I previously praised “The Great Heartland Hauling Company” for being a “fun game that has the right mix of resource management and economic functionality”. I couldn’t help but me reminded of the aforementioned game while giving “Isle of Trains” a spin. In short, each player will be building and upgrading a train in an attempt to make deliveries and earn victory points. What’s “coal” (see what I did there?) about this game though is that the cards you’ll play have many different uses. Let’s take a look at the rules and show you what I mean.
Oh city builders, how I love thee. The real world might prevent me from bulldozing all of the houses on my street (except for mine, of course) and replacing them with nothing but soft-serve kiosks that are open 24/7…but in fantasy land, I can do whatever I want. While I may not be able to construct an ice cream empire in “Quadropolis”, I can construct a small city and power/man it almost any way I’d like to. The catch is that each type of building (towers, shops, factories, etc.) score differently based on where they are and what’s around them. So ready your architects, because we’re going to be building stuff!
I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted building a house only to have it explode because of some cheeky little creeper. Fans of the game know that I’m talking about “Minecraft”, because the only creepers in real life are those who haven’t figured out what boundaries are. “Minecraft Card Game?” tasks players with crafting items and earning points by drafting materials from a central pool. Items they do craft can be used once for its special effect (though they retain the points).
I’m not what you would call an outdoorsman, especially when it’s muddy and/or cold. Call me crazy, but most of my time is spent indoors either being a parent, reading a book, or playing/reviewing a game of some type with the family. While “Tally Ho!” revolves around the idea of two players hunting each other, they can do so without leaving the comfort of their dining room table. One player will take on the role of the hunters and lumberjacks while the other plays as the bears and foxes. They can both hunt neutral game like ducks and pheasants to earn points, or simply hunt each other based on their individual movement / hunting rules. Before I get into all that however, I’d like to thank Eve Vergnes from Southard Communications, Inc. for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
When it comes to history outside of the US, I’m absolutely clueless. When I hear “War of the Roses”, for example, I just picture two English dudes with monocles and cups of tea slapping each other in the face with a bouquet of roses. Now that I’ve lost half of my European audience, lets move on to why we’re really here: “The Rose King”, a two player game that focuses on area control. Special thanks to Eve Vergnes from Southard Communications, Inc. for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
I had a weakness for city builders ever since I laid my hands on SimCity for the SNES. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting a population of 500,000 people, saving, and then calling in every natural disaster the game has to offer. There aren’t any tornadoes in “Town Center”, nor will Godzilla show up to Hulk-Smash everything to tiny pieces. Still, players will be able to earn victory points for how well they manage their town through the process of drafting and placing cubes.
I wasn’t around for the days of the “Old West”, but I think I have the general idea. You either died of dysentery, got punched in the face by John Wayne, or got bullied around by Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen (bonus points if you got all three references). Yes, things were sure tough back then. Anywho, “Gold West” puts players in the shoes of prospectors who must gather/sell resources, earn influence, and have the most points by the end of the game. Before we bust out the pick axes, I’d like to thank the folks at Tasty Minstrel Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
I came across “Lightning Dice” and instantly had two thoughts. The first one involved lightning bolts shooting from the sky made of dice instead of electricity (wouldn’t that be fun?) while the second revolved around the idea of a fast and furious dice rolling game. Imagine my surprise when the latter turned out the be true…though while hazardous, bolts made of lightning would save me from ever having to buy dice again. In “Lightning Dice”, players will be furiously rolling dice to try and match the flipped card in order to score points, though they’ll be able to give themselves a bonus or their opponents a penalty if they roll particular combinations. Special thanks to Brian from Wild East Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
I have to admit that I had a slight urge to go pull up some “Earth, Wind & Fire” on my MP3 player when I received this game in the mail. I suppose I have my “Reasons”, though some may chalk it up to “Devotion”. “Elements”, as you may have guessed, tasks players with using things like fire, water, air, earth, and other elements to create substances and earn points. It’ll be launching on Kickstarter some time in March of 2016 and supports up to four players. Before I give you a run down of how the game plays, I’d like to thank Chris Rossetti from Rampage Games LLC 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 (including the rules) subject to change.
I haven’t met a kid who didn’t like “Minecraft”. Sure, some adults may find it too simplistic in terms of graphics and not like it for other various reasons, but most kids appreciate the freedom to design and construct almost anything they want. I personally like the survival mode aspects and the sense of satisfaction I get when my house extension goes up or when I’ve found that rare patch of diamonds. Starting June 27th, Connected Camps will be hosting a “Summer of Minecraft” camp for kids…how neat is that?! It’s really too bad that camps like that weren’t around when I was young.
“Coal Baron” (“Glück Auf” in German) is primarily a worker placement game that tasks players with mining coal out of the ground and completing orders. While each player has their own elevator shaft, they’ll be competing over the other spaces and delivery cards via worker pieces. The more a space is used, the more workers you’ll need. That, of course, is an over-simplified version of the gameplay mechanics, so let’s jump right in and start digging!
Have you ever dreamed of taking over the USA and running things YOUR way? As patriotic as I am, there are admittedly some things I’d love to see change in order to make our great nation a better one. I’ve played both “SimCity” and “Tropico”, so I know what I’m talking about…people may hate me for the smoking and alcohol ban, but they’ll thank me when their body parts aren’t planning a mutiny when they turn forty. “Revenge of the Dictators”, a game that’ll be launching on Kickstarter in March of 2016, is a competitive game for 2-5 players to where each player is trying to overthrow the President of the USA and become its Dictator. Before we begin, I’d like to thank Bart from Black Box Adventures 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 this article (including the rules) subject to change.
Normally when I play a sci-fi themed game, I’m blowing up Klingons or launching proton torpedoes at some unsuspecting TIE Fighter. “Space Junk” takes a different approach and tasks players with collecting the most fame by collecting…you guessed it, junk. Junk can also be used to upgrade your ship across three stats: movement, attack, and search and can also be lost in battle. Hope you’re ready to think like Neelix from Star Trek: Voyager, but we’re about to scrounge!
If you’ve ever watched the television show “Merlin”, then you’ll know how difficult it can be to become a knight. Luckily, “Medieval Academy” is here to help you train to become one…well, sort of. You’ll have to do a number of tasks like complete quests, serve the king, and even show a sense of charity and gallantry. Only one player will be knighted, so it’s up to you to make sure you’re on top when the smoke clears.
Mars seems to be all the rage these days (and it’s about time). This might be my inner-geek talking, but space exploration and awareness seem to have taken a back seat as of late, at least here in the US. That’s a real shame, mainly because there’s so much out there that we haven’t discovered yet. “Mission to Mars 2049” doesn’t exactly get us on a shuttle to outer space, but it does envision a day where man begins to colonize Mars. Of course, they’ll need a steady supply of water, which is where the North Pole comes in. Here, players will be racing to the get to the North Pole first by building structures and managing resources. Before we begin, I’d like to thank Designer and CEO Dagnis Skurbe for reaching out and providing a press copy for review purposes.
This game gave me an odd sense of Déjà vu…I mean, it seemed like I had just left Jaipur having traded all my gems and acquiring a good deal of camels in the process. For those of you familiar with the two player game “Jaipur“, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. “Johari” happens to be a world famous jewelry market situated in, you guessed it, Jaipur. Your goal will be to buy and sell gems with the intent on gaining the most prestige by the end of the game. Watch out though…some of those gems are counterfeit and could land you in a bit of trouble!