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EDITORIAL

The Pool

 

This is the summer issue of Gamers Alliance Report so it’s only fitting that we talk about some of the things people do during the steamy, sweltering summertime. Some of us stay indoors and crank up the air conditioning. Some of us take advantage of the hot weather and hit the golf greens or ball fields, both as active participants and avid spectators. And some of us dive into the pool. From a gaming perspective, there’s another pool to consider.

The World of Games is an expanding world. It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed all of the games were made by one or the other of the giants in the United States: Parker Brothers or Milton Bradley. That began to change. Other outfits, although mainly American entities, joined the mix, folks like Avalon Hill or SPI. But as the years wore on, horizons expanded. It seemed that England (outfits like Ariel and Intellect joining such venerable companies such as Waddingtons) and Germany (Ravensburger and others) were taking a very active role in expanding the role of games. This expansion has continued – and even drifted back into the USA – with more German companies sprouting up and American companies (such as Rio Grande Games) bringing the Euro style of gaming into the relatively unexplored (at least, for that style of gaming) American market. And now, even more recently, that pool of talent has expanded again.

Over the last few years, we have seen quality games and quality game designers almost miraculously appear from countries that many have not normally associated with games. Take for example, Poland (Neuroshima Hex!), the Czech Republic (League of Six, Galaxy Trucker etc.) and Taiwan (The Hanging Gardens, featured in this issue), all have made a splash in the world community of games with first class entries.

So, when you’re looking for something to do on a hot summer night, there’s no better way to spend some time by experiencing some of the work of that new pool of talent out there. So take a leap. Dive into the pool. The water’s fine!

In this issue of GA REPORT, we do some traveling – on the rails and then back in time to Spain, to ancient Babylon and even further back to the days of early man! Meanwhile, Joe Huber takes to the air, Chris Kovac explores a teeming metropolis while game designer Al Newman pays tribute to a great design! Plus the latest installment of our Game Classics series! And, of course, much more!

Until next time, Good Gaming!

Herb Levy, President


SUMMER 2008 GAMERS ALLIANCE REPORT

 

reviewed by Herb Levy Kids are people too! And games can provide the same kind of entertainment and learning that we adults manage to take from our own gaming experiences. Here is a quick look at games kids can play with their friends or maybe even their parents! Remember: the kids that play games today are the adult gamers of tomorrow!   BUZZWORD JUNIOR (Patch ...
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reviewed by Joe Huber Queen Games/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; $39.95    Andreas Seyfarth has designed some of the best regarded games around, with Puerto Rico (Spring 2002 GA REPORT) having topped the BoardGameGeek ranking for years and Thurn & Taxis (Fall 2006 GA REPORT) having won the Spiel des Jahres. This sets high expectations for his new designs ...
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The Pool This is the summer issue of Gamers Alliance Report so it's only fitting that we talk about some of the things people do during the steamy, sweltering summertime. Some of us stay indoors and crank up the air conditioning. Some of us take advantage of the hot weather and hit the golf greens or ball fields, both as active participants and avid spectators ...
Read More
reviewed by Herb Levy     [Being born and raised in Brooklyn, New York has given me fond memories of that wonderful place. So, it's a pleasure to present, in this installment of Game Classics, a game produced by Plan B Corporation, a company situated in that beautiful borough, and their intriguing game of force and direction: Vector] Plan B Corporation, 1970, 2-4 players, less ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac (Eggertspiele/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; $49.95) Guatemala Café, the new game from Inka and Markus Brand, is, unlike its title suggests, a resource based game about growing coffee in Guatemala. It is a 2-4 player resource development game which takes about 45 minutes to an hour to play depending on the experience of the players ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Assura/GameWorks, 2-6 players, ages 8 and up, 30-60 minutes; about $50    In the colorful era of pirates and plunder, the notorious pirate Henry Morgan had managed to "change sides", becoming the Governor of Jamaica with the task of driving out pirates. Instead, Henry turned the island into a safe haven for his nautical brethren. To commemorate Henry's rise to Governor, ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy RSV Productions, Inc., 2 or more players, ages 8 and up, less than 30 minutes; $19.95   IiN Japanese, jishaku (pronounced jee-shah-koo) means "magnet". In Jishaku, the new game designed by Steve Velte, magnetism is the force that serves as the basis for a series of games. Jishaku comes with 18 magnetic stones (and a bag to hold them), an asymmetrical foam base ...
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reviewed by Chris Kovac Ystari Games, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, 50-60 minutes; $49.95      Metropolys is the latest game from Ystari Games and is designed by Sebastien Pauchon (best known as the designer of Yspahan, featured in the Winter 2007 GA REPORT). This is a light two to four player area control game which seems to works best with four. The game is ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 60-90 minutes; $44.95    Early man faced myriad challenges in trying to carve out a sustainable life under trying conditions. This struggle serves as the theme for Stone Age, the latest offering from the pseudonymous Michael Tummelhofer, best known for Saint Petersburg (Summer 2004 GA REPORT). Stone Age comes with ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; $34.95    The Great Wonders of the Ancient World have served as elements in many games and, once again, a game design draws upon one of these wonders. This time, the theme centers on the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, as players compete as landscape architects to construct ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Days of Wonder, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $25 One of the most successful games in recent years has been Alan Moon's Ticket to Ride (Spring 2004 GA REPORT). Not only did it garner a bunch of well deserved awards but this game also struck a responsive chord in the marketplace with lots and lots of copies sold ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Mayfair Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 90-120 minutes; $49 The Emperor likes his swords. In Toledo, the new game from designer Martin Wallace, players attempt to satisfy that liking as they take on the roles of members of Spanish families renowned for their expert production of this weaponry.  In order to make those swords, you need to combine steel ...
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reviewed by Al Newman Fantasy Flight Games, 2-5 players, ages 12 and up, 1-2 hours; $49.95 Karl-Heinz Schmiel is best known for Die Macher, a game about politics in different regions of Germany.  The game is one of the top rated games of all time and has been popular for over a generation since publication in 1986, despite it's complexity and daunting length (approximately 4 ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy North Star Games, 4-20 players, ages 10 and up, 20-25 minutes; $29.99 Every since Trivial Pursuit rocketed to stardom as a money-making enterprise, there has been a veritable tidal wave of trivia games covering every conceivable - and inconceivable - subject. Some have been successful; more have fallen by the wayside and into obscurity. Regardless of successes and failures, the knock ...
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