Reviews

Reviews of casual board games.

Welcome to the lighter side of the loony bin: this third installment of the Closet Report series analyzes Stratus Games' offering of mental state mayhem and answers for all time the age-old question, "Are you sure you're all right in the head?"

Chess is the classic game that takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. This Closet Report analyzes the ancient game of Chess as a baseline for comparing other games to be featured in the series.

Arrrr, there be treasure! And lots of it — but who gets it after a long day of pillaging? Dread Curse, by Smirk & Dagger Games, is a push-your-luck game for 3 to 8 pirates that is all about civil and fair division of the loot...or not. If you thought a bunch of swashbucklin' pirates could politely share a bunch of treasure, some of which is cursed, guess again.

How well do you know your movies? Can you identify a movie only by knowing some of the props that appeared in it? The upcoming game PROPS, a party game for 2 or more players by Biggest Little Games, challenges you to do just that. This travel-sized game offers movie trivia buffs a whole new way to test their knowledge that is incredibly easy to learn, yet offers a good challenge.

The big city is full of opportunity, with plenty of everyday people doing their best to earn an honest living. But you're not one of them — you're one of the most corrupt mobsters around, and you're willing to employ as many thugs as you need to take over the city's businesses and get rich. But you'll have to watch out for the other mobsters, who'll do anything to snuff you out, and the cops, who are closing in fast.

With the Super Bowl less than two weeks away, the smell of football is in the air! It is in this most appropriate season that Sports Mogul, Inc., has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their football-themed card game, Masters of the Gridiron. We were recently given the opportunity to play this game, which, according to the publisher, has been in development for over four years.

Here in Arizona, we certainly know the wild west. And wild it is — but is there some fun to be had amid all of the rootin'-tootin' adventure? That was the question we set out to answer with Wild Fun West, a strategic auctioning game by NSKN Games for 4 to 8 players, ages 8 and up.

When I think of auctions, I think of a rambling auctioneer standing at the front of a room full of distinguished and snobby guests who calmly lift their signs to place a bid. You will not find that kind of auction in Going, Going, GONE!, a new game by Stronghold Games — instead, you'll find frantic (and possibly unkempt) players fumbling with cubes, yelling, and laughing loudly. Once you give it a try, you'll never think of auctions the same way ever again.

Ever wondered where those crazy infomercials got their bright ideas?

I am Jonathan Albin, the Game Market Guru, and this is the first installment of "The Closet Report," my in-depth and detailed analysis of tabletop games of every stripe. The Closet Report captures and outlines the merits, values, and details about these games in terms that a casual player or a die-hard veteran will appreciate, providing not only the "straight skinny" on the product in terms of the big 3 (Class, Character, and Creativity) but also in terms of Materials, Marketing, and Mechanics, as well as identifying areas of imagination, innovation, and ingenuity.

Lost Temple by Stronghold Games is a jungle explorer game in which players attempt to be the first to reach the temple ruins. The board offers a single track from start to finish with various ruins along the way. To progress along the track during each round, players must decide which of the local villagers will help them go the farthest through the jungle.

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