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

Friday 6 April 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 22nd - 30th March 2018

March has turned out to be a great month for playing new games and it's been great to review more games, as well as playing some of the games on the shelf of shame. The long weekend here in the UK also gave us the opportunity to game with friends on Friday so I've managed to play quite a few new games.

Here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

  • Campy Creatures is a game themed on retro 80s cult horror movies. The gameplay reminds me a bit of games like Citadels where you all simultaneously select a role card from your hand and different cards will interact when you all simultaneously reveal. When you play cards you are bidding on first choice of some points cards from the centre, some of which will be positive, some negative and some cards whose ability will change depending on the set size you collect in each round. I enjoy that there is not too much take-that involved in your card selection as everyone is still likely to get a card on their turn, but you can be quit clever depending on the market of cards that are drawn. I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely play Campy Creatures again.
  • The Grimm Forest is a game that just looks fantastic and makes you want to play it. You are each trying to build three houses - most likely a house of straw, a house of sticks and a house of bricks. If this sounds familiar, then so will some of the characters, who are also all from books and fairy tales. In the game you are trying to acquire resource by accessing one of the markets on the board. Ideally, you want to out-think others so that you don't have to share the spoils but you can also play cards that cause modifications to the 'bid'. I'm not often fond of this kind of prediction in games, but here I found it quite fun because you had some good knowledge on which to base you predictions. The production definitely elevates a very simple game here, but it's sucked me in and now I must have it!
  • Hamsterrolle is an older dexterity game where players take turns to stack different sized wooden pieces into a hamster wheel. The wheel is split into compartments and as you proceed into new compartments the weight imbalance will cause the wheel to roll and eventually pieces placed earlier in the game might fall out. The objective is to get rid of all of your pieces so when pieces start to fall out and you add them to your supply, you will be hindered. It's a very simple game, but has great table appeal and fun factor for all ages. It's not a game I need to own, but it's one I will always be happy to play when some light-hearted fun is required during game night.
  • High Society is a lovely reprint of an older Reiner Knizia game, coming from Osprey games. It's a bidding, or auction, style card game with a few clever mechanisms that make it a little bit of a deeper card game. Each turn you'll bid on a card that is either a positive number, a negative number or multiplier effect - your aim is to win bids on cards so that you have the highest total in your tableau at the end of the game. Your supply of money is in limited denominations and when you have a winning bid you'll lose all of the cards you used. You need to get a feel for the game and how much you should bid each round to hold back a good combination of money cards to win the higher values as well as ensuring that you are not the poorest player at the end of the game. High Society is definitely a game where you will be rewarded for multiple lays to try and build up your judgement, but it's interesting and certainly worth a few more plays for us.
  • 5-Minute Dungeon is a real-time cooperative game - a board game genre that is one of our favourites. As the name suggests, the game takes place over just 5 minutes where each player frantically plays cards from their hands to defeat a deck of cards in the centre of the table which form the dungeon. Each player has a different specialised deck whch will be focussed towards different colour symbols, as well as having unique special abilities. The game is compeletly chaotic and cards will probably get destroyed pretty rapidly as you slam them onto the table, but it is fun to figure out how to use your abilities to cooperate successfully. The difficulty can be increased as you get better at the game and this is likely to keep us coming back for more games of 5-Minute Dungeon.
  • Unearth is a dice rolling game with some fantastic artwork that is very reminiscent of the app Monument Valley. You are rolling dice either to obtain high values and collect cards, or to roll low value and collect square tokens which you'll use as part of tile-laying to get points bonuses. There are different dice in the game - a D4, D6s and D8s so you can choose to roll dice based on exactly what you're looking for at that time and build different strategies around low or high numbers. Unearth isn't my typical game style as I don't really like competing over bases, like in Smash Up and the addition of dice luck isn't my first choice of game mechanism either. That said, Unearth was quite light and enjoyable and I'll certainly enjoy a few more plays before deciding if the game is a keeper.
After a great start to the long weekend we're unlikely to have a huge amount of gaming. I expect that on Sunday we'll play the new expansion for Elder Sign with some friends who love the game, and we might have a chance for few games at home. We also have some exciting Kickstarters that should arrive this week, including 7th Continent and a very late delivery of Dinosaur Island and we are super excited for both!

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