Category: Board Game Review

Nudge (2019)

It’s weird to think that those reading this post are perhaps living in the last few generations of humanity.   Look ahead over the next fifty years.  Consider to what we have to look forward.  Apocalyptic climate change.  Increasingly polarized political extremism encouraged, endorsed and knowingly leveraged by civic authority.   The…

Mechs vs Minions (2016)

Mechs vs Minions may have the single most refined ratio of price to production that you’ll find in any tabletop game anywhere. For $75, direct from the Riot Games storefront, you get an absolutely massive box big enough to bury a beagle. It’s filled to the brim with painted mechs,…

Above and Below

Above and Below (2015)

If you’ve been paying attention to the site, there are a few things you could probably deduce.   The first is that I like city building games.  Suburbia, Quadropolis, Lords of Waterdeep – they all got enthusiastic support for the way they let you feel like you’re actually contributing to the…

Secret Hitler review

Secret Hitler (2016)

In today’s ‘meandering monologue on stuff only vaguely related to the topic of the review’, let’s discuss about the accessibility of first impressions and how Secret Hitler is layers and layers of case study on how important they can be.  At least, let’s talk about that for a bit before…

Pit review

Pit (1903)

Continuing our occasional series of ‘games from ancient antiquity that still deserve some attention in the modern era’, let’s talk about Pit!   This is a game that was first released in 1903.  Even now it’s probably the single most efficient engine for taking a game group from quiet contemplation into…

Castles of Burgundy (2011)

My first experience with Castles of Burgundy was traumatic.   The rulebook is terrible and badly structured, the components cheap and shoddy, and there is so much setup that I eventually gave up in frustration and put the box back on the shelf for literal years.    Any one of those would…

Monopoly review

Monopoly (1933)

There was a surprisingly good response to our review of Scrabble – a review I said I’d never write because, come on, who really needs to hear anything anyone has to say about Scrabble at this point? I wrote it out of a kind of completionist compulsion. Scrabble had appeared…

Perudo review

Perudo (1800)

I’m going to do something a little unusual today.   I’m going to review a game you can probably make for yourself right now if you have a few spare dice laying around.  If you’re reading this review I’m willing to bet you’re exactly the kind of cheeky scamp that certainly…

Tigris and Euphrates review

Tigris and Euphrates (1997)

One of the difficulties a game must address is that of abstraction.  All games are abstractions in the end – some imprecise mapping of reality to representation.   The fidelity of that representation is important – it has to be at the level people are expecting for the experience they are…

Secrets (2017)

Secrets makes a good first impression, on several levels.   For one thing, the box art is very striking – bright, bold colours with an effective, cartoonish graphic style that evokes some of the light-hearted Cold War paranoia of 80s television shows.   For another, it’s a game by Bruno Faidutti and…

Scythe (2016)

’ll say this about Scythe – it doesn’t shy away from making a flamboyant entrance into your life. While there is nothing ostentatious or brash about the box, it has what is perhaps the most enticing cover art I’ve seen in any game. Anachronistic and yet coherent. Ambitious yet grounded….

Assembly review

Assembly (2018)

I’ve said before that one of the things I like most in a game is when its packaging is appropriately scaled for its contents, and Assembly is a dream in that respect.   It’s odd, but it always puts me in a positive frame of mind to know the majority of…

Samurai review

Samurai (1998)

There’s a sparseness to the design of Samurai that is typical of Reiner Knizia games – a mathematically inspired elegance in a game that wears its theme as lightly as an easily discarded cloak.  It purports to be a game of feudal conquest – of bringing a recalcitrant Japan to…

Mint Works (2017)

The thing that I like about mint tin games is that they tend to pack a lot of ambition into those tiny containers.   As gimmicky as the whole concept is, I’ve been impressed over the years by a number of the titles that have sought to miniaturise complex components into…