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 18 months and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every other 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, 30 June 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Stone Age



GameStone Age

PublisherRio Grande Games

Designer: Bernd Brunnhofer

Year
2008




Stone Age is often said to be THE gateway worker placement game. I first saw it featured on Will Wheaton’s tabletop and for me in the very early stages of becoming a gamer, it seemed pretty complicated. Scroll forward a few months and Stone Age was out of print and hard to find so we never got the opportunity to try it. Eventually it was brought along to our gaming group and became flavour of the month with a few people importing German copies. We were eventually lucky enough to pick up a cheap local joblot of games on eBay and Stone Age was one of them.


In Stone Age, each player begins with 5 worker meeple who can be placed on the board in different numbers to perform different tasks. Typically they need to gather food and resources – for this you can assign a number of meeples in one go and then in the resolution phase you roll the same number of dice as you have meeple assigned. Different resources have different rarity and so you need to roll higher to get one piece of gold, for example, than one food or one wood. Other spots on the board give you a guaranteed result, such as a tool or assigning two meeples to ‘sleep over at the hut’ and make you a new meeple. You can also use resources to buy huts to score points or cards to help you with end game scoring.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Flintstone Vs Rubble:- Stone Age


Game: Stone Age


Publisher: Rio Grande Games


Designer: Bernd Brunnhofer


Year2008
Me Ug! Ug make axe! Axe can be used for many thing! Use Axe to hit mammoth, turn mammoth into meat! Use Axe to hit tree, turn tree into wood! Use axe to hit Dug-ug, no-one likes Dug-ug! Buy Axe now, or Ug hit you with Axe! Ug also make luck cube, buy that too, or Ug hit you with Axe more!

 Stone Age is a 2-4 player worker placement game in which you take control of a tribe of stone age humans trying to survive and advance their tribes to become the strongest and smartest around. You’ll have to forage for food, chop trees, mine resources, develop a farm, invent tools and, of course, breed your way to victory. Like many other worker placements a key part of Stone Age is ensuring that your people don’t starve to death, though fortunately if you run out of food you can always nibble on bars of solid gold, or other resources, to maintain yourself.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Tajemnicze Domostwo (Mysterium)



GameTajemnicze Domostwo (Mysterium)



PublisherPortal Games



Designer: Oleksander Neviskiy & Oleg Sidorenko


Year
2013



Tajemnicze Domostwo (or Mysterium, as it will be known for the rest of this review) is one of our most played board games. This is particularly surprising given that we didn’t own the game until two weeks ago. This game has been so popular amongst members of a couple of our gaming groups that we’ve played it more than every game we actually own. We moved house this week and just in case none of our new gaming friends play it, we’ve purchased our own second hand copy. So it’s probably obvious that this review will be positive, but read on to find out if it’s a glowing review from me or if its Amy who wanted this in our collection.



Mysterium is a co-operative game for 2-7 players. One player plays as the ghost and all other players play as investigators. The ghost was the victim of a murder and his role is to try and tell you through the medium of dreams, who murdered him, where they were and what weapon they used (rather like in Cluedo!). For some reason, the ghost is leading each investigator to a different suspect, location and weapon and the final round of the game is where each investigator pools together the potential suspects and decides who the real culprit was.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

I Ain’t Afraid of no Ghosts:- Tajemnicze Domostwo (Mysterium)



If you are hearing this then I am dead. I can also tell you that there is life after death, though all you can do is talk to psychics. Oh that’s a point, if you can hear this then you are psychic! That might come as a shock, but you aren’t one of those carnival psychics who swears that you’ll meet a tall dark stranger whose name starts with a P... wait an R... or maybe a D. No you’re an actual real-life mind-reading, contact the dead, psychic! Right. Now we’ve got that sorted, let’s talk about my death. You see I was killed by a man named... what was his name? It definitely started with a P... wait, no, an R!

Mysterium is a 2-7 player detective cooperative card game set in France in which you play as either a psychic detective trying to get to the bottom of a murder case, or as a corpse. The ghost of the victim communicates with the psychics via the medium of dreams in order to ‘help’ them solve the case and get your ghostly revenge on your killer. I should say early that this review is based on the original Portal Games release, I’ve not played the English remake, though I understand it is almost the same game with only minor tweaks.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 12th – 18th June



Our first few games have made their way into our new house in Surrey. The Kallax shelves have been ordered to arrive on Sunday. Our time is pretty much consumed by packing boxes, IKEA and the 3.5 hour round trip to our new house. We’ve checked out the local charity shops and are our first impressions are great after finding The Lord of The Rings LCG. However, we’re also trying to see as many of our friends as possible before we leave, which is giving us the opportunity to try a few new games.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Thoughts from The Yellow Meeple:- Boss Monster



GameBoss Monster

PublisherBrotherwise Games

Designer: Johnny O’Neal & Chris O’Neal

Year: 
2013





Boss Monster is primarily appealing for its graphic style, I haven’t heard too many good things about its gameplay, but as owners of many a retro video game console, the pixelated graphics made us give this game a go. We first played it at The Uncommons cafe in New York and our first impressions weren’t favourable. We then received the game as a gift so felt obliged to give it another go. Have our opinions changed or is Boss Monster on the trade pile?


In Boss Monster you must build a dungeon that is perilous enough to lure in different heroes and then kill them before they reach the end of their journey through your dungeon. Your dungeon is made up of 5 cards representing different rooms each with traps that cause a certain number of HP of damage. This damage can sometimes boosted by adjacencies or spells. Your goal is to kill enough heroes to gain 10 souls, but you can lose by taking 5 damage yourself when heroes make it through your dungeon.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Emerald weapon has nothing on me:- Boss monster



Game: Boss Monster

PublisherRepos Productions

Designer: Johnny & Chris O'Neal

Year
2013

People say I'm evil, the dark lord of terror, but the truth is I'm no more evil than you. Oh sure, I consume heroic souls to sustain myself, but really, is that any more evil than you eating a chicken. I understand that you might think so, but try and see it from the chickens perspective! To them you are the giant demon come to eat them whole!The traps and monsters I fill my home with are to keep you out, much like you build walls and moats. You see we aren't so different you and I... except that you are food.


Boss Monster is a 2-4 player card game in which you play as the boss of an RPG dungeon attempting to lure, and then slay, the heroes who come to plunder your domain. But you have to be careful, if you lure heroes that can survive your traps then they will try to kill you, which is rather a rude thing to do. These people call themselves “heroes” when they break into your house, steal all your stuff, and try to murder you, I can’t help but feel that they are somewhat missing the point.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 4th – 11th June



A lot of our gaming last week took place at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham. We managed to play quite a few demos in our 1 day visit and a couple of full games too, but with only one day to see everything, playing full games took a bit of a back seat and only one game, Tastu, features here. As a bonus, on Sunday we caught up with a friend at Board in the City, the game cafe in Southampton and managed to cram in 6 games, including some new titles.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Thought From the Yellow Meeple:- Ghost Stories



GameGhost Stories

PublisherRepos Productions

Designer: Antoine Bauza

Year
2008

Ghost Stories has a reputation as one of the hardest co-ops out there to win. We like to think we’re pretty good at co-operative games, having a resounding win in Pandemic Legacy, and really pushing the difficulty in Flash Point: Fire Rescue and Forbidden Desert, but Ghost Stories is a killer. We have won Ghost Stories twice and if I’m honest I think the first time we were let off because it was a teaching game, so that doesn’t count. I normally like to win, so how has this affected my opinion of Ghost Stories?


In Ghost Stories, your goal is to defend a village from a hoard of ghosts looking to haunt the village. Players play as Taoist monks who are defending the village. To win the game you must work together to defeat the individual ghosts and work your way through the deck until you find the ‘big bad’ who will take a lot of effort to defeat to win the game. More likely, you will lose the game, either by 3 village tiles becoming haunted or all of your characters dying with no hope of being restored to life.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- Our First UK Games Expo



Other than Stabcon South, which is really a small convention for playing games only, we have never been to a board game convention. That is until last weekend when we visited the UK Games Expo. As first timers, we decided we’d just try out one day at the expo and see what it was all about. It was perhaps a little bigger than I expected and one day was certainly not long enough to see everything, but here’s what we managed to cram into one day.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Gather round the fireside:- Ghost Stories


Game: Ghost Stories

PublisherRepos Productions

Designer: Antoine Bauza

Year
2008
 

Ghosts are real, hell is real, and they are coming straight for us! We need everyone in this village to help; burn incense, display statues of the buddha and stay behind us. Do all this and you may live! Don't think of taking up arms against these creatures, only weapons of holy wood can hurt them, if you see one, run. With faith, strength of will and a little luck we can all get through this and see another dawn.

Ghost stories is a 1-4 player game in which you will absolutely want to play with 4 players, or at least take multiple characters so that you are using all the slots. The game is about defending a rural Japanese town from an invasion of undead led by an incarnation of Wu-Feng, the lord of hell. Ghost stories is a co-operative game and you’ll have to be working as a fluid team if you want any chance of success.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Room to swing a Nexu!:- Broken token Imperial Organizer



While attending UK Games Expo this weekend we only really had 1 purchasing goal in mind: to buy an insert for Dominion, a game which we currently have 2 expansions for and as such takes up 3 boxes on our shelf. After visiting Chaos Cards' stall we found the Broken Token storage trays and decided that the Dominion one wouldn’t do what we wanted. Ideally we want to reduce 3 boxes down to 1, I’d be happy if someone would tell me not to worry and that the insert can do this, but we just didn’t feel that was the case at the time. 


Over two hundred pounds later and one of the many things we ended up buying was the Broken Token Imperial Organizer for Imperial Assault- a game I’m yet to review, but given that I thought to buy a £30 storage solution for it, you can guess I’m a fan! This is going to be a picture heavy review so you can see the process. First up have a look at the finished product.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Tikal



GameTikal

PublisherRavensburger

Designer: Kramer and Kiesling

Year: 1999


Tikal is now becoming a pretty old title in modern board gaming. It won the Spiel des Jahres and 1999 and is still talked about with fondness by many gamers. It is designed by the power house of Kramer and Kiesling and was the first in a series of action point allocation games set in an Aztec-style setting. I understand it may be getting a reprint soon, as one of the games in the series, Mexica, has already has a reprint by Iello – so does it deserve the continued praise?

In Tikal you each play a rival group of explorers, looking to discover temples and treasures as you advance through the jungle. The more effort you put into digging out the temples and then defending them from rival explorers, the more points you gain. You also gain points for collecting matching treasures.