Game Review: PWNs, A Game of Strategic Mayhem

Remember shoving matches on the playground back in elementary school? They never seemed to devolve to actual punching or violence, just kids shoving and trying to show who’s tougher. Now, imagine that you can capture that in a board game that’s goofy fun and silly both, and you’ve got the basic concept behind PWNs: A Game of Strategic Mayhem. (pronounce it “pones”). Well, sort of. Because in PWNs you actually are trying to K.O. all…Read More

Game Review: Box of Rocks Trivia Game

So you think you’re so darn smart, do you? Good at trivia and extraordinarily well informed about world events and contemporary history? Then Hasbro and Haywire Group have the perfect game for you and your mates to test your trivia savvy: Box of Rocks. Yes, it will answer the age old question are you smarter than a box of rocks?? In fact, it’s a really simple trivia game perfect for families or for when you’re sitting…Read More

Game Review: Monopoly Gamer

Another Monopoly game? Really? One of the most successful board games in the world, Monopoly has a colorful past and hundreds of variants and custom editions. Who hasn’t played this ubiquitous property trading and dice rolling board game, possibly for hours beyond when you would have liked it to end? What’s interesting is that the game was originally designed to highlight the dark side of property ownership and monopolies, but has ended up celebrating all…Read More

Review: “The Lost Expedition” Game

Satellites and GPS devices have spoiled exploration; before all these fancy devices it was man versus nature in a completely visceral and life-threatening adventure. If you wanted to explore the jungle, you needed a machete, a native guide and a lot of luck, because it was a sure bet that you were going to encounter dangers that you didn’t anticipate. Explorers of the 19th Century and even into the early 20th Century were constantly traveling…Read More

Movable Type, A Card-Based Word Building Game

I’m a writer with an excellent vocabulary but for reasons I can’t explain, I’m pretty darn poor at word games. I’m surprised when I break 100 in Scrabble and even word jumbles can leave me feeling baffled and wondering if it’s “CAT” or “DOG” that’s going to win. I persist anyway and just try to avoid people who are ridiculously good at word games. You know who I’m talking about they’re the people who drive you to…Read More

Game Review: Shahrazad

I seem to spend a lot of my game time with really complicated games that have hundreds of parts and rule books that span 5-10 pages or more. Lots of fiddly bits, as gamers say, and it can be really fun to play a game like Dark Souls, as I did last weekend, but there’s also a certain joy you can find in a simple game that doesn’t aim to consume four or five hours…Read More

How to Play Cribbage

We have an impressive collection of board games ranging from Pandemic Iberia to Escape from Colditz, from Memoir ’44 to Ticket to Ride. Some are favorites with the family, including Dominion, Zombicide: Black Plague and Lords of Waterdeep. But nothing has given us as many hours of enjoyment as a deck of cards, and the two games of choice are Gin Rummy and Cribbage. Gin Rummy requires nothing other than a $1 deck of cards…Read More

Interview with Santa vs Jesus game designer Julian Miller

I’m of the mindset that it’s critical to have a sense of humor if you’re going to survive this craziness called life, and as a parent, it’s 10x important to be able to laugh at the absurdity of everyday activities. My humor extends far into the outer regions of what’s appropriate, however, so I find games like Cards Against Humanity quite amusing (though maybe 5% offensive). When I read that a new game called Santa…Read More

The National Toy Hall of Fame

Did you know that there was a National Toy Hall of Fame? I didn’t either, but The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, manages the Hall of Fame and every year identifies a dozen or so toys, games, and playthings to nominate to the Hall of Fame, then picks the top two or three to induct! This year there were three: Fisher-Price Little People, Dungeons & Dragons and the Swing. Yes, the swing….Read More

Game Review: Agamemnon from Osprey Games

There are plenty of games that are all theme and no deep gameplay, and they can be fun. Games like Pirates of the Caribbean LIFE which is your basic mindless spin-move-act game with almost no decisions to make, just a great theme to enjoy. Then there are games where the theme and gameplay work beautifully together, like Pandemic and The Manhattan Project. The two-player strategy game Agamemnon falls somewhere else on the continuum: a theme that doesn’t really add…Read More

Game Review: Dastardly Dirigibles

You’re an inventor who knows just how to combine different steampunk technologies to make the best, fastest and most reliable dirigible in the world. Or are you? At stake is ownership of Professor Phineas Hornswoggle’s renowned dirigible factory to the person who proves their mettle as an airship builder! Dastardly Dirigibles is a lightweight card-based assembly game has players racing to assemble all seven parts needed to construct a complete dirigible. The wrinkle: there are seven different groups of…Read More

Game Review: Crazier Eights: Camelot

Game development is evolution in action, with new games taking the best ideas and gameplay from earlier games and respinning them for a new or updated theme. Sometimes it’s fairly radical, like Pandemic Legacy where you have one-time-play elements that are destroyed after a gaming session and other times it’s just a rebranding, like the zillion versions of Monopoly or Life, few of which actually have any changes other than artwork. Crazier Eights: Camelot is…Read More

Game Review: The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction

My experience with funding games through Kickstarter has been a mixed bag. Some are really good but many end up being overly complex, confusing or just plain no fun to play. And then there’s the occasional home run, like the terrific worker placement game The Manhattan Project from Minion Games. The premise is perfectly in line with my interest in WWII and the Cold War: you’re all working in secret bases in New Mexico trying to…Read More

Game Review: Zombicide Black Plague

I’ve written about the terrific game Zombicide before [my review of Zombicide], talking about how it’s a great dungeon crawler game with lots of splendid miniatures and a board comprised of a dozen or so 12″ x 12″ tiles that let you set up quite a few different scenarios either directly from the instructions or based on your whim. It’s a fun play and while it can get harrowing at times when there are lots…Read More

Five hours of arcade fun at GameWorks Denver!

My kids and I love arcade games, video games, pinball and even computer games. Each of us has our favorites, of course, and my youngest even indulges in carnival-style games that generate tickets for the winner, tickets that can then be redeemed for various toys, candy and other prizes. Me? I’m a classic pinball guy and still enjoy a few games of using the flippers to get that heavy metal ball bouncing into just the…Read More

Review: Bang! The Dice Game, The Walking Dead Edition

Zombie-themed games. Not only are there lots of games in this genre (many of which I have on the shelf) but there are even multiple zombie dice games on the market. When USAopoly highlighted their own The Walking Dead themed version of the popular Bang! The Dice Game, I couldn’t resist, even though I already have the Peter Jackson Games “Zombie Dice” in the glove compartment of my car. Turns out they’re dramatically different and Bang! The Walking…Read More

Game Review: Super Mario Bros. Monopoly

You have to go back a long way in video game history to understand the appeal of the new Super Mario Bros edition of Monopoly from the team at USAopoly. In fact, it was 1983 when a game called Mario Bros was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System. And it was a monster hit. So much so that it spawned a sequel (of sorts), Super Mario Bros. The hero of the Super Mario Bros series…Read More

Game Review: Fantasy-Opoly

There are more versions and variations of the classic board game Monopoly than any other. From national versions in dozens of languages to versions themed around animals, industries, and even movies, there’s an entire cottage industry of companies and designers producing variant “opoly” games. We know because our favorite version of Monopoly is actually themed to the Nintendo universe, featuring Mario, Bowser, Princess Daisy and more. What the best opoly games do is a fairly…Read More

2d20 & 3d6? EasyRollerDice has you covered…

Just about every game I play has a necessary element of randomness to work and be interesting. Sure the randomness can be an opponent, like in chess, but that’s mostly a deterministic game (the better player almost always wins) and therefore not much interesting to me. Add a random element, however, and ya just never know whether Lady Luck is going to smile upon you or not. That’s why so many games have stacks or…Read More

Game Review: Zombicide

I don’t know if it’s fair to say that I’m obsessed with zombies and the zombie mythology, but I have watched The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, read the book and watched the movie World War Z, and even seen the classics Night of the Walking Dead and Dawn of the Dead, among so many other books, graphic novels, movies and TV series that feature the gurgling, shuffling undead who seek you out as…Read More

Game Review: Steampunk Rally

It’s the turn of the 20th Century and electricity is big, with inventors just transitioning from steam to the magic power source. It’s the golden age of invention and none other than genius Nikola Tesla has challenged inventors from around the world to create their own fantastical machines and race through the Swiss Alps, winner to take the crown of World’s Best Inventor. Are you ready for the challenge? That’s the premise of the delightful Steampunk Rally,…Read More