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, 13 May 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Overboss: A Boss Monster Adventure

Game: Overboss: A Boss Monster Adventure

Publisher: Brotherwise Games

Designer:  Aaron Mesburne, Kevin Russ

Year: 2021

Boss Monster is one of the earliest games I remember playing when I was introduced to board gaming. Amy's friends were not board gamers at the time, but they were geeks and video gamers who were dipping their toes into the hobby. Boss Monster is exactly the sort of game, alongside Munchkin and Catan, that university students with a geeky disposition were playing 10 years ago. It's not a game I ever really revisited, finding it too be a bit basic, but it certainly has an audience, is perfect for comic store shelves and has spawned many expansions.

Overboss takes that same theme and 8-bit artwork, but applies it to a tile-laying game, co-designed by Kevin Russ who designed the fabulous Calico - a truly special puzzly tile-laying game. With those credentials, we had to take a look at what twist on tile-laying Overboss has to offer

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Where was that secret wall?:- Overboss: A Boss Monster Adventure

Game: Overboss: A Boss Monster Adventure

Publisher: Brotherwise Games

Designer:  Aaron Mesburne, Kevin Russ

Year: 2021

Overboss is a 1-5 player tile laying game set in the world of Boss Monster. Playing as one of the titular boss monsters, you have finished designing your dungeon and now it's time to create a dangerous overworld to defeat all but the most valiant heroes. You don't want to spend time and effort resetting your traps after 'Steve the Farmer' wanders in afterall! To do this you'll be drafting tiles and monsters from a common market and using those to create an overwold. Each landscape type scores differently, creating a unique puzzle every game.

Each player starts the game with a 3x4 board (4x4 in the advanced game) and optionally a choice of two Boss Monsters to play as. Five terrain types will be selected for the game, and all tiles of those types are gathered and shuffled before four tiles are dealt out into a market. The associated monsters are then put into a bag and four monsters are drawn, one paired with each tile. On a player's turn they simply take a tile and the associated monster and place it anywhere on their board. The monster must be placed on the empty space in the middle of the placed tile with a couple of exceptions. The game will continue like this until everyone's boards are full.

Friday, 7 May 2021

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Ashes Reborn: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Game: Ashes Reborn: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Designer: Isaac Vega

Year: 2021
Ashes Reborn is a re-release of Plaid Hat's successful two-player customisable dueling card game, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. The reprint is described as version 1.5, with not significant changes from the original game, but some improvements to the wording and balance of the cards. If you've never played Ashes before, then this would be your entry point, or you could use the 1.5 Upgrade Pack to upgrade your original copy.
If you want to dive deep into the game, then a huge number of expansions are on the horizon with a new phoenixborn character in each pack. Plaid Hat Games are even running a direct subscription service, but frankly, there is a huge amount of content in just this base game box, with the six phoenixborns allowing you to play 15 different combinations with the preset decks, plus the option to deckbuild, making the variety pretty endless!

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Keep Droning On:- Cryo

Game: Cryo

Publisher: Z-Man Games

Designer: Tom Jolly, Luke Laurie

Year: 2021

Cryo is a 2-4 player worker placement game that tasks you as a survivor of a ship that has crashed on a strange, and cold, planet. In the last moments about your great starship the resident population split into factions and began infighting. Now you find yourself in control of the drone bay, desperate to preserve what human life you can save, so long as you know you can trust them! You'll send drones out across the planet's frozen surface in order to gather supplies, rescue your crew and construct transportation that can carry the humans safely underground before the cold night makes the planets surface entirely inhabitable.