Evolution: Do You Have What it Takes to Survive?

One of the greatest aspects of most card games is the endless variety of strategies you can employ. With expansion packs and extra card sets, you can explore new methods of gameplay and tactics that keep the game feeling fresh every time. Evolution embraces this to the max by taking on genetic evolution, perhaps the most diverse process of all.

In this engaging and multi-faceted card game, you’ll develop your species to be tough, wily, and resourceful as you try and survive against the bloodthirsty predators. Will your strategy focus on defending against the Carnivores or will you become the hungry hunter yourself? Anything is possible in the fun and primal world of Evolution.

The Process of Evolution

Evolution is more than just a card game with a simple theme as a gimmick. This challenging and multi-layered card game is driven by the process of evolution the very same way that life on Earth is. Players have to build their species to adapt in a dynamic ecosystem with scarce food supplies and dangerous predators. In the game of Evolution, it’s adapt or die.

Each player begins the game with a basic species, establishing a set body size and population for your species. Throughout each turn, players will try to grow their species by adding new species, increasing its body size, and evolving it into something that can survive more easily. Will you evolve your species to have a Hard Shell and Horns to protect it from Carnivores or a Long Neck to help them get food that’s out of reach? 

Players will have to decide which step they’ll want to take to manage their species in order to gain enough food to survive. At the end of each round, each species must have enough food to eat for their population or their population will be reduced. The winner of the game is the player with the most food eaten and the highest total population of all their species.

Predator vs. Prey

In addition to the over 4,000 different ways you can evolve your species, Evolution offers players the ability to turn their species into predators. Predators can eat the other species, but they must have larger body sizes than their prey and they have to be able to catch them. For example, if your species is capable of climbing, then only a larger predator who can also climb can potentially eat you.

When players get dealt cards each round, one card per person is donated to the central feeding pool. After each player spends their cards, the feeding pool is revealed and players grab them one at a time to feed their species. However, predators are not allowed to feed from the feeding pool, instead of being forced to attack their opponents.

Evolution Sequels Expansions

Evolution comes with a sequel and an expansion card game that each introduces new elements into the game. Evolution: Climate is a standalone game that adds climate to the mix, giving you scorching hot and icy cold climates that can threaten your species. This will force you to take on new evolutionary traits such as Heavy Fur and Migratory that will protect you from the cold.

Evolution: Flight is an expansion that introduces species that can fly into your ecosystem. This adds a new ability to get hard-to-reach food as well as attack unsuspecting prey. If players decide to create a flying species, they must discard 2 cards instead of 1. However, they have an additional source of food from the Cliff and they can’t be attacked by predators who can’t fly.

It’s Survival of the Fittest with Evolution

Evolution is playable by 2-6 players, so it’s a great game for families or one-on-one games. It’s suitable for ages 12 and up, as the mechanics are relatively simple despite the infinite variety of strategies that the game offers. Playing time lasts around an hour, so it’s a good game to use as the centerpiece for family game night.

This card game stands out not only for its fun and fast-paced gameplay, but also for the beautiful art on the cards. Enjoy the primal fun of Evolution and buy this card game today! 

 

Can You Save The Kittens In A Blender? 

Every once in a while a board game comes along that’s so twisted and so adorable that you can’t help but take notice. Kittens In A Blender puts a diabolical twist on your favorite furry friends by putting them in danger of being turned into a fluffy smoothie! You’ll have to act fast and make some hard choices if you want to save your kittens and win the game. Kittens In A Blender is a delightfully wicked board game with dynamic gameplay and buckets of laughs.

The Blender, the Box, and the Counter

Kittens In A Blender has several places for the kitties to roam in the kitchen. The first is the deadly Blender, which is represented by the game box top with an oversized Blender card inside. This is the place you want to avoid allowing your kittens to enter, as all of the kittens that are playing in the Blender when the Blend card is played will be destroyed!

The next location is the Box, which is represented by the base of the game box with an oversized Box card inside it. This space is safe for kittens to play in. Whenever a Blend card is played, all of the kittens playing inside the Box will be saved, living to meow another day. Saved kittens earn you two points each at the end of the game, so getting your kittens inside the Box is a major goal of the board game.

The last location is the Counter, which is represented by a space in between the Blender and the Box. When a Blend card is played, all of the kittens on the Counter will be moved to the Blender. There is a way for a player to stop the Blender from destroying the kittens, however. By playing a Pulse card, a player can counter a Blend card and stop the bloodshed from occurring.

Moving the Kittens Around

In Kittens In A Blender, each player is assigned a Kitten color at the beginning of the game, which is either red, green, blue, or yellow. The deck is then shuffled, and each player is dealt six cards with which to play. Players will then take turns playing two cards each round, drawing back up to six after they play. If they choose to play a Kitten card, they’ll play it directly into either the Blender, the Counter, or the Box.

Other cards will be played face up in front of the player, giving everyone a chance to see the cards being played. The non-Kitten cards will either be the deadly Blend card or cards that will move the kittens around. Kittens on the Move will move kittens around the board wherever you choose, while Kittens in the Blender will move all of the kittens from either the Counter or the Box directly to the Blender.

There’s also a fun wild card called Dog’s in the Kitchen, which forces each player to give their hand to whichever player is indicated by the direction on the card. Once all 16 of the Blend cards have been played, players tally up points to see who wins. Saved kittens earn you two points each, while blended kittens will cost you one point each.

Kittens In a Blender Expansion

Kittens In A Blender comes with an expansion pack called More Kittens In A Blender that adds 32 unique kittens to the game. These kittens come in two different colors, allowing you to play the game with up to six players. This expansion to the board game also adds Flavors such as Vanilla Extract or Strawberries to the mix that can help you make a delicious smoothie out of your blended kittens and earn extra points. How diabolical!

Kittens In a Blender: Save the Kitties!

Kittens In A Blender is playable by 2-4 players, although the expansion allows up to six. This board game is suitable for ages 8 and up, as the mechanics are easy to follow even if the humor is a little much for young children. Playing time lasts around 20-40 minutes, so it’s a great icebreaker board game.

Save the adorable little kitties and buy Kittens In A Blender today!

 

Wingspan: It’s for the Birds

An engine builder-style board game is a type of tabletop strategy game that focuses on building a powerful player engine. Chances are you may already know this, though. That’s why you are here, right. You want to learn about one of the greatest engine builders of all time, Wingspan. However, you’re still going to get something out of this even if you don’t know what engine builders are.

Board games such as Wingspan are common examples of this gameplay style. By way of summary, the term “engine builder” refers to the construction of an engine in which one piece feeds into another with little delay or dependence on other sources. See? Simple!

Gameplay and Birds

Wingspan is a 2-4 player game about birds that was designed by Stonemaier Games, the creators of other boardgame favorites including Scythe and Euphoria… Seriously, this is quite the resume for these guys.

Wingspan is a relatively new game. Its Kickstarter campaign started on April 7th, 2017, and it met its funding goal in 22 hours. It ended 3 days later with over $1,300,000 dollars raised! Wingspan has had exceptional success as it drew in backers with its beautiful art style (a huge factor when supporting an independent designer) by artist Kwanchai Moriya (who has worked on games such as Islebound). Wingspan’s gameplay also gets high ratings for players who enjoy trying to collect sets of different species of birds. Additionally, wingspan has received astonishingly great reviews by the community for its unexpected depth and interesting but yet familiar gameplay.

Wingspan isn’t just a great game, it’s also an educational tool! Players learn more about birds while playing as they encounter species new to them. This terrific game can be used to introduce children as young as 8 years old, and players of all ages can enjoy it. Wingspan is also a great game for those who aren’t into “birding,” which according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, there are roughly 40% of Americans that don’t dabble in bird watching.

May I just take a moment to point out significantly low that number actually is? Think about it… This stat means that 60% of Americans DO dabble in bird watching. 🤯

The SImplicity of this Engine Builder

Wingspan, as stated, can be played by anyone, and is a truly family-oriented game that event the younger folk can enjoy. The game even has the ability to set different difficulty levels for different skill levels of play through the inclusion of optional card sets. Wingspan also allows players to use their powers strategically throughout the game as they try to collect sets and build them into larger chains without being blocked by other player(s). Let’s face it… Every playgroup has that one player who dedicates all of their time and effort to foiling the plans of others.

Wingspan’s potential for this level of strategy and hidden interactions is something that all board game enthusiasts enjoy. The game has also received a surprisingly large amount of praise from non-board gaming communities, such as the Reddit community, because of Wingspan’s simplistic but yet deep gameplay as well as its vast art design.

Wingspan’s artwork and card designs are spectacular, by the way. The game is simple in its rules, complex in its interactions, and deep in strategy; all characteristics of a classic, and successful, board game.

The Expansions of Wingspan

Wingspan even has its own expansion, Wingspan: Rocs and Rivals which was funded in the same manner as Wingspan. Wingspan’s Kickstarter campaign also managed to break another record (not Wingspan itself this time) by becoming one of the top five most-funded tabletop games on Kickstarter with over 7400 backers! Wingspan has been successful for many reasons, but Wingspan: Rocs and Rivals added another title to Wingspan’s list of accomplishments.

Wingspan may be an engine-builder, but it certainly isn’t anything like any other game out there. It has beautiful art, easy-to-learn rules, and an interactive play style. Wingspan is the game for every bird enthusiast and nonbird enthusiast alike.

Wingspan is a family game that will provide hours of fun for everyone! This best seller has the ability to bring people together in laughter and happiness, which we all need more of these days. Buy it today from Fantastic Games so you can start playing with your friends and family soon.

 

Machi Koro: A Mayor’s Job is Never Easy

In the card game Machi Koro, you’ve just been elected the city’s first mayor. While this is certainly a cause for celebration, you’ll find that just because it’s a small town doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy job. Your citizens want to turn your sleepy little town into a big and bustling city complete with a theme park and radio tower. You’ll have to use your die to help build Machi Koro into a city fit for your residents.

Rolling the Dice

Machi Koro is played with a set of cards, a few coins, and a pair of dice. The goal of Machi Koro is to be the first mayor to build the four landmarks of your small town. Your citizens want a Train Station, a Shopping Mall, a Radio Tower, and an Amusement Park. Sadly, all you have right now is a Wheat Field and a measly Bakery. You’ll have to collect income and roll the dice to construct your buildings and win the game.

Each building has a certain coin cost in order to be built. Players begin with $3 in coins and will have to collect income as the game goes along. You can collect income any time that either you or another player rolls the die to a number matching the activation number on your establishments. 

There are four types of establishments. Each one is activated in a different way, allowing you to collect income whenever the die rolls on a certain number. Restaurants are activated on other player’s turns. For example, if you have a Café with an activation number of 4 and another player rolls a 4, then you get to collect coins from the active player. Primary industries are activated on any turn, allowing you to collect money from the bank. 

Secondary industries are activated on your turn, as are Major Establishments. However, while the activation of Secondary industries allows you to collect money from the bank, the activation of a Major Establishment allows you to perform whatever actions are described on the card.

Constructing Buildings

In addition to the four landmarks you need to construct in order to win the game, you’ll have to construct several types of buildings. You can construct one building at the end of your turn, choosing to build either a building in your supply or an unconstructed landmark. When you construct a building, you can start earning income on it. 

When you construct a landmark, however, this activates a special ability. The Train station allows you to roll up to two dice instead of just one. The Shopping Mall earns you additional income for establishments with cup or shop icons. The Amusement Park gives you the ability to take two turns when you roll doubles, while the Radio Tower lets you roll twice whenever you choose.

Machi Koro Expansions and Sequels

Machi Koro has released a few expansions and sequels that give this dice and card game new themes and mechanics. Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion adds variety by adding three more landmarks, including City Hall, the Harbor, and the Airport. It also allows for an optional fifth player. Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row adds a new Renovation mechanic, stopping certain establishments in your supply from being activated.

Machi Koro Fussball forces you to construct a stadium to host the World Cup, making it the perfect sequel card game for soccer lovers. There’s also a fun sequel card game called Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City that turns your small little town into the hottest tourist destination around! This sequel game also accommodates up to 5 players and features an even faster pace.

Build Your City from Scratch with Machi Koro

Machi Koro is playable by 2-4 players, although some of the expansions and sequels do allow an optional fifth player. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, so younger players can easily join in on the fun of rolling the dice and collecting the cute little coin tokens. Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, which is perfect for getting a short round in on a weeknight.

Buy Machi Koro today and enjoy the simplicity of being a small-town mayor!

 

Munchkin: The Card Game for Monster-Killers and Backstabbers

Does the idea of killing monsters and stealing from your friends sound like a good time to you?  If so, you’ll love the hilarious card game Munchkin, a D&D-inspired game that takes the dungeon experience and flips it on its head.  Grab the Horny Helmet and vanquish the Plutonium Dragon to level up in this fantastic card game that will keep you laughing the entire time.

Kicking Down the Door

In Munchkin, each player begins their turn by “kicking down the door”, which involves drawing a Door Card from random.  Door Cards belong to several different categories.  The first are Curse Cards, which give you a certain negative effect.  If you have the bad luck to draw a Curse Card, you may end up having to forfeit your turn or go back a certain number of levels.  These usually come with funny little drawings such as the “Duck of Doom”, which curses you for being silly enough to pick up a duck in a dungeon (what were you thinking?)

Door Cards can also be Item, Race, or Class Cards that you get to add to your hand to be played at a future time.  These can be helpful in attacking opponents during their turns or in giving yourself a valuable boost in fighting monsters.  The last kind of Door Card is a Monster Card, which pits you against a ferocious creature in an opportunity to either level up or suffer the consequences.

Level Up but Don’t Get Killed

Munchkin begins with all players starting at level 1.  Whoever is the first to reach level 10 is declared the winner, but you’ll have to fight off some monsters if you want to level up.  Monster fights will pit your total level against the level of the monster to decide who wins the round.  The real excitement of the game comes from the fact that your fellow players can either choose to help you defeat the monster (in exchange for Treasure Cards) or add another monster to the mix to try and crush you.

If you win the fight and defeat the monster, you can draw a certain amount of Treasure Cards and level up.  If you lose, however, you’ll have to roll the dice to try and get away.  Anything less than a five will force you to deal with the “Bad Stuff” on the monster card, which can result in losing levels or Treasure Cards.  You may even die as a result of losing the battle, which doesn’t disqualify you from the game but does force you to end your turn and draw a new hand for equipment.

Munchkins Sequels and Expansions

Munchkin has spawned countless sequels that can be played on their own or added to the original game for an even wilder good time.  Munchkin Adventure Time is based on everyone’s favorite show on Cartoon Network, incorporating art and characters from the series.  Munchkin Booty sets the game on the high seas, forcing you to battle vividly drawn pirates drawn by Guest Artist Tom Siddell.  Expansions such as Munchkin Apocalypse add natural disasters, zombie takeovers, and alien invasions in addition to new mechanics for more complex gameplay.

Kill, Steal, and Stab: The Munchkin Way

Munchkin is playable by 3-6 players, so it’s definitely well suited for small to medium groups of friends who’ve grown tired of playing the traditional Dungeons and Dragons card game.  Newcomers to card games will also find plenty to love with the simple rules and amazing illustrations done by John Kovalic, which add a unique level of style and fun to the game.

Munchkin is suitable for ages 10 and up, so families can definitely get a kick out of all that it has to offer.  With a playing time of one to two hours, you can make an entire night out of a game without losing interest.  Thanks to its potential for cooperation and ruthless backstabbing, Munchkin is a game that can make or break friendships in an instant.  If you’re looking for a game with humor, strategy, and excellent artwork, Munchkin and any one of its numerous expansions will provide countless hours of fun.

 

Suburbia: Grow Your Town (and Your Reputation)

The suburbs are an idyllic slice of American life. With the charm and the simplicity of the country and the resources and connections of big cities, the suburbs truly are the best of both worlds. But as the city manager of your little suburban town, it’s your job to turn this meager little neighborhood into a sprawling metropolis!

Suburbia is a fun city-building strategy game in which players collect building tiles in an effort to build the most thriving and populated borough. One of the most dynamic features of the game is its inclusion of secret bonus objectives for each player, which change every game and ensure you’ll never play the same game twice. Suburbia is definitely one of those board games that stands up to repeat playing, as you’ll never get bored of its many twists and turns.

Building Income and Reputation

The goal of Suburbia is to plan, build, and develop your small town into a bustling metropolis. Players are given their own playing board that they’ll populate with hex-shaped building tiles. These building tiles represent different residential, commercial, civic, and industrial areas. You can buy generic buildings like factories or suburbs or buy a new building from the market with a special ability that you can take advantage of.

The more buildings you add to your board, the more income you’ll take in. This is the amount of money you receive each turn, which allows you to then buy even more buildings from the market. The longer a building is on the market, the cheaper it will be, so you may want to wait for the price to drop. Just make sure someone else doesn’t steal it out from underneath you first!

You’ll also build your reputation whenever you buy buildings, which earns you a certain number of victory points each turn. These victory points move you along the victory track and develop your community. However, you’ll encounter certain speedbumps on the victory track, which can negatively affect your stats and reduce your reputation and income.

Bonus Objectives

Suburbia has both public and secret bonus objectives that you’re trying to reach in order to earn points. Bonus objectives usually require you to have either the most or the least of a certain kind of building, which forces you to closely watch your opponents in order to see what they’re building. This makes the board game much more competitive and ensures the players are interacting a bit more.

In addition to adding building hexes to your board, you can also add lake hexes. These will earn you cash based on how close they are to other pieces on the board. Lastly, you can use investment markers to repurchase buildings you already have in order to reuse their special ability. You’ll have to navigate between buying building hexes, lake hexes, and investment markers if you want to win the game.

Suburbia Expansions

Suburbia comes with several expansions that move you out of the suburbs and into uncharted territory. Suburbia Inc allows you to define your borders in a new way, earning you additional benefits that can help you jettison ahead in the development of your metropolis. The expansion also comes with over a dozen additional buildings that you can buy as well as new Bonuses and Challenges to boost your income and reputation.

Suburbia 5 Stars turns your bustling town into a tourist destination, allowing you to build landmarks, monuments, and tourist traps in your city. These 50 new building tiles can all increase your reputation and income, while having an additional resource to manage can make the game more complex. This expansion to the original board game also allows an additional fifth player to take part in the fun.

Suburbia

Suburbia is playable by 1-4 players, which is perfect for either small families and friend groups or single-player fun. It’s suitable for ages 8 and up, so younger players can learn more about resource management and set collection with this fun board game. Playing time lasts around 90 minutes, so it’s definitely the kind of game you’ll want to make the centerpiece of any game night.

Buy Suburbia today and enjoy the power and fun of city management!

 

Cosmic Encounter:Alien Politics of Outer Space

Intergalactic warfare is as much a game of politics as it is an epic battle among the stars. In the card game Cosmic Encounter, you’ll form shifting alliances with other alien races in an attempt to spread your colonies to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and win the game. If you’re a fan of fantasy card games that offer plenty of opportunities for strategy and backstabbing, you’ll love Cosmic Encounter.

Offense vs..Defense

Cosmic Encounter assigns each player the role of leader of their very own alien race. On every turn, a different player becomes the offense and must try to establish colonies in the planetary systems of the other players. The offense will draw cards from the destiny deck, which contain either a color that aligns with certain planets in other player’s systems, a special condition for selecting another player, or a wild card that lets you choose who to attack.

Once the card is drawn, the offense will shoot through the hyperspace gate and head to the planet that matches their card. The other players are not left defenseless, however. They can engage their ships to try and keep the offense out of their system, resulting in a battle between the ships of the two opposing players.

In Cosmic Encounter, both the offense and the defense are allowed to invite any of the other players to ally with their side. Players who are given an invitation can either accept or refuse. If they accept, they can add their own ships to the cause and potentially win rewards.

Attack or Negotiate?

To successfully build a colony on another planet, you need to win one of these offensive encounters. The way these battles work is by drawing Encounter cards, which will decide whether or not the players attack, negotiate, or a mixture of the two. If both players play Attack cards, then they add the values of the cards to their ships, leaving the player with the higher score the winner.

If both players play Negotiate cards, then the allies disperse and the offense and defense must agree to a deal within one minute. This can be anything from swapping cards to allowing one of the defensive player’s colonies to be established on the offensive player’s planet. If they don’t reach an agreement, then both players lose three of their ships. 

In encounters in which the offense wins, the defense (and any allies on their side) lose all of the ships they played, while the offense and their allies get to establish colonies on the defending planet. If the defense wins, then the offense and their allies lose their ships, while the defense gets to keep their colony on their planet. Defensive allies then get to collect Defender Rewards, which are either cards, discarded ships, or both.

If one player plays an Attack card and the other plays a Negotiate card, then the attacker automatically wins while the loser receives Compensation by randomly taking cards from the other player’s hand. Once one player manages to establish five colonies outside of their own home system, they win the game!

Cosmic Encounter Later Editions

Cosmic Encounter has a few standalone sequels that flip the script of the original card game and add new mechanics and possibilities to the game. Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition adds a newly discovered alien species while also introducing Cosmic Combo cards that add customizable challenges to the game.

Cosmic Encounter Duel takes the mechanics of the 3-5 player card game and turns it into a one-on-one standoff between two players. This sequel card game adds a new alien species known as the Cheater, which can help you cheat your way ahead as long as your opponent doesn’t catch you.

Conquer the Galaxy with Cosmic Encounter

Cosmic Encounter is a 3-5 player card game that’s usually best for small groups of friends, although families can enjoy it as well. It’s suitable for ages 12 and up, so teenagers in particular will be able to enjoy the thrill of intergalactic warfare. Playing time lasts around one to two hours, which is pretty standard for most fantasy card games.

Buy Cosmic Encounter today and use your alien powers to conquer the universe!

 

Tiny Towns: A Small Den of Paradise

Modern life has become so chaotic. Have you ever wished you could get away to a sleepy little town in the woods, away from the hubbub and the chaos of the city?  In Tiny Towns, your wish becomes reality. This board game makes you the mayor of your own tiny town in the forest. Tiny Towns combines abstract strategy with city building to give you a game that’s both easy to learn and fun to play.

The creatures of the forest have decided to find their own little safe haven hidden away from predators and the woes of civilization. Because the land is so small and resources are few and far between, you’ll need to do the best with what you have to build a town that you can be proud of. Collect resources, construct buildings, and watch as your tiny town becomes its own little civilization.

Creating Buildings Out of Resources

In Tiny Towns, each player is given their own little 4×4 grid that represents their tiny town. Players will collect resource cubes to lay out on the board in order to construct buildings. At the beginning of the game, players get to choose one of two monument cards with which to begin building. Everyone will also be able to share from seven randomly drawn building cards, which are public buildings that any player can build.

The board game is played in turns, with each player beginning their turn by calling out one of five resources for all of the players to collect. If any player has collected the right kind of resources to match a pattern on one of their building cards, then they can choose to construct a building on their grid in the place of one of the resources. However, they must discard all of the used resources from their board.

Earning Victory Points

As the turns roll along and players begin to add new buildings to their grids, tiny towns do indeed begin to form. These buildings are for more than just show, however, as players will earn Victory Points for each building they create. Players will want to try to collect the right kinds of resources in order to construct buildings on their grid without filling it up with needless materials.

Once every player has filled their board with buildings and resources, then the game ends. Players will then tally their scores, adding up their Victory Points and subtracting one Victory Point for every square without a building on it. Whichever player has the most Victory Points wins the game and the title of most prosperous mayor!

Tiny Towns Expansions

Tiny Towns has released a couple of expansion board games that expand the mechanics of the original game and make it even more complex. In Tiny Towns: Fortune, the creatures of the forest who populate your little town have added a new element to the game: money. These shiny bits of metal have the power to radically alter the gameplay, giving you a new way of gaining resources from other players and building your town.

Tiny Towns: Villagers opens the world of Tiny Towns up just a little bit bigger. New and talented creatures have come to your tiny little town in order to earn a place and use their powerful skills. These engineers and merchants can transform buildings, revolutionize the influx of resources, and perform other impressive feats that make the game much more dynamic.

Tiny Towns: One Building at a Time

Tiny Towns is playable by 1-6 players, so it can just as easily fit both small and large groups of friends or family members. You can even enjoy building a tiny town all on your own! This board game is suitable for ages 14 and up, although some kids as young as 10 may be able to pick up the mechanics without difficulty. Playing time lasts around 45 minutes to an hour, so you can easily fit in a game on a weeknight or a Saturday morning.

Tiny Towns is a fun little game that celebrates the simplicity of small-town life without sacrificing any of the fun of big city living. Buy Tiny Towns today and enjoy the simple life!

 

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!

 

Red Dragon Inn: Party Like a Hero

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

Cribbage: The Classic Card Game

Cribbage is a card game that was invented almost four hundred years ago, but its classic wooden cribbage board is still spotted in countless cafés and parks across the world. Part of the charm of Cribbage comes from its quaint vocabulary describing all of the different moves you can make, such as “one for his nobs” and getting “stuck in the stink hole.” You’ll be sure to love watching the little pegs move along the board as you rack up points and get closer and closer to winning the game.

The Crib

Cribbage is played with a deck of standard playing cards as well as what’s called a cribbage board. Each player gets dealt a hand of six cards, two of which they then discard into a pile in the center of the table called a Crib. Players will then cut one card from the draw pile and turn it face up in between them. This card counts both as part of each player’s hand as well as the Crib.

Players will then go back and forth playing cards to try to make sets and sequences and earn points. Because you don’t know what the turn-up card will be until you’ve already discarded two of your cards to the Crib, you may find yourself parting with cards that you wish you’d held onto.Cribbage is very much a game of cat and mouse, as you’ll have to keep an eye on the cards you think your opponent has if you want a chance of setting a trap for them. 

Pegging Points

Players will keep score of their points by moving pegs along tracks on their cribbage board. Each round goes until both players have used their entire hand of cards. At the end of each round, players will pick up their hand and figure out each scoring combination they can use. Whichever player is designated the dealer that round also gets to use the cards in the Crib to help them earn additional points.

The winner of Cribbage is whichever player is the first to win 121 points. This can influence your decisions each round as to how long you decide to let the round go on for. For example, if you can tell the other player is racking up some serious points, you may want to play the hand tight in order to keep both of your overall scores low.

The cribbage board is one of the most unique elements of the game, as it adds a fun aesthetic component to it. Sure, you could just as easily score the game with a pencil and a sheet of paper, but a cribbage board imbues the card game with a sense of beauty. Moving the little pegs along the board is incredibly satisfying as you see yourself visually take the lead from your opponent.

Cribbage Spinoffs

There are a couple of spinoffs and expansions of Cribbage that make the card game even more complex. Wild: Cribbage Expansion adds a deck of 31 playing cards to the original game that you set beside the crib board. Whenever a player counts a multiple of five, they then get to draw a wild card and follow its instructions. This can lead you to do things re-cut the deck or land you in the stink hole.

Mastermind Ultimate Cribbage is a card game that adds six new types of cards to the original card deck. The rules are similar to the original card game, but the six special cards add new rules that can help or hinder you. For example, the Super Wild is a wild card that can be played as one face value during pegging and used as a different face value during counting.

Peg Your Points and Don’t Forget the Crib With Cribbage

Cribbage is playable by 2-4 players, although it’s typically best suited as a 2-person game. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, as its mechanics are not too complicated for younger players to learn. Playing time lasts around 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect game to play for fun at a coffee shop or in the park.

Dive into the fun of this classic card game and buy Cribbage today!

Root: The Fate of The Forest Lies In Your Hands

War board games often take place over sprawling maps of the Earth, forcing you to deploy troops and battleships in the reenactment of historic wars. Root combines your classic war board game with elements of fantasy, replacing the battlefield with a beautiful woodland forest beset by warring factions. Players will draw cards, maneuver their furry little woodland creature tokens, and fight for the right to call the forest theirs. Will you help decide the fate of the forest in your favor?

The Four Factions

Root takes place in a great and beautiful woodland, over which four separate factions are warring for control. The evil Marquise de Cat has seized the woodland in order to scour it for riches to line her pocketbook. Her efforts have thus created an Alliance of woodland creatures to secretly fight back and subvert her evil rule.

Meanwhile, the Eyrie at the edge of the region has just elected a new commander to lead their faction to victory, restoring their rule over the forest as is their birthright. Lastly, the mysterious raccoon Vagabond is playing all sides of the conflict for his own personal gain. While he can navigate the more dangerous woodland paths, his own mysterious quest is unknown to all except himself.

Exploring the Forest

This board game comes with many different rules regarding each faction, so you’ll need to understand what your opponents are up to if you want any chance of beating them. While the Cats are focused on building workshops, lumber mills, and barracks, the Alliance works in the shadows. Their goal is to recruit more forces to their cause and muster their resources for one final battle at the end of the game.

The Eyrie is trying to take back to Woods with their hawks, so they’ll try to capture as much territory as possible and populate it with their roosts. Lastly, the Vagabond will work with the other players in an effort to collect enough items to power their own actions. Players can also engage in combat with each other, using each battle to further their overarching strategy.

Players will interact with a common deck of cards in order to accomplish their tasks. Each card has its own action text and suit, such as the “Mouse-in-a-sack” which allows you to draw a card and then discard a card. One of the best parts of Root comes from exploring the vast game board, learning all of the different rules for each faction, and playing around with the cute little woodland creature tokens.

Root Expansions

Root comes with several expansions that add new factions and cooperative scenarios.The Riverfolk expansion adds two new factions: the Riverfolk Company and the Lizard Cult. This allows Root to be played with up to six players instead of four. The Underworld expansion adds the Great Underground Duchy faction and the Corvid Conspiracy faction as well as two new maps for players to fight on.

The Clockwork expansion of Root allows you to add automated factions to the game, which can help supplement games when you don’t have enough players. This makes Root playable by only one player, giving you the ability to turn this group game into a solo game.

Stake Your Claim of the Forest with Root

Root is playable by 2-4 players, but you can make it anywhere from 1-6 by adding one of the expansions. It’s suitable for ages 10 and up, although younger players may have a harder time keeping all of the rules straight in their heads. Playing time lasts between 60-90 minutes, so it’s perfect for a game night with family or friends.

Root is very fun to play, although it does take a while to learn all of the rules by heart. Luckily it comes with a comprehensive guidebook that you can reference to make sure that the evil Marquise de Cat isn’t about to break up your hidden little Alliance with her dastardly ways. Once you’ve played the game a few times through, Root will be sure to become one of your favorite board games.

Buy Root today and enjoy the strategic depth of this fantasy board game!

 

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop