Pandemic

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Several virulent diseases have simultaneously broken out all over the world! You are a specialist whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.

The Gameplay:
The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases’ activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the “normal” spread of the infections.


Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists’ strengths in order to conquer the diseases. For example, the Operations Expert can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases and which allow for greater mobility between cities; the Scientist needs only four cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal five—but the diseases are spreading quickly and time is running out. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!


The Review:

I have only won at Pandemic once. I have been on the losing end of this game more than any other important have ever played. And you know what? I keep coming back.  We loving call this the game of perpetual losing.  

All that being said, Pandemic is an awesome co-op game anyone can get into.  I use it as a gateway game for people who haven’t been into the hobby before

Sentinels of the Multiverse.

 

| 1-5 Players | 30-60 minutes | Age 8+ |

A mad scientist holds the world hostage with his terrifying inventions. An alien warlord from a faraway galaxy brings his limitless army of bizarre minions to conquer the planet. A giant rampaging robot cuts a swath of destruction across the coast, destroying major population centers. And who will stand in their way? A team of heroes, all with impressive powers and abilities stand between the world and the forces of evil. Will you help them? Answer the call to protect the multiverse!

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The gameplay:

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative, fixed-deck card game with a comic book flavor. Each player plays as one of ten heroes, against one of four villains, and the battle takes place in one of four different dynamic environments.

 

sotm_fanatic.jpgEach player, after selecting one of the heroes, plays a deck of 40 cards against the villain and environment decks, which “play themselves”, requiring the players to put the top card of the appropriate deck into play on the villain and environment turns. On each player’s turn, they may play a card from their hand, use a power printed on one of their cards in play, and draw a card from their deck. Each round starts with the villain turn, continues clockwise around the table, and then concludes with the environment turn. Each villain has various advantages, such as starting with certain cards in play, as specified by the villain character card. Play continues until the heroes reduce the villain to 0 or fewer HP, or until the villain defeats the heroes, either via a win condition or by reducing all the heroes to 0 or fewer HP.

 

The Review:

sentinels-of-the-multiverse-mini-expansion-collection-14664-p.pngYou have got to love this game, you and your friends choose heroes, who hopefully synergies, and use their powers to battle comic book style villains. This game has great strategy and awesome art. I love this game, and chanting “Sun God, Fun God, Ra ,Ra ,Ra.” Whenever someone plays the character Ra. This game isn’t the easiest to teach to newcomers to the board gaming hobby. The mechanics are simple enough but some of the powers characters wield require prior gaming experience. If you are a veteran or someone who is quick to learn this game is for you!I really do enjoy playing this game, and think that everyone should give it a try.sentinelswrath1.jpg

 

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Sheriff of Nottingham 

 | 3-5 Players | 60 minutes | Age 13+ |

Prince John is coming to Nottingham!

You and your fellow players are merchants who see this as an opportunity to make quick profits by selling your goods in the city during the Prince’s visit. However, you must first get your goods through the city gate, which is under the watch of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Should you play it safe with legal goods and make a profit, or risk it all by sneaking in illicit goods? Be mindful, though, as the Sheriff always has his eyes out for liars and tricksters and if he catches one, he very well may confiscate those goods for himself! Or perhaps, for a fee, he could be convinced to look the other way.

The Gameplay:
In Sheriff of Nottingham, players will not only be able to experience Nottingham as a merchant of the city, but each turn one player will step into the role of the Sheriff himself. Players declare goods they wish to bring into the city, goods that are secretly stored in their burlap sack. The Sheriff must then determine who gets into the city with their goods, who gets inspected, and who may have their goods confiscated!


Do you have what it takes to be seen as an honest merchant? Will you make a deal with the Sheriff to let you in? Or will you persuade the Sheriff to target another player while you quietly slip by the gate? Declare your goods, negotiate deals, and be on the lookout for the Sheriff of Nottingham!

 

Top row: Legal Goods, Bottom row: Illicit Goods

 

The Review:

So much contraband!

This is a fantastic game, I recommend bribing the sheriff with regularity, that way no one knows when you are smuggling. Heck I like to bribe the sheriff with a low or insulting offer just to get him to open my sack and pay me reparations.  I will warn you, smuggling illicit goods is not a great strategy.  I have learned from experience that illicit goods alone won’t win you the game.  Now I should say, this game is fun, but can get rowdy. I have experienced people giving exposition on why player A is lying, and why they are telling the truth.  I do recommend you role play this game.  It’s amazing how much fun it becomes at that point.

Flip City

| 1-4 Players | 30-50 Minutes | Age 8+ |
You are the mayor of your own town, it’s small, and it’s kind of boring. But that doesn’t mean you can’t build and improve it! Build your own town in Flip City!

In this deck-building game, you have no hand at all; instead, you play cards directly from the top of your deck. Winning the game requires delicate strategies…and some luck as well!!

The Gameplay:
A turn consists of two phases: card playing and building.
Players play cards directly from the top of their deck and may choose to continue unless they have three cry-face icons in play, which ends their turn immediately and the player forfeits any “money” they earned up to that point. If they choose to stop, they move to the building phase

Look at all them cards

During the building phase, a player can use the coins gained from their previously played cards to buy a new card or to upgrade a card in their personal discard pile. To upgrade a card, pay the cost and flip it over; upgraded cards remain in the discard pile. Since all cards in this game are double-sided, be careful not to flip them over accidentally when placing cards into your discard pile or when shuffling your deck.

Whenever a player gains eight or more VP during a single card playing phase, the player wins immediately!


The review:

Flip city is a fun fast paced filler game. You can finish a game in as little as 15 minutes. I have enjoyed this game as filler between bigger games or during a rpg campaigns when waiting for someone else to do their thing.  I especially like the push your luck element and the way the designers have turned the deck builder concept upside down.


Legendary: A Marvel deck building game

A Villainous mastermind has gathered other villains and henchman to aid in his scheme. It’s time to Assemble a team of heroes, perhaps the Avengers, X-Men, the Defenders, or maybe Deadpool and his friends (if you are desperate).
The Gameplay:
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is set in the Marvel Comics universe. To set up the game, players choose a mastermind villain (Magneto, Loki, Dr. Doom, etc.), stack that particular villain’s attack cards underneath it, then modify the villain deck as needed based on that villain’s particular scheme. Players then choose a number of hero decks – Spider-Man, Hulk, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc. – and shuffle them together; since players use only a handful of hero decks out of the fifteen included in the base game, and the nearly hundred with expansions, the hero deck can vary widely in terms of what’s available.
Over the course of the game, players will recruit powerful hero cards to add to their deck in order to build a stronger and more resourceful deck. Players need to build both their recruitment powers (to enlist more heroes) and their fighting ability (to combat the villains who keep popping up to cause trouble). Players recruit heroes from an array of five cards, with empty slots refilled as needed. At the start of a player’s turn, he reveals a villain and adds it to the row of villains. This row has a limited number of spaces, and if it fills up, the earliest villain to arrive escapes, possibly punishing the heroes in some way. Some villains also take an action when showing up for the first time, such as kidnapping an innocent bystander. The villain deck also contains “master strike” cards, and whenever one of these shows up, the mastermind villain (controlled by the game) takes a bonus action.
As players fight and defeat villains, they collect those cards, which will be worth points at game’s end. Players can also fight the mastermind; if a player has enough fighting power, he claims one of the attack cards beneath the mastermind, which has a particular effect on the game. If all of these cards are claimed, the game ends and players tally their points to see who wins. If the mastermind completes his scheme, however – having a certain number of villains escape, for example, or imposing a certain number of wounds on the heroes – then the players all lose.
The Review:
I love the Legendary system. The weekly gaming group at my friendly local game store, Isle of Games, has this on pretty regular rotation. I have gone so far as to collect all the official expansions and house them in a wooden case with a  broken token insert and labeled divider tabs (click here for the how to article).  You will find that this is a game of synergies, one heros card effects will help with another heros.  The game designers did this with consideration of the comics continuity. So the X-Men help one another to be fight enemies.  This game can lead to analysis paralysis, as the order in which you play your cards matters.  
Future reviews will go over expansions for this game and the Legendary: Encounters line.
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Upper deck

Dungeon roll

Adventure Calls, assemble your noble band of heroes and earn all the glory for going the furthest into the dungeon, defeating the most monsters, collecting all the treasures, all while you avoid the dragon.
The Gameplay:
In Dungeon Roll the player’s goal is to collect the most experience points by defeating monsters, battling the dragon, and amassing treasure. Each player selects a Hero avatar, such as a Mercenary, Half-Goblin, or Enchantress, which provides them with unique powers. Then players take turns being the Adventurer, who boldly enters the dungeon seeking glory..

The Adventurer assembles their party by rolling seven Party Dice, while another player serves as the Dungeon Lord and rolls a number of Dungeon Dice based on how far the Adventurer has progressed through the dungeon. The Adventurer uses Champion, Fighter, Cleric, Mage, Thief, and Scroll faces on the Party Dice to defeat monsters such as oozes and skeletons, to claim treasure inside chests, and to revive downed companions with potions. The Adventurer claims treasure by taking a token at random from inside the treasure chest-shaped game box..456546845451464551654456-500x515

All this fighting in the dungeon is certain to attract the attention of the boss: The Dragon!

When three or more Dragon faces appear on the Dungeon Dice, the Adventurer must battle the Dragon. Defeating the dragon is a team effort, requiring three different companion types. After three rounds, the players add up their experience points and retire to the inn to celebrate their exploits and to plan their next foray into the next deadly dungeon!2a7d9af594ae95031a8af8645e845ccf

The Review:
Dungeon roll is my gaming groups go to filler game. Rolling custom dice to build your party while the person next to you plays as the dungeon itself trying to kill you off. This game is fast, light, and hilarious to play. The push your luck element really lends itself to a quick game. When you need to fill in the gaps between bigger games I recommended you try dungeon roll.

Smash Up

Who would win, Pirates or Ninjas? What about Plants or Zombies? Many have pondered these battles, no one has had a satisfactory answer. Now what if we smashed these battling factions together, who would win if they were Plant Ninja and Zombie Pirates fighting. Now you can play out these battles and find an answer.

The gameplay:

The “shufflebuilding” game Smash Up starts with a simple premise: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents! Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.

su-basecardsDuring play, Base cards (each with their own difficulties and abilities) are in play. You attempt to have the most power on the Base from your minions when the Base is smashed. Sounds easy? How easy is it when an opponent’s Alien-Ninja decides to Beam Up your minions to other Bases – flat out Assassinate them? What about when the Pirate-Dinosaur player Full Sails in and releases King Rex to stomp your minions into the ground, or when the Wizard-Zombies use their Mystic Power to create an Outbreak, suddenly flooding minions onto the Base from the discard pile? Or what if you faced a Zombie-Dinosaur player instead and he created an Outbreak of massive beasts all at once?!?0000654_smash-up

When a Base is smashed, each player in first, second and third place scores points. Fourth place? Sorry you wasted your minions dude.

With eight different factions in the base game, and a total of 17 factions with all the expansions. Smash Up includes thousands of possible combinations to try. Pirate-Aliens play different than Ninja-Aliens, for instance. Which will you use to smash up your opponents?

Did I mention the dinosaurs have laser beams, because they do…

The review:

I have owned Smash Up for some 2 years and can honestly say I’ve never finished a game.  That isn’t to say I dislike the game, but my gaming groups never finish a game.  It’s hilarious a concept for a game. We jokingly call it Internet argument the card game.

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So many cards

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