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Spring 2019 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Joe Huber 5X5 CITY (OKAZU Brand, 1 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; 3000 ¥ [about $27]) Hisashi Hayashi is among the most prolific Japanese game designers, releasing four or five games a year through his OKAZU Brand label.  These releases are roughly evenly split ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy THE ARRIVAL (Cryptozoic, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 75-90 minutes; $40) In a time long forgotten, the sinister King Balor of the Evil Eye rules the luscious emerald isle of Erin aided and abetted by the Formori, a supernatural face of fierce monstrous ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser COIMBRA (eggerstpiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60 to 90+ minutes;  $69.99) I must admit that with my decades of involvement in the hobby, I find my tolerance for “heavy” games decreasing.  Perhaps it is that I find it increasingly difficult to ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CROWN OF EMARA (Pegasus Spiele, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 45-75 minutes; $49.99) The kingdom of Emara is prosperous and at peace - but good times do not last forever. Wise King Theodorius, needing to prepare for a successor, has come up with ...
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You are an enemy of the Daleks! Pevans avoids extermination to review DR. WHO: TIME OF THE DALEKS (Gale Force 9, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 120+ minutes; $50) If you look on YouTube you’ll find every version of the Doctor Who theme music. I play the original ...
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SIZE 10 FOOT IN A SIZE 7 SHOE Not to belabor the obvious but... the internet is a vast place and you will encounter people of all types in cyberspace. In the corners of that world that I haunt, I often come across folks who have just discovered this joy ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy EXPANCITY (Breaking Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 60-90 minutes; $60) Urban development is a theme explored more than once in the World of Games. The latest game to tackle this subject comes from designer Alex Cutler as players combine a bit of ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy GUGONG (Tasty Minstrel Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.95) Few cities conjure up such visions of awe and mystery as the Forbidden City of ancient China. This city, known as Gùgōng, was also riddled with corruption! To correct that blight, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ILLUSION (Pandasaurus Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 15-20 minutes; $14.95) Color - and perception - is key in the new game from award-winning designer Wolfgang Warsch that challenges your sense of color AND your senses: Illusion ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac QUARTERMASTER GENERAL: 1914 (PSC Games/Griggling Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 180+ minutes; $59.95) Quartermaster General 1914 is the third game in the card driven light strategic Quartermaster General series by Ian Brody after Quartermaster General (featured in the Summer 2015 issue of ...
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An iron curtain has descended.  Pevans reviews... QUARTERMASTER GENERAL: THE COLD WAR (PSC Games/Griggling Games, 3 to 6 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $65.80) The idea behind all the Quartermaster General games is Napoleon’s maxim that “an army marches on its stomach”. Supply lines are key and players ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy RACCOON TYCOON (Forbidden Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 90 minutes; $49.99) Astoria is a prosperous place where towns, factories and railroads are appearing on the landscape, the harbinger of even greater economic times ahead - and we don't want to be left ...
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Reviewed by Chris Wray RAILROAD INK (Horrible Games/CMON, 1 to 6 players, ages 8 and up, 20-30 minutes; $17.99) The “roll and write” genre is having a moment, with dozens of titles releasing in recent months.  One of the bigger splashes has been Railroad Ink designed by Hjalmar Hach & Lorenzo ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore ROOT (Leder Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 90-120 minutes; $60) Root is an impressive game designed by Cole Wehrle whose John Company (featured in the Summer 2018 GA Report) was released by Leder Games in 2018.  Readers might recall that Leder Games ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy TIME BREAKER (Looney Labs, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up. 10-40 minutes; $25) Something we seem to never have enough of is time, so when someone is messing around with it, you can easily understand the need to set things right. In this new ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy VICTORIAN MASTERMINDS (CMON, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60 minutes; $49.99) Many games entice players to connect with their "inner child". This time, designers Antoine Bauza and Eric M. Lang entice gamers to connect with their "inner evil" as players assume the roles ...
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Winter 2019 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy ALTIPLANO: THE TRAVELER (Renegade Games/dlp, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 60-120 minutes; $30) One of the best games released in 2017 was Altiplano designed by Reiner Stockhausen, a game set in the high mountains of the Andes as players traveled to different locations, ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac AUZTRALIA (Stronghold Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 30-120 minutes;  $69.95) Auztralia is an action planning game with some light wargame and resource management elements designed by Martin Wallace and the first release in Stronghold Games' "The Great Designer Series".  The theme of ...
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CHEF'S SURPRISE Eating is one of those things all of us do. Some of us eat to live; others live to eat. And sometimes the activity of eating can be elevated into art! There are a lot of cooking shows on television today, even a few entire networks, devoted to ...
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EYES ON ESSEN: A LOOK AT GERMANY'S GIANT GAME CONVENTION by Selwyn Ward “Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.” ...
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[Altiplano: The Traveler, an expansion for Altiplano, is featured in this issue.  For those not familiar with Altiplano itself, we "flashback" to how we saw it in the Spring 2018 issue of Gamers Alliance Report.]  Reviewed by Herb Levy FLASHBACK: ALTIPLANO (dlp Games/Renegade Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser HALLOWEEN (Quined Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 60-90 minutes; $69.95) I have always been a fan of horror stories, novels and films.  For some reason, I enjoy the tense, impending doom atmosphere that they usually evoke, including the nervous "butterflies" in ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy HOLDING ON: THE TROUBLED LIFE OF BILLY KERR (Hub Games/Asmodee, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45-60 minutes; $39.99) Just when you think you've seen every theme that could possibly serve as the basis for a game, along comes something that proves you wrong ...
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Reviewed by Chris Wray JUST ONE (Repos Production, 3 to 7 players, ages 8 and up, 20 minutes; about $20) Just One is a cooperative party game by Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter for 3-7 players.  Released at Essen 2018, the game seemed to immediately catch fire among word game ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy KOI (Smirk & Dagger Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 40-60 minutes; $39.95) To relax, to feel tranquility wash over you like a wave over sand, what a wonderful feeling! Wonderful except when you are a koi fish seeking a delicious meal of ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber LIFT OFF (Hans im Gluck/Z-Man Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.99) For me, one of the joys of the board game hobby is looking through the new releases for Essen.  It’s really a unique pleasure – the only other convention ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy LINCOLN (PSC Games/Worthington Games, 2 players, ages 14 and up, 60-120 minutes; $45) One of the most popular historical themes for games is the American Civil War. This conflict split the United States of America in two with the Union forces of the North thrust into ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore OBSESSION (Kayenta Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 30-90 minutes; $54) Obsession is an enjoyable new game released in 2018 by first-time author Dan Hallagan and published by his own Kayenta Publishing company.  Obsession is a large boxed game, similar in size to ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy RAILROAD RIVALS (Forbidden Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 45-60 minutes; $49.99) One of the factors accounting for the tremendous growth of the United States during the 19th century was the rise of railroads. This method of transportation was crucial in developing the ...
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Reviewed by Pevans ROSENBERG TRILOGY: COTTAGE GARDEN, INDIAN SUMMER, SPRING MEADOW (Edition Spielwiese/Stronghold Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 60 or less minutes; $59.95 each) Somewhere along the way, I completely missed Uwe Rosenberg’s Patchwork. Probably because it’s a two-player game. I first became aware of it ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue SCORPIUS FREIGHTER (Alderac Entertainment Group [AEG], 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45-75 minutes; $59.99) It’s been almost 100 years since the Scorpius system was settled. Sentients came from everywhere to start a new life, following their dreams of prosperity and adventure. The ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy SPEAKEASY BLUES (Artana Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; $60) The "Roaring Twenties" wasn't called that for nothing! In the 1920s when Prohibition was the law and folks were prevented from easily getting their favorite alcoholic beverages, many rebelled against this ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy VALPARAISO (dlp Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 45-90 minutes; € 49.95) The lifeblood of all countries is trade. So it was with Chile when, in 1811, the Chilean Congress voted for free trade and, soon after, independence. As Chilean citizens of influence, ...
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Fall 2018 GA Report

 

Reviewed by James Davis BIOS MEGAFAUNA: 2ND EDITION (Sierra Madre Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 90-180 minutes; $69.99) Phil Eklund is a rocket scientist. He’s also a game designer. And so yes, he has created a game about rocket science. It’s called High Frontier (and featured in ...
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Reviewed by Chris Wray BLUE LAGOON (Blue Orange Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; $29.99) Blue Orange is becoming a darling of Gen Con, developing a reputation for well-produced, family-friendly games.  This year they released Blue Lagoon, a game from Reiner Knizia that harkens back ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac CHAMPIONSHIP FORMULA RACING (Ultra Pro, 1 to 12 players, ages 13 and up, 45-60 minutes; $60) Back in the 1980’s when I first started gaming and Avalon Hill was king, one of the most popular racing games was Speed Circuit.  However, many years passed and the ...
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DOLLARS AND SENSE This issue of Gamers Alliance Report is being published just as the Holiday Season buying rush is getting into gear. Pretty soon, families will be spending time around the Thanksgiving table, gifts will be bought for the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations and, of course, if you ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore EPOCH: EARLY INVENTORS (Rio Grande Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45-90 minutes; $59.95) Epoch is a 2018 release from Rio Grande Games, designed by the slightly cryptic Martyn F. I say cryptic, as Martiy does not disclose his last name. Adding to ...
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Games at the Alexandria Palace by Selwyn Ward Despite its regal sounding name, Alexandra Palace was never a royal residence. Located in North London, England, it was originally conceived and built around the time the Civil War was raging between the United States and the Confederacy. It was named after ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy LOST CITIES: RIVALS (Kosmos, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 40 minutes; $14.95) Very often, a well received game will inspire its designer to "revisit" that creation and come up with a new spin on it. No one is more adept at this than ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy MERCADO (Kosmos, 2 to 4 players. ages 10 and up, 30-40 minutes; $39.95) Mercado means "market" in Spanish and, true to its name, players will find themselves in a market where they will use their wealth to buy expensive treasures and rare perfumes and, with the ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ORBIS (Space Cowboys, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 45 minutes; $39.99) Games cover a whole range of subjects, from the sublime to the ridiculous. touching upon almost everything imaginable in the world. But what about creating your own world? That is this challenge ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy PIONEER DAYS (Tasty Minstrel Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45-60 minutes; $59.95) In the early days of western settlement of the United States, it took hardy folk to undertake - and survive - the dangers that awaited them as they trekked from ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy RHINO HERO: SUPER BATTLE (HABA, 2 to 4 players, ages 5 and up, 10-20 minutes; $29.99) Super heroes, super hero battles, building things up and crashing them down, what more can someone ask for in a game designed for kids? At least, that seems to be ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy RISE OF TRIBES (Breaking Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30-60 minutes; $50) We've come a long way since early man first appeared on this planet but questions still remain.  Just how did early man survive? Just how did civilization grow and develop? ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser SANTA MARIA (Aporta Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 45-90 minutes; $54.99) Every now and then I am surprised by a game, finding myself really enjoying it after initially low expectations.  A few folks in our game group played Santa Maria shortly after ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy SHIFTING REALMS (Soaring Rhino Inc., 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $75) Lots of games create a world for players in which to immerse themselves. For brothers Craig van Ness and Jeff van Ness, however, one world is not enough! In their ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy TARGI (Kosmos, 2 players, ages 12 and up, 60 minutes; $19.95) Back in 2012, the German game company Kosmos released a two player game of tribal competition in the desert. This game received critical acclaim including receiving a Kennerspiel des Jahres nomination as well as a ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy THE RIVER (Days of Wonder, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; $39.99) The quest for land and the growth of settlements have been influences on human behavior for centuries and, in many cases, rivers running through them have been an essential component ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue UNLOCK! (Asmodee, 1 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, 45-75 minutes; $14.99 each) Since its first appearance back in 2008 and more from 2010, the Escape Room has become a real cult favorite with, nowadays, hundreds rooms all around the world. It was just ...
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Summer 2018 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy AGRA (Quined Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $79.95) Birthdays are generally cause for celebration. This is true even in 1572 India as the Emperor Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad, popularly known as Akbar the Great, ruler of India's Mughal dynasty, is marking ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ANCESTREE (Calliope Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 8 and up, 20-40 minutes; $30) One of the recent developments in modern life is the desire to know your background. Today, there are a host of services available where you can submit your DNA or go online ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BROADHORNS: EARLY TRADE ON THE MISSISSIPPI (Rio Grande Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.95) In the early 1800s, the lifeblood of trade in the middle of the growing United States was the Mississippi River connecting northern and southern towns, bringing ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy THE CASTLES OF BURGUNDY: THE DICE GAME (Ravensburger/ALEA, 1 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 15-30 minutes; $14.99) Stefan Feld is one of the top tier designers in the World of Games. Among his very successful designs is Castles of Burgundy (featured in the Summer ...
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Reviewed by Chris Wray DIE QUACKSALBER VON QUEDLINBURG (Schmidt Spiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 45 minutes; $54.95)   Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, a bag-building game from designer Wolfgang Warsch, immediately gathered an enthusiastic following in German-speaking countries after its March debut.  Nonetheless, the game didn’t garner ...
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 A MAJOR MINI PROBLEM  Things are always "trending" in the World of Games. One of the most popular of these current trends is that, more and more, lots and lots of miniatures are being included as part of the package. The inclusion of miniatures can be found in games that ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber GANZ SCHON CLEVER (Schmidt Spiele, 1 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $24.95) One of the biggest trends in boardgames in the last few years has been the rise of "roll-and-write" games and their various relatives.  Exactly where the history of such games ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy INTELLE: HACK OR BE HACKED (Fisher-Heaton Games, 2 players, ages 10 and up, 15 minutes; $23.95) In these days, computers are an essential part of our lives. Not only is this true on a personal level but it is certainly true for corporations. What is also ...
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Reviewed by Pevans JOHN COMPANY (Sierra Madre Games, 1-6 players, aged 12+, 3 hours; $54) A game about the British East India Company sounded fascinating, so I jumped at the chance to try John Company when Ralph Anderson suggested it at the Gathering. With Ralph leading the way, all four ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy KASHGAR: MERCHANTS OF THE SILK ROAD (Grail Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 60 minutes; $39.99) Several years back, at the gaming convention known as The Gathering of Friends, I had the pleasure of playing a game about merchants leading caravans, travelling and ...
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Reviewed by Pevans KEYPER (R&D Games/HUCH!, for 2-4 players, ages 14+, 90-120 minutes; $82.50) Keyper, as the name suggests, this is the latest in the Key… series of games from Richard Breese, published by his imprint, R&D Games (and Huch! in Germany). It’s a typically complex game, so I will ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac PANDEMIC LEGACY: SEASON 2 (Z-Man Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60 minutes; $79.99) Pandemic Legacy: Season Two is a four-player cooperative legacy game, designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, and the second game in the Pandemic Legacy series.   Legacy games are ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ROLL PLAYER (Thunderworks Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 90 minutes; $59.95) Ever since Dungeons & Dragons exploded onto the scene, roleplaying games have captivated a large segment of the gaming population. A large part of the appeal is the adventuring aspect of play: ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ROLL PLAYER: MONSTERS & MINIONS (Thunderworks Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 60-120 minutes; $50) Roleplaying games involve creating characters to take on adventures and Roll Player (featured this issue) is all about that character creation! But there is another element central to ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue STAR WARS: LEGION (Fantasy Flight Games, 2 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; Core Set $89.95) The Star Wars Universe has been the ideal place for a lot of good boardgames starting from the all galaxy strategic scale, like in Star Wars: Rebellion, (featured ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser THUNDERSTONE QUEST (Alderac Entertainment Group, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-90 minutes; Base Set $69.99) If Dominion and Dungeons & Dragons had a fling, the result would undoubtedly be Thunderstone Quest.  The massive game from designer Mike Elliott and AEG combines the ...
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[Games and gaming are international phenomenons and people all around the world will gather to share their passion about them and the fun they have. GenCon and Origins in the United States and Essen in Germany are only a few of the sites that draw gamers each year. In this ...
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Spring 2018 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy ALTIPLANO (dlp Games/Renegade Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 60-120 minutes; $65) The highlands of the Andes between Bolivia and Peru and the goods to be grown, harvested ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CHARIOTS OF ROME (Victory Point Games, 2 to 8 players, ages 14 and up, 60-120 minutes; $45) One of the great segments in movie history is the chariot racing scene from ...
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Reviewed by Selwyn Ward CIVILIZATION (Gibsons Games, 2 to 7, ages 12 and up, 4 to 8 hours; about £46) If you mention the game Civilization to most people, they immediately think of Sid Meier ...
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Reviewed by Chris Wray DECRYPTO (Iello Games, 3 to 8 players, ages 12 and up, 15-45 minutes; $19.99) Decrypto made a prototype debut at the Gathering of Friends 2017, where it quickly became popular, earning ...
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THE THRILL OF VICTORY AND THE JOY OF DEFEAT Decades ago, the ABC television network had a sports show called The Wide World of Sports. Each week, the highs and lows of sports teams and ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy IQUAZU (HABA, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 50 minutes; $49.99) Peace and prosperity are things that people the world over have wanted. So it is with the Inox ...
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Reviewed by James Davis LISBOA (Eagle-Gryphon Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $99.99) The great Lisbon earthquake occurred on Saturday, the 1st of November at approximately 9:40 AM in the ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy MICHAEL STROGOFF (Devir, 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 60 minutes; $34.99) Jules Verne is one of the authors who lives on in his work. Nearly everyone has heard ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber NUSFJORD (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 20-100 minutes, $70) Once upon a time, Uwe Rosenberg was known as one of the greatest card game game ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore POWERSHIPS (Cwali Games, 2 to 7 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; 32€ plus shipping) Powerships is a 2018 release from Cwali Games, the private label of game designer Corné ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser PULSAR 2849 (Czech Games Edition, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $59.95) Set in the future at the advent of an energy boom, Pulsar 2849 casts ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac THIS WAR OF MINE (Awaken Realms, 1 to 6 players, ages 18 and up, 45-120 minutes; $69.99) This War of Mine is a one to six player cooperative game of survival ...
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Reviewed by Pevans TULIP BUBBLE (Moaideas Game Design, 3 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 45-60 minutes; $40) I understand that there is some debate whether the early 17th-century tulip mania in the Dutch ...
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Reviewed by Selwyn Ward WILDCATTERS (Capstone Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $69.99) Designed by Rolf Sagel and André Spil and published by Capstone Games, Wildcatters is a recent second ...
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Winter 2018 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Eric Brosius 18CZ (Fox in the Box, 2 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, 250 minutes; about 78€) Lonny Orgler’s 18CZ is a new member of the so-called “18XX” branch of the ...
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Reviewed by Frank Hamrick AZUL (Plan B Games/Next Move, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; $39.99) Azul is a "small footprint game" designed by Michael Kiesling with a surprisingly "simple-to-subtle" play ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BUNNY KINGDOM (Iello, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45 minutes; $49.99) Richard Garfield has carved out an enviable reputation for game design. From Magic, the Gathering to RoboRally, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CURSED COURT (Atlas Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 14 and up, 30-45 minutes; $49.95) It's good to be king! But what about those nobles lower down in the food chain? ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac DAYS OF IRE: BUDAPEST 1956 (Cloud Island Games/Mr. B Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 60-90 minutes; $64.95) Days of Ire: Budapest 1956 is a semi abstract simulation ...
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A SHILLING FOR YOUR THOUGHTS "A penny for your thoughts" is a phrase that may be familiar to you. You might have heard it, you might have said it. Basically, it's a friendly way of ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber EMPEROR'S CHOICE (Okazu Brand, 3 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes, about $60) I’ve always been a bit amused by the notion of an “automatic buy” designer; while there ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue GAIA PROJECT (Z-Man Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 60-150 minutes; $99.99) For centuries, your civilization has yearned to take to the stars and explore unknown worlds ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser HEAVEN & ALE (eggertspiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 90-120 minutes; $69.99) Monks brewing ale, a theme that is sure to craft beer lovers everywhere to salivate ...
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Reviewed by Chris Wray MAJESTY: FOR THE REALM (Z-Man Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 7 and up, 30-45 minutes; $39.99) One of the hottest games of Essen 2017 was Majesty: For the Realm.  Designed ...
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Reviewed by Pevans THE PALACE OF MAD KING LUDWIG (Bezier Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 75 minutes; $59.95) As the title gives away, this is a thematic sequel to designer Ted ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy PLANET OF THE APES (IDW, 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.99) In today's world, science fiction has a tremendous impact in entertainment but science fiction has ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore THE QUEST FOR EL DORADO (Ravensburger, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30-60 minutes; $32.99) The Quest for El Dorado, is a new release from Ravensburger (2017), and well-loved ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy RAJAS OF THE GANGES (RnR Games/HUCH!, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 60 minutes; $49.99) Games will often whisk us to exotic locales. In this new design from Inka ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy TRANSATLANTIC (Rio Grande Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 60-90 minutes; $64.95) The Industrial Revolution started shrinking the world. With industry came power, power to drive engines and ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy TRENCH (Outer Limits Games, 2 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; $50) World War I was a war of tremendous destruction. Opposing armies faced each other, emerging from the cover ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy YUMMY WORLD: PARTY AT PICNIC PALACE (WizKids, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 20-30 minutes; $14.99) People who like to read have favorite authors so, when a new book ...
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Fall 2017 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy 1960: THE MAKING OF THE PRESIDENT (GMT Games, 2 players, ages 14 and up, 90 minutes; $85) Conventional "wisdom" among game companies is that presidential election games are only worth publishing ...
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Reviewed by Pevans A HANDFUL OF STARS (Treefrog Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 120 minutes; about $80) As you can may suspect from the title, A Handful of Stars has a science ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CAVERNA: CAVE VS. CAVE (Mayfair Games, 1-2 players, ages 12 and up, 20-40 minutes; $28) Several years ago, Uwe Rosenberg designed a well received game (reviewed in our Spring 2014 issue) ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CENTURY SPICE ROAD (Plan B Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 45 minutes; $39.99) In times long past, the legendary Spice Road was the trading route that merchants ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CODENAMES DUET (Czech Games Edition, 2 or more players, ages 11 and up, 15-30 minutes; $19.95) The way the gaming industry works these days is that when a game has been ...
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GAME, SET, MATCH - AND LOVE At this time of year, with Holiday gift-giving just around the corner, the thoughts of many folks drift to the challenge of finding the right gift for friends and ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy FANTASY REALMS (WizKids, 3 to 6 players, ages 14 and up, 20 minutes; $19.99) Lands of magic and monsters, of heroes and armies, of wizards and artifacts, have long populated books, ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser FROGRIDERS (eggertspiele/Pegasus Spiele/Stronghold Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $49.99) Themes can be a tricky thing.  I am sure designers and publishers often struggle over ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac KRAFTWAGEN: V6 EDITION (Stronghold Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 75-90 minutes; $59.95) Kraftwagen (the V6 edition comes with the first expansion) is a 2-4 player action management ...
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[In this issue, we are pleased to welcome Christopher Wray to the pages of Gamers Alliance Report. As Chris says: "Chris Wray is a frequent reviewer of board and card games, writing dozens of reviews ...
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Reviewed by Pevans SHIPS (Treefrog Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 120 minutes or more; $39.99) Ships is Martin Wallace’s third transport-themed game (after Automobile and Aeroplanes) and was launched by his imprint, ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue STAR WARS: REBELLION (Fantasy Flight Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up; 180-240 minutes; $99.95) It is a period of civil war. The last remnants of the Old ...
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Reviewed by Frank Hamrick WHISTLE STOP (Bezier Games,  2 to 5 players, ages 13 and up 75-90 minutes; $59.95) Yes, Whistle Stop is yet another train game! And yes, there are a lot of train ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy WITCHES OF THE REVOLUTION (Atlas Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 30-60 minutes; $39.95) History has always been a fertile field for game ideas. An offshoot of that ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy WORDSPIEL (Set Enterprises, 2 to 6 players, ages 8 to adult, 45 minutes, $12.99) As a kid, I remember playing a game we called Geography. The premise was simple: state a geographical ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy WORDSY (Formal Ferret Games, 1 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, 20 minutes; $20) There is a whole corner in the World of Games reserved exclusively for word games. Of ...
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[We are pleased to welcome Selwyn Ward to the pages of Gamers Alliance Report. As he says: "Selwyn Ward has been playing, collecting and writing about board games for more years than he readily admits ...
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Summer 2017 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy AURA (Breaking Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 20-40 minutes; $25) Card games are a revered staple in the world of games. Generally, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BÄRENPARK (Mayfair Games/Lookout Spiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; $42) Who doesn't love a zoo? I, for one, do and one ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BIBLIOS (Iello Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 30 minutes; $24.99) In today's world where video has made a formidable assault on the ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CLANK!: A DECK-BUILDING ADVENTURE (Renegade Game Studios, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 60 minutes, $60) "I think it's time we stop, children, what's ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy DEADLINE (WizKids, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60+ minutes; $44.99) With the creation of the mystery story featuring the all knowing detective (credited ...
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PIECES AND PEACE My first mistake is following the news. I watch it, I read it and, man, it can be awfully depressing. And scary. And so so sad. Sometimes, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy KANAGAWA (Iello Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 45 minutes; $29.99) One of the beauties of Asian culture is the art. Classic Asian ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy KINGDOMINO (Blue Orange Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 15 minutes; $19.99) Throughout history, kings have often sought to expand their holdings, growing ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac MOONGHA INVADERS (Treefrog  Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 120 minutes; about $90 for the Kickstarter edition) Moongha Invaders (subtitled "Mad Scientists and ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber NMBR9 (Abacusspiele, 1 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 15-20 minutes; about €20) A lot of games are called multiplayer solitaire, particularly by those who prefer ...
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Reviewed by Pevans PAPA PAOLO (Quined Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 20-30 minutes per player; $50) Double pepperoni, hold the anchovies! Pevans reviews Papà Paolo When ...
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Reviewed by Frank Hamrick PORT ROYAL (Steve Jackson Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 50 minutes; $19.95) Of the nearly 400 game library of Tar River Gamers, ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore SAGRADA (Floodgate Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 40 minutes, $39.99) Sagrada is a new game designed by Adrian Adamescu and Daryl Andrews.  ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy SHEEP & THIEF (Pegasus Spiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 20-40 minutes; € 24.95) The countryside seems idyllic: lush greenery, flowing waters, frolicking sheep ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue TERRAFORMING MARS (Stronghold Games/Ghenos Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $69.99) When I first saw Terraforming Mars, designed by Jacob ...
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Reviewed by Eric Brosius WAR OF THE RING: SECOND EDITION (Ares Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 180 minutes; $89.99) As a boardgame fan, I am especially ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser YOKOHAMA (Tasty Minstrel Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 90-120 minutes; $59.95) I am a history buff, so I appreciate game designs ...
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Spring 2017 GA Report

 

Revised by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue ADRENALINE (Czech Games Edition, 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 30-60 minutes; $69.99) Year after year, video games and boardgames are coming closer ...
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Asymmetrical Games: A Contest with Uneven Forces by Bruce Whitehill  Think of the last board game you played. And the many before that. You and the other players were probably ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BARCELONA: THE ROSE OF FIRE (Devir, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 90 minutes; $59.99) History is great source material for movies, television and ...
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Reviewed by Pevans COLONY (Beziar Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, about 60 minutes; $59.95) After the apocalypse: dice! My introduction to Colony came at the Bézier ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy DRACONIS INVASION (Keji Games, 1 to 6 players, ages 14 and up, 30-90 minutes; $40) It is a bad time for the kingdom. It seems the ...
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WATCH THE GAP I live on Long Island in the great state of New York, just east of the magnificent metropolis that is New York City. Now traffic can be ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy FANTASY FANTASY BASEBALL (CSE Games, 1-5 players, ages 10 and up, 20-50 minutes; $29.99) It's spring and, to paraphrase the famous adage, a young man's fancy ...
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Reviewed by Chantal Noordeloos GLOOMHAVEN (Cephalofair Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $119.99) Most of the time I know how much I like a game ...
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Reviewd by Herb Levy HOLMES: SHERLOCK vs. MYCROFT (Devir, 2 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; $24.99) At the stroke of midnight, on February 24, 1895, a bomb explodes ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ICE COOL (Brain Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 6 and up, 3o minutes; $39.99) As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, in those pre-internet, pre-video ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber JUMP DRIVE (Rio Grande Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; $24.95) One of the luckiest chances I’ve had in my life ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser KEY TO THE CITY: LONDON (R&D Games/Huch & Co./Game Salute, 2 to 6 players, ages 14 and up, 90-120 minutes; about $60) While he has ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy MEDURIS (HABA, 2- 4 players, ages 10 and up, 75 minutes; $49.99) The Celtic gods demand their due. Players, as settlers of the fertile land at ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy PORTAL OF HEROES (Mayfair Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10  and up, 45 minutes; $18) The kingdom of Molthar has fallen prey to black magic ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy RAILROAD REVOLUTION (What's Your Game?/Pegasus Spiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 45-95 minutes; $60) There is something about railroads. Somehow, they seem to ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy TAK: A BEAUTIFUL GAME (James Ernest Games, 2 players, ages 12 and up, 10-30 minutes; $55) Game designers are often asked "Where do you get the ...
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[In this issue, we are pleased to welcome Angus McCallum to our pages. Angus writes: Born in 1976, I am a gamer from the Midwest.  My first board games were ...
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Revised by Herb Levy THE GALLERIST (Eagle-Gryphon Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 120 minutes; $79.99) The art world is a vibrant world of artists and their ...
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Winter 2017 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy ACQUIRE (Avalon Hill/Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro Gaming , 2 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, about 60 minutes; $39.99) Have you ever wondered where and ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BLACK ORCHESTRA (Game Salute, 1 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 75-125 minutes; $60) If the title of this game make you think of music, ...
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Reviewed by James Davis COMANCHERIA: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE COMANCHE EMPIRE (GMT Games, 1 player, ages 14 and up, 60-360 minutes; $60) Games that simulate an event or ...
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THE TIPPING POINT Sometimes in life, there comes a time when a certain balance is reached. It's almost like being suspended in space for, at that moment, you are poised ...
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[Many people present themselves as "game experts" but far too many don't live up to the title. This time,  however, game expert is a title richly deserved. In this issue, ...
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Reviewed by Eric Brosius FABLED FRUIT (Stronghold Games, 2-5 players, ages 8 and up, 20-30 minutes; $44.95) Fabled Fruit, as described on the back of the box, “is a Fable ...
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.Reviewed by Herb Levy FLAMME ROUGE (lautapelit.fi, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; 37€) It seems like the majority of racing games that make it to ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore FORGED IN STEEL (Knight Works, LLC, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 75-120 minutes; $60) Forged in Steel is a remarkable new game released ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac GRAND PRIX (GMT Games, 2 to 11 players, ages 14 and up, 90 minutes; $69) Grand Prix is a 2-11 person Formula 1 card driven racing ...
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Reviewed by Frank Hamrick GREAT WESTERN TRAIL (Stronghold Games/eggertspiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 75-150 minutes; $69.95) Great Western Trail is the latest game from Alexander Pfister, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy HIGH TREASON! THE TRIAL OF LOUIS RIEL JULY 1885 (Victory Point Games, 2 players, ages 13 and up, 40 minutes; $20.79) Westward expansion in Canada was ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy IMHOTEP: BUILDER OF EGYPT (Kosmos, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 40 minutes; $39.95) Ancient Egypt is well known for its amazing pyramids and ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue KEPLER-3042 (Placentia Games, 1-4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-120 minutes; $89.99) Kepler-3042 is a Kickstarter project that has, as most successful Kickstarter games do, ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber LÄNDER TOPPEN! (Drei Hasen in der Abendsonne, 2 to 6 players, ages 8 and up, 30-45 minutes; 14.90€) One of the pleasures of my lone trip ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy PLANET RUSH (Victory Point Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 30 minutes; $32.99) Few game designers are as adept at reinventing their games ...
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Reviewed by Pevans RHODES (The Game Master, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 90-120 minutes; about $45) I was pleased to see a new strategy game from Dutch ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ROYALS (Arcane Wonders, 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 60 minutes; $49.99) The more things change the more they stay the same. Even back ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ULM (Huch & Friends/RnR Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 45-75 minutes; $39.99) In the Middle Ages, the German city of Ulm experienced ...
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Fall 2016 GA Report

 

SEALING THE DEAL Back at the turn of the 20th century, slick magazines ruled the news stands. One of the ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy FIGHT FOR OLYMPUS (Mayfair Games/Lookout Games, 2 players, ages, 12 and up, about 30 minutes; $28) ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy IMAGINE (Gamewright, 3 to 8 players ages 12 and up, about 20 minutes; $14.99) Over recent ...
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Reviewed by Chantal Noordeloos MANSIONS OF MADNESS: 2ND EDITION (Fantasy Flight Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 120-180 ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy MEDICI (Grail Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $39.95) Way back, ...
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Reviewed  by Herb Levy MOROCCO (Eagle/Gryphon Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 45 minutes; $49.99)   The ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy THE NETWORKS (Formal Ferret Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 60-90 minutes; $50) ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (Artipia Games/Stronghold Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac QUARTERMASTER GENERAL: VICTORY OR DEATH: THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR (Plastic Soldier Company/Griggling Games, 2 to 4 players, ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore SCYTHE (Stonemaier Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 90-150 minutes; from $80 on ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy STAR TREK: ASCENDANCY (Gale Force 9, 3 players, ages 14 and up, 180 minutes; $100) The ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy STAR TREK PANIC (USAopoly/Fireside Games, 1 -6 players,. ages 13 and up, 120 minutes; $39.95) USAopoly, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy TYRANTS OF THE UNDERDARK (Gale Force Nine, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-75 ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser XENON PROFITEER (Eagle-Gryphon Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 30-45 minutes; $29.99) ...
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Summer 2016 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy BETWEEN TWO CITIES (Stonemaier Games, 3 to 7 with 1 and 2  player variants], ages 8 and up, about 25 minutes; $35) Ever since Antoine Bauza rediscovered and re-implemented the game mechanism of card drafting (and made a monster hit by using it in his game 7 Wonders), card drafting has become more and more popular in recent game designs. But ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue BLOOD RAGE (Cool Mini or Not, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 60-90 minutes; $79.99) I really like most of Eric M. Lang's designs and of those Blood Rage is the game I prefer. Tense, deep, with different paths to victory in an outstanding presentation. It is a typical "American" game, with intense interaction but a really low ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy CASTLES OF BURGUNDY: THE CARD GAME (Ravensburger/Alea, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 30-60 minutes; $13.50) If you've been paying attention to a lot of the successful board games published over recent years, you might have noticed a trend. It seems that profitable board games will give rise to card game versions of themselves. Castles of Burgundy is such a ...
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Reviewed by Pevans CVLizations (Granna, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 45 minutes; $35) The title of the latest game from Granna is a play on their earlier game, CV, from a couple of years ago. CVLizations, designed by Jan Zalewski, comes in the same size box as the earlier game and has similar artwork and design. There the similarities cease. The game’s ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser DOMUS DOMINI (Franjos, 2 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, 90-120 minutes; $54.99)   In Domus Domini, designed by Heinz-Georg Tiemann, the monastery in Cluny is in trouble. It has been neglected for decades and is currently in dire straits. The new abbot has called upon surrounding monasteries to come to the aid of this venerable institution. Failing to heed ...
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(UN) CONVENTION (AL) I don't know about you but, for me, United States presidential elections are fascinating. This year, the race to capture the highest office in the land has taken on some strange and bizarre twists and turns. All of it coalesces at the Republican and Democratic conventions held in the summer to anoint each party's standard bearer for the election this November. We've ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ESCAPE THE ROOM: MYSTERY AT STARGAZER'S MANOR (ThinkFun, 3 to 8 players, ages 10 and up, 90-120 minutes; $21.99) Suppose you found yourself trapped in a room with no apparent way out, armed only with your intellect? This is the situation that has become something of a phenomenon in the "real world" as these sorts of situations have evolved from digital ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy KILL DOCTOR LUCKY: DELUXE 19.5tH ANNIVERSARY EDITION (Cheapass Games, 2 to 8 players, ages 12 and up, 20-40 minutes; $40) In the world we live in, the craving for something new is a powerful and often irresistible force. This applies to games as well as many gamers virtually salivate over the promise of the next new game to appear on the ...
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[Note: Nick Sauer, designer of Looting Atlantis, has been a contributor to Gamers Alliance Report, including content for our Sid Sackson Tribute issue as well as reviews, the last appearing in the Fall 2010 issue.] Reviewed by Herb Levy LOOTING ATLANTIS (Shoot Again Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 30 minutes; $40) The legendary land of Atlantis has been the subject of ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy MYSTIC VALE (Alderac Entertainment Group, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 45 minutes; $44.95) Over 20 years ago, a game called Magic, the Gathering appeared (Winter 1994 Gamers Alliance Report) which introduced the idea of "trading and collectible card games". Years later, that basic idea was taken to a new place with a game called Dominion (featured in the Winter ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac NIPPON (What's Your Game?, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $60) Nippon is a two to four player point engine building game with worker placement and tile laying elements designed by Nuno Sentiero and Paulo Soledado. The game has a very light them of industrialization in Japan during the early 1900’s ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy OH MY GOODS! (Mayfair Games/Lookout Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; $15) Originally published as Royal Goods, the game has hit American shores with all of the 110 cards intact but the name changed to othe more whimsical Oh My Goods!. In addition, the original rules for the game have been revised by the designer, Alexander ...
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Reviewed by Pevans PELOPENNES CARD GAME (Irongames, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; €17.99) I really enjoyed Bernd Eisenstein’s Peloponnes (Winter 2010 Gamers Alliance Report) when it first appeared from his imprint, Irongames, in 2009. It’s a clever, entertaining game of developing an Ancient Greek city-state. I was thus intrigued by the arrival of his Peloponnes Card Game last year, essentially a card ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy SUSHI-GO PARTY! (Gamewright, 2 to 8 players, ages 8 and up, about 30 minutes; $21.99) It seems like only yesterday (actually it was last year in the Spring 2015 issue of Gamers Alliance Report) that we reviewed a very cute card drafting game designed by Phil Walker-Harding called Sushi-Go!. But nothing makes for good times like getting more and more people ...
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Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore TIN GOOSE (Rio Grande Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 120 minutes; $59.99) Tin Goose, designed by Matt Calkins (Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan) is about building an airline business at the dawn of commercial aviation in the USA.   It is a handsome game, coming in a large square box. Opening the box, you will find a ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber WINGS FOR THE BARON (Victory Point Games, 3 to 5 players [with a solitaire variant], ages 13 and up, 45 minutes; $49.99) As with many gamers, I very much enjoy attending game conventions. But my criteria for attending conventions isn’t based upon locality, or cost but on who I’ll get to see there. This might naturally push me towards large conventions ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy WORLD'S FAIR 1893 (Renegade Games/Foxtrot, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 40 minutes; $40) As the Industrial Revolution began to change life on this planet, science and its promise of wondrous things to come captured the imagination of the world. That excitement encouraged people around the globe to exhibit tomorrow's wonders. These conclaves of future possibilities were known as ...
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 Spring 2016 GA Report

 

Reviewed by Eric Brosius ABRACA.....what?? (Korea Boardgames Co., Ltd./Z-Man Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 20-30 minutes; $34.99) In Abraca…what? (or, in some editions, “Abracada…what?”,) players are ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ADVENTURE LAND (HABA, 2 to 4 players, age 10 and up, 45 minutes; $39.99) The kingdom of King Agamis is the setting for this game of ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BROOM SERVICE (Ravensburger/Alea, 2 to 5 players, ages 9 and up; 45-60 minutes; $45) Back in 2008, Andreas Pelikan designed a game called Witch's Brew in ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue DOJO KUN (Yemaia,  1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 60-90 minutes; about 50€) There are still two main universes in the gaming scene: ...
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THE BOX There is something almost magical about a simple thing like a box. For birthdays, people can get really excited when a box is wrapped in special paper, topped ...
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THE GRIZZLED (Cool Mini or Not, 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 30 minutes; $19.99) General William T. Sherman is famously quoted as saying "War is Hell!". He ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy KARUBA (HABA, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 to 99, 40 minutes; $34.99) Few themes excite game players as much as exploring the unknown. In this ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy THE KING'S ABBEY (Breaking Games/Brown-Eyed Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 90-180 minutes; $59.99) For most inhabitants of a town in the Middle ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ROLLING AMERICA (Gamewright, 1 or more player, ages 10 and up, 15 minutes; $10.99) In the Winter 2015 issue of Gamers Alliance Report, contributor Joe Huber ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber Scratch House (Manifest Destiny, 3 to 4 players [solitaire rules provided], ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; 4000¥ [about $35]) One of the most appealing aspects ...
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Reviewed by Pevans SHIPS (Treefrog Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 120 minutes or more; $39.99) Ships is Martin Wallace’s third transport-themed game (after Automobile and Aeroplanes) and ...
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[Chantal Noordeloos is an author of speculative fiction (Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy), who lives in the Netherlands, where she spends her time with her wacky, supportive husband, and outrageously ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser TUMULT ROYALE (Kosmos, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; $39.95) You are nobility, darn it! You deserve the best in life, ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac WARFIGHTER: THE TACTICAL SPECIAL FORCES CARD GAME (Dan Verssen Games, 1 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, 30-45 minutes; $59.99) Warfighter (The Tactical Special Forces ...
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Winter 2016 GA Report

 

reviewed by Herb Levy Stronghold Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 30-120 minutes; $99.95    The art of designing games has been transformed into a science in this new release by Friedemann Friese. Scientists in the future, Friese postulates, have managed to construct alternate Earths, programming each of these worlds with their own specific sets of laws and rules. The essence of these ...
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NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK It is a time honored and well respected tradition that, with the dawning of a new year, people think long and hard and come up with New Year's Resolutions. Maybe it's time to quit smoking,  maybe you'll take that leap into a new job or a new relationship, maybe you will just go on a diet and lose those unwanted pounds once and ...
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reviewed by Joe Huber Splotter Spellen, 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 120-240 minutes; 75€/$124.99 I have been fortunate enough to meet, and become friends with, many game designers over the years.  In general this is a great thing from my point of view, as it’s given me the opportunity to playtest hundreds of unpublished games, sometimes in the early stages of  development where ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Mayfair Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 90 minutes; $60    There is a certain undeniable mystique surrounding upper scale hotels. Sometimes it is captured in the movies (vintage film buffs will recall the great classic film Grand Hotel charting the lives of guests portrayed by Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford and more in a lush Berlin ...
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reviewed by Kevin Whitmore Quined Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 60-90 minutes; $79.99    Haspelknecht is the third release from author Thomas Spitzer, and his third game in a trilogy of games about coal production in the Ruhr region of Germany.  His prior two games, Ruhrschifffahrt and Kohle & Kolonie, have both received some acclaim, so I was eager to try ...
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reviewed by Pevans eggertspiele (in Germany) and R&R Games (in the US).  2-4 players, aged 12+, 2-3 hours to play (officially 75-150 minutes); $49.99 Mombasa caught my eye twice at Spiel ’15: at eggertspiele’s stand, they being the German publisher, and again with R&R Games, who are publishing it in the US. It was Frank DiLorenzo, main man at R&R, who persuaded me (it didn’t ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Tasty Minstrel Games/dlp Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 90 minutes; $59.95 Last year, Orleans hit the gaming tables to considerable acclaim. This year, a new Deluxe Edition of the game has made it to market and not a moment too soon ...
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reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser Z-Man Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 45 minutes; $69.99 NOTE:   A familiarity with Pandemic is assumed in this review.  The threat of horrifying diseases for which we have no known treatment ravaging the Earth remains an all-too-real possibility. Indeed, the recent outbreak of Ebola raised public consciousness of this possibility.  ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Kosmos, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 90 minutes; $59.95     Rudiger Dorn is back with a new game - and it's about time!     Actually, I mean that literally. In this game postulating an alternate history, the year is 1899 and reports of unexplained time bending phenomena at ancient sites such as Stonehenge and the Pyramids have resulted in the ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Edited and with an Introduction by Otto Penzler (A Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original, 816 pages, ISBN: 978-1-101-97281-1), Hardcover $40, Softcover $25) Where do game designers get their inspirations? For many over the last 100 or so years, the inspiration came from the adventures of the world's first consulting detective and arguably, the most famous and successful detective of all time: Sherlock Holmes ...
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reviewed by Chris Kovac GMT Games, 2-3 players, ages 12 and up, 4-6 hours; $89    Triumph and Tragedy, as designed by Craig Besinque, is a three player strategic war game of World War II in the Western theater using  card management and block wargaming elements. In the game, you will play one of three factions ...
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reviewed by Herb Levy Mayday Games/Hobby World, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 45-60 minutes; $34.99 In the fantasy Berserk universe, power is paramount and in Viceroy, designed by Yuri Zhuravlev, up to four players, immersed in that universe, compete by constructing a "power pyramid", ...
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reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue Demoela Project, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 45-90 minutes; $54.99 Zena 1814 is one of the 2015 Essen's releases that most impressed me ...
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Fall 2015 GA Report

 

Reviewed by: Kevin Whitmore (Numbskull Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 120 minutes; $49.99) California Gold is a 2015 release from author Patrick Stevens and published by his company, Numbskull Games. But don’t let the title fool you; California Gold is about “Orange Ranching, the second gold rush” as the slogan on the top of the box clarifies. The game supports 3 ...
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Reviewed by: Larry Levy (Czech Games Edition, 2 to 12 players, ages 14 and up, 15 minutes; $20) Many of us may tend to think of game designers as having specialties—things like card games, children's games, and the like.  But while that's occasionally true, most designers are pretty versatile.  Obviously, it's to their benefit to have more than one arrow in their quiver.  That's certainly true ...
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Reviewed by: Pevans (Ragnar Brothers, 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; about $70) That’s “Democratic Republic of…” The first thing to get straight about this game is its title. It is not, as many people think (all right, I thought) on first sight, Doctor Congo… It is the latest heavyweight strategy game from the Ragnar Brothers. It is definitely a complex game ...
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Quick Quiz For gamers around the world, playing games is a learning experience. First, you need to learn the rules to play the game correctly. Sometimes, this means poring over the rulebook. Sometimes, it means absorbing the rules from someone who has played the game before. Once the game is in action, you learn something about your opponents in how they handle the challenges inherent ...
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Reviewed by: Frank Branham [Back in 2004, Hasbro released a spectacular new game with a fantasy theme, wonderful graphic design and lots of beautiful miniatures. The game was Heroscape. The game caught on with critics and players alike and became a success spawning lots of expansions for players to add to that gaming universe. But nothing lasts forever so, after a rather long run, Heroscape was ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 30-60 minutes; $37) The isle of Skye is a small island located in the English Channel. Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, as designed by Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister, uses that setting to challenge players to develop their own "clan territory" in such a way as to achieve ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $29.99) Over 20 years ago, Magic, the Gathering burst onto the scene and the reaction was, to put it mildly, PHENOMENAL! The game flew off the shelves! More importantly, that Richard Garfield design put a small company, Wizards of the Coast, on the map and created ...
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Reviewed by: Greg J. Schloesser (Blue Orange Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 45-60 minutes; $49.99) Blue Orange has been publishing games for over a dozen years. They predominately produce lighter family and party games, although there have been a few that require a bit more strategy (Gobblet comes to mind). Perhaps their most popular game is Spot It!, a fast-paced party ...
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Reviewed by: Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Fantasy Flight Games, 2 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $99.95) I've always been fascinated by the Star Wars universe and related games. I played a lot with the old West End Games RPG and I really love Star Wars: X-Wings. When FFG announced the release of Star Wars: Armada, I was thrilled. Someone could think Armada is the ...
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[With our 30th year celebration launched, we have to admit that we wouldn't be here if there was nothing to discuss! For that, we have to be thankful for the talented game designers that have managed to create so many thought provoking, challenging and entertaining games over the last three decades. So, as with our Top 30 Games poll, we contacted everybody we could find ...
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[In celebrating our 30th year, we thought about the thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of games that have appeared on the scene over the last three decades. So we contacted everybody we could find who had ever contributed to Gamers Alliance Report since our beginning as well as our worldwide membership and asked them: In YOUR opinion, what are the BEST games published, ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 2 players, ages 8 and up, 30-40 minutes; $21) Some topics command more than their fair share of attention when it comes to trains. One of those topics is, without question, trains. Russian Railroads (featured in the Spring 2014 Gamers Alliance Report), for example, used trains as a springboard for an excellent worker placement game. Now, Helmut Ohley, ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Stonemaier Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 13 and up, 45-90 minutes; $60) Wine is often thought of as "the nectar of the gods" being a source of inspiration for centuries, its virtues extolled through literature of all sorts (even poetry). So it is no surprise that this inspiration has spilled over into games. Wine making, its pleasures and perils, have ...
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Summer 2015 GA Report

 

Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Eagle/Gryphon Games, 1-4 players, ages 8 and up, 45-60 minutes; $39.99; Deluxe Edition $64.99) Let's start this review by being perfectly frank. I'm a baseball purist. I like the game the way it is played; I still can't get used to the Designated Hitter. So you can imagine my reaction when I heard about a baseball game set in the future with ...
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Reviewed by: Greg J. Schloesser (Tasty Minstrel Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 120-150 minutes; $69.95) Generally, I am not fond of economic games, tending to find them fairly dry and business-like. I am a businessman by profession, so playing a game that is about a business strays a bit too close to what I do for a living. I want my gaming ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Asmodee/Ludonaute, 2 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, less than 60 minutes; $39.99) The Old West is always fascinating, at least for us Europeans looking at the wide spaces of the US with a mix of awe and astonishment. Gunslingers, Indians, coaches, saloons and shoot-outs are powerful tools in the hands of expert designers. Bang!, Carson City, Dice Town, ...
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Imitation is... "...the sincerest form of flattery", at least according to Oscar Wilde. But you know what else imitation is? BORING! When your "lofty goal" is to copy, as closely as possible, something successful (we're talking about games here but this applies to almost everything), you are doomed to fail. When your new version of something is just about the same as the old version, ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Space Cowboys/Asmodee, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60 minutes; $59.99) Ambition is a powerful force. When you are a human being, it can be the drive that moves you up the corporate ladder or shoots you to the top in political circles. But when you are a demigod with designs on claiming a spot on Mount Olympus, you ...
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Reviewed by: Chris Kovac (Z-Man Games,1-2 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $79.99) Fields of Arle is a two player game of resource collecting and management by Uwe Rosenberg following his games like Agricola, Le Harve and Caverna in scope and style. The object of the game is to have the most points after nine turns ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Renegade Game Studios/Foxtrot Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $34.99) Just when you think you've seen all the possible permutations of tile laying games, you discover something new. In Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, designed by Christopher Chung, tile laying is deftly combined with card play in a game where the setting is China and players are ...
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[In our issues, we generally focus on the newest and best games on the market today (when we're not highlighting some great classic game no longer in print). This piece, however, is an exception. James Davis is a big fan of Memoir 44, a well received game of World War II action originally featured in the Summer 2004 issue of GA Report. With over a ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Queen Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 45 minutes; $49.99) The smell of success is in the air for the player who can concoct the more desirable perfumes and sell them to the illustrious clientele who desire them in the latest game from the design team of Marco Ruskowski and Marcel Sobelbeck: Parfum ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Asmadi Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 45-60 minutes; $59.99) In the late 19th-early 20th century, the glue that held the masses together, keeping them in touch with the events of the day and each other, were the newspapers. These publications ran the gamut from high toned conveyers of the news to flamboyant and sensational journalism, commonly known ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Griggling Games Inc., 2 to 6 players, ages 13 and up, 90 minutes; $49.95) For the longest time, there has been a disconnect between wargames and Euro strategy games. Whether the trauma of World War II was simply too much to allow Europeans to revisit such a destructive conflict or differing cultural influences are to account for this, I'll leave to ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (R & R Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 25 minutes; $19.95) Did you ever wonder how rival Mages settle their disputes? Well, it's not by sharing their feelings. In Spellcaster, a new game designed by Aaron Weissblum and Norman Woods, we discover that such disagreements are settled the only way they could be: through magical combat ...
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Reviewed by: Pevans (Quined Games, 2-4 players, ages 12 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.99) It’s Earth, Jim, but not as we know it. I first played The Golden Ages, designed by Luigi Ferrini, at Dutch publisher Quined’s stand at Spiel ‘14 and was immediately taken with it. It’s a civilisation development game that takes familiar features and puts them together in a different way – ...
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Reviewed by: Joe Huber (Z-Man Games/Hans im Glűck, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 40-100 minutes; $59.99) For me, the question of the most consistent publisher is a fairly easy one. Other than the single designer publishers, I’ve found no publisher who finds as consistently interesting designs as Hans im Glück. Whether classic games such as El Grande, Euphrat & Tigris, and Goa, ...
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Reviewed by: Joe Huber (Asmodee Editions/Ystari, 4 players, ages 13 and up, 10 minutes; $39.99) Every year, after Essen, I participate in a few gatherings to play through the new games. Over the course of a few weekends, I’ll typically end up playing 30 or more new games – most of which I’ll never come back to again. I really enjoy playing new (and new-to-me) ...
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Spring 2015 GA Report

 

Everyone who has ever seen a magician perform has more than likely seen a disappearing act. In a blink of an eye, a coin, a bird, a beautiful assistant vanishes before your eyes. This is a magical staple that has thrilled audiences for decades. But, as we gamers know, sometimes disappearances fail to garner applause when it's a quality game that has vanished from the ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Bezier Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 90 minutes; $59.99) Back in 1864, King Ludwig ascended to the throne of Bavaria. Rather than concerning himself with affairs of state as might reasonably be expected, Ludwig became fascinated with medieval castles and commissioned the construction of no less than three, spending his considerable fortune of over 30 million marks ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Pearl Games/Asmodee, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.99) Ever since the aptly named Civilization was released by Hartland Trefoil (and later published by Avalon Hill) to critical acclaim, the rise and development of civilizations has been a frequent topic explored at the gaming table. Different approaches have been tried, some more successful than others but game ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (North Star Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $54.99) Man was not the first animal to inhabit Earth. Long before man appeared, dinosaurs were the dominant species on this planet. Those days return as dinosaurs try to adapt to a changing environment and survive hostile creatures as they travel the road of Evolution. Evolution, a reworking ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (US Games Systems, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; $19.95) Sometimes, if you're very fortunate, you get hold of a winning formula and it pays dividends. For Mike Fitzgerald, that formula is the Mystery Rummy franchise. For over a decade, starting with Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper (featured in the Fall 1998 Gamers Alliance Report and written up by ...
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Reviewed by: Pevans (Treefrog Games/Asmodee, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 60 minutes; $49.99) Back in 2011, Martin Wallace and Treefrog Games published a very clever wargame, A Few Acres of Snow (featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Gamers Alliance Report). This is a two-player game of British and French conflict in North America through the first half of the eighteenth century ...
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Reviewed by: Chris Kovac (Treefrog/Asmodee, 2 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 90-120 minutes; $49.99) Onward to Venus (the full name being Dr. Grordbort's Onward to Venus) is a two to five player light area control gamers' game designed by veteran game designer Martin Wallace and put out by Treefrog Games. The game has a steam punk fantasy theme based on Greg Broadmores fantasy ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Alderac Entertainment Group/Pegasus Spiele, 2 players, ages 10 and up, 30-45 minutes; $29.99) Ancient China has proven to be a fertile ground for game themes. But rather than farming or raising livestock or ancient warfare, the theme this time around is construction as two people compete to win the Emperor's favor in the game that bears the name of the structures ...
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Reviewed by: Eric Brosius (Rio Grande Games, 2-5 players, ages 10 and up, 45 minutes; $59.95) Roll for the Galaxy is a game about space exploration, expansion and economic activity and is designed by Wei-Hwa Huang and Tom Lehmann. This game clearly draws its inspiration, and even some of its artwork, from Tom’s earlier game Race for the Galaxy (featured in the Winter 2008 Gamers ...
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Sally Field and Me Back in 1985, Sally Field, an actress best known for her light TV work (after all, she was "The Flying Nun" early in her career), won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 1984's Places of the Heart. In accepting her Oscar, Sally said, "I haven't had an orthodox career, and I've wanted more than anything to have ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Gamewright, 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up, 15 minutes; $11.99) 7 Wonders is a game that appeared several years ago (and featured in the Winter 2011 issue of Gamers Alliance Report) to garner rave reviews and a slew of awards. Justifiably so. At the core of its design was the game mechanism of card drafting, i.e. having a bunch ...
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Reviewed by: Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Gamelyn Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 30 minutes; $26.99) One of the things gamers are looking for is a great, perfect and engaging epic fantasy game. From the time of Battlemist (and the renewed edition of Rune Quest), several titles have tried and failed to hit the heart of epic fantasy lovers. Another dream of most ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Alderac Entertainment Group, 2-4 players, ages 14 and up, 45 minutes; $19.99) When archeologists searched the sands of Egypt, they uncovered, in the Valley of the Kings, the site where the pharaohs of that ancient civilization built pyramids that would become their tombs. Now contemporary players assume the role of pharaohs and plan for their eventual demise by entombing into their ...
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