World's Fair 1893

World’s Fair 1893

Reviewed by: Yovany Alas

World’s Fair 1893

Ever wanted to travel back in time?  More specifically, have you ever wanted to go back to 1893 to visit the Chicago World’s Fair?  Well, thanks to the power of board games, you can!  World’s Fair 1893, a 2016 Mensa Select winner, is the most recent game by designer J. Alex Kevern, published by Foxtrot Games.

The real life World’s Fair in Chicago was an amazing showcase of technology, science, entertainment, and culture.  In the tabletop incarnation of the event, you take on the role of one of the fair’s organizers, and you’ll work to increase your influence throughout the fair to obtain the exhibits that will be put on display.

World’s Fair 1893 takes a lot of my favorite game mechanics (set collecting, card drafting, and area control) to create its own style and delivers a very well done strategic experience for 2-4 players.  I also thoroughly appreciate that the cards used are historically accurate and chock full of facts.  You, too, can dazzle your friends with facts about the 38-foot tall pavilion made out of 30,000 pounds of chocolate.

As for gameplay, on each turn, the active player will send one of their supporters to one of the five areas in the board, and collect all of the cards at that location.  New cards are then added, draft style, to that location as well as two others, and the turn ends.  The cards represent proposals for the exhibits (matching the five areas), influential and historical figures who can (read more...)

Merchants and Marauders

Reviewed by: Hank Arendall

At some point, you may find your board gaming group seeking a “next level” board game. Something that can provide you with hours of immersive and thematic gameplay, that contains enough decision making to make it feel like a skill-intensive experience, but not at the expense of fun. And of course, you’ll want something you can play over and over while still getting a new experience. If your group is ready to take this plunge, or if your just looking for the ultimate “pirate” board game, you should consider Merchants & Marauders.

The game is played with 2-4 players, and is based around sailing your fleet of ships between ports to trade goods and obtain quests for victory points. Each port of the Carribean has unique attributes, and have allegiance to a particular European monarch. You may also encounter merchant or military vessels while sailing, which you can choose to attack, but you will become wanted in the ports of that ships nationality! Players must carefully decide how to go about seeking their fortunes, considering the available quests, most profitable ports, and unique attributes of their captains and ships, which can be upgraded. 

We’ve only scratched the surface of all the depth this game has to offer, and for the truly master-level gamer, there is an expansion set with even more ship upgrades, character cards, and questlines. The first time playing, you should be prepared to spend most of the night just learning (read more...)


Reviewed by: Nicole McAllister

My Love-Hate Relationship with Kingsburg

It’s been love-hate since the beginning with Kingsburg.  Every time I finish a game I say I hate it and I never want to play again.  Every time I see the box I say ooooh Kingsburg, who wants to play!?!?  I can’t quit it.

Kingsburg is a worker placement game that uses dice as the workers.  The game takes place over 5 years, with 4 seasons where the main action is.  The first 3 seasons are the influence phases, and the 4th season is the fight phase.  The board has 18 numbered characters starting with 1, The Court Jester, and going up to 18, The King.  Each character provides you with a benefit, and as the numbers go up, the benefits get better.  The artwork of the characters is beautiful, and is one of the things that I love about the game.

Here’s how the action works:

All players roll their 3 dice.  Then players line up their dice pools in order from the lowest to highest total.  The person with the lowest total goes first.  The player chooses from 1 to 3 of their dice, and places them on one of the characters (“influence”), matching the total on the dice to the number of the character.  Then the next player takes from 1 to 3 of their dice, and places them on a character not already chosen.  Continue in turn until everyone has used up all their dice.  It’s up to you whether you want to use all 3 (read more...)