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Stone of the Sun

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8
Go to the Bohnanza page

Bohnanza

36 out of 41 gamers thought this was helpful

First impression:

My play group was getting a bit bigger throughout the year. And as it turns out, they did not want to split into groups on game nights. I wanted something that that can support many players at the same time still has some depth. I was also looking for something that didn’t have any player elimination, because dying off quickly in Bang! becomes lonely.

Game summary:

Players act out as bean farmers that collect large sets of beans to plant, trade and harvest for money. Players are limited to two fields (depending on player size) but can purchase a third field for 3 coins. Having limited fields for planting encourages trading. The player that has the most coins out of three rounds is the winner.

My Experience:

I have recorded about 20+ games to date. And I have played games with as low as 3 players and at the max with 7 players. I haven’t played this game with 2 players because I typically don’t play with that low of number due to how our group has grown in size. This game scales fairly well but I would recommend that 5 to 6 players is the best size play with.

I can compare Bohnanza to Settlers of Catan in some ways. In Settlers of Catan, the games can be exciting yet drag due to bad dice rolls. The most enjoyable part, which I believe, is the trading and negotiation. And Bohnanza is all about trading and negotiation. As a disclaimer when teaching the game, I inform the players that this game is about getting out there and marketing your beans. If you are quiet and slow you may not capitalize on some great deals. So as they say, “if you snooze, you lose”.

My Likes:

This is a great gateway game and I enjoy it very much for the trading aspect alone. The people I introduce it to enjoy it as well, especially when they get a good deal. Since the game is fairly compact, this is one of my go to games when leaving the house.

My Dislikes:

In this game, there is one awkward card rule. You cannot rearrange or shuffle your cards that you have been dealt. You must leave the cards in that order. And that can be hard for some people to coupe with, because when you are dealt a hand cards you automatically want to set them in a certain order.

Another item would be at the higher player counts, at 7 players you start out with 3 cards if you are the first player. The next player has 4, the player after has 5, and the rest has 6 cards. And if you completed all your trading after the first 3 people, you end up waiting around before it is your turn again.

Lastest Impression:

My dislikes in this game is very miniscule compare to how much I enjoy the interaction of trading within game. This is a great game and is always welcome when people ask to play it. And people do ask to play it often. This game is fairly compact and can be found for under $20! That’s better than all your stink beans!

8
Go to the Pandemic page

Pandemic

46 out of 52 gamers thought this was helpful

First impression:

At the time I was looking for a cooperative game, I was researching Pandemic and Flash Point. After reading various reviews and hearing that Flash Point fits its theme more than Pandemic and knowing Flash Point supports six players I eventually choose Flash Point over Pandemic.

Game summary:

Players work together to find cures and stop the spreading of viruses using various actions and the special abilities of the roles provided. The game can end when there are 8 outbreaks, run out of viruses to place on the board or run out of player cards. If the players can find the cure for all four viruses in time, they win!

My Experience:

Eventually I received Pandemic as gift and have played roughly 20+ games to date. Majority of the games were with 4 adult players, a few with 3 adult players and none with 2 or solo. After playing various other cooperative games prior to this such as Flash Point, Witch of Salem, Space Alert, Ghost Stories and Mice & Mystics I grew to realize I enjoyed cooperative games only when the difficulty is at the hardest. And that is when we, as a team, communicate and work together the most.

And Pandemic could be a hit or miss even when played at the hardest difficulty. There are times when you’ll steamroll the game because of no epidemic draws, powerful roles and the perfectly placed diseases. And there are times, without notice, when one outbreak can trigger a chain reaction of outbreaks to the point of no salvation. This can lead to players blaming each other for ignoring that single cube. And this is when I start enjoying the game; you are forced to work together and optimize the available resources at hand or panic and watch the Alpha Gamer take control over everything. I prefer working together.

My Likes:

It’s a great gateway game that brings people together and everyone I introduced it to enjoys it greatly. After setting the game up, the game plays smoothly without fiddling with tons of components. Also, it is casual enough where I can walk away; change my daughter’s diaper and come back still knowing the situation of the game.

My Dislikes:

As with many cooperative games, this game can suffer from the Alpha Gamers taking over and you end up watching him move cubes around. Other than that, this game can be light on strategy and can suffer from bad shuffles that lead to easy wins. Certain roles can deem very powerful, such as the Quarantine Specialist or the Medic, and can help an easy win become a steamrolled victory.

Latest Impression:

Even though the difficulty can be a hit or miss I still enjoy the game. Everyone I introduce this game to enjoys it greatly. When asked to play, I’ll gladly take the offer if it is on the hardest difficulty and we remove some role options… and maybe just play with the On the Brink Expansion.

7
Go to the Jungle Speed page

Jungle Speed

85 out of 92 gamers thought this was helpful

First impression:

I walked into a Toys R Us, saw this puppy and said “Wow, this is only 10 dollars? Don’t mind if I do!” Just from reading the cover it sounded like the Slap Jack game my friends and I used to play with playing cards. Where when the same shape or number gets flipped over we all slam our hands in the middle of the table and whoever is last or on top gets the pile of cards.

Game summary:

Everyone has a pile of cards as the flip over one by one. The cards vary in shapes and colors. If a matching shape appears, the two with the matching shapes attempts to grabs the totem. The winner gives their cards away to the loser. The first one with no more cards is the winner.

My Experience:

Roughly have about 25+ plays under my belt. I have played with large groups of 8 to small groups of 4. The players ranged from kids young of age to adults who are non-gamers and gamers alike. Everyone I introduced this game to loved it. It is especially great with highly competitive people. In the beginning, everyone will be relaxing in their chair. At the end of the night, everyone will be making their cards hard to see while hovering over the totem with intense concentration filled with perspiration.

My Likes:

It’s quick, fun and intense. This game is easy to teach, easy to set up, and easy to play. I love the reaction of the first mistake made in the game, where the player looks in awe trying to figure out if it really wasn’t a match. The look is priceless.

My Dislikes:

This game can get brutal, especially if you are playing with people who have long nails. A friend of mine had to sit out because his hand was bleeding from having a player rip the totem from his hand. Also, there are chances when cards can get lost. I think I’m down to 78 cards now and I have no clue where the other two could’ve gone.

Latest Impression:

Just as I predicted, it is just like the Slap Jack game except you are grabbing for a totem instead of slapping each other. This is a game for the competitive heart and a great game for parties. Even if you can’t get it for $10, it’s still a great buy at $20. Just be precautious; because that totem is gonna fly!

7
Go to the Martian Dice page

Martian Dice

22 out of 32 gamers thought this was helpful

I purchased this game for the sole purpose of killing time between games. There are some games that my friends and I play where one or two people can die off quickly and they end up sitting on the side until next round. This game was used to fill the gap.

Martian Dice is pretty fun for what it is, easy to pick up and easy to add in more players. Compared to Zombie Dice, I feel like it plays better because it adds a bit more strategy with your rolls. Besides picking up Humans, Chickens, and Cows for points, you can actually have a chance to prevent yourself by getting hurt (by Tanks) by picking up defense (with Ray Guns). Also, if you pick up one of each Earth creature, you get a bonus of three points on top of what they are worth.

If you’re looking for a great filler to tide you over between games like Bang, Zombicide or other Player Eliminating games, I would recommend Martian Dice. Plus, it is so cheap!

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