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

Wednesday 11 April 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 5th - 9th April 2018

On Sunday we had the chance to go along to a friend's board game group in Crawley which is always a good time to try new games as well as share some recent acquisitions with other people. Alan's Dungeon Crawley event is one of a list of regular meetups that have started to appear around our local area and we might have the chance to attend a different group in Reigate for their first event on 20th May or to head to Mid-Sussex Meeples. It's great to have so many gaming opportunities and chances to meet new people - we've even made our first very local gaming friend in the last couple of weeks!

But, back to the board games - here's the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

  • Bruges is a hand management style card game from Stefan Feld - a designer who we have a bit of a love-hate relationship with. In this game you have cards in a number of colours that can serve many functions. A yellow card can build a yellow house, generate you income based on the value of the yellow dice, generate yellow workers and so on. Each round you'll normally play 4 cards from your hand which allow you to take these actions. You are trying to earn victory points or be the best at certain global objectives to earn victory points. I loved identifying interesting card combinations and was fortunate not to be very badly effected by dice luck, which meant I really, really enjoyed this game. There is a chance that it could've played out differently but the game was just clever and refreshingly quick to play and just the right weight for me.
  • Sentient is a card drafting game with sci-fi artwork from J. Alex Kevern and Renegade Game Studios. As soon as I read the rules it was obvious that this game was going to work for us. There are three rounds where you each draft four cards and do a lot of maths! Each card manipulates the value of two dice on your player board, and the cards themselves give you points based upon the two values of dice they are placed beneath. The rounds are all about manipulating your dice to score well. In addition you also might draft specific cards in order to take the tokens that affect your end game set collection. There are so many things interwoven in this game, meaning that each decision is super fun and meaningful, but because the whole game is just 12 decisions, it proceeds at a good pace and isn't too overbearing. I really love the puzzle and I'm sure Sentient will see a lot of table time for us.
  • Dinosaur Island finally arrived after some Kickstarter delays. Our deluxe edition weighs a ton and frankly the huge coins are proabably overkill and I don't need all of the pointless duplicate cardboard components, but that said this game looks fantastic and I love the garish colours and the awesome dinosaur meeples. It combines worker placement with some economic and engine building elements as you build your dinosaur park to attract visitors. We have only played a short game which could've been over very fast, but we deliberately chose not to rush end game, to get a good game experience. I'm looking forward to playing a longer game and hopefully having the opportunity to make some better decisions in my park, after feeling quite sore that I never got the chance to buy a single shop or restaurant. I think this will be a fun engine building game, but it still needs some time to grow on me.

After waiting for, and anticipating Dinosaur Island for so long, it is amazing to me that it's probably the game of the three that I enjoyed the least. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it. Dinosaur Island was great and I can't wait to play another game, but it's just been an incredible week for new games and I love weeks where I can find some new favourites! Now I just need to source a copy of Bruges - another out of print game I can't live without!

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