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

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Six Games You Should Check Out at Essen 2018


We've already published our Top Ten anticipated games for Essen 2018, but these are games that we haven't played yet, so we don't really know if they're going to be good. If you're looking for recommendations that we've tried and tested, then there are eight new releases at Essen that we have had the chance to play and really believe in. Take a look at the list below to find our first impressions or reviews of some fantastic new games!

     Chronicles of Crime is a cooperative game for 1-4 players, where you'll work together to collect clues to solve a crime using an integrated app. You'll follow the trail, travelling to different locations, collecting evidence, interviewing suspects and consulting the experts to ultimately identify the culprit, as well as collect other information about their motives and other circumstances surrounding the crime. Check out our full preview of the game to find out more.


     Reef is a sequel of sorts to the extremely popular Azul. The two games share the same publisher, the same designer and the same 4 letter name that is rumoured to be the theme for a line of family weight abstract games from Next Move Games, an imprint of Plan B Games. The games also share a great attention to component quality. Whilst Azul had a very classy look, Reef has gone the route of bold and colourful, creating a different but still very appealing aesthetic on the table. That's really where the similarities end. Reef is an abstract game that stands on it's own as a family weight 2-4 player game. The colours might fool you into thinking the game is aimed at children, but there's actually a really neat card drafting, puzzly, three-dimensional game in Reef that I believe rivals its Spiel des Jahres winning predecessor. Check out our full review of the game to find out more.


     AuZtralia is set in the 1930s and presents an alternative history for Australia, one is which Cthulu and the Old Ones are causing chaos and destruction. Time is a precious resource as you extend you railroads, set up farms and mine for commodities. However, if you don't also invest in you military power, you'll regret it when the old ones awaken and destroy everything you've worked for. AuZtralia is a semi-cooperative game of adventure and exploration for 1-4 players. It comes from acclaimed designer Martin Wallace, and it's theme is inspired by his older game A Study in Emerald. Check out our full preview of the game to find out more.


     Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr is a cooperative game for 1-4 players. It is also a campaign game where players will play through 10 sequential games, each time discovering a little more about Billy's life. The game tells the story of Billy Kerr, who was taken ill on a flight from Sydney to London. He is now in hospital, appearing to be in his final few days and your role, as the nurses is to look after him with both medical care and palliative care. Through your time with Billy he will reveal memories about his past and you will try and piece together his history to find out who he is and how to contact his loved ones.Billy has led an interesting life. Check out our full review of the game to find out more.


     Dice Hospital is a dice manipulation and worker allocation game, set in a hospital where dice are your patients. The game is really puzzly as you try and care for and discharge a number of dice in the same turn to score maximum points and free up space in your hospital. We got a chance to play a game and share our first impressions at Tabletop Gaming Live.



     The River is the big 2018 release from Days of Wonder. It's a light worker placement game of  adding tiles to your personal player board, collecting resources and storing them based on your river tiles, and constructing buildings with those resources. It also has turkey meeples! It's definitely an entry level worker placement game and only lasts around 30 minutes, even with four players. We got a chance to play a game and share our first impressions at Tabletop Gaming Live.




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