It’s been a while since I’ve personally seen a good Mafia-esque game. As a person of Italian decent myself, I can appreciate games themed in such a way even if I don’t go around shaking down my next door neighbors for protection money. “Goons and Gats” is looking for your help on Kickstarter right now, though you can buy it on the Gamecrafter as well if you don’t want to wait.
You may not think it, but “Connect 4” can be quite a challenging game. “Brix” takes it to the next level, introducing both colors and symbols to satisfy a player’s victory condition. One player receives both a symbol (X or O) and a color (orange or blue) and if they can manage to get four in a row of either, they win. Some blocks of your color may have symbols belonging to your opponent, so it’s easy to help them out if you’re not careful. The game supports two players at ages seven and up with an average play time of ten minutes. Special thanks to the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes. I opted to do my review in video form, so check out the below video to see my thoughts. If you’re looking to buy the game, check out my Amazon browser on the right sidebar.
So, you think you’re unparalleled in the game of “Jenga“, do you? Perhaps your dexterity skills need a bit more of a challenge? Why not give “Kaboom” a spin and see how well you do building up towers for points while others try to knock them down with their catapults? Don’t fancy someone messing with your creations? That’s OKAY! In the next round, you’ll be the one firing the shots and creating destructive mayhem. It supports two to five players at ages six and up and has an average play time of about twenty minutes. Special thanks to the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes. I opted to do my review in video form, so check out the below video to see my thoughts. If you’re looking to buy the game, check out my Amazon browser on the right sidebar.
I used to enjoy reading the “Highlights” magazines when I was a kid, especially the “can you spot the difference between the two pictures” section. “Pinpoint!” plays along with that theme. Each card has 5 images on it…one Original image and four with variations. Players use process of elimination to locate the Original by pointing out differences in the other four pictures. It’ll challenge both kids and adults alike, guaranteed. It supports one to six players at ages seven and up with an average play time of ten minutes. Special thanks to the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes. I opted to do my review in video form, so check out the below video to see my thoughts. If you’re looking to buy the game, check out my Amazon browser on the right sidebar.
Who doesn’t like a good mind-teaser? In this two player game for ages seven to adult with an average play time of ten minutes, players will be snapping U-shaped blocks onto an ever-changing three-dimensional shape in an attempt to surround one of their colored dots to win the game. It’s not as confusing at it sounds, but it will make you scratch your head a bit as you attempt to out thwart your opponent. Special thanks to the folks at Blue Orange Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes. I opted to do my review in video form, so check out the below video to see my thoughts. If you’re looking to buy the game, check out my Amazon browser on the right sidebar.
100 orbital points is all you’ll need to win this game but in reality, it’ll take you a bit of luck and brain power to get there. “Orbital”, a 2-4 player card game that’s presently being sold on The Game Crafter, has a relatively simple premise but is pretty engaging at the same time. In short, you’ll be playing orbs of different colors in front of you which you can later activate for their special abilities, though doing so will force you to discard it from play. This is key, as orbital cards, the very thing that scores you orbital points, requires orbs. Before I go any further, I want to thank Game Creator Doug Clelland for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
While I’m all in favor of games that have an average play time of less than a half-hour, there are days where I long to sink my teeth into a game that’s both meaty and heavy. “Feudum”, an upcoming Kickstarter project, looks like it’ll fit that bill and then some. Per the Kickstarter campaign page, “Feudum mechanics include action programming, area influence, hand management and a unique economic ecosystem. The game features the kinds of strategic complexities found in deeper games such as Terra Mystica, Brass, Caylus and Dominant Species.” Like I said…meaty and heavy.
So I recently published the 2016 DGA Awards and got to thinking: “Will people just take my advice and go out and buy the games I listed without any thought to whether or not they’d be a good fit for their family?” Experienced gamers who know their way around the board, I figured, would be OK in that regard. Newcomers, on the other hand, may be a bit overwhelmed by the games I had listed should they rush out to buy them. To that end, I came up with a short list of games that I feel would be idea for beginners to play. There’s more out there, obviously, but the below should get you started.
2016 has been the year of hell with regards to my personal well-being. I know, I know…I shouldn’t be starting articles like this on such a positive note, but I’m a rebel that way. For those of you who forget that I have a semi-updated news feed, I’ve been rather sick as of late. It all started around November/December of last year…costochondritis, GERD, hiatus hernia, a rare inflammation in the throat that makes it swell, having my wisdom teeth pulled, and a bunch of ER visits. The fun is STILL on-going, huzzah! As such I really haven’t played a lot of board games, though I have now produced over 4,000 videos on my YouTube channel. While I didn’t get to play as many tabletop games as I would have liked, I have received a number of excellent games this year that are definitely in the below list. Like last year, I’ll be listing ANY game that I own regardless of release date.
Trivia games, in general, make me feel stupid at times and surprise surprise, I don’t find them to be all that fun as a result. “First: A Game of Knowledge and Discovery” or simply “First”, a game that’s looking for your help on Kickstarter as of 11/2/2016, promises to break the mold in that regard. A minimum pledge of $45 will net you the full game, though there are plenty of levels to pledge to should this game be of interest to you. Special thanks to Game Designer Melissa L. Tatum for reaching out and providing a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes aren’t often reflective of the final product, making everything you read about here (including the rules) subject to change.
I used to mine a lot of ore in space way back in the day. I’d hop in my rust-bucket spaceship held together by duct tape and blast off toward the nearest asteroid field where I’d spend minutes scouring for the more precious ores, only for some jerk to come by and blast me out of my cockpit because they could (oh EVE Online, those were the days). “Darkrock Ventures” luckily doesn’t fall into the same repetitive trap that most video games set in space have a habit of falling into…mine, sell, repeat. Rather, it’s a worker placement game that allows players to manipulate dice in a LOT of ways to mine that ore and make some money. Before going any further, I want to thank Ian Stedman from Magic Meeple Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.
Why are cooperative tabletop games so successful? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that everyone is on the same team…those of you with kids know how THAT goes, especially with games that encourage backstabbing and the like to win. Feelings get hurt and egos get bruised, which is so not the point of having “family fun night” in the first place. “5-Minute Dungeon”, a game that’ll be launching its campaign on Kickstarter on November 1st, 2016, fits nicely into my collection for all the above mentioned reasons in that it’s quick, easy to play, and cooperative in nature. Before we get started, I’d like to thank Sarah Gumina on behalf of Wiggles 3D 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 and read about here (including the rules) subject to change.
Kids, it turns out, have quite the active imagination. Whether it be excuses as to why the chores didn’t get done or blaming an ill-mannered smelly/noisy bodily function on some sort of imaginary animal, kids certainly know how to make your brain spin. That’s why I have a feeling “STORY CRAZE” is going to be a success, because it encourages kids to be creative and tell stories…after all, you can bet they’re going to do it anyway in some other setting. Why not direct their energy into creating something fun that the whole family can laugh about? Before we talk more about this upcoming Kickstarter project, I’d like to thank Maestro & COO Ellen Stebbins from StoryClub Games, LLC 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 here subject to change.
Ready for some fast-paced robot combat mayhem? Of course you are. If you’re like me, you grew up with games like “Mech Warrior” that allowed you to sit inside the cockpit of a beast filled to the brim with weaponry. “AEGIS” is a hex-based tabletop tactics game that’s seeking your help on Kickstarter that, you guessed it, involves lots of combat utilizing teams of robots. There’s only a few days left to support the game, so time is of the essence.
“Cosmic Pioneers” is a rather interesting area control game that unfortunately falls short in a few areas. What impressed me the most, in all honesty, was how the game was set up. That sounds strange, I know. Most game set ups involve some sort of repetitive ritual that most people detest. Here, the system of planets is different almost every time and is made up of the alien and scenario cards drawn for the game. Once you get past setup, you’ll find the game to be a mix of strategy and luck with a lean more towards the latter. I didn’t like the required “going on an adventure” roll, for example, as there was no way to avoid bad rolls. Part of me wanted to play the game without that phase altogether to assist in keeping things somewhat less random. Landing on another player also involves a die roll with the loser crash landing and unloading all cargo onto an adjacent viable planet. Sure, you can offset the combat roll by upgrading your ship’s weapons, but you’re still at the mercy of the die gods.
I wasn’t a big fan of wrestling as a kid, but I always enjoyed a good “Royal Rumble”…that is, more than six wrestlers in the ring at once trying to eliminate each other. Now imagine the same kind of setting, except the wrestlers are super heroes with some really wicked powers. Interested? Thought so. “Super Powered Smash Masters” will be coming to Kickstarter in September of 2016, so you won’t have long to wait. Special thanks to Adam Cogan from Dark Unicorn Games for sending me a prototype for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything you read about here (including the rules) subject to change.