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

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- My Top 10 Board Games (2019 Edition)


Each year, for the anniversary of The Game Shelf, I update my top ten games of all time. Unfortunately, this year I forgot my own birthday, but, back in May, The Game Shelf turned four years old! With over 700 articles written for the site during those 4 years, you bet we've been busy playing new games, and so, two of these games have done very well to stand the test of time from my first ever Top 10. If you're looking back at that first top ten now, then I'd still rank Pandemic Legacy Season 1 as my best ever gaming experience, but I now choose to exclude legacy experiences from my list and I took the approach of 'what game do I want to play most right now?' when making this list.

Thanks to the ranking engine at PubMeeple, I didn't lose too much sleep over this top ten - this is just exactly how my ranking came out.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Little Town

Game: Little Town

Publisher: Iello

Designer: Aya & Shun Taguchi

Year: 2019


If you're a convention go-er, a BoardGameGeek addict, a Twitter junkie or a frequent podcast listener, then it can sometimes be hard not to be swept up by the exciting and interesting games coming out of Asia. It's great to see games that are designed from completely different perspectives and I'm certainly a gamer who likes to look at this category of board games and seek out some of the different titles at conventions and through friends who travel to that part of the world.

Fortunately though, publishers like Iello also keep an eye out for titles from Asia that can be brought to a wider market and Little Town is one of those titles. However, Little Town certainly doesn't feel like a quirky Asian game. It's routes are truly in eurogames with tile laying and worker placement aimed at the family gaming end of the spectrum.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Arraial

Game: Arraial

Publisher: MEBO Games & Pandasaurus Games

Designer: Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade

Year: 2018

Arraial is a game that makes me grateful not to have a Youtube channel or a podcast. I've heard its name pronounced many different ways, from the phonetically obvious, all the way to something sounding like 'Ohio'. Arraial was first published by Portuguese publisher, Mebo at Essen 2018 and has now been picked up by Pandasurus for English-speaking markets. It appears that in Portuguese, arraial means village or fair, and you can see from the tiles in the game that a 'fair' seems to be a pretty raucous party!

Arraial is a tile laying game for 1-4 players that plays in around 30 minutes. It's perhaps one of the closest recreations of Tetris that I've seen in board games, even surpassing Spring Meadow and the roll and write game, Brikks. That means we took the opportunity to play Arraial with both two-players, as well as with some video game fanatic friends!

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Best played to B-Type music:- Arraial

Game: Arraial

Publisher: MEBO Games & Pandasaurus Games

Designer: Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade

Year: 2018

Arraial is a 1-4 player tile laying game in which you will seek to make the best summer celebration. Squeeze as many people into your celebration as possible serving food, drink and entertainment in order to create the best Arraial ever! You'll be adding these performers and chefs as tetrominos, trying to fill your board as efficiently as possible, but also to group up the same type of entertainers in order to attract more guests!

If you've ever heard of an obscure little video game called 'Tetris' then you already know almost exactly how to play Arraial. You have a bar at the top of your board where new tiles will be added, they then fall directly down to the bottom of your board until they hit another block. Heck, you can even shove them across one space once they land. Completing lines will cause the bar to raise higher and reward you with points. But there are some distinctions from the classic videogame. Rotating pieces cannot be done mid-fall, but instead must be done as an action before you take a piece.