Plunder: A Pirate’s Life Game Review

Pirates and the life of a privateer have been romanticized over the years making it seem that such a trade was full of adventure, treasure, and bold deeds. It was for some. For most, it was a life of hardship, danger, and sickness. I bet you won’t see a Disney film like that and thankfully, you don’t need to truly relive it, either. It’s fun and can be exciting to imagine what it would be like to own a ship, a crew, and have an unquenchable desire for gold. In this game, you get to live out that fantasy by leading a small armada, finding treasure, and sending your enemies to the bottom of the sea. Continue reading

Kingdomino Duel Game Review

You have won the realm, but now you must rule it, and to do so, you must divide it among your loyal royals. And while you want to reward each for their service, you know that each royal will not provide you the same level of prestige you seek. “Divide and conquer” was your motto when on the battlefield, leading your troops. Now you must do the same with the politics of the land. Some would say it was easier to fight and bleed for the realm in times of war than manage it during times of peace. Continue reading

The #UpsideDownChallenge Game Review

Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, said, “Everything that happens, happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.” In this game, what you observe everyday is turned – literally – upside down. The sky is at your feet, the table is hanging from the ceiling, and left is most certainly right. Prepare to enter a world where even the easiest of tasks like writing a word becomes a legendary chore. It’ll be challenging, to say the least, but to win you only need to observe your new temporary reality with its wacky flip-flopped rules. Continue reading

Thalara: The Last Artifacts Game Review (prepublished version)

Magic, like any other resource, is finite. It has great power but was squandered on petty miracles and destructive wars. A new age is now beginning where the magic in the world has become rare, but its potential is still limitless. You frantically search for powerful artifacts that contain magical reserves that you can tap into. As magic dwindles, the hunger of those who use it grows ever more intense. Now you and others fight for the magical table scraps that remain. Continue reading

Stripes Game Review

Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and theatre designer, Pablo Picasso, said, “Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. Just as one can never learn how to paint.” In this game, players will be shifting the position of colored stripes, making patterns. The complexity of the game is not the matching of the colors, but the proper arrangement and timing of the alignment. In the act of doing so, the players bring forth color harmony. Continue reading

Thinkocrats: Country Comps Game Review

Italian polymath of the High Renaissance known for his paintings and creative mind, Leonardo da Vinci, said, “Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets.” In this game, statistical information about 52 countries that comprise 93% of the world economy, 82% of the world population, and 73% of the Earth’s landmass are provided in an easy to read and compare values. Learning about the world has never been so easy! Leonardo would be proud. Continue reading

Varia Game Review

Japanese martial artist and founder of the martial art of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, said, “When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.” In this game, peace is only granted the dead. Players will take on the role of a mighty warrior who is highly skilled in their specific field of combat. Battles are head-to-head and toe-to-toe. The only weapons they have are the few items they bring with them and their wits to outmaneuver their foe. Continue reading

Top Tale Game Review (prepublished version)

American spiritual teacher,¬†psychologist, and author, Ram Dass, said, “Each of us finds his unique vehicle for sharing with others his bit of wisdom.” Humans learn by observing and listening. There was a time when everything you knew was passed down to you verbally or through physical instruction. This was later enhanced with books that captured ideas that could be shared again and again. Now we have the internet that allows us to share pretty much everything. And yet, we still yearn for the quiet moments where we can just sit and talk. In this game, taking a moment to pause, share, and laugh is the player’s only goal. Continue reading

House Guests from Hell Game Review

American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Now imagine the worst possible house guest you are unlucky enough to have in your home. They will not leave. All they do is complain. They are giving you heartache and headaches. Time for this individual to go! But you need to get them out of the house delicately. You cannot burn bridges, after all. To solve this uncomfortable dilemma, you are going to need very creative solutions. Continue reading

Dragonrealm Game Review

The Roman poet, Ovid, said, “The bold adventurer succeeds the best.” In this game, players will take on the role of brave adventurers who leave the comforts of the local tavern to go venture in dark and dangerous locations. Along the way, they will find treasure and more than enough goblins that are causing mischief. But if the adventurer is bold, if their heart is pure, and those dice do their job, they will return to the tavern with stories to tell and much gold to spend. Continue reading

Traintopia Game Review

Co-founder of Pixar and president of Walt Disney Animation Studios, Edwin Catmull, said, “Driving the train doesn’t set its course. The real job is laying the track.” In this game, players take on the responsibility of doing just that. They will build an extensive network of rails, stations, and sites to see along the way. The goal is to connect, but more importantly, connect with a purpose and to provide value. A lesson we can all benefit from, both at and away from the gaming table. Continue reading

Pirates of Gold Cove Game Review

Captain Samuel Bellamy (also known as”Black Sam” Bellamy), an English pirate who operated in the early 18th century, said, “Nations rob the poor under the cover of law. Pirates plunder the rich under the cover of their own courage!” In this game, you’ll play as a pirate captain with your crew in search of treasure! The goal is to be as rich as possible, but don’t let the lure of gold make you blind. Play your cards smart, and Lady Luck might smile upon you. Continue reading