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Smugglers

Players: 2-4 Age: 8+ Teaching Time: 10 mins Playing Time: 40 mins Setup Time: 5 mins Value For Money: High (remaindered) Luck: Low Complexity: Low Strategy: Low Price: £10 Recommended: No Website: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/191049/smugglers I’m writing this review during lockdown, which means that other than playing on Table Top Simulator physical play has been limited to my wonderful wife. This means I try to avoid visiting too many heavy weight games on her. Luckily, I pick up plenty of games when they’re remaindered or in charity shops that I’d not play normally, and they’re getting some plays now. What’s perhaps more odd, is that they’re getting reviews as well. I picked up Smug

Sneaking Mission - Solo

Players: 1 Age: 8+ Teaching Time: 10 mins Playing Time: 20 mins Setup Time: 1 mins Value For Money: High Luck: Mid Complexity: Low Strategy: Low Price: Print and Play Recommended: No Website: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/51818/sneaking-mission-solo Solo Play Review Sneaking Mission includes one page of counters so its a fairly simple build, but then I didn't bother backing mine. It asks you to provide a coin (for flipping) and a handful of counters (flat ones such as tiddlywinks). Other than that it has a five page rule book. On the subject of Print and Play rule books, can designers with a Print and Play game that fits into a single small zip lock bag please stop producing rule books

Sumo Gnomes

Players: 2 Age: 8+ Teaching Time: 2 mins Playing Time: 1-5 mins Setup Time: 1 min Value For Money: Mid Luck: Mid Complexity: Low Strategy: Low Price: £11 Recommended: Sure Website: http://www.peculiarity.co.uk/p/sumo-gnomes.html Sumo Gnomes was a Kickstarter run by Robbie Munn as his independent design and publishing company, Peculiarity in 2019/2020. I’ll start by saying that I’ve personally met Robbie a few times, he’s a great and outgoing personality and I look forward to catching up with him again once the convention system exists once more, and he ran a fun campaign that was only slightly delayed by the 2020 corona virus pandemic, something that he absolutely needs to be congratulated f

Summoner's Isle

Players: 2-4 Age: 8+ Teaching Time: 10 mins Playing Time: 40-60 mins Setup Time: 10 Value For Money: Mid Luck: High Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £18 Recommended: No Website:http://www.peculiarity.co.uk/p/blog-page.html A lesser known game, Summoner’s Isle resulted from a successful Kickstarter run by Robbie Munn of Peculiarity in 2018. It’s a small box area control game, essentially a fantasy Dudes on a Map game. Its decent looking, quick to play and reasonably satisfying. Game turns are staggered, at first randomly but in later turns based on reverse score order. Players spend energy summoning creatures, most powerful creatures first, then move and attack with them, most powerful cr

Taco Fight!

Players: 2-4 Age: 10+ Teaching Time: 10 mins Playing Time: 5-6 mins Setup Time: 10 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: High Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £20 Recommended: Yes Website: http://eldorado.games/tacofight/ The logic behind the story of some games isn’t always obvious or, frankly, sane. Why did I wait until the middle of this massive storm to plunder this unstable sky platform? Why am I building an entire railway line just to get where I’m going? But Taco Fight’s theme is the sort of crazy that ups the notch a few steps at least. Sentient tacos are attacking you, and probably your friends, as vengeance for your troughing on their buddies. You hold them back by using other sentie

Thunderbirds game

Players: 1-4 Age: 6+ Teaching Time: 5 mins Playing Time: 30 mins Setup Time: 5 mins Value For Money: Depends Luck: Mid Complexity: Low Strategy: Mid Price: Variable Recommended: As a historical artifact, sure Solo Review In a recent delving into boardgames of futures past I dug out my copy of Thunderbirds, not the excellent 2015 version, but the 1966 Waddingtons version which was re-printed in 2016. I recently heard the creator of Arkham Horror in an interview suggesting that Arkham was the first co-op game, while I can’t swear that Thunderbirds is the first co-op (the only other early game of the type my own collection includes is the co-op playable Sorcerer’s Cave from ’78), I can tell you

Ticket To Ride

Players: 2-5 Age: 8+ Teaching Time: 10 mins Playing Time: 30-60 mins Setup Time: 5 Value For Money: Mid Luck: Mid Complexity: Low Strategy: Mid Price: £40 Recommended: Yes Website: https://www.daysofwonder.com/tickettoride/en/ I say this often in my reviews of Spiel Des Jahres winners, but never is it more relevant than in this review, sometimes it feels insane telling people about some of these games. Still, I’ve decided to review all the SDJs, so its time for Ticket to Ride. For those who are new to hobby gaming I should explain, Ticket to Ride is arguably the gateway game to modern hobby board gaming. It is a gaming phenomenon, massively popular, widely famous, and deservedly so. Its

T.I.M.E. Stories

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Low Luck: Low Complexity: Mid/High Strategy: Low/Mid Price: £40 Recommended: Depends Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review T.I.M.E Stories is a high concept idea that I really want to work, essentially a mid box game providing a system into which a range of scenario modules can slot in. In short its a video game console for boardgames. Of course the difference is that you really can't play your video games without the console making the increased cost of the machine easier to stomach, so is the base set of T.I.M.E Stories useful or necessary enough to justify i

T.I.M.E. Stories: Madame

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: Not really, but you're committed by now. Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review So T.I.M.E. Stories: Madame is the final scenario in what is now termed the ‘white’ series of T.I.M.E. Stories scenarios, as opposed to what will be the new ‘blue’ series. As such its tough to review this like a normal scenario, since there is the basic scenario as a stand alone, its place in the cycle and the fact that we now have the whole series to look back on. So I’m going to essentially do this review in t

T.I.M.E. Stories: Brotherhood Of The Coast

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: Yes Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review Brotherhood Of The Coast is one of the better T.I.M.E. Stories modules, but has a few odd flaws. It tasks players with investigating the Spanish Main as buccaneers in the golden age of piracy, hunting down four brothers. Game play wise it introduces a few new mechanics to the series and nicely simulates some situations. For example, each island is separated into a different cellophane package, not necessary from a packaging viewpoint but nicely creat

T.I.M.E. Stories: Estrella Drive

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: No Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review Estrella Drive is not an inherently bad T.I.M.E. Stories scenario, but it does fail to justify the claims on its box. Personally its probably my least favorite, sadly I'll never know how I would feel about it if it were presented differently. The cards come in two sections each with their own object collecting "mystery", play consists of figuring out the objects needed and bringing them to the correct location, then repeating. The first section is bas

T.I.M.E. Stories: Expedition: Endurance

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: No Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review Expedition: Endurance has a Lovecraft based story drawing heavy inspiration from "At The Mountains Of Madness". As such its another horror story and, which seems to be a pattern with T.I.M.E. Stories' horror themes, its one of the weaker modules. At the risk of repeating myself, I don't know why Space Cowboys persist in doing horror themed stories, they're not very strong and are quite divisive. The game has two sections, one searching a lost expediti

T.I.M.E. Stories: Lumen Fidei

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: Yes Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review Lumen Fidei is my favorite T.I.M.E. Stories scenario so far. It shows everything the series and concept is capable of in the hands of a designer interested and willing to push it to the limits of what it can do. It uses a range of innovative elements in particular those mapping the character's piety and heresy. With the game set in the Spain of the 17th century, this makes total thematic sense to be a central element with religious standing defining

T.I.M.E. Stories: The Marcy Case

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: Maybe Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review On balance The Marcy Case is one of the weaker T.I.M.E. Stories scenarios. That's not saying that its terrible, it still tells an effective story and its presentation, as with throughout the series is top notch. It just has a set of flaws and issues that make it a questionable entry. First and most minor is that it is, again, a horror themed scenario, specifically zombie apocalypse. I was personally doubly disappointed since the title and the blood

T.I.M.E. Stories: Under The Mask

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: Yes Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review Under The Mask is my personal favorite T.I.M.E. Stories module so far. Its set in ancient Egypt and tasks players with fixing things so that Tutankhamun will be found to have died via the correct method recorded by history. The theme is strong and well realised, also it has no divisive or horror elements, making it accessible to a wide audience. Its greatest strength is its overall story arc involving searching out a wide range of items driving you t

T.I.M.E. Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons

Players: 2-4 Age: 12+ Teaching Time: 20 mins Playing Time: 90 mins per session Setup Time: 20 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Low Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £21.99 Recommended: Yes Website: https://www.spacecowboys.fr/ Solo Play Review A Prophecy of Dragons is one of the better T.I.M.E. Stories scenarios in my opinion, particularly ironic since it was apparently bumped from the base set by Asylum. Extra annoying since with this scenario having no horror elements and Asylum having some quite disturbing images and concepts A Prophecy of Dragons might have been a better scenario but was definitely a more inclusive one. The story involves searching for the parts of a prophecy in a well

Tiny Epic Galaxies

Players: 1-5 Age: 14+ Teaching Time: 15 mins Playing Time: 30-45 mins Setup Time: 2 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Mid Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £22 Recommended: Sure Website: www.gamelyngames.com Solo Play Review There are two elements that solo play games often struggle with, difficulty and depth. Tiny Epic Galaxies does a fine job squaring up to both of them and depending on your personal tastes comes out on top. Game play consists of rolling dice and activating them to perform a range of actions such as, moving ships onto planets, using planet's unique abilities or orbiting them for victory points; generating resources; building up and using your home galaxy. The Tiny Epic se

Tiny Epic Quest

Players: 1-4 Age: 14+ Teaching Time: 15 mins Playing Time: 30-60 mins Setup Time: 10 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: High Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £22 Recommended: Yes Website: www.gamelyngames.com Solo Play Review Either I’m clicking in to Scott Almes’ design patterns or its pure luck but Quest is absolutely my favorite Tiny Epic so far. Mechanically I’m not sure it’s the best but it does have just the right level of theme to carry it over which possibly the other Tiny Epics that I’ve played so far didn’t have. Gameplay is a mix of push your luck and worker placement used to clock up victory points by completing various tasks. A modular board is placed representing a range of

Tiny Epic Zombies

Players: 1-5 Age: 14+ Teaching Time: 15 mins Playing Time: 30-45 mins Setup Time: 2 mins Value For Money: Mid Luck: Mid Complexity: Mid Strategy: Mid Price: £22 Recommended: Not as a solo game. Website: www.gamelyngames.com Solo Play Review I wasn’t a huge fan of Tiny Epic Galaxies but thought I’d give Zombies a run and when I opened the box and flicked through the components, I was very hopeful and even excited. Sadly, I’d be lying if I said that excitement remained for very long. I’ll start with the good, particularly the contents of that box. The Tiny Epic games do cost quite a bit for the size of the box but I challenge anyone to be disappointed by what you get for that price. In this

Tiny Trees

Players: 2-4 Age: 8+ Teaching Time: 10 mins Playing Time: 15-45 mins Setup Time: 1 mins Value For Money: Low Luck: Mid Complexity: Low Strategy: Low Price: £25 Recommended: Maybe Website: https://growtinytrees.com/ Basic Kickstarter Edition Tiny Trees is a super cute, family friendly strategy and dexterity game. Its an early project by a starting company with a lower grade of components than would have been ideal, so I have a lot of sympathy for it but it is a long way from perfect. Right from opening the box onwards Tiny Trees is a story of ups and downs. On the ups, the game has zero single use plastic, which is perfect given the theme and suggests real attention to detail. Sadly, prior to

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