Archive for July, 2011

Review: Sneaks and Snitches

Posted by James (admin) on 31st July 2011

Sneaks and Snitches is a very clever game – it’s incredibly simple but delivers a lot of interaction in the form of trying to out think your opponents.  During the game, players are all thieves trying to steal gems and items so they can win by scoring the most victory points (VPs).

Each round a number of loot cards (depending upon the number of players) are placed in the centre of the table and each one has a letter next to it.  Most loot cards show a number of coloured gems the player that steals it will receive, but they also show items worth VPs and  a few other items.

Next, each player secretly picks one of their lettered criminals to be their sneak (thief) and another be a snitch (guard).  When all players have picked, all criminals are revealed and placed next to the matching letter – snitches above and sneaks below the loot.  Any loot that has a snitch next to it can not be stolen (B, D, F and H in the example picture) and, therefore, any sneaks next to it get nothing.  If a single sneak is next to an unguarded loot, i.e. no snitch (E) then that player gets that loot.  If multiple sneaks are next to an unguarded loot (C) then they get in each other’s way – the main loot stays where it is but each player takes a bonus card (which shows a single colour gem on it). Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Mr Jack Pocket

Posted by James (admin) on 17th July 2011

Mr Jack is a clever 2-player game that mixes deduction with movement – I put it that way as purely saying it’s a deduction game can give the false impression that it is dry or shallow.  The original Mr Jack and it’s follow-up, Mr Jack in New York, are both games where one player is Mr Jack (the Ripper) and the other is the investigator.  Players take turns moving the various suspects as the investigator tries to deduce which suspect is Mr Jack before Mr Jack escapes off the board.  The deduction in those games is made by saying whether Mr Jack is standing in the light or not at the end of each round.

Mr Jack Pocket is a smaller and more portable Mr Jack game that encapsulates the main elements of the original games but actually delivers a different game experience. The goal of the game is to reduce the 9 suspects down to just 1 before the 8 rounds are over and before the Jack player has accumulated 6 hourglasses. Read the rest of this entry »

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Metagames Update

Posted by James (admin) on 12th July 2011

Recent real-life stuff have meant I haven’t been able to post as many reviews as usual but I just wanted to say that I shall be adding more new reviews as usual over the next weeks.  I posted a review of Magnum Sal today and more will follow including some new reviews of iPhone boardgame conversions too.

I had a chance to play Egizia again this week which I still think is a great game.  So many tricky decisions, clever game mechanics and lots of interaction – definitely one of my favourite worker placement games.

Japan seems to be shaping up to be the big gaming theme this year.  Amongst the games, I saw an announcement this week that a game called Shitenno is coming which is by the same designer that created the excellent Yggdrasil and Offrandes.  So, I’m definitely keeping an eye on that one. Plus, Ninja from AEG looks cool too with hidden movement.

Remember that bdg.ms is a good source of links to many of the latest board gaming posts (plus anyone can use it to shorten and share boardgaming links too).

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Review: Magnum Sal

Posted by James (admin) on 12th July 2011

Magnum Sal was a game that caught my attention just before last year’s Spiel in Essen as I like worker placement games; however, I never got to play it and, until recently, kept missing opportunities to do so at one of my regular groups.  Magnum Sal is a game about Polish salt mining – yes, you can’t beat it for having a theme that makes it different to other games.

Each player starts with a few miners which they can use to either go into the mine or they can be an assistant at a town building.  Each turn, players take turns taking 2 actions each (place workers, use building, extract salt).  The goal is to make as much money as possible (primarily by mining salt).  There are two distinct areas of the game: the town and the mine.

In the town, the player can use buildings to: buy tools (special one-use abilities and money at game end), hire extra workers, visit the palace (to fulfil a contract for lots of cash), pump water out of a mine (making it easier to get the salt out), use the market, etc.  Also, most town buildings have space for one worker so that they get income each time any player uses that building. Read the rest of this entry »

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