Ticket to Ride (North America)

Loy says: “Ticket to Ride is an addictive race to make the most profitable and longest train routes before your opponents do. The rules can be learned in five minutes, but gameplay itself is strategically challenging. Each player has a number of secret routes they are trying to establish, while blocking opponents from doing the same. Trains, cards, and routes have to be collected and set in matching colors, adding to the challenge. This is a family fun game that we love so much, we even play it on our phones.”

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Tokaido

Loy says: “As a graphic designer myself, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a game that satisfies my need for eye candy. Tokaido satisfies and then some. It’s visually stunning and the clear, well-thought design makes learning the game a breeze. Winning it is another matter. As Japanese tourists, players travel the length of the board – in a distinct change of pace, they’re traveling as slowly as possible – and collect tchotchkes, photographs, and fine food along the way. At each stop, players can also choose to donate to temples and visit wild spaces for additional points. The winner is the tourist who has experienced the most that the game has to offer. With lots of combinations, this game is unique each time, and offers an interesting view of Japanese tourism. Our family enjoys the journey.”

 

From the box: “In Tokaido, each player is a traveler crossing the “East sea road”, one of the most magnificent roads of Japan. While traveling, players will meet people, taste fine meals, collect beautiful items, discover great panoramas and visit temples and wild places. At the end of the day, when everyone has arrived at the end of the road you’ll have to be the most initiated traveler – which means that you’ll have to be the one who discovered the most interesting and varied things.”

Catan (Original + Expansions)

From the box: “Your adventurous settlers seek to tame the remote but rich isle of Catan. Start by revealing Catan’s many harbors and regions: pastures, fields, mountains, hills, forests, and desert. The random mix creates a different board virtually every time. Guide your settlers to victory by clever trading and cunning development. Use resource combinations— grain, wool, ore, brick, and lumber—to buy handy development cards and build roads, settlements, and cities. Acquire your resources through trades, cards, or lucky dice (even outside your turn). But beware! Someone might cut off your road or buy a monopoly. And you never know when the wily robber might steal some of your precious gains!”

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Risk

Loy says: “Risk is that classic game of conquest. Strategically build and place your armies for battle, team up with opponents, roll the dice to determine victory, and be the last general standing. This can be a simple game of tactics or a complex game of negotiations and allies; it’s all up to you.”

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Munchkin (Classic)

From the box: “In Munchkin, you and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items. Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon. Everyone begins the game as a Level 1 Human with NO Class (heh-heh) and via cards, they acquire Races (Elf, Dwarf, etc.), Classes (Thief, Wizard, Cleric, etc.), Items, Armor, Potions, and more to combat hideous monsters like the Level 4 Undead Horse, the Level 10 Net Troll, and the Level 14 Unspeakably Awful, Indescribable Horror (very nasty, indeed). The object of the game is to reach Level 10. Levels are acquired via the slaying of monsters and the selling of acquired treasure (1,000 Gold Pieces equals 1 Level). Very silly and a lot of fun!

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