Critic's Corner: Game Reviews

Board Game Reviews by Corey Whelen at Outset Media

 

Qlever Qubes: A Q-bitz Extreme Review

by Corey Whelen
18 September 2019

2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Medium Complexity, Medium Strategy

There’s nothing quite like a good brainteaser. That pleasant tickle at the back of your skull when you’re onto something big, or when those pieces are about to slide into place... there’s something magical about that “eureka” moment where everything falls into place, and it gets so, so much better when you’re the first to figure it out and you get to smugly explain it to family and friends. A lot of board games work on this basic premise, but Q-bitz Extreme is the only one I’ve seen that takes it completely literally, offering players a unique spatial puzzle that’s challenging for kids and highly competitive for adults!

Head to Head Hilarity: A Pickles to Penguins Review

by Corey Whelen
11 September 2019

2+ Players, 10 Minutes, Low Complexity, Medium Strategy

What do shampoo and corn have in common? What’s the difference between a bell pepper and a crossword? It’s not a joke, but it is the sort of hilarious parallels you’ll be drawing in one of our favourite party games ever- we’re reviewing Pickles to Penguins, the quick-thinking, picture-linking party game with fans from Albuquerque to Zanzibar!

Viral Victory: A Pandemic Review

by Corey Whelen
4 September 2019

2-4 Players, ~30 Minutes, Medium Complexity, High Strategy

Congratulations! It’s your first day working at the World Health Organization, where you’ll be studying illness, researching cures, and SAVING THE WORLD! Let’s start with that last one, actually. Four new virulent diseases are ravaging the planet, and it’s up to your team of super scientists and doctors to stop them before it turns into a global PANDEMIC! That’s right, we’re reviewing the modern classic, the granddaddy of co-op games, the sickness-smashing, disease-dueling, illness-eradicating game of strategy and stress!

The Nose Knows: A Pencil Nose Review

by Corey Whelen
28 August 2019

4+ Players, ~30 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy

Some games never go out of fashion. Monopoly has been kicking for over a century, Charades has been around since the early 1800’s and Checkers was played 5000 years ago in Ancient Mesopotamia. They’re great games, and they’ve withstood the test of time for a reason, but sometimes a small tweak can make them feel new and fresh again, providing a game that’s immediately accessible for new players due to its familiarity, yet fresh and engaging for people who have played for years. Fat Brain Toy’s newest game, Pencil Nose, is one such tweak, and I think it’s my all-time favourite variation on Pictionary.

Arctic-tecture: An Igloo Mania Review

by Corey Whelen
31 July 2019

2-4 Players, 10-20 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy

Parka Pete balances delicately atop his lovingly made igloo, frozen in horror as his home is slowly surrounded by Antarctica's most fearsome predators- penguins with ice picks. With a silly premise, silly pieces, silly gameplay, and (with luck) a few silly players, Igloo Mania will have you and your friends laughing faster than you can say “get the igloo glue”!

Just Say When: A What? Review

by Corey Whelen
24 July 2019
5-17 Players, 20-120 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy
 

What is the perfect game for your next social gathering? What goes perfectly with drinks and friends? What is the best party game put out by Outset Media, and What should be the next game on your shopping list? You’ll learn the answers to these questions (plus a whole bunch of answers you never knew you wanted)- in the preeminent party game that raises more answers than questions- this is What? and it is an absolute joy to play.

Avoca-GO! A Guacamole Review

by Corey Whelen
17 July 2019
2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy.
 

You’ve got the freshest veggies, the specialty spices, and a handful of recipes, but you also have hungry customers, desperate for an avocado-based dip. It’s time to prove yourself as the best (or at least, the most efficient) chef in town, because Guacamole brings a whole new meaning to fast food.

 

Samurai Showdown: A Sixteen Samurai Review

by Corey Whelen
10 July 2019

2-4 Players, 20 Minutes, Medium Complexity, Medium Strategy

Loosely inspired by the work of legendary director Akira Kurosawa, Sixteen Samurai is a game of epic combat played out across a series of rapid-fire rounds. Blades will ring, heroes will fall, dice will roll, and at the end, the winner will be the last samurai clan left standing!

Qwirky, Qwick, and oh so Qool: A Qwirkle Review

by Corey Whelen
4 July 2019

2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Low Complexity, High Strategy

Abstract games tend to get overlooked compared to their flashier, more thematic cousins, but Qwirkle’s simple tile-laying gameplay is like slipping into a warm bath after a long day. It’s a classic, and rightfully so: Qwirkle draws upon games like Rummy and dominos for inspiration, and the result is charming, unique, and deeply strategic despite its simplicity.

Communication Breakdown: A Lost in Translation Review

by Corey Whelen
26 June 2019

4-44 Players, 20 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy.

When people think of board games, they usually imagine something pretty similar: a battle of luck and wits played out with things like cards, dice, and a whole bunch of rules. Sometimes, your games table is in the mood for something lighter and friendlier, a “party” game, good for a large group of casual players, something where having fun is the primary objective, and winning becomes less important the harder you laugh at your friends and their ridiculous antics. Sometimes, you need something like Lost in Translation.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Critic's Corner