Pandemic - 9.6 - Game of the Month - Most Thematic
Pandemic is an amazing game which scales excellently and always seems to provide an "edge of your seat" type of experience. You always seem like you're about to win or about to lose and you're never quite sure which way it's going to go. Players may concern themselves with alpha gamers or possible broken role combinations but for me, this one is as solid as cooperative experiences get. Love it.
But Wait, There's More! - 9.5 - Game of the Month Runner Up
But Wait, There's More! is officially the best party game I've ever played and is probably in my top five favorite games of all time. First they bring us Train of Thought and now comes its successor and yet both are still great games. The Bamboozle Brothers do it again for me. Awesome, awesome game!
Wunderland - 8.5
I didn't know what to make of this game at first. Having eight pieces available to move at the start of each turn was insane to me. Add to that being able to "piggy back" with opponents on their turn, I wasn't quite sure what we were going to be in for. That being said, Wunderland is an excellent little game about, from what I've read, is an excellent little place with excellent little miniatures. Grabbing onto the concept of how to move tokens and when to piggy back and when to not are key. I also loved the photographs represented on the board and the postcards. A really beautiful game with some great gameplay. Highly recommended!
Love Letter: Batman - 8.4 - Best Art
Na na na na na BATMAN! Na na na na na LOVE LETTER! This game takes the proven and excellent mechanics of Love Letter and adds a theme which for me takes it a step up. I guess I'm a sucker for Batman, but I really like the added mechanic of using Batman to knock out an opponent and receiving a point for doing so. With or without that addition, it's still a great game and having Batman art added makes it all the better for me.
Wasserratten in Sicht! - 8.2 - Best Quality
Cooperative games are a great way to introduce children to the concept of gaming. I'd have to put Lighthouse Ambush as one of the best introductory children's games I've ever played and it plays well with all ages. Players are constantly in situations where they must make choices and the movement of Wally Walrus being how players take turns is ingenious. Excellent game.
Archaeology: The Card Game - 8.0
Archaeology: The Card Game is a great little set collecting game that plays in 15 or 20 minutes. My only complaint would be that those sandstorms seem to hit me only when I have really expensive items in my hand, but that's more of a personal thing. Otherwise, this one's really solid. Just enough stuff going on strategy-wise to make it really stand out in my collection.
Taxi Wildlife - 7.9
Taxi Wildlife is a great little game. I like how the cards dictate who will be going against who, meaning players will always get the same amount of draws from the bag. Every turn is tense as you dig through that bag, trying to pull the right animal to get the right road. Lots of fun and not just for kids.
Mars Attacks: The Dice Game - 7.8
Mars Attacks: The Dice Game was a game I was looking forward to if only for rolling dice. It's a thing I enjoy. Mars Attacks does a good job of taking the simplicity of rolling dice and turning it into a fun, little game. I really like the theme (pasted on as it is) and feel it blends well with the actions of the players throughout play. In summary, this is a good one.
Rumble in the Dungeon - 7.5
Rumble in the Dungeon is so light it could nearly fly off the table. However, if players are prepared for the lightness of the game, they're more than likely going to have a fun time. We sure did.
Bellz! - 7.4
Bellz is a great little game that takes advantage of a simple mechanic: magnetic force. I like how easy and quick the game is to play, as well as how well it scales between 2 and 4 players. There's nothing really to it, but it's enjoyable, more so than I originally thought it would be.
Assel Schlamassel - 7.4
Assel Schlamassel is the "We Will Rock You" of board games. Slapping the table and clapping haven't ever been more fun. It's a simple concept, but there's still a good amount of challenge in here since players are able to mix up their slaps and claps. We had lots of fun with this one!
Color Clash - 7.3
Color Clash will rack your brain, but not due to the complexity of the game. It's a super simple game where most of the time your goal is to hunt for colors. However, the way the colors are presented is where the trick comes in. I also like how many different types of games are presented in the box, making replayability huge. I really liked it!
Thumbs Up! - 7.3
Thumbs Up! is a pretty enjoyable game. I'd say this one is targeted mostly towards younger folks. There are variants to increase difficulty however, it's still fairly easy if you can count to ten and distinguish between four colors. I'd still play this one anytime because it only takes up a few minutes.
Heat - 7.2
Heat is a fun and quick playing card drafting game. I'm not very familiar with the drafting mechanic, but it succeeds in this form. You're never quite certain of what might be coming from your opponent so building your hand can sometimes not work out so well. That being said, you never really feel like you simply can't play because of bad cards. Each of the cards works well and let's you play your own game with a little interaction with your opponents to keep it interesting. Lots of fun.
A Fistful of Penguins - 7.0
I'm a sucker for dice games, even ones that just don't work simply because I love chucking dice. That being said, A Fistful of Penguins is successful at being a bit more than just a Yahtzee clone. I'm not saying there's a huge amount of strategy however, you are somewhat in control of your own destiny since you're able to purchase extra rolls and extra dice. Every once in awhile, you might get unlucky due to bad dice rolls, but in the meantime, you're going to be playing a pretty fun little dice game.
Sleeping Queens - 7.0
It's amazing that a six year old was able to design a game, let alone an enjoyable one. While certainly aimed at younger children, there's a fun card game in this and I believe can allow kids to grow and learn with the game. Having power-ups as well as using math as a gameplay mechanic makes it not only fun, but a good learning tool for children. Very well made and beautiful little card game.
Crab Stack - 6.9
Crab Stack is a quick, fun abstract game with great components and wonderful art. It's best with four and suffers a bit with less, but is still playable and enjoyable at three and two. The 'wave rule' is interesting and important to moving the game along and without it, I can't imagine this being as good as it is. A good little game that especially shines at four.
Scribbo - 6.9
Scribbo is word bingo and it's pretty darn fun. I think biggest flaw in the game is that for the most part, one box will be where most of the words will be made while the other box is mostly just throw away letters. Otherwise, the mechanics work well and it's a fun alternative to Scrabble.
Scallywags - 6.9
Scallywags is a good amount of fun for what it is. I like the randomness of the setup and the cards make for some interesting and fun interaction. The fun is certainly heightened when proclaiming the sayings in the card (though not necessary). It's not a brain burner and it's mostly king making, but it's a fun take that style of game.
Sub Shop - 6.9
Sub Shop is a good game. It's similar to many take that card games aimed at younger players. What makes Sub Shop stand out is the components. While they're not the best quality, they definitely fit the bill and match the theme of working in a Sub Shop. For the price, this is a nice, little game.
Perpetual Commotion - 6.5
Perpetual Commotion is like a speedy version of Skip-Bo where players are able to play at the same time instead of taking turns. There's a few more differences to it than that, but in essence, it's near the same game. For me, that makes it a winner and certainly something I wouldn't mind playing. I think it plays best at about four players. At five or six, I imagine it would be incredibly chaotic and obnoxious. Good game though.
Chip Up - 6.5
Chip Up is a decent little game that doesn't take too much time. Like many dice games, their not much strategy. In fact, beyond choosing opponents when making specific rolls, there's really no strategy. It's all luck here, but the game's short enough to not overstay its welcome.
tummple! - 6.5
Think of tummple! as a deconstructed Jenga where instead of starting out with the tower, you're building the tower. Where tummple! knocks out Jenga is how players are able to manipulate the tower as they see fit through building. I like that the game is not just about building blocks, there are also ways to create obstacles using the tumps. As with any dexterity game, your mileage may vary when it comes down to success and failure, but I'd play this one over most other "tower stacking" games any day.
Yikerz! - 6.3
There's not a lot going on here, but for what it is, it's pretty enjoyable. I think my favorite part of the game is when you're able to push magnets around using polarity. It's quick, it's fun, it's a pretty good little game.
Monopoly Deal Card Game - 5.7
I wanted to like this one. I really did. For some reason though, it just didn't sit too well with my group. It definitely works as a game and the mechanics fit in with the cutthroat style of the original Monopoly game. Maybe it's just that I've never been a huge fan of Monopoly anyways. I don't know exactly what it was, but it just didn't work for us. I'd be willing to give it another try, I just wouldn't ask for it.
A collection of game night sessions and other gaming subjects that I hope folks find interesting (because I do!) :D
- [+] Dice rolls