In Alphabetical Order.
Agricola : All Creatures Big and Small More Buildings Big and Small - The expansion to the base 2-player Uwe Rosenberg Agricola game. I had the opportunity to check out the expansion at BGG’s extensive board game library and I really, really, liked it, so much in fact that I dedicated a whole review to this one, which includes a BOP COMIC!
Alien Fronteirs Factions - Not super super new, but released this year. The expansion to majorly successful Kickstarter game,Alien Frontiers. It includes some neat pieces upgrades, allows for an additional PURPLE! player, and some new alien tech card powers, but the most mentionable are the Secret Agendas; which are pretty neat hidden objectives that give bonus victory points for completion. Is this expansion absolutely necessary? No, but it’s really nice that it opens it up for 5 players and adds additional replayabilty, so I’ll probably pick it up anyway.
Archipelago - I haven’t played this enough to give it a proper review. My first impression wasn’t great, I’ll admit, but i’ll probably give it another shot. You are competing to explore this Carribean land, building things like temples, harvesting resources, selling resources to the market, and all to manipulate your position for end game victory point objectives, your secret victory point objective, and hopefully get points from the other players objectives as well. There is some negotiation and bribing in the game with an interesting cooperation aspect where you have to manage the natives of the land to deter a revolt. So if that sounds interesting to you, might be worth checking out. A lot of my fellow gaming buddies give it a thumbs up.
Article 27 : The UN Security Council Game – Okay, so the average on BGG for this game isn’t very high, but I actually kind of liked it. It’s a fast paced, heavy negotiation game that will will have everyone smiling during the game, but complaining afterwards. You take on the role of a leader in the UN, and you are trying to get your secret agendas passed. You do so by bribing the other players and the secretary general to attempt to get things that give you influence points to pass and things that make you loose influence points to of course fail. Each player gets one turn being the secretary general, gavel and all! I think a lot of people have a problem with this game because it’s easy to get caught up in the faced paced bribery, while loosing any sort of strategy. I wouldn’t suggest playing this with heavy gamers, but it’s a lot of fun with people who just like to have fun in general.
Cards Against Humanity - it’s like Apples to Apples but very politically incorrect. Made me feel like a terrible person, which wasn’t entirely fair I guess since my options were always bad or worse. I guess there was one creative thing about the game, where they had double blanks, where you had to play two cards from your hand. Example below. You can download it free on their website, which even says “A free party game for horrible people,” – that just about sums is up perfectly.
Chicken Caesar - A friend of ours wanted to purchase the game, so he checked it out. The problem is you only get four hours to play it before you have to check it back into the BGG CON library. Which is understandable, since everyone wants to play the hotness before buying it. We didn’t quite get to it until halfway through his checkout time. After an hour of going through the very overly fluffy and wordy directions, we didn’t get to play all the way through it. But basically you have your own Roman family of chickens and you take on temporary roles of different political offices. “Temporary” meaning you’re chicken will probably die, if they don’t, you get a token. These tokens are used in combos for victory points. The general feeling towards the game wasn’t great, most everyone wanted to “just move onto something else.” But I’d probably give it another shot after setting aside a proper amount of time to sift through the overly lengthy directions.
CO2 - CO2 is a game where you propose and built energy producing plants. You must juggle the amount of pollution and green energy to gather the most victory points. However, as a group you must work together to prevent the world from becoming ruined by global warming. This is a game where all players can lose. Everyone has been issued carbon credits which you can use to build new facilities. You use your scientists to get bonuses from visiting summits and your money and resources to build energy producing plants. Also catastrophes can cause the green house gasses to rise and make global warming worse. This is a heavy game with a lot of options. The mechanics are a little un-intuitive because the bonuses you get from your actions are in several different places. Once learned, I think CO2 would be a great heavy game addition to anyones collection.
Guesstimate Overall: 8
Coup – this one was a winner with I think everyone I played it with, that I decided to pick up a copy as an in-between games, game. It literally takes five minutes and most of the time everyone wanted to play 3-5 games of it in a row. Everyone starts with 2 character cards. Each character has a special action and/or counter action. You can do one of 4 moves during your turn, take a coin, take foreign aid (which is two coins), coup someone for a cost of seven coins, or have an interaction using a character. Now, note I did not say “your character,” because half of the time you are bluffing or lying about who you are. You go around the table taking actions until you’ve eliminated all the other players, or have been eliminated yourself. After players get eliminated, it becomes easier to deduce who is actually what. I’m generally not a fan of elimination games, but since it only takes 5 minutes to play, even if you are the first player eliminated, it’s not a big deal at all, and is actually quite humorous to watch the remaining few minutes of the game.
Dungeon Fighter – You each have a character and you go through a dungeon fighting monsters, you use dice to fight these monsters which you must land on the round damage board… but really the only thing I remember about this game was our surrounding tables playing hardcore board games, glancing at us out of the corners of their eyes, while the 5 of us adults hopelessly jumped up and down with our backs facing a game board while throwing a dice over our shoulders trying to gracefully land the dice on the damage board but instead searching for the dice on the floor, only to try it over again. These are moments in my life i’d like to forget, and unless you are half intoxicated, or have children, I would not recommend playing this one.
Escape : The Curse of the Temple - Escape? Thats it? Sounds so easy, but playing this game with the basic setup is not only a challenge, but down right exhausting. Escape is in my opinion, a light co-operative dexterity game where you move around a modular board by rolling dice combinations. Once you find the exit, you must roll more keys than gems, and you escape. problem is there are 15 gems and only 5 dice. So it becomes a race against the clock to reduce the gems and have everyone make it out alive. Escape comes with a fantastic CD to control the game events in real time. Best of all, this game plays in 10 minutes. so far, all the plays of this one have been a complete blast. Plus if it becomes stale, the game comes with curses that increase the craziness. This game is loud, exciting and fun. I’m just really glad it’s short, because one or two games a night of Escape is all I can physically handle.
Gauntlet of Fools – I am a huge fan of Donald X. Vaccarino, but I wasn’t a fan of Gauntlet of Fools. It’s an adventure card game where you “bid” on hero’s by claiming you can do absurd things like fight blindfolded or on one leg. Each absurdity makes your hero less…. um… heroic. Once the bidding is over, everyone encounters the same monster independently, win and you get the monsters gold. Most gold wins. The problem is, that it’s just not that great. The characters become unbalanced, and it’s a dice rolling game, so there is always a great deal of luck. I wasn’t a fan. It’s more gimmicky than anything else.
Kill the Overlord – There were a lot of new card games out at BGG CON this year, Kill the Overlord was graphically one of the best card games with creative doubled sided cards for male and female players. I already mentioned an elimination card game earlier in this review, Coup, this is another. It’s quite different in that it’s longer, so being kicked out early can actually kind of suck in this game. It’s very similar to the card game Guillotine but instead of having a line of cards you are killing off on the table, the players are the line of cards, you are constantly trying to pass the execution order to the next person using your in hand cards, and become last man standing. Although the artwork was really pretty, the game was just okay. I’d much prefer Coup or Guillotine as much better options.
Legacy : Gears of Time - Finally, a board game to fill that time travel itch. Legacy : Gears of Time, a new release straight off of Kickstarter is available for order. In Legacy : Gears of Time, you are literally building an epic legacy by jumping back in time and inventing important technologies. You can invent “The Combustion Engine”, then jump farther back and invent “Fire”. Each invention is a card with a point value and a prerequisite. Points are scored each round by successful inventions and combo off the previous inventions. This is a heavy game with simple rules, Deep strategy, a fun theme, and lots of “Take that”. I highly recommend Legacy : Gears of Time!
Little Devils – When you first registered at the CON, they gave you a free door prize ticket, which consisted of you going to a shelf of games and getting to pick out four of them for free! Which was pretty fun considering I went with my hubby, so we got 8 between the two of us. Basically you are trying to get rid of your cards with the little devils on them so you are the littlest devil at the end. This card game was recommended by the one of the guys stocking the shelfs. Said it was a fun little game. Little yes, fun no.
Part 2 Still to Come…. Games on Love, War, Hockey and Mushrooms. Tune Back Friday for the second part of BGG CON – Games from the CON, what we played, what we liked, and what stunk!