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 January 2020

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Yukon Airways

Game: Yukon Airways

Publisher: Ludonova

Designer: Al Leduc

Year: 2019

Yukon Airways is a pick-up and deliver game for 1-4 players in which each player runs a seaplane that delivers passengers around the Yukon. The different locations have points of interest that different passengers will find attractive. If you can upgrade your airline in the right ways and deliver passengers to the best locations and attractions, then you'll earn the most money and win the game.

Yukon Airways is from publisher Ludonova, who create colourful games with a beautiful look to them. Last year we reviewed Cupcake Empire, which had great production. With Yukon Airways, it's all about the artwork for me over the production quality, but pick-up and deliver with lots of upgrading options is a big draw too, so let's check out Yukon Airways.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

See the plain seaplane?:- Yukon Airways

Game: Yukon Airways

Publisher: Ludonova

Designer: Al Leduc

Year: 2019

Yukon Airways is a 1-4 player resource management pick up and deliver game in which you play as a seaplane pilot. Using your seaplane you'll deliver customers to different sight-seeing spots around the Yukon, but your seaplane can only hold a certain amount of fuel so you'll have to carefully manage your supplies to ensure you can get everyone where they need to go. Along the way you can tinker and upgrade your plane to make it more efficient and productive, letting you do bigger and bigger runs.

A round of Yukon Airways begins with each player choosing which terminal to collect passengers from. Each terminal has a special power associated with it, from drawing extra cards to gaining fuel or upgrading your plane. After gaining the power you can choose to spend money to taxi to a different terminal to collect passengers, but as money is the final victory condition you want to do this sparingly. Once everyone has found their terminal they can collect customers in the form of coloured dice. You can typically only collect 1 colour of die, but with upgrades and a terminal power you can potentially take up to 3. Be wary though, time spent picking up passengers is time not spent refueling - you'll refill your fuel gauge one space for each empty seat in your plane.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Glen More II: Chronicles

Game: Glen More II: Chronicles

Publisher: Funtails

Designer:  Matthias Cramer

Year: 2019

Glen More II: Chronicles is in the tradition of a number of big Kickstarter games that hit stores in 2019. It's a reprint of a game from around 10 years ago that has been out of print for a long time. Since we joined the board game hobby 5 or 6 years ago, it's great to see some titles coming back which we heard a lot about but never got a chance to play.

With that said, in preparation for trying out Glen More II: Chronicles at Essen 2019, we got hold of a German edition of the original, that not only made us excited to try the new edition, but also gave us something to compare to. Glen More II: Chronicles is a tile-laying game for 2-4 in which each player is the leader of a Scottish Clan. But, this game is not just a super-sized reprint - there's changes to the base game, as well as a whole world of expansion content to explore and we've been playing with it all!

Wednesday 15 January 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- The Taverns of Tiefenthal

Game: The Taverns of Tiefenthal

Publisher: Schmidt Spiele

Designer:  Wolfgang Warsch

Year: 2019

When asked for my designer of 2018, I named Wolfgang Warsch - with Ganz Schon Clever, The Mind and The Quacks of Quedlinberg. However, he didn't stop there, and in 2019 he added even more successful titles to his line up. The Taverns of Tiefenthal is next in the line of big box games and brings together some push your luck aspects from Quacks of Quedlinberg, but it certainly feels like a heavier game, combining dice drafting, deck-building and dice placement.

With a theme based upon beer and running pubs, a designer who seems not to be putting a foot wrong, and a game full of variety with lots of modules to explore, The Taverns of Tiefenthal was definitely high on our list to try in 2019.

Wednesday 8 January 2020

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Bloom Town

Game: Bloom Town

Publisher: Sidekick Games

Designer:  Asger Harding Granerud, Daniel Skjold Pedersen

Year: 2019

Bloom Town comes from the pairing of designers  Asger Harding GranerudDaniel Skjold Pedersen - two names that are becoming synonymous with some great gateway games. Perhaps their most popular so far has been the racing game Flamme Rouge, but with Copenhagen, Deep Blue and Bloom Town all released in 2019 - they're really making a name for themselves. Bloom Town is their first game that's been published by their own board game publishing company, Sidekick Games.

It's a quick 20-30 minute game that we managed to try for the first time at Essen 2019. As a fast game, at least four games were being played simultaneously at their booth and it was easy to play a full game with a very short rules explanation. Bloom Town is a tile-laying and city building game for 1-4 players, that has you building up neighbourhoods of offices, houses, shops, subway stations and parks in the name of earning points.

Thursday 2 January 2020

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Deep Blue

Game: Deep Blue

Publisher:  Days of Wonder

Designer:  Asger Harding GranerudDaniel Skjold Pedersen

Year: 2019

Deep Blue is the big box game release this year for Days of Wonder. When they released a small roll and write game - Corinth - earlier in the year, I wasn't sure whether a bigger game was coming, but Deep Blue really fits with what I expect from Days of Wonder. It has fantastic artwork, and really nice components. Deep Blue contains plastic treasure chests to hold small gems as well as plastic boat miniatures.

Deep Blue is a push your luck game for 2-5 players, in which you are diving into shipwrecks to try and take home a share of the treasure on board. It's a very accessible family weight game with a lot of player interaction. The look of the game and the reputation of the designers certainly had us interested to give it a try.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- Top 10 Board Games of 2019

The more games we play, the harder we become to impress. I've played lots of good games in 2019, but fewer great ones. In some ways this is our own fault. Longer, medium weight euro games are more likely to find a place in our hearts, but during 2019 we've just not had a chance to try them. In fact we've not tried a single euro game that came out at Essen and games like Maracaibo and Crystal Palace are still on the 'want to try' list.

Strangely enough there's almost exactly the same number of 2019 releases cataloged on BoardGameGeek, as there were in 2018. It feels like we've played a lot of them - 133 unique games in total! From those 133, I've selected a top ten from the games we've played enough times for me to know I really love them. There's two on this list that I still don't own, so I guess we might be adding those to the collection in 2020, along with a van full of 2020 releases too!