Reviews

These reviews were left by Blott.

Uno Flip

No Review Title

by Blott

Well, it's another silly variation on the basic game of Uno. In this one you have special cards that allow you to stop the game briefly to play a quick dexterity game. Flipping the little Uno guys is enjoyable and it does create a fun mini-game in the middle of a game of Uno. It also adds a nice risk-taking element because you can try to flip your man to force someone else to Draw 4.Still, this makes your standard game of Uno just a little bit longer, I think. It's a nice change of pace, but I just can't see myself playing it a lot in the future. I especially don't like to play until someone gets 500 points because that can take hours. One hand is fun, but it will get old quickly.

11/6/2020

San Juan

No Review Title

by Blott

When I want to describe this game, there's one key word that comes to mind...elegant. This game just seems to flow so nicely. I love the interaction of the different buildings, and the various ways you can score points. Perhaps the coolest thing is the way that you find yourself desperate to take all the different roles on your turn but you can only take one. So what do you do? It also works great as a 2-player game, which is a nice added feature.I think this game is light years ahead of Race for the Galaxy. The fact that the mechanisms are more straightforward and the actions are spelled out with words instead of silly symbols on the cards make this game a winner for my family and other new players. I'm also amazed how much interaction is added to the proceedings by only allowing one player to use each role. It completely takes away the multi-player solitaire issue that many complain about in RftG, because you always have to watch what your opponents are doing. This game is definitely one I want to add to my collection.

11/5/2020

Cosmic Encounter

No Review Title

by Blott

This seems like a very hit-or-miss game. The mechanisms are very simple, but the complexity comes in the form of special powers and flare cards. Thankfully you can leave out the flares if you want a more simplified game. Surprisingly this game worked just fine with my family, because they also rank the complexity of the abilities so I could insure that we only use ones they can handle. The problem comes when this game starts to drag. If people start failing consistently on their attacks the game can get way too long, and since each turn is just a rote series of steps the game starts to feel repetitive. I'm sure it's up to the players to keep the game short, but if you aren't winning it's just natural to try holding on so you might have a shot at victory. I'd play again, but I don't know if I'll ever suggest it.

11/5/2020

Roborally

No Review Title

by Blott

I've loved the idea of programmed movement ever since my cousin introduced me to his Big Trak programmable car in the 80s. I find it cool that you have to think multiple steps in advance where you will be and how you'll want to turn at that moment. This game delivers that experience to me in board game form. I also like the somewhat chaotic element added by the board effects, the other robots bumping you, and some other special cards. All around this seems like a fun game that could possibly go up in rating if I play it more. The only problem for me is that I actually played Space Alert before this game, and I just like the cooperative aspect and the time-crunch in that game better. So I can't see Roborally ever reaching my list of favorite games, because it won't measure up to the one that came years later.

11/5/2020

Fresco

No Review Title

by Blott

Worker placement is one mechanism that I get the least excited about. It seems that these games often lead to massive bouts of analysis-paralysis, and don't offer enough fun to equal the time you will invest in playing. But Fresco breaks that mold. By forcing players to place their workers without knowledge of where others will go, decisions are made considerably faster. The theme is also remarkably well thought out. Every one of the game mechanisms makes sense because people just get the idea of keeping your workers happy, mixing your paints and then painting.I haven't attempted any of the expansions yet, but I can see how they will be easy to integrate into future games. What I like about the basic game, though, is that it keeps the mechanisms nice and straightforward. This will make the game very easy to teach to new players. Then, as they become acclimated to the basic game, you can add expansions as quickly as you think the players will be able to adjust to them. This kind of thing usually isn't my favorite (asking the players to decide how they want the game to play) but for some reason, in this case I like it. I will try to add additional comments when I try the expansions.Thank You to my 2010 BGG Secret Santa!!

11/5/2020

Show Manager

No Review Title

by Blott

I expected this game to be a hit with my family because the rules are so simple, and it has a relatively short playtime. So, what went wrong? I didn't hate the game, it was not bad, but I failed to find the love that many others have expressed for this game. The family (particularly the ladies) seemed frustrated with the restrictions of hand-size. It appears to limit your options and discourage thinking on your toes and adapting strategy. I must admit there was also a significant luck-of-the-draw factor, as the actors I needed repeatedly fell into my lap without much difficulty, and others struggled to even find an amateur in order to avoid a miscast. The goofy names of the actors was entertaining at times, and I was intrigued by the strategy of knowing when and how much to borrow against completed shows. That almost added a push-your-luck element as you could risk borrowing a lot with hopes that the remaining directors wouldn't slide in with a better show. Sadly the game just didn't work for us, though. The most common complaint was the fact that we could have a similar experience by playing Hollywood Blockbuster, and yet the auctions and closed economy add so much more interest. This one worked its way onto my trade pile very quickly, because whenever I feel the urge to play it, I'll just grab Hollywood Blockbuster instead.

11/5/2020

Pirate's Cove

No Review Title

by Blott

I must confess in advance that I'm not a big pirate fan. It's a theme that doesn't do much for me. However, Days of Wonder usually makes games that suit my game taste, so I wanted to give this game a shot. Our big dilemma when playing this game was the rulebook. It was either extremely hard to find information, or there was information not even included. Our constant flipping through the rules made the game feel more complex than it should have been. The battles needed to be quick and exciting, but they ended up slow and frustrating. I was also frustrated that the game just felt anticlimactic. Since there is very little endgame scoring, the winner can be decided before the last round is even played. I also didn't like how one rough battle could basically cripple a player for the rest of the game. The pirate's cove location was clearly intended as a consolation prize for battle losers, but the benefit is so minimal and the player is already knocked down so badly from battle. Now they did design the game so someone who can't win battles can still win the game by avoiding battle and just grabbing points from then on, but since the location selection is all hidden there's no way to guarantee that you won't fight. I want to give this game another chance because there might be something worthwhile in there, but I'll need a long re-read of the rules and extensive research in the rules forums on BGG. Just not sure the game is worth that kind of time and effort.

11/5/2020

Um Reifenbreite

No Review Title

by Blott

This is a Spiel des Jahres winner that I expected to enjoy. I actually like roll-and-move games when there is a twist that adds some strategy. Plus I had a lot of friends who talked about how enjoyable the game is. While I do like this game's simplicity and how it throws some interesting wrinkles into a basic mechanism, I don't love it. The drafting decisions seem quite obvious, and that takes away most of the strategy. Perhaps it's just the simple beginners difficulty we played, or the confusing German-to-English translation of the rules, but I'm still missing the wow. At least the theme is relatively unique and there's a lot of variability offered simply with the one board. Never fear, I'm not giving up on the game yet. Hopefully with more play (and trying the advanced rules) I will find the exciting stuff that others enjoy in this game.

11/5/2020

Heimlich & Co.

No Review Title

by Blott

I love hidden role/goal games, and apparently this is a classic in that genre. The rules are so ridiculously simple that it seems like it could almost be a kids game, but the strategy is just deep enough that kids might struggle to compete. I like trying to balance moving my piece just enough to get in position for points, but not so much that I give away my identity. It does seem that it can get tough if you get stuck and no one will help you move your piece out of the low numbers, but that's where a good bluff becomes necessary. I actually like playing with some non-player characters, because it adds the potential that you could move a piece other than your own to convince others it belonged to you, then they might move your actual color for you. I'm kind of excited, because this appears to be one of the few hidden goal games that Rikki actually enjoyed playing. I hope that means I can play it much more often. I am also extremely anxious to try the variant where you guess other player's color. It seems that would add one more layer of fun and intrigue to this already enjoyable game.

11/5/2020

Dampfross

No Review Title

by Blott

No Review Description

11/5/2020

Enchanted Forest

No Review Title

by Blott

At one time there wasn't a separate Kinderspiel des Jahres award for kids games, so things like this could win the overall game of the year. Not that this is such a terrible thing, or that I have some better game in mind for 1982. In fact some kids games are really well designed and can be just as much fun for adults. Unfortunately this is not one of those well designed games. In fact after the only time we played we were already discussing how to fix it (never a good sign.) The basic idea is fine, as it combines a memory element and a race game. There are 2 significant issues with this design, though. First of all there is the need to land by exact count on spaces. I hate games with that mechanism, but they do help in this game by allowing you to move in 2 different directions with the 2 dice. But this leads to a whole lot of counting all over the board until you figure out where you might be able to land on a useful space. The other problem is the fact that a player on the guess space can just sit there after correctly guessing. In our game once someone landed on the guess space they won the game 3 turns later because they had all the information they needed. There are mechanisms built in to try and combat this, but you have to be lucky enough to roll doubles to do that.

11/5/2020

Parade

No Review Title

by Blott

It seems that in this age of information it is very hard for me to be genuinely surprised by a game mechanism. Almost everything I have either experienced, or at least heard about before I ever play the game. However the card placement mechanism in this game is absolutely unique. Knowing when to place which card is challenging and forces you to think in a completely new way. Add onto that the scoring mechanism (which isn't unique to this game, but is interesting) and every card you play forces you to do some unusual mental gymnastics to decide whether you can afford to play it.However, this is also the downfall of the game. Since you have to really think out each move, players can really lock up in analysis-paralysis. Add into that the fact that the line-up looks completely different from one turn to the next, and all the sudden every single player takes several seconds to think out their turn. Even the fastest thinkers I know have been locked up into a moment of analysis-paralysis because of this game. Now, a few moments per card isn't a big deal, but it seems unwelcome in a short little card game that should be over in 20 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I kind of like the game, and its uniqueness. But, be warned, it is not for the slow gamers in your group.

11/5/2020

by Blott

I can see why this game would have been a classic back in the 80s, because it broke from the traditional roll-and-move mold that was so prevalent. The way the game works is great because it almost demands some cooperation, and yet you're cooperating with the same people who will eat your people with a sea serpent or shark 2 turns later. The hidden points also lend a good amount of drama because you never know who exactly is winning until the final scores are tallied. I always feel the need to preface this game as one where "you have to be comfortable with being mean and nasty to each other" and that can turn off some players. Yet somehow the group that has embraced this game the most is my family, and they have requested it often. The biggest downside to the game is the length, because it can sometimes drag out a bit longer than necessary, especially when played with slow thinkers. I also think a lot of the variant rules are unnecessary and don’t add much to the experience. This is kind of a bummer because people see the dolphins and want to play with them, but they add some unnecessary confusion to the game. However these complaints are minor compared to the fun we have playing the game.

11/5/2020

The Resistance

No Review Title

by Blott

This is the game I was looking for when people tried to sell me on Werewolf. The concept is roughly the same, because the Resistance players have no genuine clues about the identity of the Spies, but here players aren't getting eliminated. I also like that you can use the voting to help deduce who might be working against the team. Then they add in those action cards which can give even more information, and I'm sold. It doesn't have quite the thematic thrill that I get from Shadow Hunters, but it's still fun. I like being on both sides of the game, and playing multiple games in one night is often more fun. Thankfully the game is also ridiculously short so you can play it as many times as you want in one session. Very fun game.

11/5/2020

by Blott

This game is a strange variant on the Jenga system. They changed the victory conditions by adding these Mario figures that are climbing up the tower to try and reach Donkey Kong. This new victory condition adds a level of strategy to the game, as you are able to pull out girders that will help you reach the top faster or that will knock down your opponents. Unfortunately, they also add a random spinner that determines how high you go and how many girders you must pull. This can lead to an unfair advantage for some players if they simply spin better.It offers a fun nostalgic feel as you delve into those memories of playing the original Donkey Kong game, and also memories of playing traditional Jenga. It should also be noted that you don't have to play with the new rules, and can play traditional Jenga with these pieces as well. However, I can't imagine leaving out the Donkey Kong rules, because every time I've played this game with new people at least one of them mentions how this version is way better than the original Jenga game. I don't know how much I agree with them (especially since it seems virtually impossible for a Mario to reach the top of the tower) but it is a fun distraction and offers a new twist on an old dexterity classic.

11/5/2020

Rummy

No Review Title

by Blott

The original classic game of set collection. It certainly has a broad appeal and has earned its title as one of the best card games of all time. It's no real surprise that so many game designers have taken mechanisms from this gem to inspire their games. And when I play I can see why this game has had so much staying power. It also has the benefit of being a very social game because players can just chat while it isn't their turn because the game is far from a brain-burner.There is a surprising amount of decisions in this game. Knowing when to take a portion of the discard pile is probably one of the key strategies in this game. There are times when it becomes too risky, based on the points you might gain, to take a few playable cards from a big discard stack. So there is a slight push-your-luck feel, along with the set collection. But I don't find myself wanting to play all the time, because luck of the draw plays a really big part in this game. When players know what they're doing it will often just come down to who draws the right combination of cards.

11/5/2020

Colossal Arena

No Review Title

by Blott

What I love about Knizia's designs is the fact that he does a brilliant job of simplifying without removing strategy. The simple play-a-card-draw-a-card mechanism of this game is ridiculously easy to teach. However the special abilities that players can use add just enough interesting decisions that I find the game really intriguing. I like the way that the players control the length of each round, and the game of chicken that starts when almost all the characters have an attack card. Our game dragged out perhaps a bit long because people seemed reluctant to end each round. We also didn't see any reason not to discard and draw as many cards as possible. This depleted the deck very quickly, so it might go a little differently in the future with more experience. If I were to make one complaint it would be the art and theme. It's fairly dark and serves as a pretty tough barrier to entry for non-geeks. I just can't picture pulling this game out with my parents or in-laws. However with the right crowd I think this could be an amazing game that I'd love to play any time.

11/5/2020

Catch Phrase!

No Review Title

by Blott

I have only played with the electronic version, but I really like it that way. It's just a lot of fun playing this game that is a combination of hot potato with a bit of Taboo. It works exceptionally well with our youth group, and really helps them to work together. The best part is that there really isn't an upper limit for the number of players, so you can play this with so many people and still have a good time.Unfortunately there are some drawbacks to the game as well. You really need an even number of players so that you can alternate teams in a circle. The other issue is that, with a large group, it can get difficult to remember who is on your team. This can be fixed if you have an equal number of boys and girls, but getting a perfectly balanced group like that is easier said than done.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Well this is round 2 of writing this comment. I was so emotional about the experience that my first comment turned into a review. If you’d like to get the full scoop on my thoughts of the game, I would encourage you to check that review out, but for those who want a quick run down on the game here in the comments...This game is a colossal let down. I’m just about the biggest Back to the Future movie fan in the world and so the anticipation for this game was almost immeasurable. But the game has a myriad of flaws. The theme is not executed well, as the majority of the characters you play aren’t ones you came to know and love/hate from the films, but their descendants. Also the art is drawn on the cards instead of cool screenshots from the movies.Then there is the whole luck of the draw issue, something I normally don’t mind but seems a little too powerful here. There aren’t enough cards to affect the parts of the timeline you care about, so only those who are lucky enough to draw them will have a shot at winning. And what in the world made them think that digging through the discard/draw pile on every other turn was a good thing? When you don’t know every card in the game this just becomes a tedious process that you wish would end.To sum up, it’s a great theme that has been positively mangled in this game. I’ll try again because of my passion for the theme, but I know better than to get my hopes up again.

11/5/2020

Dominion: Intrigue

No Review Title

by Blott

What makes Dominion one of my favorite games is the variety, and this expansion adds tons of that. It also adds some fresh money/victory cards which is a treat as well. And, thanks to this expansion, I finally got hooked. I found myself dying to play another game of Dominion as soon as I finished the last one. I actually have passed up on playing games that I really enjoy, or even the opportunity to play new games, just so I could play more Dominion. Call it addiction if you want, but I am having so much fun with this particular addiction.Some of the fun in this expansion is in the cards that give added value to some of the less important cards. Suddenly a Coppersmith makes Coppers something desireable, or a Duke makes Duchies almost as useful as a Province. And the added interaction is a treat as well. If I were to level a complaint against this expansion it would be that the choice cards can sometimes slow down players who have analysis-paralysis. Still the added variety is delightful, and I will always have these cards in the mix when I'm randomly selecting kingdom cards for a game.

11/5/2020

Dominion: Seaside

No Review Title

by Blott

With only one game of Prosperity under my belt this is by far the best Dominion expansion that I've played. The added elements are just amazing. I have played a number of games of Dominion before ever dicovering this expansion, and yet this one completely changed our entire outlook on the game. Suddenly my wife would demand that at least a couple Seaside cards were added into the mix because the game just "isn't as much fun." To take a game that we already loved (and I rated a 10) and then make it better is unbelievable, but it happened here.The Duration cards add a ton of interesting choices, and throw a few extra wrinkles into forward planning that you never had in the base game. But the duration cards aren't the only brilliant thing in this expansion. The cards that come with the bonus boards are great, and really change how the game works. Then there are more basic cards that I just find delightful, like the Smugglers. Playing mixed with the original game, or just played on their own the kingdom cards in this expansion are by far some of my favorites to date.

11/5/2020

Duplik

No Review Title

by Blott

A very fun and funny drawing game that requires very little artistic ability. I love how the artists don't feel as much pressure because victory isn't about how good your drawing looks, but simply if you included key details. In fact I wonder if the game is actually harder for the portrayer than the artists. Getting all the details described clearly, and at a pace that the artists can handle, is a real challenge in only 90 seconds.I appreciate that the rules seem to be written with every detail taken into account, so that even a group of gamers can play. However I think we prefer to score on an honor system. Having someone else "grade your paper" just seems so silly, especially since some of your drawings may be a little difficult to identify. Also some people may get frustrated with portraying or drawing and just give up, so there might be some people who shouldn't try this game. Otherwise this game is a delightful time that will get everybody laughing.

11/5/2020

Wok Star (2nd Edition)

No Review Title

by Blott

I love the timer mechanism and the way it imposes excitement and tension on the game. I also like how this seems to be 2 different cooperative games in one: First you have the speed game of swapping dice and making ingredients that your partners need, and then you have the group decisions between rounds where you have to decide what upgrades you will need to succeed. The downside of the game is that the rules are not intuitive, and the game can get a little repetitive. I wish we were taught by someone who already knew how to play because it felt like the rulebook was a little ambiguous on some points. And the rounds all start to feel the same after awhile, which I also find frustrating. I'd play again, but this is one game that I took off my "must own" list after playing.

11/5/2020

by Blott

My comment for this expansion will be brief, because this is basically just more of the exact same as the base game. All it adds is variety. I love that variety, because when we start playing this it's hard to stop. It's also worth noting that this is perfectly playable without the original base game.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Not much to comment on here. It's just more chaos to add to the most chaotic game I've ever played. I like having the one extra random rule that you just throw in to make things even more crazy. Some of them are really challenging and make me laugh a lot. We haven't tried throwing 2 of these in on a single game, but I imagine that's the next step.

11/5/2020

Elfenland

No Review Title

by Blott

I honestly don't think I have been more puzzled by a game than I am by this one. I have already played it a handful of times, and I'm still not certain whether I love it or hate it. I like the tactics required to plan out a good route, and maximize your cards and tiles. However there is so much analysis-paralysis, huge swings of luck based on the cards you receive, and big opportunities to destroy your opponents' game. I'm leaning towards liking it because I still find myself wanting to play, yet when playing it seems like every time someone gets aggravated. I often get frustrated with the amount of time it takes people to make a move. Some of my family members get annoyed when their entire turn is destroyed by a single obstacle, or by an opponent dropping the wrong travel type onto their planned path. Then there's those turns where you draw nothing but trolls and not a single troll tile shows up. Again, I get agitated when playing this game, but I think that's because it is so easy to create a plan, and so hard to adjust that plan once you've committed to it. I'm going to continue investigating this game, but I don't know if it will ever be a favorite simply because there are so many aspects that threaten to annoy the players.

11/5/2020

Manhattan

No Review Title

by Blott

There are some games that are merely classics because they are old, but then there are games like Manhattan that deserve their status as true classics. I love when a game can take the simplest of mechanisms and still manage to make it all really interesting. I mean in this game you just play a card and then place a tower piece on the indicated space in one of the cities. Yet you are constantly thinking about whether to place in one city where you can seize majority, or in another where you can break up someone else's majority, or even in a city where you will take over the tallest tower.The only bad thing about this game is really not a flaw, but a personality trait that is very common amongst my family and friends. A lot of them are very reluctant to play games with direct confrontation, and this shy somewhat unassuming game has some serious bite to it. You can actively attack your opponents' spaces and if you play with overly sensitive people this won't go over well. Again this is not a flaw in the game, in fact this adds quite a bit of strategic intensity, but just be warned that it might turn off people who like a more friendly game. Although this means my opportunities to play may be limited, I'm still excited to play again soon, because this game is so much fun.

11/5/2020

Jambo

No Review Title

by Blott

A great 2-player game that has multiple paths to victory. I like how you have to work to create the right combo of tools and people in order to be effective. Also the way the game slowly escalates gives it a nice feel and keeps it from running too long.If I were to make a complaint it would simply be that I don't get enough opportunities for 2-player games, so playing good games like this becomes a challenge. The components are good quality and the art is great. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys strategic 2-player games.

11/5/2020

Alhambra

No Review Title

by Blott

Simple yet very strategic. I love how you want to do so many different things on your turn, but usually only can afford to do 1 or 2. Sometimes it can seem to be a bit dull as you sit there building up a hand of cash, but when the right combo of tiles come up you can have a really massive turn. And it almost seems that there are no bad options since you can use just about any tile to help you or block your opponents.The 3 separate scoring rounds offers a nice building tension, as things start out small and then build exponentially. It also makes it hard to predict who is really winning until that final scoring is completed. Looks like there's some nice potential for the expansions as well.

11/5/2020

Take It Easy!

No Review Title

by Blott

No Review Description

11/5/2020

7 Wonders

No Review Title

by Blott

Hype is a strange thing. Sometimes it blows my expectations way too high, and other times it makes me dislike a game without even trying it. In the case of 7 Wonders I think my expectations got a little out of control. I love the drafting mechanism in Fairy Tale, and I love civilization-building games as well. Then people talked about how it was easy to teach and could play with up to 7 players and I was absolutely chomping at the bit, expecting the next great game for my family. So when I finally played it, unfortunately the only way for my excitement to go was down.Now, don't get me wrong, it's a really fun little game. However I didn't really feel the theme at all when playing. It just kind of felt like we were playing cards. And I didn't like that you have to have a significant amount of trust in the other players, not just that they're being honest, but that they understand when they can and cannot play a card. I'm concerned that this will bog down with non-gamers and I'll spend a lot of time checking other peoples work. Still, I want to get the game and try it with my family, but my excitement has dropped off significantly from where it was.

11/5/2020

Order Up!

No Review Title

by Blott

This is a light game that almost reminds me of the stuff we used to play from Hasbro growing up. You simply collect some ingredients at your pizza shop and race to deliver the pizza orders before your opponents. It is labelled as a kid's game on the box, but I think it's just fine for adults as well, particularly because there are several opportunities to really hurt your opponents. There aren't many rules to the game, and I think it would get kind of boring if you played it too often. However for a simple game to be played with non-gamers and/or kids I think it is a good one. My only real complaint with the game would be the components. The cards are very thin and will probably wear down quickly, the cars are made of a very cheap plastic, and the board spaces are a little confusing since they are all different sizes. But I'll be keeping it for now as some silly fun with family and friends.

11/5/2020

by Blott

This rating is based entirely on a 2-player game. Unfortunately this game should never be advertised that way. The game has a push-your-luck element where you're basically playing chicken with your opponents to see who will lay down a combo first. Because 2 people get to play a combo each round, with 2 players that entire aspect of the game is gone.I don't know when we'll be able to try this with more players. Rikki despised it because it was so bad with 2 players, so it will be hard to get past that grudge if I want to try it again with her. I think there might be a decent game in there, but it's not a 2-player game.

11/5/2020

by Blott

After the run of "Express" games with dice that Hasbro attempted, now they feel the need to try the same thing with card games. And, as with the Express line, there are good ones and not so good ones. Sorry Revenge is in the messy middle. It's not good, but it's not bad either. First of all it's a rehash of a mechanism that has been used a number of times before (Boom-O and O'No 99 as a couple examples.) It's a pretty basic mechanism, but it works OK.What I like about this version is how ridiculously fast the game is. We literally had games take 5 minutes. When the game is largely based on luck you don't want it to drag out for too long. The Sorry cards are ridiculously over-powered, but that doesn't really bother me because the game is so fast you really can't get too worked up about it. Overall I would play this game again, but it's just not something that I'm going to suggest. It falls into that "meh" range of games. Might be a real treat for young people, though.

11/5/2020

by Blott

A superb reimagining of the Wits & Wagers game we all know and love. The questions span a variety of topics that will interest adults and kids alike. I do find it slightly disappointing when we come upon questions where players will know the the answers. This seems to take away a little of the fun because there is no mystery about who will score points and who might know the answer. Still, it seems that these questions aren't as frequent as they appeared initially. My only other complaint is that they only include equipment for up to 5 players/teams. It would be nice if it was open to larger groups without having to team up.But here's why this game is so great...the new scoring mechanism. It's so simple, because players simply place meeples on the answers they think are correct and if they are right they score points. This takes away the counting out of chips that will frustrate some in the original game, and makes the scoring so much easier to understand for young players. I enjoy this scoring system so much that we have virtually stopped playing the original game in favor of this one. Northstar games has hit another home run in my opinion, and this one is for the whole family (anyone who's old enough to read.)

11/5/2020

Nuns on the Run

No Review Title

by Blott

Scotland Yard is a game that I've loved since childhood. I remember playing it with my brother when we were kids, and so the idea of flipping the paradigm and having multiple Mister Xs with only one detective was a must-try. As a concept this game works brilliantly. Watching the Abbess and Prioress march along their paths while hoping you can go undetected is heart-pounding. Rikki actually described the game as "stressful" when you're one of the novices trying to avoid capture. So it perfectly captures the theme of sneaking around trying to avoid detection. The problem is the fiddliness of the execution. There are so many questions that can come up. If they only made it more clear where you can be seen and where you cannot it would flow much more smoothly. Instead the game can freeze as players try to clarify those rules. Plus it is so hard to ask any questions without giving away your location, so it can add one more level of frustration to the situation, and to make matters worse this can happen with every step the Abbess and Prioress take. So, while it's a game that I don't mind playing, and my wife seems to be completely hooked on, it's not one I often suggest simply because it is so difficult to execute.

11/5/2020

Nanuk

No Review Title

by Blott

On one hand I loved this game. I love the bidding similar to Liar's Dice. I adore the added tension of the hunt as the cards are flipped randomly one at a time which just builds the excitement. On the other hand, I just don't like this game. First of all it requires at least 5 players, I play more with 4 players so this is hard to get to the table. Secondly, if one player lucks into a hunt (or doom) all by him/herself they can attain an absolutely insurmountable lead. This happened in our one play of this game on the first hunt and so the rest of the rounds were basically irrelevant. Not to mention how confusing the scoring system is, that just feels pointlessly complex. But the biggest problem I have with the game is that there is no scaling. In Liar's Dice as the number of dice diminish the bids get faster and more intense. However in Nanuk the bids in the final hunt could be identical to those in the first hunt. It just lacks something when all the rounds feel exactly the same. Still there was some fun and excitement to Nanuk, and I'd play again if someone asked.

11/5/2020

Uno Tippo

No Review Title

by Blott

Probably one of my favorite recent implementations of Uno. With this game you are allowed to play on 2 separate discard piles. This adds a strategic aspect. And, as you start to learn how the tipping scale works, you can set up other players to get stuck with cards. There are a number of fun moments when players will get the scale just to the edge of tipping.The added cards also add some strategy. Being able to block a pile makes it so you can force another player to put too much weight on one side. The big drawback is just that, at its heart, the game is still just plain Uno. the number of actual decisions, though increased, are still limited. But if I'm going to be play a game of Uno, this is a great option.

11/5/2020

Electronic Guesstures

No Review Title

by Blott

I don't like this as well as the classic board game version. The added press-your-luck mechanism is nice, but it makes the game a little more confusing for new players.

11/5/2020

Quicksand

No Review Title

by Blott

I'm always a sucker for secret role/goal games, and to find one that is this simple to teach/learn is a treat. Every time I've played this game it has been a close battle to the finish. I almost enjoy the game more with less than the full complement of players, because it's neat to have that unknown hanging out there. I've even seen someone make another player win because he suspected that no one controlled that character and he guessed wrong.The downside of the game is that often people will just move all the characters willy-nilly simply to avoid giving any information about who they are. This leads to a log-jam at the finish line and at that point it becomes simply a game of "who can draw enough of their character's cards first?" When the intrigue is eliminated and it starts to boil down to luck of the draw then some of the fun disappears. But still for a simple hidden role game that you can play with all ages this is a winner.

11/5/2020

Telestrations

No Review Title

by Blott

I'm still trying to figure out if this is a game. In many ways it feels more like an activity. Perhaps next time I'll try some scoring to make it feel more game-like. Either way it certainly offers laughs. However, I was a little disappointed at the quantity and intensity of laughs it delivers. Perhaps it is just the bland starting words that feel less likely to lead to a humorous place, I think phrases might work better. However they are still moderately successful at prompting funny situations, and often a single drawing can send a word into a completely different direction, which can get quite silly. The dry-erase pads are the ideal way of playing this game I think, and they were designed well to make the rules/flow of the game really obvious. You almost don't need to teach the game if the players can simply take a moment and read the flip-books as they go. Overall I'm glad I received this game as a gift, but I don't know if it will surpass most of my favorite party games.

11/5/2020

Alea Iacta Est

No Review Title

by Blott

This game gives another unique mechanism for using die rolls. I like the diversity of the different places you can use your dice. There is a great variety of strategies that players can use. Although the rules seemed a little complex at first, after one turn I got it all. I'm really not sure what the best strategy would be, but I can see myself having fun experimenting with it.I think my one complaint in the game is just that I'm not feeling a theme at all. I see the images on the tiles and I get the general idea, but there is a major disconnect between theme and mechanisms. Lately I've found myself looking for more and more theme in my games and this one definitely let me down on that front. Still, my wife really enjoyed it and I will be on the lookout for a copy so we can play it some more.

11/5/2020

World Without End

No Review Title

by Blott

I wasn't sure how I would react to this game, because geekbuddies described it as a game that revolves around managing pain. Sure enough that is exactly what it is, a game where every turn there is a chance an event card could devastate your plans. It felt like I was constantly wanting to do everything, and yet the game limits and restricts you in such a way that you have to prioritize what is most vital to your plans. Despite the potential for frustration, I quite like this game. It challenges my mind in a different way from other games because it continuously forces you to look at what is more important: scoring points towards victory, or fighting to avoid losing points by gathering the necessary items to pay the mandatory dues. My one concern is that the nature of the game almost forces a close score, but it will take more exploration of the game before I can conclusively determine if this is true. It's not a game that I will play all that frequently, and I can see some of my family and friends being totally enraged by the game, but I am anxious to play again.

11/5/2020

Clue: Secrets & Spies

No Review Title

by Blott

Don't let the name "Clue" fool you. This is no deduction game. In fact, this is a very interesting game with some unique mechanisms and gadgets. It almost makes you feel like a spy when you use the special blacklight to read the meeting cards, and the idea of adding in text-messages to change the game is interesting as well.I really like the way you can operate as the other spies while still scoring for yourself at the end. It can get really tricky trying to maneuver your own character so that other players will use them for point scoring during the game. I also greatly appreciate the built-in timer that keeps the game moving. It does seem that it can be a challenge to score very many points without a lot of help from the other players. I might need a couple more games under my belt before I've made a final determination about the quality of the overall game.

11/5/2020

Maori

No Review Title

by Blott

Such a delightfully simple tile-laying game. The game could devolve into multi-player solitaire because each player is trying to build up their own little board. What saves this game from that feeling is the interaction provided by the players taking tiles from the same pool. Often players will take a tile that isn't as advantageous to themselves simply to block an opponent.The rules are very straightforward, but there is a depth in the decision-making process. I love how the game challenges you because you want to have everything (canoes, huts, shells, etc.) but you have to figure out which will benefit you the most. It's those kind of tough decisions mixed with the beautiful art and the simple rules that I really look for in games. This game also has that added benefit where players can look at their board at the end of the game and see what they've accomplished. This often takes the sting out of losing, because the player can see all the good things they managed to do.

11/5/2020

Tobago

No Review Title

by Blott

Probably one of the most unusual and unique games I've ever come across. It seems that the bulk of the intrigue surrounding this game comes down to the induction process where players are trying to narrow down where the treasures might be. The variable setup of the board is very cool as well, and the components are top notch.I think the only real downside to the game is that the rules are somewhat counter-intuitive. Non-gamers will not catch on right away, and in some cases it may take more than one full game for them to catch up. The nice thing is that players can work together a little bit because the play of one player's cards doesn't necessarily affect the play of another player. With some hand-holding I think this game could be a real gem, and I may at some point decide to pick up a copy.

11/5/2020

Forbidden Island

No Review Title

by Blott

A very intriguing cooperative game that borrows some of the mechanisms of Pandemic, yet manages to capture its own unique feel. The production quality of this game is amazing. The chunky tiles have great art on them, the cards are all well laminated, and the treasure tokens are just amazing quality. This would be a great introductory cooperative game, as the mechanisms are very simple yet the game can still be quite challenging.I love the fact that the game is fast to set up and plays in 15 minutes to a half hour at the most. It will really attract young people, but has enough decisions that it can entertain adults as well. Watching the island slowly disappear under the adventurers is very cool and actually brings the theme to life. I may enjoy other cooperative games more, but if I'm limited on time this one is a superb alternative. And don't let the younger age range, faster play time, and simpler mechanisms fool you...this game can be a real challenge to win even on the normal difficulty level.

11/5/2020

BasketBoss

No Review Title

by Blott

Sports management is a unique theme for sure, and I like the way this game somewhat emulates the mechanisms of Hollywood Blockbuster. The silly names of the players are hilarious, and help with the funny theme. I also enjoy the balancing act of trying to get players who play well and players who earn money for your team. Where the game falls apart for me is the fact that they dropped the ball (pun intended) on the theme. The "season" is simply the best group of players wins, and that's it. It literally lasts less than 5 seconds, and this seems so wrong to me. Obviously I don't want a game where you play out 82 basketball games one by one, but the way this game handles it just feels so anticlimactic. "Last player is drafted? OK, you win the season, you come in second, and I’m third." Blah! Perhaps it is just the promise of the theme and what I personally expect from a game with that type of thematic setup. Aside from that the mechanisms are really interesting and the added helpers that players can grab each turn throw in a nice twist to the game. Now that my expectations have been adjusted I'm sure I can manage to enjoy this game, but for a first play this was a significant letdown.

11/5/2020

Bezzerwizzer

No Review Title

by Blott

Ever since my childhood of playing Trivial Pursuit I’ve been desperately seeking a trivia game that gives me that fun trivia feel, but packages it in a way that will be more palatable to trivia haters.  Most people don’t want to play trivia games, because if one person is better at trivia then they will win.  I picked up this game with very high hopes that it would be exactly what I was seeking.  The concept of valuing the categories based on the individual’s knowledge, and having opportunities to steal questions that you might know better than your own, sounds brilliant.  I wanted to love this game so badly, in fact I want to give it a second chance just because the concept feels so right.The problem is, despite the designer’s best efforts, this game just doesn’t manage to take enough sting out of trivia gaming for those who don’t have a lot of trivial knowledge.  You can do your best with the tiles to move around categories that will maximize your odds of scoring big, but if you draw a pile of categories that fall in your weak areas then you will lose.  In my first play of the game I raced out to an insurmountable lead because I’m the only trivia buff, and the rest of the players struggled to move at all.  We even quit halfway through because no one was having fun (not even me, because crushing opponents who are disinterested does nothing for me.)  The biggest indictment for this game is the fact that we quit when someone said “Can’t we play something fun?” and everyone at the table agreed.

11/5/2020

Say What?

No Review Title

by Blott

There's just something about electronic gadgets in games that I enjoy. Maybe it's the geek in me, but they always seem to add some fun into the mix. However when I first saw this game I thought it might be stupid and annoying. Boy was I mistaken! This game is a lot of fun. All you're doing is unscrambling a famous phrase (or song lyric) and yet it works.The game unit is very well designed and the balls are great quality. It's cool how each ball represents a portion of the phrase and you can keep jumbling the balls until you get it right. Also the multiple ways to play make for some good variety. It even has a quality tie-breaker!

11/5/2020

by Blott

This game is what everyone wishes Monopoly the board game could be like. It moves lightning fast and is so much fun to play. There are some great action cards that allow you to do some nasty things. I love the fact that you have lots of ways to use the cards. This may be the best Monopoly-based game I have ever played.What makes it work is the way that things grow as the game progresses. Players start the game struggling to pay even the smallest rent. Then they build up their banks and their properties and nothing seems too expensive. I also love that, in most cases, a monopoly is locked in place and protected. This keeps the game moving and can cause a sudden and unexpected finish.

11/5/2020

Scrabble Slam

No Review Title

by Blott

This game seems mighty familiar. I've done tons of puzzles that involve this same mechanism (changing one letter to make one word into another.) Turning it into a speed game is fun, and the design of the cards is great. I love the fact that there are 2 letters on every card so that you have twice as many options as you would with one-sided cards.The drawback to this, and other speed games, is just that certain players will never be able to compete. People who can't process decisions quickly will be left frustrated and disappointed, and have a hand that is still full of cards when someone wins. If played with the right group, though, this game could be quite enjoyable for a fast little filler in between the heavier stuff.

11/5/2020

by Blott

This game was entertaining, but I'm thinking that had more to do with the friends I was playing with rather than the game itself. Basically they took away what makes Scattergories a classic party game and turned it into a speed game instead. I just didn't enjoy the fact that it lacked any of the "you must have a unique answer" rules that drive the original game.What does work in this game is the fact that you have a wide variety of topics and a large stack of mostly common letters. It also is nice that you can pick whether you want to change letters or change category. There does seem to be a lot of room for house rules as well that might improve the game.

11/5/2020

Dixit

No Review Title

by Blott

"Simple" is the first word I think of when I approach this game. It is just so basic in the mechanism that it gives me that "why didn't someone think of this before" feel. Of course, this HAS been thought of before in some fashion (particularly Thingamajig.) But what makes this game so accessible to new players is the awesome artwork. There is so much you can do as a story-teller with these pictures. I should note, though, that it seems playing regularly with the same group might cause the game to quickly grow stale. Since you see every card in the game, you really lose some of that replayability that I would prefer in a party game like this.Initially I thought I wasn't going to like this game at all. It seemed too easy to score points, dragged on a little long for what it is, and resulted in unsurprising close scores. However that was a 4-player game. Now that I've played with 6 I can say that this is almost the default number of players. With the added players you have more options and the scoring becomes less of a sure thing. I'm still not sure if this is a premiere party game, but it is enjoyable for occasional play.

11/5/2020

Dancing Eggs

No Review Title

by Blott

I haven't had the opportunity to fully open this game up for maximum fun because we played in a very confined space so we had to improvise a rule variant instead of running around the table. Even with that minor tweak, I could definitely see the chaotic fun of Dancing Eggs. In fact it can be just as funny as a spectator sport, just watching the awkward look of a person trying to play a game with eggs shoved in their armpits and under their chin. I can't wait to play this one with the youth at our church, because it is the kind of silly fun that young people will really enjoy and appreciate. Another good game that will hold a spot in my collection.

11/5/2020

Castle Panic

No Review Title

by Blott

This is a very nice, streamlined cooperative game. The rules are really straightforward, and it plays in a very quick timeframe. Some of the decisions seem a bit more rudimentary, but that makes for a nice change for people who don't like so many options on their turn (which can slow down some players in a game like Pandemic.) I think these aspects of the game make it an ideal cooperative game for young people. If you play fully cooperative you can really teach them the mechanisms as you play and, even if it takes them awhile to understand how things work, they will still feel like they are contributing on their turn by slaying monsters and building walls.As for playing with adults, I can see this one also working in that scenario as well, thanks to the Master Slayer rules. Adding in that competitive element will challenge players to balance their own selfish desires with the needs of the overall team. Personally I lean more towards the fully cooperative game, but I like having the competitive option. This game has a fun theme that is very well executed (I especially love when a boulder goes rolling through crushing monsters as it makes its way to the castle.) Sure the decisions are fairly straightforward and the game is a little lacking in strategic depth, but for a silly fun competitive/cooperative experience, I don't think you will go wrong with this game.

11/5/2020

Auf Achse

No Review Title

by Blott

When I play a game like Auf Achse I just get ticked off. How in the world has a game with such a solid design that won the Spiel des Jahres award never been published in English?!? This game perfectly fits the theme, has a lot of interesting choices throughout, and was simple to learn. I like the way you are constantly calculating out how you want to route your truck in order to maximize the number of contracts you will be able to fulfill. The auctions can be a little tricky for new players, because you don't realize how much grabbing one bad contract might cost you. However, about halfway through the game you totally can understand what is going on. I would love to own Auf Achse, and wish that some US publisher would introduce it here.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Probably one of the most theme-driven games I've ever played. This game is like Indiana Jones in a box. I love the simple mechanisms and the great components. This game is fast and has a ton of fun to offer. You just have to be prepared to accept the fact that luck will play a major role in the game, because there isn't much strategy involved. But don't let that scare you away, there are tons of decisions, because at virtually every step along the way you will be forced to decide how much you want to push your luck. Will you sit 4 spaces in front of the giant boulder, or will you risk jumping in the river even though you're loaded down with treasure? These type of decisions will determine how much danger you want to put yourself in.You see the Adventurers is all about the story. What you will remember are those moments when someone is barely able to drag themselves from the river before falling down a deadly waterfall, or when someone narrowly outruns the giant boulder to avoid being trapped for eternity. Winning and losing seems to become secondary to the story of what is happening. If ever there was a game where you will try to salvage "moral victories" this is it. Sometimes just getting out alive is enough to make you feel like you accomplished something. Come for thematic fun and everyone will be satisfied.(Thank you 2009 Secret Santa for the AWESOME game!)

11/5/2020

by Blott

An OK dice-rolling push-your-luck game. I feel like there's something slightly missing from the game. It's very simple and could easily be picked up by young people which is really nice. However it doesn't seem to follow through on any of the mechanics it has incorporated. It's almost too easy to roll what you need in order to complete a card, and with so few dice you rarely complete a card and still have enough dice remaining that you are willing to risk them on another roll.Many of the decisions just seem a little too obvious. I see what they were trying to do, and the components and theme are entertaining enough. I think kids will have a blast with the game, and it's slightly better when played with 3 or 4 players. Still, it seems to be a rather simplistic game that is just a little lacking.

11/5/2020

Have You Herd?

No Review Title

by Blott

This game was better than I expected after I read the rules. The game actually has some legitimate decisions that need to be made and it's fast and sort of enjoyable. I like the fact that you have to decide whether to buy "insurance" (a guard dog) or just focus on working towards a victory.People who play games with non-gamers will find this one easy to teach, so that's a nice feature. I just wish there were a few more decisions involved, and that the sorting out of the components didn't take nearly as long as the game itself. Still, for what it is, this game has surprisingly decent entertainment value.

11/5/2020

The BoardGameGeek Game

No Review Title

by Blott

I went in expecting a light, fun game almost similar to a party game thanks to the reviews I read. Unfortunately, the rules aren't quite that light. It takes a couple rounds before everyone catches on to how the game works. The problem with this is that I'm not sure there's much strategy in this game, so it doesn't seem to justify the somewhat confusing rules. Obviously it's not completely devoid of strategy, but it seems somewhat hard to find. I mean, why not always sell for the highest prices? And can you ever wait for the price to go down on a tile? Not really, because it might be gone before the next round, or you may not roll the necessary number to go after it. And, at least in our 4-player game, it seemed too easy to make complete scoring sets. I realize this may change with a full complement of 6 players, but I didn't find the game interesting enough to try again. This game is not great and it doesn't seem to lead to enough genuine decision-making.

11/5/2020

Ra: The Dice Game

No Review Title

by Blott

What I like about this game is the ways in which it is different from Ra. The way you can strategically decide how to spend each die, but the randomness of the die roll always playing into those decisions is great. I like the way the monuments work and the fact that you have to agonize every turn over what is going to benefit you the most.What I dislike about this game is the ways in which it is the same as Ra. The scoring is overly complex to explain and takes almost half the game to fully understand. Also the value of the different items are all so close to one another that it seems almost impossible to calculate what would be more beneficial. Also it bugs me that the tempo of the game is determined completely by chance.So, I like the game, but I don't feel the need to rush out and buy it. It was fun to play and the decisions on each turn were interesting, but I just don't want to deal with explaining that scoring to others. It seems that I could get a similar play experience with Roll through the Ages and not have to struggle so much in rules explanation.

11/5/2020

by Blott

A strange mish-mash of an expansion. I really appreciate the added equipment that, by all rights, probably should have come with the base game. The 50-100 point scoring cards are an absolute must so it's great to have them, and adding the 6th player is a nice addition if you want to play with a slightly larger group. It's when you add in the namesake of this expansion that I wonder if it's really necessary.The Inns & Cathedrals may add a little something to the game, but they just don't seem that interesting. It is fun to see players fighting to keep a city with a cathedral open, or trying to sneak into that city, but it doesn't change the gameplay that significantly. The Inns seems so inconsequential that they barely come into consideration during our games. As for the larger meeple, that seems like a good idea, but I never really know when to use it. It seems like this valuable tool that will help you steal control of things, but I never know when it will work, so it becomes a non-issue. All-in-all I see this expansion as a decent addition, but certainly not a must-have.

11/5/2020

All In

No Review Title

by Blott

This is all about poker-style betting on something much more straight forward. Everyone is betting on whether they played the card that is closest without going over the die roll. The game is simple to learn and the strategy is easy to follow for anyone who has played poker. I also like how the game is nice and short (only 10 rounds of play) instead of playing until only one player is remaining.The bad part is that played cards are open to everyone. So on later turns you won't have the ability to bluff because everyone can see that you've used all the cards that are lower than what is rolled. The idea is decent, but the game is fairly shallow and the components aren't great. I think the dice tower that the game comes in is cool, but it doesn't function well. The dice can roll off to the side because there isn't a full rail on the sides holding in the rolled dice. Also there is a bump at the end of the ramp that the dice can catch on and so it doesn't succeed in creating a definitive roll each turn.

11/5/2020

Blackout

No Review Title

by Blott

Well, there just isn't much game here. The components are cool, and it's neat that everything packs away into the dice tower used for the game. However, the gameplay lacks any real decision-making. Basically you just roll 3 dice and cover numbers on the face-up cards. If you're the one who covers the last number on a card, you get that card. First person to collect 5 cards wins.It gives the illusion of strategy because you get to decide which card to cover the numbers on. The problem is it usually is an obvious decision, because you don't want to risk setting up your opponents. I can see this being a nice short game for the family when we feel like playing something that doesn't require much thought, but that's really all it is good for.

11/5/2020

Pandemic: On the Brink

No Review Title

by Blott

I've never been one for expansions, especially for games that I already love. Generally I find that I love the base game so much that an expansion can't possibly make it better, it can only make it worse. In this case, though, I'm not so sure. I don't love the idea of an expansion where you can add in bits and pieces, but what I've played of the pieces so far has been so much fun that I really have to say that this expansion succeeds in keeping the base game alive while adding just enough additional challenge and variety so that it can't get boring.Right now I have only played with the new role cards, the new special actions, and the virulent strain. I'm amazed at how the new roles change the way you play the game. Each person has their strengths and weaknesses and the game seems to be all about figuring out how to maximize the strengths. I'm very anxious to try the variants with the 5th disease...Update: I have now tried the Mutation variant. I like how it changes the feel of the game by constantly adding in more cards to the infection discard pile. I did feel that combining the mutation and the virulent strain gave me a little too much to remember and slowed the game down more than I'd like. So in the future I will probably only try one part of the expansion at a time.

11/5/2020

Tic-Tac-Toe

No Review Title

by Blott

When 100% of the games can end in a tie, the game is broken. It passes some time, but I'd rather chat without a game than play this thing. Teaches little kids to look ahead a little bit though.

11/5/2020

Merchants of Amsterdam

No Review Title

by Blott

This game definitely works, and I had a decent time playing and would be happy to play again if asked. Unfortunately there are some significant flaws in the design which hold it back from being a really great game. The arrangement of the sand timer cards in the deck can make a big difference on how the game feels, so when we had a ton of them front-loaded in the deck we weren't able to strategically maneuver for points, they just kind of happened. The game is overloaded with little rules and exceptions which kind of take away from the smooth flow of the game and make it unnecessarily complex. But the biggest problem I had was with the components. The deck of tiny cards are the worst, the tokens for each player are extremely thin and cheap, and the auction clock stuck on us almost every single auction. It's a shame because the game has potential to be one of the most interesting and unique auction/area control games ever, but it falls short because of these flaws.

11/5/2020

Formula D

No Review Title

by Blott

Racing games aren't usually my favorite genre, but this one is an exception to that rule. I've only played the basic game so far, but it was a crazy fast ride. I like the challenge of gearing up in order to stay in the lead, while still maintaining control in order to avoid overshooting a turn. As long as you play fast and furious, without counting and recounting your moves it actually feels like a real auto race. I really need to try the advanced game in order to get the full effect, but we had enough fun that I can see us pulling this game out again soon. My only complaint is that it is very hard to get up into that top gear and roll that big blue die, because there aren't many open straights with no surrounding curves. Everyone wanted to do it, but we never got the chance. Although perhaps we're just being too cautious and need to push our cars to the limit.

11/5/2020

by Blott

I really like the elegant simplicity of the rules in this race game. It's got some nice methods for pushing back other players, and contains a bit more strategic decision-making than I originally suspected. Some of the boards are very hard to get through and could cause some analysis-paralysis if players overthink them.This is a game where you can directly or indirectly hurt your opponents progress, so you have to play with people who don't have easily-bruised feelings. I'm interested in exploring more of the boards so I'll be looking for a copy at some point. It seems like an ideal game for non-gamers because you can make the game as long or as short as you want, and the rules are very straightforward.

11/5/2020

PitchCar Mini

No Review Title

by Blott

Tons of dexterity fun! I've heard many people cry out against this tiny version of the classic game Pitchcar. People seem to think that the smaller size ruins the feel of the classic game. Well, I've never played the full-size version of the game, but this one is spectacular fun, and it easily fits on any table, something that I don't think can be said of the big game. For the portability and the ease of setting up on almost any table, I enjoy this version and feel no real need to get something bigger.You will find yourself laughing and shouting at many moments during this game. It's cool how simple the rules are, and how enjoyable the game can be. Even coming in last place (or not even playing but just being a spectator) you can have a lot of fun cheering for other players and marveling at some of the great shots that players will make. It can be a bit of a downer when a player gets into a runaway leader position. I also find that, with a full complement of 8 players, the track can get quite crowded. Still it's a great simple game that everyone seems to enjoy.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Ever since I got hooked on the base game I knew that I wanted this expansion. I mean who doesn't want to add jumps and tight turns to their car race. Sadly, the jumps just aren't that exciting. Cars catch a very tiny bit of air and then continue sliding down the track. That's a pretty big letdown because the idea of a jump is so thrilling, but it just doesn't deliver much. In fact I don't feel like I need to play with the jumps because they don't change the race much. I mean, now that I have them I will probably use them, but I wouldn't have bought the expansion if I knew how boring the jumps were. Then we come to the issue of the tight turns. First of all, the expansion box didn't even come with wall pieces short enough for the inside of those turns. As a result I was forced to trim down some of the other wall pieces to fit. And the real problem is the way they design the tight turn. Because of the angle of the turn they can create a space between the inside and the outside walls that is too small for a car to fit through. We literally had 5 cars get wedged in the start of a tight turn because of the way they carved the notch for the inner wall. We actually had to play around that part of the course. When you add something that stops the action in a race game you have failed as an expansion. Of course I will probably keep it now that I have it and make additional adjustments to make it work better with the game. However if you have PitchCar Mini, I cannot express this enough...do not waste your time and money on this expansion.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Well it's not really that different to have these extra long pieces in the track. It can sometimes make players get too aggresive and try to shoot all the way down the stretch with one shot which seems like it should be simple, but it is challenging. I think the best part about these straights is that, when you play with a lot of people at once, they are one spot where it seems the pack breaks up. This is necessary because the game isn't as fun with all those cars bunched together.

11/5/2020

Cranium Party Playoff

No Review Title

by Blott

There's something about this game that just doesn't work. It just seems that sometimes multiple people will select the same item to win the bracket and they will push for that one to win each matchup no matter what the criteria you are voting on. It works OK as a goofy light little party game, but it just doesn't have enough entertainment to make me want to play again and again.This game is decent if you are interested in debates and creatively fighting for your selections. I also found that it could lead to some humorous discussions. But when group-think takes over you will have no shot of arguing for your selections. Also the scores are usually shockingly low. And the bonus for someone who is lucky enough to guess an opponent's final selection is too much. Still I'll probably keep the game for some occasional debating fun.

11/5/2020

Founding Fathers

No Review Title

by Blott

This game was a delight to play. I loved the different ways you could use every card, and the different methods of scoring victory points. It gives you so much to think about, but when you really get down to it the mechanisms aren't difficult at all. Another nice thing about the game is that you work your way through the deck rather quickly, so you start to get some familiarity with what is available. I hope I can convince my family to play it again, because I really liked the game, and thought about it a lot afterwards. It's strange, because I was never a fan of history, but there's just something about these games that are based on real events which gets me interested (even to the point where I'm thinking of reading some books on the subject.)

11/5/2020

by Blott

If you're reading this comment because you are standing in a Bob Evans Restaurant and looking at this game that you never knew existed...Run, don't walk, out of there now! My $7 would have been better utilized if I'd just given an extra large tip for lunch. This game contains ZERO decisions. If you're familiar with LCR, it's like that but with a more fiddly card-flipping and addition mechanic that makes me hate it even more.Let's put it this way, when you deal the cards at the beginning of the game if one player is lucky enough to get both 50 point cards they win instantly! Yes, you can win this game before anyone has even taken a turn. You don't even need players for this game. It plays itself, and you are just the machinery that are running the engine.

11/5/2020

Finca

No Review Title

by Blott

The rules are dead simple to learn and the game races by really fast. But it feels like there's a good amount of strategy to satisfy gamers too. I am surprised how little analysis-paralysis there is even though board situations can change dramatically from one turn to the next. There have been moments while playing Finca where I look around the table and see everyone staring intently at the board planning out their next moves and I realize...we're hooked! Now it's worth mentioning that the game has teeth and can be quite nasty. You can grab tiles you know another player wants, and you can totally hose people by clearing out one type of fruit. But even with the nastiness it's still a lot of fun. My only complaint is the difficulty of differentiating some of the different fruits. People sometimes have a hard time remembering which one is a fig, an olive, or an almond. The color-coding helps a lot, but it might take a couple games before new people have nailed down which fruit is which. A pretty minor complaint about a very good game.

11/5/2020

Dice Town

No Review Title

by Blott

Well, pardner, if you chuck a bunch of dice on the table I'm bound to enjoy the game at least somewhat. And, sure enough, I enjoy this game. I will say that the one problem I have discovered after playing a couple times is that the game can go a bit long with the wrong players. Never, ever, ever play this game with people that suffer from analysis-paralysis. Aside from that minor complaint (one that could be made about tons of games) I find this game to be a total blast! The way that the mechanisms insure that each player will at least get some type of benefit from their turn is really nice. The game definitely has an element of bluff in it, and a healthy dose of back-stabbing as people steal cards and such. I think the aspect of bribing the sheriff to win ties is really creative as well. With the right crowd this could be one of my favorite dice games, and that's saying a lot. Unfortunately my parents (one of my primary "game groups") is not the right crowd...

11/5/2020

Score Four

No Review Title

by Blott

Basically Connect Four in 3-D. This is definitely a large step up from Connect Four, but it's still not something that I'd want to play regularly. My biggest problem with these types of games is that you are basically hoping that your opponent won't pay attention for a moment so that you can score. Occasionally you can set up so that they can't block you in both directions and guarantee a score, but it seems the best tactic is to hope your opponent doesn't watch and you sneak something by them. There's also a huge opportunity for analysis-paralysis for certain players. I'll play from time to time if my mother-in-law offers again, but I'm not going to pick up my own copy.

11/5/2020

Triviathon

No Review Title

by Blott

The idea behind this game is really slick. Players are given a multiple choice trivia question where most of the answers are worth at least some points. It's very neat because you have to make tough decisions like "I know that answer is worth 2 points, but that one might be worth 3, should I risk it?" You can also do some process of elimination when you feel stumped by certain answers. The problem, and where this game completely fell apart for me, is the fact that the choices are all so long and detailed it's like you're reading an entire paragraph to the active player. And they have to remember all that information? Forget it! In the long run it just becomes easier to hand the question cards to the active player, which kind of spoils the fun. Then they also throw in some ridiculous special abilities that make no sense at all and make the game drag even more. Triviathon is a great idea executed very poorly. This went straight to my trade list after my first day of owning it.

11/5/2020

Dragonland

No Review Title

by Blott

It is games like this that show me what people are talking about when they claim Knizia's games just paste on the theme. Other than the artwork on the board, box, and tiles this game has absolutely nothing to do with a fantastical land filled with dragons. It is a pure and simple set collection game. But that's not to say it is bad. In fact I find the game thoroughly interesting. I love the idea of the shape of your pawns being the identifying factor, and the color determining what gems you can claim. However this can be a bit difficult for some players to adjust themselves to, especially those who traditionally play with one of those colors. Locating your pieces on the board isn't quite as intuitive as I'd like, but the mechanism is so unique that I'm willing to deal with that.The special action tiles are an intriguing wrinkle in the game and offer a little more control over things. I love games where, on your turn, you have multiple different options that all would be positive for you yet you can choose only one. This game totally delivers that. Players will find themselves with a pawn in a volcano where they would like the dragon egg, the gems of their color, a diamond, and a ring all at the same time and can only choose one. I can see multiple intriguing strategic options (and opportunities to block your opponents) that I'd like to explore in this game, so I can see it hitting the table quite a bit in the future.

11/5/2020

Margin for Error

No Review Title

by Blott

A nice little partnership trick-taking game. The rules are very simple to teach for players who are familiar with the genre, but the strategy will take a few hands to learn. I love how much strategy goes into playing each trick. It does seem a little hard to bluff about which goal you're attempting, and passing on being Captain almost seems too risky. Still there is a lot of excellent, and tough decisions that make this a neat new trick-taking game that I'm anxious to try again.

11/5/2020

by Blott

A crazy auction game, that has a nice electronic game unit controlling things. One play isn't enough to judge this game, because you don't get the feel for the ebb and floe of the bids in one game. There's still a lot of chaos, but there is more strategy than you might expect. The game unit is quiet, which is actually nice, but if you don't pay attention it can be hard to hear. It's short and easy to learn, so non-gamers will enjoy. I just love the subtle strategies and the tough decisions that you have to make in a split second. "Should I bid on that vase to complete my collection, or should I outbid her on that G.I.Joe to stop her from getting double points?!"

11/5/2020

Facts in Five

No Review Title

by Blott

A game that I think surpasses Scattergories, and yet it came out first. I just like the way it challenges my mind to think of multiple topics at the same time. And because of the variety you can skip categories that you are weak in and jump to your strengths. The only problem is that some of the categories are showing their age significantly.

11/5/2020

FITS

No Review Title

by Blott

A really enjoyable puzzle game. If you enjoy Tetris, you will really get a kick out of this game (it's no coincidence that they look the same.) I love how the different boards challenge you. It just amazes me that you get so much variety with nothing but a different starting piece. If you don't like puzzle games or multi-player solitaire, then this will not suit you, but I don't mind either of those things. My wife loves it which is another bonus, and it's easily accessible for non-gamers. I also greatly appreciate the fact that you can play the game solitaire.Rarely do I get excited about expansions, but this game is just loaded with possibilities and has me itching for more. I foresee FITS being a permanent fixture on our game table for years to come. I have yet to find a single person who doesn't like the game, and enjoy the simple elegance of the game design. People will literally be begging for a particular piece to come up, and yelling at the card shuffler for putting the piece they needed at the bottom of the deck.(Note: Could easily be played with more players if you simply bought a second copy of the game.)

11/5/2020

Aapep

No Review Title

by Blott

I like the design of the game and the strategy that it encourages. Unfortunately, I feel like it's lacking a little something. First of all, I feel like I must be missing pieces or they didn't include enough pieces in the original packaging, because there aren't enough colored markers to indicate who controls each column and row. Also, it almost seems to have a "who's going to mess up first" feel (kind of like Connect Four.) Although the gameplay is deeper it often feels like it's not about who plays better, but who doesn't play worse. If I get some more games in I'll revise my comments, but I'm not sure if I'll get the urge to try it again.

11/5/2020

by Blott

It's not a terrible team trick-taking game. The first drawback is that you really don't have many opportunities to bluff about which color you are trying to collect, because you just want to win as many positive tricks as possible. The other flaw is that the wild cards are too plentiful and often too powerful, the team that lucks into getting more good wild cards has considerably better chances of winning. I still found the game somewhat enjoyable as an occasional short trick-taking game, but there are several better options out there.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Not much to talk about here. It's an additional card that isn't that different from the ones that come in the base game. I like the function, but it works better if you have another card that gives multiple additional actions, because the Envoy could load your hand with actions that you would then be unable to use. Not a bad card, but not a necessary addition to the game.

11/5/2020

by Blott

It's very cool when you have the feeling that "I'm the only one with this card." And it can certainly add some twists to each individual's deck. However creating a separate buy phase in the action phase can really throw people off. Also if you have any players who might suffer from analysis-paralysis this card will slow them to a crawl for sure. If you play with people who know all the cards well, or make fast decisions, then I'd call this card a winner, otherwise it might offer more complication than it's worth.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Trying to pin down the reasoning for why I enjoyed playing this game is really hard. I mean you have to go in knowing (based on the title) that the game is utter chaos. A player could win instantly on the first turn with the play of a single card. It has the chaotic nonsense that you will find in a game like Fluxx, but it plays in less time and actually requires less rules explanation.That leads me to a nice aspect of the game. The rules are almost all written on the cards, so you can actually sit down with players, read the one piece of paper with the rules on it, and start playing within seconds. As long as every player at the table understands from the get-go that utter chaos and randomness is the name of the game, you can have a lot of fun with this silly game. I hope to play with the youth group soon, because this hilarious game should go over really well.

11/5/2020

Cranium Wacky Words

No Review Title

by Blott

It’s Mad Libs the board game!  But seriously this game really has that feel.  While the cards don’t call for a specific type of word, you can see the context when you are writing the words, so it’s easy enough to deduce what type of word they’re after.  And, just like Mad Libs, the fun in this game is going to come from seeing just how silly you can get with your answers.  The only constraint is that a die is rolled to tell you what letter your words must start with. This is one of the 4 games in the Cranium set that involves one player creating the first part of the answer, another player creating the second part, and the judge selecting a favorite combo.  What makes these games work is when you have a group of players who will debate which answer is best.  Since everyone, potentially, has worked on 2 answers they won’t be tied down to arguing for just one.  I think the best part of this particular edition of the series is the variety in the cards they provide.  So far I’ve seen everything from a section of the classified section of a newspaper, to a postcard from a friend.  This game may be my least favorite of the series, but it’s still fast and fun for everyone.

11/5/2020

Cranium Super Showdown

No Review Title

by Blott

There have actually been several games published in the past few years that have a very similar feel to this one.  The premise is all about putting certain people into a competition and debating who would win that contest.  In fact Who Would Win is the title of one of these games.  What I enjoy about the Cranium version of this game is the impromptu team aspect of the game.  Since one player puts in a contestant and then, potentially, a different player will give that contestant some type of extra to help in the competition each player could potentially be debating for more than one competitor.I think of all these Cranium games; that involve one player doing part one, another player doing part two, and then a judge choosing a favorite; Super Showdown is by far my favorite.  Of course it will take a certain group of players.  If people just sit back and wait for the judge to pick an answer it will be boring (and probably only last 10 minutes.)  However with a group of people that will debate the contestants, and why they might win the competition in question, this game can really be a blast.  It is a party game, so if you care about who wins the game you will be annoyed because the points can easily get  lopsided for one player.  Thankfully the game is very short, just like the other games in this set.

11/5/2020

Piece o' Cake

No Review Title

by Blott

I like the simplicity of this game, and the difficult decision of how to slice. It's interesting that they're able to create some strategy in such a simple system. Choosing which piece to take is often rudimentary, but knowing when to try holding onto a slice instead of eating it is a little more difficult. After one game I thought the game was devoid of any strategy, but after another game or two I really started to see the strategy emerge.The real meat of the game is in deciding how to slice. Often there is one or two slices that you will want to have for yourself, but it can be quite difficult to figure out how to slice the pie so that you can get the pieces you want. Are you willing to get stuck with only 1 piece if it will insure that you get a 10 point bonus? That's the most intriguing aspect of this game. Also of note is the very high production quality. The slices are nice thick cardboard and the art is pretty appetizing. The designer even had the foresight to make each pie out of 11 pieces. This way, no matter how many people are playing, you can never divide it evenly.(Note: There is an interesting variant for the 3 and 4 player games posted by the designer here on BGG. It really balances out the disadvantage players get from slicing the pie and getting stuck with the last piece 2 times in one game.)

11/5/2020

Go Nuts! Dice Game

No Review Title

by Blott

A silly little push-your-luck game for kids and adults to play together. The mechanisms are not bad, and the components are good, but there's just a little something missing. The game can get a little too repetitive and it seems a bit long playing to 50 points, unless you have less than 4 players. Still it does a good job of keeping other players interested in what happens on another player's turn. Not a great game, but one that's good enough for me to keep it in my collection for awhile. Playing it with kids will make it considerably better, I suspect. Note: We play with a house rule where, once a player surpasses the point goal, all other players get one more turn to try and beat that score.

11/5/2020

by Blott

Although I love and adore the base game, this expansion character's special ability really doesn't add much to the game. I can see a few situations where trading a white card for a different white card might be useful (especially as the traitor) but it just didn't add enough to make me want to play with this guy every time.

11/5/2020

The Chain Game

No Review Title

by Blott

It's an alright game for a few laughs. Sadly, there just isn't enough structure in the game for my taste. And everyone complained about how the time limit is so fuzzy, and you just have to guess when someone has been too long. Still, when certain chains get repeated it's funny, and people can sometimes randomly come up with a ridiculous response that is hilarious. I wish they could do the same game mechanic with a better overall game design around it.

11/5/2020

Pick Up Sticks

No Review Title

by Blott

One of the original dexterity games. I'm not a huge fan of steady-hand style games like this, so it never really intrigued me. I also never liked the ambiguous nature of "Did that other stick move? It looked like it may have moved slightly." I like more clear-cut ways of defining a success or a failure (like in stacking games.)

11/5/2020

War

No Review Title

by Blott

Decent fun and a crazy way to pass the time for little kids. However as an adult I like having at least one or two decisions in my games. But playing War with a time limit is not as terrible as some people might let on. Still I'll never actively choose to play it.

11/5/2020

Go Fish!

No Review Title

by Blott

I'll pass on this game, unless a child asks me to play. There is definitely enough choices to make this a quality game for children, but it's just not engaging enough for an adult. I won't ever suggest the game, but won't refuse to play either.

11/5/2020

Old Maid

No Review Title

by Blott

A funny game for young children, but not one that will entertain an adult crowd. Still if my friends' children ask me to play, then Uncle Ben is on board. I feel bad rating it so low, because for kids it is a great game, but based on the BGG rating criteria this is the proper rating for me.

11/5/2020