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User: truekid: Board Game Collection
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Title Version User
Rating
Geek Rating Status User
Plays
Comment
500 (1904)
5
Sep 2009*
5.924
Rummy- I would rather play Archaeology: The card game or Spades/Hearts. Small tweaks like using the Play4D cards or a Decktet help a lot.
2011-07-27
51st State (2010)
3.5
Jan 2011
6.606
Plays: 1
strongly disappointing. the draft portion of the game is weak to begin with, is further trivialized by the random card draw afterward, and is the primary yet extremely minimal point of interaction in the game. It is also the primary decision point of the game, however since your options are so limited, it is rarely an actual decision.

the rules could have been organized better as well, and there should have been a player mat or something for symbology, card/token special rule reminders, turn structure (number of cards available to draft, for instance), and possible actions. But that's all surmountable, the glaring gameplay issues were not.
2011-01-29
7 Wonders (2010)
9
Nov 2010
7.795
Owned
Plays: 27
The best game I played at GenCon 2010, and from the hype and the description, I was actually expecting to be lukewarm at best about it. Very solid drafting mechanics, very quick play, accommodates a larger than average number of players, and asymmetrical starting boards.

---

A rule of thumb as you look down the list of comments: in virtually every comment that says it is "random" "chaotic" "luck driven" or "low interaction", you should replace those statements with "this person doesn't know how to draft".
2010-11-28
Acquire (1962)
7
May 2009*
7.255
Plays: 2
much lighter than the appearance and theme would lead you to expect, much better balanced than the age of the game would make you expect.
2009-05-10
N/A
N/A
a cool abstract with a clean yet interesting design and a perfect name.

my biggest complaint was the length, it allows you to thoroughly explore the concept by about 60% of the way through the game. you're still making interesting decisions, it just -could- be shorter without losing any value, so it probably -should- be.

despite that, this is probably in my top 3 favorite abstracts at the moment.
2010-08-08
5.5
Sep 2009*
6.270
Waro (wargame + euro) from the guy who does them best. unfortunately, it's only just acceptable but unenthralling.
2009-10-30
Agricola (2007)
9.5
Oct 2009*
8.041
Owned
Plays: 6
the cards don't add replayability as much as they add randomness (not overpowering randomness, but they do cripple a lot of the "figure out what the other people need" part of the game- which is the primary form of interaction. any time you could be blocked, you can almost always fix your bad play with the cards). my rating drops 2 points when playing with the cards. the "family game" is the better way to play for gamers.

and when playing it without cards, this is one of my favorites. Pushes the boundaries of what you can reasonably parse while still keeping track of your opponents (sitting it right along the edge of challenge:skill for me, making it highly enjoyable), with heavy interaction if you actually understand the game.
2011-02-03
Alba Longa (2011)
N/A
5.751
Plays: 1
Way too long for the weight and interest value of the limited/railroaded decisions made, and HEAVY push-to-center (AKA catch-ups and lack of real equity changes or un-obvious plays netting advantage) mean that it seems like the game will end on the same turn for everyone or almost everyone, and then be resolved by the second tiebreaker- definitely makes for an unappealing endgame for me.

Perhaps a second play with the variant options will change my opinion (though it seems unlikely). I'll avoid rating it until then.
2011-11-23
Alhambra (2003)
5
Oct 2009*
6.970
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
the box should say 3 to 4 players, not 2 to 6.
rating goes up a point at the 3 to 4 mark, the drafting mechanics actually come into play well at that point, though the game itself is still dry.
2009-05-10
8.5
Jul 2011
5.989
Owned
Plays: 1
my favorite party game. if you don't enjoy it, you're not doing it right.
2009-10-11
8.6
Jul 2011
5.612
Owned
Plays: 2
slightly "more useful" cards than average in this mix, compared to the original, based on our group's usage.
2009-09-27
7.5
Nov 2009*
6.442
Owned
Plays: 8
Sort of like rummy with more decisions and a heavier risk/reward rate.
2009-11-30
4
Nov 2009*
6.530
Plays: 1
Good mechanics unsupported by the cards. in particular, it has few relevant early decisions, combined with heavy luck for the first few rich-get-richer fights for the contested resources. and that's not even counting the med issues. needs more development.
2009-11-13
Arkadia (2006)
6
May 2009*
6.739
Plays: 1
much simpler than you'd think from looking at it. a little bit of spatial maximization driving a basic "stock market" sort of mechanic, both for controlling the market and for speculating on it. i'm not chomping at the bit for another game, but i would play anytime someone suggested it.
2009-10-30
7.9
Jun 2011
6.746
Owned
Plays: 1
very enjoyable- a game with a dexterity element in place of a random element, and it's not the ONLY thing that you do in the game (compared to most dexterity games, where the dexterity element IS the game).

I've experienced no particular problem with the boards, and here's the thing- for a board of that size, you've only got a few options, and the puzzle-piece style keeps the price down. if you don't care about price (you're in the vast minority), then go buy a $3 plastic sheet from Wal-mart or Lowes. you don't even really need to cut holes in it. For this to be a seamless folding board of that size, everyone else would be paying $20+ more for the game, meaning it would get carried by less stores, bought by less people, and probably not printed in the first place because of that.
2011-07-21
2.1
Jun 2011
6.900
Plays: 2
Another Dominion clone that failed to evaluate what was good and bad about Dominion first, and thus was a step backwards, design wise. less interaction, far less strategy, much more random (notably, the same errors Thunderstone made). All this in exchange for 30 seconds less set-up time. Not a worthwhile trade off (Thunderstone traded those things for some theme instead). Gets more and more painful every time I play it.

copied an already successful design (and un-designed most of the good things about the game), copied an already succesful marketing style (They targeted Magic players, because that's what they were familiar with, and at least didn't take backwards steps doing that, so did a decent job there). No thanks.
2011-06-12
5.5
May 2010
7.170
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
It's not Agricola.

The draft mechanic is cool, the economic engine is intuitive, the bits and cards are cool... but there are some problems. the draft mechanic provides the major interaction and decisions in the game, but also injects an unfortunate luck-of-the-draw element. then, on top of that, the buy-a-2-pack cheapens the draft mechanic entirely, AND injects MORE luck-of-the-draw. The actual economic processing is much more deterministic than I'd like (once you've got a couple of plays under your belt, at least), and unfortunately takes up the majority of the playtime. I'd like to remove the buy-a-2-pack entirely, and create a central market for the purchasable/sellable veggies, rather than individual ones.
2010-05-11
Atlantis (2009)
6
Jul 2010
6.187
Owned
For Trade
Plays: 1
the effective board state changes drastically very quickly, meaning you can't really plan things out very well. this means each turn is some numbers crunching before your action, which adds small but unfortunate downtime to a high tactics/low strategy game.

it's ok, but nothing special.
2010-07-14
Augsburg 1520 (2006)
5
May 2009*
6.118
Plays: 1
You're bidding less often based on what you're getting, because the prizes are all so similar, but more on what you think it's costing you- trying to win with low value cards, etc. this makes it feel more like a trick taking game than an auction game. also, someone in the lead can steamroll a bit with the advantage (despite the negative feedback loop), which makes the first couple of turns the most important usually. ok for a couple of plays.
2009-10-30
Axis & Allies (1981)
4
Sep 2009*
6.341
uncompelling, prone to optimal strategies and very vanilla tactics.
2009-10-30
Babel (2000)
7.5
Oct 2009*
6.475
Owned
Plays: 1
excellent card-interaction game with interesting decisions, without having unique text-abilities on every card. notably good for Magic players in this regard.
2009-10-30
2
Dec 2009*
N/A
another example of game that was "made" as a product to be sold based on theme, rather than "designed" as a game to be played... sort of like if i tried to make a car without reading or being taught how an engine works. I could make it pretty, but i could not make it functional.
2009-12-04
Bananagrams (2006)
N/A
6.215
Plays: 2
Clearly nothing revolutionary, but more acceptable than I expected.
2011-07-19
Banemaster (1995)
2
Apr 2008*
N/A
Owned
awful. uninteresting design, poorly presented.
2009-05-10
6
Dec 2009*
6.757
Owned
Plays: 6
a Werewolf mechanic with an acceptable card engine to drive it rather than a "heads down thumbs up", making it a bit more mob-mentality than politics, which is fine. and it works very well thematically. needs 5 players or more to start to shine.
2009-10-30
Barons (2011)
N/A
5.699
Plays: 1
interesting game, i'd like to try it again at different player quantities.
2010-10-31
Basari (1998)
5.8
Sep 2009*
6.375
Plays: 1
When you do a rock-paper-scissors mechanic, you need to have various things which affect the players' potential motivation for choosing specific things. This game does, is one of the few that does, and thus works very acceptably at doing that.
2009-10-30
Basilica (2010)
5
Oct 2010
5.967
Plays: 1
a more gamer-y carcassonne style game for only 2 players. the tile churn mechanic was ok, but otherwise not a lot new here. if i REALLY liked 2-player cutthroat carc, i would have liked this more, but when i bust out carc, it's not really with cutthroat players.
2010-10-29
Batt'l Kha'os (2009)
5
Jun 2010
5.909
Plays: 1
remember that game you play with grid paper, where you take turns drawing a line, and if someone completes a square they initial it (scoring a point) and get to take a bonus turn? This is like that MOST of the time, without the bonus turn, but with special abilities and some luck thrown in.

It's not bad, and you are making relevant decisions, but I have no burning desire to play again.
2010-06-30
N/A
5.840
Owned
German version, feels very much like a BattleLore predecessor.
2009-10-30
8
Jul 2014
5.794
I'm a big fan of euros that do something different, and this definitely has some cool things going on mechanically.
2014-07-07
5
Jun 2008*
5.890
Owned
The rules are poorly written, but the tactile fun of shooting stuff at each others castles is the real value of the game. because of the bad rules, it comes very close to straddling the toy/game line.
2009-05-10
BattleLore (2006)
6
May 2009*
7.241
Owned
maneuvering value is high, which is what i like in a wargame, but it's still missing a little something to drive it home for me- probably because I wish the magic portion of the game worked as cleanly as the combat and movement.
2009-10-30
N/A
7.704
Plays: 1
A good licensed product makes you want out to check the thing its license was from, if you haven't already. I've never seen Battlestar Galactica, but after playing this, I want to.
2011-10-18
Bausack (1987)
6.5
Sep 2009*
6.624
nice party/dexterity game with some tactical control to it. but yeah, it's just an assortment of wood pieces from the hobby shop with some beans as generic counters to keep track of refusals.
2009-10-30
N/A
5.653
Owned
Try to get your coaster in the ring, and cover up theirs. Beanbag toss with a more forgiving target.
2009-11-23
N/A
5.548
Owned
I'm not sure this deserves it's own entry- people could have bought a second copy of the game and sharpied the edges to let more people play just as easily. Doesn't actually change the game.
2009-11-23
Belfort (2011)
N/A
7.111
Plays: 2
Worker Placement + Build buildings + Area majority + a different kind of area majority + a further kind of area majority. Would definitely play again.
2009-11-23
7
Apr 2008*
5.654
Owned
Search for the Emperor's Treasure is the good one in here, see my review: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/307651
2009-10-30
Biblios (2007)
7.25
Feb 2013
7.049
Plays: 3
Definitely in the same category as "For Sale", with a couple of extra gears to turn. Very solid game.

Weird note- the iello version LOOKS nice out of the box, but the cards are too thick to shuffle, the gloss shows wear and dents A LOT and quickly, the dice are an inefficient method of tracking values over score tracks with chits, and the color matching between the cards, dice, and boards is poor.
2013-02-01
Big City (1999)
6
Sep 2009*
6.558
Plays: 1
sort of... area control, with a few other bits and bobs? I wasn't blown away and wasn't hugely dissatisfied, but I think I'd need another play or two to give better overview.
2009-10-30
Blokus 3D (2003)
6
Jan 2010*
6.612
Owned
Plays: 1
Tetris blocks are fun. Let's apply a scoring mechanic to placing them.
2009-11-23
Blokus Duo (2005)
5.9
Apr 2010
6.684
Owned
Plays: 3
2 player Blokus, which I'm led to believe is the superior way to play anyway.
2009-11-23
8
May 2009*
7.213
Owned
rating is for campaign play, and if you've got a group of 8 people to run a season with (using the deathzone advancement rules and such, or just the living rulebook), I highly recommend it. An excellent blend of theme, making you learn and develop diverse strategies combined with fluid tactics, glued together with some character advancement to help you associate with the game, and some risk-management in how often, when and where you choose to make risky dice rolls.
2009-10-30
N/A
6.433
Owned
(see blood bowl - third edition)
2009-10-30
8
May 2009*
7.361
rating is for campaign play, see entry for Blood Bowl - Third Edition.
2009-10-30
4
Aug 2011
7.212
As mentioned elsewhere, this is not really a deckbuilding game (which is totally fine)- it's really more of an extended-trick-taking game, like Blue Moon or (more closely) Battle line.

Unfortunately, it's an extended trick taking game with randomness from the card draws, AND randomness from dice, AND randomness from cheating counters, AND some random events. I do enjoy Blood Bowl... I didn't care much for this. I felt like my decisions were too frequently overridden by luck for them to be meaningful.

In fact, I'd ascribe distinctly more luck to this game than I would to Blood Bowl- in Blood Bowl, you're taking a lot of actions that either don't involve dice, or are very safely taken with dice due to skill levels/abilities/rerolls. Then you take a few actions each turn that are riskier propositions. In this game, there's random at the beginning (your hand, random event), random during (the dice rolls for certain actions, comparable to blood bowl), then random after (cheating).

I do recognize that if you have a bad starting hand one round, that means your hand will be much better the next round. However, this still compounds the problem of the other randomness- When you've got a hand full of mostly linemen, there's very little you can do to increase your lot in life that turn. So you're hoping the random elements don't junk out your actually "functional" turns. So, generally speaking, you're hoping your functional turns occur when someone else is having a functional turn too- so that maybe you have the opportunity to outplay them. and then you're hoping the dice and cheating doesn't negate your good plays. and hoping the random event isn't bad for your team's strengths. There's a lot of hoping going on, just to get to the point where what you do matters.

This doesn't appeal to me, but some people like heavily overpowering randomness, and it's Blood Bowl, so it'll sell.
2011-08-09
Blue Moon (2004)
N/A
6.601
Prev. Owned
trick taking game with variable card powers.
2011-07-27
Blueprints (2013)
4.5
Jun 2014
6.649
Plays: 1
Make a guess 1/3 of the way through the round. See if it pays off at the end of the round, via luck of the draw.
2014-06-07
Bohnanza (1997)
7
Jul 2008*
7.013
Owned
Plays: 7
wheeling and dealing is the heart of this game, and since every mechanic in this game pushes players into trading more, it is an excellent design for this purpose. not my fav from this designer, but i'm pretty much always willing to give it a go, as long as there are at least 4 players.
2009-10-30
6
Sep 2009*
6.455
Owned
Plays: 5
Nice mechanical twist to a trick-taking game, though i'm not yet convinced that there's a justified design reason for the way the coin quantities are distributed, and the cards with text on them should have more pictures instead.
2009-10-30
Bridge Troll (2009)
5
Sep 2009*
5.782
Owned
Plays: 2
excellent theme (well integrated and graphically well presented), and the mechanics are all sound separately, but together they generate a high amount of parity (via the heavy negative feedback loop of resources), which is broken primarily by the way the cards come out. the distribution of the boulders means your bid capabilities wax and wane... so you're hoping the right set of cards comes out when your boulders are waxing.

not a luck "fest", but certainly not prone to much strategizing. I would play again, but wouldn't suggest it often.

the rules are a bit "swirly" to explain, so i recommend going over them quickly, and then just handhold people through a turn or so. people will pick it up after the second turn, in general.
2009-09-11
Bunco Party (2004)
1
Dec 2010
5.238
this is one of those "games" i actually feel hurts society. it's spread through fake viral marketing techniques, which people fall for because they've no clue that a real game involves choice... or at least a skill of some sort.
2010-12-28
Cabo (2010)
5.8
Aug 2010
5.776
Plays: 1
light and quick. your decisions aren't very hard, but that's ok for a quick filler.
2010-08-09
3.5
Aug 2010
6.013
Plays: 1
Awesome looking, but lacking SEVERELY in gameplay.

I LOVE the art for this game. The theme and concept grabbed me as well. Even reading a couple of the scenarios made it sound good. I really wanted to like it... But your turns are essentially "move a couple of guys, roll some dice to see if good things or bad things happen to me". Even if you avoid the dice rolling as much as possible, the other players can essentially undo your entire turn by attacking you. No interesting mechanics, and your decisions are largely trumped by the dice- whether it's you doing the rolling or someone else.

if you're looking for a game where the outcome is even remotely decided by intelligent decisions, look elsewhere. this is cards, multiplied by dice, multiplied by bad player portcullis decisions, equals random fest. but it's pretty, so if you're looking for a pretty game where you roll some dice and see what happens, this game's for you.
2010-08-11
5
Feb 2009*
5.527
Owned
it is not really "epic", and it's more prone to tactics than strategy, but it is a game. the math used for rough balancing purposes (both in the terrain and the stats) works better than i expected, and as a light wargame that plays in about 10 minutes, it's good for an occasional run-through.
2009-10-30
Candy Land (1949)
9
Sep 2009*
3.652
it does exactly what it's supposed to do, which is help kids with colors (even though it's more of an "activity" than a "game", in the technical sense). i'm tempted to give it a 10 for the deluxe version
2009-10-30
Carcassonne (2000)
7
May 2009*
7.346
Owned
Plays: 3
even though this game is straightforward, i'm still wrapping my head around the strategies (even though they're not all that deep, they do have some levels of exploration)- and of course it's a quintessential gateway game.
2009-10-30
7
May 2009*
7.008
Plays: 1
I think I'm in the minority that prefers the original to this, though the changes are minor.
2009-10-30
Cardcassonne (2009)
6.5
Jun 2010
5.949
Plays: 1
Very much like "Ra", but with 4 color-coded showcases and a 4 card hand rather than a random tile pull (though the color-coding tells you where you can play each card). Definitely acceptable, but in general I'd rather play Ra.
2010-06-20
Carpe Astra (2008)
Other: insert removed, replaced with tuckbox and baggie.
5
Oct 2009*
5.696
Owned
if the placement mechanic weren't in such a confined space, i think it could shine more. the card event mechanic is very cool, unfortunately one type of card event rises quickly to the top as the important kind. So close to awesome in 2 different aspects, but instead falls short.
2009-10-30
Castle Panic (2009)
3.5
Jun 2010
6.596
Plays: 1
good for small children, but does not stand up otherwise... (optimal strategy is reached immediately and with little discussion, game progression is virtually automated).
2010-06-20
Catan (1995)
6
Jan 2010*
7.215
Owned
It's, y'know... ok. I guess something has to be the "mainstream" euro, I reckon this is as good as any to be that one.
2009-11-23
Cavum (2008)
7.5
Aug 2010
6.281
Plays: 1
Sort of a pick-up-and-deliver game, where the delivery part has several different aspects... and the pick-up part has explosions.

you're managing several very diverse concepts- a spatial element with the network and blocking, a market element, and an opportunity element (definitely a third of the game is timing and opportunity).

I was initially concerned with the talk of the "auction" portion, but that's not really the core of the game, and will tend to push to an obvious and narrow range pretty quickly (which is to say, doing "badly" at the auction parts is only going to hurt you by a couple of points overall, the real decisions in the game are the other things i mentioned above).
2010-08-22
Caylus (2005)
6.5
Oct 2009*
7.781
Owned
A very Agricola feel, but since the building board is shared, explanations are a little harder, and scoring is a bit muddier. But enjoyable, and i like worker placement, and would like to play this some more.
2009-10-30
Chess (1475)
6
Sep 2009*
6.946
Owned
I founded my high school chess club- and i'm not very good at chess. There are now a lot of abstracts that I prefer, but design-wise chess has a lot of things going for it, and nostalgia-wise, it's got even more.
2009-10-30
China (2005)
6
Sep 2009*
6.823
Plays: 2
in my first game, I felt like I didn't know what I was doing, and I felt like I was losing the whole way... and then I won. I like this designer, I can see the cool stress points in this game and would play again, but whenever I have a first game like that, it doesn't sit well with me.
2009-10-30
2
Oct 2009*
5.328
Owned
War, with different pictures. My understanding is the different numbers make this similar to "Top Trumps".
2009-05-10
Citadels (2000)
8
Mar 2009*
7.112
Owned
Plays: 14
one of my favs, card drafting, bluffing, paper-rock-scissors with motivations attached, and mini-metagame considerations. Tactically best at 3 and 4 players... starts to become a bit chaos heavy, along with a distinct downtime increase at more than that.
2011-05-14
Cities (2008)
5
Sep 2009*
6.058
Plays: 1
a puzzle game with low interaction- which doesn't automatically count it out in my book, but the gameplay and the processing wasn't particularly compelling either.
2009-10-30
6.5
Sep 2009*
6.654
Plays: 2
Another "first play = unintentional win" victim, but i could definitely see playing it again. a few interesting choices. good mesh of mechanics, and very visually appealing.
2009-10-30
3.8
Sep 2011
5.540
Plays: 1
I'm ok with the theme mash-up and mechanics mash-up concept, but this was not just "inelegant" in gameplay, but downright cumbersome. This wasn't helped by the fact that almost every time we had a question, the answer was either in a place other than where we expected it to be, or not present at all. There are also some usability issues with the components, more of the rules could have been offloaded onto them, and the player aid could have been much more useful.

Even if all those things had been fixed, there was some unnecessary swirliness to the actual gameplay, and it SEEMS like you need to encourage people to produce fruit, rather than making it just a pure negative in all cases except when you yourself are immediately going to build a building with it. (we were even playing it correctly, where you don't remove fruit for shipping, and there was still a fruit problem).

IMO This game needed more development and, in particular, more blind rules tests.
2011-09-06
6.2
Aug 2010
6.281
Owned
Plays: 6
I've got what is referred to as the "2nd edition"- the title on the package is actually "Toc Toc Woodman".

It definitely has a Jenga feel, but the visual/tactile appeal of the tree and using an axe puts it a notch above that in my book, especially as a party game.
2010-08-09
The Climbers (2008)
7.1
Apr 2010
6.261
Owned
Plays: 1
Super-intuitive gameplay and strong visual/tactile appeal makes this a good pick for mixed groups
2011-05-10
The Club (2008)
N/A
5.302
Owned
Memory + The aMAZEing labyrinth, but the good application of theme makes it slightly better than either separately.
2009-11-23
7.2
Apr 2010
6.675
Owned
Plays: 5
much better than i expected it to be, simple betting mechanism with variable powers to generate interesting interactions, without 100 different cards of text. I would actually classify it very vaguely as a "trick taking" game, but it's got more depth than what i normally associate with that.
2010-03-30
Condottiere (1995)
N/A
6.552
Plays: 1
solid extended trick taking game, where the score is kept in a spatial way. has some little quirks that could have been improved on, but overall it seems to work. i'll refrain from rating it until i get some more plays in.
2010-08-13
8
Feb 2009*
6.168
Owned
this rating is for the normal version, which seems better balanced. the "advanced" actually made luck a bigger factor in the game, and would be just a 6 or 7 for me. area control game with some maneuvering and risk estimation. one of my favorite area control games, by dint of having a good light mix of strategy with tactics, and quantifiable stats rather than the convolution that makes decisions in a lot of similar games worse (i'm not a big fan of "well, option A seems only marginally different from B, C, and D, so i guess i'll go with my mental lottery", and this game manages to avoid this cleanly).
2009-11-27
4
Feb 2012
5.498
Plays: 1
Meh? Maybe for young kids to learn about animals? Aside from that, nothing really new here, mechanically poor with a clear runaway leader problem, and the kickstarter succeeding shows how much the general public is broadly unaware of even pre-existing non-hobby games/concepts.
2012-02-12
Crokinole (1876)
6
May 2009*
7.595
dexterity flicking game, shuffleboard in the round. higher rated than it should be.
2009-10-30
3
Apr 2008*
N/A
Owned
bleh. ideas mushed together, rather than "designed". A shallow dungeon crawl.
2009-10-30
N/A
6.446
Plays: 1
Decent concept, and while the outcome is predominantly random, strategy isn't really what the game is about, so it accomplishes its goal well.
2011-02-08
Dakota (2010)
7.8
Aug 2010
5.661
Plays: 1
the board did not impress me, but the gameplay did. though there are two somewhat asymmetrical "sides", it's definitely still every man for himself, and the balancing mechanics are very cleanly implemented. I can say I wish there was a bigger variety of things to build, but that's a minor complaint, as the main value in the game comes from the placement mechanics rather than the building tree.
2010-08-09
Dark Minions (2011)
7
Oct 2011
5.732
Plays: 1
Very decent area majority game, with some individual player powers and leveling-up involved. I wish the artistic style was more cohesive throughout, the flavor could definitely have benefited from it, but the game itself is solid.
2011-10-28
Day & Night (2008)
5
Nov 2009*
6.012
Plays: 1
Othello with all strategic decisions turned almost completely into tactics instead. excellent components except for the "pawn" chits, which seem oddly out of place next to the quality of the tiles/cards.
2009-11-22
2.2
Oct 2013
6.629
Plays: 1
I wish I could say "I sure hope DXV is getting royalties from this", but we all know what the likelihood of that is...

So few actual decisions, and when the "thematic integration" has you punching for kicks, it's pretty painful to play this particular clone.
2013-10-22
5.5
Sep 2009*
6.298
I can see the appeal, but there are better dead CCG's out there- and they were around when this one was, making this guy a distant 5th or 6th at all times. The thematic poker element in the middle is good though.
2009-10-30
Decktet (2008)
9
Jan 2012
6.228
Owned
Like the Piecepack- tons of games, for free!
2012-01-29
Delta V (2001)
N/A
5.385
Owned
"Memory" for grown ups, and decent at being that (as well as decently balanced), but not compelling, thematically or mechanically.
2009-10-30
Deus (2014)
N/A
7.093
Plays: 1
There is a big potential for downtime. It's a heavy card-churn game (like Race For The Galaxy), so you're definitely at a huge disadvantage on your first play against anyone who has seen the various cards in action (meaning there's a lot to grok just to bring everyone up to a non-random baseline, like Innovation).

All that being said, I enjoyed the game for the most part, and liked it more than Race or Innovation.
2015-05-09
Diamant (2005)
6
Sep 2009*
6.534
somewhat one-dimensional, effectively a game of chicken. one of only a few games where i think some added complexity could make it stand out. But still fun, and I'd play again.
2009-10-30
Diplomacy (1959)
6
May 2009*
6.901
Intrigue scratches the same itch, but in a shorter timespan. This gets credit for doing it first though, and for being solidly designed for its function.
2009-10-30
N/A
6.944
Owned
Plays: 2
This game is very hard for me to pin down. It's chaotic, and almost entirely tactical (rather than strategic) as a result, but as long as everyone is paying attention to the possible win conditions, your decisions are still meaningful.

I'm not sure I would appreciate it as much, or even have given it a second chance, if the theme wasn't applied so well to the elements. I wouldn't say "integrated", but applied is definitely accurate, and as a fan of the books, that probably lets me overlook the level of randomness inherent in the cards a little more than I would otherwise.

The game also teaches SUPER-quickly, as it's play 1 card, do what the symbols say in order (reference the player aids for what the symbols do) and draw up to your 5 card hand limit.
2011-12-27
Dixit (2008)
N/A
7.323
Plays: 2
People compare this to "Apples to Apples", which is fair because it's in the same genre, but really it's closer to an old parlor game called "Psychic" or "Telepathy", just with pictures instead of player-written phrases. The artwork is what pushes this game into the green for me, excellently ambiguous.
2012-09-03
Dixit Jinx (2012)
N/A
5.718
Plays: 2
Played with the (incorrect) english rules as written. Game was too short. Played with the corrected rules- game was too long. So lets ignore the bad rules translation, and the length problem- the game is CLOSE to being a good game. It really seems like it needs a bit more tweaking to be enjoyable enough to play more, though.

For instance, as soon as two players have guessed wrong, everyone else should PROBABLY intentionally guess wrong, to skunk the storyteller out of a point. Otherwise they risk giving them a lead that's too large- which is to say, in most games I think being a consistently good guesser is not as valuable as getting a lucky giant swath of cards for other people being bad guessers. So essentially, every two or three rounds, you should end up trying to skunk the storyteller? Uninteresting, and doesn't reward solid play (as in, i THINK you should WANT to guess correctly a greater majority of the time). Also, the "Jinx" rule seems more awkward in implementation than entertaining, despite being the namesake.
2013-07-02
N/A
7.727
Plays: 1
This looks like someone's prototype... but it PLAYS very well. Like a much heavier version of Trias. Not sure yet if it would get too chaotic at the higher player counts, though that being my suspicion combined with the other comments, that's probably the case.
2010-12-12
Dominion (2008)
7
Feb 2009*
7.690
Owned
Plays: 36
any Magic player will like this game. You're not a real one if you don't. Cleanly defines its own mechanic genre of deck-building, and does it well.
2009-10-30
5
Aug 2010
6.849
Owned
honestly, it makes the base game a little more random. you're hoping for potions to come up along with the correct amount of gold for you to make an efficient purchase. in an alchemy-heavy game, this can very easily be the defining difference in scores.
2010-08-20
6
Aug 2010
7.741
Owned
Plays: 4
most configurations, with or without the original, play distinctly slower than the original- and any configuration including the new victory point cards makes it much harder to track exactly what point value everyone's at.

neither of those are specifically criticisms, just observations.
2009-08-16
7
Aug 2010
8.116
Plays: 1
Seems like a solid expansion, after one play, I'd say it probably fits in easily as my 2nd favorite (after seaside). Games are a little longer (because the new tier of VP's means players aren't buying out the province stack as quickly).
2010-08-09
7
Aug 2010
7.913
Owned
Plays: 1
a much cleaner expansion than intrigue, except the Pirate ship and treasure map (which degenerate the game about as heavily as Chapel, just in different ways).
2010-08-20
6
May 2009*
6.947
Plays: 1
fun and quick- not super serious, and could probably have been tweaked into something a bit stronger, but still good occasionally.
2009-10-30
Dracula (2003)
6
Oct 2009*
5.972
Plays: 1
I take issue with all the complaints regarding the memory element:

1- memory elements in games are not inherently flawed or something to be avoided. i could write an essay on why.

but more importantly:

2- this game isn't a memory game. you will, at ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM (and it's highly unlikely it will reach this point), be remembering the location of 12 cards. most of the time, you will only possibly have the ability or need to remember the location of between 5 and 8 cards. if that's a hard task for you, there are deeper issues with your perceptions than i can cover in this comment. and as the game goes on, the possible combinations of those cards shrink. if this is difficult for you, then:

A- we're approaching the difficulty level of remembering your left from right and
B- just leave revealed cards face up until someone performs a swap on them. gameplay will be virtually unchanged. try it, i'll wait. ta-daa, not a memory game.
2009-10-30
N/A
5.888
Plays: 1
It seems like an ok game, but it's very hard to tell through the graphic design issues-

-No victory point summary on the player boards (and plenty of space for it)
-Only PART of the symbology used in the game was explained on the player boards.
-"Black Dice" and "Yellow Dice" are keywords, but don't actually refer to the color of the dice.
-Colors on dice faces too close to each other (2 shades of blue, a yellowy-orange and an orangey-yellow) AND the different shaped borders make the symbols harder to identify at a glance. HUGE failure there, as it adds a noticeable amount of time to games while people try to identify their dice.
-The lines for action boxes should have had an indicator that doesn't get covered up- people constantly having to move tokens off to check which line is which.
-Center circle for dragon HP should have had boxes to put the damage in, with indicators for dragon death at the various player counts.
-Cards not all self-explanatory, and no explanation in the rulebook. We literally handed one card around the table and got 3 different interpretations of what it was saying.
-Odd card text where half the information is in a different font/size/color than the rest, seemingly at random, and certainly not in a helpful way.

and, just to be nitpicky:

-Font on cover of box not readable at a glance... Plus, no designer name on box cover.

I really think I would have enjoyed this if it didn't feel like there was a bonus 50% downtime because of the graphic design issues, and like I was wrestling with the game just to get things done when it was my turn.
2012-01-31
Dune (1979)
7
Apr 2008*
7.289
One of very few games from this time period which neatly combines this level of complexity (with multiple solid mechanics, like diplomacy, area control, rock-paper-scissors with motivation, etc. etc.) and theme.
2009-10-30
Dungeon Lords (2009)
4
Jul 2010
7.334
Plays: 2
needs exactly 4 players, otherwise someone's playing the extra boards. very good theme integration and components, decisions FEEL interesting but it's hard to really mess up- thus scores just kind of push to a similar range... the learning curve to roughly optimal play is very small, making it good for 1 or 2 plays only. the differences between good players will generally come down to guessing wrong during the blind action selection- which is the primary interaction, and is very small due to the guesswork involved.

I've literally watched a game played where 2 of the players selected their actions (about 10 seconds), and then either had to get up to help customers or had to have the other players resolve the actions because they didn't really know what was going on. This to me was the epitome of the problem- there's about 10 seconds of decision making, then several minutes of almost absolute automation during resolution. I'm ok with some downtime, but not 2000%+ downtime compared to the interesting decision time.

summary:
superb thematic integration, low meaningful interaction, only 4 players, and your decisions will probably all come out in the wash.
2011-06-12
7.3
Aug 2011
6.112
Want In Trade
Plays: 2
This game is exactly what I wanted Cutthroat Caverns to be, mostly because the length is -just- right for what's going on.
2011-08-20
N/A
6.400
Plays: 2
It's got tons of theme, and it seems to be close enough to the original, but i'm not sure that's a good thing. flip a random tile, resolve a random effect, which is usually a random card, and probably die. your primary choice is "do i gamble for treasure and possible death, or no?", and the answer should usually be no. The combat system is much more interesting than the rest of the game.
2010-08-09
3
Jul 2014
7.015
Plays: 1
If you aren't entranced by the theme, this game is just roll dice and flip cards and see what happens.
2014-07-20
5
Sep 2011
6.080
Plays: 2
Trick taking game with rotating goals for the tricks and some special cards that rotate in. Fine, but nothing special- except for the art, which is excellent.
2011-09-04
N/A
5.623
A scaled down, less elegant, fantasy version of Space Hulk.

It's fine (but not great), and though the overall footprint is smaller, the tiles and models are nice (though the model bases should have had clear directional indicators). However, they really need to learn how to package-for-perceived-value.
2011-09-19
Eclipse (2011)
N/A
7.935
Plays: 1
Clean design, excellent graphic design, interesting systems (besides "let's roll dice for combat, durf durf"). A bit more random than I'd like on the whole, but definitely a solid game.
2012-02-18
Edo (2012)
7.5
Feb 2013
6.474
Plays: 1
Very solid mid-weight-plus euro, lots of meaningful choices and options.
2013-02-01
Egizia (2009)
7
Aug 2010
7.188
Plays: 1
The worker placement and advancement mechanics are very cool, and I would definitely play this again. The Sphinx cards are probably the worst part about the game, but I would need a few more plays to determine if they were unbalancing enough to make the rest of it not worthwhile.
2010-08-09
Element (2008)
5
May 2010
5.555
Owned
Plays: 2
like Cutlass of Fire, this was clearly concepts stuck together rather than "designed", but it's still ok to play. Equivalent dice rolls would solve most of the problems (because some elements are clearly superior to others).
2009-10-30
Elixir (1987)
6
Feb 2009*
5.558
Owned
a mild deduction element with with a transparent guess mechanism, and failing a guess to find one of the 3 game-winning bits will still yield a potion which will give you extra abilities. slight imbalance in the starting positions, but still well designed overall- good for family games, good for mixed groups, even good for gamers on occasion.
2009-10-30
Elk Fest (1999)
6
Sep 2009*
5.977
flicking game- the rules for moving the mooses and the physical design of the pieces could have made this much better, but it's still ok.
2009-10-30
8
Sep 2011
6.988
Owned
Plays: 10
Need to play it a few more times to grok the tech cards, but it's definitely interesting. Doesn't really feel like a deck-building game (because of how much more control you have compared to others in the genre), but I think that's a good thing.

Edit: The more I play it, the more I enjoy it. Exploring the tech tree is very interesting.
2011-09-07
Endeavor (2009)
10
May 2011
7.301
Owned
Plays: 18
the only random element is the initial setup, which is viewable by all- excellent mix of strategy and tactics, direct and indirect interaction, along with interesting and constant decisions, all in 45 minutes to an hour. This hits all the right buttons for me, and makes me want to play it MORE every time I play it.
2011-05-11
Fairy Tale (2004)
7
Sep 2009*
6.686
A good card-drafting game for Magic players, though some more variance on the scoring values and mechanisms of different cards would have been nice.
2009-10-30
Felinia (2010)
N/A
5.914
Plays: 1
very visually appealing game, with a sort of backwards "Die Speicherstadt" auction. The auction is a little different from many though, because it's VERY difficult to make even a little bit of profit from it (It would be VERY hard to earn 1 boat's worth of advantage from any reasonably attentive group), so it's more about gauging what you're getting and when (for purposes of set collection/lines of workers) rather than trying to eke out a gain.
2010-11-22
Finca (2009)
6
Oct 2009*
6.842
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
visually appealing, though the real "game" is the rondel mechanic. but light, easy to teach, and certainly good for a few plays.
2009-10-30
5.5
Sep 2009*
6.679
Plays: 1
You must attempt to acquire the saga cards. If you don't get majority in something, someone else will. That means you're only making a few interesting blocking decisions each game, everything else is "which saga card can i complete most efficiently". the other "strategy" bits, like getting the bloody axe bonus or having lots of settlements- are secondary considerations to this, things you just kind of do "along the way" while you're accomplishing sagas.
2009-10-30
N/A
7.086
Unfortunately ameritrash, where you random some things to see what your options are, then random some more to see if you succeed.

All the value in the game comes from being "oh, I've got *crew member i liked from the show* on my ship!", "oh, i remember that quote, wasn't that quote good?", and none comes from the actual gameplay. Which is the same way licenses versions of monopoly sell.
2013-09-01
Firenze (2010)
7.9
May 2014
6.694
Plays: 1
Really cleanly tied together mechanics in a fast playing, easy-to-teach euro. Since I liked this and Hansa Teutonica, I should probably try more of Andreas Steding's stuff.
2014-05-10
FITS (2009)
5.9
Apr 2010
6.406
Owned
Plays: 7
Tetris shapes are cool, let's add a scoring mechanic to them!

Tetris crossed with bingo, and definitely multi-player solitaire, but still a fun game.
2009-11-28
Five Tribes (2014)
N/A
7.590
Plays: 1
Five Tribes: the Djinns of Analysis Paralysis
2014-09-27
Fjords (2005)
6
Sep 2009*
6.438
Owned
Plays: 2
carcassonne's cousin, if you like one you'll probably like the other. the tiles could have been better set up so the quirky rules restrictions didn't show up every second turn, and it seems like there should be twice the number of tiles that there are (which would offset what seems to be a distinct first-player advantage by making maneuvering more important), but still a fun 2-player game.
2009-10-30
Flandern 1302 (2004)
4
Dec 2008*
5.691
acceptable but dry. area majority/building game that looks more interesting than it is.
2009-10-30
Fluxx (1997)
2.5
Sep 2009*
5.620
An exercise in random. It could have been "I think these rules (and other things) i'm playing benefit me more than they hurt you", instead it's "VASTLY GAME ALTERING CARD EVERY TURN... *please let me draw cards that let me win the game through no skillful play of my own*".

decisions are minimal, their effective impact on the game, as far as moving you towards victory? even less.
2009-11-27
7
May 2010
6.829
Plays: 1
This is absolutely "Pandemic light" in mechanics and in the strategies you'll use (and easier to win, too- Fool's Landing sinking is definitely the most dangerous loss condition). I would say if you own one, you probably don't need the other. The production value is AMAZING for the price.
2010-05-14
2
Sep 2011
6.704
Plays: 1
The epitome of bad ameritrash.

Roll-and-move. Then flip over a card, and roll the dice it tells you to, to see what happens. ad infinitum.

the rulebook is horrendously laid out (non-alphabetical glossary anyone?). the print on the abilities of the adventure descriptor cards (the "of illusion", "of doom" ones) is too small, to the point where 5 people didn't notice it until multiple turns into the game (and I'm rarely one to complain about small print).

The game is very pretty. It is not very much of a game, though, and randomness is not theme.
2011-09-18
Francis Drake (2013)
N/A
7.041
Plays: 1
The closest comparison I'd make is Egizia- this has a bit more theme going for it, but a bit less replayability I think. Enjoyable on the whole.
2013-09-07
Frank's Zoo (1999)
N/A
6.393
Plays: 1
can't imagine playing this without the player aid showing what-beats-what for at least the first several games.
2011-07-27
Fraud Squad (2002)
N/A
5.451
Owned
Clue: the card game. Much like Inkognito: the card game.
2009-11-23
Funny Friends (2005)
4
Sep 2009*
6.237
The theme is excellent for a party game, or for a light game with a mixed group. the mechanics are strictly gamer mechanics, and the rules are distinctly heavier than they should be for the execution- especially since when someone wins, it doesn't really feel like there was much you could do about it... which kind of pushes it back out of the "gamer's game" box.
2009-10-30
Fzzzt! (2009)
N/A
5.936
Owned
Plays: 1
some of the interesting parts of the decisions you make in this game are essentially not present (set collection and blocking set collection, as well as subtleties of when and how much to bid) when playing with 2 players, so I highly recommend playing with 3 or 4.

that's not to say that it becomes bad at 2, just that it becomes much lighter overall... and it starts out very light to begin with.
2010-11-22
7.5
Oct 2009*
6.285
Owned
Plays: 1
role selection game in the vein of Puerto Rico and Race for the Galaxy, but with more direct interaction and less left-right binding issues. Very solid indie design.
2009-10-30
N/A
7.415
Plays: 1
I'm absolutely in the camp of players who thoroughly enjoys the building part of the game, but not the resolution part (resolution of the race has -less- interesting decisions and takes -longer- than the building... not a good combination).

I would play it again, but certainly not something I'd be up for more than once a month or so.

I'm tempted to make fan expansion to fix the problem.
2010-09-28
Galaxy's Edge (2009)
7
Aug 2011
5.638
Owned
Plays: 2
From the same designer as Conquest of the Fallen Lands, another area control game with some cool mechanics, I enjoy CotFL a teensy bit more, but I think most real gamers should enjoy Galaxy's Edge more.
2009-11-23
Garden Path (2008)
N/A
N/A
Owned
(my game, i'm a shill) 2 player, playable with no table space (can be played standing up). Has a memory element (which i recognize will turn some people off), but uses that to fuel a very mild deduction element (which is what you should be using to trigger the game-end).
2009-11-27
Get Bit! (2007)
4
Feb 2013
6.131
Plays: 1
Blind decisions, yes, but INFORMED blind decisions, mostly, which means it's not as bad as my rating may lead you to believe. However, for the weight of the decisions, even the "fast" game lasts about twice as long as I'd prefer.
2013-02-23
Ghost Stories (2008)
5
Sep 2009*
7.276
Good for a few plays, but suffers heavily from optimal strategies. If it was a video game, i'd say rent it, don't buy it.
2009-10-30
Giants (2008)
7
Sep 2009*
6.612
Plays: 1
a good game from a new designer, a "pick up and deliver" sort of design where other people get up in your business, and the bits are thematically well done. Strategy with tactical decisions to either exploit; disrupt; or work around the disruptions of; the other players.
2009-10-30
Glen More (2010)
N/A
7.161
Owned
Plays: 3
Fast and constant decisions, several interesting systems interlocking. symbology could be improved on, but that's not a big detriment.
2010-11-22
N/A
5.412
Owned
a game with an educational agenda and a date that makes me not want to give it a chance.
2009-11-23
Gloria Mundi (2006)
7
Oct 2009*
5.865
Owned
Plays: 1
Much more interesting than the theme, looks, or description of the game led me to believe. A race game with an interesting economic buildup mechanic to fuel it.
2009-10-30
Glory to Rome (2005)
6.5
Sep 2009*
7.382
Plays: 1
Role selection game with the cards serving lots of different functions. Puerto Rico had lots of interaction. San Juan was a good card game translation but lost a lot of the interaction. RftG should have been the "fixed" one in the same concept space, but instead I think Glory to Rome is the one that fits the bill.
2009-10-30
Go (-2200)
6
Jan 2010
7.460
A good abstract with a LOT of memorization of patterns at the top end.

the simplicity of the rules is exaggerated (and in particular the claim of "only one/two/three" rules is wrong or fallacious). it is a simple rules set, but it's not as astoundingly simple as people make it out to be.
2010-01-23
Goa (2004)
6
Sep 2009*
7.536
Plays: 3
Auction game with an interesting mechanic to decide what you're getting, and a little bit of an economic building game, but not quite worth the rating it gets.

not bad, and at least has more interesting elements than power grid, but it didn't grab me (though i would play it again).
2009-10-30
Gonzaga (2009)
N/A
6.078
Plays: 1
scratches the same itch as Ticket to Ride, but with some extra options/decisions. Would buy/play over ticket to ride, but not sure I would buy if I already owned TTR.
2009-11-22
GOSU (2010)
4
Oct 2010
6.370
Plays: 1
good mechanics, nice artwork, but probably should have been a CCG. drawing from a shared deck combined with heavy card variance means that luck is too strong of a factor.
2011-07-27
El Grande (1995)
6.5
May 2009*
7.722
Plays: 2
Good area majority game, surprisingly holds up well despite its age- though others have since improved on its formula.
2009-10-30
N/A
5.578
Owned
Plays: 11
Disclaimer: designer bias.

Grave Business is a worker placement spatial auction with deduction and direct aggression elements.

People are most frequently scared away by the "direct aggression" part, but the attacking and stealing is mathematically and strategically inefficient in the majority of circumstances, so it's up to the good players to figure out when the right time for taking those actions is.

The bidding is blind-yet-informed... informed in multiple aspects, in fact. It was important to me for your decisions to be the primary factor, but I didn't want people bogged down in over-math'ing the board, so there's definitely enough info to make intelligent and meaningful choices, but still the possibility for some jukes and jives.

Pro-tip:
When resolving the graveyard, it's often easy to find columns and rows which clearly go entirely to one player, and resolving those first- which frequently makes most of the rest of the board pretty easy to dole out as well. If you're taking more than 1 minute to hand out the board pieces at the end of the round, you're probably making it more difficult than it needs to be

Please play and enjoy and comment and rate!
2012-07-29
2
Jun 2010
5.515
Plays: 1
Almost purely random roll-and-move, roll-and-fight game.

here's the funny thematic bit: you can put cheese in your head and it will function as a brain. there you go, now you're not missing out on ANYTHING in this game.
2010-06-20
5.5
Sep 2009*
6.374
Ladder game. doesn't seem like it really needs a special deck of cards, but does benefit greatly from thematic reinforcement (i suggest making the peons sit on the ground, and making the royalty chair a recliner).
2009-10-30
7
Mar 2009*
N/A
Prev. Owned
Sort of a mini role-selection game. I suspect my rating will go down with more plays though.
2009-11-23
6
Sep 2009*
6.038
Trick taking, very similar to Chaos Marauders.
2009-11-23
2.5
Aug 2011
5.722
Plays: 2
Cripplingly random. Cards range from "you're wasting your time by playing this" to "this card can mimic 1 of ANY of the good cards in the deck, of your choice". Even worse, the random events that force you to do things like swap hands, lose all your cards in play, or kill all your cards which are "protected" by a particular type of other card.

Punishing all forms of intelligent decision does not make a game exciting, and saying "but it's a kid's game!" as an excuse is like saying "my kids are too dumb to make real decisions, and I wouldn't want to do anything that might change that!"
2011-08-15
Guess Where? (2004)
N/A
5.465
Owned
I think this gives the "less obvious descriptors" Guess Who? players more fuel to play with.
2009-11-23
7.7
Aug 2010
7.448
Want In Trade
Wishlist(1)
 (Must have)
Plays: 1
appears to be a very good game- multiple paths to victory, interesting decisions throughout. strong left-right binding impact, but one you should potentially be able to operate functionally around.
2010-08-22
Harbour (2015)
N/A
6.306
Owned
Protip: If you think the game is too "chaotic", that just means you're ignoring the other players entirely. This is not a game where you should ignore the other players.
2015-02-11
3.5
Jun 2010
5.272
Plays: 1
like, robo-rally... except that in 50% of the turns your registers are programmed at random for you, and you are teleported randomly every 2 to 4 turns.
2010-06-20
5
Apr 2008*
N/A
Owned
Like Munchkin, but more fun
(plays best with the designer facilitating)
2009-11-23
5
Apr 2008*
N/A
Owned
See main entry for HoA
2009-11-23
5
Apr 2008*
N/A
Owned
See main entry for HoA
2009-11-23
5
Apr 2008*
N/A
Owned
See main entry for HoA.
2009-11-23
7.5
Dec 2010
5.708
Plays: 2
When the game was explained to me, It sounded like there would be extreme balance and luck problems. Moreover, the "we saved on graphics by using public domain stuff" was at odds with the molded plastic pieces, which didn't bode well either.

However, when I actually played it, it was WAY better than I expected. The cards are more decently balanced than I thought at first glance, it's easy to hedge your bets against the "luck" elements, or to avoid them if you don't want to fight, and though it LOOKS like there is kingmaking at the end, generally the reality is that players can only go in one of a couple of places by the point where it would give that impression, so they're just making do with what's available (so what really mattered was whether you put yourself in a position where someone might be best served tearing down someone for some 2nd place points for themselves).

Definitely one of those games where people might let their pre-judgements mess up their perception of how it actually plays out.
2010-12-14
HeroQuest (1989)
6
Sep 2009*
6.721
the obvious ancestor of the much better Warhammer Quest.
2009-11-23
Hex Hex XL (2010)
4
Nov 2011
5.856
Plays: 1
I'm down with a lot of the things this game does, especially as a party game (for which you can excuse some of the ambiguous rules, etc). That doesn't excuse some of the bad design elements (punish players for making reasonable decisions, disproportionate rewards assigned at random, runaway leaders/losers causing loss of interest for half the table, etc).

You may say "that's the point!", to which I say that random wackiness may be the point, but it ceases to be a very good point when half the table has lost interest 50% of the way through the game.
2011-11-04
6
May 2009*
6.749
A territory reduction game, like "Amazons" or "Zombiegeddon".
2009-05-10
Hive (2001)
6
May 2009*
7.258
Plays: 10
I'm pretty sure the good pieces are what makes this as popular as it is. It IS a good abstract, but so are lots of others with a similar feel.
2009-11-23
Hoity Toity (1990)
5
Sep 2009*
6.394
Prev. Owned
Plays: 1
multi-layered rock/paper/scissors with motivations attached, which is the way to do it. I think the negative feedback loops (AKA catch up mechanics) are what tips the balance to the frowny-face side.
2009-11-23
Homesteaders (2009)
8
Dec 2009*
7.004
Owned
Plays: 4
Constant interesting decisions, my favorite kind. coupled with a broad choice of progression paths, makes a very good game.
2011-05-10
N/A
5.598
Plays: 1
Cripplingly flawed.

Each player has a turn to be the boss (your best opportunity for making money), but earlier bosses can net MUCH MUCH less money, both because there is less in the game at that point, and because the players will expect to realize less return, so they won't offer as much. Additionally, the granularity of the starting money is too low- you don't start with enough "units" for interesting negotiation; furthermore, the relevant points of negotiation aren't transparent enough, and various players' leverage (ie: cards in hand) are 100% opaque, further suppressing relevant negotiation.

Speaking of units, either the player card values should have started out multiplied times 5, or the money values should have been divided by 5, because doing two separate operations on the cards in play when you shouldn't need to further shows how little this was developed. And a large portion of the cards amount to a 200% equity swing when played, sometimes for the whole table, meaning it's full-on random. And sometimes players can be entirely shut out of a round by not having any cards of the appropriate suit (even just having 1 or 2 cards of the appropriate suit is fairly close to being shut out). This can happen to the same person multiple rounds in the same game, with surprising regularity.

I'm going to pretend this isn't a Sid Sackson game.
2013-03-06
Iliad (2006)
6
Sep 2009*
6.250
Owned
Trick taking, where your cards can attack theirs before the trick resolves.
2009-11-23
5
Sep 2009*
6.013
Plays: 1
Heavy effects from cards applied in heavy ways destroys strategy, and even whitewashes over most tactics.
2009-11-23
Indigo (2012)
N/A
6.378
This seems way, WAY too close to Tsuro. Saying "I want my opponent's piece to reach the edges" is almost identical mechanically to saying "I want a scoring piece to reach the edge". Regardless of what you want to call the piece, it's still one of many pieces that you're trying to make reach the edge, using the same movement mechanic as Tsuro.
2012-02-13
Infiltration (2012)
6
Jun 2012
6.421
Plays: 1
Incan Gold, with many many more rules. Which is to say, it starts with a solid base, and does a good job adding theme and story arc. I don't think it really adds much in the way of interesting decisions, but it's still short enough to be fine for what it is.

I actually don't think I like the advanced rules for download/extract, as it gives even more power to the "unlock some more point tokens, then take them" item cards that are given out at random, and those are already extremely strong. Drafting the item cards also seems to be much better than getting them at random.
2012-06-07
Infinite City (2009)
3
May 2012
6.007
Plays: 2
essentially a tactical othello (note i called "Day and Night" the same thing)- your choices are based entirely on the variable power tiles in your hand, and you're trying to put your "owned" markers on as many tiles as possible.

it becomes uncontrollable chaos at 5 and 6 players, the tile effects are too large (and some are distinctly superior to others), so you're just praying your board position vaguely resembles what it was on your prior turn. may be more acceptably strategic at 2 or 3 players.

a few graphic design issues as well, the borders mush together a bit much- it would definitely have been beneficial to have the silver-ring cards more distinctly silver, the power stations more identifiable, and the tiles with point values have a bright or distinctive signifier around/as the point value.
2010-01-15
Ingenious (2004)
5
Jan 2010*
7.108
Owned
Plays: 4
dominoes with double-hexes as the dominoes and a blocking aspect. I should enjoy it a little more than I do.
2009-11-23
N/A
5.460
Owned
Clue: the card game... that requires exactly 4 players. bleh.
2009-11-23
Innovation (2010)
4
Jun 2011
7.138
Prev. Owned
Plays: 2
I like the mechanics more than the resultant game.

1 game to learn how to play- TONS more games before you are playing with enough knowledge of the cards and potential paths that your informed decisions come close to overpowering the random elements inherent in the system.

which is to say, for those tons of learning games, you're mostly making purely tactical decisions and hoping cards come up in your favor and not in your opponent's. the fluxx comparison isn't wholly accurate, as EVENTUALLY you will be well enough apprised of the situation that your choices are meaningful (whereas you can never really reach that point in fluxx).

the real issue for me is that, while i'm ok with a steep learning curve, i kind of want the interaction during that curve to still be interesting, and it's not- neither while i'm learning, nor while i would be playing with any new player trying to catch up on the curve... because until you crest that peak, you are pretty much just in random land. and that's a lot of bad games until you reach the good stuff... and then some more bad games whenever you want a new, real opponent. and once everyone IS at a similar skill level, then the random elements are generally what's determining the winner, not clever play. There's a very small window of "interesting and competitive play".

I'm cool with a steep learning curve, but I'd prefer it not be a curve that is mandatory, long, and unfun... but necessary to get over the hump of the random elements in the game.
2011-06-12
Intrigue (1994)
6.5
Sep 2009*
6.152
Plays: 2
Diplomacy, but without the absurd playtime.
2009-11-23
Isla Dorada (2010)
6
Oct 2010
6.412
Plays: 1
interesting game, very visually appealing, though slightly long for the weight of the decisions made. definitely better for family gaming than gamer gaming.
2010-10-29
7
Dec 2009*
6.014
Plays: 1
prototype played at bgg con 2009- a much cooler game than the concept sounds.
2009-12-11
Jamaica (2007)
N/A
6.895
Plays: 1
An interesting, light, hand and positioning management game. This is definitely my preference over Pirate's Cove for pirate themed boardgames, and either matches or surpasses it for thematic components... though I expect re-playability would die down after 5 or 6 plays.
2010-06-24
Kaigan (2009)
7.8
Nov 2010
6.077
Plays: 1
the decisions were much more tense than i had expected. definitely need to play this a few more times to get a better handle on it.
2010-11-18
Kemet (2012)
5.5
Jun 2014
7.483
Plays: 1
I like the systems present, but didn't really enjoy playing. Very nice components, though the player boards could be a little more informative.
2014-06-07
Key Market (2010)
7
Nov 2010
6.388
Prev. Owned
Plays: 4
I read the rules and thought it was maybe going to be too light. and then i played the game, and it might actually be too heavy. lots of interesting decisions, but such a steep and long learning curve that unless you've got a group who you'll play this with regularly, it'll be hard to play a game with everyone on the same level. gameplay is also somewhat procedural, it doesn't flow as much as i'd like it to.

a very good design, with clearly written rules and excellent graphics with intuitive layouts.
2010-11-05
Keythedral (2002)
7.5
Feb 2013
6.794
Owned
Plays: 3
Worker placement with HEAVY blocking, which is what I like in worker placement games.
2009-11-23
2
Aug 2010
5.439
Plays: 1
cards multiplied by dice = random, and normally that's bad enough. this game takes it a step further by injecting MULTIPLE further random-inducing mechanics, on top of the core imbalances in the cards and the system to begin with.
2010-08-20
King of Tokyo (2011)
7.5
Oct 2010
7.322
Owned
Plays: 4
Way better than i expected, a fun and thematic dice game of king-of-the-hill. There were issues with the card wordings on the prototype i played (meaning that it probably needs errata even before it's published), but i definitely would have bought it at Essen if it had been available there.
2010-10-29
8
Sep 2011
6.128
Plays: 1
Worker placement with a push-your-luck element... super-strong spaces which require all the rest of your workers, so you have to decide when's the right time to stop placing.

Low luck, fast play time (about 45 minutes, tops, unless you're doing something horribly wrong), and constant tension because of the push-your-luck mechanic.
2012-01-24
Kingsburg (2007)
7.5
Oct 2009*
7.146
Owned
Plays: 6
Tactical dice application (in a worker placement mechanic) to facilitate strategic building choices. Best with more players.
2009-11-23
N/A
6.061
Owned
I liked the idea, but the execution was less interesting and damaged the game more than it fun-ified it.
2009-11-23
Kunst Stücke (1995)
6
Nov 2009*
5.686
Plays: 1
Tetris shapes are fun, let's apply a scoring mechanic to them.
2009-11-23
Labyrinth (1986)
6
Sep 2009*
6.210
Owned
a little deeper than i gave it credit for, and if you play with revealed goal cards, it can be a real spatial awareness brain-burner.
2009-10-30
N/A
5.679
Plays: 1
EXCELLENT pieces (bottles, ice cubes, etc), and ok gameplay. very light.
2010-11-29
N/A
6.013
Owned
won in DoW design contest... doesn't really impress me though. I'm debating whether to even open it.
2009-11-23
N/A
6.104
Plays: 1
tension and interesting decisions, which becomes more tense and more interesting with more players (particularly the "get on top of the stack" decisions). My rating is probably 4 plus (the number of players times 0.75), but I'll need more plays to be sure.

My only real complaint isn't about the actual gameplay- as a family game, using 1"x0.5" chits as the primary moving pieces is a bit on the small side for youngster appeal/handling/stacking.
2010-09-28
8
Mar 2008*
6.506
Underrated game, and one of the few things that WotC actually mis-managed when they got a hold of it.
2008-03-31*
7
Aug 2010
6.578
Plays: 1
Worker placement with a different emphasis in regards to blocking- generally there's enough spaces for almost everyone to do a reasonable amount of things, you're just trying to get as much free stuff as possible and then pick your battles well.
2010-08-13
Libertalia (2012)
N/A
7.108
Plays: 1
One play at 6 players so far. Citadels feel, both in role selection and in the amount of Chaos that occurs after you make your choice for the round. The other players are what generally determines your end score, rather than yourself. May be (like citadels) better at 3 or 4?
2013-02-01
Lifeboats (1993)
3.5
Jul 2011
6.397
Plays: 1
voting where you have to go to the tie-breaker WAY too often. player elimination. the game should essentially be based on negotiation, but all you have to negotiate with is your vote. this requires the group to be prone to lively negotiation ALREADY, rather than fostering it... so you could be playing a better game with the same group.
2011-07-27
Lobo 77 (1993)
2
Aug 2010
5.519
Plays: 1
here's the comprehensive strategy guide: play the largest number card from your hand that doesn't earn you a penalty. congratulations, you are now a tournament level player of this barely-a-game.
2010-08-13
Loopin' Louie (1992)
6
Sep 2009*
6.800
Fun dexterity filler that gets a little more "cool kids" buzz than it deserves.
2009-11-23
Loot (1992)
7
Mar 2008*
6.185
Owned
Plays: 4
I think the name change in translation was silly, but at least the game is still solid.
2008-03-31*
N/A
6.209
Need some more plays before I rate this, but It seems like a very decent game. Huge amounts of "take that", but lots of public knowledge of what cards people have in hand allows you to plan for that.
2011-08-15
5.5
May 2011
6.938
Plays: 1
Strongly random, though you're still making interesting decisions. Better than I expected, definitely, but if the game was a touch shorter I might be more inclined to forgive the randomness a bit more. I would play it again though.

and they clearly dropped the ball in not having poker chips for money. even small plastic ones would have been ok.
2011-05-14
6.5
May 2012
7.707
Plays: 2
absolutely nothing special in terms of the mechanics, but it is surprisingly "adequate" as a generic euro considering the publisher- which is to say it is playable and appears decently balanced at first blush.

I would play it again, but doubt I'd be the one to suggest it, just because it's so plain.

The box and insert quality, however, are way, WAY above average.

---

2 games played, 2 games where the winner was the guy who got a quest first thing that gives more points for same color quests that matched their secret lord goal. This may be a problem. Also, just starting with 2 quests that match your lord is an 8 point swing (which is a very meaningful amount) for no reason.
2012-05-01
Lost Cities (1999)
5
Sep 2009*
7.042
Owned
Plays: 4
this could be a regular deck of cards with a fifth suit. There are definitely decisions, and some press your luck, but they're not meaty enough to -grab- my attention.
2009-11-23
Lost Legends (2013)
2
Aug 2013
6.056
Plays: 1
I like 7 Wonders. This is not 7 Wonders, and does not evidence the sort of interesting decisions I prefer, and that a draft often has the potential to showcase very well. Very flat card abilities which provide virtually no incentive to deviate from the obvious decisions. Ditto with the monster combat. Also, several of the other distribution rules (gold/monsters) felt very awkward in their respective contexts.
2013-08-20
Machi Koro (2012)
4.5
Jan 2014
6.816
Very light tableau game (like Race For The Galaxy), but with a shared pool of cards and dice as the randomness rather than card draws... and it has about a play and a half in it, tops. It REALLY needs different cards that can be rotated in and out. You could hand me a free copy and I wouldn't open it, because I've already gotten all the play I think there is from it.
2014-01-07
Mad Zeppelin (2010)
4
Aug 2010
5.472
Plays: 1
another game i wanted to like based on theme/art/vague description of gameplay... unfortunately, it's a citadels clone with less tightly woven roles and a sub-optimally integrated injection of randomness from multiple fronts.
2010-08-13
Magi-Nation (2000)
7
Sep 2009*
5.813
Owned
A "simpler" magic with a better fix to the resource system than most other imitators.
2009-11-23
10
Mar 2008*
7.309
Owned
Plays: 6
people often only state the things they perceive as having been "done wrong" in Magic. unfortunately, most CCG's missed the important things that were done right.

people complain that the cards have gotten too powerful- and i say you build a deck with what you believe is the most overpowered recent set, let me build a deck with just the original set, moxes, black lotus, dual lands, swords to plowshares, timewalk, etc.

If you want to do the most recent base set along with its 2 expansions, i'm fine mixing the original set in with Arabian Nights and Antiquities. Khird Apes, Serendib Efreet, Mishra's Factories and Workshops... it will be fun.

people say that the game is too expensive. if you're good enough at the game, the only cost is tournament fees- you win more than enough product to keep you playing competitively.

What really happens is that people's perceptions change- and they are inaccurate... either misinformed or tainted with nostalgia.
2010-01-02
6
May 2009*
6.949
Plays: 1
Feels disturbingly like Taj Mahal, but with some optimization flaws that push players towards a similar score- resulting in an unfortunate kingmaking. (and I think the "kingmaker" phrase is grossly overused, so me using it for this is saying something).
2009-11-23
Man O' War (1993)
6.5
Sep 2009*
6.256
I enjoyed this more than I enjoyed normal Warhammer. Not quite sure why.
2009-11-23
Marrakesh (2002)
7
Oct 2009*
5.635
Owned
Plays: 2
excellent quick and small tactical decisions with a cool board mechanic. Superb filler or kid's game.
2009-11-23
N/A
5.582
Plays: 1
I could make some mild criticisms- attacking and stealing are a bit too similar, and the length is just a touch over what I'd prefer for the weight of the game... but overall this is exactly what you'd expect based on the description, and so I'd say it's a job well done.
2013-09-07
2.75
Oct 2010
5.524
Owned
Plays: 2
nothing new here, and visually appealing, but the dice impact is ignorant.

dice multiplied by cards equals randomfest, and it's worse here with the "1 always loses".
2010-10-29
Merchants (2007)
7.1
Aug 2010
6.039
Plays: 1
Better than i expected from looking at it. Sort of a distilled version of the currency speculation aspect in Arkadia.
2010-08-09
3
Jan 2011
7.272
Plays: 1
way too much randomness for the length and the overhead involved in the game. Several different systems for the various aspects, but almost all the systems are just different ways to randomize things. lots of choices (and thematic), but not lots of interesting/meaningful choices. distinct downtime problems as well, which is what the majority of the unfortunate game length comes from.
2012-08-08
Midgard (2007)
6.7
May 2009*
6.159
feels much like an improved El Grande, with a card drafting mechanism.
2009-11-23
6.5
Sep 2009*
6.699
Plays: 3
The scientist discovery cards mar an otherwise good game. Their swinginess is WAY, WAY too high when compared to the rest of the point gains in the game.

My rating would be at least a point higher if their implementation was even remotely balanced. The 6.5 is for the game if you just don't play with the cards at all. If you chose to play with the cards, my rating drops a point and a half... maybe 2.

No idea who let them through playtesting, because I've played with NO group of players who did not unanimously agree that they were strongly flawed.
2012-01-28
Modern Art (1992)
5
Mar 2009*
7.183
Owned
Plays: 1
"Lets take a tour through the different kinds of auctions". Simple and fine, but doesn't do something COOL with the auction mechanic.
2009-11-23
Mondo (2011)
N/A
6.354
Plays: 1
This is like just doing the first part of "Galaxy Trucker", and then scoring based on how well you built your ship. This makes it a distinct improvement over Galaxy Trucker, as I don't care for 50%+ of a game being decision-less and random resolution.
2011-12-04
Monopoly (1933)
1
Oct 2009*
4.394
Owned
let's see... long game, hugely luck based, luck factor scales unfavorably with making trades, and making trades is roughly the only skill factor in the game... there was a patent for a virtually identical game that was in before the patent-holder of monopoly, and now this guy is getting rich off of people who think that just because their parents taught them how to play this "game", that it makes it worth playing.
2008-04-05*
4.5
Dec 2010
6.114
Plays: 1
you're making choices in this game, but the margin between random choices and the best possible choices is very small, and heavily outweighed by the random elements in the game. It's good at being thematically evocative of the board game though, which may or may not be a good thing. it is a short game, though, which is a good thing.
2010-12-22
4
Sep 2009*
5.929
Plays: 2
Fluxx is a superb idea done badly... at least with this one you can laugh while playing.
2009-11-23
1
Oct 2014
N/A
Here is my mechanical litmus test-

1: If you removed the attributes that overlap with "Resistance: Avalon", you're left with pretty much no gameplay;

2: You would not have an easy time replacing those attributes with something else;

3: And the decision space is, as a result, essentially identical.

This is AT BEST a slight (very slight) variant of Resistance: Avalon. At worst... well, I think my rating speaks for itself.
2014-10-13
N/A
6.805
I think I like the action mechanics and the compact size more than I like the game itself- it seems like the results very quickly become a foregone conclusion, but I would have to see a few more plays before I could be sure.
2010-08-09
Munchkin (2001)
3.5
Sep 2009*
5.867
Please do not try to foist this upon non-RPG gamers, the funny is what holds it together and if they don't get the humor, the weak gameplay will just punish them.
2009-11-23
3
May 2012
5.503
Plays: 1
the explanation sounded good, and then 3 turns in you realize it's just "random cards times random dice equals super random"
2010-07-02
Mythgardia (2009)
N/A
N/A
Owned
I was hoping the designer would have learned more about design after he made Talisman. He definitely ascribes to the "narrative" school of thought.
2009-11-23
Navegador (2010)
6.9
Nov 2010
7.367
Plays: 1
It was fine, simple rondel game, though I think it may have some replayability issues.
2010-11-18
Necromunda (1995)
8
Sep 2009*
6.595
Another GamesWorkshop success by applying "levelling up" to the characters.
2009-11-23
Netrunner (1996)
6
Sep 2009*
6.935
This gets more credit than it should, it's not "the best" dead CCG, but it is good.
2009-11-23
5
Oct 2009*
7.224
Plays: 1
I believe the description I liked best was "knife fight in a phone booth". Tile-laying wargame, I like the mechanics but I'm not sure I like the game. Rating may go up with more plays.
2009-11-23
Nile (2009)
6.5
Mar 2011
5.680
I highly recommend picking up the Deluxor edition, the monuments make this game much more interesting (note my higher rating for the Deluxor)
2011-03-25
Nile DeLuxor (2011)
8
Mar 2011
5.823
Owned
Plays: 3
note that my rating for this version is higher than the non-Deluxor one- the monuments add A LOT to this game.
2011-03-25
North Pole (2011)
N/A
5.571
Plays: 1
decent light family racing game, most of the decision making is the TTR style card pick-ups.
2010-10-31
6
Jul 2010
5.611
Plays: 1
trick-taking game with a cool bidding mechanic.
2010-07-02
Opera (2009)
4
Nov 2009*
6.110
well integrated theme, awful rulebook.
basically a "buy low, sell high" game for both money and VP, and unfortunately dumps some extra mechanics on top, that don't really add much.

feels like a heavily modified puerto rico- and not just because of the role selection, but also because of what you do with it.
2009-11-27
6
Apr 2008*
5.683
long, but well themed.
2008-04-26*
Origo (2007)
N/A
5.677
Plays: 1
Decent, and probably under-rated. The game is more about WHEN you score big, because you need to distance yourself from the pack so the catch-up mechanisms don't pull you back into the herd. It seems like most people's complaints about the "randomness" thus stem from their inability to realize this.
2010-12-11
Pack & Stack (2008)
7
Oct 2009*
6.202
Owned
Plays: 12
Fun filler party game, plays very fast.

Primary skill is fast recognition- grabbing the best truck for your load. It is heavily random, which I normally strongly dislike, but the pseudo-Tetris aspect plus the fast grab somehow overrides this distaste.

If you want a more brain-based game, auctioning the trucks using points is an easy fix. I'd recommend blind bid to maintain game speed (whoever has the least points currently wins ties).
2014-04-06
3
Aug 2013
N/A
Plays: 1
"Perfection", but without the surprise value, and with a much worse name (that sounds like a euphemism for putting sequins on your nether regions).
2013-08-19
Pandemic (2007)
7
Feb 2009*
7.582
Owned
Plays: 2
another good example of a genre-defining game (even though it wasn't the first co-op, it inspired the explosion) that imitators frequently fail to maintain the good parts of.
2009-11-23
Pantheon (2011)
N/A
6.379
Plays: 1
interesting game. It seems like everyone needs to pay a lot of attention to columns, or one player will run away with the game because of them. Need to play again for more analysis, though I'm not sure it excited me enough to want to push for doing so.
2011-12-04
Parade (2007)
8.2
May 2012
6.577
Plays: 5
I read the rules and thought "meh".

2 years later, I played the game, and was very pleasantly surprised!

This game seems like a good pick for both gamers and non-gamers.
2012-05-26
N/A
N/A
Owned
Plays: 1
beginning players tend to win about 5% or 10% of the time. employ the right strategies and you should be able to push this up to the 40%-50% range.
2009-05-31
Patrician (2007)
5.5
Sep 2009*
6.196
Another dry area majority game. seems like there could be something more interesting done with the stacking pieces mechanics.
2009-11-23
Perikles (2006)
5.5
Sep 2009*
6.555
a waro from the guy who does waro's. I wish i could say i enjoyed it more, but I'll instead just admire the blend of mechanics from afar.
2009-11-23
Piecepack (2001)
9
Jun 2008*
5.752
Owned
100+ games. for free.
2008-06-04*
4
Nov 2009*
7.198
Plays: 1
Excellent components, pretty board, some interesting mechanics- and virtually inescapable parity.

all the actions are so close in eventual point value, and there is little to no time constraint for accomplishing particular things or reason to worry about availability of resources- even the good point converters are in adequate abundance. you're not really "building" an economic engine, so much as processing what you get.

i disagree with the luck complaint- there is certainly luck involved, but the luck impact is minimal- the problem is that unless you specifically mess up (like repeatedly generating more resources than you can hold/use, or spending gold down so you lose points from taxation), you will be a contender.

high parity. no relevant blocking. essentially no time constraint on resource processing. no opportunism or long-term strategizing that will play out in an adequate way. almost nothing to allow intelligent decisions to be the deciding factor.
2009-11-06
Pirate's Cove (2002)
6
Apr 2009*
6.481
Plays: 1
Blind choices and (as always) a solid thematic implementation from DoW. Unfortunately, if you don't lose to the dice, you'll probably lose to the blind choices.
2009-11-23
N/A
N/A
Owned
My piecepack design. Sail your ship around, drop off pirates and shoot at theirs as you scramble for treasure. The more pirates you manage to get around a potential treasure spot before "digging" for it, the better your chance of success.
2009-11-23
Pit (1903)
5.5
Oct 2009*
6.294
Owned
Plays: 3
Entertaining party game for a couple of rounds.
2009-11-23
PitchCar (1995)
7
Oct 2009*
7.058
Plays: 1
because of the "push your luck" element rather than strictly "accuracy", this is one of the better flicking games out there. also because of the cool bits.
2009-11-23
N/A
5.742
I got to play this game when it was still available in comic shops. Even then I recognized it as an unplayable luck-fest. Do not get caught up in the nostalgia for it, the black-and-white pictures easily surpass the actual gameplay in quality.
2010-11-05
Planet Steam (2008)
N/A
6.827
Plays: 1
This game is very punishing. My one play, first turn I chose to upgrade my tanks, because why not? But then all the water was bought out of the market by the time it got to me. And because there was no spare water, none was generated as a bonus resource. My second turn was essentially a blank as a result. 25% of my potential productivity in the toilet. More, really, because as a snowball game, the early turn gains net you more than the late ones.

I liked some of the concepts, and I can say I won't make that "mistake" again, but it's certainly not new-player friendly. I would recommend playing a practice round if there are any new players.

It could have also used some work on the usability end of things (graphic design/icons/colors/etc.)
2014-05-10
7.5
Jan 2010
N/A
there aren't a lot of normal card games that can hold my interest for long (once you get decent at tracking cards in one game, that translates almost directly over to most others). these help that problem.
2010-01-31
Poker (1810)
6
Sep 2009*
6.549
Plays: 2
If you think poker is about the luck of the cards, don't go in a Casino. or better yet, do go, but just while I'm there.
2009-11-23
7
Oct 2010
5.705
Plays: 1
solid play, decent mechanics, low luck. i'm not compelled to buy it yet but i would definitely play it again to give it another shot
2010-10-29
Power Grid (2004)
4
Sep 2009*
7.920
Plays: 1
Overrated. The dry and unthematic auction is what holds the game in balance (because the elements don't connect well otherwise), and so many games are decided because the right power plant flips at the right time.

One of the expansion maps has rules that include not flipping new plants during an auction phase, and that's a big improvement, but doesn't fix the blah-ness of the rest.
2012-05-28
6.5
Aug 2010
5.369
Plays: 1
The board did not have a lot of visual appeal to me, but the game itself is interesting. A sort of territory reduction game - vaguely like "Hey That's My Fish" - but rather than having a numerical value each space has 4 different special abilities. When you land on the space, you choose one and black out that ability. When all the abilities on a tile are blacked out, that tile becomes impassable. Thus you're judging your movement based on your evaluation of the abilities (and your positioning relevancy to the other players), rather than just numbers. LOTS of different board tiles (you don't use them all each game), so there's solid replayability.
2010-08-09
Priests of Ra (2009)
8.1
Aug 2010
6.282
Plays: 1
Yup, it's Ra. If you already own Ra, you probably don't need to spend the money to get this. If you don't own Ra, I'd buy this version.

It is more visually appealing than Ra, and you're making slightly more worthwhile choices, and the scoring system is better; however they aren't grand sweepingly awesome changes, they are only mild tweaks. they also make teaching the game a teensy bit harder, and they make the playtime a teensy bit longer.
2010-08-22
6.5
Sep 2009*
6.788
Plays: 1
an "older" euro that holds up over time. also one that has mechanics that are hard to imitate without being a straight clone.
2009-11-23
Puerto Rico (2002)
6
Oct 2009*
8.047
Owned
Plays: 3
Hugely overrated. Awful graphic design, thin theme, but acceptable gameplay (it's not a bad game, but has enough quantitative flaws that it surprises me how highly people rank it)
2009-11-23
6.2
Feb 2012
7.927
Aside from the nice box, coins, and custom wooden goods, this is what they should have done to PR years ago. (which is to say, all those things are awesome, but the basic art and cardboard upgrades should have happened LONG ago).
2012-02-01
N/A
5.836
Plays: 1
I cut the cake, you choose the piece, combined with rack-o.
2009-11-23
N/A
N/A
Owned
Educational game, of the "roll and move, slap some arbitrary trivia on the cards" variety.
2009-11-23
Quicksand (2003)
6.5
Sep 2009*
5.845
Owned
Best with 2 or 3 players, with more the key deduction element falters quite a bit.
2009-11-23
Quoridor (1997)
8
Apr 2009*
6.473
Plays: 6
One of my favorite abstracts, because it plays fast (because of the nature of the game, there is a maximum possible turn number) and because you can use the simple wall mechanics defensively and offensively in several different ways. The 3 and 4 player games are flawed, this game shines only at 2.
2011-11-29
Ra (1999)
8
Mar 2008*
7.373
Owned
Plays: 7
The theme is pasted on (definitely to its detriment, as its harder to get people to play it), but it's still a superb game. An auction game that does something interesting with the mechanic.
2009-10-23
4
Sep 2009*
7.726
Plays: 1
I prefer San Juan... or Puerto Rico... or Galactic Emperor. Base game is mostly multi-player-solitaire, and the symbology hurdle is hard to pull new players over. It's not a bad game, but it certainly doesn't push any good buttons for me.
2011-12-27
4
Mar 2009*
N/A
Owned
HUGE parity broken primarily by the cards rather than the decisions. Flawed design.
2009-11-23
Rat Hot (2005)
8
Jan 2010*
5.968
Owned
Plays: 10
The more I play this, the more I enjoy it.
2009-10-16
Rattus (2010)
N/A
6.671
Want In Trade
Plays: 1
solid design and a very cool role-selection mechanic. I would definitely question replayability, though the expansion seems like it would solve that problem pretty well.
2010-08-09
Relic Runners (2013)
N/A
6.273
Plays: 1
Very very nice bits, but the board was surprisingly sort of meh in comparison. Not a BAD board, just in comparison to the rest of the parts, it was oddly bland. Gameplay was fine. Not super-engaging, but fine.
2013-08-19
7
Dec 2010
6.133
Plays: 1
Surprisingly good for a licensed theme. This is what Thunderstone/Ascension WANTED to be. Certainly a Dominion clone like the rest, but better options for interactivity than the other clones out there... and WAY better balanced. The card layout leaves something to be desired, but that's a small gripe.

Dominion is still top of the heap, but this one certainly shoves all the other pretenders into a corner.
2010-12-11
N/A
7.411
Plays: 5
While normally I'd just roll my eyes at ANOTHER game using the werewolf mechanic, this one eliminates the need for a moderator, which is a big improvement. Toss in the plot twist cards, and it becomes even more interesting- and I don't believe most of the special-power-role cards in werewolf do the same.
2011-05-16
6
Sep 2009*
6.795
Plays: 1
I do not win at this game, which is a good thing. And the game length works out really well to prevent my head from exploding too much.
2009-11-23
Risk (1959)
N/A
5.472
Owned
the growing-sets-of-cards-value mechanic is good, and the less interesting rest of the game is often imitated. I could be talked into playing once a year or so.
2009-11-23
5
Jun 2010
6.192
Plays: 1
Risk with factions, and card trade-in doesn't scale up... which i think makes it marginally worse than normal Risk- however it's hard to tell, as the only game I played was won by the Hutt player before I could take my first turn.
2010-06-20
Rivets (1977)
N/A
5.653
Owned
*Trade Notes: The box is beat up and squashed, but the counters are unpunched.
2009-10-23
Roads & Boats (1999)
7
Mar 2009*
7.196
Owned
I'd like more opportunities to play this- the mechanics are actually simple, so don't mistake the 4 hour playtime for "complicated".
2009-11-23
RoboRally (1994)
7.5
Sep 2009*
7.103
Owned
The game that proves Richard Garfield wasn't a one-hit wonder.
2009-11-23
Rocket Jockey (2012)
N/A
5.502
I liked the cover art, and I could issue minor gripes like the different decks all having the same back, or the packaging being too big for what is less than a double-deck of cards, or the rules being a little more densely expressed than necessary...

But really the game was "fine". I guess I'd play it again, though not repeatedly in succession, and it's hard to picture anyone enthusiastically suggesting it.
2012-05-18
Ruby Rush! (2007)
N/A
N/A
Owned



designed for the american hobby shop market, a super-quick, super-portable push your luck game.
2012-08-16
7
May 2009*
7.228
Plays: 1
Feels like Dominion, with the random in the card pool rather than the shuffle. Build your economy and then build your VP.
2009-11-23
San Juan (2004)
6
Sep 2009*
7.220
Plays: 2
Better than RFtG almost purely because of it's lack of crippling symbology. otherwise, very VERY similar (understandable because of their roots).
2009-11-23
3
Sep 2009*
5.433
Owned
Dice multiplied by cards = bad. Should have been dice mitigated by cards. very disappointed.
2009-11-23
7
Sep 2009*
5.976
Plays: 1
excellent groupthink estimation game. You're betting on what you think the group as a whole will cause to be the best band or the biggest positive moving band. surprised more people don't like this.
2009-11-23
SET (1988)
6
Sep 2009*
6.340
Good and simple, makes my brain hurt kinda in the same way as Ricochet Robots, meaning I'm bad at it.
2009-11-23
Set Dice (2014)
N/A
N/A
The wilds seem almost antithetical to the game, because they are 100% zero skill sets. (Also, having to keep track of what a wild is seems onerous).
2014-09-28
3
Jun 2010
6.700
Plays: 1
the "Werewolf" mechanic driven by cards- much like "Bang". however in this one you roll dice every turn, which tell you which card you MUST draw and MUST play, as well as whom you're able to attack this turn.
2010-06-20
4
Apr 2011
7.050
Plays: 1
all actions were too quantifiable (and usually only 1 for 1), so the decisions weren't interesting enough to get me interested.
2011-04-09
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