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Recent Reviews

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6
The Gold Heart
Arrowhead
Go to the Azul page
10
Sweed {Avid Gamer} Apr 9th, 2021
“Overall best game for anyone ”

Azul is one of my favorite games of all time.
For starters anyone can play. My four-year-old can play as well as my 64-year-old father who can whip my pants off with his strategy. The colors and the beauty of this game are just as delightful as the strategic gameplay.
Basically you’re drawing colors of tiles out of the center and placing them on your board appropriately in order to score the most points. The quicker you can score those points is usually better because not all players will let you continue on to the round you need in order to finish your lines to get bonuses.
The game is played between two players very well. The game can also be played with three or four players. The gameplay is different depending on how many players you have and their differing levels of strategy.
My husband is a very strategic Azul player and is always crunching numbers, he doesn’t enjoy playing with our sons who he calls “wildcards”, meaning he can’t predict what they will take because they don’t always take what’s best.
The game is easy to teach and even easier to play, and will delight strategic players as well as casual gamers. Everyone I have shared this game with has wanted to play again or even bought a copy for themselves.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 2 gamers thought this review was helpful
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8
Norway
Book Lover
I play blue
Paladin
Go to the Jetpack Joyride page
8
Elida {Avid Gamer} Mar 20th, 2021
“From a solo perspective”

This is a puzzle game that makes you find a trail through four rooms, collecting money, and possibly finishing missions. It`s my suspicion that it is inspired by a video game.

You play a man with a jetpack trying to fly through some rooms. Along the way there are obstacles to avoid, and there are some scientists there. So you need to navigate through the rooms. To mark it off you have polyominoes tiles to lay down on your sheets, to show where you go. Some gadgets may help you along the way, but you have your work cut out for you. The game ends after three rounds.

This is a fun little game with a good real time presence. In multiplayer you are fighting others to finish the road, but as a solo gamer, you only fight to get as many VP at the end as possible. And this review will be based on solo plays.

As a big solo gamer, I brought this game into my collection around New Year`s Eve. First the retail, then the Deluxe version. In the solo mode you have to remove from the start two of each shape tiles, and then you need to remove the mission and gadget cards. After that you remove the tiles used from one play to the next, until you have played the three rounds. Then you tally up the VP from money you gathered and missions you finished, and gadgets giving you some extra VP.

You can feel the real time, when you try to avoid the obstacles, and you want to finish missions, or get those coins, and you try not to use too many tiles. In a solo game that will mess you totally over when you hit the third round. Till now I have ended not being able to finish room #4. I can see this on the table late at a gaming evening, or at a party, even with non-gamers. Rules are easy to learn. You choose one tile, put it on your sheets, one after another, so they follow all the way to the end, and then you score between rounds. If you choose one that you don`t find fitting, you simply put it back, and then choose another one, with a different shape. A thumb rule; you need to start with at least one square on the tile outside of the sheet, and end with at least one square on the tile outside. And the squares are easy to see on the tiles. With the Deluxe version there also comes a Solo Challenge book, where you find nice, little challenges if you don`t feel like playing the entire game. I won`t say it`s quick and easy, but it is very thought provoking, and you wring your brain to find that one and only solution it has (even if you will get the same result in different ways). It comes with the answers. They are still quite replayable, as long as you don`t have a photographic memory, because you can start over, and be just as stomped about the solutions.

Components are cute. I wish the room sheets had been tiles instead, because they are thin and slide a bit. The tiles are neat. I still fear breaking them, but I think it demands a bit in regular play. Even though you would think it would feel very samey, it will bring with it diversities to bring something new to each play. All four sheets of all four rooms are two sided, so there are so many different setups. There are also expansions, especially in Deluxe version, that will contribute to make the game new. One of the downsides are that you can only play it up till 4 players (though with Collector`s edition you can play with 6). It would have been fun to see this game being played with more people by the table to see the frantic race. But for me it`s important that there is a solo mode in the game, and it is tough! I haven`t scored all too well yet. I also love the fact that there are Solo Challenges, because I can set up the game while making dinner or doing something else, and go back and forth to it, trying to solve the puzzle.

This game can reach a big range of people. And it`s an easy game to explain at a party to bring up the mood, if need be. As a solo game it`s a nice wind down or start up game. It doesn`t demand much setup, especially if you have already sorted it out for solo play. And the box is fairly small, or you can bring only the necessary stuff in order to bring it along on vacation. And you don`t need much table space, so you can play it just about anywhere.

Although, as I write this it`s Covid time, and parties and travel is not in our immediate future. But sometime soon…I hope.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
4 out of 4 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
Go to the Machi Koro: Millionaire's Row page
6
3 of 5 gamers thought this was helpful
“Red tape, but advantages as well”

We thoroughly enjoy the base game, Machi Koro. We have gotten to where we always have Millionaire’s Row mixed in. At the time writing this, we do not have the other expansions.

We enjoy the set up better. The market place was just too big for our table, so we enjoy having the supply cards shuffled and drawing 10 at random (no duplicates). We enjoy the addition of a variety of new supply cards.

I would have like to have seen more coins… nothing stops the flow of a game like having to stop and make change EVERY TURN because there aren’t enough ones.

Renovations… I don’t use them when I’m playing with the kids. I’m too nice. It took me a couple read throughs to follow and they still aren’t up to snuff. We only use it if they accidently trigger one on their own, as I do want them to learn how they work, but I’m not going cut throat on them. As far as adults, I haven’t been in a large enough group to play where I would feel comfortable using them.

For me, I feel the renovations are pretty harsh for a 2-4 player game, but if you mixed in the Harbor Expansion and had a larger than 4 group playing, it could make for an interesting game.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 5 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
Go to the Machi Koro page
8
“Big Trouble in Little Dice Town = Fun”

This game is great if you are trying to help your kids with math. There are several math elements in the game without feeling like a math game. Machi Koro requires nothing in hand other than when you are rolling the die/dice, so its great if you are playing with someone with less hand coordination.

You may think this may sound like Monopoly, but there is no trading of properties and you don’t have to sell “properties” if you run out of money (debt forgiveness).

One thing to always remember is to stock up on blue supply cards first. Those will get you coins when it is anyone’s turn. The coinage is smaller, but you have a higher chance of getting the coins because… more rolls. My kids forget this every time.

Teaching aside, I do still enjoy playing this with other adults.

I have a review on my website, listed on my profile.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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2
I'm Gettin' the Hang of It
Go to the Forbidden Island page
7
Jcarpe {Avid Gamer} Jan 21st, 2021
“A different group experience each time”

My wife and I have enjoyed playing this with close friends and neighbors mainly because it just doesn’t really get old. The initial random nature of the tiles and how the overall landscape changes based on the how the group plays can create new challenges and a unique experience over and over. The learning curve is short and quiet gentle which makes this some really accessible fun. This is one that we keep coming back to.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Superfight! page
 
jhugs Jan 4th, 2021
“Very funny”

This is game is super easy to learn and great for debate class. It is also great to laugh over. It is just generally a great game. I think that it would be perfect for any class or home. I am confident that this game will be perfect for anyone. I could play this game over and over again. I wish there was an online version because it is so great. I am optimistic that everyone will enjoy this game. I am angry at how many people don’t know about this revolutionary game. I may sound like I’m laying it on thick, but it is just a great game. I would recommend playing it

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 1 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Go to the Food Chain Magnate page
9
Wrenphilth {Avid Gamer} Dec 10th, 2020
“How monopoly should have been”

First impressions are intimidating but it is pretty streamlined and straight forward. The gameplay is very cut throat and once you get the basic gameplay you will succeed faster. Games played will be very close towards the end and milestone cards are a must to get. Also cornering a market. It’s a fun, game but the components are not the prettiest plus you need a lot of space to arrange the cards. But a very strategic monopoly managing game.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Critic - Level 2
Go to the String Safari page
8
Michael Anino {Social Gamer} Dec 3rd, 2020
“Very Unique Game”

This is a very strange game, and it has a great Table Presence.
The big purple string circle, with the cardboard randomly on the table kind of just draws the eye.
The first game was a little hard to grasp how scoring worked, or what a good strategy was. Should you focus on getting a large group of similar animals, or do you try to set things up so more variety is available for tiles later in the game.
We had a tendency to focus on what we had available to score right now, and it made building goals later a little hard, as we no longer had anything close to the objects that were not scored earlier in the game, so we had a LOT of night creatures by the Oasis, but NOTHING over in the desert, so when it was time to try to score Desert tiles it was back to small scores, BUT there wasn’t room for the new tiles that would help improve those small scores.
It’s super unique, and I’ll definitely be holding on to it, as it’s unlike anything else in my collection, it’s both a pretty good Dexterity game and a Pretty good “Sort of Engine Builder” game. But that’s really stretching the idea of engine builder.
Weird game, but really good.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
2 out of 2 gamers thought this review was helpful
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3
Critic - Level 2
Go to the Century: Golem page
8
Michael Anino {Social Gamer} Dec 3rd, 2020
“Gem Conversion rather than Spices, It's so ... Nice..es?”

I saw the art of this and thought it looked great.
I’d seen reviews of Century Spice Road which made me excited to try that, and since this is the same game, but with different art, I was excited to give it a try.
The game has a pretty simple central premise of using cards to collect and improve gems, and then using gems to collect Golems.
With the goal of “First to Collect 5 Golems” as the game end trigger rather than a certain point value, it is a valid strategy to get a lot of small golems if they’re in the Market, rather than needing to toil and create those hard to make gems to get the Big Point cards.
I like this game as it has a very easy central game concept and easy to understand mechanism, but it can lead to some clever card play if you’re careful with your selections.
I’ve seen a small card engine get a lot of good Golems, and I’ve seen an engine where almost every turn a new card was selected and then used, and the player only used the “Pick up your hand” option near the end of the game to pick up his 20 or so cards, while the rest of us had much smaller hands of cards.
I have not yet played the others in the series, but have ordered them for Christmas. If they are not posted as separate entries on here, I’ll post reviews for them under the appropriate Century Game on here.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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Go to the Runebound (3rd edition) page
10
Embir {Avid Gamer} Nov 20th, 2020
“Sleeper hit!”

Now this is the game that I would call a sleeper hit.
Bought it a few years ago driven by the impulse – I just had enough of discount in my LGS that I could get this game basically for free. As it stands I am glad I did – because Runebound happened to be the best fantasy adventure game I have ever played.
In a way one can call it a gamer’s version of Talisman – you take role of the brave hero and try to get enough skills and magic equipment to take on powerful archenemy (dragon, powerful necromancer, etc.) at the end of the game. And to get skills and equipment you need gold and experience – those you get by completing quests scattered all over beatiful board game that represents fantasy realm of Terrinoth. Those quests might be achieved by slaying monsters, finding secret places or treasures, or by completing encounters with strangers. Greatest thing Runebound does is perfect mix of strategic gameplay and evocative theme. You feel as if your hero travelled through dangerous fantasy land searching for quests and dangerous monsters but also mechanics of the game give you a lot of room for strategy and decision making. Also, it is game of practically infinite replayability – there are many scenarios, three modes of play (co-op, single, competitive) and a lot of random elements that make this game fresh every time you play. Without a doubt it is the best game in it’s class – and yes it is better even than Mage Knight when it comes to fantasy adventure games.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
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