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3
Rated My First Game
Go to the Flash Point: Fire Rescue page
8
7 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
Andreas {Avid Gamer} Sep 22nd, 2014
“Brilliant and adverse co-op game for the whole family”

Background

Like most of my games, i heard of this game through a youtube-series called “Dice Tower Reviews”, with Tom Vasel. I already had amazing experiences introducing all my friends to “Pandemic”, and seeing the addiction spread, so I went into this game expecting the same co-op core, albeit with a different, perhaps more relatable theme.

Impressions

The game box has an awesome cover, displaying a fireman blazing towards you (axe, mask and all) – and it really sets the tone for this hectic co-op experience. I immediately noticed the unfortunate simplicity of the inside of the game box. it is just split into three parts; the middle is pressed down, and will hold all your game pieces in one big pile, and the sides can just about contain 3 layers of cards without getting in the way of the lid when closed.

This is really unfortunate, since there are soooo many different cardboard game pieces, that could use separation, and no zip-lock bags are included. Otherwise the fireman-miniatures in 6 different colors look super cool, and the specialist-cards for the advanced rules, boast some equally stunning art.

The board itself is not as sturdy as i would have liked, and is already showing wear along the bending-crevasse (i havn’t studied board game anatomy!). The designs of the rooms and such is a little bland, but it doesn’t in any significant way subtract from the fun!

Gameplay

“Flash Point – Fire Rescue” is a cooperative board game for 2-6 players. The game pits the firemen, against an already burning house, containing possible victims that need saving. The game is played on a board, that in birds-eye view shows the house, its different rooms and furniture, as well as the outside sidewalk, where you will begin the game.

The object of the game is to reach, identify and rescue 7 victims from the burning building by carrying them outside(a little different with advanced rules). You lose when 4 victims have perished from the fire. The game can be played with either family rules, or with the advanced rule set that expands on the family rules, making it a lot harder.

I played with these rules on my first 2 playthroughs, and found it a lot of fun. With these rules, every fireman has 4 action points (AP) that they can spend on each of their turns (or store the spare points away, for future turns!). With an action you can move one square, open a door, or flip a fire-marker to its smoke-side in an adjecent square(not diagonally). Spending an extra AP will let you extinguish that fire completely!

Alternately, a player can spend 2 AP when standing next to a wall to hack at it, and thus place ONE damage-token on this part of the wall. A wall with 2 damage-tokens is considered to be broken, and works like an open door = you can simply walk through. I won’t go through it but the advanced rules add a lot more possibilities that include: piloting a firetruck, using the big hose on it, drive an ambulance, switch to a different role and much more.

When you land on a square with a POI-marker(Point of Interest, there are 3 of these at all times in the house), you flip it (for free) and see if it’s one of 3 things; a cat, a dog, nothing, or a human victim. Only in the case of the POI-marker being a victim, do you keep it on the board; the other 3 are considered “false alarm”. You want to escort this victim to any space outside the house, for him/her to be considered “rescued”.

After a player has spent all his AP, he/she ends by doing the “advance fire roll”, where a black 8-sided die, and a red 6-sided die are rolled, to determine the coordinate of the next smoke/fire. This mechanic is at the basis of this game, and keeps everyone on their toes, as a roll can cause either smoke, a fire, or an EXPLOSION, which runs rampant in all 4 directions, possible damaging walls and resetting firemen in its wake to the ambulance outside(see rules for the rest)

Verdict
I was a little skeptic that this game would go off the wayside, and my group would continue to prefer Pandemic over this, but I have played this a few times now, and theres has definitely been more laughing (almost to the point of tears), EVERY TIME we played this game. I can’t exactly say why, but I think the theme is maybe not as deadly serious as a worldwide rampaging epidemic, or it could be that its not as strategy heavy as Pandemic.

I like playing this game both with the family rules and the advanced rules, but prefer the advanced rules, as it really adds some great mechanics(hazardous materials, flare ups, hot spots, ambulance, fire truck etc.) and the unique roles that made pandemic an awesome co-op game.

I would recommend to anyone who likes pandemic and wants another great co-op experience with a different enough mechanic and theme, to make it worth owning alongside. The fun factor in this one is through the burning, charred roof!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
7 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
I'm a Player!
Go to the Seventh Hero page
7
3 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
Lazarus 657 {Avid Gamer} Sep 21st, 2014
“Nice, quick game”

You need to build a deck (up face) of 7 warriors. Each one has special abilities, and you pass cards from your hand that meet certain conditions. The receiving player can turn up, or keep passing. You can use the abilities of characters you have face up to “interrupt” passes/moves, etc. in order to try to exert control over who gets which card, when, etc.
This is a good simple game that we played “in between” games during our MeetUp.
No major advice … I took a lot of chances flipping up passed cards, and lucked out. (actually it was my x-ray vision, but that’s a secret). So, it helps to calculate odds given what’s up, in your hand, etc. but not absolutely necessary I think.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
I'm a Player!
Go to the Shadow Hunters page
8
4 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
Lazarus 657 {Avid Gamer} Sep 21st, 2014
“Who is on your team?”

I enjoy games where you need to figure out who is on your side, and your characters (eventually) need to cooperate.
You’re a Shadow, Hunter or Neutral, and everyone has their own victory conditions. (I was a Neutral.) Then you get weapons and special abilities, and figure out who is who, then attack them, etc.
I tried to be sneaky, and mislead everyone about what I was … they thought I was a Shadow for a while. Then my cover was blown, and things fell apart quickly. I also did not use my special character ability (self healing) until a bit too late. So, crunch, bang, bash, I was down.
Enjoy.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 8 gamers thought this review was helpful
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1
Go to the Valley of the Kings page
8
10 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
HR {Avid Gamer} Sep 21st, 2014
“Tons Of Game In A Tiny Box”

You know those gamers, the ones that scoff at you when you bring up Dominion and say the same thing they’ve seen on the internet over and over: “It’s multiplayer solitaire – there’s no player interaction!!1!1!” I know them too…

Now we have a game to whip at their head.

HOW TO PLAY:
Comparisons to Dominion are inevitable, but they build upon principles Dominion had already put down. The goal of Valley Of The Kings (VOTK) is to have the most victory points by the end of the game. You do this by placing cards in your tomb – which you’re able to do this only once per turn unless you have a card that gives you other chances to do so. You score points by having unique sets of cards and having cards that have point value on them.

The setup for VOTK is simple. Each player gets certain starting cards and the draw pile is split with level II cards and level III cards. Once both the II and III decks are shuffled, II cards go on top of III to form the draw pile. Then you form the Pyramid, the stock cards from which people can buy from. Cards are put from the deck in a pyramid, 1 on top to 3 on the bottom. Players can only buy from the bottom row of cards. When they buy cards from the bottom row, the pyramid “crumbles” and cards slide down accordingly. So it is slightly more thematic than Dominion’s stock piles. Each player draws five cards from their deck to form their hand, and play begins.

Players on their turn can do a couple things. You can buy cards using the gold printed on cards in your hand, use one of your cards’ actions, and you may put one card into your tomb. However, unlike Dominion, you may only do one of the these things per card. For example, I would not be able to use a card for gold value and use its action – I have to choose one or the other. This gives an interesting dynamic and provides a nice give and take.

Which is what a lot of this game is about: a give and take between not just the players, but between the player and his deck. Never has a deck builder had me playing so efficiently in order to win. Most times, by the end of the game, I’m down to five cards total. Entombing cards gets extremely important; especially by the end when players are scrambling to get a few more points. The theme in this case fits the mechanics so well – because you literally can’t take it with you.
It’s also nice that there is a definite end to this game, unlike Dominion where it is set upon who can buy the most. The game ends when there are no more cards in the deck, in the pyramid, and everyone has taken the same amount of turns. Not only does the game end in this finite amount of time (40 min, give or take), but it makes it so whoever has played the best is the winner.

On the downside, this game is a bit heavier than people anticipate it to be (even I was surprised). Newer players may be put off by a learning curve, especially if you aren’t a gamer. Being an efficient deck builder means you run into situations where you might not have gotten some cards you needed and cannot buy the more expensive cards. This can lead to some frustration and sitting around at the end of the game wondering what to do.
If you are prone to analysis paralysis (taking a long time on your turn to think of the right move) this game can stress you out and drag the game out longer. I’ve seen experienced players take their time to figure out what they should. The game presents itself with so many risks/choices that it can make it difficult to move things along with thinking you’ve made a mistake.
Lastly, (and this is a small lastly) the theme in this game can turn some people off. I love this game and I think it could use a little more color than the colors denoting sets. IF you’re like me and don’t mind some of the “ancient” aesthetic the game, has than it’s no problem.

TL:DR
Pros:
- Deep Game in a small box
- Lots of Choices
- Builds upon Dominion knowledge and improves

Cons:
- Lots of Choices
- Harder, especially for newer gamers
- Theme can be somewhat dull

Recommended to:

Family: Maybe, if you’re family is looking for that next step from Dominion.
Strategy: Yes. The game lends itself to players who know how to play it.
Social: No. This is a little more serious, less party gameish.
Avid: Yes. Easy to transport to your game groups and doesn’t take up room on your shelf.
Casual: No. Little too heavy.
Power: Maybe. There won’t be tournaments of this, but there are times when you can pound people into the ground with this one.

VERDICT: 8/10 A gamers’ Dominion. At $20, you couldn’t ask for better value.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
10 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
I'm a Player!
Go to the Goa page
8
3 of 6 gamers thought this was helpful
Lazarus 657 {Avid Gamer} Sep 21st, 2014
“Tough at first ...”

Played this for the first time yesterday.
Initially, somewhat confusing and hard to learn. I did not if I was going well, or making the right moves. So, don’t expect to win you’re first time around.
But I think, by the end, I had a much better idea what to do, and not totally mess up my plantation production, etc. I ended up taking 2nd place (by just one point over another beginner player). I know I would do better next time around (oh, yea .. aiming for 1st).
Recommendations: Don’t get too swept up in the bidding; but target your bids for resources, etc that you need down the line. I think the resource/spice production was the most important track, although I ended up not getting last colony (perhaps a mistake). In fact, yea, you need all the colonies to take 1st place. So, be sure to load up on your colonist dudes.
Okay game — resource allocation, strategic planning, bidding.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
United Kingdom
Go to the Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 page
7
Yeknomious {Avid Gamer} Sep 21st, 2014
“Great way to learn Magic but limited deck building available.”

I’m new to Magic (the actual game) and as such have found the rules confusing at times. This digital version is great for learning the mechanics and, as stated by some of the other reviewers, has some well themed decks.

There are several modes available, but I mostly play custom games against the AI. Upon winning a game cards are unlocked for the deck you choose to play with – therefore you increase the options available for each deck.

All in it’s a pretty good App to have on a tablet – although I would like the cards to appear larger when they’re laid (I have to keep zooming in on them to see what they say) – although this could be a symptom of playing on a small screen tablet with a high resolution (Nexus 7).

This game would be amazing if the deck building was open to any cards you cared to have – you could then build and test decks before investing in the purchase of real decks to find they’re sub-optimal.

If you’re new to Magic – get the this and learn the game in the best way – by playing.

If you’re a veteran Magic player you’ll be disappointed with the limited deck building options.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 2 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
United Kingdom
Go to the Small World page
7
Yeknomious {Avid Gamer} Sep 21st, 2014
“Fine, but pricey and some of the charm is lost in the digital form.”

This game is fun and fairly straight forward. As far as tablet games go its pretty decent and suits the medium well. I play this on a 7″ tablet but think it would suit a larger tablet.

Much of the charm and fun of Small World is lost in the digital version, especially when playing against the AI. The fun of Small World is grabbing regions from your friends and seeing there dismay as you vindictively remove there counters with a decent race/power combo. You can, in theory, achieve this with the digital version (pass ‘n play) but in reality it’s nowhere near as fun as the real thing.

As one of the other reviewers has stated it’s pretty pricey at $6.99, and unless you know the game and really are a fan, I would probably say save your money. Put the money toward the actual game!

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 2 gamers thought this review was helpful
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9
United Kingdom
Advanced Reviewer
Crab Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Go to the Manhattan Project page
8
pookie {Avid Gamer} Sep 21st, 2014
“Your Manhattan Project”

The Manhattan Project’s main problem is its theme. Which as its name suggests, has to do with the design and building of the atom bomb. For some, this may be in poor taste. Which also means that any board game or indeed computer game, like say, Civilisation, in which nuclear weapons are deployed and detonated, is in equally poor taste—if not more so. That said, no nuclear weapons are detonated in The Manhattan Project and nobody dies, either through atomisation or radiation poisoning. Some workers may get sent to the mines though…

The Manhattan Project is a worker placement game for two to five players, aged thirteen and up. Each takes control of a country’s atom bomb project and attempts to build the most effective program. Starting with a few workers and a little money, they train engineers and scientists; construct buildings—universities, factories, mines, and reactors; build up their air forces—bombers and fighters; research bomb designs; and conduct espionage against each other, all in a race to see who can build the biggest bombs (and score the most Victory Points).

The game is built around a simple mechanic—worker placement. Each turn a player must either place his workers on the board or retrieve them. When placing them, a player must place one worker on the main board, but can place as many workers as he likes on his own buildings. When retrieving them, he must remove all of those previously placed.

The game revolves around the Main Board. This has spaces for the Building Cards—six initial cards followed by the regular buildings; spaces to place workers to gain money, engineers, scientists, workers, fighters, bombers, and yellow cake—which is turned into Uranium and Plutonium; conduct airstrikes and repair buildings; and fuel tracks to monitor each player’s Uranium and Plutonium, and how many spies he can assign to other players’ empty buildings.

Each player has a Player Board. Here he tracks the number of fighters and bombers he has and places any buildings purchased. A player also has four labourers, but gains up to four engineers and four scientists as play progresses. If these are not enough, he can hire contractors, but they will do only one task each.

Initially, each player has limited options. He can only place a single worker on the Main Board—and needs not only scientists and engineers, but also his own buildings if he wants to place more workers on subsequent turns. As play progresses, he will gain more workers and buildings, giving him more options for placing his workers—even more if he has invested in espionage and can send his workers to use other players’ buildings. A player is not obliged to place all of his workers on a turn, but he must place one on the Main Board at the very least.

When a player runs out of workers or because he wants to, he can retrieve all of his workers. He can start placing them again on later turns, but part of playing The Manhattan Project is knowing when to retrieve and when to place them. It is a matter of timing, more so when espionage is an option and other players’ buildings are available.

Each building gives its benefit as soon as its requirements are fulfilled. This might be as simple as one or two workers or specific worker types to get their output, which can be more workers (including contractors), money, fighters, bombers, or yellow cake. Alternatively, reactors require several engineers and scientists and several pieces of yellow cake in order to produce either Uranium or Plutonium. These have to be placed in one turn rather than added bit by bit.

Eventually a player will want to build a bomb. This works just like any other building, but requires Uranium or Plutonium plus engineers and scientists. Once built, a bomb adds to a player’s Victory Point total, but it can be loaded onto a bomber for more Victory Points. Or it can be imploded. This destroys the bomb, but any subsequent Plutonium device the player builds will be worth more Victory Points.

Apart from espionage, a player can interact with his rivals by attacking them using his air force. He does this by sending his fighters to attack his target’s fighters and then his bombers to target and damage his rival’s buildings. This stops his rival from using them until they are repaired.

Physically, The Manhattan Project is nicely and engagingly presented in a style that apes the look of government style art of the 1940s. The rulebook is also well written and easy to read and understand.

Unfortunately, The Manhattan Project is not perfect. Arguably, the use of espionage is too powerful—though it is a great way to win—and cannot be blocked or stopped, except by the targeted player placing and keeping his own workers on this buildings for as long as possible. The Air Raid mechanic is either too powerful or not powerful enough, as any attempt to destroy another player’s fighters leaves both sides vulnerable to bombing raids. Lastly, the appearance of the building cards is too random; beyond the first six, any card can appear in any order and this can affect the flow of the game. Less effective buildings will sit on the board because no one wants to buy them, whilst a slew of good buildings will force a flurry of activity to buy as quickly as possible. Perhaps a more structured draw could have been included, so that the buildings get progressively better and better as the game progresses?

Put these issues aside, for The Manhattan Project is an excellent game. The game play is very tight, with almost no luck involved and the play time is shorter with practice. It is a pleasing meld of theme with mechanics that reward efficiency.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Critic - Level 2
Go to the Tokaido page
5
5 of 10 gamers thought this was helpful
Gartic {Power Gamer} Sep 20th, 2014
“fun little game”

Fun factor – 6/10
Replay value – 5/10
Components – 8/10
Learning Curve – 8/10

Fun Factor: This game is extremely light, basically you just move up the board and visit places. There is some thought that goes into what location to go to next but its best if you want something you can play with new people or people who like art. The game really just wants to show you how pretty it is and give you the experience of a traveler, which is fine and works well mostly because the game is very nice looking.

Replay Value: The game does change depending on what traveler you end up with by a fair degree but really this game is not the one that you are going to want to play over and over again. I like having it in my collection for the occasional time when I want something light but there isn’t too much to come back to over and over again here.

Components: This is most likely one of the best games for all around visual design. The inside of the box is very minimalist but holds everything nicely, The components are really fantastic looking and the theme of the game comes through amazingly thanks to the art.

Learning Curve: This game will take you no time at all to learn to play, sadly there isn’t really much to master here either. I think this game is good for kids as well because it will hold their attention just long enough while teaching them to play and then the game itself doesn’t go on too long.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 10 gamers thought this review was helpful
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8
Intermediate Reviewer
Vanguard
Tinkerer
Novice Advisor
Go to the Magnum Opus page
8
11 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Anders Nordstrom {Avid Gamer} Sep 20th, 2014
“New twist on deckbuidling”

I backed Magnum Opus kickstarter campaign and waited eagerly for a year to receive the actual game. The components seemed nice, and the videos explaining the concept seemed nice as well.

Now I’ve finally had the chance to try it out, and I’m not disappointed. The game is a deckbuilder, and for those of youy who may be unfamiliar with the concept you start with a small deck of cards. When it is your turn you draw a hand of cards from that deck, and as the game progresses you try to get your hands on better cards to add to your deck, making it possible to perform cooler actions.

The goal of this game is to create the philosophers stone. First player to do that wins the game, there are no points or scoring tracks. All you have to do is to make a succesful experiment with the three correct ingredients. Unfortunately you do not know which ingredients are the correct ones when the game starts.

The main focus in this game is a matrix of 4 x 4 spots, each matching a specific combination of reagents (four green located on the x-axis and 4 blue on the y-axis). You collect ingredients and when you have one green and one blue they will point to a specific place in the matrix. In that place is a card dictating the effect of your experiment (for instance allowing you to grab special cards or some annoying ones that turn your gold into lead…). Each reagent card have a difficulty number, and by adding your two numbers together you see how hard it is to succeed with the experiment (you must roll at least that number on a 8-sided die).

Before anyone have tried a specific combination for the first time noone knows what will happen (the effect card is face down). The first player to succesfully perform a specific experiment also gain a research card as a bonus. Those are more powerful cards that you want to have in your deck. If you fail your experiment you gain a xp-token that can be spent later to modify a result. It’s a good idea to gather a few of those before trying the final transmutaion of the philosopher’s stone, since it contains three reagents instead of just two it’s more difficult to achieve.

Three of the spots in the matrix also gives you Magnum Opus clues, revealing one of the three ingredients needed to win the game (in secret, only the player succeding such an experiment will get the clue).

So, when it is your turn you first have the chance to play one or two cards to grant you money or draw more cards from the deck. Unlike for instance Dominion this is capped to two actions, and during normal circumstances you will not be able to play more such cards. This is your steady income.

In the next phase you can buy or sell reagents.

Next you can manipulate your working bench where all the experiments take place (the table in front of you). You can store reagents on the table between turns, and this is where you can add, remove or swap reagents to the table.

After this you may perform an action, for instance try to perform the experiment with the cards on your table. If you have enough money you can also pay an assistant to perform an experiment to another place in the matrix allready discovered to benefit from the effect from it.

Finally the rules tells you to pause and consider. ;)

The effects of the experiments are randomized, so the game will offer sligthly different options each game. Each turn goes fast, and obviously luck is a factor, though not as big as in Dominion, since you can save cards on your table to assure that you have the right combination of reagents when needed.

Like almost all deckbuilders the interactions between players are minimal, so if that puts you down you may not like it. I have no problems with that and found this game took a refreshing new angle on the deckbuilding mechanics.

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