a fairly interesting branch of the 18xx tree, in an unusual location. India is so mountainous, that it makes track laying very expensive. The introduction (start) of the game is unique (to me at least) in the way of "starter packages", but definitely not friendly to new players, as it is a secret bid and easy to mess up -- and the error can be not found for quite some time. the stock system is simple and fun, like 1825. In those two related games, i prefer the length of 1825 to this, which is more typical 18xx length of 4 to 5 hours. Good game.
a good card game, with lots of juicy theme, and good game play elements. it has the problem of too many icons, that are not so easy to differentiate, but with a good cheat sheet, it is not too much of one.
while this doesn't have much of the RTS feel of the AOE III video game, it does present an interesting and fun look at a Eurosnob/Ameritrash hybrid. i enjoyed the game play, and there was enough ways to stab your neighbors, though not always taken advantage of. runaway victories seem common, and this causes some concern. Nice pieces, everything looks good... though the board seems a little spare. The rules are awesomely complete and clear. Every time i thought i'd found a problem, i'd look down to the next paragraph and it would be outlined.
played twice so far. i enjoyed the map. it present some interesting choices, and a very segregated beginning. the bonuses for delivering coast to coast are pretty cool. the west coast may be too expensive, because of the mtns. the german map is very different, and because of the rules against incomplete lines, and no four tile turns, very challenging.
(Trade Interest: low/medium) the Korea map is very interesting -- but pretty much give your first play of it a wash, since it's also very confusing. the first few times you screw up on deliveries can be counted as the learning period.
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.
(Trade Interest: medium) wow... there's a lot of flavor here. perhaps too much. It's more like a role-playing game, than a boardgame. i'm afraid i'm the only one of my group that fell for it. the setup is long and complicated. the rules are long and complicated. NOT for a casual gamer. But if you like your theme hot and heavy, with a storybook feel, then this may be a great game for you.
Quite a lot of different mechanisms, all combined into a world exploration, resource gathering, worker placement mess, that is actually somewhat fun. It could easily lose the first player bid throwaway. Learning to play is a little daunting, but when finally playing, it's not that complicated. I look forward to playing it a couple more times.
it has a lot of the flavor of the fictional Innsmouth, but sadly lacks that flavor in one of the cooler new mechanics -- the pc quests. i wish the quests were more details, and more flavorful in their actions. the expansion makes the game much harder, and the one old one i've fought seems nearly impossible -- magically and physically immune, and his attack is to outright devour the first player. youch.
like it. interesting flick-style space empires game play. i feel that the small ships are overbalanced, and do not flick well. problems with the boards not matching, and being warped. otherwise, i like the tech trees, and play.
falls flat for me. although there are plenty of systems going on, i didn't feel connected really with any of them, and it was all too mathematically opaque. it wasn't terrible, but i don't know if i want to play again.
(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: medium) haven't really reached a full conclusion on this one yet. it's kind of fun to be guessing who the cylon is. assusation fly, and the slightest hitch in play of cards can send you down the wrong path. it's pretty difficult to win, especially if you get a bad run of cards. Fuel seems to be one you NEVER want to waste, since it is required for almost every single jump card.
on further plays, i think the game lasts too long, and doesn't hold interest, and not sure if anyone would be devoted enough to get good enough to make the game shorter. too bad. i really like the theme.
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.
(Trade Interest: medium) not too bad! it has some nice mechanics, and was pretty fun with four people. you can really tell it's a Knizia game from the well-balanced crystal point system -- we kept thinking there was no way we wouldn't run out of crytals before someone had four obolisk parts. we'll see how it plays over time, but it was light and fun.
(Trade Interest: low) excellent simulation of car racing. played with the basic rules, it already gives much of the flavor, especially coming into those curves, and navigating through them. wow. i'm not so sure about the random charts, and there could have been a better way to do that.
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.
(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.
this was better than expected, though a little too Euro for me at the moment, and far longer of a game than advertised. it simply has too many decisions that must be made during your turn, and that can't be very effectively planned in advance due to the interaction with other players. That said it was sort of fun, and "pleasant".
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.
not too bad actually. i'm certain to like it more after i've played again. i tried a castle-building / vp only strategy, and succeeded fairly well until the end of the game. it's nice that there are seemingly many viable strategies to this game.
decent civilization game with some very good design mechanics. The research board is a wonder of over-engineering. It plays reasonably fast for a civ game, and yet is full featured, complete with wonders, resource production, exploration and murder.
(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.
As far as the deck-building genre goes, this is pretty decent. It runs long, especially in our group, but has some good strategic, as well as tactical decision possibilities. there are some problems, especially with new people, since you have to read and understands 50 or more cards during the play -- as opposed to Dominion's reasonable 10 cards. some of the hero abilities seems a little underpowered. The theme is pretty good.
(Trade Interest: medium, offervalue: 40) actually a pretty good entry in the role selection genre. lots of little systems going on, with some good interactions. difficult to understand on the first try. whether to build over your plots, or gather resources. seems tightly designed.
a decent expansion. it adds one-time per game use character abilities. not all of them are useful, but i got good use out of the archer's "take no damage during this encounter" ability. the extra beasts are cool too.
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.
(Trade Interest: medium) not sure what all the negative fuss is about. this is certainly an engaging race game, with a good theme, and interesting mechanics. once you get better able to judge the distances, it becomes fun. throw in the magic cards, and it becomes quite tactical. move out into first place, and all of a sudden you're dodge fireballs, and other mean-spirited spells. keep a close last place, and you'll be able to lasso yourself to first with a deft play.
if only the quality were upped a little bit. this game could have really used some minis or something. it's really too hard to see your little chit guys, especially with so many of them. probably those used to old style war games will have no problem with this, but those raised on Descent, Doom and Arkham Horror will hate it. That is my game group. I liked that game, and would have liked it more if we'd have used more characters -- the more the merrier. The full set item stack is truly insane... they could've developed more adventures instead.
does a credible job of introducing 4th edition rules to a boardgamer audience. lacks a little in flavor, since the dungeon tiles are very "samey", and the monster card art is dull. the figures are nice, and the dracolich incredible. the actual crawl is bland, at least for the first couple adventures. it remains to be seen whether the later adventures are more fun.
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.
has some distasteful aspects that are similar to Puerto Rico, in that mixing experience players with inexperienced players, lessens the quality of the play to such a degree that it nearly ruins the game. it has some good qualities, in that there are moderately interesting decisions to be made, and it is mercifully short.
finally played this with seven people, and i had a blast. only the basic rules, but it was still fun. problem is, it just wouldn't be that much fun with fewer folks i think. that's why it's taken half a year to get this out on the table.
only played this game once, so there's room for improvement. have played twice now, and got creamed the second time. i was stuck in the tiny spot left and right of the island power. he kicked my ass, and it wasn't fun.
(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.
(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.
it was difficult, and interesting to play... a little light on glitz and bits -- but not all games must be Descent. It's a pretty clever cooperative setup, that you can play yourself with a couple decks of cards. there are plenty of tight decisions to make. good filler.
(TRADE Interest: low) adds quite a lot to the base game, and you just got to love the miniatures. although, the bases provided for the miniatures don't work very well -- they're too light for the lead figures.
wow, this is really hard to play. i like the original, and have played it several times, and even that is somewhat difficult to grok. but this just goes so far beyond difficult, that it ceases to be a lot of fun. needs more plays, but i would not want to play it enough to get to the point that i don't think it's very difficult
(Trade Interest: medium, offervalue:35) i have never played Antike, but i have seen a video playthrough, and read the rules. this seems seems like a more streamlined version of that. there is a similar mechanic of the action rondel, which is innovative and useful. also, both games seem to present themselves as a wargame, but then you find out that they don't really reward the wargame mentality of crushing your enemies. i would play again, even though i lost pretty badly.
(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.
(Trade Interest: medium) until i hear different, the new version of the game seems broken. adding points scored for resource cubes makes it so that the game can get stuck with one or two high cost Keythedral seats that no one will want to pay for. it's a minor issue to deal with, but it really bogs down the game.
pretty fun and interesting dice game. don't kid yourself... it is VERY dice dependent. if you consider yourself unlucky with dice, then you will not enjoy this game. but, if you can get over that, then it's kind of fun. you get to build buildings, and screw your neighbors. there's decent strategies, and various ways to win. may never be a great game, but it is fairly fun.
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.
had some really good mechanics, and game play. was a little bothered that so much of the time is spent warding off negative victory points for no gain. also bothered by having lots of neat tiles and cubes, but nothing to do on the turn to improve the victory points. the tie between the tiles and shipping needs to be much stronger. still i like the use of dice and cubes placed around the dingus. that all the potential tiles are layed out front i think just encourages too much AP, and would prefer if a more limited set were available.
good theme, but pure Euro action placement. It has some pretty good mechanics, and i like the use of different flavor workers for different tasks. On the first play, it's not obvious how to effectively use your military to hinder your opponents, but that will open up with successive plays.
(TRADE Interest: low) played with the basic setup rules, it flowed pretty nicely, though the lack of experience with the civ special powers ended up giving the game away. i would definitely play again.
it is a difficult game to get started on. the rules are not that great... they are missing some important informatino, and other important information is buried in text. it is great and very developed on theme though. the icons are many, and most make sense after you've played the first turn or two. definitely requires a practice play. the importance of the various skills and resources come through play, and so early mistakes can cost you the game if you're not aware. all in all, it is fun though, maybe with some tweaks, and if it could be brought to two hours, it would be a keeper.
may improve with more plays. seems awfully stacked against the heroes. or rather, the methods of hero cooperation seem a little obtuse, and this leads to players playing their own game, which leads to the sauron player running away with the game.
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).
this was an interesting game. it is a little chaotic the first time, as you're not too sure what each location does, and it seems a little hard to get what you need going. but if you latch onto a location that has a decent power, you can do pretty well. very straight-forward scoring for a Knizia game.
(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.
well. deck building again. a pretty good theme implemented. lots of player interaction, take that, and pick on the the leader to a pretty annoying extent. but it is fun to play, if you don't actually care about winning.
seems really familiar, if only because of the graphics, but not only, because the game play is familiar too. it's a civ building victory point game, with a mix of mechanics from Vinci, to Small World, to Thebes. The time mechanic is very good, and tense. The technologies (i forget what they're called) are decent. The wonders are very difficult to grab. The "attacker always wins" is acceptable. good game, though not great.
(Trade Interest: medium, offervalue: 35) i'd give this an 8 for theme alone, but then i'd always have to explain myself. the game is excellent at bringing the characters of the comic alive, and guiding the player (through delicious shticks) to great in-character moments. i love playing Belkar! it feel similar to Prophecy, in that the meat of the game takes too long to get to, and so wrecks a lot of good faith. i had fun, and would play it again, but i'm not sure about the others at the table.
i liked this puzzling game, though it can get quite difficult due to interesting shuffles. definitely needs to be played several times to get used to all the relationship symbology. string a few "same as", and "opposite of" in a row, and the forty-five seconds goes by in a blink -- felt more like putting them down randomly. fun space-filler.
(Trade Interest: low) not a bad game at all. i like the combat mechanics -- they give a reality to the randomness. i'm not sure what it all has to do with Perikles, but maybe a reading of the introduction would help with that. there are many strategies to choose from, so it has good replay value.
(Trade Interest: medium) for a Caylus knockoff, it is actually pretty good. the components are good, although pretty standard for Euro-fair. The board is colorful and "pretty", and very functional. It details mostly everything you need to know. There is less direct conflict than in Caylus, and i guess some people would say that is a good thing. i'm not sure.
room for growth. a good economic engine game with a lengthy history. Mule was an exciting change in multi-player computer game mechanics, and PS tries to capture this. It is difficult, and probably ultimately rewarding.
i like it! it's going to rival Talisman probably, if we can get some expansions going in English. non-random movement is the bomb, and the card "adventure" placement mechanism is pretty good. i can imagine this would be pretty hectic with five players going at it. it's kind of long though. i'm thinking that the game length could be reduce by an hour or two by starting out a little more powerful.
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.
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.
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) it was a fun game, though i thought it was a little "random" for a thinking game. it seemed pretty easy to get screwed by having all your claims dry up on the same turn. that happened twice to me, yet i still managed to squeak out a win. i would definitely play again.
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.
decently fast slimming down of 2038. However for pure thematic fun (even if it does play too long), I enjoy 2038 more. This has the ores and the upgrade ships, and it all seems good, but there's not much else there. i guess it's good for a couple plays.
good entry in the Caylus/Pillars of the Earth genre. i am not sure which one of the three i like better. this has non-random way of choosing who goes first in choosing the position. i think i like that better than the Pillars bag-o-people. there's a lot of secret information to keep track of though.
(Trade Interest: low) this is another pretty good game by Wallace. while it is good, it does not hit the table very often. not sure why. maybe because there's just too many other better games, with similar mechanics.
interesting game. not at all what you would think from the box or presented theme. card play may be a little too random and negatively affecting. reinfornced negative effects can really slow down a player. neat scoring system. great theme.
gives good atmosphere, especially if everyone can get into the stories that evolve. sometimes a player can be left behind, as they draw only Fate cards, and sometimes a player draws only Fate cards when they need encounters. can be a little annoying. look forward to see what they do with the reprint.
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.
fun competitive dungeon crawl with some interesting characteristics not found in other crawls. the system of choosing your party is brilliant... it forces strategic decisions right off the bat, such as whether to recruit the best characters immediately, or to head out for the easy treasures that you've placed in the '1' crypts. there are some problems with the rules, mostly for card play, and the monsters using spells seems tacked on. you tend to run out of characters about halfway through... which leads to a longer endgame because everyone is stuck with only 1 person in their party.
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.
i love the cube tower... a surprising amount of cubes actually get stuck in there. the game is fun, and i didn't understand a thing about it the first time. chaining moves was one thing several people immediately "got", but i didn't. hmm.
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.
decently interesting role-selection card game, with a good though thin theme. the art is wonderful, and gameplay is fun. there is a great strategy in selecting your set of cards for each turn, and in when to "pass" or "play".
it is definitely a better game than Pillars, but there are some game-breaking event cards, that almost ruined the game for me. For instance, one of the best ideas, and most strategic, is the ability to choose your action from a set of cards, and then choose one to discard. This forces you to narrow your gameplay, and plans turns ahead of time. However, there is an event that causes you to randomly discard your action instead of choosing -- everyone does this, so it totally voids that neat aspect of play. An extreme downer, and nobody liked it. That aside, the events were cool, and the method of selecting your bonus for the round was good. I liked it, with reservations.
first stab was pretty okay. it's a lot to take in, but the rules (although dense) are fairly clear. the flavor text is good, and there were no major problems with the game play. handling the movement of 20-30 zombies was a bit of a problem though, especially with lots of sand bags and other obstacles.