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, 15 October 2019

A new kind of R&B: Era: Medieval Age

Game: Era: Medieval Age

Publisher: Eggertspiele

Designer: Matt Leacock

Year: 2019

Era: Medieval Age is a 1-4 player Roll and Build game. Notably different from a Roll and Write game as instead of drawing on a paper sheet you are placing plastic buildings onto a player board. This allows for buildings to be removed and replaced as the game goes on, while still providing gameplay akin to a traditional Roll and Write. In Era you will be rolling dice to generate resources and then using those resources to build new buildings, all to create a flourishing medieval society. buildings provide a variety of different bonuses such as new dice to roll, income every round and end game bonuses.

At the start of the game you will take a handful of basic buildings to populate your board with before the game begins. Each round you will take your dice and roll them behind a screen. You can then set aside any dice you want and reroll the remainder, then set aside any more dice you like and take a final reroll. If you roll any die face with a skull then you must put the die aside and cannot reroll it. Once all players are done rolling the screens are removed and the rest of the round progresses. Players will then gain resources, feed their people (each die needs 1 food/round), assess disasters (based on skulls rolled), build new buildings and finally see if they invade any neighbors. This will continue until a number of building types have run out (depending on player count) at which point points will be assessed.

Monday, 14 October 2019

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Sushi Roll

Game: Sushi Roll

Publisher: Gamewright

Designer: Phil Walker-Harding

Year: 2019

Sushi Go was probably one of the early games I played. It was certainly my introduction to drafting and it's a game that we still have in our collection. I still pull it out, especially to play with friends and colleagues, who are definitely drawn in by the cute sushi and really get into the simple and satisfying gameplay.

Of course, many games are spinning off with smaller dice versions and card versions. But Sushi Roll bucks the trend and goes bigger with its dice version. Plus it's not a roll and write like you might expect many dice versions to be these days. Players who have played Sushi Go will be very familiar with the rules of Sushi Roll, with dice simply standing in for cards in the drafting and a few rules and scoring tweaks. Your cute sushi friends are back, and perhaps even a little cuter on their colourful custom dice, but even if you love the pun, do you need this game?

Sunday, 13 October 2019

The Game Shelf's Rundown of SHUX 2019

This year we decided we would go to one board game convention in North America. Initially we were going to try and celebrate around my 30th birthday, with the Dice Tower Cruise, but in the end the pull of a holiday in Vancouver was greater. Vancouver is a beautiful city and one that I desperately wanted to share with Amy. So, after a week spent in Victoria and Vancouver, our SHUX started with a pre-convention dinner.

Here, we met a few convention attendees and started to build a picture that the attendees of SHUX really are super-fans of Shut Up and Sit Down's board game review channel. I was kind of surprised that it was so fan driven. For me SHUX was just a large (not sure it's the largest) board game convention in Canada and I thought it might stand on its own for that reason. But no, the merchandise stall must do really well at that show! I listen to the SUSD podcast, but Amy doesn't follow them at all and we were a little worried about how the convention would unfold.

What we also learned is that everyone told us SHUX is all about the people. Many people we met had travelled their on their own and seemed to have no apprehension about finding people to play with. SHUX is primarily an open gaming convention, with a large library, and a huge amount of open gaming. People were there to meet people, make friends and play games.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Overthinking by The Yellow Meeple:- Top 10 Most Anticipated Board Games of Essen 2019

After much regret last year when we didn't go to Essen, we booked our 2019 hotel room right away. This year will be our first visit to Essen and I'm equal parts excited and terrified. Our biggest convention experience so far has been the UK Games Expo and Essen promises to be double or triple the size, with perhaps 50 times the number of new releases. It's really the peak of the board gaming year, where many of the big new games will first find their way into gamers' hands. Since we're travelling by plane and our currency,the British Pound, is worth next to nothing right now, we will be limiting the games we bring home, but that doesn't stop me from getting very excited about them!

SPIEL is taking place from 24-27th October 2019. According to the listings by BoardGameGeek and Tabletop Together Tool, there will be nearly 1200 new games available at Essen this year. 66 games made my long list, and I was strict! To whittle this down to just a Top 10, I've applied a few rules;
  • No games that we've backed on Kickstarter.
  • No games we've already played. (A few of the big games have had a UK release in the past few weeks, and we tried a couple at SHUX last weekend.)
So here's my Top 10 Games we are interested to get hold either during Essen or soon after. There's a range of reasons why a game might hit this list, so welcome to an insight into my mind at work!