Wednesday 27 January 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- SINS: Gloom of Greed

Game: SINS: Gloom of Greed

Publisher: Cortadoo Games

Designer:   Daniel Greve, Jacob Lindborg

Year: 2019

SINS is a deck-building game which comes in three different flavours - Gluttony, Greed and Wrath. In this review we'll look at SINS: Gloom of Greed, which on its own is a two players game, although multiple decks can combine to play with more players. SINS was a Kickstarter project and it has a couple of red flags that tell me it might have a few traits of a 'bad' Kickstarter game - one where a few corners have been cut.

SINS made a bad first impression when I couldn't find the rulebook. It's a small box two-player game, so I looked hard for rules written on cards, or a small folded copy and eventually found a QR code. Rules should always be online, but they shouldn't be ONLY online. I don't want to spend ink printing out rules and they won't fit in the box, so I need internet connection to play your game. The excuse here is to keep a 'living rulebook', but this game isn't complicated (although the poorly written rules might have you believe it is). This was just a rush job. Evidenced by the fact the rulebook was evidently written in word and has Tabletopia screenshots as the only graphics!

Now that we're past that first impression, let's take a look at the game!

Wednesday 20 January 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Tawantinsuyu: The Inca Empire

Game: Tawantinsuyu: The Inca Empire

Publisher: Board & Dice

Designer:  David Turczi

Year: 2020

is the next in line of a family of board games from publisher Board & Dice set in various ancient civilisations. If you enjoy medium to heavy euro games then you'll no doubt have come across the series and, perhaps like us, you've at least given each one a try. David Turczi is often the designer of the solo modes in these and many other board games, but Tawantinsuyu is a full game, all of his own design.

Tawantinsuyu is a worker placement game for 1-4 players which revolves around the Coricancha Temple - a pyramid-like structure that dictates the actions your workers can take. There's many ways to gather points in the game, but that simple worker placement action is one that has so many factors and interlinking parts that this game is for people who really enjoy a crunchy decision!

Wednesday 13 January 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- 1565, St. Elmo's Pay

Game: 1565, St. Elmo's Pay

Publisher: Hall or Nothing Productions

Designer:  Tristan Hall

Year: 2020

Tristan Hall and his company, Hall or Nothing Productions make great historical games. 1066, Tears of Many Mothers was the first in a series of card driven games that provide a very accessible entry point into wargames. I'm not really sure what categorises something as a war game, although these two-player experiences certainly are themed on specific battles and wars. 

1565, St. Elmo's Pay is the second game in this series and plays out in a very similar way, and with 1815, Scum of the Earth coming soon to Kickstarter, Hall or Nothing Games really have you covered if you're a history buff looking to get your feet wet with a tabletop wargame-like experience.

Thursday 7 January 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Tiny Towns: Villagers

Game: Tiny Towns: Villagers

Publisher: AEG

Designer: Peter McPhersonJosh Wood

Year: 2020

When Tiny Towns first released, we played it once or twice, enjoyed the puzzle and then moved on. However, when Covid lockdown hit many nations around the world, AEG began to do live plays of Tiny Towns with an online audience who could play along if they owned a copy. We first borrowed a copy and then bought a copy because of how this game was helping me to feel connected during a very isolated time. After playing it so much, we tried added both the Fortune, and now the Villagers expansion to our copy. Now, aside from the 'Trees' promo, Tiny Towns is one of the very few fully expanded games we own, and it all fits into the base game box!

Tuesday 5 January 2021

A Squirrel & a Hedgehog Walk Into an Inn:- Tiny Towns: Villagers

Game: Tiny Towns: Villagers

Publisher: AEG

Designer: Peter McPherson, Josh Wood

Year: 2020

Tiny Towns: Villagers is the second expansion for the resource puzzle/town builder Tiny Towns. While the first expansion added the concept on money to the game, this expansion adds people to live in your town. Animal people, in the form of cute hedgehog, mouse, and squirrel meeples. In addition to these cute new locals there is  the usual selection of new building cards and monuments to further deepen the available strategies in this cube-laden puzzle.

At the start of a game of Tiny Towns: Villagers you'll shuffle and deal out one building card for each building type as normal. You'll then place out two villager cards, one with a low cost and one with a high cost. These villager cards define what the villagers can do in this game. The game will then play much as normal with players taking turns to name a resource, each player taking a cube of that resource  adding it to their board. Once they have made a pattern as defined on the building cards they can replace all those cubes with a building token built in one of the spaces that the cubes were removed from. The game will continue like this until there are no spaces left on anyone's board at which point you'll earn the points for all your buildings, minus points for spaces on your board without a building on it.