Thursday 29 April 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Cryo

Game: Cryo

Publisher: Z-Man Games

Designer: Tom Jolly, Luke Laurie

Year: 2021

New Z-Man games always catch my attention, in particular because they don't release a ton of games every year and each one seems to attract a fair amount of buzz. Cryo definitely has the eye-catching artwork that was enough to get my attention, and Luke Laurie seems to be a designer name to look out for these days with both Whistle Mountain and Dwelllings of Eldervale receiving many positive reviews.

So, putting aside our disappointment with Z-Man's last big release, Paleo, I went into Cryo excited, particularly by its description as an 'engine building, worker placement game', in addition to its good looks. In Cryo, you are hostile factions vying for control of underground caverns on an icy planet. From the safety of your engineering platform, you can send out drones to scavenge resources and ultimately transport your crew to the caverns.

Saturday 24 April 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- A Gentle Rain

Game: A Gentle Rain

Publisher: Mondo Games

Designer: Kevin Wilson

Year: 2021

A Gentle Rain is a solo or cooperative game from designer Kevin Wilson. This small game (think of the box size of Oink Games, like Deep Sea Adventure and A Fake Artist Goes to New York) is perhaps not what you might expect from a board game design behemoth like Kevin Wilson, best known for his work on Fantasy Flight titles like Elder Sign and Arkham Horror.

It's definitely a little out there with its packaging and concept, inviting you to put on some comfy clothes, make a cup of tea and take some deep breaths before enjoying the relaxing experience in the box where you'll be trying to cause eight blossoms to bloom with optimal tile placement. There's not many games out there that can truly make me relax, so I wonder if A Gentle Rain can bring some much needed calm to our board game table.

Wednesday 21 April 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- The Quacks of Quedlinberg: The Alchemists

Game: The Quacks of Quedlinberg: The Alchemists

Publisher: Schmidt Spiele

Designer: Wolfgang Warsch

Year: 2021

The Quacks of Quedlinberg
is a game that I absolutely love. We play it so much that the Geekbits felt like a great investment in spite of their high price tag. It's a game that I will always recommend since it's fantastic for both gamers and non-gamers, so I can recommend it to anyone. The Herb Witches expansion was easy to fit into the base game and we play with it every time we play because it doesn't add too much that is new and different. The Alchemists is the second expansion and it definitely adds something brand new, and I'll need to remove the base game insert to fit it into the box! 
The Alchemists introduces a reason for you to be brewing your medicines and that is to cure the ailments of the patient you select to treat each game. Strangely the patients aren't after anything specific - your brand of science is more about throwing everything in there and crossing your fingers, but somehow that works!

Thursday 15 April 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Fairy Tale Inn

Game: Fairy Tale Inn

Publisher: CMON 

Designer: Remo Conzadori, Paolo Mori

Year: 2021

When you think of CMON as a board game publisher, then perhaps you think of Eric Lang, big miniatures and huge games, but they also have a considerable line of abstract, or puzzly games. Fairy Tale Inn falls into that abstract game line alongside games like Potion Explosion, Gizmos and Sugar Blast, which collectively stand out for their bright colours and high quality production.

Fairy Tale Inn
is what you might expect from a gamer version of the classic Connect 4. You're dropping tokens into the vertical board that sits between two players and the only downside is that you don't have that flap at the bottom of the board that releases all of the pieces at the end of the game!

Tuesday 13 April 2021

The Fourth Pig Made a House of Plastic:- Fairy Tale Inn

Game: Fairy Tale Inn

Publisher: CMON 

Designer: Remo Conzadori, Paolo Mori

Year: 2021

 Fairy Tale Inn is a two player tile placing game with an immediate resemblance to the classic connect four. However instead of faceless tokens, the tiles you are adding to the grid represent different fairy tale characters, each with their own abilities and uses. Your objective isn't simply to get tiles in a row, but instead to place them so that each can maximize their own unique scoring mechanism to get you the most coins.

Each turn you'll be taking one tile from the market of four to place. The first two options are free to take, while the final two will cost you a coin or two to pick. You then can drop that tile into the top of the vertical grid board. Many characters then have an immediate ability that can be triggered, for example the little pigs want to be grouped in clumps, scoring you one coin per friendly pig they are in a group with. After placing a tile you'll draw a new one from the bag and place it at the top spot of the market ready for the next player to play. Turns continue like this until there are three columns where the tiles have reached the roof of the inn. At this point the game ends, end game scoring characters are assessed and the player with the most coins will win.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods

Game: Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods

Publisher: Board&Dice

Designer: Jakub Caban, Bartosz Idzikowski

Year: 2021

Escape Tales: Children of Wyrmwoods is the third in the Escape Tales series from publisher Board&Dice. These narrative driven escape room experiences are the most in depth tabletop escape room games we have found and their themes definitely speak more to an older gaming audience than a family one. Children of Wyrmwoods is best played over two sittings since its a long game, especially if you go out of your way to explore each and every puzzle

Children of Wyrmwoods takes inspiration from vintage fantasy for it's theme, presenting you with a rather underwhelming character to start with. Naturally things aren't going quite as well as he would like in his small rural community and he soon finds himself out in the wild with no understanding of his surroundings or how to survive. With a bit of ingenuity you can guide Gilbert from commoner to hero... or at least to the end of his journey, hero might not be on the cards!

Thursday 1 April 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- It's a Wonderful World: Corruption & Ascension

Game: It's a Wonderful World:

Publisher: La Boîte de Jeu

Designer: Frédéric Guérard

Year: 2020

We like to think of ourselves as discerning Kickstarter backers. We typically only back games when there's a good reason to do so - perhaps the Kickstarter is super good value compared to retail, or perhaps the game, or parts of the game will never come to retail at all. With It's a Wonderful World we were drawn in by all of the campaign content the game had to offer - campaign content that we have so far never touched!

Like many Kickstarters, It's a Wonderful World came in a huge box, with lots of room for additional content and we have a rather large, air and foam filled box on our shelves as a result. Inside it is a very small drafting and tableau building game that we absolutely love. Its box is far too large, but it deserves its shelf space. The latest expansion, Corruption & Ascension recently got a retail release and we have easily added it to the box for the main game (and could probably do so about 20 times over and still have more space!).