This is really just a preliminary rating. All that I have actually used from this set are the pieces for additional pieces, which are a necessity if you want to play with greater than four. I would like to try some of the other additional rules someday, but I haven't played enough of the base game yet to really do this. [03/13/2011]
Another game in the "10 Days" series, all of which I enjoy (so far). For me, it is essentially a connection game, a type of game that probably would rank as my favorite. Kind of like an area control train game At any rate, probably the easiest of the series due to doubling up some of the more centrally located areas, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. And you learn some geography, too! [07/13/2007]
Yet another game in this excellent series of games. To me, they all have the feel of connection games, which I am sure adds to their appeal for me. I think the addition of the rail lines is an interesting change from the other games in the series as it gives this game more options for connections. This is a good thing, as there are a LOT of countries to connect. So many that my initial thought was that there were too many. I no longer beleive that. I will point out that there are some challenging areas on the board, which, to me at least, is a good thing. All in all, a game I am very happy to have finally (after some delay) been able to obtain. [01/19/2008]
My initial thought is that this really is just more of the same from the 10 Days series. I like the series, so there was little doubt that I would be picking this version up when it became available. Fortunately, there are some (to me) interesting differences in this edition. For one, the geography is more elongated/linear than in a lot of the others. This seems to make some of the connections a little more challenging. The other interesting difference is how this is addressed. In this game, the ships can be strung together as a cruise so that you can cross multiple sea spaces between two destinations. I like this and have considered adding this rule to other versions of the game. We shall see. Overall, though, a fine addition to a fine series. [01/08/2011]
This was an interesting little gin-like game in that you are trying to put together one long run of cards that represent a 10 day trip in the USA. That in itself predisposes me to like this game, though I will have to play a couple of more times before I bump the rating to the 7 I want to give it. While I am confident this game could be made with a deck of cards without the US travel theme, I hope to get it in order to help my kids (3 and 5) get a leg up on their geography.
7/1/05 update. After severl more playings, this has indeed been bumped up a notch.
I've been in love with Category 5 for a really long time, so I was very interested when I first heard about this variation on the theme. While I don't think this will replace the former, it is certainly good for a change of pace. I do like that there is some incentive to actually pick up cards in this version of the game instead of always looking to dump cards. I really like the balance struck between picking up cards to earn bull heads (and make it easier to get rid of your own cards) while at the same time creating new discard piles (making it easier for opponents to discard). My only gripe is that there seems to be a difference of opinion in the game forums about the permanence of the bull head cards, though I tend to lean to the idea that they are picked up each round. [03/13/2011]
I think these are especially useful when playing some of the combined games given how limited the tiles sets can be. Of course, that is only if you want to open up the placement. To some the tight placement is one of the charms of this series. I can't say I disagree. I don't think I would add these unless I was combining at least two of the base Units (and possibly some of the Regional Units as well). [03/13/2011]
I really like to see the addition of the fourth phase in the 1825 games. I think it is really a benefit in the combined unit games. However, I think it is interesting to add this to the single unit games as well. [03/13/2011]
I started my investigation of the 18xx games as something of a skeptic. While I don't think they are the greatest train games ever, I do think they are darn good. I will note that these really feel more like economic games and not so much like train games -- to me. However, I certainly agree with the draw these games have. Since my preference is more toward the route building / planning aspect of the games and not stock manipulation, I sought out the 1825 series. Despite the high prices I am happy with my purchase. I do find that I want to play any chance I get, which really is not all that often. That being said, I haven't played enough to really have a preference for Unit 1 or Unit 2 as a multiplayer game. It did seem to me that Unit 1 is better for four players than three. [02/08/2007]
I started my investigation of the 18xx games as something of a skeptic. While I don't think they are the greatest train games ever, I do think they are darn good. I will note that these really feel more like economic games and not so much like train games -- to me. However, I certainly agree with the draw these games have. Since my preference is more toward the route building / planning aspect of the games and not stock manipulation, I sought out the 1825 series. Despite the high prices I am happy with my purchase. I do find that I want to play any chance I get, which really is not all that often. That being said, I haven't played enough to really have a preference for Unit 1 or Unit 2 as a multiplayer game. It did seem to me that Unit 2 is the better game for three players, but I really need some more games to form a more solidified opinion. [02/08/2007]
I started my investigation of the 18xx games as something of a skeptic. While I don't think they are the greatest train games ever, I do think they are darn good. I will note that these really feel more like economic games and not so much like train games -- to me. However, I certainly agree with the draw these games have. Since my preference is more toward the route building / planning aspect of the games and not stock manipulation, I sought out the 1825 series. Despite the high prices I am happy with my purchase. I do find that I want to play any chance I get, which really is not all that often. Of particular note, this was the first of the 18xx games I ever tried, and I really enjoyed it. I understand that 2-players games in the genre are something of an anomaly, but I still found this to be really pleasant. Unfortunately, my wife is really not into the stock aspects of this game. She would much rather play one of the Empire Builder games for three hours than this. Maybe I'll be able to convince her to play again.[02/08/2007]
This one was something of a letdown. While I seem to play 18xx a lot different from most of the folks out there, I expected to like this one a little more than I did. As it turns out, it was extremely painful to play, slow to develop, and had an agonizing end-game. It just really did not seem to stand up to several others of the series that I have played (1825, 1870, Steam over Holland). Despite the rating, I really do hope to play again and expect to pick up a copy at some point in the future if I am able. It just wasn't what I expected given how highly this is esteemed among the 18xx crowd. [06/28/2009]
This has joined Steam over Holland as one of my two favorite 18xx games. True, it is fairly different from many of the games out there and is therefore hardly representative. Even though, there are some interesting things going on. I like the building rules. I particularly like some of the similarities to 1825 as well. I have really happy this one came back into print. [03/13/2011]
This is a game that I've owned twice. I let it go the first time because there seemed to be a fair number of 18xx "experts" who didn't care for the way it played. As I became a little more experienced on my own, these opinions seemed to hold less weight. I care less for the stock market shenanigans than many of these folk do. Thus, to me, the game is still interesting. In addition, it was for me the first where the predominate means of starting companies was by combining minor companies. I like the difference in this and many of the others out there and will happily play it again. [03/13/2011]
I really liked this game. I don't think 18xx is the end-all, be-all of rail games, but I would love to be able to get some more games of this under my belt. Of course, by far, the most difficult problem is the enormous playing time. It can be really difficult to get people to commit to the time it takes to play this. But, man, is it rewarding. There is just so much left to explore. in this one. I'm sure my wife is tired of me trying to set up a game of this, but if I don't push for it, it will never happen. [02/08/2007]
I have recently entered the third age of my investigation into 18xx now that I have some other players around who are interested in the genre. This is a natural for us to play given the need at times for shorter, possibly easier games. Not to mention that it is free.
The game certainly succeeds at the goal of being relatively quick, coming in for us at around 3-4 hours. Unfortunately, Steam over Holland holds a better place in my heart for the 3 hour 18xx game. It also competes with the 1825 games as well. Otherwise, the system is straighforward enough, with plenty of interesting decisions. Were it not for the other games mentioned above, I would likely rate this a little bit higher. Still, 7 isn't so bad. [01-01-2010]
I've heard plenty of good things about this game. However, when we played, we did not find it particularly enjoyable. In fact, we called the game long before the end because we tired of it. I would like to give it another try someday, but that may be a while. There are plenty of other 18xx games to try before then, not to mention playing some we know that we will enjoy. [01/08/2011]  ---------------------------------------------- I was finally able to give this game another play, this time without any rule errors and with some moderately experienced players. The game was much, much different than I had previously expected. Based on comments by the other players (who had played before) there were some areas of play that were somewhat scripted. Still, it was quite pleasant. I'm happy I gave this game a second go. [07/08/2012]
I really like Twilight Struggle. This is kind of its little brother. Sure there are some similarities, but there are also some significant differences. The most obvious is that it plays a fair amount quicker. It is not nearly as complex and the card play is much less interesting. Still, it is a pleasant enough gaming experience on its own. [03/13/2011]
This is a very interesting combination of dominoes with card-playing mechanics. I had been interested in giving it a try for a really long time and was quite happy when the opportunity finally presented itself. I found as interesting as I expected. While it did take a few minutes to get my head wrapped around it, it was not terribly difficult to pick up the basics. There were certainly some subtleties available, though nothing exceedingly complex. I would definitely be interested in giving this one another go at some point in the future. [07/13/2007]
So this is the current darling of the Eurogame circuit. I don't buy that it is a civilization game even though it has that theme. It is actually fairly abstract. Still, all of the mechanisms seem to fit together within the context of that theme, which is a nice bonus.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm not sure of the ultimate amount of replayability. However, with 7 (now 8 and likely more) civs each with two sides that each plays differently, there is a lot of room for just basic exploration. In that sense, I think it will take a fair number of plays just to exhaust basic exploration of the game. That is not a bad thing. I'll have to see how it goes after that, but that point, I think, is still several years away.
I should go without mention that it fills a nice spot of being a quick game that plays up to seven (now eight) fairly well. [03/13/2011]
Another game that falls into the category of pretty to look at. It helps that it is a lot of fun to play -- at least for me. As the game tends to be won by the person who manages to not make a mistake first, I find I often lose to competent players. I really do not have the patience necessary to succeed. I always am the one trying to do something a little bit different to break things up. This is usually bad.
I really like to try a lot of the games based on the Settlers system. I think the system is extremely versatile and offers a lot. However, there seem to be few implementations that are as good as the original. This one is no exception. I like the expansion aspects of this game and there are some things I like about the "wasting" of Africa. However, the chits you can collect are too significantly different in value for my taste and seem to drive the game too much. So, while I would happily play this one again, it is not one that I will be seeking out. [06/28/2009]
This one just doesn't do it for me. I have not been able to figure out a way to be consistently competitive. I know there must be some skill involved because the same couple of people always seem to do well. However, I only seem to do well when I get lucky draws--which isn't very often. It's just not fun playing a game where I'm not really going to factor except as a spoiler / kingmaker.
I really was not all that impressed with my playing of this. However, that might have been because we were playing with three. That is a real shame as I had expected to find it more interesting a game. The blind selection mechanism is hard to do well (such as in Pick Picknic). In this game, is seems as though it is too easy to be hurt by the selection. Perhaps it was just really poor play on my part. [03/13/2011]
This was my first Knizia game and really spurred my interest in his games. I really like the fact that there are a lot of ways to score in this game. I disagree that the optimal play is always obvious. Or that it is too luck driven. At any rate, a game I am very happy to own that has played well with anywhere from 2 to 5.
I guess I will preface this by stating that I really like games with a train theme -- everything from Transamerica to Ticket to Ride to Empire Builder and 1825. I had pretty high hopes for this game. Unfortunately, I was very much disappointed. I'm not really sure what to say other than that the game was simply not fun. Yep, we were playing by all the right rules, just no fun. So, I would certainly be willing to play again (and have) with someone who really wanted to play, I would much rather pull out either Volldampf or Railroad Tycoon or any number of the other train games available. [07/13/2007]  ------------------------------------------ It seems my opinion of Age of Steam has undergone something of a transformation over the years. While it is not my favorite train game by any stretch, it is one that I do enjoy playing from time to time.
I will say that I absolutely will not play on the original map with six players again. I suspect that I will avoid five as well. However, three and four seem to work out just fine. I am even now interested in trying out some of the available expansion maps. That is a far cry from where I used to be. [05/18/2009]
This is really a tough thing to rate. After all, Age of Steam is really meant to be a multi-player affair. How do you convert that into an interesting one or two player experience? Amazingly, that seems to have been pulled off here. I had my doubts, particularly with the Jamaica map. I find the two-player game to be particularly interesting. Granted, I wouldn't trade it for a larger complement, but it works very well for what it is. [01-01-2010]
This is another attempt at creating a 2-player creature for Age of Steam players. Age of Steam really shines as a multi-player game. Still, I understand the desire to have a map or two that you can play when you have fewer folks to play with. This one is not all that bad. I don't feel that it is as tightly designed as the Jamaica map, but it a pleasant enough diversion. [01-01-2010]
Once I finally acquired a copy of this, I found it to be an interesting take on the Empire Builder system. No surprise that I like it as I greatly enjoy the entire series. The mountainous terrain is a challenge to be sure, but since we also have Lunar Rails and Nippon Rails, that is not nearly as distinguishing as it apparently once was. I do like the addition of the coal mine mechanic as it makes for an interesting change of pace. Since I have not seen it noted elsewhere, each set of demands contains one demand for coal, which seems to fit the theme nicely. One notable difference from standard EB is the requirement to connect to the western edge of the map in order to win. All in all, I'm happy to have it despite the hefty price tag. The cost per play likely will never come down to a reasonable amount 03/29/2007  ---------------------------------------------- No real change in the rating, though it would be the last of the EB games I rank seven that I would play. Still, there are some interesting things going on. The different start cities can make the game somewhat non-interactive, particularly when someone gets to start in the far north. Still, when we played with four players and equal turns, three people passed 250 in the same turn with scores of 257-257-258. [05/24/2009]
This is another one of those games that my school had by the millions for rainy day recess. Can you imagine a coffee can full of the marbles from 2 dozen sets of this. We played it a lot back in the day. Today, I see it as nothing but a roll and move race with a few tactical decisions thrown in. Not much to really go for here. Kind of like Pachisi. [08/14/2007]
I've found that I really enjoy this game and continue to want to play, actually seeking out additional opportunities to play, which is not a particularly common occurence anymore. I'm still undecided on the cards, though I do think they add a lot to the game--good or bad is the question. I imagine that it will be a while before that is firmly decided in my mind. The animeeples are neat and add more to the game than I would have expected, though not enough for me to deck out my own copy with them. Overall, the design makes me think that it is something that Knizia would come up with--way too much that you want to do and not nearly enough actions to get it all done. I suppose that could be pretty high praise depending on your point of view. The choices are deliciously agonizing. As an added benefit, I can play this with my kids as well as gamers. An excellent product. [10/29/2008]
There seems to be some thought out there that this is some sort of blind-bidding auction game. That is really not the case. This game is really an area-control game where your strengths are hidden until the reveal at the end. This makes the game more understandable for me. Not that it will make me any better at it as I am terrible at these type games. However, I do like how the division between gathering, altering, and spending resources were handled. My biggest initial complaint related to the tie-breaker rule, something I really didn't like. However, on further reflection, I've concluded that it is not particularly bad, just another factor to consider--an area of risk to be managed. Unlike many games, you actually do have control over it. Ignore it at your own risk. All in all, a pleasant enough game that I would be happy to play again. [10/29/2008]
This game was a gift from my uncle who was very much into wargaming. Unfortunately, he was about the only person I could ever find who was willing to play it with me. That said, I very much enjoyed it and would love to play it again. Since it is my only true wargame, I can't comment on how it compares to others. However, I feel the morale rule perfectly captures the way ancient combat often went. And to disagree with a few others, the Persians never won any of the games I played.
I've decided I really like this game. Unfortunately, I've been unable to figure it out. Out of all of the times I've played, I think the best I've done is 10 points out of first. My wife loves it as she has won most of the games she has played.
We have played a game with all four mini-expansions at once. It was certainly a little different from standard Alhambra, but by a whole lot. I never had a chance to pick up a money changer card, so I cannot comment from experience. However, each of the other three players did, and used them to great effect. A couple of people were able to use the bonus building cards dealt out at the beginning of the game. Only one of those actually made a difference in the scoring. The Vizier's favor was also used by two people to pick up a piece they considered essential. Finally, everyone maxed out their worker's huts, picking up at least some points in each case. In addition, in each case, the hut was picked up as a free move after exact payment. All in all, I enjoyed the game with the additions. I think the huts have the most significant impact by adding points and helping construct the wall. I would rank the others (from best to worst) as Vizier's Favor, money-changer cards, and bonus building cards.
This is a game I really want to like. Unfortunately, all of the games I have been involved with have devolved into tedious analysis paralysis. If I could ever play this game with people who would move a little quicker, I am sure there would be a jump in the rating.
A game about ants that is really a train game. I think it was a guarantee that I would like this game. However, my initial investigation left me very uninterested . It wasn't until I played it at BGG.con that I knew I would get it. Of course, I like the pick up and deliver mechanism. I also like the building of the anthill with the tradeoffs in improving your abilities with having places to store your goods. Overall, yet another excellent game from the folks at Fragor. [03/13/2011]
A somewhat different take on the very traditional game of tiddly winks. Neither is a game that I would want to play all of the time, but as an occasional occurence, I certainly wouldn't object. Perhaps we'll pick this one up for our kids someday. [08/14/2007]
I've had a lot of fun with this game whenever I've played it, which is surprising given my usual avoidance of party / social games. Unfortunately, no one I knows can seem to handle more than an hour or so of playing. Still lots of fun -- even without the expansions.
I really like Coloretto and somewhat like Zooloretto. It was only natural to expect that I would give this one a try. Unfortunately, I really was not impressed with this. I did kind of like being able to build up the areas of the zoo. I didn't really care for the other change, particularly the differing types of animals and the workers. It's almost like the game is trying to be something that it is not. Still would generally rather just play Coloretto than either of the others. [01/08/2011]
I found that I quite liked the changes that this made to the regular game of Carcassonne. Since there are fewer tiles, it is also a much quicker game than Carcassonne (with at least some expansions) has ever been for us. I especially liked the new scoring rules for the temples as well as the movement of the Ark. All in all, an excellent adaptation.
A pleasant game that combines both 2D and 3D puzzle aspects. The Tetris-like 2D game is that part that appeals to me the most, though I also enjoy the 3D portion of the central castle. The limit of only four scoring rounds that occur only when you choose places an interesting constraint on the game. In fact, planning for these becomes quite essential as the game seems to pick up speed toward its conclusion very quickly. In fact, it is quite possible for the end to sneak up on you without being properly prepared as the flood passes you by. [03/14/2008]
Very much an experience game. Cooperative in the sense that everyone has a common goal. However, unlike Lord of the Rings, there is plenty of opportunity for players to do their own thing. In fact, much of our game, we were off doing our own thing, but still trying to meet the common goal. I found this to be quite enjoyable and look forward to being able to play again. One item of note, the game ended at the right time. It was beginning to drag somewhat (at 2-1/2 hours with four people) and would have left a somewhat less pleasant impression had it gone on much longer.
I've only been able to play this game a single time, but I did very much enjoy it. I look forward to getting a couple of more games in and will likely purchase it in the future. I ended up losing because I forgot about the balloon and the double card uses. I'm also not sure I think that the reward for getting to London first is worth the trouble. We shall see.
Wow, this is a game that really surprised me. The first time I played it, we ended up playing three in a row. Then I couldn't wait to play it again. Now, I finally have my own copy. It seems to play well with any number from 2 to 6. Of course, I'm a sucker for cards games, which this really is, as well as set collection (yes!) and route-building (sort of / kind of). Then throw in a very limited supply of money to force some decision making and hand balancing. Definitely a winner.
Wow! Where was this game 25-30 years ago? I mean, what more could a Star Wars geek ask for? You get to actually shoot stuff at each other, I mean, each other's pieces. And these are some pretty powerful missiles! Or slash them with lightsabers. What's not to like? I've finally got a Boba Fett that shoots a rocket out of his backpack!!! At any rate, my kids really like it as well, so we have a blast. Sure, there is not much to the "game", but really, the game is completely secondary. [07/13/2007]
This is a game that I very much want to play again. Although I see some of the similarities to Acquire that others mention as a negative, it really is not all that much. It seems anytime there is a situation where first and second score points, the game is going to be "like Acquire." It really needs more than this to be "like" Acquire. So far, my biggest beef has been the use of cards to determine what tribe you play. Just like in Acquire, this seems to force you play in ways you really do not want to. Perhaps this is a balancing mechanism that more plays will bring out. At any rate, in Union Pacific (another Acquire "clone") the use of the track cards does not have as much of an effect (if any) as the cards in this game do. We'll see how this rating holds up.
I found this to be a rather fun, light pick up and deliver game that I think of as Empire Builder Lite. There is a fair amount of randomness in the die rolls, but this seems to be mitigated somewhat by the desire to stop often so that big rolls don't tend to be used all that often. The real decision making is determining which public contracts to go for and how much to spend on them as well as determining proper order of filing.
I got this for my wife (because its Australian) and was quite surprised that I found it. This is my least favorite of the Empire Builder series that I have played. I tend to do reasonably well at it, but only because I strongly resist the urge to go after big payoffs. It feels like eveything is spread out and the only way to win is to primarily stay on the East Coast (except for the one required journey across the continent). It's not that I particularly dislike the game, it just feels so constricted.  ------------------------------------------ I've now played this a whole lot more than when I wrote the above comment. In fact, this is the second most played version of the series since I started logging game on the Geek. I guess that alone says something for the amount of enjoyment I have received from the game. Granted, part of that is because this is probably my wife's favorite map.
Still, we've played enough now that we can generally get a 2-player game done in an hour, which is good. We have also recently picked up the boxed version for cheap. Effect number one of this is that we will no longer be playing our dear, once collectible tube version. Effect number 2, I expect, is that with the decreased set up time, we may play this one even more than we have in the past.
Despite all of this, there is one gripe. It still seems to me, along with Nippon, to be dangerously susceptible to great swings in luck, more so than most other games in the series. This is primarily because there seem to be a significantly large number of large payouts. 2-3 of these strung together and all of sudden you are over halfway to the total you need for winning.
Despite this effect, I still find the game quite enjoyable, more so than originally. I no longer find it nearly as constrictive s before. I am not longer a die-hard East Coast beleiver, having seen various other strategies succeed. That is a bonus in my book. [05/14/2009]
I have a much longer comment entered under the tube version of the game. That all remains true. Having the boxed edition is a plus, particularly in regard to the load chips which have always been the most annoying part of the tube games for me. I expect this one to remain an 8 for the foreseeable future. [12/15/2010]
I found this to be an interesting development of some of the ideas found in Lokomotive Werks. Unlike some others, I only see a mild resemblance. The gameplay actually seems to be much different to me. My biggest issue is that most everything essentially disappears from round to round. I think I would like it better if things hung around a little more. I do like the use of the loss cubes. My opinion of the white cubes is a little less developed at this point. Perhaps that will change with more plays. All in all, a game I look forward to playing again. [06/28/2009]
This is an interesting, if fairly light tactical race game. While you do have some options due to holding a hand of cards, you really are at the mercy of what comes up. We often found ourselves with very little choice in our movement, which could be quite frustrating. In fact, the winner the first time we played was determined not by how well they positioned themselves in the final lap, but by drawing multiple high cards in a row while the others did not. (Perhaps I am just displaying that I have not grasped some of the subtleties of the game by stating this.) Still, there are some tactical decisions to be made and the game was a lot of fun to play. All in all, it was a fun experience. [07/13/2007]
I played this a fair amount back in my college days. However, I was never as enamored with it as several of the others in our group -- I would generally prefer Risk. It seems like every time we played back then, we ended up playing for 6 hours and then never really finished the game. What did make it interesting is that one of our group had played enough that he would try unorthodox strategies just to see how they played out. Often, he fared poorly. My favorite nation to play was Japan. [08/14/2007]
Finally got around to playing this at a demo and found that I enjoyed it much more than I would have expected. In general, I don't particularly like gaming with minis, but they can be fun every now and again. Now, I am kicking around the idea of picking up a few of these in order to play some simple scenarios with friends and family. At any rate, the system is interesting enough to allow a fair amount of variety, but simple enough to pick up in one sitting. I certainly could see how I would have done some things differently if I were to play again, which I hope to be able to do. [08/11/2007]
Basically spin and move with spaces that can move you forward or backward, among other things, when you land on them. Not particularly interesting. The special movement rules are not on the board and are not intuitive from the pictures, so they have to be memorized from the rules.
This is a really aggressive game. On first blush, I though it would be a nice slow build-up to victory. However, it is so easy to interfere with your opponent that you cannot count on that. However, you must be careful as too much is not a good thing. You cannot spend all of your time attacking your opponent without spending some resources building up your own position. A nice 2-player game, though probably not for some couples. [03/13/2011]
I've enjoyed playing this game 20+ years now. It is still a lot of fun. The nice thing now is that my wife will play it with me. She likes that the dice add enough luck that she can win everynow and again (1 in 10). She always wants to play one more
One of the few "party" games that I really like. Perhaps that's because I really enjoy language. It took a few plays to get to the point where I could write beleiveable definitions, but then it got really fun.
I purchased this game solely on the basis of good word of mouth. After that, it took a very long while before I was able to play it. However, I finally got it out to play with my then six-year-old daughter. She loved it and asked to play it quite a bit. Amazingly, she was able to do a lot of the math in her head -- impressive. While I hear that playing with some of the variants / original design makes for a more strategic game, we have only played with the basic, original printed rules (except for lock-up preventing cube distribution). The game certainly provides you with some interesting strategic decisions as well as opportunities to stick it to your opponent. Much to my (pleasant) surprise, my daughter very quickly picked up on some of the nastiness available in this game -- deriving much joy from sticking it to her dad. At any rate, it is basically a game of hand management and resource optimization. A pleasant little game to pass the time with. [07/13/2007]
It has been a lot of fun, though she has not asked to play it for a while now.
First comment!!! Looking forward to a copy. ----------------------------------------- This game has turned out to be quite fascinating. I like that it has some similarities to the 18xx system. I like the investing in companies as well as the possible manipulations. I like that the values of cities change as the game progresses However, I also like the differences. I like that companies actually control their own track (like in real life). I do like the way in which obsolescence is handled, probably more than the way it is handled in 18xx. Overall, it is a very compelling game. I hope that it makes its way onto additional maps. The only problem is that the game length limits how often I get to play it. [03/13/2011]
The edition I have is Barnyard Critters. When presented as a simple children's game of finding the missing animal, there really is not all that much to recommend this. Even my girls were less than thrilled. Thus the rather low rating. However, it does serve some educational value, so I'm not getting rid of it anytime soon.
Now, when played as a game of speed with a group of cutthroat gamers, this might change. I'll reconsider my rating if I ever play this way.
Since this is essentially the same game as the Car Wars card game, it gets the same comment:
The only real skill in this game is determining who to pick on. Once a weakness is found in someone -- exploit it -- if you have the cards that allow it. Defending yourself follows the same path -- you either have the cards to defend yourself or you don't. It's nice for what it is -- nice, mindless fun. However, in my mindless fun, I prefer to see everyone stay involved (i.e. no elimination). Thus, Fluxx will continue to be my game of choice.
The first of the Command and Colors games produced. It definitely fits the whole style of game better than Memoir. Of course, many of the engagements are not balanced and there are no balancing rules (other than players swapping sides for a second game). Still, it is a fun game to play. I like the theme as well. It gives us non-wargamers an interesting US Civil War game that can be played relatively easily and quickly. [03/13/2011]
I've never actually played with the tactics cards, so I cannot comment on how they affect the game. The base game, however, is quite interesting on its own. Sure the draw of cards has some effect on what you can do, so you may not always be able to make the most optimal move. Such us life. You do, however, have to make the best with what you have. I do like that paying attention to the cards played can allow you to claim spots that you might otherwise have to wait for as well. [03/13/2011]
An interesting, if very light, take on a game of football. While there is a hefty dose of luck in the game given the die-rolling, there is enough room for some interesting tactical, even strategic playing. The match-ups you choose, as well as how you choose to arrange yourself on the field, are important in how well you can potentially do. However, the dice can be capricious. If you have low tolerance for this, please stay away. However, if you can handle the dice and not descend into analysis paralysis, this game can be a lot of fun. Of course, if you overthink what is going on, this game can easily overstay its welcome. As an aside, this can be an excellent game to play with half your mind while you are watching the real thing. [10/29/2008]
As advertised, this is another iteration of the command and colors system, this time applied to medieval/fantasy warfare. The fantasy and collectible aspects of the game don't really do anything for me. However, as a medieval version of this versatile system, I find it a more than pleasant addition to the series. In fact, were it a little less expensive, I would probably pick it up solely for the medieval theming. Still, the system works well, and I've enjoyed playing it. I would certainly be willing to play it again. [10/18/2007]
This is a game I really enjoyed many years ago. I will likely enjoy it again when my girls get old enough to be interested in it. However, as it stands, it's just not a game I want to play these days. It's the original know your opponent to win game. My dad ALWAYS put his detroyer in the bottom right hand corner. Oddly, the vast majority of people I played did the same. Basically, it was a pattern recognition game as most people seemed to place their ships in pleasing formations. At least that is how I played it Like I said, a lot of fun in the day, just not anymore.
Cooperative games are games I can generally tolerate. However, cooperative games with a traitor element are not generally going to be games I enjoy. This one adds to that by making the traitor(s) appear halfway game. That pretty much amplifies all of the things I dislike about cooperative games with traitors. Granted, this seems to be totally thematic, but it really takes away from the game for me. [06/28/2009]
I picked this game a while back for really cheap based on (I think I am remembering correctly) its listing in the DSP voting for that year. It then sat on my shelf for a really long time. When I was finally able to get it to the table, I found it to be a quite pleasant auction game. To start with, your funds are extremely limited, requiring careful planning from very early in the game if you intend to be successful. In addition, there are limited lots available each round, so you may be getting left out quite frequently. Finally, by building more of your own temples, you are increasing the values of your opponents' temples as well. Thus you must balance your need / desire for more points with the need to restrict others' points. The biggest problem with the game, for me, is the blind bidding. This can lead to some really wild fluctuation in the payments for the lots that come up. It is almost too chaotic. Still, I had a lot of fun with the game and would happily play again.
My younger daughter has a few cards of this as she really loves horses. I need to look into what can actually be done with them, though. ----------------------------------- I've only "played" a little bit of this at the request of my younger daughter who really likes horses. I suppose I would continue to play if she asks but can never see myself actually seeking it out. [03/13/2011]
I have not really played this enough to come to a really solid opinion of the game given all of the negative (and positive) press it has received. I have been working to take care of that, but for whatever reason, my gaming circumstances have not cooperated. Still, my initial feeling is that it is not as bad a many make it out to be. The risking was not overly dominant and the player who risked the most (and pretty indisciminantly) ended up losing pretty badly. For what it is worth, it seems pretty thematic. Still, I understand why there are some who are unhappy with this. To each his own. Now if I can just coax someone else into a game. [06/21/2008]
This was certainly an interesting experience game. I think it does a reasonably good job of recreating the B-movie horror feeling. After all, why is this odd assortment of characters wandering around by themselves in a Haunted House (TM)? Sure it can be really lopsided, but this is almost more of a role-playing game than a traditional board game -- the fun is in the journey or story and not in the success or failure of the game. While not a game that I would want to play all of the time, it is certainly something that I would be willing to play several times a year. I already look forward to giving it another spin. Of course, you have to have the MASSIVE erata in order to really play.
The appeal of the original is the language aspect. That is greatly diminshed in the sequel, which to me makes it less enjoyable. However, it is still fun in its own right. As my siblings and our spouses have all achieved a fairly uniform level of "creative writing" in this game, it can be a real brain burner trying to determine what to avoid. But I guess that is not really the purpose of this game.
I love the whole Pincohle style of play. I've not played this one near as much, but found the 6-deck version I played a lot of fun. Definitely a challenge determining which cards to play and what to keep on the table.
In general, I've developed a pretty intense dislike for Trivia games over the years. Back when I was younger, my parents bought this for us (they were in seminary at the time). Even back then, we found the gameplay to be pretty lacking. The children's questions were way too easy even then. A lot of the adult questions weren't much more of a challenge. But then, with two seminarians, we weren't exactly your average family. Besides the general negative this gets for being a trivia game, it also seems somewhat pretentious to be playing a game whose sole purpose seems to be to show off your knowledge of the scriptures. So, while I could probably be talked into this at some point, it is not something I would ever seek out. [03/14/2008]
This is a game I dreamed about playing from the first time I read the description. When I finally got to play it, it was exactly as I imagined. So far, I've only played with 2-3, so there appears to be a fair amount of control. From what I have heard, I may not like it as much with more players. There just seems to be more strategizing possible than the other two city games I've played (Manhattan and Metropolis).
I played this recently along with two others (Finito and Numeri). This was by far the most interesting game of the three. In a lot of ways, it was similar to Tutankhamen (high praise in my opinion). While it is fairly simple, there are multiple tactical options to choose from. And it is over quick enough that it doesn't hurt too bad if you choose incorrectly. [01/08/2001]
Almost defies description of a game. While I can see the something-for-nothing gambling appeal for others, it just doesn't work for me. While there are times when I don't mind sitting around passively doing nothing with my time, I can do that without breaking out a game. So, there are generally plenty of other things I would rather do with my time. [08/14/2007]
I love racing games and dexterity games. PitchCar is a favorite of mine. I really was looking forward to this game. I like being able to construct track. Unfortunately, building with this is much more difficult than with PitchCar. It is much more of a challenge to make a track that actually works with the included pieces. I thought that the Z-ball would be interesting as well. Unfortunately, it was not what I hoped. Our experience is that we had little control beyond short distances, which made the game really chaotic. Granted, we had a lot of fun playing the game and I like the game well enough. But I already have and love PitchCar. As much as I want to like this as much, I can't. [01/08/2011]
The only casino game you can actually beat fairly -- you just have to count cards. Fortunately, there are many simple systems out there for potential card sharps. If you take out the gambling aspect, this game gets old rather quickly. [08/14/2007]
I'm a sucker for abstract strategy games to begin with, but add one that you can play with four. Hey, I'm there. I also love the whole tile-laying, area control aspect as well. Let's not forget all of the hours of my wasted youth bowing to the deities of Tetris.
As a general rule I enjoy abstract games and have really enjoyed the original Blokus. I'll start by saying that I enjoy this one as well, though not quite as much. While it is fun, it seems as though it is much more of a challenge to pin people in. It seems to me that it takes a whole lot of effort to truly block someone off. I'm not convinced that all of that effort is worth the trouble. Thus, it seems to me that this is less a game of positioning than its predecessor. It seems far more important in this game to control space. That is leave yourself plenty of options for piece play while limiting your opponent's options. It seems this is much harder for me to do well than the area control in the original. It doesn't make this one bad, just different. Perhaps with a few more plays, I will grow to enjoy this one even more. (Though I should note, I am still happy to play it when asked.) [06/21/2008]
I was very unhapppy with my play of this game. There are certainly some interesting "tile placement" things going on that I do like. However, the game in general did not seem to be very fun. A big part of this was a rulebook that didn't help to understand the game. There were several places where it was not particularly clear. The collection and scoring of flowers just didn't seem right. Overall, it was just an unpleasant experience. [01-01-2010]
I find this to be an interesting placement game with some interesting decisions to make. I think that it is not always clear what the best path is which is a benefit. It helps that it has a pretty cool theme. [03/13/2011]
I only played this once in my younger years and I didn't do very good at it. Still, I wouldn't mind giving it a go these days, perhaps with the kids as they begin to develop more of a vocabulary. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I have a really odd relationship with word games, generally because of the degenerate play often found in Scrabble. I would hope this one might be able to make it onto the like list if I ever got to really try it again. [08/14/2007]
I've had a lot of fun with this one. I really like the requirement that cards be played in the order that they are in your hands. It certainly makes for a different experience, as well as encouraging trading.
I enjoyed this a lot in my younger years due to the varying board setup that changed as you played it. It was a lot of fun trying to analyze which, if any, of your pieces would get you into a scoring situation. Unfortunately, the game hit a critical point where you were essentially rolling and most spaces you landed on allowed you to score. Then it degenerated into complete luck for getting points. Still, a game I wouldn't mind playing again today.
A pleasant, if very simple, card game of the Stops family. While you are often limited by the choice of cards in your hand, there are some interesting choices to be made. Enough so that I would be willing to play it again in the future. Of course, as Thesp says elsewhere, it's always fun to blow people up.
I found this to be a rather enjoyable bike-racing game -- one of three that I own. I'm not terribly sure why I own three games about bike-racing as I am not particularly into the sport -- but I digress. I enjoy the no luck aspects in particular in relation to this game, especially the way in which players find themselves jockeying for position. Unfortunately, I have not done to well when I've played. Perhaps I simply put too much thought into the game. Still, I have been trying to put a game of this together for quite a while now. I'm also kicking around the idea of picking up the enough additional cyclists to play with 12 -- though that me be a bit much. [06/21/2008]
I'm a sucker for abstract strategy games, so this fits me nicely. Unfortunately, I do not get to play very often. Still, I try to get a game in whenever I can. I really like the variable startup positions and goals.
I really love trick-taking games (well, card games of all stripes), so I really see the appeal to this game. Unfortunately, the aspect of this game that actually makes it the most interesting is the bidding. While you can pick up a rudimentary understanding of bidding in a pretty short amount of time, this small amount isn't really enough to make the game truly worthwhile / enjoyable. I do hope to someday put a little more effort into really learning bridge (I do, after all, tend to read bridge columns in the newspaper). Unfortunately, the time is not now. As it currently stands, I will happily play (and enjoy myself) from time to time (and actually look forward to playing again), but it is not currently something I seek out. [08/14/2007]
I last played this years ago, while in high school. I was introduced to it at one of those academic things where you meet the same students from around the state time and time again. At the time, it was so completely different from anything else I had ever played that it initially boggled my mind. Even so, I found it quite enjoyable and had a great time playing. This (and my introduction to Squeak at the same event) probably were foundational in developing my love for all types of games played with a traditional card deck. [08/14/2007]
I'm pretty much always up for any of the Empire Builder series of games. This is one of the ones that I prefer for 2-player (which is what most of my games are). It looks as though things could get really dicey with 3+. As it stands, there is enough of a challenge finding routes between the two of us, which causes a little more conflict than in straight Empire Builder.  ------------------------------------------------ Apparently I rated this higher in the past because of its use as a two-player map. While I think it is still good for that, they all seem to play pretty well with two players. Beyond that, I find that I am rarely all that interested in playing this one. This was supposedly re-balanced to give a lot of the East-West routes more of a chance. As far as I can tell, this really hasn't happened. There are vast areas of the board no one ever wants to visit when we play. That to me is a problem. True, this occurs in other titles, but in this one, this area ends up being a substantial portion of the playable area. [05/24/2009]
While this may technically be a "children's game", I find that there is more than enough going on here to appeal to adults. I guess at its base level this is an action point game for kids. However, the deduction, planning, and opportunities for aggressive play make this a very interesting game for adults. To be honest, other than the theme, it really seems more of an adult game. I think I will be picking this one up at some point in the future. [03/14/2008]
I have something of a love-hate relationship with word games. I love the idea of word games. However, I rarely particularly enjoy the implementation. The problem is that they seem to reward simply having a large list of words in your head. I'm not sure that this game overcomes that, but by playing with the tile drafting option, there seemed to be enough going on to distract from this. The mathy use of the square of numbers is a nice little bonus that appeals to that part of my brain as well. All in all, I found the game quite pleasant and would very much like to play again. Unfortunately, I've not yet had that opportunity, nor have I been willing to spring for this as a purchase on its own. For the time being, I'm still intrigued. Perhaps my rating will improve with another play. [02/17/2008]
An interesting game that to me falls into a kind of "take-that" style. The game itself seems like it has some opportunity for good play but in actuality seems to play out in a pretty random fashion. In a lot of ways, this seems like some sort of cool hybrid of the typical werewolf game. Like werewolf, your actions early on tend to have no real point. However, as the game progresses, you have more knowledge to inform your decisions, as well as reasonable objectives -- i.e. whack the leader. The biggest problem is that if everyone starts to take it seriously, it really seems to lose some of its charm. So, it can be a pleasant enough pastime with the right group of people (like Werewolf) but ultimately something I have tolerance for in limited quantities. While I won't likely ever buy it for myself, I certainly would be willing to play from time to time. (6) --------------------------------------------- Rating and comment revisited after some more plays. No real updates to make. [01/19/2009]
When I first heard that this game was going to be a redone version of Metro with an expansion included, I though I would definitely be picking up a copy. Then I found it in the BGG.con library. That changed my mind.
Problem number one is the size of the box. The box has the same footprint as Wallenstein/Shogun and is about 2/3 as deep. This for a game that was originally publsihed in a box about a quarter of that size. I might could live with that if the contents of the box even remotely justified such a large box, which they don't.
The other problems is the expansion. The expansion is interesting enough, though it does seem somewhat constrained. Unfortunately, I could make a copy and include it in my much more compact copy of Metro.
As an aside, I didn't see in the rules the limitation from Metro of having only a single pawn on any given space on the scoring track, but then, I didn't look too closely.
Overall, I have nothing really against this production, but then I have no reason to add it to my collection either. Basically, this means it gets nearly the same rating as Metro, with a slight ding for the box size. [12/05/2009]
I have had a lot of fun with this game. When we play, we try to max out our points every turn. This leads to some poor tactical decisions as it often leaves great opportunities for our opponents. I think it would be interesting to play this once in a tactical manner. Somehow, I just don't think it would be near as fun. That right now is its greatest asset--it is just a lot of fun to play, light and breezy.
After seeing this being sold for two years at BGG.con, I decided to give it a go. The system itself is fairly interesting and seems to have had a lot of effort put into it. Unfortunately, the rules do not seem to be very well written. In fact, it looks like the number one goal of the rules was to fit them in the space provided. I think the game would benefit greatly from an expanded set of rules -- even if that simply means additional white space. Components are acceptable. I'm not sure that dice are the best way to go for the armies, but this was serviceable. It would have been a lot better if the symbols on the dice were a little more intuitive. The game is relatively quick (with two) and created some interesting situations. That makes it a difficult rate for me. I've bounced back and forth from 6 to 7 several times while writing this. I want to add it to my collection but I'm afraid it just won't get played (not that it would be alone in that category). I'm afraid that as essentially a dice game, it simply won't be satisfying enough. Maybe by next BGG.con I will have changed my mind [12/29/2009]
Who would have ever guessed that rolling a bunch of dice could be so much fun. I'm actually surprised I missed this one in the 80's, given all of the other games we had. However, when I did first play this, in the middle of the night, it was a blast. So much so that I always want to play it. I guess it's just that natural desire to gamble.
I really like train games of all types. This is essentially a train game, though a little bit different. As some have pointed out, there are some similarities to other games, particularly the delivery mechanism so similar to multiple Wallace titles. However, there is enough difference with the constrained building rules and the limited choice of routes to make for an interesting game. I enjoyed the first game enough to pick up the second edition expansion pack. Unfortunately, I have not been able to play that one, so cannot count on it. [06/21/2008]
Rummy is one of my absolute favorite games of all time. You might expect that I would enjoy Canasta as well. While I have played many, many games of Canasta over the years, it is no longer a game that I would say I enjoy. The games we played devolved into deck-locking marathons that were broken at random by the luck of the draw. Not to mention occasional shafting when trying to make the initial meld. While I will play on occasion, it is not a game I would ever suggest. I would also probably play with some of the many variations that exist out there.
In generaly, I don't have problems playing children's games with children. This one is an exception to the rules. Despite that my 4 year old likes to play only on occassion (probably solely because of the Pooh theme), every time she asks, my stomach turns. For one, it can take forever. Second, when it does start to drag (at about 10 minutes), my daughter loses interest. There are very few games that I can say that for.
This is an interesting little connection game aimed at the younger crowd. I think of it as a much, much simpler version of Hansa. Because of this, their are some real decisions in what card to give to your opponent as well as in how you choose to move your boat and captain. A good introduction to connection type games.
The only real skill in this game is determining who to pick on. Once a weakness is found in someone -- exploit it -- if you have the cards that allow it. Defending yourself follows the same path -- you either have the cards to defend yourself or you don't. It's nice for what it is -- nice, mindless fun. However, in my mindless fun, I prefer to see everyone stay involved (i.e. no elimination). Thus, Fluxx will continue to be my game of choice.
I bought this a while back when Funagain had the magazine in stock. Sure, it is expensive for what it is. However, we really like what it adds to the game, so it has become a part of our "standard" Carcassonne box. Still, this is really about our limit as far as confrontation goes in this game. We are happy enough with our current "standard" that I cannot see us getting any further expansions in the neat future.
Any time I can introduce my siblings to a game, and they want to play it again and again, I know I have a winner. I also love playing this with my wife as a 2-player game. Besides I'm a sucker for tile laying and the spatial comprehension is right up my alley. Farmers are my friend.
All we've ever used is the additional games tile, not the special tiles or their rules. The game tiles don't really add a whole lot to the game, but they do make things a little more interesting, particularly the bridge city tile. No great loss if you don't have it. We enjoy it.
This was a pleasant enough variant on the basic Carcassonne engine. It's been a really long time since I've played base Carcassonne without any expansion rules or tiles. This seems to be a little bit more dependent on luck than I recall the original base game being. Still, it is quick enough that it is not that big of a problem for me. I like the ability to pick up pieces when you feel like you need them and the scoring of fishes is quite interesting as well. [06/25/2013]
My wife beat me in the first game of this we played and now she refuses to play again It has quite a different feel than Carcassonne, with greater variability in tile placement. However, the much shorter game means that we could not wait as long for things to pan out as in our regular games of Carcassonne. Also, I'll have to make a greater effort to fill in empty spaces, particularly when I'm not going to get the points for them. One problem area that seems to require focus is the spur off to the left near the top of the castle.
This added a handful of interesting new tiles to the mix. Granted, nothing really necessary for the game was added with this. Still, it adds some interesting options. Consequently, it was added to my "standard" Carcassonne box and will be a part of all future plays. [02/17/2008]
I've never actually played Carcassonne any way other than with the river, so I guess this is kind of like the "base game" for me. At any rate, I greatly enjoy the variable setup and the jockeying that go on during the river layout. I can certainly see how much differently it could play out otherwise. Perhaps we shall try it sans river someday. At any rate, I love Carcassonne. It makes a stimulating 2-player game and everyone I've ever introduced it to in multiplayer has enjoyed it as well.
This certainly gives a slightly different flavor to the game. However, it seems as though it has not been enough of a difference for it to receive repeated plays. To date, it has not become part of my "standard" set, so perhaps that in itself speaks volumes. Perhaps if I played Carcassonne as much as I have in the past, this would seem more of a necessity. Given the rare plays seen in recent history, it seems likely to retain its status as something of an interesting change every once in a while. [02/17/2008]
Have only played with the new tiles and commodities--no pigs and builders yet. May not ever add them. I really enjoyed the added decisions relating to the commodities. I closed several cities that I might not have otherwise. Ultimately, this benefitted me in ways other than the commodities. I also liked having the additional--and strange--city tiles. It seems as though there are an excess of roads with the base game + 1st expansion. That seems to be evened out somewhat with this. I definitely will not be pulling the extra city tiles from the Carcassonne bag. Maybe one day we'll play with the pig and builder, but right now, they just don't inspire me.
This game belonged to my wife and was recently "discovered" when her parents began consolidating three storage buildings. Now it's ours. Our girls were already into care bears before this, so they really like the game. It's one of those completely random games I would not likely play were it not for my kids. At least they set it up so that you do things even when it is not your turn. That alone gives it a few extra points.
I played this game a lot when I was younger using my dad's old copy. It was a lot of fun and it was really cool having the variable winning conditions. However, I have not played in years and only have my copy now (one of the newer ones) because a friend of mine remembered liking it. I dug it out of a box, but he had already found one, so now I get to keep it. Maybe I'll play again someday.
A buddy of mine had a copy of this that we played virtually every time I went over to his house. (Fairly often for a couple of years.) While I am sure that we didn't play by the real rules, it was still a lot of fun and I have many fond memories. Needless to say the bits were awesome. In some ways, more of a toy that a game. At any rate, I would happily play this with my kids today if I owned a copy. [08/21/2007]
This is an amusing game of speed recognition and speed play -- a genre that since high school / college, I find less and less enjoyable. Still I will play them from time to time. The difficulty I have is in taking them too seriously when I really do not often have the mental acuity, stamina, or desire to truly be competitive. However, the manipulation portion of this game gives it some added interest, even if my brain still moves too slow. Why then do I own this, a game I had to go out of my way to obtain? I bought this one for my wife solely because of the horse related theme. That, too, I expect, makes some of the difference in my feelings for this game. [02/17/2008]
An interesting take on the increasingly popular cooperative game, this time set in a castle surrounded by a forest full of monsters. In one sense, this game has a feel similar to Ghost Stories, with a constant onrush of bad guys never giving you a break. Unfortunately, all you do is play the cards you draw (and trade in a limited fashion) to defend the castle. It lacks the movement with resulting choices of action from the previously mentioned game, which is something of step backward. For the most part, you play every card you can every turn. There are a few interesting tactical decisions to be made, which saves the game from absolute tedium. I in general have a concern with any cooperative game that can be defeated by four newbies the first time through. That does not bode well for future plays.
I think this would particularly work with younger players or those with less experience in the recent amazing crop of cooperative games. This game really pales in comparison to that group. Five years ago, things might have been different, though. The other saving grace for the game is that there are multiple alternative rulesets included in the game, which may redeem the easy win we experienced. So, the final verdict is that it is a pleasant enough distraction, but nothing I'm ever going to seek out. [01/13/2010]
You know, I had really high hopes for this game. I really wanted to like it. There just seemed to be so much potential for improvement over regular Risk. It was not to be. You better pray that the person to your left is not the first person to remove a castle, because (most likely) your armies are about to be spread thin, and you are going to be player #2 removed. The first game I played, three of six players did not get a turn! The second time two of four got shut out! That was with two different groups of people, none of whom, even the winners, wanted to play again. I suppose I might play again if I had the chance and there was nothing better to play.
I had a really difficult time evaluating the rating for this game. First off, I really like the core Settlers engine and enjoy trying games that take this in new directions. Unfortunately, the Settlers engine really wants a game to be no longer than 45 - 60 minutes. That is my first knock against this game. It is just too long for what the system wants it to be.
I do like the exploration (and plundering) aspect of the game. It is very interesting. However, it is essentially a crapshoot. This alone can make your life very difficult or easy as you play. In particular, early in the game this seems to have a pronounced effect.
I like the use of two different tribes. I like and dislike some things about the structured order of your movement/actions. I really like the two different phases of the game. Unfortunately, it seems that once someone begins the second phase, the game really begins to snowball.
The randomness of the resources can be a problem in all of the Settlers games. However, in this game, if you get locked out of resources a couple of turns early, you get really far behind in a hurry. It is absolutely necessary early on to be able to keep up.
Finally, I'm not convinced that the player order is not completely out of whack. The first player seems to have a very distinct advantage, particularly in a four player game.
Overall, I enjoyed playing the game, am glad I played it, and would be willing to play again. Unfortunately, after having played it, I don't have any real desire to seek it out again. I would much rather play two (or even three) games of vanilla Settlers or one of Starfarers (which clocks in at about the same length). [11/26/2008]
Since I like the base game so much, it is only natural to want to play with more than 4, which requires this set. After playing quite a few more games with this set, I found I had to revise my rating upward somewhat. I no longer feel that something was missing from the game, While I still enjoy the game. The additional build stage does make the game seem to drag at times, but not so much if you stay on top of things. In fact, when I found myself playing 4-player Settlers, I was wishing for this intermediate build round. It seemed in our games that player's initial settlements tended to be more separate from each other and less likely to be connected. The result was that if one player actually managed to get his close enough to connect, they would have an advantage at getting longest road. Well, I guess that is all part of the strategy.
I find it amusing that so many people who grouse about the variability in the base game promote this game with even greater variability as somehow superior. While I do enjoy the game well enough and would willingly play again, it's not a game that I will request or otherwise seek out. Perhaps my experience is somehow skewed, but the leaders seem to obtain their superior position solely by drawing exceedingly useful cards. While such random distribution of victory in itself does not particularly bother me, it certainly does feel an unsatisfying way to end a 2-1/2 to 3 hour game.
Yet another party game where one person is placed at the center of attention and must then perform for the amusement of others. That this one involves spouting off a nearly steady stream of words might help it a little. Probably not, though. While I certainly would prefer this to something like Charades, that is not saying a whole awful lot. [08/14/2007]
I have found that I have quite enjoyed this game. In general, I find games with blind decisions less than optimal. However, in this game, it seems to work. There is a lot of psychological guess-work when trying to determine what you should play. It took me a couple of games before I started to develop a feel for how it goes. Another interesting twist is that the game changes dramatically with differing numbers of players, particularly once you get six playing. Since it's purchase, it has become one of my wife's favorite card games to introduce to other people. We've had a lot of fun with this one. Updated 12/15/06 (8) --------------------------------------- Rating and comment reviewed with no significant change except to note this is one of the most played games in our collection. It has really grown on me over the years, relieving any doubts I may have had initially. [01/19/2008]
I played this a lot in my high school days when I had access to a copy of the game. Consequently, I have wanted to pick up a copy for some time. Unfortunately, it has not yet entered my collection. At any rate, the game certainly appears to the part of me that likes spatial organization. In one sense, it is almost a train game. At any rate, back in the day, I seem to remember that we reached a point of equilibrium in our plays. I wonder if that would hold true nearly 20 years later? Definitely something I want to give a go. Perhaps in the next year or so I will pick up a nice set (or build one?). [08/14/2007]
As a general rule, I dislike party games. Games that involve you acting things out rank very near the top of that list. I am not a performer and do not like being the center of attention. I guess it is then no surprise why I feel this way about this game. [08/14/2007]
I played this once quite a few years ago. While it was an interesting enough diversion, it is not something that I would actively seek out again. As has been noted by at least one other, the Cheater has a distinct advantage, so you must attempt to keep this from remaining in one spot for too long. The flip side is that you are unlikely to win unless you are the cheater (if memory serves). At any rate, the gameplay does seem to fit the game. Like I said, just not anything I wish to seek out. [08/14/2007]
Checkers is a game I've not particularly enjoyed since I really got into chess. I was always too willing to sacrifice pieces, which often got me into some situations that were difficult to get out of. I would play it more except that few people are willing to play it at all, and even fewer are willing to play correctly.
I love abstract strategy games, and chess is what started that love. However, at this point in my life, it is difficult to 1) find anyone at all to play and 2) have that person be at a level reasonably close to mine that the game is interesting. The last person I was able to play on a consistent basis got swallowed up by internet games and so far outclassed me, it was not fun anymore. Since that happened, I hae lost most of the desire to even play. So, while I want this rating to be higher (and think it could be), it will have to languish here until I can find some opponents and a little desire.
Would like to pick up copy of Chicago Express to go with Wabash. ----------------------------------- I love the Queen production ethic. I knew I would eventually pick this up despite owning the Winsome edition. I like this game a lot. I like the interplay that occurs when different people own the companies. The fact that any owner can operate a company and not just the majority holder adds a level of competing interests that is not present in many train games. The game playing in a short amount of time adds to its appeal. [03/13/2011]
This one is definitely a great investment. My little girl loves to play the Chickey game. The thing is, she is pretty good at it, too. She hasn't beatn me yet, but she has given me a run for my money. The beautiful components just add to the value.
I originally was not all that impressed with this game. However, the more I play it, the more I like it. As an aside, I will state that I really dislike many of the event cards in this game. That doesn't much matter as we don't play with them anyway. At any rate, when this was first released, there were posts proclaiming that only those who went west won or only those who stayed in the east won. Clearly both of these cannot be true and, in my experience, neither are.
Supposedly, some of the far west loads were given a little boost in value to otherwise get people to travel in that direction. This seems to have worked out as in the handful of games we have played so far (five total), there is no region of the board that has not been built to. And so far, it doesn't seem to give an advantage to anyone. This deserves high praise given the problems with high payouts that are present in both Australian and Nippon Rails and the tendency swing the game more with luck of the draw than efficient track building and usage.
It helps that the map is rather interesting, with some varied terrain. Granted, we still have trouble with many of the placenames, but not nearly the trouble we have with Nippon Rails. All in all, an excellent addition to the system, particularly following the poor example that was Russian Rails. [05/24/2009]
Rating after one play. I have had my eyes open for this one for a while. When I finally got to play, it was a pleasant enough experience. I already like building games, which this nominally is. It is also a trading / negotiating game. It owes a lot to both Big City and Metropolis. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting, but this was not it.
This was a game we played a fair amount when I was younger. The game still appeals to me, and I would happily own a copy. I just don't desire it enough to purchase one for myself. As with many "passing" style "abstract" games, there is a point at which you really have little effect on your opponent if you are trying to win. Thus, it is really a race to put yourself in the best position once this point arrives. That is enough to hold my interest. [08/14/2007]
Granted, this game can have some really wild swings and can often be thrown to one player simply on luck. However, it is still interesting enough on its own to merit my play. There actually is some strategy to the game -- you just need the time to put it together. As with Fluxx, YMMV.
Not a terribly interesting party game. It really is nothing more than a variation on a common theme among many out there. Pairs seem to come out either so ridiculously easy that everyone is shouting answers together or so obscure that no one has any idea. And you have to have a decent amount of movie knowledge for the game to be interesting. Granted, as an activity, this can be a lot of fun, but the game is severely lacking. [06/28/2009]
I really enjoyed my one play of this and look forward to being able to play again. Unfortunately, 2 of our players didn't seem to intent on the game which made for some difficult situations. I suppose that might be true for most games, though. I really like changing roles as well as the city building aspect of the game. It really did not seem to me that luck was all that deciding of a factor.
I think there is a fair amount of interesting stuff in the Dark Cities expansion. I like the new buildings and think they add some interest to the game once you have played the game an excessive amount. Unfortunately, when I have played with the expansion, the owner has shuffled all of the cards into the deck. The problem is that this interupts the balance of the other colors in the game in a way that I find to be very unpleasant. I imagine that this could easily bump up when played in the proper manner. However, I've played the base game rarely enough that I really do not need the additional variety. Perhaps someday. [02/17/2008]
Yet another area control game that I am not particularly good at. Still, I very much enjoy trying to ensure that my huts become the predominant species. So far, I tend to have more fun killing off groups than letting them survive, despite this not appearing to be a particularly good strategy.
When I played this, we played several rules incorrectly. However, I really liked the game that we ended up playing -- not that I did particularly well. I look forward to playing by the correct rules.
One thing to watch out for, this game really needs a player aid describing the movement of the stock market. We messed this up a lot. Maybe someone will get around to making one (wink, wink).
At any rate, I hope the game holds up with the correct rules. As it stands, there are several directions you can go in what you are choosing to do. I hope that means that there are truly options for multiple victory paths. As I said, it will certainly need more plays to know for sure. [01/08/2011]
Lighter than light, fluffy, push your luck game with a tad of tactics thrown in. MUCH better than I initially expected and loads of FUN. Will likely add this to my collection at some point in the future. [12/29/2009]
I've always enjoyed deduction games, even if I've never been particularly good at any except Scotland Yard. The tedious die-rolling to get to a place to make an accusation was downright annoying. At any rate, I played this a lot when I was in elementary school, and then we sold off what was my dad's very old edition.
I've really enjoyed this one every time we've played--always with at least 7-8. You would think with that many the game would drag, but it seems to move along rather quickly. However, with that many people and the new revealing rules, you tend to approach a discovery much quicker in a group, so that several people have it figured out at the same time and it is a matter of who goes first. I do know people that refuse to play with more than 4-5, saying it is too chaotic. To each his own.
I played this game with a group of about 6 couple and it was a lot of fun. I've always kind of enjoyed Clue-type games. Unfortunately, some members of the group were MUCH more observant than I, which pretty much made it impossible for me to win. Still, something I would play again in similar circumstances.
I'm really in a difficult position with this game, as it is a game that I really want to like but am left feeling as though something is not quite right. When we played, it was often difficult to determine the identity of any of the sculptures by the end of the third round unless it was really obvious. The limited time for questioning is part of the reason for this as it was often difficult to come up with meaningful questions or even assimilate the answers while playing. I suppose the variant that removes the timer would help improve this. In addition, optimally, you want someone to guess your sculpture in the third round -- but only one person and preferably the person furthest behind you. This is extremely difficult to do given the open nature of the questioning and, of course, presentation of the sculptures. Finally, there is an extremely broad range of topics that you could be sculpting -- places, things (with varying degrees of specificity), specific people, places, ideas, activities. That makes it even more difficult to figure out what something is. All in all, we ended up with some very disappointing moments when no one could figure out what was actually represented. Thus, as a game, this is somewhat disappointing. As a social activity, it is somewhat more interesting. [03/14/2008]
This was a pleasant enough worker placement game with a theme I particularly enjoyed. I don't think that there is anything particularly great about it where it particularly stands out. I do like that it is fairly quick, which is nice given how some worker-placement games can drag. This of course can but the limited turns should help push it along. [06/25/2014]
Happy to see this classic back in print. This is a fairly good pure deduction game. Like most deduction games, it breaks down if people give incorrect information. I do like the way the pool of tiles rotates, forcing people to adjust their thoughts. I've still not found a good notation system to address this. When I get a chance to play deduction games, this is one I usually want to play. [03/13/2011]
This is one of quite a few children's games that was bought for my children. As such, it really is not extremely engaging, although, I really like the whole train theme. However, my girls love it, and it is not completely unengaging. Besides, it is kind of fun pushing the train around the track
I really like the idea of trying to set up columns and then having to choose when to pick up. Talk about the best laid plans of mice and men oft gang agley. It's a lot of fun and a game that my four year old can play, although her strategy tends to be go after orange.
Another one that we had as a kid that was lost in the great garage sale purge. This was similar to Hungry, Hungry Hippos in that you were frantically trying to grab the most points -- this time dinosaur bones (sometimes Lego or Star Wars figures) instead of marbles. It was also limited to two players. At any rate, we had a LOT of fun with this one. Unlike many of those old kids games, this is one that I would be happy to have (and play) today. [08/14/2007]
I have very fond memories of this game and would still be more than willing to play it today. Strangely, my family never owned this. As far as "children's" games go, this one definitely has more strategy and is more thought-provoking than the average. Just because computers seem to have solved it doesn't mean most people are any good at it. My sister uses this to distract children in counseling sessions so they will open up and talk to her. I think it has something to do with that vertical board.
I enjoy abstract strategy games in general, so getting this was a given when I began to track down members of the 3M line. Having movement based on the stones in pits is a quite interesting mechanic that opens the door for some interesting set-ups. Each time pebbles are moved you have to consider whether your opponent is setting up a move or attempting to limit your future moves. At any rate, I enjoyed it, as it was over relatively quickly. However, I could see this game really dragging out with more experienced players.
This was one of the very first games I ever owned. It is, in fact, the game I have the earliest memory of. I remember playing a lot of it back in the day with my dad -- bless his heart. I played not so very long ago and it was an exceedingly dreary experience. The little girl I was playing with had already decided that the game took way too long to play by the rules, so she just set the die to whatever she wanted. Oh well, at least the game ended quicker. Fortunately for me, no one had chosen to purchase this game for our children, as I am sure they would want to play it as often as possible. I suppose I could be talked into it, if they asked really nicely, but I would be happy to never play this again. Of course, they might also do what we did a lot of, too, and build all sorts of strange creatures to play with. Star Wars men were never safe [08/21/2007]
I really wanted to like this one, especially with the really cool rhomboid pieces. However, the included game really leaves a lot to be desired. Sure it is interesting, but not that interesting. I could certainly take it or leave it. The puzzle, however, seems quite interesting, and is, so far, unsolved by either my wife or me.
I've only ever played the Hasbro edition, but I loved every minute of it. I love variable player powers to begin with. I even love chaos in the right combinations. This one had it all. I only regret that we were unable to finish the game and have not been able to play since. I've heard some of the other editions are better, so I may try to get one of them.
This game is an interesting little dicefest. It's main advantage over similar press your luck dice games is that the rules hamper you from stopping when it is most advantageous, often forcing you to continue when you might otherwise choose to take the points and run. I can see where the free-form variations in the rules might appeal to some as well -- just no to me.
I bought this edition of the game because I really like turtles. Still, it is a Knizia and is pretty to look at. The kids also like it, which is an added bonus. Interestingly, they like to play both with public turtles as well as private turtles. I was really surprised by this. Of course, they are not always very good at hiding which turtle is theirs, though they sometimes do surprise me. [02/02/2008]
Basically a trivia/party game that takes a mish-mash of concepts drawn from various other trivia and party games and tries to create some sort of generic trivia/party game where eveyone can succeed (or fail). In a way, it succeeds brilliantly by creating a rather bland and generic game. By shooting for the lowest common denominator, you succeed in hitting something exceedingly plain and bland. To make matters worse, there is an awful disconnect among the difficulty of many of the tasks available. Finally, unless played with large teams, people can embarass themselves in mutliple areas instead of just the single area in most party / trivia games. [02/17/2008]
We bought this as a gift for our then 2 year old daughter. She really loves it and has even introduced it to some of her friends. Granted, it is pretty random, but she did learn to distinguish among a few items and had fun doing it. Something I need to watch out for later: it took less than a game for her to discover that she could look under adjacent doors when she openned one up.
The standard deck card game that Uno was based upon. I think I have played this exactly once in my life. I enjoyed it a little less than Uno. Since Uno decks are so ubiquitous, I cannot imagine really ever playing again -- but I suppose it could happen. However, there are many more standard deck card games I would suggest first.
This is another of the standard card games that I really like. I know I've played loads and loads of this over the years. Even though there is a heavy amount of luck involved, there is also room for some skill and deduction. A wonderful 2-player game.
Amazingly fun dexterity game. In the first month of owning my Hilinski board -- Royal Flash -- I've played in excess of 100 times. My wife enjoys the game as do my two children. I can easily see that I may never get tired of this. I certainly hope not. 3/26/2007
My brother had a set of this back in the day. It was really more of a toy than a game. While we played the actual game by the rules a few times it was much more likely that we were just building castles to take pot shots at. Of course, GI Joe, Star Wars figures, and Legos were also often targets of our Medieval wrath. Loads of fun. [08/14/2007]
I think this takes the award for most pasted on theme. This game has nothing whatsoever to do with Cthulhu or the Mythos in general. It is a rather simple (but pretty good) number tile laying game. Granted, being a pretty good game of this type is fairly faint praise. It's all about giving yourself options for scoring. Interesting but not great. Another beef is that the copy I played with had 6's and 9's that were not easily discernable. [01-01-2010]
I have really mixed feelings regarding this game. I am an avid train-gamer and particularly enjoy the Mayfair Empire Builder games. That said, I really enjoyed the first phase of this game where players are working to build and expand their routes. This was relatively quick and interesting. Then the second phase of the game hits. Talk about a let-down. It took a really long time to play out and there were often many who could not reasonably participate. Sure it was interesting enough, but boy was it long. And to be honest, at that point it was all roll and move, so it was based solely on the luck of the dice. I would very much like to play some of the other maps (we played Eastern US) but I find that unlikely to happen unless I can come up with a more satisfying method to handle the end-game races. [06/21/2008]
This really is nothing more than a slightly tweaked version of Yahtzee, which is not in and of itself a bad thing. As such, it can be a pleasant means to pass some time if that's what you are interested in. Still, the dice gods rule here, and they are a fickle lot. [02/17/2008]
An interesting (and cute) take on mixing a party game with a form of quick recognition and speed game -- neither of which is a genre I particularly enjoy. Still, I've enjoyed this game when I've played it, though only very late in the evening (and which earned me a post on youtube). That being said, it does need a good group. Were it not so late when I played, I would be the person most likely to not have a pleasant experience with this. As such, I would be willing to play it again -- if late -- certainly not early in an evening of gaming. [02/17/2008]
It's not often that I don't like a train game, but this is one of those rare exceptions that proves the rule. In hindsight, it is not unreasonable to think this might not be a favorite. After all, I am not a fan of longish dice games in general. I really do not like Kingsburg, to which this has some great similarities.
The first problem we had is that we never felt like we had all that many options. Even when we were able to manipulate rolls, we still felt as though things we too constrained. We just couldn't do what we wanted to do and using what we were given was generally tedious (and annoying). Because of this, the game seemed to develop really slowly. That just added to the tedium for us.
This may be related to the general slowness of the game, but the entire map portion of the game seemed almost completely superfluous. That's not a good thing for someone who loves train games. At any rate, we were thankful when the game finally ended. I'm glad a passed (barely) on the Kickstarter for this one. [11/22/2012]
Wow! We had a whole lot of fun with this one back in the day. It was like Dungeons and Dragons with a computer boardgame. How cool was that? Looking back, though, while a lot of fun to play, it was pretty scripted, something I picked up on a little even then. I had a strategy mapped out that I was going to follow as close to the letter as possible. Sure, random events could interfere with it, but ultimately, would only delay it, not stop it. For that reason, it is not a game I would seek out to play these days. However, I would willingly play it every now and again simply for nostalgia sake. [08/20/2007]
I was interested in playing this solely because of the IGA win as I had not even heeard of it otherwise. I was a little disappointed in the game though. Granted, it had some really nice looking components and the theme is interesting enough. Unfortunately, the theme is completely pasted on. Another plus for the game is the asymmetric nature of the game amd the apparent possibility for expansion. Still, the play is somewhat lackluster. The luck of the draw can be difficult to overcome at times, particularly when you have a handful of cards that don't particularly hjelp your current situation. Thus the influence of the card draws interferes with what is at heart an interesting abstract game. [01-01-2010]
This is a much better execution of the card based movement that is found in a couple of other Kramer games. To me, it just fits with the NASCAR theme a whole lot better than it does with the Formula theme. That is just my opinion, though, but I actually enjoy playing this one.
I'm something of a sucker for two-player strategic games like this. Adding in the laser just made this one too tempting to pass up. I ordered a copy of the original Deflexion as soon as I could. I don't get to play this nearly enough, primarily secondary to the number of games I own but also due to opportunity. I'm not particularly good, but I believe this would be improved with more play. As mentioned elsewhere, as this point I would want to play with the beam splitters any time I play. Also, while I have an extra set of Obelisks (thank guys!), I've not actually played with the newer rules from Khet that would use them. [01/08/2011]
This adds a completely different layer to an already interesting game. As it is, I don't play nearly enough. However, at this point, I would much prefer to play the game with the beam-splitters than without. I think they really open the game up to greater strategic and tactical options. They certainly make it a lot more of a challenge.
I'm also particularly glad that they were willing and able to put out a gold/silver version of this expansion for the early adopters. [01/08/2011]
I pretty much managed to avoid this game for a long while because it didn't really appeal to me. The whole idea of a gamemaster that plays "against" the other players just doesn't seem right to me.
I am very happy to have finally played the game because it is a very enjoyable experience. It captures a lot of what I enjoyed about playing D&D/AD&D back in the day. The whole crawling through a dungeon, killing monsters, and looking for treasure is a lot of fun. I would be more than happy to play again.
That said, it really is a dicefest. That's fine, as long as you are not expecting it to be something else. I'm still not satisfied with the overlord (or whatever) implementation playing to make the players fail as it leads to some rather silly, "gamey" events, which to me detract from the overall experience. Not sure what to do about that, though.
Overall, though, I'm happy with the experience. I wish it were a little cheaper, but I can see as something I would be happy to play when the opportunity presents itself. [02/14/2009]
Not really a game as much as an activity. However, it is a really fun activity. There really is nothing quite like building up a structure and demolishing it with various implements of destruction. [06/28/2009]
Rating is because I can't decide between 5 or 6. I think the basic mechanism in the game -- car movement through cards -- is quite interesting. However, it doesn't really seem to work in the context of Formula 1 -- at least not for me. It makes the races seem much more chaotic than they ever really seem. However, when the same mechanism is used in Daytona 500, I think it perfectly fits the Nascar theme.
The popularity of this game around my house has been a very pleasant surprise. The idea behind the game is really quite simple -- how far are you willing to push your luck? But there is analysis that can be put into that. What are the rewards for leaving against possible penalties for staying? Do you need to make up ground? What is the likelihood of a detrimental draw? Against that, you can do well playing solely from your gut -- something my daughters do quite well. That levels the playing field in a manner that allows them to beat daddy, which is something they find endless enjoyment in. Perhaps its popularity here should not be so surprising after all [02/02/2008]
Beautifully produced game with awesome dino-meeples. I really enjoyed my play at BGG.con. Not too happy with the funding mechanism but otherwise enjoyed the game immensely. This is now a must-buy for me.
This is simply regular checkers with some really nifty dinosaur pieces. However, my daughters really like the game for this reason, and like to play it with me. Since I am somewaht fond of abstracts, I tend to be more than happy to do so. At least it involves more thinking than several of the children's games they could be asking to play.
This is the same as the standard deck game of War except that it is played with a (smaller) proprietary deck. My girls really like the pictures of the dinosaurs on the cards, and therefore, they tend to want to play fairly often. As I general rule, I will oblige them, but otherwise, I wouldn't touch this game with a ten foot pole.
I had a copy of this when I was much younger that went the way of many boardgames during a large garage sale. It really is no great loss as I have no desire, however small, to actually go back and play this again. Even back then, I would be willing to bet that the primary draw of the game was the theme of dinosaurs. [08/14/2007]
I was introduced to this one afternoon in a six-player face-to-face game. Much to my surprise, I found it to be a quite pleasant experience. Since then, I have found myself playing through several games by email. This has been even more fun -- so much so that I am afraid that it has spoiled the face-to-face game for me. Still, I wouldn't object to giving this another go on the table. The part of the game that holds the most interest for me is the jockeying for position that occurs early in the game. After about the third or fourth year, I find I am less and less interested. It seems at this point that the game is only truly interesting if you are intent on stabbing and winning alone -- and then only minimally of interest. So far, we seem to have not evolved from our "Care Bear" ways, which means we tend to cut the game off sooner rather than later and start a new one [02/17/2008]
There really isn't that much of a game here. In fact, the most fun to actually be had from the game is reading through the clues and laugh at what you are actually thinking. Of course, once you get through all of the clues, this really isn't all that fun anymore -- and there aren't all that many to go through. [08/14/2007]
This was game that really surprised me. When it was initially released, I was not all that interested in the game. It just didn't sound like something I would be interested in. In fact, I didn't even plan on giving it a single play just to try it out.
Then I actually played the game and was immediately hooked. I am not sure what it is about the game, but I find that I want to play it over and over again. Granted, I don't have the massive number of plays that some out there have, but what I have played is a lot for me on a single game.
I am still not all that sure what it is that I find inticing about the game. I suppose has a little to do with the deck-building aspects of the game. I imagine that it is the efficiency aspects that really appeal to me. That and playing with cards, and exploring the decision space. Well, I'm still not sure.
Still, I am happy to have the game and now am looking forward to the expansions as well. [04/07/2009] 8
After playing more Intrigue and lots more Seaside, the rating has been bumped up to 9.
There are some things I find I really like in the expansion. Unfortunately, I've not really played enough to determine where this will end up. Right now, the idea of potions is interesting. Some of the new cards are interesting as well. Overall, I'll have to play quite a few more time to decide on a final rating. Still, overall, I like it better than stand-alone Intrigue. That's saying something. [07/25/2010]
I am not nearly as enthused by this half of the promo set as I am the Envoy. It is an interesting card that adds some interesting possibilities. However, the additional randomness/chaos is something of a turn-off for me. [04/07/2009]  ------------------------------ This card continues to suffer. It is an interesting idea, but the more I play the more it feels gimmicky. I guess that I just don't like the way it works and always roll my eyes when it comes up. In fact, I like it so little, that we usually agree to take it out of the mix. Oh, well, everything about the game can't be great. [11/14/2009]
I was really surprised by the play of this card. While I think that it will only be really viable in certain conditions, when those conditions are met, it is a whole lot of fun. I can hardly wait to get my own now. [04/07/2009]
The rating I have given this is really an average rating. When played alone, this game is a six -- and a really low six at that. As a standalone, this really seems to take a game I really like and make it a whole lot less fun. It seems as though there really is too much going on. All in all, it just doesn't seem to work on its own.
However, Intrigue really shines as an expansion. When mixing the cards into the base game, this is a solid 8 for me. While I would still be willing to play Dominion without the Intrigue cards included, I don't really see that as likely happening. The cards seem to mesh well with the base set, making things more interesting, giving more interesting decisions and strategies. [08/09/2009]  ------------------------------- My estimation of Intrigue has really fallen off since the release of Seaside. I still think this works only when mixed and not by itself. In that sense, I think they picked the wrong subset as the stand-alone set. At this point, my rating is based on a 5 for Standalone status and 7 for Expansion status. while it could go lower in both, giving an overall lower score, it is much more likely to go lower in the standalone category. I already suspect that the 5 I am allowing is way to generous. [11/12/2009]
I really like a lot of the additions that are present in Prosperity. Unlike Seaside, though, I do not like it played by itself. It really shines as an addition to one of the other sets. My current love is to combine Seaside and Prosperity. I still haven't played this one as much as some of the others, so there is potential for this one to move on up a little bit. I suspect it will eventually be rated an 8, but we shall see. The slow ramp up of games in this set, though, bodes poorly for acquisition of future expansions. It looks like I am close to the end of what I will be acquiring. [03/13/2011]
Wow! I suspected that this was going to be one I would like as soon as I started to read the cards online. I was not disappointed. Strangely, it seems to me as though this should have been the "expansion" to get the stand alone treatment instead of Intrigue. I won't ever play Intrigue by it self, but I love playing this one alone. It is absolutely great. Actually, I'm having so much fun with this set by itself, that I have not even tried mixing them with the other sets yet.
I really like the addition of the persisting cards. It gives some things a different feel. My kids like the Pirate Ship a lot. So far, it seems as though this is more action heavy than the original. Chasing money has not seemed quite as beneficial so far. We shall see. [11/14/2009]
This game amused me a fair amount as a kid. If we owned a copy, I certainly wouldn't object to playing with my kids today. It is certainly more interesting than the likes of Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. After all, what's not to like about banging on stuff with a hammer -- particularly when you are a kid?
We had this when I was growing up, playing it quite frequently. Despite its age and cheesy name, it is actually a pretty interesting dexterity game. The whole stacking items until something falls over has been done many times. The biggest innovation here is that the waiter actually pivots, making for more of a challenge. The colorforms dollars were cool, too. I may have to actually try to track this one down someday. [08/14/2007]
Some friends of mine bought a lot of this at one time and put together a lot of decks. I only played multiplayer games, but it was a lot of fun, even if they could drag out. Strangely, it worked well with people who didn't normally get into CCG's.
A few years back, someone in my damily bought this game for my children. Since my youngest looooooves Dora (the edition we own), it was guaranteed to get a few plays. I have to say, this is one of the most mind-numbingly, dull and uninteresting games out there. I can live with no decisions, with your fate determined solely by random chance. However, the game took soooooo long that my daughter was bored, she wanted to do something else before we were halfway up the board. Add to that the non-intuitive zig-zag of the rows (she still sometimes gets confused about the switchbacks) and you have the recipe for a game I hope to not see to often. Fortunately for me, she seems to have mostly forgotten this little gem -- much preferring something like Hisss! instead. [08/21/2007]
What could be more fun than tossing your friends' pieces into a volcano. It helps that there is actually an interesting game attached to that. I like the two stage play of the game, though for me, fleeing the city is by far the more interesting phase. I may have to actually pick this one up someday. [01/08/2011]
We had a lot of fun with this back in the day. Besides that, the art is awesome and the plastic gemstones are really cool. Still, I haven't played in a very long time, nor have I bothered to track down a copy to call my own. Still, I would be happy to play this if someone suggested it (or if we bothered to dig out the copy when at my parents' house). At the time we played this, we didn't really have anything quite like it. The idea of getting to choose the goal for the hand was something unusual (it seems) for that time. Also, this was the first trick-taking game I really played. I learned a lot from my dad at how to effectively play and evaluate a hand of cards (applicable in many, many games) from our time with this. [08/20/2007]
As with many SdJ winners, this a relatively light, relatively quick, entertaining family game. The random hand of tiles as well as random assignment of buildings to protect keeps the game different. While this can be played (and enjoyed) as a game with little thought, there is actually plenty of opportunity for skillful. Because of this, there can be a tendency for over-analysis. Another aspect is the opportunity for negative play towards others once you have figured out what their target building is. Still, for us, it is plenty quick enough and pleasant enough to play with the girls. Always a good thing in my book. [01/18/2009]
Roborally with ducks in a bathtub. The ability to create a unique set of playing pieces is kind of cool. I originally played the first edition. The second edition is somewhat limited. Still, a lot of fun. [01/08/2011]
I bought this as a gift for my wife when she was going through a Dukes of Hazzard nostalgia phase. It's pretty much a mixture of Rummy and Uno, but what do you expect "from the makers of Uno"? Generally, I really like Rummy games, but the only thing this really has to offer over traditional rummy are the special cards, which really do not add much to the game. Combine that with the total lack of rank, i.e. you only have "suits", and I would rather play rummmy or better yet, Mystery Rummy.
This is a party game that lives on the end of the spectrum much closer to social activity than game. The biggest problem I have is that the person describing has little incentive to acurately describe his picture at all. In order for him to get the full 10 points, at least one person has to include each item from the secret list. Because of the bizarre choices sometimes chosen for this, he has to give a pretty detailed account. The problem is that with the random bonus item, the drawing players can earn up to 12 points while the describer tops out at 10. Thus from a gaming standpoint, it is to the describer's advantage to not describe his picture at all. If everyone does this, there is no game to be had.
As an activity -- where you play for fun and don't keep track of points from round to round -- this is actually pretty good. The fact that this involves drawing but does not require you to have any real artistic skill is a real bonus. So as an activity -- for a few rounds at least -- I would give this a 7. [03/14/2008]
Yet another abstract game for me -- I love them. I really like the ideas involved in all of the GIPF games, though this is the only one I have played. I love the variable movement distance as well as the relational position requirement. It forces people to stay together. I think the rating on this one will go up after I play a few more times.
I bumped into this game completely by accident, being oblivious to the apparently significant hype levels. I'm certainly glad I was able to play it as I completely enjoyed the experience.
It is an exploration and development game similar to Twilight Imperium. Here, the exploration effect allows you build up the board in ways that benefit you and hinder (or help) your opponents. While the luck in this is thematic, it can cause problems. I feel that the game provides ample opportunity for overcoming initially poor luck. Many others seem to disagree.
The tech tree is interesting. I don't particularly like how the techs come out. It would be nice if your player order could be manipulated to take advantage of this. Unfortunately, it is blind guess. That is probably the weakest portion of the game -- the person who has access to some of the best technologies is often a crapshoot.
Beyond that, I enjoyed the rest of the game. I like the way combat works for the most part. I like the resource management, particularly the use of the discs to add significantly increasing costs to your expansion. Ilike that you can still do things after passing if you really need to. I've not played with the alien races yet, so I have no opinion on that.
I'm not sure how I feel about the set number of rounds. It seemed to work out just right in our game. I do like the various means of scoring victory points. I'm not sure if it is the best way of determining the winner, but it certainly works.
All in all, a game I am very happy with. If I can get some more plays in, I expect that its rating can improve. [07/08/2012]
Surprisingly pleasant, quick little game. While our games did not make the titular 8 minutes, they were still pretty quick. Once we got the rules down, we managed to play a couple of times easily in under 30 minutes. Limited turns keep the game quick. Despite this, there are still some interesting decisions to make as well as opportunities to interact and appreciably affect other players. I may not purchase for myself, but still worth the time to play [06/25/2014]
I played this with 4 and had a lot of fun. I can certainly see why playing with 5 would be even better as all of the cards would get played each time. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Definitely some tough decisions to be made.
We had this when I was younger. At the time, seemed to be a step up from regular Battleship because of the cool sounds. In reality, it was more of a step down for us. The manual programming was a royal pain as there was no correction or error-checking available. If you made a mistake, you had to live with it or start over. While I would (and have) be willing to play Battleship today, I have no desire to play this monstrosity ever again. [08/14/2007]
I really enjoy the puzzle-like route building aspect of this game. I guess that comes from my love of train games. At any rate, a wonderful challenge, particularly when everyone is trying to not only help themselves, but hinder their opponents as well. My wife enjoyed this one so much she asked me to buy it. Yessss!
First played this in 2002 and was immediately hooked. I love the whole route-building and delivery system. I wish it could be shorter with more than 3 players, but since I rarely play with more than 2 (at 2 hours) that is not really a problem. My wife likes the fact that I cannot interfere very much with what she is doing. At any rate, this is my favorite of the series. She prefers Australian. As for the luck of the draw element--it's kind of like Acquire to me, I don't get it, but the same couple of people always seem to win. I think it is the same with Empire Builder, the good players always seem to get good cards just like the good Acquire players always seem to have the tiles they need. At any rate, this is one that I'll be playing for a long time
An interesting little duel of a game. For a long time, this was higher up on my wishlist. While I still wouldn't mind owning it, that desire took a hit after actually playing it. I enjoy the card based "combat". Unfortunately, there may be way too much luck of the draw here. Perhaps I just don't have the skill to play well. [01/08/2011]
I got this game cheap with a couple of others simply because of its SdJ credentials. For the most part, I don't really care for memory games -- at least not on the small scale of this game. While it might be much better for adults with more memory elements, it seems to be fine for kids. However, due to the die rolling and a rather large board to move through, the game goes on way too long for my kids. Perhaps when they are older this will be something we are more interested in playing.
This is basically a trivia game where you have to recall music lyrics. The performance portion is not something I particularly care for (no surprise here). The biggest problem I have is that the trivia here requires a skill I simply don't have. While I know plenty of lyrics, they are not in my brain in a manner that is easily retrievable based on topic or word. Like most performance games, if someone you are playing with can do that, it makes the game significantly less interesting. That said, I suppose I would be willing to play again, but it is not something I would seek out or suggest. [01/08/2011]
I played a lot of this during my college days, particularly when I co-oped in with Dow in Midland, MI. It was a lot of fun, and I still enjoy it immensely. Granted, a LOT of the game depends solely on the luck of the deal. However, there is room for skillful bidding and play. The game also plays wicked fast among those who know what they are doing. Truly a game that some will not enjoy as mush as others. For me, though, it is a winner.
I picked this up at the same time I got 10 Days in the USA and 10 Days in Africa. I was a little concerned about it essentially being the same game. However, part of the reason for the purchase was as an educational tool for my two kids. At any rate, the use of ferries/boats instead of cars makes the game feel significantly different from 10 days in the USA for me to be happy with my decision. I think that it is because of this that the game feels somewhat more constrained to me than does its successor.
This is another of the Empire Builder series that I like a lot. Some say this is the best of the real world maps, but I'm not sure I agree. The load cards and rules try to send you to all areas of the board. However, it seems that you are more successful if you resist this pressure and only journey to the far reaches when absolutely necessary. Still, it's a nice big map and a good change of pace from the original.  ------------------------------------------ I've had an interesting relationship with this game over the years. Apparently, at some point int the distant past, I thought of this as a nine. It's been a very long time since I've thought that highly of it. Still, I think it rates an 8, if for no other reason than the large map. Even so, it would be at the bottom of my list of eights and is in danger of losing a spot to Australian Rails as well.
My biggest issue, which I seem to be in the minority on, is that the game really does not seem to reward efficient railbuilding as much as some of the others do. In fact, it seems to really reward pursuit of the big payouts. There's nothing particularly wrong with that objectively I suppose. I just prefer that it were not that way. I also don't buy into this belief that this game is somehow more balanced loadwise, delivery-wise, or whatever than the other games in the series, particularly Empire Builder. Well, everyone is welcome to their own opinion, I suppose.
Another problem is related to the large map, and particularly in the two player games I play most. There are significant areas of the board that are ignored. Even in a game with several players, there are generally several areas that no one visits unless they want to lose.
And the biggest problem of all is that there is no Finland. For shame. [05/24/2009]
A pleasant little diversion of abstract strategy. Definitely a tactical game where you try to figure out what your opponent is doing and keep him in the dark on what you're doing. Granted, there's not much there, but it is still fun.
A train card game based on rummy. I certainly see why I got it. Now if I can only find time to play [N/A] ---------------------------------------------- Well, I finally was able to play it. I can't say that I was particularly enthused. Sure, it's a rummy game...with tweaks. There are some ideas that I like. One of these is the use of locomotive cards to keep things in your possession, but not in your hand. Of course, I like the melding from rummy. I'm not sure if I like the Way cards or not. It will take a few more plays to decide that.
My biggest complaint relates to the wild cards. It seems that most of the hands ended with players drawing wild cards. I suppose that is ok as far as the game goes, but it is too easy to simply set things up so that wilds will help you go out. I'm not sure that should be the dominant strategy. (It does seem to work in High Bid, though.) I'll need to play more games to solidify my opinion on that matter. [07/08/2012]
This one suffers from being a party game to begin. That it tends toward the extreme of more social activity than game certainly does not help it. The biggest problem I have is that there tends to be two extremes in choices: 1) there is a choice that almost everyone agrees is obvious or 2) you have a crapshoot. If the former come out in a non-equivalent fashion (which they seem to do) that person(s) will have a distinct advantage in points. It would then be to your benefit to not choose the likely contender. If everyone does this, then you have a really slow moving game which quickly is not very interesting. For it to be interesting as an activity, you have to be playing in a non-optimal manner. Like I said, something I'll pass on if given the chance. [03/14/2008]
This game initially appealed to my background in chemical engineering. Granted, it has little to do with actual plant design or operation, and as at least one other has pointed out, seems to violate the principles of mass balances. Still, we found it to be a pleasant puzzle type game. The competitive rush for machines insures that people don't take too long to analyze what they may need but also can can lead to some problems if you make a slight error in your analysis -- such as reversing two input streams. Still, the puzzle like and albeit limited connection aspect are more than enough to amuse me. I'm very happy to own it. [03/14/2008]
Another take on the whole take-that genre. Unfortunately, like most take-that games, this one wears out its welcome long before the game is actually over. The high point, though, is the theme, which really seems to fit. Still, I generally don't like take-that games due to the excessive amount of ganging up that tends to occur. As is often the case, how well you do is determined more by your hand of cards and less by how well you play. The player elimination in this one can also be a problem (though perhaps a merciful exit would be an appropriate characterization). Overall, there was some interesting stuff going on. If the game had ended on the first pass through the deck, this would have been a much more enjoyable experience. [01/15/2008]
I was always a big fan of the original version of this, watching it quite often. Heck, I'll watch the newer edition if I flip past it on the TV. At any rate, it was guaranteed that I would be interested in this game. Unfortunately, we could only play on a friend's copy and he already knew all of the answers. That made the game less than pleasant. While it might be an interesting experience to see what answers people gave 30 years ago, I have no real desire to ever play this again as it falls too much into the trivia category for me to be comfortable with. [08/14/2007]
This an interesting enough push-your-luck dice game like many others in the genre. There is nothing particularly spectacular to make this one stand above the others. Like many, once you get behind, it can be a real challenge to catch up without some serious luck. But it's a dice game, so that is to be expected to some extent. Still, for what it is, it's not too bad. I would rather play some of the others in the genre, such as Monopoly Express or Cosmic Wimpout, but that's simply personal preference. I doubt that they are objectively any better as games. [06/28/2009]
Sure this game has something of a goofy theme, but it is a lot of fun. While I really like it, we tend to only play it once a year--around Halloween. (I know, big surprise that.) While the object of the game is to get out of the dungeon, I find much more pleasure in trying to get the monster to eat your competitors. If people aren't getting eaten, the game is not nearly as fun. I suppose it is the relation to programmed movement that makes me want to do that. Overall, a game I like, though it sometimes runs a little long for what it is. [11/18/2008]
This is my least favorite of these three (other are numeri and finito). I find the luck element, from both the die roll and the chip draws, to be a significant issue -- moreso than in numeri. Of course, without the random draw of chips there wouldn't really be much of interest here. [01/08/2011]
A beautiful dexterity game that took quite a while to track down. In a way, it really is quite similar to Jenga in that you are trying to remove pieces without the rest collapsing. However, in this, you get to keep what you remove for points. As you move further along, this gets to be more and more difficult. Some have indicated that there is too much of a first player advantage. While I can see where this could be true with more skill, at this point it is not a problem for us. Did I mention that it is wonderful to look at? [11/18/2008]
Been a fan of the show and the universe for a long period of time. Was super excited when I learned of the game. So far, seems quite thematic and true to the show. I've not had the chance to fully explore it yet and have unfortunately been having some difficulty getting it played. Still, so far there is enough to keep me engaged. It doesn't hurt that it uses some true pick up and delivery (though limited and very simplified). Haven't played enough to decide if the complaints of some others are reasonable. Looking forward to finding out. [06/25/2014]
One of my favorite video games of all time is Tetris. I burned away hours of my freshman year at college playing the game. I still play a 3D implementation called Blockout to this day. Pair this with Knizia (who still at least gets a look from me) and this ended up being a must-buy for me.
Fortunately, the game play followed through. Sure, it is nothing terribly difficult and the order that the tiles come out can have a profound impact on the game. But it is a quick game, and it is fun. It definitely appeals to the puzzle-fitting portion of my brain that Ubongo also strokes only on a friendlier (and much less stressful) level of competition.
While my plays have slowed down somewhat, I do still try to get it in every now again. My kids in particular enjoy it. Perhaps it is about time to look at some of the expansion boards that are out there? [12/15/2010]
I really like rummy games, and this is basically just a game of progressive rummy. That said, it sure is a lot of fun. I've only played it in groups >5, but it has been a blast every time, even with up to 7. Of course, if you get behind early, you can always play to maximize your score--which is a challenge in and of itself.
This is an absolutely excellent three-player trick-taking game. The asymmetric suits provide a lot of opportunity for strong and creative play. The theming is excellent. This game can reward both bold and cautious play -- and to do well, you will have to play both ways at various times. I regret that I am not playing this more. But you need three for this game to shine. [01/08/2011]
Some people take some games way too seriously. I, however, like some silliness some of the time -- thus my love of Fluxx and Groo. This is especially true when I get together with my college buddies -- some of whom (as well as their spouses) are not serious gamers. This one has always been a lot of fun. Entropy is a good thing. At any rate, if even one person tries to take this game seriously, it will be difficult for anyone to have fun. This includes any analysis paralysis going on. Don't do it!
This game was a lot of fun. I've developed somthing of a liking for auction games, and this one is no exception. There is a difficult balance between conserving chips, bidding for large houses, and then blind bidding the houses when sold. And it's quick!
I really like racing games, possibly second to only train games. I'm always interested in trying new games to see what new take they have on the genre. This was a great disappointment. The movement by the rules is fairly uninteresting. The variable card hands could give someone a slight advantage. However, the boost roll is the game breaker. There really is no reason no to try the boost essentially every turn of the game. Our experience is that the person with the most successful boost rolls will win, no matter how well the other players play. That just doesn't make for a good game. The sad thing is that Ghenos can do better. [01/08/2011]
I've really enjoyed my playings so far with the game. Although we've only raced single lap races, I look forward to some multi-lap affairs as well as perhaps having a racing series. At any rate, for such a relatively simple system, it works amazingly well.
Detroit -- Have only raced this track as a single lap. Unfortunately, this seems to be a map that must be raced with at least a two lap race. So, while I enjoyed the race as run, I really look forward to running on this one as a multi-lap affair. 7 [02/17/2008]
An interesting little set collection game. I got the game because it was related to fossils and was a GAMES magazine Game of the Year winner. Of course, the theme is completely pasted on as actually assembling the fossils has nothing to do with the game. Still, there were enough interesting decisions to keep us all interested and very few plays, particularly in the early game, were completely obvious. Towards the end, some of the moves became programmed, but by then, there realy wasn't going to be much difference in the scores. Definitely a game worthy of replaying.
While this game has been an absolute blast to play, and I can hardly wait until I get to play it again, I have to give it this somewhat low rating due to the time involved in playing it. If this were guaranteed to finish in under 2 hours, I would definitely bump this up a couple of spaces. As for why I like the game: I love how well the game captures much of the feel of the Dune books. As I was playing my first game, I started seeing the books in terms of gameplay. This to me defines a game with lots of theme. Add to this that it is loads of fun, and you cannot lose.  -------------------------------------------- Not much has changed of my opinion since my original rating of this game. The time to play is still something of an issue, that it affects the likelihood of the play more than the desire to play. So I bumped the rating up just a bit. It's really not quite an 8 but it is pretty close. [05/03/2009]
I had a lot of fun playing this with various people. I really like the whole idea of differing ranks among the cards. The basic mechanic is very similar to another game I've played with standard cards. Right now, this is one of the ones that I want to try out on my four year old.
I will note here that I have only played with the three included expansions. With those three expansions, the game is quite good. I love the balance between obtaining goods, (possibly) converting them to other goods, and then converting those into points with obtaining needed money or benefits and maintaining a reasonable level of happiness. Throughout the game, trade-offs have to be made, some of them painful. The turn order mechanism is particularly requiring a balance of money, happines, and prominence all the while being affected by your total points. You have incentive to wait to gain points, but if you wait too long someone can poach "your" points away.
In some ways, this reminds me of a somewhate less opaque Colonia (which I also enjoy) in that there are several steps needed in order to earn points but with a little less randomness involved. 01/26/2011
Another quick little filler but Knizia, this one extremely over-produced. The option to try to take the most in a given color is an interesting method of balancing out what could be otherwise poor hands. Of course, you still have to watch out for poison cards. The lack of these limits how much (to some extent) you can hurt your opponents. But again, this is a filler and is over relatively quickly. It's not grand strategy. [01/08/2011]
I really wanted to like this game a lot more than I did. I have been a big fan of Scotland Yard for a really long time. This seemed like an interesting take on that game. In actuality, it dragged a lot when we played. While we won as the detectives, it didn't seem like we did all that much. It certainly wasn't very fulfilling and was even less fun. I was so disappointed. [06/28/2009]
While I thought I would have a good time with this, it was a lot more fun than I really expected it to be. Building the ships is easily the biggest, most time consuming part of the game for us as no one wants to flip the timer. Then we get to fly it across the galaxy. Watching ships get dinged apart by giant space rocks and pot shots from combat zones is a real hoot. It almost doesn't matter who wins. [11/12/2008]
A game that my four year old really likes that I like as well. Now if only I can get my wife to play with us. There's a little bit of tactics here to make things interesting. Right now, we don't play where you have to give anything back, but likely will do that in another year. Surprisingly, my daughter tends to win at this game.
While not my first choice in games, I suppose I could be talked into on occasion. In fact, I have been recently. It was a semi-nice diversion with family until it devolved into screw the older brother. Ho-hum, as if I had any control over whether I was winning (which I never was). this was followed by joyous celebration at their vicotry in the end, obviously due to their superior skill in playing.
Wargames have never really been my strong-suit and the necessity for allying kind of sank my first game of this. It basically felt like I sat around for hours and did nothing much. Perhaps next time I will fare better. My rating will change at that time based on a more experienced opinion.  ------------------------------------------- I've played Diplomacy and enjoyed it since first playing this game, which I think helps a lot. Going into the game with a little more knowledge of what it is like certainly makes for an improved experience. However, the randomness of the events in the game interferes with my enjoyment to some extent. How significant that is will depend on additional playings of the game. My current feeling is that the random elements are really too much. [05/03/2009]
This is one my few games from my childhood days that has remained intact -- probably because I was such a big fan back then. At any rate, the game is still rather pleasant as it does offer more decision-making opportunities than most similar kids games from this era (or today for the most part).
There really is nothing here akin to the original Gemblo game, which is a real shame. The game itself seems serviceable, but certainly not inspired. I would have been quite disappointed had I picked this up based on name recognition. [12/29/2009]
A surprisingly quick, pleasant, and rather interesting little game. I knew when I picked it up that it would be fun to play. Some of my friends really like it and want to play all of the time. As for me, I still have not quite figured it out. Some games I do well, some games not so much. I really would like to be able to approach this game in a more consistent manner. So, while I do enjoy it, it almost seems to be too random for its own good. Perhaps playing with people who play in a manner that seems to be excessively random is my problem. [11/18/2008]
The figures that come with the game are worth the purchase price alone in fun that you can have. That there is actually an interesting blind bidding style game included is an added bonus. If you pay attention to what is going on with the other players, there are some really interesting decisions to be made here as well as the opportunity for some really good tactical play. Unfortunately, it is somewhat easy to be distracted by the game and not pay attention, leading to a game that have the general feel of it being awfully random. So, you can take it serious or not and it doesn't break the game (though it may be less interesting to some of the others involved). All in all, a very pleasant game. [07/05/2008]
It seems that cooperative games have been all of the rage over the past few years. While the genre is not my favorite, I don't dislike the games in particular (unless they have a traitor element). I get to play quite a few as one of my friends does really like co-op games. This seems to have been one of the better ones to have come out in that time period. There are definitely some interesting things going on that make me want to explore the system further -- a definite necessity in co-op games. Also, one that I would not object to owning. Maybe someday, [06/28/2009]
I really like Rummy games. This is one that I have been playing for a really long time, basically as long as I have been playing Rummy in general. It is still one of my favorite two-handed standard deck card games. I don't play as many of these as I used to, but this is still a favorite. I hope to play more. [06/28/2009]
Pretty much your standard roll and move game. However, the board is not circular--it has paths cutting back and forth across the board. This conveniently allows you to choose your own path to whichever piece you choose. This small amount of variation / decision-making gives it a little bump above most games in this category.
I've owned this game for a really long time but have had trouble getting others to play it with me. I was happy to finally get that done. It really was all that I hoped it would be. I like the multiple uses for each card. I like how cards move through your hand in a manner different than most games (or at least it feels that way to me). Our game seemed to end rather abruptly, but I think that was more a result of one player having things come out in a particularly advantageous order. I look forward to playing again and expect to enjoy it even more.
As an aside, the art doesn't really bother me. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised at some of the comments directed towards the art. Oh well, to each his own. [01/08/2011]
I played this a lot when I was much younger with other members of my family. The key to the game is remembering what other people have asked for and then stealing those cards from them when you get a chance. I think this is a wonderful skill for young gamers to develop.
Wow, trivia from way back in the day. Someone bought this for me as a kid, but we never got around to playing it. (Though, like the geek that I am, I did occasionally read through the quiz booklet.) That in itself says a lot since we played every game we owned rather frequently. Since we got rid of this in the great garage sale dispersal, I haven't missed it for a second and have no desire to track it down now. [08/14/2007]
I bought this game for a few dollars for my wife solely because of the theme. It turned out to be a very pleasant, very tactical connection game. Given my predilection for rail games, it is no surprise that I enjoy this. I would really like to play with more than two, though, as it seems it would make tactical play even more important.
A Climbing game based on the somewhat ubiquitous drinking game called P&A for short. To be honest, it's not a particularly good drinking game. With the removal of alcohol, it really doesn't stand up any better. The custom deck adds some nuance, but doesn't really seem to help the game, which is really more about figuring out the group think than playing the game well. In that way, it is more akin to bluffing and poker. While not a bad thing, per se, it is definitely not my thing. There are far better climbing games out there that offer more skill in card play. [06/28/2009]
I really enjoy this game. This was originally bought as a joke because one of my friends really liked the Groo comics--now things will never be the same. It has since become one of the most played games when my friends from college get together. A note of warning, it can get really chaotic, so if you take it too seriously, it will get you in a dither.
Since I almost exclusively have played this game in groups with 5 or more, this is absolutely necessary! Of course, since there is no easy method of separating the cards, I have actually played all of my games with this!
I have mentioned in other comments my general dislike for party games and acting out games in particular. It should come as no surprise that this is not only a game I would never seek out, but one that I would avoid at all costs. [08/14/2007]
This is a nice silly game that you really should not take too seriously, despite its rather macabre subject matter. The cards add just enough to the game to make it interesting and require some skill in order to repeatedly do well.
This game reminds me a lot of Through the Desert -- there is always so much more to do than you really have time to do. For me, though, proper play in this game is not quite as intuitive as in TTD. I think that is because of the much greater number of things you can do on a turn. I would say there are more varied ways to score, but I don't think there really are -- it just seems to feel that way. There are currently quite a few more options to explore as far as play of the game goes, which is exceedingly promising. It doesn't hurt that this game plays in under an hour. 2/22/2007
I have really enjoyed playing this game and look forward to playing again. Unfortunately, though, the snap reflexes and high tension that seemed to be involved when I play do not wear well at my age. This is definitely something I would have enjoyed more in high school. Still, a pleasant game to pull out every now and again. Perhaps when the kids are a little older it will see more play.
There is something really striking about this game that I find really attractive. However, what drew me to it as a game is the use of gravity (and friction) in the rolling/rotating board. This appeals greatly to my engineering background. My children love it as well, particularly my oldest daugher as her small, usually deft fingers have allowed her to defeat me a time or two. [02/02/2008]
Another party game that is much closer to the activity end of the scale than to the actual game end. What is interesting is that it is a party "game" that is actually a dexterity game -- in a fashion. However, as a competitive activity, it seems to fall flat. It is in each player's best interest to arrange the hand tree in such a manner as to make other additions difficult. Further, you should also not be cooperating in allowing additional balls to be successfully placed. Played in this manner, the premise of the game quickly becomes uninteresting.
However, if everyone ignores this competitive nature of the "game" and simply plays to see how well they construct the hand tree, this can be a pleasant activity for a few rounds of tree formation. In that sense, it is actually a rather pleasant and interesting diversion. I would rate that activity a 7. [03/14/2008]
Basically this is an adaptation of the pencil and paper game (or chalk and blackboard from playing in school). When I was in 1-3 grade, my school had a massive number of these games available for "recess" on days when it was raining outside. We also played a lot to pass the time at the end of classes. In fact, I've been known to play from time to time since then. The nice thing about the game is that it can help you to build a decent category. Unfortunately, most people don't play in a manner that is conducive to this. [08/14/2007]
I really expect this rating to go up as I get a little better at the game. It seems as though it will become even more of a puzzle solving game as I get better at it. Still, the whole economic system--being able to perform only one action per port is interesting and can require some careful planning. In addition, the use of barrels as victory points and to set up markets--so you can get victory points and hopefully some money--sets up a very interesting tension.
An interesting card game which to me has some elements of area control included. Luck can really hurt you, but it can be mitigated somewhat. You have to choose your battles carefully, which is the evaluation I have the most trouble with. Still, I wouldn't mind having a copy of this of my own. [06/28/2009]
Definitely a mash up of Le Havre and Ora et Labora. Unfortunately, it lacks the charm of either and pales in comparison. The only interesting part of the game is managing you warehouse. It takes a little bit to wrap your head around what it all means, but once you do, this really is the whole game. I can't imagine this actually scratching someone's itch for the other two games. Not a bad game, just not all that good either. [12/09/2012]
Well, I don't specifically OWN a game of hearts, but I do own several decks of cards. Hearts is easily one of my top 2 or 3 games played with a standard deck of cards. I've played everything from 3 handed to 7 handed, and had fun at all of them. It seems to me that this game allows for good play moreso than most standard card games. It's also a great game to play with people who "never get anything good". Of course, once they play, all they will ever get is high cards -- which isn't necessarily bad -- if you know what you're doing.
I found out that I am not particularly good at this game. Part of this is that I have difficulty bluffing. However, it is quite pleasant and quite quick, so I still find it quite enjoyable. I also like sticking it to people in the old haunted house.
What can I really say here -- more Heroscape pieces If you like the base game, this just gives you some more options. I picked both of these sets up. One, because I really wanted the trees and the bridge. Two, I like the large critters and wanted more dragons [11/18/2008]
What can I really say here -- more Heroscape pieces If you like the base game, this just gives you some more options. I picked both of these sets up. One, because I really wanted the trees and the bridge. Two, I like the large critters and wanted more dragons [11/18/2008]
What can I really say here -- more Heroscape pieces If you like the base game, this just gives you some more options. All I have is a single pack out of this that was a gift. Still, more fighters is not a bad thing. [11/18/2008]
What can I really say here -- more Heroscape pieces If you like the base game, this just gives you some more options, though we seldom actually use the special abilities or the special rules for the new tiles. [11/18/2008]
I'll preface this with the statement that miniatures games are not my cup of tea. I do however see the he allure of this game -- great bits, easy availability, and pretty good rules. I'll probably end up buying a set just to build terrain for Epic Duels free-for-alls. I've really had a good time, it's just not something I want to repeat too often.
This is a game that I really like. I enjoy the way the board shrinks as the game proceeds. A lot of the game then becomes positioning your penguins not only where they benefit you, but also hamper your opponents. This positioning reminds me of train games, which is why I suppose I like it so much. In some way, this positioning also seems similar to Through the Desert, another game I really like (and don't play enough). Unfortunately, this game becomes more chaotic as you add more players. I really think four is too many (as much as I wish it were not). I need to see about getting some more plays in. [01/08/2011]
This is another one that my kids love that I find really tedious. It's not the mindless spin and pick up that gets me. It's the fact that this game can go on forever -- if you don't get lucky. Of the 7 spots on the spinner, only 4 give you cherries (10 cherries total). The other three take some away (either 2 or everything). I could understand having the two spaces for losing 2, but the spilled bucket just forces this game to last way longer than it should. To combat this, we usually play with the spilled bucket as a spin again.
I learned three Knizia auction games in one weekend and enjoyed every one of them. This is the only one I have not purchased -- yet. I really enjoy the (semi) hidden end-game condition. the various values people place on the various cards as well as bidding mechanism add a fair amount of uncertainty and tension. I really look forward to playing this one again.
This was probably the first true auction game that I ever played. I had a blast. However, most of our games ended fairly quickly. And the wilds tend to really unbalance the game, particularly if someone is dealt several. Still, a lot of fun. I imagine, however, that it will lose out to both Ra and Modern Art if I can ever acquire them.
While there is no mistaking that this is a children's game, I think it is perfectly suitable for adults -- at least in moderation. The spatial puzzle solving aspect of the game really appeals to me -- in a sense it is a type of connection game. The tiltable board is also an interesting mechanism for causing the movement which adds a little something to its charm. I certainly wouldn't object to playing this one again. [03/14/2008]
I picked this game up a while back because I figured my kids would enjoy it. Well, I figured right. Unfortunately, I figured too right -- they love this game. However, there really is not much game there. The vast majority of the game, you are forced to play the tile you draw onto the appropriate snake. The only choice is whether to combine different pieces of snake to make a single bigger snake. That really is not all that much. Still, the girls love to play. Given my choices, I certainly prefer this to Candyland or Hi-Ho-Cherryo. [02/02/2008]
This definitely ties into my love affair with abstract strategy games. I particularly enjoy how mobility is incorporated into the game. You definitely need to be aware of the mobility of the pieces. Trapping is essential.
I find this to be a very interesting game of asymmetrical sides. That alone makes it something of an anomaly among boardgamers. Though, I've not played in a very long time, I would like to someday own a nice set of this. For now, though, I will satisy this itch with the old 3M Breakthrough.
I got this for my wife because she loves Breyer horses. Unfortunately, there is not much game here -- I would rather play the real versions. However, I suppose if you like Breyer horses, it's worth having.