If you haven’t picked up “Machi Koro” yet, you should. To quote a line from my review from late last year, “I found ‘Machi Koro’ to be an elegant little game that combines just the right amount of strategy and casual fun for busy gamer families like myself.” I still believe this to be the case having played it a number of times since then. Well, I finally got around to picking up the “Harbor Expansion”, which was published back in 2013…better late than never, I always say. Seeing as how that this is an “expansion”, it goes without saying that you’ll need the original “Machi Koro” game to make use of it. Before I delve into what I thought, I’d like to quickly overview what came in the box and hi-lite a significant rule change that may throw you for a loop (like it did me).
“Flip City” is rather difficult to pin to any one genre. It has a deck-building and a push your luck mechanic, all wrapped around a light city-building theme. The idea here is to draw enough cards on one turn so that your accumulated total reaches eight or more victory points…though it’s not that simple. Some cards cause unhappiness that, if enough pile up, can wipe every card you’ve played on your turn and thus prevent you from taking any actions to build upon your deck. Before I delve into that however, I’d like to thank Daniel Hadlock from Tasty Minstrel Games for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.
“Sutakku” (meaning “stack” in Japanese) is a push-your-luck dice-stacking game. Players will be tasked with rolling dice with the intent on creating stacks…the taller the stack, the more points that are awarded. Players can stop at any time and score what they’ve just stacked, or opt to keep going in the hopes of pulling ahead of their competition. Like other push-your-luck games, it’s possible to get too greedy and fail, wiping away all your hard work (i.e. luck) up to that point. Before we get into the specifics, I’d like to thank Curt Covert from Smirk and Dagger for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.
Games like “Suburbia” and “Sunrise City” appeal to me because of how much they resemble “SimCity“, though they admittedly can take a while to play. “New York 1901″, brought to you by the same folks who released “BraveRats“, simplify things a bit in this skyscraper builder. Instead of worrying about residential, commercial, and industrial zones, players will simply be trying to build skyscrapers (via tetromino pieces) in order to score points. Before I go any further, I’d like to thank the folks at Blue Orange Games for reaching out and providing me with a free press copy for review purposes. While the game won’t be available until August, 2015, I’m told that my copy is for the most part representative of the final product.
Show of hands…how many of you have, at one point, dreamed of building your very own space station? You’ll be pleased to discover that “Among the Stars” lets you do just that. In this case, players take on the role of different alien races who will be drafting cards in order to build their space station from the ground up. How they approach this massive undertaking will determine how many points they’ll earn and who will ultimately end up winning the game.
Games like “The Escapists” (prison-escape simulators) are few and far between. For those of you who not in the know, you generally have to cobble together random items, observe patrol routes, and etc. in order to break out. “Jailbreakers: Plan Your Escape”, a tabletop game seeking your support on Kickstarter, has roughly the same general premise. Each player will be tasked with collecting and crafting items so that they can attempt escape. The first player to successfully get two of their three prisoners to escape, wins the game! Before I get into the nitty-gritty details, I’d like to thank Brent Howland from Qullus Games for reaching out and offering me a print-and-play copy for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that PnP’s most certainly do not represent the final product, making everything featured in this article (including the rules) subject to change.
So it’s been established that you like to kill dragons and other mythical creatures, but you don’t have the time to play for hours delving through dungeons in order to do it. Well, what if you based “combat” entirely around card tricks (straights, pairs, flushes, etc.) and simplified the game to the point where it only takes twenty minutes to play? Enter “Dragonwood”, a game that features all of these things (and more). Before I elaborate on that however, I’d like to thank Marketing Coordinator Nora Meiners from Ceaco/Gamewright for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.
Editor’s Note: The below is a paid advertisement from the folks at MTGHeadQuarters.
How many of you love card games like Magic: The Gathering , Pokémon, or Yu-Gi-Oh, but often have no one to play with? That’s where “GameFindr”, a FREE iPhone/Android app, comes to the rescue. Within minutes (sometimes seconds), you’ll be able to locate and connect with someone who shares your love for the same games you do. All you’ll need to do is download the app, set up your profile, and choose what games you enjoy playing. From there, the app will locate actual people within your area who want to play those exact same games. Better yet, it’ll help you find local game stores that also use the GameFindr app.
Ingduhl, a “diabolical shadow demon” whose name rolls right of the tongue, must be stopped. That, dear player, is where you come in. In “Ember”, a game that’ll be seeking funding through the Kickstarter process sometime in July 2015, tasks players with collecting the most Ember stones in order vanquish this demon and win the game. Before we begin, I’d like to thank Josh Paugh, the co-owner of Paw-Warrior Games, for providing me with a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see in the article (including the rules)subject to change.
I don’t remember much from my childhood, though I do remember a certain little cartoon featuring two sneaky chipmunks that would often steal acorns from right under the nose of a certain yellow dog. While you won’t be taking on the role of Chip and Dale in this game, you will be aiming to score as many points as possible by rolling acorns. Of course, it won’t be that easy…rolling all squirrels or cars will add to the chaos and force players to lose all their hard-earned points for that turn. Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Marketing Coordinator Nora Meiners from Ceaco/Gamewright for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.
Are you the type of person that can not only bluff well, but keep track of the web of lies you’re spinning in the process? If you answered “yes”, then “Coup” is the game for you. As the head of an Italian city-state, it’ll be your job to eliminate all the other heads (players) and be the last one standing. To do that, you’ll need to make use of varying card abilities whilst keeping your identities both secret and safe. If people generally laugh at your poker face, then you’ve got a LONG road ahead of you…or possibly a short one, whichever way you want to look at it.
There are a few different versions of “Love Letter” out on the market, all of which sell for about ten to twelve bucks a pop. Why did I choose the “Batman” variant as my first “Love Letter” game? Because…”I’m not wearing hockey pads.” Bonus points if you know which movie that quote is from. Anyway, like “Love Letter”, players will be trying to figure out who has what character whilst drawing cards from the deck and making use of their abilities to knock other players out of the game. So, take your thinking cowls out of your utility belt and let’s get this review on the road…no, I’m driving. You really thought that YOU would get to drive the Batmobile? No, no…”I’m Batman”.
Tongue twisters do more than make you look like a blubbering idiot…in fact they’re quite educational in the sense that they help improve one’s pronunciation skills. “Twistocity”, a game that’ll be seeking your support in June of 2015, takes this idea a step further and forces players to do silly voices on top of the tongue twister they’ve been assigned. Special thanks to Michael Kiely, the founder of Mass Middle Games, for reaching out and providing me with a prototype copy. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see below (including the rules) subject to change.
DISCLAIMER: The title “Early Access” means that the product/game is still under development. As such, the content featured below is subject to change. This includes any opinions I may have at the time of writing, as Alpha and Beta builds sometimes change their core mechanics on a whim. It’s important to stress the word opinions, as I find it unethical to review something not yet released in its final form. In other words, don’t take anything you see here too seriously. You can view all of the articles of this series by clicking the “Video Games” tab, located on the top of this page.
There are a lot of games on the market that feature beautifully sculpted miniatures. “MIDDARA”, a game currently seeking your help on Kickstarter, takes it a step further and puts an emphasis on story telling. The project has already quadrupled its goal with nineteen days still remaining (as of 6/4/15), though it’s not to late to help unlock some of those stretch goals.
Who’s ready for another “12 Realms” expansion? “12 Realms: Bedtime Story” is the latest of em’ all and is currently seeking your support on Kickstarter. Amazingly (but unsurprisingly), the project has already reached its goal with 18 days still left to go (as of 6/1/15)…though there’s still time to buy into the project now to get some nice bonus content via the various pledge levels.