card drafting game with enough variety that it is decent. it plays quite a few people, so that is nice. the theme is good, and there's a certain amount of tactical variation. a good short card game. the art and feel of the cards and boards are wonderful, and the idea of battling your left and right neighbors is good. You really have to think some before passing that handful of great cards on.
frenetic, press your luck fun, with awesome thematic elements. will be a big hit in the right group. will not be a big hit with the heavy thinker eurosnobs. for god's sake, get the painted minis. they are awesome, and increase not only the fun of the game, but make it speedier. one small concern is over the replayability, due to the possible memorization of the trap tiles over a sequence of plays.
superb presentation, and really good game play. The theme is of course the main draw, and it was pretty good. However, my main complaint is that the game as a whole doesn't give quite as good a story telling experience as Tales of the Arabian Nights. You get done with that game, and you really feel like you've been through an adventure. SMERSH just feels like you've been through a game. It's still fun.
a golden moment in gaming. a perfect evolution of the action area placement game ... ala Caylus, Pillars and Stone Age. terrific game. now played several times. it is a lot to digest. there's so many things to do, and ways to win the game, that i think it'll take a few plays before "getting". i like the action system, and the theme is pretty good, although i kind of agree with one of my fellow players, that some of the victory point conditions, seem kind of "gamey" -- building fences to wall in unused plots for one example.
while the main game is my ideal game, and pretty perfect, this expansion does add some very good additions. it makes it overall an easier game, and scores are generally higher. i like the new free actions, and the moor tiles, and forest tiles. all very interesting. a+
takes an okay game, and makes it darn good. the sheer magnitude of the number of little expansions is impressive, and they all bring new life to this simple game. still too much luck involved, but makes a decent fun game for once in a while.
an actually fun version of Kingsburg. maybe it's the theme i like better. But the dice placement also seems to be more fun. one potential problem, though i'm sure some might not think of it as a problem, is that the game is so well balanced, that everyone's ending score is within one of everyone else -- or as a friend of mine might say... a statistical tie. i would prefer a little more gap. it's very cutthroat too.
after more plays, the closeness of the score seems just built into the game, and there's no workaround. it is actually fun though, and very strategic.
my, but this does give one the feeling of building up a city economy and expanding your influence over the countryside. i've played the basic game, without pollution and famine, and i did enjoy the process, but i'm leaving room in my score for more plays. whew, it becomes really hard to manage a fruitful city when played with pollution and famine.game works better if you build a cathedral relatively quickly, i've found out. now having played the game several more times, i can say that it is at as good as Roads and Boats, though i give the slight edge to R&B as far as sheer fun.
excellent entry in the coop game genre -- much better if you enjoy the theme. we found it to be rather easy with five folks pitted against the poor major deity. The more you play the game, the more the theme, and all the intricacies come out. One or two plays really doesn't do it justice. There's so much variability, what with the different characters and elder gods, that i end up enjoying it more almost everytime i play. with the Dunwich Horror expansion coming out, i can see playing this a bunch more times, and liking it better each time. so, this is a great game.
a great expansion to a great game. i love the mental and physical traumas that you can acquire. i love the new town. i love the dunwich horror, although it didn't actually come out in the game we played. the new characters are good. everything!
not too bad an expansion. we left several elements out due to only selecting the traveling play scenario. but it seems to make the game harder. we had a good complement of investigators, so we could keep the acts at bay. difficult, especially if played with Dunwich.
like the mechanics and theme. it's reminiscent of agricola and antiquity, and that's a good thing. unfortunately, the combination of millions of small moves, with potential for interactive plays, means this takes WAY TOO LONG. at two hours, i could see playing this every once in a while. at six hours, i could never get this on the table. EDIT: must've done something horribly wrong, because I've now played a couple more times, with around 3 hour games. Much more reasonable.
(Trade Interest: low) fun for what it is. i like the idea of a simpler Robo Rally game, with enough strategic qualities to make it non-trivial. The planning of which rank numbers to use when is not as easy as it sounds. i'd like to play this with a whole crowd of people to see if it is as fun as i think it would be.
(Trade Interest: low) excellent pseudo-rpg, action strategy, and tactical game i would like to play as a PC, rather than the GM, but it was a ton of run, and not too difficult to explain. people can apply the rpg elements as they want, without ruining the game. a solid effort, that i'm sure will get better with more plays.
pretty fun if you get into the theme. lots of scenarios make it different every time. plays quickly too. but lots of the scenarios are broken or unbalanced. with the rebalanced and edited scenarios, it is a much better game... but alas, now it is difficult to find
after one play, where i did not have any choices, did not have one animal live more than one turn, never was able to have more than two animals on the board EVER, until the final turn, and ended the game with three victory points to the leaders thirty something, i can truthfully say that this is a game that doesn't work. yuck. i really wanted to like it too.
note: after another play, i like it a lot more, and not just because i did better -- i didn't really. just going into the game with the expectation to die constantly, made me enjoy the process more. it's just that kind of game.
decent remake of the classic game, and it really does cut down on the time to play. there are still balance issues between the civs which i don't think any of the variants or editions have fixed. the bonus victory points go a little way towards alleviating this, and the best civilizations in the final phase still seem to set the victors.
I have to say, I am impressed. This game is really fun, and tough. I bring out the best in cooperative environments, and truly represents its theme, as the various characters argue with one another on the best course of action, after their captain has died. The rules are simple, and not too problem-laden. The graphics are nice and crisp. The board could have been a bit bigger, so allow for space for those things now put outside the board. Fun game.
(TRADE Interest: low/medium) i tend to like tile laying games, and this is a good one. however, i do think it could use a little non-randomness to the tile drawing. if that were solved, this would be an 8.
another type of dice play worker placement game. It has an interesting style, and is pretty fun. The whole dice pool mechanic removes some of the strategy I feel, since you don't get to keep "your" dice. Since the points are quite limited, it is important to keep even on all fronts, especially the market cards, where there are the Bards, and don't let anyone get both "animals" and "villagers" points.
certainly a fun game, and an exciting combination of dungeon crawl and finger flicker. i wish i'd thought of it. in play, it matches its theme very well, as the hero players must strategize, using their character's abilities well in order to defeat the bad guy. it's plays in an hour or two, and is well worth the time.
first settlers style game i've enjoyed in years. it has a fresh feel, and the theme of expansion era USA is appropriate and developed well. the wagon train settlers make the "westward ho" expansion flow very quickly. the counter-intuitive railroad development is a little questionable -- in that the natural desire is to connect your settlements with your track, but this is totally wrong for the game. you can of course go dry on resources with lousy die rolls, but this is par for the course for settlers game. good game, if a little long.
(Trade Interest: medium) granted, from the name it's kind of obvious, but i think that an expansion of just identities is kind of stupid. i was expected at least a couple new time paradoxes, and a few actions or something. it is nice though to have some more variety in identities.
(Trade Interest: low) well, with a group of fun people, this is a fun game... not a gamer's game by any means, mind you. but lots of laughs to be had. lots of grumbles too if you stick to the rules about requiring exact matches.
First play was a bit chaotic, and the darned text on the Crossroads cards is so small we needed magnifying glasses. If you only had to read them occasionally, it would be alright, but you have to read them constantly. Downgraded due to that. After a few more plays, we'll see if it is more acceptable. I do like some of the ideas in the game, and the special secret objectives is fun.
a lot of fun. the best dungeon crawl game i've played. it really seems streamlined, compared to Hero Quest, or even Runebound. the variety of scenarios is exceptional, and with the availability of multiple expansions, i find this game to be outstanding. overlord and player alike can have fun with this game.
i'm surprised at the low rating. this is one of the more fun games we play. it can be devastatingly short though. which is another curious thing, since a lot of people complain that the game is too long. i've never found it so, especially if you make alliances.
as fun and confusing as i thought it would be. evokes dungeon keeper, while being also it's own game. also evokes several other modern euros... Agricola, i'm looking at you. has a high difficulty curve, due to the interaction between resource gathering and the battles. great graphics and tone, and bits. The most fun and challenging bit is the action selection mechanism. It is wonderful and complex, and thought-provoking. This is where the true miracle of the game happens. If you just plop down your three actions without deep thought about how you want them to play out, and how they will interact with the other player's choices, you will lose.
has several key mechanics that remind me of other games, Race for the Galaxy, Glory to Rome, Dominion. Overall, i think i like it, but would like to play it a few more times to see if there's some good strategies. all the players of the game went with different whole game strategies, and the scores ended up fairly close.
(Trade Interest: low) not a terrible game, and quick and easy to learn, but there's really not much there to grasp. the game is too easily thrown to the leaders if the all players don't participate in the "take that" style of game play required. maybe good for a few plays, but i'd much rather play Fearsome Floors, or Mississippi Queen.
what a great concept and implementation of a co-op board game. i love it. it feels very exciting when the fire starts to bust out, and you're rushing to discover where the people are. all the games we've played of it have been very close call situations. the bits are great too. the board is fantastic, and very glossy and good looking. i could go on, but just know it is a great game.
indiana jones! yes, this is a fun game that oozes theme, which is just what i like. the map is beautiful, and the cards are delicious and quite plentiful. competitive play works pretty well, and the bonus of having cooperative play is icing on the cake. good job.
(Trade Interest: medium) plays somewhat like the original, but i like the hidden path system a little better. one thing that's a little hard to keep track of is which cities are in the path. but i've found that you can solve that by just always looking through the location deck when a player enters a city. that way you won't give anything away.
interesting and cool. i like the ship building aspect better than the running through space getting blown up, but this is one that will grow on me with time. definitely need a few plays to get the ship building down. if everyone who played it and rated it less than a 7 would play it a few more times, i bet their score would go up.
(Trade Interest: low) i like the theme, and the degree to which you have to cooperate with the other players. it has lots of interesting mechanics, and good graphics. i think it is WAY too difficult, and though you can get better at it, i would not want to play very often unless the difficulty were adjusted down. i mean, it's not fun to lose 90% of the time. further thoughts on the game come with more plays: the cooperation aspect is too much group-think for there to be much fun. Everyone has to agree and execute their moves perfectly, or it will result in a loss. there is no individuality, and that makes the game not much fun, except as an exercise in four people making an agreement. will never surpass Arkham Horror on the coop game front.
(Trade Interest: low/medium) not sure why we dont play this more. the few times i've played it, i enjoyed. one annoying thing is how the train costs so much to move forward in later positions, but can be moved backward at the cost of one pt. grr.
a cool card game in the vein of Race for the Galaxy level of complexity. There are tons of cards and interactions, and a basic system of actions that is neat and relatively unexplored. the vicissitudes are extreme, and that can easily turn off some who are used to the more Euro-steamlined scoring systems, where the range of points between first and last is very slight. This is a monster game where one person can completely tromp the table. But that's why it's a quick card game -- just play again!
(Trade Interest: low) extremely fine detail in a western shootout game. it plays well with two, and i'd like to definitely try it with more. the scenario based system works well, and the card based movement and actions system is accurate. the random shot cards are sometimes frustrating, but then again, so is shooting at someone and having them shoot back.
very interesting and deep game of space exploration. i wouldn't expect any less from Phil Eklund. You don't really need to understand the concept behind the game to enjoy the play, and that is a good thing, because this is hard stuff. the game itself is difficult, and probably needs a couple plays at least to understand what you are doing. the map is brilliant, looks great and serves it's purpose splendidly. look forward to playing this more in the future.
another crayon rail game. i've played it many times, and was really mad at it once when some disaster destroyed too many sections of my track. however, it is fun for the fantasy theme and the special character cards add flavor and tactics. probably my favorite of the crayon rail games. After more plays, it seems someone always gets into a position where they don't have any money, and don't have any deliveries, and their track is insufficient to hope for deliveries. We've considered implementing a "loan" system to cover this, as it's really un-fun to have a player sit there and draw cards turn after turn.
so far only played solo, but it definitely shows some sparks, in that the theme aspect is high. the actual game can be tough or easy, depending on the order in which the cards come up. it is a real thrill determining your own fate -- i.e. how speedy you go through the island. interested to see how it plays multi-player.
(Trade Interest: low) it's pretty good at evoking the excitement of digging in ruins for ancient artifacts -- i.e. it's mostly not exciting, unless you find something but i like some of the systems, and that you have to build up your knowledge before you can do an excavation. also, the time system works a lot better than Around the World in 80 Days, which i didn't like at all. after playing a few more times, i've come to the conclusion that the swings in luck are just too great, and so i've reduced my rating, and am now interested in trading away the game.
(Trade Interest: medium) good political game surrounded by okay war game. i like the part about convincing others to go your way, but then i'm not very good at stuffing away the money, so i don't like that too. the war game part is alright, but takes too long. all that said, it does evoke the theme rather well, and that for me is the most important part of a game.
a nice entry in the horror, rpg boardgame genre. i like the atmosphere, and having multiple zombie players is decent. the artwork is great, and the decks seem balanced. i would like more town boards, and scenarios, but that will come with time i guess. luck can hit you rather hard here, so be prepared.
so far, really impressed by this co-op rpg. The legends are well put together, and provide a great thematic glue to the outstanding mechanics. They are very hard though, and will probably require several tries to win. Maybe there are some balance issues with less than 4 people playing. Look forward to see what legends are created in future expansions.
Not much here really. It's a decent sort of simple game. There's some variability based on the random nature of the lift off points. There's not "take that" game play with the several attack cards. It's pretty quick, and pretty harmless.
it's kind of like a mini Roads and Boats; and in that sense, i like it. There may be some balance issues, with mines for one, and with the limited carts for another. Mines seems to seriously punish the builder of the mine. The limitation on the number of carts is also contentious. However, it does have a neat aspect of exploration versus development, and is relatively quick.
absolutely wonderful thematically, and so many cool and inventive game play elements. it's a little tough starting out, especially learning fresh with no one to help. ultimately it's rewarding, and tells a good story. the only detraction i can think of right now is the limitation of only 5 stories, oh, and also the puzzled can cause a bit of AP, for those prone to it.
for such an early entry in the cooperative rpg genre, it has all the hallmarks of those systems present. i'm pretty impressed that no one has tried to grab the rights to this and do an "arkham horror" FF games version of it. The plot card movement is great, and really drives the game along. The development tracks are interesting and thematic, although i guess you could have a problems with the essentially "roll and move" style game play. since you can move either direction on the dev track, we never found that we couldn't get somewhere interesting. movement on the continent map is even better, with the ability to take trains and planes. in two games played, we lost once horribly when a succession of Fey encounters came up (like six in a row), and won once after a protracted battle against the Nukids (it turned out they didn't have enough power to get them over 20).
(Trade Interest: low) more strategy that at first it seems, since only one turn of the ship is allowed per player movement phase. it can get quite tricky maneuvering through the islands. we did end up with a difficult tile as the finishing tile, and were all jammed up trying to finish. not sure if that is too great. i would instead pre-select the final tile next game.
played it! i found it fun. the rest of my game group was less enthusiastic. i think they just dont respond to the miniature games as well as i do. the rules kind of suck. they seem to have different rules for the same situation scattered around the manual.
(Trade Interest: low) good multi-player mechanics, and interesting challenges to the CCG genre. it's not really collectible, but it does have pre-made decks, and certains behaviors that resemble the MTG-like games. i especially like the theme and immersion of the game, and you struggle to bring your animals out into the field. with three, it's a little long, but not interminable.
(Trade Interest: low, offervalue: 20) good multi-player mechanics, and interesting challenges to the CCG genre. it's not really collectible, but it does have pre-made decks, and certains behaviors that resemble the MTG-like games. i especially like the theme and immersion of the game, and you struggle to bring your animals out into the field. with three, it's a little long, but not interminable.
interesting concept, and very nice execution with good theme. the mechanics of girls sneaking about the convent is done very well, and is not too hard to keep up with. it's easy to imagine yourself a catholic girl in a convent, trying desperately to get away with sneaking about the halls, when the nasty prioress comes around the corner. works well with larger groups of people.
interesting coop game... pretty hard it seems, unless you are really coordinated between the various characters. you have to optimize your use of their special abilities. also, seems extremely difficult if you don't have the medic. playing with open hands is smoother, and better since all the information is "out there" anyways -- i.e. there's no information you're required to keep secret. still it doesn't grab me that much, but i wouldn't refuse to play, most of the time.
wow i like game a lot. i've even won it once -- and that was the last time i played it. i think i've finally got down how to not screw myself in the power plant auctions. this is the undying game in my collection, and i have since upgraded the rating. everyone usually wants to play this, and i'm okay with that. add in a map expansion or two, and this will be good for a long time. the one main problem i continually have with it, is the randomness of the plants coming up, which can lead to stagnant game situation where no one wants to buy a plant.
fun game, but i was terrible at it in my first play. ALL the wrong bids, and too early. score will probably go up with more plays. my second play had me doing a lot better, and consequently, i like the game more the more i play this game, the less i like it. it's still fun, and i probably won't turn down a game, but i won't suggest it either.
icons icons icons, why are you plaguing me?? this is a tough one to learn, but is rewarding in successive plays. there's a lot to explore and learn from the huge stack of cards. it seems to play well with varying groups and sizes too.
fun game, as an alternative for Age of Steam with six players. what with the size of the board, i don't think this would be appropriate for less than five players. i like the additions, the tycoon cards, and other special cards. i think the board is too big.
a good theme for a road race, and one that is appropriate for the silliness of the actual game. running over children may not be the party line, but in this game it will net you 30 points! The take that aspect is high, as in most offensive race games. The accessory cards are varied and fun, but if you are stuck with all of one color it can be a pain. The track are a brilliant addition, that add flavor, theme and action with different abilities and bonuses or threats on each one. Easy to expand. It is a fun game.
now this is a fun game, and one just up my alley. it has tons of things to do, and many ways to win. like Antiquity, it has some many components and build cycles, that you'll probably never get tired of it. yay! after several more plays, i've upped this to a 10. it just has the best game play, and i always feel like playing it. if it were a shorter game, i'm sure it would be on the table all the time.
played a prototype version, and found it to be a pretty fun and innovative dice game. now own and played the production version, and it is much tighter. the peg boards add quite a bit to the experience.
An outstanding entry in the dungeon crawl arena. The theme is superior, and the mechanics help to draw you in without being over-bearing. The are plenty of rules problems, but that's pretty much to be expected with a complex game such as this. I've played three of the adventures so far, and they have all be quite different, as well as engaging.
First advice though... throw away the 12 siders that come with it, and pull out your favorite 6 siders. Makes a huge difference in enjoyability.
Seems to scale well with differing numbers of players.
Feels like an RPG with some boardgaming tropes attached. Not too bad, and I would play it again. Seems pretty well balanced, since we were barely able to defeat the introductory adventure. Looking forward to playing some more adventures, in the campaign setting.
(Trade Interest: low/medium, offervalue: 40) originally i liked this game even better than the LOTR coop game... but after times and a few plays, i find it a little boring. the traitor aspect was a good idea, but seems poorly executed, and mostly just annoying.
this actually works rather well for a wargame-lite History of the World clone. i like the various powers, although a couple of them seems a little too powerful, like Berserker and Commando. It's pretty quick, and has good replayability. It is however lacking a certain quality that i demand from the really stellar games. there isn't enough of a good thing, meaning, it needs something like cards to really kick it over. Too simple is maybe the way to describe it. i have high hopes for the future expansions.
(Trade Interest: low) really hard to grasp, and follow enough to learn what to do, but this makes it ultimately attractive and challenging. not on the level of Through the Ages or Galaxy Trucker, but definitely a decent game. It seems to take too long to figure out if you've won or not. this is mostly an illusion, because the actual playing of the game takes only ten minutes. i look forward to playing again, and perhaps not being destroyed in mid-flight.
decent co-op with a fair amount of Star Trek flavor. however, it looks like quite it would only take a few plays to be done with. definitely playing at the higher difficulty levels is a more rewarding experience. board is nonsense, and card stock is strange. figures are good.
What a cool refinement of the Descent tactical combat system! It works really well, is balanced, and has a nifty theme. The scenarios seem compact enough to play in a single evening -- as opposed to the day long events that Descent always ends up as. The rules are a pleasure, and mostly everything you'd want to know is easily found. Really like it so far.
whew... i think Wallace can stop making train games now. He's finally perfected Age of Steam. maybe not the greatest game ever, but surely a classic. this revision is brilliant and fun, and streamlined in just the right ways.. while i don't have enough plays of it to decide if it will outstrip the original, i can say that it is definitely worth playing. Note: this is for the "base" game, not the advanced game.
(TRADE Interest: low) may be a "kid's" game, but it sure did entertain us adults. i found that there was plenty of tension in the turns, and lots of possible strategy, and a bit of memory. the randomness of the tile draws maybe was a little big, but it still has some neat mechanics (the island disappearing), and good game play. one point must be made, and that is, it seems that often the person who is lucky and draws the good tiles (move boat, move swimmer) or more tiles, will be the winner.
no room for improvement of the ranking here; this is a great game. fun, complex, and longish. lots of things to think about and do, not enough actions. damn good. the age cards give terrific thematic immersion, and the balance between military and civic improvements always keeps you thinking.
interesting and very different concept and execution for a game. it has great mood and plays out very well. It's not a heavy thinker, though there are some definite strategies. The bits are terrific, especially the statues and palm trees.
variant action placement game, with enough going on that it isn't easy to understand during the first playing. selecting which victory condition to go for can be rewarding, but also painful if the right cards to show up for you. there doesn't appear to be anything that can be done if the cards aren't good for you.
(Trade Interest: high) not too bad for a set collection game. needs more plays to discover whether it is good for a Knizia. there is some strategy in whether to complete an artifact set, or wait for someone else to do it.
this is a quick-playing mash-up of Carcasonne with Agricola. As it is pretty simple, and very quick (30-45 minutes for two players), and good looking, I like it. Not sure if it would stand up to lasting 2 or more hours, so i will hold out opinions for the greater number of players.