Steam Park

From the box: “As owners of a fantastic steam park, you’re to build gigantic, coal-powered rides to attract as many visitors as you can – but building attractions won’t be enough. You’ll also need to manage your employees, invest in advertising in order to attract and please the different kinds of guests visiting your park, and, above all, keep the dirt that your park produces under strict control! Steam Park is an easy-to-learn game with two difficulty levels: one for the less experienced gamers and a more strategic one for those who want a more exciting challenge. In this management game, you’ll have to build your own amusement park and make it the largest and most profitable in the region. By constructing the three-dimensional, wonderful rides designed by Marie Cardouat, you will see your park grow right before your eyes. Choose your strategy! Build Stands to attract more Visitors, or Toilets to keep the Dirt under control. Whatever decision you take, take it quickly: The less time you spend planning, the more time you’ll have to maintain your park. Thanks to a clever, original action-choosing mechanism, winning in Steam Park is as much a matter of being the best as of being the fastest!”

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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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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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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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