Tag Archives: review

Lost Cities the Card Game

When Jessica and I got engaged one of our good friends told us to pick out a game off Amazon for an engagement gift and she would get it for us. After looking at the millions of board games available I settled on Lost Cities the Card Game for three reasons: it was a 2-player game, it had stellar ratings, and it was very reasonably priced (about $13 on Amazon right now). Turns out it’s one of those great games that is simple to learn but has a ton of strategy, and it’s one of the best 2-player games I’ve played.

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Power Grid

Power Grid is a game my Dad picked up on a whim at a game store we were hanging out at. A few weeks later we busted it out and played a game, and I’ve played a second game since. It’s a card-based game that comes in a little 8 x 8 box. Looked to me like it should be a fairly simple quick kind of game.

Spoiler alert: not really!

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Patchwork

Patchwork is a 2 player game that bills itself as being about putting together the best and most beautiful quilt using patches and a board. I was a little skeptical, thinking “How do you determine who has the ‘best’ quilt?” But in reality the game has nothing to with quilting; it’s more like a 2 player version of Tetris, where both players have to try to fit pieces on the board as best they can to cover the most space, while managing your one resource effectively.

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Brawl

I’ve been requested by authortao to review Brawl, a card game that came out a number of years ago. Requests are always appreciated and honored, so here we go!

Brawl is a very fast moving card game put out by Cheapass Games way back in 1999. Each player uses a single deck of cards, each deck being a named character. So you might play Chris, or Gina, or Hale, etc. It actually has a lot in common with Smash Up; the game starts out with bases in the middle and the object is to fight for and win them, using “hit” cards instead of minions. There are also other cards such as block (no hits can be played after a block), press (nullifies a block), clear (removes a whole base and everything on it), and others. But the basic strategy is to rack up as many hits as you can on your side of the bases. Each player has three “freeze” cards at the bottom of his deck; once every base has a freeze on it the game is over and whoever has scored the most bases wins.

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Splendor

Splendor is a card-buying game some friends introduced me to recently that I’m really enjoying. It has one of the hallmarks of a great game: it’s simple to learn and set up but has a deep strategy that changes with every playthrough. It’s for 2-4 players and only takes around 30 or 40 minutes to play. I’ve played it maybe 6 or 8 times now with both 2 and 4 players and really enjoyed it. It’s probably one I’ll be adding to the collection soon.

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Agricola All Creatures Big and Small

I talked about Agricola in an earlier post. Although I liked the game, it is definitely a complex game with a lot of things going on. There are fields to sow, crops to raise, animals to raise, houses to improve, family members to add, etc., etc., etc! It is definitely a lot. Apparently the designers agreed and they made a simplified 2-player only version. I picked it up after seeing a review on Amazon and I really enjoy it. I like the larger more complicated game as well, but this one is a lot easier to convince other people to play 😉

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Smash Up

Ever wonder who would win in a fight between ninja and time travelers or between wizards and dinosaurs? Well now you can find out with Smash Up! Smash Up is a card game where each player picks two different factions, such as dinosaurs or wizards, smashes them together, and see who comes out on top. The base set comes with eight different factions: wizards, dinosaurs, robots, ninja, tricksters, zombies, aliens, and pirates. That makes for a good number of combos (28) but there are multiple expansions to add even more crazy combos to the mix.

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Sticks

Sticks is a game I first heard of a couple years ago and it’s spread through my family and friends like wildfire since. It’s a card game that plays similarly to Phase 10: collect certain groups of cards (runs, sets, etc.) before your opponents and try to get rid of all your cards first in the round. But the unique part is the sticks themselves: instead of having a preset list of what to collect each round you draw a random stick and try to collect whatever it says. You never know if you’ll get an easy stick or a difficult one!

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Catan Dice Game

Catan Dice game is based on the uber-popular Settlers of Catan board game. It comes in a nice looking compact little box and includes the six dice used for playing, a special scorepad, and a copy of the rules. There’s no setup time at all, and games run around 15 or 20 minutes for 2 players (it’s meant for 2 – 4 players, with the obligatory solo version to play as well). So it’s a little different than the board game in those aspects 😉 And really, it’s not to meant to replicate the Settlers experience; it’s meant to be a different type of game experience that is reminiscent of its parent game. The goal is to be a fun game that feels like Settlers while you’re playing it, and it succeeds well on both fronts.

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Agricola

Having played the heck out of Lords of Waterdeep, I thought it might be fun to try another worker-placement type game and settled more or less randomly on Agricola. In it 2 – 5 players (there’s also a solo version) start out as a lowly farming couple in the 1300’s with a 2 room wooden hut and have 14 rounds to improve their lot in life by various methods: farming, raising livestock, adding more family members, improving their house, etc. it has a lot of different options and a ton of things to think about each turn. I got a chance to try it out over the Thanksgiving weekend and it was a pretty fun time.

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