This is the most immersive game I've ever played. It draws you right into the world of secret agents. The gameplay is superb!
Note: The gameplay ISN'T hard. However, the rulebook frankly sucks. One entire deck of cards isn't explained in the main rules at all, and isn't addressed in the FAQ. No. It is explained as a footnote at the end of the Appendix. After the list of Kickstarter contributors, even, which has nothing to do with how to play the game. Yes, really. I have never been so disgusted with a rule book! I should take off a point for the truly disorganized, crappy rulebook, but I just can't, because the game is so much fun!
Read through the rules and play a few rounds by yourself before teaching it to your friends. It's absolutely worth it.
*A WONDERFUL "thank you" surprise present from Frediccini! :-)
This has very cool mechanics. I'm so glad Frediccini put it on the table!!! Lightweight fun. Perfect for a relaxing evening of gaming after we've ploughed through rules for the five new heaviest Euros one week after another. A game needn't be complex to be fun and still involve some strategy.
On the first play we died horribly - it was over in 40 minutes. The second play took close to three hours, and while the first two hours were tense, by the end we won almost too easily - people were doing goofy things (let's all visit the carnival in Dunwich, I've never been there before), just because they had the leeway to do it. I liked that you can't predict how it's going to turn out and that each play had a very different feel. It was a truly immersive game.
Post GenCon 2011 purchase. I can't play it with the base game because the cards are not the same. The group I play with would always know when an expansion card was at the top of the deck, and with this expansion some of the card combos are killers. It only gets a 3 because it can stand on its own.
A gaming buddy loaned this to me for AmeriTrash on American Independence weekend, and my family who all adore Buffy decided they had to have a copy to play. Yes, it just takes the right game to suck the non-gamers back in. (Insert evil laughter) Whaahahahaa!
The game description says it "reimplements" Mall of Horror with some changes. I only know that I find it difficult to throw my friends to the zombie hoard to save my own hide, when I think we should all band together.
This game is FUN and plays equally well as a 2 player coop or a 3 or 4 player winner take all game! (I much prefer the coop game. It is tense and exciting every time.)
There are a huge number of Alien Faction cards, which are all great! The number of factions lend extra oomph to the replayability of the game. Fantastic sci-fi cartoon-ey art, and fantastic miniatures. Awesome game!
Terrific cooperative game with some very innovative mechanics. It felt very original in the field of cooperative games many of which feel very "same-y." Very tense game with tons of meaningful decisions. Plus, you know, Pirates!
I like the way all the characters are broken in their own way, and that I get a fairly even fight with my gaming partners when everyone plays to their character's strengths. I like that the game plays completely differently depending on which character I'm playing.
Epic Spell Wars should be rated for exactly what it is: the best of its class (exceptionally fun, light-ish card games). It's a perfect filler, or perfect for an evening when the crowd just wants to relax and doesn't feel like taking three hours for Arkham Horror, Twilight Imperium, or RuneWars. The only reason it doesn't get a ten is that it does not fall into the rare category of "I would always want to play this game if asked, no matter how often."
The proof of how good it is? A friend of mine and his group were set to play Arkham Horror and then played Epic Spell Wars....for 5 hours!
P.S. The CEO of the company himself called my group back and answered a game-win-altering question when the geek was down. (Yes, we are a cheeky bunch.) Rather than being annoyed, he seemed pleased that we were having so much fun with their game. I am now a fan of Cryptozoic Games. :-)
Note: We went to the Cryptozoic booth at GenCon 2013 specifically to cheer for Cory and thank him for answering our question when BGG was down. The Cryptozoic bunch are as swell in person as they were on the phone.
GenCon 2011 purchase. This was the game I was most excited about at GenCon 2010. Great theme, and a great adventure mechanic where failure has actual consequences for the player...and yet, -4 for completely cumbersome minutia in the rules that slow down gameplay and that keeps this game from ever getting on the table!
Some careful streamlining would have helped enormously.
This game was done exceptionally well. When i first heard the name and that it was coop, I cringed, hoping that it was NOT an all against one game with someone playing the opposition...which would have been WRONG.
No need to worry, the game is a fantastic pure coop, with real historical characters and events. The economic weight of the underground railroad is felt as the players try to support their mission to free people in every way possible. It is a very strategic game. I have to admit I hate losing this one more than a normal game, but it creates renewed respect for the people who championed this cause.
I like the dice as the third "player" in a two player game to add to the tough decisions and unpredictability. Genius. (It worked so well that they've picked it up to create a two-player alternative for Francis Drake.)
This is now my favorite two-player game.
I appreciate the decisions of what to pick up and where to play it, and when to take the chieftains off of your map so that they can score. This is a thinking game all the way through.
I like that you can deal someone in late and it doesn't break this game at all. This attribute makes Kill Doctor Lucky perfect for a game group when two or three members arrive and are waiting for more members to arrive.
If anyone knows of other games that people can join after the game has been going a few rounds, please send me a geekmail. :-)
Update: It doesn't work as I had hoped, because it goes on far too long for what it is.
Rated 7 for being good at what it is: a children's game that adults can enjoy playing, too. Each player moves and changes the maze on their turn as they try to make their way to the treasures they need, making this much more strategic and engaging than the vast majority of children's games out there.
This may be the best expansion I have ever played simply because it adds to s to the base game while retaining everything good about the base game. -It adds more mechanics. The barricades and sewers add a fresh new feel to a game that comes off the shelf constantly. -It adds new scenarios, a huge plus on a scenario driven game. -It adds to the theme so seamlessly that it could have come with the base set. And, it's huge fun! Simply brilliant - great job Flying Frog!
After reading the synopsis of the game play and reading dozens of comments in which all the guys are raving about the lightning quick game play, the multiple repeat plays, and "laughing their asses off" it seems like a must have "quickie." I enjoy it very much, but it is a light filler.
There is enough going on in this game that a player could pick a different strategy nearly every time they play it, which means a) I can always think of something I should have done differently, and b) I always want to play it again. I love playing this one. The wheel is very innovative and adds to the strategy! This is perhaps my favorite Euro tied with Power Grid.
I like that Merchant allows a player to formulate and actually carry out a plan, but it does it at the price of a long playing time and tons of chits. I loved the way it felt while playing -100% engaging (What will I do next? What will my best route be? How can I get the resources/upgrades/fame/income that I need???)
On the other hand, I would need plano boxes or the set up and break down time alone would deter me from ever playing! (It would be the best game just sitting on the shelf, but still.) 8-24-3013
*update 10-7-13 bought two weekly pill organizers for the 14 races, a plano box for everything else, and took the plunge!
For a game that looks as childlike and simple as it does, this game keeps you thinking furiously all the way to the end! There is no "down time" as a player is always thinking of what to do next, which I like a lot.
I like that MushMush! gives a lot of the feel of RoboRally without the interminable stopping to see who has the highest number on a card and therefore gets to go first. This is streamlined fun, Fun, FUN!
Note: I have never played the original Snow Tails.
I was demoing children's games for my local (now defunct) game store, and this was hands down the most popular. The children would play a game, then immediately get in line and wait for another turn. They loved placing the tiles, and they watched like hawks for the roads to close, even if it was to help their opponents place their meeples.
The thing is, it wasn't boring for the adults, either. Gsmes that can bridge that gap are rare.
A charming little game to pull out when there are kids over.
Thank you so much, Frediccini! I couldn't find Once Upon a Time in English anywhere. I love the art work and the idea of this game. Once again, your kindness and thoughtfulness humble me - you are beyond awesome.
This is a solid, fun, light filler. It's easy to teach, and easy to play. It will be a great addition to the games our game group can play when we are waiting for another table to finish a longer game.
(Yes, it is Robo Rally as a quick game with dice instead of cards, and I think there's a definite place for that.)
I found it being sold new at COAS bookstore for two dollars, and looked up the comments on board game geek on the spot. It seems worth trying...it was never produced in english, but still ranked high on the geek for abstract game, AND has it's own iPad app which won best abstract game app of the year last year. Sounds promising.
For the first time since joining BGG six years ago, I tried to give a game a 10.5! BGG wouldn't allow me to do this, and I understand that it would skew the ratings...but the game deserves it!
This is so much fun as a cooperative game. My family called an intermission, intending to continue the next day, but twenty minutes later my daughter sat down next to me and initiated a conversation sorting through all the possibilities that went on until we all decided to take our chances against Holmes.
The game plays absolutely fair, but it IS tricky!
Highly recommended for all who-dunnit fans. The game puts the gamer INTO the mystery!
This is a great game. The only problem is that the locations that are the most fun are copyrighted so that the game designers couldn't use them. My best advice is to buy this for the brilliant but simple game design, and art, and for teaching the game. Then make your own locations to add to the game for the added impact and added fun.
Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) - Your legacy lives on - in a board game, no less! Thank you for The Door Into Summer, Friday, Citizen of the Galaxy, The Star Beast, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Space Cadet, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Stranger in a Strange Land, and so much more. I opened your books and you opened my mind.
This would be a perfect ten if they would revise the encounter book to make sense. No more being in a desert and having an "ocean" encounter! Also, they desperately need to fix such problems as: - players should NOT be able to spend three hours in jail in one game. - players should be more able to get rid of curses - there should be a GRAND END ENCOUNTER to wrap up the "story" instead of an abrupt, random "oh, I've got points, the end, I win." This is too abrupt and jarring and is just a let down in such a thematic game.
Agents of Smersh puts this game to shame, and yet...I love Tales of the Arabian Nights. I hope they make it right someday.