already had.

But had we interpreted the rules correctly to begin with, then proceeded towards the finish properly, playing the first scenario would still have been about 5 sessions, or 12 hours, too long.

The exploration is fun the first time through. But having to put everything away and respawn island tiles every session is tedious and the opposite of fun.

The character you start with gets no better with any of his/her available skills than they were to start with. You will pick up more advanced skills as you play, but these are not specific to any character. In fact, the longer you play, the less your character’s unique abilities matter.

There’s no real strategy; you make decisions based on the chances the group will succeed or not based on what skills or objects they’ve got in the moment.

Perhaps with repeat play, knowing where each island tile is and what’s on them, the decisions about building skills for characters could matter more?

I played this game in a group of 4, and perhaps it would play faster and be less tedious as a solo game. But the thought of setting it all up and organising cards on my own…feels more like work than play for me.

There were 3 more curses in the base game, plus we Kickstarted the second edition so we have expansion scenarios being delivered in March.

I never want to play this game again and I’ll consider those hours of my life I get back to be blessed. I would prefer to play Robinson Crusoe, die horribly of bee stings within 2 hours, and get on with my life.

Traded this for Gloomhaven.

• Solo players who want to take their time (days and weeks and months of it) immersed in the story and world, agonising over every card draw.

• Groups of 3 or more who want to make strategic decisions that will matter.
• People who are averse to sorting and filing hundreds of cards over and over and over again.
• People who hope this will be like Myst. (Puzzles include Spot The Difference or Find The Hidden Number. So, really, there are no puzzles.)

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Gave My First Grade
Go to the Carcassonne: Inns and Cathedrals page
6 of 7 gamers thought this was helpful
Enyo Da {Casual Gamer} Oct 23rd, 2018
“Good Expansion but soon reverted to original”

This expansion offers all the material for a 6th player. If you are just a casual gaming family then you could argue that this is unnecessary.

Once you have played the original a few times then adding Cathedrals (which triple the value of a city) and adding Inns (which double the value of a road) makes the game slightly more interesting – but it doesn’t add enough value to want to use them all the time. In fact, as a gaming family we have reverted back to just playing with the original. And the best use we find for the ‘large followers’ is to use them as ‘scorers’ to keep track of the score!

To summarise, if you want a sixth player option then this is great and it does spice up the game if you are going to play Carcassonne a lot.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Splendor page
Battra43 {Avid Gamer} Oct 15th, 2018
“Simple with depth”

A economic game that has many ways to win the necessary 15 victory points. The nobles are a nice feature for bonus points, but you really don’t need to focus on them. Many of the development cards have the points that players ought to concentrate on. AS the game progresses, so do players ability to acquire the developments that score more points. Collecting gems will also help; reserving cards can give you a wild token to be used as any gem and also disrupt your opponents stradegy.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Camel Up Cards page
Battra43 {Avid Gamer} Oct 15th, 2018
“Tidy & Fun”

This is a simple game that has some ‘take that’ possibilities in that each player may select the cards to go into a common pool and the Fennec/Fox – to move a camel{s} back a space, as well as the Oasis –
to move camel(s) forward a space. What will be your stradegy? Sabotage the leader? Aid the leader for more victory points? Or make sure your loser stays in last place? Plenty of options to score points!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Amateur Advisor
Go to the Gloomhaven page
9 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
Shelexie {Avid Gamer} Oct 3rd, 2018
“Mega Game in all the good ways”

Great Components
Amazing story arcs with lots of choices
Interesting ways to upgrade your individual character

Takes your shelf space
Organizer is almost a necessity
Steep Learning Curve but very intuitive by the 3rd game

When you open the box, you have access to the starting six characters. They are new and interesting, not the standard fantasy dwarf, elf, wizard, etc. There are an additional ELEVEN characters and their miniatures that are sealed. You must meet certain in game conditions before you can open a new character.

As your party adventures you fight through dungeons, advancing the story and learning more about the setting of Gloomhaven. The game plays well with 2-4 players and scales itself. (Side note, in many games, my wife and I play a third dummy character to make the game flow correctly but this is not necessary with this game!)

As you level up your characters, several things happen. You can choose the next perk you want, allowing you to control if you want to ignore certain negative effects or change the mix of your modifier deck (-1, +0, +1, +1 with an additional target, +0 but also poison the target, etc.) As you level up, you are also able to carry more small items (like healing potions). The town’s property will also improve through game play, granting you access to new items.

Eventually, your character will achieve his or her life goal and retire. This is NOT a bad thing! It will often allow you to open a new character, increase the prosperity of the town, and unlock certain town and road cards. When you choose your new character, they will be able to come in at a higher level and will begin play with a perk already added in. You don’t get to keep money or items but it didn’t seem to slow us down for long. This also means you may have a party with characters at different levels. This is OK! You take the average of the party and play at that level. You will not be underpowered, or at least not for long.

Overall, we love this game! We have played 80+ hours and have completed maybe 1/3rd of the adventures. We have each retired 3+ characters and have taught it to 10+ people. If you like tactical thinking, resource management, good story elements, and lots of pieces… welcome home!

P.S. Be sure to check the game tips as well for some add ons I wish we had known about when we first started playing.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
9 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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I play blue
Go to the The Mind page
Dick Dale {Avid Gamer} Sep 27th, 2018
“Simple to learn and teach Great filler game”

You have cards 1 to 100. All you have to do is play them in order.
For one player it would be simple but with 2 to 4 player it is more complex.

You try to read other players faces or reactions to play your lowest card at the correct time. The play to the right just played a 60 and you have 67 in your hand in a 4 player game. Do you play your 67 and hope none of the other 3 players have 61 through 66. This is the dilemma in the game, what the other players are holding.

Dumb luck is a big factor in this game but it is fun and move quickly. No strategy just fun.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
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I play orange
Go to the Gloomhaven page
8 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
Fuzzy Mustard {Avid Gamer} Sep 14th, 2018
“It's soooo big!”

Okay, yeah, this is a great one for art, story, gameplay, co-op, as well as fantastic replay. Just know this, it WILL eat ALL your play time for other games.

The biggest drawback is the amazing amount of set up and clean up time, and you really need a great rules lawyer to digest the book that is the rules. If you are into any sort of light gaming experience, forget this.

If you want that immersive game to rule them all and in the game closet bind them, you found it!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
8 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
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