Reviews

Reviews of casual board games.

How well can you remember a story? How about a story that is made up by a whole group of people? Say the Word by Peaceable Kingdom is a new, cooperative storytelling game for 3 to 6 players that sharpens creativity and memory skills, particularly for younger players.

Loonacy is a new card game for 2 to 5 players by Looney Labs (the creators of Fluxx) that gives players a chance to experience lunacy in the form of a quick and competitive speed game. If you're able to survive the madness and get rid of your cards first, you will be declared the winner.

Scotland Yard is a game that first became popular way back in 1983, when it won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award in Germany. At the time, I was only interested in rattles and building blocks, so it escaped my attention.

There was a time long ago when I could quickly and easily label every U.S. state, its capital city, and most countries on the globe. Then life happened — through college, a job, raising a family, and business pursuits, naming every item on a map hasn't been my top priority, so I have since forgotten much of the geography I learned in school. Fortunately, FoxMind has published Map It!, a series of games designed to refresh and challenge geographic memory.

As the Agency shuts down, dismissed and disbanded Agents all around the world are trying to figure out what’s next. In The Agents, by Saar Shai, players enlist agents to further their ambitions, build factions, complete missions, and ultimately earn the most points.

Can’t Stop is another classic reprint by Gryphon Games that deserves renewed attention. In the game, players press their luck to be the first to move three traffic cones to the top of the custom-molded octagonal board.

Apples to Apples clones are everywhere, it's true. It's no secret that many serious gamers have grown tired of these types of games, but is there room for them among casual gamers? Depending on the game, I think so. Today we are looking at If I Only Had..., a party game for 4 to 12 players in which players are presented with dire situations and must choose between various items that would help them out the most.

No, it's not Tetris, but it's remarkably similar. FITS (Fill-In-The-Spaces) is a board game by Ravensburger that brings the challenge of tile-fitting games like Tetris to the table top. It introduces some competitive play and certainly challenges spacial reasoning. But is it fun?

You've almost certainly played Chess — but have you played it using cards? Probably not. King's Ransom, by General Nonsense Games, will feel quite familiar to anyone who has played Chess. The cards contain various Chess pieces which offer similar movement abilities, yet the game introduces some luck and different types of strategy. But is there enough new gameplay here to keep the attention of a casual gamer?

Bazaar is a reprint by Gryphon Games that is, at its core, all about currency exchange. Fortunately for those of us who choose not to engage in public displays of arithmetic, there are no numbers involved — just colors.

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