All Game Reviews

Coup Card Game Review (Indie Boards & Cards)

Bluff your way to the top in Coup, the game about power and influence. In Coup, each player holds influence over two role cards, which they then use to commit dastardly deeds: assassination, theft, and even taxation. Players take turns attacking each other, bluffing against each other, and calling each other's bluff. Once they've massed enough wealth, they can launch an unblockable coup against their foes. A fairly simple card game, the end goal of Coup is to be the last man standing. Up to six players can compete in this compact, 20 minute filler game. 

8

Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach Card Game Review (Zero Radius Games LLC)

Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach is an officially licensed Pillars of Eternity card game, with a simple premise: build as much power as you can. 1 to 4 players will collect resources, build improvements, and recruit heroes, all while taking on progressively dangerous dungeons. A victory point game, the game ends when the entirety of the city cards deck has been emptied. Scores are tallied and you find out who was the most powerful Lord of the Eastern Reach.

6

The Captain is Dead Board Game Review (AEG)

The Captain is Dead, and you're facing an onslaught by hostile aliens. Can your crew survive long enough to engage your warp drive? The Captain is Dead is a board game that perfectly encapsulates the second half of many Star Trek episodes. Absolutely everything has gone pear-shaped: aliens are boarding the ship, systems are going down, and bizarre (almost magical) anomalies are impacting the crew. Through cooperation and a little bit of luck, you'll have to manage each emergency as it comes.

7

Fae (Clans) Board Game Review (Z-Man Games)

Earlier this year, Z-Man Games updated the 2003 game "Clans," turning it into the more attractive but extremely identical Fae. It's likely that many classic games are going to be getting a face lift, as the hobby grows and matures. In the case of Fae -- an abstract strategy game -- this may not have been the best plan. Though Clans was a finalist in the 2003 Spiel Des Jahres, it was never a particularly highly rated game.

5

Tokaido Board Game Review (Funforge)

When you want a relaxing strategy game, you pull out Tokaido. Tokaido is a game about enjoying yourself -- whether you're an orphan begging for meals or a stately traveler. In Tokaido, players are challenged with experiencing Japan, having the most fun, buying the most souvenirs, and seeing the best sights. With a unique grouping and turn order mechanic, Tokaido actually becomes a game about reading other player's motives. Not only do you need to figure out your own strategy, but you need to maneuver around the strategies of others.

7

Temporal Odyssey Card Game Review (CGC Games)

Temporal Odyssey is a drafting card game with a twist: you're drafting from the pastpresent, and future. Two to four players will select a character and battle it out, dealing damage to each other, healing, and building up their roster. All the while, they'll be recruiting from different time lines with the ultimate goal of destroying each other -- you know, for reasons Temporal Odyssey plays in less than 30 minutes once players have learned the game, and it has a fair bit of replay value.

7

House of Danger Card Game Review (Z-Man Games)

When was the last time you read a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure? House of Danger is a cooperative, narrative card game based on a 1982 Choose-Your-Own-Adventure by R.A. Montgomery. In House of Danger, players control a psychic detective, with the goal of navigating through the five chapters that comprise the entire story. But House of Danger isn't just a collection of CYOA passages; it's a system that's designed to make exploration fun, rewarding, and dangerous.

8

Ascension Deckbuilding Card Game Review (Stoneblade Entertainment)

Initially released as Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, the Ascension Deckbuilding Game has since become an iOS, PlayStation Vita, and Android App. A straight-forward, fast-paced, deck-building card game developed by a professional Magic: The Gathering player, Ascension is very much the synthesis of everything that a deck-builder generally will be. At the same time, the core game is generic enough that one feels they aren't missing out on a lot by not playing the game.

7

Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfyre Card Game Review (Cryptozoic Entertainment)

In the running for the longest game name ever, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfyre is a set collection spell-casting battle royale card game played in multiple rounds. With a quirky art style ripped from an Adult Swim special, Epic Spell Wars is a casual, unpredictable game that really doesn't have a lot of strategy to it. Damage comes fast and hard, and there are a number of interesting and unique spell combinations with which to battle your foes.

6

Firelight: The Questing Card Game Review (HobbyHorse Games, LLC)

Firelight is a cooperative adventure for 2 to 4 players, with one player acting as the gamemaster. Players select their characters and are then thrust into one of 20 unique quests, which they'll need to resolve through skill checks, battles, and good old-fashioned roleplaying. Firelight promises to be a "questing card game," and while that much is true, it feels as though it's answering a question that no one ever asked. That question is: How do you play a roleplaying game without actually playing a roleplaying game?

5

Dragonfire Board Game Review (Catalyst)

Have you ever played a game that was so difficult that you wondered whether you were even playing it correctly? Dragonfire -- a cooperative D&D deckbuilder -- is precisely this sort of game. Not only is the game itself a challenge, but many of its directions are just vague enough that you might wonder whether you're truly failing or whether you've done something terribly wrong. Occasionally, you may discover that the thing that you were doing wrong actually made it easier for you. In this situation, you may be doubly dead -- but at least you tried.

6

Tsuro Board Game Review (Calliope)

Tsuro is easily one of my favorite filler games. It plays a large group, goes by fast, and requires nearly no explanation. Its art is both simplistic and attractive, it can be genuinely challenging, and it has a level of randomness that never feels unfair.

It's also not a complex game and, for the most part, you will know what the "right" move is during your turn. Still, every game plays out a little differently, and there's a surprising amount of social interaction involved that keeps it fresh.

8

Pages