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Wind Lane

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Go to the Rush Hour page

Rush Hour

5 out of 6 gamers thought this was helpful

This isn’t a board game – it’s a puzzle. You lay out the cars on the grid according to a card and try to slide the cars around in such a way that you can get the special car (the red truck on this version’s box art) through the exit.

It’s a very simple concept, but the cars can only move forward or reverse because of how the grid is designed. You have to figure out the right sequence and amount to move pieces to get the special car through the exit and the goal is to do it as efficiently as possible.

There’s nothing really telling you to count the number of moves it takes you, but that’s the easiest way to figure out if you’ve got a more direct solution or not.

Overall the game is going to be worth it for folks who like puzzles. It’s single player and the version I have came with something like 30 puzzles of increasing difficulty and I bought a tiny little expansion that had one vehicle and another ~30 puzzle layouts on those cards.

I like puzzles, which is why I bought it, but it’s completely understandable if some folks just aren’t interested.

The High Points:
A nice challenge with the harder layouts
Nice design (I dig the simple colorful look)

Go to the Zombicide page


107 out of 115 gamers thought this was helpful

Plenty of other folks have covered the rules, so I’m going to cover why I like this game so much that I’ve spent more on it than any other game in my collection (excluding RPGs, because D&D totally wins for all time).

First off, let’s talk zombies. Zombies have become such a hot theme choice for board games, video games, movies, and TV to the point that it’s almost impossible to not be just a little bit done with them as a theme. For me, the reason Zombicide doesn’t wear out that path even more is the same reason so many people love The Walking Dead – quality. If something is made with true quality it doesn’t matter if the parts used seem passé or clichéd elsewhere. When it’s done right, it transcends the stigmas and Zombicide can certainly be put into that category. This isn’t a just a good zombie game, it’s a good game. (That’s that qualifier thing I was talking about.)

Now we gotta talk about why it’s considered quality by me. I’m still not going to explain them, but the rules are fantastic. They make sense, are easy to learn, and the rulebook is laid out well with a good index for easy lookup. I just played this game with some first timers and we had to look up several things because it had been a while since I’d played. It was quick, easy, and got us right back into the game. And, it’s not just a boring rulebook either, it’s designed well in the visuals too with cool artwork and colorful, yet not distracting page backgrounds and borders.

Another quality thing here is the way the theme plays out. I’ve got two zombie games I’m almost always willing to play – the other being Last Night on Earth. If Last Night on Earth is the campy, cheesy B movie zombie game, Zombicide is the sweaty palms, no escape, we’re all gonna die zombie game. It’s not that Zombicide is a super difficult game, but the way the zombies just keep coming and in larger and larger swarms throughout the game is just wonderful. By the end of the game you’ve usually got a board absolutely packed with zombies with the heroes running for their lives killing just enough to have a path to the exit. It’s wonderful.

Can’t really talking about quality if we don’t talk about the components. I’m taking this is two stints because the minis really do need their own focus. But first, the board and bits.

In what is wonderfully becoming a very common trait, the board is modular. You have a number of double-sided tiles that make up your game board which is reminiscent of city blocks and buildings in a downtown area – but no high rises. The artwork is good, but not so good that it’s something worth really getting into. It gets the job done and doesn’t detract in the slightest. The game board then has a bunch of tokens and markers for pretty much anything you can think of – giving your already highly modular map a ton more variance and scenario tweaking possibilities with those cool set dressings. The rest of the chits and cards do what they need to in a good way and everything is well made.

The minis, made by Cool Mini or Not, are good stuff. While not the best game minis I’ve seen (looking at you Space Hulk) they are definitely high quality. And there’s tons of minis in there. I got in on the second season Kickstarter campaign, so I’ve got a number of bonus sculpts and whatnot, but the little expansions give you tons of sculpt variance beyond what the main game does. And there’s just a ton of heroes available through the various big releases, a few little expansions, and the Kickstarter exclusives. – IMPORTANT – though they won’t ever sell the Kickstarter exclusives, Guillotine Games has made every single hero’s card available for free download on the Zombicide website. You’ll need to find a figure proxy, but there’s not one single figure you can’t use that way, including the ones in the big expansions and base game.

Finally, I wish that the last thing I could tell you about was how much the quality this game brings to the table is such a great deal and easily affordable.

It’s not.

Zombicide is expensive, especially as you round up all those big and little releases they’ve had for it. By my last count there were nine little expansions, one big expansion (Toxic City Mall), and two base game releases. They call the base game releases ‘seasons’ with season 1 being the original Zombicide release and season 2 being Prison Outbreak. If you’re going to really get into this game, the expansions are worth it. They add more hero and zombie sculpts, additional game cards, maps, tokens, and scenarios, and even zombie and non-zombie dogs (with minis for them). But shop around unless you’re planning on getting just one base game. Getting just one release (and I’d recommend the original base game) isn’t too bad if you’re looking to support your local game shop or favorite online store.

In the end, I can’t really recommend Zombicide any more than to say it’s one of my favorite games. That big box of bits is as much a tool box to create your own scenarios as it is to play out the ones written out in the booklet in the box. Guillotine Games does a great job supporting the game online with tons of resources including a bunch of additional scenarios to play out and even a downloadable scenario editor program. Top notch stuff right there.

Definitely worth your time, and almost definitely worth your money. (I get the not everybody likes the same thing.) Check it out as soon as you are able.

The High Points:
Lots of Fun
Tons of Variety
Easy to learn and reference rules
Cool Minis
Modular in the Extreme
Boatload of Online Stuff for Free
A Bunch of Expansions that all add something cool

Go to the Heroscape page


69 out of 76 gamers thought this was helpful

The rules for this game can be found in numerous places online and in other reviews. What I’ll be focusing on is the components and the feel of the game.

Heroscape is, as many have said, a giant box of toys with a great set of rules.

The maps that armies fight on are made from tiles that connect together in a highly modular way that makes building your battlefield like playing with Legos. There’s tons of different tile types, many with special rules, that mean you can build almost anything you can imagine from lofty castles on mountain tops, to alien swamps with giant creatures bubbling up through the surface, jungle on all sides. Lava can flow over city streets and snow and ice can find their way into subterranean caverns of deepest shadow.

The armies themselves are made up from everything you can think of. Fantasy creatures like elves, werewolves, dwarves, and dragons. Futuristic beings like killer robots, space aliens, and marines from some future corporation. Modern factions that resemble Charlie’s Angels, the Men in Black, and covert operatives. And historical groups like ninjas, samurais, and WWII soldiers. There’s even orcs riding dinosaurs.

Wonderfully, all these minis came pre-painted, packaged so that you knew exactly what you were getting with every purchase. For someone untalented in the painting arena, like me, who hates blind purchase, like I do, these were paradise. Not all of the sculpts are great, and not all of the paint jobs are stellar, but they’re fun and get the point across and made the game a visual treat for even the latest to the party.

And there’s so much variety! 13 waves that averaged 20 sculpts each, 4 master sets, 5 terrain packs, 3 large figure sets with 5 figures a piece, 5 flag bearers, and even a number of promo figures released at GenCon each year.

There are literally hundreds of official units to pick from.

Even without all these lovely toys to play with, the rules for this game are dang solid. Armies are kept even through a point system so that it didn’t matter if you had 20 knights trying to take on the Hulk. And the special abilities meant that each unit, no matter how similar to any other, still had their own unique feel. Movement makes perfect sense, and attack is done in the most straight forward way possible. The rules take all of the best ideas from tabletop minis gaming and ditch everything that’s slow, cumbersome, or just not fun (like the dreaded tape measure).

And even though the game is no longer being produced, it’s still possible to get it through resellers with the occasional item being up for purchase (like the Marvel set). It is much more difficult than it was even a year or two ago, but at least it’s still possible without the kind of monetary investment something like Space Hulk has become.

Ultimately, this is, and will long remain, one of my favorite games of all time. It’s the one that really got me into hobby gaming and even though it was my gateway, I find it just as fun and impressive now as I did back then before I knew about the wider world of wonderful game available. It’s a truly great game.

The High Points:
Pre-painted minis
Modular, Lego-like tiles for map making
Exceptionally well done rules
Huge variety
High scalability for number of players or size of armies or both
Huge and highly active fan community (they’re even still making new units through a rigorous custom testing process)
Fun (cannot stress this one enough)

Go to the Dominion page


96 out of 104 gamers thought this was helpful

Dominion is one of those games that comes out and completely wows people by doing something in a completely new way.

In Dominion’s case, this would be the competitive card game with the customized deck. Magic: the Gathering is where most of the world looks to see where this game type started, but MtG does one of the things that I hate with a fiery, red-hot passion: blind purchase.

You just never knew what you were going to get and had to spend a bunch of money if you liked to get complete sets (like I used to) or if you wanted to build a very specific deck. This is the classic definition of a money sink. You pour money in and the hole never seems to fill.

Dominion did away with that in a great way by giving you a bunch of each card, some great rules to govern game play, and you knew exactly what you were getting when you bought the game.

It was wonderful! You get that MtG style competitive play without having to forget that your wallet is for holding money and not just a scrap of leather you like to keep in your pocket.

And the game was made so well! You had a tray inside that box that holds everything perfectly organized and the cards are great quality. There’s just nothing really lacking with this game.


Well, each game you’re putting 10 cards out there that you and your fellow players will be able to acquire over the course of the game to build your deck. There’s the always available victory point cards and money cards too, but the 10 kingdom cards are largely what you’ll use to win the game.

They let you pull off neat combos and screw over your friends and all sorts of fun stuff that help you out. You win by having the most victory points at the end of the game, but the kingdom cards provide all your special options.

But that’s where things start going a bit off. 10 cards per game means you could see every card that comes with the set within three games (there’s 25 kingdom cards in a set). Eventually you’ll want a few more options just to keep things fresh and to keep things from being solvable (i.e. having only one course to victory with the winner being the first one to take that course of action).

So you buy the next release, and it’s awesome too! In fact, from what I’ve read only one Dominion expansion has been received with anything less than enthusiasm from the fans of this game. And really, it just sounds like it’s an expansion that doesn’t get mixed in with everything else as easily is all. Not really a big deal for me.

What is a big deal is that although Dominion is an absolutely great game, it’s near impossible to be perfectly happy playing just the base set. It gets repetetive after some time and so new cards are needed to keep things engaging.

And that’s where the game starts to lose me. I really enjoy the game, and haven’t had a bad game yet, but the idea of NEEDING to expand a game to keep it worthwhile has always turned me off. I like games where being played out just means I’ve been playing too much of it lately – that I just need to take a break from it and when the break is over, the game is back to being fun again.

That’s just not the case with Dominion, which means it’s a money sink just like Magic: the Gathering is, just at a much slower sink. If you’re alright with that, BUY THIS GAME IMMEDIATELY. Seriously. It’s a great game, and if you’re not like me, it’s going to cost you about $30 every three to five months.

If you are like me and you want expansions to be additional options, not required to keep the game good, stay away. Play your buddy’s copy every now and again, but find a game that’s got better longevity with a single purchase.

The High Points:
Very Well Made (the rules, the components, even the box storage)
Good Fun
Lots of Choices to Be Made
Easy to Find
Not Very Expensive
Plenty of People Who Play

Go to the Space Hulk page

Space Hulk

124 out of 136 gamers thought this was helpful

Space Hulk is beautiful. There’s no way anyone can talk about this game without talking about just how beautiful it is. It’s like, every Hollywood starlet who rose to fame because of her looks before she starts using plastic surgery to prevent aging beautiful. Your first crush beautiful.

Let’s break this down even farther. The board is that beautiful (there’s that word again, I might be repeating myself) body. Not only is the art extremely well done and highly evocative of the derelict space ship it represents, and not only is it designed to be highly modular so that you can design your own board setups after you’ve gone through the bunch of stuff that comes with the game, and not only is it on the thickest card board I’ve ever seen in gaming meaning it’s highly durable, but it’s freaking embossed. They took this absolutely gorgeous board and went above and beyond by giving it the textured feel that makes it that one step beyond just great looking. Nobody even asked for anything like that, but everyone who bought the game that I’ve talked to is in awe of it.

If the board is that great body, the minis for this game are the million dollar face. Like any true beauty, she likes to wear some make up even though she doesn’t need it, so the minis have some assembly required and aren’t painted. Don’t let that fool you in the slightest. These are the most highly detailed, well done minis I’ve ever seen in board games. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen minis in minis’ games this well done and I’ve seen a lot of those. There’s little wisps of ribbon on some of these figures and they have writing on them. That’s intense with how small we’re talking that a small feature on the small mini has tiny writing – just unbelievable.

After all this wonderful talk over just how amazingly beautiful (yep, definitely using it too much) this game looks we’ve got to talk about the rules.

There’s nothing wrong with the rules, they look beautiful too, it’s just that they’re the feet in this analogy and nobody really likes the feet unless you’re one of those weirdos who gets off on that. More power to ya, I say, but the rules didn’t feel as polished and honed as the visuals did for this game. The game plays well, but it felt like it could have been that little bit tighter to make this a game worth playing even if it didn’t have all this awesome eye-candy. As it is, the game is mostly made by the quality of the components and the rules make for a good game that’d be worth buying with components not as good, but I wouldn’t have bought it (my gaming budget is tight, so I have to be picky). It’d still be a game I wouldn’t ever mind playing, I just wouldn’t have bought it.

Now we do have to talk about the one problem I have with this game. This is the wart that keeps drawing your attention to her left hand instead of her face. It’s small, and she’s done some things to make it smaller, but it’s still there. For me, it’s the size of the minis versus the size of the spaces on the board.

They just don’t work well together. The aliens are all the same kind of alien, but there are a bunch of different sculpts that are amazing and that don’t fit on a single space on the board, so when you’ve got a bunch of aliens coming at the space marines and they already know how many are out there, you’ve got this awesome lineup of marines in big battle armor with all these cool weapons looking down these claustrophobic corridors at all these aliens…who aren’t facing the right way. Since they don’t fit you’re putting them sideways and not really on their space and you keep using the sculpt that has one bursting out of the floor because it actually fits in a space. It’s not a very big thing, but it is kind of disappointing to be stuck with when you’re playing the aliens.

If you’re wondering why I gave the game a lower replay value than might seem warranted given the board’s modularity, it’s based off of what comes in the box and the support that Games Workshop provides, which is to say, pretty much none. The game is highly re-playable if you’re willing to put in the time tweaking your own scenarios until they’re balanced enough, or if you don’t mind weeding through what others players have done to get the good stuff, but what comes with the game will eventually run out if you play a lot and although replaying scenarios from both sides adds to everything, eventually you’ll just have played enough times through.

There’s plenty of scenarios in the box, so it would take a whole lot of plays to hit that point.

So that’s the game – it’s a beautiful woman who didn’t need a surgeon to get to that point, but she’s got a heck of a nasty mother.

Mom, in this case, is the game’s price. If you can find a store that still has copies, MSRP is $100. And, as is most likely, if you’re not able to find that magical store the game will cost upwards of $300 on eBay. The price is why I feel bad about owning the game. I got it when it first came out and actually paid less than MSRP. Anybody who sees this game and wants it can’t have that because Games Workshop is a company run by soulless lawyers (least it feels that way because of how they treat their customers) and the game is not being made anymore. I hope you find that magical store with copies still going for only MSRP – it may be pricey, but the shear beauty of this game makes it worth it. Good luck, searchers.

The High Points:
Unbelievably Beautifully Made
Solid Rules (they could have been better, but really, that’s only a complaint because the rules aren’t as well done as the game components)
Worth Every Cent (but climbing prices the longer this is out of print make that harder and harder to stay true for anyone else)

Go to the Carcassonne page


82 out of 89 gamers thought this was helpful

Traditionally, a gateway game is any board or card game that helps people get into the large world of hobby board games as opposed to the usual exposure and experience that most people get from the big box stores like Walmart and Target.

In many ways, Carcassonne does fit the bill for this ideal because it’s an easy game for people used to games that hold all their rules in the box lid to get into. It’s fun, quick enough to grasp, and still has plenty of elements that allow players to try to outwit each other.

Where I don’t quite agree with the gateway game moniker is that most gateway games fall largely by the wayside once you’ve gone more deeply down the rabbit hole and seen the wider world available in the Wonderland. But Carcassonne isn’t a game you should be leaving behind.

The simplicity of the tile and worker placement may be quick to learn, but the strategy, expandability, and thinking you get to do with this game make it worthwhile no matter how far from the gate you stray.

And just to give how clear things are for learning this game – laying the tiles is so easy to teach because it uses the same principles learned in dominoes, sides have to match. Worker placement’s a breeze too because it’s just first one on is the only one who gets to be put on that terrain feature and you have to plan carefully because you have a limited number to use.

Scoring can be a little wonky at times, mostly because of the farms, but the rules are printed up in a very clear way and are easy to reference at end game for those new players.

Overall this is a game worth playing no matter where you are as a gamer. A lot of folks label this a Euro style game, and I guess that’s true in certain ways, but ultimately I don’t really think of it like that. This is a fun game. That’s all there really is to it. Who cares where it came from or what kinds of games you’re “supposed” to be playing. Just ask “is it fun?” and if you answer in the affirmative, PLAY THE GAME! 🙂

The high points:
Easy to Find
Plenty of Fun Expansions
Affordable (Unless you feel the need to have all the expansions – that’ll get pricey eventually)
Easy to Get Others to Play
Even Available Online and Certain Video Game Consoles

Go to the Summoner Wars page

Summoner Wars

122 out of 129 gamers thought this was helpful

This game is fantastic. The ability to have a card game that allows for deck building without it being the huge money sink that blind purchase games are is a great thing. Fantasy Flight Games and others may have done it first, but Plaid Hat Games smashed it out of the park with this one.

The game is easy enough to learn, though really understanding how to play well comes from learning what your cards and your opponent’s cards can do.

Setup is very quick since each faction has an automatic starting setup on the play mat (or delux board depending on what you bought to get started in the game). Each faction will typically have a summoner, three champions, three walls, and a number of commons and events. Decks are small, so it’s highly likely that most, if not all cards will be seen in your hand at some time.

On your turn you draw till you have five cards, play the events you’d like to, summon creatures, move creatures, attack, and then discard for magic. It’s a very easy turn progression to get the hang of and the movement phase always coming before the attack phase allows for better planning on your strategy and against your opponent’s.

Where this game really shines is in the creature cards themselves. Each creature has its own distinct power. These powers work to either let the creature move farther, or hit more targets, or shoot farther, or any number of cool and interesting things.

The art for the game is stylized and people seem to either love it or hate it, though whichever way you feel it is hard to deny that it was very well done.

I’ve left out a lot of rules, but there are tons of resources that are better for learning the game than a review, I’m here to just let you know that this game is a blast to play, plays 2 or 4 players very well, and is very affordable.

Everything’s so well balanced that it’s pretty easy to get whatever you like the look of most to start with, but you’ll probably find the game so well made and addictive to play that you end up getting quite a bit more.

The high points:
Very Balanced, Tight Gameplay
Very Affordable
Lots of Choice both in Gameplay and in Faction Selection
Highly Portable

Go to the Apples to Apples page

Apples to Apples

59 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

Apples to Apples is one of those games that somehow became divisive – most people seem to either like it or hate it. A little side game you can play is to mention the game just to see people’s reactions.

“What a dull game.”

“It’s fun with the right group.”

“Pure popularity contest.”

“We were laughing and laughing the last time we played.”


After having played it myself a number of times I’d have to say they’re right, all of them.

Apples to Apples is a great game for folks who don’t usually game (think: family gathering that includes your parents or grand parents). People who think the idea of trying to find any reason whatsoever to associate a word on a green card with any of the red cards the players tossed in. These groups tend to be more silly and freewheeling with those associations, so things like George Washington and Wrestling might get put together because the Cherry Tree Chop is a great wrestling move.

But at the same time, Apples to Apples is usually a terrible game for people who do game (think: friendly gathering in the biggest open room of the house with a game that’s rules could never fit on the inside of the box lid). Folks who want to try and figure out the best strategy or want to see how much they can push their luck. These folks usually hate the rule where the last person to put in their red card from their hand doesn’t get to play that round. They also got a grudge against the dude who picked Wrestling because they had President of the United States in there to go with ol’ George. They’re gonna try hard not to pick that dude’s card next round, so it’s a good thing cards are played face down and then mixed up before the person playing the green card makes their choice.

Overall I’m glad I own the game. I’m also glad I’ve got a bunch of other choices too. Apples to Apples is fun, but the trite bit about needing the right groups is 100% true. It’s laid back game design meant for a laid back group who wants to be a little silly. Funnily enough, the chance of being excluded for a hand because you didn’t put in a card fast enough is a great timer to keep things silly. People will make quick decisions and sometimes they’ll come up with great answers purely by accident – definitely a bonus for a party game atmosphere.

The high points:
Decent Replay Value Because There’s a Ton of Cards
Fun, Especially With a Non-Gamer Crowd, But There’s Still Gamers Who Enjoy the Game
Lets You Be Silly and Still Have a Chance to Win
Somewhat Psychological, Because You Have to Figure Out What Kind of Answer the Person is Most Likely to Pick

Go to the Zombie Fluxx page

Zombie Fluxx

81 out of 88 gamers thought this was helpful

First off, just gonna come right out and say that this review is not going to really cover the rules. If you’re checking out Zombie Fluxx, 19 times out of 20 you’ve already played regular Fluxx.

My mother isn’t much of a game player. She’ll play party games at family events, and enjoys traditional card games, but she’s not ever the first person to say “I’ll play!” whenever I try and get my family to try something new at our regular get-togethers.

However, one Halloween I was hanging out at her house, helping hand out candy since my apartment complex had had only one kid come by the previous year. I suggested we play this fun, little, random card game in between visits from kids who obviously wanted to see their dentists more often.

She agreed because she’s a good sport, and we ended up playing over ten games in a row.

This is the power of Fluxx in general, but the draw of Zombie Fluxx at the right time of year made it an easy sell. I don’t know that it’ll get her to start buying the occasional deeply steeped in board gaming hobby lore game, but it’s definitely a start.

What makes Zombie Fluxx so solid a game to get people used to the idea of trying the new is that it’s a game that constantly changes. Folks who normally only ever play party games are going to be used to random since it’s almost always a core staple of those kinds of games.

Add on top of that how the game’s theme puts you right up against a silly, yet fitting, take on the zombie genre and it’s easy to see why people want to keep playing.

Zombie Fluxx introduced the Creeper Card to the Fluxx family and now it’s a common element in many other Fluxx variants as well as the latest version of the base game.

Like any other version of Fluxx, getting others to play the game is going to depend largely on their attitude and the atmosphere of where you’re at. If you’re with a bunch of people intent on winning or being able to plan twenty moves ahead – move on. The game is meant to be chaotic and shines best when you’re with a group of people who are more interested in seeing what happens or in seeing how crazy they can make things than they are in winning.

Fluxx is about the journey, not the destination. To be perfectly frank, Fluxx only has winning conditions so that games end. This is an exercise in being silly, and it’s FUN!

Zombie Fluxx adds onto that through a great theme and is my favorite Fluxx variant to play. If you like Fluxx, you’re going to like Zombie Fluxx.

The high points:
As Silly and Random as regular Fluxx
Very Fun Implementation of the Theme
Very Affordable
Scales Very Well with Group Size

Go to the The Settlers of Catan page
74 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

Settlers of Catan has been around. Not just in the time sense (it’s over 15 years old as of this review), but also in the sense of how much visibility it has. Board gaming as a full on hobby really caught hold with this modern era that Settlers helped usher in.

Now-a-days you can find this game practically anywhere – Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, and many bookstores. I think I’ve even seen it at a supermarket before.

And that’s why it’s like Monopoly. Not only can you find it pretty much anywhere, but it’s pretty likely that more than one of your friends owns it and even more likely that they’ve played it in some form.

The actual gameplay has much less in common with Monopoly though. Your board is a bunch of hexes that represent resources that can be collected from them and they’re laid out at random. You still build stuff to help your cause, but instead of houses and hotels, you’re building towns and cities, roads too.

And instead of hoping the other players land on your properties, you’re hoping the number rolled on the dice matches the number on the hexes you have a city next to, since that means you get to collect the resource that hex provides.

Setup’s pretty easy since it’s mostly random. The hexes that make up the board start face down, you mix them up, and then you start laying them out inside the bits that hold all the hexes together. Then you’ve got all these disks that have numbers on them and you do the same thing – face down, mix up, deal out.

The next step is where each player takes turns putting down a town with two roads connected to it until all the players have two towns on the board. There’s a lot of strategy that can go into this part of the game.

Once the game starts each player will roll two dice on their turn and any hex that has the same total as the dice gives resources to all players who have a town touching that hex. Then players use the resources they have to build more things.

These can be additional roads or towns, upgrades to towns to make them cities (which doubles the amount of resources you get from a hex it touches), or cards. These cards either give you interesting things you can do to other players, give you knights which work towards one of the way you get victory points, or many other things.

Victory points are how you win, and there are a number of things that give them to you – it’s better to learn the game through the rule book rather than a review.

What makes this game fun are all the decisions you get to make coupled with another thing it has in common with Monopoly – the deal making. It’s quite common to have a resource you either don’t have access to, or that’s hard to get because the number for it isn’t as easy to roll on the dice (like 2 or 12).

That’s when you can start making deals. You’ve got the brick I need, but I’ve got the ore you need – so we swap. But is it an even trade? Brick does a lot of useful things, but ore is needed for most of the really big stuff. Does that mean I deserve two brick for my one ore? How badly do I need that brick? Tons of factors go into what kind of deals you’ll make with the other players and it can get really fierce, which is a lot of fun.

Then there’s the robber. This little guy gets put on the only hex that doesn’t get a number (the desert) and any player who rolls a 7 gets to move him to another hex. While the robber is on a hex, that hex can’t produce resources. He also steals things (what kind of a robber would he be if he didn’t), so there’s that bonus to him as well. He can be used strategically or purely as revenge on someone who got the best of you in a trade. He’s a great part of the game.

I enjoy this game. There are plenty of other games I like more, but not so much that I don’t want to still play this game every once and a while. It’s a great game because although it is what is commonly referred to as a Euro-game, it doesn’t follow a lot of the things that people say Euro-games HAVE to be. Euros aren’t supposed to be random (dice, hex layout, & number layout are all random), minimize the amount of player interaction so that it’s how well you play the game and not how well you dealt with the other players that gets you the win (the robber, some of the cards, and deal making are all about messing with the other players), and theme is less important than good mechanics.

It’s that last one where Settlers of Catan falls fairly much in line with its other European brothers. Though I must admit that way the designer incorporated the theme for the game works well for me. Sure the mechanics have nothing whatsoever to do with building up this imaginary island, but the way the theme is expressed hits you from enough angles that it doesn’t matter.

Overall the game is definitely one you should check out, and most likely one you should buy. I won’t presume to believe that there’s no one out there this won’t be a fun game for, because that would be idiotic. Instead I’m just going to say that it’ll appeal to nearly anyone. It’s a really well done game and even with the existence of games I like much better – I’m not going to turn down a game.

These are the high points:
Good Components
Very Solid Rules
Easy Enough to Learn
Very Easy to Find
Not Very Expensive
Easy Enough to Find Other Players
Good Implementation of a Theme, Especially for a Euro-Game
Nice Player Interaction

Go to the Dungeons & Dragons: 4th Edition page
52 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

Don’t get me wrong, 4th edition D&D is absolutely got it in spades for combat rules in the rule books. In fact, the three primary books that opened the edition (the Players’ Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual) are almost 100% pure rules crunch.

What many (far, FAR too many) fail to realize is that a solid conflict resolution system and a robust (or you might say bloated) character creation system has absolutely nothing to do with how much roleplaying you can get out of this system.

As with any RPG, the amount of quality roleplaying you get out of it will largely depend on two things – you, and the person running the game. Your fellow roleplayers at the table can make things easier or more difficult, but they can’t remove what type of roleplaying experience you’ll get based on your and the DM’s efforts.

The core system is actually great for roleplaying, and not just board gaming, because it’s clean enough that it gets out of your way yet still gives you good resolutions from the daring do that you’ll attempt.

The reason many have said that this system is bad for roleplaying is mostly because it doesn’t force you to do it, and doesn’t teach you how. This isn’t a bad thing. Why would you want to be told “okay, now act like you’re struggling to stay above water”? It’s a roleplaying game, not an acting class. And being taught how to roleplay is just as bad because it doesn’t allow for individual styles, it only allows for the style being taught.

Sure, some RPGs give insight into roleplaying and then say things like “but feel free to do things in your own way”. The only difference between those RPGs and 4th edition is in 4th ed you don’t have to read through how somebody else thinks it should be done before you’re told “just do your own thing.”

4th edition D&D did a great job of cleaning up the rules mess that 3.5 had become (especially from the DM’s side of things), don’t let the fact that it explains how to work with its combat system and not how to talk in an elven accent fool you into believing there’s any less roleplaying here than in any other game.

Go to the Fluxx page


54 out of 59 gamers thought this was helpful

Fluxx is a simple card game put out by Looney Labs where when you first start the game, there is no way to win. The title of the game absolutely captures what the spirit of the game is, and that’s to have things constantly changing.

There are five card types in Fluxx:

New Rule cards which change how many you draw, how many cards you can hold in your hand, and a myriad other things about how the game is played.

Keeper cards which you lay down in front of you to help you win the game.

Goal cards which you put down to show what will win the game. There can only be one goal in play at a time, so the old goal is discarded when a new goal is played.

Action cards which allow you to do various things once.

Creeper cards which play like Keeper cards, except that they prevent you from winning and you must play them when you draw them. You at least get to redraw to replace them and they don’t count against your cards per turn playing limit.

There is one more card type that was introduced in a variant (Pirate Fluxx) that will eventually be part of the base set called a Reaction card. These let you do things on other players’ turns.

The rules for Fluxx are very simple. When the game starts each player is dealt three cards and the first player to ask to go first does so. There’s a draw pile and an empty discard pile and since no player has played a goal card yet, there’s no way to win just yet.

Play moves quickly as the only constant rules are Draw 1 and Play 1. Everything can be changed, but you will do a minimum of that on your turn.

The game is won when a player has the conditions required on a goal card. These are usually a pair of Keeper cards, though other goals can include having a hand of 10 cards, or having a particular keeper with another keeper not in play anywhere.

The game is absolutely fun and shines when you have a group of people who just want to play a fun game. Players who NEED to win will get quickly frustrated and players who suffer from analysis paralysis will bog the game down if there are a lot of New Rule cards in play or if they get to play a lot of cards from their hand.

Definitely meant for a casual environment, games will take 15-30 minutes though occasionally they will run long if things get wonderfully silly, such as having the Draw 5, First Play Random, and Hand Limit 0 cards in play – Your neighbor will draw a card from the five you just picked up, that’s the card you play, and then you discard the rest, very funny when it happens.

In closing, these are the high points:
Good group game
Good gateway game (though usually not to the deep end of gaming)
Fun in a casual environment
Not for the competitive
Very affordable

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