This is to TS what San Juan is to Purto Rico. Easier to explain and 'grok', plays faster, but at the same time sacrifices a lot of the tension that TS produces so nicely. Whether that is good or bad depends on which side of the fence you sit. `
Pros: I like the combat system, for the most part. Great theme and you do feel as though you are guiding civilizations through the ages. Epic in scale -- no other game that I know can compare to the experience of playing 7 ages. Multi-use cards can generate good amount of angst indeciding how/when to best play it. Same for action tokens (only one of each action allowed). Cons: High randomness factor. Battles in the initial ages can go either way, regardless of tactics. Getting a civilization of the right age to start off with can also be problematic; I've seen a player wait 6 turns (4 hours)before being able to start playing the game. While there is some ansgt in deciding how to play cards, it is always better to have high-rated cards than have low-rated ones; yet another random factor comes into play. Same goes for civilizations; a player that manages to draw Egypt, Rome and Japan has a much better shot at winning the game than the one who draws the amazons, inuits and aztecs. Considering the theme, that wouldn't bother me for a game that takes, say, 3 hours, but this one can easily take 20-25 hours to play...
Nice abstract -- the first couple of moves are crucical, and it seems as though the game can be over well before the last piece is taken -- the loosing player can't do anything about it but wait and hope for the agony to be over. Still, it plays fast and has some definite strategy, and it's fun.
Wow, I can see why this is a classic! I really don't understand why Monopoly caught on but not Acquire... that's kind of sad, actually. The game shows its age in places; the endgame in particular is a little wonky, and players can eliminate themselves if they cannot participate in any mergers inthe early half of the game... but who's kidding who, none of that really matters. It's an awesome game.This is my 501st rated game - I wish I'd discovered it a lot earlier. It's to 18xx what Nexus Ops is to TI:3 ;-)
The spiritual ancestor to TI:3. Easy to see how this could inspire Sid Meier to program Civ: the computer game. Too bad Eagles Game had to botch their re-release of the game, because this one is just brilliant.
Economincs artificially and frustratingly tight. Area control aspect (especially in the 2nd scoring round) is similarly forced, tight and artificial -- oh and frustrating too. Plays in 45 mins, which might make it acceptable to some.
Kind of in-between Caylus and Pillars of the Earth, with the same basic main action selection system. Pros: Very themeful, some tense decisions, several different strategies available for the win. I really liked the "combat" system and the integration of some sort of an area-control mini-game. Cons: Lots of randomness in the buildings; this can be especially frustrating in round 3 if the building you really were counting on for the win doesn't show up. Easily remedied through a simple house rule. Biggest problem however is that the game has very little game arc; the types of decisions to be taken change very little from round to round, making the game feel very static and kind of repetitive after round 3-4 (out of 8). This is the same problem that plagues Pillars of the Earth, and (to a much lesser extent) Caylus.
Really cool economic management/wargame for 2-players (haven't tried with more), if a little long. I like the way the different victory conditions get "bid" on, although I get the feeling that a really good designer could've selected slightly cooler/more nuanced/angst-filled goals. Combat is incredibly fiddly and complicated for what comes down to essentially rock-paper-scissors, although it does replicate the way units work in the computer game.
Pros: Very tight economics require very careful planning and thinking. Very aggressive Euro with lots of screwing potential. Hard choices on every turn. Cons: Potential kingmaking endgame situations. Random ressource allocation clashes with the overall feel of the game where planning and thinking are king.
Rating for basic game. Not sure why the hype. Basically a re-implementation of Caylus and Pillars of the Earth. Pick an action. Get some cubes. Score some points. IMHO, Caylus is still the only game of that 'genre' worth playing.
Well it's a memory game, so already it's going to get a low rating from me. But the end game is, shall we say, problematic and will/can literally take forever with a group of hardcore gamers. When a light game just won't end... well, my rating is even lower
Very intricate blind-bidding game with very subtle strategies and high turn angst. Never becomes repetitive (unlike fist of dragonstones). However blind-bidding isn't my favourite mechanic; my rating reflects this.
Really cool idea!! Really fun game!! But only 3 meatballs?!? I'd easily rate the game an 8 if there were 5-7 meatballs. As such the game takes only 2-3 minutes to play, that's way not long enough (for such a great game)
Pros: Very tight mechanics slightly reminiscent of TtR: take money or use money to buy tile. Probably one of the best implementation of the "area control" concept I've seen. High turn angst but plays fairly fast. Cons: Some downtime with 5-6 players. Somewhat of a luck factor in getting the right tiles on the money spots for which you already have money. Plays best with 4.
Neat auction game -- I like the "auction within auction" concept and how the price you pay for the spells makes them last longer (or not). However this is a doubled-edged sword; you'll pay higher for a good spell, and it will make it stay longer on the board! Meaning that the players who purchase the really good spells will have a strong position for a longer period of time... weird. Not a huge fan of the setup, the spells you get at the beginning can have a huge influence on the outcome of the game. Why not just bid for them??
The adventure genre done in a style that agrees better with me --ie, doesn't take as much time as runebound and cie Game takes 1.5/2hrs, has interesting decisions, and a nice story arc. Can be crippling if your two missions have destinations that aren't available at the beginning. Last mission very difficult to complete, can be frustrating and drag the game.
First, the good stuff: the map is awesome, the see-through plastic/cloud cover is a great idea. The production quality is very high, nice colours, chits, money, etc. Now, the bad. This is a 80s-style wargame, through and through: terrible rulebook with lots of ambiguities (at least it's bilingual), very long playtime, player elimination (in fact, two players have to be eliminated from the game before the two remaining players can even start thinking about conquering Antartica, which is required to win the game), etc. The cloud thing is a nice idea, but it is the only original part of the game and it definitely does not redeem the rest of it. This flies in the face of everything that's come out of gaming in the last 20 years. I highly doubt that this was ever blind-tested (and maybe not even playtested!). I give it a 2 only because it is produced by a local company; I wish them the best of luck with their next product.
Very reminiscent of Mare Nostrum; not sure yet which one I prefer. Plays much faster, but looses some of the flavour in the process. I wouldn't have guessed just by reading the rule how much angst that 'action wheel' would generate -- but it works!
Combination of carcassonne, santiago and settlers? Kinda fun, goes by fairly fast, not much downtime. Can be played very aggressively/evil, which can be good or bad depending on what side of the fence you sit on (I didn't like that aspect too much). Push-your-luck element mixed with some strategy. Didn't feel like I had enough control over the eventual outcome. Would like to play an ironman version where whenever one of your unirrigated tile gets 'bounced', you get to kick whoever rolled the die in the groin.
Oh, my, god! Sooo many rules about how to play your card, it feels like the game could almost play itself. I definitely want to try it again though, as I think it takes just one or two game to wrap your head around all the conditions; maybe once that's accomplished, the game's strategy and options reveal themselves.
Pleasantly surprised. Almost as good as Hunters and Gatherers, except I prefer the bonus tile mechanism from H&G instead of the covenant thingy from this game. Still, a good entry, and light years ahead of basic carc in my book.
Ugh. Set-collection with a pasted-on war theme. Basically, if you have a set, lay it down and score some points. Other players also score points at the same time if they have a better set than you. Draw, discard. No strategy, no fun.
Uh, yeah... not sure what zev was thinking here. Maybe some of the rules got lost in translation? Probably best for very young kids. Didn't seem like there was much strategy or anything interesting to do.
Tactical abstract that somehow also feels very wargamish. Very easy to explain, but definitely not as easy to play. Not so sure about the team play rules (where the person who eliminates a faction takes over all its remaining pieces?!?).
I quite enjoy the combat resolution system -- very quick and straightforward. Unit activation is interesting too, minimizes downtime. Movement and LOS is a little weird though, and I'm not sure how balanced the units are.
I can't believe that people would buy that crap! It's basically candyland; you roll and move, and if you're lucky enough to roll well, you'll end up with the required number of keys. Every now and then, the annoying gatekeeper (who is not even creepy!) will say something inane and dumb, and add even more randomness to the game ("whoever's turn it is gets another turn"). The time cards are a nice concept, but don't really work.
I really didn't think that area control and "2 players" could ever work together, but Aton proved me wrong, big time. What a gem of a game, lots of angst, really tight, always engaging and plays fairly fast to boot (20-30 mins)
I really like the concept and the idea of it, but unfortunately the game doesn't quite work with me. The game is pure maximisation, and in fact would be a solitaire game if the board wasn't so small (and despite the board size, it almost is solitaire). The maximisation process is hampered by a severe random element (the tiles to be built are drawn randomly, as are the ressources... and with a lesser impact, so is the board itself). Now, some randomness is necessary in a maximisation game, or else it would simply become straight-up chess -- but with Attika, the random element is pushed too far.
Like most party games, the enjoyement you'll get out of this one will greatly depend on the people you're playing wiht. On average, I found Attribut to be easier to get into and create funny situations than Apple to Apple, and would be my game of choice in the "word association" party game sub-genre.
Tries really hard to be a gamer's game, but somewhere between the rules and the play experience something gets lost... the game offers no meaningful tension and feels much more chaotic than it ought to.
Canvas Eagles for the family. Gets way too crowded with the full supplement of players, this is probably much more enjoyable with 5 players. I like the maneuverability vs speed tension and the way initiative is determined -- very well conceived.
The theme really makes this game; as an abstract, I'd rate it a good point or two lower. Overall it's a nice path-planning game, except that the negative cards (blisters, heavy backpack) are just so f***ing frustrating to deal with!! Especially the backpack. However in the context of the game, it's fun and opens up opportunities for poking fun at each other. I can see the reason for putting them in the game though (blisters can be dealt with during lunch, the backpack can be voted off to the leader, etc.), and it does create a tense and close finish. Except man, they're so frustrating to deal with
A little long for what it is. Some interesting strategies can be used depending on the cards you have, but because cards can be used on either side, the game is almost too self-balancing; it sometimes feel that regardless of any decisions that I make, things will come out tight in the end and whoever has the best hand near the end will win.
I really don't feel that it adds anything worthwhile to the game, only complications. When playing with more than 7 players, it becomes very likely (through indians, duels, gatlings and such) that at least one player will die before ever getting a turn.
Don't let the rules deceive you -- this is actually a pretty good trading game. I was afraid that the randomness (die roll) would have a huge impact on the game, but it doesn't seem to. I was also worried about the simultaneous action selection (I hate "I think that you think that I think" games), but in this case there is information avaiable to make educated guesses (kinda like in poker). I really like the trading mechanisms -- I'd call it "smart man trading" where you can force your opponent, with the proper bid, to accept something meaningless or force him to give you something really good.
Very, very, very little thought goes into playing the game, especially if you're stuck with one of the four (!!!) batmen. They could've at least used Robin, Batwoman, etc. as the other characters. Playing the ninja dudes is slightly less brainless (in the same sense that Britney Spears is slightly less brainless than Jessica Simpson), and thus earns the game a sound 1.5 rating.
Really neat 2-player card game by knizia. Nothing new (this is my 358th rated game), but felt fresh and different nonetheless. Good balance between tactics and strategy, options and angst. The special cards are a little overpowered, but as long as both players are aware of that, it's ok. Plays a lot like Lost Cities, but without the annoying chaotic/"not enough information to make a good decision" feeling.
I purchased the game simply because I liked the idea of not having to paint my own minis, and I thought (wrongly) that this was a 'euro' take on the mini genre. I was wrong, but it's still a good game Things I like: - No painting - Order mechanism very cool - Cheap and endlessly expandable - generates lots of tactics/opportunities for angst Things I didn't like: - Rule book needs major overhaul - It's a minis game. This means lots of tiny little exceptions, rules that will only apply once in a blue moon that need to be remembered, etc. - No scenarios a real bummer
It is fairly easy to remedy one of my qualms about the game; I simply play ignoring the tiny little exceptions and clutter my brain with thinking about tactics instead of thinking about whether I'm following the rules or not. My other major qualm (no scenarios) is probably the biggest factor affecting my rating; this game could've been an 8/8.5 otherwise.
Update: I'll add to my list of dislikes the fact that units loose fighting ability as they are hit; this seems to favour the player who is luckiest earlier in the game.
Mmm... in-between M44 and C&C as far as I can tell. I totally dig the theme (damn!! why did I just by M44 and 2 expansions *2* weeks ago!!), and the gameplay is probably a bit better than M44 -- I like how they added in light/medium/heavy infantry but without the nasty C&C player aid to detail every single unit's ability. really really worried that they'll pull a 'heroscape' on me and "force" me to buy 20,000 expansions... I'll stay away for a year or two and see
I thoroughly enjoyed the laser torpedo mechanic (+.5 points)!! But, uh, otherwise, the game is an exercise in tedium. Some decisions to be made in when to use the action cards (sortof), so the game isn't as bad as, say, Sailor Moon and the Web of the Negaverse ... but it comes close.
Nice little "mathematical" trading game where you trade with the game instead of with your fellow players. Has a bit of a dry/solitaire feel to it, but I quite enjoyed trying to optimize my gem-trading to get to a point faster than my opponents. Most of the time, players seems to eschew the die-roll, when in fact it is often one of the easiest way to get a specific gem colour and score lots of points.
Oh man... there's something really good in there... hidden... somewhere... ! I can see the risk-management part but in the end the game is pretty much a die roll. Way too much randomness for my taste. Maybe I would enjoy it more if you were not allowed to extend yourself during the bidding, (only during the "discovery" phases or whatever they are called)
Game with lots of atmosphere, but the huge luck factor makes impossible to plan for anything. Good (not great) gateway game, not sure about replayability once all the scenarios have been tried? Also gameplay is mostly random and player elimination with potential for lots of downtime for the eliminated player keep the score downStill, this is THE game to play on Halloween
Fun, entertaining party game. More variety in the cards would be greatly appreciated; as it is it is hard to play two games in a row without getting repeat inventions Update: They did release an expansion! Wohoo!! The great idea: more cards, rated 8 by yours truly
Plays like a lot like "Caylus-lite" (meaning, I guess, "Caylus-Medium-Rare"?). Lots of angst in making decisions, perfect playtime at 12 rounds. You want to do 3-4 actions on each turn but only get to pick two. Very intrigued by expansion.
There is a lot to like in this game, but the tile mechanism breaks the whole thing up for me. As laying a tile down is the only way to get new indians on the board, drawing a tile that matches your objectives (or that can be put on a good spot on the board) has a big impact on the game. Because of that I would have liked to have a tile queue, or maybe the option to pay some extra points/ressources to look at x tiles/draw y, or something like that.
Decent, fast-playing multiplayer abstract reminiscent of (probably inspired by)Tetris. Not as deep as games in the Gipf series, but compensate by being able to support 4 players (actually plays best with 2 or 4 players).
Best two-player game out there. Are there any other games that allow you to bribe the ref or rewards you for ignoring the ball and decimating the opposing team? Update: Lowered from 10 to 7.5. The game didn't age well, and I don't know that it compares all that greatly to all the awesome 2p Euros out there. Still, you just can't beat the theme!
Gorgeous art, ok game. I've seen the comments about hand management, but I don't really get it. The first couple of dragons are actually worth 2 dragons (because your opponent will have to win 2 hands to get it away from you and win it to himself), so the importance of your initial hand is paramount. While there is some opportunity for teasing your opponent out of his good cards, bailing out, and then winning a couple of hands with the good cards you didn't spend, they are limited as most cards in the decks are very good. It's pretty much an all-out battle for each and every dragon. Would like to build my own deck. Very tactical, some limited bluffing. Not bad, but I kept having the feeling that this could've been great.
I liked the game a lot, there is a lot of angst in deciding where to go and how to best spend your cards; the way you can sort of plan a couple of turns ahead but not quite, and how you sort of want to spread out but also want to concentrate on a few tiles. Knizia, as always, did a very good job of setting up competing objectives for players. I was a little turned off by the end game though and the quest/rush by all the players to get that last crystal. It felt like the luck of the draw was paramount to be able to get the right cards to complete that last offering. Looking forward to more plays and see if the endgame feels any better.
Ok trading game... mechanics make it so that you are often forced to trade a good bean away for a song, because keeping it would make your position worst. Most of the trades felt "forced", not a lot of strategy or deal-making here. Update: lowered my rating from 6 to 5. I actively avoid playing this game, although I would play it if stuck on an island and had no other games to play. There are much better trading games out there. Update2: Ok my final-final rating! Moved up to 5.5. The game actually plays a bit better with 6/7 players.
WOW! So much more elegant, simple and yet complex, than Formula De! Feels a lot more like F1 racing, without the clunky use of dice to represent gears. This opens a whole new world of possibilities - vector-based dogfights, naval battles, etc. Brilliant.H owever the total lack of randomness is also a knock against the game; perfect-information settings tend to create a lot of downtime once the number of players reaches a certain critical mass (which I would put at 4 with this game). It also creates the problem of a "solvable" game, where if a player spends enough time thinking about it, he will eventually find the one, and only, best line possible throughout the course. These two factors keep my rating down, but it's still an awesome game.
Pros: Light, atmospheric game. Mechanics fairly well integrated, little downtime, generally fun to play. Cons: Lots of luck. Not so bad since it doesn't last very long, but could turn off some people. Verdict: Good, unpretentious, ideal with a boisterous, fun crowd . Just have fun, don't worry too much about winning
Excellent light economic/wargame, in the same weight/style as Nexus Ops. Seems to be several different viable strategies. Gorgeous bits -- you'd never believe it was homemade. Action cards seem underpowered for cost; we give a +2 bonus to that die roll (oh, and we play with d6s instead of D10s, otherwise the game is quite frustrating). Great game to introduce your nephew to wargaming, and it plays a heck of a whole lot faster than risk or other games in its genre.
This game crept me out. I mean, literally. Some of the text on the cards just got to me. Otherwise this is a really offbeat trick-taking game. There is a lot of strategy to be used around the Bottle Imp, which I thought was cool. I couldn't see myself playing to 500 points, I think it would get a little repetitive after 10-15 hands (My guess is 500 points is about 40-50 hands, taking into account the negative 'you're in hell' bottle points).
Extremely linear game; in fact without the cards it would probably play pretty much the same every time. The cards introduce some angst but it feels a bit gamey... kind of a workaround to making a game where otherwise there wouldn't be much else. Some rules are extremely fiddly and not very intuitive, making it easy to mistakenly forget when you are building. The economic system works and the way initiative is handled is also very interesting. Overall, doesn't provide enough bang for the buck for the amount of time the game takes.
really cool real-time game that has nothing to do with fighting. Some interesting decisions to be taken; speed matters, but not as much as other real-time games. At 60 seconds (or less) per game, it's very difficult to resist "just another one". I like the fact that there is no "resolution" phase at the end of the game (eg. Fightball and Light Speed) where the players have to go through the stacks that were played and figure out who won -- which in some cases can take much longer than the game itself. None of that crap in Brawl.
I really liked the game, although maybe it took 20-30 mins too long? The game seems to strike just the right balance between personal control and unpredictability -- there is a definite amount of strategy to be used, but at the same time bad (or really good!) play from another player can really screw your plans up. The mechanics are incredibly well-suited to the theme. It is incredibly difficult to break away from the pack, and a player who does so can get exhausted pretty fast. So you have to time your escapes and then wait for the pack to catch up. Played with 4 players; this is probably best with 4-5 players. Not sure how good it is with 9, but my guess is not very much.
Definitely doesn't feel like a Dorra. New, innovative mechanics, but they aren't all that fun to play! Very chaotic even with only 3, I can only imagine how it plays with more. Little downtime, which is good. I could see my familly enjoying this, but it is not my cup of tea.
Very very simple to explain; yet offers interesting tactical decisions. Best to use all your wilcards on the one colour that you have the most of in your hand. Nothing complicated, but still fairly satisfying.
Normally, I'd rate a memory game a "2" as they are not really a game, merely an exercise in concentration/frustration. This one gets a whopping +3 because of the theme, but then I have to tack on a addtional -1 because it is sometimes very difficult to match the left to the right. And some of them are not all that attractive (I mean, come on! )
Weird-feeling buying/selling game. Felt kinda like a less polished Modern Art -- players buy stuff without complete information of their eventual worth, but the act of buying/selling actually influences the going price... Need to plan ahead a turn or two, but it seemed in some cases almost impossible to predict what other players would do, leading to a chaotic feeling to the game. I'd like to play again and see if it changes my rating.
Very different wargame from Wallace, where players control both sides of the conflict. While the mechanics are novel, there is a jarring feeling to playing the game; there is something in there that doesn't quite work. Plays fast for a wargame; that is pretty much the only reason why I would pick to play this instead of, say, Struggle or AoS.
Fun, inventive, mechanics fit with theme perfectly. Playing with the cop is pretty much required; otherwise it's a bit too easy to decide when to use the bullets. I'm not a fan of the gun props, as I've had one aimed right at me (within 1" of my head) and found it very unsettling -- would prefer to use hands to point instead.
Update2: Gave game to Sheridan Update: Lowered my rating. Game doesn't stand to repeat plays. Fun and rewarding 2-player game that can get very tense, although I sometimes find the ending anticlimatic. Also give a major advantage to card-counters and people with good memory (which I don't!). I just wish there were 3 'philosopher' cards in the deck
Lowered my rating after several play; game does not offer much replay value. The starting player also seems to have a big advantage and it is usually very difficult to catch up. Still, GF enjoys all the pretty colours (from the beads)
Hard game to describe... Maybe best categorized as a "gambling"/push your luck game? Probably the most elegant in that category (pickomino, diamant come to mind), but not exactly my favourite game type.
Age of Steam's poor brother. Similar playtime, but not as engaging. I don't like the 1rst half of the game, where ressource cubes are popping up semi-randomly around the board, and very few canals have been built. This means that the lucky player can score dollops of points by being lucky enough to have built the right canal at the right time and place. My frustration was compounded by the fact that (unlike say, Ticket to Ride), you MUST follow your desination tickets, they are not mere suggestions. So I draw London-Oxford, and then all of a sudden ressources pop up in Manchester. But I can't build in Manchester unless I have the Manchester destination! So if a player picked a Manchester destination (on a previous round), he gets the good "for free". Frustrating. Of course, once the canals start being built, the luck decreases and the second half of the game is quite enjoyable. No revolutionary mechanics (some TTR, Maharaja, and typical train-game stuff); a couple of twists (ex: engineer powers that would make each of them more different from one another) could have really spiced up the game. As it stands, it's an ok game, but can't compare with the great train games out there (TTR on the light side, AoS on the heavy).
Really weird and crazy trick-taking game. Takes a couple of turns to figure out how you can influence the outcome and grasp the hand-management strategy. Great amounts of luck involved -- you are more likely to succeed if the player to your right has selected similar end positions to you. Verdict: a nice game, very different from other trick-taking games out there.
Meh. Not much planning ahead, and scoring feels way out of wack (why are castles worth so much more than roads?). With the right group this can become a political game, which is fun, but otherwise I find this rather bland. TTR has proven to be a much better gateway game for me.
Definitely much better than base Carcasonne -- the choices feel more meaningful, and the bonuses less random and more aligned with actual gameplay. I also really like the idea of the tigers -- tiles that can remove the bonuses that another player's 'farmer' meeples have accumulated.
Rating for base game only (have yet to play with advanced "pro" rules). Seems a little too easy to collect a power hand and score touchdowns this way. Also kind of difficult to stop the offense. Seems to me like there is to "strategies" to playing a card: 1) Play your highest card or 2) get rid of the highest card that is not part of the power hand you're trying to build. Deciding between one of the two options is not too difficult, hence there is little tension in the game. This could have been easily fixed by making the high cards (queen/king/ace) low-yardage gainers and the lower cards very high-yardage. This is definitely more abstract than your normal football game, there is not even the usual run/pass defensive conundrum to take into account. Top-notch quality components. Super-friendly designers. Better than the hockey game by the same designers.
Played countless hours in college. Sometimes mixed several decks together for a super-long, somewhat-less random games. Developped several variants along the way. All in all, good fun and scales failry well. Once I was able to jump from last to first place 3 hands ahead of everybody, with no jokers or aces, in a 6-player game. I'm proud of that accomplishment to this day
Meh. Way too chaotic with 3 players. Felt like Siam on weird LSD/crack-type drug. I like the fact that each figure type has different abilities. I wish that the elephant and donkey could be squished. The overall game felt unfinished and didn't really grab me.
I really enjoyed the game that I played, although I can see how the game could easily end in a stalemate/whoever rolls the right dice wins. While playing, all my choices felt meaningful, but after analyzing the game afterwards I realized that they probably weren't. Really like the way turn order gets determined, adds a lot of tension/strategy.
Plays like a really fun version of Elfenland. Quick, very tactical decisions, lots of tension in deciding how many cards to play and whether you should go back and refill your cart or not. I wasn't too impressed after reading the rules, but this is actually quite fun.
Is this game ever painful to play! Felt like a mixture of Werewolf and Clue (which on the surface does sound appealing!) However the first half of the game is completely random (just like the first few lynchings in Werewolf), and by the time most of the people have deduced enough to mostly know who's on who's team%u2026 well the game's pretty much a forgone conclusion at that point; the decisions are obvious and it's just a matter of going through the motions enough times for one team to get all the right cards. I liked the attacking part of the game and the deduction "subplot", but the trading/card drawing/set collection just doesn't work at all. Nice concept, but not my cup of tea.
What is all the hoopla about?? What little strategy one can come up with is easily squashed by a couple of bad die rolls. Combined with a runaway leader problem, I find this game to be quite frustrating. Sure, there's no downtime... who cares? There is no strategy either.
Ugh. I can see the game taking forever to complete. This wouldn't be so bad if the game was involving, but really most turns consist of rolling dice, and passing. I really hate the "negative" cards that can remove cards from the game. Oops, put that big building that just cost you 6 ressources back in your hand! Sucker... I would enjoy such a lightweight, random game with a playtime of about 20-30 mins. As it stands... why not just play Magic with pre-built starters?
Kind of neat, although I would rather play with a dice deck straight-up rather than use the events, some of which felt really wonky. The randomness isn't smoothed out as much as you'd expect, as it takes a full 36 turns (9 whole gaming turns with 4 players) before all the "throws" have been seen. But overall, I like the feel of the dice deck, it definitely makes the bell curve more bell-shaped (you weren't expecting that one were you? )
Kind of interesting, but doesn't scale very well with more players (a couple more columns would be needed). Probably best with 4-5 players. Plays fast, some interesting decisions to be taken. I prefer other lighter games, but this is good too.
I was very, very reluctant to play this game after reading all the hype about it -- I have been burned by BGG hype before (DoA, anyone?). But I was pleasantly surprised by my play experience: lots of angst, lots to do but never enough ressources to do it, very very well integrated mechanisms and even tighter scoring. Fun! Only problem I can see is playing the game with players prone to PA, as there is no hidden information in the game.
Update: Raised rating from 8 to 8.5 after 4 games. This is fun.
The publisher must have made some extensive modifications to Kramer's design. This wasn't a fun experience at all, one I'm unlikely to try and repeat. There are no worthwhile decisions to make in the game, it can play itself.
Distills game trains to their bare essentials; a real, complete 'euro-ization' of all that's come before it. Great effort, very ambitious, and definitely succeeds. So why am I not giving this a 10? Basically, I'm not very much into the history of train games, and would have rather have a polymorphic board to increase replay value.
Dry, dry, dry. I hate games were I get the feeling that I could 'solve' for the best solution/action if only I'd sit down and thought about for 5-10 minutes. I hate that feeling because I hate spending that much time analyzing one move (and don't like playing with those who do). This game gives me that feeling on every single turn . In fact it probably wouldn't be too hard to distill the game to a linear equation that solves for most points.
A big hit! Fast-paced party game, very light and humorous. Too bad it can only accomodate 3 players. I wasn't sure about the rules where you can knock stuff out of other players' chopsticks, but it works. Fun!
Definitely nothing special. Knizia tries his hand at push-your-luck. Plays fairly well with 3, but with 4 or 5 it becomes chaotic too fast and there is little way to control the content of your hand. The game is too short to develop a good strategy, but at the same time any longer and it would overstay its welcome.
Lasts a little long for something this light, but fun while it lasts. King tends not to move too much, which sucks for those stuck at the end of the line for most of the game. Expansion adds almost infinite replayability. Avoid deep thinkers at all costs, the game will slow to a crawl.
Felt a lot like playing a weird version of T&E, with a similar playing time but without the classic elegance. You build up your position are are eventually in a position to "attack" the other players, and the outcome of such attack is determined in a semi-random fashion. First couple of turns crucial, and it seemed harder to come back from a bad move in Citta than it did in T&E. I liked the picking of actions, maybe there should be a way to guarantee that those 'boost farming' cards won't clog up the line? Would like to play with "advanced" setup.
Pro: Visually appealing, great production value, same weight category as Ticket to Ride Cons: Way too difficult to acquire the ressources necessary to build something (especially when items start running out and some ressources become useless). Lots of downtime, very little interaction between players (and basically no way of preventing a player to do this or that. Basically multiplayer solitaire. Knizia-esque scoring could confuse newbies/light game players very easily. I like the use of corruption points, but it's a mechanism that's been seen in a ton of games before. The card-stack building mechanism could be kinda fun (although that's also been seen before) if you could figure out what the other players are looking for, but unless you have an awesome memory you're just basically more or less trying to build stacks that may or may not be of any appeal to the next player. Neat idea for the offering, but odds should have been calculated such that it would happen more frequently (3-4 times a game would have been best, as it stands I think the odds are about 0-2 per game) Verdict: feels a lot like a "by the numbers" game, nothing new, nothing especially interesting, and thus overall kinda bland and disapointing.
Definitely a lot less randomness than Santa Fe, which comes with its own pros and cons. The fact that you can see where all the players are trying to steer the clipper lines adds a lots of "brain-burness" to the game, but also adds downtime and removes tension. I also quite liked the hand-management aspect of Santa Fe, where you could draw several bonus tiles to prevent your opponent from getting them. However, in a way the end game is more satisfying, as your opponent won't be drawing a 20-point card on his last turn while you draw diddly squat. Overall, I preferred the "feel" of Santa Fe, but Clippers is pretty good too. Probably best with 5. Update: wow! Actually very fun with 2. Now I'm thinking it's better with less players than more. Would've liked the game to scale a little more for two players, with less "ownership zones" on the islands
Set collection with a small push-your luck element. I'm not a huge fan of set-collection type games, but this one plays fairly fast. I like how you try to make piles that are both good for you and bad for your opponent; however most of the decisions are often obvious and the game could almost play itself.
Update: I now see the charm of the game, although playtime (30-40 mins) is a little too high for game weight, so I will keep my rating as is for now.
A little too easy to end in a draw. The tactile element draws in younger players, this is a good introduction to abstracts. Kind of a neat idea, but I never quite understood why it had to be played vertically -- would it have been that much harder to play on a mat and make a rule to simulate gravity?
Interesting take on the multiplayer chess mechanisms. Plays only with two or four, which means it won't hit the table as often as I'd like it to. Very much like chess, meaning it is definitely open to AP
Pleasantly surprised by this game. CONS: The battle system is overly simplistic. The map board is just way too big and could have easily been trimmer by a foot in both length and width without loosing any playing space. The game wouldn't be much without the forced alliances. Pros: gorgeous minis, innovative forced alliance system IS the game and both great fun and novel mechanic.
Very good rendition of market economics. However, the game is also extremely chaotic -- you don't actually have much control over goods that are available, their prices, when they get delivered to the island, etc. I would much prefer to not have so much hidden information (hidden objectives; blind bidding), which I think would give me an increased level of feeling in control.
Imaginative implementation of essentially the same concept as "can't stop". The game doesn't quite work however (too bad as I really love the cosmic cow theme) -- it's really just whoever is luckiest that wins, there isn't much meaningful decision-making as in Can't Stop.
Liar's dice taken to a whole new level. Removes the odd/mathematical aspect of the game while still keeping the bluffing/deduction aspect. Shortens downtime, easier to explain, and sillier too. Clearly funner to play!!
Fun game with no downtime (if playing on a hex map) or incredibly fiddly and downtime-filled otherwise. Recreates the feel of a dogfight fairly well, although it is on the lighter side of things. Rating would be higher if more diverse maneuver cards were provided with the game. Laying down the path cards can be quite fiddly though, and I don't like the diminishing stats as planes get hit -- this has a tendency to make the first few shots have an outsized impact on the game.
I quite enjoyed my experience, despite the fact that playing as the Franks I got thoroughly trashed. (Played with v1.0 of the rules). There is definitely enough good ideas thrown in there to make me want to download and play with v1.4 or apply my own in-house fixes. The theme is great, not one that I have seen in many games so far.
What an awesome, silly idea! Very short, very entertaining (even for those who aren't playing), but could use a little more "strategy"... would definitely play better with more eggs, as it stands now most players will only really have to balance 2-3 eggs for most of the game. But with two sets, this game shines!! (Rating is for one copy of the game only... otherwise, would probably rate an 8)
Pros -I really like the diversity of characters and the way they get customized. - Openining treasure chests is a lot more fun than it should be - Cool minis - Some interesting tactical decisions to be made; I like the semi-cooperation aspect of the game - This is Doom, moving in the right direction Cons - I preferred the Doom theme - Seems like they overcorrected Doom; Descent felt too easy and lacked any real tension. - Those gold treasures are just way too overpowered
Verdict: I'm looking forwward to trying other dungeons and seeing if they get any harder. I like the overall feel of the game and the corrections they made to the spawning process and DM win mechanics, but it feels like this was an overreaction to Doom's impossible scenarios. If the other dungeons are harder than the one I've tried, I'll be happy.
Great family/light eurogame about collecting ressources and building tents. Love the transparent bits. Not enough meat to keep me coming back, altough I was seriously tempted to buy a copy to play with my sister/father. I like how the tents provide ressources for building other tents, and you have to think not only about which tent you can build but in what order you should build them (to try and string long combos). Very nice.
I like the idea... but there is very little control over the direction of the train... the event cards and desperados exacerbate the random factor even more.... *and* it is quite likely that a player will get eliminated! Frankly, not my cup of tea.
Fun horse racing game (themed as a car race... which makes no sense). Really don't like the bidding for the car with money, which clashes with the tactical feel of the race -- would've rather bid with the cards themselves or some such. Can be prone to downtime, especially in the first few turns as the number of options is unusually high.
Well, I like the risk-taking aspect of the game, but it might have been pushed a little too far. The ridiculous variance in the card value means that one or two lone adventurers pushing their luck can automatically win the game with some luck. I like the fact that the undivisible gems remain on the board to be picked up by escaping dwarves; it definitely adds an interesting layer to the decisions to be taken. A fairly quick filler, but for some reason it's missing that little "something" and leaves me on my appetite.
Definitely not my cup of tea -- overly long, lots of negotiation/whining/backstabbing, and lots of downtime while players write their orders. Players can be shut out of victory fairly early, which can make for an even longer game
Be careful about who you play this with. Friends have been lost thanks to this game.
Pros: Great theme, very vivid 'medieval/fantastic' feel. Lots of fun bribing other nations to join you. The personality cards add a nice twist to the game. I also like the main battle mechanic, which gives advantage to outnumbering your opponent without giving too much Cons: Mechanics betray the game's age. Very, very luck-oriented (especially when trying to convince a nation to join you). Lots of downtime, even when playing with only 3 players. While the game packs some great ideas, it doesn't quite gel together as more modern games do. Verdict: good game especially considering its age. Could be coaxed into playing one more time, but probably not more than that.
Incredibly complex for such a light theme. Feels more like "a dog's life: the simulation" than a game. The pee action might humour some (it certainly made me smile), but it doesn't redeem the rest of the game.
Cool, new concept. I really like building my engine and seeing my combos "go off" (or not). Some games can be more repetitive than others, depending on length. I think that the victory points are miscosted (6vps should only really be 4vps for 8$), but that's pretty minor. Very difficult to resist saying 'let's play one more, but this time, replacing this card with that other card' - which is the sign of a great game. Update: Raised rating fro 7.5 to 8 after 20+ plays... deliciously short, simple and *addictive*
Neat, light bidding game. I like the mechanics where you cannot bid on numbers that you own, but receive money if someone else bids that number. I also like the fact if you collect several cards of the same colour (to score lotsa points), you will end up with many numbers you cannot bid, which restricts your options. However the endgame felt a little out of whack as a lot of money can change hands in the blink of an eye, while the player on the receiving end hasn't done anything especially "smart" or srategic to receive it except happen purchase the right-numbered card in an earlier round.
Cons: well, you'll enjoy winning if you are the DM. Otherwise, prepare for an exercise in frustration. The players don't stand a chance in hell even when the DM isn't drawing any cards; add the ability to respawn and affect stuff, and it's not even in the ballpark. Pros: Well, I thought I had found a cooperative game that I finally liked. I really enjoyed the tactics and it almost felt like I was part of a crack team of marine. Cool. The game also does have a bunch of tension in it; in that sense the board game replicates the video game very well.
Like guillotine, but longer. Very little control with more than 3 players. I don't like how the "toast" cup moves around; if on your turn you are not in a position to toast, odds are you will never get the chance to toast ever in the game and will end up loosing. Boo.
Really cool negotiation game, although I could see this not working as well depending on the type of people playing the game. I wish the wizard's power was a little more significant/impactful. Neat way to add value to the different gems but still have a very streamlined scoring system (by making some rarer than the others).
Middleweight bidding game; I'd put it in the same category as Modern Art and Ra altough it doesn't have much in common with either. I like the way money is redistributed, however I find that to do well, you have to keep track of the open spots on every player's movies as well as each uncompleted movie's running total, which can create a lot of downtime. The first party comes in too early, often times the player who "wins" it will have the most guest stars/actors for the rest of the game.
Finally! Something new and fresh coming out of the CMG markert. This is definitely a breath of fresh air, a really nice design doing a great job at merging miniatures and boardgames. I found the initiative roll a touch too random for me, and you can loose in the first few turns if you are not careful, but otherwise it's a blast. I like how it seems like several different strategies are viable; the weenie rush, the big meanie, control, combat, push/shove, etc. Looking forward to expansions.
Wow, what a terrible "something" wrapped inside what looks like a game. The blind bidding is almost all luck, it would make much sense and would be a lot less irritating if you didn't loose your cards if you didn't win the auction. The action selection mechanism is neat, but it feels like an unfinished idea and didn't grab me very much (but at the same time it really felt like it was just one twist away from being awesomely great). As it is, this game is only about drawing cards, and then playing them and hope to get some points by having played more cards than your opponent. None of my decisions felt especially significant or fun.
Very average game. First team to get lucky roll in labyrinth and pick up a good weapon has major advantage; first team to kill off one or two opposing characters will win 99% of the time. System would have been better suited for mission/scenario-based squad game. Very inventive characters/abilities/weapons and quest description.
I really like how the various factions are completely different yet mostly balanced (except maybe the Freemen, and, to a lesser extent, the Harkonnen). Definitely depends on everyone keeping an eye on their neighbour. Not so much a big fan of the overly "chromy" rules; I'd rather be playing a game than a simulation of the book. Games tend to be short and bloody, which can be anti-climatic (I have heard of first-turn wins).
Ugh, I can't believe people actually played this. There are 26 turns to the game, and it takes 20 turns (if everything goes right) to go to the dragon cave and back. That is, assuming that your path (which you pick up randomly) doesn't lead you astray... and assuming that you actually survive the dragon, who can simply roast you if you pick (randomly) the wrong tile. And assuming that you are still alive all the nasty (random) encounters and survive the (/rock-paper-scissors) combat. So basically there is nothing to winning this game except being extremely lucky. Takes about 45 minutes to play. Why not just roll a die and get it over with?
Wow! I was not expecting much at all, but this game is really neat. A themed abstract that somehow manages to get the them match the abstractness of the game (?!). Gameplay is quite engaging and requires you to balance offense and defense -- the player who manages to use his pieces both defensively and offensively at the same time will win. I love how attacks must be "declared" one turn ahead of time, it gives the game a great "rythm"
Ugh, so much downtime! Mechanics didn't feel especially novel or interesting; walked away with a pronounced 'blah' feeling. There is some strategy and some take-that (which I like), but a lot of luck (this is settlers after all) and LOTS of downtime; absolutely nothing to do on anybody else's turn but talk about last night's trip to the strip club.
Not sure why this game is so popular? There is a LOT of luck in the hand you get dealt; if you get a bunch of clouds but need to travel through desert, though cookies for you. On top of that there is a LOT of downtime as players try to plan their paths, and then re-plan everything whenever an unexpected path tile is laid.
Quick-playing 2player dexterity game. Love the mooses (meese?). Very light, and some other dexterity games are more involved (crokinole, passe-trappe), but there's enough in here to keep me coming back.
Awesome, great theme! However I have some concerns about the spice tracks, they seem broken at best. The player who gets these on the first round has a massive advantage, and can then get more spice tracks in future rounds (because of the additional income), and then in becomes a vicious circle of the strong getting stronger. I would play again to see if better bidding on the first round could counteract this, but at this point I have a very bitter taste in my mouth about the game.
Slightly better than mag-blast, if only because the duration is thankfully slightly shorter. Not really my type of game -- players that get eliminated can have to wait around for a significant amount of time, the items are overly powerful, and it's more a game of politics than strategy -- you either attack the leader or the person who pissed you off the most.
Much better than diplomacy in that the game offers the same amount of treachery/evilness in a much shorter timeframe (about 2hrs). Only play this one if you have a though skin though; with the wrong gaming group, this game may actually cost you your friends. Mechanics work very well towards intended goal, this is a pure negotiation/whining/positioning game, and if you like that kind of game, this is probably one of the better ones out there. Just not my own personal cup of tea.
Mmm... I like a lot of the decisions that need to be taken in the game, the optimization process that goes on to maximize your money/turn generated, but the game takes quite a bit of time to complete, the offer/demand system is quite random, and the game gets quite repetitive after 10-12 turns. Once your network is built, all you have to do is pick up stuff and deliver it, and hope that you can do it faster than the other guys. Where you can go/how much money you make is dictated by the awefully random order cards, so the end game felt quite unsatisfying. Would be willing to play again to see what I may have missed.
A slightly heavier take on the 'Citadels' mechanics. Fun controlled chaos element in trying to guess what your opponents might do. The addition of the professor walking around is a nice touch and adds an interesting layer to the decision-making/risk-taking. My main complaint with the game is the same as with Citadels; I find that it takes too long for the 'weight' of the game. I should note that I was a playtester for this game; my rating is for the final version.
(Disclamer: I have only played the basic game. I hear the advanced game is much more interesting) Pros: "Inventive" theme, new and fun mechanism to determine initiative. Cons: There isn't much control to the game. It's very difficult to determine when to go first/last/ in the middle because there is no way for you to know what the other players are going for. On top of that, you don't really know where you'll end up in the pecking order because (50% of the time) one of your initiative cards is unknown even to yourself, and you can't guess approximately where other players might want to end in the pecking order. To make everything worst, at least one player each turn is stuck getting one of the mystery cards, some of which (1/6) have very nasty effects, like making you loose 2 turns (out of 12). Verdict: Decent effort from a sophomore game designer, I expect that I will enjoy his future games quite a bit as he is showing quite a bit of potential. However experiment falls flat for me.
I'm not a huge fan of spacial-perception puzzles,and therefore this game doesn't start of great with me. Combine this with the extreme luck factor (especially in the last few rounds) and it's definitely a big stinker for me. My rating might be a bit better if there were a way to predict what the upcoming tiles would look like, and thus plan the layout of your board a bit ahead.
Simple yet very elegant drafting-to-score card game. I like the way the rules allow for both offensive and defensive drafting by giving you 2 "spare" choices each turn. Would rather play with more cards in hand such that the same hand goes around 2 or 3 times, but that's a minor quibble. Gorgeous art. Only drawback is that it seems that the 'multiplier' strategy is easiest to pull off and thus offers significantly enhanced chances of winning.
Had quite a bit of fun with the French version ("Service Compris"), themed around an ogre eating various fantasy folks. Plays like guillotine but much better; there is a bit more control over what is going on and it is possible to spread the pain or single out a player to dish out well-deserved revenge
Update: The new mayfair reprint is just slightly not as good as Asmodée's "service compris". There is no rule text on the cards, which makes it difficult to introduce the game to new players as they need to memorize what all the different cards do (or keep checking the cheat sheet). There is also too much text on contracts, making it difficult to see whether a contract is immune from mob power or familly influence.
Typical analysis paralysis game -- there is abolutely no randomness, meaning that with enough time, everything can be figured out. With the wrong group, the game can really, really, really drag. With the right group, this can be fun, but then you don't really have much control over what happens.
Kind of fun, but doesn't really hold a candle to No Thanks. Takes a little long to play, not much of a 'game arc', and is essentially blind bidding until the first couple of players drop out. Doesn't feel like you have much control over the eventual outcome.
Intriguing... the thinking man's speed game. It's hard to strike a balance between knowning what you're doing, and going fast. Thinking and moving your limbs at the same time. Don't chew gum too, else you're likely to choke
(Update: Brawl is a much much better implementation of the same system/idea)
Not being a fan of blind-bidding at all, I actually enjoyed this game quite a bit. Light, fast, and doesn't overstay its welcome. I find that it's lacking a bit of a "story arc" due to resetting the players' stockpile every round; and would've enjoyed seeing a 5th colour and card make an appearance, but those are minor quibbles.
Very average dexterity game. Doesn't generate much meaningful tension, despite the fact that it takes about the same amount of time to play as other worthwhile games in the same category (Villa Paletti, hamsterrolle).
As far as blind-bidding games go, this one is actually decent. Gorgeous card art and lots of opportunities for messing with other players' minds. Mechanics are a little too balanced; don't play with more than 4, otherwise this game can last forever (2/3+ hours).
Really neat 2p, too bad it didn't catch on as I would have loved to see additional races printed for it. Very very tense game, you always want to play every single card in your hand but are usually limited to 2. I don't like the extra randomness added by the commanders, it seems like drawing one of these early in the game will definitely advantage one player over the other, but that is my only qualm with the game. Available at massive discount nowadays -- you could do a lot worst than picking up a copy in the discount bin.
Not as terrible as some would want you to believe. I didn't mind the randomness so much as the constantly changing rules, which I found hard to adjust to. (Maybe my brain is not wired right). Cute 'goals' such as 'Death by Chocolate' and 'War not Peace' that are fun to read the first time or two. Most of the cards seemed to produce similar effects, which was a disapointement (for a game with little/no rules, there should be cards that do totally crazy unexpected stuff! But I guess that there aren't many rules to break in the first place)
Very cool, quick auction game. This is the only game that I know of that plays in 15 mins but that actually has some strategy in it. Granted it's not the deepest game, but it does leave one very satisfied after 12-15 mins. Update: Bumped the game up to a '9' after 40+ plays. Everyone loves this game, including myself.
Cool little hand management game. Some tension in deciding which card to give to which cyclist, and when to keep/play the ace and joker. Can be difficult and frustrating to get one out of a bad hand however.
Rating based on one game with 6 players. Lots of downtime for such a simple game. Neat ideas, but doesn't gel into a coherent whole. Seemed to me that whoever kills the '50' character basically wins it. Also possible to get knocked out of the game early if all creatures with a lower "strenght" than your "wisdom" are eliminated or way out of reach. I really liked the movement mechanism, wouldn't mind trying the game with 3-4 players only.
Great theme, no substance. The first couple of turns provide plenty of opportunities for crashes; but afterwards the field clears up and it just becomes a random game; whoever rolls highest and pickups up the least number of take-that card will win.
Game about calculating risk, managing risk, and figuring out risk. I find the process of calculating the odds of landing here or there depending on this or that die to be very, very tedious. This could be fun on a computer, but then that would remove any kind of decision-making. Lots of downtime while other players are busy calculating their odds and risk/reward scenarios. Good idea, but really not my cup of tea.
Not Kinizia's best, but not his worst either. The game feels pretty random (why would you want to run a whole season of 17 races is beyond me), but at 15-20 min/race, it's short enough to come to the table every now and then. There's nothing really special about this game either way (neither good nor bad).
My biggest complaint with the game is that with so many ways to score points, players are not given a clear goal/objective, which in turn makes the game feel very murky and chaotic. Combined with the fact that on his turn, a player may move up to 66% of all fowls in play (which makes it just about impossible for any opponent to predict his move due to the very fat decision tree), makes the game feel so much more chaotic than it really is. On any given turn, I could have taken a good 10 minutes to sit down and evaluate the situation... but with 3 or 4 players, what downtime! So I don't evaluate all my options properly, leading to sub-optimal play, and a random/frustrating feeling. There is such a thing as too many options!
Neat trick-taking game. Well you're not actually taking tricks as much as trying to go out first... I quite enjoy the non-numeral aspect of the game, it allows it to do things you wouldn't be able to do with a numbered game. Not quite sure about the partnership rules and the way points are scored however.
Cool little real-time game. Very simple so doesn't hurt the brain to play it. But lots of different strategies and things going on -- nice. 12 states to memorize/keep track of in real-time is just enough to make you feel like you are in control, yet there is always one or two things that will escape your attention. Neat.
Probably the brain-burner with the simplest rules ever -- but it can be so hard to figure out the roads, I can see many games completed with 'wrong' road placements. Not a huge fan of the blind bidding (the game would work better with straight-up bidding, I think), and possibly too chaotic with 4-5 players.
Very interesting game about dwarves mining for gems and trying to build jewelry. The mechanics felt new (this is my 505th rated game) and were interesting, creating angst in selecting your two actions on each turn. Several different strategies possible; the quick getaway, trying to complete 2-3 big settings, focusing on the Brigsgammen, etc. Rating will probably go up with more plays.
Below-average trick-taking game. The witches are way too powerful and add an uneeded element of extreme randomness. Good concept overall, but very poor execution. Some rule tweak could make the game fairly interesting; my rating is for the game out of the box.
I think that you think that I think... not my type of game. In some cases, there is the possibility to make educated guesses, but some other decisions are completely devoid of information (and thus pretty much random). Plays very fast, so in that sense the game is definitely more bearable than, say, Citadel.
Fast-playing 2-player filler. I like passe-trappe better as it is louder and makes your heart beat; but for the same reason I could see how a lot of people would prefer Fubi. I'm thinking of implementing a "pass" rule where you must bounce the ball off a player for a goal to be valid.
I almost gave this game a 10 solely on the strength of its theme, which I felt was very strong, offbeat and just plain cool. However the mechanics are so-so and don't really gel with the theme all that great; and I'm concerned that replay value won't be as great after 3-4 games; some of those jokes will probably get old fairly fast. But the THEME! It's awesome. I'd write an ode to FF if I could.
Somehow manages to combine two of my most hated mechanics, spatial perception and plain dumb luck, into a cohesive and fairly pleasant package. Does take a bit long for what it is (I'd rather just run the last two races), but the game is mostly engaging if you take it for what it is. Definitely some skills involved in building the stupid ship, but the luck (or lack thereof) of the dice can just be crippling regardless.
Whimsical "racing" game with just enough decisions to make it interesting, with a very short playing time. I found it fun to try and figure out how to get my pig to go first in the last round. A little random, but the game lasts 15 mins...
Feels a lot like playing diplomacy with less bookkeeping and more meat. Random event cards ensure that the game will be different every time (we had a game without resupply for 6 turns in a row... brutal). Would like the option to customize each faction's starting hand of role decks.
"Gamut" sounds like the appropriate word here -- a TON of games, most of which are playable with easily accessible objects (ex: deck of cards). While the games aren't all perfect "designer games", they definitely inspire and lend themselves well to variants and tweaking. This book is worth hours and hours of fun.
I don't really see the point of the game. There is very little control over the actual outcome, this is all very chaotic. The more control you try to get over this or that ponit tile, the less points you get!
Update: Bumped rating up from 4 to 5.5 -- I realized that I was playing the game wrong, you can complete an objective with either "side" (up or down) of the DNA sequence. This completely changes the game experience and actually makes it too easy to complete objectives. I does shorten the game dramatically to a quick 15 minutes filler. I've been on an independently-published game buying spree lately and I bought this from the publisher/designer without doing much research. As a first effort, it is definitely better than a lot of first-time games, and the thought and effort that went into making it shines through. However, the game can be very frustrating at times to play, as it is too easy to disrupt your opponent's plan (even without knowing what they are) and him disrupting your plan -- and somtimes the game will get stuck in a stalemate until one of the two players blinks and draws a new objective. The goal (9 years of research) - while it fits with the theme, feels very artificial and makes the game last twice as long as it should. I think I'll stop my future games at 5 years. There are some neat ideas there, but on the whole the game didn't grab me. Could make a really good teaching tool for biology class, though.
Big disapointement. Remarkably stale for a trading game. While there was some negotiation going on, there is more action in Bonhanza than in this game. We couldn't figure out how the small orders were supposed to be worth anything - costs too much to bribe someone to move to the ressources, then to buy the action, then to move to the drop zone, then bribe to take an action there. If you make 20$ profit on the small orders, you're an excellent trader. Similar problems with the messages. With so many rules for such a small payoff, I'm not sure that this will hit the table all that often. Update: Sold to Mike S.
Overall feel is pretty random; you don't know what tiles your opponent have in their hands, you don't know when scoring will be triggered, and any tile on the board can be replaced and have drastic effect on the layout. I found that there were too many civilizations, making it difficult to "invest" in the right one, and overall not enough control over the eventual outcome. A nice light game for the family, but no more.
Can be quite a brain-burner; however a contest between several seasonned player will make it very difficult of any of them to obtain an advantage, the result being that the score will be similar for most (all) of the game. Is more enjoyable when playing for 50 (gets kinda repetitive going for 100)
San Juan look-alike. Definitely deeper than San Juan, but not necessarily better -- the luck of the draw can be crippling (when you need one specific resource to complete a building but just can't get it - granted there are some mitigating actions you can take), and the insane variety of buildings means that you might just not draw that one that you need to complete your combo. However, there is a lot of thinking going on, definitely many different ways to go about winning,and overall much meatier feel to the game. It is overly complex to grok at first and takes a number of turns to really understand what is going on (which can be very frustrating for beginners). I find Race for the Galaxy to be a better implementation of the same overall concept.
Amazingly great economic-management game. I'm surprised I rated it higher seeing how I rated comparable low-interaction heavy game (PR, PoF, etc). I think this might have to do with the game's "approachability". Fast playtime (1h30) is just cherry on top of sundae.
I love the theme. But as far as a market-manipulation/investment game, it sucks. There is very little control over the eventual outcome; there is not enough information in the first 4-5 days of the week to give players a good feel for where things are going to be going. But, if the card you want doesn't show up in the last 2-3 days (or if it does but you're stuck at the back of the action selection queue), well, though. As for the action-selection mechanism... well, I'm sick and tired of simultaneous action selection. Very few games do it right. "Doing it right" in my mind means giving enough information to players to at least have a shot at guessing at what the other players may select. There is none of this in Goldbrau -- either you're lucky and you're the only one who picked that action, or you're unlucky. Bleh.
The beginning and middle game are quite interesting and there are several different strategies that can be employed. The end game suffers however; it felt a little like 'uno' where if you have one card left and the suit matches, you win. Otherwise, draw two cards and hope for the best. That part felt very random and went against the rest of the game. The hunter card seems a little too powerful, it greatly advantages one player even though it is dealt randomly and more or less counts as a wild card on the last hand.
Excellent complete-information game with sometimes-wrenching decisions. One of the rare games with a built-in 'pace' were some rounds must be spent regrouping; timing these is crucial to winning. Cardboard-thin theme could have been much better.
Not sure how I got my hands on this one... there isn't much game there, just theme (and quite a yucky theme at that). There are 20-25 different cards in the game, none of which has any kind of rules printed on them: you have to either memorize everything or always look them up in the rules (stoned people play this game?? HOW???). This is the only complication to what is otherwise a very simple take-that card game. Game would get a 2, but not printing any text at all on any card makes it deserving of a '1'.
Blind bidding done right! I knew Knizia wouldn't let me down. It's still blind bidding, but giving a game with such a mechanism a score of 7 is very high praise for me. I would have liked a different random tile distribution; with two reveals, two gravediggers, and two peeks; and reshuffle all the tiles after a gravedigger is revealed.
Very similar in concept as Jenga, but so much more exciting! There is definitely some planning and strategy to be used, I really like this mixture of thinking and dexterity. Awesome!! Update: I don't really see the point of having both this and Villa Paletti in one's collection, they are both very similar games. Hamsterolle is more visually appealing and exciting, but Villa Paletti has more strategy and control.
Tentative rating after one play. The rules seem to advantage whoever has the lead, which then makes it easier for that player to keep/extend his lead. Pros: Great card-driven events/activation/politics, insane turn angst, fun combat rules, great mix of strategy and tactics. Cons: Big concerns about balance: winner-keeps-all,looser-gets-hosed fighting; player with least regions looses some additional regions at end of turn (?!??!)
Weird game that combines mathematical calculations and planning and total randomness when hitting the rabbit square. Mechanics make it very difficult to get ahead of the pack, which can add a lot of tension to the game. If there was less of a random element, my rating would probably be much higher.
Really cool bluffing/hand management game. Not unlike poker, but without the money. I wasn't sure that this was for real or not (a bluffing game designed by wargamers?!), but it is. I'm thinking of building my own game now that it's unavailable at funagain.
Not sure if we were taught the game right or not... but no OppFire??? The game quickly degenerated into a I fire-You fire- I fire shootfest and no movement... first to roll well enough to eliminate enemy units wins. Kinda boring if you ask me.
Probably inspired San Juan. I like how the cards can be used in several different ways, but unfortunately there is an optimal way to play the game, and as such it removes a lot of the tension from having to decide how to use each cards. The highest-point cards should be kept for scoring, not for moving -- that is basically the biggest thing with the game. Also there is a fair bit of AP/downtime possible as each player analyzes all the different ways to optimize his turn, taking into account the 5-8 cards in his hand, the special circle powers, etc. Innovative, but kind of clunky too.
Pretty much all the units in the set add something to the game. I just loved using the "serpent squad" against my friends who had just said "geesh, these guys aren't worth half their cost" and showing him the value of shock troops
The tactical game for the common man (and his kid if he so chooses). Simple rules and no theme, but excellent and engaging gameplay. Stackable board and great figurines are icing on the cake. Even GF asked to play after seeing the board all set up! Is missing OpFire, but this is easily fixed.
Out of the box, the game isn't all that great; in fact it is downright broken. The first player will win all the time. However this is easily fixed with a number of variants that make the game more interesting without changing its essence. My favourite is to simply allow moves along 2 hexsides instead of one.
Good game, lots of tension between buying good stuff, keeping enough money to ward off bad stuff, and making sure you don't end up with too little money in the end (player with least money may not win the game). For sale provides a higher payoff-per-minute-played ratio, but this comes in as a close second.
Much too dry and abstract for my taste. No player interaction, and not much chance to at least try to prevent a player from completing an order. Some sort of action cards/secret objectives/something could really spice up the game.
Risk with flavour. Empire distribution is a very nifty game mechanic and can generate a lot of angst. Otherwise the play is rather bland and uninspired. Some of the empires (Romans, British) are just insanely overpowered.
Gameplay is very, very, very repetitive; this is acerbated by the fact that there are very few options to choose from at any given time. The sole mechanic of the game is of the ‘I think you think I know you think that…’, which doesn’t involve much strategy or bluffing. Very difficult to collect sets of three of the same colour, or to steal from somebody else’s exhibit. You’ll spend most of your game in the auction hall. Good luck to anybody playing black, he has some of the worst money/thief cards around. Overall a very disapointing experience.
Chess and Sci-fi... who would've thought? Somehow this completely abstract game manages to be extremely themeful, and I love every minute of it. The decision tree is complex and there is a definite learning curve, but I want in!!
Pros: Everybody enjoyed the theme quite a bit and thought that what the game was trying to accomplish was intruiguing and new in concept. Cons: This game bites. The rules as written make the strong grow stronger and make it very difficult for laggards to catch up. You know it's bad when the strategy tips in the rulebook encourage the players to gang-up against whoever is in the lead to prevent him from running away with victory!! As it stands I would have given the game a '3', but the totally horrendous components make it underserving of anything but the lowest score possible.
Nothing that particularly stands out. Lightish weight game; easy to explain, a little bit of chaos, a tiny bit of take-that, and overall a package that would've impressed 5 years ago but that doesn't really offer anything new these days. Decent enough.
Very average, nothing special. Didn't feel like there was much control over the outcome when playing with 4 players. Some of the special powers were cool, but others felt kinda random (ex: the fishes and the polar bear). I liked the idea for the igloos, and the fact that your meeples can swim to another area. This one isn't terrible, but there are better area control/tile-destroying games out there.
New and fresh. Great entry in the 60 minutes category -- lots of decisions, little luck, tense but not overhwelmingly so. Lots to do in 12 short turns. Unfortunately the game arc suffers a bit from the action selection mechanism, as in the later turns (especially the last 3 turns) there is much less tension in trying to figure out which character to select and which action to pick -- some of the nasty events won't be recurring so deciding which characters to get rid of is much easier, and the decision tree for which character to pick is much leaner due to having that many less character cards left in your hands. Still, a satisfying playing experience.
All the excitement of 18xx in a small, tight, streamlined (and intuitive) package. Simple, subtle decisions create a very textured experience. Concerned about replay value; would have preferred a more variable starting setup.
Plays very similarly to Goa, but not as elegant. I don't like the fact that the person controlling the auction can purchase the tile for free; the decision to take the tile or the money is usually not as anguishing as Goa. Tile values are appropriately hard to figure out, which is mostly good, but there may be a little too much unknown (ie uncontrollable randomness) in the order of the auction for the weight of the game. I liked my experience, but Goa remains king.
Nice light and engaging game. Very family-friendly. Felt a bit like "multiplayer solitaire" in that the opponent's strategic position is very difficult to evaluate, coupled with the difficulty of blocking until late in the game. This makes the game a tad too tactical for me, but my family would love this and therefore it is deemed "a good game" in my books.
I was playtester for this game. My rating is for the final version. Cool little trick-taking game with interesting elements of bluffing thrown in. Game plays fast and light. Theme fits mechanics pretty well.
A worthy expansion to a worthy game. The different victory conditions alone add an extra layer of depth without adding much complexity. The new cards are cool and change the game a bit, although shuffling them in and out of the standard pack is a pain. I'm unimpressed by the 3rd part of the expansion, which gives you 3 new actions you can take -- these didn't seem to affect the game much.
Defines AP, yet when looking at everything after the game, I'm not sure that there is much control over the outcome. It is too easy to steal another player's city by adding to its height, and almost impossible to set yourself up such that your possition is unassailable. Also I'm not a big fan of the endgame condition, it is too difficult to predict/guess at when it may get triggered
Plays fast and furious, generates a great racetrack atmosphere. In a way I prefer it to Knizia's take on horseracing, as there is not much thought or planning in Jockey; games take 30 mins and are involving throughout. Of course, this means that the outcome is also fairly random... Well, it's fun randomness, so I don't mind
Really cool idea, probably plays best with 2-3 players (I played with 4). Kind of a deduction/memory game, not sure if the rules make it too difficult to gather enough information to make informed deductions? Definitely needs more play.