Showing posts from October, 2018

Review: Council of Verona (Second Edition)

Players:  2-5 Ages:  13+ Time to play:  20 minutes I'm digging out a bit of a classic for my next review, it's the card game Council of Verona!  This little gem is a card placement game created by Michael Eskue which was released by Crash games in 2013.  Sadly, Crash games ceased trading in 2017 for various reasons but but during their time they did create a number of really solid and well received games.  Council of Verona was one of their most popular titles featuring on the hallowed (and also sadly defunct) YouTube series "Tabletop" featuring Wil Wheaton. Council of Verona is based on the the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare and features not only the main protagonists, but their friends and families (the Montagues and Capulets, who are sworn enemies).  The game is set in Medieval Verona and see's the two families locked in a struggle for power over the ancient city. Inside the beautifully designed box (which closes magneticall

Review: Tiny Epic Galaxies: Deluxe Edition

Players:  1-5 Ages:  14+ Time to play:  30-60 minutes Imagine if you will, an epic game set in the depths of space, where anywhere up to five players can control a fleet of ships racing to colonise a vast array of planets.  Each player has tools such as energy, diplomacy and culture to increase the size of their fleet and create a massive empire in space.  Now try to imagine that huge game fitting in a box no bigger than a pencil case...  Impossible, you might say...  well you'd be wrong. The aptly named "Tiny Epic Galaxies" designed by Scott Almes released by Gamelyn Games manages it effortlessly.  It's a worker placement style game with a bit of risk thrown in for good measure.  The goal of the game is to use your fleet of spaceships to colonise planets.  Each planet has special skills that you can use but also a points value, the winner of the game is the first player to reach a score of 21. Now I mentioned before how much game you get in this little box

Review: Monopoly: Nostalgia Edition

Players:  2-6 Ages:  8+ Time to play:  60-180 minutes So we’ve all heard of it and most of us have played it, it’s the classic board game and family argument starter, monopoly.  And although most of us know it’s old, it’s still surprising, to me at least, exactly how old.  The original game on which monopoly is based (called the landlords game) was designed by Elizabeth Magie and patented in 1904 which makes the game well over 110 years old and counting, but of course the version that we are all familiar with began its life in the mid 1930’s. Over the years, it’s safe to say monopoly has had more costume changes than Mr Benn. Usually to capitalise on a movie franchise or TV show, which is understandable. But from time to time some questionable versions hit the shelves like “Coca Cola Monopoly”, “Horse Lovers Monopoly” and “Star wars the phantom menace monopoly” (for the criminally insane). With such an esteemed pedigree, it’s sad to think that Monopoly nowadays gets a ba

Review: Survive: Escape from Atlantis! 30th Anniversary Edition

Players:  2-4 Ages:  8+ Time to play:  30-45 minutes Survive: Escape from Atlantis! was designed by Julian Courtland-Smith and was released way back in 1982.  The game was titled "Escape from Atlantis" in some countries and "Survive!" in others.  The game has had many publishers over the years and some rule modifications, but the 30th Anniversary Edition currently in circulation is published by stronghold games.  In Survive: Escape from Atlantis! you play as an intrepid group of explorers on the island of Atlantis which is sinking into the ocean.    Your aim is to evacuate your explorers from the island onto one of the safe islands located in each corner of the map.    Each of the explorers has a number printed on the bottom representing their value which players are only able to see at the placement phase at the beginning of the game.    At the end of the game the numbers on the bottom are revealed and the player with the highest total (and not necessari

Review: Jaipur

Players:  2 Ages:  12+ Time to play:  20-30 minutes Jaipur is a two player card game designed by Sebastien Pauchon which was released in 2009.  In Jaipur each player plays as one of the two of most successful traders in Rajasthan.  Each player is aiming to gain favour with the Maharaja by gaining seals of excellence in order to gain entrance to his court, thus becoming the most prestigious trader of all. Well, what exactly are you trading in? ...Well they're goods, of all different types, some luxury ones, like gold and silver and also more standard fare like leather and spices.  Goods are represented by cards and they can be traded for other goods or sold for cold hard cash. Now, before we continue any further,  I just had to take a moment to mention the beautiful box art by Alexandre Roche which is bright, vivid and totally in keeping with theme of a vibrant marketplace.  The cards sets are beautifully illustrated with bright coloured spices and fabrics which reall

Review: Samurai

Players:  2-4 Ages:  10+ Time to play:  30-45 minutes Samurai is a tile laying strategy game designed by Reiner Knizia and originally released in 1998.  It is part of the Knizia tile laying trilogy which also consists of "Tigris and Euphrates" and "Through the Desert".  This game has now been re-released as part of Fantasy Flight Games' "Euro Classics" line.  With the aim of upgrading and refreshing components and bringing these classics to a newer audience. Samurai sees each player competing to gain favour with the three factions which are represented by three different types of pieces scattered around the islands of Japan.  Simply put, the person who has collected the most of each type of piece wins. Now there's one thing that immediately stands out when you look at samurai and that's the beautiful game design.  It's always a joy to review a game who's artwork totally encapsulates the theme, such as the recently rev