All Game Reviews

Cerebria Board Game Review (Mindclash Games)

Journey into your emotions with Cerebria, the game that pits dark and bright emotions against each other as they fight for control over a single brain. Cerebria is an absolutely gorgeous game, with uniquely intriguing art, detailed miniatures, and a game board that -- well, borders on excessive. Playing Cerebria is not unlike playing its predecessor Anachrony -- and that is a double-edged sword in terms of playability. With a solo mode, competitive mode, and team-based mode for three competing teams, Cerebria can be a lot of fun in the right hands.

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Ravine Card Game Review (Stellar Factory)

In Ravine, you will die and you will be resurrected. You will craft a spear and you will go mad with power. You will find a squirrel (good) and a moose (bad). Ravine is a cooperative crafting and strategy game in which you and your fellow survivors have crash landed in a mysterious and deadly location, and you must survive until help comes. Developed by the same company as Spaceteam, Ravine somehow evokes the feel of an old school adventure game, while also being random, arbitrary, and fun in all the ways that I usually hate.

8

Hail Hydra Board Game Review: How Social Deduction Games Are Evolving

Defeat enemies and protect the city in Hail Hydra -- but be aware that some of your heroes have been turned into Hydra agents. Hail Hydra is a social deduction game similar to Doppleganger, in which players are battling an unknown enemy, don't necessarily know who that enemy is, and must instead use their wits and their skills in order to limit their risk. Unlike Doppleganger, it's tilted more heavily towards the side of the double agents -- and is nigh impossible to beat for the side of "good."

7

Side Effects Card Game Review (Pillbox Games)

Have you ever been trapped in a cycle of pharmaceuticals? Take medication for anxiety, and it causes depression. Take medication for depression, and it causes suicidal thoughts. Take some medication for your suicidal thoughts, and suddenly you're back at anxiety. Side Effects is a casual take that card game with a simple premise: try your best to solve all of your disorders at once, before anyone else does.

7

Reef Board Game Review (Plan B Games)

A game about building a coral reef is a whimsical repast that can almost make you forget that we're actively destroying our actual coral reefs. Reef is a beautiful, tactile abstract strategy game in which points are scored almost like in Bunny Kingdom -- exponentially and randomly. There's a learning curve in Reef that's almost incidental: once the game clicks for you, you'll see yourself suddenly intuiting the ways to best play the game.

7

The King's Guild Board Game Review (Mirror Box Games)

The King has died -- and now has come the time to show the kingdom your power. In King's Guild, only one guild can preside over all the rest -- it's your job to make sure it's the right one. Each player is in control of a different guild, with the ability to gather resources, hire workers, build additions, and -- importantly -- complete quests. With very fast turns (players can do one thing each turn) and a rapidly changing environment, King's Guild is probably one of the best new games of its class.

8

Kick-Ass: The Board Game Review (CMON)

A cooperative area management game, Kick-Ass delivers a challenging (and occasionally frustrating) experience for up to four players. In Kick-Ass, each player starts with their own action cards and stats, based on seven of the main characters in the Kick-Ass franchise. From there, they need to work together to clean up the city, while also micro-managing their health, equipment, and social media likes.

7

Talisman: The Magical Quest Game Board Game Review (Games Workshop)

This game may never end. I have no evidence to the contrary. Every once in a while I'm forced to play an older game and it's always great, because it never makes any sense. Talisman bills itself as "a journey through magical lands," but it's literally just RPG chutes and ladders, and that's probably what makes it great. In Talisman you roll to move, move up and down the game board, and try to accumulate power in order to be the first to defeat the ancient evil.

7

Deja Vu Fragments of Memory Board Game Review (Asteria)

Help the nameless girl discover her true identity in Deja Vu: Fragments of Memory, a set collection, abstract strategy board game played with up to four players. Deja Vu is a beautiful game with a lot going on; in fact, it's a game of sharp contrasts. If you enjoy games like Splendor, you'll probably like Deja Vu -- but be warned it's a little more in-depth than traditional set collection games, and it can be just about as complex as you want to make it.

7

Tiny Epic Zombies Board Game Review (Gamelyn Games)

A simple, slick zombie game that fits in a small box, Tiny Epic Zombie is everything both good and bad about Tiny Epic games. As a cooperative experience, Tiny Epic Zombie provided an interesting level of challenge that ramped up throughout the game -- and it's a game that's surprisingly replayable. With competitive modes and solo modes, it has variation enough fo any group. Unfortunately, the growth of the series still seems to be fighting its format a little. 

8

Junk Orbit Board Game Review (Renegade Game Studios)

A clever game in a stupid box, Junk Orbit puts players in the role of intersteller trash men, trying to complete their deliveries while also managing their fuel. To navigate, you'll need to jettison both trash and goods, attempting to transport items from one area to another. Meanwhile, everyone else will be dropping their junk and hitting you with their junk -- as one does. With the right strategy and fuel management, you can be the most successful delivery service ni sace.

6

Human Era Board Game Review (Lay Waste Games)

Humans, cyborgs, and machines all vie for control over the universe in this time-travel social deduction game. In Human Era, players take turns meddling with time and space. Humans want to restore the original timeline (which they destroyed). Machines want to sabotage them. And cyborgs, well, cyborgs just want to be on the winning side. The Human Era is an attractive mix of abstract strategy and social deduction that nevertheless perplexed us, for reasons that we'll unfold below.

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