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, 20 October 2018

Six Games You Should Check Out at Essen 2018


We've already published our Top Ten anticipated games for Essen 2018, but these are games that we haven't played yet, so we don't really know if they're going to be good. If you're looking for recommendations that we've tried and tested, then there are eight new releases at Essen that we have had the chance to play and really believe in. Take a look at the list below to find our first impressions or reviews of some fantastic new games!

Friday, 19 October 2018

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr

Game: Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr

Publisher: Hub Games

Designer: Michael Fox & Rory O'Connor

Year: 2018

Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr tells the story of Billy Kerr, who was taken ill on a flight from Sydney to London. He is now in hospital, appearing to be in his final few days and your role, as the nurses is to look after him with both medical care and palliative care. Through your time with Billy he will reveal memories about his past and you will try and piece together his history to find out who he is and how to contact his loved ones.Billy has led an interesting life, and throughout ten games, you will talk to Billy to reveal new aspects of his past, learning more about the key dramatic moments in his history.

Each game uses the same basic setup and the same set of memories, depicted through wonderful artwork, but each new game you'll have the opportunity to find out new pieces of the story and also explore new mechanisms and ways to complete varying end game objectives. We've played five out of the ten scenarios and our review will be free from spoilers about the story and different elements you unlock.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Reef


Game: Reef

Publisher: Next Move Games

Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi

Year: 2018

Reef is the next game coming from the publishers of the extremely popular Azul. The two games share the same publisher, and the same 4 letter name that is rumoured to be the theme for a line of family weight abstract games from Next Move Games, an imprint of Plan B Games. The games also share a great attention to component quality. Whilst Azul had a very classy look, Reef has gone the route of bold and colourful, creating a different but still very appealing aesthetic on the table.

That's really where the similarities end. Reef is an abstract game that stands on it's own as a family weight 2-4 player game. The colours might fool you into thinking the game is aimed at children, but there's actually a really neat card drafting, puzzly, three-dimensional game in Reef that I believe rivals its Spiel des Jahres winning predecessor. Let's take a closer look!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Game Shelf Previews:- Volfyirion

Game: Volfyirion

Publisher: Tabula Games

Designer: Federico Tini, Alessandro Veracchi

Year: 2019


Volfyirion is a competitive deck-building card game for two players. With two key paths to victory, will you lead your house into war, destroying your opponent's cities or will you be strong enough to harness the power of the dragon Volfyirion and have it wreak havoc against your enemies?

Volfyirion is coming to Kickstarter during October 2018, from Tabula games - who had a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. Volfyirion has a similar setting and art style to Mysthea and even the opportunity to back a dragon miniature that can be used in both games. So, let's find out what Volfyirion brings to the deck-building genre and see if it's a two-player game that you should look out for!