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.

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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;

·         The Bloody Inn is the first of our UK Games Expo pick-ups to hit the table. The game has a wonderful macabre theme where you are running an inn, but you can select which of the occupants each night you would like to recruit or to kill. When you kill you have to make sure you have built annexes under which you can bury the bodies, so that you can rob them of their money and make sure the police don’t catch you. The game is played out as a card game where money and actions are tight and cards have multiple uses and special abilities. This means it packs quite a lot of decision making into a small box card game. We played it once with 2-players which was a good quick game and we really got a feel for the tactics and tough decision making with only two actions per turn. We then tried to teach the game with 4-players including one pretty new gamer and found it really difficult to get the rules across. For us the game was simple to learn, but perhaps the idea of multi-use cards is a little much for gateway gamers. I’m not sure how replayable the game will be once the novelty of the theme has worn off, but it’s a nice short to middle length game to have in the collection.

·         Beasty Bar is a hand management style game that I’ve been hoping to play for quite a while. You all start the game with an identical hand of beasts who want to get into the club. On your turn you select a beast to add to the queue and perform any actions on the card. When the queue gets to 5 the two animals at the front of the queue get into the club and the animal at the back of the queue gets booted out of the game. The unique abilities on each animal card are what make the game fun and quite thematic as the abilities in some way match the traits you’d expect of the animal. Some push straight to the front of the queue, others put up a fight, others eat each other. The game is a quick filler, which is slightly hindered by the 9 different abilities you have to remember in order to make it a quick game. I really need to start deciding which fillers are strong enough for me to add to the collection.

·         Dingo’s Dreams is a game I’d never heard of when it was brought to the table, which is pretty surprising these days! Apparently it was available as part as the Above and Below kickstarter from Ryan Laukat. The game is a cross between bingo and sliding tile puzzle. You each have a grid of 25 tiles each with a unique image, cards are flipped from the deck which match the tiles. When a card is flipped you flip over that tile in your puzzle and then slide in your spare tile at the end of one of the rows or columns, displacing the tile at the other end. Your goal is to create a pattern of flipped tiles which matches the pattern in the centre of the table. The game is a nice, calm and very much solitaire experience. There’s definitely some luck, but also some spatial awareness. I like it as a pretty unique filler that looks very attractive on the table.

·         Tichu is a game with a reputation. I’ve heard it’s a bit like marmite (you either love it or you hate it) and those that love it are fanatic about it. So it was with some trepidation that I entered a 4-player game of Tichu, with another couple, one of whom claimed to be a fanatic! The game is a simple game of hand management – you are trying to empty your hand as quickly as possible by playing poker-style hands into the centre of the table and trying to one-up the previous play eg. a run 2,3,4,5,6 is beaten by a run 3,4,5,6,7. The rules are pretty easy to grasp and there are only 4 special cards. The way to play as a pair is somewhat harder to grasp and I found it difficult to understand how I was supposed to help and read my partner. I don’t think I fell into the marmite camp, it was a fine game, one I can imagine playing in a bar as a step up from a standard deck of cards, but it’s not one I’ll be seeking out.

If any of our readers live in Surrey, please give us a shout – we need new gaming buddies. We’ll be checking out some of the local gaming groups just as soon as we’ve unpacked enough boxes and assembled enough furniture!

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