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57 out of 64 gamers thought this was helpful

Okay, usually when I buy a game by Uwe Rosenberg, I expect, no, DEMAND sheep. So I was quite disappointed by this one with its very distinctive non-sheepiness. Pushing this aside has revealed quite a gem, though, and I am willing to forgive this egregious oversight.

First off, this game is about beans. Yep, almost every kind of bean makes an appearance in cute, anthropomorphic form performing what are meant to be comical charades of their names. It works good. The cards are indeed funny, and the artwork fits the light mood of the game.

The rules are well-presented and easy to understand. New players will easily pick up the nuances of the game, and the combination of hand-management and trading is quite fun.

However, some things mar this otherwise fun experience aside from the lack of sheep. First off, a major part of the game has to do with keeping your hands in the order they were dealt. In practice this has turned out to be fairly trouble free, but my younger children always have trouble with this, to the point where we now use the card holders from T2R Asia in our games. They should be included in the box.

Also, if players have trouble making decisions, the game can last for a very long time, not really congruent with the theme or the light flavor of strategy this game offers. In fact, we normally play the game contrary to the rules by limiting play to one pass through the deck rather than three. However, this game strangely becomes faster with more player, at least in my experience.

If you enjoy beans, games, cards, boxes, gardens or garden gnomes you should try out this game. Even without sheep, it has my highest recommendation as a fun card strategy game.

Go to the Carcassonne: River I page
40 out of 49 gamers thought this was helpful

Have you ever had a tough time deciding which tiles to build first? Well, look no further because the river makes these decisions for you!

Placing the river is done at the start of the game with the special river tiles, and this expansion adds nothing else to the game. However, I have found when playing with newcomers that this is a good entry-level explanation for the rules of the game. The limited nature of this initial placement, though, quickly grows stale.

This expansion comes into play about 20-30% of the time, not enough to warrant classic status like the basic game.

Fun, though, and essential for the completist!

Go to the Carcassonne page


54 out of 83 gamers thought this was helpful

This game, which I have owned for a very long time(7 years or so) is the game I return to when I want a peaceful excursion into the realm of the tile-laying genre.

It is quiet, full of a zen-like strategy, but also frantic in that you have to make the best of what you have enven when another player ruins your well-laid(literally) plans.

The pieces are pleasurable to use, consisting of thick, tactile tiles for the city and countryside, and the now-ubiquitous meeples in bright colors that will appeal to old and young alike.

For a game with little to no set-up time, easy rules and appealing art,
look no further than this classic game and its multitude of expansions. Electronic versions recommended as well!

Go to the Agricola page


99 out of 106 gamers thought this was helpful

First of all, I would like to preface this by saying I am a big fan of sheep. So, pretty much any game with sheep in it is guaranteed a good review. However, this game transcends the sheepyness and gets right down to what makes games fun in the first place: beauty, depth and accessability.

1. The components are very nice. Even with an upgrade pack in the form of ‘The Goodies’, my wife and I still play with the original roudn wooden bits because they are designed perfectly for the style of play. The boards are strong and durable, and the cards are adequate.

2. The rules take what could be a painful experience and gently dole out the advice with aplomb(correc word?). However, I would recommend a gamer try the game out solo first to work out the kinks and explain it to your less patient non-gamer friends.

3. The gameplay is superb. At first glance, the tightly controlled timeline seems to leave no room for creativity and choic of action. But, as you get a few plays under the belt, the cards and other player actions create an expansive avenue of stretegic options for you to purse, not the least of which I use, which is to grab sheep at every opportunity.

4. Lasting value is good. The cards and extra expansions offer ways to vary gameplay, but really, if you are bored by the farming theme you might get tired of it quickly.

This is a classic game, no doubt about it. Buy it and you won’t be sorry, but try it more than two or three times to really get the feel of it. Thanks for reading!

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