The number seven apparently held a lot of meaning back in the day…some might even refer to it as having magical powers. All I know is that rolling one at the “Craps” table is generally a good thing, and rolling one in “Settlers of Catan” means you get to ruin someone’s day with the thief…fun times. “Seven7s” is a relatively simple to play card game that revolves around some of the most famous sevens in history, like the 7 Wonders or 7 Deadly Sins. The object is to have the highest point total in your hand at the end of the game, though playing particular cards will have varying effects on said totals and allow you to perform special actions. Interested? Keep reading to find out more.
You’ve been given a pile of cards and your goal is to get rid of them as quickly as possible, for the first one to do so wins the game. In order to do that, you’ll be adding these cards to several central stacks to which everyone will have access. It’s like “UNO” in the sense that you’re trying to be the first to go out, but instead of matching colors/numbers, you’ll be laying down cards in sequential order (with the help of wild “Skip-Bo” cards). To help you with this task, you’ll have a series of discard piles from which you can add to the central piles. It might sound confusing for some, what with all these piles…so let’s take a moment to briefly go over the rules in more detail before checking out the review.
Patchwork, for those of you who don’t do a lot of sewing in real life, is the process of piecing together different parts of fabric in order to create clothing or quilts. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Someone made a board game about sewing? Really?” If you bear with me, you’ll soon discover that yes, this game is actually more than meets the eye…sort of like Optimus Prime and his merry band of robots, except with less of Megan Fox bending over cars. Because that’s totally what people wanted to see in a Transformers movie, but I digress…let’s move on to the review, shall we?
Show of hands, who DOESN’T like being a giant monster and inflicting massive amounts of destruction onto whatever fantasy world they happen to be living in at the time? I, for one, loved playing “Rampage” for the NES. “Monster Destruction” is more like “Dominion” in the sense that it’s a deck-builder, though instead of building estates and provinces to earn victory points, you’ll be destroying cities. Before we get into the specifics though, I’d like to thank Game Developer Alistair Dandy for reaching out and providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
“Lanterns: The Harvest Festival”, a tile-laying game that takes place in Imperial China, puts players in the role of artisans tasked with earning the most honor before the festival arrives. How does one earn honor? Why, by decorating the palace lake with floating lanterns, of course! Before we delve into how the game plays, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Renegade Game Studios for providing me with a free press copy for review purposes.
The developer described “Middle Empire” to me as something of a cross between “Settlers of Catan”, “Risk”, and “Monopoly”, played in only 30 minutes. “Interesting”, I immediately thought to myself. Being a big fan of “Catan” (especially “Star Trek Catan“), I began to think about what would happen if you introduced combat along with the ability to capture territories. After browsing the rulebook a bit and seeing the potential, I accepted the offer to review the game (special thanks to Game Developer Nate White for reaching out in the first place). What did I think of the game after the fact? Keep reading to find out!
Most dungeon-crawlers task players with entering a dungeon and finding treasure…but what happens when you finally get all that shiny stuff? “Dragon Run” addresses that very question, tasking players with…well, running! Players will be pushing their luck with the dungeon’s dragon, trying to escape with what they have in their possession. While leaving treasure behind is a valid way to not get scorched, players will have the opportunity to get more throughout the game (if they’re lucky enough). Before I go any further, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
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.
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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.