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stravag

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7
Go to the Tales of the Arabian Nights page
44 out of 52 gamers thought this was helpful

I got this game because my wife isn’t a gamer and she likes the story and theme of games. Abstract games and the mechanics just don’t do it for her. Z-man produced this game which previously was a West End Games title dated 1985. There was also a 1985 Star Trek game that West End Games did with a similar mechanic.
You choose a character right out of the famous book 1001 Tales of Arabian Nights (other titles exist depending on translation and editions)and everyone starts in Baghdad. You basically move around the map and depending on where you end your movement a die is rolled and the storyteller (who changes for each player) reads a paragraph from the book of tales. There is then a choice that needs to be made by the active player which might be modified by whatever skills that player’s character has. The outcome of each encounter is pretty random and a character might be ***-changed or imprisoned or even changed into an animal or married. The adventures of the characters are usually rewarded with story and/or destiny markers. The first player to collect a pre-decided combination of 20 of these points and make it back to Baghdad intact wins. This is a fun storytelling game which isn’t super competitive. The whole fun of the game comes from the adventures that the characters experience, it is totally in the spirit of the book and power gamers and players who don’t like luck will probably not let themselves have fun with this, but the experience is worth a few laughs and we usually joke about it the next day and hey, how many games are you still talking about a day after you played it? It’s even fun if you don’t win, you will have a fun story to tell.
Thank you for reading my opinion.

6
Go to the Mr. Jack page

Mr. Jack

35 out of 40 gamers thought this was helpful

I don’t really get into deduction games. Many of them require a good memory, and that isn’t one of my strong points. One player plays Jack the Ripper who is randomly selected at the beginning of the game and the other player plays the authorities trying to catch him in 8 turns. The turn sequence is cool, every other turn favors a player allowing him to choose the first and the last of 4 characters to move and activate their special power. The other player chooses second and third which characters they will use. Mr. Jack wins if he/she escapes before the last turn OR stays unaccused when the game is over. The other player wins if Mr. Jack is properly accused. There are clever mechanics for the deduction portion of the turn. a character is seen if adjacent to another character or a street lamp is shining on him. The street lights turn off slowly as the game progresses. The only complaint is that in every game that I have played, the choices are 50/50 on the last turn, and a lucky guess wins the game. Only one accusation can be made in the whole game.

8
Go to the Small World: Tales and Legends page
71 out of 78 gamers thought this was helpful

This is a deck of cards for Small World that add an effect to each turn of the game except the first one. Each card in the deck has an icon showing the difficulty and type of effect that the card contributes to the game making it possible to fashion a deck for each game based on the play style that the players choose, conflict, fortune, etc. I think that this is a great addition to the game because it add just enough uncertainty to the turns (you get to see what card is coming up) but doesn’t add a ton of new rules to the base game. A great low cost expansion.
Thanks for reading my opinion.

6
Go to the Axis & Allies D-Day page
20 out of 29 gamers thought this was helpful

I picked this up cheap mainly because of the nostalgia that I have for Axis & Allies. I like the idea of a shorter scaled up version. This game is very scripted. The order of play consists of playing 16 order cards in sequence which limit your choices, for instance one card is for firing from blockhouses, another card is for moving your land units from a beachhead space to its corresponding zone. There are advanced rules that add additional fortune and tactics cards which provide some randomness to each of the order cards. This game is 2-3 players, but I think that the “engine” of this game makes for a reasonable solo game. I like what they are trying to do here, the scripting makes for a pseudo-historic feel. There aren’t quite enough decisions here to make this a great game. Fun but ultimately unfulfilling.
Thanks for reading my opinion.

8
Go to the Arkham Horror page

Arkham Horror

38 out of 61 gamers thought this was helpful

I really like this version of Arkham Horror. It is a co-op, but it doesn’t feel like one player is playing the whole game. The theme is so engaging that you feel like you are adventuring with your little character. The nature of the mythos is such that you should always feel like there is very little hope. This game gives you that. The old version if I remember was game over it the GOO was awakened and you were out if you were lost in time and space. This is not the case here, everyone is in it until the end. Fantasy Flight keeps fiddling with the balance which is annoying, but still worth a try if the subject matter appeals to you.
A fun game if you dedicate a game night to just this game as it can run a bit long, repeated plays speeds the game up though.
Thanks for reading my opinion.

7
Go to the Snow Tails page

Snow Tails

30 out of 32 gamers thought this was helpful

Dog sled racing game where you have a hand of cards that you draw from your own identical deck as the other players. You play cards to each dog side of your sled and to your brake. There are specific rules for placing cards, but basically you add up the dog cards and subtract the brake cards for your move allowance. The difference in each dog side determines how much drift that you need to take. Drifting is the only way to turn. When certain things occur such as collisions, a “ding” card is taken into your hand, these can never be discarded so you have fewer choices of cards to play. When your hand is filled with ding cards, you are out.
I really like this game, the mechanics are fresh and the theme fits. There are many track configurations (tile based tracks). The tiles have various hazards such as saplings which you must avoid, or plow into tearing the tree out of the ground paving the way for all those behind you and there is a promotional tile with a jump. There is a catch up mechanism which theoretically should help to keep the races close, but I have often been smoked by more attentive racers. The potential for AP is there and to address this the game comes with a “big paws” token to be given out to players who take too long (no real game value, but fun nonetheless).

6
Go to the Wasabi! page

Wasabi!

63 out of 70 gamers thought this was helpful

I got this game because my wife likes sushi and is a non gamer. Theme is a very important component to lure her into playing a game. She was excited to see all of the components, but when the rules were explained to her she was, “what does that have to do with sushi?”.
This is a good Tetris style tile laying game and the components are fun, but the theme is pretty much pasted on. I think that this is a good, but not great game.

7
Go to the Small World page

Small World

29 out of 67 gamers thought this was helpful

I think that this is a great re-implementation of Vinci. Having hidden scoring eliminates the kingmaking of the original and the fantasy re-theme is fun. the rules have been streamlined to make all of the “exceptions” easy to remember. Play this a few times and you will get the hang of the different abilities that are confusing at first.

8
Go to the Thunderstone page

Thunderstone

9 out of 24 gamers thought this was helpful

I really like this deck builder. It adds theme to the genre and considering that it was one of the first big commercial deck builders, it is still fun. The expansions add to the game and don’t seem to drag it down. AEG has listened to the fans and have incorporated improvements to every expansion. The base game can definitely be played for quite a while with its components.

4
Go to the Shadows over Camelot page
50 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

The more I played this, the less fun it became for me. The alpha gamers always want to drive the game and it feels like you are just collecting poker hands. Some of the quests are pointless and if the traitor is a new(ish) player, they might be overwhelmed and isolated. Playing it without a traitor is even less fun. I happily traded away my copy.

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