Archive for September, 2010

Metagames blog starts reviewing iPhone board games

Posted by James (admin) on 23rd September 2010

After more than 5 years of having Windows PC smartphones, one of the main reasons I switched to an iPhone was because of all the boardgame conversions appearing on it.  Looking at my survey results so far, over 50% of respondents play games on their iPhones so it seems I’m not alone.

Therefore, I’m pleased to announce that from Friday 24th September, the Metagames blog will also be reviewing iPhone board games in addition to the usual board game reviews too.  To kick this off, there will be a new iPhone game review every day for a week as well as the usual board games reviews and posts too. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, iPhone Review | No Comments »

On the Radar: Mansions of Madness

Posted by James (admin) on 22nd September 2010

In recent years, every time a new expansion has been released for Arkham Horror I have been excited to get it and play it, but I’ve also thought that maybe it was time FFG started a new game rather than add even more to an already vastly big game.  So, it was great to see FFG announce a new game with the Arkham Horror badge.

Due for release in November 2010, Mansions of Madness sounds like it’s more along the lines of Betrayal at House on the Hill.  The game will have various story lines and the players playing the heroes/investigators will have to work out what is going on in the house and foil the evil there.  One player will be playing the evil side, so they will know the real story going on and will be trying to achieve their objective before the other players work it out and stop them. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Mansions of Madness, On the Radar | No Comments »

Review: Powerboats

Posted by James (admin) on 21st September 2010

Formula De (now Formula D) is a superb racing game that really brings formula one car racing to life with lots of tricky decisions about whether to risk speed or not, blocking, and speed.  So, Powerboats had a tough challenge to live up to.

The game board consists of 6 double-sided board sections which show hex grids with hexes either full of water or land.  The board sections interlock and fit within a frame that holds them in place.  The board sections can be rotated and flipped to create a massive variety – one side of the boards is easier than the other as the ratio of water to land is different.

The course of the race is laid out using a start/finish line and 3 marker buoys which are placed on various letters printed on the boards; however, you can place them anywhere you want too to make what you feel is the best course.  As you’d expect, the first player to get their boat round each of the buoys (in order and in the correct direction) and cross the finish line wins. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Powerboats | No Comments »

Review: Il Principe

Posted by James (admin) on 20th September 2010

Il Principe is a difficult game to categorise as it involves card management, bidding, area control and role taking.  However, rather than delivering a confusing mix of genres, it delivers a tight game which I really enjoyed.

Players are building cities and institutions in Italy to earn victory points (VPs).  At the start of each round, players receive 5 cash and 4 cards – the cards come in 5 colours each representing a different city institution (town hall, university, etc.).  The players keep 2 cards and the rejected cards are combined and auctioned off colour-by-colour.  After the auctions, a player can either (a) use cards and cash to build a city, or (b) place as many cards face-up in front of them of one colour showing control over the 5 different institutions.

There are 10 role cards (5 major & 5 minor in each colour).  The player with the most face-up cards of each colour gets the matching-coloured major role uses the role’s benefit, e.g. the player with the most face-up green cards gets the Banker role card which earns them 2 extra cash.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Il Principe | No Comments »

Review: Zombie Dice

Posted by James (admin) on 17th September 2010

Zombie Dice is a dice-rolling, push-your-luck game where players are zombies trying to be the first to eat 13 brains.  The game consists purely of 13 special dice whose faces show either footprints, shotgun blasts or brains.  The dice are one of 3 different dice types: The 6 green dice have more brains and few shotgun blasts, the 4 red dice have more shotgun blasts and fewer brains, and the 4 yellow dice are in between the two.

On their turn, a player takes 3 dice at random from the card tube and rolls them.  Any shotgun blast and brain results are set aside.  If the player has any footstep dice remaining they can take more dice at random from the tube to make a total of 3 dice and roll again.  The player can stop at any time and the amount of brains they have accumulated is added to their score.  If a player has no footstep results (i.e. they just roll brains and blasts), then their turn automatically ends.  However, if the player ever has 3 shotgun blasts then their turn is over and they lose any brains they rolled during that turn.  First player to eat 13 brains wins. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games | No Comments »

On the Radar: Norenberc

Posted by James (admin) on 15th September 2010

Norenberc is one of the three games coming from White Goblin at Essen. It caught my attention because it is designed by Andreas Steding who created Hansa Teutonica – a game that didn’t catch my attention enough at Spiel last year but I discovered afterwards that is was very good indeed.

Norenberc is a worker placement game with some new ideas. Players commit to where they will be taking actions each game turn before simultaneously revealing their intentions. This sounds fun (Fresco did something similar) but there’s an extra twist: Each action requires a worker and if any players have workers left to place at the end of a game turn, then another game turn occurs until all players have used their workers. So, if you take lots of actions in one turn, you may have to wait a few more turns before everyone gets your workers back and you can perform actions again. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, Norenberc, On the Radar | No Comments »

Metagames Blog Survey

Posted by James (admin) on 15th September 2010

After almost a year of the Metagames blog, I would really love to get your feedback on the site.  Please take a few seconds to complete the survey.  If you have any other thoughts, please DM my Twitter account.



Read the rest of this entry »

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The 2nd Metagames Essen Game Giveaway

Posted by James (admin) on 15th September 2010

Wow, it’s been almost a year since I started this blog.  Those of you who followed my Twitter from the start may remember I ran a competition back then and gave away a copy of one of my favourite Essen games to a random person who was following my Tweets from Spiel at Essen.  This year, I’m pleased to announce I shall be doing the same.

So, one follower of this blog will win a copy of one of my favourite games that gets released at Spiel this year.

To qualify for one entry into this random draw, you need to be following my Twitter account (@Metagames) during Spiel (October 21-24).

You can qualify for a further entry into the prize draw by completing the Metagames survey too (and remember to fill in your Twitter name).

You can qualify for yet a further entry by re-tweeting about the giveaway too.

Good luck.

You can qualify for a further entry into the prize draw by completing the Metagames survey too (and remember to fill in your Twitter name).

Posted in Board Games | 2 Comments »

Thoughts On: Planet Steam

Posted by James (admin) on 15th September 2010

Planet steam is an economic/resource game that was released at Essen in 2008. It was a sought after item in an epic-sized box (like a FantasyFlight Games big box size).  With a steampunk setting, players collect resources (water, ore, energy and quartz) from the available mine shafts in order to earn as much money as possible.  This is a ‘Thoughts On’ piece rather than a review as Planet Steam is a very interwoven economic system and I don’t feel one play is enough for a full review.

Players have a few starting resources and the basic carriers (which are the stores for each resource with limited capacity).  Also, the board shows a grid of mine shafts.  Each shaft can produce any resource depending upon what type of tank is placed on it.  Each player has a few platforms already on the mine shaft grid which means they are the only ones that can add tanks in order to mine from that space.  At the start of a round, players bid for characters which dictate turn order and give them a special power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Planet Steam, Thoughts On | 1 Comment »

On the Radar: Troyes (again)

Posted by James (admin) on 13th September 2010

I posted about the forthcoming Troyes a week or so ago.  I’ve now read the rules and it looks excellent.  Players each roll dice (based on how many meeple they have in the council buildings) and these create a dice pool.  Players then take turns using the dice to activate different parts of the city to gain resources and money.  Players can use their own dice for free but have to pay other players to use their dice.  This sounds like a fresh addition to worker placement and I’m very keen to play it.  So much so, I’ve pre-ordered it.

Unfortunately for me, Troyes combines together two game design ideas that I’ve been playing with in my own prototypes.  But, hey ho, that’s the way it often goes and I’m really looking forwards to playing Troyes.

Link to pre-order page and rules:


Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, On the Radar, Troyes | 6 Comments »