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A Girl Obsessed with Dragons – A Miniature Painting Story – Part II

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Welcome back! I am excited to continue this series and I hope you are enjoying it.

Mary Crabtree

MeepleGamers

If you missed Part I, the link is below. I would love to see some comments and hear about any techniques anyone has on these subjects! In this article, I will discuss how I handled the mold lines and priming the Legendary Dragon from Mythic Games.

A Girl Obsessed with Dragons - A Miniature Painting Story - Part II 77

Rid the Dragon of Mold Lines

I will be honest. On my other miniatures, I just don’t care about the mold lines. Gasp! I know, I know. It just doesn’t bother me unless it is extremely noticeable.  They made the miniature from a mold and the small mold lines on the smaller miniatures just don’t matter to me and my paint job covers it up well enough. However, the dragon has some significant mold lines. Especially where the wings attach.

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I believe most people use “green stuff” for this. “Green Stuff” is a two-part epoxy sealant that starts out as blue and yellow parts and then when mixed, becomes green and can fill gaps. It will cure within so many hours.

I have used this before and although it worked well, for some reason I found it aggravating so while watching some videos I saw where someone used JB Weld epoxy glue that dries clear. I decided to try it. Hindsight, I think I would have used the “green stuff”. The glue made my condo smell for days and it was not as easy to manage as I had thought. I had to make some modifications once it dried but all in all, most of the mold lines are gone which was the goal.

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Priming the Dragon

This is another step where I did something different from my normal routine. Normally, I prime black and dry brush white. I have primed ONE time with grey and I won’t do it again. I just like black. With a model this large, I have read where it is recommended to prime with a colored primer that you will use as the main base coat to cut down time painting the base color of the model. I did this. After much debating with my visionary peeps, I settled for Army Painter Goblin Green.

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Honestly, the green primer threw me off my game. The vision I had for the dragon went out of the window. I don’t know why. I think I am just used to black because then I can just add the color I wanted. With it being green, I couldn’t decide what needed to be that base color green and was just ultimately confused.

I ended up painting the entire dragon, anyway. I also did not care for the texture of the primer so I wanted to paint over it. After it was all said and done, the only positive thing I can say about the primer is that I only had to do one coat of paint over it. I usually have to do two coats when I prime black. So, I guess it saved a little time.

Join me in a few days for Part III. I will explain how I mixed paints and painted the base coat.

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A Girl Obsessed with Dragons - A Miniature Painting Story - Part II
A Girl Obsessed with Dragons - A Miniature Painting Story - Part II 87

Facebook Twitter Instagram Welcome back! I am excited to continue this series and I hope you are enjoying it. Mary Crabtree MeepleGamers If you missed Part

Editor's Rating:
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SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY – Quest for Gaia – Open Door Games – Preview

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Quest for Gaia is launching on Kickstarter 9/23/19!  Don't miss the opportunity to get unique promotional materials and early bird specials!  

Joseph Summa

MeepleGamers

9/10
SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY - Quest for Gaia - Open Door Games - Preview 164

Theme and What is it?

9/10

Quest for Gaia is a galactic empire building game focusing heavily on player interaction.  For those familiar with the 4X genre (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate), this will be a familiar style of gameplay with some totally new mechanics.  You can gain victory points through research, politics, star exploration, area control, and successful combat.  The balance between first player, first discovery phase, and how players position themselves on the space boards is carefully crafted.  

When one player gets an early advantage, everyone else has enough power at their disposal to shift the balance of power back and bring the game to a close race.  There is no way to halt a player’s progress enough for “kingmaking” to be a problem but there is enough that anyone falling behind will find themselves with easy opportunities for points while the leader gets denied obvious point opportunities.  

 

 

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Gameplay Mechanics

10/10

In Quest for Gaia, players get one major action and a few minor actions each round.  The major actions are placed on the main board in worker placement style locking out others from taking that same action.  Minor actions are where most of the board control change with players upgrading their planets, engaging in combat, moving around the galaxy, and building more fighters and carrier ships.   

Players can earn points by achieving tier III research levels either by paying for research or using espionage to copy from someone else’s advancements.  Players can either invest in controlling the political influence votes or simply by convincing other players that they are the best or alternative choice for chancellor.  The chancellor goes first during the action rounds and gains a 2 point bonus.  But the chancellor gets last pick during the discovery phase.  

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Initial Impressions

8/10

Quest for Gaia seems like exactly what I expect to see in a 4X genre game.  You will use all four of the primary phases during play.  The addition of a politics phase with both victory points, turn order, and special draft priority on the line was the part I most wanted to explore.  It turns out; The way the star charts work and the importance of controlling Gaia is also critical to the game.

Who would have guessed that searching for Gaia would be important in Quest for Gaia?  Players cannot “see” the planet hidden in the nebula until they have found 3 unique star charts to plot out its exact position.  Once they have done so, they can take battle with others who have found Gaia to take advantage of controlling this exceptionally powerful planet.  

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Game Build Quality

10/10

The copy I have been using is just a prototype so I cannot give a good review of the component quality.  The fighter cubes, 3D printed carrier ships, and 3D printed monsters are impressive for a prototype. I am very hopeful for how the monster models and carrier ships will turn out in the final production.  The Kickstarter page will surely show what to expect in the final product.  

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Artistic Direction

10/10

The planets are well illustrated and the card iconography is great.  But the real greatness in the artwork for Quest for Gaia is in the default races.  Each of them is a great depiction of these fantastic fictional races.  It also makes me want to draw my own horrifying creatures whenever I make a customized race to play.

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Fun Factor

9/10

My favorite parts about Quest for Gaia are how the politics phases impact the game, the ability to craft your own unique race, and the covenant action.  Politics at the start of the game seems nice but not super important.  As the game progresses, having enough influence to make sure the 2 chancellor points go to someone unimportant or to yourself is critical. 

Quest for Gaia comes with a guide for creating a custom race.  There are so many routes players can explore by linking positive and negative racial traits to have a very different play experience each time.  

Depending on if players make their general racial goals known it could come out that some players directly conflict in their goals and lower the chance either wins.  It also means one well-done race could stomp everyone.  The amount of interaction between players makes it possible for even a particularly effective race to lose.

The covenant action allows a player to draw cards from the covenant deck and execute one or more of them.  These actions could be peace treaties, a declaration of war, or giving another player your major/minor actions for points.  They are easy points to pick up but will influence how you play the next round or two severely.  Some players were afraid of interacting with this deck.  Don’t be.

Normally you don’t get to choose who you are doing these actions with but if you draw your own colored card, you can pick which player to use it on.  Giving a few extra actions to someone in last for points not only helps you get ahead but brings everyone back into the race for the endgame.  Early in the game they can be a bit of a risk, but as time progresses they become more and more viable as a first picked major action.  This is a mechanism I have never seen before and really enjoy.

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Age Range & Weight

7/10

12+ seems a fair rating for a game like this.  Heavy and mostly negative player interaction can always be a reason to keep children away from a 4X style game.  But there are always those that not only can handle being hurt but get a thrill from knocking their opponents back equally hard.  

Overall, Quest for Gaia is a rather difficult to learn game with a lot of moving parts.  I recommend new players do a short game with default races before engaging in a longer game.  This will make sure you ease into the system and can make rational decisions in the second play.

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Conclusions

9/10

Quest for Gaia is launching on Kickstarter 9/23/19!  Don’t miss the opportunity to get unique promotional materials and early bird specials!  Quest for Gaia is at its best with 4 or 5 players as there is so much room for player interaction, politics, revenge, and for all the different routes of technological advancement to be achieved.  
There is a whole galaxy to be explored and a very special planet you will want to be the first to occupy.  I know that I am heading for Gaia in every game I play.  What about you?  Will you venture out from your homeworld to see most of what the galaxy has to offer?  

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SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY - Quest for Gaia - Open Door Games - Preview
SNEAK PEEK SUNDAY - Quest for Gaia - Open Door Games - Preview 177

Facebook Twitter Instagram Quest for Gaia is launching on Kickstarter 9/23/19!  Don't miss the opportunity to get unique promotional materials and ear

Editor's Rating:
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Mint Cooperative by Five24 Labs – Review

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Two types of players will love Mint Cooperative. 1. Co-op game fanatics 2. Pocket game fanatics. Even if you don’t think you fit into either of those categories, you probably do. You just don’t know it yet.

Ben

MeepleGamers

9/10
Mint Cooperative by Five24 Labs - Review 254

Theme and What is it?

9/10

The sprawling city of Mintopia and its surrounding communities are facing a peril unlike anything the citizens can remember. The classless and rank villain, Halitosis, has set his sights on this beautiful area and seeks to make it his dominion. If he, along with his putrid cronies, are successful they will undermine all that is sweet and good smelling. 

To stop this stinky baddy, a team of superheroes must assemble. Using their combined powers of cool freshness, they must work together to fend off the stench that seeks to disrupt their lives. Will they be successful, or will Mintopia be overcome with the smell of a thousand geysers (you’ll know how bad that can be if you have ever been to Yellowstone)? Only a clear sense of bravado and a little luck will tell.

Mint Cooperative is a co-op game for 1-4 players. 

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Gameplay Mechanics

9/10

Each player selects a hero or two (depending on player count). Each hero has a unique ability that can be triggered depending on the dice roll. An enemy is then selected. Each enemy is unique and has different triggers and outcomes. 

Mintopia and the surrounding areas are set up with three mints on each area. The goal of the players is to keep everything “so fresh and so clean, clean” (any Outkast fans in the house?). As mints are removed from areas, more panic takes place and increases the Regional Panic track. If this track ever hits 27, the game ends and stinkiness rules. 

Each round four dice are rolled. Starting with that round’s first player and continuing clockwise, a player selects a dice and performs an action based on the action associated with that dice face. Actions can include adding mints, moving areas, performing stunts (which are special abilities that are only available for a single turn and players get new ones each round) and special character abilities. Once there is one dice left, all dice are retrieved and rerolled and the first player marker moves to the next player.

When dice are rolled, it can trigger enemy effects which are semi-unique to each bad guy. Much of the time these effects cause players to draw cards from a hazard deck which removes mints from areas. Shuffled into the hazard deck are mayhem cards. If players can keep the Regional Panic Track below 27 and make it through all 3 mayhem events, then they save the day and vanquish the stench.  

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Initial Impressions

9/10

It is always fun to check out preview games. Usually everything is a little bit raw and it is awesome to see a game in the middle part of its development process. Mint Cooperative still had the rawness that let me know it was a work in progress, but a very exciting work in progress. 

Learning and setup was done in a flash. That is what is always great about the Mint games. But don’t let the ease of these fool you, there is plenty of game packed into this little tin. The first game was challenging. We knew very early in the game that we didn’t have much of a chance with the strategy that we had been using and it was too late by that point. Not a big deal though because the games play very quickly and we were able to reset and get another game going right away.

The second game was still a challenge and we ended up losing it as well, but we did much better. After a couple of games, we knew that we had something special and we knew Mint Cooperative would be hitting the table again very soon.

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Game Build Quality

9/10

Like all preview games that are still sent as unfinished prototypes, I do not give my opinions on the manufacturing quality. By the time the finished product hits people’s tables it will be much different than what I see. 

You will notice that the meeples are from Tiny Epic Zombies. I forgot to grab the meeples that Five24 Labs sent me. Luckily I was traveling with Tiny Epic Zombies on this trip.

I will usually give feedback direct to the game designer or publisher about my thoughts on what can be improved, but I do not share that here because it usually gets taken care of and is of no concern once the game is ready for the masses.

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Artistic Direction

9/10

The Mint games are charming because they offer so much in a tiny package. This does not allow for a lot of artwork. There is a strong minimalist approach to the Mint games and I like that. Although it seems like Mint Cooperative breaks from that slightly by offering a bit more graphically than other offerings, and this works well with the theme. Most of the story is left to the imagination and I really like that. 

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Fun Factor

9/10

Mint Cooperative is a great co-op opportunity. It is challenging and provides lots of opportunities to work as a team to overcome the enemy. With each character having a unique ability and the way actions are performed by selecting dice, all players are able to be involved. Sometimes cooperative games can be dominated by the strongest player, and that can still happen here, but Mint Cooperative gives each player the chance to be involved in the game without that happening as much as other co-op games. 

I also enjoyed the way actions are based on the roll of dice. There are still choices to make but those choices are limited to what the dice reveal. Some people may not like the luck-based element of that mechanic, but I thought it was great.

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Age Range & Weight

9/10

The recommended age for Mint Cooperative is 14+. This may have more to do with legal reasons due to the small parts than actual age of players. I know that my 10-year-old would have no problems with this game and would probably enjoy it. My 7-year-old might struggle with some of the choices, but since it is co-op it would be a great way to coach them on some new mechanics. 

This game definitely cannot come out when my 4-year-old is out and about since the pieces look like little mints and I am sure he would gobble them up if he got the chance. 

Overall, I would give this game a medium-light weight. It is challenging, but it is not hard to figure out how to play. It might be a great way to introduce new people to the co-op experience.

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Conclusions

9/10

Two types of players will love Mint Cooperative. 1. Co-op game fanatics 2. Pocket game fanatics. Even if you don’t think you fit into either of those categories, you probably do. You just don’t know it yet.

It is great to an awesome cooperative experience that can go with you anywhere. I played my first couple of games in the Old Faithful Lodge at Yellowstone National Park. It fit right in the backpack I had been using to hike all day. Many of the pictures in this article were taken at the lodge. Being able to have a fun and engaging a game literally in your back pocket is awesome. 

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Mint Cooperative by Five24 Labs - Review
Mint Cooperative by Five24 Labs - Review 267

Facebook Twitter Instagram Two types of players will love Mint Cooperative. 1. Co-op game fanatics 2. Pocket game fanatics. Even if you don’t think you fit

Editor's Rating:
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Khan Of Khans – Chaosium – Review

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If you like press your luck games, you won’t be disappointed with Khan of Khans.

Ben

7/10
Khan Of Khans - Chaosium - Review 344

Theme and What is it?

5/10

You are Khan of your tribe. It is your duty to make sure your people have enough meat to survive. To do this, you must travel to the Plains of Prax and raid areas to collect as many cows as you can. But beware. If you get too ready, you may end up going home hungry and ashamed.
Khan of Khans is a press your luck game for 2-5 players set in the world of Glorantha.

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Gameplay Mechanics

5/10

Each player selects a Khan. These Khans all have unique abilities that can be used throughout the game. Next, each player receives a number of cattle corral based on the number of players. The goal of the game is to get the most cattle safely stowed into the corral. 
Players take turns drawing cards from 10 different regions on the Plains of Prax. Each region has cattle cards, enemy magic cards, stampede cards and champion cards. If players draw a cattle card or champion card, they lay it face up in front of them. On their turn, players can choose to draw another card or move their cattle into a corral. The move to the corral can only happen once and then no other cattle can be saved in that corral (unless unique Khan abilities allow that to happen).
If players wish to press their luck, they can continue to draw cards. Negative cards like stampedes and enemy magic will reduce their herd or even wipe it out. 
After all the cards are chosen from all the regions, the game ends. Players add up the total of all the cattle that were saved in their corrals. The player with the highest total wins!

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Initial Impressions

5/10

Quick read through of the rules, quick set up and we were ready to go. Khan of Khans is a super easy game to learn. I had my 7 and 10-year-olds playing it in no time. They are both very familiar with press your luck games and knew to take appropriate risks. 
The game moved at a great pace and provided lots of laughs. We were able to sneak in a couple of games before bedtime because it played so quickly.

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Game Build Quality

5/10

The build is what you would expect from a smaller box game. The cards and cardboard are all made to last. I didn’t have any hesitation playing it with my kids. I guess you could sleeve the cards if that is your thing.

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Artistic Direction

5/10

The artwork is wonderfully whimsical. I enjoyed checking out all the cards and so did my kids. It is very light hearted take on the Glorantha world. I would say it is much more cartoony than I have seen for the other artwork for Glorantha when doing research for this review. I still liked it and thought it fit very well with the nature of the game and made it even more entertaining.

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Fun Factor

5/10

Like all press your luck games, the real fun is when people totally blow up a good thing by being too greedy. I love that! Khan of Khans does a great job of making those moments even more funny because of the art. You can’t be too upset that you got all big eyed over lots of cows and forgot to use your brain when you see the hilarious caricatures. 

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Age Range & Weight

5/10

Khan of Khans is rate as 9+. If kids are used to games and have tried press your luck before I think you can play this game with much younger players. My 7-year-old loved this game. I mean LOVED it. For days after playing it for the first time, he asked anyone that came by the house if they wanted to learn it. I am sure you can probably go even younger than 7 and be safe. Plus, it will teach them some great math skills and risk-taking lessons.

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Conclusions

10/10

If you like press your luck games, you won’t be disappointed with Khan of Khans. It is super easy to learn, making it a great gateway game. It plays in 15-30 minutes, making it a great filler game. It can play up to 5, almost making it a party game (usually that is 6+ for me). Lots of reasons to check it out.

Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit – USAOpoly – Review

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Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit is a dice game where players attempt to get the right rolls to wrangle a series of monstrous creatures from the Fantastic Beasts movies.

Joseph Summa

MeepleGamers

7/10
Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit - USAOpoly - Review 432

Theme and What is it?

9/10

Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit is a dice game where players attempt to get the right rolls to wrangle a series of monstrous creatures from the Fantastic Beasts movies.  Fans of these Harry Potter supplemental films will enjoy the thematic elements of this simple cooperative game.

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Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

Fantastic Beasts has a Yahtzee style rolling mechanic. The active player rolls the dice and can reroll any they wish up to twice more saving only results they are happy with until the final roll gives their final result.  Players must get enough symbols of the same type to place the first strip into their player board.  This makes the ability for that column “ready”.  Then the next time (or with additional dice on the same roll) that player can “set” the ability with its top piece.  Once an ability is ready and set the next die of that type allows the player to use that action.   

The possible actions are Shield against creature attacks, advance the pursuit of the beast once, distract the beast to lower its attack dice, draw a special ability card, or advance the pursuit three times.  After each player turn, the beast rolls to attack players with a special set of abilities on each different monster.  After chasing down the beast enough to stuff it back into the suitcase, players will lose some of their prepared abilities and start the chase for another creature.  Unless that was the last one, we call that a WIN!

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Initial Impressions

9/10

I love the Harry Potter world and have never found anything to dislike about it.  Perilous Pursuits gives me the opportunity to take my enjoyment of the movies and mix it with my enjoyment of playing games.  This is a good type of game to make cooperative as dice rolls are not always fair to each player.  We have to work together to deal with any surprising results and use our special cards at the key times to overcome the challenges.

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Game Build Quality

9/10

Fantastic Beasts brings quality inset player boards, simple punchout tiles, and gorgeous cardstock monster cards.  The dice are well crafted and unique to the game.  This is a very well constructed game.

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Artistic Direction

10/10

The artwork is straight out of the Fantastic Beasts movie series.  Each creature has been featured at some moment during the movie and the image is directly from the big screen.  There are loads of different creatures to capture in various difficulty ratings.

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Fun Factor

6/10

Fantastic Beasts has all the enjoyment of a good dice rolling game attempting to maximize what you accomplish during a turn.  It has some luck mitigation powers within the special cards.  It has unique player profiles that are good at different actions.  Everything you will need for a short cooperative game is contained within this box.  

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Age Range & Weight

10/10

8+ is a perfectly fair rating.  The difficulty of learning Fantastic Beasts is nearly non-existent.  This is a fun for all ages sort of game.  It isn’t going to offer an extremely difficult strategic experience or anything like that.  But it is going to offer meaningful choices to the players as they attempt to keep the beast going towards the suitcase and not breaking free to rampage in the wild.

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Conclusions

7/10

If you are not a fan of Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts series you would need to be a fan of cooperative dice rolling games to get the full enjoyment of this experience.  If you are a fan, you wont have any trouble being pleased with the results of Perilous Pursuit.  

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Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit - USAOpoly - Review
Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit - USAOpoly - Review 445

Facebook Twitter Instagram Fantastic Beasts: Perilous Pursuit is a dice game where players attempt to get the right rolls to wrangle a series of monstrous

Editor's Rating:
0

Mobi Kids – Mobi Games Inc. – Review

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The game gives kids a tactile way to aid in learning math.  This a great way to supplement paper and pencil learning.

Heather Swanson

MeepleGamers

7/10
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Theme and What is it?

6/10

Mobi Kids is a math game for young kids.  It includes addition and subtraction of numbers 1-10.  It is useful in learning and practicing math for preschool through around 2nd grade.  Older kids could play if they want to practice their equation skills for speed. 

Mobi Kids - Mobi Games Inc. - Review 523 Mobi Kids - Mobi Games Inc. - Review 524

Gameplay Mechanics

9/10

For very young children there are some mini games.  These ramp up in difficulty.  They start with counting items and finding the corresponding number tile.  Towards the end they are having identify the missing numbers in equations.

For kids who can add and subtract there is a speed game.  It requires using numbers and operations tiles to create a sort of math crossword puzzle.  There are two colored sets of number tiles which can be split up between two or four players.

Equations must read from left to right and from top to bottom.  Multiple numbers and operations can be used on either side of the equation.  The person who has used all of their number tiles first wins.

Mobi Kids - Mobi Games Inc. - Review 525

Initial Impressions

9/10

I think the whale bag that the game comes in is adorable.  I liked the feel of all the tiles as well. I’ve seen this game included in a homeschool kit before and was curious.  It looked like a fun way to practice math.

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Game Build Quality

10/10

The bag and pieces are wonderful.  The instructions are on kid-friendly thick paper.  It helps when kids might play the mini games.  The tiles are smooth and have a little more heft than plastic.  In other words, they are pleasant to fiddle with….a bonus for kids.

Mobi Kids - Mobi Games Inc. - Review 527

Artistic Direction

10/10

There isn’t any art in the game.  There are some graphics in the instructions that are well done.  The whale bag is a nice touch.

Mobi Kids - Mobi Games Inc. - Review 528

Fun Factor

7/10

Teaching kids can be fun if you know how to make it enjoyable.  As a homeschooling mom I know math can be the most unpleasant subject to deal with.  It takes practice and repetition.

Having a game can really aid in learning.  The key to Mobi is letting you kid win against you.  Or, you just might need to help them through a few times.  The whole crossword puzzle aspect adds a whole new dimension to the typical left to right math equation.

Mobi Kids - Mobi Games Inc. - Review 529

Age Range & Weight

10/10

Mobi is rated for aged 4+.  This is a good age because any younger and they may try to eat the pieces.  It is easy to learn and easy to play.  The pieces can be used instructionally or as a game.

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Conclusions

8/10

Mobi is a nice teaching aid to help kids with simple equations, addition, and subtraction.  For young children it can help with number recognition as well.  The game gives kids a tactile way to aid in learning math.  This a great way to supplement paper and pencil learning.

Solenia – Pearl Games – Review

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Solenia cover

Fly over the land, picking up and delivering resources to Floating Cities while the game board changes from dawn, to dusk, to night below your Giant Airship.

Solenia board

Theme and What is it?

Several millennia ago, the tiny planet Solenia lost its day-and-night cycle: Its northern hemisphere is forever plunged into darkness and its southern hemisphere is eternally bathed in sunlight. Your mission is to travel the world to deliver essential goods to the inhabitants of both hemispheres.

While the Day people want you to deliver the Stones and Water (which are rare in their hemisphere), the Night people sorely need Wood and Wheat to survive.

Be efficient and outpace your opponents to collect the most gold stars by the end of the game! (description from the designer)

Solenia

Gameplay Mechanics

In Solenia, you play cards from your hand on to the 5×5 game board to collect goods — Wheat, Wood, Water, and Stone — to satisfy the requirements of the hemispheres.

The game is played over a series of rounds, during each of which each player plays one card from their hand from their deck of 16 cards. The game ends when each player has played all 16 of their cards.

Each turn, you have 3 numbered cards in your hand (except for the last two turns, of course). Each player must play a card on an empty space on the game board with some restrictions — cards played must either be adjacent to another of their own cards or adjacent (or underneath) the floating yellow airship. 

It is also possible to Lengthen your Voyage — placing cards that ignore the placement rules — by discarding a resource of any type per empty game board space you wish to skip.

Play a card on a Floating Production Island to gather Wood, Wheat, Stone, or Water that you collect on your airship. You may have up to 8 resources at any time.

Play a card on a Floating City to fulfill a delivery requirement and collect a Delivery tile which contains bonuses and points. Players want to balance their deliveries to Night Cities and Day Cities evenly to maximize their point earnings.

When a player plays a card with a value of “0” (zero), the Giant Airship moves forward on the game board and the first strip on the modular board is removed, flipped over, and added back as the last strip. In this way, the game cycles from night to day to night again. 

At the end of the turn in which a “0” card was played, any cards on spaces on the first strip activate and are returned to their owners’ discard pile. The game ends after everyone has played all 16 of their cards. 

Scoring is pretty simple… You count the gold stars on your Delivery tiles. Your first four day/night pair of delivery tiles earns additional gold stars (1 for the first pair, 2 for the second pair, 3 for the third pair, up to 4 for the fourth pair). Every 2 remaining resources earns a gold star. Add any additional stars you earned during the game. The player with the most points wins!

Solenia cards

Initial Impressions

Solenia makes a solid first impression. The box for Solenia is striking. It’s earthy background with a bright central graphic showing two hemispheres — one bathed in sunlight and the other in darkness — is very attractive and eye-catching.

Opening the box, I was surprised at how thin the manual was. It is only 4 pages and full of illustrations and examples, all in full color and nice quality. There is a additional 2-page sheet with information about Expelled Airship Cards, Improvement Tiles, the Winter side of the Player boards, and the Solitaire variant.

The inside of the box contains a well thought-out and designed cardboard insert. It holds all the pieces in separate bins for ease of setup, play, and tear-down. 

Solenia tokens

Game Build Quality

The quality of the game is reasonably high and in line for a game of this weight. The box is a little thin but the cardboard tiles, strips, and tokens are of good quality and are colorfully-printed. The wooden resource tokens are appropriately sized and distinctly different enough that they can be identified at a glance. 

The manuals are thorough and well-written with no evidence of typos or omissions.

The strips that make up the game board are cut precisely so they slot together nicely.

This game should fit well on a standard card table for four players. It’s not too “sprawly”. The “conveyer belt” game board needs to be manipulated frequently, so I’d probably prohibit beverages within elbow-range to avoid dousing your cardboard!

Solenia

Artistic Direction

With bright colors for day and soothing muted colors for night, Solenia stands out for good art. Each component, graphic, and icon has been thoroughly thought out and makes sense and is very consistent.

The cards are really an interesting part of this game. Each of for the four sets of player cards are different color, but the designers went a step further — each of the player decks has slightly different graphics to help further differentiate them.

In addition, the cards each have a hole in their center, through which it is easy to see the resource underneath. I know that die-cutting cards is a fairly popular manufacturing trick right now, but Solenia is the first time I’ve seen it so I was impressed.

Solenia

Fun Factor

The game is “thinky” but not overly so. Some of the strategy is determining the best time to play your limited number of “0” cards, causing the Giant Airship to advance and cards in the first row to fall off and activate. Carefully managing your “0” cards is a key to doing well in this game.

The Winter side of the Player Boards offer additional scoring opportunities and represent a more advanced game. Additionally, there are Improvement Tiles that can be added to games. These Improvement Tiles give discounts, change the “0” card to a value of “1” (though the Airship still advances), and give some end-game bonuses, amother other changes. There is also a Solo Variant, though I haven’t tried it yet.

There is an impressive amount of replay-ability in this game, and the game is enjoyable enough that you’ll want to replay it.

Age Range & Weight

10+ seems to be an appropriate age suggestion for this game.

BGG rates this game a 2.31/5 in weight, and I agree. Mechanically, it is easy to pick up but the deeper strategy and timing rewards will reveal themselves on multiple plays.

Solenia

Conclusions

Solenia is a beautiful, medium-weight game of pick-up-and-delivery. It has a new mechanic of the “conveyer belt” game board that is constantly changing. The timing of when your cards drop off the front of the strips adds a great strategic element to this game.

It’s light enough that medium-level gamers would enjoy it. It’s probably too heavy, though, for your newbie gamer friends. The solo mode and included variants will keep the game fresh for many plays.

Queen Of The Hill – Medieval Lords – Review

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Queen of The Hill is a fun game that is a perfect filler when you need a quick fix.

Queen Of The Hill - Medieval Lords - Review 534

Theme and What is it?

Assemble your army and prepare to attack. There can only be one queen of the hill and you must have the strongest force to overcome all of the others who want to scale the same summit.

Queen Of The Hill is a press your luck card game for 2-6 players and plays in 20-30 minutes.

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Gameplay Mechanics

Queen of The Hill has a very simple press your luck mechanic. Players all draw from a central pile of cards. When they draw a card, they have two options. 1. Place that card face down in their battle zone. This zone is where they build their military strength. 2. Place the card face down in their keep zone. These cards do not do anything during the round in which they were placed in this zone. At the end of the round, cards in the keep zone are transferred to the ready zone. Cards in the read zone can use their special abilities. These abilities will vary from card type to card type and abilities can activate at different times in the round. 

The player who is drawing can choose to continue drawing as many cards as they want or until they draw a Dark One. When that happens, players lose all of their cards they have set in their battle zone and cannot win the round. After the drawing player chooses to stop pressing their luck and stops drawing, or when they draw a Dark One their turn ends and the next player takes their turn. 

After every player has had a turn, each player flips over all cards in their battle zone. Players compare strength totals. These totals can be affected by special abilities from cards in the ready zones if players want to use them. The player with the highest strength total wins the round. All battle zone cards and any other cards that were used are discarded and a new round begins. The first player to win two rounds is the winner!

Queen Of The Hill - Medieval Lords - Review 536

Initial Impressions

Queen of The Hill was very easy to learn. I went through the rules and taught it to a couple of people in five minutes at the most. The card abilities took some time for everyone to become comfortable using. We finished our first game in about 20 minutes.

The overall game play was fun. I like push your luck games. Queen of The Hill also offers some great “gotcha” moments with the card abilities. Everyone I played with enjoyed it because it was fast paced and kept you on the edge of your seat.

Queen Of The Hill - Medieval Lords - Review 537

Game Build Quality

There is nothing to the game except a box and the cards. They were both standard fairs. There is enough room in the box to allow sleeving if you want to go that route.

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Artistic Direction

The anime style artwork is fun. I always like that style. All of the characters are female and it does get a little over sexualized for my taste. I played it with my daughter and she noticed it right away. She wondered why warriors would want to wear so little clothing if they were going to be battling. But that is how this style of artwork goes.

Queen Of The Hill - Medieval Lords - Review 539

Fun Factor

What made everyone enjoy Queen of The Hill was how fast it moved and also when someone pressed their luck too much and drew a Dark One. It was especially entertaining when they had a lot of cards in their battle zone.  

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Age Range & Weight

The age recommendation for Queen of The Hill is 10+. I think for game play that is a very reasonable suggestion. My 10-year-old daughter did pick up on the scantily clad women right away. It didn’t really bother her, she just thought it was funny. If you are worried about the artwork, I would suggest moving that age much higher and maybe even keep it away from teenage boys. Those bodies of raging hormones will really like the artwork.

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Conclusions

Queen of The Hill is a fun game that is a perfect filler when you need a quick fix. Fast paced play and a short game duration make this a great option for a game to introduce to new board gamers. It is very easy, yet still has some depth to it. 

Duhr: The Lesser Houses – Devious Weasel Games – Review

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Box cover

Instigate scandal, create suspicion, implicate your enemies to lead your House to victory!

John Doe

MeepleGamers

7.9/10
Game play area

Theme and What is it?

9/10

The Lesser Houses of Duhr are at war.  Not your typical clash of swords but these battles are waged behind the curtains with intent to destroy each others’ credibility and public appearance.  As the head of one of these lesser houses, direct your minions to instigate scandals, create suspicion, and implicate your enemies such that the public will support your bid for inclusion as one of the Greater Houses of Duhr.

Duhr: The Lesser Houses - Devious Weasel Games - Review 618 Duhr: The Lesser Houses - Devious Weasel Games - Review 619

Gameplay Mechanics

10/10

Goal

End of game

When there one or fewer Houses of Favored status, be the player with the highest score.

Setup

Player setup

Each player takes on a random House.  Shuffle the Conspiracy cards of the Houses in play and deal one to each player.  Deal one Scandal card to each player. Deal two Suspicion cards of a player’s House to a given player and shuffle together  the remaining Suspicion cards of the Houses in play to form the Web of Suspicion. Deal four cards from the Web of Suspicion to each player.  Determine the first player.

Turns

Game play area

There are two phases during each player’s turn: Action and Acquire.

During the Action Phase, players can perform one of the following House Actions: Raise a Suspicion, Create a Scandal, Trigger an Event, Use an Ability, and Make a Masterstroke.  While your House status is Favored, you may also choose one of these other actions: Reveal a Conspiracy, Second House Action.

The results of these actions are aimed at causing disfavor in the opposing Houses, leading to their downfall and your House’s ascendency.

Additional Info

Duhr: The Lesser Houses - Devious Weasel Games - Review 620

Loss of favor can lead to a change in your House’s status.  When a House has five cards played in front on them, they become Disfavored.  When three or more of those cards are revealed, the House’s status is now Villfied.

As a Villain, the actions taken by a player are different.  They don’t hold cards but perform one of the following actions: Defame, Expose, or Scandalize.  Though they can come back from being Villains but their real goal is to pull the others down with them as their final score is dependent upon the number of Villains when end of game conditions occur.

Game play area

Initial Impressions

6/10

I was looking forward to the game based upon the description and concept.  I was a bit of a let down though when we were trying to set up the game and read through the rules.

Game play area

Game Build Quality

9/10

The game is made up of cards and tokens.  The cards of different sizes but of the same quality.  The tokens have a nice finish and made of thick, sturdy cardboard.

Game play area

Artistic Direction

9/10

The art really excels for the House ability tokens, card backs, and the packaging — well done and evocative of the medieval period depicted.  Otherwise, the other cards and tokens use common fonts or simple graphics.

Game play area

Fun Factor

7/10

This game is all about the “Take that!”  Funny thing though, as much as you want to take down your opponents, you might do better in the end if you don’t completely destroy them.

Game play area

Age Range & Weight

9/10

Age range says 14+ and that’s right.  It doesn’t have to do with the topic but understanding the mechanics and strategies of the game.

Game play area

Conclusions

7.9/10

The game has been sitting on my shelf for some time now, waiting for me to get a group big enough to play.  But we are not the most adept at games requiring bluffing or To get the most out of the game requires players to wheel’n’deal, the “social” part of the “social combat”.  If your group is up for games that incorporate interaction with the people to play the game as a facilitating mechanic, then this would be good for you. Unfortunately it’s not a game that my group excels at or prefers but we hope that you’ll have a good time with this one.

Borderlands: Tiny Tina’s Robot Tea Party – Nerdvana Games – Review

0

Tiny Tina is throwing a Robot Tea Party.  'Nuff said.

Joseph Summa

10/10
Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 701

Theme and What is it?

10/10

Theme!?  Read the title.  No seriously.  If that doesn’t tell you anything, you probably are not the target market.  And if that title makes you jump up and down screaming expletives in your excitement for more of Tiny Tina’s irreverent nonsense, then you need no additional information.  

Alright, let’s try to explain it anyway.  There is a wildly popular series of Borderlands video games.  These games are first person shooters that feature a huge amount of profanity, gore, and characters with extreme insanity.  Tiny Tina is possibly the most insane of them all.  She is an unstable, foul-mouthed 13 year old who takes naive childhood activities and fills them with explosives.  She loves to blow up people and things.  

The borderlands video games are certainly not without parental warnings.  This board game is reasonably safe but wont have the same impact on a new player as it will on a fan of the video games.

Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 702 Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 703

Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

Tiny Tina is throwing a Robot Tea Party.  ‘Nuff said. Players have an easy set of steps to take each turn.  In the satirical comments by Tiny Tina in the rulebook, players will “do stuff”, “scrap stuff”, and “get stuff” each turn.  

The “do stuff” step allows players to put parts from their hand on their fancy, themed claptrap or on someone else’s claptrap.  The goal is to fully build your own with all its matching parts.  But you can throw a wrench in other the works by putting the wrong parts on your opponent’s claptraps.  

The gameplay has a LOT of take that!  The existence of bonus action cards adds a lot of excitement.  Using them at the right time adds some good layers of strategy to the game.  “Plus it’s dope.  You should do it.”

Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 704

Initial Impressions

10/10

I was so excited when this box was brought out of the bag.  I had no idea they had made a game like this.  Then I was told how they announced it.  They had a big event at a convention and told everyone they had a new Borderlands game coming out.  The crowd goes wild.  Then they hold up this little box with some cards in it.  And most of the crowd deflates.  Not because they were going to dislike this game, but because they wanted another video game installment.  Which was announced moments later.  Well done on that.  Well done.  

Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 705

Game Build Quality

10/10

The game is basically just a deck of cards and a few small claptrap bodies.  And a rulebook.  Never have I been so happy with a rulebook in my life.  It is short and well written.  But it also is teeming with Tina Tips written in the margin which make it even easier to understand and hilarious.  Everything about this game seeps the thematic awesomeness that is the Borderlands franchise.  

They even handwrote Tiny Tina in as a rules editor.  Bravo to whoever wrote the original drafts and the real editor, Mikey Neumann.  You are the best.

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Artistic Direction

10/10

Each claptrap has its own specialized parts.  The pirate, sherrif, wizard, gentleman, and traditional pizza-weilding CL4P-TP skins all have unique parts.  There are also some wild components that work for any claptrap.  Many borderlands characters appear in the action cards and everything just works.

Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 707

Fun Factor

10/10

So far my entire review is dripping in excitement.  Do I really need to say more?  Either you will share my excitement for more borderlands fun, or you wont.  Either you can handle the occasional game with heavy take that elements, or you cannot.  I hope many people get to share in the experience the way I did.  This was worth it.  All the worth it.

Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 708

Age Range & Weight

8/10

13+ for the thematic elements from the borderlands universe is fair.  13+ for the actual difficulty of gameplay is ludicrous!  Didn’t realize that was how you spell ludicrous.  It was worth learning just for this. I cannot find a single thing that justifies higher than 8 with just this product in my hand.

Borderlands: Tiny Tina's Robot Tea Party - Nerdvana Games - Review 709

Conclusions

10/10

You need more information!?  You should know by now if this is a game for you.  Really, you should have known just by the TITLE!  I am not giving you any more meaningful information.  Just go get it.  Pull the trigger (pun intended).

Fluff – Bananagrams – Review

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Fluff-BGG (1)

Liar’s Dice for the whole family… Call “Fluff!” and see what comes!

John Doe

MeepleGamers

6.7/10
Fluff-Matt (2)

Theme and What is it?

5/10

Having fun with this game isn’t a roll of the dice. Sit the kids down, shake your Fluff cup, and see who the sneakiest one is! Does the group have three 4’s or do you have a better guess (or bluff)? Careful that you don’t call “Fluff” when you aren’t sure or you’ll lose a die!

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Gameplay Mechanics

10/10

Goal

Fluff-Matt (4)

The goal of Fluff is to be the last player with dice.

Setup

Fluff-Matt (3)

Each player chooses a color of Fluff cup and the corresponding dice.

Turns

Fluff - Bananagrams - Review 791

Players shake their Fluff cups with the dice in it (careful not to spill!).  Look under the lid to see what your rolled and making sure none of the other players see as well.  The starting player calls out a guess at what the group has in total such as three 2’s or five 4’s.  Each of the color has an associated character and instead of a 1 on the dice, there is the character’s face.  This result is a wild, meaning it is the value called out by the current player.

When a player thinks that another is bluffing or knows that whatever the player called can’t be true, you call “Fluff!” and everyone shows their dice.  If the player failed his bluff, he loses a die from his cup. If the caller is incorrect (the group has at least the number of dice of the specified value), then he loses a die from his cup.

The player who loses a die in a round is the first player of the next round and play continues as above.  If a player loses all the dice from his cup, he is out of the game.

 

Fluff-Matt (6)

Initial Impressions

3/10

This game is just a variant of Liar’s Dice repackaged for children.

Fluff-Matt (7)

Game Build Quality

8/10

The components are the dice and cups. The dice are standard dice with custom faces for the 1’s side to represent the wild value. The cups are plastic yet not easily broken, yet the lids aren’t very secure when shaking.

Fluff-Matt (8)

Artistic Direction

5/10

The cups have a barely perceptible imprint of the color’s character. The art on the dice is the custom face of the color’s character. Most of the art is on the box the game comes in, which also has the rules printed on it as well. There isn’t much at all to the game visually.

Fluff-Matt (9)

Fun Factor

7/10

Kids will have bluffing and trying to pull one over on you. And there’s nothing like pulling off a win when you’re down to one die!

Fluff-Matt (10)

Age Range & Weight

10/10

Age range is 8+ and there is hardly any complexity to the game that would make it inappropriate for that age. The bluffing aspect might be a turn off to some parents as it is akin to lying or because this mechanic is usually associated with gambling.

Fluff-Matt (11)

Conclusions

6.7/10

This game is a rebrand of a long-known game that has cute pictures of animals to capture the interest of children. There are a couple of variants to the game in the rules that play to the younger audience but there isn’t much more to the game than what it already is. If you like dice games and/or bluffing games, you probably already know the game and so it’s for you if you don’t already have it.

Fluff - Bananagrams - Review 793
Fluff - Bananagrams - Review
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Liar’s Dice for the whole family… Call “Fluff!” and see what comes!

Editor's Rating:
0

Naga Raja – Hurrican – Review

0

There are lots of positives going on for Naga Raja. If you are a seeker of 2-player games that have a great theme and strong game play then you should give Naga Raja a look. You may just find a new game for your collection.  

Ben

MeepleGamers

8.5/10
Naga Raja - Hurrican - Review 874

Theme and What is it?

8.5/10

The discovery of a lifetime! Twin temples in the heart of the jungles of India has drawn explorers from all over the globe. You make your way here to seek out riches and fame. You traverse through the thick forests and behold the temple in all of its decaying glory. Just as you are about to enter the temple you get word that your most bitter rival has discovered the other temple and is just about to enter it. Now it is a race to find as many relics as possible.

You are exhausted and know you must be careful because there are powerful cursed relics hidden in this ancient edifice. Get too greedy and you may lose your soul. 

Yet, if you can throw enough obstacles in your rivals way and overcome any in your way, you will be successful and earn international fame and riches beyond measure. 

Naga Raja is a route building/tile drafting game for 2 players.

Naga Raja - Hurrican - Review 875 Naga Raja - Hurrican - Review 876

Gameplay Mechanics

8.5/10

In Naga Raja players seek to uncover relics found around the edges of their temple boards. They must create paths to a relic in order to discover and flip it over. Once a relic is flipped, it awards victory points. Players create paths to relics by competing for path tiles. 

A single path tile is flipped over. Each player must play a card/cards which tell players which fate sticks they get to roll. Fate sticks provide fate points and nagas. Fate points are added up to determine which player wins the tile. Nagas are used to activate the second portion of the remaining cards in a player’s hand. These cards have actions that can provide benefits to their owner or disrupt the opposing player.

Once players have played all the cards they want, they total their fate points and the highest total wins the path tile and lays it on their board. Play continues like this over a number of rounds until one player has either discovered enough relics to have 25+ points or a player has revealed all three cursed relics. In that case that player instantly loses the game.  

Naga Raja - Hurrican - Review 877

Initial Impressions

8.5/10

If you know me, you know that I am always on the lookout for excellent two player games. I was very excited when I saw news about the release of Naga Raja for two reasons.  1. It’s a two player game. 2. It’s a Bruno Cathala game. That was all I needed to know to get pumped for this game. 

Going through rules and setup took no time at all. My daughter and I were hopping into our first game in a matter of minutes. Right off I realized there is some hefty luck involved because of all the fate sticks that are being thrown around. I do not have any issue with that. I am not an anti-luck activist in the boardgame community. But luck is not always on my side. There are ways with the action cards to mitigate some of the luck element. I feel that they balanced the game out.

When all was said and done, it was a very enjoyable experience.

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Game Build Quality

8.5/10

Very high-quality components are found all throughout the game including the bow and insert. The insert tray may be my favorite piece and that is really saying something because the fate sticks are super cool. 

All the pieces of this game where well thought out and designed with the end user’s experience in mind. 

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Artistic Direction

8.5/10

The artwork does a great job at capturing the feeling of treasure hunting and has an Indiana Jones vibe. It allows players to enter the world of the temples and really feel like they are exploring. The cards all look great and the art captures the actions of the cards. 

I really like the aesthetic as a whole. It is uniformed and embodies the spirit of the theme and that gives players the chance to suspend their disbelief and take part in the exploration.

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Fun Factor

8.5/10

There are a few things that make Naga Raja a standout 2 player game. It has multiple mechanics that operate well together and that gives the game depth and wonderful staying power. It also provides some awesome “gotcha” moments as players get to mess up their rival’s game plans. When you play a 2-player game, you usually play with someone close to you and there is nothing more satisfying doing some mean stuff to make them lose the game!

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Age Range & Weight

8.5/10

The manufacturer suggested age range is 9+. From my experience that feels about right. I played with my daughter, who is 10, and played a competitive game and had fun. Players younger than that may have an issue with making some decisions about how to play their cards and what cards to save to play as naga actions. 

Naga Raja is easy to learn, but it has depth and should keep experienced gamers happy. I would say it could work as a gateway game, but 2 player games are usually not my go to for gateway games.

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Conclusions

8.5/10

Naga Raja definitely wins my Trifecta of Awesomeness award! It has amazing artwork, stellar components and superior game play. All three combined equal a very strong gaming opportunity. I would almost give it a fourth point for being a 2-player game, but I don’t have a reward for that. 

There are lots of positives going on for Naga Raja. If you are a seeker of 2-player games that have a great theme and strong game play then you should give Naga Raja a look. You may just find a new game for your collection.