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Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep page
49 out of 67 gamers thought this was helpful

Despite the fantasy/D&D theme, this game has a very Eurogame feel and resource management is front and center. A nicely detailed theme, and a few “take that” style cards round out this pleasurable game. The components and storage tray, even the game box itself, have all been thoughtfully produced. Surprisingly fun, with close victories both times we’ve played. I’m already looking forward to picking up the supplement, even though the base game will entertain itself for some time to come.

Go to the Risk 2210 A.D. page

Risk 2210 A.D.

121 out of 140 gamers thought this was helpful

We’ve all played the original RISK, and for many it has come to represent “Ameritrash” games at their finest—long, tedious, and whittling down the player count over the hours. Yet it presents an interesting balanace of random dice rolls with real strategy.

This update, the best of many in my opinion, adds what is missing for the serious bard gamer.

Special cards to play, with varying play costs? Check.
More ways for losing players to come back into contention? Check.
Commanders? Check.
A neat map? Check.

Components: The little “Battletech” style pieces look cool, and the board is beautiful.

Play: By limiting the number of turns, the designers encourage rapid expansion and risk (no pun intended) taking to slower, crawl-out-from-Australia strategies. The addition of moon territories, sea areas, and new passages freshen up a familiar board. Bidding for turn order adds new strategy, especially when you attempt to “double up” turns. Commanders allow special privileges in addition to combat bonuses—no travelling to the moon without a moon commander, taking sea areas without a sea commander, etc. Cards, some powerful, can swing the balance of play but not enough to unbalance things.

Bottom line: If you loathe RISK, 2210 AD won’t sway you to the dark side. But if you liked the original but feel you’ve grown beyond it, definitely try this. Sometimes a direct combat game with obvious progress indicators beats the more abstract Eurogame feel for a change of pace.

Rating: ***** out of ***** stars (for RISK lovers), 3 stars for others

Go to the Lost Cities: The Card Game page
54 out of 62 gamers thought this was helpful

Lost Cities has a reputation as “the game your spouse will play,” and it’s well deserved. Spouses (both sexes) of gamers who are not big gamers themselves find this approachable, and it’s good for all ages.

Components: The components, consisting of color cards and a small central, to be placed between the two players, are nice. The graphics help evoke the (light) theme of exploration.

Play: Play consists of putting down a card (or discarding) and picking up a card. Each player in turn places down cards in one of five colored rows, placing down lower numbered cards first and going upwards (never downwards) from 2 through 10. Numbers can be skipped. At game-end, each row is totaled, and any points remaining after you subtract 20 go toward your winning total.

If the row totals less than 20 (a row with a 4-6-8 would only total 18, for instance), the difference is subtracted from your victory point total. Special handshake cards, which can only be played at the start of a card line, can multiply loss/victory totals.

It’s a simple game, but the end stage of the game can be filled with maddening decisions. Risk starting a 4th or even 5th row? Double down on a multiplier row? Even discarding can be tough (especially if you pull valuable 9 or 10 cards before you can play them), because your opponent can seize discards to complete their own competing rows.

It’s a good, clean game that can be taught in 10 minutes, but falls nicely into that “easy to learn hard to master” category and often gives that “if I just had one more turn…” experience. Highly recommended if you need a simpler filler game.

Rating **** out of ***** stars

Go to the Ticket to Ride page

Ticket to Ride

32 out of 40 gamers thought this was helpful

The iOS version of Ticket to Ride is the best digital board game implementation I’ve seen to date, bar none. Playing the iPad version has actually made me go back and pick up the “real” board game version again, it’s that good.

Music and theme are immersive and well done. Sound and graphic effects accompany actions, such as completing a route. Scoring (something that folks manage to mess up often in my board game version) is automatic and clean.

The app version offers play vs computer, pass -n- play, and online multiplayer, and a lively community never lacks for players. I once played a game on an actual moving train headed for Washington DC, playing against people in Chicago, England, and Germany—which says it all!

The app also allows for post-game analysis. You can review the routes you completed (and didn’t) and also evaluate the routes of all your opponents.

If you like the board game version at all, and lack the opportunity or opponents to play, I cannot recommend the app version and its expansions (of which there are several) enough. THIS is how board game apps should be done.

Rating: ***** out of ***** stars

Go to the The Walking Dead Board Game page
57 out of 64 gamers thought this was helpful

Components: Fans of the TV series will enjoy the full color cards featuring photos of show characters, etc. The “board” is actually more akin to a giant mousepad, spongy and not really appealing.

Gameplay: Gameplay is fairly simple, consisting of moving around the “board” to capture different locations while trying to stay alive. You roll a die, and must move exactly that many squares. Your landing square imposes a condition. Conflicts (i.e., zombie attacks) are resolved by rolling one or more six-sided dice. Scrounge cards can add to your rolls, and allies can help protect you.

It’s a game of attrition, and it has a very random feel. Maybe you’ll pull the right card, and maybe you’ll roll the right number … and maybe you’ll stop caring after a while.

Bottom line: For completists and huge TV show fans, this game might be appealing. But the weird, poor-resolution board and simplistic gameplay make this game a “pass by” for most boardgamers. If you’re looking for a decent zombie game that isn’t too complex, try Last Night on Earth or Zombicide instead.

Rank: ** out of ***** stars

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