Episode 267: The Spiel on Cottage Garden

 

Release Date: August 1, 2017

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Running Time:   50 min.

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Gardening, to some, much like board games, is not just a pastime - it's a passion - a way of life. In Cottage Garden your goal is to paint with peonies and petunias, planting and arranging the right mix of flowers and foliage to create a relaxing and glorious garden in the limited space you have.  You might even get help from a cat or two along the way. Each flowerbed you complete will add to your garden’s beauty and your final score.

Cottage Garden is a tile laying game that plays like an interactive puzzle.

Listen in to learn why the game has cultivated our Spiel of Approval!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 266: Beasts of Balance is Major Fun

 

Release Date: June 26, 2017

Download: PDF

Designer: G Buckenham, A Fleetwood

Publisher:  Sensible Object

1-5 pl  30 min ages 7+  MSRP $99

 
 

 

Beasts of Balance is a playful hybrid of analog and digital games. It combines the simple almost primal act of stacking with technological elements that enhance and expand gameplay in fun and unexpected ways.

You will build and destroy a new world each time you play. Using wonderful and whimsical three dimensional animals and an app installed on your tablet, you populate your world by stacking each one on a platform called a plinth, hoping to create new hybrids, score points and keep each creature from going extinct.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 265: Tricky Trunks is Major Fun

 

Release Date: June 13, 2017

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Running Time:   40 min.

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Life in the herd can get boring when you’re a young elephant. To pass the time, the little ones invent games to play. First they gather a bunch of colorful balls. Next they race to see who can pick them up. BUT here’s the challenge:

You must pick up the balls according to a certain pattern and.. 

NO HANDS ALLOWED!!

You can only use your kooky plastic elephant trunk to pick up the balls!

Listen in to discover why we think Tricky Trunks is a joy to play. It's Hungry Hungry Hippos for the 21st century. And is most emphatically Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 264: The Spiel on Roll Player

 

Release Date: June 1, 2017

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   46 min.

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Every adventurer has a story to tell. In Roll Player, you get to start at the beginning and craft a hero for the ages, one die roll at a time.

Each turn you will place dice into a character board to shape your characters basic traits like strength, intelligence and dexterity. With luck and cunning, these decisions will help you meet the goals of your class and alignment or leave you with enough gold to buy some amazing equipment at the market.

If you love rpgs, there's a lot to love about Roll Player. 

But even if you can't tell an orc from an elf or a scimitar from a Bohemian earspoon, Roll Player is a game that could still speak to you

Part puzzle, part press your luck dice game, there are challenging and fun decisions to make every turn.

Listen in to learn for an in-depth look at the game and discover why it has earned the Spiel of Approval Award!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 263: Ninja Camp is Major Fun

 

Release Date: May 28, 2017

Download: PDF

Designer: Adam Daulton

Publisher:  Action Phase Games

2-4 pl  30 min ages 10+  MSRP $20

 
 

 

It’s a little known fact that animals make the best ninjas. In fact, there’s a secret camp where they go to train. Whether you’re a hamster, a camel, a sloth or a platypus, Sensei Saru can teach you to master the arts of the shadow warrior.

Today, the Sensei has a special challenge for all his students. Each animal clan will enter the arena and face each other in a grand melee. You must use your skills combined with the opportunities you find in the arena to remain standing while others fall.

Do this and Sensei Saru will name your clan to be his personal apprentices, and the best students at Ninja Camp!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 262: Picassimo is Major Fun

 

Release Date: May 15, 2017

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   41 min.

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There’s trouble brewing in the small town of Forgerville. The night before the new abstract art exhibition at the museum, all the paintings have gone missing!

Luckily the museum employees have a plan. Overnight, they will paint furiously and replace the paintings with abstract works of their own.

Picassimo is a party game where players create, disassemble and reassemble works of art. You'll use a 6 part canvas to create your drawing and then mix up some of the parts and present your masterpiece to the other players, your critics. They must then try to guess the subject of your artwork, even though the pieces are out of order, by mentally reassembling the parts.

Best of all, you really don't have to be an expert artist to do well at Picassimo. That's because Picassimo allows you to look and draw each work of art in a new way.

That's what we call innovation. And it's also what we call Major Fun!

Listen in to learn all about the game and discover whether Picassimo should be hanging in your gallery at home.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 261: The Spiel on Lorenzo il Magnifico

 

Release Date: May 1, 2017

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Running Time:   66 min.

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The Medici family ruled the Florentine Republic for nearly a century. They controlled the largest and most trusted bank in Europe and used their enormous wealth and influence to gain political power. But they ruled as citizens, not royalty.

A diplomat, poet, collector and patron to artists and scholars, Lorenzo de Medici was the greatest leader of Florence and a father of the Renaissance.

But he didn't do it alone. Maintaining Florentine power and status was a family business!

In the game, each player is the head of a noble house in Florence. You hope to guide your family to prestige and power by sending each member of your family to different areas of the city. They will gather resources, sponsor new developments, hire characters and fund economic ventures. 

Every player must also be mindful of the Pope. If you do not demonstrate enough loyalty and faith to the Vatican, you risk excommunication! Without the support of the Church your family may struggle to rise to the top.

Listen in to learn for an in-depth look at the game, learn more about the history of the Medicis and discover why it has earned the Spiel of Approval Award!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 260: Great Dinosaur Rush is Major Fun

 

Release Date: April 24, 2017

Download: PDF

Designer: Scott Almes

Publisher:  APE Games

2-5 pl  60 min ages 10+  MSRP $50

 
 

 

There’s little doubt today’s world is dino-crazy. Few things fire our imagination like seeing the bones of these massive reptilian beasts. And yet this was not always the case. Dinosaurs became part of popular culture due to the Great Dinosaur Rush over 120 years ago!

In the late 1800s, rival paleontologists scrambled to be the first to discover and promote new species of dinosaurs. They often stooped to devious and underhanded means to compete with and embarrass anyone who happened to get in the way. This race for bones led to the discoveries of over 142 species of dinosaurs. And this flood of new bones to museums sparked public interest and the dino-craze that still rages on today.

In The Great Dinosaur Rush, each player is a famous fossil hunter searching the American prairie for bones. You will use these bones to physically build your own dinosaur each turn, either real or imagined, hoping to score big in the museum exhibit.

But beware, your opponents may try to sabotage your efforts along the way. You may need to play a little dirty to win, but if you gain too much notoriety, it will cost your dearly!

Read on to explore our in-depth review of the game and learn why we think it is worth of the Major Fun AND Spiel of Approval Awards!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 259: Kingdomino is Major Fun

 

Release Date: April 17, 2017

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Running Time:   43 min.

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Being King is a tough job, especially when your subjects need more land. Some like the forest, others the desert, some even like the swamp. And it's your job to make sure they all have a place in your realm. To do this, you'll expand out from your castle, laying dominoes of different types of land, hoping to create the highest scoring tabletop kingdom.

Kingdomino mixes the time tested classic tile laying game with several simple, clever modern twists. Easy enough for kids and families to learn quickly but deep enough to provide a fun challenge every time you play.

That's a surefire recipe for Major Fun!

Listen in to our full review of the game and discover why Kingdomino might deserve an honored place on your shelf, too.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 258: The Spiel on Black Orchestra

 

Release Date: Apr. 3, 2017

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   97 min.

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The shadow of war looms over Europe in 1936.

Hitler’s election and rise to power brings with it unprecedented aggression. Yet as the military and political machine prepare for conflict, there are those in Germany who understand he must be stopped at all costs. These conspirators were hunted by the Gestapo. Some were part of the military or intelligence service. Others were civilians. Collectively they were known as the Black Orchestra. They plotted to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime.

In the game, each player is a member of the Black Orchestra. Together you work toward your goal, trying to set in motion a series of events through daring actions that will lead to Hitler’s death. You must do this by gaining enough motivation and courage to go through with the deed without drawing too much suspicion to yourself and your compatriots.

This is not a task for the faint of heart. But if you succeed, you'll save millions of lives by ending the war early or perhaps before it begins in full!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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