Game Review: Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island
Forbidden Island
Title: Forbidden Island
Players: 1-4
Play Time: 30 Minutes
Designer: Matt Leacock
Publisher: Gamewright (et al)
Year: 2010

Overview
Forbidden Island was one of many games that I learned about by watching the TableTop channel on YouTube. It is a cooperative game where 1-4 players try to move around an island attempting to retrieve four special relics, each representing one of the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Technically it’s sold as a 2-4 player game, but you could easily play this by yourself. There are six roles that are randomly assigned to start the game. Each role has one special ability that I’ll cover a bit later.

If you don’t read any further, here’s the important part: I definitely enjoy this game, and find that it’s a fantastic way to introduce the idea of cooperative gaming to those who haven’t played that style before. (It’s much easier to explain and faster to play than Pandemic, for example, another cooperative game from the same designer.) Adding in the alternate island layouts (details later) has kept this game in my rotation for quite some time.

I don’t like the metal tin. But I can get over that. 😉 Continue reading “Game Review: Forbidden Island”

Azul – A Beautiful Mosaic

Azul
Azul
Title: Azul
Players: 2-4
Play Time: 30-45 minutes
Designer: Michael Kiesling
Publisher: Next Move / Plan B
Year: 2017

Overview
Azul is one of the newest games in my (ever-growing) collection, and I can already tell I am going to be bugging my friends to play it. It seems deceptively simple, but I’m sure there are nuances and depth that I’ve not yet discovered. If not, well, I bet I will have played the game often enough to make it worthwhile. Continue reading “Azul – A Beautiful Mosaic”

Game Review: Lanterns

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival box cover art
Lanterns: The Harvest Festival

Title: Lanterns The Harvest Festival
Players: 2-4
Play Time: 30′
Designer: Christopher Chung
Publisher: Foxtrot / Renegade Game Studios

Overview
This is one of many games I purchased after watching in played on TableTop on YouTube. It supports 2-4 players, the rules can be explained in less than five minutes, and it plays in less than 30. As such it fits nicely into a time slot where you are still waiting for part of your gaming group to arrive or you want something lighter so you can have a conversation while you’re playing. (Tsuro also falls into this “quick play” category for me.)

Lanterns is one of many games coming to us via the Kickstarter process. I love the fact that independent game designers can get their products in front of the marketplace via this route! Not every game gets funded, and of those that do, not every game is a success. This one, however, I like.

It was recognized as a Mensa Select game for 2015. Continue reading “Game Review: Lanterns”

Dragon Slayer Dice Game Review

Dragon Slayer Dice Game
Dragon Slayer Dice Game
I am a sucker for dragons. I have stuffed dragons, pewter dragons, glass dragons, dragon posters, a dragon “piggy” bank, lots of framed dragon art, … I even have a stained glass dragon hanging up in my home office. Oh, and a dragon cake pan. No, actually I have two different dragon cake pans. So if there is something with a dragon on it or related to it in some way, I’m probably interested.

Any wonder why I bought this game? 🙂
Continue reading “Dragon Slayer Dice Game Review”

Heroes of the Aturi Cluster (Part I)

Heroes of the Aturi Cluster User Manual Cover
Heroes of the Aturi Cluster
A few years ago my younger son came home from a visit with a friend, and he told me about this new game that let you play Star Wars on a tabletop. Now I’m as big a geek / Star Wars fan as the next person, but I couldn’t see how a tabletop version of a space fighter game would actually work. A few weeks later, I dropped him off at a local game store for X-Wing Night and checked out the game. It seemed really fiddly to me. There were so many tokens and moving parts. I got over it. 🙂 In fact you can read a review of X-Wing that I’ve previously posted to hear the rest of that story.

Fast forward a few years, and I now have invested in dozens of ships and user-created materials and storage cases and game accessories. The primary reason? Heroes of the Aturi Cluster. Continue reading “Heroes of the Aturi Cluster (Part I)”

Game Review: X-Wing Miniatures Game

X-Wing Miniatures Game
X-Wing Miniatures Game
Ah, Star Wars. I was in high school when the first movie (strangely titled “Episode IV”) came out. Back then if you wanted to see a movie, you went to see it! There was none of this newfangled streaming over your phone…heck, we didn’t even have smartphones! And we liked it!

Anyway, that was then, this is now. Now we have little tiny X-Wings and TIE Fighters and a Millennium Falcon that we can push around on a tabletop and make “pew-pew-pew” sounds until somebody blows up.

And somebody always blows up. Continue reading “Game Review: X-Wing Miniatures Game”

Game Review: Tsuro

Tsuro
Title: Tsuro
Players: 2-8
Play Time: 15′
Designer: Tom McMurchie
Publisher: Calliope Games

Overview
This is one of many games I purchased after watching it being played on the TableTop channel on YouTube. It supports from 2-8 players, the rules can be explained in less than five minutes, and it plays in less than 15. Continue reading “Game Review: Tsuro”