Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Game Shelf Previews:- Fire Tower

Game: Fire Tower

Publisher: Runaway Parade Games

Designer: Samuel Bryant, Gwen Ruelle

Year: 2018

As guards at the fire tower, it's your job to keep a watchful eye over the forest and protect it from danger. That said, you're also out to save your own backside, and when you see smoke in the distance it's all about your safety and you have complete disregard for the forces manning the other watch towers.

You'll use everything in your power to combat the blaze and ensure that yours in the last tower standing. Dispatch fire engines, order air drops of water, build fire breaks and pray to the powers that be to try and change the wind direction. In your panic, it's only your safety that's important.

All about the base:- Castell

Game: Castell

Publisher: Renegade Game Studios

Designer: Aaron Vanderbeek

Year: 2018

Castell is a 2-4 player tile laying strategy game in which you take control of a colles castelleres touring Catelonia performing at festivals to create the tallest and most impressive human towers. You will need to recruit new members to your team and train in various skills in order to have a chance of winning the many festivals that are taking place across the region. Even if you can't reach a festival in time you can always put on a show for locals in order to gain renown.

In Castell you begin with a handful of tiles each representing a person numbered from 10 to 1. You can use these to create your human towers, at the start of the game you are limited to a maximum width of 3, and each layer must all be of the same number and must have 1 fewer than the layer below. As you learn skills you can break and bend these rules. The mix skill lets you combined numbers on a row (tiles are different heights so only certain numbers can be combined). The strength skill lets you place a person on top of a layer of the same number (a 1 on top of another 1 for example). The width skill allows you to gain 1 width, so you can make layers with 4 people, while the base skill lets you have 1 layer with no limit to the number of people on it. Finally the balance skill lets you build a layer at the same width as the one before it.

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 16th April 2018 at The Ludoquist

This blog is by no means my first impressions of The Ludoquist. We visit the board game cafe in Croydon quite a lot, with different groups of friends, and, of course, Amy works there. However, it's the first time we've been by ourselves and set aside a day for gaming. I've been keeping  a list of games on the shelves that I wanted to play and we managed to cross of quite a few. We identified some great new games as well as avoiding a few bad purchases.

I won't feature all of the games we played, but here's some of the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Sonar

Game: Sonar

Publisher: Matagot

Designer: Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier

Year: 2017

Sonar is a 4-player sequel to the game Captain Sonar from 2016. I've been really eager to try Sonar, because I had rel problems with Captain Sonar, despite loving the concept. Captain Sonar was a game I loved when we first played it turn-based, but it completely fell apart when I played a real-time game with a team who were just awful at cooperating. It was so bad that it forced me to leave a gaming group and never go back.

The concept of Sonar is the same as it's bigger brother, with some hidden movement and an elaborate take on Battleship. I was really excited to see a version that I could play with 2-players, so that I didn't have to relive the experience of poor communication and cooperation. At first Sonar was a Target exclusive in the USA, but now it's available in the UK and we've been giving it a try.