Lose Yourself In The Fog Of Love

Every day people meet, fall in love, and enter into the hard work of making their relationship last. Any lovebirds looking to play a fun game full of love and optimism need look no further than Fog of Love. Playing Fog of Love is like being the romantic leads in your very own rom-com, dealing with all of the ups and downs of making love work. Similar to the real world, Fog of Love forces you to follow your own dreams while trying to do the best you can for your partner. Will you make it through with your relationship intact?

Creating Your Character

Fog of Love begins with the two players choosing a scenario, which consists of several fun scenes that your characters will have to work through in their efforts to find happiness and true love. Once the board has been set, each player will create their own character by drawing different cards. Trait cards will determine different aspects of your personality—are you cocky or sensitive? Are you an extrovert? Whatever you draw, you’ll keep these to yourself throughout the game.

Players will then draw occupation cards to determine their career, which they’ll reveal at the same time. Not everyone can have the romantic job of bookstore owner—you may have to settle for a boring banker or disgruntled parking attendant. Players will then draw feature cards, which they’ll assign to the other character. These represent what drew you to your partner, whether it was their cute little glasses or intriguing scar.

Role Playing

Some of the most memorable moments from Fog of Love come from the wild things you come up with during the role-playing portion of the game. Once you’ve created your character, you’ll then be given a chance to role-play that character by introducing yourself to the other person. Feel free to be as imaginative as you can without revealing the secret traits that drive you!

Final Destiny

Fog of Love is notable in that the end of the game may result in one, both, or neither players winning the game. Players will have to draw different scene and destiny cards that will determine whether or not their relationship will make the final cut. Scene cards will represent different crazy situations the two lovebirds find themselves in during the game, while destiny cards will represent the end of game goals you’re shooting for. These goals usually involve achieving a specific level of happiness, getting your personality dimension to a certain score, and whether or not you ultimately want to stay together or break up.

Fog Of Love Expansions

Fog of Love has a number of meet-cutes and hijinks that your pair of lovers can get into throughout the course of the game, and the expansions only add to the crazy factor. With the It Will Never Last expansion, you’ll deal with 24 new feature cards that make your characters even less compatible than they already were. The Paranormal Romance adds 24 new occupation cards to be used in any story, while the Trouble With The In-Laws expansion throws a new wrench in the mix as you have to appease your partner AND your parents!

Can You Withstand The Fog Of Love?

Fog of Love is a 2-player game, usually best suited for couples. However, friends can easily find joy in the premise and in the fun role-playing aspects of the game. Fog of Love is suitable for ages 17 and up, mostly due to the adult situations that these characters find themselves in time and time again. Playing time also lasts between one to two hours, so it’s the perfect game for an anniversary or a romantic night in.

If you’re a die-hard fan of romantic comedies, you’ll love the cute scenarios and wild romance you’ll find in Fog of Love. One of the best parts of the game is the way it gives you the opportunity to role-play a completely different person than you are in real life. Even the best boyfriend in the world may find his character tasked with the secret agenda of being a ruthless heartbreaker! With Fog of Love, anything is possible.

Pucker up to the possibilities!

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.

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

Ascension: Build Your Deck and Claim Your Honor

Ascension is a deck-building game that was designed by champions of the Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour.  Acquire and spend Runes to build your deck with powerful cards that help you slay foes and build your honor.  In the fantasy world of Ascension, good and evil are pitted against each other in the ultimate battle: the Chronicle of the Godslayer.  Can you come up with the best strategy to prevail against the monsters?

Building Your Deck

In the deck-building game of Ascension, each player is focused on building their deck and gaining honor through buying cards and slaying monsters.  Each player starts the game off with their own small deck of cards, which they then use to grow their deck with additional and better cards.  Cards come with honor points, so the more cards you purchase, the more honor points you receive.  

Each card will give you a new benefit, whether it’s more money for purchasing cards or more attack power for slaying monsters.  However, some cards give you extra special abilities such as drawing more cards or clearing cards you don’t want.  Your strategy for winning the game may change based on the cards you receive, so you’ll have to stay on your toes if you want to win the most honor points and beat your competitors.

Honor Points

While you can gain honor points from collecting cards, the real fun comes from killing monsters.  Attacking monsters also gains you honor points, and an important part of your strategy may need to focus on battling these nefarious creatures.  Ascension comes with a rotating market of cards you can purchase, and sometimes you may have no choice but to purchase a monster card and engage in battle.  Winning the game requires you to come up with your own strategy but be flexible enough to adapt to whatever the god of the cards chooses to give you.

Factions

Ascension comes with four unique factions that will focus on different strategies.  If you’re keen on avoiding the monsters, the Lifebound faction will give you greater power for purchasing cards and allow you to win honor without having to fight.  If you like cycling through your deck and playing as many cards as possible, the Enlightened faction will help you quickly build up money and attack.  The Mechana and Void factions also contain their own unique rules that can help you find whatever strategy works best for you.

Construct Cards

Construct cards are one of the most interesting elements of the game, allowing you to keep a card around for continued benefit even after you play it.  Depending on what type of construct you play, you might be able to draw more cards, rake in extra dough for purchasing cards, or even collect additional construct cards for further benefit.  Constructs aren’t invulnerable, however, as the death of certain monsters may wipe out most of the construct cards in your hand!

Ascension Expansions

Ascension has come out with multiple expansions that can also function as standalone games of their own.  Ascension: Darkness Unleashed features additional Energize cards and Monster cards, which can become much more powerful than their original forms.  Ascension: Dawn of Champions adds a fun twist to the game by allowing you to play as a faction leader, building your reputation and championing your faction to victory.  Buying one or more of these expansions is a great way to keep the original Ascension game feeling fresh for experienced players.

Ascension: Chronicle Of The Godslayer

One of the things that sets Ascension apart from most deck-building games is its detailed theme and emphasis on strategy.  It’s far from predictable, as the luck of the draw means that your strategy will have to shift with every new round.  Ascension can be played by 1-4 players, which makes it an excellent game for groups or for one’s own entertainment.  

Ascension is also suitable for ages 13 and up, and it’s simple enough to be the perfect introduction to deck-building games.  With a playing time of 30 minutes, Ascension is a quick and fun excursion into the fantasy realm that won’t get you bogged down in the details.

 

How to Play Ascension

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

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

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!

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

Catan The Board Game: Fun For The Whole Family!

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

Discovery of Catan

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

Building and Bartering

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

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

Who Can Play?

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

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

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

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

Cart Item Removed. Undo
  • No products in the cart.