Player Avatar
I'm Completely Obsessed
Treasure Map


gamer level 6
9250 xp

Use my invite URL to register (this will give me kudos)
profile badges
Professional Grader
I Love Playin' Games
recent achievements
Expert Grader
Expert Grader
Grade 400 more reviews or tips by clicking "Yes" or "No" in response to the question "Was this helpful?"
Explore select games by completing a series of exploration actions. learn more »
Cooperative Game Explorer
Cooperative Game Explorer
Explore 10 games in the Cooperative Games Collection. view the collection >
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Claim that you have played a game today by clicking the "Played Today!" button on a game page 200 times.
Go to the Macao page
Go to the Pathfinder: Core Rulebook page
Go to the Dominion page
Go to the Hansa Teutonica page
Go to the Valdora page
Go to the Trajan page
Go to the Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game page
Go to the Dungeon Petz page

Dungeon Petz

161 out of 181 gamers thought this was helpful

This prequel to Dungeon Lords is very well done, and similar to its predecessor in theme and play, but manages to break away and be its own game.

As with most of Vlaada’s games, Dungeon Petz is just too complex to describe fully without almost rewriting the rulebook. At its heart, it is worker placement, with disaster management each turn. The game is relatively quick paced after teaching-time, with each game running only 5 rounds. The only time AP might appear is during the disaster management phase…err…caring for your petz. This phase also determines attributes for your pet in the next 2 phases, Show judging and monster selling. The AP comes in where you have to weigh the decisions of how much bad stuff to deal with in order to score more points in the next 2 phases, and whether the points are worth the clean up in future rounds. Some decisions and rounds are easier than others, but there is little you can do to affect these criteria.

The worker placement shopping competition is fun, but feels almost tagged on. There are limited spaces for your goblin workers, and worthwhile options run out fast. You can buy more cages and upgrades for them, more monsters, a little food that will rot eventually if not used, and a few time sinks or point manipulation actions, but the meat of the game is caring for the monster/petz. This game is not about building the engine, it’s about how you run what you have.

I’d say if you enjoyed Dungeon Lords you should probably enjoy this game. If you are not as happy to jump into the worker placement chaos pool, I’d skip this one.

Go to the Pastiche page


29 out of 36 gamers thought this was helpful

I was surprised to find this game listed in “abstract strategy games.” I was introduced to this game at a convention as an Art Forgery game, and it totally makes sense. Why else would 2-4 players be competing for paints to recreate already famous works of art from different styles and eras?

The ability to manipulate the publicly available paintings is obviously a mechanic simulating black market contacts. Trading paints among your fellow forgers… painters tips off your goals, and you can often scoop up contracts… err… paintings that others are about to complete.

The board that comes in the game is completely useless, a giant waste of space that will be needed for the hexagonal colored dominoes that you need to generate paints. The set that I learned the game on had a set of small picture stands from a hobby store to place your private painting jobs on. Those definitely added to the set more than the board.

One play and I was hooked. I already have my set of picture stands ready for my next game order.

Go to the King of Tokyo page

King of Tokyo

68 out of 97 gamers thought this was helpful

I loved the theme, Monster King-of-the-Hill slugfest. It was fast and easy to learn, and surprisingly tactical. Going into the city to compete for the easy Victory points is asking for some serious damage from every other player. I don’t care for player elimination games, especially with a light fun game like this. It is begging to be played with kids, despite the component problems.

The Upgrade monster powers were the highlight of the game. There is almost no way to go through the deck in a single game, so each game will definitely see new content. I do wish the monsters has some starting differences, as it is easy to fall behind in energy buildup, never get an upgrade, and then a quick road to elimination.

Components: The art on the monsters and upgrade cards was great, but the over-sized dice, while keeping with the giant monster theme, are terrible especially for small hands. I think this will keep this game from being an great family “gateway” game. Also some of the monster stands don’t fit the cardboard monsters. The monsters are pretty sturdy, but I’d sleeve the cards pretty quickly.

Go to the Valdora page


26 out of 32 gamers thought this was helpful

I sincerely wish this game was more available in the US. I believe it could become the next great “gateway game.” The object of the game is to collect colored gems and contracts, then deliver them to the proper destination on the board for Victory points.

Valdora is one of those simple-to-learn impossible-to-master games, and at first many gamers may turn their nose up at the theme. You are using limited actions to collect and deliver randomly placed color pieces to their proper homes. Along the way you must build up your inventory control and manipulate the goal collection services, all while racing your opponent who are doing the same.

There are many strategies to Valdora: concentrating on certain colored contracts for endgame bonuses, only delivering the more complex and valuable contracts, quick points based on the free or most common resources. All valid strategies depending on what your opponents are doing. Competition, while mostly friendly, dictates what you can do and how much extra time or resources you will need for your chosen strategy.

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons (4ed): Monster Manual page
68 out of 76 gamers thought this was helpful

The Monster Manual is easily the best part of the D&D 4e system. While attempting to avoid yet another criticism of the system, I will praise the concepts that make 4e a good miniature game, just not D&D.

The Monster Manual turned monster design and roles on its ear. The concept of making Monster design roles independent from the character build system was brilliant. Monsters are not characters, they should not have the same rules.

Making different rules for each monster based on its role was an awesome concept. A goblin scout has different rules than a Halfling rogue, even though they may have the same purpose in a party. A party of monsters can all be of the same race, but will have different abilities just as a PC party would have different abilites.

Minion monsters make low threat cannon fodder useful in combat, while not draining many resources from party encounters. If left unchecked minions can be dangerous, but the only resource they really hurt is a party’s action economy.

The simple monster roles make designing an encounter a breeze. Pick a handful of monsters with the correct CR (challenge rating) and you are ready to go. No longer do DM’s need to spend hours reconfiguring monster stats for templates or adding class levels to intelligent monsters, just pick the roles you want and get ready to roll initiative.

Multiple rules changes and errata may have eroded the contents of the book itself, but the game design is solid.

Go to the Cthulhu Dice page

Cthulhu Dice

35 out of 65 gamers thought this was helpful

Holy **** at the hate on this thing. It’s a 5$ game that consists of the die and some rocks.

really. That’s it. No secret TARDIS packaging. What did you think you were gonna get for 5$ in that totally see-thru package?!? Upset that it’s not the next Agricola? well, you’re about 65$ short on that expectation. It’s not designed to cure world hunger or simulate the dominance of Dutch traders in East India.

C’mon, it’s a Steve Jackson game. The guy who brought you 37 flavors of munchkin, SPANC, and 4 different sizes of chibi-thulhu.

It’s a seven minute king-of-the-hill party game for geeks, designed for something to do while your cousin Lenny remakes his GURPS character sheet….again. that’s all, end of review.

Go to the The Walking Dead: The Board Game page
64 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

Before I start the rant, let me state I LOVE the source material. I have every issue, trade, hardback, and the omnibus of this comic, and haven’t missed a live episode of the TV series yet. I bought the game blind, after reading the box that said there was new original artwork inside. Done. Sold. Gimmegimmegimmegimme. I know the series is totally built on the house of unpredictability that Kirkman built. That said, there is no frakking reason this game should be so random.

Everything about this game is random. The object of the game is to scout three random locations and resolve their increasingly difficult random tasks, usually by suffering through the random event cards, which are resolved by rolling your giant dice pools.

Enough chaos? You’d think!

The most interesting mechanic of the game is that every time you move you leave a trail of (you guessed it) random numbers of zombies in your wake. So if you, or your opponents need to cross your path you have to fight the zombies with your giant dice pool. Tron Light-Cycles made of zombies…. pretty cool.

Your giant dice pools are determined by the skills of the people in your party, your starting character and any followers you might come across (randomly) in events. Red fighter dice are more kills than actions or fails, green action dice are more actions than kills or fails, and blue balanced dice are even more random than the other two with balanced actions and kills and a wildcard.

There are three resources you collect as you wander the board trying not to backtrack into your random zombie light-wall. You need to collect gas, which lets you move farther and can let you bypass the zombie train. You also need to collect Food which heals damage but only at the beginning of your turn… you know, before all the randomness happens. You will also need some Ammo which lets you roll the black die in combat, the only one which definitely kills 1-3 zombies, but oh yeah, also has a 50/50 chance of surrounding you with those random hordes of zombies.

Any time you land on a resource on the board, you have to stop for a random event card. Most of them are zombie attacks… I’ll let you guess how many… but some of them are checks against your resources, or number of followers. But don’t think that just because you have played Zombie Tron-cycle the whole game and have stockpiled an army of followers carrying an arsenal of food, gas, and ammo with you that you can just waltz through the random event deck. Oh, nononono….. some of the events punish you for having too much stuff or people or not having un-healed damage.

I’m randomly ending this review.

Go to the Hansa Teutonica page

Hansa Teutonica

97 out of 138 gamers thought this was helpful

At first glance, Hansa Teutonica is a simple territory control and resource management game, but a turn or two into your first game you start to see devious options appear on the reverse tech-track system. Your resources slowly grow as you build your tech, which opens up more options, and need for resources. What appears to be a basic territory race turns into a bluffing game where you try to trick opponents into committing resources into actions they don’t want while hiding your own true goals. Getting in the way of your opponents is sometimes the best way to get what you really want, but are you falling for the same trap? Dominating territory can be a fast way to end the game before opponents can get their tech-engines running. Then you discover your territory routes are cut off by another opponent who has quietly been playing politics with the local nobles.

And you thought this was only about controlling trade routes?


Go to the Fresco page


87 out of 131 gamers thought this was helpful

For those tired of teaching Catan and Carcassonne, Fresco is a good, simple eurogame that can be explained easily to non-boardgamers. The game uses secret worker placement and an ever-changing turn order to collect and manage resources with multiple goals and paths to victory; everything that makes Eurogaming fun, but in a manageable way.

The game comes with 3 expansions, none of which are too complex to throw in even on the first game. I would argue the game description’s claim that any of them lengthen the game. The Portraits expansion almost always ends the game earlier with a set turn limit.

Go to the Ascension page


43 out of 92 gamers thought this was helpful

There is no strategy in this game at all. You buy whatever you can, and pray that some combos happen on their own, because you can’t plan even a single turn ahead. Cards become available for only as long as your opponents will ignore them, and even if you get something you want there is no guarantee you will ever see anything that will work with it.

× Visit Your Profile