Staff Picks August Edition!

by: on August 8, 2020  |  

Everyone’s favorite blog is out! We have compiled another list of our Staff Picks! We play all of these games and have such a great time introducing people to new games. All of these games and many more can be purchased in store or online here.

Slamwich-Maddie Schenck

  • Name of Game: Slamwich
  • Publisher: Gamewright
  • Year Published: 2001
  • Type of Game: pattern recognition and hand-eye coordination card game
  • Play Time: 20 Mins
  • Rule Complexity: Easy
  • Number of Players: 2-6
  • Bits: 55 super cute cards that look like bread slices with toppings, thieves, and munchers
  • Rating: 4 Meeples

I loved Slamwich when I was little. Its rules are VERY similar to the standard card game, Egyptian Ratscrew, which is also a great game. In Slamwich, the deck of bread slices are evenly dealt to all the players face down, and then the players take turns flipping their top bread slices into a communal sandwich. Players slap the communal sandwich when they see two of the same toppings in a row (a double decker) or two of the same toppings separated by a different topping (a slamwich). Whoever slaps first takes the communal sandwich. The goal is to end up with all the bread slices in your own hand. If you see a thief card, you have to slap the bread slice and yell, “Stop thief!” If you draw a muncher card, you get the whole pile, unless the person to your left draws a double decker, slamwich, thief, or another muncher. Overall Slamwich is a silly family friendly game that takes its design to the next level. You can’t go wrong with delicious looking cards and slapping. –Maddie Schenck

5-Minute Dungeon – Reena Asquith

  • Name of Game: 5-Minute Dungeon
  • Publisher: Spin Master
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Type of Game: timed cooperative
  • Play Time: 5-30 mins
  • Rule Complexity: easy
  • Number of Players: 2-5
  • Bits: Average
  • Rating: 5 Meeples

5-Minute Dungeon is a fast paced family game all about working together to defeat five dungeon bosses of increasing difficulty.  Each player picks a hero that uses a unique deck and a special ability. You draw a hand and do your best to get through the minions and defeat each boss within 5 minutes! If you win, you move to the next boss and reset the 5 minute timer. It’s easy to learn and plays with most ages, since you are mostly matching symbols on your cards to the creatures you’re fighting. It’s super quick and fun, the increasing challenge with each boss and five completely different decks leads to a lot of replay. I would recommend it for any group that likes timed games! –Reena Asquith

Memoir ’44 – Boyce Asquith

  • Name of Game: Memoir ’44
  • Publisher: Days of Wonder
  • Year Published: 2004
  • Type of Game: Strategy
  • Play Time: 30-60 mins
  • Rule Complexity: Medium
  • Number of Players: 2-6
  • Bits: Nice Pieces, Dice, Cards
  • Rating: 4 Meeples

Memoir ’44 is a World War II strategy game where you take the side of either the Allies or the Axis fighting some of the famous battles or skirmishes of the D-Day Invasion. The game uses cards to generate special tactics or abilities that you use on your turn and dice that you use to simulate combat. Most battles revolve around some kind of objective, i.e. holding the bridge, capturing the city, holding the line, so you’ll need to keep that in mind as you plan your tactics. Of course, some unfortunate die-rolling and poorly timed cards may have you changing your strategy mid-battle, so you need to stay flexible. Overall, it is a good war-strategy game that can be played by people ages 8 and up. –Boyce Asquith

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle – Nichole Davis

  • Name of Game: Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle
  • Publisher: The OP
  • Year Published: 2016
  • Type of Game: CO-OP Deck builder
  • Play Time: About an hour
  • Rule Complexity: Medium
  • Number of Players: 2-4
  • Bits: Good, some nice quality cards and a few metal pieces along with cardboard counters
  • Rating: 5 Meeples

Hogwarts Battle is a cooperative deck builder that is insanely fun to play. It is a really great starting point if you have never played a deck builder before, the rules are simple and easy to pick up and the cooperative nature of the game makes it a good environment to learn in. You get to go through all the years at Hogwarts, working together to defeat the thematic villains of that year and learning new spells and skills the more years you play through. Each player gets a unique ability, item, and pet that corresponds to the character you’re playing. Another thing I love about this game is the care that went into the details of creating the cards that form your decks and the various villain behaviors, it really shows that the creators went in depth with the source material to make as immersive a game as possible. It has so much replayability that I have never gotten bored of it in all the years I’ve owned this game and played it over and over. This may actually be my favorite tabletop game of all time.Nichole Davis

July Staff Picks Round Two!

by: on July 23, 2020  |  

We have picked some of our favorite games for you! All of these games can be purchased in store or via our online store here.

Terraforming Mars- Laura Schneider

  • Name of Game: Terraforming Mars
  • Publisher: Stronghold Games
  • Year Published: 2016
  • Type of Game: Hand Management, Tile Placement
  • Play Time: 120 mins
  • Rule Complexity: Medium
  • Number of Players: 1-5
  • Bits: Nice bits
  • Rating: 5 Meeples

I love Terraforming Mars! It’s one of my favorite games from the past few years and it hits the table at our house often. We’re evenly matched in the game which has a bit of randomness, but really a lot of strategy. I win about half the time, but I always love to play. I like that it’s different every time, that the strategy is interesting and deep, that there’s a bit of player interaction, but no fighting, and I love the theme. In Terraforming Mars, you are a corporation participating in the terraforming of Mars. You start out with a skill or advantage and then play cards as you do things that both get you points at the end of the game and move the three indicators of successful terraforming up. When all three indicators are maxed out, the game ends and the corporation with the highest points wins. The game is played over a series of rounds with phases that include the Research Phase – this is how you get project cards; the Action Phase – do projects (play cards), place oceans, doing standard actions; and the Production Phase – you get resources – MegaCredits, Steel, Titanium, Plants, Energy and Heat. One of my favorite things about the game is that it is different every time. Depending on your corporation and your starting hand, you can choose your direction. Are you going to focus on plants and start with lichen and plants or are you going to focus on heat production and do projects that raise your production level. Oh, and there’s only one copy of each card and the stack is big. It guarantees that the game play is different every time. –Laura Schneider

Sheriff of Nottingham- Maddie Schenck

  • Name of Game: Sheriff of Nottingham 2nd Edition
  • Publisher: CoolMiniOrNot (CMON Limited)
  • Year Published: 2020
  • Type of Game: Bluffing Card Game
  • Play Time: 60 mins
  • Rule Complexity: Easy to Medium
  • Number of Players: 3-6
  • Bits: 1 Rulebook, 110 Gold Coins, 1 Booty Tile, 216 Goods cards, 6 Deputy cards, 6 Black Market cards, 1 Sheriff standee, 2 Deputy standees, 6 Merchant stands, 6 Merchant Bags
  • Rating: 4.5 Meeples

In the game Sheriff of Nottingham, players take the role of merchants trying to make a profit during Prince John’s visit to Nottingham. Merchants have the option to hedge their bets and only sell legal goods to make profit, or take a gamble and try to get past the sheriff with high price black market goods by bluffing. Players take turns playing the role of the sheriff. The sheriff’s job is to stop merchants from smuggling black market items into the city, by trying to decide if merchants are telling the truth about the goods that they have on hand. The sheriff can confiscate goods and take bribes to make profit. Whoever makes the biggest profit wins. Sheriff of Nottingham gets extremely competitive. Whenever I play this game with my roommates there is a lot of lively banter, yelling, and laughing. The 2nd Edition loses half a Meeple for not having as good of a design as the first edition. –Maddie Schenck

Ticket to Ride: London- Dani Kennedy

  • Name of Game: Ticket to Ride London
  • Publisher: Days of Wonder
  • Year Published: 2019
  • Type of Game: Set Collecting
  • Play Time: 15 mins
  • Rule Complexity: Easy
  • Number of Players: 2-4
  • Bits: Similar to Ticket to Ride. The pieces look like little buses!
  • Rating: 4 Meeples

I love Ticket to Ride, so when I saw Ticket to Ride London (and New York) I was so excited! This small box game has all the fun of Ticket to Ride but in 15 minutes. Ticket to Ride is a fun and easy family game perfect for kiddos ages 8+. You collect sets of cards that are the same color in order to place track from one area of London to the next. Player with the most points at the end of the game wins. It really is that simple. The small box of London and New York allows you to easily take this game camping, to a friend’s house, or anywhere for that matter. –Dani Kennedy

July Staff Picks!

by: on July 7, 2020  |  

Unmatched -Brian Taylor

  • Name of Game: Unmatched
  • Publisher: Mondo/ Restoration Games
  • Year Published: 2019
  • Type: Tactical strategy
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Play time: 25 mins
  • Rule Complexity: Easy
  • Number of Players: 2-4
  • Bits: Nice bits, great art
  • Overall Rating: 5 Meeples

The Unmatched series of games are the perfect fit for strategy gamers that want to spend their time playing instead of studying rules and preparing their army. The premise is that heroes and characters from popular culture, literature, and history are battling it out to be the last one standing. The first entry in the series pits Medusa vs King Arthur vs Alice vs Sinbad. Other stand-alone entries include Bruce Lee(!), Robin Hood vs. Bigfoot, and characters from Jurassic Park. Best of all, you can mix and match fighters from any Unmatched set! Fly your local colors and pit Bruce Lee vs Bigfoot!

When you first open the box you can tell this game was designed with love and style. The miniatures are highly detailed with a pre-applied wash that makes them really pop – no painting needed! The tray is perfectly designed to hold every bit in a perfectly sized slot. The game board (2-sided) is bright and uses a clever color-coding system so you can tell instantly if your hero is within fighting range of another piece. Each fighter has their own deck of cards, and the art if fabulous, evocative of great comics art (it reminds me of J.H.Williams III amazing Batwoman comic art). –Brian Taylor

Dixit -Reena Asquith

  • Name of Game: Dixit
  • Publisher: Libellud
  • Year Published: 2008
  • Type: Creative association based family party game
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Play time: 30 mins
  • Rule Complexity: Easy
  • Number of Players: 3-6
  • Bits: Average
  • Overall Rating: 5 Meeples

Dixit is a gorgeous creativity focused game that is truly all ages. Every player draws a hand of cards, each with a unique illustration. Players will take turns being the Storyteller, who will give a single word as a clue and then put one of their cards face down then everyone else will put in a card face down that they think fits the clue. When the cards are flipped everyone will try to guess which card was the Storytellers, then points will be allotted accordingly. You can decide a winner based on points, or just keep playing until your group feels done. That’s about it! Its mechanical simplicity makes it a great choice to play with younger kids.  All the art is magically evocative and fits perfectly with what this game is all about. Creativity! –Reena Asquith

House of Danger – Nichole Davis

  • Name of Game: House of Danger
  • Publisher: Z-Man Games Inc.
  • Year Published: 2018
  • Type: Choose your own adventure
  • Difficulty: Easy-medium depending on the choices you make
  • Play time: About an hour
  • Rule Complexity: Easy
  • Number of Players: 1-3
  • Bits: Great, the style really ticks the nostalgia box
  • Overall Rating: 5 Meeples

I really like House of Danger because I loved reading “Choose Your Own Adventure” books as a kid, and this game really encapsulates that whole genre very well. Your choices really affect how the story plays out, with many possible endings and a good amount of cheesy spookiness thrown in. By its very nature, House of Danger has a lot of replayability with many twists and turns along the way. –Nichole Davis

Wing It – Boyce Asquith

  • Name of Game: Wing It
  • Publisher: Flying Leap Games
  • Year Published: 2017
  • Type: Storyteller
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Play time: 30 mins to an hour
  • Rule Complexity: Easy
  • Number of Players: 4-7
  • Bits: Excellent Legible Cards
  • Overall Rating: 5 Meeples

Wing It is a ridiculous story-telling game where players will alternate telling stories and judging the stories. Each round, the judge will read a scenario card like “you and your twenty chihuahuas are having a picnic when out of nowhere an eagle starts swooping at you.” The other players then will take turns using three of the five cards in their hand to tell a story based on the scenario. If my hand had giraffe legwarmers, a fire extinguisher, a complete set of pots and pans, a Spanish dictionary, and a fishing net, I would say “I use my fire extinguisher to blind the eagle before I start waving giraffe legwarmers frantically in attempt to scare the bird off. If that does not work, I chuck various pots and pans piecemeal at it keeping my precious chihuahuas safe.” The judge then determines the best story, the winner becomes the judge, everyone refills their hand back up to five cards and a new round starts. Some pretty silly stories can result. Especially fun game for people who like to tell vignettes and short stories. –Boyce Asquith

June Staff Picks!

by: on June 9, 2020  |  
  • Name of Game:  Disney Villainous
  • Publisher: Ravensburger
  • Year Published: 2018
  • Type of Game: Asymmetrical, card management
  • Play Time: 30-50 mins
  • Rule Complexity: medium
  • Number of Players: 2-6
  • Bits: AWESOME! The cards are beautiful, the minis of each villain are sturdy and great.
  • Rating: 4 Meeples

If you’re a Disney buff at all, this game is definitely up your alley! In Disney Villainous, you play as a Disney villain from a range of different animated movies. The play style of this game is asymmetrical, which means that each villain has it’s own win condition. First villain to complete their win condition wins, but other villains can play the heroes to your villain stopping you from gaining resources. Another great feature to this game is that each new “expansion” is a 3 person starter set! I love this game, and tend to play it with a Disney soundtrack in the background. -Dani Kennedy

  • Name of Game:  Fantastic Beast Perilous Pursuit
  • Publisher: USAopoly
  • Year Published: 2018
  • Type of Game: Co-Op, Dice management
  • Play Time: 45-60 min
  • Rule Complexity: Easy – Medium (gets progressively more difficult)
  • Number of Players: 2-4
  • Bits: Good, the boards and bits are nice and the dice are great quality
  • Rating: 4 Meeples

I like this game because it is Co-Op and you really have to work together in later stages to win. You are trying to get all the Fantastic Beasts back in Newt’s magic suitcase by rolling dice and assigning them to different actions . You can lend other players dice if you meet certain criteria. The dice themselves are really nice and the personal character boards all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Each beast has their own way of fighting back/running away and you have to change up your strategy a bit for each one. There is a surplus of beasts to choose from so there is a lot of replay-ability. I feel this is a must have for any Harry Potter fan, or Co-Op game fans in general. -Nichole Davis

  • Name of Game:  Dungeon Mayhem
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
  • Year Published: 2018
  • Type of Game: Competitive Deck Based Battle Royale
  • Play Time: 15 Minutes, more players will make play slightly longer
  • Rule Complexity: Easy, might need to keep the rulebook handy for playing the first time
  • Number of Players: 2-4 for the base game, 2-12 with all the expansions
  • Expansions: Battle for Baldur’s Gate and Monster Madness both also stand alone games.
  • Bits: Average, all cardboard. The awesome art is by Kyle Ferrin, and unique on most cards.
  • Rating: 4.5 Meeples

Bring on the chaos! In Dungeon Mayhem you compete directly against all the other players in a bid to be the last person standing.  There are 4 decks to play, each based on a D&D class with a completely different style of play. The Paladin’s defensive capabilities are probably my favorite if I’m actually trying to win, but the wizard’s is pretty fun if I’m feeling a more chaotic play-style. The Barbarian is brutal with her attacks and the Rogue is quite the thief! It’s easy to pick a favorite deck and stick to it, so I would recommend deciding decks randomly for maximum replay. Make sure to set your life total to 10 on your tracking card, and then fight! Last one standing wins! I felt that it was slightly clunky to learn, but after the first game it was all smooth sailing. Remembering to draw cards at the right time and keeping track of the different symbols just took a little practice. I’ve played with kids as young as 8 with little difficulty and lots of silly fun, I’d imagine as long as they can do a little bit of reading most children could easily take part. Overall I think of Dungeon Mayhem as a great party or quick family game. As long as you don’t mind the strong competitive aspect it’s fun for all ages, offers plenty of replayability and of course the best part; sassy table talk.  –Reena Asquith

  • Name of Game:  Fastrack
  • Publisher: Blue Orange
  • Year Published: 2018
  • Type of Game: Dexterity Game
  • Play Time: Varying under 30 mins
  • Rule Complexity: Easy
  • Number of Players: 2 Players
  • Bits: Wood track, 10 wooden pucks, and drawstring pouch
  • Rating: 5 Meeples

FastTrack is a fast action puck slinging game powered by your fingers. It allows its players to hone in on their eye coordination and fine motor skills. The goal is to fire all 5 of your pucks through the slot to the other side of the track before your opponent. The bits are a graphically pleasing wood board and pucks, painted red, black, and white, with some exposed wood. It has a beautiful minimalistic design reminiscent of a race-car track. I like how competitive and heart racing this game has the potential to become. The game is suggested for players 5-9 years old, however the hand eye coordination element makes this a good drinking game for those of us over the age of 21. There is nothing I dislike about this game. –Maddie Schenck