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

Thursday 30 March 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 22nd - 31st March

Even though it feels like we're super busy at the moment, we're still finding time for new games. The un-played pile still seems to be getting larger and I'm itching to purchase more - especially the new clutch of escape room games. This week two of them are games in our collection, one is borrowed (a great strategy that people really should do more with board games!) and one was brought to a wedding we were at last weekend.

Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Tuesday 28 March 2017

The Yellow Meeple Starts a Board Game Group at Work - Week 11

It was a smaller group this week again, but on a positive note, none of my own team came along to support me and I still managed to have a board game night, which says something about the longer term sustainability of the idea. It was another short evening but we played three games that were all new to work board game night, so definitely a successful one overall!

Week 11

Number of Attendees: 4

Games Played: Firefly Fluxx, Best Treehouse Ever, Potion Explosion

Sunday 26 March 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions 7th March - 21st March

This week I have loads of new games to talk about! We've had another session with a group of friends we met on Facebook, which is a great opportunity to try some games without needing to buy them, but in addition I've been on a bit of a spending spree recently and w have a rather large stack of new games to start playing through.

Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday 23 March 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Codenames


PublisherCzech Games Edition

Designer: Vlaada Chvatil


We first played Codenames with some of our friends in Southampton - it was definitely the game of choice for a long while for an evening with drinks and friends. However, since we tend to play most with two and because Codenames was becoming so popular with people that lots of people own it, I didn't see the need for us to own a copy. However, when i started my work board game group, Codenames definitely seemed like a good fit for a group of new gamers and a group of variable size.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Shuffled, not split:- Codenames

Codenames is a team versus team word game for 2-8 players, in it you play the part of a group of spies trying to find and activate all of their sleeper agents by speaking their activation word to them. If you activate all of your team’s spies first then you win, bu you have to be careful, amongst the population is a sleeper assassin, and should you activate him then you won’t be drinking vodka martinis, shaken or stirred!

Codenames take place on a 5x5 grid of words, there are plenty of word cards in the game to keep each game unique, and each card is double sided which serves for a fast way to play a second game, should people be aching for more. Each team elects 1 player to be the spymaster, they alone can see the coloured answer grid which tells them which words are for sleeper agents in each colour and which hides the assassin. The Spymaster can be a weak point in the game, it can sometimes be *very* hard to give good clues and some people will simply refuse to give less than a clue for 2 answers which can slow the game down terribly. To alleviate this there is an included timer, though use of it is optional.

Wednesday 15 March 2017

The Yellow Meeple Starts a Board Game Group at Work - Week 10

This week was definitely a better week for attendance, although it’s definitely turned into a group for the people I can persuade in my team, plus one person who still attends from a different team in the company. It’s time to re-advertise the group and see if anyone new wants to come along and can do so on a Monday evening. But, for this week we were six, which is the most people for a long while, so let’s take a look at this week in my work board game group.

Week 10
Number of Attendees: 6
Games Played: Codenames, Dixit

Saturday 11 March 2017

Over-thinking by the Yellow Meeple: The Golden Geek Awards 2016

Last year I wrote a blog to cover the 2015 Golden Geek Awards and was able to comment on a number of the games that did well, however this year it seems I’m yet to play a lot of 2016 releases. Nevertheless, the 2016 Golden Geek Awards definitely give me a list of games to aspire towards playing during 2017, plus a few good games to reflect upon too.

Thursday 9 March 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- XCOM: The Board Game - Evolution

GameXCOM: The Board Game - Evolution

PublisherFantasy Flight Games

Designer: Samuel Bailey


When I originally bought the XCOM board game, it was as a gift for Amy along with the promise that I'd play it at least once. She was a big fan of the video games and I thought that there was no way I could enjoy a board game based on a video game about defending the earth from aliens. 12 months later and we've played XCOM: The Board Game over 10 times and both class it as one of our top ten games of all time so we bought the expansion the day it was released in January this year.

The Evolution expansion adds a few different kinds of extra content to the game. The most obvious is the MEC Troopers -  a new kind of troop who are specialised at every combat type. However the expansion giveth, but it also taketh away with the exalt tokens which make it more difficult to complete tasks. In addition there are extra aliens, extra science cards and extra crisis cards that reference the new content.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

We can rebuild them, we have the technology!:- XCOM: The Board Game - Evolution

GameXCOM: The Board Game - Evolution

PublisherFantasy Flight Games

Designer: Samuel Bailey


XCOM: the Board game - Evolution is an expansion to what is probably my favourite game of all time. Xcom itself is a 1-4 player cooperative game where you fight off an incoming alien invasion controlled by a tablet app. It combines a timed phase where you have harsh limits on your time in order to assign your resources, followed by a resolution phase where you roll dice in order to see how your assigned forces did. The game is asymmetric, with each player having a unique officer who manages different parts of the XCOM organization, some are more intensive than others, but each is vital to your success.

Evolution adds several new features to make your life that little bit harder, you face human insurrection along with the alien invasion, along with new alien terrors, new crisis’ that the invasion inflicts on you and much more deadly attacks on the XCOM base. To counter this you have a plethora of new technologies, a handful of new starting assets and a brand new type of trooper to fight by your side.

Monday 6 March 2017

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 26th February – 6th March

After a very quiet week for board games, we definitely made up for it on Sunday with an 8 hour long gaming session with the Broken Meeple. We set aside the time to play the new scenario for T.I.M.E. Stories, but this took a lot less time than expected so we fit in another four games, including our copy of Colosseum that Luke was really keen to try.

Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;