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User: HiveGod: Board Game Collection
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Title Version User
Rating
Geek Rating Status User
Plays
Comment
6 nimmt! (1994)
5
Apr 2016
6.767
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
After 3 plays: I don't feel qualified to rate this... the game hasn't opened it's "magic box" to me just yet.

It seems *fun enough* but every time I'm left with a "is that all there is?" feeling.

After 4 plays: After sitting down to play this again over bowls of tortilla soup and Thai veggie stew I get the impression it's more of an activity than a game over which you can exert much control. Tick the "throwing cards with friends and family" box.

Truly *fun enough* but waaay too random to take seriously or bother burning brain cells over.

(Handed off at game night.)
2016-04-08
Rio Grande English edition
Year: 2000
N/A
6.627
Prev. Owned
English first edition
Year: 2006
10
Aug 2008*
6.940
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
The Nyarlathotep expansion—we play with the Big N and the Dark Pharaoh herald.

Played this once, and incorrectly. The experience was... diluted. Looking forward to playing this for reals.

UPDATE: The problem with the first play was running the Permanent Exhibit with all the cards shuffled into the base game. This made the Dark Pharaoh cards very rare and the game near-indistinguishable from a base scenario. For our second play we used only the DP cards (replacing the Mythos, Gate and Arkham Encounter decks) and it made for a sweet bit of ugly: things looked utterly bleak by turn two, and when Nyarlathotep arrived (something that never happens to us anymore in the base game) we had only shut a single gate. Two players got scrubbed and it literally came down to the wire before we beat him back and shut him out of our world.

PURGED & replaced with the Revised Edition.
2014-07-05
English Edition
Year: 2003
6
Jan 2005*
5.701
Prev. Owned
I'm a sucker for a WWII dice-fest...
2005-01-31*
First edition
Year: 2009
N/A
5.671
Prev. Owned
From reading the rules it's clear that Mike & Sean realized this game is about spawning Dudes on a Map and making them fight.

They've peeled out all of the weird, overwrought junk that made the original lumpy with tumors and reduced it to a sleek beast that gets the job done with a minimum of screwing around.

So now it's:

- Get your resources
- Spawn your Dudes
- Expand your Empire to get more resources

with a nice thin veneer of 1930s alternate history. Who knew the Demon-King of Madagascar would end up ruling the world?
2015-11-24
6
Apr 2009*
6.000
Prev. Owned
An absolute must-have to make the base game playable. You can't get the nuke to go off without cramming them together...
2009-04-13
First edition
Year: 2008
N/A
6.658
Prev. Owned
(Gave this to a neighborhood kid who coveted it. Made his Xmas.)
2015-08-29
Battle Cry (2000)
7
Feb 2005*
6.809
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
The card-based combat orders make this game swift and agonizing (in the good way). But alas, I lack the Civil War gene, so much of the setting's "charm" is lost on me.
2013-07-15
5
May 2004*
6.133
Prev. Owned
We played this one to death in about a month. Then it began to stink.
2013-07-15
7
May 2003*
5.854
Prev. Owned
One of Garfield's better CCGs—all the fun of giant robot combat without the minis.
2012-09-14
N/A
5.471
Prev. Owned
Great memories of this as a kid. Probably flawed and misty with nostalgia... AND THEN THE SHIP VANISHES INTO THE STORM!!!
2010-05-12
Candy Land (1949)
N/A
3.657
Prev. Owned
Does what it's supposed to. My neices would give this a squealing 10!!! and I have to say my time spent playing this with them gets an 11. Is it Puerto Rico? Hell, no. But you didn't start there, either...

UPDATE: This one works if daddy drinks because he shot Nazis, less so today.
2014-06-27
Car Wars (1981)
3
May 2004*
6.040
Prev. Owned
The idea is great—but it takes a real hour to process 30-seconds worth of game-time action... So one hour later you've turned left, started to skid, and fired one burst from your machine gun. Buh.
2015-11-24
Cathedral (1978)
5
Apr 2008*
6.261
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Fun-enough puzzle game. I could take it or leave it, though.

UPDATE: Lost a piece, and then, uh, lost the rest, too.
2014-05-02
English First edition
Year: 2005
7
Nov 2005*
6.792
Prev. Owned
Only really necessary if you play this game an awful lot, and love it accordingly. The wooden king piece is nice, but I already had a weighted Staunton king that I spray-painted gold and accessorized with purple felt... The replacement cards are nice, but I already keep 'em in sleeves... So, in the final analysis, all I really get are the new district cards.

I have to say, in all seriousness, my favorite part of this expansion is the box. It's much smaller than the original and has a nice linen finish AND IT HOLDS THE ENTIRE GAME!!! At last, I have a nice box that matches the form-factor of the game itself.

PURGED as redundant since acquiring the 2005 FFG Silver Line edition of the base game with the expansion included.
2015-01-06
7
Apr 2007*
6.034
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
"Quantity has a quality all its own."

(Gave this to Anna.)
2015-01-02
N/A
5.502
Prev. Owned
This was the only game from my childhood that I couldn't recall the name of... Played it to DEATH.
2004-10-06*
Connect Four (1974)
5
Apr 2008*
4.883
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
A classic prelude to games like Pente and Go Moku. Moderate (read: easy) look-ahead combined with just a smidgen of planning, this game works great with younger kids. As with most games like this they'll outgrow it pretty quickly—but in the meantime their brains will swell & pulse with incredible power…

UPDATE: SOLVED?! PURGED!
2015-11-24
7
May 2009*
6.008
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This game is deliciously broken—it's all about the player interaction; the most "metagamey" game I've ever played.

UPDATE: Giving this classic the 10 it deserves.

Hasbro/Avalon Hill edition: 7

2008 Fantasy Flight Games edition: 10

Quote:
Bluffing, gambling, negotiation, backstabbing, outrageous reversals—this game has it all. And a thick, gooey science fiction theme to boot! The rules are simple, almost laughably so, but that's not where the game is. The game is in finding the most clever way in which to use those rules to your advantage, no matter how bleak the situation. Taken at face value, it's pretty lame, and I can see why some people hate it so. Add in a bunch of raucous, cunning friends and the game surprises and delights every time. I'm constantly surprised at some of the subtle ways "I'm screwed" moments can turn into a big win.

Negotiated (or even forced) multi-wins are great since they keep the playing time more than tolerable (Read: occasionally too short—but what the hell, let's play again!)
2012-09-16
Covert Action (2007)
5
May 2009*
5.432
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
I'm not really sure about this one yet. It plays a huge number of people, it involves shooting your "friends" and yet... so many turns began with a simple, "I shoot Tod!" Right or wrong, somebody got a card.

UPDATE: Downshifting from a 6 to a 5. My desire to "figure this one out" has shrunk and winked out of existence.
2011-11-24
English edition 1998
Year: 1998
8
Oct 2007*
5.622
Prev. Owned
Plays: 34
THE ULTIMATE COUPLES' PARTY GAME!!!

(Best when played as a "Battle of the Sexes".)

Yeah, it's a stitched-together Frankenbeast agglomerated from the parts of other games: Trivial Pursuit, Charades, Pictionary, Barbarossa, various word games, etc., but that just means that everyone can find something they're better at than everyone else. It also allows for varying levels of interaction (or inebriation)—a key feature for both imbibers and designated drivers. If you remember that this is less about the game on the table and more about about the friends around the table, it's hard not to have a good time. Fun murderers, or groups with one, should probably wave off and go play something more serious like Carcassonne.

Lucky for me, my group likes snorting drinks through their noses, making the little people-pieces hump each other, and laughing until their tummies hurt. We wore out the original Cranium and two booster boxes, and, just last night, looped all the cards in the WOW edition... Unfortunately, the people I game with are sharp enough to not only remember getting a certain card months ago but they can also remember what someone did (or didn't do) specifically in the attempt to win that card for their team. Sometimes I wish I gamed with dumb people... I know I'd win more.

Booster boxes, anyone? Please?

UPDATE: We're on our fourth edition of this, having burned through three others and both booster boxes. I guess you could say this works for us.

UP-UPDATE: WARNING—MAY CAUSE HEADACHE, CHEEK-ACHE AND RIB-ACHE

"Oh god, stop—I have a headache from laughing!"

"What? You knew this was the laugh-headache game when you sat down—sack up and play!"
2014-02-16
7
May 2006*
5.649
Prev. Owned
Like hydroencephaly—more Cranium.

[rimshot]
2014-12-08
7
May 2006*
5.582
Prev. Owned
Extends Cranium's half-life an extra picosecond.
2012-09-16
Cranium Cadoo (2001)
7
Feb 2004*
5.427
Prev. Owned
Plays: 8
Great family game with kids!
2004-02-09*
Cranium Conga (2003)
6
Apr 2004*
5.432
Prev. Owned
Plays: 8
Nifty family game. The Widget itself is worth the price of admission—we had trouble getting through the rules 'cuz everybody was monkeying with it!
2012-06-19
7
Feb 2007*
5.895
Prev. Owned
Plays: 13
This is San Juan to Cranium's Puerto Rico—it takes the best things from the base game and distills them down into a streamlined format and makes it co-op to boot. The addition of time pressure increases the tension (in a fun way) while ensuring the game doesn't overstay its welcome. All in all, better than the source material. (Rating and comments reflect "party" play with three couples.)

UPDATE: No love since Jen admitted that she hates this.
2012-09-16
7
May 2006*
5.656
Prev. Owned
Plays: 8
Great family game. Seeing what everyone picked for you is like Christmas morning—my wife felt especially loved when our two boys, a nephew, and I made her ranking of selections particularly difficult; we all picked things she enjoyed, every time. That's when she knew how well we knew her, and how much attention we pay to her likes and dislikes.

Awright—that's enough sap.

The game can be learned in 4.3 blimfarks (that's really, really fast) and doesn't last as long as you wish it would. Calls of "let's play again!" are not uncommon. Recommended for families.
2012-09-16
6
Apr 2005*
5.392
Prev. Owned
Plays: 14
A decent-enough light party game. Think of it as advanced Uno with more to do than simply pitch cards. You get to match or complete sets, spell rude words, add card values to make 11... all with the wee-est bit of "take that" thrown in to keep the game spiny. Works best as a super-short family game before bedtime.

(Gave this to Trevor & Audrey.)
2013-08-26
First edition
Year: 2006
N/A
N/A
Prev. Owned
First edition
Year: 2006
N/A
N/A
Prev. Owned
Diplomacy (1959)
N/A
6.871
Prev. Owned
We all know this'll never get played... but like a gold bracelet on a salesman I need this in my closet to look like I mean business.

UPDATE: NO JUST NO
2014-06-27
English first edition
Year: 2012
8
Mar 2013
7.075
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
It's just more Dixit, which is French for magnifique.

(Same cards as Dixit 3.)

PURGED the box, board & bits; kept the cards (natch).


Unfortunately, I got the printing with the cheap plastic pawns instead of the cool wooden bunnies. But that's still a kind of ironic, absurd surrealism, right?
2015-01-26
Heartbreaker English Edition
Year: 1994
5
Jul 2004*
5.458
Prev. Owned
Had good fun with this back in the day.
2015-11-24
6
Jun 2014
6.285
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
A great little game of parasitic screwage. And if you're losing you can always spill an entire bottle of Dr. Pepper all over it... works every time.
2007-03-15*
N/A
6.230
Prev. Owned
Drooled over this for the theme, the production, and design. Got the "wet" version and rehabilitated it. Can't wait to get it to the table!

UPDATE: PURGED
2014-07-02
Duell (2004)
6
Apr 2005*
5.869
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
A fun-enough light filler, but just barely.

PROS: When played quickly, it has the rapid back-and-forth feel of a fencing duel. Short play time. And, most importantly, the wife liked it.

CONS: Game-feel is ultimately thin and meatless. Repetitive. Card-counting is a pleasureless chore.

BOTTOM LINE: Try it out if you get a chance—it's kinda neat for a little bit—but don't rush out and buy it.

(Donated to middle school game club.)
2014-06-29
English fourth edition
Year: 2012
7
May 2013
5.777
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
Gave this to Trevor, age seven.

UPDATE: This is now pretty much his favorite game.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED
2013-05-27
English first edition
Year: 2007
N/A
6.114
Prev. Owned
Contrary to the box art, there are no actual boobs involved in the gameplay. I suppose you could just use the "magic of imagination" to see juddering mammaries bursting above the strained zippers of the sexy-small bomber jackets of the nubile tank commanders as they ride, straddling massive cannons, across the surging, curving hills and valleys. You could, but it would take the same four-dimensional sudoku required for a Buddhist monk to imagine baby-stabbing while motor-boating a godlike pair offered up in a clench of lace.
2010-03-19
English first edition
Year: 2011
5
Nov 2012
6.873
Prev. Owned
Plays: 25
Rating & comments are for the 1st Printing with the screwed up rulebook; the Revised (2012) Printing gets a 7.

tl;dr — As an Arkham Horror & dice game fan I like what it does, though rules & timing ambiguities keep it from being great. Like AH expect to play it entirely wrong the first couple times, and then find it far too easy once you do get the rules down.

tl;dr After the FAQ: A kinder, gentler Arkham—and not in the good way—this game is mild and crazy-easy. The first printing is a total loss.

Progression through the first 10 plays with the rules out of the box (pre-FAQ first printing):

Thoughts after one play: I'm pretty sure that all the various reports of "too easy/too hard" are due to incorrect play (a critical issue with other co-ops like Lord of the Rings, Ghost Stories & Pandemic)—missing a single, small rule* or even just altering the order of certain events** could make the entire system cascade in one direction or the other.

The rulebook is needlessly obtuse for what is essentially a push-your-luck dice game—assemble dice pool, roll, bank or re-roll shouldn't be so hard to explain. We hit many, many rules ambiguities in our first play, several of which were only answered with a very careful line-by-line rereading of the rules afterward, as the answers were often a single sentence hidden inside a paragraph, and thus easily missed. Still other questions await an offical FAQ.

Other than that the game is pretty, the components excellent, and rolling dice is fun. Also, I think no fewer than three people got eaten by the Shoggoth in the Koi Pond.

Nice.

After 3 plays: The key to all push-your-luck dice games is, of course, banking and re-rolls. It took a couple plays to figure out when and where this is possible, as the rulebook is less than effective at spelling (hah) it out.

• Success = keep going
You can keep rolling as long as you are successfully completing tasks, but, of course, that shrinks the pool, making future tasks more difficult.

• Clues
Clues are HUGE as they are the primary mechanism that lets you bank and re-roll. Spend a clue to re-roll any or all of the dice in the pool. Most games of this ilk allow a certain number of bank/re-rolls—e.g., three in Yahtzee—but here you're limited to how many clues you have.

• Focus/Assist
You can bank a single die on yourself, or a single die on a fellow Investigator on the same Adventure card... but you must fail to complete a task first. A small booby prize, though with the die you lose for failure you're down two dice in the pool, so it's a gamble.

• Spells
Cast before the roll (a dangerous gamble) and bank one or two dice out of a roll (though this could be brutally bad if you are required to bank). Post-FAQ update: Spells are now cast after the roll, to bank dice you already know you want to keep. Does the double-whammy of making the game easier (?!) and removing any downside to spells—removing all thematic coherence. Lovecraftian spells are supposed to be dangerous, but it's all happy fairy magic now.

Elder Sign doesn't feel like a true push-your-luck experience until you understand how to pull off clever combos with all these mechanisms. Then the game really opens up and delivers.

Still, as a tuned co-op machine it misfires badly if you forget the small rules*** or get the sequencing of certain choices or events wrong. Looking very forward to an offical FAQ to clean this thing up.

After 6 7 8 plays: I almost get the sense I'm playing it correctly. Almost.

After 9 plays: Okay, I finally get it. Elder Sign is a light, storytelling larf, along the lines of Talisman (Revised 4th Edition), rather than a tight, cruel co-op engine like Pandemic. Expectations reset accordingly.

Final Analysis: Man, I wanted to love this game. It's totally in my wheelhouse—Lovecraft, dice, quick co-op. But the first printing is a total loss. The rulebook is wrong on several fundamental issues (spells, focus/assist, etc.), three of the characters need to have new rules scrawled on their cards, and the FAQ changes make the game stupid easy.

Lovecraft + co-op + easy = WTF?!

A good co-op needs to have an out-of-the box win-rate below 50% in order to bear repeat play—the tension of not knowing whether or not you're going to survive is the game. It also incentivizes "beating" the game and gives big emotional payback for a hard-fought win. Elder Sign has none of this. I'm not even sure we've ever lost.

Yes, I could make up rules to increase the difficulty but that's not what I paid FFG for. If I wanted to make my own games, or houserule the hell out of the ones I own (and then blunder through personal playtesting to see if they work) then I'd be doing that. If a game is a "make-your-own" kit then say so on the box.

I'm sorry I was an early adopter on this one. Rating dropped to a barely deserved 5.


* Like adding a Doom Token to the Doom Track whenever an Investigator is devoured.

** Like what happens when you complete an Adventure card:

1. Receive reward(s)
2. Move Investigators to Entrance
3. Remove dice & take card as trophy
4. Draw new Adventure card

is important as monsters in the "reward" line cannot be put on the new Adventure card. An easily missed, teeny-tiny detail. Post-FAQ update: Nope! Monsters are now an exception and can be added to the new card. This change does the double-whammy of making the game easier while adding an exception to the rules. Just what it needed...

*** "Lose sanity/stamina" is entirely different from "adjust your sanity/stamina"—thus, the stamina cost on something like the Hallway on Fire cannot be prevented with Food, for instance. Another tiny detail that is merely implied by word-choice in the rules... and, upon closer inspection, the rules use both interchangeably. So, the question is, can you use a steak dinner to save yourself from a fire? Or kill a Ghost with Whiskey? Post-FAQ update: Yes. Yes you can.
2016-04-08
6
Jun 2014
5.483
Prev. Owned
Warms up a cold night. Never played to the end!

2012-09-16
6
Jun 2014
5.703
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Giving this a tentative 7. It's got a lot going for it on the surface—portability, theme, art—but the simple system feels just the littlest bit clunky. If it smooths out with more plays, I could see this being a staple... we will see.

PURGED
2015-11-24
8
Oct 2004*
7.125
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
It's not a belligerent incursion if the territory in question is part of my Ancestral Homeland.

Included:

A Game of Thrones: A Clash of Kings Expansion
A Game of Thrones: A Storm of Swords Expansion

(Passed this on down the line...)
2014-12-24
English first edition
Year: 2005
5
Nov 2005*
6.258
Prev. Owned
(NOTE: Comments refer to the 2005 First Edition; this issue has reportedly been corrected in later printings. Not sure about the last bit, though...)

The idea is great, the execution not so much. The main problem lies in the printing on the cards—it's small, fussy, and blurred. Also, the card backs are not printed opaque enough to obscure all of the info on the front. It's not difficult to discern what kind of card you're drawing next.

In the end the transparent overlay is a gimmick that gets in the way of the actual game.

mb

HIDEOUS TOXIC UPDATE: I went and dug this out—ten years later—and found that the cards had done something stinky, sticky and industrial. The clock turns all things to poison eventually; these just got to it sooner than expected.

PURGED
2015-01-16
Heartthrob (1988)
7
Feb 2004*
5.570
Prev. Owned
Gets a high rating 'cuz I own the "Who's A Martyr?" edition where players aren't chicks selecting dream dates but rather cult leaders finding useful dupes to be martyred for their cult:


Fig. 1 — Dave's got it goin' on!

mb

There comes a time when all art must die.

PURGED
2015-11-24
Hellas (2002)
5
Mar 2005*
6.009
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This game just never gelled. I mean, it seems cool enough, the bits are great, the rules clear and the gameplay works... It just never came together in a way that made me want to play again.
2005-03-30*
5
Jun 2011
5.620
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Quote:
Baby's First Home Invasion

Super-simple roll-n-move with minor power-ups. Nifty when played with those in the target demographic or as mindless filler with childlike, potty-mouthed adults.

There's no meat here—it's all cake and punch. If you eat too much you'll vomit a crimson plume that looks alarmingly like blood. But it's not.

The 2p outdoor/water set.

This one lacks the weapons store in the other sets, making the experience even thinner (if that's even possible). Really just a barely-themed, five-minute dice-off.

(Gave this to Trevor.)
2016-04-09
5
Sep 2012
5.715
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Quote:
Baby's First Home Invasion

Super-simple roll-n-move with minor power-ups. Nifty when played with those in the target demographic or as mindless filler with childlike, potty-mouthed adults.

There's no meat here—it's all cake and punch. If you eat too much you'll vomit a crimson plume that looks alarmingly like blood. But it's not.

The 4p castle set.

(Gave this to Trevor.)
2016-04-09
5
Sep 2012
5.663
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Quote:
Baby's First Home Invasion

Super-simple roll-n-move with minor power-ups. Nifty when played with those in the target demographic or as mindless filler with childlike, potty-mouthed adults.

There's no meat here—it's all cake and punch. If you eat too much you'll vomit a crimson plume that looks alarmingly like blood. But it's not.

The 3p cavern set.

SUPERBONUSFACT: Contains "The Pimp of Nathuz". Quoth the five-year-old, "What's a pimp?"

blush

(Gave this to Trevor, future "Pimp of Nathuz".)
2016-04-09
5
Sep 2012
5.674
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Quote:
Baby's First Home Invasion

Super-simple roll-n-move with minor power-ups. Nifty when played with those in the target demographic or as mindless filler with childlike, potty-mouthed adults.

There's no meat here—it's all cake and punch. If you eat too much you'll vomit a crimson plume that looks alarmingly like blood. But it's not.

The 3p dark forest set.

(Gave this to Trevor.)
2016-04-09
6
Apr 2008*
N/A
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
goddamn robots always stealing all my money
2008-04-16*
Jyhad (1994)
Limited Edition
Year: 1994
7
Apr 2014
6.526
Prev. Owned
Had good fun with this back in the day; still have a couple decks kicking around here somewhere…

PURGED
2015-01-17
6
Jan 2009*
6.040
Prev. Owned
Finally—a use for that dusty Klingons vs. Confederate Generals chess set.

(Gave this to the kids.)
2015-12-25
English first edition
Year: 2004
6
Sep 2005*
5.813
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Light, random filler that successfully evokes the feeling of slap-happy martial-artsy mayhem. Only for those who know what a flying guillotine looks like, can name the Five Deadly Venoms, and can list the contents of a six-demon bag.

"Magnificent invincible flying spinning bamboo pole to the head!"

SSSH-WHACK!!!

(Gave this to the boys.)
2014-11-29
Loot (1992)
6
Mar 2007*
6.168
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Decent-enough Knizic bidding game, especially when played in partnerships. The only sour note is the lame kiddie artwork on the US version... After seeing the elegant Korsar version I wished I had a rusty, serrated hook hand so I could pull some art director's duodenum out through his farewell-sphincter.

PURGED
2015-01-17
MAATAC (1979)
6
Feb 2004*
N/A
Prev. Owned
This was my first minis game, very shiny in my childhood memories... My friends and I would play on the floor, using the ENTIRE HOUSE as the battlefield. It drove my Mom nuts.
2014-12-08
English first edition
Year: 2015
6
Jan 2016
6.308
Prev. Owned
Plays: 11
2015-12-30
Meuterer (2000)
N/A
6.650
Prev. Owned
Oh, the rules... I can't for the life of me figure out how this game flows. I suppose I'll just have to trick three "friends" into giving it a go and hoping there's some magic element not present in the game's description.

(Gave this to Rusty.)
2013-07-15
7
Mar 2010
5.489
Prev. Owned
The only Monopoly set where the art & theme (Roaring '20s Art Deco) actually match the gameplay. The least they could have done was put a Smurf in there or something...

I rate the base game a 7 when played:

- by the rules as written
- with four adults
- ending at the second bankruptcy.

NOTE: Purged this via garage sale months ago and only just now remembered that I had "Satanized" one of the fifties with occult iconography. Sorry, kids!
2015-03-17
7
Oct 2011
5.319
Prev. Owned
I rate the base game a 7 when played:

- by the rules as written
- with four adults
- ending at the second bankruptcy.

(At Dad's.)
2015-11-24
4
Feb 2010
5.406
Prev. Owned
The production ethos mirrors that of the weird mini-era of confused optimism between the end of the Cold War and the nose-bloodying of 9/11. Curiously, none of the elements reflect the real zeitgeist—the paranoia of religious End Times mixing like crap-n-vomit with the carpet-bagging shitsacks who gorged themselves on the Y2K Bug hoax. (Now THAT'S a Monopoly theme if I ever heard one!)

The prismatic foil board is migraine-inducing and the translucent money, while funny at first, is far less effective than nice paper would have been. The money also holds grease stains rather well.

I rate the base game a 7 when played:

- by the rules as written
- with four adults
- ending at the second bankruptcy.

(Gave this to the kids or the garbage, not sure which.)
2015-12-18
English edition
Year: 1999
5
Mar 2010
5.385
Prev. Owned
Outside of the theme, the equipment for this version is super sweet—the title deeds are pasteboard tabs that slot into the board, making it easy to see what's owned and what's up for grabs; the snap-in hotels and houses are nifty, though you have to be gentle with them; and the raised plastic board creates a natural arena in the center for dice-chucking.

But then there's that whole theme thing... no blind hate for Phantom Menace here; I'm just a purist when it comes to Monopoly. All the crazy re-skinning of the base game detracts from the entirely appropriate and well-integrated Roaring Twenties feel of the original. I want gin, jazz and flappers—not blue milk, forlorn symphonic swells and Droids—with my financial dickery.

I rate the base game a 7 when played:

- by the rules as written
- with four adults
- ending at the second bankruptcy.

(Gave this to Jas & the Battle-Princesses.)


Droid® is registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.
2015-10-21
2
Feb 2010
5.418
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
The theme really, really doesn't work for this one. The idea of Frodo buying Mount Doom becomes a recursive negative feedback loop arcing ever-larger bolts of purple lightning between the whirling triad of monopolistic capitalism, franchise licensing, and the realities of Tolkien's work. Oh, the pain.

I rate the base game a 7 when played:

- by the rules as written
- with four adults
- ending at the second bankruptcy.
2010-03-03
First edition
Year: 2005
6
May 2005*
5.835
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Thin and lacking game-wise, but rich in theme and thick in fun with the right people. It's random as hell and the end-game is a simple dice-off, but my two boys love playing it with me. And that makes it all worthwhile. Treat it as a party game, a past-time, as silly as whipped cream on a pig and you just might enjoy yourself.
2005-05-05*
5
Jan 2004*
6.487
Prev. Owned
Yet another Games Workshop game we played to death in about a month. All done now. You can take it away.
2004-01-12*
English/Polish first edition
Year: 2013
N/A
5.766
Prev. Owned
"Hey, shorty! Get with it! This espresso machine ain't gonna hump itself up the mountain!"

Lhapka sighed. He supposed it was only right that the wealthiest ice mummies always wasted the most oxygen before they succumbed.

mb

(I won the Rebel Publishing "Mount Everest & Vikings: Warriors of the North" Contest!)
2014-01-01
Paris Paris (2003)
4
May 2005*
5.915
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
No. Get Hansa instead.
2012-09-16
Pass the Pigs (1977)
N/A
5.256
Prev. Owned
Ancient "Pigmania" version with the rubber pigs and dice cup. No one in this house will touch it for some reason...
2012-06-19
3
Aug 2008*
5.777
Prev. Owned
The ships are nifty; the game not so much. Just use the ships in other games that are nifty and you're all set.
2014-12-24
3
Apr 2009*
5.634
Prev. Owned
What do you get when you combine the best of tabletop RPGs with a perfect-information abstract? Nothing at all like this steaming dung-hill. Just because the queen can talk AND move in any direction does not make a funny voice a tactical consideration. Traded away for a llama and a gallon of tequila.
2014-04-01
5
Mar 2004*
5.426
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
I am a harsh and exacting Pokemon trainer. I fit my enslaved beasts with biting harnesses and whip them 'til they bleed money.

(Gave this to Trevor.)
2013-08-26
6
Apr 2008*
5.831
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
I put my Pokemon into the pit with a ten-foot pole attached to a clam-shell head cage. I shake it a little to get 'em snapping, and then with a twist they're all fangs and sinew into each other...

(Gave my neglected deck to Trevor.)
2014-01-03
Rage (1995)
5
Sep 2005*
5.636
Prev. Owned
Unbalanced and sloppy design that smells very much like cashing in on the CCG craze of the mid-'90s. Viable only for hardcore fans of the roleplaying game. Maybe.

PURGED
2015-01-17
Eagle Games English Edition
Year: 2005
8
Jan 2008*
7.517
Prev. Owned
Plays: 7
Provisional rating after a single 5p game sans cards. Very nifty—honestly can't wait to get this to the table again! Hope to update soon.

UPDATE: Switched out for Railways of the World for the 2p Mexico map. Love this game!
2016-04-10
6
Jan 2005*
5.755
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Takes the best things about Risk and freshens 'em up with hefty dose of LotR (and a time limit).
2012-09-16
Hasbro English edition 2001
Year: 2001
4
Apr 2008*
6.072
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
Trick-taking without the Devil worship!

Low speed, high drag. This game is a lot better on the planet where they never invented Tichu. I understand that Rook glows warmly with nostalgia for some folks; unfortunately I came to this way too late in the game for it to matter.

PURGED
2014-12-23
Rummikub (1977)
6
Jun 2014
6.144
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
Better have those cerebral afterburners installed...
2004-01-25*
Fantasy Flight edition
Year: 2004
10
Oct 2007*
5.873
Prev. Owned
Plays: 9
Feels like all the best parts of a complete role-playing campaign in a single evening, where half the fun is telling the stories of the combats and circumstances surrounding the encounters.

Be warned, though—downtime is a SERIOUS problem—I would NEVER want to play this with more than three.

My son and I are enjoying the hell out of this one—a great way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon. Rootbeer & pretzels, anyone?

Included: Runebound: Shadows of Margath (First Edition)

(Gave this to Joe & kids.)
2015-03-12
7
Feb 2008*
5.702
Prev. Owned
A subtle (30 card) sprinkle of spice. Definitely upped the fun factor.

(Gave this to Joe & kids.)
2013-09-21
Scarab Lords (2002)
7
May 2004*
5.872
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
All the pleasure of a CCG without any of the abject agony. Branded with the usual Knizia hallmarks: complexity arising from simple rules, intuitive gameplay that leads to counter-intuitive strategies. All this and easy to learn, fast to play.

(Gave this to Dave.)
2014-01-14
English First edition
Year: 1999
4
Dec 2007*
6.832
Prev. Owned
My first act as Lord of Catan is to declare Prima Nocta—ON ALL OF YOU.

All joking aside, this really wants to be a 4p ONLY game. It just doesn't work with the extra folks.

UPDATE: PURGED
2016-01-26
Sorry! (1929)
5
Apr 2008*
4.619
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Show them kids the meaning of the term PWNAGE (& only ever with the three-card hand).

Whenever you "sorry" someone's pawn, be sure to slam your pawn down on the edge of theirs to turbo-fire it across the room. While eye-protection is optional, sarcastically screaming "SORRY!!!" is not.

PURGED
2014-12-23
8
Aug 2014
6.139
Prev. Owned
Probably the best Games Workshop game ever made. Tense and sublime.

(Gave this to Trevor.)
2014-08-31
English Edition
Year: 2007
N/A
7.065
Prev. Owned
N/A
N/A
Prev. Owned
Never actually played, never gonna actually play... Bought the rules as a kid, collected the metal minis, then had a bad cat pee all over them when they were stored in a box in the garage.

Why do cats hate unloved games?
2012-09-16
English Edition
Year: 2007
N/A
5.460
Prev. Owned
Why don't they do this for Monopoly? Seriously!

mb

Okay, this is less an actual game and more of a game design kit. They have included a couple of examples by leading game designers, but really this is a tool/toy for those who wish to dabble.

(Donated to professor of ludology for classroom shenanigans.)
2016-01-22
English third edition
Year: 2010
8
Jul 2012
7.201
Prev. Owned
Plays: 9
(Gave this to Rusty.)
2013-07-15
Tank Battle (1975)
N/A
5.434
Prev. Owned
Played the literal living hell out of this as a kid. Wore it down to nothing but nubs and baby-blanket softness. No wonder I love Memoir '44 so much!
2013-07-15
Fantasy Flight edition
Year: 2007
6
Mar 2014
6.169
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
On presentation & components alone I'd give it a big fat 11—but we all know how far good looks'll getchya if there's nothing undereneath. (Okay, pretty far... but still.)

UPDATE: Played once... and never again. Sigh.

(Handed this off at game night—perhaps someone else will have better luck with it.)
2014-12-23
Multilingual first edition
Year: 2007
7
Nov 2007*
7.166
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
The second-most tense way to learn Swiss geography.

(Gave this to Derrick & Carey.)
2014-01-14
5
Dec 2011
6.056
Prev. Owned
Plays: 7
Several plays with my wife, not sure what to say about it yet... It manages to evoke some of the same feelings as the board game, and the nasty knob can be turned up or down as the players wish. The memory aspect is minimal. After our first intentionally nasty game (lying in wait to purposefully torpedo each other's efforts), I rather like it.

Will update as plays continue...

UPDATE: Plays did not continue.
2012-09-16
6
Mar 2011
6.680
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
It is indeed Arkham Horror Lite but with a nifty "classic monster" theme and pics of becostumed thespians for the art.

Our single co-op play was fun enough—and came down to a single nail-biting hit point for the win—but no one has requested it since.
2014-01-03
8
Nov 2009*
6.284
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
Nifty for a couple of reasons:

- It's not like anything else.

- It's fast.

- Non-gamers and newbies can jump right in.

Remember that for those folks anything more than three rules is complicated and intimidating. Getting into this one is as easy as dumping the pieces in front of everyone, grabbing the sand timer and saying: "You need to completely cover the shape on your card with your puzzle pieces. First one done screams

'UBONGO-OHHH!!!'

and runs around the table slapping everyone else in the head."

Okay, that last part is actually a house rule. There are a couple of other things, like second and third place rewards, and the free draws from the bag, but you really don't need to know about any of that crap to get started.

Also, being an EXXXTREEEM!!! game it goes better with a belly full of Mountain Dew while hanging upside down from a rope.

PS. Winning at this probably means you'll be rounded up and shot into space on the tip of a nuclear missile; it's okay, though—the rest of the chimps get euthanized.

(Donated to middle school game club.)
2015-01-05
First Edition
Year: 1975
3
Apr 2009*
4.825
Prev. Owned
This game rocks it all hard if you've got some "issues" you want to "rap" about. Otherwise, you've got a one-way ticket to the Worry Wharf. What this really needs is some real-time LARP-style hand-to-hand combat rules to spice it up.

"The next person who says 'feelings' is going to get slapped."

UPDATE: LANDFILL
2015-09-20
Upwords (1981)
5
Apr 2006*
5.620
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Not nearly as nifty as it appears. The game has a tendency to lock up horribly, with players passing in turn, unable to do anything, often ending the game before it could develop into something interesting. Even when it does manage to wheeze and chug along, it usually comes down to a four-letter-word cussathon with various stacked permutations of words like "DUCK". (And just in case yer wonderin', I do has a Lit degree, so vocab ain't the problem.) Play Scrabble instead.
2016-01-26
3
Oct 2012
5.379
Prev. Owned
The "game" itself gets the 3—otherwise it's an 11!! for gimmickry.
2012-10-28
English first edition
Year: 2013
6
Jul 2014
5.461
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
ONLY THE STRONG

This is pure, unapologetic, stomp-the-leader PvP in the same vein as Munchkin and Wiz-War. It all comes down to take-that card play, requiring constant groin-booting, constant expectation of multiple boots in your own groin AT ALL TIMES and a solid how-to-lace-18-eyelets understanding of the contents of the deck.

It is the antithesis of all things Eurogame—in fact, it is the shadow of the very tongue that licked Euros from the original ice so long ago, hot, hateful and mean-spirited.

This means two things:

1. Most people on this site will be severely allergic to it.

2. A single play tells you nothing about what it actually does.

It was clear to me after that single play—as a rabid fan of take-that card games—that intimate knowledge of the deck will cause the game to open up like a lacerated artery and splash our laughing faces with color to please the Gods. We really didn't get the hang of it until about halfway through when we suddenly figured out how to deploy triple groin-bootings, how to chain cards like the stanzas of a Saga, how to monkey-wrench those chains, how to get more cards to keep it up... and how best to use the sea monster. (Hint: CONSTANTLY.)

You know by now whether or not you like this sort of thing. It has "Viking" in the title, and those people weren't famous for gathering sea cubes and converting them into salt-fish disks to impress the Jarl. We know them for their "cultural outreach program" where they aggressively traded iron for gold. This is lots of that.

Besides, how can you not like a game where you can make people vomit and/or throw them overboard? Seriously.*


*I mean, have you even read the original Norse myths? Not the ones that have been scrubbed for children, but the ones where Thor hurls a boulder into a menstruating giantess' vagina, for actual example.

mb

I won the Rebel Publishing "Mount Everest & Vikings: Warriors of the North" Contest!

(Donated to college games library.)
2016-01-22
7
Jun 2014
5.861
Prev. Owned
An incredible value for beginner and veteran alike—a bucket-load of better-than-average minis for Ork/Space Marine players, scatter die and blast templates, and all the rules in a super-handy handbook (small form-factor paperback).

It's kind of funny to claim I own this, as I've already cannibalized and parted out the entire box contents:

- Orks, dice, templates and rulebook to my sons

- Terminators into my previously-raided Space Hulk game

- Space Marine minis into my bitz box.

I'm using the box proper to hold all the random 40k crap—rule book, dice, templates, rulers & tokens.

UPDATE: Marking as "previously owned" for the sake of honesty.
2014-06-29
English edition
Year: 1994
6
Jun 2014
5.618
Prev. Owned
Good fun from back when 40k was about superheroes supported by waves of cannon fodder. We played the hell out of this!
2014-06-22
English edition
Year: 2009
5
Jul 2010
6.998
Prev. Owned
Plays: 5
Really, really wanted to like this more than I do. The Warhammer world is fun, the art is fantastic, and the component quality* and presentation are like a gingerbread house in the middle of the woods.

In the end the problem, to quote my son, is that "it's not Magic."

Not that it has to be, or even that it's trying to be. But I get where he's coming from: why play this when you could be playing Magic: The Gathering? It's a better game, a deeper game, a more satisfying game. And if we're going to be playing a fantasy-themed card game for the next 20 minutes, I'd rather throw some Magic around.

Includes, from The Corruption Cycle:

Warhammer: Invasion – The Skavenblight Threat
Warhammer: Invasion – Path of the Zealot
Warhammer: Invasion – Tooth and Claw
Warhammer: Invasion – The Deathmaster's Dance
Warhammer: Invasion – Arcane Fire

Also:

Warhammer: Invasion – Assault on Ulthuan

(Donated to college games library.)


*With the exception of different-sized cards in the expansions. I hate card sleeves, and when the cards are even fractionally larger or smaller or funny-shaped it affects the shuffle. (And, no, pile sorting doesn't randomize the cards—it just makes sure no two cards are next to each other.) If you overhand or monge shuffle with different sized cards, they end up clumped by size. Riffle shuffling is better, but the bigger cards get mangulated faster. Ah, well. I should count myself lucky to have such problems, no?
2016-01-22
N/A
5.860
Prev. Owned
N/A
6.487
Prev. Owned
N/A
5.950
Prev. Owned
N/A
5.900
Prev. Owned
N/A
5.993
Prev. Owned
N/A
5.945
Prev. Owned
English version
Year: 2008
6
Dec 2008*
5.921
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
This better not suck, or some of my GeekBuddies have 40 bucks worth of 'splainin' to do!

UPDATE: Nothin' wrong with the game itself—it just turns out I'm not a World of Warcraft fan. I don't MMORPG (pronounced "more-pig") and I never really got into the turn-based version back in the day. If this had been themed as a Runebound adventure game, It would get played to death around here. (Runebound? In less than four hours? Yes, please!) As it is, the license kills it. Might as well be about Hannah Montana* for all I care.

GAME ENGINE: 8++
THEME: 4-

Dear GeekBuddies: You gots 40 bucks worth of 'splainin' t' do!

(Donated to college games library.)


*And not the 2013 has-crummy-handlers version, either.
2016-01-22
Parker Brothers edition 2004
Year: 2004
7
Dec 2006*
5.349
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Kicks ass with kids—and the scoring system is so ingenious even a four-year-old can do it.

(Gave this to Trevor & Audrey.)
2013-08-26
English first edition
Year: 2002
7
Sep 2014
5.745
Prev. Owned
Plays: 6
It's a 7 with some severe house-ruling. Use the bits to play the game your group loves and your rating will rise, too.
2014-09-03
English second "Director's Cut" edition
Year: 2006
7
Jan 2016
5.745
Prev. Owned
Plays: 6
... dead walk the earth lightly and with much luck ... shell casings dance in hazy gore-spray ... send more cops ...

This rates a 5 played with the rules as written out of the box. With the proper amount of house-rule spackle this can climb as high as a 7 or even an 8 with the right music, mood and people.

How much spackle? All of it. You'll want to come up with new rules for movement, combat, endgame and victory conditions, using any combination of your own tasty brains, the Quick(er) Play Rules, Yugblad's suggestions:

Yugblad wrote:
1. Throw out the rulebook.
2. Pick and choose from the variant rules on the Geek - remember to keep it SIMPLE!
3. Do not lay down tiles after finding the helipad.
4. Forget counting "dead" zombies for the winner - this is a kill-the-zombie-to-escape game. Let the most bloodthirst player place the helipad.
5. When a player dies, have him/her/them control the zombies, etc.
6. Trim the card deck to a custom-picked 50-60 cards. NO more, no less. Keep it 50/50 to screwage/benefit cards.
7. Use a timer - this keeps a panicky atmosphere ticking over.
8. Mount the town tiles on 2mm-thick card.
9. Use the subway expansion.

and the smorgasbord of rules salad on the Twilight Creations website.

I have to admit that I was very put off by this at first—if I wanted to make my own game I would have made my own game, not spent money on an unfinished product. With time, however, I've very much warmed to the idea of Zombies!!! as a sandbox/tool kit experience game, a gaming hot rod that can be fiddled with and tuned until you get the custom ride that perfectly suits you & your game group.

If you dig the theme, have the time and are so inclined to tinker, this is pretty darn good.

zombie

My set-up:

Zombies!!!
Zombies!!! 2: Zombie Corps(e): glow-in-the-dark zombies, cards & tiles
Zombies!!! 5: School's Out Forever: Guts tokens & cards
Zombies!!! 6: Six Feet Under: Sewer tokens, cards & 3x subway tiles

(Donated to college games library.)
2016-01-22
5
Sep 2015
5.818
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Speeds things up nicely with a second chopper.

Oh, also—GLOW-IN-THE-DARK ZOMBIES!!!

(Donated to college games library.)
2016-01-22
5
Sep 2015
5.816
Prev. Owned
Plays: 3
Picked up for the Guts tokens and some cards.

(Donated to college games library.)
2016-01-22
5
Sep 2015
5.792
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
Picked up for the Sewer tokens, cards, and subway tiles.

(Donated to college games library.)
2016-01-22
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