Saturday, March 29, 2014

53) Thurn and Taxis

Another solid game that creates tension as people vie to be the first to complete different goals for the most points. This game is quick to pick up and easy to teach. There's not much down time and its just fun to play.

All packed up 
Just getting going

Fast start leads to a slow finish

A good quality game. Its main limitation may be replayability as it may start to feel like you're playing identical games over and over. Regardless I still enjoy this and would recommend it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

52) Keyflower

This game started off a bit slow (partly because we were still learning how to play). But towards the middle and end the tension and strategy picked up a bit. After the first play I imagine the same tension will be present throughout the game as we weren't sure how to value different tiles at the beginning. I'm really excited to try this again and hopefully clean up a lot of the mistakes I made in this inaugural game.

The game in all its glory


Workers and tools on boats

End game board

Awesome game. I expect multiple plays to bring out more of the strategy and depth in the game. At the same time its fairly straight forward in the actual game play. So, its quick to pick up, fun to play, and lots of strategy. Win, win, win.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

51) Hive

A quick and fun two player game. Each player is control of a group of creatures that each have different was of moving. On your turn you move one of your pieces or add one of your pieces to the 'board'. Once someone's queen bee is surrounded the game ends. I really like the strategy of this game and I always feel like it takes me a game or two to remember the spacial tricks to playing well.

Assemble the troops

Beetle on my bee

Surrounded the black bee

I would recommend this game, although I question the replayability. I may be missing some of the depth of the strategy, but I can see getting tired of playing after a few plays. We didn't break open all the expansions though, so that could give extra life to the game. My only other complaint would be that you can usually tell who's going to win a few turns before it happens. Despite this I highly recommend this game as it really forces you to think in a different way.

50) Cube Quest

Another fun flicky game. Each cube represents one of your troops and on your turn you choose one to flick at the other players troops in an attempt to get their king off of the play mat. Of course any piece that leaves the play mat is out of the game so you have to moderate the force with which you attack.

Game overview

Hide the king

A reasonable defense

Where is your king?

A fun and quick game that will play differently every time. I'm glad I got to play this one. The one issue is that the play mats don't always lay flat, but that just means you have mountains and valleys.

49) Zombie Dice

I really can't think of anything good to say about this game. Essentially its Farkel with a theme and a lot fewer decisions. The game is rolling dice to get points. You can risk your current roll to try and get more points or bank the points you have and pass the turn. Unfortunately my game had zero meaningful decisions for me to make and rote dice rolling isn't fun. If I had optimized my play I would have had one point, but of course I risked it and didn't get to score my one point. On top of that you're just rolling dice.

It's awkward getting 3 dice out of that container

That wasn't my roll

Don't buy this game, don't play this game. Enough said.

48) Catacombs

Flicky game at its best. One player is in control of the horde (lots of disks) and each other player is a hero and in control of one disk. When its your turn you flick your disk(s) and attempt to hit the other players disks and thus do damage to them. You proceed through 5-6 different rooms with different enemies and then meet the boss at the end. As a hero you also get to buy fun weapons.

I'm an elf

Overview of the game

The troops eye view

This was a great game that gets everyone up and moving around the table. Your always debating if you go in for the kill and risk getting pummeled next turn or if you play more defensively. We all tended to go all in and threw caution to the wind.

47) Dixit

I generally give this game high marks, but I think I'm starting to get tired of the cards in the base set. It's one of the few party games that I'll give high marks to, but this time around I felt like the cards were a bit stale. For me, I think I would want to play some of the expansions and may start to opt out of just the basic game. I also realized that I'm horrible at guessing other peoples cards, but everyone always loves miss-guessing my card.

A good hand, ha!

Lets make them keep score with bunnies...ok

Cards are neat

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for playing again, I would say if you haven't played this you must get a game of this in. When I first played it I really enjoyed it. It really stretches you to think outside the box, especially given the crazy artwork.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

46) Trajan

This game is amazing, but expect a brain overload the first few times you play. The mancala system is a unique and challenging way of determining which actions you'll do. That alone is a game in itself, but then trying to bring together all these choices into a coherent strategy was too much to try and process. I felt like towards the end I was starting to understand more how everything fits together, but the mancala was a constant challenge. Of course, you can always do what one player did and attempt to get all your pieces on the same action...twice.

Ready to start

Mancala makes my brain hurt

The people demand food

End game board

Building a successful strategy, Ha!

This game has so much depth that I feel like this first game only scratched the surface. I look forward to playing again and would highly recommend this if you're looking for something thats really going to make you think.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

45) Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game

This game should be called Last Night on Earth for the Humans. This is only the second time I've played this game and both games the humans never stood a chance. I'm not sure if its the zombie deck, or their strength in numbers, or something else, but this game doesn't seem balanced to me. A large part of this game is rolling dice to resolve combat and in this game the humans out-rolled the zombies by huge margine. And despite this the zombies plodded on to victory.

Zombie attack

Guard the truck

Rolling fails

Closing in on the humans

I can save you the trouble of playing this game and just tell you the zombies win. I can't imagine wanting to play this again.

Monday, March 10, 2014

44) Dominion

Everyone seems to love this game so you probably will to. I initially enjoyed this one, but the game seems so solitary to me. Sure there are attack cards that allow interaction, but for the most part I draw cards, play my cards and wait for my next turn. There is the fun element of building a deck that runs smoothly and looking for good combos. That doesn't out-weigh my feeling that what I do has no impact on others (generally). That said, I do love the witch.

Set-up and ready to go


End game score - ouch!

As you can see from my end game score I (and everyone else) forgot about collecting points and just had fun buying action cards. Oh well. This is fun for me every once in a while, but I can't see myself wanting to play more then a couple times a year.

43) Kingdom Builder

This is a great game, but not my favorite due largely to how bad I am at playing this game. I don't think I've ever not finished in last place. I do like how much variety there is between games. Each game has new bonus tiles to collect and different VP conditions, so no two games will be the same. The one thing I don't like is the luck involved with drawing a terrain card. Some people will be able to do better simply based on drawing better cards for their board situation.

After turn two

Going to build some houses in the ravine

End game board

A bustling village

All in all a good game and everyone that I know comes away enjoying it. So, despite my lack of enthusiasm this game is really popular for good check it out.

42) Terra Prime

The players who have played before have a slight advantage and unfortunately on turn two I realized my board position was not nearly as the other players. Despite this I did fairly well and had a good time playing. It's just so fun traveling out into space and discovering new lands! And you get to upgrade your ship and pile it full of resources like brownium...which color cube was that?

Ready to find a colony 
Space is itching to be explored

All the bits

Spaceship destroyed by astroids and enemy ships

A great game that I'll enjoy all the more now that I have a better idea of whats going on.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

41) Forbidden Desert

We ended up playing this game twice and unfortunately lost both times. Both games were quite fun and it felt like everyone was able to contribute ideas towards our attempted victories. I do see how this game could be criticized as allowing one or two people to dominate the strategizing of this co-op game, but thankfully that wasn't my experience.

Our sandy world

Found an engine, but I'm still dead

I found a sand boat
This game, in many ways, is a republish (with a different theme) of Forbidden Island. I've heard some say this is better then Forbidden Island, but I don't know that I notice a huge difference. Either way it was quite fun.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

40) Among the Stars

7 wonders in space. This uses the same drafting mechanic as 7-wonders, but now you're in space! This was a fun little game and the artwork was quite good, with each card type having intricate drawings. I can see this game (like 7-wonders for me) getting old after a few plays, although I think there are multiple expansions, which could keep this game fresh longer. I do like that each game you're building up a new space station that comes with a new story...whether your war hungry or peacefully building better quarters for your crew.

Humble beginnings 
Two fighter launch bays!

4 space stations, all with different character
This was the first time I've played this game and definitely suffered from lack of knowledge of what cards I could expect to come up. I also ended up getting multiple end game scoring cards that produced 0 points at the end of the game. Oops. In the end its a fun game I'd play again, but I'm not going out to buy this one any time soon.

39) Concordia

Another winner. I'm starting to learn that I always love games that make you want to do 3-4 different things on every turn and this game was no exception. This game is driven playing cards, which allows you to travel and settle new regions, produce and sell resources, and purchase new stronger cards. Additionally the cards act as different end-game scoring. Thus you're encouraged to focus on a few aspects of the game.

After the first turn 
Player board and I get a bonus!

Nearing the end

Final scoring

Tight race for victory
This game has a lot going on, but is quite easy to pick up and the game play is quick and fun. Coming up with the winning strategy is a bit more complex. This was a first play for all but one of us and I imagine on future plays we would be more successful at specializing and thus would score a few more points.