Stack The Decks And Cover Your Assets

Cover Your Assets is a cheeky card game from Grandpa Beck’s Games that pits family members against each other in a greedy race to become a millionaire. By building towers of valuable assets and stealing from the competition, you’ll accumulate enough wealth and luxury to beat the other players and win the ultimate bragging rights! With quick to learn rules and dynamic strategies, Cover Your Assets is the ultimate game for competitive families.

Collecting Your Assets

Every player in the game has to build their own stack of assets using matching sets of cards. Each set of cards will match two of the same type of asset cards. There are 10 different kinds of asset cards in the game, from sparkling jewels to overflowing piggy banks. Each time you create a new set you’ll stack it crosswise on top of the previous set to build your tower of assets.

Each turn you have one of several options. The first option is to make a pair of assets from your own hand, which you can then add to your assets tower. Wild cards can be used in place of any type of asset, so be sure to keep an eye out for these valuable collectibles. The second option you have is to draw the top card from the discard pile, which can be used to make a pair and add to your assets tower. If the first two options don’t work, you have the third option to discard one of your cards and draw a new one from the draw piles.

Stealing And Defending Assets

The last option you have is to try and steal a set of assets from one of your fellow players. This is where the name Cover Your Assets comes from, and it’s the most diabolical part of the game. To challenge another player and steal their assets, you need at least one set of assets in your own stack. The other player also needs at least two sets of assets on their stack (although you can only attempt to steal the top set).

In order to steal someone’s assets, you have to show them a card that matches their top set. This is where it gets interesting, however, as that player can defend their assets by showing you a matching card of their own. If you’ve got another matching card (or a wild card), you can continue this back-and-forth until one of you runs out of that type of card. The winner gets ALL of the cards used in the challenge, and can proudly add them to the top of their stack (and rake in the points at the end of the round).

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Once you’ve played your turn, you’ll draw cards to replenish your hand until eventually the draw pile runs out. The round ends when there are no cards left to play—although these last few moments can often be the most critical! A last minute steal can win you valuable assets that can boost your score enough to put you over the limit and win the game. Scores will be tallied at the end of every round, and the first player to reach one million dollars in assets wins the game. If two players reach a million dollars in the same round, whoever has the highest score wins!

Cover Your Assets: A Game For Ruthless Families

Cover Your Assets is playable by 2-6 players and is suitable for ages 8 and up, so families with multiple generations can all enjoy the addictive nature of this ruthless card game. Playing time lasts between around 15-45 minutes, which is short enough to hold young kids’ attention while allowing more advanced players to still enjoy the thrill of long-form strategy.

Sometimes the best way to bring the family together is by pitting everyone against each other. Stealing assets and challenging the other players adds a deliciously malicious nature to the game that keeps things interesting while remaining lighthearted at the same time. Cover Your Assets is small and easy to pack, so it’s the perfect thing to bring along to spice up any vacation!

Buy it today!

May The Best Camel Win With Camel Up

Have you ever felt the itch to go to the racetracks and place a bet?  If so, Camel Up satisfies your craving for gambling without the risk in the form of a fun and family-friendly board game.  In the world of Camel Up, you’re a rich desert inhabitant looking to score a fortune by betting on some speedy camels.  Do you have the skills to choose the winner?

Legs of the Race

The game begins with each player taking on the role of a rich desert inhabitant placing bets on a camel race.  Five camels race around the game board, giving you different opportunities to place bets and potentially win or lose coins.  Each camel starts out within 1-3 spaces from the start line depending on the roll of a die.  The race is then run in several legs, with each camel moving once per leg.  

Betting Tiles

Each turn you get four options.  The first option is to take a betting tile, which allows you to bet on the camel you think will win that individual leg.  First and second place winners get coins, but losers end up with a one-coin penalty, so place your bets carefully!  

You can also bet on which camel will win the overall game at any time, which will remain secret until the very end.  The earlier you place this bet the more coins you’ll win, but patience may allow you to weed out the strongest camel from the rest of the pack.

Pyramid Tiles

Taking a pyramid tile will allow you to roll a die and move the camels.  One of the coolest elements of the game is the cardboard pyramid located in the center of the board, which allows you to shake one die loose at a time.  The color of the die corresponds to the color of the camel that moves, and the leg ends as soon as each camel has made their move.

Desert Tiles

One final option that you have each round is to play your desert tile, which each player has one of.  This tile can be placed on an empty space anywhere on the board, and if a camel lands on it, they’re forced to either move one space forward or backward.  You’ll also gain a coin every time a camel lands on your space, so it pays to place your desert tile wisely in order to rake in those valuable coins!

Totaling The Score

The game ends as soon as one of the camels crosses the finish line.  You’ll calculate everyone’s total points and then read through the bets on the winner in whichever order they were placed.  This is where betting early can make a real difference, as correct early guesses can win much bigger awards than ones placed later.  Your prediction skills will be on full blast in Camel Up, as you may have to risk it all if you want to walk away the winner.

Later Editions of Camel Up

Camel Up is a simple game that allows for anywhere from 2-8 players.  Later editions, however, have implemented new elements that make gameplay a bit more challenging and even allow for as many as 10 players in one game.  The 2018 second edition of Camel Up comes with a new game board and pyramid design.  It also comes with new and interesting game modes such as rogue camels, which begin the race by running in the wrong direction.

Camel Up: Supercup builds off of the base game with four additional modules.  The new modules add elements such as an extended race track that lengthen gameplay or betting partnerships that allow for greater cooperation between players.  This expansion can turn a simple game of Camel Up between into a captivating game for a large group.

All Bets Are Off with Camel Up

Camel Up is the perfect family game, with incredibly simple rules and gameplay that’s suitable for ages 8 and up.  Playing time is only 20-30 minutes, so you’ll be able to get multiple rounds out of this entertaining game.  Place your bets and choose wisely with this lighthearted game in the land of Egypt!

This is one of the best games there is… You want it. (Jedi hand wave)

 

How to Play Camel Up

Agricola: Enjoy The Simple Things In Life

Do you ever wish you could go back to the 17th century, when all you had to worry about was your crops and your livestock?  Agricola brings back the simple pleasures of life on the farm, casting you in the role of farmer as you build the most beautiful and prosperous farm in the land.  It’s not all peaceful pastures, however, as you’ll have to outmaneuver your fellow farmers if you want to feed your family and earn enough victory points to win the game.  With quaint little wooden pieces and a gorgeously drawn game board, Agricola is a family-friendly game that celebrates the little things in life.

Growing Your Household

Agricola begins with each player being given a farming couple and their own little two-roomed hut.  As players take their turns throughout the 14 rounds of the game, they will move family members around to different actions space in order to acquire resources and build their household.  These actions will be any of the simple duties of running the farm, from building fences that keep out predators to collecting firewood.

The more family members you have, the more you actions you can take, so having kids can definitely help you build a more prosperous farm.  However, more kids means more mouths to feed, so you’ll have to plan your family carefully if you want to stay above water!

Only one family member is allowed to occupy an action space at a time, so you’ll need to develop a strategy to block your competitors from getting the resources they need while ensuring your own farm’s growth.  The 14 rounds of the game are divided into six harvests, during which you’ll grow more food and breed more animals.  The better fed you keep your family, the more victory points you’ll win.

Occupations and Minor Improvements

Agricola comes with optional Occupations and Minor Improvements cards for a more advanced play.  While younger kids will usually forego these cards entirely, more advanced players can use three different levels of these cards to make each game much more varied.  Playing these cards will win you extra resources and special bonuses, while giving you a more fixed strategy to follow in order to win the game.

There are a great number of strategies you can use to win the game, which will depend on what cards you hold in your hand.  You may find that focusing on building your farm is all you need to succeed, while sometimes sabotaging your opponent is necessary to keep them from having too plentiful a harvest.

Agricola Later Editions

The Revised edition of Agricola features an updated rulebook and gameplay that bring the game into the 21st century.  It also uses differently shaped wooden pieces to represent the resources that you’ll grow, as well as a more balanced deck for streamlined gameplay.

The All Creatures Big And Small edition of Agricola brings the game down to only two players while emphasizing the animal aspect of the game.  This edition casts you as an animal breeder in charge of growing your livestock into a happy and bustling pasture.  There’s also an Agricola expansion that makes the game playable by up to 6 players.  This expansion features additional room tiles, occupations, and major improvements that revitalize Agricola and make it perfect for family gatherings.

Live Long And Prosper With Agricola

Agricola is playable by anywhere from 1-5 players, so it can be enjoyed by the whole family or just on your own.  Playing time depends on whether or not you choose to include the optional Occupations and Minor Improvements cards, so it can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two and a half hours.  Agricola is definitely the kind of game that can be the centerpiece of family game night.

Agricola is suitable for ages 12 and up, so parents and kids can easily enjoy playing the game together.  If mom and dad are looking for a more advanced game on their own, they can add on the optional cards for some extra competition.  All in all, Agricola is a fun strategy game that makes the most out of its vintage agricultural theme.

But it today!

Here is How you Play Agricola

Dominion is the Deck-Building Game of Kings

Dominion begins with a simple premise: you’re a power-hungry monarch looking to turn your small kingdom into a vast dominion you can call your own.  To capture the anarchic lands around your kingdom before your monarch rivals have an opportunity to steal them out from underneath you, you’ll have to build a deck of cards so powerful that no one stands a chance.  https://youtu.be/csQ6Vu-pqpY

Collecting Cards

At the beginning of the game, each player begins with a small deck of identical cards.  During each round, players will have the opportunity to grow their deck from a common pool of cards to help them gain Victory Points and win the game.  There are four different types of cards you can collect in Dominion.  The first type of cards are Victory cards, which are useless except for their Victory Point value. Curse cards are the opposite of Victory cards, taking away Victory Points from your total score.  One of the most useful types of cards is a Treasure card, which gives you Coins for purchasing more cards.  Action cards are also useful, which give you certain effects such as the ability to draw or get rid of cards or even hurt other players.

Action, Buy, and Clean Up Phases

Each turn contains three phases that every player must go through.  The first phase is the Action phase, where a player can play one Action card (unless otherwise specified by the card).  The second phase is the Buy phase, where a player can play their Treasure cards and earn Coins for buying more cards.   After these two phases are done, the player discards their used cards and replaces their deck with 5 new cards.  One of the most interesting parts of Dominion is that you must use your non-Victory cards in the turn after you receive them, otherwise you’ll have to give them up.  This gives everyone an equal opportunity to succeed each round, leveling the playing field and making it that much more difficult to ensure victory.

Winning the Game

Throughout Dominion, each player is trying to amass the greatest number of Victory Points while preventing their competitors from doing the same.  The game will only end when either all of the Province cards have been drawn or when one of the three Supply stacks is empty.   You have to collect Victory cards to succeed, but the more Victory cards you collect, the less room you have in your deck for useful cards that can help you fight the competition.  Success requires you to skillfully balance collecting Victory cards while leaving yourself enough room to maneuver the purchase of powerful Province cards.

Dominion Expansions

Dominion was released in 2008, and since then there have been several standalone expansions as well as some that you can integrate with the original game.  The Intrigue expansion allows you to use powerful Hybrid cards that earn you Victory Points in addition to giving you useful abilities.   Dominion: Seaside adds in Duration cards, which create effects that last far beyond their initial appearance and can throw a game-changing wrench in the works.  No matter which expansion you choose, you can open up the world of Dominion and turn a simple deck-building game into a complex menagerie of cards.

Rule Your Kingdom with Dominion

Dominion serves 2-4 players, which makes it a great card game for small groups of friends.  Because it’s suitable for ages 13 and up, families with teenage kids can enjoy the world of Dominion, although it may be too advanced for younger kids.  Playing time is only 30 minutes, so it doesn’t have the same time commitment as other fantasy games such as Catan or Dungeons & Dragons. Dominion is a simple and fun deck-building game with a delightfully narcissistic premise and intriguing gameplay.  The continued element of luck requires you to be flexible throughout the game in order to win the most Victory Points.  Although Dominion was not inspired by Magic: The Gathering, anyone who loves that game will surely find a home with this game that inspired a whole slew of future deck-building games.  Claim your throne and expand your kingdom with Dominion—it’s your destiny!

How to Play Dominion

Go Where No Man Has Gone Before with Terraforming Mars

Popular board games like Risk and Pandemic deal with the incredibly high stakes of worldwide catastrophe and war.  Terraforming Mars, however, leaves Earth behind completely in an effort to build a sustainable life on our closest neighboring planet.  In the 25th century, giant corporations seek to initiate projects to make Mars hospitable.  As players of the game, you’ll have to work together to achieve these goals while also earning points for your own commendable work.

Playing Cards

Terraforming Mars comes with over 200 different project cards that you can buy and use during each round.  These cards represent different projects that aid in your overall goal of terraforming Mars, including small things like introducing plant life or giant tasks such as mining the moons of planet Jupiter.  Some cards will also give you immediate bonuses or help boost your resource production.

While buying the cards comes with a small cost, the cost of putting them into play depends on the size of the project.  You’ll have to build up enough income to afford some of the costlier projects if you want to beat your fellow competitors and win the most victory points.

Terraforming Rating

Your Terraforming Rating is a special indicator that determines your victory point score, your income, and the amount of resources you produce.  Every time you perform an action that furthers the completion of one of the three main terraforming conditions, you’ll boost your Terraforming Rating and become that much more powerful.

Successfully Terraforming Mars

In each round, players go through three phases.  The first phase is the research phase, where each player is given the opportunity to buy randomly drawn cards.  Then, during the action phase, players can perform 1-2 actions such as playing a card, using the action of a card in play, or small tasks like converting heat into a temperature raise that slowly help to terraform Mars. 

While each player’s goal is to obtain victory points through buying cards and completing projects, the ultimate goal of Terraforming Mars is to complete the three terraforming conditions that make Mars habitable.  Once the oxygen level and temperature have both been raised to sufficient levels and enough of Mars has been covered by ocean, then the game ends.  Players will then count all of their points based on their Terraforming Rating and achievements, and the player with the highest score wins.

Terraforming Mars Expansions

Terraforming Mars comes with five unique expansions that add cool elements to the game such as the planet Venus or a Martian government.  With the Hellas and Elysium expansion, you’ll play with a new double-sided board that can make gameplay last for hours of fun.  The Venus Next expansion transports the game from Mars to Venus, as mankind’s colonization of the planets knows no bounds.

The Colonies expansion adds different areas around the solar system that players can use to produce resources without needing to play cards.  The Turmoil expansion adds the intriguing element of a Martian government that players can manipulate to achieve their own ends and earn elusive bonuses.  Several more expansions are currently in the works as Terraforming Mars continues to be a popular game for all kinds of players.

Terraforming Mars Is Out Of This World

Terraforming Mars can be played by anywhere from 1-5 players.  The fact that the game is so versatile means that you can enjoy it just as easily playing it on your own as you can with your entire family or friend group.  While there are many interesting elements and complex strategies involved with Terraforming Mars, it’s not too difficult to comprehend, and should be suitable for ages 12 and up. 

Terraforming Mars is a bit of an endeavor, as playing time usually lasts around 2 hours.  If you add one of the optional expansions to the mix, you may be looking at an entire night spent building cities and hurling asteroids.  Still, Terraforming Mars is certainly interesting enough that you won’t become tired of it before the game is over.  With a creative premise and endless potential for strategy, Terraforming Mars is one of the top strategy board games on the market.

 

How to Play Terraforming Mars

Wealth and Prestige Reign Supreme in Splendor

Nobles and merchants abound in Splendor, a chip-collecting card game that requires you to earn wealth and prestige in order to be crowned the victor.  If you’ve ever had a longing for the days of nobility and art, you’ll love the Renaissance theme that brings back memories of a time filled with wealth and luxury.  Splendor is an intriguing wealth-building game that’s simple to learn but full of complex strategy and opportunity.

Tokens, Cards, and Tiles

The goal of Splendor is to buy as many gems and build as many shops as possible to earn prestige points and win the game.  Gems are represented by different poker-style chips called gem tokens, which come in seven colors from shining emerald to captivating onyx.  The combination of cards and chips may make Splendor seem like a game of poker, but there’s a lot more to this imaginative game.

Players will purchase and reserve 90 development cards, which each have their own price tag of a certain number of gems.  These development cards can be purchased to earn prestige points alongside certain special bonuses that may invite a visit from a Noble.  The game comes with 10 noble tiles that get triggered once a player reaches a certain amount of bonuses, gracing them with their presence (and extra prestige points, of course).

Buying and Reserving

Each turn, players are given one of three choices: they can collect gems, buy and build a card, or reserve a card for later.  When collecting gems, players can choose three different kinds or two of the same kind of gem depending on their needs and their long-term strategy.  If players buy and build a card, they have to pay its price in gems before they can add it to their playing area.

Reserving a card for later is one of the sneakiest elements of the game, as this move can either be used to ensure that you get a certain card or be used to prevent another player from getting it.  It pays to be devious, however, as reserving a card also earns you a golden joker chip, which you can use in place of any type of gem.

Prestige Points

Whether you choose to collect gems, buy cards, or reserve cards, you’ll have to come up with your own unique strategy for collecting the most prestige points and winning the game.  The winner of Splendor is whichever player manages to collect 15 prestige points first—if there’s a tie, then the winning spot goes to the person who purchased the fewest development cards.  This can upset your winning strategy at the last second, so it pays to keep in mind alternative routes to earning prestige points.

Splendor Spinoffs and Expansions

Splendor was first published in 2014, with an expansion titled Cities of Splendor released three years later.  This expansion is really four separate expansions that can each revolutionize gameplay in their very own way.  The Cities will replace the noble tiles with city tiles, forcing you to fulfill certain objectives in order to win the game.  The Orient is a particularly fun expansion that adds three decks of cards, giving you special powers that you can tap into to dominate the competition.

Splendor also came out with a Marvel spinoff version that brings together your favorite super heroes in a quest to stop the evil Thanos.  Players will gain Infinity Points instead of prestige points, and they’ll also enjoy a different endgame trigger and victory conditions.  The Splendor spinoff is any Marvel fan’s dream come true!

Splendor: A Renaissance Card Game

Splendor can be played by 2-4 players ages 10 and up, so it’s best suited for small families or groups of friends.  Playing time lasts about 30 minutes, which is enough to allow players to enjoy a quick game or two in a night.  

Splendor is definitely a family-friendly game that’s simple enough for the kids to enjoy, but it also allows for more advanced players to experiment with riskier strategies.  Splendor will have you brimming with anticipation as you pick your cards and amass your wealth.  Who knows, you may even attract the attention of the nobility!

 

How to Play Splendor

Break Out the Pen And Race Against the Clock With Telestrations

Nothing livens up a party like Telestrations, a drawing-based game that will have you scratching your head and asking, “Is that supposed to be a cat or a pony?”  While charades has been a time-honored classic for parties, Telestrations gives it a run for its money by adding a unique premise and a more complex method of gameplay.  Telestrations’ simplistic set up and gigantic supply of secret words to draw from will keep you playing this game for years to come.

Sketching The Secret Word

The game begins with each player being given his or her own drawing book, marker, and a card with a list of secret words.  A player then rolls a die to determine which of the six secret words each person has to sketch, and players have 90 seconds to draw that sketch to the best of their ability.  You’ll have plenty of opportunity to sketch, however, as the books get passed back and forth from one player to the next during each of the three rounds.  

Getting Creative

While you may think that the best artist in the group is going to have the upper hand, this isn’t always the case with Telestrations.  One of the most fun elements of the game is the way it allows for endless creativity, forcing players to come up with creative and unique ways of depicting their secret word.  You may not be a Picasso, but that doesn’t prohibit you from coming up with some pretty funky drawings.  You may also end up winning points simply by appealing to sense of humor of the player making the guess, so know your audience!

Guessing Game

Telestrations puts a fun and unique twist on this guessing game that makes it much more interesting than charades.  Instead of each person having to guess what one player has drawn, each player will pass his or her book to the left for the next player to guess.  Once each player has finished writing down their guess, players pass the book again to the next person, who will then draw the word that the previous player guessed.  This back and forth of guessing and drawing continues until each player ends up with their original book.

Awarding Points

The person who wins the game isn’t always the person who was able to draw the best.  At the end of each round, each player is given three points to award.  The first point goes to whichever player drew their favorite sketch.  Whether it’s the funniest sketch, the best-drawn sketch, or even the worst-drawn sketch, each player gets to choose their favorite according to their own rules.

The second point goes to whichever player made their favorite guess.  This can just as easily go to your savvy sister who guessed correctly as it can to your clueless aunt who was way off base.  The last point is awarded to each player if and only if the final guess corresponds to his or her secret word.  The final winner is whoever managed to win the most points throughout the three rounds.  With the potential for endless creativity and comedy, you’ll be sure to enjoy Telestrations regardless of who wins.

Sketch Against The Clock With Telestrations

Telestrations is suitable for ages 12 and up, although you can definitely accommodate younger kids by using simpler secret words to guess from.  Telestrations can be played by 4-8 players, which is great for parties or large families.  Because game time only lasts around 30 minutes, it isn’t too big of a commitment.  The flexibility of how many rounds you play allows you to stretch or shrink Telestrations to whatever length you prefer, making it a versatile game that can fit any kind of party.

The biggest thing that makes Telestrations stand out is the fact that it gives you erasable sketchbooks and markers to draw from and unique secret words to choose from.  This makes the experience neater than charades while also retaining the guessing game aspect that makes charades such a widespread favorite.  Give it your best guess, bring out your inner artist, and have a roaring good time with Telestrations!

It’s Queen Bee vs. Queen Bee in the Game Of Hive

Chess is a time-honored classic that pits two players against each other as they strategically move pieces around a game board in order to capture the other side’s King.  The game of Hive turns chess on its head, getting rid of the game board and replacing the pawns and rooks with spiders and beetles.  Hive lets your build the game board yourself as you deftly place these hexagonally shaped bugs in an attempt to capture the powerful Queen Bee of your rival hive. 

Insects of the Hive

There are 22 total pieces in the game, so each player gets 11 pieces for their hive.  Each of the pieces contains a colorful insect carved onto a shiny black or white hexagonal tile. Unlike a traditional beehive, both hives in this game are populated with additional insects that defend the Queen Bee and attempt to trap the other player’s Queen Bee.  Each player gets one yellow Queen Bee piece, which can only move one space at a time.

Players also get two brown Spiders pieces and two purple Beetles pieces.  While Beetles can only move one space at a time, they can climb over other pieces and prevent them from moving.  The Spider, on the other hand, can move three spaces around the outside of the layout, which tends to be more useful early on in gameplay rather than later.

The three green Grasshopper pieces can jump over pieces in a straight line, while the three blue soldier ants can move as many pieces as it likes around the edge of the hive.  Each insect must be deployed to either protect the Queen Bee or surround the other player’s Queen Bee.

Capturing the Queen

Players take turns setting down their pieces and forming patterns, allowing them to play their pieces however they see fit.  The Queen Bee piece must be played within the first four turns of the game, which gives each player a limited amount of time to develop their opening strategy.  Every turn after that forces you to decide between putting another piece on the game board or moving one of your current pieces.

The publisher recommends a couple of opening strategies, although potential strategies are limitless.  One recommended strategy is to place a Spider, Bee, and Ant in a V formation, allowing the Ant to protect the Bee while the Bee is free to roam.  Another strategy is to form a V with two Spiders and a Bee, giving you the freedom to move quickly to block your opponent.  Once a Queen Bee has been surrounded on 6 sides by the other player’s pieces, the game is over.

Hive Expansions

Several expansions to Hive have been released that add new pieces with their own unique moves.  The Mosquito piece can be used as a wild card, taking on the movement of whichever piece it currently touches.  The Ladybug expansion released in 2010 and Pillbug expansion in 2013 create additional offensive and defensive opportunities that can allow you to pick up other bugs or rescue your ailing Queen Bee.    Because the original gameplay of Hive is only 20 minutes, these expansions can extend playtime and make Hive last almost as long as a chess game.

Build the Hive and Capture the Queen

If you’re looking for something a little more kid-friendly than chess, Hive is the perfect option.  It’s just simple enough that kids can enjoy it while still allowing for adults to enjoy a more complex game.  The beautiful wooden hexagonal tiles are also one of the biggest standout elements of the game, creating a visually stunning board as the game goes along.

Similarly to chess, Hive is designed for only two players.  While this is not the game for family game nights or group hangouts, it’s an excellent game for couples or lighthearted tournaments.  Hive is suitable for ages 9 and up, so two kids squaring off can have just as much fun as a parent and child can.  The more you play Hive, the more you’ll begin to uncover the numerous strategies and methods you can employ to win the game and avoid the dreaded stalemate.

 

How to Play Hive

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

Exploding Kittens: No Cats Were Injured in the Playing of This Game

When looking for a fun new game to play with friends and family, you might be looking for something with higher stakes than UNO and a little more entertaining than charades.  What could come with higher stakes than a board game literally inspired by Russian Roulette?  Exploding kittens comes with the same nerve-racking concept of Russian Roulette without the risk.  Cat-lovers and thrill-seekers alike will enjoy the wild intensity of Exploding Kittens.

Avoiding The Exploding Kitten

Exploding kittens is a card game that involves people taking turns drawing cards from a deck.  Card by card, each player draws until BOOM—one player draws an exploding kitten and loses the game.  The game only gets more and more intense as the deck continues to shrink, leaving everyone to wonder who will be next to explode.

Once you explode, you’re out of the game.  However, there are a few tricks you can use to stop the kitten from exploding and leave you to fight another day.  Defuse cards can be used to keep the kitten from exploding, with hilarious distractions such as kitten yoga, catnip sandwiches, or laser pointers (every cat’s favorite nemesis).

Sabotage Your Competitors

Sabotage is another unique feature of the game, as you can play certain cards that will allow you to attack one of the other players, sneak a peek at the deck, or even skip your turn entirely.  Some cards will even allow you to secretly move an exploding kitten to somewhere else in the deck, giving you the opportunity to strategically remove another player from the board the next time they draw.

The Nope card is a particularly nefarious move you can make that will allow you to stop another player in their tracks.  If another player uses a special move card to peek at the deck or skip their turn, you can play your Nope card at any time to keep them from using that card.  While this may not be a very subtle way of sabotaging your foes, it’s sure to stir the pot and add some spice to the game (while making enemies along the way!)

Cat Cards

While the kittens in Exploding Kittens can be deadly, the cats will be your friends.  Cat cards give you special powers you can use to get ahead.  Collect two of the same cards (Tacocat and Hairy Potato Cat are some of the best) to steal a random card from another player.  Collect three of a kind, and you can choose a specific card to steal.  These cats are more than just cute—they may end up being the key to winning the game!

Exploding Kittens Expansions

If the original edition is too tame for you, the NSFW edition of Exploding Kittens is sure to spice things up.  Both editions support 2-5 players, although the original is suitable for ages 7 and up while the NSFW edition is better suited for adults.  There are also several expansions including the Barking Kittens and Imploding Kittens expansions that can extend gameplay and add fun new rules that mix things up.  

Because the original edition features a game time of around 15 minutes, consider adding one or more of these expansions for a longer game.  Combining multiple editions also allows you to include up to 10 players, making Exploding Kittens a perfect game for parties with bigger groups of people.

Play The Game But Don’t Blow Up!

Exploding Kittens is a wicked good time that capitalizes on humor appropriate enough for all ages.  Adults and kids will both have a roaring good time avoiding the exploding kittens and collecting the special Rainbow-Ralphing Cat cards.  Exploding Kittens is a creative and imaginative game that shows that there’s plenty of humor anyone can enjoy.

Gameplay isn’t that long at 15 minutes, so Exploding Kittens is more of an appetizer of a game rather than a main event.  However, it’s funny and complex enough that you’ll want to pull it out anytime you have friends over to the house.  Pick a card and choose your cats wisely, because Exploding Kittens will quickly become one of your favorite new card games!

Party Like a Hero with Red Dragon Inn

Sure, everybody knows the story of the heroic adventurers who save the day, slay the evil monsters, and collect their share of the treasure.  But what happens to them after they’ve finished their righteous conquest?  A night of drinking, gambling, and roughhousing of course.  Red Dragon Inn is a comical game with rapscallion characters engaged in a debauched good time.  

Choose Your Adventurer

In Red Dragon Inn, players get to choose between four different heroic adventurers who’ve just come back from a fresh conquest.  Each character comes with their own special deck of cards that provides them with unique abilities during the game.  The first is Deirdre the Priestess, an elf under the protection of a goddess that can get her out of scrapes and help her heal.  

Fiona the Volatile, on the other hand, is a tough female warrior who can cheer on her fellow players to drink more heavily while turning her own drinks into greater strength.  Gerki the Sneak comes with plenty of cheat cards that make him an excellent gambler (as well as a few poisons hidden up his sleeves).  The last is Zot the Wizard, whose half-demonic pet rabbit Pookey aids him in his quest to drain the other players of their gold.

Gambling, Drinking, and Roughhousing

Every player gets their own board where they can store their decks, discards, and drink cards.  Players start out with ten gold coins and seven cards that they can use to gamble, drink, and gain the upper hand against the other players.  Each turn gives you several options: you can discard however many cards you like and redraw, you can play an action card, or you can buy a drink for someone else.

Buying a drink for someone else will add another drink card to their stack, but it also forces you to take a drink yourself by drawing a card from your own stack.  While this may end up raising your alcohol content and getting you one step closer to passing out, you may end up gaining fortitude from the drink.  You can only play one action card per term, and these cards will usually force the other players to either take damage or drink more.  

Hold Onto Your Coins—and Your Sobriety

Some action cards will trigger a round of gambling, which invites each of the players to bet their gold and play their gambling cards.  Some characters are better at gambling than others, so your character’s profile will play heavily into your strategy of whether or not to favor gambling or drinking.

If a player’s alcohol content gets too high, they’ll pass out and lose the game.  However, running out of gold coins from gambling too much will also kick you out of the game.  The winner is whoever manages to be the last person to hold onto their coins and stay conscious.

Red Dragon Inn Sequels

Red Dragon Inn has spawned a handful of standalone sequel games that can also be integrated with the original game.  Red Dragon Inn 2 adds characters such as Dimli the Dwarf, a gold-hoarder who can handle his liquor like nobody’s business.  It also adds Fleck the Bard, a music loving half-elf who steals the hearts of all the girls.

Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains puts a unique twist on the premise of the game by taking on the villain’s perspective.  With this dark and twisted sequel, you can engage in Boss Battle mode that pits all the players against one evil villain.  No matter which Red Dragon Inn sequel you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy fun new characters that can make the original game even more expansive.

Enjoy the Spoils of the Hunt with Red Dragon Inn

Red Dragon Inn is suitable for ages 13 and up, mostly due to its slightly adult themes.  It can serve 2-4 players, but adding expansion can allow for larger groups and parties of up to 8.  Playing time lasts around 45 minutes, which should make for a decent round of debauched fun.  With Red Dragon Inn, you’ll be sure to enjoy its lighthearted nature and clever spin on the classic “hero”.

 

How to Play The Red Dragon Inn

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!

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