Reviews - Competitive Games

The Last Garden (One Thousand XP) Board Game Review

At the end of the world stands a Queen in her garden -- The Last Garden. You, the players, are her robot companions -- and your only goal is to build a lush garden with which to impress her. And there are a lot of options that you can use to impress her, most of which will work directly against the other robots within the garden. At first glance, The Last Garden looks like a worker placement game, but it plays primarily like a "take that" game. And a particularly brutal "take that" game at that.


Unstable Unicorns Game Review

In Unstable Unicorns, players race to collect a certain number of unicorns in their stable, while augmenting their own and sabotaging others. A seemingly ridiculous, themed game in the vein of Bears vs. Babies and Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns is actually a lot of fun. Quirky art and flavor text complete the game, which has some interesting (if shallow) mechanics.


The Adventurers and the Temple of Chac (Alderac Entertainment Group) Game Review

It's the nature of things that occasionally my group doesn't get to games on time. In this case, we got to the party about seven years too late, with The Adventurers and the Temple of Chac. In The Adventurers, players need to get in and out of a trapped temple with as much treasure as possible. And, insofar as The Adventurers isn't a great game, it's an interesting one from a development standpoint.


Topiary (Renegade Game Studios) Game Review

There's not that much going on in Topiary, but it's also really not that sort of game. The first thing you'll notice about the game is its relaxing, watercolor-inspired art; after all, who doesn't love a bush in the shape of a dinosaur? And it actually has a rather clever mechanic. In this game, you're trying to build a gorgeous garden and position your visitors in the best vantage points4 from which to view the garden. As the garden changes, certain areas can get cut off from viewing, impacting scoring.


Imhotep: Builder of Egypt (Thames & Kosmos) Game Review

In Imhotep, players are competing to mine blocks in their quarry and build the most fantastic structures to honor their rulers and their gods. Each player is given a large number of very brightly colored blocks, which will then be stacked and sorted on the game boards throughout a total of six rounds (and about forty five minutes). Players are building different monuments which need to be ordered in different ways in order to score the most victory points.


Fog of Love (Hush Hush Projects) Game Review

I hate romance movies. And it's not for the reason most people think. I'm a sucker for a good romance story, I always have been. Unfortunately, "romance movies" are like "nice guys"; the only reason you use either distinction is because they have nothing else going for them. 

Fog of Love is a "romantic comedy" in a game, and it plays out just like every movie you could ever imagine. It's a sequence of set pieces, cliches, and inexplicable storytelling -- and somehow, it really, really works. But let's get started with the bad (just like in a romance).


The Fugitive (Fowers Games) Game Review

The Fugitive is an older two-player game (and by older, I mean 2016 -- look, time's passing quite quickly in this industry) that has a lot going for it, and I don't just mean its cute little briefcase box. Good two player games are pretty rare; I usually find myself whipping out a deck builder if I need to kill time. Many games can be played in a two player mode, but they don't feel built for two players.