Reviews

Eminent Domain is nominally a “deckbuilding” game with a space-empire theme, but I’ve found it to be significantly different and, in most cases, better than the pretty much all the rest. I acquired my copy through backing it on Kickstarter and was very excited about it finally being released, and through a number of plays so far, my excitement about it has only increased. Whether you are a fan of deckbuilding games or if, like me, you’re sort of burned out on them, you might want to keep reading to see what Eminent Domain has to offer…

As I’ve mentioned before, my 3-year-old daughter (Samantha) and I are beginning to play more and more games together. And I’ve also been pretty blessed to receive some children’s games from both Gamewright and Out of the Box, so I am trying to catch up a little on doing some reviews for their games as well. None of these games really need a full review of their own, so I’m going to try out a quick-hit review style to knock out a number of them at a time every so often…

Take the Cake is about finding the right sprinkles to complete cupcakes. Gamewright was kind enough to send me a review copy of this little gem, and I’ve had a lot of fun playing it so far with my wife and 3-year-old daughter…

With having 2 little girls in my household, I plan on reviewing several children’s games over the next many years. Up to this point, I’ve been basically using the standard 10-point BGG scale to review them, but have been soing so with a sensitivity to playing them with children. The more kid’s games I play, though, the less relevant I think a scale like that really is…

Over a month ago now (on July 23), my good buddy Tom had several of us over to his house with the specific intention of playing a few of the newer “indie”/storygame RPG’s. There was an aggressive schedule planned with 3 time slots for games and sign-ups and all, but in the end, people were late and games ran long, and it didn’t turn out quite like we had hoped. But I did get in at least one really great session, as well as some filler boardgames as well…

At its core, Carnival is a set collection game, where each player is trying to gather all the components they need to open rides in their carnival. There are five different rides (colors) in the game, each containing several copies of their four components: Seats, Materials, Banners, and Lights. The first person able to complete and open 4 of the 5 rides will win the game…

To be completely honest, I’ve already preordered 4 copies of the game through Kickstarter to give away for Christmas, at least one or two of which will be going straight into the Dirty Santa exchanges I love so much (it’ll sort of be like the “home game” that contestants used to get when they were on a game show)…

But then I heard about The Lord of the Rings LCG. Between the attractive theme, the fact that it’s cooperative, and that it can handle solo play, I knew that I wanted to give it a try. I’ve got nearly a dozen plays under my belt so far, and since the first Adventure Pack has yet to be released, I’m limiting this review to the base set and will mostly focus on play with the preconstructed decks included in it…

Of the children’s games that I’ve encountered so far, Go Away Monster! is simply the best “first game” that I’ve come across. It’s quick and fun, teaches some of the basics of taking turns and playing cooperatively, and is a lot of fun…

So, heading into 2011, I’d have to say that I was actually predisposed to dislike, or at least be indifferent towards, Puerto Rico.
Over the last few months, however, I’ve received quite an education about it, and this is what I’ve discovered…

So, what got me to pony up my money was the idea of a cooperative dungeon-crawl game with opportunity for solo play, a rather unique entity in the larger genre of dungeon-crawl adventure games…

I didn’t quite know what to think when I read the press release about Shake ‘n Take. Capturing aliens and grabbing markers from other players? I was a little hesitant, but also intrigued enough to ask for a review copy…

Hansa Teutonica is a lot more than just the sum of its parts, and when you fit all the pieces together and start to get a better understanding of it, most people tend to find something quite special about this game…

While some may find Samurai’s theme a bit too thin and its tile draw overly random, I find it to be a quick and excellent, mid-weight strategy game for 2-4 players…

It’s been a while since my last iPod app review, and I’ve acquired and played quite a few more since then. So, here we go with my impressions of 15 new iPhone/iPod/iPad apps…