In my experience, a lot of war games I come across tend to be rather complicated. Some even take over two hours to play and to be fair, I’ve seen folks at my local game shop play these kinds of games without batting an eye. “Star Wars: X-Wing” is one of the rare few that I have gotten into that offers a ton of content but takes a while to fully understand. “Gnosis Conflict”, a 2-3 player strategy game that will be launching on Kickstarter in July 2016, aims to keep things relatively simple while offering hardcore strategy vets something to think about. I’d like to thank Anthony Gallo from Hitmouse Productions for providing me with a prototype copy for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you see and read about here subject to change.
Blue Orange Games has a reputation of making some pretty darned fine family-friendly games and it’s a shame that I don’t see them available on the shelves of the stores that I regularly frequent. They’re mostly geared towards kids (like in the case of “Dr. Eureka” and “Fast Flip“, but on occasion they cater to adults to (like in “New York 1901“). “Vikings on Board” seems to attract the attention of both parties as it is easy to play, kid-friendly, and fairly strategic in a “worker placement / area control” kind of way. I opted to do a video review in place of a written one, so go check it out below. Special thanks to Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
Think YOU have what it takes to form Cohorts ranging from catapults to legionaries? Well, you can most certainly give it a spin in “The Cohort”, which is coming to Kickstarter sometime in September of 2016. Normally I’d do a preview for something like this, but I was told by MAGE Company (the folks who sent me the game) that my press copy was representative of the final product. On that note, thanks again MAGE Company! I outlined the gameplay and my thoughts in the below video, but also wrote a quick review for those who want the skinny in about a minute or less.
MAGE Company has released some pretty moderate to heavy games over the past few years, but their recent trend seems to be focused on families and younger kids. I’m not complaining mind you…some of my favorite games are the ones that are very easy to play but still require a little bit of thought. In “Carrotia”, players will be teaming up to gather as many carrots as they can over the course of three rounds. What’s more, players will be building the maze/playing field whilst under the pressure of a time limit. Of course, birds controlled via die roll will be messing with you at almost every turn. Special thanks to the folks at MAGE Company for providing me with a press copy for review purposes. While the game is scheduled to hit Kickstarter in August 2016, I was told that my copy was representative of the final product.
“Castle Panic” has and always will be one of our favorite games to play, mainly because it’s co-op and so simple to learn. Of course, who could say no to slaying goblins and the like as they come swarming toward your castle? There’s been other variations upon that theme…”Dead Panic” and “Munchkin Panic” being the two that I own. “Star Trek Panic”, I’m pleased to say, is an awesome addition to this running trend. Before I go any further, I’d like to thank the folks at USAopoly for sending me a press copy for review purposes.
Ever wanted to be a psychic warrior who can wield powerful thoughts? Of course you have, what kind of silly question is that?! “The Forevergone”, a two to four player card game, puts players in the shoes of such a warrior who are trying to eliminate their competition once and for all. To do that, they’ll be trying to force their opponents’ cards into a discard pile known as, “The Void”. Before I get into specifics, I’d like to thank Game Designer Rob Richmond for reaching out and providing me with a press copy for review purposes. The game will be launching on Kickstarter on July 12th of 2016, however I’m told that my copy was the true and final version which is why I’m opting for a review instead of a preview. The game can actually be purchased now via The Game Crafter, if you like what you see in this article.
“Capo dei Capi” is probably one of the more complicated push-your-luck themed games I’ve ever had the fortune of playing. It’s not as simple as rolling dice or flipping cards until you’re ready to stop. Rather, you and another player will be fighting for control over various boards that gain value throughout the game. Some will be worthless while others will generate a good bit of value cubes which in turn give you victory points at the end of the game should you win the board.
Ever hear of the board game, “Lost Cities“? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. You’re tasked with sending explorers on expeditions but in doing so, you earn negative points until you get far enough to make your journey worth positive points. You’re essentially doing that in “Cosmic Run”, though there are five paths and you’re forced to progress on each lest you have to lose victory points because you neglected advancing on a particular one when it scores. You can also hire aliens and acquire crystals, the former of which grants you the use of special abilities. Both also help with your VP total at the end. It’s all outlined neatly in my video review below. Special thanks to Stephen Finn from Doctor Finn’s Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
I’m not exactly sure why, but the image of Harry Potter pops into my head every time I see this game on my shelf. I suppose that’s because “The Institute for Magical Arts” is all about power stones, portals, ethereal realms, and other goodies you’d expect from magic-themed games. This particular one is for two players and tasks each with getting victory points by acquiring both magical characters and tools via the process of bidding via power stones. When I say bidding, I don’t mean an auction…rather, you’re putting power stones on the cards you want, based on the dice you roll. There’s a lot of content that intertwines itself into a fully fledged game, so it’s best if you watch my video review below to get the full picture. Special thanks to Stephen Finn from Doctor Finn’s Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
Your first instinct when reading the title of this game may be to automatically assume that it’s a game geared toward kids. I’m here to tell you to put those assumptions aside because it’s accessible to all members of the household and is fairly strategic to boot, though not so much as to drive away casual gamers. The general idea is to play butterfly cards which eventually end up in your jar. Using the butterflies in your jar, you’ll be trying to acquire delivery cards for VPs. The first player to reach the VP goal (based on the number of players) will signal that the round should play out and the game ends. There’s obviously a bit more to it than that, so I’ve thrown together a quick video that outlines game play and my general thoughts. Special thanks to Stephen Finn from Doctor Finn’s Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
“Sushi Go!” is one heck of a card game, seeing as how it’s both easy and fun all at the same time. “Sushi Go Party!” is like “Sushi Go! 2.0” in that it introduces a lot more content but maintains the same general flow of play. For those of you unfamiliar with “Sushi Go!”, it’s essentially a pass-and-play set collecting game. You shuffle a deck of cards and each player is dealt a random hand. You then choose one to play and pass the rest of your hand to your left. Using the cards you’ve received from the person on your right, you’ll again choose a card to play and pass the hand off. When everyone is out of cards the round ends and points are tallied. Instead of using the same deck of cards every time, “Sushi Go Party!” lets players customize their own loadout from a number of new (and old) card types.
On an impulse buy, I picked up “Battle Line” for under twenty bucks on Amazon (search the Amazon widget on the right to find it) and boy, I’m glad I did. Essentially, you and one other player are battling for control of pawns. On each pawn, you can assign a total of three cards. The better hand (straight flush, 3 of a kind, flush, straight, etc.) on any particular pawn allows it to be controlled by that player. The aim is to capture three pawns in a row or five in all.
Mazes have a habit of making me feel like an idiot. I mean, I consider my self fairly intelligent…but put me into a hedge maze and you won’t see me again for another three years. Hell, just drop me off in the woods somewhere…my sense of direction is THAT bad. “Duel Maze” doesn’t make me feel like an idiot though…quite the contrary. It’s a two player game that tasks players with moving their dice to their colored goal markers and the first to three points, wins! Before we begin, I’d like to thank the folks at Player4 for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
“Deadfall” sounds like the title of the next James Bond movie, but it’s actually a card game that’s both easy and relatively quick to play. In Deadfall, players will be utilizing a “Pairs” deck…that is, a deck of cards valued 1-10 consisting of one 1, two 2’s, three 3’s, and so on. Players receive 50 coins or chips (not included) to start their pool along with a hand of six cards (five in a seven player game, seven in a two player game). Special thanks to Cassidy Werner from Cheapass Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
Retrogamers like myself can appreciate a good “SHMUP” (Shoot-em-up)…that is, a game where you control some type of craft and progressively head in one direction, shooting enemies as you go. “Inglorious Space” brings this idea to the tabletop and shares a partial likeness to “Life Force” by Konami. Before you impress me with you Konami code knowledge in the comments below…”Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start”. I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Black Table Games for providing me with a press copy for preview purposes.
Are YOU dumber than a box of rocks? Brave enough to find out? Then perhaps you should give “Box of Rocks” a spin, a trivia game that poses questions to where the answer is either 0, 1, or 2. The rocks have notches on them and are shaken up in the box after a question is asked…the number of notches revealed will indicate the game’s answer. Both your group and the game score points along a track for every correct answer and the first to the top, wins! It’s a relatively simple trivia game that, I’m told, will demoing at Gen Con in August 2016 and retailing in early 2017. If you like trivia games and think you’re smarter than a box of rocks, then keep an eye out for this one!