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Gem-Boree: A Sapphiro Review

by Corey Whelen
9 October 2019

2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Low Complexity, Low Strategy, Ages 6+

Sapphiro by MindWare makes an impression the minute you pull it out of the box. A glittering rainbow of multicoloured gems grace the gameboard and your objective becomes clear almost immediately. You want these gems. You NEED them. Specifically, you need one gem of each colour, and you don’t want the other players to get them. It’s a good, simple premise for an abstract game, and the rules are just as easy to parse. It’s easy to start playing Sapphiro, but it can be difficult to stop!

Pros and “Cons”: The Wide World of Worldwide Board Game Conventions

by Corey Whelen
2 October 2019

In my experience, nothing brings people together quite like a board game. That warm familiar feeling of attacking a shared puzzle and outwitting your friends is delightful, and since the early 2000’s, hobby board games have had astronomical growth as an industry, meaning games are bringing more people together than ever. Nowhere is this more evident than in the industries adjacent to board games- particularly board game conventions, or “cons” as they’re often referred to. Convention season is just firing up, so I thought we’d take a look at some gaming conventions, and maybe help find one for you!

The Revenge of Long John Silver: A Treasure Island Review

by Corey Whelen
18 September 2019

3-5 Players, 45 Minutes, High Complexity, Medium Strategy, Ages 10+

Avast, me hearties! Come close and let this salty old seadog tell you the treacherous tale of one Long John Silver. Mutinied he was, and taken prisoner by a crew hungry for treasure, but that rascally old pirate wouldn’t give up the location of his riches that easily. The crew bickered amongst themselves, eager to betray each other and take the treasure for themselves, and ol’ Long John fed into their paranoia, giving them each different clues, some of which weren’t even true, to distract the crew long enough that he could escape and take the cursed gold for himself… In Treasure Island, you get to play as a pirate scrambling across a Caribbean island, trying to claim Silver’s treasure for yourself, or you can play as Silver, handing out the vaguest clues you can, and occasionally even lying through your teeth to throw the crew off the trail long enough for you to escape the brig!

Bolen Books: Victoria, BC Canada

A bookstore and more!
1 October 2019

It’s been an incredible 44 years for the family owned and operated Bolen Books store.  This amazing bookstore is based in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia on the wonderful west coast of Canada.

Qlever Qubes: A Q-bitz Extreme Review

by Corey Whelen
18 September 2019

2-4 Players, 30 Minutes, Medium Complexity, Medium Strategy, Ages 8+

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!