Century: Spice Road

June 30th, 2017 No comments

“Century: Spice Road” is, as best as I can explain it, a resource-management deck/hand builder that’s extremely easy to play.  Everyone starts with the same two cards but can buy more later from a general pool, like in “Star Realms“.  The whole idea is to use these cards to acquire different spices (cubes) and then turning those cubes in to acquire victory point cards. Our first game took about forty minutes or so, but a lot of our time was spent trying to figure out which spices to trade for what spices and how to manipulate our caravan (cube pool of ten max cubes) to get the cube colors we want.

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May 24th, 2017 No comments

As a former member of the United States Chess Federation, I admit to being a little intrigued when I saw the offer to review “Duress”.  At first glance, the game looked like a cross between “Scrabble” and “Chess”.  I came to learn that it was similar to “Scrabble” in looks only (what with the lettered tiles) as no spelling is actually involved.  Instead, players take turns drawing a chess tile from a bag then moving one of their lettered pieces using that chess piece’s move rules.  The goal?  Move your colored tiles (A-P) onto the yellow goal letters in the middle of the board before your opponent does. Special thanks to the folks at Doctor Rocket, LLC. for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

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May 23rd, 2017 No comments

I had the pleasure of discovering this really easy (yet deep) abstract strategy game that reminded me of “Tigris and Euphrates” and “Acquire” in the way that you could absorb territory on the board.  The goal is to be the first to get all of the pagodas of your color onto the board.  There are other game ending conditions, but that’s what you’re aiming for.  Everything about the game is fantastic and only requires about thirty minutes of your time. The rulebook is one sheet, front and back.  I opted to cover the game in a video as opposed to writing out a review.  Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed “Qin”!

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May 20th, 2017 4 comments

Ever wanted to play a biology-themed game without all that confusing biology?  “BIOTIX” is what you’ll want to play as your sole goal is to get as many different types of BIOTIX onto your petri dish card as possible at the end of a day.  You’ll have to be careful though…your petri dish can only handle so many BIOTIX of a particular color.  Going over causes a bio-reaction, the effects of which change depending on the color.  You earn points for the BIOTIX still on your petri dish when the day ends and the player with the most points after three days, wins.  Special thanks to Curt Covert from Smirk and Dagger Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

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PRESS RELEASE: “12 Realms: Dungeonland” Seeking Support On Kickstarter

May 15th, 2017 No comments

The latest iteration of “12 Realms” by Mage Company proves that the series is still alive and kicking.  “12 Realms: Dungeonland” is a stand-alone game that retains the previous games’ theme, what with the inclusion of characters like Little Red Riding Hood and Prince Charming.  In this version however, there’s a heavier focus on RPG mechanics…that is, the ability to level up your characters and upgrade their abilities using a skills tree.  A new A.I. system is also featured that allows bosses to react a certain way depending on the situation.  “12 Realms: Dungeonland” is set to seek funding through the Kickstarter process May 15, 2017.

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PRESS RELEASE: “Wanted Earth” Seeking Support On Kickstarter

May 15th, 2017 No comments

When you’re playing a tabletop game with some sort of catastrophic theme, you’re either on one side or the other.  For example, in “Pandemic”, you’re always fighting for humanity against four deadly diseases.  “Castle Panic” has you fighting against orcs and trolls every single time. “Wanted Earth” however lets players be either the humans or the invading aliens, which is a neat twist.  In short, it’s a miniatures game that pits the human heroes against an invading alien force called the Goigons, though the Kickstarter page hints that more may be available via stretch goals.

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Magicka Mayhem

May 13th, 2017 No comments

Most of you video gamers out there know about “Magicka”, a top-down action-adventure game that lets you combine elements to cast spells. What makes the game so great is that the combinations are almost endless…just check out the game’s Wiki and you’ll see what I mean.  “Magicka Mayhem” takes that sometimes hilariously frustrating mish-mash of spells and condenses it into a relatively easy-to-play card game.  Players will be able to use element cards in conjunction with spell cards with the intent on reducing their opponent’s life force to zero like in “Star Realms” or Magic: The Gathering”.  Special thanks to Game Creators Ken and Ethan Erickson for sending me a copy of the game for press coverage purposes.

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Inspiration (Preview)

May 12th, 2017 No comments

Sometimes the best games are those that involve the use of one’s own imagination.  If you don’t believe me, give Dungeons & Dragons a spin with an experienced Game Master.  Even if RPGs like that aren’t your thing, rest assured that there is a huge market for that kind of thing.  The goal of “Inspiration”, a card game that’ll be seeking funding on Kickstarter around May 12, 2017, tasks players with using their imagination to tell the best story based on the available art cards.  Special thanks to Project Lead Owen Camber 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 (including the rules) subject to change.

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Space Invaders Dice!

April 23rd, 2017 No comments

If you don’t know what “Space Invaders” is, then there’s a good chance I’m older than you. Much, much older.  It was a game I used to play on my Atari 2600 and with my one button joystick, tried to shoot aliens out of the sky (and the occasional UFO for bonus points). “Space Invaders Dice!” recaptures the retro feel of this quote unquote “ancient” video game rather nicely and can be played so or with three other people.  Special thanks Wholesale Manager Zack Krnavek from Turn One Gaming Supplies for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

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April 22nd, 2017 No comments

If I were to try to make a fireworks display in real life, I’d probably set a house on fire or at the very least, singe my eyebrows off permanently.  “Hanabi” is all about making a fireworks display cooperatively with other players though the kicker is, you can’t look at your own cards.  This poses a problem, as cards must be played in numeric order by suit.  Personally I think “Hanabi” is an excellent team-building game that requires both memorization and critical thinking skills.  While some might consider open discussion against the rules, it can actually promote some good communication/team-building skills as well.

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Hardback (Preview)

April 4th, 2017 No comments

I liked “Paperback” (by Timothy Fowers from Fowers Games) so much that I gave it a 9/10, observing that it “combines the ideas of spelling words for points and deck building rather nicely”.  I also enjoyed my time with “Word Domination” (by Jeff Beck from Uproarious Games), which I previewed for a Kickstarter campaign back in August of 2016.  Back then, I claimed that it was “truly a step up from the word games in my collection” and I maintain that praise.  Enter “Hardback”, a game that both gentlemen are working on that is similar to the aforementioned “Paperback” in a number of ways (which is a good thing).  “Hardback” will be seeking funding through the Kickstarter process starting April 4th, 2017.  As such, the game copy I received was a prototype and thus, everything seen here (including the rules) are subject to change.

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Brace For Impact! (Preview)

March 31st, 2017 No comments

Fancy yourself a submarine captain but don’t feel like spending hours playing cat and mouse against an enemy sub?  “Brace For Impact!”, a 2 player game that’ll be launching on Kickstarter in March of 2017, may be what you’re looking for.  It supports ages 12 and up and has an average play time of 5 minutes, making it very quick and easy to play.  It also comes in a small tin case, making it very portable.  Special thanks to Chris Rossetti from Rampage Games LLC for providing me with a prototype for preview purposes.  It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the finished product, making everything you’re about to see and read about here (including the rules) subject to change.

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PRESS RELEASE: “Bargain Quest” Seeking Support On Kickstarter

March 29th, 2017 No comments

Ever since I was little, I enjoyed playing simulators that had me manage a business of some sort. Of course, there wasn’t a whole lot around of those types of games back then, but “Lemonade Tycoon” and a few others come to mind.  Perhaps I enjoy the genre because I can drive a business into the ground as badly as I want to without losing any actual money.  “Bargain Quest”, a game that’s on Kickstarter presently, has players running their very own item shop.  Like most real life retail stores, you’ll have a display window where you can place items but they can’t be sold.  It’s an interesting concept to see in a tabletop game to say the least.

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March 25th, 2017 No comments

I love abstract games, but Tak grabbed my attention in ways I wasn’t expecting.  Like “Chess”, you’ll often be thinking moves ahead in order to get a leg up on your opponent to win the game.  Unlike “Chess”, there are only a few pieces…but don’t let that fool you.  This game is jam-packed with strategy in the way the pieces behave, stack, and move.  Your main goal is to form a road from one side of the board to the other.  The stacks can be uneven so as long as you control the stack (your piece is on top).  Doing this is easier said than done, however.  Special thanks to the folks at Cheapass Games for providing me with a press copy for coverage purposes.

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March 21st, 2017 No comments

“Hoard” is a rummy style game with a dragon theme with a little bit of memorization thrown in for good measure.  Odd combinations, I know, but it works.  The whole idea of the game is to gather sets of cards without waking the dragon as doing so ends the round…though you may want to if you’re ahead of the others on points.  Special thanks to Julia Schiller from Cheeky Parrot Games for providing me with a press copy for review purposes.

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Mole Rats in Space

March 13th, 2017 No comments

It seems we’ve been playing a lot of cooperative games lately, and that’s a good thing.  It promotes teamwork and instills a sense of comradery instead of competition and sometimes hostility.  The cooperative game “Mole Rats in Space” for 2-4 players, despite its kid-themed feel, is much more difficult than we first expected. It’s like a cross between “Chutes and Ladders” and “Forbidden Island”, in my opinion. Kids will easily be able to grasp the mechanics, but I highly recommend a few variants to help lower the difficulty.  You can check my suggested variants out in my video play-through below.  Special thanks to Kelley DeVincentis from Southard Freeman Communications for providing me with a press copy so that I could cover it here and on my YouTube channel.

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