It's always interesting to get insight into game designer's minds and see why they made the choices they did when creating the games we love. In this interview, Z-Man Games sits down with Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, designers of Pandemic Legacy, and gets a glimpse into what their mindset was as they worked on it.
From the post:
During Gen Con 2020, Z-Man Games’ Justin Kemppainen interviewed Pandemic Legacy designers Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau about the process of designing the bestselling trilogy.
There are no spoilers in this conversation of any of the three Pandemic Legacy games. This interview has been adapted from the live conversation and edited for length and clarity. Check out the full video conversation here.
Pandemic Legacy revolutionized the gaming world when it came out. I know many of my gaming friends listed it as their favorite game for quite some time. And many of you have played Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2. But how did the world get there? Well, that's where Pandemic Legacy Season 0 comes in.
From the article:
A cooperative legacy game for two to four players designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, Pandemic Legacy: Season 0 drops players into a story of covert operations, special agents, and international intrigue. The Cold War is about to heat up, and you'll need to work together to prevent the widespread destruction the Soviet Union threatens to rain upon the allied nations of the West.
Just like the first two seasons of Pandemic Legacy, each time you play brings new cards, rules, and conditions that affect future games. Season 0 starts with a Prologue game that can be played multiple times to get a feel for the rules of play, the Legacy format, and the tense state of the world going into your first assignment.
Designed as a prequel, Season 0 does not require players to have completed Seasons 1 or 2 before diving into the game. Experienced players may enjoy certain details and connections between the seasons that add a richness to the story, but it is a standalone game designed as a complete, narrative experience.
Over the course of a year-long campaign, you'll be tasked with missions that fling you to the far corners of the globe from the familiar hallways of Washington D.C. to the desolate tundra of Siberia. Each success or failure will bring you closer to the truth—about the Soviets, MEDUSA, and even your fellow agents.
While many game stores out there are offering curb-side pickup or delivery, you might not be able to make it out there. But Z-Man Games still wants you to be able to play Pandemic: Hot Zone (seems an appropriate game for the times). As such, they've got a print-and-play version available over on their website.
From the post:
Earlier this month, we announced the next game to join the Pandemic family, Pandemic: Hot Zone. Matt and Steve talked about the origins of the newest, lightest Pandemic game, the design process, and what makes it different from the original.
They also mentioned that we’d create a way for you to try the game from the comfort of your own home. Without further ado, we’re happy to announce the release of the Pandemic: Hot Zone print and play!
Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America is the first in a series of smaller, more portable versions of the beloved 2008 cooperative game, making it an excellent choice for a free-to-play, at-home demo.
The print-and-play files available below include Hot Zone’s small-footprint board and all of the cards you need to experience the game for yourself. You’ll have to gather a handful of proxy tokens to replace the usual pawns, cubes, and progress markers, either from other games or miscellaneous household finds (a great use for loose change). Once you print the files, cut along the guidelines, and assemble your board, your game is ready to play.
Now seems as good a time as any to talk about the Pandemic series of games. A new form of it, Hot Zone, is coming soon. In this preview, Z-Man Games looks at the game's development, where it's at, and the future release of the game. The article's by game designer Matt Leacock, himself. So, if you want it straight from the designer, that's what you get.
From the post:
I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this turbulent time. Back in March, we shared a message explaining that we would give more details about upcoming Pandemic titles at a later date. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the many essential workers keeping our healthcare systems and supply chains intact, and thanks to the social distancing practices of everyday people around the globe, there is evidence that our collective actions to combat the virus are working. While the situation varies from community to community, we’re hopeful that restrictions will ease at the proper time and we can safely bridge that social distance again.
I know many of you are eager to hear more about the final game in the Pandemic Legacy trilogy, which we’ll get to soon. But today we’re here to discuss a different Pandemic game, one that Matt, my team, and I are all very proud to share with you. One that, just like the original, requires you to work as a team, share your knowledge, and discover cures together.
Humanity is in danger. Barbarians, diseases, floods, and Cthulhu are all coming to get us. They must be stopped! And that's what you'll be doing in the Pandemic Survivor Series. Z-Man Games has posted up this year's events and games for you to check out. Can you keep humanity safe?
From the announcement:
Pandemic Survival is back for another season in 2020! When we ran our first Pandemic Survival tournaments in 2015, we were thrilled to introduce a new kind of competitive play based on Pandemic’s award-winning cooperative mechanics. Since then, teams all over the world have faced outbreaks, cured countless diseases, and saved humanity from the brink of disaster!
After five years of this unique tournament format, we’re excited to announce that the Pandemic Survival world is getting wider. Up to this point we have always run tournaments using the original Pandemic game in the modern world of disease control (and we will continue to do so throughout the year with more accessible Pandemic Discovery events—more info to come!).
That said, future seasons of Pandemic Survival may also feature other games in the Pandemic System. This means that games like Iberia, Rising Tide, or Fall of Rome—based on the same great gameplay, but in a different setting—have a chance to hit the tournament tables in the years to come.
For 2020, we’re excited to announce that Pandemic Survival is taking an eldritch twist. The 2020 tournament season will feature Reign of Cthulhu, our Lovecraft-inspired Pandemic System game.
When there's a crisis, every moment matters. Time is not on your side, and there's always more to get done than there are people to do it. You need the best people in the right place. In this preview for Pandemic: Rapid Response, the new real-time game coming soon from Z-Man, we get a look at the different specilists that will be looking to save humanity from the different strains of pathogens looking to do us all in.
From the website:
In Pandemic: Rapid Response, each player will represent a member of the CRU, an elite team of specialists. You'll take turns individually, but you must work together to generate the supplies needed, fly to the location of the disaster, and drop the supplies before time runs out.
On your turn, you’ll roll your own set of dice and spend the different results to take actions. You can spend any dice to move your pawn from room to room, but flying the plane requires airplane results and generating supplies requires their corresponding supply results.
While any player can take any of these actions on their turn, particular roles are better at doing certain actions. Each role has a unique ability, so consider each character’s expertise and use their abilities to your advantage!
The smash hit board game Pandemic has had a successful cooperative tourney scene for 5 years now. Z-Man Games has posted up a little bit about how they got there, along with some interesting information about future Pandemic games and where they'll fall into the tourney scene, plus a little peek at games coming with the Pandemic System designation.
From the post:
With all of that in mind, I’m excited to announce that we’re defining a new category of Pandemic games. Going forward, games whose foundations are rooted in Pandemic’s gameplay will be known as Pandemic System games. We want players to know that the engine under the hood is based on Matt Leacock’s award-winning co-op mechanics, while the setting—be it historical or fantastical—allows us to adapt gameplay to create a more nuanced, thematic experience.
Pandemic System games will not be limited edition, nor will they be tied to the Survival World Championship. This does a few things. First, it means these games aren’t one-and-done affairs. Second, this eases deadline constraints to give Matt and my team ample dev time to make the absolute best game possible. Third, this allows us a great deal of freedom to explore all sorts of novel, obscure locations, or even fictional realms. In fact, you already know the first Pandemic System game: Reign of Cthulhu. Reprints of Reign of Cthulhu will feature a nifty button in the corner of the box to illustrate this
The world is under attack. But it's not from an alien invasion or rogue human forces. It's pathogens (wash your damn hands!). You've gotta go and stop them from spreading, but that's not easy.
You've probably played Pandemic at some point (I know I have, multiple times). If you enjoy the game, but maybe aren't thrilled with some of the fiddly bits, you can now let a computer do that for you, as the game is now available on Switch and Xbox One. And no more trying to sneak one fewer cube out there onto the board. :P
From the website:
Four deadly diseases threaten the future of the planet! As a member of an elite disease-fighting team you must find the cure to four deadly diseases before it’s too late. Travel the world, contain infections and find the cure to save humanity.
In an emergency, every second matters. What happens now can have a big effect on what happens later. And that's what you'll be balancing in Pandemic: Rapid Response, the new game in the beloved Pandemic line from Z-Man Games. You can go pick up your copies now. Don't waste a second!
From the post:
The control center is abuzz. Urgent messages fire over the receiver as the plane speeds toward California.
“Los Angeles needs water,” says Raquel, the Supply Specialist. “Plus first aid and two crates of vaccines.”
“Let’s adjust course to L.A. for a drop,” commands Director Martina Rivera. “How long do we have, Antun?”
“ETA to L.A. is 27 minutes,” confirms the Flight Planner.
“Are they ready in the cargo bay?” Martina asks. There’s a pause on the line, and before anyone can respond, Ian’s voice cuts in.
“We’re gonna need some help in the recycling center. Waste is really starting to pile up.”
“I’ll send someone back,” Martina adds quickly. “Adjoua, count those crates. Let’s go, people. Time is of the essence!”
In Pandemic: Rapid Response, players must work together to bring life-saving aid to cities around the world, and fast—the timer is always counting down to another disaster! Take your turn as quickly as possible, rolling and assigning dice to maneuver the plane and deliver the right supplies to affected cities. Can you save humanity before time runs out?
Pandemic: Rapid Responseis a new real-time board game set in the Pandemic universe and is available now. In the U.S., find the game exclusively on shelves at a Target near you or online at Target.com. Outside the U.S., Pandemic: Rapid Response is available through standard board game retailers.
Pandemic is a beloved board game that has had numerous popular spin-offs as Z-Man Games likes to bring you new opportunities to explore the Pandemic world in new ways. Pandemic: Rapid Response will be the next in the family. But while previous Pandemic games let you calmly stop and think about what to do for your next move, that amount of time is rarely available during a disaster. As such, Pandemic: Rapid Response will be a real-time board game, where split-second decisions are what keep you from losing.
From the announcement:
Pandemic: Rapid Response is a race against time. Set in the beloved Pandemic universe, this real-time board game challenges players to create supplies and deliver aid to cities in need around the world. You must quickly coordinate and work together to react to new disasters. Will you and your team be able to respond in time?
In the US, Pandemic: Rapid Response will be available exclusively at Target. Outside the US, Pandemic: Rapid Response will be available through standard board game channels. In either case, make sure to pre-order your copy so you're ready to save humanity!
If you're so goth, where were you when we sacked Rome?
I know, I used that same joke when I made the announcement post for Pandemic: Fall of Rome, but it's one of my favorites and when can I use it with such specific context associated? Anyway, Fall of Rome is the upcoming spin-off of the exceedingly popular Pandemic game. But instead of diseases or trying to keep a country above water, you're trying to save one of the greatest civilizations Western culture has had. Can you keep it going?
From the post:
Earlier this month we announced the new title joining the Pandemic family: Fall of Rome. You can read the full announcement article here. Pandemic: Fall of Rome is the third title in the Survival series, following Iberia and Rising Tide. For those of you unfamiliar with Pandemic Survival, it's the world's first tournament format for a cooperative game that debuted back at Essen SPIEL 2015 and has been going strong ever since. Games in the Survival series celebrate the people, culture, and heritage of the host country where the World Championship is held.
This year the world championship is being held in Lucca, Italy, at the famous Lucca Comics & Games event in early November. For each Survival game, Matt Leacock partners with a native designer from the host country. This year, Matt Leacock joined forces with Paolo Mori to create a game inspired Italy's rich history. The Roman Empire spread across the globe for many years, but various factors challenged its survival: economic downturn, political struggle, and invading forces eventually led to its demise. In Fall of Rome you must protect the Empire from these invading forces.
As has been done with the previous titles in the Survival series, Pandemic: Fall of Rome alters several aspects of Pandemic's gameplay, adapting the tried-and-true mechanics to create a richly thematic experience. Today we’ll discuss the invading tribes and how they travel across the map.
If you're so goth, where were you when we ransacked Rome?
A rather silly question, to be sure (you were hanging out in the Collosseum, petting the lions), but it's one that you can live out in the new version of Pandemic that Z-Man Games has announced. Barbarian hordes are gathering outside the walls and the citizens of Rome are trapped. The garrisons are stretched thin. Will they be able to hold out or is the Fall of Rome inevitable? The new edition is available to order now.
From the announcement:
Citizens, soldiers, and allies of the Roman Empire unite in Pandemic: Fall of Rome! Raise armies, defend your cities, and forge alliances to ward off relentless barbarian incursions. Can you hold the line against the invading horde and prevent the fall of Rome? Pre-order Pandemic: Fall of Rome today from our website or your local retailer!
Pandemic: Fall of Rome follows the proud tradition of the award-winning Pandemic, transforming the signature cooperative crisis management gameplay from disease control to the defense of one of the greatest civilizations in history! Instead of diseases, players face off against the migration of aggressive barbarian tribes. They must defend their cities long enough to forge alliances with the invading hordes, and in doing so save the Empire from certain doom.
From the announcement:
With celebrating a decade of Pandemic , we wanted to create something really special. The custom box, new art, and quality components (which you can read more about here ) all create a one-of-a-kind game.
Because we’re so excited for this game, we wanted to do even more. So, for a limited time while supplies last, we are offering an exclusive set of special pre-painted Pandemic figures.
Everyone who pre-orders at least one copy of Pandemic 10th Anniversary from the Z-Man Games website will receive a single set of pre-painted figures for free with their order while supplies last (click here to pre-order ), or talk to your local retailer about how to pick-up your set of Pandemic 10th Anniversary pre-painted figures. Retailers should reach out to their distributors for more information about these figures.
From the announcement:
The road to the World Championships begins here. Many disease control teams will begin this journey but, in the end, only the best will survive. Z-Man Games is excited to announce that the 2018 season of Pandemic Survival is underway!
Throughout the season, teams of two will have the opportunity to test their Pandemic skills in a thrilling competition unlike any other. Join in and experience a completely new way to play Pandemic! Events are currently being scheduled at local game stores and gaming conventions across the globe and more will be added as the year rolls on.
This week we have: Villages of Velaria, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle - Box of Monsters Expansion, Axis & Allies: Anniversary Edition, Wizards Wanted, Braintopia, NMBR9, Ticket to Ride: Germany, Planetarium, Barbarians: The Invasion, Space Race, The Captain is Dead, and Heaven & Ale.
Learn to Play:
Villages of Velaria Review
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Setup, Player turn, player actions, end game conditions, and scoring. I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Board Game Quest:
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 Review
Note: This review will be a spoiler free look at Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. Everything discussed in detail can be found in the rulebook and the prologue.
Unlike the first season, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, starts off quite a bit different from a vanilla game of Pandemic. Instead of trying to prevent disease cubes from being added to cities, you are trying to add and keep supply cubes in each city. Season 2 offers a prologue that you can play through any number of times to get used to the slightly different setup.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle Review Box of Monsters Expansion
In order to keep things as spoiler free as possible, I’ll just give a general overview of what’s new the expansion, and limit photos to what’s in the first sealed box.
Much like the base game, the expansion comes with four boxes to open over the course of four games. To go along with the 4 characters from the core box, players can now use Luna Lovegood as their hero. She has a base power that heals someone the first time she draws extra cards. The expansion also includes a new power for each of the other heroes.
Axis & Allies: Anniversary Edition
Chances are you already know how to play Axis and Allies so I’m not going to bore you with a lengthy gameplay overview. For those of you that aren’t, I’ll give you the quick basics. You can also download a PDF of the rules here.
Axis & Allies is a war game set during World War II between the Axis powers of Germany, Russia and Japan against the Allies of Great Britain, Russia and the USA. The Axis and Allies Anniversary Edition comes with two ways to play. Either 1941 or 1942, depending on what period of the war you want to use. They each feature different setups and turn order, but other than that have the same core gameplay.
Wizards Wanted Review
Each player takes a wizard player board which grants the player one of four charms (in four separate colors). These charms give bonus money and fame to players as they complete spell jobs at village locations on the board. The player board also has a space for a player’s pixie dust which powers spells and extra movement.
Each turn, players choose how far they will move and whether or not they will take an action. Moving a higher number of spaces costs more pixie dust. In addition, a player can use multiple teleportation type spaces to zip around the map. This is important because budgeting pixie dust for movement vs completing spell jobs is an important calculation in the game.
Braintopia puts your mental synapses to the test. The goal is to recognize patterns, memorize images, solve puzzles or otherwise use your brain faster than the other players. One card at a time. It’s basically cerebral Slapjack.
The rules are simple. Flip over one card from the deck. Players try to deduce the card’s answer based on its category. If you think you’ve solved it, slap it with your hand and leave it covered. The one with the quickest reflexes gets to announce the solution. Correct answers win the card. Guess poorly, and you sit out the next round. Collect two cards to earn a brain token. Gather four brains to win the game.
NMBR 9 Review
NMBR 9 is all about stacking tiles as high as possible to maximize your points, and it’s not as easy as you might think. Here’s how it works.
From a single deck of cards holding 2 copies of each of the numbers 0 – 9, a card is flipped over. Everyone takes the tile represented on the card and adds it to their own personal stack of tiles, with just a few restrictions.
Ticket to Ride: Germany Review
The first thing to note is that Germany isn’t a map pack expansion. (Although perhaps it should have been. More on that down below.) It’s a full fledged game in its own right, meaning you don’t have to own any of the other versions of Ticket to Ride to play.
The basic rules are almost exactly the same as basic Ticket to Ride, though. You’re collecting sets of cards, trading them in for trains to claim routes, and scoring points based on how long those completed routes are. The only two notable exceptions are the passengers and the inclusion of two decks of destination tickets, divided into long and short routes.
Board to Death TV:
Matter swirls around a new born star, coalescing on the planetoids that orbit it. Planets evolve, grow and migrate in their orbits, forming a unique solar system by the end of every game. Planetarium is a game of creation, chaos and terraforming on the grandest scale.
Players are competing to crash combinations of elements onto planets that then allow them to play cards to evolve the planets in a variety of ways, with each player looking to evolve planets in the system to suit their own secret endgame goals.
Barbarians: The Invasion Review
In Barbarians: The Invasion, you control a barbarian clan and lead it on its path to glory. Place your champions on the 3D Volcano to gather resources, construct buildings, pray to gods, and lead your troops in fierce battles to conquer the most regions and become the greatest clan of all time.
Space Race Review
The world struggles in the Cold War, and many see the sky as the next battlefield. The era of Space Race has just begun. Do you have what it takes to lead a daring space agency into a new age of human achievement?
Space Race takes place during the first seven decades of the space conquest, and players become directors of newly established Space Agencies. Their goal is to expand them and to achieve astonishing breakthroughs. During the game, players will develop their Space Agencies by acquiring various cards (engineers, technologies, space programs) from a shared pool of cards called Universe.
The Captain is Dead Review
The Captain Is Dead is a co-op game for 2 to 7 players. All you have to do is get the ship’s engines (aka “Jump Core”) back online and you win, but because there is a hostile alien ship trying to destroy you, that is easier said than done.
You have an impressive star ship full of useful systems that will help you fend off the aliens, and get the Jump Core back online. Each system gives you an advantage while it remains online. The assault from the hostile alien ship tends to keep knocking those systems offline however. So you need to balance your time between keeping the ships system’s online, fending off the alien threat, and completing your objective.
Drive Thru Review:
Heaven & Ale Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:10); final thoughts and review (16:32)
But I'm currently taking a break (my hand's cramping from using a pin vice all morning) to bring you those reviews I know you all so desperately desire.
This week we have: Storm Hollow, The Mysterious Forest, Pandemic Legacy Season 2, Vengeance, Gloom of Kilforth, Spoils of War, Santorini, Kerala, Mini Rails, Armageddon, By Order of the Queen, NMBR 9, Coded: Card-Time Strategy, Legend of the Five Rings, Woo-Hoo!, AquaSphere, and Cities of Splendor.
Storm Hollow Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Storm Hollow the adventure Storyboard game. There is a ton of content in this system and I am impressed with its smooth mechanics, simple game play, and high level of quality components. It really is a fantastic gaming system for the family and I highly recommend this if you are a RPG'er or have considered getting into something like this with the family. All fairy-tails and stories from this realm are a reality in Storm Hollow. You will go on awesome magical adventures both fun to tell, as the game master, or experience as a player. The introduction is quick for the game master and players will be ready to play and start quickly. It also features a co-op board game experience as well - so if you simply want to set the adventure story mode aside and play a board game like experience, you can do that as well.
The Mysterious Forest Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at The Mysterious Forest from iello games. This is a great kids game which offers memory, group collaboration and tactical execution skill building. Its got a great theme, super high quality components and a low price point. Its a definite recommend from me for the kids and family gaming experiences.
Toucan Play That Game:
Pandemic Legacy Season 2 COMPLETELY SPOILER FREE Review
In this video you can find out my spoiler free thoughts on Pandemic Legacy Season 2 by Z-man Games.
Board to Death TV:
Step into the shoes of a hero that has been bashed and tortured by one or more of the four gangs in the game. You win by building up your hero, scouting gang dens to find the baddies who wronged you, then taking bloody revenge through action-packed fight sequences made up of dice based puzzles.
Gloom of Kilforth Review
The land of Kilforth is a perilous domain filled with nefarious monsters, mysterious Strangers and treacherous Locations, and dominated at its centre by The Sprawl, a huge city where intrepid Heroes begin their journey to fame and fortune. Throughout the land various factions vie for power over each other, such as the supposedly noble Order of the Rose or the terrifying Doom Guard. And presiding over the world outside Kilforth is the ever-present Overlord, Masklaw. Over the coming month, a deadly Gloom will descend upon Kilforth,which the Heroes must Battle through to prove their worth, defeat an Ancient evil, and save the land from darkness.
Gloom of Kilforth is a card game of high fantasy with a Gothic edge, playable in 1-3 hours, where 1-4 players, working individually or together, must take their humble adventurers on a journey through a dark world of magic and peril. They will visit strange places, stranger people and overcome powerful enemies in their mission to discover mysterious artefacts and mystical Spells. Players follow their Hero’s tale from modest beginnings through an epic story to an exciting climactic battle for the fate of the world. Gloom of Kilforth takes about 45 minutes per player to play.
Spoils of War Review
The raid is over, and the victorious Vikings gather in the chieftain’s tent to divide the spoils of war! Piled high on a massive oak table are the best treasures taken during the raid: gleaming gems, shiny swords, fine armor, and magical artifacts! Once strong allies, the Vikings are taken by greed, and soon a heated debate ensues — who will get which spoils? Fists pound the table, insults are made, and tempers rise!
Spoils of War is a fast-paced and exciting game of bidding and wagering for 3-5 players. Each round, players roll their dice, then cleverly bluff and bet to outwit their fellow Vikings. The winners of each round get to claim fantastic treasures to add to their collection! With lots of twists and surprises, no one knows who will win until the last treasure is claimed and the spoils are counted!
Santorini is a re-imagining of the purely abstract 2004 edition. Since its original inception over 30 years ago, Santorini has been continually developed, enhanced and refined by designer Gordon Hamilton.
Welcome to the elephant festival in the Indian province of Kerala! Colorfully decorated elephants roam everywhere, and naturally players want to participate and make the most magnificent fairground with as many elephants as possible.
In Kerala, each player wants to take at least one tile of each color, and all tiles of one color should be joined together, but of course the players are constantly getting in the way of one another and grabbing the tiles that someone else wants.
Mini Rails Review
Mini Rails distills the essence of the stock-buying and track-laying game genre into a tight experience that can be finished under an hour.
The game includes only two types of actions — “Buy Shares” and “Build Tracks” — and you must carefully decide how to best use them. You must do each action exactly once per round, and which company you choose affects the turn order on the next round.
In a post-apocalyptic world, players try to rebuild society. Using the debris, they build new towns for the remaining survivors to live in — but these friendly folks aren’t the only ones still out there. Marauders want to pillage your town and see it burn. Scavenge what you can and build new structures to help you defend against the marauder threat. While you can get more things done in town when you house more survivors there, they all have to have a space to sleep or they might turn against you and join the marauders.
Armageddon is a strategy game that offers many tactical choices and different strategies to claim victory.
By Order of the Queen Review
By Order of the Queen is a cooperative 2–4 player game with a fantasy role-playing game theme. Players take on the role of one of the Guilds of Tessandor, working together to dispatch Heroes to important quests, to combat monsters and to complete the Queen’s Orders themselves.
By Order of the Queen is designed to give players a full fantasy campaign in one 90-120 minute game, by giving players just the highlights of a role-playing adventure.
Players must work together to keep the kingdom from falling apart while trying to complete three Queen’s Orders to win the game.
Board Game Quest:
NMBR 9 Review
In NMBR 9, players are trying to earn the most points by stacking different numbers. The game comes with twenty cards numbered 0-9 (twice) and enough tiles for 4 players.
Each round, the top number card is drawn and each player collects the matching number from the tray, placing it on the table. After the first round, each newly placed number must touch a previously played number. Players can also build up to higher levels, as long as it is fully supported by at least two numbers below it.
Coded: Card-Time Strategy Review
In Codex: CTS, each player starts the game with a set of heroes (one to three), a starting deck, and a binder… err… Codex… of 24 cards per hero. Each turn, a player’s workers generate a certain amount of gold that can be spent to build up a player’s draw deck with the cards from their Codex.
The Legend of the Five Rings Card Game Review
Players construct a deck using cards from one of seven clans, splashing in cards from another clan and generic cards. Each player has four provinces that serve as the staging area for cards coming into play, and are the target for attack by their opponent. Cards on provinces can either be characters, attachments that enhance characters in play, or attachments that enhance the province they are on. Each player also has a stronghold province that provides players with fate tokens each turn and is more difficult to defeat.
Woo-Hoo has two modes of play to choose from to cater to the kids you are playing with, but both share a fairly similar structure. Players will take turns rolling a die and moving the appropriate numbers of steps up of the elephant slide. Once your pawn reaches the top, you can slide down into the sand box. Yelling Woo-Hoo at this point is optional, but encouraged.
Then in the easy version, you will choose one toy from the box and place it in front of you. If you play with the slightly advanced setup you will roll a different die to determine how many toys, between 1-3, that you will collect.
There are 20 toys, five each of four different colors. The game ends when all of the toys have been collected. If you are playing with the basic rules, you can choose the number of toys to include to shorten the game if you’d like. In the advanced game you can also win by collecting all 5 toys of the same color.
Aquasphere is a point-salad Euro game for two to four players. Players use their engineer and scientist to program and use robots aboard an underwater station. The player with the most knowledge points after four rounds wins.
Cities of Splendor Review
I was a latecomer to the Splendor love train. When it came out, I looked at it and thought, “That’s it?” Bear in mind, I was in a place in my life where I had time and energy for heavy games and something as light as Splendor was easily dismissed. But life changes. Not long after, everything did a 180 and I found myself with far less time and energy for gaming. I began seeking out lighter games which still possessed some depth, and that search led me back to Splendor.
I fell in love (or at least heavy like) with the base game, yet when I saw there was an expansion on the way, I thought, “Is it a good idea to mess with the simplicity of the original game? Isn’t the simplicity what made it great?” So with some trepidation, I took the plunge into expansion-land. So the question is, did Cities make things better or worse?
From the release:
Experience the tension and pulse pounding thrills of a new year of surprises, setbacks, and fleeting victories. Take part in an ever-evolving story filled with shocking twists and dramatic revelations. Play out your own story. When it’s all over, only one thing is certain: The world will never be the same again.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is now available. Your mission to save humanity begins today!
From the post:
The most striking feature of Legacy games is their permanence. Unlike many other tabletop games, the decisions you make in a Legacy game are felt in future games. New objectives are introduced, new components are added, and some are even destroyed. This permanence is the heart of the Legacy format and adds a thrilling new layer to your campaigns.
In Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, this permanence takes many forms. Cities slowly descend into chaos as panic spreads, diseases mutate, and new cards come into play. Over the course of your campaign, the characters you play can forge relationships, developing lasting friendships or getting locked in bitter rivalries. Far from being simple story beats, these elements tie back into the gameplay, becoming a part of the fabric of your world.
From the announcement:
Experience a new way to play cooperative classic Pandemic with a new season of the competitive team version of Pandemic, Pandemic Survival!
The 2018 season of Survival is full of scheduled opportunities for you to share your love of Pandemic at conventions, game festivals, or your local game store. Learn the ropes of Survival at casual discovery tournaments, or compete against some of the best teams in the world at competitive tournaments that culminate in the Pandemic Survival World Championships.
From the announcement:
As the next game in the Survival Series, Pandemic: Rising Tide continues the hallmarks of the series. Each game enjoys a strong resemblance to the original Pandemic while uniquely adapting them to a new locale. On the lakes and polders of the Netherlands, the threat is not from diseases but from the water itself. With land becoming more and more scarce and water levels rising by the day, a modern system is needed to stem the rising tide.
In Pandemic: Rising Tide, it is your goal to avert tragedy by constructing four modern hydraulic structures in strategic locations that will help you defend the country from being reclaimed by the ocean. Storms are brewing and the seas are restless. It will take all your guile to control the flow of water long enough to usher in the future of the Netherlands. It’s time to get to work.
Anyway, over on the TGN Facebook page, I've been regularly updating with galleries from the show. Here's what we had yesterday.
The Hall Opens
Fantasy Flight Games case from Day 1
Pandemic Legacy Season 2
Resident Evil 2 Board Game
This week we have: Nerdy Inventions, Incantris, Anachrony, Lucky Dogs, Wordsy, Deckscape: Test Time, A Dog's Life, Titan Tactics, Frantic, Have at Thee, Upon a Fable, Sopio, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Shadow War: Armageddon, Massive Darkness, Oh My Goods, Nimbee, Pandemic Legacy Season 1, and The Lost Expedition.
Board Game Quest:
Nerdy Inventions Review
The goal as mentioned above is to gain the most VPs and to do that, you need to build and collect different kinds of inventions.
On a player’s turn, they will roll 3 dice and have 4 different types of actions to use
Incantris provides a decent variety of game setup options, including a straightforward arena battle, capture-the-flag, sap the crystals (similar to CTF but resource depletion), and shifting arena (moveable terrain). With the addition of the extra miniatures from the Kickstarter, it also allows for multiple wizard types for each player color and cards to fully customize the spells for each wizard.
While the story is somewhat convoluted, the mechanisms in Anachrony rely heavily on the idea that most of the area cannot be accessed without Exosuits, and resources can be sent through time. Most of the worker placement spots in Anachrony are on the main board and can only be activated by a worker in an Exosuit. Each player has 6 Exosuits at their disposal and chooses each round how many to power up, but powering more suits will require more resources.
Lucky Dogs Review
On your turn, you will roll six dice (or all you have if you have fewer). Then set aside any dice that match other dice you rolled, these dice are not eligible to be placed on the dog bone tiles this turn.
You then take your remaining dice and see if you can place them on any of the matching number on a dog bone tile. If you are unable to play any of your dice on a tile, either because of rolling all multiples or there are no matches on the tiles, place one die on the doghouse tile.
Wordsy is played over a series of eight rounds in which players will write down the highest scoring word that they can come up with. Once a player is the first to have written down a word, they flip the sand timer and all other players will have 30 seconds in which to write down their words after which, scores will be tabulated for all the words written.
Deckscape: Test Time Review
Deckscape: Test Time is a cooperative card-based tabletop escape room for one to six players. Players are students of Dr. Thyme who must solve puzzles as part of his test. If they can escape the laboratory in an hour, they win.
A Dog's Life Preview
A Dog’s Life is built around an action point allowance system. You’re using actions to move around the board, feed yourself, mark your territory, challenge other dogs, and find and bury the ultimate treasure: Bones. The goal of the game is to be the first player to find three bones and bury them in your den.
Players randomly choose a dog to begin the game. Each dog has its own den, represented by a space on the board. This is where you begin the game and where you’ll return to bury your bones. (You’re also given a den card to remind you which den is yours.) Each dog has a set number of action points to spend each turn. The faster dog breeds get more points, while slower dogs get fewer. That’s okay. The slower dogs have other ways to stay competitive with the speed demons. More on that in a minute.
Titan Tactics, Frantic, Have at Thee, Upon a Fable, Sopio Reviews
Over the years we have been sent a number of review copies of games that have slipped through the net. It’s an embarrassment, it's unprofessional, its ramshackle, but there is a reason these games have remained unreviewed, they have struggled to even get to the table. Some of them are boring, some are uninspiring and some are just plain bad but it's our duty as honest reviewers to tell you why we just don’t like this set of games.
Betrayal at House on the Hill Review
There’s a rumour circulating the industry about us reviewers, about how some don’t post negative reviews. I won’t get into that here as it’s up to the individual reviewers to create content as they choose. We at Polyhedron Collider, however, are certainly not above or below putting the boot in, especially me (Andy), as we firmly believe an honest opinion is far more useful to you, our vast and knowledgeable readership, so you can make a more informed judgement as to where you spend your hard-earned pennies (or not as the case may be).
I make this statement as the subject of this review, Betrayal at House on the Hill, isn’t exactly high on the list of “must buys” here at Collider Towers. Both myself and Steve have played this indelible stain on the gaming world many times (heck, I even owned it before I knew better and sold it) and suffice to say, we’re hardly enamoured by it. Well, let’s not beat about the bush. Personally, I’d rather attend a three-day accountancy seminar on the benefits of triplicated documentation than endure another game of that decisionless dross. Which is not a statement I say lightly given Steve is a bit of a dice-fiend, but even he will concede that House on the Hill is…lacking in any real thought. Although we both agree that Jon will probably like it.
Drive Thru Review:
Shadow War: Armageddon Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (02:43); final thoughts and review (32:04)
Toucan Play That Game:
Massive Darkness Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Massive Darkness by CMON.
Oh My Goods Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Oh My Goods by Mayfair Games.
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Nimbee by A-muse-ment Games.
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 Spoiler-Free Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Pandemic Legacy Season 1 by Z-Man Games.
The Lost Expedition Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at a new one from Osprey Games - The Lost Expedition. This is a very satisfying game, when you get the win! This one really is a fun and challenging platform. It offers collaboration, tactical decisions and an epic satisfying win if you can get it (this game is tough to win).
From the announcement:
The world is on the brink of total collapse. Already devastated by a terrible plague, much of the globe has gone dark. Small groups of survivors struggle to keep the world alive, but their efforts are no longer enough. The world needs leaders to rise up and find the way back from the brink of extinction. That task has fallen to you. You must find a way or nobody will. You are humanity’s last chance.
Z-Man Games is excited to announce the upcoming release of Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, the standalone follow-up to the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.
Today we have: Carcosa, Pandemic, 12 Realms, 12 Realms: Ghost Town, Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China, Imperial Settlers: Aztecs Expansion, Space Invaders: Dice, Coal Baron: The Great Card Game, Saga of the Northmen, Wettlauf nach El Dorado, Get Rich Quick, Critters Below, and Honshu.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this paid video you can find out about Carcosa by One Free Elephant.
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Pandemic by Z-Man Games
12 Realms Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on 12 Realms by Mage Company.
12 Realms: Ghost Town Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on 12 Realms: Ghost Town by Mage Company.
Learn to Play:
Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Card breakdown, player and board setup, player turn, final showdown, and scoring.
I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, but I would also like to hear what you have to say drop me a comment below on what you thought of the game.
Board Game Quest:
Imperial Settlers: Aztecs Expansion Review
Imperial Settlers: Aztecs comes with a 60 card faction deck for this new group. Not only are the standard Production/Feature/Action cards here, but Aztecs also incorporates concepts from the previous 3 expansions. Notably, the sets from 3 is the Magic Number, the Open Production locations from Why Can’t We Be Friends, and the Gear resources from The Atlanteans. So full backward compatibility here.
Space Invaders: Dice Review
Space Invaders: Dice offers a number of different modes. You can play solo or multiplayer. There are also variant multiplayer rules which add a drafting element. Regardless, the gameplay is similar, you roll dice and destroy aliens of the matching colors on your sheet.
However, just like Space Invaders, you have to shoot from the bottom up, so it’s important to get the right colors at the right time. You take damage for any dice you can’t use and try to score points by destroying the most aliens.
Coal Baron: The Great Card Game Review
In Coal Baron: The Great Card Game (yes Great is in the title), players act as managers of coal mining firms in mid 19th century England. Using cards-as-workers, players will take actions related to mining coal, building transport, and delivering coal to fulfill orders. Each order has a particular destination and players can also gain bonus points for those destinations or aim for more general objectives for more points. Hopefully it’s obvious that most points at the end of the game wins.
Saga of the Northmen Review
In true Viking fashion, the goal in Saga of the Northmen is to vie for control of Norse kingdoms throughout Dark Ages Europe (and a little bit of Africa and Asia) and then launch raids from your holdings to capture plunder and establish trade routes.
This saga is an unadulterated area majority design resolved through two phases. In the first, players contest influence in the seven major Viking kingdoms through back-and-forth card play. Afterwards, you’ll use any realms you control as bases to march and sail your armies into vulnerable neutral territories. Along the way you’ll earn infamy, or cash it in as a sort of Machiavellian currency. After three rounds the Viking Era ends. But will your story endure?
Wettlauf nach El Dorado Review
Wettlauf nach El Dorado is a deck-building racing game for two to four players. Players are explorers trying to be the first to reach the lost city of El Dorado. The first player to reach El Dorado wins.
Get Rich Quick Review
Fortune is the name of the game, or rather, Fortune Points. Accrue 25 of them to win the game!
Each player has a hand of 7 cards, the same 7 cards that every other player has. From these cards, each player simultaneously and secretly chooses 3. When everyone is ready, the chosen cards are flipped up and resolved in order from 1 to 7
Critters Below Kickstarter Review
You’re in a room. It is dark. You’ve been eaten by a Grue.
Ok, not that last bit, but two out of three isn’t bad. For those of you who may wear tinfoil hats and are obsessed with the impending dawn of war, then you may quite enjoy the subject of my latest peek-a-boo as it’s set in a bunker during a war. Whoever chose to build this bunker clearly hadn’t heard of basic requirements like medicine or lighting. Perhaps they were cut from the budget during construction.
It’s hardly surprising that amenities such as a light bulb were missed as the inhabitants of this Stone-Age bunker are a bunch of woodland animals, the Critters, trying to survive a particularly hefty war involving a lot of bombing of a rather unspecific nature. The world is warring whilst our protagonists must wait it out in their concrete cocoon below ground. And thus we arrive at the name of the game in question: Critters Below from Antler Games
Drive Thru Review:
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:01); final thoughts and review (07:35)