All Game Reviews

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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Bucket of Doom Party Game Review (Big Potato)

I don't know why people play party games with me. It's probably akin to playing a party game with the ghost of Larry David, some kind of ephemeral spector of wit long dead, telling and retelling the haunting jokes of yesteryear. It's a thing that happens, though, because we often have more than a reasonable number of people, and party games are frequently marked (as this one) with a "+" instead of a maximum number. Really, "Bucket of Doom," 3+ players? So 30? 30 people could play your game? I didn't think so.

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Iquazu Board Game Review (HABA)

Hunt for treasure by climbing the extraordinary Iquazu waterfall. Brightly colored, warmly illustrated, and kinda fun to put together, Iquazu is a family-style game that marries competitive strategy with a sort of match-3 mobile game aesthetic. Iquazu is absolutely a gimmick game -- it includes gems and planks -- but that doesn't necessarily make it a bad game. Unfortunately, the game's strategy can get bogged down by its trappings.

5

Super Hazard Quest Board Game Review

You would think, you would really think, that a game that "plays like an 8-bit side scroller" would be our favorite -- especially since we have a lot of fun with Boss Monster. There's something really magical about Super Hazard Quest, from the obvious, knock-off characters ("polish plumber"), to the goofy little settings (spooky ghost hallway). Everyone selects a character (ranging from NotLink to NotSamus) and explores the world, defeating both environmental hazards and combat hazards along the way.

5

Bill and Ted's Excellent Board Game Review (Steve Jackson Games)

I'm excited to announce that for just $18.71 you can now order a board game that tells you to loudly yell "69" before progressing. Bill and Ted is a cultural touchstone of my generation, but I'm not sure I wanted it touched in this way. Made by Steve Jackson Games and maintaining a near 5 star rating everywhere on the web, Bill and Ted's Excellent Board Game is a dynamic and competitive programming game made and played by people who were clearly high when doing it.

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Takenoko Board Game Review (Asmodee)

Who doesn't love a board game that comes with its own little comic backstory? Takenoko is a relaxing game about a garden, a gardener, and a panda. A grid-based strategy game, Takenoko is the story of a garden that is constantly growing and constantly being devoured. With enough random elements to keep things challenging and a wide variety of strategies, it's a fairly in-depth little game that can be played in under an hour.

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Camel Up Board Game Review (Pegasus Spiele)

I don't think camels race by stacking on top of each other, but I don't know enough about camels to dispute it. In Camel Up, five brilliantly colored camels race to the finish line. As they advance, they'll encounter both help and hindrances, all while the players bet on which camel is going to pull ahead. Camel Up looks like an absolutely ridiculous children's game, and it is one, but there's actually a charmingly simple strategy game hidden beneath.

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The Networks Board Game Review (Formal Ferret Games)

Have you ever wanted the power and control that comes with developing your own television network? Compete against four other players in The Networks, the game all about scheduled programming. In The Networks, you'll collect episodes of shows, ads, and television personalities, all with the goal of devleoping out your station and making it the best in the business. You start with "three terrible public access TV shows" and are able to build your viewership over time, but you also need to worry about potentially losing your budget. 

8

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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