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Review 5 games and receive a total of 140 positive review ratings.
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Baron / Baroness
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Go to the Power Grid page
Go to the Arkham Horror page
Go to the Mansions of Madness (1st ed) page
Go to the Thunderstone page
Go to the Puerto Rico page
Go to the Twilight Struggle page
Go to the Twilight Struggle page

Twilight Struggle

50 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

Twilight Struggle is more than a game. It is an exercise in tension wrapped in an area control game stuck in a hand management mechanic.

This two player game is all about political influence during the Cold War on a global scale played using cards that are either good for one side of the cold war or the other. Sometimes both.

The cards include key events from the Cold War that can be used to trigger those incidents and/or using points values to start coups, attempt political realignments or place influence in nations around the world. And occasionally you send a card into outer space as part of the space race.

It’s an absolute masterpiece, and as tense as any game has any right to be. It’s possible to win the game by having more influence worldwide, and it’s possible to lose the game by inadvertently starting a nuclear war.

The game sounds more complex than it really is, and the basic rules are easy enough to digest if someone can teach them to you. But learning the rules is not learning the game, and having two experience players slug it out is a nerve wracking and rewarding experience.

This is game that should not be missed.

Go to the Race for the Galaxy page
49 out of 56 gamers thought this was helpful

Race For The Galaxy is a card game in which players build worlds and create developments in an effort to garner the most victory points.

This is a game that seems difficult to play, but ultimately, once you realize that everything you need to know is on the cards, it becomes quite simple.

Much like Puerto Rico, this game has players choosing “roles” each turn. One key difference here, however, is that players are choosing from five different game phases. Everyone plays the selected phase, but the player selecting the phase gets certain advantages. Sound familiar?

Another difference in this and Puerto Rico is that more than one player can select the same phase, and no one knows what phase the other players are selecting until after they are chosen.

Learning how the cards interact is where the strategy lies. Is it worth getting more cards in a given turn, or is it better to produce more goods? This can be an agonizing strategy that leads players to pick their roles. And, since buying planets and developments requires players to discard cards, the choices can be brutal.

This is a fun game with a very high initial learning curve. However, I tend to think players actually over think the rules. The included handouts layout the turns and the card symbols (which can make little sense at first). The rest is on the cards themselves.

You shouldn’t need to consult the rules after your first play. Unless you are over analyzing it. Which can happen.

I am eager to try this game with expansions.

Go to the Mansions of Madness (1st ed) page
67 out of 78 gamers thought this was helpful

In this foray into H.P. Lovecraft’s universe, all the players except one play as a party against a Keeper, who is the other player. The Keeper chooses from one of 5 scenarios, and then makes several story choices about that scenario.

Each choice affects victory conditions or the layout of the house or items or monsters in play and so on. What is fascinating is that the players (other than the Keeper) do not know what the victory conditions are at first.

They learn the conditions by finding clues, solving puzzles and defeating monsters thrown at them. The Keeper can also trigger random events that can hurt players and can inflict injured players with physical or mental maladies.

The game components are excellent and colorful. Game play is simple once you understand the rules (which does take some doing), and the game is typically well balanced. I have had several games come right down to the wire. It is not unusual for all players (keeper included) to lose.

This is a boardgame that feels like an RPG, and the mysteries within it make it very satisfying.

It does take a while to set up, and it could use more scenarios, but otherwise this is an excellent game.

Go to the Munchkin page


36 out of 45 gamers thought this was helpful

Don’t take Munchkin seriously.

This card game makes fun of D&D and it’s ilk with a sense of humor that is sometimes funny and sometimes groan inducing.

Players use their cards to attempt to kill monsters, gather treasure, and reach level 10 in experience. Cards can be weapons, classes, armor or other items, and players can encounter monsters, traps and treasures as they draw from the center stack of cards.

Players can help each other (usually for a reward) or thwart their opponents.

It’s a fun, fairly silly game that is easy to learn and entertaining. It’s not a complex or deep game, but it can be good, silly fun.

Go to the Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Horror page
63 out of 95 gamers thought this was helpful

Of the expansions I have used, this one is my favorite. It adds the city of Dunwich into play (which you can get to by train), and includes a mechanic by which another big bad can show up during the game.

This expansion helps ramp up the tension and the feeling of a race against time with very high stakes. That, plus the added variety of locations and cards, makes this a fun addition to an already great game.

This can not be played without the base game.

Go to the Citadels page


53 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

Citadels is a fairly simple card game in which players choose different roles each turn in an effort to build “districts” in a city. The turns are simple: you either get two gold coins or two district cards from which you choose one in your hand. Then you can build districts if you have enough gold. There are five colors for the district cards, each representing a different facet (green = trade, blue = religious, etc.)

The fun comes with the various roles. Depending on the number of players, some of the roles are not in play, and one starts out face down out of play. There is a king, who goes first and who chooses the first role, thereby knowing what roles are in play. Each role has a special ability each turn. An assassin can kill another role; an architect gets more cards and can build more, etc.

After each turn, the roles are reshuffled and reselected until finally a player builds 8 districts. Points are determined based on the value of the districts plus bonuses for reaching 8 and for having districts of all colors.

It’s a fun, simple game that doesn’t take long to play. It’s also a good introductory game to “role” type games (such as the more complex Puerto Rico).

Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

48 out of 62 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a co-op game that will have your entire group of friends in a fit of despair and hopelessness. And that’s a good thing.

This game pits your group against one of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos dark deities and their minions in an almost hopeless quest to shut down gates, kill beasties, and avoid going insane. Or dying.

Game play is quite easy once you understand it, but getting there is a chore.

The components are exceptionally great quality, and there are a lot of them. A lot. The bits can become overwhelming, particularly when you add expansions, but the game play is worth it.

No game captures the mad hopelessness of Lovecraft’s universe as well as this one does. And that makes it very much worth playing.

If you can handle it.

Go to the Power Grid page

Power Grid

44 out of 89 gamers thought this was helpful

This is among the games getting the most play with my groups. In Power Grid, you manage resources, buy power plants, buy cities and power them up. The game mechanics are interesting and fun, and force you to make some very tough decisions throughout each turns’ multiple, varied phases. This game is a great deal of fun, and often comes down to the wire.

This is one that should not be missed.

Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

22 out of 62 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a very simple game mechanically, with some very good strategy elements. This is a perfect “gateway” game to move people from casual, traditional games into more complex ones. And it’s a lot of fun to boot.

Go to the Pandemic page


23 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

While the mechanics are interesting, and the component quality is good, I feel that this is a game where one player decides what to do, and everyone else just does as they are told. Fun enough, but not much of a game, except for the one player.

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