Archive for January, 2011

Review: Battlestar Galactica Loyalty Deck (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 27th January 2011

The Battlestar Galactica Loyalty Deck is an app that aims to help players during set-up of the Battlestar Galactica board game by FantasyFlight Games.  (If you haven’t played the game, the loyalty deck is the deck of cards that secretly tell each player which side they are on.)

The app’s goal is to make it simple to assemble the correct mixture of cards required for the loyalty deck (as it must have an exact composition) without checking the rulebooks.  With the two expansions available, there are now several factors that affect this composition.  You select the options you want, press the button and it then tells you which cards to combine.

Okay, it may be a nuke to crack a walnut but I like the idea of it.  Also, I appreciate the free app (created by a fan of the game) and think it’s a nice example of what an ap supporting a board game can do.  (Sadly, the Arkham Horror Toolkit app would have benefitted from this approach – see the full review here.)

James.

Want to get Battlestar Galactica Loyalty Deck for iPhone?
Use a link below to go to the App Store.

Battlestar Loyalty Deck - Seth Sweep For iPhone

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Posted in Battlestar Galactica, Board Games, iPhone, iPhone Review | 1 Comment »

Review: Arkham Horror Toolkit (iPhone)

Posted by James (admin) on 27th January 2011

I was very excited when I saw there was an Arkham Horror Toolkit app for the iPhone.  I’m a big fan of Arkham Horror* – I wasn’t expecting to play the game in an app but I thought it would be something interesting.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Features
The app is a player’s aid with 4 functions:

  • Dice roller – As it sounds, this visually rolls 3-D dice with some physics.  Text at the top states how many successes you have rolled and you can set it to count normal successes, cursed and blessed.
  • Investigators -You can select an investigator, see all the info that’s on their character sheets and track all their stats.
  • Location deck – Pick a map location (or Other World) and you are shown the text of an encounter.
  • Maps – Pick a board and view it with zoom in and out functions.

It sounds fine but the biggest problem I have with it is this: What use does it really serve? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Arkham Horror, Board Games, iPhone, iPhone Review | 4 Comments »

Review: Charon Inc

Posted by James (admin) on 26th January 2011

Charon Inc is designed by Emanuele Ornella who designed Assyria and Il Principe among others (and who I interviewed last year).

In Charon Inc players place flags to take control of different areas of a moon in order to get gems which are used to build buildings to score victory points (VPs) – most VPs at the end of the game wins.  It may sound like pretty standard stuff but there are some clever game mechanics that create lots of interaction and tactical decision-making.

At the start of each of the 5 rounds, players place one of their flags on each of the 5 special ability spaces.  Then, players take turns removing any one of their flags from a special ability and placing it onto the board.  The moon is divided into a grid with gems placed in the areas (gem colours in each area are random but the quantities are fixed).  A player can place their flag on any empty corner, side or centre of an area.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Charon Inc, Essen Spiel 10 | No Comments »

Reviews of New Releases – 25 Jan 2011

Posted by James (admin) on 25th January 2011

Below are links to reviews of games that will be released in shops this week (in the UK):

Merchants and Marauders

Reviewed: 30 Oct 2010

Crows

Reviewed: 25 Jan 2011

Liberté

Reviewed: 6 Aug 2010

Note that my Liberté review is of the original release and not the new Valley Games version; however, the only difference is that the new version has better board colouration (which was an issue with the original game).  The Valley Games’ board can be seen here.

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Posted in Board Games, Crows, Liberté, Merchants & Marauders, New Releases | No Comments »

Review: Crows

Posted by James (admin) on 25th January 2011

Crows was on my radar when I read the rules before Spiel, so I bought a copy there and finally got to play it this week.  Crows is a simple game for 2-4 players but contains a surprising amount of tactical play.  The game consists of tiles (most showing a tree with 0, 1, 2 or 3 crows on each), some special ability tiles and lots of crow meeples.  Each player gets a coloured gem (shiny object) too.

A player’s turn consists of: 1. Draw a random tile and add it to those on the table; 2. Place their shiny object on an empty tile; 3. (Optionally) play one special ability tile.  Once each player has had one turn, the crows move towards the nearest shiny objects and players score points based on how many crows are on the tile with their shiny object.  If there are 6+ crows on a tile, they scatter.  Finally, the starting player moves on to the next player and another round begins.  When there are no more tiles to place, the game ends and the player with the most points wins.

As you can see, it seems like a very simple game on the surface but it delivers some interesting game play.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Game Review, Board Games, Crows, Essen Spiel 10 | 1 Comment »

On The Radar: Letters From Whitechapel

Posted by James (admin) on 24th January 2011

I like Scotland Yard and think it’s a great game for both new and experienced players so Letters From Whitechapel is very intriguing as it sounds like Scotland Yard with more meat.

One player is Jack the Ripper who needs to perform a series of murders and the other players are the police trying to catch him before he has completed his grizzly activities and escaped.  As with Scotland Yard, Jack moves invisibly on the board so the police need to find his trail and get ahead of Jack.  The core element of the game is trying to read the other opponent(s) and predict where they will go next.

First, Jack places tokens representing his targets on the special murder sites but some of them are bluffs.  Next, the police place their men but some of these are bluffs.  The targets are then revealed (bluffs are removed) and Jack can choose to strike immediately or wait; if he waits, the targets wander the streets but Jack gets to reveal police tokens to find and remove police bluffs.  However, Jack can only wait so long and must strike soon.  As soon as he murders a victim, the clock is running – he starts at the murder location and must make it back to his hideout before dawn (15 turns) and without getting caught by the police who start moving as soon as the murder is announced.  An extra twist is that Jack returns to the same hideout after each murder so the police can start to deducting this location as the game progresses. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Board Games, Essen Spiel 10, Letters From Whitechapel, On the Radar | No Comments »

Review: 7 Wonders

Posted by James (admin) on 24th January 2011

7 Wonders was the most anticipated game of Spiel 2010 with a very effective pre-launch campaign and general word-of-mouth. During the game, each player builds various buildings including developing their wonder of the world.  The winner is the player that scores the most victory points (VPs).

The game lasts 3 eras and each era consists of 6 turns.  Each turn, players pick one of the building cards in their hand and either:

(a) Build it
– Paying resources (if their built buildings produce enough or bought from neighbours)
– For free (if they built the pre-requisite building, or if it’s a basic building requiring zero resources)
(b) Discard it for 3 cash
(c) Use the card to build the next stage of their wonder (with the relevant resources)

Sounds pretty standard, right?  Well, there are several game mechanics that make 7 Wonders very different to other games. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in 7 Wonders, Board Game Review, Board Games, Essen Spiel 10 | No Comments »