Mint Works Board Game Review (Justin Blaske)

Mint Works -- the worker placement game you can put in your pocket! If you've ever wondered just how much you can reduce a game to its base components, Mint Works has the answer to you. In a small mint tin lurks a worker placement game with streamlined gameplay and even a few little tricks up its sleeve.

Mint Works is most ideal for those who are exceptionally fond of worker placement games, as it leans into the mechanic extremely hard (in fact, that's pretty much the only mechanic there). If you do enjoy worker placement games, though, it can be a great filler.


Red Dragon Inn Board Game Review (Slugfest Games)

You've already explored the dungeons, killed the big bad, and probably burned down a tavern or two. Now it's time to spend the loot. Red Dragon Inn is a game about what happens after the adventure is over. Players drink, gamble, cheat, and attack each other all with the goal of being the last one standing. Once your health goes down enough and your drunkenness goes up enough, you're out of the game for good. Red Dragon Inn is a particularly good introductory game -- even if it is mostly random.


The Veil Card Game Review (Logan Gendron)

Battle heroes or villains in this straightforward -- yet strategically complex -- deck building card game. The Veil provides a total of 15 characters to choose from, each with their own character deck and with a Fate deck decided upon by their category. Players can play 1v1, 2v2, or engage in a campaign mode against a villain. In many respects, The Veil could easily become a favorite game -- unfortunately, there are couple of flaws in the way that the game was produced.


Samurai Spirit Board Game Review (Funforge)

It's just an ordinary day for a samurai. Wake up, defend your village from raiders, turn into a howling beast with mystical powers, etc. Samurai Spirit is a cooperative game for up to seven players, in which players must take turns fighting off raiders while using their special abilities to ward off damage. If players get injured, they turn into their spirit animal -- and if they die, all is lost. Samurai Spirit is a strategic card drawing game with a surprising amount of challenge. Unfortunately, a terrible manual somewhat dampens its value.


Starship Samurai Board Game Review (Plaid Hat Games)

Alright. You have giant mechs. They are Samurai, for reasons. You are fighting epic space battles. You're also trying to influence a multitude of different clans. Pretend it makes sense. It works better if you pretend it makes sense. Nestled within  this absurd premise is a strong game with some interesting mechanics. Unfortunately, wrapped outside of that, is a dense layer inexplicable decision-making; a lot like getting a gift wrapped in an old paper bag. There are a lot of layers here. Let's unpack them.


Coup Card Game Review (Indie Boards & Cards)

Bluff your way to the top in Coup, the game about power and influence. In Coup, each player holds influence over two role cards, which they then use to commit dastardly deeds: assassination, theft, and even taxation. Players take turns attacking each other, bluffing against each other, and calling each other's bluff. Once they've massed enough wealth, they can launch an unblockable coup against their foes. A fairly simple card game, the end goal of Coup is to be the last man standing. Up to six players can compete in this compact, 20 minute filler game. 


Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach Card Game Review (Zero Radius Games LLC)

Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach is an officially licensed Pillars of Eternity card game, with a simple premise: build as much power as you can. 1 to 4 players will collect resources, build improvements, and recruit heroes, all while taking on progressively dangerous dungeons. A victory point game, the game ends when the entirety of the city cards deck has been emptied. Scores are tallied and you find out who was the most powerful Lord of the Eastern Reach.


The Captain is Dead Board Game Review (AEG)

The Captain is Dead, and you're facing an onslaught by hostile aliens. Can your crew survive long enough to engage your warp drive? The Captain is Dead is a board game that perfectly encapsulates the second half of many Star Trek episodes. Absolutely everything has gone pear-shaped: aliens are boarding the ship, systems are going down, and bizarre (almost magical) anomalies are impacting the crew. Through cooperation and a little bit of luck, you'll have to manage each emergency as it comes.


Fae (Clans) Board Game Review (Z-Man Games)

Earlier this year, Z-Man Games updated the 2003 game "Clans," turning it into the more attractive but extremely identical Fae. It's likely that many classic games are going to be getting a face lift, as the hobby grows and matures. In the case of Fae -- an abstract strategy game -- this may not have been the best plan. Though Clans was a finalist in the 2003 Spiel Des Jahres, it was never a particularly highly rated game.



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