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Review 5 games and receive a total of 140 positive review ratings.
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Go to the Airlines Europe page
Go to the Acquire page
Go to the Agricola page
Go to the Viticulture page
Go to the Raiders of the North Sea page
Go to the Niagara page


31 out of 33 gamers thought this was helpful

Niagara is an older game but one that still has a lot of appeal for our family. There’s plenty of strategy to challenge a gamer, enough luck to make it family friendly, and for the kids…. well, you get to make the river move and maybe wash Mom and Dad over the waterfall.

Niagara is in essence a set collecting game with a pick up and delivery mechanic. The game takes place on a river, where there are different colored gems placed along the path. Using tiles that determine movement (the “dice”), you move your boats up and down the river, trying to collect multiple gems of the same color or a set of different colored gems. Steals are allowed, and the limited amount of movement allowed makes for some interesting decisions.

The heart of the game, however, is the river itself. The board is actually placed on top of the box, creating a waterfall at its end. The river itself is made up of plastic discs, which are pushed “down river” at the end of each turn. Players have an opportunity to slow down or speed up the flow, impacting those players that ventured to close to the waterfall hoping to collect some of the rarer gems. Boats that go over the falls are returned to the top of the banks, gem-less.

For a family game, the theme is great, and the “take that” elements can be a lot of fun. This is not for a deeply strategic, heavy gaming session, but is one that is still in my family’s heavy rotation after all these years.

Replay Value = 8
Quality of Components = 11 out of 10
Easy to learn = 8

Go to the Jaipur page


98 out of 105 gamers thought this was helpful

My wife and I enjoy 2 player games – Lost Cities and Qwirkle among them. I have found Jaipur to be another very good offering in this space.

The theme is yet another in the Mediterrean trading style, with players collecting sets of rubies, gold, silk, leather, etc. Players draw cards on their turns from a set of available cards to build sets of a single good. These sets are then turned in for tokens representing victory points. The player with the most victory points is the winner of the hand. The game is set up to be a best of 3, but you can certainly set up your own parameters.

There are a few interesting twists to the “set collecting” mechanic that makes this game interesting. The first is the “press your luck element”. There are a set amount of tokens for each good, and they decline in value, so there is a bit of a race to turn in sooner. To balance this, there are also bonus tokens for turning in larger sets of 3, 4 or 5 cards. So the question begins, “Do I cash in early or turn in a larger set for the bonus?”.

The other twist are the camels. There are numerous “camel” cards, which can be collected on turns and used as filler cards to make it possible to collect more goods on your turn without sacrificing your better cards (you have to give cards to get in most scenarios). Everyone I play with has a different strategy regarding camels – some try to collect them early, some avoid them like the plague, others try to hoard them to receive the 5 point bonus at the end.

Components are of good quality(thick cardboard cutouts), and I definitely would invest in a collector’s edition with wooden tokens if available. There is some set up involved, but it should only take a minute or two to set up each hand.

The game takes around 15 minutes per hand and play is lively. One of my pet peeves with other 2 player games is that it becomes solataire with 2 people. In Jaipur, there is actually reason to pay attention to the other player’s turn. There is a little question on balance (It can be challenging to win if you don’t get the rubies), but overall this game is a lot of fun. I would highly recommend Jaipur to anyone looking for a light, 2 player filler game.

Go to the Qwirkle page


76 out of 84 gamers thought this was helpful

I am always looking for games that I can play with my wife – games that can be played easily with two players, strategic without being intense, and light on theme. Qwirkle fits the bill.

Qwirkle is essentially a bag of wooden blocks. Each block has one of six shapes painted in one of six colors. The players take turns laying down tiles, trying to match patterns by either shape or color. Points are scored each round based on how well your block fits into the overall grid.

Although the game starts like a casual game of dominoes, it quickly becomes more strategic and rewards you for creative thinking and attention to detail. A lot depends on the luck of the draw, but it works well in this game and can produce a lot of excitement when you draw that one elusive tile!

The wooden blocks are of decent quality, though after 100+ games the paint is fading on a few blocks. Sometimes (in a dimly lit room), it can also be frustrating to try and tell the difference between red and orange and blue and purple. The blocks come in a nice cloth bag, so keeping the box becomes optional if there is no room on the game shelf.

Overall, I do enjoy this game quite a bit and is one I often grab when trying to spend 30-40 minutes of quality time with family. I would highly recommend it.

Go to the Airlines Europe page

Airlines Europe

146 out of 166 gamers thought this was helpful

Okay, Alan Moon’s name on the box, a transportation theme with plastic planes and routes, this is a re-packaging of Ticket to Ride, right? Wrong.

This is actually a repackaged, streamlined version of one of Mr. Moon’s earlier games, Union Pacific. Although I never played the original, I find myself enjoying this game very much.

The issue with most economic games is that they tend to be one-dimensional and a little dry. This game, however, has really good interactive play and great mechanics for increasing the value of your stock. The game plays as a basic set collecting game, but allows you the ability to expand an airline’s influence, thereby increasing the value of the stock. There are also a lot of neat twists and turns as well, such as having one airline with different rules regarding shares acquisition and valuation, airlines of different size, and bonuses for completing certain routes for specific airlines (ok, that part’s a little like TTR).

Teaching it was a little complex, but we all had it down after the first game. I would recommend this for any family game night or for fans of Acquire-like games.

Go to the Acquire page


66 out of 106 gamers thought this was helpful

I love almost everything about this economic-centered game. Perfect balance between strategy and luck (No escaping the need to draw useful tiles). This game bounces well between serious strategists and family game nights.

The concept is easy – Buy stocks and try to increase the value of your holdings through expansion. Expansion can be done through the laying of tiles, but the mergers and acquisitions are what really gets the group going.

There are only two things that prevent me from giving this game a perfect score: 1) My game from the 1980’s has solid, plastic, high quality components. I would love to “update” my game, but it has been a long time since a version has been out with high quality components, and 2) I have played this game sooooo many times, I now look for other similar games (ie Airlines Europe)to get my fix.Hmmmm, if anyone is listening, what about an expansion?

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