Critic's Corner: Game Reviews

 

Avoca-GO! A Guacamole Review

by Corey Whelen
17 July 2019
30 Minutes, 2-4 Players, 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

20 Minutes, 2-4 Players, 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

30 Minutes, 2-4 Players, 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

20 Minutes, 4-44 Players, 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.

Mini-Municipalities and Diminutive Dwellings: A Tiny Towns Review

by Corey Whelen
19 June 2019

1-6 Players, 40 Minute Play Time, Low Complexity, High Strategy

Simple, small, and incredibly unforgiving, Peter McPherson’s Tiny Towns hides a surprisingly compelling game behind its cutesy, forest-animal façade.

Oh Sew Satisfying: A Patchwork Review

by Corey Whelen
12 June 2019
2 Players, 30 Minute Play Time, Medium Complexity, High Strategy
 
While many board games work fine with just two players, few are designed with small player counts in mind. Sometimes, with just two players, those 4-hour games of Monopoly™ and Risk™ seem a lot less friendly and a lot more competitive.

Antics on the Ant Farm: An Ant Colony Review

by Corey Whelen
6 June 2019
1-6 Players, 30 Minute Play Time, Medium Complexity, Light Strategy
 
Dig into the dirt! Tear up the terrain! Make a mess in the mud with your friends, but don’t forget, the colony is relying on you! It’s all-for-one and one-for-all in this crazy cooperative game! Ant Colony is the tile-placing game of choice for families of all ages!

Sea of Thieves: A Mystery Island Pirates Review

by Corey Whelen
24 May 2019

2-6 Players, 20 Minute Play Time, Low Complexity, Light Strategy

The planks underfoot groan, and waves crashes across the bow. Your crew is at the ready and your heart full of adventure. Your opponents are fast, and just as fierce as you, but with a bit of luck, and the wind at your back, you’ll be the first to plunder the mysterious and legendary Treasure Island!!

Plumbing the Depths: A Catacombs of Karak Review

by Corey Whelen
13 May 2019
2-5 Players, 45 Minute Play Time, Medium Complexity, Medium Strategy
 
Will you be a powerful wizard, seeking an ancient artifact with the power to end the world? A skilled swordsman searching for a fabled ruby to win the heart of his true love? Or a clever thief with a troubled past, a penchant for gold, and a thirst for vengeance?

Magic Mazes: A Keys to the Castle Review

by Corey Whelen
May 10, 2019

2-4 Players, 15 Minute Play Time, Low Complexity, Light Strategy

Mazes! Mazes have fascinated humans for thousands of years. Something about getting lost and finding yourself is adjacent to the human experience, and, as a result, we have mazes made from stone, turf, hedges, corn, and even a Labyrinth with David Bowie!

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