Reviews - Competitive Games

Red Flags Game Review (Red Flags)

Developed by the creator of Superfight, Red Flags is the "game of terrible dates." A Cards-Against-Humanity-style game, Red Flags challenges everyone involved to come up with the perfect date for you. From there, it's up to everyone else to sabotage it. She may be a brain surgeon with a Tardis, but she also collects human skulls. There may be a bodybuilder whose kisses cure cancer, but he is on every fad diet at the same time. Ultimately, Red Flags becomes a game about figuring out which date isn't as bad as the others.


Valeria: Card Kingdoms Game Review (Daily Magic Kingdoms)

"I know, let's play Valeria." "Which Valeria?" "You know, the one with the cards." There are three versions of Valeria, they all use cards, and -- more confusingly -- they all use the same art. But if it isn't broken, why fix it? Valeria: Card Kingdoms is a fast-paced recruitment and resource gathering game, which operates like a cross between Splendor and Catan. In Valeria, players build strength, kill monsters, and develop their kingdoms. 


Munchkin Booty Game Review (Steve Jackson Games)

I've talked about how much I hate Munchkin for two or three minutes, but never before have I talked about how much I hate Munchkin for a full ten minutes. We recently played the pirate-themed Munchkin game, Munchkin Booty, and happily it was everything I hate about Munchkin as a system and as a premise. And I readily know that I'm not winning anyone over here, and I don't care. I don't like this game. I've had fun playing this game in the past, and I'm willing to believe that it's utterly a fluke. 


Scythe Board Game Review (Stonemaier Games)

One of the most popular games of 2016, Scythe is a moderately complex area control and resource management game. As players progress, they produce goods, hire workers, build mechs, and erect buildings. Players need to meet specific milestones in order to trigger the end of the game: once an individual player meets six milestones, the game immediately ends and players count up their victory points.


Terraforming Mars (Stronghold Games) Board Game Review

Compete with other corporations to transform the Martian landscape into a lush paradise. Terraforming Mars is a game with a lot of staying power, and it's one that we've been playing consistently since it came out. Currently with two expansions and another on the way, the game has a lot of replay value, owing to its distinct strategies and mid-length play. Terraforming Mars is often a solid two to three hour long game, in which players need to manage their resources and work towards missions.


Explorers of the North Sea (Garphill Games) Board Game Review

Complete your Viking adventure with Explorers of the North Sea! Construct outposts, collect livestock, and take over settlements as you expand and conquest. Explorers of the North Sea is the third of the North Sea Trilogy of games. Though it's a standalone product, it can also be played in conjunction with Raiders of the North Sea and Shipwrights of the North Sea. Each game has its own theme and mechanics, and each of them can be played together along with The North Sea Runesaga.


Planetarium (Game Salute) Board Game Review

Control the development of a brand new solar system in Planetarium, as you compete with others to build resources and fulfill your final evolution. Planetarium is a gorgeous space-themed game that pits player against player, as you fight over disparate objectives and control over the planets. Though players are able to collect resources and play evolution cards, no one is able to truly control each planet -- even if they need to meet certain objectives on them in order to win.


Raiders of the North Sea (Garphill Games) Board Game Review

Pillage and loot in Raiders of the North Sea! In Raiders, players compete to recruit fighters, collect resources, and attack harbors, monasteries, and fortresses. Build your strength and find a way for your warriors to die in the valor of combat. Raiders of the North Sea is a unique worker placement game with a twist. Fast-paced and energetic, the game has multiple ending conditions and a lot of room for different strategies.


When I Dream (Asmodee) Board Game Review

In When I Dream each player takes a turn being a "dreamer," trying to guess cards as the entire table gives them one word clues. But there's a catch: some players are "fairies," trying to help them guess correctly, and other players are "boogeymen," trying to cause them guess incorrectly. (There's even a sandman, who simply strives to keep balance). At the end of their two minute turn, the dreamer attempts to recount as many correct guesses as they can. The game is scored, and the next dreamer takes their place. 


Dinosaur Island (Pandasaurus Games) Game Review

If you're of a certain age, you probably remember the old simulation games where you ran a zoo or a park. These weren't the games of today, in which you build sprawling 3D environments. They were 2D games, in which you placed animals in little slots and attempted to make the best attractions. Dinosaur Island is a lot like that: you're trying to build a theme park in 2D space, to create the best attractions and make the most money. But if your park becomes too dangerous, dinosaurs will start eating the guests.