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Review: Drachenherz

Posted by Eisley on 1st April 2010

 When a game is talked about as having a lot in common with Lost Cities, it’s a game that knows how to get my interest.  Lost Cities is a great 2-player game as there’s more depth than first expected and is one of the games my girlfriend really enjoys too.  However, this kind of comparison does give Drachenherz a lot to live up to.

Drachenherz is a simple, 2-player game.  The board shows a very nice painting of a scene where a dragon dominates the sky whilst an archer takes aim, a princess waits to strike and a troll lurks ready to grab the princess, and so on.  Each of the characters has one or more outlines around them to show where cards are placed and there are some arrows from one card location to another. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Rattus

Posted by Eisley on 28th March 2010

Rattus GameRattus is by the same designers who created Oregon, one of my favourite board games.  For me, Oregon has a great mix of strategy and planning without being heavy – plenty to think about, a good amount of control, but relatively light so most people can enjoy it.  So, I was really pleased when I heard they had created a new game.

Rattus is themed around the Black Death, the plague that wiped out 1/3 of the European population from 1348-1350.  In essence, players take turns placing their population (coloured cubes) onto the European map and, as you may expect, population pieces get removed as the plague sweeps from area to area.  The winner is the player with the most population left at the end of the game. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Qwirkle

Posted by Eisley on 22nd January 2010

At first glance, Qwirkle reminded me of Ingenious (also called Einfach Genial and Mensa).  Not a bad thing at all as I really like Ingenious and am playing it on my iPhone these days too.  Qwirkle’s gameplay is different to Ingenious but also has a really good thinking element to it.

The game consists of 108 square tiles which each show a coloured symbol.  There are 36 different combinations of the 6 different symbols and 6 different colours, and there are 3 of every different colour/symbol combination.

Each player takes 6 random tiles from the bag. On their turn, they place any number of tiles in a straight line (like Scrabble) so long as they obey a single rule: the tiles in any line placed (or formed by adding to other lines) must either be of unique shape but matching colour, or unique colour but matching shape.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Claustrophobia

Posted by Eisley on 20th January 2010

At first glance, Claustrophobia looks like it could be a fantasy-themed Space Hulk – in fact, I often call it Dungeon Hulk when trying to describe it.  As a big fan of Space Hulk, this is no bad thing at all; however, Claustrophobia is more than just a re-theme of Space Hulk as it has it’s own unique gameplay too.

Set in the tunnels beneath New Jerusalem, Claustrophobia is a game for two players – one playing the demons invading from below and the other playing the humans trying to defeat the demons once and for all.  A Holy man leads a team of condemned thieves and murderers ‘enlisted’ to fight the demons – weak but numerous troglodytes and a few, powerful demons.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Savannah Tails

Posted by Eisley on 17th January 2010

Savannah Tails is a game of Ostrich racing.  The designers’ previous game was dog sled racing (Snow Tails) and this is a lighter and very different game.

Each player has a deck of cards which each show one of four colours and a number from 2 to 6.  The track along which the ostriches race is made up of sections – straights and curves – which can be arranged in lots of different way.  Each track section shows 4 trails (red, blue, yellow and black) and each has a tree at one side of the track. 

At the start of each round, the playing order is determined by the player whose ostrich is furthest forwards, and ties are split by whoever is closest to the tree on that section of track.  On their turn, a player plays one card from their hand of 4 (sometimes 5) cards, moves their ostrich along the track and then draws another card from their deck.  When each player has taken a turn, a new rounds starts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: No Thanks

Posted by Eisley on 16th January 2010

No Thanks is a push-your-luck game for 3 to 5 players.  The game consists purely of a deck of 33 cards and 55 plastic chips and is pleasantly, and appropriately, low in price.

To start the game, each player is given 11 plastic chips.  The cards (numbered from 3 to 35) are shuffled and 9 cards are randomly removed from the game (without anyone seeing which ones).  A card is from the deck turned over (face-up) and the current player chooses whether to take the card or leave it.  If they want to leave the card, they must place one of their chips on the card; but, if the player has no chips, they have no choice and must take the card.  When a player takes a card, they get any chips that are on top of the card too – then, a new card is turned over and the player who took the previous card gets first choice on taking or leaving the new card. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Palastgeflüster

Posted by Eisley on 11th January 2010

I stumbled across this game and when I read the rules decided to buy it via Amazon.de (as it’s not easily available in the UK) which proved pretty cheap as it consists of just a deck of cards.  As you may know from my list of top 10 very portable 2-player games, I like having games that are easy to carry around.  Palastgeflüster is definitely easy to carry and plays 3 to 5 players.

The goal of the game is to reach 6 points with 3 players (5 points with 4 players or 4 points with 5 players).  The cards display one of the 7 different characters on them as well as a colour around the edge – the colours are either one of the player’s colours or brown.  Plus, there are some King cards which are kept separately. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Mow

Posted by Eisley on 8th January 2010

 Mow (pronounced Moo as it’s the noise cows make in France) is a simple but active card game with good player interaction as each tries to obstruct the other players. 

The game consists of two decks of cards – one deck is used for 2 to 5 players and the other deck is added for 6 to 10 players.  Each card shows a cartoon cow and has a number on between 0 to 16, plus each has a number of flies on it from 0 to 5.  Flies are bad and the players want to avoid collecting them.

Each player starts with 5 cards.  On their turn, a player plays a card to the centre of the table so that a single row of cards builds up and these will be in numerical order.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Alea Iacta Est

Posted by Eisley on 8th January 2010

Alea Iacta Est is a dice rolling and allocation game.  For any gamer who rejects games where dice are central, please read on as you may miss a really enjoyable game.

The game consists of several rounds where players are trying to score as many points as possible.  Players start each round with 8 dice of their colour and provinces.  Players take turns rolling their remaining dice and allocating some (or all) of them to one of the areas on the table for which they may get a reward at the end of the round depending upon what other players place in the areas too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Ingenious – The Tile Game

Posted by Eisley on 18th December 2009

People seem to have been very interested in Keltis the tile game (Way of the Stones) so I thought I’d review another tile version of a Renier Knizia game.  This time Ingenious gets the tile treatment.

The original Ingenious game is a superb abstract game where players place double-ended tiles (like dominoes consisting of 2 hexagons with coloured symbols on each end) on a board.  When you lay a tile, you score points for the rows of matching symbols created.  It’s incredibly simple, very tactical (almost cut-throat at times when blocking others) and plays well with 2, 3 or 4 players.  Also, the scoring system is very neat – players score points for each of the 6 symbol types separately and a player’s final score is equal to their single lowest score.  So, it’s important to develop all of your scores equally plus delivers tactical play as players try to score symbols they are weak in (or block their opponents). Read the rest of this entry »

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