Spicy Game Review

In this game, players will attempt to bluff their way to the winner’s circle by balancing truth with fiction, creating an evergrowing possibility that their little lies and cheats will blow up in their faces. Telling the truth is always best, but it won’t grant you victory. What will is keeping a straight face and not sweating when the heat is cranked up via the competition. Continue reading

The Bark Side Game Review

French army officer and statesman who led the Free French Forces against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 to restore democracy in France, Charles de Gaulle, said, “The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” This is to say that dogs are perhaps more pleasant to be around. Which is found to be the case for many. I’m a cat person, and I find dogs to be a bit neurotic and energetic (keep in mind I have five kids and more than enough energy available to me without the need for a dog). In this game, regardless of how you feel about feline or canine companions, you’ll be treated to an opportunity to be an unruly pup. Just be sure not to get caught by your owner! Continue reading

Sandbag Game Review

In an age where we can travel into space and fly around the world in jets, there is still something romantic and awe-inspiring about hot air balloons. These majestic and often colorful contraptions are nothing more than a giant balloon filled with hot air and a basket for those brave enough to ride in. I have no interest in ever riding in one, but I am always compelled to stop and watch as one goes slowly across the sky. Such is the power and beauty of watching something the size of a large house float by silently in a world where everything around us makes noise. In this game, you’ll be one of the brave souls who can ride aloft in the sky in a basket as your balloon lifts you into the clear blue. Continue reading

Petra: Era of Prosperity Game Review

The Great City of Petra was established by road-harden nomadic traders who wanted to end their wandering to create a central trading hub. It would quickly become the center of trade in the region and earn those who wandered its streets and dealt in the markets great wealth and influence. But this is not the story of Petra as it was, but how Petra might have come to be. Take command of your nomadic tribe and guide your camels across the desert to create trade routes, build monuments, and secure a future for the great city yet to be. All will live in prosperity once Petra is built, but only one tribe will significantly contribute to the city’s success. Continue reading

SKUNK’D Game Review (prepublished version)

Every family has a “family game.” One that they either created themselves from scratch or taken from another game. Either way, the results are something familiar enough to easily allow anyone to learn how to play and unique enough to be a particular part of a family’s collective memory. This game does just that by taking a tried and true game many have played and adding a personal touch passed down through generations. And like all loved things, they only become more significant and grow when shared with others. Continue reading

Traders and Raiders Game Review

In this game, players take on the persona of highly trained, adventurous entrepreneurs who seek to establish trade and make a good deal of gold by traveling different market routes under mountains, across the land, and over the sea. Along the way, players will encounter villages that need saving, monsters that need slaying, buildings that need building, and various other tasks, all focused on establishing a solid footprint in the local economy and gaining wealth. While this sounds somewhat daunting, the difficulty only increases when the player realizes they are not alone. Other players in this game have gladly taken up swords, shields, and accounting ledgers with the same goal. Time is short, and the markets are tight. Continue reading

Brass Empire Game Review

French judge, man of letters, historian, and political philosopher, who went simply as Montesquieu, said, “An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war.” In this game, the war you wage is one of commerce and finance, building corporations into financial empires through subterfuge, hostile takeovers, and flat-out destroying the infrastructure of your competition. All of this, mind you, is set in a world where steam power rules and science fiction is a reality. Tighten your cufflinks, holster your Tesla pistol, and sheath your Samurai sword; it’s time to go to work. Continue reading

Jewel Thief Game Review

We cannot help but to covet things. We often misunderstand our wants as needs, yearning and obsessing over the latest board games, video games, clothes, objects, and even people. And while it’s natural for anyone to imagine things, we seldom act upon our impulses, especially when they go against society’s rules and laws. In this game, players work as jewel thieves, taking the sparkly precious objects for their own. Laws and consequences be damned. And like crimes and thieves in real life, this game gives players multiple ways to take that which is not theirs. Continue reading

Castle Panic: Big Box Game Review

Humanist, Sufi, and Humanitarian, Abhijit Naskar said in his book of collected poetry, Yarasistan: My Wounds, My Crown, “Either live or don’t, there is no playing safe.” In this game, you don’t have time to play it safe. You and your fellow players must work together to keep a tide of hungry monsters outside your castle gates. To do so, you must command your army and strategically manage the horde of creatures outside your walls while tactically adjusting your targets each round. This is not an easy game to win, but it’s an easy game to love. Continue reading

Route 66: Get Your Tricks Game Review

English conductor known for his association with the London Symphony Orchestra, having first conducted it in 1959, Colin Davis said, “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” In this game, players will go down the iconic highway, Route 66. Players will race from the middle of the United States to the West Coast in hopes of being the very first player to see the ocean. However, the road to be traveled is bumpy, and victory will only go to the player who can navigate it wisely. Continue reading

Bellum Fabulis Game Review

Spanish-American philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, said, “Only the dead see the end of war.” Which is a very sobering and dark reminder for us all. But in this game, even the dead may not rest as they can be brought back and commanded to fight on behalf of the player. In this world, ravaged by war and supernatural catastrophes, players lead their armies in a broken land to conquer their foes and bring all under their control. Take up your sword, raise the dead warrior legends of the past, and march upon your opponent’s castle. To the victory go the spoils and the world. Continue reading

13th Street Crew Game Review (prepublished version)

It’s not personal. It’s business. Yeah, you may break a rule or two, even several laws. And, sure, you sometimes have to flex a bit of muscle when you smile, but it’s never personal. It’s about the money and the power and the respect. If you want your crew to be recognized before the Old Don, you must show you can earn. Take the jobs and cash in, but be careful. Greed has a way of making friends into enemies. Just keep telling yourself it’s only business. But if you need to, make it personal. Continue reading