Lanterns

From the box: “Place tiles, adorn the Palace lake, and dedicate lanterns in this beautiful, fast–paced board game set in Imperial China. 36 lake tiles 56 lantern cards 20 engraved wood favor tokens 30 dedication tokens 1 custom wooden fishing boat rulebook the harvest is in, and now it’s time to celebrate! lanterns: the harvest festival is a tile– placement game set in Imperial China. Players act as artisans decorating the Palace lake with floating lanterns. The artisan who earns the most honor before the festival arrives wins the game.”

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Takenoko

From the box: “A long time ago at the Japanese Imperial court, the Chinese Emperor offered a giant panda bear as a symbol of peace to the Japanese Emperor. Since then, the Japanese Emperor has entrusted his court members (the players) with the difficult task of caring for the animal by tending to his bamboo garden.

In Takenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.”

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Patchwork

From the box: “Two players compete to make the best quilt! In the past, it was a way to make use of leftover pieces of cloth to create clothing and quilts. Today, patchwork is a form of art, in which the designers use precious fabrics to create beautiful textiles. To create a beautiful quilt, however, requires effort and time, but the available patches just do not want to fit together. So choose your patches carefully and keep a healthy supply of buttons to not only finish your quilt, but to make it better and more beautiful than your opponent‘s.”

Dan says: “Patchwork is a nice little tile-laying game for two players.  In it you’re buying  and placing patches of various Tetris-like shapes onto your square tableau.  The play is ‘timed’ against a spiral board where your pawns move toward the center.  Each ‘patch’ has a potential button and ‘time’/movement cost, so picking which of 3 available patches to buy has to measure the cost against the gain, including its fit in your tableau and the buttons it can earn you.  Quick to pick up with lots of replay value, this game is a great 2-player game.”

Amazon: Patchwork

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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Sushi Go Party

From the box: “Sushi Go Party!, an expanded version of the best-selling card game Sushi Go!, is a party platter of mega maki, super sashimi, and endless edamame. You still earn points by picking winning sushi combos, but now you can customise each game by choosing à la carte from a menu of more than twenty delectable dishes. What’s more, up to eight players can join in on the sushi-feast. Let the good times roll!”

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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

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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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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