Episode 286: Ancestree

 

Release Date: March 1, 2018

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   68 min.

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Genealogists are a curious and squinty lot. They spend much of their lives buried in the archives doing research, trying to uncover hidden branches of their family trees.

All those late nights are about to pay off. If all goes well you’ll have enough information to prove your lineage is historically significant - a family tree for the ages!

Ancestree is a tile drafting game where each player cultivates a family tree over three rounds. You'll build dynasties, marriages, and wealth to score points. 

The game is wonderfully simple to learn but the scoring system makes each decision matter and each decision fun. 

Ancestree is also inclusive. It celebrates diversity and allows us to play with the idea of family.  Allowing more people to find themselves in the game is a powerful and playful idea. Inviting more people to the table helps open a door to the wider world of games and (we hope) allows even more people to share the joy and fun we find through play.

Listen in for a full review and discover why Ancestree is Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 285: Majesty: For the Realm

 

Release Date: February 19, 2018

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Running Time:   64 min.

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From millers and brewers to knights and nobles, it takes all sorts to build a kingdom.

In Majesty, players recruit subjects to help create a prosperous new realm. Each character offers a simple but specialized way to bring wealth, health and security to the crown. 

Majesty is an easy to learn, wonderfully elegant and interactive card game. Each character card you add to your kingdom will have implications within and beyond your borders. 

The game is simple enough for almost anyone to learn but also modular, so as you learn, you can tailor the rules to suit your tastes.

Not only does this make Majesty: For the Realm Major Fun, it means you have a hand in defining the kind of fun you have every time you play!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 284: The Lost Expedition

 

Release Date: Feb. 16, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: Peer Sylvester

Publisher:  Osprey Games

1-5 pl  30-60 min  ages 14+  $30

 
 

 

In April of 1925 explorer and adventurer Percy Fawcett set off into the Brazilian jungle in search of the lost city of Z. Z was Fawcett’s code name for El Dorado, a mythical hidden city filled with immense wealth. He was accompanied by his eldest son, Jack and Jack’s best friend Raleigh Rimmel. They disappeared five weeks later. His last letter was dated May 29 from Dead Horse Camp and recounts the many hardships the group had already faced but was generally optimistic. To this day, no one knows the real fate of this adventure. 

In the Lost Expedition, you and your fellow players take up the task of Percy Fawcett and attempt to do what he could not: find the Lost City of Z and live to tell the tale!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 283: Pocket Ops

 

Release Date: Feb. 8 , 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: Brandon Beran

Publisher:  Grand Gamers Guild

2 pl  15 min  ages 8+  MSRP $15

 
 

 

Cue the James Bond music….

In Pocket Ops, you are a spymaster, infiltrating a secret facility with a team of agents to steal a doomsday device. Unfortunately for you, a rival agency has sent their own spies on the very same mission. Using the tools and skills available, you must position your agents in key areas so you can grab the device before your opponent.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 282: Raiders of the North Sea

 

Release Date: February 1, 2018

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Running Time:   67 min.

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The North Sea Saga is a trilogy of games that follow the progress of the Viking culture in 3 different eras using 3 very different types of game mechanics but united by art and history.

In Raiders of the North Sea you play a viking warrior raiding unsuspecting settlements. Assemble a crew, collect provisions and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock... even if it ends in a glorious death!

The game is a brilliant balance of strategy and simplicity.  Start with a worker, do an action, pick up a worker (and possibly do a second action).

It is a perfect introductory worker placement game. In fact it might be THE perfect way to teach someone the basics of the genre.

And by Odin's beard, that makes it very worthy of our Spiel of Approval!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 281: Holiday Party

 

Release Date: Dec. 22, 2017

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Running Time:   2 hr 36 min

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Robot cheetahs, dentures, musical failure, D&D resources, pooping Amazons, and board games galore. 

Join our party of misfit nerds for a festive, freewheeling conversation spanning the wide world geekdom. Most of all, be ready to laugh! A lot.

Guests: Debbie Ohi (Toronto, Canada), Jeff Ridpath (Toronto, Canada), Darrell Ottery (Reading, UK), Daniel Jensen (Linkoping, Sweden), Stephen Buonocore (Somerset, NJ), Doug Richardson (Gresham, OR), Ezra Denney, (Alameda, CA), Lucio Rodriguez (Riverside, CA), Beth Heile (Chicago, IL), John Knoerzer (Chicago, IL),  Mark Smalley (Indianapolis, IN), Gubbins (Indianapolis, IN), and Francie Broadie (Indianapolis, IN)! 

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 280: Ethnos

 

Release Date: December 5, 2017

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Running Time:   58 min.

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In Ethnos players vie for control of a fantasy realm by collecting and playing sets of cards. The cards in your set will share the same type (minotaurs or giants for instance) or they'll share the same color (matching one of the six regions on the board).

Each set you play gives you a better chance of scoring points in a particular region. And each creature has special powers that provide additional layers of strategy and variety every time you play. But beware, three dragons lurk in the deck and you won't know exactly how your cards stack up until the third one appears.

Ethnos offers challenging decisions through simple to learn but innovative mechanics. The game is familiar yet fresh - tense and interactive to the end.

Friend and patron Jay Bartelt (from the Gaming Hoopla) joins us for an in-depth look at the game. Listen in to discover why we think it deserves our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 279: Rhino Hero: Super Battle

 

Release Date: Dec. 1, 2017

Download: PDF

Designer: Scott Frisco, Steven Strumpf

Publisher:  HABA

2-4 pl  20 min ages 5+  MSRP $30

 
 

 

The big city can be a dangerous place. It’s a good thing your new high rise apartment building has its own team of superheroes to protect it! Rhino Hero and super friends Giraffe Boy, Big E and Batguin are on patrol as the building goes up, trying to reach the highest floor. Build with a steady hand and roll well in your battles and your hero will fly high!

Rhino Hero: Super Battle is a mega-scale stacking game. Using folded cards, players build a cardstock skyscraper and hope to move their wooden superhero token toward the top of the structure. When two heroes meet on the same level, a dice battle occurs knocking one to a lower floor. The hero at the highest level when the building comes crashing down wins the game.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 278: Codenames: Duet

 

Release Date: Nov. 21, 2017

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Running Time:   60 min.

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The party game Codenames took the game playing world by storm in 2015. Teams compete to find the secret names of their agents using a grid of word cards and two simple clues: a word and a number. It's engaging, creative and loads of fun.

Duet offers us a tense two player transformation of the original. You and your partner must contact 15 agents using a grid of word cards and a very limited number of clues. The big problem is each of you only know half the agents in play!

More puzzle than party, Codenames Duet offers a totally different challenge and experience through the same basic set of rules. By all rights, Duet is a game that should not work. Reimagining a lively party game as a thoughtful deductive puzzle for two is a huge leap. And yet Duet sings in harmony with its older cousin - a familiar melody but clearly its own tune.

Listen in to discover why we celebrate this remarkable and resilient game design, in all its forms, as Major Fun!

Show notes continue after the break.

Episode 277: Wordsy is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Nov. , 2017

Download: PDF

Designer: Gil Hova

Publisher:  Formal Ferret Games

1-6 pl  20 min ages 10+  MSRP $60

 
 

 

In Wordsy, players use a grid of letter cards to form a word each round. Some letters are worth more, others less. But here's the twist: you can use any letters you want to make your words, not just the ones in the grid!

The game challenges you to be creative - to play with letters and words in a way that is distinctly different than most word games. This makes Wordsy a modern classic...

and also Major Fun! 

Written review continues after the break.

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