Teamwork Is The Name Of The Game In Castle Panic

So you’ve put countless hours into building a castle, fortifying the walls, and creating an impenetrable stronghold. Well, guess what? It’s time to put those defenses to the test! In the game Castle Panic, you and your friends will have to draw cards, plan strategies, and roll the dice to defeat the evil hordes and keep your castle standing. Can you work together to defend the castle, or will infighting and self-preservation lead to a victory for the monsters?

Slay The Monsters, Protect The Castle

Castle Panic sets your beautiful medieval castle in the midst of a vast forest full of nefarious and bloodthirsty monsters. While you and your fellow players have been working on building your castle and training your soldiers, these monsters have formed their own gathering of dark forces to destroy your creation and wreak havoc upon you.

Castle Panic allows each player to work together to fight the monsters attacking the castle. The game is set up in a circle divided into rings, with the three innermost rings making up your defenses while the outer ring represents the forest from which the monsters attack. Each player spends their turn fighting off the monsters and repairing any damage done to the castle walls. When all of the towers are destroyed, it’s game over for everyone!

One thing that makesCastle Panic so unique is that everyone has to cooperate in order to defend the castle. Players draw cards each round to use for attacking monsters, and players are allowed to trade with each other to get the card they need to slay the monster. Because each card can only attack a monster in a specific color area, trading cards is an integral part of ensuring the group survives.

Nabbing The Title Of Master Slayer

While Castle Panic is a cooperative game, there is only one person who will walk away with the title of Master Slayer. Whoever earns the most victory points is declared the Master Slayer at the end of the game, so this can add a fun and mischievous incentive to allow your fellow players to perish instead of coming to their aid. Sure, you could trade cards and help your fellow defend his tower, but sacrifices have to be made if you want to rise above the crowd!

Castle Panic is a board game that uses a pretty simple layout and set of cards that can easily be mastered by younger players. The expansion packs add a bit more complexity including new bosses and game modes that make the original game more challenging for advanced players. Castle Panic: The Wizard’s Tower adds a new wizard’s tower in addition to a separate deck of cards that you can use to cast spells to both attack and defend.

The Dark Titan expansion adds a terrifying new boss monster named Agranok, as well as several new monsters and weapons to increase the carnage. The Engines of War expansion further increases the stakes by adding enemy encampments and siege engines to the mix, as well as lethal catapults you can use to rain destruction down upon your enemies.

All For One, One For All

Castle Panic is suitable for ages 10 and up, so it’s the perfect game to introduce younger kids to fantasy games without forcing them to sit through complicated rules. It’s also suitable for 1-6 players, so you can enjoy the game just as much on your own as you can with the entire family. Playing time lasts around one hour, which will give you plenty of time to develop strategy and explore the world of Castle Panic without losing interest.

Castle Panic is really accessible to non-gamers, and the ability to come up with your own strategy for fighting the monsters allows more advanced players to enjoy it as well. It’s more of an introductory game than it is the kind of game you’ll return to year after year, although the colorful cards and creative monsters will surely entertain. All in all, Castle Panic is an excellent game for families looking to foster cooperation and explore the magical world of fantasy.

Betrayal At House On The Hill: A Haunted House Game With A Twist

Horror-fans will be delighted by Betrayal at House on the Hill, a board game that takes the traditional haunted house story and adds a traitorous twist.  Allies explore the various rooms of a spooky haunted house, collecting items and hoping to avoid triggering the inevitable haunting phase.  Whether you’re a fan of ghosts, cannibals, or the undead, you’ll have a scary good time with Betrayal.

Exploration Phase

Players will choose one of six characters that each have four attributes that determine how close they are to death.  Might, Speed, Knowledge, and Sanity and the four attributes that will rise and fall in value throughout the game.  Betrayal begins with each player choosing a character and setting their attribute meters to their preset levels for their character.  Then, turn by turn, the players will move through the three floors of the haunted house as they begin to explore this spooky place.

Players will build the house by drawing room tiles that expand the layout of the home.  They can also trigger certain events that will either cause damage or provide benefits by drawing Event cards.  Omen cards are similar to Event cards in that you have to roll the dice to win an item, but these cards come with a greater cost—if you roll too low, you trigger the “Haunt” phase and allow horrific creatures to descend.

Haunting Phase

The haunting phase of the game is where the real fun lies, as you can trigger a different Haunt based on which Omen you pick.  You may find yourselves battling vicious cannibals, mythical dragons, or even undead zombies or vampires depending on what the fates decide.  Each Haunt comes with its own unique victory goal for the players, and it also triggers the inevitable betrayal of the traitor.

Attacking The Traitor

Once the Haunt has been triggered, one player is designated the traitor who betrays the rest of the characters.  The traitor leaves the room as all of the players read through their specific rules and Haunt goals from their own individual books.  The betrayed players can use this time to come up with a specific plan to deal with the traitor, and the traitor may even plot to bring others over to their side to aid in their nefarious schemes.

Once gameplay resumes, players can now attack the traitor or the demonic creatures under his command.  Players will die when their character meters drop to their lowest levels, and the game ends when the traitor or the players achieve their victory goal.  Because Betrayal comes with 50 different Haunt options, this game offers endless possibilities for some good horrific fun.

Expansions Of Betrayal

Betrayal at House on the Hill already comes with a ton of cool options and dynamic elements that help keep it fresh time after time.  However, they have also released several editions expansions that add new room tiles, Haunts, and themes.  Widow’s Walk is the first expansion released in 2016 that adds 50 new haunts and allows you to explore the roof in addition to the other three floors of the house.

Later editions of Betrayal include Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, which puts a Dungeons & Dragons spin on the game.  They’ve even announced plans to release Betrayal at Mystery Mansion, a Scooby-Doo themed version that adds the Mystery Machine gang to the mix.

Watch Your Back With Betrayal

Betrayal is playable by 3-6 players, so it’s a perfect game for families or groups of most sizes.  It’s also suitable for ages 12 and up, so you don’t have to worry about the spookier elements of the game being too off-putting to younger players.  Playing time lasts around an hour, which is a decent amount of time to delve into the world of Betrayal without getting bored of the premise.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of the most interesting thematic board games to come out in the last few decades.  Its captivating creatures and wicked premise can stimulate the imagination and keep things fresh and exciting.  Dive into the supernatural but be careful who you trust with this adventurous board game.

You know you want this game… Go on, add it to your cart.

 

Here is How to Play Betrayal on the House on the Hill

Codenames: A New Take On Spy Vs. Spy

Did you grow up watching Mission Impossible and wishing you could experience the thrill of being a spy?  If so, Codenames will give you the chance to put on your spy cap and take on the role of secret agent.  Sifting through the clues and choosing wisely is your imperative if you wish to identify all of your agents and avoid the deadly assassin.  This 2015 board game is fun for all players, because whether you win or you lose, everyone can enjoy deciphering the clues.

Spymaster

The goal of Codenames is to figure out which codenames in a certain set correspond with the hint you’re given.  Players will split into two teams of red vs. blue, and each team will select one member to be its spymaster.  The spymaster is an incredibly fun role, as you get to dole out hints to the members of your team in order to help them figure out the clues.

The hints that you give as spymaster consist of one word and one number.  These hints will be related to the cards belonging to your agents, but be careful—if your team selects the wrong card, you may end up helping the other team.  The fun part of the game is that you are allowed to choose whatever you want the hint word to be, which allows a skilled spymaster to come up with creative and guessable hints.

Field Operatives

The other roles can be just as fun, however, as anyone not designated the spymaster is automatically a field operative.  Field operatives get the fun task of having to guess which card belongs to their agent based on their spymaster’s hint.  Alongside your teams’ agent cards are agent cards for the opposing team, as well as innocent bystander cards.  If you slip up and end up selecting an innocent bystander, your turn is up!

The Assassin

While guessing the wrong card may end up helping the other team or involving innocent bystanders, there’s one card that means lights out.  The assassin hides among the crowd, looking to everyone like just your average guy.  But if you make a mistake and end up selecting the assassin card, it’s game over for your team!  The stakes are always high while the assassin is afoot.

Winning The Game

The winner of the game is whichever team is the first to correctly select all of the agent cards belonging to their team.  With 25 agent cards and two teams, gameplay is relatively fast at around 15 minutes.  Codenames is a simple enough party game that can easily fit in between rounds of conversation.  It also fits 2-8 players, so it’s something that a big group can play with no problem.

Codenames is suitable for ages 14 and up, so it’s probably a better fit for parties than it is for families with young children.  However, even bystanders can enjoy the fun of watching the adults and teenagers deciphering clues.

Codenames Spinoffs

Codenames has released several later editions that you can either play by themselves or integrate with the original game.  With Codenames: Disney Family Edition, you’ll guess Disney characters instead of secret agents.  This version is suitable for ages 8 and up, so it is perfect if you want to play Codenames with younger kids.  If you’re looking for something more adult, however, Codenames: Deep Undercover includes loads of adult references and double entendres not suitable for the kids.

They’ve also released Codenames: Marvel for anyone who loves the fantastical characters of the extended Marvel universe.  And if you’re a fan of the long-lasting cartoon The Simpsons, there’s even a version of Codenames that features characters and references from your favorite series.

Choose Wisely With Codenames

Codenames depends heavily on the skill of the players, but it is definitely an enjoyable card game that you can play from time to time without losing its luster.  If charades is growing stale and you’re looking for something with a little more structure, Codenames will give you the same level of puzzle solving with an added layer of excitement.  Bust out your gadgets and tap into your inner James Bond with Codenames!

How to Play Codenames

Pandemic: The Perfect Board Game For 2020

With the current COVID-19 pandemic on everyone’s minds, what better time is there to step into the shoes of our front line heroes and battle your very own fictional pandemic?  The board game Pandemic has been a favorite of countless players since it was first released in 2008.  A delightful mix of strategy, cunning, and luck, Pandemic offers countless hours of fun for both families and friend groups.

The World Of Pandemic

In the world of Pandemic, you’re not just dealing with one crisis.  Multiple virulent diseases are breaking out at the same time all across the globe, causing a worldwide pandemic that’s up to your little group to solve.  You and the other players are specialists from the CDC who are tasked with treating hotspots of disease while at the same time racing to find a cure for these four viruses.

Pandemic uses a game board that portrays 48 major population centers on the globe.  Players begin the game at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, with each person being assigned a random role and several Player cards.  Each turn you take you get to choose up to four actions, some of which will require cards that you pull from the deck.  

Depending on the card you select, you can build a research station, discover a cure for one of the viruses, travel from one city to another, or treat the infected.  Be careful, however, as the deck also contains special “Epidemic!” cards that will only worsen the spread of the diseases. 

Roles In Pandemic

One of the most fun aspects of the game is the different role that each player gets assigned at the beginning of the game.  This is where luck meets strategy, as your strategy depends on the strength of your specialist.  Roles such as the Containment Specialist or Operations Expert contain powerful abilities to treat infection, while the Contingency Planner and Pilot are much weaker roles.

Whether you succeed in treating the infections and averting a worldwide meltdown depends on how well you play the role you’re given.  This is part of what makes Pandemic such an excellent game for repeat playing, as you may find yourself handicapped with a weaker role that makes gameplay much more challenging.

Unlike most board games, Pandemic requires players to work together in order for everyone to win.  Your biggest competitor is the disease itself, rather than the person sitting across from you.  Work together to keep the diseases from spreading too far by sharing cards and preventing Outbreaks.  This isn’t the kind of game where you shut people out and clinch the victory for yourself.

Pandemic Expansions And Spinoffs

Pandemic comes with several expansions that expand gameplay to include new threats and additional roles.  The first official expansion “On the Brink” was released in 2009, which came with additional roles and Special Event cards.  Since then, there have been two more expansions that allow you to do things like research cures in a laboratory.  One even adds a fifth disease, an incurable Superbug that makes the game much more difficult.

Spinoffs of Pandemic add new features such as dice to the game, which introduces an additional element of chance.  One unique spinoff called Pandemic: Contagion flips the script entirely, putting players in the role of the diseases and forcing you to work towards the eradication of the entire human race!  And if you’re into mythical monsters and H.P. Lovecraft, you’ll love Pandemic: Reign Of Cthulu, which pits you against occultists who are trying to summon the legendary monster.

Save The World From Pandemic

Pandemic is a perfect game for families, as it accommodates 2-4 players from ages 8 and up.  It’s not too difficult to get the hang of, but it’s also challenging enough that you won’t get bored of it after a few plays.  The additional expansion packs are a creative way to extend gameplay and get a few additional years out of this classic.  But above all, Pandemic stands apart from other games because of its focus on cooperation.  If you can get kids to work together to rid the world of disease, there’s nothing you can’t do!

 

How to Play Pandemic

Tap Into Your Inner Spy With Codenames

Who doesn’t want to be a secret agent? We all love a good undercover spy, and Codenames gives everyone at the party the chance to be their own James Bond for the night. Contact your agents and make sure to avoid the assassin with this fun board game that’s perfect for parties.

Rules of The Game

Codenames is a game for 2-8 players age 14+. Gameplay lasts around 15 minutes, so it’s a great choice for a quick bit of fun to spice up the night. In Codenames, two teams compete to be the first to make contact with all their agents. One spymaster for each team knows the secret identities of 25 agents, while the other team members only know their codenames.

The 25 codename cards are laid out in a 5 x 5 rectangular grid. Some cards are red agents, some are blue, and some are just innocent bystanders. The one card everyone wants to avoid is the assassin, which will immediately end the game once identified. The teammates try to guess their team’s words while avoiding the other team’s words. The first team to find all of their agents wins the game!

Codenames is a game for anyone who loves deciphering clues. There are multiple sequels available that contain extra cards with different themes such as Harry Potter or The Simpsons. If you’re looking for a fun board game that both teenagers and adults alike can enjoy, you’ll love Codenames.

Sound like something that is up your alley? You know you want to buy it.

Save The World And Spread The Fun With Pandemic

If worldwide apocalypse is your idea of a fun game night, you’ll love Pandemic. In this board game, several contagious diseases have broken out all over the world and it’s your job to find a cure. This game is full of strategy, luck and a race against the clock. Does your family have what it takes to save the world from plague?

Gameplay

Pandemic is a 2-4 player game for ages 8+. Playing time lasts around 45 minutes. The game board shows several major population centers, with each turn giving you a chance to choose from a deck of cards that lets you travel between cities, discover cures, and build research stations. Beware, however, as some of these cards will only accelerate the spread of disease!

Players must work together in different roles to defeat disease. Build research stations to find a cure as the Operations Expert, or cure a disease with fewer cards as the powerful Scientist. If time runs out or the disease spreads too far, that’s game over for everyone. Cure all four diseases and everyone wins! The stakes couldn’t be higher (or more fun).

Pandemic is an excellent game for families that tamps down the competitiveness and invites the spirit of cooperation. Inspire warring siblings to work together for the good of not just the family, but the entire world. Game night should be about bringing the family together, and nothing builds a team better than Pandemic.

Buy it today!

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