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Aaron M

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Go to the Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game page
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Go to the Hive: Carbon page

Hive: Carbon

30 out of 31 gamers thought this was helpful

Hive Carbon is a re-release of Hive. The difference between the two are that the tiles are now presented in black and white instead of the differing colors of the original set. Hive Carbon also includes the expansion tiles the Mosquito and the Ladybug.

the Breakdown: Hive is an abstract game based on the ideas of chess but without having the constraints of a board. Each tile contains an insect and each insect moves a specific way. The Spider moves three spaces, no more, no less. The Ant can move to any space (that he can slide into). The Grasshopper jumps over (at least one or more) other tiles. The Beetle moves one space at a time and can also jump on top of another tile pinning down the tile below him `causing it to not be able to move as well as changing its color to the color of the beetle. While on tiles, the Beetle may also move onto other adjacent tiles. The Queen Bee moves one space. The Ladybug always moves twice on top of other tiles and then one space down. The Mosquito copies the move action of an adjacent bug.

At the start of the game you each place a tile adjacent to your opponent’s tile. From this point on, you may not place a tile which would be adjacent to your opponent’s tile. You must place your Queen Bee on the first, second, or third turn. You may not move a tile until your Queen Bee has been placed. Each player takes turns moving or placing their tile. You may not move a tile that would break the “Hive” in two or more parts. The goal of the game is to surround your opponents Queen Bee (can be with both your and your opponents tiles).

Thoughts: I seriously love this game. I take it with me to get-togethers or bring it out when me and my friends have game night and we’re waiting around for a late-comer to show up. It’s fast and easy to learn, but difficult to master. The components are durable. The replay-ability is infinite as everyone has their own strategies. I’ve seen games ranging from 10 minute beat downs to long drawn out plays where every tile has been placed. I’ve seen people narrowly escape what seemed to be a checkmate. If you like chess, but want something quick, this game fulfills all your needs. I cannot recommend it enough.

Go to the Smash Up page

Smash Up

42 out of 45 gamers thought this was helpful

When I first heard about Smash Up, I thought,
ONE: The concept of just putting cards down to break a base sounded too simplistic.
TWO: Zombies, Aliens, Pirates, Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Robots.. haven’t we had enough of how “NERD COOL” these things are in pop culture?
THREE: Deck Shuffling?

So here’s the quick breakdown of Smash Up. There are 8 faction decks, Zombies, Aliens, Pirates, Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Robots, Wizards and Tricksters. Each Person takes two factions decks which contains 20 cards each and shuffles them together. They draw five cards. Bases are dealt face up according to the number of players plus one. You may play one action and one minion on your turn. When the total number of minions’ power on a base equals the base’s breaking point number, the base is scored with the person having the highest power total on the base getting the amount of victory points for the first place position (the far left number) and so on for the second and third place. The first player to reach 15 points is the winner.

So, the Pros: As much as I hate to say it, it is kinda cool to have a deck full of Zombies and Dinosaurs. The art is spectacular. Even some of the card names are clever. The game is fast and super easy to learn, which makes teaching it even easier. With the eight factions with multiple combinations of decks, the replay value is quite high. I have played this a bunch of times and still have not used a couple of factions.

Now the Cons: I still feel like the base breaking thing is short on reasoning. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. Maybe I just think that there could be some great explanation for why these factions are coming together and why the bases are breaking. The other thing that most people, including myself, have a problem with is the issue of balance. Some faction combinations are just too much stronger than others. I’ve played a game with Zombie Aliens and just mopped the floor with my opponents. I did just purchase the expansion, Smash Up: Awesome Level 9,000, but have only played it once, so I’m not quite certain if the new factions have fixed things just quite yet, but I can say that with the 4 new factions, if you are playing a four player game, the last person is less likely to get a faction they REALLY don’t want.

All in all, this game is fast, fun, and easy to play. I really do love when games prove to me that they are better than I think and not worse *cough* zombie fluxx *cough*.

Go to the Dixit page


50 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

I picked up Dixit because recently my more video gaming friends had become interested in table top gaming (through my introduction of Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards). I thought that this would be a great addition to my gaming collection since it was pretty casual. And it was. It’s really fun! The art is creepy and surreal, which is my kind of thing, and the game is very easy to learn and fast to play.

The only flaws I have with it is that when you play a lot with the same group, you tend to repeat yourself (most times not on purpose) when you get the same cards. Since Dixit 2 and Dixit Odyssey are really hard to find, that only leaves Dixit Journey as an expansion right now (though Asmodee says they will release the Odyssey cards without the 12 player board and voting system). The other problem that may occur is that some people just aren’t that creative. It’s usually more of a strain on them as they feel they aren’t doing well when everyone guesses their card.

The Pros vastly outweigh the Cons and I’d suggest this game to any casual gamer or for people looking to introduce table top gaming to non-gamers.

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