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.

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- The Lady and the Tiger

Game: The Lady and the Tiger

Publisher: Jellybean Games

Designer: Peter C Hayward & others

Year: 2017

The Lady and the Tiger is one box that contains five unique games. The games have been curated by Peter C Hayward, but the designs are from 6 unique designers in total, using the same components - just a deck of cards and some coloured glass tokens. The concept reminds me of a notorious game Stonehenge in which many designers were asked to design games from the same box of components - I always wonder if the games are compromised by the limited components or if designers will step up to the unique design challenge this presents.

Each game in The Lady and the Tiger is around 20 minutes and the box provides a solo game, an auction game, a deduction game, a maze game and a bluffing game - all of which we've played at the two player count (except of course the solo puzzle!).

With five games in the box, I only want to give the briefest overview of each game.

  • Doors is a two player only deduction game. You are trying to determine the card your opponent is holding based on the cards they are taking from the central supply, whilst they try to collect four cards with one attribute that matches their card. Different points are available based on how good your guess is and whether you're right or wrong.
  • Favor is a bidding game for 2-4 players where you are using a limited quantity of gems to bid for cards that match at least one attribute of your identity.
  • Hoard is a solo puzzle where you are using the cards to manipulate the position of gems on a 2x2 grid in order to ultimately try and remove all of the gems from the board. You can increase or decrease the difficulty as you improve at the game.
  • Labyrinth is a maze game for two players where you are trying to reunite tiger cubs with their parents. Each turn you move one cub and swap the position of two cards in the grid to try and get your cubs closer to home. The first to get all their cubs home wins.
  • Traps is a bluffing game for 2-6 players. Each round, players place 1 card at a time into a pile in front of them that may or may not match a trait of one card in the centre. Much like Skull or Liar's Dice, there comes a point where one person starts to bid on the number of trait matches they can find within player's piles. They might succeed or they might find a trap that another player had laid.
Reference cards for all five games
I found that Labyrinth was my favourite game in the box. It's aimed at two players, and for me, played better than Doors, which I just couldn't figure out a good strategy with. I love how the game alternates whether you can swap red/blue and lady/tiger and you can really use this fact to manipulate yourself into a safe place. Collecting lots of cubs together can also give you efficiency, but means that your opponent might be more likely to push you back rather than implementing their own strategy.

The game of Labyrinth
Traps is probably the game I'd pull out with more players. There was definitely a space to play tactically, deciding if your own stack ought to be your 'dead-cert' good cards or more of a honey trap for other players. Carrying The Lady and the Tiger would replace the need for other similar bluffing filler games.

Whilst the bidding game and the bluffing game did function with two players, they definitely didn't feel like they were aimed at this player count. This leads to my slight reservation about The Lady and the Tiger as a box of five games - I'm just not sure what occasion it suits. We took the game on holiday because we can get 5 games into a really small space, but really only two of the games in the box are ones we would play with two. If you took the game to a game night, you might find a few more use cases. If someone asked for a solo or two-player game recommendation, this box wouldn't spring to mind.

With that said, The Lady and the Tiger is a beautiful game, and there's some interesting micro-games in the box. The price point is really justified for just one or two games and so I'm not to worried that we might not play the other three. However, I do wonder whether it was someone's opinion that none of the 5 games are strong enough to stand in their own right, so bundling them together might have been a solution to that.

If you're looking for a small filler game, then there's likely to be something for everyone in this box. As a whole package, the Yellow Meeple gives The Lady and the Tiger a 6/10.

The Lady and the Tiger was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK. It is available for an RRP of £18.99 at your friendly local game store or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk/.

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