Reviews - Competitive Games

Rick & Morty: The Ricks Must Be Crazy Board Game Review (Cryptozoic Entertainment)

At some point, the number of board games and card games released for Rick & Morty is going to eclipse the number of episodes. Go to ThinkGeek and you can buy your very own Rick & Morty-themed Clue, Monopoly, or (of course) Munchkin. Luckily, most of the Rick & Morty games are decently good -- and approach different themes in interesting ways. The Ricks Must Be Crazy is a solid game, but it may be more thematic than good. 

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Carcassonne Board Game Review (Z-Man Games)

Though I've never played Carcassonne before, I've watched it played at least a dozen times. Not having played Carcassonne is a lot like never having played Catan; it can happen, but it's not normal. Carcassonne is a simple tile-based strategy game, in which players are attempting to complete map features to score points. First published in 2000, Carcassonne has won multiple awards for its simplicity and elegance. Though it's not a very detailed game, some interesting things happened while playing it.

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Sentient Board Game Review (Renegade Game Studios)

Sentient is one of those games that can be nearly impossible for me to get other people to play. A mathematics-fueled strategy game with strong aesthetics, Sentient looks a good deal more complex than it is, prompting many players to quit before they begin. Like many strategy games, Sentient is simple in terms of rules, and more complex in terms of strategy (though not by a lot).

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The Witcher Adventure Game Board Game Review (Fantasy Flight Games)

The Witcher has long been one of my favorite RPGs, but I've never gotten around to playing the board game -- or even the physical version of Gwent. Not only do I have an inherent hesitation when it comes to themed games (Game of Thrones Catan, anyone?) but there's been a long-standing animosity between the writer of the book series and the game developer. The writer has been outspoken about a feeling that the video game entirely eclipsed his work, even stealing fans from his portion of the franchise.

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Roll Player: Monsters & Minions Board Game Review (Thunderworks Games)

Roll Player is the game-before-the-game. In Roll Player, you competitively create an RPG character. Once the characters are created, the game is over and everything is scored. Players need to meet certain metrics as far as stats and alignments, and they can gain traits and skills throughout. Roll Player already has a lot going on, and now the Monsters & Minions expansion adds something further. In Monsters & Minions, players also take turns fighting monsters and ultimately fight the boss.

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Small World Board Game Review (Days of Wonder)

Whether you're controlling bivouacking giants or fortified wizards, you need to lead your Small World civilization towards greatness. Appropriately named, Small World's primary feature is its perfectly sized maps, which forces players to immediately encounter each other, working to take over as much of the land as possible before they need to send their civilization into decline. Players are able to select races that have randomized attributes, changing strategy from game to game.

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Skull Board Game Review (Asmodee)

A beautiful and simple bluffing game, Skull is a 20 minute experience for up to six players. As with many games, there is both the game of Skull and the experience of Skull. The game is fairly straightforward, but the magic that can occur in the right group is undeniable. All of this is helped by the game's intricate and vibrant art -- which dress up an otherwise extremely simple, but challenging, game. In many ways, Skull facilitates the act of bluffing. 

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Potion Explosion Game Review (CMON)

Potion Explosion is one of those classics that we pull out when we can't figure out what to play and want to play something fast. Despite this, every time I play it it occurs to me that there are certain things that we didn't think about, and that the game is actually more complex than it seems. Potion Explosion is a pattern matching game in which players are pulling colored marbles in an attempt to craft the right potions. Potions themselves give you special abilities, which you can use to control the types of marbles you get.

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