Episode 322: Forbidden Sky

Release Date: May 6, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   85 min.

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First came the island. Your team of adventurers found relics in temples sinking into the sea.

Next was the Desert. Crashed in the wastes, your team rebuilt an ancient flying machine to escape.

And now, high above the clouds, your team discovers an abandoned launch station from a lost space-faring civilization.

There’s just one problem. A deadly storm is coming. Can you rewire the station (creating a real electrical circuit) and gather your team for a rocket launch into the Forbidden Sky? 

Forbidden Sky is the third in a trilogy of cooperative games by noted designer Matt Leacock. Each game in the series adds new challenges and levels of complexity to overcome.

Listen in to explore the game and discover why it deserves BOTH awards!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 321: Echidna Shuffle

Release Date:  Apr. 29, 2019

Download: PDF

Designer: Kris Gould

Publisher:  Wattsalpoag

2-6 pl  | 15 min  |  ages 6+  |  MSRP $30


Echidnas, prickly cousins to the platypus, love to roam the forest floor. They often bump into friends along the way as they walk their well worn paths.

What the echidnas don’t know is this. The insects of the forest ride them everywhere… like the bus or the subway! Better yet, echidnas are like spiny unaware Uber or Lyft drivers, picking up and dropping off passengers as they shuffle along.

In Echidna Shuffle, each player has three colorful insects they are trying to get home. Can you catch a ride on an echidna and help it shuffle through the forest to your home stumps? The problem is there are so many echidnas around, they often wander off course, especially when you get close to your bug’s home!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 320: Carpe Diem

Release Date:  Apr. 29, 2019

Download: PDF

Designer: Stefan Feld

Publisher:  Alea, Ravensburger

2-4 pl  | 45-75 min  |  ages 10+  |  MSRP $40


ROME, 1 B.C.  You are a leader of a noble Roman family, a Patrician. As such, you are charged with improving your city district—and, as always, advancing the interests of your family.

Lately, a new thought has seized Roman life. “Carpe Diem”, or Seize the Day, the sentiment advanced by Horace, the poet. Make the most of today, with little thought for tomorrow.

The race is on. Can you, in a few actions, maximize your holdings and gain the greatest glory?

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 319: Flotsam Fight

Release Date: Apr. 15, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   56 min.

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A treasure hunter's life is never easy. Especially when the ship with your treasure capsizes and all your loot starts to float away!

Flotsam Fight is a card shedding game that plays like an old classic.

Your goal is to put as many treasure cards as you can onto lifeboats. The problem is, each treasure will only fit onto certain boats. And when one player finishes loading up, you don't want to be stuck with an armful of big loot!

Tune in to see why we think Flotsam Fight packs a ton of Major Fun into such a small box.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 318: Coimbra

Release Date: Apr. 1, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   82 min.

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Portugal, though small in size, wields enormous economic, political, and military power through its growing colonial and trade empires during the Renaissance.

In Coimbra, each player is the head of a family selecting dice to gain influence over important members of society within the city: the clergy, the scholars, the merchants, and the civic leaders.

With careful management of the allies you gain and the income you gather from turn to turn, you’ll carve a memorable chapter in Coimbra’s history.

On the surface the game seems simple: pick three dice each turn. But nested within each simple choice are  challenging and rewarding levels of strategy and depth. 

Listen in to learn why we think Coimbra presents us with an inspired set of restrictions that set the standard for our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 317: Illusion

Release Date: Mar. 25, 2019

Download: PDF

Designer: Wolfgang Warsch

Publisher:  NSV, Pandasaurus

2-4 pl  | 20 min  |  ages 8+  |  MSRP $15


Illusion asks the simple question: Can you trust your eyes? All you need to do is put cards in order, from low to high, based on just one color. Everything is right before you— if you can believe what you see.

Illusion takes child like concepts of shape and color, more and less, and turns them into Major Fun for everyone at the table.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 316: Warsaw: City of Ruins

Release Date: Mar. 25, 2019

Download: PDF

Designer: Filip Miłuński

Publisher:  Granna, North Star

2-4 pl  | 60 min  |  ages 12+  |  MSRP $50


Warsaw is a resilient city. It is known as the City of Ruins because it has been the focal point of conflict and destruction throughout its 700 year history. And yet, despite this cycle of hardship, each time the citizens rebuild and remake the city, living and growing above and around these layers of history.

Each player will oversee the rise and fall their own district within Warsaw, hoping to guide it to prosperity from the 1600s to the present by laying tiles representing residential, commercial, cultural, industrial, public and natural areas. At the end of each round time passes and each area will score. But you can only build out so far. Then you must build up, changing the landscape of your district and preparing for the inevitable destruction that war will bring. At the end of 6 epochs, Warsaw will rise into the present and the player whose district has flourished the most will win the game.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 315: Gugong

Release Date: Mar. 18, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   68 min.

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Ming Dynasty China. The Emperor rules from the Imperial Palace, the Gùgōng. 

You are the head of a noble family doing your best to gain influence and power. You do this by bribing palace officials with extravagant gifts, hoping they will act on your behalf. Four days separate you from glory or disgrace. Without an audience with the Emperor himself, your family’s prestige will fade.

Gùgōng is driven by a wonderfully simple but richly strategic set of decisions. Playing a single gift card can unlock several actions and benefits. But at what cost? Servants and cards are precious and often in short supply.

Gùgōng is a deeply rewarding and refined example of modern euro-style game design - a beautiful blend of history and theme with compelling gameplay.

Listen in and wander the Forbidden City with us and discover why Gùgōng deserves your attention and our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 314: Just One

Release Date: Feb. 18, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   74 min.

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Just One is a cooperative party game. A stack of 13 cards stands between everyone playing and perfection. Each round clues will be given and a guess will be made in hopes of finding the magic word for the round. But in each case, whether you’re a clue giver or word guesser you get JUST ONE.

The tension in the game comes from each player’s imagination and trying not to get in synch with anyone else at the table. Can you use your powers of inference, using your knowledge of the word and the knowledge of the people at the table to figure out what path they might be on so you can avoid it and find one of your own?

And by shifting the competition away from each other to a question of how well can we all do, it celebrates the joy of playing over the joy of winning. It’s not even funny how Major Fun that is.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 313: Reef

Release Date: Feb. 25, 2019

Download: PDF

Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi

Publisher:  Next Move Games

2-4 pl  | 30 min  |  ages 8+  |  MSRP $40


In Reef, you create your own tiny coral kingdom. Using cards, you’ll gather colorful pieces to build your reef, hoping to stack them into the right configurations to score. 

It's a game of pattern building and recognition. Choose carefully and Neptune will reward you with his approval .

We may not be Greek gods, but to us, Reef is a masterpiece of the sea and most definitely Major Fun.

Written review continues after the break.