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

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

The Game Shelf Previews:- Dollars to Donuts

Game: Dollars to Donuts

Publisher: Crafty Games

Designer: Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich

Year: 2020

Dollars to Donuts is a puzz-ly tile-laying game coming to Kickstarter from small publisher Crafty Games. Don't be fooled though - the three designers credited for Dollars to Donuts are the same three names you'll see on the box of Point Salad - one of the best family card games to be released in 2019! Much like Point Salad, Dollars to Donuts is a family weight game a similar short gameplay and caused us to want to play over and over again.

As a partly Portland-based design team, perhaps there's a nod here to the famous Voodoo Donut store in Portland, where I have queued for a maple bacon donut with the tourist masses. In Dollars to Donuts you'll be trying to create the most enticing and customer pleasing tray of donuts for your shop window, but with just three varieties of ring donut, some jelly donuts and a few donut holes. Perhaps the classic donuts are best after all?

Or perhaps not?

Saturday, 11 July 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews: Dice & Ink: Vol. I

Game: Dice & Ink: Vol. I

Publisher: Inkwell Games

Designer:  Toni Catino, Jesse Catron, Robin Gibson, Ryan Hoye, Grance Kendall, Nat Levan, Joe Montgomery, Sarah Reed, Will Reed, Behrooz ' Bez' Shariari, Alexander Shen

Year: 2020

Dice & Ink is an anthology of roll and write games, which successfully funded on Kickstarter. The book contains 10 roll and write games, including pages of rules and tear-out game sheets. Multiple sheets are provided for each game, and you could, of course, laminate or photocopy sheets for the games you find that you'll want to play again and again.

Inkwell games have collected games from 11 different designers, and all you need to do is add dice and pens in order to access this library of games, including options for multiplayer and solo games.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade

Game: Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade

Publisher: Japanime Games

Designer:  Johan Benvenuto, Florian Sirieix

Year: 2019

Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade brings the critically rated anime to the tabletop in the form of a 2-4 player deckbuilder. Each player takes the role of one of the four crew-members of the Bebop as you travel from planet to planet hunting down bounties. As you might expect from the anime, you are a crew working together, so you can request help from the other crew-members. But the Bebop has a rather dysfunctional crew, each out to prove that they are the best and bring home the most woolongs. Just because you can call on each other's help, doesn't mean you can't also hinder each other, this isn't a cooperative game!

Cowboy Bebop was one the the first animes I saw, airing alongside Dragonball Z in the late 90s. But while Dragonball had more episodes than you could count, and has resulted in more video games and tabletop games than you could care to play. Cowboy Bebop is a more reserved series, with only 20-odd episodes to its name it still remains a very approachable series to watch. Similarly it hasn't received the bloated collection of games to its name either. So will this rare Bebop game be an all-time classic, or will fans just buy it for the minis?

Saturday, 4 July 2020

A Restful Week in Sleepy Arkham:- Wrath of N'kai

Book: Wrath of N'kai

Author: Josh Reynolds

Publisher: Aconyte Books

Year: 2020

Wrath of N'kai: An Arkham Horror Novel: Amazon.co.uk: Reynolds ...
It's fair to say I have barely scratched the surface of the Arkham universe. Early on in my gaming life I picked up Elder Sign, giving me my first insight into the Massachusetts town where nothing is as it seems. While it was good, the story wasn't really there, with the theme feeling more like a monster of the week game set in a Ripley's Believe it or Not. While I've played many Cthulhu themed games in the years that followed, none of them really dragged me into the story. Mostly they relied on the titular tentacled monster on card art and named a mechanic "sanity".

It wasn't until I picked up Arkham Horror: The Card Game that the story of the Arkham universe started to flesh out (sometimes far too literally) in front of my very eyes. Giving you a series of campaign missions with choices made during gameplay changing the story in future missions. Arkham LCG tells the tale of hapless investigators who soon find out that the world is a whole lot stranger than they could ever imagine. While the Arkham LCG is a highly story driven game, one thing I have never managed to pick up is one of the many novellas set in the universe. Each containing an investigator card ready to add to your games these small books sought to drag you further into the life of an Investigator. My understanding from more experienced Arkham players is that you bought these for the bonus cards, not for the literature.