Category: Review

Ice Cool review

Ice Cool (2016)

Here in the United Kingdom there was a cultural phenomenon called Subbuteo that defined the life of many an enthusiastic young boy during the eighties.    My life back then was a constant background murmur of gaming properties that would now be considered within the domain of the ‘hobbyist’.  We had…

Ethnos (2017)

Ethnos is the game that you might get by putting Ticket to Ride and Lord of the Rings in a particle collider and smashing them together at relativistic speeds.    Actually, no – scratch that.   Ethnos might be set in a fantasy world but it doesn’t have a fraction of the…

Onitama review

Onitama (2014)

Remember how I didn’t like Hive?  I’m sure you do – you’ve got all these reviews committed to memory.   You love our reviews so much that you’re eagerly waiting on the spoken word audiobook so I can be your bedtime companion.  You want to lie there, in the dark of…

Pit Crew review

Pit Crew (2017)

I’ve never really fully understood why people enjoy watching car races.   The whole thing has always struck me as little more than queueing at speed.  Everyone is driving around a track at velocities so high that when you see the event up and close it manifests itself as little more…

XCom review

XCOM (2015)

We also have an accessibility teardown of XCOM available. There are obviously a lot of differences between board games and video games.  Board games tend to come in bigger boxes.   Board games have an elasticity of availability that rapidly snaps between feast and famine.  One day they’re a hard-to-find grail…

Tsuro review

Tsuro (2004)

We also have an accessibility teardown of Tsuro available. Tsuro is a pretty game.  A very pretty game.  A very, very pretty game.   The pictures throughout this review won’t really do it justice, but take my word for it – it looks lovely when it’s set up on the table. …

Magic Maze (2017)

There are times when writing this blog that I feel like the worst kind of unreasonable grump.  A sort of cardboard Grinch, angry and belligerent at the fun I see arrayed around me.   It seems like I’m waiting for the one game that melts away my cold outer shell and…

Coup review

Coup (2012)

If the Highlander series had been set in a future run by plutocratic civil servants, Coup is the game that would likely have been made in its honour.   It’s a tiny box consisting of fifteen cards and a stack of money – it leverages those sparse components into a bloodthirsty…

Innovation review

Innovation (2010)

I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog my deep, abiding and borderline lustful appreciation of the Sid Meier’s Civilization series of games.   I can invest meaningful hours – days, even – carefully sculpting my empire from psychopathic stone-age marauders to psychopathic information age nuclear vandals.   Much of that comes from the…

Tiny Epic Galaxies

Tiny Epic Galaxies (2015)

At this point, the ‘Tiny Epic’ series of games is an honest to goodness branding juggernaut.  It’s a range of diminutive containers filled with big games with bigger ideas that span everything from epic fantasy adventures to Old West frontier town management.      The mechanics range from tower defence to poker-based…

Blank (2017)

How on Earth do you review a game like Blank?   Everything about it denies any kind of toe-hold for the anxious reviewer – no crack or crevice within which to a dig an inquisitive finger or a steadying crampon.   It’s all shiny and new and full of proffered possibilities.  What…

Catan (1995)

This is an awkward review to write.  On the one hand Catan is a well-designed title beloved by millions – one of the few modern designer board-games that can claim genuine fame outside of an ultra-niche demographic of ultra-niche nerds.    If you say to most normal people that you are…

Wibbell++ Review

Wibbell++ (2017)

Wibbell++ presents me with something of a conundrum when it comes to a review and the teardown to follow.  It’s not a game as such.  It’s a ‘card game system’ which can be used to provide the raw components for many games.     To an extent this whole review is going…

Yamatai Review

Yamatai (2017)

Every time I set up and play Yamatai I am struck again by just how bloody lovely every single part of it is.  This is a game that is much participatory art project as it is an exercise in play – at the end of a session you can sit…

Five Tribes review

Five Tribes (2014)

Right everyone, I need you to listen here.  This is going to be a rough review.  I’m going to be unironically saying things like ‘table presence’ (urgh), ‘analysis paralysis’ (urgh, urgh) and ‘mancala mechanisms’ (ur… uh?).   I’m going to be talking about this game in a way that makes it…

Potion Explosion review

Potion Explosion (2015)

We also have an accessibility teardown of Potion Explosion available. When I think back to my time at Hogwarts, my recollection of Potions was a somewhat different experience to how it’s presented in Potion Explosion.  It was less about unconstrained play and more about trying not to catch Snape’s eye…

Arboretum review

Arboretum (2015)

We also have an accessibility teardown of Arboretum available. Arboretum doesn’t look like it, but this is a game about when the Ents go to war.   Arboretum is a scorched-earth battleground set in the Lord of the Rings universe.  It doesn’t say it anywhere, but that’s the only conclusion a…

One Deck Dungeon (2016)

We also have an accessibility teardown of One Deck Dungeon available. Oooh, One Deck Dungeon was an unexpected treat.   I bought it mostly on a whim largely because I wanted to talk about its approach to inclusion in the art.  It’s an all woman cast which is simultaneously something of…