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

Sunday 1 May 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 24th-30th April

Last Sunday turned out to be a very successful day in gaming. In spite of me having an awful hangover and Amy starting with a cold, we soldiered on to try out two big new games. We also ‘completed’ our collection of Marvel Dice Masters (as far as we care to at least) by raiding a friend’s spares.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

·         Imperial Assault is a game that Amy played extensively before Christmas as she was doing a campaign with friends, but we only acquired our copy a month back and I’ve been waiting for an introduction to skirmish mode. After a quite lengthy rules explanation and then being asked to deploy my characters based on very little understanding of tactics, I really thought the game wasn’t going to be for me. However, after the first round let me realise that moving is actually pretty quick when you can move diagonally and that Darth Vader is absolutely awesome, I was definitely gripped by the game. It took a few tactical hints from my much more experienced opponent but I made short work of the rebels with some help from good dice rolling. The game must be pretty good if it’s won me over against the adversity of me not being a Star Wars fan and having had bad experience with dungeon crawl type games. Plus we were really surprised that the whole game including setup and teaching probably took an hour, so it might see a fair amount of table time in the coming months.
·         T.I.M.E. Stories – Under the Mask is the fourth case in T.I.M.E. Stories. After getting very lucky in our last two cases, I had a feeling that this one might be a lot longer and I wasn’t wrong when we finally won on our fourth run. This story definitely felt different. Unlike previous expansions we really did need to explore every location on the map and remember a lot about the sequence of events to even have a chance of completing all the required steps efficiently in one run. With an ancient Egyptian theme I might have a expected a few more puzzle elements than just the one very simple puzzle and we could’ve been made to think a bit harder. For me, this was my least favourite expansion so far and the main reason was just that for the first two runs we really did feel like we were wandering round aimlessly, turning over a significant number of cards that required no interaction. The four runs meant that there were some locations we saw multiple times and therefore some of the excitement is taken out of the game when you barely even need to set up the location to know what you’re going to do there. I’m sure it will appeal to many people and might not feel that different to people who didn’t get super lucky and do Prophesy of Dragons in a single run. It’s not put me off playing more T.I.M.E Stories but I am slightly disappointed.

·         Blokus 3D is a game I bought on a whim since I’ve had a lot of success with my parents playing the original Blokus. The reality is that other than being an abstract game with 4 colours there isn’t that much in common between the two games. In Blokus 3D you must add 3D pieces to the structure whilst obeying the height restrictions dependent on number of players and only placing pieces touching your other pieces on at least one face. The goal when no-one can place any more pieces is have the most squares of your colour showing from a birds-eye view. More than Blokus, this game takes real spatial awareness and planning and awareness of your opponent’s remaining pieces. It definitely felt more like a puzzle than a game, but it’s staying with us for now as it definitely scales better then Blokus for two players and I think we’ll enjoy playing it a few more times.

I expect it will now be two weeks until my next first impressions blog – there’s a scary exam on the horizon and at some point I need to start cramming. We’re also putting quite a bit of time in to trying some of our more unloved games off the shelf and giving them a play to check if they deserve their place in our collection, before we decide to move them to our new house. So far I think Steam Park has made the cut.

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