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

Saturday, 15 February 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews: Ishtar: Gardens of Babylon

Game: Ishtar: Gardens of Babylon

Publisher: Iello

Designer: Bruno Cathala, Evan Singh

Year: 2019

Ishtar is a game from well-known designer Bruno Cathala. With great games like Five Tribes, Kingdomino, 7 Wonders Duel and many, many more to his name. Bruno Cathala's games are ones that I will often be eager to check out. The Cathala games I've played are simple and elegant without exception, even though they vary in weight and I really enjoy how easy his games are to play.

Ishtar is certainly an abstract game, but the Gardens of Babylon theme is certainly used to great effect in the artwork, from Biboun, as well as in the production. Every tree card in the game is unique and some our humorous, and the wooden trees themselves are charming in shape.

Ishtar plays from 2-4 players and the board size and length of the game scales with player count. In Ishtar you'll be laying tiles, to obtain gems to upgrade your personal player board, take special actions and plant trees. At the same time you'll control gardens adjacent to the temples on the board and plant flowerbeds - filling them with as many flowers as you can.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- War of the Worlds: The New Wave

Game: War of the Worlds: The New Wave

Publisher: Jet Games Studio and Grey Fox Games

Designer: Denis Plastinin

Year: 2019

War of the Worlds: The New Wave is an assymetric 2-player game based on the original "War of the Worlds" story by H.G. Wells. Set in a future, a few years after the original story, it's not only the iconic tripods that are invading Earth, but now they're invading with UFOs too, and your 1940s military technology simply doesn't know how to handle a UFO.

War of the Worlds: The New Wave is a deck-building game where one player represents the people of earth (in this case, the UK) and the other player represents the invading forces. Deck-building is woven into a head-to-head combat and area movement game, in which both players will try to be the first to attack each other with enough force to eliminate the other. This spatial element with pieces on a board map of the UK definitely brings something extra to this deck-builder.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Epic Digital App

White Wizard Games know how to put together a great app! Star Realms was the first ever game I bought in a board game store and I downloaded the free version of the app soon after. I've been playing it ever since and have been happy to simply make the most of the free content - even though there's a lot of paid for content too.

I've never played the physical version of Epic, but on February 18th, White Wizard Games will be launching an app implementation and all of the content will be free. This includes a tutorial, campaign, AI and online play, as well as the ability to use standard decks or customise and deckbuild.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Cairn

Game: Cairn

Publisher: Matagot

Designer:  Christian Martinez

Year: 2019

Cairn is an abstract two player game that tries hard to have a theme. One player represents the sea shamen, whilst the other represents forest shamen. Your goal is to enchant the land by building megaliths. Perhaps the theme isn't there, but it tries hard with cute miniatures and art.

We don't play abstract 2-player games because we have a big mis-match in skill level. Amy is good at them, and I am not. But, we always like to give games a chance. In 2019, by favourite game was an abstract 2-player game (Moon Base), so perhaps there are a few special games out there that have a something that makes them different, gives me a chance to be competitive and the novelty of finding a game like this really makes them stand out. On the face of it, Cairn seems like the chess-like game I won't enjoy, but I've definitely been proven wrong.