“Hasty Baker” Card Game Review

Imagine running a bakery and it’s crazy complicated. The employees want to unionize, the city health regulations mean that you have to redo all your recipes, your oven’s not working correctly and that guy you just hired to deliver to the local coffee shops seems more than a bit flakey. You’re also trying to master 78 different recipes while keeping your kitchen nut, dairy and gluten free. Fun? No. And that’s why it’s not the…Read More

Game Review: Pumpkin Patch Bad Seeds

While I love the social aspect of multi-player gaming, and even more so when it’s a cooperative game, there’s a lot of logistics involved in getting a group together for some gaming. I’m not alone in this, so there’s a whole world of solo board and card games for people who want to solve a puzzle or overcome a challenging scenario without a video controller in their hand. And then there’s the toughest category of…Read More

Game Review: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

First Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was a terrific book written by Susanna Clarke then the BBC picked it up and created a highly entertaining and engaging series with the same name that’s available on Netflix. Great. Why not turn this rich Victorian world of gentlemen magicians and strange characters into a board game? Game designers Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello joined up with game publisher Osprey Games and created A Board Game of English…Read More

Game Review: The Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley

Compared to modern tech, the computers of the 1970’s were crude, with chunky graphics, slow performance and almost no storage capacity. Still, people love games and programmers wrote games, from text-based adventure games like Zork and Rogue to interactive graphic games like Breakout and Space Invaders. Originally created as an educational program, one of the most famous games from that era is The Oregon Trail. Developed by Don Rawitsch, Bill Heinemann, and Paul Dillenberger in…Read More

Jigsaw Puzzle-palooza with Pressman Toys!

My Mum used to do jigsaw puzzles and I can remember as a kid thinking it was odd, but being pulled into the challenge of visual identification every time I’d walk past and glance at the table. Whether it’s the 20-piece puzzles for infants that help build a sense of image identification, continuity and shape recognition or the hundreds – or thousands – of puzzle pieces that make up a full size puzzle, there’s a…Read More

Learn Basic Economics with the GoVenture Entrepreneur Card Game

I know, the phrase “learn economics” or, for that matter, “learn entrepreneurship” sounds like the worst possible foundation for a fun game. And yet, if you think about it, quite a few games, from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan, are built around basic economic principles of scarcity, supply and demand, and investment risk assessment. Ironically, Monopoly was originally created to show the evils and dangers of capitalism and monopolies, but that’s not really the game…Read More

Ewe-nique Family Fun with the Board Game Sheeple

Mary had a little lamb from her flock and it tagged along with her to school, but did it really want to be seen as just a cute little lamb? Probably not. In fact, it probably harbored the secret desire that many sheep have: to be human. To be… Sheeple. That’s the rough premise of the terrifically fun family game Sheeple from Aaron Smith. A family game for 3+ people, your goal is to actually…Read More

Planet of the Apes Board Game – Review!

Imagine waking up and simians are running the world, with us humans left as mute, downtrodden workers, slaves who are rounded up from their wilderness areas to become property owned by apes, chimpanzees and orangutans. The world’s upside down, and if you’re the kind of human who fights for your rights, well, there ain’t nothing more worth fighting for than the rights of sapiens, right? That’s the premise of the cult classic 1968 sci-fi hit…Read More

The Coolest Cribbage Board : Summit Trail

I’ve been playing cribbage for so many years that I can’t remember when I first learned the game. I know I played it with my folks when I was a teenager and I have taught all three of my children – who all enjoy a game or two – and I even ran a cribbage league in Silicon Valley years ago when I lived out there. It’s a fun, fast paced game where there are…Read More

Game Review: The Abandons!

You’re tending the fields and living the live of a medieval peasant, but somewhere in the back of your head there’s a voice, a voice compelling you to head for the hills and solve the labyrinth of The Abandons. Once you enter the maze, however, can you make it out the other end and survive collapses and seeming dead ends, or are you going to just be another skeleton covered in cobwebs for the next…Read More

Game Review: Black Sonata by John Kean

You’ve watched Shakespeare’s plays as movies, hopefully seen at least one performed live, and maybe even read some of his many engaging and amusing tales, but how about his sonnets? Do your homework and you’ll learn that a number of Shakespeare’s sonnets were about a mysterious “Dark Lady” and four centuries later, scholars still can’t agree on the identity of the woman. Which makes it a fun and unusual theme for the fun and quite…Read More

Family Fun with the Card Game “Scavenge”

There’s something that my family and I find really fun about push-your-luck games. You know the kind, where you can stop and get points or take yet another step and either win bigger or go bust and end up with nothing. Card games like blackjack are push your luck games: if I have cards worth 16 points in my hand, should I gamble and take another card hoping to get closer to 21 without going…Read More

Escape The Space Station Before It’s Too Late in Assembly

Working on the orbital research station seemed like a great career move, but when a deadly virus wipes out just about everyone on board just as a micrometeorite storm hits, you’re thrown into a life or death situation that’s way beyond your pay grade. There’s a half-built spaceship that you can hopefully finish building and use to escape before you run out of time, but you weren’t trained for this and it’s going to be…Read More

Fight Your Way out of the Dungeon in “Unbroken”

The general theme of most dungeon crawler games inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, or similar, is to fight your way through monsters and evil denizens, attain a prize of some sort, and then scurry back out before you’re killed, run out of food, or have something else dire transpire. Heck, the text-only computer game “rogue” had that theme when I was back in college back in 19[mumble], so it’s been around…Read More

Board Game Review: The Primary

So you want to be a politician, wade into the swamp and clean things up. After all, unlike every politician before you, you’re the one who is going to actually Get Things Done and remain true to your ideals and values. You’ll represent your constituency and be a shining example of why our nation is great. You just need to get elected first. And that’s where things get difficult, and is the theme behind the…Read More