Critic's Corner: Game Reviews

Board Game Reviews by Corey Whelen at Outset Media
*Not all games reviewed are distributed by Outset - we just like them!

Arctic-tecture: An Igloo Mania Review

by Corey Whelen
31 July 2019

2-4 Players, 10-20 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy, Ages 5+

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, Ages 14+
 

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, Ages 6+
 

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, Ages 8+

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, Ages 6+

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, Ages 12+

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, Ages 14+

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, Ages 8+
 
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, Ages 5+
 
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, Ages 5+

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!!

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