5-Minute Dungeon: Start the Clock!

German cover for 5 minute dungeon. It shows the Dungeon Keeper boss, and the hunter, ninja, and sorceress

Real-time games come with an allure. No matter the gameplay or theme they always come with the potential to be amazing once the timer starts. Often though, they fall short on reaching this promise because in order to have a real-time element, designers need to sacrifice a lot of complexity as the onus of the rules are placed on everyone. This makes me incredibly cautious when considering real-time games, but sometimes it’s worth the risk. Isn’t it?

German cover for 5 minute dungeon. It shows the Dungeon Keeper boss, and the hunter, ninja, and sorceress

Name: 5-Minute Dungeon

Continue reading “5-Minute Dungeon: Start the Clock!”

Letters from Whitechapel: Do not open!

Letters from Whitechapel box art. A shadowy figure standing above Whitechapel blueprints.

It’s Halloween. By now everyone has had their fill of pumpkin spice lattes and reviews and playthroughs of Mysterium. For me, I’m opening a blood drenched box holding a half-eaten human kidney and a letter that reads:

From hell.

Mr Lusk,
Sor
I send you half the Kidne I took from one women prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer
signed
Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk

Which is weird, because my name’s David.

Continue reading “Letters from Whitechapel: Do not open!”

Stay Awhile and Listen to the Tales of the Arabian Nights

Tales of the Arabian Nights board game box cover: fetauring a genie, a princess, and a palace

I don’t know if they’re still a thing, but I used to enjoy “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. When I was young there was something novel about interacting with your media. Time replaced this with text-based video games, and now story-based video games. In this review, we go back in time and look at a board game from an age before I was reading those books. Heck, from an age before I was even born!

Tales of the Arabian Nights board game box cover: fetauring a genie, a princess, and a palaceName: Tales of the Arabian Nights

Players: 2-6

Publisher: Z-Man Games

Designers: Anthony J. Gallela, Eric Goldberg, Kevin Maroney, Zev Shlasinger

Artists: Peter Gifford, Dan Harding

Continue reading “Stay Awhile and Listen to the Tales of the Arabian Nights”

Deck-Building is Dead. Long live Deck-Building! A Dale of Merchants Review.

Dale of Merchants box cover - features a hiker overlooking a small town by a waterfall

I grew up in the golden era of massively multiplayer online games. The biggest being World of Warcraft. It was fantastic. I lost years to the game. It also ruined the industry. No other company could come close to recreating something so irreverent and genre defining. In board gaming, Dominion did the same for deck-building. Many have attempted, but none have conquered the king. Dale of Merchants is a new challenger, and the question we must ask is: can it take the throne?

 

Dale of Merchants box cover - features a hiker overlooking a small town by a waterfallName: Dale of Merchants

Players: 2-4

Publisher: Snowdale Design

Designer: Sami Laakso

Artist: Sami Laakso

 

Continue reading “Deck-Building is Dead. Long live Deck-Building! A Dale of Merchants Review.”

Raiders of the North Sea – A board game to play before Ragnarok!

Raiders of the North Sea cover, angry vikings ready to raid

Not so long ago there were two schools of design within board games. On one hand, the uninteresting theme, no luck, all strategy games that came primarily from Germany – called Euro games or Euros. On the other hand, we had American style games where it was all randomness all the time, extremely high player interaction and jam packed with style. These games were lovingly referred to as Ameritrash. While these terms aren’t used so much today, as these styles have bled together over the years, this board game I’m reviewing demonstrates the differences each style brings while attempting to find a middle ground.

Raiders of the North Sea cover, angry vikings ready to raid

Name: Raiders of the North Sea

Players: 2-4

Publisher: Renegade Games and Garphill Games

Designer: Shem Phillips

Artists: Mihajlo Dimitrievski

Raiders of the North Sea allows players to live a week in the life of the Vikings of old. On Monday: you’ll work at the Mill getting food or gold. Tuesday: The Silversmith gives a silver for any help he receives. Wednesday: time to meet the townsfolk at The Gate House, make friends and they’ll join or aid your crew later. Thursday: make an offering to the chieftain at the Long House who’ll honour you with glory and victory points. It’s a good time to note this board game is not historically accurate. Friday: it’s one silver beer night at the Barracks making it a great place to pick up new crewmates and a hangover. Saturday: spoil yourself. Take the crew out raiding and pillage a nearby settlement. Sunday: pour some mead out for those who journeyed to Valhalla – the Viking equivalent of the big farm upstate, and then loot a now defenceless village. Monday: it’s time to do it all over again.

Continue reading “Raiders of the North Sea – A board game to play before Ragnarok!”

What goes Clank! in the night?

Clank box artwork

It’s the end of a Scooby Doo episode. The gangs been split up, they’ve run through Escher’s hallway, and Scooby’s eaten his snacks. They’re together again with the local sheriff, and they’ve got Clank!’s core mechanic, deck-building, all tied up. Fred and Velma give some rousing exposition before they rip off the suspect’s mask revealing none other than roll and move!

And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!

 

Name: Clank! A Deck-Building AdventureClank box artwork

Players: 2-4

Publisher: Renegade Games and Direwolf

Designer: Paul Dennen

Artists: Rayph Beisner, Raul Ramos, Nate Storm

 

Continue reading “What goes Clank! in the night?”

Welcome to the Dungeon!

The unfortunate side effect of playing too much Guitar Hero in 2005 is that I can no longer say Welcome to the Dungeon without following with: we got fun and games. This week we’re going back to an old favourite, and a real turning point in my board game career. Where I turned from the lovable casual hobbyist into the board game consuming monster who writes this blog. The game that started it all is the fantastic and wonderful Welcome to the Dungeon, designed by Masato Uesugi, and published by IELLO. Beware that reading further will lure you deeper into the amazing world of board gaming. You’ve been warned.

pic2436689

Continue reading “Welcome to the Dungeon!”

Back from the Depths Lovecraft Letter

This blog isn’t Marvel. We know this because I’m flat broke, and it doesn’t take a year to get a sequel. A couple weeks ago I reviewed Love Letter, and this week I’m back in the expanded Love Letter universe to review Lovecraft Letter. Although there are many flavours of the original game, Lovecraft Letter is the only version that revisits and re-implements core design of the game. It’s a 2-6 player game designed by Seiji Kanai and published by AEG.

Roll-to-review-board-game-lovecraft-letter-box-front

Continue reading “Back from the Depths Lovecraft Letter”

On the Chopping Block: Click Clack Lumberjack

Roll-to-Review-Board-Game-Click-Clack Lumberjack-box-artI’ve hit the point that every board game collector, and hoarder, hits where their collection outgrows their space. Therefore, I’m introducing a new type of review called On the Chopping Block – inspired by Click Clack Lumberjack – where I look at games that will be sold off. These aren’t necessarily bad games, but games that have either been outshone by other games or are not a good fit for me. Heck, we’ll see some games I really enjoy but I’m going to sell because I can’t see myself reaching for it from the shelf. Let’s begin by introducing the first game on the chopping block: Click Clack Lumberjack designed by Justin Oh and published by Mayday Games.

Continue reading “On the Chopping Block: Click Clack Lumberjack”

My Love Letter to Love Letter

There are a few games in my collection where the review is a bigger story than just one solitary review. For instance, I wanted to review Lovecraft Letter but to do that I need to establish my thoughts on the original. Otherwise we’d be skipping forward to seeing Neo being The One, without understanding what the Matrix is. Although to be fair, even after three movies, and a mini anthology, I’m still not sure that I know. By the end of this review, you’ll hopefully be in a better place than I, so without further ado introducing Love Letter: Premium Edition a 2-8 player game designed by Seiji Kanai and published by AEG – for now.

Continue reading “My Love Letter to Love Letter”