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Popular Challenge Board Games (Mechanic)

These are the board games with the Challenge mechanic.
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Thrift Treasure: Challenge Yahtzee image
ReviewThrift Treasure: Challenge Yahtzee (http://www.sahmreviews.com/2019/12/thrift-treasure-challenge-yahtzee.html) [Challenge Yahtzee]Like| 5 comments | [+]
Challenge of the Superfriends Card Game Overview image
ReviewChallenge of the Superfriends Card Game Overview (http://www.sahmreviews.com/2019/12/cryptozoic-entertainment-challenge-of-the-superfriends.html) [Challenge of the Superfriends]Like| 2 comments | [+]
ReviewThrift Treasure: Da Vinci's Challenge (http://www.sahmreviews.com/2018/07/thrift-treasure-da-vincis-challenge.html) [DaVinci Challenge Game]Like| 1 comment | [+]
ReviewThrift Treasure: Geomag Magnetic Challenge (http://www.sahmreviews.com/2019/02/thrift-treasure-geomag-magnetic-challenge.html) [GEOMAG Magnetic Challenge]Like| 0 comments | [+]
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#King of Tokyo! I have only been there once but I was pretty efficient with my time. I am open to taking on challengers.

Pretty good week last week! As I mentioned in some comments back and forth with in last week's post, my meetup group got back together for in person gaming! We had a relatively small group compared to where we had been at pre-pandemic and it seems like the general concensus was to try to play games that could include as many of us as possible.

#Camel Up (Second Edition) - Played this at a full player count of 8 which I think is a first for me. This game is always a good time.

#Perudo - Another one we played at 8 despite the "official" play count listing a max of 6. Basically a form of Liar's Dice where the 1's are wild. Lots of laughs during this one.

#No Thanks! - First time playing this one for me. I didn't mind it, but it's not exactly something I'd ever seek out. Don't think I'd turn down a game though.

#Calico - My one contribution to our return to in person gaming lol. It was difficult to get ahold of my games as they're all packed away at the moment. On top of that, most of my recent acquisitions are too involved to play with most people in the group and definitely too big to fit on the tables we play on at the bar. This was on the brink of both of those limits, but the people I got to play with me enjoyed it so overall a good choice!

#Lost Ruins of Arnak - Picked this up with my Miniature Market gift card I recently won thanks to the results of the poll I posted a bit ago. Tried it out solo last Thursday. Setup for this game felt worse than it actually it, largely due to being spoiled playing this on BGA. Won 66-47 against the AI. Solo was surprisingly tricky, even only playing on difficultly level 0 lol. I'm planning to try it out again and upping the challenge a bit.

And of course I still played games online haha.

#Beyond the Sun - I was in the game theDL mentioned where he, , and myself all got crushed by . I'm not sure if it's the asynchronous play or what, but I kinda lost track of what I was even trying to accomplish pretty early on lol. Honestly shocked that I stayed competitive.

#Clans of Caledonia - Speaking of getting crushed by Bob, , docker, and myself played this on BGA. Bob is an absolute beast at this game. I have no idea how he always seems to fufill loads of contracts. Fun game!

#Draftosaurus - Pretty quick game on BGA where destroyed the rest of us. I think this was the first time I've played where the spread between scores wasn't all that close. Didn't help I had to dump so many dinos in the river. Oh well!

Pretty good week for me!

#Barrage - As one of my heaviest picks for our 10 x 5 challenge, it takes a lot to get it to the table. Finally broke it out last Monday and it was an interesting experience to say the least. I fully anticipated more plays would showcase that it is in fact too mean for us, but I don't think I found it to play that way this time. 3/5ths of the way through the game, I felt like I was doing absolutely nothing, but over the last 2 turns, I managed to set myself up for some big power generation at the end. It made me want to play it more which is totally not what I was going for lol. Sarah won 87-81 and still doesn't like it lol. Go figure.

#Kingdom Builder - Finished up yet another game of this on BGA. I did better than I have been but still get crushed. I still have a lot of fun playing though!

#Tapestry - Picked this up in my most recent trade with BoardGameCo (along with #Junk Art which I mentioned in last week's post). Gave it a try solo this past Thursday. I was mildly confused as to how the Automa's income turns worked. It seemed to be totally luck based on whether or not you happened to draw the income symbol in the middle of their 2 cards. They ended up skipping their entire first round based on the luck of the draw, and would have honestly skipped more if not for me rearranging how I oriented their cards a couple of times. I ended up winning 152-86 so it wasn't much of a challenge. I'm looking forward to trying this out again and going down some other tracks to see if it helps me score higher.

#Splendor - Finished up a game of this on BGA that seemed to end rather quickly. was able to swoop in with the win with a big last turn. Lots of fun and would be down for a rematch.

#Lorenzo il Magnifico - and myself have been playing this one for awhile over on Yucata and finally ended our game a couple days ago. It was my first time playing it at 4 and boy was it difficult. All my plans kept getting thwarted by people playing in the columns I wanted to go and simply not having enough resources to pay to go there anyway. I'll have to get in some more practice haha.

#The Castles of Burgundy - Also finished this one with the same group over on Yucata. All of us were really close yet again, all within striking distance of winning. Always expect this one to be among my favorites that I can't see myself parting with.

#Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game - Season One - Played the final case of this with Sarah last night. It was probably my least favorite of the cases, and that's saying a lot as I barely remember the first case lol. It seemed a little too cliché to the point where we didn't really get any solid evidence, but were able to sort out what happened fairly easily. We only missed one question, but in retrospect, we probably could have thought about it for a few minutes more and figured it out. Adding this one to the trade/sell pile.

Good update.  Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

So do you think you'd do another challenge next year?

Not the most impressive week here compared to others, but still pretty good!

#The Quacks of Quedlinburg - Sarah had the day off last Monday so she actually went to the board game meetup with me! Part of her prerequisite for going was to at least attempt to get people to play games from our 10 x 5 lol. First time playing Quacks at 4. We played with one guy who had never played and another who hasn't played in some time. I don't think any of us did particularly well, but it was at least a close game!

#VivaJava: The Coffee Game - The Dice Game - Also played this at the meetup. I was honestly positive the guy who taught us explained some rules incorrectly because the way it worked didn't make any sense. I looked it up later and sure enough, he taught us correctly. Pretty sure this game is broken lol.

#Rosetta: The Lost Language - There were 10 of us left at the end of the night and we all gave this a try. More of an activity than a game. The premise is one person reveals a symbol (basically hieroglyphics) and a setting that is loosely related to that symbol. That person decides on their own what the meaning of the symbol is and the other players have to ask them to "translate" different words into symbols to eventually try and guess what the word is. We came surprisingly close to guessing the translation. I think BGG lists the max player count as 5, so having 9 of us guessing most likely helped.  I don't have any desire to try this again haha.

#Barrage - Another game on the 10 x 5. This has only been our second play of it as part of the challenge. The more I play it, the more I want to keep it after this is over. I beat Sarah pretty handily, so I don't think enjoys it nearly as much. Hopefully she gets to a better place with it so it's an easier decison to keep at the end of the challenge.

#Lost Ruins of Arnak - FINALLY finished our game on BGA with , and . I went on vacation in the middle of our game and because this doesn't load on my phone, I was basically unable to play for 10 days which really dragged things out. Still really enjoyed playing - winning definitely helped that ;P

  • #Juicy Fruits @ 1p - was able to get a couple of solo games in this week. It comes with four solo options. The easy is much too easy while the random challenge can be a lot tougher. I've tried the hard difficulty as well and it is also pretty hard to beat. 
  • #Roll Player @ 2p - haven't played this in ages and was fun to get it back to the table with all the expansions and the custom playmat. After this play, we decided that next time we're going to use the market variant to help easy the market deck woes and we may even tackle a minion variant to make things more threatening during the main game.
  • #Village @ 2p - my third play of this, but my first with the rules firmly understood. I was able to win pretty handidly against a new player, though he did enjoy the time mechanic. Been using both expansions with this since I purchased it, so never experienced the game's original country travel.
  • #Spirit Island @ 1p - my first time using the Branch & Claw expansion, which I've had for a couple years. I must say that this expansion adds exactly what was missing for me in the game - a more dynamic board state with the B&C tokens. The event cards were also a real hit in solo play. I was able to win both games without using any difficulty adjustments (scenarios or adversaries) with both Fangs and Bringer. Guess I need a bigger challenge next time.

Pretty good week for me!

#Secret Hitler - My meetup group is slowly creeping back to our "normal" pre-pandemic ways. Way back then, this was a staple on Monday nights. We played 2 games at the full 10 player count. Loads of fun as always.

#Junk Art - I brought this with me last week and immediately several people were interested in trying it out. Played 2 games - one with the suggested set up from the rulebook and another city cards drawn at random. I think the favorite city of the night was "Hometown" as it allowed for a lot of points.

#Disney Villainous - My friend brought this (with every expansion ever made lol) to the group. We played at 3 and I shockingly won! He usually beats me pretty badly lol. It was pretty cool though because he and the other person we played with were one turn away from winning themselves. Very close game!

#Village - had mentioned this in his mini shelf review post and I was immediately intrigued by the premise. I of course have no willpower when it comes to adding games to my collection, so after watching a few videos on it, I decided to pick up a copy off the BGG Geek Market. I played 2 handed just to get a feel for the game. Definitely interesting and feels very thematic. My friend wants me to bring it to the meetup tonight so I'll hopefully get to play with real people soon!

#Amerigo - Part of the reason I got Village off the Geek Market was because the person who sold it to me also was selling this. It's been on my wishlist for a bit because of my love for #The Castles of Burgundy and the idea of a cube tower seemed really neat. Also just tried it out 2 handed. There are some mean bits that I don't know if Sarah will appreciate, but I feel like you need to actually try to be mean for those to have an impact. Maybe it won't be so bad when playing with other people, but dropping the cubes in the tower felt like a chore by round 3 lol. I still liked the gameplay though!

#Teotihuacan: City of Gods - Finished up a game on BGA with and . After the first round, basically had the game won haha. Always have a fun time playing this.

#7 Wonders Duel - It's been a bit since Sarah and I have played anything off our 10 x 5 challenge, largely because we've just been really busy. 7 Wonders Duel was originally not on our list of 10, but because we finished both #Fabled Fruit and #Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game - Season One in 3 plays each, we needed something to play 4 more times total. Sarah picked this thinking I would be willing to part with it after we played a few more times. After this play (which she won easily) she's now unsure if she wants to get rid of it. Go figure lol.

Didn't get a lot of plays in last week until yesterday.

#Kingdom Builder - I keep playing this poorly on BGA against the usual crew. I think the game we're currently in I'll score a little better, but I think that almost every time I play so we'll see lol.

#Lost Ruins of Arnak - Finished up a game with and last Monday. I continue to enjoy this game so I used my MM giftcard that I won in a giveaway I posted about to pick it up. Wade and I played another game on Friday where I tried a different strategy that didn't seem to work out so well. Looking forward to this showing up and if I can't convince Sarah to play, I'll just try it solo for now :P

#Suburbia - Sarah and I continued our 10 x 5 challenge with a play of this Saturday. Life has gotten in the way of our breakneck pace we set getting it done in April, but I think we're still ahead of schedule. As far as the game goes, it's a lot of fun. This play in particular I think was the first time I cracked 100 points. Definitely very luck based as far as what tiles come out, but focusing on getting your income up before your population seems to be the strategy.

Yesterday we went over to my brother's place to celebrate his wife's birthday. Got in quite a few plays there which made this otherwise uninspiring week better for me lol.

#Junk Art - Snagged this in a trade with BoardGameCo sometime after the latest "State of Your Board Game Collection" posted. There were 7 of us so Sarah decided to sit out, but I think she still had a good time watching us struggle to keep things balanced. Everyone had a good time so I think it's a hit!

#Werewords Deluxe Edition - We hadn't played this is a really long time and I think I understand why. For some reason, it seems to be a hard concept for people to play as the werewolf and intentionally try to throw off the other players. It did give us a few laughs when my 7 year old nephew asked as if he didn't peek when he wasn't supposed to "is it a hula hoop?" LOL

#Codenames: Pictures - Another fun one where everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Both games ended when one team picked the assassin card.

Good week for me!

#The Networks - Finally got to play this at 5 players. We played twice - once with some of Sarah's family and once with my cousins. Teaching it to new people seems to be the tricky part, but once people caught on they seemed to enjoy it. We have 2 more plays to get through for the 10 x 5. Might just have to play those with the 2 of us to avoid more learning games for others.

#Chinatown - Played this again with Sarah's family, this time introducing it to her grandparents. The game was much more relaxed vs when playing with her siblings. I think that's mainly due to the unfamiliarity with the game (Nana can be brutal during Monopoly lol). Looking forward to playing this with them again!

#KLASK - Went into a FLGS while on vacation and they had so many games to try. Sarah recognized Klask as one I had shown her before. She had an absolute blast playing it. Now it's on the wishlist :D

#Bonk: The Fast Rolling Ricochet Game - Similar to Klask, but not quite as fun. Probably because we played with 2 and not the recommended count of 4.

#Suburbia - Also in the FLGS, we took an opportunity to play a game on the 10 x 5. This play was just so so for me and Sarah agreed, feeling it was starting to feel same-y. Might want to part with it after the challenge is over.

#Word Mines - Not much to say here. Played at a bar we found. Kind of an adult version of #Taboo. Definitely should be played with more than just 2 people, but it was a nice way to pass some time over drinks.

#Carcassonne - Played this at 5 with my cousins which is a first for me. Obviously resulted in much lower scoring than I'm used to as well as more competitiveness in terms of where to place tiles. Going to have to make a decision on whether to keep this or not after the challenge and I'm still on the fence lol.

#Taco! Cat! Goat! Cheese! Pizza! - Another one with the cousins. Silly game that got a lot of laughs. I won only because I was sitting next to Sarah who was so terrible at the game and therefore had to start a lot of rounds lol.

#Marvel United - retail version

I was contemplating if i should finalised the KS for Marvel United X-men. Saw a few videos on the original Marvel United and its seemed like something i would enjoy. Personal belief and space constraint made me think otherwise. A couple of delays on the other KS though conviced me to try out the retail version of Marvel united before commiting to the KS of X-men. Of course, the downtime while waiting for the Euro 2020 matches to start also swayed me towards getting it. Game arrived the next day after ordering from amazon.

Unboxed the game and immediately impressed with the quality of the minis. Really top quality with a certain heft in them - definately not coke bottles plastic and in a different leagues from those wizkids minis. Cards are good(on par with most games but not FFG standards), tokens are pretty good as well(dont see a need for plastic ones). The other stuffs like locations and dashboards are ok for what they are(cardboard would be nice but i can live with the cardstock).

Anywayz, the gameplay is 2/3 what i expected. Simple gameplay without much brainstorming. More like a time killer than a meta. But i just felt something weird after 5 playthroughs which i cannot pinpoint.

The simple mechanics seems to suggest that it is a no brainer game where you just plough through for a easy satifsfying win. But the challenge is there where you cannot just mindlessly play your cards. And even if you play cautiously, the luck of the draw might just make everything fail apart. It just seemed weird.

Still cannot decide if i will KS the X-men.


I always like these posts, although I will say I kinda wish you had done this earlier in the week before I played a bunch of random games lol. Oh well, here goes nothing!

5)#Word Mines - JUST played this at a bar about an hour ago with Sarah. Basically like an adult version of#Taboo. The box says 4 players minimum, but we just self regulated ourselves and played just to pass some time. I don't typically like games like this, but Sarah does.

4)#Bonk: The Fast Rolling Ricochet Game - played this at a FLGS yesterday. Again the box said to play with 4 and I can see why. Would have been much more fun having to control/worry about just one of the two ramps on my side.

3)#Suburbia - on the demo shelf at the same FLGS and it's on our 10x5 challenge so why not? Don't get me wrong putting this at 3rd, I really do enjoy this game. It just isn't as fun as the top 2.

2)#KLASK - first time playing this, also at the FLGS (what an awesome store btw!) and it was so much fun! I had told Sarah about this game before when it was the DOTD at GameNerdz. She seemed so so on it back then but when we played yesterday she was having a really good time. I added to the wishlist - now just to decide if I want the 4 player version or not..

1)#Chinatown - when I did my top 25 last year, this came in at 9. If you asked me last week, I  wouldn't have been entirely sure if it would hang onto a top 10 spot as I haven't played it since this time last year. I've played some really great games since then so it might be close, but this is definitely up there for me!

Since my most reliable gaming partner (my 8 year old son) has started to play outside more in the evenings thanks to warmer weather, my latest 5 skews distinctly to solo games at the moment:

5. #Catan This is almost certainly the most-played game in my collection, but most of those plays were when I was at university in 1997 and long before I started logging games in 2017. I've got a bit tired of it over the years, but it's been with me a long time so has nostalgia value, and my kids recently discovered it and have asked to play a few times. This play was a surprise request from my 8 year old, and exemplifies some of the issues people have with the game. He picked his settlements next to a 6 and planned his strategy around that somewhat, and I'm not convinced we rolled a single 6 for the entire game. He was absolutely steamrollered by a combination of that and the robber being stuck on the same tile for most of the game. Still, he said he enjoyed himself regardless.

4. #Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game This is my most-logged game, mostly because I found a solo league and play a minimum of 3 games for it every month. I enjoy it, but it has less novelty value for me now than some other games in my collection and has become a sort of default solo choice for if I'm tired or short of time, as I've had more practice in setting it up and playing. I'm currently in second place in this month's league though, and the scenario setups this time were a good mix of challenges.

3. #7 Wonders Duel This was another game with my 8 year old, after not having played this for a year. I'd forgotten how engaging the game is and had a good time with it, though it was somewhat soured towards the end by my having forgotten to properly remind my son about the Science/Military victory conditions so he didn't block me from my military victory as he might otherwise have done and was a little bit disgruntled. We ended up resetting the game back a few steps and playing on from there, though, so he had a good time in the end.

2. #The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game When I got it last year I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this game. I've read the books and it seemed like an interesting idea so I nabbed a second hand copy and started working through the setup for each book. I thoroughly enjoy the sense of the puzzle you get in a solo game (I haven't actually played it with others, and suspect it may not work as well in fact). The end game can be frustrating at times, because it can come down to just a roll of some dice to see if you succeeded or not, but I appreciate the lead up to it and in this case I won regardless of that final roll.

1. #Thunderbirds Co-operative Board Game I'm a sucker for the IP in this one, but I really enjoy the game too. I've mostly played it solo, but have tried it with others too. Thematically, I think I like the fact that for the most part you're dealing with preventing disasters and saving people rather than competing or fighting. There's a bit of randomness to it, but the game is mostly about trying to work out how to optimise movements, tokens and actions to give yourself the best shot at keeping everything under control. I randomly select characters usually, and this was a very tough match-up that I didn't succeed at, but I came closer than I expected and felt quite satisfied with the result at the end.


If you ask me on another day, I might easily switch around those top two rankings. I enjoy both and I'm keen to get both back to the table. Mind you, I've also just received a delivery of #The Search for Planet X that I ordered 5 months ago, and I'm itching to try that out too...