Too Many Games!!!

My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [115]

Recommend
42 
 Thumb up
7.25
 tip
 Hide

Keyforge (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I did not get the opportunity to play this at Gen Con, but when it was announced I was immediately intrigued by the game. I bought into the gimmick of the “unique game” and I was there for it. My wife and I tend to like two player card dueling games. These games tend to have a customization option, and that is usually a plus for me. My wife likes playing these sort games, but she does not care much for making her own deck. It is her preference to have a couple of decks that she bounces back and forth between so she can learn them really well. Given that, I thought she would love the setup of this game. So does this game forge it’s spot on our favorite games list?

Game Overview

In this game both players will have their own deck. The decks are proceduraly generated and every deck is different from every other deck in the world. Each deck consists of thirty-six cards and each deck is made up of cards from three different houses. Players will be using these cards to collect a resource called amber, and then use the amber to forge keys.

On a player’s turn they first they do is forge a key if they have have enough amber to pay the forging cost. If they do, then this step is mandatory. Next players will choose which of the three houses in their deck they wish to make active. For the duration of the turn the player can only play, activate, or discard cards of that house.

The next step is the main step. During this time players can activate, play, or discard any cards of the chosen house in any order they want. Event cards are played for the effect on them, and some event cards even give the player amber for playing the card. Creature and artifact cards enter play exhausted. Non-exhausted creatures and artifacts can that have an action can be exhausted for their action. Creatures can also be exhausted to attack or to reap.

Attacking is simple. Each creature has a power which functions as strength and life. The attacker picks a target, deals damage and receives damage. Any creature that takes more damage than its power is defeated. If the attacking creature has a fight effect and survives it then activates. There are also numerous abilities in the game that impact combat in some way.

The reaping action allows creatures to collect amber. Some creatures have an effect that happens after they reap. Both attacking and reaping exhaust a character.

After players are done with the main phase, they then ready all exhausted cards and draw back up to the current hand limit. Play continues back and forth in this way until one player successfully forges three keys.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This game is an achievement in game design. The procedurally generated decks work incredibly well. We have two decks that have the same three houses. The decks share some cards, but the feel of the decks and tricks they have are completely different. When it comes to actually playing the game I think the game also shines. Every turn there is a challenging decision to make about what house to activate.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I like how streamlined this game is. Compared to similar style games this is very rules light and free of added complexity. Despite the simplicity the game still offers good choices.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: The backstory of the theme is somewhat generic, but the factions are anything but commonplace. Each faction is unique and the feel of the factions fit the artwork well. I also like that the game does not take itself too seriously and there is a decent amount of whimsy present.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I honestly could not tell say what the theme is supposed to be. Thematically it all feels a bit random and not in a great way.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: Every deck has several plays in it to discover and learn. Matching up different decks against one another gives a different experience. The quick play time and tactical nature lead to a strong “let’s do it again” feeling.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Each deck offers a lot of replayablity. The fact that each deck is unique means that even if a deck begins to feel played out, then $10 for a new deck injects a lot of replayability.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: I like how the game has a race feel. It is a sprint to the finish line. This game is fairly fast playing anyway, but I am amazed where the time goes playing it. The pace is constant and engaging.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The pace and flow is good and the game does not drag at all.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I do like this style of game, and I think this is a fine addition. I absolutely love the base concept of this game. Instead of building the best deck it is all about playing the deck you get the best. That is an inviting experience and one that I intend to engage in a lot.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is a clever game. I do like this style of game and I especially like that this game is meant to be played the way I prefer.

Final Score

90/100

After we played this game for the first time my wife said “This is a dangerous game for us.” Considering that the next day we returned to the game stores to get more decks she is right. For the past several days we have been playing this game non-stop. We are both really loving this game. It is a hit for us
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:32 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
41 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

My Top 20 Favorite Obscure Games

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I actually wrote about my favorite obscure games a little over two years ago. However, listing obscure games is the current hot thing to do on BGG. I love making lists of games I love, so I do not need much of an excuse!

I also tend to really like obscure games. There is a monthly Geeklist entitled "Games only you have played" where people list games where they have the only recorded play. The nature of the list means it is often the more obscure games that are getting played. In 4 1/2 years there are only seven months I was not able to contribute to the list. The new hotness is great, but I do love discovering that hidden gem or diamond in the rough.

The criteria that is being used by all of the lists to define an obscure game is that the game has 500 or less BGG ratings. I also only included games that I have played at least twice.

These are my top obscure games in descending order for dramatic effect.

20. Zoo Ball
Number of Ratings : 104
My Rating : 7
My Number of Plays: 3
Print Status: In print, and available on clearance
Reason for Obscurity: Did not sale well.

This is a fairly straight forward flicking game with a soccer theme. It plays really quick. It is very accessible but still requires some skill and strategy. That is what I thought, I am clearly an outlier on this game though.

19. Sonar

Number of Ratings : 456
My Rating : 7
My Number of Plays: 3
Print Status: In print and available at Target
Reason for Obscurity: It is a Target exclusive

This is the turn based 2-4 player version of Captain Sonar. I like this better than the bigger game because it is less chaotic but it still delivers the tension of finding the other person. I especially like this as two player game.

18. Dark Gothic
Number of Ratings : 433 Plays
My Rating : 7
My Number of Plays: 4
Print Status: In print
Reason for Obscurity: Flying Frog is a bit of a niche company anyway, and the game is too similar to other deck builders to stick out.

This game is in the same vein as Ascension or the DC deck building game, but it delivers the theme so much better than those two games do.


17. King Chocolate
Number of Ratings : 285
My Rating : 7
My Number of Plays: 2
Print Status: I think this one is out of print.
Reason for Obscurity: I am not sure? It is an abstract-ish game with a euro theme. Maybe that disconnect made it hard to find an audience?

This is my least played game on this list. This is not the kind of game I should like, but I have liked playing it. This is a game I need to play more.

16. Witch Hunt

Number of Ratings : 92
My Rating : 7
My Number of Plays: 6
Print Status: In print
Reason for Obscurity: It is social deduction party game and that is a crowded space. It is also from a small publisher and there is not really any marketing behind the game.

The publisher touts this game as “The social deduction game, perfected.” I am not sure I would go that far, but this does a god job at beating werewolf at its own game.

15. The Lady and the Tiger
Number of Ratings : 177
My Rating : 7.5
My Number of Plays: 8
Print Status: In print
Reason for Obscurity: It has an esoteric theme and it is a fairly new release

I like the idea of compilation games, where multiple games can be played out of one box. Of the five in this one I liked three of them.

14. The Games of War: A Treasury of Rules for Battles with Toy Soldiers, Ships and Planes
Number of Ratings : 31
My Rating : 7.5
My Number of Plays: 11
Print Status: Readily available digitally.
Reason for Obscurity: It is a self published book.

This book is a collection of miniatures rules for nearly everything. It is also clearly written with a lot of passion and a high emphasis on fun. The rule-sets are simple to use and the book is a joy to read.

13. Robotech: Ace Pilot

Number of Ratings : 13
My Rating : 7.5
My Number of Plays: 5
Print Status: In pre-order
Reason for Obscurity: The game is not yet widely available.

This feels like a bit of a cheat, because I got an early release copy at Gen Con. This is a fun little dice game and it should be available in the very near future. Perhaps then it will not be quite as obscure.

12. Hull Breach: Loyalty & Vigilance
Number of Ratings : 43 Ratings
My Rating : 7.5
My Number of Plays: 4
Print Status: In Print
Reason for Obscurity: It is a game from a small publisher.

This is a fun CCG style game of starship combat. A bad opening hand can really cripple someone, but when it works there is a lot of fun in building up a force and trying to make the big attack to destroy the enemy base.

11. Sola Fide: The Reformation
Number of Ratings : 359
My Rating : 7.5
My Number of Plays: 4
Print Status: In Print
Reason for Obscurity: I have no idea! This one surprised me. I thought with the designers and publisher this game would not be as obscure. Maybe a lot of people do not like the theme?

I find the reformation theme fascinating, and the area control card play makes for really interesting decisions.

10. In the City: Origins

Number of Ratings : 62
My Rating : 7.5
My Number of Plays: 10
Print Status: Out of Print
Reason for Obscurity: The game comes from a small publisher and it has low production values.

This is a fairly unique tableau building game where players tend to get a little bit stronger every turn. The game has a great arc as it ramps up and players find combos and synergies to get more and more points.

9. Really Bad Art
Number of Ratings : 91 Ratings
My Rating : 8
My Number of Plays: 3
Print Status: In print, I think
Reason for Obscurity: I think this was a Target exclusive for awhile. It is a party game so I do not think it gets a lot of BGG recognition.

This is probably my favorite drawing game. Players are given some sort of abstract concept to draw and then they only have seconds to do that. Players then get points for making the right matches. It is silly, it is fun, and all of the drawing are really bad so it is funny.


8. Quicksilver
Number of Ratings : 122
My Rating : 8
My Number of Plays: 8
Print Status: out of print.
Reason for Obscurity: It came from a fairly small publisher who has closed up shop.

This is a Victorian airship racing game that captures the theme perfectly. The mechanism, pace of the game, and card art all work together wonderfully.

7. Warcosm

Number of Ratings : 17
My Rating : 8
My Number of Plays: 11
Print Status: Available via print on demand
Reason for Obscurity: This is a print on demand title by a very small company that mostly makes indie RPGs.

This is a fleet based Starship combat game that allows players to make their own ships. The game is fairly quick playing. It is a lot of fun to make a fleet and clash it against a friend to see who wins.

6. Berserk: War of the Realms
Number of Ratings : 294
My Rating : 8
My Number of Plays: 15
Print Status: Mostly out of print, but I think it is possible to still find copies.
Reason for Obscurity: This is an English version of a Russian CCG so it it a bit niche to being with. Despite having amazing card art, the box design is not very good so that could cause people to overlook it.

This game provides something that is completely different than anything else out there. I like how players have a deck and then each game they build a force from half of that deck. It combines the combos of deckbuilding with the synergies found in a tactical miniatures game.

5. Divided Republic
Number of Ratings : 212
My Rating : 8
My Number of Plays: 8
Print Status: Out of print
Reason for Obscurity: This was a kickstarter from fairly early on, and I do not think it ever entered retail in any sizable amount.

The shorthand way to describe this is 1960: Making of the President for four players. That is not entirely accurate because there are some sharp difference in gameplay but it gets the idea across.

4. Trenchzone

Number of Ratings : 64
My Rating : 8
My Number of Plays: 10
Print Status: I do not think this is available anymore
Reason for Obscurity: This game was self published by the designer in England so it never got any kind of real release.

This is a WWI game of hand management. It does not recreate a specific historic instance, but it captures the feel, horror, and futility of trench warfare really well.

3. Zeppelin Attack!
Number of Ratings : 266
My Rating : 8
My Number of Plays: 13
Print Status: In Print, available from publisher
Reason for Obscurity: The publisher is primarily a RPG publisher.

This is a remarkably unique deck building game of pulp zeppelin warfare. It is great fun

2. Hold the Line
Number of Ratings : 499
My Rating : 9
My Number of Plays: 13
Print Status: second edition is In Print
Reason for Obscurity: It is a war game from a smaller publisher.

This game barely meets the qualification. Superficially it looks like a Command and Colors game, but it uses a completely different system. The system is accessible and it capture the feel of the revolutionary era well.

1. Frontline: D-Day

Number of Ratings : 333
My Rating : 9
My Number of Plays: 11
Print Status: Out of Print
Reason for Obscurity: It is a war game from a smaller publisher

This is a card game that captures the feel of tactical combat. It draws comparisons to Up Front, which I have not played. This is a game I really like, and it is my favorite obscure game.
Twitter Facebook
11 Comments
Fri Nov 9, 2018 9:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

MacGyver: The Escape Room Game (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Growing up MacGyver was a show that my family watched together. I was in elementary school and this was one of the few "adult" shows I was able to watch. I think my parents were fine with us watching it with them because MacGyver refused to used guns. At this point I have played several different escape room games, and I enjoy the concept. A game that combined a theme I have an affinity with escape room game mechanisms is one I knew that I would have to get. So is this game as clever as MacGyver himself?

Game Overview
This will be a spoiler free explanation and try to give an overview of how the game is played without giving anything away. Each mission has a narrative that MacGyver has to go through to save the day.

Mechanically the way this works is the players have a paper mat that will be unfolded throughout the story. As it is unfolded various clues, puzzles, or story elements are revealed. As the players progress they will also open up envelopes that will contain envelopes that contain puzzles or pieces for puzzles that will be used in coordination with the unfolding board.

The way answers to these puzzles are utilized and verified are through a website. As correct answers are entered and the players progress, the website will often be what tell players what they need to do next.

If players manage to complete all of the puzzles and get to the end of the story before the time runs out the players win.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: I like the way the "board" unfolds as the story unfolds. I also actually like the way the website works, especially compared to the Unlock app. My biggest complaint with the design is some of the font choices. On more than one occasion we solved the puzzle, we saw what we were supposed to see but we could not make what on earth the letters were supposed to be.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I think the system and the puzzles are clever. I especially like that some of the puzzles have a math component. My biggest problem is that most of the puzzles have a material component that by default only one person can work on at a time. This game is very linear, so if one person is fiddling with the components there is little for the other people to do.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: This game does a great job at capturing the MacGyver theme. The stories the game tries to tell are a bit rushed but they could easily have come from an episode of the TV show and the puzzles themselves also feel at home with the theme.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am not terribly familiar with the TV show, but this game does feel very thematic.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: It is hard to judge replayability on a game like this because it can only be played once. I do like that there are five missions in the box, and for the most part it can be repackaged after it is used and passed on to someone else.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I know that each mission can only be played once, but after we completed one I was consistently left wanting to play the next one. I can not say that about a lot of games that are meant to be played a lot more.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: The layouts of the missions are extremely linear. As my wife mentioned a lot of the puzzles can only be worked on by one person at a time. Even when responsibility shared, this creates down time.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I like how it tells a cohesive narrative throughout the entire mission. This game tells a story a lot better than other escape room games we have played.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: This does not unseat the EXIT series as the best escape room games. It is a solid entry into the genre, and it makes great use of the theme.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I think this is the sixth different escape room game system we have played, and this is probably the one I like the second most.

Final Score

70/100

I find it impressive that designers keep coming up with different systems to deliver the same kind of experience. At $30 MSRP for five missions this is easily the most cost effective of the escape room games.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Nov 9, 2018 4:11 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

If I'm Going Down (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Not to long ago a kind BGG user made a Geeklist where he was giving away several small box games. The way to get the game was to share a personal, gaming related story. I can't say no to the opportunity to try a zombie game, so I shared my family tradition of a Zombie Day, and it was selected. I vaguely remembered looking at this game way back when it was on kickstarter, but other than zombies I knew little about it. So is this a game we are down to getting to the table regularly?

Game Overview
The game tells you up front that in this game the players are going to die, and the goal is to take as many zombies with them. This is a card game played on a grid of cards. To begin the game each player chooses a character and a scenario. The Scenario will determine the grid set shape and set up. Optionally, players may also play a story which might add additional rules or conditions.

Each turn follows a similar structure. First, zombies spawn. The spawn areas are set and if possible will repopulate every turn. Next the players will get a turn.

On a player's turn each person will get two actions. As an action they may search, which requires drawing a card from the event deck. If it is an item they found it and they can use it if they have inventory space. The second option is use an item, and often this will involve using a weapon.

Most weapons (and all range weapons) have a number of uses. When a weapon is used it will get multiple activations per use, and this is determined by the card. Each weapon also has as a damage number. To hit a card is drawn from the fate deck, as long as it is not a miss card, it hits. The weapon will deal it's damage to the targeted zombie. Each zombie has a health/point rating that has to be met to kill the zombie. This number is increased by one for each card space on the grid away it is. This means it might take multiple shots to down a zombie. If killed the zombie is kept for points.

The final main action option involves manipulating items. Players can store items on ground spots, so picking up weapons, switching weapons, or trading is an action. Some special cards or special abilities can also use actions.

After the player's are done the zombies attack. Zombies only attack adjacent players. At the beginning of the zombie attack phase each player can pick one adjacent zombie to hold off. That means this zombie can not bite. If there is still another zombie adjacent then that zombie bites. If there is a zombie with reach one row behind then it scratches. If a player is bit or scratch they are infected. If they are bit a second time then they are dead and become a zombie.

After the zombie attack phase, all zombies move closer and then it is back to the zombie spawn phase. New zombies are placed into the recently vacated spots by the previous wave. Many zombies have special abilities and there are occurrence cards that can come up which might help or hinder the player.

Eventually the players go down. They count up their total and subtract the amount of active moaning zombies. That total score is then checked on the set up board. If the player's get to the high score range they win and/or get the best ending of the story.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: My thoughts on the mechanisms and rules are a little biased. It is clear that this game draws a lot of inspiration from tower defense video games, and I can not stand tower defense games. The mechanisms and rules do a decent job at capturing that tower defense feel, but that is not a positive for me.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The mechanisms and rules are dull. Flip a card to hit and repeat until you can not.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the best part of this game. As mentioned it does capture the tower defense feel and it captures the zombie feel. The inclusion of story scenarios is a nice touch the writing is average at best, but just the inclusion goes a long way to making a more immersive, thematic experience.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It felt like a zombie game, and it did feel like my death was inevitable. I know that is kind of the point but I am not sure that is a good thing.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: There are two scenario set ups and each set up as multiple stories. Trying to reach the best ending ensures that there are decent number of plays packed into the box.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: There is not enough compelling game play to justify getting this game out more than a handful of times.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: There is a large luck component in this game. The best laid plans can go sideways really quick because of a bad card draw. This means that sometimes a game can end far too quickly. On the flip side if it is going well then it oddly starts to feel like it is dragging out.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: At least the game plays quickly.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I do appreciate the effort, but this is not a game for me and it is not one that I find particularly fun. However, I can see how others, especially solo game fans, could get a lot out of this.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This might be somewhere in the top five for the most boring games I have ever played.

Final Score

48/100

We did not like this game very much at all. We were given this game as an act of kindness, and we are planning to pass it on and give this game to someone who might enjoy it more than we did.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Tue Nov 6, 2018 3:31 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Hemloch (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I got this game earlier this year at Gaming Hoopla. One of the events the con has is a silent auction that benefits charities. Some of the games are fully donated, so that the entirity of the proceeds goes to a good cause. As the silent auction entered its last few minutes I noticed this game had zero bids and the proceeds were all marked for charity. I put a small bid on it, assuming I would get sniped. However, that did not happen. I knew nothing about this game, other than what the box told me. It is a two player card game, and that is good enough for me to give it a shot. So was it all for a good cause or is this a good game as well?

Game Overview
In this game players are the last of an aristocratic bloodline seeking to keep their authority in a dark fantasy city. The game is played over the course of several rounds, and during each round a player will have four turns. Four city districts are between the players and players will be playing minion cards to gain control of these districts.

At the beginning of each turn in a round a night/day card is turned over. At the beginning of the game it is all night cards, but day cards are slowly added. The Night/Day cards will indicate that one of the districts can not have cards played to it. On a player's turn they can take two actions. The possible options are play a card or draw a card. When a card is played, it's ability is activated. If the cards symbol matches the symbol on the left of the location, then the player also does the location's action. After both players have taken two actions, the next Night/Day card is flipped over a new location becomes locked and play continues.

Once all of the night/day cards have been cycled through there is an influence phase. Players compare the power of the cards they have at each location. If a card faction symbol matches the symbol on the right of the location the card is +1 strength. The player with the greatest strength gets to place one of their markers on the limited number of spots at the location. If there is a tie, both players place a marker.

To set up the next round players discard half of the minions they have at each location, one of the night cards is removed and a day card is added in it's place. Day cards work like night cards, except that day cards also trigger an influence phase.

The game ends when two of the locations are filled with markers, a player's deck runs out, or all of the night cards have been replaced with day cards. There are two special cards that are acquired throughout the game, potions and trinkets, they can be used for special abilities. If not used they are worth two points at the end of the game (one point if used). Players also get points for markers placed. They get two points for each marker adjacent to another of their markers and one point for each marker that is not adjacent. The player with te most points wins.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: I like that this is a card game with an area control element. The action economy is tight and creates hard choices. There are also good decisions about how to best use minions.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I felt like the choices were too constricted in this game, and I also did not like how much "take that" this game has.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: I appreciate that this game tried to create a new world with an unique setting. However, the theme is not delivered that well

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I honestly could not tell you what the theme of is game is supposed to be. It did not make much of a connection with me.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: This game is extremely tactical, which I think helps with replayability.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: There is going to be some variability from game to game. The location cards never change, so I think marker placement is going to be stagnate.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: The round structure in this game is a little wonky at first, but it works. The two action turn structure works well, and I like how the game steadily escalates to the end.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It is Ok I guess. The game does not play long, but it did feel like it plodded along.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: This game was fine. I did not dislike it, but it did not grab me that much either.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I find this game to be a big bore to play.

Final Score

58/100

I thought this game was OK, but my wife did not care much for it. Since I do not have strong feelings about it, there is no reason for us to keep it.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sun Nov 4, 2018 3:49 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Artifacts, Inc. (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

We got this game in a Gen Con math trade. My reason for trading for it was 100% based on the designer. I have liked every single Ryan Laukat game I have played, so the chance to get a new (to me) one as part of a math trade is one I was there for. This game is a few years old at this point, so did we uncover a buried treasure?

Game Overview
In this game players are seeking to get the most prestige from archaeological expeditions. This is done by rolling dice and then assigning those dice to action spots. However, the spots dice can be assigned to are based off of their numbers.

Players begin with the ability to do two different expeditions and buy more cards. Assigning dice to an expedition allows players to collect various artifacts such as bones, scrolls, statues, and gems. Building allows a player to acquire new expedition sites or new workers. Building can also be used to upgrade all cards to a new side that offers better abilities and more prestige. In addition to assigning the die to the action, building also requires spending money.

Another option is an underwater expedition which will often require assigning multiple dice. These expeditions will give one point each, but the items founded could become worth bonus points.

The final option are the public spaces which are mostly represented by museums. At museums players can sell the various artifacts for money. For each artifact of a certain type sold the player will get money. They will also put their cube in a space matching the number sold, and no one else will be able to sell that exact amount to that museum.

The game will continue until one player reaches 20 points. Then the museums are scored. The player with the most cubes in the museum will get points based off the museum's prestige. The player with the most prestige points wins.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: I am a big fan of tableau building, and this game is a straight forward but solid example of that kind of game. The use of dice means every turn requires interesting decisions about how to best use the numbers rolled. I also think having the actual placement of cards in a player's tableau mattering for certain cards is a nice touch.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game combines some of my favorite things. I love building a tableau in front of me that has a lot of synergy and options. I also love rolling dice. This game combines those two perfectly.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: I appreciate the use of a more adventurous age of archaeology, but the theme integration is one of the weakest aspects. It is very much a mechanics first type of game.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Outside of the artwork, the theme is not very prevalent. It would be easy to retheme this game to something like a space exploration game, and only the artwork would be impacted.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: I think this game has that good mix of pursuing a strategy but having highly tactical turns that creates a strongly replayable game. Each turn feels different which really helps the game from feeling too much of the same.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Every tun offers new choices so I think that gives this game a decent amount of replayability.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This game can have a bit of a multiplayer solitaire feel. Players are competing for museum majorities, but a lot of the game is just waiting for other players to do their own little thing. Despite that the actual turns are engaging and even though the game has down time the overall play time is not long.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I like how my options steadily increase throughout the game. That gives this game a great flow.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: This is a solid and fun little game. I enjoy playing it quite a bit.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is totally my kind of game, and I can see it being a game that I enjoy over lots of repeated plays.

Final Score

77/100

We really do like tableau building games, and some day we may feel like we have too many of them. But today is not that day. We currently have a lot of unplayed games to get to the table, and I do hope that this one does not get forgotten about because we both like it quite a bit.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Sat Nov 3, 2018 4:39 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

End of the Month Recap

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
At the beginning of the month we were able to take a family cruise and we did get to play several games on those sea days. However, an illness in the middle of the month did give several days with no plays.

Most Played Game of the Month: Race for the Galaxy(8 plays)
Number of New to Me Games Played this Month: 8
Best New to Me Game: Alien Frontiers

Backlog Progress
We managed to play a few of the game on our backlog that we started the month with, but we also bought a few games this month. While we managed to play most of the games we purchased, our backlog still crept up on us.

Current Number of Unplayed Games: 34

10x10 Challenge
At the end of the month we still have over 30 plays to finish the 10x10 list. For some games this requires playing it over eight times in a two month window. We could probably do it, but to finish it would require forcing ourselves to play the games for the sake of playing it. We are both in agreement that doing so would move beyond fun and begin to fill like work. Which honestly kind of defeats the purpose of playing games. We are abandoning our 10x10 List and we have failed at the challenge this year.
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Sat Nov 3, 2018 3:52 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
1.02
 tip
 Hide

How to Rob a Bank (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Recently when placing an online order from Target's website I noticed that they had this game available for $10. I had previously looked at the game in the store and I knew that the price was a decent markdown. I added it to the order. So did we get a steal or not?

Game Overview
In this game one player will control the bank guards and the other players each play a robber. Over the course of three rounds the robbers are trying to steal four or five (dependent on player count) bags of money. The guards are trying to prevent this from happening.

At the beginning of the round the guard player will randomly layout the nine tiles to make the bank layout. These tiles will contain money locations as well as starting spots. There are also some walls that will restrict movement. The getaway car is placed opposite of the robbers starting location.

Next of the deck of fifteen cards, all players will draw eight to use for the round. Then starting with the guard, the players will play a card face up. This continues until each player has added five cards to their stacks. At this point players turn those five cards face down, and on their turn they will execute the next card.

Each card played list the actions the players can do. Several cards list multiple actions. The guard options are move, tackle robbers, and lock down money. The robbers can move, pepper spray guards, unlock money, and steal money. Players tackled/knocked down are incapacitated and to get them back up a card has to be discarded on their turn to stand up the knocked down meeple.

The robbers can do a free action on their turn, but they can only do one. These options include move the getaway car, throw money to the car if it is adjacent, and pull the alarm. Pulling the alarm will move all guards to the alarm space.

After all five cards have been revealed and resolved for all the players the round ends. The board is cleared and a new bank layout is put into play to begin again. If the robber steal enough money in three rounds they win, otherwise the guards get the victory.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: The random layout and card draw can potentially favor one of the sides on a given round. However, this is a very accessible programming game that is simple enough to grasp but deep enough to give some good decisions.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I was super skeptical when hearing the rules of this game. Selecting action in advance and trying to visualize how they would play out is very much not my thing. This game was much more manageable than I thought it would be and the rules are all very clever.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: The components and art are minimalist which helps give the game an abstracted feel. Despite that though, there is no question that this game is about robbing a bank.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The theme really comes through and I think they did a great job at delivering the concept of robbing a bank in a simple package.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: Each round there is a different bank set up, so that creates a new puzzle to consider each time. That really helps the replayability.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The two sides play differently so exploring the strategies of each side helps with replayability.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: I like the flow of this game with the planning phase and then the execution.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Each round is fairly quick, so even playing three rounds the game does not outstay its welcome.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: This game hits the perfect balance of being accessible to a wide variety of people while still having enough decisions to be interesting. I would say this is a strong candidate for a gateway game.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game is much better than I thought it would be. It is a bit outside my gaming comfort zone with the programming mechanism, but it is a game I will happily play.

Final Score

76/100

This game was a pleasant surprise for us. At four players this is an all vs. one game. Because of that we agree that when our daughter gets a little older this has potential to be an outstanding and possibly "go to" family game. We will have to keep it on our shelves for two to three years to get to that point, but I think the game is engaging enough that it will get some plays while we wait.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Nov 2, 2018 3:26 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

The Lady and the Tiger (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I saw this game at Gen Con this year and I was intrigued by the concept. At that time though I passed on it. Earlier this month though when I placed a game order I added this small box game. The appeal of this game is that with the same set of 18 cards and bag of tokens five different games can be played. It is a novel concept but the biggest question is are any of those five games fun?

Game Overview
This game is loosely based on the short story The Lady and the Tiger? Only one of the five games really draws on that story. With the exception of two wild cards all of the cards in the game are either red or blue or a lady or a tiger. With these cards five different games can be played, and each set of rules is made by different designers.

"Doors" is a two player game that has the most thematic similarity to the short story. It is a two player deduction game where one player is collecting sets to match a secret card, while the other player is trying to figure out what the secret card is.

"Favor" is a 2-4 player bidding game. Each player gets a secret card (red lady, blue lady, red tiger, or blue tiger) and players are trying to collect cards that match aspects of their card. Players will either add a card to the set or they initiate a bid. Whoever wins the bid gives the tokens they spent to the player that initiated the bid (if the initiator wins, they split the tokens among the other players). When the deck is expended, players get points for cards that match aspects of their secret card. A new round begins and a total of three rounds are played.

"Hoard" is a single player puzzle game. Players have to figure out the puzzle in order to score ten points before three rounds is up.

"Labyrinth" is a two player race game, where players are trying to navigate five tokens across a 4x4 grid by moving them and then swtiching the location of cards.

"Traps" is a bluffing game that can go up to six players. One of the door cards is put face up, and then players will place cards face down from their hand. Players will keep in mind what they played. At some point some will call for a bet. Then players will bet how many matches they can flip over that match an aspect of the face up card.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: It is impressive that a small group of components could make so many unique games. All of the games fall into the Love Letter style "micro-game". By and large they all stand on their own. This is especially true for "favor", "Labyrinth", and "Traps".

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It is neat there is so much variety, but I think the individual rule sets are a bit of a mixed bag.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: The theme is the weakest aspect. The game has a unique table presence, but I think the more esoteric theme actually works against some of the rule sets and they would be better served with a different theme.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It is all abstract so there is not much theme here. It is clever how they were able to make so many different games about ladies and tigers.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: There are five different rule sets in one box and several of the them have a decent amount of replayability. There are potentially a lot of plays that can come out of this one box.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: There is natural replayability built into the box, but I am not entirely sure how much longevity each rule set will have.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: Across the five different games in the box the one consistent element is they play quickly.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Even the games I do not like that much do not outstay their welcome.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I like the ingenuity of this game. Of the included rules I really like Labyrinth. I think Favor is good, and I think I would like Traps at more players. Hoard is whatever, and I think Doors maybe too clever for it's own good.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am not going to play the single player one, so of the other four. I like half of them, so I would say the whole thing is ok.

Final Score

67/100

This game has five different games in it, and the reality is that we will probably play three out of the five. We both do like Labyrinth and Favor quite a bit. Honestly, this game is kind of on the line for us. We are not ready to get rid of it yet, but it is going to need to be getting played to justified keeping it. This is a good game to get for people who are looking for a variety of fillers, and who love to explore new games.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:37 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Rise of the Zombies! (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

We got this game as part of the Gen Con math trade. Even though many think the zombie theme is over done, I still like it which was one of the reasons we traded for it. I also tend to like card games made by Dan Verssen Games (DVG). These factors were enough for us to give the game a try, despite being a cooperative game which we tend to be a bit more cool on. So did this game rise to the occasion?

Game Overview
In this game players will pick a character and the goal is to get through a series of locations from the safe house to the helicopter pad. This is a card game with a strong hand management perspective, and it is played in real time so if the time expires before the players make it they will lose.

The number of players determines the amount of cards a player gets. The starting hand size is also how many hits a character can take. The cards that players will have are things like weapons, locations, skills, and instants/events.

The player turn is done simultaneous. Players can play weapons by spending points acquired by killing zombies. Once per turn a new location card can be played. The player who played the location moves in and other players will have to play a card with a movement icon. New locations will also bring new zombies, and the closer players get to the helipad the more zombies they have to contend with.

Most characters have a built in attack, or they can use readied weapons they have played. Players may make one free attack a turn and they can play cards with weapon icons to make additional attacks. Attacks are made by rolling a die and consulting the weapon chart. Attacks that hit often do 1 damage, but it is possible to do more. Each zombie card can take so many hits, and the player who defeated it gets the card. The zombie cards also have a value and this is the game's currency.

After all players are done it is the zombie turn. First any zombie at a location without a player moves to the closest player. Then all zombies attack. Zombies also attack with a six sided die roll and consulting a chart on the card. When a player is hit they take the damage and their hand size is reduced by the damage taken. When a player takes damage equal to the starting hand size they are killed. The last element of the zombie turn is a new zombie card is drawn and placed at a location without any players.

If any players make it to the helipad and have it cleared of zombie cards they win. If time runs out they lose, or (most likely) if all players are killed they lose.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the worst kind of co-op. The game is hard, but it is made worse by just how much dumb luck is required to do well. With most weapons the odds are often, at best 50/50 to hit. Most zombies though will hit at a 66% chance, and often they will hit twice. The deck is stacked against the players and it really feels like the game is winnable with only a stupid amount of luck.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I kind of like the real time aspect, but I wish it mattered. This game requires great dice rolls. Good or bad luck, the game will be over well before time is a factor.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: I suppose a zombie apocalypse would be a dour, hopeless affair where only the most lucky survive. So in that regard it nailed the theme. However, the experience is not much fun.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am not normally a big minis-person, but I think for me I really need more than just cards to communicate a good zombie theme.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: It is as replayable and as a fruitful as banging one's head against a wall.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: You could? I do not like losing over and over though so I would rather not.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the best part of this game. It is a race with dwindling resources and long odds. The timer and the constant threat of zombies coming up from behind force the players forward and that push is tangible.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: A bad card draw can lead to feeling stuck with little to nothing to do.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: This game is not fun. The game is intentionally designed to kill the players again and again. Doing well is based less on skillful play and more on great dice rolls. It is an altogether frustrating and unfulfilling experience.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Ignoring the insane difficulty, this game is not fun because it is just plain boring.

Final Score

42/100


This game is a complete miss for us, and honestly I am not sure who this game is good for. There are not shortage of zombie games, and no matter what someone wants out of a zombie game there is a better one that exist than this. We recommend avoiding this game.
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:29 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [115]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.