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The Gold Heart
Go to the Azul page
Sweed {Avid Gamer} Apr 9th, 2021
“Overall best game for anyone ”

Azul is one of my favorite games of all time.
For starters anyone can play. My four-year-old can play as well as my 64-year-old father who can whip my pants off with his strategy. The colors and the beauty of this game are just as delightful as the strategic gameplay.
Basically you’re drawing colors of tiles out of the center and placing them on your board appropriately in order to score the most points. The quicker you can score those points is usually better because not all players will let you continue on to the round you need in order to finish your lines to get bonuses.
The game is played between two players very well. The game can also be played with three or four players. The gameplay is different depending on how many players you have and their differing levels of strategy.
My husband is a very strategic Azul player and is always crunching numbers, he doesn’t enjoy playing with our sons who he calls “wildcards”, meaning he can’t predict what they will take because they don’t always take what’s best.
The game is easy to teach and even easier to play, and will delight strategic players as well as casual gamers. Everyone I have shared this game with has wanted to play again or even bought a copy for themselves.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 2 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Book Lover
I play blue
Go to the Jetpack Joyride page
Elida {Avid Gamer} Mar 20th, 2021
“From a solo perspective”

This is a puzzle game that makes you find a trail through four rooms, collecting money, and possibly finishing missions. It`s my suspicion that it is inspired by a video game.

You play a man with a jetpack trying to fly through some rooms. Along the way there are obstacles to avoid, and there are some scientists there. So you need to navigate through the rooms. To mark it off you have polyominoes tiles to lay down on your sheets, to show where you go. Some gadgets may help you along the way, but you have your work cut out for you. The game ends after three rounds.

This is a fun little game with a good real time presence. In multiplayer you are fighting others to finish the road, but as a solo gamer, you only fight to get as many VP at the end as possible. And this review will be based on solo plays.

As a big solo gamer, I brought this game into my collection around New Year`s Eve. First the retail, then the Deluxe version. In the solo mode you have to remove from the start two of each shape tiles, and then you need to remove the mission and gadget cards. After that you remove the tiles used from one play to the next, until you have played the three rounds. Then you tally up the VP from money you gathered and missions you finished, and gadgets giving you some extra VP.

You can feel the real time, when you try to avoid the obstacles, and you want to finish missions, or get those coins, and you try not to use too many tiles. In a solo game that will mess you totally over when you hit the third round. Till now I have ended not being able to finish room #4. I can see this on the table late at a gaming evening, or at a party, even with non-gamers. Rules are easy to learn. You choose one tile, put it on your sheets, one after another, so they follow all the way to the end, and then you score between rounds. If you choose one that you don`t find fitting, you simply put it back, and then choose another one, with a different shape. A thumb rule; you need to start with at least one square on the tile outside of the sheet, and end with at least one square on the tile outside. And the squares are easy to see on the tiles. With the Deluxe version there also comes a Solo Challenge book, where you find nice, little challenges if you don`t feel like playing the entire game. I won`t say it`s quick and easy, but it is very thought provoking, and you wring your brain to find that one and only solution it has (even if you will get the same result in different ways). It comes with the answers. They are still quite replayable, as long as you don`t have a photographic memory, because you can start over, and be just as stomped about the solutions.

Components are cute. I wish the room sheets had been tiles instead, because they are thin and slide a bit. The tiles are neat. I still fear breaking them, but I think it demands a bit in regular play. Even though you would think it would feel very samey, it will bring with it diversities to bring something new to each play. All four sheets of all four rooms are two sided, so there are so many different setups. There are also expansions, especially in Deluxe version, that will contribute to make the game new. One of the downsides are that you can only play it up till 4 players (though with Collector`s edition you can play with 6). It would have been fun to see this game being played with more people by the table to see the frantic race. But for me it`s important that there is a solo mode in the game, and it is tough! I haven`t scored all too well yet. I also love the fact that there are Solo Challenges, because I can set up the game while making dinner or doing something else, and go back and forth to it, trying to solve the puzzle.

This game can reach a big range of people. And it`s an easy game to explain at a party to bring up the mood, if need be. As a solo game it`s a nice wind down or start up game. It doesn`t demand much setup, especially if you have already sorted it out for solo play. And the box is fairly small, or you can bring only the necessary stuff in order to bring it along on vacation. And you don`t need much table space, so you can play it just about anywhere.

Although, as I write this it`s Covid time, and parties and travel is not in our immediate future. But sometime soon…I hope.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Go to the Machi Koro: Millionaire's Row page
“Red tape, but advantages as well”

We thoroughly enjoy the base game, Machi Koro. We have gotten to where we always have Millionaire’s Row mixed in. At the time writing this, we do not have the other expansions.

We enjoy the set up better. The market place was just too big for our table, so we enjoy having the supply cards shuffled and drawing 10 at random (no duplicates). We enjoy the addition of a variety of new supply cards.

I would have like to have seen more coins… nothing stops the flow of a game like having to stop and make change EVERY TURN because there aren’t enough ones.

Renovations… I don’t use them when I’m playing with the kids. I’m too nice. It took me a couple read throughs to follow and they still aren’t up to snuff. We only use it if they accidently trigger one on their own, as I do want them to learn how they work, but I’m not going cut throat on them. As far as adults, I haven’t been in a large enough group to play where I would feel comfortable using them.

For me, I feel the renovations are pretty harsh for a 2-4 player game, but if you mixed in the Harbor Expansion and had a larger than 4 group playing, it could make for an interesting game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Go to the Machi Koro page
“Big Trouble in Little Dice Town = Fun”

This game is great if you are trying to help your kids with math. There are several math elements in the game without feeling like a math game. Machi Koro requires nothing in hand other than when you are rolling the die/dice, so its great if you are playing with someone with less hand coordination.

You may think this may sound like Monopoly, but there is no trading of properties and you don’t have to sell “properties” if you run out of money (debt forgiveness).

One thing to always remember is to stock up on blue supply cards first. Those will get you coins when it is anyone’s turn. The coinage is smaller, but you have a higher chance of getting the coins because… more rolls. My kids forget this every time.

Teaching aside, I do still enjoy playing this with other adults.

I have a review on my website, listed on my profile.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
I'm Gettin' the Hang of It
Go to the Forbidden Island page
Jcarpe {Avid Gamer} Jan 21st, 2021
“A different group experience each time”

My wife and I have enjoyed playing this with close friends and neighbors mainly because it just doesn’t really get old. The initial random nature of the tiles and how the overall landscape changes based on the how the group plays can create new challenges and a unique experience over and over. The learning curve is short and quiet gentle which makes this some really accessible fun. This is one that we keep coming back to.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful

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