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Go to the Through the Ages page
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Go to the London page


109 out of 116 gamers thought this was helpful

Martin Wallace is a prolific designer with a strong fan base and famous for his relatively complex (at least as far as finding the optimum stategy is concerned) historical and economic board games. London has some key elements of Wallace’s designs, such as tight economic system (once again a loan is inevitable), but on the other hand it is a very simple game to learn and play in comparison to what we are used to.

In my turn, I draw one card (from the display or common deck) and then I have one action to choose between play cards from my hand, draw 3 cards, run city or buy land. At the end of my turn I have to discard down to 9 cards.

Cards represent buildings and locations of London and provides us with money and VPs and also affect poverty, but some of them also have special abilities. When I play cards, I place them in fron of me in stacks and for each card played I have to place a card of the same color on the display, which is therefore available from any player to draw it later. Each time I take the “Run city” action, cards that I have played already in front of me are being activated (most of them once per game) and then I take poverty cubes for each stack of cards I have and for each card in my hand minus one for each property I own in London map. Poverty is important because can cost a lot of VPs at the end of the game. When I “buy land”, I pay the cost depicted on the board, draw as many cards as indicated on this location and mark it with my token. These properties are important because decrease poverty, worth VPs and are related to many cards.

The game ends as far as the deck is depleted, followed by one last turn and players count VPs (cards played with VP on them, VP tokens accumulated previously by run city actions, 1 VP per 3 money, VPs from properties, minus poverty penalty and 7 VP per unpaid loan).

So, the game flows well, it is an enjoyable game, but where is the catch? There is a standard strategy that you have to follow: Take loans, buy as many land as you can early in order to limit your poverty. Then later you can run city without taking poverty. If a player follows this strategy, then others should follow if they want to have chances for victory. You draw many cards this way that most of them have to be discarded. I don’t like this because many cards (about 40% – 50% of deck)are discarded without being played. But all in all is still a good game. Maybe too mainstream for Wallace’ fans (count me in) but London will appeal casual players who run away when Wallace’s games hit the table. If you like drafting, probably you will like this game.

Easy to learn
Plays well with any number of players
You are being familiar with London’s locations

Standard strategy to victory

Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
64 out of 71 gamers thought this was helpful

* this review is based on the first print of the game.

Looking for a simple game that all mystery and horror fans can play and enjoy? Probably you are in the right place. Betrayal at house on the Hill is an easy to learn game that offers 50 horror stories to play! Thus, no one can complain about the replayability of the game. Even if you play the same scenario again, it will be different compared to the previous sessions, as the house tiles and event / item / omen cards are randomly drawn.

In my turn I simply move my character from room to room. When I reveal a new room, I place a new house tile and I usually draw a card that matches the room’s symbol (omen, item or event). Then I follow what the card says and that’s it. It is common a card to ask for a check in one or more of my characterer’s traits, which are Might, Speed, Sanity and Knowledge. In such a case, I roll the corresponding number of dice and I see what happens depending on the result. The fun part begins when the haunting of the house is revealed. Every time a player draws an omen card, he have to make a haunt roll. This means that he rolls 6 dice (result 0-2 on each die) and if the sum is less than the total number of omen cards in play, then the haunting is revealed. One player becomes the traitor and his purpose is to kill the others or prevent them from put an end on the haunting, while the other players (survivors) are stuggling to survive and stop the evil plans. There are two books, one for the traitor, one for the survivors, which describe what is the story and what should be done by the players.

In order to enjoy this game, all players have to be in the right mood and like this horror / mystery stuff. I don’t recommend this game for players that want absolute control, as there are too many random elements. Sometimes a scenario is ruined by the game itself due to high randomness. For example, it may end too soon, even in the first or second turn after the haunting. My advice is not to take this game seriously and just play and see what happens like watching a movie but in this case the star is you!

Keep in mind that good knowledge of English is necessary by all players.

Atmospheric gameplay
Easy to learn, even by non-gamers
Beautiful tiles and painted miniatures
Plays well with any number of players

Simple tokens with no artwork
Some scenarios need errata and clarifications

Go to the Android page


75 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

In Kevin Wilson’s Android, players are detectives who are trying to solve the murder case and find who commited the crime. Keep in mind though that we are not dealing with a deduction game. Instead, each player tries to “plant” guilty evidence in the suspect sheet (a guilty and an innocent hunch card is dealt to each player at the start of the game). The main mechanic of the game is in fact a typical action point allocation system. You have 6 hours (AP) to do actions like move, draw / discard / play card, follow an evidence, activating a location’s action, change starting player. But there are many innovative secondary mechanics that are all about fun! For example the special vehicle rulers for movement, the conspiracy puzzle, the dark (to harm your opponents) and light (to help you) cards which have to be played in balance, NPCs, or the balance you have to keep between your personal life and your focus to solve the case.

Android is a heavy thematic euro. “Thematic” and “euro” are two words that rarely you can see in the same sentence. That’s the reason many players turn down Android. Euro fans were overdosed by tones of flavor text while ameritrashers can’t tolerate euro and abstracted mechanics like the conspiracy puzzle. Those lucky who like both genres and love sci fi settings are talking about a masterpiece and a unique gaming experience!

Immersion – countless references to Sci Fi scene
Many innovative mechanics
Great artwork
High player interaction
High replayability (5 cases and different events)

Long playing time (90 mins per player)
Unfortunately is hard to play and at the same time read all the flavor text. In this case playing time maybe will be doubled.

Go to the Through the Ages page

Through the Ages

55 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

Is it possible a Civilization game without exploration on a map? Of course it is and guess what? This is the best feature of the game! Tta gets rid of timevore exploration mechanics other civ games suffer from and focus on the rest important things you have to keep in mind in order to see your civilization prospering such as happiness science, military strength, production and culture. OK, maybe components are mediocre (but cards are very durable)and it requires a few plays to get into it but gameplay is the important part. The only thing that annoys me is the lack factor. Occasionaly you will miss some key civil cards or you will never see a political card that you really need. Finally I think that the game is best with 2 players (120 – 150 mins for experts), recommended for 3 players and not so good with 4 players due to extended downtime. If you like civ games this is your standard choice!

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