Archive for August, 2011

Two New Gameworks Essen Releases

Posted by James (admin) on 26th August 2011

I have been very impressed by GameWorks’ games as they’re always so beautifully produced with real attention to detail.  The box inner for Tikal II not only had specially moulded sections for all game parts but each section was numbered and these matched the numbers in the rules.  Last year they released: Tikal II, Water Lily and Sobek.  This year GameWorks have two new games:


Tshcak is a trick taking game where players go through 3 levels in each of 4 dungeons. The images of the cards released show various adventurers, monsters, spells and so on.  One of the green adventurers looks to be inspired by a certain laser disc videogame adventurer which is cool.

The info on the game revealed so far doesn’t give much away but the goal  is to get all the treasures and no monsters.  However, Tschak is designed by Dominique Ehrhard who designed the superb, and superbly simple, Water Lily and Lascaux, so I will definitely give this one a try.

Plays 2-4 players in 30-40 minutes.




This is a memory game to get candy but with a twist because it seems you can also steal back some of the candies other players have won.  I don’t know much more than that.

Plays 2-6 players in 10-20 minutes.


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Posted in Board Games, Bonbons, Essen Spiel 11, On the Radar, Tschak | Comments Off on Two New Gameworks Essen Releases

Six White Goblin Essen Releases

Posted by James (admin) on 25th August 2011

I just saw the new games that White Goblin Games will be releasing at Essen in Germany in October.  These are looking really good.  They’ve also just started taking pre-orders too.

Lost Temple

A game based on the excellent Citadels but this time it’s a race game to be the first one to the temple to plunder its treasures.

In Citadels, players select a role/character from a fixed set and pass the rest to the next player to make their choice. Figuring out which role each player has probably selected is a big part of the game as some characters foil others and no-one knows who picked which character until everyone has chosen for that round. Not sure how much of this is in Lost Temple but it sounds very interesting as Citadels is a classic.

Plays 2-8 players too.


Panic Station

This game really interests me as it’s like the movie The Thing with a single player who has been taken over by an alien amongst lots of uninfected players; however, the infection can spread so the infected players start to increase.  Each player controls an android and a human trying to stop the evil aliens – well, unless they;re already evil aliens.

The reason this interests me so much is that I actually have game design notes going back some years with the exact same premise, so I’m very interested to see how this game compares.

Plays 4-6


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Posted in Board Games, Dragon's Gold, Essen Spiel 11, Lost Temple, On the Radar, Panic Station, Rattus, Rattus: Africanus, Revolver, Singapore | No Comments »

Review: London

Posted by James (admin) on 16th August 2011

London is a primarily card-based game where players construct buildings in their parts of the city and run their city to generate as much income with as little poverty as possible.  The player with the most victory points (VPs) at the end of the game wins.

On a player’s turn, they can play cards (the game’s core mechanic), run their city, buy land or take 3 cards.  To play a card (which builds the building on it), a player must discard a card of the same colour as well as sometimes pay any extra monetary cost.  Each card gives you benefits of different types – some instant, some when running your city – such as money, VPs based on the buildings in play, the power to re-use a buildings’ ability, etc.  This seems simple enough as you try to build a city that will work well in combination; however, players must weight up two other elements too: Read the rest of this entry »

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

Review: D&D: Castle Ravenloft

Posted by James (admin) on 14th August 2011

I have played many adventure-style board games over the years – some were simple fun like Heroquest and Space Crusade whereas some have had more meat to them with modular board sections like Claustrophobia and Space Hulk (the latter being a classic game in my opinion).  So, I was very interested when Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft was announced with modular board adventuring and receiving positive opinion.

The game is co-operative with 1 to 5 players aiming to defeat the scenario they are playing.  As you’d expect from D&D, players control heroes of different types each with their own unique abilities.  Players get to choose their abilities (some unlimited use and some one-off) at the start of the game. Read the rest of this entry »

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On The Radar: Lyssan

Posted by James (admin) on 3rd August 2011 is growing in popularity as a way to finance board game production and I’m always interested to check out any new games on there.  In fact, it was through Kickstarter that I ordered my copy of Triumvirate back in April 2010.

A game on Kickstarter that has caught my attention is Lyssan as it looks like an interesting Medieval-themed game that mixes Diplomacy on the board (as there’re no dice for movement and attacks) but with card play to sway the conflicts.  Helping your opponents can be a useful tool so you can plot against them such as getting inside their castle and then turning their followers against them.

Check it out on Kickstarter – the video is a very good introduction and the designer (who seems like a very pleasant guy) describes the game.  Lyssan has reached its $20k funding but you can still pledge and, as with most Kickstarter projects, any money over the goal is always well-appreciated so larger production runs can be made.

I look forwards to seeing more about this game and hope it can deliver its mix of intrigue and confrontation.


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FFG Starts a New Line of Star Wars Games

Posted by James (admin) on 2nd August 2011

Wow!  There are few announcements these days that really are big news but FFG have just managed one by announcing they’re going to be releasing their own Star Wars games.  FFG have been going from strength-to-strength as a company as they secured bigger and bigger licenses – much in the same way that Electronic Arts did the same with videogames back when they were young.  I have a few issues with FFG in terms of the costs of their expansions (as they release so many) but they do release solid, quality games and have created a couple of my favourite non-Euro games.

For me, this is great news.  As a major Star Wars fan, I’ve been wondering for years why no-one’s done any serious games.  Even to the point last year that a friend and I discussed creating a Star Wars large battle game with a demo set using the toys to potentially get Hasbro’s attention.  In my opinion, the last great Star Wars game was Assault on Hoth by West End Games (a lot of randomness and very cheap production but a game we still play to this day) and since then Hasbro continually released weak board games that primarily served kids.

FFG have announced two games X-Wing ( – a 2-player, space combat, dogfighting game – and Star Wars: The Card Game ( – a 1-4 player co-op card game.  I’m definitely more interested in the first one as I find living card games a bit daunting due to the continual churn of new cards; however, I’m sure I’ll try the basic set at least..

So, congratulations FFG.  I look forwards to some great Star Wars gaming to come – just keep it in the original trilogy era please (which looks to be the case so far).  As Vader would say: Impressive.

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Posted in Board Games, On the Radar, Star Wars: The Card Game, Star Wars: X-Wing | No Comments »