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

Thursday, 9 April 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Sensor Ghosts

Game: Sensor Ghosts

Publisher: Wren Games

Designer: Janice Turner, Stu Turner

Year: 2020

'You have escaped both the virus-ridden space station and the clutches of the station's computer in Assembly.' Perhaps an enviable position right now? If you're reading this review in April 2020. You can only return to Earth if you bring with you an uncontaminated virus sample, for use in a vaccine.

Thankfully, Sensor Ghosts is an abstract puzzle game that doesn't hit too close to home, in our currently climate. Perfect for playing solo, or with 2,3 or 4 players, a puzzle might be just what you need right now and this one is certainly a challenge! Sensor Ghosts was successfully funded on Kickstarter, by independent publisher Wren Games and has recently found its way into backers' hands.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Ka Pai

Game: Ka Pai

Publisher: White Goblin Games

Designer: Mads Fl√łe

Year: 2019

Ka Pai is a roll and write game which released with it's first expansion, Ranu, at Essen 2019. In this roll and write, you'll roll dice, but they'll offer you geometric shapes rather than numbers. Perhaps slightly unfortunately, the game has been given the unnecessary theme of Maori tribes, which is enough to drive some people away. The game is completely abstract though, so the theme could be anything.

This roll and write is mainly about making routes between the different totems of the board and creating groups of the different shapes (tribes). It's simple, but different enough from a lot of other numerical roll and write games and with expansions to dig into straight away, as well as more to come, there's lots to try in Ka Pai.

As well as whole host of expansions for Ka Pai coming in 2020 (according to BGG), the designer has also re-themed one of his games and made it free to play during the current Covid-19 crisis. Vaccine is available to download with links on BGG.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

The Digital Game Shelf - MORE Board Gaming During Covid-19

We're now on our second week in lockdown here in the UK and we're still finding new games that we can play online, and new ways to do it. In spite of the fact we downloaded Tabletop Simulator, we haven't used it yet because I'm finding it a lot more satisfying to figure out new and exciting ways to play games.

At the same time, we're fortunate to be getting lots of time together at the table too. We're currently playing a lot of games that our on our 'one last play' list to make some space on the shelf for some new games. Once we've made some space, we might be able to start playing some games from our cupboard of shame!

Here's some more ideas to connect with far away friends through gaming, based on what we've been playing this week.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- The Isle of Cats

Game: The Isle of Cats

Publisher: The City of Games

Designer: Frank West

Year: 2019

The Isle of Cats joins a long list of polyomino games, but it does have the magic ingredient of cats, which immediately makes it jump up in popularity. Isle of Cats also made a fantastic marketing move, including a surprise in the box lid for all cat owners out there. Sadly our neighbours cat was not available for a photoshoot, but you can find lots of incredible cat photos here!

The Isle of Cats is a 1-4 player tile-laying game which uses drafting of polyomino tiles. Each players lures cats on board their boat with fish and different colour cats like to stick together. It's a lot bigger than most polyomino games and has super high quality production, even if you're getting hold of the retail version, so does it pack a much bigger punch than Barenpark, Cottage Garden and a couple of other favourites?