Reviews

These reviews were left by Blott.

Tikal

80pts

by

I sought this game out simply because it was a Spiel des Jahres winner, even though I didn't have the highest expectations, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. This is actually a really neat game. I was a little nervous about how the action point system might lead to analysis-paralysis with the wrong players, but it wasn't too bad. Since so many of the actions (especially later in the game) chomp up large chunks of your action points, players end up only taking a few actions on their turn. I like that there are multiple strategies to explore, and every turn you have to make a tough decision about which actions will benefit you the most. The exploration theme is sweet and it is actually very unique compared to other games in my collection. I've only played the basic game so far, but I'm not sure that the advanced game is necessary, it seems good enough as it is. My one complaint would be that the game seems just a little long. I think if we get a few games under our belts it will go quicker, though.

11/5/2020

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It's a little confusing which cards can be added in at the same time. The amount of expansions included is good, but I'm not so sure about the quality of the new rules. Also it makes the game a bit more fiddly which it really doesn't need. The base game is nice and light. This makes it long and irritating.

11/5/2020

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What a brilliant game system! It feels like it is complex when you explain the rules, but after one game you quickly discover the strategies. I love how the card-drafting adds some really tough decisions as you choose whether to further your points or halt another player's scoring. I find it highly addictive and always want to play one more time after I'm done.What makes it so amazing is the simple fact that you want nearly every card that comes through your hand, but you're only allowed to draft one. There is also some slight strategy in knowing when to flip your opponents' cards which can hurt their scores a lot. I enjoy the game with any number of players. It is quite different with 2, but it still works well. If you're not familiar with card-drafting you should definitely check out this awesome game.

11/5/2020

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There's some fun in this game, but it can really lack tension if someone gets out to a lead. The simultaneous action selection keeps things moving, so the game is nice and short. I like games where you try to read your opponents and predict their actions, so this one should be perfect for me. The problem is that, unless you can completely read what someone is planning on doing, you can't target them.As a result this game can suffer from a real runaway leader problem. When that happens I don't find the game nearly as interesting. Also if you fall into the trap of getting both your thieves arrested, it can take a long time for you to recover them. All in all, I feel like I should like this game, but I just don't.

11/5/2020

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I've only played with the added evil tile variant and boy does it add some major challenge to the game. Occasionally I might enjoy the added challenge, but I'm not sure if it's something I will want to play with on a regular basis. It remains to be seen whether I will enjoy playing with someone acting as Sauron.

11/5/2020

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Well, it finally happened. 5 years on my unplayed list and now out of my collection. Whoa, hold on, put down the torches and pitchforks. There is a lot to like in this game. I find the balancing act of managing your finances to be quite interesting. It takes some serious planning, and advance planning games are some of my favorites. There's a ton to think about in this game, and I imagine it will play out differently each time. The downfall for me is just that the game wasn't particularly exciting. If the game was a little shorter it might have kept me enthralled throughout, or maybe if it had a more engaging theme. I also suspect that the game could be a bit too punishing if a player makes a bad move early (it basically tells you this in the rules.) So I'd definitely be on board playing again if someone were to ask, but it won't work for my family so there's no need to store it on my shelf.

11/5/2020

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Overly complex rules for a game that comes down to a bunch of pointless die rolls. There are so many useless mechanics stacked on top of each other that just don't seem to add to the gameplay in any way. Too long and too complex is a guarantee that this probably won't see much more table time with me.

11/5/2020

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I've always been spoiled by my BGG Secret Santas, but my 2011 Santa raised the bar so high I don't envy those who have to follow his act. Santa custom-made a copy of this game for me. Wow, It is absolutely beautiful! The gameplay is so simple and yet so fun. It really takes some skill to shoot those dice down the board at a speed that is fast enough to get to the points, but slow enough so that it won't roll off the end. And my Secret Santa went the extra mile and made the board so you can have a ton of different setups, and even add extra 12 or 20-sided dice. Which is great because it really has that awesome "let's play again!" feel to it. A couple of us even decided that we liked this game more than Pitchcar, because it gives you the opportunity to make a big come-from-behind push in any round. Few dexterity games pack this much fun in such a simple package. And I doubt anyone has a copy of this game better than mine.Thank You Secret Santa 2011!!

11/5/2020

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Not rating any particular prototype. I just thought an average rating would be fitting since some will be great and others could be garbage.

11/5/2020

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Rewards those who draw better. Not fun, and very hard if teams get too large. A dry-erase board is almost essential, but if you have that, you don't need to buy the game.

11/5/2020

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A fun tile-based rummy game that strongly resembles a card-based rummy game. I haven't played it in years so my rating my change when it hits the table again.

11/5/2020

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A great memory from my teenage days. The comic book theme seems pretty strong, and definitely draws me in. Only stopped playing because I lose patience with CCGs after awhile.

11/5/2020

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Look at a picture and write down words to see if teammates think of the same things. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

11/5/2020

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A complete disaster. Takes away any good elements from the original game. Also some questions are visual and the guessing team needs to see the card, but the answer is written on the same side as the question!

11/5/2020

Peon

20pts

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Basically another adaptation of the Great Dalmuti. I'm just not a fan of this style of game. It feels too open-ended and uninteresting.

11/5/2020

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This is actually a unique little rummy-style game with some nice twists and turns. The special cards add some nice spice to the gameplay, and the limited amount of numbers makes the hands relatively fast and fun. There's also a nice push-your-luck element as you can gather Forbidden cards to multiply your score, but if someone lays down their hand first you will get stuck with the negative points.The cards seem a little too big although the quality of the cards is top notch. Thankfully, you never have more than 14 cards in your hand at any one time, so the size doesn't become too awkward. We did find a few questions that the rules didn't quite answer, but I'll be contacting Winning Moves with those questions soon. Overall, I found Forbidden to be a nice game that we'll definitely try again soon.

11/5/2020

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I just didn't get much out of this game. The mechanics are strange and don't really flow in any sensible fashion. I do like games that have this type of scoring system, but I'm not willing to put in any more plays of this game in order to figure out the strategies. It just wasn't very fun in my opinion.

11/5/2020

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Just as bad as regular Pictionary. Some of the words are too hard to draw, and the paper is too small for a large team to see what is going on.

11/5/2020

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An interesting way to walk someone into the game of Chess. I like the way you can teach the moves of the pieces with the basic game, then teach some strategy with a hand of cards, and gradually teach the entire game. However for an experienced player, it will probably feel too random for their taste.

11/5/2020

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I will usually use this to log games played of 3 to 13 which is an OK game, similar to Rummy. Each hand you get more cards and the goal is to get stuck with as few points as possible. I just give Traditional Card Games a 5 since there are some good games and some bad, and some inbetween, so it just gets an average rating.Update: I noticed that 3 to 13 now has its own BGG entry, so I'll probably be logging all future plays under that item.

11/5/2020

Ra

60pts

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Much more enjoyable when played with gamers who know what they are doing. Played with a fast tempo, this can be a fun game. Played with a group of thinkers it can drag way too long. I still don't see that it is a fabulous game, but it's not as bad as I thought it was initially.

11/5/2020

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Feels so remarkably themeless. The game is very mechanical and the strategy just seems a little too random and pointless. I fail to see the draw in this game, and will quickly be trading it away (after only one play.)

11/5/2020

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Disastrously bad. It ruins the feel of a really good game. Adds too much "gamey-ness" to a light, fun game. Traded away.

11/5/2020

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Waste of Money!!! NOT a game!!!Rules: Both teams hear a question. One team guesses what the other team will answer. If they are right, both teams roll-and-move. If they are wrong, neither team rolls. The entire game is decided by the die rolls...STUPID!!

11/5/2020

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I see the reasons that some people go absolutely gaga over this game. There are certainly some strong card combos that can be created if you know how to work them. I, unfortunately, doubt I'll be able to spend the kind of time playing the game that would be required to figure it all out. The confusing iconography will be too much of a barrier to entry for some of my family. I'll play occasionally with other gamers, but doubtfully beyond that.

11/5/2020

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Not the same game I remember as a child. My brother, apparently changed some rules to make it less complicated for his younger brother. Having read the rules I lost interest. Traded away.

11/5/2020

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Extremely fiddly and annoying. The game is essentially a 2-player disguised as a team game. Makes trivia even more boring than Trivial Pursuit. Sold at a garage sale.

11/5/2020

Ido

20pts

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I did not enjoy this abstract at all. It was too much back-and-forth and not enough strategy. Traded away.

11/5/2020

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We don't play by the "standard" rules, but the rules we have are miserable. I'm trying to get my wife to try the new rules so that we can stop playing the luck-based disaster that we currently know. (I don't bother listing games played with a standard deck of cards as "owned.")

11/5/2020

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Played a friend's copy of this game. It's not too bad as a home game, but some players are just more adept at this style of gameplay than others.

11/5/2020

O'NO 99

40pts

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Subpar game that was made much better when it was rethemed as Boom-O. I really don't see much point in playing this one now that it has been improved upon.

11/5/2020

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No way! The voice is annoying, and the game is ridiculously random. No real point in even wasting your time on this one.

11/5/2020

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The voice is extremely loud and annoying. The game is 100% luck-driven, even more so with only 2 players. Even more confusing is the fact that it tells you a number so that you know which button to push, but it also says a number after a Draw action comes up. The 2 numbers can be easy to confuse. Also the "Instant Uno Sounds" are amazingly annoying.

11/5/2020

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A goofy little dexterity game. It's nice that kids can compete with adults, but there is very little strategy here.

11/5/2020

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More of a game accessory than an actual game. Similar to a deck of cards there are good games and there are poor games, it just depends on what you play. I just give it a 5 since there are some good games and some bad, and some inbetween, so it just gets an average rating.

11/5/2020

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Just a boring game that can really be annoying if you are not playing well. The game can punish and continue to punish a player who has poor luck.

11/5/2020

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There are 5 solitaire games and only one multi-player game. It's not very enjoyable, and the sound is too loud. The only plus is the "hot potato" style multi-player game. Still it's not worth the price.

11/5/2020

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An interesting game that I tacked on to a Funagain order for a couple bucks. It has some nice strategy to it, but the components are not my cup of tea.

11/5/2020

Jot

20pts

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Scrabble with dry-erase markers, and a ridiculous timer/die. The rules are too open-ended and make for a terrible game experience. Often boils down to whoever goes first wins.

11/5/2020

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One of my least favorite games, because it is a bit long for something that lacks any strategy. However, as a diversion with someone you want to chat with, this game isn't so bad. It also has some nice nostalgic value.

11/5/2020

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Not as much "strategy" as some other dexterity games, but still a lot of fun. Steady hands are necessary to properly play, and room to stand up and move around at the table is also required. Simple rules make this a good generation-spanning game. The only drawback is that a player who accidentally knocks over the entire stack can pretty much be assured they will lose, and therefore has no joy in playing the rest of the game.

11/5/2020

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Excellent components just add to this gaming experience. The silly, playful appearance of this game really entices non-gamers to attempt something with a bit more strategy. The scores are usually nice and tight so that anyone can win as you enter the last field. The only drawback is that you often will have little control over what scoring is available until your turn rolls around because the flock changes so dramatically from turn to turn. Therefore planning ahead is difficult and this can lead to a bit more analysis-paralysis.Still I love the depth of the gameplay with the light and fluffy shell. I'm convinced that my wife likes the game primarily for the components and that is fine with me because I get to try the strategies. There's so much to plan out on your turn between selecting the wisest flock movement, guessing what others might do before your next turn, and deciding how far you will move the flock marker it will really get your brain working.

11/5/2020

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I like the combination of role selection with this area control mechanism. The game components are not the greatest, but the gameplay is solid. I appreciate that the game is only 10 rounds long and therefore is over in a real short amount of time.

11/5/2020

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Adds some interesting new roles to the base game. But this really shines because of the new district cards. They have some excellent powers. Plus, a free expansion included in the same box as the base game...Too Cool!

11/5/2020

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The interaction of the different roles is wonderful, and the twist of attacking other players by guessing which role they selected is awesome. It's a really great game as long as it doesn't last too long. We usually play to 7 districts instead of 8 to keep things moving. I don't recommend playing with large groups, though, unless none of the players suffer from analysis-paralysis.For some reason people can really freeze up when making their role selection, so be prepared for that. Also, this game is about beating others down as much as it is about building yourself up, so don't play with players that have easily bruised feelings. The fun in this game comes primarily from the assassin and the thief roles. Players who select those roles are challenged to select the role that a particular person chose, and players who might be targeted are challenged to select roles that the assassin and thief won't expect. It makes the game tons of fun, and I love seeing the look on someone's face when I select the right role and steal their pot of gold.

11/5/2020

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Really enjoyable battle game. The strategies are deeper than you expect after the first few turns. I like the different ways you score points and that there is no player elimination involved.

11/5/2020

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There are some interesting mechanics here that you don't see in most games. What I like is the speed at which the game flies by, it is almost like a filler if played with experienced players. I also like the challenge of selling enough jewels to have the most, but not so many that you will negate the rarity of the jewels. Unfortunately, the game can get a little fiddly at times, and it seems like it is prone to card counting which would spoil a lot of the fun.

11/5/2020

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No building of roller coasters here, but the auction mechanic is strong. Also the idea of moving pieces that don't belong to any specific player is fairly unique in a Hasbro game. It's a nice quick game with good components. It would be a great alternative for young people instead of some of the games we grew up playing.

11/5/2020

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Roll-and-move, but still enjoyable for some reason. I like having the option of using 1 die or the combination of 2. Unfortunately, more than one player can figure out the solution and then it just becomes a race to the finish line, which kind of kills the whole investigative aspect.

11/5/2020

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Possibly the best roll-and-move game I have ever played. Probably the best TV-show-turned-board-game I have ever played. It is a race, and a deduction game. It is a real challenge to deduce who the criminal is, but there are little tricks that can help. It also is extremely enjoyable being the murderer trying to sneak around and trick other players. I'm just amazed at how great this game works and how well the game is designed.

11/5/2020

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A very fun little auction game. I like the way that the routine is broken up every once in a while by the Party spaces as well. Takes some balancing to know whether to make big movies slowly, or small movies fast. The goofy puns in some of the names are quite funny, and just add to the humor. A very good set of mechanics make this an auction game that anyone can enjoy and compete in quite well.

11/5/2020

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The components of this game are awesome, absolutely top-notch. I just wish that the questioning of other players was a bit more regimented, we always get lost with that part of the game. The game has a tendency to run a bit long, and I don't really enjoy the end-game as it often seems to boil down to more than one player racing to make an accusation and whoever gets there first wins. It's a mixed bag, because there are moments I love in some games, but then moments I wish would just end other times.

11/5/2020

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Almost a necessity when you have the base game. I personally much prefer the full-size cards, and the addition of all those routes really enriches the game. I like the fact that a player will have a much harder time memorizing all the available routes, and the variety is superb.They also have multiple different ways you can play with the different route cards. However, we have always just played the Mega Game with all the route cards. This does cause the scores to be much higher, but it gives you more options for what strategy you will use (lots of short routes, or a few longs ones, etc.)

11/5/2020

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Fun, but can get a bit long at times. The planning and strategy is fun, and occasionally you are forced to improvise when you get beat to the punch on claiming certain tracks. It's also interesting how you can play friendly or agressive depending on the group you are gaming with. My biggest beef is with the claiming of route cards. For some reason it seems to take players way too long to decide, and if you don't wait they may change their decisions based on what other players do while they're choosing.I have found that the game has a very wide appeal and many non-gamers will jump right on board for this game. The rules are simple and the strategies aren't too deep so almost anyone can play. I should mention that I find the 1910 expansion to be almost a requirement. Still this game, even without the expansion, is fun and can be played by almost anyone.

11/5/2020

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Jenga, but WAY better. There is some real strategy in deciding which piece to pull, and where to place it. Always a lot of laughs with this game.

11/5/2020

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In this game the designer takes the system that he popularized in Coloretto and Zooloretto and throws a completely different twist on it. The game turn is still very basic and so it remains fairly easy to teach to non-gamers. But now they've added in a tile-placement aspect. Players are challenged to not only collect a good group of animals, but also to organize their aquariums in a sensible fashion.The other added piece to the game are the coworkers that offer bonus points at the end of the game. Many will argue that the keeper position is overpowered in this regard but, since every player can use that area, everyone can benefit equally. The way that money is gained and the added expansions for your aquarium make this game feel completely new and different from its predecessors, and I tend to like the added elements in this game better. There is also a combo game played with both Zooloretto and Aquaretto which I am anxious to try at some point.

11/5/2020

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A good light game. It plays nice and quick. It seems to serve as an excellent gateway game, and the women in my family really seem to have latched onto it. It's quickly becoming my most-requested game. The one drawback is that each game can feel shockingly similar to the last game you played. The decisions you make each time feel like routine after you've played a few games. Still it's fun if you keep it to occasional gameplay.There also seems to be some kind of point ceiling in the game that you can't break. So if you reach a certain number of points it seems you're just playing a game trying not to hurt yourself. And it almost seems to discourage hurting your opponents because there isn't a good way of dealing with animals you don't want, so if you take something your opponent wants you'll just be hurting yourself.

11/5/2020

Cluzzle

60pts

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I want to love this game...I really do. Unfortunately it just seems to lack a little something that I'm looking for in my party games. Now, don't get me wrong, I feel there is a good game design here. I guess my issue is that it feels a little disorganized. It takes a lot of practice before you can figure out just how good/bad you need to make your sculpture. Then the question rounds are so wide open to any and all questions that it feels very chaotic, and can be hard for some people to take in all the different information.I think where we've had the most issues is when someone attempts something more creative, like sculpting your answer in the context of something larger or sculpting a piece of your answer hoping it will be connected to the whole. This leads to questioning difficulties, because sometimes an answer is yes for the sculpture, but no for the answer (or vice versa.) The sculptor can then become frustrated and the guessers will also get annoyed. If we can figure out standard rules for this situation perhaps we can get past this dilemma but, for now, we just don't love this game nearly as much as the other brilliant products that Northstar has published.

11/5/2020

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A game that is simple to learn and yet has some fun strategic depth. I like the way that players are challenged to avoid corruption while at the same time using it to aquire the most money. The plastic really adds to the game, but it can be frustrating that there are so few ways to get rid of corrupt cards. This is the first game I have played where a player is eliminated and then the high score of the remaining players wins, and I really like that mechanic. Note: We always play that the markets are stocked randomly, but the rules say players are supposed to decide which market to place cards in. We find this too time-consuming, and it doesn't add much to the game, so we left it out.

11/5/2020

Colosseum

100pts

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After my first play I cannot stop thinking about this game. It was so enjoyabale and really had me hooked after the first turn. There is something about the repetition that make the rules seem much more simple as you move along. The various paths to victory are great and add even more to replayability. This could easily crack into my top ten with a few more plays.

11/5/2020

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I really enjoy this game. The multiple paths to victory are really nice. I feel like it will take dozens of plays before I have experienced all the different aspects of this game. A little long, but still very good. My only criticism of the game is that it can really activate that Analysis-Paralysis syndrome in certain players, and that grinds the game to a halt. Still it's very well designed and surprisingly fits the theme.

11/5/2020

Thebes

100pts

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A great game where the theme really shines. I enjoy the mixture of strategy with randomness. Also it requires a careful management of risk-vs-reward. The way that time serves as the "currency" of the game is something I've never seen before, and I really enjoy. The theme is so tightly woven into the gameplay, and it really shines well here. Interesting theme and great mechanics make for a stellar game.One of my favorite things in strategy games is when they offer multiple paths to victory, and I really see that in this game. I love that you can go after sure points or hope for the lucky points when you go after a dig. But, no matter how you slice it, luck, is going to play a big role in who wins the game. If you have poor draws you will struggle to be victorious, but it's still a very fun game and the luck seems to fit the theme well.Thanks again to my 2007 BGG Secret Santa!

11/5/2020

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The finest trivia-party game ever has arrived. It's not how much you know, but how much you know about the other players. This game is excellent fun, and really takes trivia games to the next level. I have yet to find anyone who doesn't like the simplicity of this trivia game, it's a real winner.The betting system seems to work great and is the ultimate leveling mechanism. A trivia genius can still lose to a 5th-grader if the bets are placed in the young one's favor. And that's how I sell this game to non-gamers, it's the trivia game where you don't have to know trivia in order to win. Out of all the games in my collection I have had more non-gamers ask where they can get this game for themselves.

11/5/2020

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Believe it or not, a light-hearted look at the job of an executioner. The cards are diverse, and the artwork is very funny. It's a strategic game that plays differently every time, as the characters and action cards are randomized. I like the elements of manipulating the line and your opponents, it's a very fun game.

11/5/2020

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A fun little twist on the old Yahtzee-style dice-rolling game. I like the mix of luck with the dice and a slight feeling of strategy as you choose the optimal dice to save. The push-your-luck feel is just enough to keep my family coming back for more. The components are great and the art is cute, so it is an attractive filler game for all the family. And it really helps keep your mental math skills sharp. With 4 or less players I think this one is a gem. With more players the downtime between turns might get unbearable.The downside to the game is the fact that there are turns where luck will just absolutely hose one player. If you are never able to roll a worm, you lose. If you are annoyed by games that are heavily influenced by luck then you should run screaming from this dice game. There are strategic decisions, but even the best strategy can't counteract bad luck. Still, we've found that every game is slightly different, and a player who failed miserably the first game could never fail in a second game.

11/5/2020

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After my first game I found this to be rather uninspiring. It seems overly repetitive, and extremely luck-based. Perhaps this isn't so evident in other scenarios, but for a first-timer I am somewhat underwhelmed. I will definitely be trying this one more time, but if it's still this boring I will probably write off the entire Command & Colors thing as "not for me".

11/5/2020

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Definitely my favorite of the Express line of games. It gives me the slight world domination feel that I enjoy from Risk and all in about 20 minutes or less. The trash-talk seems to flow freely. I also like the game design of giving bonus points and locking in continents when you win all the areas of that continent. It tends to keep things moving and will end the game quicker. Some people will take issue with the fact that there seems to be only one real decision per turn (choosing which region to attack.) There actually are more decisions as you roll through your turn, because you can only fill one row per turn, so you have to choose which to keep if you complete more than one. It also should be held to only 4 players no matter what the rulebook says, because with more it will drag on way too long.

11/5/2020

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This has been and probably always will be one of my favorite strategy games. The mechanisms are surprisingly simple to grasp, yet the game offers a number of paths to victory. The auction is probably one of my favorite aspects. The pre-established bidding amounts make it so you know just what you can pay, and I love auctions where everyone can get something. Then they throw in this superb tile-placement mechanism that adds another twist to the game.I think my favorite aspect of the game is that I have played more than 20 times and have never once done the same thing. There are so many ways to play. You can be aggressive and play to block opponents, you can focus on increasing your income and therefore your buying power, you can even put all your efforts into just racking up victory points. No 2 games are alike and, even when you lose, you feel like you accomplished something. If I was forced to complain about something it would simply be the paper player boards. It would be nice if they were cardboard to make them safer. But, otherwise, this is a nearly perfect game for me and my family.

11/5/2020

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A great party game. I have never once sat down to this game without having a great time. A huge amount of laughter is virtually guaranteed. The only downside is that discrepancy in age can really hurt a team. I have downgraded my rating on this because the Title Recall version is so much better that I don't imagine I will ever suggest this version again.

11/5/2020

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An excellent role-playing style experience. The cooperative aspect makes it a huge plus for me, and the traitor adds a lot of intrigue to the gaming experience. I don't have a whole lot of experience yet with the traitor, but this game is fun for everyone I've taught so far even without that aspect.

11/5/2020

Rage

80pts

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The finest trick-taking game I have ever come across. The diminishing hands is a genius move and makes the game just the right length. The challenge of bidding the exact number of tricks to take is also quite enjoyable. Unlike others who dislike the randomness added with the chaos cards, I actually love it and think that it adds great moments where players are forced to fly by the seat of their pants and improvise mid-hand.If I were to offer criticism of the game it would be that sometimes you just can't catch up. You may reach the later rounds and the leader will have a lead built up that is insurmountable. Also, you have to be prepared for others to mess up your plans. If you are someone who plans things out and gets frustrated when things don't fit that plan, you will get discouraged. This game is about making a plan and then being able to think on your toes if/when someone throws a monkey wrench in your plan.

11/5/2020

Pandemic

100pts

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I will readily admit that I am very partial to cooperative games. I love the idea of working together as a team to defeat the game. And this is the most streamlined cooperative game I have ever seen. Many groups will argue that it is not enjoyable because one person can control the game and tell others what to do. While this is possible, our group just doesn't work that way.For me it's almost like a brainstorming session. People look at their cards and they throw out ideas for what they could do. The key to the game is allowing all the players to contribute and make their own final decisions. I love the ebb-and-flow of the diseases in this game. The way that the disease can be under control and then one epidemic later things are a nightmare again. We have a fairly good success rate with 5 epidemics, but we usually win with only 1 turn left in the game.

11/5/2020

Blokus

100pts

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Still my favorite abstract strategy game. I think Scott Nicholson described it best when he said it was similar to the light-cycle races in Tron. Trying to box out your opponents while leaving yourself with room to grow is a really clever game system. It can lead to some AP in the later turns, because some players have difficulty seeing if they have any possible moves left. But if everyone helps by notifying the player of their available options, then it shouldn't be a problem. I really enjoy the puzzle-like feel and the strategy required. Plus it's amazingly simple to teach and learn.The one downside is the fact that it really only works for 4 players. The 2 player game is acceptable, and the 3 player game is dreadful. Still I think if you will have enough opportunities to play 4 player this game is a must try. It has strategy, cut-throat moments, and seems to appeal to a wide variety of players. I can see why this game has been purchased by Mattel and is on game shelves in major stores everywhere.

11/5/2020

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This is a really enjoyable game of quick calculations. I enjoy how the game plays and the speed of gameplay is ideal. Unfortunately the family was less than impressed so I traded it away.

11/5/2020

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The idea of slowly building the Clue board as you play was so cool to me that I wanted this game from the moment I read about it. However once I started playing I realized why this game was never published in the US. The concept is neat, but the result ruins the game. Now it takes longer for the clue cards to work into the game, so making suggestions is just a crap shoot to see if you can catch what is in your opponents' hands, because if they don't have the card that means nothing as the card could still be in the deck. Also you make pointed suggestions so only one player has to show you a card. The game just drags so much. What sounded cool is an utter disaster. Our one attempt at this game ended because 4 players took random guess accusations and eliminated themselves. Who knows how many hours it might have dragged on if we played until someone had real knowledge of the solution.

11/5/2020

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After my first play, I absolutely loved this game. It's a real brain-burner of a trick-taking game. I have never seen so much analysis-paralysis in a trick-taking game, but there are so many aspects to think about before playing each card that players sometimes have to take a moment. This may come in as a favorite of mine after a few more plays.

11/5/2020

Ubongo

80pts

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A very good real-time puzzle-solving game. The scoring system is well designed, making it possible for even the slowest solvers to compete. We don't usually play that you have to claim your gems in the time limit, but if you have 4 good puzzle-solvers you can do that. The funniest moments are when a seasoned puzzle-solver fails to solve and refuses to move on until they see that the pieces do work in the puzzle they were given.The timer may be a little short for people who aren't good at fast puzzle-solving. I have played with several people who could easily solve these puzzles, but when this time limit is forced on them they choke. It may be necessary with some groups to play with a slightly more forgiving time limit. Aside from that this game is a real winner for everybody.

11/5/2020

Wasabi!

60pts

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An interesting game of strategic tile placement. It has a lot of moments where players will be able to significantly damage their opponents which makes for a really challenging game. The biggest drawback is the amount of decisions that need to be made after a recipe is completed. Between picking a new recipe, a new ingredient, and an action card, this can really bog down in analysis-paralysis. Those moments can change this light simple sprint of a game into a slow crawling marathon. Still, the production quality is high and the art is great. And if you can play with gamers who will make their decisions rapidly, it's not a bad game at all.

11/5/2020

R-Eco

60pts

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I'm always looking for new games that play in a short timeframe. My family game nights often are only a few hours and therefore we will frequently just fill that time with a bunch of shorter games rather than playing one long game. So when I heard about R-Eco it was an obvious addition to my collection. And, sure enough, it lives up to the hype because it offers genuinely interesting decisions, but in a very short amount of time. The mechanisms take a couple turns for non-gamers to get comfortable with, but after that it's pretty simple.What I like is that I actually find myself really thinking and planning every single turn. This isn't just a mindless time-killer, this is a nice strategic game that just happens to be quick. However there is one complaint I would have to make. It seems that, especially towards the end of the game, the best play on your turn becomes calculable. As a result, people will stop playing at a fast pace and they will just freeze up in thought trying to do the math and figure out which option will benefit them the most. This kind of stop in the action feels very out of place in a game that should be light and easy. Aside from that I find this to be a great game, and I expect it to hit the table many times in the future.

11/5/2020

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A decent cooperative game that seems like it will be easy to teach to new players. This is based on my first solo play, though, and as a solo game it's just so-so. The game seems to be a lot of trading cards for different cards, and trading those cards for different cards, etc. It will be interesting to experience the game with more players, but for now it gets an average rating.

11/5/2020

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I like the simplicity of this game. Either move your pawn or place a wall, it's that simple. There are some definite strategic possibilities that I can sense and this is only after my first play. I hope to get an opportunity to try this game as a 4-player as well, but as a 2-player it has some serious potential.

11/5/2020

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An extremely enjoyable team dexterity game that has a lot of strategy involved. I can see where people may have compared Sorry Sliders to this game, but this is like the next tier up in complexity. The challenge arises from 2 things: The requirement to hit your opponent's piece, and the little posts protecting the center.I will gladly play this game any time someone suggests it. However, I don't feel quite so much of that "must have" desire that I originally was hit with when I heard about the game. It seems that the cost of getting a nice board is just too much for such a simple game. Although i would love to own a board, it just seems that i can get a similar experience at a much cheaper price.

11/5/2020

Masons

60pts

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I think the biggest draw of this game is that every player can score when a city is completed, even if they didn't do anything to complete that city. The different styles of scoring cards are also very intriguing because they have a fairly even mix of scoring for the just completed city vs. scoring for things outside that city. The game also has a very well-designed catch-up mechanism that will help a player come from behind (but doesn't hand that player the game.BUT (and that's a huge but) this game is agonizing if you ever play with someone who suffers from analysis-paralysis. Because you don't know where or when a city will be completed it becomes quite difficult to plan ahead any scoring. And since the points for each card are completely calculable, a player can sit there when a city is completed and spend 10 minutes figuring out which of his cards will score the most points. This drags the game to a screeching halt and makes it something that I've traded away rather than something I will keep in my collection. Played with a group of fast decision-makers this could be fun, but played with my family it's a disaster.

11/5/2020

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There are a lot of kids games out there that I have lauded as having a unique gimmick that really adds to the game. In this case the gimmick is that the game glows in the dark. This is extremely unique, and isn't something that I have ever seen in a boardgame before. So I was really anxious to have something this unusual added to my collection. I will say that this comment is after only playing the game on one particular evening in a room where there was still some moonlight creeping in, so I didn't get the full effect (after a few minutes your eyes would adjust to the dark and you could easily see the pieces.)The big problem I have with this game is that I don't think there is much "game" to it. The gimmick seems to be all there really is to the game. It is a simple dexterity game where you try to push your "magician" through a crowded "forest" in order to push your "cauldron" into the center. As far as dexterity games go simply pushing pieces around, hoping not to knock over other pieces, seems kind of lame. I will admit that it is a unique dexterity mechanism but I think that, without the gimmick, there really would be no reason to own this game. Still I'll probably keep it in my collection because I have nothing else even remotely like it.

11/5/2020

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Take this comment with a grain of salt since I am a huge Star Wars fan. But this game captures the theme SO well. I can really feel the tension and I imagine the events from the movie as they happen on the board. I have very few games that actually get me so involved that I'm making sound effects during the game and trying to recreate the motions I've imagined in my head, but this one gets me doing that. I have totally recaptured my childhood through this game and will continue to seek opportunities to play it again.If I were to make any complaint it would be that the game takes awhile to set up and requires me to set aside a special night to play because it is sort of long too. Those are minor quibbles when compared to the awesomeness of this game. I find myself anxiously anticipating the next game as soon as I finish playing.

11/5/2020

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It's hard to put into words how disappointed I was by this game. I looked forward to it, because people said that it was another good game created out of the Star Wars universe. I love Star Wars, and I really looked forward to the idea of making unusual match-ups that you could never see in the movies. But this game was just a disaster.There is a massive amount of luck in the game. If you draw better cards than your opponent you can easily crush them. And to make matters worse, the Jedi actually become the weaker characters because they have to catch-up to their opponents and be next to them. So characters with guns can run around like little chickens and take shots from across the board slaughtering Jedi left-and-right. BAD game, don't get your hopes up!

11/5/2020

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This should be a comment of abounding praise and adoration for an awesome strategic game based around dice-rolling. I mean this game had everything going for it that I look for in a game (theme, fun mechanisms, multiple paths to victory, etc.) Unfortunately, disaster struck! I literally rolled 10 or less every single turn of the entire game. This kind of worse-case scenario didn't really annoy me, but it opened my eyes to a major flaw in this game. When a player has consistently bad rolls like mine, they can't win.Now I'm not bashing on the game. I had a fun time playing, and I would gladly play again. However the few little mechanisms they threw in to help a player who rolls badly aren't enough to make that player a competitor for the win. Sure you can try different combos of buildings, but you're going to struggle to get enough resources to build the really great stuff. It's a fun experience, but when things don't go your way the experience lasts a little too long.

11/5/2020

Jamaica

60pts

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A fun little game, that would be great for families. It is a simple design and plays in a nice short timeframe. Balancing out when to advance your ship in the race and when to stock up makes for some great decisions. There is a lot of luck, especially in the combat, but it's a fairly light game so I don't mind the luck.What sets this game apart is the art and components. This game is absolutely gorgeous, and that just adds to the theme. I'm not usually a huge fan of race games or pirate-themed games, but this one just seems to work so well. Some players will argue that there is way too much randomness, and therefore it's not for gamers. However this is easily remedied by increasing the players' handsize. When a player has more cards to choose from there will be less luck and more strategy.

11/5/2020

Handy

60pts

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This game almost reminds me of Twister played with fingers. The way you are forced to balance a number of balls between all your different fingers is just ridiculous, but it leads to so much laughter. If you want a game that will definitely draw in a crowd every time it is played, then Handy is a sure thing. Of course it pays to have flexible hands, but even the most dexterous players may fail if they draw the wrong combo of finger cards.I bought this card for one specific purpose, and that was to have another silly game to play with the teens in our youth group. Success! This game has all the components you need to have a laugh-out-loud good time with teenagers. However, there is one major flaw to the game. The fun/humor of this game is very one-note and could get old fast. Every time we've played we only go through one round and then we are content to quit the game. Playing what they consider the "complete" game just seems way too long.

11/5/2020

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11/5/2020

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The most enjoyable gaming EXPERIENCE that I have ever had. I truly feel as though I am a Hobbit experiencing all the dangers and perils that they went through in the books. I wonder if any game will ever come close to touching Lord of the Rings at the top of my favorite games list. It has everything I want in a game.Part of what makes it great is that no one knows for sure which strategy is the best, so players have to make up their own minds. And total cooperation is absolutely necessary, up to and including sacrificing yourself for the team. Every game I've played has been absolutely delightful, and I find it best played with simply the base game.

11/5/2020

Farkel

40pts

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I don't actually own the boxed game itself, but I do have 6 dice, and therefore have played this game several times. It's alright, but the game improves significantly with the cards you will find in Fill or Bust.

11/5/2020

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An OK trivia game that has some nicely designed cards for young children. The components are cool, but the game is just average.

11/5/2020

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A speed game of creating common two-word phrases from a collection of pictures. The huge dice are great, but I don't seem to be able to think in the way necessary to compete.

11/5/2020

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I thought this would be a change of pace from traditional word games (which I hate.) It is not. In fact it's not even interesting. There appears to be nothing new in this game, and the theme is so non-existent they might as well not have bothered. The game seems to almost entirely hinge on the die-rolls, because you can play it safe and play a low point word and still lose sanity.

11/5/2020

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The worst DVD game I have ever seen. The DVD is only used for wedge questions and is poorly produced. The game is essentially Trivial Pursuit with an added on DVD to act as a selling feature.

11/5/2020

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Works as a get-off-your-butt filler, but there isn't much game to it. I can see families having more fun as they challenge each other to walk or jump around the house.

11/5/2020

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Shoot the Moon is an average trick-taking game at best. I had hoped it would be a variation on Hearts because of the title, but sadly it's not even close.

11/5/2020

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Light-speed word games are definitely not up my alley. I dislike word games, and my reaction time is disastrous. Might be fun for the right group.

11/5/2020

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A whole box full of little mysteries and puzzles. They are fun on their own, but it just doesn't seem to gel as a game.

11/5/2020