Most of us can't get out to the game shops right now. We're at home and are simply staying put. But that doesn't mean you can't get a new game on your table. Asmodee has posted up a handful of games that you can download and print and play right now, including multiple languages. Head on over and get them now. Oh, and they're free!
From the announcement:
Asmodee, a leading global games publisher and distributor, has released a set of free downloadable board games as part of its new “Print & Play” initiative. Anyone can print out and play with members of their family within the safety of their home. The current list of six titles include Asmodee’s acclaimed range of family-friendly board games, from the colorful matching card game, Dobble (also known as Spot It! in North America), to the escape room-themed riddle game, Unlock!. Additional “Print & Play” content is also planned and will be available as free downloads in the future.
The six free Asmodee board games offer a variety of competitive and cooperative experiences, encouraging friends and family members, young and old, to take part in imaginative, strategic and brain-teasing games; staying socially engaged whilst remaining safe indoors. Modeled after popular Asmodee board games, these printable special editions retain the fundamental gameplay and charming artwork that have made them among the most popular board games around the world. Slight modifications have been made to some board games to simplify the at-home printing and playing process.
“In these difficult times due to the Covid-19 worldwide crisis, we at Asmodee are happy to offer families a way to play together from the comfort and safety of their home” said Stephane Carville, CEO of Asmodee. “We hope that these free ‘Print & Play’ games can offer some measure of relief, adventure and fun for everyone while staying safe at home.”
All content will be available for free and in multiple languages from the following website - http://print-and-play.asmodee.fun/
The full list of special edition Print & Play board games features:
- Dobble / Spot It! - A game that encourages speed, concentration and observation. Dobble challenges players to find matching symbols on a set of cards, and the first player to find and name the symbol wins the card. Appropriate for players age 6 and up.
- Dixit - A lovingly illustrated game of creative guesswork, where the players’ imaginations unlock the story. In this award-winning board game, players will use the beautiful imagery on their cards to bluff their opponents and guess which image matches the story. To succeed, players have to get their friends to decide that their card tells the story. Appropriate for players age 8 and up.
- Unlock! - A cooperative card game inspired by escape rooms that uses a simple system to let players search scenes, combine objects, and solve riddles. Play Unlock! to embark on great adventures while seated at a table, using only cards and a companion app that can provide clues, check codes and monitor the remaining time.
- Timeline Classic - A game that combines intuition and historical knowledge, Timeline Classic sees players correctly place cards on a timeline to win the game. The board game features major events, innovative inventions and discoveries from around the world. Appropriate for players 8 years and up.
- Cortex Challenge / Braintopia - A true test of players’ thinking, memory and speed skills, players use all of their brain power to compete in 8 different challenges, from duplicates, touch tests, logical series, mazes, color puzzles and more. Appropriate for players 8 years and older.
- Combo Color - Combo Color is a strategic family game that lets players explore and expand their territory by coloring the boxes on the board in turn, while also collecting and combining items to win the most points. When the whole board is colored in, it’s time for players to count their points! Appropriate for players 8 years and older.
From the announcement:
The next wave of your favorite Unlock! adventures will soon be here with three new exciting escape experiences ready to be challenged. Professor Noside returns for revenge in A Noside Story, you'll attempt to keep train robbers away from your precious cargo in Tombstone Express, and you can help Dorothy and her friends escape the Wicked Witch of the West in The Adventures of Oz. Three brand new adventures means three new epic challenges to take on in Unlock! Secret Adventures, coming soon from Space Cowboys!
Like the six previous Unlock! adventures, each of these new Secret Adventures captures the exciting and challenging puzzles of an escape room and brings it to the tabletop with just a deck of cards and the companion app. While the companion app counts down the time and provides hints along the way, you and a group of your (hopefully) most clever friends have to use deductive logic and reasoning to discover the solutions to escape! Containing the perfect blend of immersive theme, intricate and fluid puzzles, and just one hour to figure out the solution, Unlock! is an action packed thrill ride experience contained in a single box.
You’ve explored the House on the Hill, escaped the Nautilus, and found the treasure of Tonipal Island in Unlock! Mystery Adventures. But now, three brand new adventures wait for you to test your skills against.
So, this week we've got: Near and Far, Queendomino, The Oregon Trail: Hunt for Food, Dog Might Games Traveler Dice Tower, Campy Creatures, Camel Up, A Game of Thrones Card Game, Colt Express, Truth Bombs, Ex Libris, Star Trek: 5-Year Mission, Slide Blast, Happy Salmon, DownForce, Smash Up iOS, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time, Ink Monsters, The Quest for El Dorado, Reef Route, Crabs, Werewords, Fog of Love, Museum Heist, Crosstalk, Potato Pirates, Tulip bubble, The Chameleon, Ulm, Asset Drop Subscription Box, Tortuga 1667, Dwar7s Fall, The Expanse, Tokyo Highway, and Ulock!
Toucan Play That Game:
Near and Far Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Near and Far by Red Raven Games.
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Queendomino by Blue Orange Games.
The Oregon Trail: Hunt for Food review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at The Oregon Trail Hunt for Food the card game. This is an expansion based off The Oregon Trail card game released last year and overly popular Target store purchase. Both of these are exclusive to Target and I do recommend picking them up (if you can find them). Each game has a different feel and that is what I like best about this expansion. It offers another type of experience that can be enjoyed as a stand alone or add-in to the original.
Dog Might Games Traveler Dice Tower Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at the new DOG MIGHT Traveler Dice Tower. This thing is pretty cool and hold up to 20 dice while allowing for 7 dive to be rolled all at once. It offers a back carving in the wood and a lazer engraved image in the front. You can choose from up to 20 different different woods/finishes and its on kickstarter doing very well right now! It has super small form factor for a dice tower and is a great add on to the Component Collector if you already have that.
Learn to Play:
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Setup, the different phases of the game and how they work, player turns, and final scoring. I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Campy Creatures Review
Campy Creatures is a love letter to the 1950’s monster movies played out as a deduction card game. You’ll be playing as a mad scientist on his devilish mission to collect mere mortals for your zany experiments. Of course, you’re not going to put yourself in danger, so you'll instead send one of nine different monsters to capture innocent engineers, teenagers and archaeologists.
Camel Up Review
Camel Up is a fun, fast paced racing game for the whole family. It has won numerous awards since it’s release in 2014; blending simple to understand gameplay with the perfect mix of strategy and luck, all rolled into the unique theme of camel racing.
Players control a set of camels racing around a track in the desert with coloured dice, betting on the camels as they go. Each camel has its own dice of the same colour that controls how many spaces forward it moves each time it is rolled. There are rewards for predicting the winner of each leg and the overall winner and loser of the entire race, with the person who has collected the most prize money at the end of the race becoming the winner.
A Game of Thrones Board Game Review
A Game of Thrones is an advanced strategy game for 3-6 players designed by Christian T Peterson, the creator of the legendary Twilight Imperium and founder of Fantasy Flight Games.
The game is set on the island of Westeros, where each player takes on the role of one of the six Great Houses who inhabit the island at the start of the story. Over the course of ten game rounds, each player will attempt to gain control of the most castles and strongholds to cement their claim as holder of The Iron Throne, and subsequently ruler of Westeros.
Colt Express Review
Hold on to yer’ hats and climb aboard the Colt Express for a rootin’ tootin’ robbery ride and the chance to bag some serious loot. Colt Express is a turn-based family board game that puts you in the shoes of a Wild West Bandit looking to rob a train. Using cards from your hand, you take it in turns perform actions that will help you pilfer the most loot before your rival bandits get there first.
The game is designed for 2-6 players and features not only one of the best “boards” I have played on but also some of the most genuinely fun moments in my board-gaming career. The game table is comprised of a locomotive at the front of the train and then train carriages equal to the number of the players in the game, plus one.
Truth Bombs Review
A great party game for me involves learning some embarrassing truths about my friends and being able to taunt them for it, in a friendly well-meaning way of course. I got my hands on Big Potato games’ new party game ‘Truth Bombs’ and assembled the Playopolis team for a few games this week.
Ex Libris Review
Ex Libris is a game about being a librarian, which at first may seem a bit monotonous, but given your library is set in a fictional town, where gnomes, goblins and mummies reside it is anything but dull. Add in one of the most anal library inspectors you will ever meet and hundreds of different books, and you have something a bit special.
As a self-confessed bookaholic I was excited to get my hands on a copy of Ex Libris to play and review. Published by Renegade Game Studios and designed by Adam P. McIver, Ex Libris was first debuted at the 2017 GenCon and generated a great deal of hype.
Star Trek: 5-Year Mission Review
Games that are attached to a well know Intellectual Properties can be a bit hit and miss. What you tend to find is that many of these games rely heavily on the IP to drive sales (I’m looking at you, every TV/film version of monopoly) because the core gameplay isn’t all that great or different. Occasionally though, a games mechanics and its theme go together like bread and butter, with each element complimenting the other and providing a greater experience for players as a result. Is Star Trek: 5-Year Mission a shameless money grab or can it boldly go where no man has gone before?
Board Game Quest:
Slide Blast, Happy Salmon, & DownForce Review
After a little bit of time off, we are back with another edition of Parental Guidance. If you haven’t read any of our past articles, the goal of this series is to help you find games to play with your family and friends outside of the usual gateway games (which you are already probably sick of). Once again we are going to take a look at three board games I chose to play with my parents during our latest gaming session. For these reviews, I’ll provide a quick summary of the game, followed by why I thought it would be a good choice for my non-gamer parents. My mother will then comment on what she thought of the game.
Near and Far Review
On one side of the coin, Near and Far is a game about equipping an adventuring party by visiting various buildings in town. On the other side, players make choices about which locations outside of town to visit and, possibly, have adventures requiring heroic choices. The results of these and the placement of camps deliver journey points, the victory currency of the game.
Smash Up iOS Review
The gameplay contained in Smash Up relies on a multitude of half-decks of cards, each with a theme (pirates, aliens, zombies, wizards, etc…).Each player makes a deck of cards from two different themes. The goal is for a player to take control of bases, which are worth a varying number of points, and the player with the most strength at the base when the threshold is reached, wins it. On a turn, a player can play 1 minion card to a base and 1 action card. Usually, players are trying to play cards with abilities to give them higher strength, play more minions, or disrupt other players. Once a player manages to get 15 points from winning bases, the game is over and highest points wins.
Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time Review
The goal in Professor Evil is to rescue 4 treasures before the Professor can lock enough away. Each player will get to control a unique character, each of which specializes in a specific area of the game (movement, locks, etc…). Once the board is seeded with switches and treasures, you are ready to begin.
Ink Monsters Review
Ink Monsters is played over a series of rounds. Each round, a 12-card circular layout of monster cards is placed on the table with the pen card above one of the monsters. Every player also has a hand of 3 action cards.
Every turn, players may play an action card to manipulate the movement of the pen card and draw a replacement. Then, they MUST take the card located under the pen. Once they do this, the pen moves to the next monster.
The Quest for El Dorado Review
One of the most common ways people sum up a game (and indeed the same way Board Game Quest does it) is to mention the primary mechanisms in a game. For example, a press-your-luck, dice rolling game might immediately conjure visions of Yahtzee and other derivative games. Unfortunately, this can also have the effect of turning noses in the air when a particular mechanism is mentioned.
This deserves mentioning because the game reviewed here has two of the mechanisms some gamers love to hate. The Quest for El Dorado is a deck building race game set in the wilds of a South American jungle. Two to four players will be acquiring cards representing useful resources or personalities and use them to navigate the various terrain types.
Reef Route Review
There are some games that kids somehow become familiar with by the time they are about three years old. Tag, and all of its varieties, is one of those. At my son’s preschool they play a somewhat modified game of tag called Sharks & Minnows, which is basically tag where you try to be the last minnow standing.
Reef Route might as well be Sharks & Minnows: The Board Game. It plays 2-4 players, aged 5 and up, in about 15 minutes.
Crabs is a hand management card game for three to five players. Players are catching, raising, and binding crabs to fulfill contracts and get valuable crabs. The player with the most points after the points threshold is met wins.
Werewords is a social deduction guessing game for four to ten players. Players are members of a village on either the villager team or the werewolf team, trying to either guess the magic word or prevent it from being guessed, respectively. The team that reaches their goal without being discovered by the other team is the winner.
To begin, mix together the mayor card, a werewolf card, and the seer card, plus villager cards to equal the number of players +1, then deal one card to each player, placing one card face-down in the center of the table. The player who receives the mayor card receives the Yes/No, Maybe, So Close, and Correct tokens, takes the face-down role from the center of the table, and starts the app.
Fog of Love Review
Fog of Love is a card-based “storytelling” game that attempts to replicate the experience of falling in (and sometimes out of) love with a partner. There are the usual butterflies of excitement at first, followed by the drama later. (Dealing with the in-laws, anyone?) I’m not going to try to explain every rule and phase of the game. It’s best understood as more of a story. The mechanics support the story, but it’s easier to wrap your head around it if you see what the game is trying to achieve.
Your goal is to satisfy your character’s destiny. You begin the game with the same number and type of destinies in hand as your partner. During the game you will gradually secretly discard destinies until you have only one left. This will be the one you must achieve at the finale in order to win. (More on that in a minute.)
Museum Heist Review
The goal of Museum Heist is to claim 3 artifacts. Each round, a group of 7 thieves pursues 1 piece of artwork, but only one player will be able to claim it.
At the start of a round, each player secretly chooses one of the 7 thieves, placing a corresponding card facedown in front of them. No one knows who you chose, and you don’t know who others chose, and it’s entirely possible two or more players chose the same thief.
Board to Death TV:
CrossTalk is the party game of subtle conversation in which two teams race to guess secret keywords. Each round, teams select a clue-giver, and those clue-givers are given knowledge of the same secret keyword. The goal of the clue-givers is to help their teammates guess this keyword before the other team.
Potato Pirates Review
Roast, mash, or fry your opponents and send them down to Davy Jones’ locker — but before you can reign terror on the high seas, you have to first master the art of potato war. Use programming concepts such as functions, loops, and conditionals to fortify your attacks. If that’s not enough, you could just loot and hijack your way to victory by saving Potato King from the deadlock of doom.
When in need, summon the Kraken to your aid and deny everything…
Tulip Bubble Review
In 1637, the tulip craze fuelled one of the first speculative investment bubbles. Coveted tulip varieties led to skyrocketing prices with tulip bulbs costing more than houses in Amsterdam. Then just as suddenly as it started, the bubble burst when investors could no longer afford even the cheapest bulbs, leaving economic turmoil.
In Tulip Bubble, players buy and sell on a fluctuating market, trying to earn the most guilders. The game flow includes a preparation phase, buying phase, and selling phase, with these phases recurring until the bubble collapses or someone manages to outwit the markets by purchasing a black tulip for 120 guilders before that collapse occurs.
The Chameleon Review
A bluffing deduction game for everyone.
Each round involves two missions, depending on whether you’re the Chameleon or not.
Mission 1: You are the Chameleon. No one knows your identity except you. Your mission is the blend in, not get caught and to work out the Secret Word.
Mission 2: You are not the Chameleon. Try to work out who the Chameleon is without giving away the Secret Word.
Ulm is at its heyday. The construction of the Ulm cathedral has not yet been completed, but the city is already wealthy and prestigious. In Ulm, players try to expand their spheres of influence and to make optimal use of the hustle and bustle on the marketplace around the cathedral.
Meeples & Miniatures:
Asset Drop Subscription Box Review
I recently ran a news item about a brand new subscription box service – Asset Drop. Andy from Asset Drop very kindly offered me the November box to review – here are my thoughts…
Tortuga 1667 Review
I must admit, I did rather enjoy The Curse of the Black Pearl – Captain Jack running around the Caribbean drunk and sunburned was an entertaining film that refreshed the way we looked at pirates. Even if it was responsible for a million poor attempts at dreadlocks from Hallowe’en partygoers from then on.
I say refreshed – we’ve always loved pirates and it seems that Façade Games agrees as their most recent game, Tortuga 1667, is centred around the loveable, survy-ridden rogues as they plunder a galleon for more booty than a Beyonce music video.
The initial reaction to Tortuga 1667 is that it is gorgeous. Even down to the fake book that it’s stored in and the roll out map you play on. It’s such a lovely looking game that you can’t help but like it right from the off.
Dwar7s Fall Review
I think I must secretly be a Dwarf. At 175 cm tall, it’s hard to justify that statement, but I have a beard, I don’t mind being underground, I like large stone structures, I enjoy drinking ale and I listen to loud music. So, I’m going with it. This kinship I’ve just made up is going to be used to thinly explain why I find Dwarfs’ Fall from Vesuvius Media so appealing, at least the idea of it anyway.
Actually, there’s a few reasons why I backed Dwarfs’ Fall on Kickstarter and it wasn’t entirely based on my affinity for rock. The artwork is very whimsical and I love its cartoon style. It’s cute and serious at the same time. There is the other hefty reason that it is in fact a worker placement, so of course I gave it a looksee being the Euro-lover here are Collider Towers.
Drive Thru Review:
The Expanse Board Game Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:43); final thoughts and review (15:34)
Tokyo Highway Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:26); final thoughts and review (07:20)
Intro (00:00); game overview (02:03); final thoughts and review (09:42)
From the announcement:
The ordinary hum and buzzing of the submarine’s systems surround you—just another easy job near Lincoln Island, you think, it’ll be over in no time! You begin to drift away into your own thoughts, when suddenly the alert sirens go off. Panic sets in as the normally steady vibrations of the ship become abruptly jostled. Something struck the ship. The adrenaline kicks in as you dash away from the impact site down into one of the submarine’s tunnels. Within seconds another loud crash can be heard—and a monstrous tentacle comes into view through a nearby porthole. Without thinking, you throw on the closest diving equipment within reach and plunge into the depths unknown away from the doomed sub, only to immediately notice that your oxygen supply seems to be dangerously low. Will you evade the monster and reach the surface in time? Time (and oxygen!) is of the essence!
ALL NEW ADVENTURES AWAIT
Three brand-new Unlock! Mystery Adventures—The Nautilus’ Traps, The House on the Hill, andThe Tonipal’s Treasure—are now available at your local United States retailer. These Mystery Adventures utilize the same exciting app-integrated escape the room playstyle as the original Unlock! Escape Adventures, while adding even more immersive narrative storytelling to the game. Whether you’re trying to escape the dreaded nautilus, discovering the secret to the haunted mansion, or racing other treasure hunters for the loot, these three brand new Unlock! Mystery Adventures will keep teams of 1-6 players on the edge of their seats for an immersive escape the room gaming session, playable anywhere!
I've... got nothing, really. I'm about to head over to a friend's place to game. So let's just dive into the reviews, shall we? We shall.
This week, we have: Wordstacker, Wordsy, Dragoon, Founders of Gloomhaven, Quest for the Antidote, Tokaido, Marvel Legendary: Noir, Quiver, Thunderbirds, Beasts of Balance, Stop Thief!, Zoo Ball, Automobiles: Racing Season, Between Two Cities: Capitals, Far Space Foundry, Good Cop Bad Cop, Unlock!, The Cohort, Star Scrapper: Cave In, Century: Spice Road, This War of Mine, Barenpark, Heldentaufe, Kingdomino, Pathfinder Adventures app, and Space Invaders Dice.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Wordstacker by Ingenium Games.
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Wordsy by Formal Ferret Games.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Dragoon from Lay Waste Games. We also get a look at the new rogue and barbarian expansions made available through kickstarter!
What a great and fantastic looking game - unbelievable! Available in both Gold and plastic editions! So go for the gold and get 50 gold before anyone else for the win in this awesome tactical game.
Founders of Gloomhaven Preview
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Founders of Gloomhaven, the brand new game from Isaac Childres and I can't wait for people to get their hands on this one. It's a euro at heart but fuels the lore of Gloomhaven as you are founding the original city before what you experience in the campaign of Gloomhaven.
You get a lot here in this game! Worker placement, card management, resource management, strategy, great artwork, and fantastic mechanics! the kickstarter is going on right now! If you are a Gloomhaven fan - you are going to want this title in the Gloomhaven universe! (at least I think so - the theme is rich and lore is definitely there - this is a different game though - so please make note of that.)
Quest for the Antidote Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Quest For The Antidote, a new one from Upper Deck and a very fun family game indeed! In Quest For The Antidote you are questing around a very fun filled map to acuqire the components you need for your antidote. you only have 50 breaths to make it happen, so make every move and action count!
Play Board Games:
Tokaido is a game in which you gain VP for the experiences you take in on a journey. But you can only do so much and compete with your opponents for the same experiences.
Marvel Legendary: Noir Expansion Review
Marvel Noir is the latest expansion for Marvel Legendary the Deckbuilding Game. It features heroes and villains from the Noir Universe and mixes up gameplay a bit.
The Quiver is a card-carrying case you can use to make your card games or small board games portable. You can even use it for carrying other things you want to keep organized and protected.
Thunderbirds the board game was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the TV show. It is a cooperative game where players must rescue victims, stop disasters and thwart the Hood.
Beasts of Balance Review
Beasts of Balance is a cooperative stacking game that uses an app and encourages you to try creating new combinations of animals.
Drive Thru Review:
Stop Thief! Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:17); final thoughts and review (07:30)
Zoo Ball Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:55); final thoughts and review (04:16)
Automobiles: Racing Season Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:12); final thoughts and review (07:03)
Board Game Quest:
Between Two Cities: Capitals Expansion Review
The Capitals expansion adds 3 new elements that, according to Stonemaier Games, are designed to all work together, so you should either play with all of them or none. That being said, you could probably mix and match if you wanted to. In addition to the three game play changes, the expansion also comes with some new city tokens.
Far Space Foundry Review
The specific functional aspects of Far Space Foundry would take a bit too long to explain in this article. In brief, players are space merchants mining asteroids for two different types of ore. Mining occurs in the first half of the game and a rondel/mancala mechanism delivers that ore to a player’s freighters.
In the second half of the game, the ore is used to produce goods which can then be “charged”. Points are scored for maximizing the utility of a player’s ships and the number and kinds of products produced. Points are also deducted for empty space on ships or not upgrading ships.
Good Cop Bad Cop Review
Players are assigned the team of either being honest or crooked cops by being dealt three secret role cards to each player, with the majority of role cards in hand determining which team a player is on. Two players are also secretly assigned the role of the leader of each of the teams. The goal of the game is for the players to determine who the leader of the rival team is and eliminate them from the game.
Each game of Unlock! comes with a deck of cards and a smaller “tutorial deck”. The teaching deck is identical in all versions of the game.
Players begin the game with a single card deputizing the room they are in and a deck of cards (we sorted our deck by number before the game to make it easier to find cards). During the game, players will need to solve puzzles to gain access to new cards, leading them further down the rabbit hole.
The Cohort Review
The starting player and every player following has three phases to their turn. They first take two cards from the shuffled deck, look at both of them, and give one to a player of their choice and keep the other.
The second phase is optional and allows players to take a card from their hand and place it face-up on the table to start or add to a Cohort. Once a player has played the required number of unit cards to complete the Cohort, the set is placed face down and the player no longer suffers the effect of that unit type. They also choose a player to discard all the cards from their hand. In the last phase, the player discards down to the maximum hand size of 4 if necessary.
Star Scrapper: Cave In Review
I have come to the realisation that the hallmark of a great game is one when you look at your options, mull over your choices and then let out a cry of exasperation. It is that moment when you realise that to pull off that game winning moving you really should have started your plan in motion three turns ago, or that you are simply one action or one resource short of pulling off a complete blinder.
I say this because my time with Star Scrapper: Cave In has been embarrassingly short, to the point where I feel slightly dishonest in using the word review in the title, (not too I guilty mind you as an article titled first impressions never gets the traction it deserves) but I will say within my brief time with Star Scrapper Cave In there have been multiple cries of anguish, so surely it is a truly great game.
Century: Spice Road Review
I’ll just come out and say it. Century Spice Road from Plan B Games is a surprise for me. And a very pleasant one at that. Steve talked about it in one of our recent podcasts and he liked it. So much so that before he’d finished banging on about it, I’d one-clicked it during the recording and waited to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out that our resident Welshman may have had a point.
This War of Mine Review
Anyone alive in the 90s who owned an Amiga will almost certainly have remembered the Sensible Software game “Cannon Fodder”. If you don’t remember the game, look it up. I’ll wait.
I mention Cannon Fodder because it came with the tagline: “War has never been so much fun”. And it was right – Cannon Fodder was awesome and still stands as one of my favourite games of all time. Making those little men dance across the screen as you shot their twitching corpses was highly entertaining, if a little morbid.
Cannon Fodder, however, is a complete polar opposite to the subject of this review – with the tagline “In war, not everyone is a soldier”. Also beginning life as a video game, This War of Mine is a rather brutal and harrowing depiction of the early 90’s Siege of Sarajevo from the point of view of a group of civilians trying to eke out an existence in a city that’s seen more shells than Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It’s fair to say that absolutely nothing depicted in This War of Mine could be described as “fun”.
The correct term to describe Bärenpark is a polyominoes positioning game (or Tetris shapes as I prefer to call them). Each turn you will attempt to place one of the odd shaped pieces, made of either public amenities or one of the various bear enclosures, into your park. The name of the game is efficiency, as you race to fill your park as quickly as possible but also maximise its scoring.
Board to Death TV:
The day that you have been waiting for has come. At last, you can prove that you are worthy of being a member of the Hero‘s council. Show them your skills by collecting the golden monster teeth. But be aware – the lands of Taora are not as peaceful as they seem. Rumor has it, that in the dark and gloomy Netherworld, some friends become enemies…
Now get up and hurry! The Heldentaufe already started. Be the first who returns the teeth of glory.
As the name implies, Kingdomino is a twist on the classic tile-laying game, dominoes. This game takes it up a notch by adding pretty art, castles, a twist on the turn order rules, and different scoring. The goal remains the same, however: Score the most points.
Each player has king meeples (the number depends on the number of players), a castle, and a starting tile. The castle is placed on top of the starting tile at the beginning of the game and placed in front of yourself. This is the humble beginning of your kingdom.
Pathfinder Adventures App Review
Once upon a time, we reviewed the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, a legacy-style card game/RPG mashup that let you build your character in the form of a deck and some limited stats over a series of adventures. Now, Pathfinder Adventures is a digital version of PACG available on all platforms – including Steam – and part of Asmodee Digital’s prolific board game app library.
Space Invaders Dice Review
The game’s premise is just like the original: aliens are attacking the Earth and it’s up to you to blast them all to smithereens. Each player takes a score sheet that looks just like the video game, with space invaders neatly laid out in a 11×6 grid and each row of invaders worth different point values. At the top of the sheet are the hard-to-hit UFOs worth the most points.
From the announcement:
A haunted house. An undersea submarine. Pirate treasure buried on Tonipal Island. Three new adventures and three new chances to escape from certain danger—three new Unlock! adventures are coming soon from Space Cowboys:
The House on the Hill
The Nautilus’ Traps
The Tonipal’s Treasure
Like the three previously released Unlock! adventures, each of these new adventures captures the pulse-pounding excitement and devilish puzzles of an escape room and brings it to your tabletop in a single deck of cards. While the Unlock! companion app ticks away the seconds and offers hints when you need them, you and a group of your friends must use your logic and deductive skills to find the solutions to a series of interconnected puzzles and escape the room. With the perfect mixture of intuitive mechanics, cunning puzzles, and only an hour to escape, each Unlock! adventure is a self-contained experience in a single box.
Due to the rain, my initial plans for the day fell through. But I'm hoping to rebound and maybe hang out with some people here and just chill. Yes, just me, them, and a whole pan of homemade banana pudding cheesecake...
But at the moment, I know what you all really want are the day's reviews.
Today we have: Ethnos, Founders of Gloomhaven, Macroscope, Dragonstone Mine, Sheep & Thief, Gyrating Hamsters, Pests, Potion Explosion iOS, Salem, Exit: The Game, Lorenzo il Magnifico, Covil, Meduris, Saltlands, The Flow of History, Sagrada, The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport, and Ulock!.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Ethnos by CMON.
Founders of Gloomhaven Overview
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Founders of Gloomhaven - the brand new game from Isaac Childres, the designer of the EPIC Gloomhaven board game. Gloomhaven has been taking the board gaming community by storm this year and just hit a record on kickstarter for its second print and currently #4 on BGG!
Isaac takes us through the new euro style game, setting the stage for what we find in the Gloomhaven campaign. So as you choose your race and start to build one of the most influential cities in gaming history, make smart choices and watch your opponents because the fate of Gloomhaven is in your hands!
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Macroscope a brand new one from Mayday Games, which was recently successfully kickstarted. This game is great for adults and kids and is a ton of fun trying to guess what the picture is as you slowly remove the dials on top of the device.
That brings me to the Macroscope device, which you assemble once you open the game up. Its a very innovative game component which integrates with the actual game box. Well done Mayday on this one, so grab a copy and see if you can guess what's under the dials!
Dragonstone Mine Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Dragon Stone Mine from Legion and Jade Dragon Studios. A very nice fun little strategy placement game we have had a great time with and a kid favorite at this point. you mine gems and stack them on your own personal spire for the max points at the end of the game. Although its not as easy as it sounds, watch out for other players to foil your well laid plans!
I definitely recommend - so pick up a copy of this game and enjoy all your gem mining.
Sheep & Thief Review
Breacher18 reviews Sheep & Thief by Yuichi Sakashita published by Pegasus Spiele
Gyrating Hamsters Review
Gyrating Hamsters is a fun fast paced hamster themed deck building game. Gameplay is approx 30min and is for 2-4 players.
Gyrating Hamsters got funded on kickstarter within its first week and for good reasons, this game has it all! Replay value is extremely high, after every game you always have someone shou “Lets play that again, I’ll beat you this time!” which to me is a good sign to any game dev! The aim of th egame is to build up your clan of hamsters and use them to battle your opponents, the winner of the battle takes the opponents losing cards.
‘Pests the game’ was sent over to me all the way from the States and I can honestly say I am so glad I got to play test this! It is brought you from the wonderful mind of Michael McFarland who is a keen gamer and has been since childhood.
Board Game Quest:
Potion Explosion iOS Review
Bumbling students of potions class mixing colored ingredients to make potions is the subject here. Players will take ingredient-spheres from a rack (dispenser) hoping that the spheres on either side of the selected ingredient cascade down into one another and create explosions which deliver more ingredients to the potion maker. The player who makes the most points worth of potions wins.
Players in Salem control a group of individuals living in the eponymous village. In the basic mode of play, a random set of individuals are laid out in the middle of the table and the object is to discover which ones are witches with deductions similar to Clue. In the more advanced mode, the witches are controlled by other players. The object is the same, to find the witches, but if you control a witch, you’re also able to penalize other players to make sure your witches aren’t caught. In each case, the player to identify the most witches wins.
Exit: The Game Review
In EXIT, players are trying to solve a series of puzzles and open the “locked door” of the room they are in, all as quickly as possible. While each game of EXIT has its own theme (currently Abandoned Cabin, Secret Lab, and Pharaoh’s Tomb), the goal remains the same. Start the timer and use the clues at your disposal to solve a series of puzzles to ultimately escape.
Lorenzo il Magnifico Review
Each player is an Italian Renaissance family seeking to impress the church and expand their power. This is accomplished by acquiring cards representing lands, people, activities or ventures. Dice-based workers are placed to action locations while resources such as wood, stone, and money are managed to the highest efficiency. Victory points determine the winner.
Board To Death TV:
In Covil: The Dark Overlords you will struggle for the supremacy of the regions surrounding an isolated town. Each player controls a Dark Overlord with unique powers and countless troops of minions to “defend the world from enemy hordes”, bring “peace and security to the territories” — at a cost, of course!
Following the call of the gods, the players settle at the base of mountain Meduris. Building huts, bringing offerings to the druid, gathering precious runestones, and building monumental temples is the only way to earn the favor of the gods in Meduris.
In Saltlands, the first group of players to find and reach an exit point wins, leaving the rest to the Horde. There are no fixed teams, players can decide to co-operate or backstab each other as they see fit. Each player starts the game with a single captain but may increase his crew as the game progresses. Each crew member represents an extra life and an action each turn. Players move with their land sails according to the wind direction: being able to criss-cross slowly upwind or speed in the fastest direction, sailing on a broad reach. Each player can choose which group of raiders to move at the end of their turn until all raiders have moved. This allows players to help each other or force a confrontation with the Raiders. Players can fight the raiders and take their vehicles as an alternate mode of transport.
The Flow of History Review
History is a harsh river that flows steadily through the ages. Since the dawn of time, numerous civilizations have risen over the fallen ashes of others, and yet every one of them had once shone brightly in its own moment of glory!
The Flow of History is yet another innovative civilization game from Taiwanese designer Jesse Li. Players develop their nation using a unique bidding/price-setting mechanism to purchase new cards, but what is paid to the supply might also be harvested into the pockets of other players later, which puts a twist on your strategy of bidding cards, and also simulates economic inflation in the game. Don’t forget to build a formidable military to clash with cultures led by your enemy, and create an unforgettable tale of your civilization in The Flow of History.
Draft dice and use the tools-of-the-trade in Sagrada to carefully construct your stained glass window masterpiece.
In more detail, each player builds a stained glass window by building up a grid of dice on their player board. Each board has some restrictions on which color or shade (value) of die can be placed there. Dice of the same shade or color may never be placed next to each other. Dice are drafted in player order, with the start player rotating each round, snaking back around after the last player drafts two dice. Scoring is variable per game based on achieving various patterns and varieties of placement…as well as bonus points for dark shades of a particular hidden goal color.
Special tools can be used to help you break the rules by spending skill tokens; once a tool is used, it then requires more skill tokens for the next player to use them.
The highest scoring window artisan wins!
The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport Review
The Red Dragon Inn: Battle for Greyport is a cooperative deck building game set in the same universe as The Red Dragon Inn. There are a lot of rules and card effects with this game that would take a while to explain, so I’m just going to give you a quick and dirty overview of how the game works.
In each game, you’re trying to beat the chosen scenario. There are seven scenarios in the game of varying difficulty and in order to win you generally must defeat the boss monster for the scenario. (There are occasionally other win conditions and these are spelled out on the scenario card.) Each scenario has its own requirements for which components to use and which monsters will be in play, so game setup varies.
Unlock! is a cooperative puzzle-solving game intended to simulate an escape room for one to six players. Players have sixty minutes to solve the puzzles keeping them from their goals. If they’re able to solve them in that amount of time, they win.
From the announcement:
You’ve walked through miles of New York subway tunnels in search of Dr. Hoffmann’s lab, and by now, your feet are aching. Any pain immediately falls away, however, as you open the small trapdoor, set in the concrete floor of your access tunnel. You’ve nearly arrived. All you need to do is search the lab for the formula, and… The trapdoor slams shut and locks above your head as the lights flicker on in a small, spartan room. You hear a synthesized voice crackle to life—“Self-destruction engaged. Sixty minutes.”
You have just one hour to escape the room, and now’s your chance to prove that you can. Three Unlock! adventures—The Formula, Squeek & Sausage, and The Island of Dr. Goorse—are now available at your local United States retailer. In these card-driven, app-supported escape room games for one to six players (or two to six players for The Island of Dr. Goorse), you’ll need to work together with your teammates to piece together clues, solve puzzles, and make deductions to escape before your time runs out.
Anyway, I know what you're all here for isn't my choice of fizzy beverage, but for reviews. So let's get to it.
Today we have: Realm-Master, Unlock, WizKids Unpainted Miniatures, Arkham Horror The Card Game, Bushi No Yume, Ronin, Element, Guns & Steel: Renaissance, Bloc by Bloc, The Oracle of Delphi, Dragoon: The Rogue and Barbarian Expansion, RPG Coasters, Kingsport Festival: The Card Game, Running With the Bulls, Magic Maze, Faith: A Garden in Hell, and Moons.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this paid video you can find out about Realm-Master – The Epic Board Game.
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Unlock by Space Cowboys.
Nerds on Earth:
WizKids Unpainted Minis Review
If you follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram, you’ll know that we acquire a lot of miniatures at Nerds on Earth HQ. In fact, some folks would say I have a problem, but I can stop getting more miniatures any time I want. I promise.
Well, Wizkids came out with a new line of unpainted minis and I just had to have them.
The Board Game Show:
The Arkham Horror The Card Game Review
Arkham Horror The Card Game certainly isn’t the first Lovecraft-inspired game in recent years. In fact, it’s one in a long line of games that uses your chosen character’s health and sanity as the counterweight to success and failure. Lose either of them, and you could become gravely wounded and die, or you might descend into madness. Remain “healthy,” and you keep hope alive, which is often more difficult than not.
Meeples & Miniatures:
Bushi No Yume Review
Bushi No Yume (BNY) is a set of skirmish rules for fighting in ancient Japan, using either a historical of fantasy setting. They were written in 2010 by our friend Rich Jones.
BNY uses the same basic rules engine as Rich’s other set of rules, ‘Flying Lead’, so if you are a fan of any of those rules you will find much that is familiar.
To play Bushi No Yume, you will need several six-sided dice, a set of measuring sticks (size dependent upon miniature scale) 5-10 miniatures and area of play around 3? x 3? with some suitable scenery. You will also optionally need a set of Karma Cards. These cards can be found in the back of the rules – they will need to be removed, cut and placed in card prtocestors.
Ronin is a set of skirmish rules set in the Age of the Samurai, written by Craig Woodfield and published by Osprey Publishing as part of their Osprey Wargames series in 2013.
Each player has a warband, known as a Buntai, of between 4 and 20 models. A game usually takes place on a battlefield between 24? x 24? and 36? x 36?.
In Element players are wise sages with the power to control not only earth, wind and fire, but also water. Each will summon these forces in an epic battle – or fraternal hazing ritual – attempting to entrap their foes within a prison of nature.
Guns & Steel: Renaissance Review
Guns & Steel: Renaissance is a hand-building and hand-management civilization card game for two to four players. Players seek to steer their civilizations through several ages, adding civil, tactic, and military cards to their tableaus and collecting culture points. The player with the most culture wins.
Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game Review
Bloc by Bloc can be played fully or semi cooperatively. I’ve only played the semi cooperative version as it seemed to add more interesting elements to the game and I’m generally not a fan of fully cooperative games. As such, every player will be dealt a secret agenda card which will define how each player can achieve victory. Each agenda card has two separate win conditions. Every round, players check to see whether or not they’ve met one of the conditions to determine a winner. Over the course of the game, you’ll be manipulating the board state through your actions in order to meet your agenda conditions and hopefully win the game.
Board Game Quest:
The Oracle of Delphi Review
Players, acting as ancient mythological Greek heroes, are racing against each other to complete twelve tasks. They roll dice to take actions hoping to be the most efficient at combining tasks in nearby locations. The player to complete all twelve first and return home wins.
Dragoon: The Rogue and Barbarian Expansion Review
The aptly named Dragoon: The Rogue and Barbarian expansion adds two new roles to the game. Want to take a guess as to what they are?
All joking aside, this new expansion takes Dragoon from a completely symmetric game, where everyone plays the same role of a dragon, into the asymmetrical realm by giving players something new to try out.
RPG Coasters Review
RPG Coasters sent Board Game Quest a set of coasters with a nice wood stand that allows for the display of the coasters on a nearby human-sized shelf. The designs for this batch were of me and various nemeses that have tried to thwart me over the years. Tony says humans also like to roleplay that they are fighting the ancient ones in games of acting. It took me 15 human minutes to stop laughing. Apparently these designs reinforce human memory so they only need to look at the coaster to remember who they are. Sounds about right for humans.
Kingsport Festival: The Card Game Review
In Kingsport Festival: The Card Game, players once again take on the role of cultists seeking to invoke the elder gods. Each round, players will be rolling dice and using the result to recruit elder god cards. These, in turn, will increase their action potential of the player on later turns.
Board to Death TV:
Running With the Bulls Review
In the game, players use handfuls of dice as runners, starting them at the top of the game board and playing cards to reroll those runners or influence opposing runners, with your goal for each of the three days being to get your runners to the fancy destinations (which are worth differing amounts of points) at the bottom of the board while avoiding the bulls that are chasing you.
Magic Maze Review
Magic Maze is a real-time, cooperative game. Each player can control any hero in order to make that hero perform a very specific action, to which the other players do not have access: Move north, explore a new area, ride an escalator… All this requires rigorous cooperation between the players in order to succeed at moving the heroes prudently. However, you are allowed to communicate only for short periods during the game; the rest of the time, you must play without giving any visual or audio cues to each other. If all of the heroes succeed in leaving the shopping mall in the limited time allotted for the game, each having stolen a very specific item, then everyone wins together.
Faith: A Garden in Hell Review
FAITH is set far into the future. Mankind has been conquered and become part of the Coalition, a uneasy truce between a number of alien races brought together to fight the Ravager, a genetically engineered hive like race kind of like a cross between Warhammer 40,000's Tyranids and Gears of War's Locusts, so hardly the kind of person you're going to invite over for afternoon tea.
Drive Thru Review:
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:02); final thoughts and review (07:36)
Each deck contains 60 cards that you'll use to figure out the combination you're looking for. Up to 6 players will work together, having just an hour to figure out the correct sequence. A companion app with each one will keep track of the time remaining, as well as occasionally offering hints and new clues, plus it will let you know if you've entered the right code. There's currently 3 decks on the docket. You can expect them to be hitting store shelves in the 2nd quarter of next year.