There’s been a boatload of excellent city-builders as of late…”Cities: Skylines” and “We Built This City“, just to name a few. I came across “City Tycoon” on Amazon and while the price seemed to be outside my usual buy range ($40 as of 10/6/15), I went ahead and splurged a little hoping that my love of the genre would accept it no matter how good or bad it ended up being. Like “We Built This City”, players will be laying down tiles and contributing to a city and in the end, the player who does so the most strategically will win. However, this game features drafting and resource generation (water, electricity, goods, etc.) that make the game a bit more complex than the aforementioned game.
I did a double-take when I read the name of the game for the first time, more out of surprise than anything else. See, I cover a crap-ton of video games and when I come across the word “tycoon”, it usually relates to some kind of business simulator. I was surprised to see the word in a tabletop game’s title, though after playing it, the name is pretty apt. Essentially, your goal is to form the longest words you can so that you can earn both money and stocks. You can actually buy patents for the letters you use, collecting royalties from anyone else who uses those letters in the future. I immediately bought the game upon discovering that particular mechanic, because it just sounded so darned awesome. So did the game meet my high expectations?
If you’ve ever played the two player “Lost Cities” card game, then you’ll know that the game is almost as simple as laying down cards in ascending order in order to score points. “Trambahn” takes this idea and pumps it full of steroids. While still being a two-player game, “Trambahn” tasks players with building stations and passenger demand, all the while managing a bank account in order create the best tramway company. So don your conductor hats and start shoveling that coal, because we’re about to chuga-chuga choo choo right into the review. (Yes, I wrote that and yes, I rolled my eyes and snickered too.)
A long time ago in a living room about twenty miles from where I currently am, I watched the most epic three-fold battle sequence I’ve ever seen: The Battle of Endor via “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”. No seriously, it was epic enough to where I’d skip the rest of the movie and only watch that part…I was a kid, what do you want? With the recent influx of Star Wars toys hitting the shelves for the upcoming Star Wars movie in December, I figured I’d do my part and give this newcomer a go. Was the Force strong with this one, or did it turn out to be a big heaping pile of bantha poodoo?
“SimCity” fans know that there a few different kinds of energy: wind, coal, nuclear, and etc. You know, the kind of power we generate in today’s day and age. Enter “PRISM”, the abundant energy source featured in the city-building strategy card game, “Rise to Power”. “Rise to Power” is like SimCity but on a much simpler scale, with your objective being to use PRISM to fulfill contracts and ultimately add districts to your ever-growing city. Before we touch on the details, I’d like to thank Kevin Brusky from APE Games for providing me with a free copy for review purposes.
I suppose it’s fitting that this game fell into my lap when it did, what with Halloween right around the corner. It may still be a few weeks away at the time of this posting, but it’ll be here faster than you can say, “Candy Grab”. Granted, “Candy Grab” has nothing to do with Halloween, but it sure does involve PLENTY of candy! In this 2-6 player game, your job is simple: be the last player standing by taking the other players’ candy…and eating it, of course! Before we start chugging the Pepto Bismol to stave off the inevitable stomach cramps that are sure to follow (from being old and eating anything other than fruits and vegetables), I’d like to thank Game Creator Matthew Williamson for reaching out and providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
“Encounters: Bravest Warriors” puts players in the shoes of heroes who will be attempting to score as many encounters as possible. To do that, they’ll be rolling dice and locking them in on encounter cards in order to defeat them. Essentially, this is a push-your-luck game that’s a cross between “Farkel” and “Roll For It!”…it’s like the former in the sense that you roll less dice the more you lock in and like the latter in the sense that you can assign dice to cards. Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, I’d like to thank Randall Neil Bills from Catalyst Game Labs for reaching out and providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
What do you get when you combine the structures found in city-builders like “SimCity” with tile-laying mechanics as found in a game like “Carcassonne”? You end up with “We Built This City”, a game that rewards players points for the buildings they lay on a shared grid/city. It’s a bit like “Sunrise City”, albeit a simpler version (no bidding, etc.). Before we jump into the details, I’d like to quickly thank Mike McGinnis of Enigma Nexus for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.
You and some fellow researchers are working in a lab when all the sudden you hear the smattering of glass on the sterile stainless steel floor. This, it turns out, is a bad thing as said container held the deadly airborne virus, “Compound X”. It just so happens that your team was working on a number of anti-toxins for “Compound X” but unfortunately, none of you is certain which cure is reliable. Will YOU deduce and consume the correct antidote before the compound takes its lethal effect?
After finishing up the latest batch of work on my desk, I decided to take a stroll into the kitchen to refill my coffee mug. Imagine my surprise when I saw a young woman rappelling right outside the window. I flashed her a cheesy grin and a thumbs up, then looked outside the window and down upon the gathering crowd. Unknowingly, my workplace was smack dab in the middle of an event called “Over The Edge Pittsburgh” by Our Clubhouse, a free emotional and social support group designed to help those touched by cancer in western Pennsylvania.
I received an unexpected surprise from the folks over at Gamewright yesterday and wanted to follow up with a quick article for those of you who have yet to subscribe to my YouTube channel. “Rory’s Story Cubes – Batman” is like other “Rory’s Story Cubes” games in the sense that you’re rolling dice and making up stories. “Sneaky Cards” is more of a social experiment, tasking you with approaching strangers and completing certain objectives. You then give the card to the stranger upon completing the listed objective. Both games require a bit of imagination, with the latter also requiring you to put yourself out there to the general public (which is scary in itself, at least for me).
I stopped using my blog to vent a year or so ago, but in this case, I had to make an exception. It started with a harmless stroll through Sears at Ross Park Mall in Pennsylvania on a lovely Sunday afternoon when a nice guy talked me into buying a bed. It had been ten years since I purchased my last one and admittedly, it was falling apart. Those Sleep Number beds aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, but that’s another story. The salesman was extremely nice and knowledgeable so I was very satisfied with that side of things. In the end, I paid $1500+ for a queen mattress, queen box-spring, and a frame. It was to be delivered that Friday. Five days until delivery…pretty impressive, I thought. Oh, how was I wrong.
Got ten minutes? If the answer is yes, then you have enough time to pump out a game of “Retro Loonacy”, brought to you by the makers of “Fluxx”, “Seven Dragons”, and “Just Desserts”. It’s a simple, high-speed game of matching pictures and the first player to play all of their cards, wins! Before we get into the details, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Looney Labs for reaching out and providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.
Games can have a wide variety of different themes. Some focus on dungeon crawling while others on managing a town or deducing a player’s hidden identity. “Drop Site” is a game about delivering and coordinating humanitarian aid shipments, of all things. Not that I’m complaining mind you, it’s just…well, different. In this game, players will be dropping parachutes of AID toward different drop sites and the person who is better at it strategically, wins the game!
What happens when you combine the likes of “Scrabble” with a colorful game like “Qwirkle”? You end up with something like “Latice”, a family-friendly board game that’s currently seeking your support on Kickstarter. It supports 2-4 players and ages 6+, with the average play time being about 20 minutes. To quickly sum it up, your goal will be to play all the tiles from your pool based on color and shape (sort of like “Qwirkle”, but not). Like “Scrabble”, the board contains special spaces and will fill up as the game progresses. Before we move on to specifics, I’d like to thank Jim Brikman from Adacio for reaching out and providing me with a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not reflective of the final product, making everything you see and read about here subject to change.
In the days of yore, monarchs used to construct huge temples to demonstrate their great power and wealth. I suppose the phrase: “it’s not the size that matters…” hadn’t been coined yet. In this two player game, you’ll be tasked with being the one who constructs the most majestic and imposing temples…though you’ll be able to play cards to further your own goals whilst messing up whatever plans your opponent may have. Let’s get right down to building, shall we?