All Game Reviews

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.


Coin & Crown Board Game Review (Escape Velocity Games)

Build the best kingdom in Coin & Crown, a tableau-building, victory point game played in five short rounds. During Coin & Crown, players will recruit soldiers, construct buildings, and upgrade their city, all with the ultimate goal of trying to best their neighbors. Coin & Crown comes with some cute components (jingly plastic coins and velvet pouches), but also has a few minor publishing problems.


Suspend Balancing Game Review (Melissa & Doug)

Suspend is an award-winning dexterity and balancing game, in which 1 to 4 players attempt to balance notched metal sticks on top of each other in some kind of deranged mess. Your goal is to put up all of your sticks before another player does, but it's also complete nonsense. To stress, this is a game for children, but that's never stopped us before. Suspend is intended for eight and up -- and is a family-style game -- but I suspect it would be better for children even younger.


Parfumaster - Scents from My Grandfather's Garden Board Game Review (Sentosphere)

Let's be clear: not only is this a game, it's a series of games. Parfumaster has numerous installments, from "Scents from my Grandfather's Garden" to "Scents from my Grandmother's Kitchen." It's also entirely in French. Parfumaster is a scent-based game which includes 32 cards and 16 scents. It's also not a game so much as an experience, and not an experience so much as a curiosity. And to be fair, it's made for like, six year olds, but that doesn't mean we weren't immediately entranced. Here's everything you need to know about Parfumaster.


Exodus Paris Nouveau Board Games (Indie Boards & Cards)

When you were a child, were you ever accused of doing something by an adult that you absolutely knew you didn't do? Did that adult refuse to believe that you were innocent, even as you desperately clung to whatever evidence and truths you had? Distill that bitter experience into a fine wine, and that's how I feel about social deduction games. Social deduction games are fun when played with my group, but every time I'm forced to play with strangers of aquaintences I walk away frustrated and angry.


Villages of Valeria Board Game Review (Daily Magic Games)

It's Valeria, again! So, one of my best friends came over last night and ordered from Order Up. That's not notable, except she ordered thirty dollars of candy from Order Up. Not only that, but it was really bad candy and she just left it with me like a monster. 

What's worse than cursing someone with terrible candy? I genuinely don't know. You can't not eat it, it's candy. You can't save it, either, because it's candy. And you can't enjoy it, because it's horrible.


Plague, Inc Board Game Review (Ndemic Creations)

Tired of saving people in Pandemic? Try to kill them all in Plague, Inc. Based on a wildly popular digital game, Plague, Inc. casts you in the role of a bacteria or virus, attempting to evolve itself to have the greatest possible impact on the world. You'll be competing with other viruses for control of the world, as you all attempt to manage your transmission vectors and your lethality. Plague, Inc is a strong and simple strategic game, that can be played in under an hour.


Spy Club Board Game Review (Foxtrot Games)

Spy Club! Work cooperatively with your friends to solve a crime, all while the criminal attempts to sprint away. Get ideas, collect clues, and finish your chores. Spy Club is an 80's "mystery club" themed game for 2 to 4 players, in which players have to work together to collect sets of a specific color, while manipulating the clues they have available on their board. And though it seems like a childishly-dressed kid's game, it's pretty difficult.


Villainous Board Game Review (Wonder Forge)

Take control over one of Disney's famous villains in Villainous -- except this time you're going to win. Villainous is a competitive game in which every villain is scrambling to meet their own win conditions, while also interfering at times with each other (because villains just can't get along). Villainous is an action management game, in which players have to defeat heros, collect artifacts, and make sure they have enough power to complete their dastardly deeds. If you love Disney, this could be a win for you. If you don't, I'm not sure why you're even here.


Captain Sonar Board Game Review (Asmodee)

Captain Sonar is intense, real-time, team-based battleship game, and though we've wanted to play it for a while, we've never had the exact eight players needed to properly play it. But in addition to being a real-time strategy game, Captain Sonar is also an exploration of who people are. This is not a serious strategy game: it's just free-for-all of nonsense that happens within a very tight, tense space. And that's what you'll either love or hate about it.


The Chameleon Card Game Review (Big Potato Games)

The Chameleon is a social deduction card game in which players are trying to hide a secret word from a "Chameleon," who is trying to guess it. The Chameleon doesn't want the other players to know who they are, but all of the players have to reference the secret word without outright revealing it. If you like social deduction, The Chameleon streamlines and optimizes the process of social deduction until it's only the deduction that's left. That comes with all the classic excitement and drama of the genre -- if in a very light, casual package.