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.

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Monday 11 December 2017

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 5th December - 10th December 2017

This week in gaming, Telestrations was a huge success at my office Christmas party! I'm so glad that we invested in the 12-player version from North America. We also had our traditional meet up to play the next T.I.M.E. Stories expansion - it's a great excuse to meet up with our friend Luke - The Broken Meeple - and play some extra games too.

So, here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

  • Hippo is a game I bought after seeing people bring it home from Essen. The publisher, Hevetiq, have a bunch of micro games with really charming, graphic artwork that drew me in. In Hippo, each player has cardboard tokens representing rubber rings. On your turn you roll three dice and can choose whether to add them together or simply add rings to the lanes of the pool corresponding to the dice rolled. There are only so many slots in each lane and you can add additional rings to push out your opponents - which is the main goal in the game since you're trying to be the first to have placed all of your tokens. The game is very simple and it's a shame that it doesn't scale for two players - we just found that the 'pool' was too empty. I want to try this with extra players, such as my parents or work colleagues, but I think Hippo will just be too simplistic for us.
  • Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West introduces a few different concepts to Ticket to Ride. We played the France side of the map, where the main concept is that nothing other than the 1 length routes has a colour printed on the board - you need to add colourful tracks of the correct length every time you draw cards. This is a map that forces you to 'show your hand' early, unless you're going to waste a lot of time on elaborate bluffing. By laying routes that you need, you're definitely opening yourself up to opponents attacking you my claiming those routes. I like the principals of this game, but it definitely adds downtime and length to the game. Taking new train cards is normally a very quick turn, but now it can be an agonisingly long decision on where to lay some tracks. For an expert game, the UK map is still my favourite, so I'm not sure if France has a place in our Ticket to Ride collection.
  • T.I.M.E Stories: Estrella Drive is a scenario that appears to be set in 1980s Hollywood, at least from the cover. The cover is also the first to have a sticker for mature content, something which is probably needed, although the content isn't much worse than some other scenarios have been. The scenario didn't quite live up the film star theme it promised, but it did deliver a great game. I was particularly pleased that Estrella Drive played heavily with the time travel theme, putting you into different times on different runs of the game and hinting at the past or future during the future or past scenario respectively. The scenario was lower on lucky combat rolls, which is good, but also lower on puzzles which may be a good move for T.I.M.E. Stories in the new world of lots of escape room games. The whole game however is a good overarching puzzle and you probably need to fail a couple of times to figure out your optimal route through the puzzle which was quite enjoyable too, if slightly repetitive. Estrella Drive is definitely one of my favourite scenarios and one I'd recommend.
I'm really hoping that our copy of Charterstone arrives in the coming days, as well as a couple of Kickstarter games that I'm hoping will arrive before Christmas. We might not have an opportunity to jump into any large games until we've finished Pandemic Legacy Season 2, but I'm excited to give Charterstone in particular a try!

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