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Review 3 games and receive a total of 40 positive review ratings.
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Go to the Agricola page
Go to the Ticket to Ride page
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Go to the Carcassonne page
Go to the Apples to Apples page

Apples to Apples

59 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

There seems to be a bit of a backlash toward Apples to Apples in the recent years, which might be related to how popular it has become. Though originally released over a decade ago, Apples to Apples has crossed over into mainstream success within the last few years. People who otherwise can’t name a game made in the last 20 (or 40) years somehow know of Apples to Apples, or at least “that apples game”.

The game contains a ton of cards. Well, almost.

There are 749 red apple cards, each of which feature a noun (a person, place, thing, or event), and 249 green apple cards, each of which features an adjective. There are also 10 blank cards included in the game, for you to fill in your own words, but they’re not necessary.

To begin the game, each player receives a hand of seven red apple cards. One player will start as the judge, and flips over a card from the green pile, to display an adjective.

Each non-judge player will then look through their hand and find a card that they think best matches the green adjective card in play. After everyone submits a card face-down, the judge gathers them up and chooses whichever one he or she thinks is the best match. The player who submitted that card receives one point, and the round is over.

For the next round, the person to the left of the judge becomes the new judge, and play continues in a similar fashion until a single player has reached a certain number of points.

What makes the game fun is when nobody takes it seriously. For example, if I were the judge, and the green card I flip over says “Delightful” people playing the game too strictly might submit cards such as “Being in Love”, “Grace Kelly” or “Poodles”. People who are playing the game just for laughs might instead submit cards such as “Bankruptcy”, “Challenger Explosion”, or “Meatloaf”. Of course, whether you find the game funny or not will often depend on the humor of those you are playing it with. The absurdity of some of the combinations of red and green cards is usually good for a few laughs.

Is this the greatest game ever made? No, of course not, and I don’t think it aspires to be. But as a party game, it’s a lot of fun, and hard to beat.

Go to the Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 page
91 out of 99 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ll start off by saying this: if you have large hands, this expansion is worth buying simply for the larger cards.

But, surprisingly, there’s actually a lot more it than it may appear, given how small of a box it comes in.

Here’s what you get in the box:

1) Larger reprints of all the cards form the base game.
2) 39 new destination tickets
3) A new bonus card
4) Rules for 3 new ways to play the game

As I said before, the expansion may be worth it simply for the larger cards. For whatever reason, Days of Wonder continues to sell the original Ticket To Ride with a small set of cards inside. They theoretically would be nice for smaller tables, but given how large the board is for the game, you’re going to need a lot of space anyway.

But the rest of the expansion is well worth the price as well. 39 new destination cards might not seem like much, but if you play the base game enough times, you might find that the destinations are becoming too predictable. Some of the new destinations include cities that were previously ignored or overlooked in the original set (like Las Vegas and D.C.).

The new bonus card is called Globetrotter, and awards 15 bonus points at the end of the game to the person who completes the most routes. I still prefer using the Longest Route bonus instead, because chances are the person with the most completed routes is probably going to have the most points, and the Longest Route was therefore a way for someone with fewer routes (but a longer continuous one) to have a shot.

The three new ways to play is what really makes the expansion worth purchasing. The four ways to play are as follows:

1) Just the destinations from the base game
2) Just the new 1910 destinations
3) Just the Big Cities destinations (a mix of the original and 1910 cards)
4) A Mega Game using all the destinations

I generally play versions (1) and (2) the most, as I enjoy changing up the routes every other game or so, so consecutive games never feel too similar. The Big Cities variant is a great way to play if there are only 2 or 3 players, because everyone will be trying to connect the same spots (the “Big Cities”), so it makes the game much more cutthroat than it would otherwise be with so few players.

Ticket to Ride Europe might still be the best standalone game, but the original Ticket to Ride with the 1910 Expansion is better.

Go to the Agricola page


95 out of 102 gamers thought this was helpful

Agricola is a worker placement game, wrapped in a 17th century farming theme.

Each player begins the game with two family members, and take turns during each round claiming various actions. Actions range from improving your house and farm, to fishing and expanding your family.

After every few rounds (the number grows smaller as the game progresses) the players enter a “harvest” round in which they are responsible for feeding their family, and gathering resources from their planted fields. Players who do not have enough food to feed their family have to “beg” for any shortage, and the points lost for the begging cards could be the difference between winning and losing.

So far the game sounds fairly routine, but what keeps the game fresh every time is the cards. And there are a lot of cards.

The standard game comes with 3 decks of cards, the E (or Easy) deck, the I (or Interactive) deck, and the K (or Complex) deck. Each deck contains different occupation and minor improvement cards, and each player receives 7 cards of each type to start the game. The various benefits that the different occupations and improvements provides forces you to think on your feet, and play the game differently each time, instead of relying on one strategy every time you play.

This is not a game for beginners, but you don’t have to be an avid gamer to play it either. My only gaming experience prior to purchasing Agricola was a bit of Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Carcassonne. It’s certainly a step up in complexity from those games, but it’s still not too difficult to grasp. Now that I’m familiar with the game, I find that I can teach it to beginners in just a few minutes.

The game also includes a family version, which eliminates the use of the aforementioned occupation and minor improvement cards. While that certainly takes away a lot of the strategy of the game, it’s still a useful way to learn the basic concepts of the game, to help ease you into playing the full version.

Highly recommended.

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