Dr Eureka

We recently purchased Dr Eureka at a games sale; it looked like a fun game and it fits a niche we didn’t currently fill. It’s a game of dexterity as well as puzzle solving. In Dr Eureka, you start with three test tubes with colored marbles in them. One person flips a card, and everyone starts pouring their marbles from one tube to another, trying to match the pattern on the card.

Sounds easy, right? Catch – you can’t touch the marbles. So you need to figure out how to pour them back and forth between the three tubes you have until you get the right pattern – all without touching the marbles. If you drop one, you’re out. This can be a fun game for anyone with the dexterity; it’s especially fun if you’re the sort of person who likes those 9-square puzzles or even a Rubik’s Cube.

Loy says: “I liked this game for quick reflexes and quick thinking. It was easy enough to hold a conversation between rounds and the rounds do fly past. This would be fun for a group that includes kids tweens and slightly younger. I could also see it being great fun at a bar; rounds would get more challenging as the night went on.”

Splendor

From the box: “As a wealthy Renaissance merchant, acquire mines and transportation, hire artisans and woo the nobility. Create the most fantastic jewelry to become the best-known merchant of them all! Acquire precious stones to trade them for development cards. Use development cards to acquire more gem stones. Use your gems and gold to create the most fantastic jewelry, and appeal to the nobles to gain the prestige you need to win.” Continue reading “Splendor”

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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Smash Up

From the box: “The shufflebuilding game Smash Up starts with a simple premise: Take the twenty card decks of two factions shuffle them into a forty card deck then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents! Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play, pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power, and every combination of factions brings a different play experience. During play Base cards (each with their own difficulties and abilities) are in play. You attempt to have the most power on the Base from your minions when the Base is smashed. Sounds easy? How easy is it when an opponent’s Alien Ninja decides to Beam Up your minions to other Bases flat out Assassinate them? What about when the Pirate Dinosaur player Full Sails in and releases King Rex to stomp your minions into the ground or when the Wizard Zombies use their Mystic Power to create an Outbreak suddenly flooding minions onto the Base from the discard pile? Or what if you faced a Zombie Dinosaur player instead and he created an Outbreak of massive beasts all at once?!? When a Base is smashed each player in first second and third place scores points. Fourth place? Sorry bro, try harder next time. With eight different factions Smash Up includes dozens of combinations to try. Pirate Aliens play different than Ninja Aliens for instance. Which will you use to smash up your opponents? And did we mention the dinosaurs have laser beams?”

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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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