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Go to the Terra Mystica page
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Go to the Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar page
Go to the Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar page
70 out of 77 gamers thought this was helpful

Every time my group plays T’zolkin, I am sure to utter three phrases at least once each.

The first is, “Man, I love this game!” It’s true, I do. I love the mechanics; the wheels, (I painted ours, and added the little temples you can buy for the wheels, it is blinged out, baby!) putting down and picking up workers, advancing up the temples. The components are fantastic, with nice wooden bits and bobs, cardboard tiles, as well as corn and wood chits, that feel substantial and holding up well and a fun puzzle piece board. The thing I love the most about this game though, is that you really have to engage your brain. There is hardly any luck in this game, only the luck of the draw in your starting tiles and in how the building and monument tiles are laid out. If you aren’t prepared to put on your thinking cap, it might not be the night for T’olkin.

The second phrase I am sure to say is “Man, I really hate this game.” Usually it is uttered after the second food day, when I realize that the strategy I had prepared before hand has been totally thrown out the window, I no longer have any idea what I am doing, and that I am going to lose, again. I have lost this game, a lot. Usually that would make me not want to play anymore, but not with T’zolkin. No, with Tzolkin, losing just means you need to try another strategy. Was everyone going for skulls? Do you need to diversify more? Play heavily on corn? Focus on climbing the temples? So far, my group has not found one reliable indicator of success, which leads me to my third phrase….

“We need to play this again, right after we finish this game!” Every single time we play, I feel the need to try out my next strategy right after I finish losing the current game. It seems to me that has to be a hallmark of a great game, when, even though you repeatedly lose, you still want to play again!

Go to the Takenoko page


66 out of 75 gamers thought this was helpful

Takenoko is a game I bought with my Mothers Day gift card because I wanted it! After watching it played on Tabletop, I thought it was just adorable and a good change of pace from the heavier games we seem to gravitate towards here in the MamaGamer household. I also thought it would be a good game to have on hand when we have younger visitors. So far, although everyone who has played it has enjoyed it, it hasn’t seen as much table time as I would have hoped. Here is how it is ranking on my essentials list:

Game Play: The mechanics of this game are easily grasped and fun. There is a small element of luck in the wheather dice mechanic, but also some strategy in the two moves you get every turn. This produces fairly balanced play.

Theme: Well thought out, engaging, and submursive. Placing tiles to design your garden, growing bamboo and making the panda eat bamboo are all parts of the game well woven into the theme.

Components: All components are holding up well, and seem of good quality. I did laminate the player boards though, since I knew we’d have younger children playing this game at times.

Fun Factor: everyone has enjoyed playing this game, at least the first time. It just doesn’t seem to entice my group of players to play more than once, though. They would rather move on to something heavier.

All in all, a great game, just not what my group seems to enjoy.

Go to the 7 Wonders page

7 Wonders

49 out of 63 gamers thought this was helpful

7 Wonders took a little time for our group to see the beauty of. The first time we played it, it left us feeling a little underwhelmed. Now that it has seen the table more than a few times, its beauty has really began to shine, so much so that we bought the Leaders and Cities expansions. A game is never the same twice, the pace is quick, and we always want to play another hand. 7wonders always leaves you wanting to play more, what better recommendation for a board game! We have found that using an iPhone app speeds up the process of scoring at the end of a game, which is the part we enjoy the least which means we play more often. We use either the 7 wonders companion app or Score Geek.

Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

25 out of 37 gamers thought this was helpful

If you are new to board games, or gaming with young children, this is a great game to start with. It was the first game we bought that wasn’t a big box store type game. We enjoyed it then, when our kids were young, and after playing it tonight with our adult son and teenage daughter, I can say it has stood the test of time! We had a wonderful time collecting cards,completing destinations, and trying to keep others from completing their objectives. Is it a heavily strategic game? No, but it is quick, fun, and well worth the time we spent enjoying each other’s company! I will keep it in our collection to share with young friends who might visit, and maybe, someday, grandchildren.

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