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

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Hadrian's Wall

Game: Hadrian's Wall

Publisher: Garphill Games and Renegade Games Studios

Designer: Bobby Hill

Year: 2021
 
Hadrian's Wall initially caught our attention because it comes from Garphill Games, publisher of the North Sea Trilogy and The West Kingdom Trilogy, which both have a huge following in the gaming community. Hadrian's Wall stands alone as a whole new 'roll and write' style game set in the Roman period of history.

However, if, when I say roll and write, you're thinking of abstract games like Qwixx or Ganz Schon Clever where it's a game all about the numbers you roll on the dice, then Hadrian's Wall is a whole different beast. There's no rolling, and it's not really a 'Flip and Fill' game (like Welcome To or Kokoro) either, but there is a random input generated each round that will be the same for evey player, and you are writing on a sheet of paper and filling in boxes.

If you've enjoyed Fleet Dice, or are looking forward to Three Sisters, both from Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback, or you've played and (unlike us) enjoyed Rome and Roll, another heavy take on roll and writes in the same setting, then here are some thoughts on Hadrian's Wall.
 

Saturday, 5 June 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Tucano

Game: Tucano

Publisher: Helvetiq

Designer: Théo Rivière

Year: 2021
 
Tucano - flat box
 
Tucano is another lovely looking game from publisher Helvetiq. Most Helvetiq games are unified by their small box size, and eye-catching bold artwork, which makes them a perfect pick for toy stores, gift shops or other places where you might not find modern board games on sale. It always makes me happy to spot a stand full of colourful Helvetiq games in an unusual shop, just imagining that they might be an avenue into some new and interesting modern board games for those on the look out for a pocket-sized gift.

Tucano is a family game for 2-4 players, in which players will be collecting tasty (and adorable) fruits into sets to try and score points, but the toucans who live in the forest might have other plans, swooping in towards the end of the game to steal, or gift fruits to or from other players around the table.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- The Rival Networks

Game: The Rival Networks

Publisher: Formal Ferret Games

Designer: Gil Hova

Year: 2021
 
The Rival Networks is a two-player sequel to The Networks from Gil Hova and Formal Ferret Games. The Networks already had a player count of 1-5, but you did have to make a few modifications to play at two players. For us, the modifications were small and not detrimental to the game, but two player variants can really put some gamers off. The two player only, The Rival Networks, is a smaller box game that distills many of the same concepts and certainly shares the same theme and tongue in cheek references to your favourite shows.
 
Each player is responsible for their own television network, selecting shows and pairing them with the right stars to get the most ratings. Plus, if you advertise at the right time for your target audience you'll also start raking in cash, as well as viewers!

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Maglev Metro

Game: Maglev Metro

Publisher: Bezier Games

Designer:  Ted Alspach

Year: 2021

Maglev Metro is a game from the same designer and publisher as Suburbia and The Castles of Mad King Ludwig - two games that share quite a bit of DNA. Maglev Metro is something completely different, combining pick up and deliver with engine building, in a pretty familiar setting of a railway or metro network. The setting does try to stand out from the crowd by injecting a futuristic theme, but aside from the components, we certainly didn't feel any thematic elements brought about by the setting. Your train is a striking plastic piece with metal trim, to denote a train capable of magnetic levitation, and it's robots (bronze, silver and gold meeples) who are key to the early phase of the game before your network starts to attract actual people. 

Maglev Metro uses a triple (!) layer player board to invite you to build a metro system in either New York or Berlin, and players use transparent hexagon tiles to build tracks around the city. The transparent tiles can be layered to create a pretty accurate representation of how many city metros have lots of interlinking and overlapping routes. The game certainly has a striking look on the table and its mix of mechanics are two favourites of ours, so Maglev Metro holds a lot of promise.