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NoLimitDB

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Review 5 games and receive a total of 140 positive review ratings.
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Review 3 games and receive a total of 40 positive review ratings.
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Go to the Planet Steam page
Go to the Arcana Revised Edition page
Go to the Chaos in the Old World page
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft Board Game page
Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon page
Go to the Talisman page
9
Go to the Tsuro page

Tsuro

56 out of 63 gamers thought this was helpful

BUY. THIS. GAME!

*ahem* Sorry about the outburst, I’ll get into it before I gush too much.

The Overview: This game is a knock-down, drag-out fight to the death between a number of Dragons! The object of the game is to be the last Dragon flying by weaving a winding path through the mountains to confuse and trip up your enemies while staying alive yourself. The principle of the game is incredibly simple, you outwit and outlast your opponents. This game has been fun from the very first playthrough. Funny note, it is possible for each player to lose the game. Should the last tile to be placed run all the Dragons off the board, then everyone loses!

The Rules: The rules for this game are also incredibly simple, which is sort of the theme here. You begin by choosing a colored figure to represent your dragon, then you shuffle the game tiles and each person takes three of them. Randomly decide who goes first. On your turn you will place a single tile, then draw a new tile. When you place a tile, every dragon touching an edge of that tile will move to the end of their newly created line. If two dragons collide, both die. If a dragon is forced off of the board, they die. Game continues until all of the tiles have been placed. Once the final tile has been placed on the board the game ends and the last dragon standing emerges victorious. If there are multiple dragons left, then they tie. Very simple rules.

The Art: This game looks very intricate, with an ornate dragon on the board and on the tiles. The tiles themselves are sturdy, easy to shuffle and durable. They also look pretty good, time was take to design the aesthetic of this game and it shows in a very positive way. The player tokens are plastic figures with neat designs imprinted in them, they are reminiscent of colored stones and have a similar feel. Everything is very satisfying to touch and manipulate.

The Gameplay: Is amazing. Just, I have no other words. It is simply fun. Game takes no more than 15 minutes to play, even with maximum number of players. The turns are quick and there is always interaction, so you never find yourself just waiting. There is not much to manipulate, but, every player action can affect every other player in ways that are unexpected and exciting. I have seen one tile placed that killed five dragons, including the dragon that laid the tile! It flows very well, is very fast paced and game resets are a snap as all you have to do is just reshuffle the tiles. This game plays like a game should play.

The Opinion: I say again: BUY THIS GAME!! It is a perfect addition to game nights because it is very easy to learn, but has enough strategy to keep even veteran players interested and coming back for more. Games are a breeze to set up and play, it is the definition of a starter game. This is the game you play first, before you bust out Talisman. It is also the game you play before you switch genres, so after you’ve played Chaos in the Old World and you want to move to say, Clue, play a round of Tsuro in between to reset your gaming mind. This game is great in all phases and I absolutely love it. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a casual, high-paced game that is light on strategy but does require some tactical thought.

On a continued note from some of my other reviews, really good Kickstarter games are starting to become more and more prevalent and I honestly like that trend. Indie game developers have some of the most interesting and unique game ideas. *steps off soapbox*

9
Go to the Evolution page

Evolution

54 out of 60 gamers thought this was helpful

A few friends of mine recently picked this up at GenCon last week and we pried the box open as soon as they got home. Yes, I just admitted that a semi-regular board game reviewer did not attend GenCon…Please keep the hate to a minimum, I’m already super sad about it 🙁

The Overview: The basic premise of this game is to evolve, using trait cards, several species of creature to adapt to their environments and eat the most food. At the end of the game, you are scored based on how much food you have and the advancement of the species you’ve evolved. There are several kinds of creatures to evolve, you can go for a carnivore and eat others or a defensive creature protecting your herd from the predators, and lots of others. You can even evolve those species even further, you can create an intelligent pack hunting carnivore and be the apex predator, or a burrowing, fat, scavenger and horde food. It’s got hundreds of possibilities and lots of room for interaction.

The Rules: The game is played using a deck of trait cards and several species boards, plus food tokens and a middle ‘food pool’. Each turn you are given a certain amount of cards depending on the number of species you have, more species, more cards. You will discard one card immediately into the food pool, this will be used to generate food later. You use the rest of the cards to acquire more species, increase a current species size or population or give it a unique trait. You can upgrade as many of your species as you are able to and you’re free to keep as many cards in your hand as you can hold. After the Evolution phase you have a Food phase. In the Food phase you go in rounds across the table gathering food from the middle pool until everyone is either full, or there is no food left. If you run out of food, then species may starve and die off. The amount of food you can acquire at any given time can be greatly affected by your evolutions and traits and I watched some species fill up entirely out of order, stealing food from other species to do so. The game ends when the table runs out of cards. After that you score points based on Evolutions, number of species and finally total amount of food. Highest score wins. Simple, easy to remember.

The Art: This game is slightly above standard when it comes to art. The artwork all appears to be hand drawn and is done in the ‘historical record’ looking style. Lots of unique species creations are noted around the cards. It adds quite bit of immersion. You are also given a food bag that is very well crafted from soft material with a creature on the front. I like the art for this game, it’s simple yet effective in creating an atmosphere. The cards are sturdy and well constructed, easy to handle.

The Gameplay: This game has a great flow to it. In the introductory game, where we were having to stop and explain rules a lot, the game still flowed so well. With the simple rules and straightforward choices, turns go fast. During your turn you have a lot of strategizing and scheming to do, which keeps you engaged and when it’s not your turn you have some interactions with the other players to attend to that makes the game seem to go by quickly. It also has easy setup and easy cleanup/reset. The game flows like any fast-paced card game.

The Opinion: I liked my experience in Evolution. The game has a lot of ways to keep you entertained and allow for a lot of combinations and ways to win. It has several different strategies and all are viable, I appreciate that. I definitely enjoyed the interaction between the carnivores and the many types of herbivores. Seeing the last-ditch efforts many of my friends employed to defend themselves was really entertaining. I feel like this game is well suited to those who enjoy a little strategy in a casual atmosphere. It’s a relaxed experience, allowing for a great party feel and a solid every-week addition to game night. I will seek this game out and buy it myself so that I can take it to other groups’ game nights. Please buy this game.

Also, as a sidenote to those who have read some other of my reviews here, I’m starting to become a huge fan of Kickstarter games 🙂

3
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
54 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

Easy to learn, but as we’ll see, it has some issues.

The Overview: This is an exploration horror game set in a very stereotypical haunted mansion. Weird stuff happens, the floors move about beneath your feet, scary monsters will hunt you down, etc. Eventually someone will either go crazy, change into a horrible nightmare creature or aliens will show up. It is then that the objective of the game is announced and then it becomes a race to escape the house/kill the monster/survive. The game goes from cooperative exploration to semi-cooperative survival horror at an undetermined point in every game. If you cannot already tell, I am pretty nonplussed by this game, I will elaborate further.

The Rules: Each game turn is broken down into several player turns. Each player is represented by a character on the board, who has different stats than everyone else, some are slightly stronger, smarter or faster than others. You have a movement phase that allows you to move up to your speed in tiles on the board until either something happens to you, or you uncover a new tile. When you uncover a new tile you will explore that room and either be presented with a series of trials, nothing at all, or a boon of some kind. It is all randomly determined. The object of the game is to initially explore, but, you will stumble upon Omens along the way. Each Omen the group encounters goes into a cumulative pool, and you must roll against that Omen Pool each time you uncover a new one. When you finally end up rolling under the number of Omens the group has, you trigger ‘The Haunt’. At that time, depending on the game type and some other largely random factors, a terrifying event will occur in the house and a random person will become the villain. There are several different events that can occur and the rules are different for each one.

The Art: The tiles are detailed and well constructed, easy to shuffle and maneuver around the table when needed. The art for the tiles is pretty standard, it doesn’t shoot for the moon, but it’s not bad, definitely not the worst game art I’ve ever seen. The player cards and figures could use some work, though. Something else that is of note, the game comes with place-holder counters for your stats, as they will go up and down throughout the game, and they are slightly larger than the cardboard is thick and they slide right off if you tilt the player card at all.

The Gameplay I will not lie, I spend a lot of time during this game refilling my drinks or playing games on my phone. There is a lot to do on each of your turn, but inbetween, nothing. It is not very player-interactive and unless you really care that someone fell two stories to the basement or lost a strength, there’s just not much there to keep you entertained. The game requires the players to create their own stories and scenarios and justifications for the actions they take because there just isn’t any provided from the game. Even once the haunt starts, a lot of the scenarios just assume interaction but do not require it to win. I felt like I was playing a single player game with four other people, but I had to wait on them before I could play.

The Opinion: I, obviously, am not a huge fan of this game, but I will not be harsh. The game is playable and is fun provided that the group supplies most of the fun. I have had enjoyable experiences playing, but only because the group I play with is awesome. However, objectively speaking, the entire game is a random number generator wearing a haunted house skin. Everything is random besides one thing, where your character moves, you can control that. Everything else is random, but skewed against the players. You will probably lose some stats throughout the game, but, you may not, you may slightly increase some of them. You may get a weapon, but you may also get a curse. RNGs are not inherently bad, but what I do not like about this game is that some Haunts are actually impossible unless you have upgraded your character. Some of them require you to fight things in combat, which you cannot really do without a weapon, but the game provides you no reliable method of getting a weapon. I did not like basically watching for two hours while my character got thrust through a nightmare RNG until the players all lost and none of us could do anything to avoid it. The game is fairly easy to learn, though, and like I said it is fun in certain groups. I, however, just did not enjoy my time in the Mansion on a Hill and I typically vote nay on playing it.

8
Go to the The Doom That Came To Atlantic City page
65 out of 73 gamers thought this was helpful

A very fun game that is easy to learn and play, but that’s not what you’re hear for, please let me give you the scoop.

The Overview: In The Doom that came to Atlantic City you take on the role of one of eight gods in the Cthulu mythos. You will rampage and pillage throughout Atlantic City, opening your personal gates to bring forth your reign of terror upon the Earth.

The Rules: At first blush this game resembles the board game classic, Monopoly. However, a deeper delve reveals something very different and strange indeed. The object of the game is to destroy buildings on each named space to open six of your gods gates, the first to open six gates wins. You also are given a ‘Doom’ card with certain win conditions on it, complete the conditions and you also win. During your turn, you roll two six-sided dice to determine how far you move, then once there you are faced with several decision points. If there is another player token on that space you must have a combat, if there is a player in the same colored zone as you then you may choose to fight them or not. If you choose not to fight, or are successful, then you move into what’s called the Destruction phase. Here, you roll the dice to determine if you destroy a house that’s currently on the space you landed, if you remove the final house you place one of your gates there. All of this gets thrown through a loop, however, because each deity has his/her own special abilities that augment themselves or punish their opponents and you have the opportunity to pick up additional powers along the way. Providence cards add a static variable or ability to your character where Chants cards provide a one-time, powerful benefit or hindrance. You can utilize cultists and houses as sacrifices for these powers. The gates also provide some shenanery in the form of movement choices. If you start your movement phase from a gate you can freely move from any gate of that god as if you were on that space.

The Art: The game board has some very good artwork, there are eight landscape images of various Chthulu Mythos realms and the cards and player boards are very well done. The best part about the aesthetic of this game, though, are the pieces. Absolutely some of the most detailed and impressive looking game pieces I’ve ever really seen outside of a Fantasy Flight game. The only caveat is that the pieces are grey, but really, it actually kind of fits if you have a small understanding of the Cthulu mythos as the colors that these beings are not meant for human eyes. Good artwork, sturdy construction.

The Gameplay: The game flows almost exactly like a game of monopoly but only takes about 30 minutes to play. One person at a time takes their turn while the rest wait patiently and chat amongst themselves or mock the current player for their deities terrible existence. There is some downtime, but the game doesn’t last that long so I can forgive that.

The Opinion I like this game. It’s not my favorite, but it’s a great casual game. It’s playful and funny, easy to learn with a simple premise. This game is a favorite of those in my group who prefer games that are light on strategy but foster a playful experience. With its’ twisted, Chtuloid monopoly-esque feel it calls to those who are fans of that mythos no matter what kinds of games they enjoy playing. It takes less than an hour to fully set up, play and put away so it’s great for a game night where you want to get several different games in and it’s even great if you have an hour to kill in an evening. One of the most impressive things about it is that it is the fruition of a Kickstarter scandal saved by Cryptozoic. You can google the story, it’s quite interesting. I like this game and recommend it to just about everyone.

10
Go to the Chaos in the Old World page
44 out of 51 gamers thought this was helpful

I do not normally start out reviews this way, but I wanted to stress at the beginning just how awesome this game is. This game is easily the best Warhammer-based board game on the market today, I say this with the understanding that Space Hulk has been remade recently. This game is awesome. I will now commence my review.

The Rules The object of this game is to assume the role of one of the four gods of chaos, the bloodthirsty Khorne, the fateweaver Tzeentch, the Beautiful Slanesh and the corpulent Nurgle to gain complete domination of the Old World. Each god has his own set of minions and magical abilities and you will utilize them to defeat/outsmart your foes. This game is played in a similar fashion to a specialize game of Risk. You will deploy your troops, you will invade locations and/or defend a strongpoint and you will have table talking for strategy. Each player will taken turns, determined by how much ‘threat’ your god commands, casting magical spells, invading, defending and interacting with the board. Then you will determine if you ruin an area, you ruin an area when you leave too much of your influence around it. Then you will determine the score for the round. There are two ways to win the game. Each god has a spin dial that can be advanced through completing certain objectives each turn, spin the dial enough and you will win. The other way is to gain points through ruining areas, invading and controlling territories. However, there is a catch, the people of the Old World are actively fighting against all four of you. Each turn, there is a new ‘Old World Card’ flipped over to reveal a hindrance to you, there are a finite number of cards (depending on the number of players) and once the last one is resolved, the game ends in a loss to all players.

The Art The aesthetic of this game is very much inline with what you would imagine a bunch of chaos gods fighting over a map would look like. The map is etched into leathered human skin, with similar features strewn about in the various interactive pieces of the board. This makes for a very gruesome feel, which is great and adds to the gameplay experience. The pieces are pretty simple, plastic molds of the various minions of the gods, but they are nice. Each god has a greater daemon that is very well detailed. The board is well put together and sturdy.

The Gameplay The game flows very smoothly. Turns go quickly despite having a lot of things to accomplish each turn. You never have a lot of downtime as you are always engaged in either performing your actions, defending against opponents, upgrading, calculating scores, talking with the other gods about who to gang up on, etc. You’re never bored playing this game. There is a caveat to this, though. The game flows optimally with four players, any less than that and the game feels clunky and awkward, despite having less complexity. The game is clearly designed to have four at all times. You can tell this because with less than four, the game unbalances itself and Khorne becomes very happy. With four, however, each god has a rival and two neutrals. Despite this, the game flows nicely and you’re never bored playing it.

The Opinion This game is awesome! It combines two of my favorite things, complete global domination tactics with asymmetric gameplay. Each god has its’ own strategy and mechanics and the way you play the game is very different depending on which god you are. I like that. Everyone is not equal, yet the power levels are balanced (but only if you have 4 players). I have a lot of fun just watching the interaction of the gods. I find the game to be satisfying in every phase and is one of the more complete games out there. It does have it’s black spots, though. As I’ve said before, the game seems unbalanced with less than four players which does decrease the fun. My group has house ruled that if there are less than four players, no one can play Khorne because he needs to be kept in check by the other gods. Also, since the game is asymmetric and each player will have completely different abilities and strategies from the others, there is a learning curve. Despite all of these, I’ve had a lot of fun playing this game and my group loves it. It is a perfect game for a group of four that love a strategy game set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. Fantasy Flight does it again!

10
Go to the Planet Steam page

Planet Steam

42 out of 48 gamers thought this was helpful

In Planet Steam we explore the world of economic warfare in a world where the industrial revolution ran rampant. It is a highly complex game with many moving pieces and lots of things to keep track of, but it greatly rewards you for the effort.

First, the rules. The object of the game is, at the end, to have more assets than your opponents. Assets are described as cash, resources, tanks, resource converters, and luxury items. The game is played over a few turns, determined by the number of players and each game turn is broken up into several phases. Phase one is Expansion, in this phase players will go to auction for their characters for the turn (each character provides unique bonuses), another auction for board spaces and have the opportunity to acquire board spaces. In the Tank phase, players buy and reorganize their tanks, including any resource converters. This phase also allows for upgrading of your resource carrying capacity. It is the ‘main phase’ of the game. Resource phase simply extracts resources from tanks and have the opportunity to buy spare resources from the board, as there is an available market. However, players must be careful as the market in game mimics a real-life market with a supply and demand feature that is very intricate and fun to play with. The end phase simply resets the board for the next turn.

The art for the game is standard Steampunk fare. It is well made and detailed enough that it doesn’t detract from the experience. One thing I do really like are the pieces. There are lots of little pieces to play with and interact with, it’s very satisfying from a tactile perspective.

I really like this game, to the tune of it being probably my favorite. However, I REALLY like managing Excel Spreadsheets. This game is very complex, even for a Fantasy Flight game. There are intricacies in dealing with the other players through the auctions and board placement, and in dealing with the in-game economy to get ahead. You always have something to manage and you have to stay on top of it in order to really succeed. This makes the game a little unwieldy for those who favor a more straightforward game. However, the game is incredibly rewarding if you succeed in managing all the pieces and even if you don’t win, you will have fun figuring it all out. If you prefer games that allow for a moderate amount of player interaction and also have a lot of interesting mechanics, I would highly recommend Planet Steam to you.

9
Go to the Arcana Revised Edition page
15 out of 17 gamers thought this was helpful

Cadwallon, city of guilds by the sea, is experiencing a bit of a power vacuum. The time of the Ducal Jubilee is coming quickly and only the strongest and most influential guild will rule the city. As the leader of one of the guilds that run the city, it is your duty to secure as much influence as you can, so that by the time of the Ducal Jubilee, your gild reigns supreme.

Arcana is a classic deck builder with no moving parts, thus set up is a breeze. You will first select which guild you will play as, the differences being mostly minor advantages in gathering certain kinds of cards. Secondly, you will establish districts, which are simply piles of cards in specific spots depending on the number of players (you will always have a few districts close to you, a few far away and one neutral one). The object of the game is to collect as many points as possible by the time of the Ducal Jubilee. This can be done by competing against your opponent(s) for personalities, relics and locations. Personalities are sent out to influence other personalities, gather relics and hold influence over locations. Relics are items with which you can bribe personalities to join your cause. Locations are areas in the city that provide very powerful benefits to your guild if claimed.

First I would like to say that the artwork in this game is pretty good. Each personality is unique and very detailed, however each type of relic (and some of the Locations) are just copied images of each other. This shouldn’t detract from immersion, though, as the art that is there is very detailed and beautiful.

Next, the game has a pretty distinct flow to it and plays very quickly. Each turn you draw your four cards, you then take turns playing cards until each player is out, then you score the districts. It’s entirely reasonable to expect a 2-player game to be completed in less than 25 minutes. However, due to the nature of deck builders, this game suffers a bit at the beginning as far as options and action economy. It’s only after you’ve built up your deck do you really start opening up the true strategic gameplay that makes this game fun. Do you want to shoot for gathering all the personalities, to keep your opponent from having the ability to collect new cards? Or do you want to focus on Locations so that you can just overwhelm them with the high point totals? The strategic possibilities are fun to play with and around.

The only real downfall I experienced with this game is that you only ever have four cards at the start of a turn, and this can feel limiting. However I feel that it also opened up some very interesting ‘think on your feet’ moments that provided a very refreshing challenge.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this game and it has become a regular of board game nights with my group.

-NoLimitDB

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