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 22 January 2017

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 9th-21st January 2017

Today I have a huge smile on my face after an amazing game day yesterday. Sure, organising for a bunch of strangers to come over to our house was a risk, buy it really payed off! We found each other through a Facebook group during December and January and yesterday had a great 6 hour gaming session. Everyone was pretty normal, we played loads of games and I can’t wait to do it again. Between this session and a couple of new games of our own, there’s a lot to talk about.

Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday 19 January 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Mystic Vale

GameMystic Vale

Publisher: AEG

Designer: John D. Clair


Mystic Vale was one of the most talked about games at the UK Games Expo 2016 – our first ever gaming convention. Unfortunately with just one day to explore the convention we didn’t get to try Mystic Vale but since it’s a deck-building game it was high on our list of 2016 releases to purchase. So, does Mystic Vale bring anything new to deck-building and will it become one our favourites in the genre?

Mystic Vale bills itself as a ‘card-crafting’ game – a new mechanism coined by the publishers AEG. You each start the game with a deck of very basic cards, all of which are sleeved. Over the course of the game you can add up to three elements to the card which are purchased from the options in the centre of the table. The upgrade cards are transparencies so that they can all be slotted into the card sleeve – a really neat idea which gives you a lot of ability to customise the cards in your deck.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Super Card Maker!:- Mystic Vale

 Game: Mystic Vale

Publisher: AEG

Designer: John D. Clair


 Mystic Vale is a 2-4 player deck building game in which you... well.. honestly the theme is so forgettable I have no idea what you are trying to do. You try to make a good deck and win victory points, but as to why you are doing this? Something to do with nature magic maybe? Mystic Vale is something entirely new however, in your average deckbuilding game you have a starting deck and you use in game currency to buy new cards which you add to your deck. In Mystic Vale you have the card crafting system.

Sunday 15 January 2017

The Yellow Meeple Starts a Board Game Group at Work - Week 6

This time it was our first week back after the Christmas break and I was excited to see if we could overcome the drop in numbers that I experienced before Christmas. Unfortunately my dreams did not come true but I did get the chance to introduce some new games to some new gamers.

Week 6
Number of Attendees: 5
Games Played: Dixit, Dingo’s Dreams, Takenoko

Friday 13 January 2017

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 1st-8th January 2017

It seems like a very long time since I’ve written any first impressions. Most of my gaming has been with my work gaming group where I’ve been introducing gateway games. That’s not to say we haven’t tried a few new games and some expansions over the Christmas period. However, these were a little too long ago to give fair first impressions of. Instead in the last two days we’ve had a chance to play loads of new titles and tick a ton of 2016 releases off the list of games I really want to try!

Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday 5 January 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Karuba



Designer: Rüdiger Dorn


I first heard about Karuba shortly after it was released. It was part of a group of family weight games released by HABA – normally known for their fantastic games for young children. There were a lot of positive reviews of this tile-laying game and it was definitely high on my list of games to try. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity and when I spotted it at UK Games Expo this year, it was already sold out. After some heavy hinting to Amy, this Christmas I got my copy of Karuba and the fact we already feel we can review it means we’ve played it a fair number of times in the last week and half. Presumably this means it’s a hit for us, right? Well let’s see why...

In Karuba you have 4 explorers in 4 different colours who each need to make their way to a corresponding coloured temple, by carving a path through the jungle. Each player has a set of numbered tiles – one player (the lead explorer) keeps them in a face down stack whilst all others lay them out so they can all be seen. The lead explorer draws a tile and everyone else find the same tile. Everyone then simultaneously chooses whether to play it to a spot on their board or discard it for a number of movement points equal to the number of paths on the tile.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

I thought *you* packed the map!?:- Karuba

Game: Karuba


Designer: Rüdiger Dorn


Karuba is a 2-4 player tile-laying game in which you race to take your explorers across a map to hidden temples, all the while picking up as much treasure as you can. Each turn you draw a tile and either lay it down on your map to create paths, or throw it away to provide movement points for your adventurers. In essence Karuba is a simple game, each turn you only have 2 actions you can choose, but it’s all about how you use them.

Monday 2 January 2017

The Yellow Meeple Starts a Board Game Group at Work - Week 5

Our 5th game group meeting took place in the week leading up to Christmas, so I was nervous that once again we’d not have many gamers. I tried to encourage people with the promise of cake and a little Christmas gift. The 3 people who came were very happy with their gift of the Dobble demo, since Dobble has been such a big hit with the group! Only two of those people even stayed so we had another quiet evening.

Nevertheless, we played two good games and I can only hope that more gamers return in the new year, otherwise I’m likely to call an end to work board game nights because it’s too demoralising.

Week 5
Number of Attendees: 3
Games Played: Settlers of Catan, Forbidden Island