Thursday, February 27, 2014

36) Tigris and Euphrates

Every time I play this game I'm reminded of how amazing it is. Generally its an area control and battling game driven by laying tiles. One aspect of this game that I really love is that when resolving battles tiles come off the board, which drastically changes the power of the board. People's board strength is constantly changing and to be able to see these changes coming and take advantage of them is key to being successful.

Part way through the game

My secret stash

Leaders taking a breather - never a good sign

Final score
I love the strategy of this game and how you're constantly trying to adapt your plans to an ever changing board. I highly recommend this one.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

35) Friday

It was interesting playing a one player game. I enjoyed figuring it out and it took a few games before I was able to put together a win. At the same time, now that I've beaten it, I don't feel a huge need to revisit this one.

Ready to start 
Fun flavor

This is how to lose

Defeating the first pirate

Second pirate doesn't stand a chance
I'm really glad I got to beat this game once and it was fun adjusting my strategy and trying to figure out the best plays, but I feel like once you figure it out there's not a lot of replayability.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

34) Glass Road

I came into this game with little knowledge about what it was and was blown away at how fun and challenging it is. There's the resource management aspect to the game which then allows you to build up your board with various building and landscape tiles. All of this is driven by a fun card playing mechanic where you're trying to figure out what other people will play in-order to maximize the benefit of the cards you play. The buildings require you to balance immediate bonuses, resource conversion, and long term scoring combinations and that resource wheel was so simple, yet at times it was a pain controlling which resources you had. There's so much packed into this game and yet its so elegant and simple to play.

Player board ready to go

Ingenious resource wheel

Four player game just getting started

My end game board
This game unexpectedly jumped to one of my new favorites, needless to say I highly recommend it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

33) Escape: The Curse of the Temple

This game is frantic, chaotic, and lots of fun. Everyone is madly rolling dice trying to explore new areas and collect gems along the way. All the while you're listening to a sound track that requires you to go back to the start location twice and only gives you 10 minutes accomplish everything above as well as find exit and escape.

Store copy's are the best

End of game board

We escaped!
I never thought rolling dice as fast and furiously as I can for 10 minutes could ever be this fun. There's also a good amount of planning and working together, making for a fun real-time co-op game. Additionally, after each game we all sat back to catch our breath and our wits for 30 seconds before carrying on with really is intense trying to escape this temple!

32) Cosmic Encounter

In this game you're attempting to colonize other players planets. To do this you must negotiate with the other players and try and convince them to help either the attacking or defending player. This game has the potential to make people unhappy with each other as a main component can be (although it wasn't as much in our game) to convince people of one thing and then stab them in the back.

Two of the five players planets

My planets

End of a five player game

Purple got hammered
This game was quite fun and played quicker then I had expected. The re-playability of this game probably its strongest quality. Each game players choose a different character that give you special abilities and often changes the rules of the game. These abilities greatly influence peoples path to victory and will make for a different game experience every time. All that leads to fun fun fun.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

31) Magic The Gathering

This game has been around for quite some time and is still super popular for good reason. It offers so much and is so fun to play. My favorite part of this game is that you're able to create a deck of cards based on your own ideas and concepts and then play against other peoples decks to see how you've done. It also offers so many decisions during game play that can really swing a game one way or another. This game does give so much, but unfortunately it takes as well. It's crazy addicting and quite expensive. I'm glad for the time I've put into creating my decks, but beyond casual play I can't imagine getting too hooked anymore. 

Here's a quick walk through of one of my favorite decks that almost never wins:

Trying to build up some defense
Defense can be a bit tricky when you're trying to win based on enchantments alone

The people I play with don't like this card
The moment this hits the table I'm the prime target...but really, you don't enjoy drawing cards?

And I'm quickly disposed of
I would say if you have tons of time and lots of money this may be the game for you, but otherwise it may be smart to stay away least you get sucked into the happy abyss of Magic.

Friday, February 14, 2014

30) Space Alert

This may be my favorite game. I love the chaos of playing a real time game where everyone has to work together to defeat enemies introduced throughout the game. It's always interesting seeing how people react and behave in a fairly stressful game situation. It's also short: a 10 minute soundtrack and 10 minutes to resolve your choices.

5-player game

Conference before the start

Hope its enough to win

Man-of-war gets us in the end
Despite losing all three games we played I still had a blast. Looking forward to trying again soon!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

29) Hanging Gardens

This is a fun and light game that really makes you think spatially. The trick is trying to create, score, isolate, and recreate groups of adjacent colored gardens. It always takes me a couple turns before I remember how to optimize these cards.
Just getting started

board 1

board 2

board 3

End of a 3-player game
I recommend this game as a fun change of pace from the euro-style games.

28) Yggdrasil

This is one of my two favorite co-op games. It has a good theme, a good balance between taking actions for immediate bonus and planning for future rounds, and a good sense of working together to reach victory. At the same time this game, unlike many other co-ops, doesn't suffer from the problem of one person telling everyone else what to do. It is also great because you can ramp up the difficulty as you become better to continually challenge your group.
Mid-way through the game

I played Freyja

We win!

Collecting sets is key
And if everything above didn't sell it just look at that board again. It's so beautiful. This is a great game that comes highly recommended.

Monday, February 3, 2014

27) Coloretto

This is a fun game that plays quite quickly and is really easy to teach. Very simply, you're collecting sets of the same color. You get increasingly more points the higher the amount of each color you get, however you are only allowed two score three colors at the end of the game, the rest count against you.

4-player game

Keeping my options open

So much negative
Great filler game that everyone I've played with has enjoyed.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

26) Gauntlet of Fools

The game so nice we played it....four times. The replay value of this game is awesome. Each game you have four characters paired with a different weapon. Players are boasting (bidding) on which character they get. Initially you can take a character at no cost, but if you want to take someone else's character you add a penalty to that character and then its yours....until someone else takes it with further penalties. In the games we played there was little if any boasting. We also had difficulty valuing the character/weapon pairings, exemplified by the last game where the least desired character ended up winning.

You'd be a fool not to play this

Game 1 character and weapon

Most of a 4-player game



Thought I was safe....I wasn't.
All and all this is a fun game with simple mechanics that still allow for fun choices. And as I said before the replay value is great.

25) Unexploded Cow

This is a fun little game that really sells itself with its flavor - you can't go wrong with exploding mad cows. I'm really glad I got to play this, but it really didn't leave me wanting to play again. There is an element of gambling, which allows for some strategy, but largely what you do is based on the luck of the draw.

flavor = fun

byo dice and money

Even black and white art is fun

3 player game

24) Hey, thats my fish!

Quick, fun, easy to learn...what more do you need. This is a light filler game and everyone I've played with has enjoyed it. I ended up playing a two player game, which I felt was a bit more strategic then with more players, although the chaos of a 4-player game is equally enjoyable.

Travel size 
Fish are ready

Penguins are ready

Islands are imminent

Not happy on an island of one