Small World

From the box: “Small World is a zany, light-hearted civilization game in which 2-5 players vie for conquest and control of a board that is simply too small to accommodate them all. Picking the right combination of fantasy races and unique special powers, players must rush to expand their empires – often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory. Designed by Philippe Keyaerts, as the fantasy follow-up to his award-winning Vinci, Small World is inhabited by a cast of characters such as dwarves, wizards, amazons, giants, orcs and even humans; who use their troops to occupy territory and conquer adjacent lands in order to push the other races off the face of the earth. Small World marks the return of the Days of Wonder line of heavily-themed, big-box sized games featuring evocative illustrations, high-quality European components and a compelling, fun theme. ”

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Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle

From the box: “Play as your favorite characters and defend the wizarding world from evil forces. Enhance your abilities as you build your deck with over 140 cards. Seven successive game adventures offer increasing difficulty as you battle Villains and unlock new abilities, secrets and challenges. Also included are four HOGWARTS house dice, game board, over 50 chip pieces, and sorting cards to keep everything organized.”

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Forbidden Desert

From the box: “Gear up for a thrilling adventure to recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city. You’ll need to coordinate with your teammates and use every available resource if you hope to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm. Find the flying machine and escape before you all become permanent artifacts of the forbidden desert!

In Forbidden Desert, players take on the roles of brave adventurers who must throw caution to the wind and survive both blistering heat and blustering sand in order to recover a legendary flying machine buried under an ancient desert city. While featuring cooperative gameplay similar to Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert is a fresh, new game based around an innovative set of mechanisms such as an ever-shifting board, individual resource management, and a unique method for locating the flying machine parts.” Continue reading “Forbidden Desert”

Imhotep

From the box: “Players take on the role of ancient Egyptian architects. Over six rounds, they try to transport stone blocks to end up in the most valuable positions at five construction sites, while thwarting their opponents’ efforts to do the same. To win the game and be named the greatest architect, you must get your blocks to the right place, in the right order, at the right time.”

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7 Wonders

From the box: “You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World Gather resources, develop commercial routes and affirm your military supremacy 2-7 players 30+ minutes playing time”

Dan Says: “7 Wonders is a card drafting game in which, among other things, you are in charge of building your own ‘Wonder.’  There are 3 ‘stages’ of play, each having a hand where each player picks 1 card to play, then passes the hand to the next player.  Like other card drafting games, there are many ways to earn points, some of which are straight-forward, others are more complex.  Add to that the bonuses some of the cards can give you, along with the “engine building” element where certain cards require you to have to ‘build’ them with previously-played resources, and you achieve a level of complexity that’s more than, say, Sushi Go, but still not difficult to pick up.  It’s one where you’re probably best suited using your first couple of plays focusing on learning how the cards interact as opposed to chasing points.  Overall a fun game.”

Amazon: 7 Wonders

Red Dragon Inn

From the box: “You and your adventuring companions have spent all day slogging through the Dungeon, killing monsters and taking their stuff. Now you’re back in town, healed up, cleaned up, and ready to party at the Red Dragon Inn. Drink, gamble, and roughhouse with your friends. But don’t forget to keep an eye on your Gold. If you run out, you’ll have to spend the night in the stables. Oh. and try not to get too beaten up or too drunk. If you black out, your friends will continue the party without you. after they loot your body for Gold of course!  The last conscious adventurer with Gold wins the game!  Take on the role of one of four heroic fantasy adventurers — Dierdre, Fiona, Gerki, or Zot — and enjoy an evening at the Red Dragon Inn!”

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HeroScape: Rise of the Valkaries

From the box: “Imagine the greatest battle of all time taking place on a battlefield you design. Recommended for ages eight and older, Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkaries entails an interlocking 3-D battlefield, miniature warriors, and strategic game play. This build-and-battle game set includes 24 beautifully painted miniature warriors and 75 interlocking terrain pieces. There are swamp, water, rock, and land tiles to create and customize your own battlefield. An instruction booklet is provided to help you form the terrain. The pieces click easily into place and the landscape is limited only by your imagination. After you construct the terrain, it is time to form your army with warriors, aliens, acid, drones, and stingers, each with their own strengths.”

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Pirate Fluxx

Loy says: “Another cool entry in the Fluxx category. If you’re not familar with Fluxx, it’s a bizarre card game loosely based on rummy – you’re trying to create and lay down matching sets. However, the game rules, and even the conditions for winning, are played as cards during the game. And, changed just as often. Fluxx can last ten minutes or two hours depending on how you play, and is fun at any length. This one is Pirate-flavored.”

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Forbidden Island

From the box: “Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!” Continue reading “Forbidden Island”

Rory’s Story Cubes

Loy says: “Looking for something unique and creative? Boy-howdy, have you found it in Rory’s Story Cubes. The box includes a couple of ways to play, but here’s our go-to: roll the dice and start to tell the story. You can tell the whole thing, or players can grab dice and jump in when they want. Or, you can have each person tell a sentence in a round-robin until the story comes to life. It’s not as easy as it sounds – be the one at the table with the best contribution and exercise your vocabulary, your imagination, and your thinking cap! This is a lot of fun as a game, and also works as an ice-breaker, a teaching manipulative, or a tool for overcoming writer’s block. Get your creative on!”

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