Wreak Havoc And Rack Up Points With Smash Up

Sure, dinosaurs are pretty terrifying, but what if they also had laser beams? Smash Up asks the questions that no one else would dare, giving you countless combinations of vicious minions to choose from in your quest to build the ultimate army. Minions do what minions do best, and Smash Up delights in mayhem, uncontrollable outbreaks, and the gleeful destruction of property. With your army of wizard-dinosaurs and alien-pirates, you’ll have a wicked good time smashing bases and double-crossing your opponents.

Shuffling The Factions

Smash Up comes with eight different factions of creatures, from mechanical robots to undead zombies to supernatural aliens. Each game presents a unique combination as you combine two different factions to create your own playable deck. Each faction comes with a 20-card deck, giving you 40 different action and creature cards that you can unleash during the game to destroy bases and earn points.

One of the coolest aspects of the game is the different kind of power you find through the different combination of factions. Alien-ninjas fighting off against pirate-zombies makes for a one-of-a-kind battle unlike anything you’ll ever see onscreen! You’ll have to maneuver the unique powers of your faction (such as the power of robots to make weaponized mini-robots) if you want to build up your army’s value and earn the most points.

Smashing Bases And Scoring Points

Players earn points throughout the game by building up their army’s strength around certain location cards. Each turn allows you to play cards from your hand and deploy your army to certain locations. Once you’ve deployed enough troops, your minions destroy the base and you earn points. You can still earn points even if it wasn’t your troops that triggered the destruction, as the second- and third-place players with the next highest amount of minions in each location will also earn points.

The strategy to win involves spreading your cards both widely and smartly. For example, the strength of your alien faction to reclaim discarded cards may mean that you’ll earn the most points by consolidating minions in a few key areas rather than trying to be everywhere at once. Or, your special ninja strength may mean the best course of action is to attack the other players and keep them from earning those crucial points!

Smash Up Expansions

As if dinosaurs, ninjas, and aliens weren’t enough, Smash Up has released several expansions that feature even more unique characters you can use to cause mayhem. The Munchkin expansion takes on the characters from the card game Munchkin, giving you armies of medieval orcs and elves with which to wreak magical destruction upon your enemies.

Pretty Pretty Smash Up is a hilarious expansion that replaces vicious zombies with adorable kitty cats whose greatest weapon is their cuteness. Beautiful princesses and mischievous fairies will face off in this expansion that’s nothing if not pretty. And if horror is your thing, The Obligatory Cthulu Set expansion adds cultists and terrifying Elder things to the game for a scary good time.

Choose Your Combo Carefully With Smash Up

Smash Up is playable by 2-4 players, so it’s definitely more of a game for small groups than it is for larger parties. Because it’s suitable for ages 12 and up, Smash Up is the perfect game for the kids to play while mom and dad have a night out. Or, the whole family can enjoy facing off as laser-wielding dragons and drooling zombies! Playing time lasts around 45 minutes, but the possibility for multiple combinations of decks means that you could play any number of rounds before you’d get sick of the game.

Smash Up shines with its intricate artwork and creative monsters. The countless expansions make Smash Up a must-have game, as you can continue to add new decks with zany characters that keep the game fun and interesting over the years. The cards are definitely creative, but they’re also simple enough that you don’t have to be an expert in card games to keep up. Smash Up is a card game that has the best of both worlds, giving you interesting characters and simple rules that anyone can enjoy.

Build your army and crush your opponents!

Relive The Classics And Remember The House Rules With Monopoly

If you grew up playing board games, chances are you own a copy of Monopoly. The colored money, ruthless landlords, and “Go to Jail” cards are a fixture of almost every household. But Monopoly has proven to be a lasting and wildly popular game for a reason, as it requires a great deal of strategy and negotiation to win the game and run everyone else off the board. Anyone looking to relive the classics will love the nostalgia of Monopoly, as well as the flexibility of its rules.

Rolling the Dice

During each turn of Monopoly, a player will roll two die and then move that number of spaces around the board. Each space either represents a property or forces you to draw a card. These cards can require you to do anything from pay taxes, collect income, or go straight to jail.

If you land on an unowned piece of property, you can either buy it or you can allow the bank to auction it out to the highest bidder. Buying property allows you to charge rent to anyone who lands on that space in the future, supplementing your income and helping you bankrupt the other players.

If you land on a piece of property owned by another player, you have to pay them rent. Once a player has collected all the spaces in a certain color group, they can build houses and hotels to charge players higher rent and bankrupt them even faster.

Going To Jail

Players can be sent to jail for several reasons. One reason is by landing on the “Go to Jail” space. Drawing a “Go to Jail” card is another. When rolling the dice, rolling doubles allows you to roll again immediately after. If you roll doubles three times in a row, however, you get “caught speeding” and are sent to the brig.

Landing in jail moves you to the Jail space and ends your turn. The only way to get out of jail is to pay a fine of $50, use a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, or successfully roll doubles on the dice. While jail isn’t the end of the road, it can be an unwelcome wrench in the works that can derail real estate transactions and push you closer to bankruptcy.

House Rules

Monopoly has been around for so many years and has been played by so many people that players have developed their own house rules to make the game either easier or more complex. The “Free Parking jackpot rule” gives each player the opportunity to win a bundle of cash just for landing on the Free Parking space, which can make the game last even longer. Whether you’re new to Monopoly or you’ve been playing the game since childhood, house rules can keep the game feeling fresh and upend strategies left and right.

Monopoly Expansions

Monopoly has seen several expansions that can either be played as stand-alone games or combined with the base game for additional fun. The Get Out of Jail mini-game gives you an additional way to escape prison by using a spade to flick out colored prisoners. Free Parking is another fun add-on that gives you the optional Taxi Challenge, allowing you to move anywhere you want on the board if you win.

Monopoly: The Landlord’s Game

Monopoly is the ultimate family game, playable by 2-8 players. Whether you’re an only child or you’re playing with extended family, Monopoly can accommodate families of all sizes. It’s also suitable for ages 8 and up, so younger children can easily get involved and keep up with the adults.

Playing time lasts between one to three hours, although certain house rules have been known to keep the game going all night. Monopoly isn’t the kind of game that you can cram a quick round in between the appetizers and the main course. If you’re playing Monopoly, it’s going to be an experience all of its own. The best part of the game is that, with so many different house rules that you can bring to it, you will rarely ever play the same game of Monopoly twice!

Now it’s time to go out and make your fortune!

 

Hop On Board for The Ride of Your Life With Ticket To Ride

One of the most annoying parts about playing a new board game is the time it takes to learn the rules.  Some games are so complicated that it feels like you need to sit through an entire course just to understand the basic rules of the game.  With Ticket To Ride, you’ll be off on your adventure in less than 15 minutes.  This game is the perfect mix of simplicity and fun, forcing you to weave and wind as you build your railway routes across North America.

Connecting The Endpoints

When the game starts, each player begins with four train car cards and three Destination Ticket cards.  The game board shows a vast map of the United States and southern Canada, and your Destination Ticket cards show you which two cities on the map you have to connect.  Keep it to yourself, however, as it’s your job to secretly build your route without alerting the other players to your goal.

Every turn you get three options: either you draw two railway car cards, draw three Destination Ticket cards, or play one of your cards to claim a route and earn points.  Claiming routes is a super fun part of the game as you get to victoriously place your colorful little train cars along the route.  As you claim more and more routes, the game board begins to fill up with a bright web of red, yellow, and blue train cards that weave their way across North America.

Winning The Game

In order to win the game, you have to earn the most points by successfully connecting your secret Destination Ticket cities.  You can also earn a magnificent ten-point bonus if you succeed in building the longest continuously connected set of routes.  By building longer routes and connecting cities from across the country, you can earn enough points to blow the competition out of the water.

The fun of the game comes from navigating risk and fear.  Do you add more cards to your hand to give yourself a better shot at winning?  Or do you nab the route you need in order to keep it from falling into the hands of your rival?  Whether you win or lose, you have to marvel at the intricacy of the custom-molded train cars and beautifully illustrated cards.

Ticket To Ride Spinoffs

Ticket to Ride was released in 2004, followed shortly after by six spinoff board games as well as a few card and electronic games.  If North America isn’t your jam, you can play Ticket to Ride across a sprawling map of Europe, Germany, Poland, or even the Nordic countries.  Certain expansions even allow you to play with new map collections including The Heart of Africa or the Old West.

While Ticket to Ride comes with a pretty large game board, Ticket To Ride: Rails and Sails ups the ante by including a giant double-sided board that features both land and water routes.  If you’re interested in playing Ticket to Ride with younger players, the First Journey version of the game features a smaller board and shorter game time that’s suitable for ages 6 and up.

Get Your Ticket To Ride And Start The Fun

Ticket to Ride is the perfect game for new players who are looking for something simple and entertaining.  Gameplay is suitable for 2-5 players ages 8 and up, so it’s an excellent board game for family game night or a lazy Sunday morning.  And although its simplicity is one of its greatest features, you’ll find that this board game is plenty interesting enough to keep you engaged throughout the entire 30-60 minutes of game time.

If you’re a locomotive junkie or you’re simply looking for a new board game to add to the mix, you’ll love the imaginative world of Ticket to Ride.  With circuitous routes traversing a beautifully illustrated game board, Ticket to Ride is just as much an adventure for your eyes as it is for your mind.  Hop on board and enjoy the ride with this entertaining and creative board game that will be sure to make “conductor” your newest dream job!

 

How to Play Ticket to Ride

A Whole New World: The Settlers of Catan

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be Christopher Columbus and discover a new land full of untapped potential?  While there may not be much of the Earth we have yet to discover, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the experience of the early settlers.  If you’re an explorer at heart, you’ll love the exciting setup of Catan, a board game that pits players against each other in the race to build a lasting society.  

Formerly known as The Settlers of Catan, this board game uses dice, cards, and strategy to provide you with up to two hours of fun.  The game begins with your ship washing ashore a brand new land, brimming with unspoiled possibility.  But not so fast—you’re not the only one to land on Catan’s shores!  Several other seafarers have arrived at the same time with the exact same desire to colonize.  You’ll have to battle the other players in order to gain dominance and win the game.

 

Building Settlements

Catan uses a game board that is set up with hexagonal terrain tiles.  Each player begins their settlement with two small houses on the spaces where three of these terrain hexes meet.  Then, by rolling the dice, players accumulate different resources and barter with each other in order to turn their settlement into a prosperous city.  The more settlements and cities you build, the more victory points you accumulate.  Once you reach 10 victory points, you are officially the winner of Catan.

But how do you go about bartering resources and building settlements?  This is where Catan gets interesting.  Strategy is a huge part of the game as you trade your resources at ports and with other players to give away what you have too much of in order to collect what you need.  But be sure to trade smartly, as you don’t want to give away something that will give the other player the upper hand.  Sometimes theft is necessary, as rolling a 7 on the dice can allow you to steal the resource card you need from other players.

Catan Expansion Packs

Catan has been around for decades, as it was originally released in 1995.  Catan is suitable for ages 10 and up, and gameplay usually lasts between one and two hours.  While the base game serves 3-4 players, the extension allows you to incorporate 5-6 players.  With so many people vying to win, you can fill an entire evening with a game of Catan!

Catan also comes with several expansion packs, which allows you to enjoy a whole new chapter.  The Seafarers expansion adds ships that serve as roads over the water, allowing you to explore the sea and settle on an uninhabited archipelago of islands.  In addition to ships, the Seafarers expansion also includes pirates, which will steal resources from ships and even prevent them from being built in the first place.

Catan: Cities and Knights adds new Knights that can be used to attack other players as well as defend Catan from barbarian invaders.  These barbarian invaders will occasionally attack Catan, forcing the warring settlements to work together to fend them off and continue the game.  This expansion also includes additional resources to be produced and traded, which include paper, cloth, and coin.  Catan: Cities and Knights can be combined with the Seafarers expansion for an even more complex game.

Build A New World With Catan

Catan is arguably one of the most popular board games ever invented, with countless spin-offs, film/television adaptations, and even tournaments.  Its popularity is likely due to the fact that this game appeals to almost everyone.  Whether you’re a family looking for a casual game to add into the mix or you’re a hard-core gamer looking to relive the nostalgia of a classic, Catan has something for everyone.

While the base game is simple enough for children to enjoy, it’s the expansions that really make Catan a versatile game.  You won’t ever get bored of Catan, and no collection of board games will ever be complete without this classic multiplayer board game.  Indulge your imagination and get in touch with your inner settler with Catan!

 

How to Play Catan

Risk: The Ultimate Game in World Domination

Arguably one of the most popular board games of all time, Risk deals with one simple mission: world domination.  In the world of Risk you’ll control territories, attack other players, and move your armies all around a giant game board representing a map of the planet Earth.  With complex strategies, shifting alliances, and a lengthy game time, Risk is the ultimate board game for the most hardcore gamers.

Troops, Territories, And Missions

Risk is set up with a large tabletop board showing a political map of the world.  The six continents are divided into 42 territories on which players will deploy their armies and fight for occupation.  Each player gets a set of colored tokens that represent their troops, while players collect territory and mission cards to aid them in their mission of world domination.  There are many elements to keep track of in Risk, but the rules are relatively simple.  Hardcore gamers will definitely love the complex level of strategy that comes with the game.

Rolling The Dice

Each turn gives you an opportunity for conquering new territories.  Whether you choose to attack, move your army, or pass, you’ll have to have all of your wits about you to avoid losing your last territory and facing elimination from the game.  Attacking involves the element of luck, as your success depends on how high you roll the dice.  You can attack as often as you want, and you’ll win bonus cards for every enemy territory you successfully take.

Allies Vs. Enemies

Strategy is the key element when it comes to playing Risk, as you cannot win without being able to think three steps ahead.  Defend your territories by building up your border armies, but watch out—your enemies may be doing the same in order to launch an attack.  If you gain control of an entire continent, you win bonus reinforcement armies that push you one step closer to taking over the world.

Alliances are a common optional element of Risk that can make gameplay even more intriguing.  Because there are no official rules regarding alliances, players can stab their allies in the back at any time.  Your loyalty depends on your long-term strategy, as only you can decide whether or not an alliance will work to your advantage.  Many a friendship has been ended over a Risk alliance gone wrong, but ruthlessness is the key to winning the game!

Variations of Risk

Risk was released in 1959, so there have been countless later editions released over the years that put a new spin on the game.  Castle Risk was the first variation, narrowing the game down to feuding castles in ancient Europe.  Risk: 2210 A.D. went in the opposite direction of time, launching players into a futuristic war fighting over moon and ocean territories in addition to dry land.

For the elf-lover in all of us, Risk: the Lord of the Rings sets the battle in northern Middle-earth.  This variation features beloved characters such as hobbits and orcs fighting it out in a magical arena.  From popular video games such as Assassin’s Creed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s no shortage of Risk variations that will put a fun and unique spin on this classic game.

Conquer The World At Your Own Risk

Risk is definitely one of the more complex games out there, although it is still suitable for ages 10 and up.  You may want to work younger kids up to playing Risk by starting with simpler games to help them develop concepts like strategy.  Still, Risk is an integral component of any game collection that can easily fill an entire game night.  Game time usually lasts around 2 hours, but games of Risk have been known to go on for days depending on the amount of players.

If you love games that feature multiple players and require you to build innovative strategies, you’ll love Risk.  There’s a reason that it has been able to maintain its popularity over the last 60 years, as its simple premise and potential for complex interactions can appeal to everyone.  Consider adding Risk to your arsenal and experience the thrill of conquering the world!

Carcassonne: A Blast From the Medieval Past

You may have heard about Carcassonne, the medieval fortified town in southern France famous for its impressive outer walls.  Every year countless people flock to this historical city to learn about its rich history and explore its many towers.  But you don’t have to fly all the way to France for a blast to the medieval past!  The city of Carcassonne inspired a tile-based board game of the same name that lets you experience the world of knighthood through building landscapes and fortifying your city.

Build Your City with Carcassonne

Carcassonne uses a game board with a medieval landscape that the players will build piece by piece throughout the games.  Turn by turn, each player will draw a new terrain tile as the outer city begins to materialize.  Skill and cunning are required if you’re going to complete your cities, cloisters, and roads that earn you those valuable points.

Tiles can only connect to other like tiles—grass to grass, city to city, road to road.  Certain tiles are a combination of multiple types of areas, which means that no two completed games are going to look identical.  This variety makes Carcassonne feel fresh and new every time you break out the box for a new game.

Score Points From Your Followers

Just because you built a new road or city doesn’t mean it’s yours to keep!  You’ll have to claim your land by placing your little followers on a tile once it’s been placed.  These little followers are also called “meeples”, and add a cute visual element to the game with little bright red or yellow wooden figures.  

Your meeple will differ based on where you place it: knights defend cities, robbers defend the roads, and farmers defend the grass.  Once you’ve placed your meeple on a completed area, they’ll score you points and get you one step closer to winning the game.

Scoring points isn’t always so straightforward, however.  Just as you have to be quick to place followers before someone else steals your land out from under you, you also have an opportunity to steal from your fellow players.  A major part of the fun of Carcassonne is claiming your opponent’s land before they have a chance to.

Carcassonne Expansions and Spinoffs

While Carcassonne was inspired by the medieval French city, the game itself has also inspired a series of expansions and spinoffs.  The first expansion adds inns and cathedrals to the mix, making the game more complex for people who are looking for something a little more challenging.  With The Princess & The Dragon expansion, Carcassonne transforms into a mythical and mystical game that pits benevolent fairies against fire-breathing dragons in a fight to rescue the princess.

If medieval times don’t go back far enough for you, Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers is a spinoff that will take you back to the time when cavemen painted on walls and wooly mammoths roamed the earth.  Or, if you’re looking for something a little out of this world, the Carcassonne: Star Wars spinoff takes you to a land far far away where the evil Empire fights the virtuous Rebel Alliance.  If you’ve grown up playing the basic game of Carcassonne, you’ll love the combined sense of nostalgia and fun that comes from one of these countless spinoffs.

Go Back In Time with Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a board game that’s simple enough for ages 7 and up, so it’s definitely something that the entire family can enjoy.  Gameplay also usually lasts between 30 to 45 minutes, so it isn’t something that’s going to take up the entire night, either.  While the basic game isn’t incredibly complex, the spinoffs offer additional elements that will make the game advanced enough for adults to enjoy playing without the kids.

If you’ve ever felt drawn to the era of knights and chivalry, then Carcassonne is the game for you.  The randomness of the tile drawing provides endless possibilities that can take the game in any number of directions.  You’ll love the fast paced turns and heartless double crosses of this high stakes tile-based board game.  Step into the past and build your medieval French city with Carcassonne!

Choose Your Magical Race and Conquer The World With Small World

Magical creatures abound in this fantastical strategy board game that’s fun for ages 8+.  Whether you’re looking for a new rotation in family game night or a creative game for you and your friends, Small World is a simple game that can be played time and time again.  From troops of orcs to tribes of wizards, Small World allows anyone to choose their magical niche and conquer the world.

Discovering Small World

If you’re a fan of Philippe Keyaerts’ 1999 game Vinci, you’ll love Small World, his fantastical follow up game that came out in 2009.  Small World not only includes the addition of dice, but also reworks the original strategy board game into a fantastical adventure involving magical races and special powers.  Players are pitted against each other to try to conquer a world that’s only big enough for the strongest.

This board game combines strategy and fantasy, as each player has to decide on the best combination of fantasy races and special powers to expand their empires and conquer the world.  The language of Small World is force—you’ll deploy troops to occupy territory and expand to adjacent lands.  But tough decisions have to be made from within as well, because the path to victory may require you to abandon your own empire in order to build a new one that can succeed.

Races and Special Powers

Small World is populated with 14 different magical races, from fantastical Elves to mythical Giants.  Each race has its own special characteristics and skills that can help you conquer regions and obtain Victory coins.  The colorful race banners and tokens add a visually stunning element to the game as you deploy your races on the different regions of the board.

As if magical creatures weren’t already powerful enough, you can also combine your magical races with one of 20 Special Power Badges.  Not only does this make for some funny combinations (Commando Dwarves and Flying Sorcerers being some of the best), but it also gives you extra abilities that you can use to trick your opponents and attack. 

Certain combinations are more powerful than others, allowing you to build on the race’s innate abilities and deliver a crushing blow to your opponents.  Diplomat Skeletons can keep an opponent from attacking for a turn and then ruthlessly attack the rest of the board, earning some serious tokens and leaping ahead in the gameplay.  Discovering the best combinations is part of what makes Small World so great for repeat playing!

The Decline Of Civilization

While the goal of Small World is to expand your empire and earn as many Victory coins as possible, sometimes your race will become over-extended, requiring you to sacrifice your current empire in order to build a new one.  Not everyone has the stomach to make the hard calls and put their weakened magical race “In Decline”, but this kind of ruthlessness is often required to fight your way to victory.

Putting your weakened race In Decline forces you to get rid of your Special Power and void one of your turns, but your next turn allows you to build a new civilization with a new race and Special Power combination.  It takes a lot of strategy and a bit of luck to maneuver, but it adds a fun and challenging dimension to the game that makes Small World more than just what it seems on the surface.

The Fun Of Small World

Because Philippe Keyaerts designed Small World as a follow up to his game Vinci, players who grew up playing Vinci will recognize many similar elements of gameplay such as conquering territories for points and choosing special abilities.  However, the addition of dice to the game adds an interesting element of luck that can turn strategy on its head.

The magical creatures are creative and zany, and the ability to mix and match magical races with Special Powers means that no two rounds of gameplay will ever be alike.  Although they may not usually like the same games, fans of strategy board games and fans of fantasy will both find plenty to love with Small World!

 

How to Play Small World

Catan The Board Game: Fun For The Whole Family!

Board games have been a staple of family gatherings for decades.  There’s nothing more fun than dividing into teams that pit Mom against Dad, Cousin Joe against Grandma Ruth.  But Monopoly has grown stale, and Risk is too cut-throat (remember the near-brawl last Thanksgiving?)  The family needs a new board game that’s fun and interesting enough to come back to time and time again.  Enter Catan. 

Discovery of Catan

Catan, also known as Settlers of Catan, is a well-known board game that combines strategy and luck to help players build the biggest settlement in the land.  The game begins with the discovery of a new land as your ship washes ashore on the coast of an uncharted island.  But before you go about building your settlement with the carefree nature of early colonialists, you discover that other seafarers have also landed on Catan’s shores.  The race to gain supremacy on Catan is on!

Building and Bartering

The game board is set up using hexagonal terrain tiles to represent the beautiful island of Catan.  Each player sets two small houses on spaces where the three terrain hexes meet.  With the roll of a dice, resources get doled out to each player to then barter in order to build their settlements.

The fun of the game comes from building your new settlements that will become bustling and prosperous cities.  You’ll learn to barter the resources you have in abundance for the ones you lack.  Strategic planning is required in order to skillfully trade your resources and complete your building projects.  Each settlement scores you 1 victory point and each city scores you 2 victory points.  The first player to reach 10 victory points is the winner!

Who Can Play?

The base game of Catan is for 3-4 people ages 10 and up, and gameplay lasts from around 45 to 90 minutes.  There is an extension available that allows you to add extra players, expanding gameplay to 5-6 people.  If you’ve got a big family that’s all looking to take part in the fun, this is a great way to give everyone an opportunity to join in.

The best part of the game is the different expansion packs you can buy.  These provide new and fun scenarios that allow you to expand the initial fun of the game well beyond the shores of Catan.   Travel the ocean with the Seafarers expansion, leaving Catan for the its wild and uncharted neighboring islands.  Or, step into knighthood with the Cities and Knights expansion, pitting the knights of Catan against the barbarians who would threaten your new way of life.

Let’s face it: there are only so many games of Scrabble you can play before someone loses their mind.  Catan is an exciting and fun board game that provides countless hours of family fun and a variety of expansion packs to keep things fresh.  Give it a chance and buy it today— your family will thank you!

Head of to the shop and buy it now before it is gone. Well… It will never be gone, this is one of our best sellers. But its a best seller for a reason. So…

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