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

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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Snorta

From the box: “Snorta! is the family game where everyone acts like an animal! The race is on to get rid of your cards. After each player hides an animal figure in their barn, everyone starts flipping over their cards and the BARNYARD BEDLAM BEGINS! Whenever two cards match, players must blurt out the sound of each other’s hidden animal – and whoever squawks last has to take their opponent’s cards! First player out of cards wins! Snorta! comes with 12 fully painted animal figures – a cat, a cow, a dog, a donkey, a duck, a frog, a mouse, an owl, a pig, a rooster, a sheep and a snake. Each player chooses one of these animals from the cloth grab bag then hides it under one of 8 plastic barns. Finally, the deck of 96 cards, featuring quirky illustrations of each animal, gets dealt to all the players. Simple as that and you’re ready to play! Snorta is quick and easy to learn, but as players start turning over their cards faster and faster, the game quickly becomes more and more challenging. Can you spot a match before your opponents do? Will you remember what kind of animal is hidden in their barns? Get ready to laugh as tongue-tied players stumble and stutter to blurt out the sounds of each other’s undercover animals – it’s a real HOOT! SNORTA! will have you HOWLING with laughter!”

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Stratego

Loy says: “Stratego is an oldie but a goodie. In this battle, setup is half way to winning. Place your army, including spies, flag, and bombs. Once the game begins, moves proceed similar to chess. Your goal is to capture your enemy’s flag without hitting any of those pesky bombs in the process. Every setup is different, so every game is unique for a fun and challenging game each time. How well do you know your opponent?”

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Clue

From the box: “The classic detective game! In Clue, players move from room to room in a mansion to solve the mystery of: who done it, with what, and where? Players are dealt character, weapon, and location cards after the top card from each card type is secretly placed in the confidential file in the middle of the board. Players must move to a room and then make an accusation against a character saying they did it in that room with a specific weapon. The player to the left must show one of any cards accused to the accuser if in that player’s hand. Through deductive reasoning each player must figure out which character, weapon, and location are in the secret file. To do this, each player must uncover what cards are in other players hands by making more and more accusations. Once a player knows what cards the other players are holding, they will know what cards are in the secret file. A great game for those who enjoy reasoning and thinking things out.”

Amazon: Clue

Codenames

From the box: Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.

In Codenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.

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Timeline: Inventions

From the box: “Timeline: Inventions is a card game played using 109 cards. Each card depicts an invention on both sides, with the year in which that invention was created on only one side. Players take turns placing a card from their hand in a row on the table. After placing the card, the player reveals the date on it. If the card was placed correctly with the date in chronological order with all other cards on the table, the card stays in place; otherwise the card is removed from play and the player takes another card from the deck.”

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