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Michael Anino

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Follow a total of 10 games
Go to the 7 Wonders page
Go to the Forbidden Island page
Go to the Lost Cities: The Card Game page
Go to the Dixit page
Go to the Mr. Jack page
Go to the Puzzle Strike page
Go to the Blue Moon City page
Go to the String Safari page

String Safari

This is a very strange game, and it has a great Table Presence.
The big purple string circle, with the cardboard randomly on the table kind of just draws the eye.
The first game was a little hard to grasp how scoring worked, or what a good strategy was. Should you focus on getting a large group of similar animals, or do you try to set things up so more variety is available for tiles later in the game.
We had a tendency to focus on what we had available to score right now, and it made building goals later a little hard, as we no longer had anything close to the objects that were not scored earlier in the game, so we had a LOT of night creatures by the Oasis, but NOTHING over in the desert, so when it was time to try to score Desert tiles it was back to small scores, BUT there wasn’t room for the new tiles that would help improve those small scores.
It’s super unique, and I’ll definitely be holding on to it, as it’s unlike anything else in my collection, it’s both a pretty good Dexterity game and a Pretty good “Sort of Engine Builder” game. But that’s really stretching the idea of engine builder.
Weird game, but really good.

Go to the Century: Golem page

Century: Golem

I saw the art of this and thought it looked great.
I’d seen reviews of Century Spice Road which made me excited to try that, and since this is the same game, but with different art, I was excited to give it a try.
The game has a pretty simple central premise of using cards to collect and improve gems, and then using gems to collect Golems.
With the goal of “First to Collect 5 Golems” as the game end trigger rather than a certain point value, it is a valid strategy to get a lot of small golems if they’re in the Market, rather than needing to toil and create those hard to make gems to get the Big Point cards.
I like this game as it has a very easy central game concept and easy to understand mechanism, but it can lead to some clever card play if you’re careful with your selections.
I’ve seen a small card engine get a lot of good Golems, and I’ve seen an engine where almost every turn a new card was selected and then used, and the player only used the “Pick up your hand” option near the end of the game to pick up his 20 or so cards, while the rest of us had much smaller hands of cards.
I have not yet played the others in the series, but have ordered them for Christmas. If they are not posted as separate entries on here, I’ll post reviews for them under the appropriate Century Game on here.

Go to the Alhambra: The Dice Game page
9 out of 9 gamers thought this was helpful

So I played this the other night at a local Game Night and I wasn’t that impressed.
It’s a pretty good dice game, on that I’d probably like to play again, but with the Base Game rules that we were playing it’s kind of just… a dice game with very little “Alhambra” to speak of in game play.

Also: We had 3 players and the game took almost 2 hours. Which seems ridiculous. The play time on the box says “60 Minutes” and it’s a 3-6 player game, so we were working with the lowest number of players.

So, what is the game? And what is with that previous sentence? That’s not how sentences work!

On your turn you get three chances to roll the 9 dice. You can stop rolling at any time, or you can push your luck.
You’re trying to roll matching symbols that match columns on the board. If you can get the highest score on a column you get “Building Points” as a reward and a chance to earn Victory Points during the Scoring Phases that take place after Rounds 1, 3 and 5.
The “Columns” that you can place in have three spots for each number, depending on when you successfully roll that number. So if you roll it on the first attempt you get the Far Left and if you get it on the third roll you get the Far Right. If people tie, the person who got there in the fewest rolls gets the better reward. If you roll 4 Red on your Third Roll and someone else has already placed on that color for that many dice rolls you get bumped down to the next available space(3 Red, 1 Roll in this case(if it were empty). This happens regardless of when you rolled those dice, so if you roll First Roll: 2 Red, Second Roll: 2 Red, Third Roll: 0 Red you still get the 4 Red, 3rd Roll space. Sometimes it’s worth taking the risk, but in our experience we found that it was better to just stop when you were ahead.

Depending on the number of players you’ll place up to 5 tokens(fewer are placed with more players. But like I said we had 3 players, so we placed all 5 each turn) to indicate what you’re going for during the “Rolling Phase”(we’ll call it). After everyone has placed their tokens you give out the rewards. First Place gets to choose either Two Building Points or One Building Point and the Bonus Token. Second Place gets what First Place didn’t choose.
Bonus Tokens can be Immediate Victory Points or Special Power tiles, like being able to use an extra die which always shows the face of your choice, or being First Player. There’s a bunch of powers, and they don’t all seem amazing. But this is off of a single play and I’m bad at games.

After awarding the Building Points if it’s a Scoring Round you give out Victory Points. These increase in the same way they do in normal Alhambra.

And you do that until there’s been 5 rounds.

It’s a decent game. I liked the “Push Your Luck” element of it and I liked the way that even a relatively bad roll can get you a fairly good place on the board.

But: When I play an Alhambra game I want to play something with the tiles and with the strategy of placing those tiles being very important.
This has the scoring of Alhambra, but that’s about it.

There are rules for how to set up the game to play with the tiles. But we didn’t have the base game with us, so we just played the “Dice Game” rules.

It’s a pretty good dice game, but it took WAY TOO LONG for what it was. Maybe it’s because we were talking while playing. Maybe it was because we were playing for the first time, but it was a two hour dice game that did not offer you things to do when it’s not your turn.

It’s still a 6/10 though. I’d really like to get a chance to try the rules where you use the row to collect and place tiles.

Go to the Seventh Hero page

Seventh Hero

43 out of 48 gamers thought this was helpful

There are a lot of heroes in the world, and a dark force is trying to stop them from forming. That’s as much theme as there is to this game.

There are 7 heroes and you’re trying to collect 6 of them face up in front of you, if you do, you’ve collected 6 of the “True Heroes” and you’re the 7th. Or something.

The game is very simple, every round you turn over the top card of the discard pile and it’ll reveal a rule you have to follow by playing a card from your hand. This might be “Rank below 4” or “Odd Numbered Rank” or “Greater Than The Number Of Players”. If you have a card that follows that rule in your hand you play it face down without showing your opponents and pass it to the left. The player to your left now has a choice, they can keep the card or they can pass it.
If you keep it you reveal the card to the whole table and put it in front of you. BUT, if you already have one of the same Rank(number/role) the two heroes declare each other to be Imposters and kill each other.
That is to say: If you reveal a number that you already have in front of you, discard both.
If you choose to pass the card you’re safe, but the player to your left now has the same choice. If the card gets back to the player who started passing it they get to keep it no matter what.

The strategy that is in this game is all about having the right card in your hand when you have to play a card, and being able to bluff your way into either keeping it for yourself or giving it to an opponent who already has it to bust them. It’s not a deep strategy, but it is what it is.

Of course, each of the cards also has a power associated with it that helps you in some way. One card lets you look at the card before you decide if you’ll keep it or pass it, one lets you discard the card being passed around. Another lets you say “Ben, you MUST pass that card”(Ben being the name of the guy that always wins in your group. And in my group too.) So, all the cards have a special power that can be used once, and there’s a card that lets you “refresh” the power of another card that you’ve already used. This adds to the strategy as you’re trying to balance keeping the powers ready to use and using those powers.

It’s a quick game that still allows for table talk and which flows pretty quickly and it has a little bit of thinking to it too, as you can try and outthink your opponent and what card they must have put down.

Overall it’s a lot of fun, the card quality is nice and it’s easy to play and to learn. If you’re looking for a deep strategy this isn’t the game for you, but if you want something that’s good for 3-4 players and scratches the same sort of itch as Love Letter, this is worth a look.

Go to the Mottainai page


41 out of 47 gamers thought this was helpful

I’d heard this was very good and so I decided to get it, and because my group is into deeper games I thought I’d get the bigger version with two decks of cards.
I don’t know that I’ll ever play this with more than 2 players.

The game is great. It’s just… the most complex card game I’ve played in a long time.

Everyone is playing as a monk, and you’re trying to share your experience with your fellow monks and use what they’re offering to make items and display them. You have a Monastery(Player Board) in front of you that keeps track of your current Task, the cards that are your Helpers, the cards in your Sales area and items on your Crafting Bench. You get points for displaying objects in your Gallery and Gift Shop, and for having items in your Sales area.

Every card in the deck is different and all of them are different objects, like a Fan or a Poem or a Teapot. Also every object is made from one of five materials: Paper, Stone, Cloth, Clay or Metal, these allow you to Craft and Smith items from your hand. Also every type of material has a different Task(Action) associate with it, these are the actions you can take on your turn.

So, every card has the Object on it which has both Points for the end of the game AND a special ability on it once it’s been built, and a material on it which allows you to either Craft an item or Smith an item AND they have on them the titles of the Tasks that you can take if you play that card. So, every card has a lot of information on it.

And on your turn you’ll be playing a card down in front of yourself, performing the Tasks(Actions) in front of all the other players and then also performing the Task of the card you just played. Each time you play an action you get a bonus if you have Helpers of the right type in your Monastery, so even with two players you might end up taking like 6 Actions if you have the right Task and Helper cards on the table.

I’ve said a lot of words, and there’s still a lot to say to make this game understandable, so I’ll just kind of jump to how I feel about the game.

This game is really good. It really is, I know my language might not reflect that before this, but it’s just very, very good. It’s also very hard to learn. And very hard to teach(there’s a lot of questions). And it’s very hard to learn and teach it at the same time.
But it’s a really good game.

It has a lot of hard decisions that you make every turn. Do you try to Craft a paper item from your hand? You can do that pretty easily because you don’t need any extra materials from the Craft Bench, just the item itself, BUT that means that to make the Fan you have to sacrifice the Poem because you can only Craft with the same Material of item as the card you played. Or maybe you want to just discard and draw more cards(Tailor action/Cloth card) and get better things into your hand, well that’s not a bad idea, but it can be hard to know what to keep and what to discard. Do you get rid of the hard to make Metal items and hope to draw something easier to make like Cloth or Paper? Or do you go for the hard to Craft items because they have more powerful abilities and are worth more points at the end of the game?

There’s also a lot of “Bonus Action” stuff to consider and a lot of “coverage” which is a little hard to grasp at first, but… it’s a really smart and well designed game that is just, hard to grasp at first.

I look forward to playing this more and to learning the tricks to it, but I also dread it a little bit because I’m going to have to teach every person that I play with how to play and that is just a difficult task. Maybe if I put down more Clerks…

Go to the SET page


68 out of 80 gamers thought this was helpful

I absolutely love this game.
But I absolutely hate trying to teach it. I almost gave it a 3 for “Easy To Learn” but I’ve had entire games go by and still people didn’t know how to collect a set. I’d explain again and again with many different types of examples, but it still wouldn’t get through to people.
BUT! I don’t care!
See, the thing is, no matter how slowly people learn this game, they still learn it. And I love a game that is both extremely simple and EXTREMELY complex at the exact same time.(note the capitalization)

The thing that gets me is that some people get it right away and know what to look for, and others it takes longer but they’ll start calling “Set!” “Set!” “Set!” all in a row once they get the hang of it.

It’s a game that I can play with my family and they’ll do just as well with it as my game group. Nobody’s good at this game and that makes it kind of great.

Go to the Bruges page


96 out of 137 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve played this once, but so far I’m not very impressed by it.

I really like Stefan, he’s a great designer and I like the amount of punishment that he puts in his games, but if my first game is any sign of how this game works there’s kind of too much going on.

The number of cards is daunting. There doesn’t seem to be any repeats in the cards, at least none that I saw. So the ability to try and play a strategy where you’re burning through cards trying to find the one you need isn’t a good one.
And there are so many different cards that you can’t know what type of cards are out there. But it seems like you should make a strategy out of the cards you get, but you can’t because you have to beware of the disasters and spend cards getting rid of those or else get really hurt.

I had The Queen which allowed me to get 1 point every turn. This allowed me to get ahead enough that despite the fact that I didn’t put any effort into my Canals and my opponents did I came in 2nd behind the leader by only one point. This seems kind of unfair. I’m not complaining but I do think that it’s a little weird that if one player spends one round getting money they can ignore another portion of the game entirely and still get second place.

Over all I’m not impressed. I’d much rather play any other Stefen Feld game. It’s just a little overwhelming and there’s no way to make a strategy that makes sense.
Should I build a house so this guy can live in it that allows me to get rid of one Yellow Danger per Yellow Worker I discard? I don’t know, how many Yellow Dangers will we roll? We went the entire game without any Yellow Dangers being rolled so that card would have been completely wasted.

Give me Notre Dame any day.

Go to the Through the Desert page

Through the Desert

14 out of 16 gamers thought this was helpful

I picked this up because of my love for Knizia and I’m glad to say that I really like it.

As with many Knizia games the theme is almost pointless, but it helps to have SOMETHING to explain why you’re placing things on the board in the way you are.

The goal of the game is to get the most points and you get points in a variety of ways. You can get points by having the longest chain of camels of certain camels, landing your camels on Waterholes, landing next to Oases and by blocking off sections of the board.

The game has been compared in my game group as a variation on Go, with the area control being similar. I can’t speak to this since I haven’t played Go, but from what I understand of the game that makes some sense.

However unlike in Go each player commands 5 different colors, not just one. All the colors are nice pastels and are fairly easy to tell apart from each other. However I don’t know how well they work for the colorblind. I think they’re different enough to tell apart, there’s been no trouble in my gaming group on the occasions of play.

On your turn you place any two camels you want. They can be different colors or the same color, but they must be placed next to other camels you control already.
At the start of the game you place your Caravan Leaders on the board and those are your starting pieces for each of the 5 colors.

Overall I really enjoy this game. It’s fairly quick to learn but you’ll keep playing because you keep going back to try out new strategies.
Probably more of a Gateway Game than a deep thinking I find this one game that works well for all player ranges 2-5.

Go to the  The Red Dragon Inn: Allies - Pooky page
11 out of 12 gamers thought this was helpful

I’m a fan of Red Dragon Inn and I was excited when I heard that a Pooky deck was coming out.
The deck can’t be played without the original game, but it does allow an extra player, and it’s fairly easy to learn.

Pooky has cards that allow him to gamble, cheat, mess with drinks and hurt other players, just like all the characters in the game. Pooky also has a Mood Card that allows the player to change the amount of damage done by certain attack cards.
Pooky’s Mood gets worse and worse as the game goes along. He starts out happy and will do little damage, but as he loses at cards, drinks and gets hurt he gets angrier. A lot of his cards that attack other players have a note on them about how much damage they do depending on Pooky’s Mood and they’ll generally do 1-4 damage.
It’s often tempting to start a round of gambling just so you can get that extra hit of anger when you lose to do more damage on a later turn.

I think this is a fine expansion and the cards are the same quality as the base game. Pooky is well balanced and not too overly powerful even though his temper tends to get the best of him rather quickly.

If you’re a fan of the game you should probably pick this up, it’s very fun and adds an extra player without being too complicated.

Go to the Ascension page


39 out of 44 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ve played Deck Building Games since my friend Johnny introduced me to Dominion a few years ago. I generally really like them and like the mechanic of Deck Building, but have found that teaching games like Puzzle Strike(one of my favorites) is sometimes a little tough since new players don’t know what the pool of cards/chips is for or what any of the cards/chips do.
I had a copy of a game that I didn’t really like as much as I thought I would and I traded it to a friend for $30(what I paid for the other game) worth of credit on an order of his from an online store. I looked at their selection and compared the scores of the games that cost around $30 and decided to get this. I have to say I am very happy with the trade.

Not only is this a good Deck Building Game it’s a great introduction to the genre. It’s easy to understand and it’s easy to learn, and once you get more into the game you can see the benefits of the different Factions or Groups of Heroes.

One of the things that I really like is the art, yeah it’s not going to work for everyone, but it looks great for most of the cards, and it seems that the more expensive the card the better the art work, the high cost Mechana Constructs look better than the starting cards Apprentice and Militia. And the cards are very sturdy card stock, very thick and durable. I expect these to last for a very long time and not show too much wear.

The other thing that I really like Components wise is the Honor Points or Victory Points or whatever they’re called. The fact that you can collect little plastic rocks and use them to win the game is always worth an extra point in my mind. OK, maybe not a full point, but I like shiny things and this game has shiny things.

This game also has(in addition to shiny things) a great tiny thing, the Heroes and Constructs are done differently enough that they are easily distinguishable from each other. Heroes are cards that you can buy that you use and then discard, Constructs are cards that can help you each turn and once played can stay out on the table and help you every round.

The main thing that separates this game from Dominion or Puzzle Strike is that instead of a pool of types of cards that you use for the game you instead shuffle a deck of 200 cards and feed 6 cards at a time into a Center Line and those are your choices for the round. There are three types of cards, Heroes and Constructs as explained above and Monsters, which are worth Victory Points for defeating.

The game ends when a central pool of Victory Points is diminished, that triggers a final round for all players so that all players will have had an even number of turns. Then you count up VP and see who wins. There are two ways to get VP, one is fighting monsters and one is buying heroes and constructs which are worth points at the end of the game.

Overall I have to say that I really loved this game. I look forward to more playing but I expect it to be something that I can bring out and easily teach to any group. I also expect that I’ll be buying the expansions, hopefully very soon.

Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
57 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

I know that my opinion isn’t the most common, but I’m not a big fan of Settlers. I first played it around 2000 or so at a friend’s cabin during a Fun Snow Times Weekend(It wasn’t called that, we’d be really weird if we called it that, we’re only mostly weird, not really weird). Anyway, at the FSTW Andrew brought out Settlers and I was one of the few new players, so I was far behind in scoring and comprehension of how to play. Because I didn’t know how to play very well I didn’t trade very well. Because I was trading poorly I never had the right cards to build roads. Because I couldn’t buy roads I couldn’t build cities, everywhere that I could have built was blocked by other players. In short, not only did I do poorly, I did terribly. I still was able to build maybe one city and ended up with 3 points or so.
I didn’t play Settlers very much after that. I played a few other times hanging out with Andrew and his friends and kind of understood it a little better, but it never really clicked with me.
And then I was at a Board Game Day at the Library and there was a Special Edition copy of it that someone had brought. The 3D map that cost $300, and I really wanted to play on it. Again, I was the least experienced player and this time it meant that I was once again, quite lost. I know that my score at the end of that game was 2, because all I had were the two original towns that you start with. I wasn’t able to build ANYTHING as far as I remember. I didn’t get any good spots on the map which is my fault for not knowing how to place Towns, but still…

Yes, it’s a good game, I won’t deny it that. I like the central mechanics of it, I like the way that the goods are generated, and maybe it’s just the crowds I’ve played with but there’s something about the game itself that I just don’t really like that too much. I don’t like the trading, but then I don’t like games with trading very much because I never seem to have what anyone wants and I always need what everyone else always needs. And yes, I understand that’s how a game with limited goods and player trading works, but it’s not something that I like in games very much.

I also feel that it takes too long to play. I have nothing against long games, or complex games. I’ve had a great time with Caylus and think that it’s a fantastic game. I have no problem with games with randomness to them in dice rolling, I really liked Stone Age and the way it used dice to generate stone and gold and all. I like games with things that block other players(like the Thief in Settlers) like in the Assassin or Thief in Citadels or the broken tools in Saboteur. I guess it’s just that I don’t really like the way these all get mixed together in Settlers.

I hope that this doesn’t sound like someone saying “I don’t like it because I don’t like it” or “I don’t like it because every time I play it I lose”, because I have tried to give it several chances and tried to like it and it introduced a lot of my friends to the Gaming hobby, but I was playing other things before it and I’ve played other things since. I was already playing “James Ernst’s Totally Renamed Spy Game”(under the original name) and “Kill Doctor Lucky” at the time that my friends were playing Settlers so the “new” elements or the “Isn’t it great to have choices” aspect of non mainstream games wasn’t really that much of a revelation to me.

It’s a game that has gotten a lot of people into the hobby, and that is good. I just wish that I actually thought it was fun so when someone brought it out I’d want to play it instead of saying “Oh, you know what I brought? This is ‘Blue Moon City’ you collect cards to rebuild a fantasy kingdom. Or there’s ‘Dice City’ where you roll dice and try to get either a good poker hand or another good set up of dice that allows you other ways to score points. Or I have almost anything else that I’d rather play guys, I really don’t like Settlers that much.”

So I’m not trying to be negative for the sake of being negative. I want to state my case and say that I like all the elements but one(trading) and that they work great in other games, but I don’t think that they work together all that well.
In short I guess what I’m saying is: Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Go to the Monopoly Deal Card Game page
50 out of 56 gamers thought this was helpful

We all know the problems of Monopoly: It’s too long, few people play by the actual rules and aside from rolling the dice there’s little to do and almost no strategy.
OK, there’s probably more, or maybe I’m giving Monopoly a hard time because I never liked it, but suffice to say it’s not something I’m really willing to play anymore.
But then I saw Monopoly Deal! and thought “Wasn’t there already a Monopoly Card Game?”. There was, in fact there were two, and they’re both pretty good, but really kind of hard to find. And I remember liking the Monopoly Card game, but it was before I played games as much as I do now and I didn’t really think I’d like it, until I read the reviews on Board Game Geek. People said that it was actually fun and worth the $5, so I went out and found it and have to say I have not been disappointed.

The concept is fairly easy, you’re trying to collect three complete sets of Property Cards. You can play three cards per turn and they can be Property Cards that you play in front of you, Action cards that you play to get other players to give you money or Property or Money Cards that you Bank to prepare for having to pay other players.
It’s a quick game that is very easy to teach, and with the abundance of Property cards in the deck it’s fairly easy to complete a set. Some of the cards are also Wild cards that can be one of either of two Sets, and on your turn you can re-arrange your properties maybe moving around those wild cards and using the newly stolen property from your opponent to complete your third set. The number of times this has happened to me is a little disheartening, but I’ve done it once or twice as well so I guess it balances out.

The only complaint I really have is that the cards are cheap card stock like you’d expect from Hasbro or other mainstream game companies. I’m surprised that I actually notice this, but the fact that my Monopoly Deal! cards have warped and my Mission: Red Planet cards are fine even though I’ve owned M:RP longer seems like an issue of quality.

It’s not a deep game, that’s for sure. It’s quick and fun and you can stab other players in the back just like the “real” Monopoly. The fact that I can get this out, teach it and be done playing in 15 minutes is one of the testaments to this game in my opinion. Everyone is familiar with the idea, and every time I’ve played it I’ve gotten a positive response. Usually something to the effect of “Oh, that’s like Monopoly but it’s actually fun!”

Go to the Mr. Jack page

Mr. Jack

28 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

I heard about this and thought it sounded like fun, and then I played it and found that it was exactly what I was looking for.

In the game one player is Jack the Ripper and has just committed a murder, the other player is a Detective trying to uncover Jack’s identity. Jack has disguised himself as one of the 8 Investigators on the board,at the beginning of the game Jack gets one Alibi card which identifies which of the Investigators he is disguised as. The Character discs are placed on the board in a predetermined layout(in the original game, with the expansion Jack and the Detective take turns placing the pieces) and then 4 Character Cards are played to determine which Investigators are active this turn.
Players take turns choosing characters, but the order of selection changes every round. In the Odd numbered round it goes Detective, Jack, Jack, Detective and in the Even numbered rounds it’s Jack, Detective, Detective, Jack. You get either first choice or two turns in a row so each have their advantages.

As the game progresses Jack has to reveal whether or not he’s in shadow, and if he is then on his next turn he can attempt to escape the board. If he successfully makes it off the board Jack wins. If he can evade detection for 8 rounds, Jack wins. If he can make the Detective think that someone else is Jack, Jack wins. The only way for the Detective to win is to successfully find Jack.

There are a few more rules and the powers could be explained here, but that’s a little too much depth in my opinion and I’d much rather just say what I think about the game:
I love it.
I love deduction games and I love any game that is both two players AND deduction. Games like Mastermind and Hangman have always been favorites of mine. This makes those pale in comparison.
The game pieces are fantastic quality with nice wooden pieces that you apply stickers to for the characters on the board. It’s simple but it works. The “Cards” in this game are thick planks of cardboard that remind me of tokens in other games except for the fact that they’re rather huge. The symbols on the cards make a lot of sense once you’re familiar with them, though I think those are the toughest part of the game, teaching new players what they mean. It can be a little intimidating to learn that many symbols at once, but it’s easily done.

And even though I love this game I stink at it. I think I’ve made it off the board once and I usually end up with all but one token being found Innocent by the end of the second turn. But be that as it may I love this game and it provides exactly what I’m looking for in a two player deduction game.

And I personally find this to be one of the more exciting games I own, the “Cat and Mouse” feeling of chasing or being chased come off extremely well, even in a game that plays so quickly.

Go to the Dixit page


32 out of 39 gamers thought this was helpful

I got this very recently and have only played it a couple of times. I really like the simple rules and the cards are absolutely gorgeous.

The game play is very simple. Everyone has a hand full of cards and players take turns looking at them and making up a simple story for them. The story can be a sentence, or a single word, or a sound, or really anything. All players then submit a card from their hand that they think matches the story, and then all players vote, except for the story teller. If at least one person, but not everyone votes for the Story Teller, he/she and everyone who voted for that story gets 3 points. If everyone votes for the story teller, everyone EXCEPT the story teller gets 2 points. If someone else votes for your story you get 1 point.

The cards have fantastic art on them and simple words like “Loneliness” or “A Bad Idea” can easily match a number of cards. The game comes with little rabbit tokens to be used for the scoring track which is part of the inside of the box. Everything fits neatly into the box without a lot of space left over and the cardboard voting chips are very good quality for what they are.

We played this a couple of times, once with only 3 players and once with 6. It worked much better with 6 players and is easily something I’d bring out at a party.

Fun, and beautiful and sure to leave a mark in the minds of the players. It’s a simple party game but it’s also a chance to tell a simple story, and that’s unique in the category of Party Games.

Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

55 out of 63 gamers thought this was helpful

I got this last year and I really love it. It’s very easy to teach to new players, and it has the advantage of being easy to learn and easy to make a strategy, but still quite scary when suddenly your planning falls apart and intense while playing.

As others have said it has a lot in common with Pandemic since it was created by the same designer and was created as a Family version of Pandemic.
Players are trying to rescue four treasures from a sinking island and have to deal with a limited choice of actions, either saving portions of the island that sink or getting to the next piece of treasure to save or maybe getting to another player to share cards. After a player’s turn you draw cards which might cause the island to sink faster, but you always sink at least 2 sections of the island. When the Waters Rise! card comes up you shuffle in all the locations that have already sunk, and put them back on the top of the deck, meaning that with all likelyhood you’re about to re-draw a piece of the island that has sunk, taking it out of the game completely.

The tension in this game is one of my favorite things about it. Players have special abilities they can use and that really helps a lot, but not so much that it unbalances the game and makes one player the clear Leader.

Of the Co-op games I’ve played this is one of the better ones. It’s easy to learn and fun and quick to play.

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