Episode 230: Favor of the Pharaoh is Major Fun

 

Release Date: May 2 , 2016

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Running Time:   48 min.

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Roll like an Egyptian!

Favor of the Pharaoh is a recipe filling roll-and-keep dice game based on an earlier title: To Court the King. Starting as a lowly peasant, you rise through the ranks of ancient Egyptian society by rolling increasingly difficult combinations to gain abilities, bonuses, and special dice. When the final round begins, the player who rolls the most dice with the highest matching number will gain the Favor of the Pharaoh!

This is the first game to merit BOTH the Major Fun and Spiel of Approval awards! The basic game is easy to learn and adaptable for younger or less experienced players. Double sided level bars allow for more strategic and thoughtful play. Put simply, you can tailor the game to fit almost any group at your table. Familiar yet fresh, Favor of the Pharaoh is a worthy recipient of both honors and, perhaps, a spot on your game shelf, too.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 229: Dr. Eureka is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Apr. 21 , 2016

Download: PDF

Designer: Roberto Fraga

Publisher:  Blue Orange

2-4 players  ages 6+  MSRP $20

 
 

There's an art and science to Dr. Eureka. Mix molecules in three test tubes to creat formulas as fast as you can. This clever combo of speed and caution make it Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 228: The Spiel on Mombasa

 

Release Date: Apr. 11 , 2016

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Running Time:   45 min.

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Experience history from the inside.

In Mombasa, players are investors in chartered companies, the forerunners of modern corporations. These companies were licensed by European monarchs and given monopolies over certain trade goods and certain areas of the world and afforded unprecedented military and political authority in the quest to acquire these goods. This led to massive profits for some at the cost of unimaginable suffering for others. The history of Africa, Western Europe, and our modern world was shaped in large part due to the actions of these companies.

Over the course of 7 turns, Mombasa allows players to explore the economic impact of four different chartered companies through their expansion and growth across the continent. 

The heart of Mombasa is a simple but elegant system of card play. Players select cards/actions but must place each card played into separate discard piles. Because you may only retreive one discard pile at a time, deciding what cards to play and WHERE to discard them becomes a tremendously fun challenge.

Tune in to find out why Mombasa deserves the Spiel of Approval!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 227: New York 1901 is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Apr. 1 , 2016

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Running Time:   50 min.

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Steel giants rise high into the clouds. In New York 1901, you play an up-and-coming real estate developer trying to make your name by building the greatest array of skyscrapers the world has ever seen. 

You do this by claiming lots and placing Tetris-like tiles on the board, scoring points for building and upgrading your properties, having the most buildings along key streets in Manhattan and, if you plan well, you may also score bonus points for a secret goal at the end of the game.

More brainy than zany, New York 1901 allows players to shape the city according to their grand plan from a deceptively simple series of choices. Tune in to learn more about the game and why it deserves the award.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

The Game Sommelier: David Girling

 

Written by: David Girling

 
 

Like matching the perfect vintage with a delicious meal, The Game Sommelier finds the right game for any crowd, age, experience or situation.

Each month, we select a Spiel supporter to serve as a guest Sommelier. This Spieler must find five games to meet a fiendish challenge. We'll judge each selection with a thumbs up or thumbs down and discover whether he or she has earned the right, ne, the honor to be called The Game Sommelier!

This month's guest Sommelier: David Girling

Introduction: The Legacy series of games and TIME Stories are bringing a novel approach to board game design - a linear narrative. This is a concept borrowed directly from video game culture. You play through the story of the game and you're done. This makes them less replayable than other sorts of games but it emphasizes a player's journey through the game - through the story. The risk or the challenge is that the story better be good or players will feel cheated by the experience and hours spent playing

The Challenge: Find 5 games that could be reinvented with a linear narrative; 5 games that deserve the Legacy treatment.

Read David's selections after the break.

Episode 226: The Spiel on Ascension: Dreamscape

 

Release Date: Mar. 21 , 2016

Download: PDF

Designer: John Fiorillo, Justin Gary

Publisher:  Stoneblade Ent.

1-4 players  ages 13+  MSRP $40

 
 

Battle cosmic forces in Ascension by building a deck of cards filled with powerful heroes and machines from otherworldly realms. With nine versions of the game, Ascension offers a nearly infinite variety of card combinations and strategies while remaining easy to learn and quick to play. Dreamscape is the latest addition to the world and it continues to carry the banner of quality and fun for the entire family of games. 

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 225: Fuse is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Mar. 7 , 2016

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Running Time:   45 min.

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Red alert! Dozens of bombs are hidden across the decks of your ship. Can your team find defuse them all before time runs out?

Fuse is a 10 minute cooperative dice game. Bomb cards have a recipe of numbers and/or colors needed to defuse them. The team must roll and negotiate to collect dice in order to fill each bomb's recipe and move on to defuse all the bomb cards in the deck before time runs out.

Fuse is easy to learn, fast to play, hard to win and amazingly addictive. That is a winning recipe for Major Fun! Tune in to learn more about Fuse and why it deserves the award.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 224: The Spiel on Burgle Bros

 

Release Date: Mar. 1 , 2016

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Running Time:   45 min.

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Get Together. Get the Loot. Get Out.

Burgle Brothers is a cooperative heist game that is clearly inspired by the wonderful cinematic tradition of films like Ocean’s 11, The Italian Job, Topkapi, The Great Train Robbery and modern films like the newer Oceans movies Inception, and one of my new favorites, Tower Heist. You have a crew of specialists ready to help you infiltrate a bank or an office or even Fort Knox. The goal? Find the safe on each floor of the building, crack it, grab the loot and escape to the roof where a helicopter awaits to whisk you away to safety.

This game emphasizes teamwork and builds in many fun heist movie moments filled with suspense... when your careful plan hangs in the balance and moments of panic... when everything falls apart and you have to come up with a new plan on the fly.

Tune in to find out why Burgle Bros deserves the Spiel of Approval!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 223: Strike is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Feb. 15 , 2016

Download: PDF

Designer: Dieter Nüßle

Publisher:  Ravensburger

2-5 players  ages 8+  MSRP $20

 
 

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most fun, or, in the case of Strike, Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 222: The Spiel on 7 Wonders: Duel

 

Release Date: Feb. 5 , 2016

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Running Time:   37 min.

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Is it possible to improve a classic? 

The card drafting game 7 Wonders stormed onto the scene in 2010 to overwhelming critical and commercial success. Players build toward one of the great wonders of the ancient world over three ages, scoring points for each area they develop: science, culture, military, commerce. It strikes an amazing balance between strategy, accessibility and speed of play. And best of all, it can accommodate up to 7 players.

Enter 7 Wonders: Duel. Same concept but designed solely for 2 players. The team of noted French designers Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala provide players with an experience that feels similar to the original yet filled with its own unique challenges and strategies. This is no cheap knock off or imitation. This is a game that can stand the test of time, just like it's cousin. Tune in to see why we think it deserves the very first... Spiel of Approval!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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