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Novice Reviewer
Champion
Old Bones
Go to the Ghost Stories page
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6 of 6 gamers thought this was helpful
Paladin {Avid Gamer} Apr 23rd, 2014
“Sore Losers: Beware!”

Antoine Bauza. The name conjures to mind such fascinating and eclectic games as 7 Wonders and Takenoko. I’ve heard Hanabi is interesting, too. How is it, I must wonder, that one game designer can come up with so many unique, abstract concepts for games that are each so individually different in mechanics and theme, while all being so much fun?

I was recently invited to try Ghost Stories with three friends. It was already late — the tail end of a long game night, and most of the other guests had gone home. But I’d heard great things about the demon-slaying monks of Antoine’s abstract little village, and steeled myself for a few more hours of snack-munching, beverage-swilling, and cooperative gaming.

Spoiler: I was not disappointed.

The Premise, the Goal, and the Summary

A new review format? Oh, yes I am. I’ve watched too many videos where the reviewer told me the mechanics of the game for 12 minutes without telling me the goal or victory conditions of the game. Let’s get that out of the way first, along with a little exposition on the game’s theme.

Ghost Stories is a game wherein the players take on the roles of mystical monks, who are defending a village from the onslaught of a powerful demon and its horde of vicious minions. The powerful demon is hoping to defeat the defending monks and retrieve an even more powerful demon‘s ashes from the burning, plundered wreckage of the village. After that, the big, bad demon is resurrected and plunges the world into eternal darkness.

Your goal, as the village’s defenders, is to fight off wave after wave of demon and ghost and creepy crawly, enduring the onslaught with the help of your companions and a few stalwart villagers. If you and your companions, or even just one of you, can outlast the forces of darkness, then victory is yours and it’s time to buy the first expansion!

That’s right. This is a fight-’til-the-end survival game. And it puts Castle Panic to shame.

When it comes down to it, this is a very difficult game for the players to defeat — and that’s something I personally love in a cooperative. Without teamwork, without planning your strategy a few moves ahead, and without making the most of your resources, your monks will fall in a brilliant blaze of glory. And then you’ll want to set it all up and play again.

There are two- and three-player rules, but I have found Ghost Stories really lacking if the full compliment of four players aren’t gathered around the modular board, cheering each other on and biting their nails at every unlucky roll of the dice. With so much going on (and there’s a lot going on) it’s difficult enough to keep track of your own monk.

An absolute must-have for cooperative gamers. Just don’t let the dreaded Alpha Gamer take over.

Okay, Enough Exposition! Let’s Set This Puppy Up!

Are you ready for one of the most modular, non-dungeon crawl cooperatives you’ve ever laid eyes on? There are so many setup options in Ghost Stories that while laying down the board and passing out tokens won’t take you forever, you’ll be hemming and hawing for a bit over which Ultra Cool Power to utilize this time.

The Village is a lovely little place, with an apothecary, a shrine, and other friendly villagers and vendors to aid in your battle against the legion of demons descending upon you. Nine tiles in total, these get laid out in a random arrangement prior to play, and then surrounded by each monk’s player board.

Player boards themselves are two-sided. Will you choose the power of Flight this time, or perhaps the ability to produce any magical token you’d like each turn? Or select the power of immunity to curses. Each power is useful in its own way, and will be very important at some point during the game.

Finally, pass out health tokens, combat bonus tokens of each monk’s appropriate color, and then shuffle up the Deck of Demons — making sure to place the Big Boss Demon within 10 cards of the bottom of the pile. You’ll need some preparation time before you take him on!

Draw your first demon and you’re ready to go.

Nobody Likes Nine Paragraphs of Rules Explanation

You’ll have a rulebook to tell you how to play, but here’s the cliff notes.

On each monk’s turn, a demon is drawn from the deck and placed on the board of the player whose color it matches — i.e. a red demon goes on the red monk’s board. If that player’s board is full, he loses health, but no new demon appears.

Some demons have special abilities that trigger, like tormentors that apply curses or haunting ghosts that advance toward the village and, if they reach it, destroy the villagers and any assistance they can provide you. These villagers and their resources are essential to victory, so letting the haunts get through is a no-no!

Each ghost has a color-coded number of dots on his corner. Monks can attempt to exorcise the demons by rolling four custom dice and matching the number of dots on the demon — supplementing those rolls with colored tokens, earned by defeating tougher demons or gained via special abilities and villagers.

Players choose whether to take their turn exorcising demons, or rushing across the village to acquire special resources such as Buddha statues, which can be used as “land mines” to destroy ghosts that appear in their board space.

Turns continue in this fashion until either the demons or the monks are the last man standing. Usually it’s the former — so there’s good reason to celebrate if the monks win the day.

A Box Full of Demons, Kinda Like Pandora’s

The component list for Ghost Stories isn’t the kind you’ll drool over, but it’s on par with some great board games. You get multi-colored monks in day-glo plastic as your avatar pawn, creepy black wraith miniatures to show the position of moving haunts, a set of custom dice to roll for curses and exorcisms — and then a half-hour’s punching worth of cardboard!

With cardboard tiles for each lovely, scenic village location and evocatively-neon player boards, and tokens for a slew of mechanics not covered in this review, you’ll be buying a box of snack-sized sandwich bags just to keep it all sorted.

My favorite component, however, is the deck of demon cards. Each demon card is eerily beautiful in its creepy illustrations, and should probably not be stared at for too long, just for sanity’s sake.

Should You Buy It?

I really feel like Ghost Stories scratches a lot of gamer itches: it’s got very solid cooperative play, is awesome for strategy gamers, and can be played in just about 90 minutes on your first attempt — then the advertised 60 minutes once you’ve got the hang of the rules.

Great for small parties of four looking to blend it with a night of Wiz-War, Settlers of Catan, and Survive for a four-player extravaganza. Just make sure to get a few other games in first, because once Ghost Stories hits the table you’ll find yourselves determined to defeat those demons — or pass out face-first in the onion dip at 3:00 AM while trying.

Definitely worth a buy, and up the alley of every gamer I’ve ever shared a table with.

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6 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Champion
1A Games fan
Go to the Can't Stop page
8
8 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
Chris {Avid Gamer} Apr 23rd, 2014
“Roll Your Bones and Move Your Cones”

I attend a local gaming event in the Baltimore area called Baltimore Brews and Board Games. It’s an open forum where people gather and bring the games they like to share with others. I find it a great way to play things I might not normally play.

One such game is Can’t Stop.

It’s not the sort of thing I would have looked at twice on the shelf in a store, but the folks I was sitting with at B&BG pulled out a copy and asked if I’d like to play; “Why not,” I said.

The game is very simple to play. Each player takes a set of colored (traffic) cones – violet, blue, green or yellow. There are also three white cones which you will use to move along the board. The board is an octagon (stop sign) with 11 columns (numbered 2-12).

Each player, on his turn, takes 4d6 and rolls them. You make two sets of 2 d6 and get numbers out them. Then you take white a cone to denote which numbers you are backing this turn. Example: Your first roll is a 2, 3, 4, 6; so you could make the following pairs 2+3=5, 2+4=6, 2+6=8, 3+4=7, 3+6=9, or 4+6=10.

You choose 7 and 8 and place white cones those columns. You roll the 4d6 again. This time you roll combos that make 3 and 7. You place the third white cone in the 3 column and move the cone in the 7 column up one space. On your third roll, you MUST get at least one combo which is either a 3, 7, or 8. If you get any of those numbers, you move the white cone in that column up one space. If, however, you don’t match any of the three numbers you are currently backing you remove all of the white cones.

So what?

Here’s so what; at any point you can choose NOT to re-roll the dice. In this case, you replace the white cones with cones of your color. If, on a subsequent turn you get another roll in one of these columns (say the 7), you start moving the white cone up the column from where your colored cone is.

Your goal is to get to the end of three columns first. Once you get to the end of a column you lock it out and no other player can advance in that column anymore (thus eliminating that number as a valid roll). The columns are of differing lengths – 2 & 12 being very short, while 6 & 7 being the longest.

So, you have to decide which numbers to back on each of your turns, and as players (yourself included) lock out numbers the likelihood of busting out on any given roll increases. You have to know when to stop rolling and preserve your gains (modest though they may be) as opposed to rolling for broke to try and close out a column before the next guy does.

On the surface, not a lot of strategy; roll your dice, place your cones, pass to the next player, repeat as necessary. I was pleasantly surprised at how much thought actually went into each successive turn.

In the end, I can say the best thing I can say about any game; I would play it again.

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8 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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8
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness
Go to the Chaos Marauders page
7
14 of 14 gamers thought this was helpful
Account Deletion {Family Gamer} Apr 22nd, 2014
“The Epitome of Randomness”

Like many board game aficionados, a game’s ability to make you earn a victory is a rather large factor in its overall value to me. I shouldn’t be able to play a game for the first time against old hats and sneak away with a win unless they really took it easy on me. I want to feel like I’ve learned from game to game until everything clicks and I can compete. It’s usually a pretty big red mark against a game if I can master it but still have a rookie wipe me out due to a lucky string of randomness. Chaos Marauders is nothing but random… but I enjoy playing it anyway. It’s just too silly to not have fun with, and I won’t let myself become so curmudgeonly that I can’t appreciate it for what it is.

Observed Set-Up and Play Time
Chaos Marauders is an awesome game to have delivered in the mail and play the very same night. The contents are limited to a deck of 110 cards, 16 plastic cones in a zip lock, 1 die and 4 player boards (basically, a long sheet of card stock built for holding 12 playing cards side-by-side). There is no prep time to the materials, and the rulebook is easy (there is an additional instructional booklet included that outlines the exact rules of particular cards… this is a little harder to read through, but it’s unnecessary to do so before playing). From the first, you can have the game out of the box and set up in 2 minutes. Game time is very hard to predict; I’ve had numerous 15-minute games and just as many 45+ minute games. It should never take more than an hour, even if the cards fall in a way that prolongs the game as much as possible.

My Learning Curve and Teach Time
Chaos Marauders is teachable to literally anybody (gamer or not) in under 10 minutes. There is really no learning curve to speak of… the thing about a game this random is that there is no point in wasting brain cells on strategy. Sure, you can think long and hard on one and do your best to implement it. But the next player can (and will) draw one card that completely throws every one of your little plans in the dirt and laughs at their tears. Cards are such bullies.

Group Sizes and Dynamics
This game can be played with anybody… but that doesn’t mean it should be. By definition, it’s too random for strategy gamers and too light for power gamers; but these classifications do a particularly poor job in Chaos Marauders’ case of determining who will enjoy it. While any strategy or power gamer you know may have a blast with it, anybody (gamer or otherwise) that takes winning too seriously will be awful to play with. There’s one particular guy we occasionally play games with that tends to get overly sulky when he loses and overly exuberant when he wins. We played this with him and he was getting destroyed – heading into what proved to be his final turn, I would say he had around 100 points while everybody else was between 600 and 800 (point values are huge in this game). He pulled one random card that let him wipe out the points of the player sitting at 800 while catapulting himself to over 1000, and ended the game (not because of the points, but because it completed his 3rd battle line). The rest of us – who are used to the game and this kind of random dumb luck – laughed about it. But he started gloating like this was his master plan, and still talks about his amazing victory to this day. If you tell him the game is random, he gets flushed and rattles off a list of obvious tactics he employed (in his very first game) that the rest of us just couldn’t see. I will never play this game with him again… and I suggest you avoid playing it with people like this. I’ve also seen this guy get upset about losing a game of Zombie Dice.

Objectionable Material
It’s technically a war card game, so some illustrations are carrying fantasy weaponry or piloting machines of destruction. But these are goofy animated orcs, and there’s such a tenuous link to reality that I can’t find it objectionable. There are no images of violence or blood on the cards, and you don’t really “attack” each other – you just mess with each other’s battle lines and occasionally roll the die to see which one stays intact.

Comparable Titles
It’s pretty hard to pinpoint a game that shares anything mechanically with Chaos Marauders. While there are other war or battle card games they usually involve taking actions against your opponents, where this game focuses exclusively on building your battle lines (with occasional “take that!”s as a byproduct). While Chaos Marauders is not a deckbuilder, it may best be likened to Ascension (and the 50 deckbuilders that are similar to it). Four players sit around building out their hand/battle lines by claiming cards from the center of the table, and once in a while an opposing player gets a card that causes you to lose a construct/warrior. Thematically, I think of Chaos Marauders much like the Red Dragon Inn series… there is no alcohol involved here, nor a plethora of fantasy races, but the orcs from CM would be at home visiting the Red Dragon Inn after a day on the battlefield.

Random is not my thing, but I simply laugh too much while playing Chaos Marauders to be put off by it. It isn’t one of my favorites, but even after a year of regular play I am never chagrined to see it hit the table (you do need a whole table… while the box is approximately 7” x 4” x 1”, a four-player game takes every inch of my 4’ x 4’ dining room table). I would definitely avoid paying MSRP for it (there isn’t nearly enough in the box to validate the $25 price tag on Fantasy Flight’s website), but you can frequently find it under $10 as a clearance item online, and it’s worth grabbing then.

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14 out of 14 gamers thought this review was helpful
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6
Pet Lover
Petroglyph
The Bronze Heart
Go to the Love Letter page
9
10 of 13 gamers thought this was helpful
Bonnie {Avid Gamer} Apr 22nd, 2014
“Guys will play this game, I'm not kidding!”

There is really no need for me to go into great detail over a game that you have likely heard endless things about. Not to mention it is only 16 cards. The rules are simple and the play even more so. Discard and get the effect according to the card. Try to figure out what your opponent has or to make them discard out so that you can win the chance to send your ‘love letter’ to the Princess in hopes of being chosen her suitor.

That’s all fine and well but there is truly only one thing you need to know about this game:

GUYS WILL PLAY IT!

You look at the theme, you look at the concept and think oh right so it’s a filler game for girls. Wrong wrong wrong… on so many levels. At it’s core Love Letter is an easy to play trick taking game that is fun for the whole family. That includes the guys ;)

Final thoughts: Is it really fair to call this a Micro Game when it packs such a good little punch in the fun department. Let’s just call it a light trick taking with an interesting theme that is playable for all. Right, I get it now… Micro game it is.
What I like: Easy to play, easy to teach, easy to enjoy!
What I dislike: Umm… wait, do I even have to put something here? Okay fine, I dislike that you have to send a copy of a wedding invite to purchase the wedding edition of this game.
Who is this ultimately for: Your Mom’s Red Hat Society Group, Your Dad’s Poker Buddies, Your kids babysitter and her friends… seriously guys, this game is for everyone.
Who it’s ultimately not for: Hardcore strategy gamers are likely not gonna put this one on their Saturday Epic gaming list, but you just might still catch them playing it as a filler between their bigger games.

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10 out of 13 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 Fluxx The Board Game page
6
11 of 13 gamers thought this was helpful
pookie {Avid Gamer} Apr 22nd, 2014
“Bring the chaos of Fluxx to the board”

Despite having sold lots of copies, Fluxx the Card Game is divisive a design. Many players feel that the game is purely random, too chaotic, that it can last two minutes or to sixty minutes, and that it cannot be won except through random chance. To an extent, this is true, but Fluxx the Card Game is a game about change and adapting to that change—from one turn to the next. Now Looney Labs has turned Fluxx into a board game, and the question is, will Fluxx the Board Game be as good or as bad some think that the card game is?

Fluxx the Board Game uses mechanics similar to the card game, but with a board and playing pieces. The board represents objectives to be reached by moving a player’s two pieces around—such as Cookies, Money, Dreams, and so on—which are matched to the Goal cards. A player simply needs to have his pieces on these objectives to gain a Goal, but where in Fluxx the Card Game a player only needs to have his Keeper cards match one Goal card to win, in Fluxx the Board Game, a player must match and win multiple Goal cards to win. Being a ‘Fluxx’ game, everything though, is subject to change. Just as in the card game, the number of a cards a player must draw, play, and discard fluctuates during Fluxx the Board Game, but being a board game, the number of times and the colour of the playing pieces he can move, the number of Goals he needs to acquire to win, the board layout, and tile rotation are all subject to change.

The board consists of nine square tiles. One is the Start Tile, the other eight represent the playing area. Each of these eight is divided into four spaces, three Goal objectives and a sort of shunt space for multiple playing pieces or a portal to another tile. Together, the nine tiles are arranged into a square around the Start Tile. Two additional tiles serve as the Control Boards. One for the Goal cards, five of which are randomly placed face up in a stack; the other a peg board indicating how many cards a player draws, plays, pieces he moves, and his hand limit as well as if he can rotate and move tiles, and move off the edge of the board and onto the other edge.

The cards are divided between the familiar—to anyone who has played Fluxx the Card Game—and those new that take account of the new playing area. Action cards will be familiar and do things such as ‘Taxation!’ which forces rival players to each give you a single card or ‘Discard and Draw’ which lets a player effectively change his hand. New Action cards interact with the board and playing pieces. For example, ‘Back to Square One’ forces the other players’ playing pieces back to the Starting Square and ‘Rotate Colours’ forces players to change the colour of the playing pieces they control. New Rule cards like ‘Hand Limit’ will be familiar although instead of the limit being set by the card, the player now shifts the appropriate peg on the board, whilst ‘Rotate On’ and similar cards turn the board movement on or off. Goal cards remain unchanged from Fluxx the Card Game except for setting the objectives that the players need to move to claim each Goal card. The new Leaper cards send playing pieces to a particular Objective, like ‘Music’ or ‘The Eye’, or to any ‘Octagon’ or ‘Portal’ space. Lastly, the Colour cards determine which playing pieces a player currently controls.

At game start, each player gets to adjust the control pegs up once and receives a hand of three cards and a color to determine his initial playing pieces. Five Goal cards are placed on the Goal Control Board all face up, the uppermost one setting the initial objectives.

On his turn each player draws a number of cards, then plays cards and moves pieces, and then discards cards, all according to the pegs on the Control Board. A player can play cards and move pieces in any order that he wishes—which is where the game begins to get interesting. To start with, if a player moves a playing piece into an occupied space, it bumps the playing piece already there into an adjacent space—except for Octagon spaces which can hold more than one playing piece. A player can also examine the cards in the Goal stack, though not change their order, so thus he knows what Goals and what Objective spaces he needs to reach throughout the game. Plus a player can play Goal Cards from his hand onto the top of the Goal stack to claim them. This knowledge of the Goals and their Objectives enables a player to actually plan both his card use and his moves. It is even possible for a player to use his cards and move his pieces to gain more than a single Goal in just one turn.

Together, these changes add a strategic element to Fluxx the Board Game not present in Fluxx the Card Game and counter the random element so often criticised in Fluxx the Card Game. Not completely though, as the cards drawn and the actions of rival players still effectively have a randomising effect. None of this fortunately, adds anything in the way of complexity.

Although its Control Boards and pegs do not work as well as they should, the game is decently presented and rules are easy to understand. Pleasingly, rules explain the differences between Fluxx the Board Game and Fluxx the Card Game.

In developing Fluxx into Fluxx the Board Game, the designer has created a game that is more thoughtful than Fluxx the Card Game. Still a light game though, so suitable for a family audience, but still just enough of a challenge so as not to totally bore a gaming audience.

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11 out of 13 gamers thought this review was helpful
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5
Novice Reviewer
Canada
The Silver Heart
Go to the Elder Sign: Unseen Forces page
8
12 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Artem Safarov {Avid Gamer} Apr 22nd, 2014
“Careful additions make for a marginal improvement”

Since this is a first review for this game on the site I went into a fair bit of detail. It presumes familiarity with the base Elder Sign.

Elder Sign: Unseen Forces was released two years after the original tale of using awesome green dice to seal away Ancient Ones in a creepy old museums.

All in all it is a fairly unobtrusive expansion that enhances the game gently as opposed to reinventing it. It adds variety in terms of adventures and effects that take place during the game, offers new characters and enemies of varying interest, successfully fiddles with the purchasing mechanic and most importantly – adds a new mechanic with more custom dice. Let’s be honest here, it was all about the dice to begin with, so having the black and white added to the standard set of green, yellow and red is very exciting.

So let’s take a look at each addition in detail:

1. Cursed/Blessed Mechanic . New effects (either through success/failures in adventures, Mythos cards or item use) can impart on characters the state of being Cursed or Blessed. If you are blessed – you add a white die to each one of your rolls – it acts as an extra green die in all respects. It is a very powerful power-up as it gives you one more powerful reroll and more dice to score the results you need. Being cursed on the other hand adds a black die that negates one other die roll with the same result, thus effectively reducing your dice pool. The effects cancel each other out, so if a cursed investigator becomes blessed – the curse goes away. Curses appear as “punishment” for many of the new tasks and monsters, while Blessings can be obtained through some of the new item cards or purchased at the Chapel for 8 trophies. The balance here shifts a bit towards the white die as there are more opportunities to become blessed and it provides a more constant benefit. Becoming blessed early greatly improves your chances of long-term success, although it’s wise to remember that the blessing goes away if you fail an adventure.

2. New Ancient Ones. There are four of them and they are wonderful. Not only are they tougher than the average baddie from the original box, some of them bring in interesting new effects, like The Eater of Worlds who makes every failed adventure disappear and not be replaced, limiting your options with each setback and winning if the entire board is consumed. Abhoth, master of monsters spawns a new tough monster each turn and the game is lost if the players allow all three of them to exist on the same midnight, so it really forces some tough decisions and risk-taking.

3. New Adventurers, Allies, Items and Spells : There are eight new adventurers in total and while some of these feel interesting and powerful (like the Crocodile Dundee look-alike who can turn a yellow die into any result) – others fall short (Gaining one extra trophy per adventure is just not all that exciting). Some have interesting but limiting powers like getting a clue every time you defeat a monster. Additions here are uneven and just ok. Same can be said for the additional spells, items and artifacts. The three new allies are interesting and make you want to invest into getting them.

4. New Adventure and Other World Cards : Importantly, some of the old cards have been reprinted and replace existing ones, fixing previous errors. New additions do not provide too much excitement as it’s mostly more of the same, adding effects to bring the new cursed/blessed mechanic into play. Some of the new cards, like “The Visiting Antiquarian” that locks up both your red and yellow dice are pretty brutal. Overall these additions offer some variety without rocking the boat.

5. New purchasing rules : Fantasy Flight Games have made an important decision to ban Elder Sign purchase for trophies (as that led to some anticlimactic game finales). Furthermore, the “Entrance” card was broken up into four distinct locations – an Infirmary for healing up, Chapel for blessings, Souvenir Shop for purchasing items, spells and allies and Lost&Found for trying to get something for free. The number of purchases in Souvenir Shop has been increased to two. In addition with ability to pay to get blessed – this raises the relevance of trophies making the in-game currency useful. Certain effects can now also “close up” any of the shops, limiting characters’ ability to heal for the remainder of the adventure. This is a neat twist that adds tension.

6. New Mythos Cards: These are used to up the difficulty of the game as the new ones are much more likely to bring in monsters or Doom Tokens into play. For players looking for a real challenge, there are nine additional “Master” mythos cards with truly terrible effects (e.g. spawning four monsters at once) that really up the difficulty. New mythos cards is a strong addition to the game.

In conclusion: Unseen Forces expansion does not revolutionize the gameplay of Elder Sign, but brings a welcome increase in difficulty and variability that is enjoyable for the most part. The most notable change – the curse/blessing mechanic adds to the game nicely, providing additional depth and options without overcomplicating things. While it is an enjoyable expansion that definitely makes the game better it left me feeling that more daring steps could be taken for higher payoff. Both in terms of deviation from the original and increasing the difficulty – more would be welcome. As it stands – it will not convert any of those who were not fans of the original but will provide enjoyable additional content to the fans of the base game.

Much like the original, Elder Sign: Unseen Forces is a co-op game for 1-8 players (wait times become quite tedious with 5+) that plays within roughly 1.5 hours. Suggested for fans of light gameplay, custom dice and Cthulhu mythos. Heavy emphasis on luck, cooperative nature of the game and inability to strategize much might turn other boardgamers away.

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12 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
Go to the 7 Wonders page
8
9 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
Lk2119 {Casual Gamer} Apr 22nd, 2014
“Great replay after initial learning curve”

Though the first play-through has a learning curve, after a play or two most have a blast.
With many different avenues to earn Victory points, it is often a struggle for new players to know how to adjust to the cards they are seeing the first time they play. I have often found that players have an “Aha!” moment during the scoring at the end of their first game – the next several are usually much more enjoyable for them.
Starting a 7 player game with a lot of new people can take a long time, as everyone is adjusting and learning, so I would recommend introducing it to smaller groups first.

The variation on civilizations (A and B sides!), point strategies, and randomness of card shuffles makes the replay value high.

If playing with fewer than 5 people, it does seem that a supplemented Military strategy is the most effective, and Science nearly so. Though, when you play with more players, it spreads the card options out among more people and makes it harder for a single person to monopolize a strategy, making a diversified strategy just as or more effective than focusing on one.

Great fun with a table full of players!

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9 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Gamer - Level 6
Paladin
Go to the Fluxx The Board Game page
1
12 of 12 gamers thought this was helpful
MLawless {Power Gamer} Apr 22nd, 2014
“Disconnected, Confusing, and Just Not Fun”

INTRO
I’m a big fan of the FLUXX line of card games. They’re fast, simple to learn and have a great sense of humor. Given my enthusiasm for the source game, I figured a board game based on the concept would be fun. It turns out I was wrong.

GAMEPLAY
The game is played on a three-by-three board of tiles, each with four different symbols on them. Everyone starts in the center tile and moves out to the surrounding squares on their turn.

The purpose of the game is to get two of your three tokens onto the right symbols to correspond to the current goal. This should be familiar to players of FLUXX. Instead of having Keeper cards in front of you to win you have to physically move your token to the right spots.

The twists are that the board is constantly changing. You can play cards to rotate the tiles or move them to different spots on the table. Needless to say, the game board doesn’t stay a 3×3 square for long. You can also play cards to bump other players’ tokens back to the beginning or to other (presumably less desirable) locations. Some cards let you “warp” from the end of one tile to the opposite side of another tile.

You also have a peg board with pegs to keep track of what rules are in play. This was probably the only positive thing I can say about the game – it’s both necessary and useful, considering how many bizarre rules are involved with the inclusion of the board.

BUILD QUALITY
You get lots of fiddly bits with this game. There are nine cardboard tiles with various pictures on them that make up the “board.” Each player gets a set of tokens of a different color and shape – red (pawns), blue (meeples), yellow (cubes), and green (cylinders).

You also get a deck of cards, with some familiar (goals, actions, rule changers) and some new (leapers). Each player gets a card with their color and pawn type on it to cut down on confusion.

The pieces are generally well-made, except for the pegs you use to keep track of the rules. They are just a *little* bit too long, and tend to fall out of their holes mid-game.

FUN FACTOR
I did not enjoy this game at all. It seems to appeal to the same kinds of people who like “We Didn’t Playtest This at All” – fans of randomness for the sake of randomness. If that’s your kind of game, by all means pick this one up.

I didn’t feel that the board game really captured the cohesive play style of the card games, it just used the name for brand recognition. The game pieces are fiddly, the rules seem to be purposefully confusing, and the concept is just too weird and abstract for me to grasp. I understand that the creators wanted to make something that was both somewhat familiar but also new and fresh, but it just didn’t work for me. The card games are a great example of simplicity and fun. The board game is anything but.

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12 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Fluxx The Board Game page
10
2 of 9 gamers thought this was helpful
tobybaggins {Strategy Gamer} Apr 22nd, 2014
“Fun as Heck”

I’ve been a fan of the Fluxx card game series since about 2007. It is an interesting game that allows the players to change the rules as the game goes along. This makes the game work very well, because the game isn’t always the same every time. The only things that stay the same is the Basic Rules, three card hands and a winner.

Another great thing about this game is that a board is added to give the game an even better twist. It is definitely a game to buy, own and play over and over again.

Also, if you’ve played the Fluxx card games, this board game is very simple to learn.

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2 out of 9 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
Eminent Domain Fan
Go to the Incan Gold page
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5 of 8 gamers thought this was helpful
Billie Wrex {Avid Gamer} Apr 21st, 2014
“You'll Want To Play Again And Again”

Originally released as Diamant, Incan Gold is a re-implementation of the same theme and mechanics with a few different cards added. Incan Gold, as you might’ve guessed, is set in a South American temple, with the players as explorers seeking rare treasures. It’s a push-your-luck game, with the explorers having the option to return to camp with the treasures they have found or continue on further into the temple. The risk factor comes in the form of various hazards such as poisonous snakes, cave-ins, and even weird, creepy lookin’ zombies. Once you come upon the same hazard twice, everyone still in the temple is set off runnin’ back to camp scared out of their wits and leaving all their treasures. It sure hurts to have accumulated a nice sum of gems worth a hefty amount of points, especially when someone’s already returned to their camp with a respectable sum themselves.

Incan Gold also adds an element of bluffing that Diamant presumably didn’t have in the form of Artifacts. Each level of the temple has an artifact that’s shuffled into the deck. Each artifact is worth a good chunk of points, but only one person gets it. If more than one explorer leaves at the same time, nobody gets the artifact. The mind games really add a lot of fun to the game as it puts even more weight on the decisions the players make. Incan Gold plays very fast, always five rounds, and you’ll probably find yourself wanting to play multiple games in a row.

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