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buccaneerpaul

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8
Go to the Patchwork page

Patchwork

44 out of 50 gamers thought this was helpful

My girlfriend and I are always on the look out for good two player games. This is one of the best I’ve picked up in quite a while. It’s easy to learn, plays quickly, and is lots of fun.

The basic idea is that you are making a patchwork quilt. It’s a strange theme for a game, I admit, but that adds to it’s quirky charm. The play is reminiscent of Tetris, in that you have oddly shaped pieces that you attempt to put together in the most efficient way. Each turn you will have the option of buying one of three available pieces. You can also forego buying a piece and grab a few buttons (the currency of the game). When you buy a piece you add it to your quilt, represented by a grid on your play board. Some of the pieces have buttons “sewn” onto them which score you more buttons at intervals throughout the game.

Each button also has an associated time. The bigger tougher pieces take longer to add to you quilt. As you add a piece to your quilt, you move your piece along the time track which determines when the game ends. At the end of the game, players add up all their earned buttons, subtract some for any open spaces left on their grid and see who has the most buttons. You can also score a bonus for being the first player to fill a 7X7 grid without leaving any holes. That bonus has been the tipping point for victory in many of out games.

It may not be the deepest or most innovative game I’ve played this year, but it is one of our favorites. Patchwork provides a simple, elegant experience for two players and has plenty to draw you back for many future games.

8
Go to the T.I.M.E Stories page

T.I.M.E Stories

51 out of 57 gamers thought this was helpful

Let me start by saying this is a great game. My game group recently added this to our collection and had a blast playing it. Briefly, the game casts the players as TIME agents sent back in time to prevent a temporal catastrophe. In this case, the setting is an asylum in the 1920s. You team must investigate the area and follow the clues to find who or what is causing the disaster. If you can’t succeed within a set time, you’re pulled back to the future and have to try again from the beginning.

The base mechanic of the game is fresh and interesting. As you enter new areas a mural of cards is laid out. The players investigate by picking up the cards that show an point of interest for them, reading the back, and relaying that information to the group. The game encourages players to reframe information they find in their own words which creates a kind of shared storytelling element of the game. The scenario deck contains many of these murals that ******** out as the players explore the setting. The game has one of the better cooperative engines I’ve played and doesn’t immediately fall into the trap of having one person taking the lead at the expense of other players. The game is challenging without feeling overwhelming. You really feel the pressure as the clock ticks down and you rush to get as much information as you can.

The scenario that comes in the box is intriguing and fun. I won’t ruin the surprise by going into too much detail, but the creepy vibe of an old time asylum comes through really nicely. The biggest drawback of the game is that it only comes with one scenario. My group played three times without completing the adventure and we might have a session or two left. I understand that the game could not present a tight, well-crafted story without this format. It would have been nice if it had come packaged with a second scenario, though. That limitation may be a deal breaker, especially if you’re a gamer with a budget. There currently 3 or 4 more scenarios and my group digs the game, so I’m sure we’ll collectively invest in the expansions.

9
Go to the DC Comics: Deck-Building Game page
64 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

The title tells you everything you need to know about what this game is about. You take on the role of a DC superhero, and you attempt to defeat a series of Super Villains by building a deck. Pretty simple. If you’ve played deck building games before, you’ll have no trouble catching on to this one. Even players new to DBGs learn the game quickly. I’ve introduced several of my friends to the DBG genre with this game, and they loved it.

The box contains a 114 card Main deck, 12 Super-Villain card, 7 Super Hero character cards, the deck starter cards (Punch and Vulnerabilty), and the Kick and Weakness cards (staple cards that stay available through out the game). The players start with a 10 card deck and a Super Hero character card (it doesn’t go in your deck, but provides an always active Ability). They add to their decks by playing cards that generate Power. At the beginning of the game and the end of each turn the players fill The Line Up with cards from the Main Deck, providing options for spend the Power a player generates. Most of the cards you add to your deck also give you victory points (Weaknesses being the main exception in that they actually subtract VP). At the end of the game, the player with the most VP in his or her deck wins.

You can also spend Power to defeat the cards in the Super-Villain Stack. For each game, you randomly and secretly determine which 8 Super-Villains go in the stack, though Ra’s Al Ghul is always the first. Each time a player defeats a Super-Villain, a new one is revealed and gets a chance to “attack” the players. Once all the Super-Villains are defeated the game ends and players tally their VP.

Pros

The games is quick to set up out of the box and easy to learn. The instructions are clear and concise. Just about any experience level gamer should have no problem getting into this game.

The production quality of the game is high and the art is very nice.

The mechanics at the heart of the game are simple and solid, but variety of card effects keeps the game engaging. The game moves quickly so no one spends too much time waiting for their turn, and you can finish a game in about an hour.

Cons

The story conceit of the game, that the deck represents your Super Hero character, falls apart with any amount of scrutiny. Why would Batman have Heat Vision? Why would Superman add Lex Luthor to his deck?

Because the cards come randomly from the Main Deck, it can be difficult to stick with a strategy. Superman’s ability thrives on playing Super Powers, but if not many come out to buy, you’ll have to rethink that strategy. In the same way, because everyone is buying from the same pool of five cards, you won’t know what will be available until your turn comes up. That makes it hard to make a plan while the other players take their turns.

Overall

I love this game. I’ve played it a dozen times since we bought it and had a good experience every time. It works with as few as two people, but the sweet spot is probably 3 or 4. Compared to the other DBGs I’ve played, set up time is quicker and the learning curve is milder. There are a couple of shortcomings, but the fun of the game outweighs them. I’m not sure how much an expansion could game, but I’ll be more than willing to try it when one inevitably surfaces!

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