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.
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+
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.
(Trade Interest: low) it's a pretty good game, with some annoying points that can be fixed with some house rules. pure random stack of cards to begin with is bunk. genes, and perhaps genotypes should be mixed in to the various piles. great theme and execution. playing with scoring before each catastrophe is a great way to make this fun and more balanced. it seems very harsh to lose your dna with the genetic drift... they come up very often, so it becomes mandatory never to bid on a dna if you can't immediately place it.
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) 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.
This is a tight and thematic co-op, with some inventive and fun mechanics. It is tough to beat, and gives the incredible feeling of breaking into a building and finding treasures and trouble inside. The rules are well put together and we hardly found anything uncovered. All the pieces fit into the pleasingly small box. It takes one game to get the idea, and then you'll do ok. Worth a few visits at least.
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.
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.
A nice variation on Agricola. There are quite a few simplifications and improvements. I still like the minor improvements and occupations cards, but this will appeal to a slightly different audience. It still has quite a large front-loaded learning curve, since there are immediately 20 or so actions available, and 40 or so buildings -- each with a different power. The box and contents are truly a measure of excess, but ultimately success as well. I look forward to another play or three.
cool story based game play. can end rather abruptly in single player mode. i.e. try getting hypnotized by a vampire because of the atmosphere alone, i give it a high score. the combat is rather confusing though.
interesting economic engine. it's a little disorienting to grasp how to actually get the containers into your island area. you can't buy them, and containers you buy are good only for generating cash from other players getting containers into their area. strange, but pretty good. oh, and never ever bid all your money when you have two loans. very bad.
very good expansion. neat how you can basically end any time you want, and pick up later, very easily. at first some thing seems unbalanced, and favor the overlord, and then other things seem to favor the players. miraculously it all seems to balance out in the end. p.s. i hate X's.
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.
this is a game with nice mechanics and theme, and plays in a reasonable amount of time. the space conquest and exploration works well. the research works, and is interesting. the game nicely leads the players into conflict, although there are other ways to get victory points.
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.
played with not much of an idea how to play. we probably had some of the rules wrong, but it was fun, and not too much of a blowout. way way too many things to do, but not enough action points. the little bits to signify control are too small.
(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.
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!
whew... this company is really producing some of my favorite games. Now this one doesn't strike the same chords as Through the Ages, or Prophecy, but dang if it isn't a good ride. I'm not usually one to like negotiating games, but Graenaland keeps that in check with a few clever rules. It has good setting, and is not too long. The victory condition are variable, and in our 5 player game, everyone was "in it" until the final turn. nice. another note after a three player game. we ended up in the same situation as the first game... all the players ready to win at the same time. i'm not so sure that's a great thing. but the advanced rules sounds better.
wow... takes a while to get ready for this one. big setup time, and lots of things to try to understand right off the bat. good systems though. not tried with less than 5 people... maybe that would make a difference.
have since tried with 2 and 3 players. this is a great game, and works well with all numbers of players i've seen. the 2 player game is very frenetic.
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.
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.
(Trade Interest: high) after all these years of not having played this, i finally have, and it does live up to its reputation. it is definitely the father of modern boardgames. it has all the tough and varied decision trees, tight player v player situations, symbols over theme, of a modern Euro. That it is cast as a German election, gives it a mystery, at least to us non-German players. the mechanics are varied and very good. thumbs up to this classic.
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.
(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.
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.
plays pretty well... a tad complicated on the resource production front. the resource wheel is a well thought out and craft way to increase the resource values. the sheer amount of buildings and possibilities creates a lot of downtime as people think about their turn. a good game.
interesting game. plays too long, unless all the players are speedy and expert at the game. i liked the constant decisions to be made, and the theme was very well integrated to the game. it is VERY interactive... almost a war game. some strategies to be had with burying good cards in your discard pile. some problems were seen when the disasters struck early, and basically froze most of the players into small territories. seems very difficult to get power.
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.
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.
it's fun, it's dice, it's very chaotic. it manages to boil down the gameplay of Ra into a pretty good dice game. All the scoring rules are there, and the civ building choices. Some elements from Ra seem to be very hard to accomplish, for instance the events only occur on four suns, but that seems a pretty unlikely event.
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.
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.
seems to be a pretty great interpretation of the civilization 4/5 computer game to a boardgame experience. there are multiple paths to victory, city building, exploration, combat, science tech trees. yes, it's massive, and has tons of pieces, but the presentation is worth it, and the game is decent to fun.
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.
(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.
Fun space exploration game with really excellent bits. It has a method of scoring that allows the players to choose how they want to play the game, like role-playing almost. You can loot and pillage, trade, explore, etc... Fun.