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Review 3 games and receive a total of 40 positive review ratings.
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Go to the Panic on Wall Street page
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Go to the Colosseum page


128 out of 136 gamers thought this was helpful

In the world of Colosseum you are put in the world of ancient Rome tasked with the daunting job of running a show potentially for various senators, or perhaps even the emperor himself.
Right out of the gate the game has an impressive layout. Each player starts with their own Coliseum some basic actors props and set pieces, and two shows that they can perform to amuse the masses. The pieces do an excellent job of keeping with the theme of the game. You then have 5 rounds to attempt to use your earnings from your previous shows to attempt to purchase even bigger and better shows, more actors, and set pieces, and try your best to impress all who attend.
The game is played in several phases, allowing each player to feel involved and keeping the pace going throughout the game. First players are able to invest in their coliseum. They have the ability to gain an additional die to move the spectators around the board, add additional seats to obtain additional victory points, or even add additional sections to their coliseum so that you have more room for bigger shows. You also have the option to buy more shows at this stage. There is a list of 30 different shows, requiring different size coliseums and more actors/animals/props ect.
After each player makes no more than 1 upgrade, (unless special tiles are played), each player can obtain asset tokens. This is done through an auction system. This means that if you have the money and you absolutely need those two priests to put on your next show, you can outbid your opponents and take it from them.
Once each player has had a chance to acquire their group of 3 different tiles, they are given time to trade assets. There are no hard and fast rules here, so you can trade just about anything and this can become hectic. Still this can become a very fun part of the game.
Now it is time to put on your show. Each player declares the show they are putting on, scoring more points for the more complete the show they can put on. For example if you are missing one tile for a show you will score one fewer point, and if you are missing 3 it could be 3 less. You also gain points for any nobles who attend your show, for any bonuses on your coliseum and for any previous shows you have put on.
Afterwards a reward is given to the player who earned the most victory points in their current show, and the player who scored the lease can take one tile from the winner to use on their next show. All players then need to remove one tile from the show they performed.

From top to bottom this is a game that I totally enjoy. With only 5 phases in 5 rounds the game has a set limit which does not make it a huge time investment (although it can run up to 90 mins), Some gamers dislike the mechanic where the player who is last gets to take from the player who is first, but there is still a great deal of thought and balance in this game.
I have taught it to several friends, many who are experienced gamers, and some who are new and after a round or two they were in it without any difficulty, although with all of the phases I would not recommend this game for little ones. In the end this is a great game, and you will not regret getting or playing it!

Go to the Power Grid page

Power Grid

88 out of 105 gamers thought this was helpful

So a few years ago at a con, me and a buddy had a demo of this game. We played it twice it was so much fun and I was instantly hooked. The game has a financial feel that is MUCH stronger than Monopoly with less luck and more thinking involved. It also has a slight map take-over element where you need to have your cities connected on a grid. If you have friends who love both Monopoly and Risk stop reading this right now…and go play this game with them.

There are a lot of pieces, and they look great, however setting up the game and putting the pieces together is a bit of a daunting task. However do not be intimidated, the mechanics of the game are actually quite simple. My 7 year old nephew has been known to join a game or two with my family (although with the 2+ hours of game time it would be wise to have an adult on the child’s team, to pick up when he gets bored and goes to play something else).

With the dual maps, there is a great deal of replay value as something as simple as starting on a different spot on the map makes for a vastly different game experience. Still for those who get bored easily Power Grid offers a host of expansion maps, also well detailed, with new challenges.

The best part about the new maps is that not only do they offer a new market system, and new geographical challenges, but many (but not all), offer a new game mechanic which adds a new flavor to the game. From China’s extreme control of their economic system, to No Nuclear power rules in Poland and Austria (while offering cheaper trash in Wein), each new map has its own quirks vastly changing the feel of the game.

If Power Grid is going to become a regular part of your game nights, expect to only get one game in. Also if this is to become a part of your family game nights, expect the little ones to become bored half way through (although they might want to rejoin in the middle of the game again), I recommend having someone on stand by to help them with their game play, and to take over when they need a break.

The rules are simple enough that even the most casual of gamers will have no problems after the first few rounds. This is a must own game!!!

Go to the Forbidden Island page

Forbidden Island

55 out of 81 gamers thought this was helpful

As a gamer who games with friends who are experienced gamers, and family who are much more casual game players this is the perfect game. Forbidden Island provides a great game play experience for each of these different game levels. It is easy enough to learn that even my 7 year old nephew has an easy time providing advice on which moves to do next, and with the flood level slider, you can increase the difficulty level to make the game more challenging for advanced players. The presentation of the game is absolutely stunning, and the co-op play style is done in a way that can make everyone happy. The best part is that the game only takes 30 mins, meaning that anyone with a short attention span (young children, or tired gamers at 1 am), will be able to get a very enjoyable game in.

This is not the most challenging game in the world, and it does lend itself to having one player try to call all of the shots, but if everyone plays nice it makes the perfect game for the last game of the night.

Go to the Panic on Wall Street page
21 out of 35 gamers thought this was helpful

Quite simply Panic on Wall Street is one of the best party games around. The mechanics are simple and very easy to learn and the art on the cards are great (and hilarious). The game play goes something like this. Depending on the number of players you have, you break up into a group of managers and investors (preferably with more investors), Then the game is broken into 5 turns. The first turn is the bidding phase. This is the one minute where the panic part of the game really comes to play. The investors bid on the properties of the managers (they each start with 3), driving the price up and up as they go. Clever investors can even strike deals with managers locking their bids for future rounds of play. After the smoke has cleared, then comes the next phase. Dice are rolled for each of the colored properties red through blue and the prices paid the investors are adjusted accordingly. Red has the highest risk with the die going from a plus to a minus 7. Yellow is second with plus or minus 3, Green goes from plus to minus 2 and blue can only move plus or minus 1. After seeing who get or loses money then it is time for the investors to pay the managers. Then the fourth phase is where the managers pay ten thousand dollars for each property. Lastly there is a bidding phase where managers can bid on new properties to make them available in the next sequence of bidding. Repeat this process 5 times and then see who wins. Winner is determined by who has the most money.
This game is such a great game because of the easy learning curve. There is nothing else complex about the rules. The above paragraph teaches you everything you need to know (aside from minor details), thus anyone can play very quickly. The game is surprisingly social as deals are constantly being brokered, and the pace is frantic. A typical game is around 30 minutes. The game has a surprising amount of strategy as well…knowing what die is used for what color, and trying to only bid as much as you stand to gain on a property if it were to fall. In the end power gamers will be let down due to the lack of complex power strategy.
Still this is a fun game, albeit maybe frustrating for younger players. I haven’t tried it with my nephews yet…and I’m not sure I will until they are older (5 and 7), as I think the game would be easy for them to learn but upsetting with the frantic pace and harsh luck of the dice. Still with slightly older kids, or non-frequent gamers this game is a slam dunk. I plan on using “panic” at every party I can and I recommend you do the same!

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