Istanbul review

Category: Board Game Review

Istanbul review

Istanbul (2014)

Playing Istanbul is a little bit like wresting a reluctant A* algorithm into grudging, malevolent obedience.   A lot of games are built on the idea of optimisation – that your goals are best served by ensuring the maximum yield for the minimum expenditure.  It’s a mechanism that is hard-wired into…

Gizmos (2018)

Gizmos is something of an awkward blend.   At first glance it’s a light, breezy and intuitive game of picking up marbles and spending them to build ever greater contraptions that yield ever greater effectiveness.    It plays though like Potion Explosion’s brainy older sibling – the one that graduated top of…

Wingspan (2019)

Let me take a slightly different tack with this review of Wingspan than I would normally.  Let me do it as a story of first impressions and an extended meditation on the nature and value of theme.

We all know theme is an important element of a game – a good…

Scotland Yard (1983)

It occurred to me this morning that we hadn’t yet tackled a hidden movement game for Meeple Like Us.   Here we are, almost two hundred games done, and we’ve managed to miss this whole genre entirely.   Mea culpa.  Mea maxima culpa.   I will begin to make my penance by talking…

Clacks (2015)

In our review of Discworld: Ankh Morpork I wrote what is effectively a love letter to Terry Pratchett’s wonderfully warm and funny universe of magical misadventure and narrative causality.    More than that though, the review was a chance to reflect on what makes a satisfying theme and how there are…

6 Nimmt Review

6 Nimmt! (1994)

If you’re a regular reader of this site you may remember that we had a somewhat contrarian view on The Mind.  It’s a game that I still think of as mostly recruitment material for a weird and esoteric cult that will surely rise up and kill us all before too…

Planet (2018)

If you imagined someone took a copy of Kingdomino and bent its tiles around a twelve-sided die you’d be quite a lot of the way towards visualising the game Planet.   This visually striking game is from many of the same people that brought us the stunning Photosynthesis.  It’s clear that…

Terra Mystica (2012)

There’s a risk for this site that comes with starting a review of Terra Mystica.  It’s a game that you could legitimately discuss for tens of thousands of words, being reviewed by someone that views academic essays as something akin to a post-it note of brief reminders.   I’m going to…

When I Dream (2016)

Imagine playing Dixit.   It’s good, isn’t it?   A beautiful design.  Elegant systems.   Gorgeous art.    You’re happy with it.  You’re satiated.  But you know – the more you play, the more familiar it becomes.  It stops being exciting and starts being comfortable.   Now imagine that one night you’ve got an arm…

Junk Art review

Junk Art (2016)

There gets to a point when reviewing games where you look at a box laid out on your table and think ‘I’m not sure there’s anything I can really say about this that hasn’t already been said’.    When you review things like Catan and Carcassonne it’s true – so much…

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,…