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I Am What I Am


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Go to the Carcassonne page
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Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

46 out of 69 gamers thought this was helpful

On a recent trip to the FLGS I was given an “allowance” of twenty dollars to buy a new game or expansion. I was playing games with a few of the employees and, much like a small child, placed 20 dollars on the table and said “I gots this many” and let them point me in the right direction.

After walking around the store looking at everything we decided that this would be it, the price was right and the concept was interesting. I purchased it at the end of the night and played it at home the next morning. My wife and I set down, read through the rules, and gave it a whirl. The mechanics are easy but you really need to plan ahead to win.

We set up the board, talked a little strategy, and the started flooding the island. I was designated the treasure seeker and she was in charge of keeping paths to the shrines and helipad clear. Even with that specialization we were one turn away from being stranded. The game was very fun, we escaped the island with the treasure, and we’re excited to play again.

All in all if you “gots this many” and want to play nice with others then give this game a shot.

Go to the Carcassonne page


60 out of 67 gamers thought this was helpful

This is by far my favorite board game. I hadn’t heard of it until the Xbox Live Arcade version hit. I downloaded the trial and loved the theme, the mechanics, and the way the tiles looked. I bought both of the expansions. That was my first exposure to expansions as well.

I have a lot of good memories from that version. I played with my friends until 2 or 3 am, laughing and trying to steal castles from each other. Now I have purchased the Big Box 3 and play it with my wife. It’s a blast with the default game and the expansions help fix a few holes in the gameplay.

Enough waxing poetic, I’ll get into the mechanics of the base game.

The components in the box are very high quality cardboard tiles, wooden followers, and a scoring track. They feel substantial and work very well for their purpose. In the Big Box there are places to put tiles for all of the expansions, I’m not sure about the packaging in the regular box.

Basic gameplay is drawing a face down land tile, placing it in a spot where you can legally place it, and putting a follower (or meeple) down, if a legal play is possible. The tile has to fit next to all adjacent tiles. It’s very much like playing a jigsaw puzzle. No two boards will look the same.

When you are first teaching someone the game it’s easiest to play “solitaire”. Let them make their cities, build their roads. Don’t try to build in their way. It’s possible to steal another player’s creation if you build near them, that’s where it gets fun and feelings get hurt. Playing with a lot of experienced players this definitely isn’t a game of Nicey Nicey.

I’ll review some expansions on their pages. Needless to say I would tell everyone to get this game.

Go to the Munchkin page


23 out of 49 gamers thought this was helpful

My D&D group would play this game between the two games we had running. After an intense game it was a decent way to unwind before going into Vampire. A lot of the cards were funny and topical to us. I’ve went back and tried to play again but found it to be not as fun. With the right group of friends in the mood to be goofy and looking to do something quick while eating dinner it was great. When you’re just setting down to play a serious game with people who don’t know D&D or fantasy RPGs in general it’s a bit of a drag.

Go to the Ticket to Ride: The Card Game page
57 out of 64 gamers thought this was helpful

For full disclosure when I bought this game off of ebay I thought it was the board game, not the card game. That disappointment may have clouded my judgement for this game. That said I gave it a chance to win me over.

I played a two player game after reading the rules through a couple of times. I found the rules to be a bit confusing about a couple of components, namely the On-The-Track stack and Train Robbing sections. I feel like the cute names distracted from the clarity of the rules. Also robbing isn’t a correct word since it causes your opponent to discard a train instead of taking it for yourself.

The game took us about 45 minutes to play, though it will go faster when we get the hang of it. The mechanics worked and give you some small room for interaction but mostly it felt like we were playing solo games. 10 minutes of the game time was scoring. I had 14 destination tickets to add up and subtract. While it’s not hard math it was still confusing to really keep track of. Once I’m used to it that may change.

On the plus side the cards are attractive and feel good in my hand. I liked the artwork a great deal.

Typically when I play a game I want to run through it a second time but I was done after one this time. I want to go back and give it another chance but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. There are too many good games out there to tell people to spend money on this.

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