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 30 August 2016

"I enjoy raiding!":- Vikings

Game: Vikings

Publisher: Z-man

Designer: Michael Kiesling


We Vikings are being given a bad name nowadays, everyone thinks it's just about the conquest! Taking your land, killing your men, destroying your homes, that's simply unfair! We are a proud race, our reputation is everything so I'm here to set the record straight: we don't just go around murdering and destroying!  We pillage too! People always forget the stealing!

Vikings is a 2-4 player Viking placement game in which you take turns buying pieces of land to add to your tableau and assigning Vikings to work for you on your islands. The game works around a unique rotating board section that varies the cost of land pieces as you go along.

Saturday 27 August 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 16th August – 21st August

I’ve not purchased any new games for ages and as a result we’ve not tried many new titles from 2016. I’ve sorted out my need to acquire more games, by acquiring a copy of Heroquest, Smash Up, Revolution and Isle of Skye in the last week, but still no new games. I think I need to be inspired – any suggestions are welcome or we’ll try to make some time to spend a day at a board game cafe soon. This week our opportunity to try new games came from a meetup with Croydon Board Gamers and an interesting charity shop find.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday 25 August 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Forbidden Island

GameForbidden Island


Designer: Matt Leacock


Forbidden Island was part of my first ever game night. Having never encountered modern board games before I found myself being introduced to Amy’s friends over a back-stabbing game of Munchkin, followed up with a 5-player game of Forbidden Island (Amy played “the flood”, since the game is only 4-player). As my first ever co-operative game, Forbidden Island was a bit of a shock, but I’m still playing games, so it can’t have been too bad.

In Forbidden Island you are 4 adventurers trying to escape a sinking island after rescuing its four treasures represent Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. You must co-operate to ensure that you can rescue all 4 items as well as ensure that you still have a safe passage to the helipad and therefore a route to leave the island. If the helipad floods you fail, if any adventurer is trapped you fail and if the flood gauge just gets too high you’ll also fail.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

I've got a sinking feeling:- Forbidden Island

Game: Forbidden Island

Publisher: Gamewright

Designer: Matt Leacock

There are tales, about an Island full to the brim with treasures, powerful relics that give you power over the elements themselves. The ancients created these, but then saw them as too powerful, they sealed them away on this island and then cursed the very land. Should a human tread upon this cursed land, the sea will roar with ungodly fury and bring destruction upon the land until no hearts beat upon its surface. Of course we don’t believe in any of that, come along! There’s archaeology to be done!

Forbidden Island is a 2-4 player cooperative game in which you play as a group of adventurers trying to obtain some relics from a cursed island. It turns out that the curse is real and the second you step foot on the island it starts flooding and sinking into the sea. You have to desperately try and keep the land from flooding while trying to find the artifacts and escape alive.

Monday 22 August 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Bomb Squad

GameBomb Squad

PublisherTasty Minstrel Games

Designer: Dan Keltner & David Short


Bomb Squad game onto my radar as a game which gave Hanabi more of a theme and a purpose. Being a timed game, I was a little nervous, but I’ve enjoyed games like Escape: The Curse of the Temple, so Bomb Squad seemed interesting. I was lucky enough to find an unpunched copy of the game at the bring and buy sale on our first visit to the UK Games Expo this year and it was pretty easy to get to the table because of its guaranteed quick play time.

The main mechanism of Bomb Squad is that each player holds their hand so that you don’t know what card you have, but all of your fellow players can see. The game is co-operative, so much of the game is about giving your friends limited clues to help them figure out enough about their cards. As a team your goal is to accurately drive a bomb disposal robot and enable it to rescue hostages, defuse bombs and travel around the office through locked doors.

Saturday 20 August 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 7th August – 15th August

Last week we checked out a board gaming group in Brighton. I have to admit it was located in a pretty weird shop, on the first floor of an office tower with no visible street presence, but Dice Saloon is definitely worth a look if you’re in the area. A great board game library and drinks and snacks on offer means you could really make a day of it, whether you’re a board gamer, wargamer or enjoy CCGs. We met a bunch of new people and with the perfect number of 8 players, tried a game of Captain Sonar.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Wednesday 17 August 2016

If I could turn back time: Escape from Atlantis Vs Survive!


Many people have heard and played Survive: Escape from Atlantis, it has a bit of a reputation as a game that you play when you want to take out frustration on your friends. There’s little more satisfying than dunking an opposing meeple into shark infested water. What a lot of people haven’t played these days is Escape from Atlantis a classic game which Survive was based on which happens to be the same age as me! I let you decide if you think that's old or not... choose carefully!

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Boom baby!:- Bomb Squad

Game: Bomb Squad

Publisher: TMG

Designer: Dan Keltner and David Short

Being a bomb specialist is a surprisingly calm job, there’s lots of training, sitting around waiting for things to happen and then, once every couple of years, a hell of a lot of excitement. But now, with drone technology coming along so far, it’s a much safer job. Where we used to be the first people rushing into a highly dangerous place, now we are a bunch of programmers sitting behind monitors. It’s strange, we still do good work, save lives, and property from the scum of humanity, but I somehow miss the old days of rushing into a building, adrenaline rushing through my veins, not knowing if I'd see tomorrow!

Bomb Squad is a 2-6 player card game in which you play as a group of bomb disarming experts controlling a disposal robot remotely to rescue civilians and prevent explosions. The game is fundamentally similar to Hanabi, each player has a hand of cards which they hold so that everyone except them can see them. You then have to give each other clues about the colour and type of cards that you have, which you then play onto a programming list for your robot, when someone decides they are happy they activate the robot and fulfil the functions to try and perform actions on the map.

Thursday 11 August 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Lords of Vegas

GameLords of Vegas

PublisherMayfair Games

Designer: James Ernest & Mike Selinker


Lords of Vegas is a rare game in our collection – a game that I hadn’t heard of but that Amy knew about and wanted to try! (Typically I’m the one constantly bringing new games into the house.) When we started to play with gaming groups it was apparent that Lords of Vegas wasn’t the most popular title and we were unlikely to come across it naturally so we bought a copy and it was one of the pretty early additions to our shelves.

In Lords of Vegas you are each a casino building magnate who is trying to build the best casinos in the best spots surrounding the strip in Las Vegas. You start small with small casinos, but soon you’re dreaming big and only larger, more impressive casinos, with prime position right on the strip will keep you ahead of your competition. On your turn you first draw a card from the deck – the card will be one of 5 colours, representing 5 different casino themes and will give a grid location eg. C7. You claim the lot of land indicated by the grid position then the colour pays out. All players gain one money for each of their lots and then one money for each dice pip they have in an appropriately coloured casino. Scoring takes place for all of the casino bosses – the player with the highest value dice in each coloured casino of that colour. The number of points you get is equal to the number of tiles in the casino.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Win big, lose bigger!:- Lords of Vegas

Game: Lords of Vegas

Publisher: Mayfair Games

Designer: James Ernest & Mike Selinker

 Las Vegas, the city of sin. Bright lights, loose women and empty promises. No city will suck you in and drain you dry faster than Vegas. The whole place was built with precision to extract as much money as possible from you, all the while selling you the dream that you will be the one making money. But for all the things that happen to the visitors are nothing compared to what happens to the owners, corruption, greed, theft, even assassination. There is no evil so great as a man seeking wealth, and in Las Vegas, everyone is!

Lords of Vegas is a 2-4 player casino management game in which you compete to gain control over the sprawling Las Vegas strip and earn lots of money! The game is impeccably themed with aspects of card counting, and dice rolling luck combined with power struggles over the biggest casinos. In Vegas everything revolves around money and Lords of Vegas simulates this by having a flexible turn system where you can do as much as you want, so long as you can pay for it!

Sunday 7 August 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 24th July – 6th August

We’re starting to gain some momentum in finding people to game with near our new home! We went to Croydon again last week and attended their larger night on a Wednesday. We met a couple of nice people and they helped us to win Ghost Stories for the second time!! It’s a bit of a pain that the group is so far away, so we’re still on the hunt for somewhere closer, but I think we’ll keep visiting the Croydon group when we can. We’ve managed to cross a couple of titles off our un-played list of shame this week, as well as trying the Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, Isle of Skye.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday 4 August 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Blueprints


PublisherZ-MAN Games

Designer: Yves Tourigny


Blueprints is just the perfect them for me, mixed with the perfect mechanics. As an engineer / former architecture student, I still work in the world of designing buildings, which is the theme for this game. As a gamer, I’m always the one stacking my components whilst waiting for slow players to take their turn. So a game which has you stacking dice to build optimal point scoring buildings is one that I was keen to try, but that seemingly flew under my radar for a long time.

Blueprints is a game played over 3 rounds. In each round, each player is given a card depicting a building form made of 6 cubes (exciting architecture at its best!). This is the blueprint for the building you should build this round – you’ll receive 6 points if you build it right, but don’t worry if you want to let your creative flair run free, you can actually build whatever you like if you think you can get more points another way! When I say whatever you like, you must obey the building rules where higher value dice are placed on top of a dice of lower or equal value.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 3rd July – 26th July

We’ve made a list. It’s our list of guilt.

I think there’s about 20 board games on the list, 75% of which we have own but have never played and another 25% that have only been played once and need to see the table again to justify their place in the collection. It’s time to tackle the guilt, so hopefully we’ll be sharing a few more first impressions in the coming weeks. This week we started on the list but also attended our first gaming group near our new house, giving us the opportunity to try a couple of extra games.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Tuesday 2 August 2016

In my day we just rolled bricks:- Blueprints

Game: Blueprints

Publisher: Z-Man games

Designer: Yves Tourigny

You’re qualified Architects now, so go out into the world and make your mark, make that dream house made entirely out of recycled beer bottles or that shining jewel in the crown of the city’s skyline! And then when reality comes crashing down on you, I’ll be here. You won’t win awards working for me, and you’ll make only what the customer wants, but it’s a living. Leave the fancy designs to the Norman Fosters of the world, here you’ll use our patented modular building techniques and choose of our palette of just 4 materials - go make me a masterpiece!

Blueprints is a 2-4 player construction game in which you create “buildings” out of dice which represent different building materials. There are rewards for building the best building, but also awards that get given for making unique and interesting buildings in several categories. Blueprints is a game of deciding how much you can push your luck going for the optional objectives without letting your opponents get away with their plans.