Hive

| 2 Players | 20 Minutes | Age 9+ |
Two mighty insectoid armies face off. Ants scurry about the battlefield, grasshoppers leap over their companion and foes alike to gain greater footing, and mighty Beatles stride atop others pinning them down as they go. All this to protect your queen and surround the opposing queen.
The Gameplay:

Hive is a highly addictive strategic game for two players that is not restricted by a board and can be played anywhere on any flat surface. Hive is made up of twenty two pieces, eleven black and eleven white, resembling a variety of creatures each with a unique way of moving.  With no setting up to do, the game begins when the first piece is placed down. As the subsequent pieces are placed this forms a pattern that becomes the playing surface (the pieces themselves become the board). Unlike other such games, the pieces are never eliminated and not all have to be played. The object of the game is to totally surround your opponent’s queen, while at the same time trying to block your opponent from doing likewise to your queen. The player to totally surround his opponent’s queen wins the game.

The review:

Hive is a great alternative to something like Chess or Go, but accessible enough that younger children could learn the rules. I really enjoy this game,  but honestly it doesn’t get in the rotation nearly as much as it should.  I don’t get many chances to play 2 player games.  I love playing this one on my phone,  but you can’t beat playing in person.  I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys strategy, abstract,  or bug games.

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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Jaipur

| 2 Players | 30 minutes | Age 12+ |
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. You are one of the two most powerful traders in the city!  But that’s not enough for you, because only the merchant with two Seals of Excellence will have the privilege of being invited to the Maharaja’s court. You are therefore going to have to do better than your direct competitor by buying, exchanging, and selling at better prices, all while keeping an eye on both your camel herds.
The gameplay:

jaipur 11.pngWhen it’s your turn, you can either take or sell cards.
If you take cards, you have to choose between taking all the camels, taking 1 card from the market or swapping 2 to 5 cards between the market and your cards.jaipur 12.png


If you sell cards, you get to sell only one type of good per turn, and you get as many chips from that good as you sold cards. The chips’ values decrease as the game progresses, so you’d better hurry! But, on the other hand, you get increasingly high rewards for selling 3, 4, or 5 cards of the same good at a time, so you’d better wait!


You can’t sell camels, but they’re paramount for trading and they’re also worth a little something at the end of the round, enough sometimes to secure the win, so you have to use them wisely.


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The Review:

Jaipur is a fast-paced card game, with a blend of tactics, risk and luck. I really enjoy economic and set collecting games and Jaipur gives you all of that.  I do find it a bit difficult to get this game to the table as 2 player games aren’t all that accessible in groups. That being said anytime I can play this, I will. This is a really good intro game for kids as the mechanics are easy and the art is visually pleasing. I taught my 13 year old nephew this game in two minutes and he really enjoys this one, mostly because he has beat me in it before.

Dice City

| 1-4 Players | 45 – 60 Minutes | Age 14+ |
By decree of the Queen, there needs to be a new capital!

The Kingdom of Rolldovia is in turmoil. Her royal highness the Queen, has decreed that there will be a new capital, after the old one was sacked by hordes of barbarians and bandits from the south. As leaders of one of the country’s influential noble families, players vie with each other to establish their provincial city as the best home for Rolldovia’s new capital. You must choose your city’s path in gaining the approval of all others in the kingdom



 

The Gameplay:

Dice City is a “dice-crafting” game in which the locations in your city act as the changing faces of your dice each turn. Use tactics and strategy to press your claim!
You each have several ways to promote your city; create strong armies; construct wondrous buildings; or open up trade routes. Gather the most victory points before one of the end game conditions are met so you can win! The secret is to manage your city and its natural resources carefully to make the best of your fortunes. 

 



The review:

Dice city is really fun to play and as y’all might have noticed that this is one of my favorite types of games, economic games!  This is also one of my least favorite types of games, Dice games!! (Dice hate me) this game is crazy fun, and with so many different effective strategies to win anyone from a novice to a hardcore strategy gamers can pick this up and play.  I really do enjoy this game and can say that it is a good intro for those gamer who are just getting in to the hobby. This is easily accessible, has a ton of expansions, and is crazy fun to play.  Would recommend this as an introductory game for most new gamers.

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.


Guildhall Fantasy

I’m going to start off by saying that this is a re-skining of Guildhall Job Faire, a game that I did not really care for. The original used the same mechanics, however it was set up as a more realistic medieval jobs.  Now guildhall fantasy has thieves, paladins, and wizards. Really now who doesn’t want to build a guild of fantasy adventurers?!

The gameplay:


In Guildhall Fantasy, each profession grants you special abilities, and these abilities grow stronger the more of that profession that you collect. When you cash in that profession set for victory points, however, you lose the ability until you can build it up again.

The review:

I first played this game at RinCon 2016, and it was awesome.  A good friend and I played with some total strangers, all of us were new to the game, and we were all able to pick up the rules and start playing really quick.  The game is fast paced and strategic, it is from AEG so surprise it’s a card game… but it’s a good card game. I lost my first playthrough of this game, and pretty badly at that.  And yet the moment I had an opportunity to buy this game I did.  I love games like this, they are easy to teach have a fair amount of strategy that makes it a rich experience and I can teach it to kids and adults