Mysterium

Many years ago, in Warwick Manor, there occurred a murder most foul. The crime had been carefully planned and so well executed that the police have ruled it an accident. But ever since Warwick Manor has not been the same. Haunted, they say. And in that haunting the new owner of Warwick Manor sees a chance to have the murder solved still, and the ghost thus laid to rest. He has invited the most famous psychics in the world to contact the ghost and discover what happened. A great plan in theory, if only the ghost wasn’t too traumatized by his death to clearly remember what happened, and if he hadn’t been a member of the Dixit fan club in life.

Read more
The Grizzled

The Grizzled

Boardgames don’t really have an equivalent to literature. We gamers don’t usually consider the categories of literary fiction versus genre fiction, we think about light games and heavy games instead, or about different game mechanics. But by most criteria, the vast majority of games are more like genre fiction: advancing linearly, focused on a big payoff at the end, and made to entertain, not to invite reflection on their subject.

What you might call literary games are not entirely unheard of, though. One fine example is The Grizzled by Fabien Riffaud and Juan Rodriguez, a cooperative game set in World War One. The setting in itself is not what sets The Grizzled apart, though. Plenty of games are set in the two big wars. But in this one you don’t move tanks across a map, you don’t heroically storm beaches, and you don’t go home to live happily ever after, even if you win.

Read more
Odyssey - Wrath of Poseidon

Odyssey -Wrath of Poseidon

Nothing is easy when the gods are against you. Especially not getting home across the sea when the god in question is Poseidon. And even less when Poseidon is a friend from whom you just stole the last piece of pizza. That’s the setup of Odyssey – Wrath of Poseidon: up four players are Greek navigators on their way home, one player is Poseidon who feels slighted by the Greek’s victory at Troy. Together, they play an asymmetric deduction game.

Read more
Trickerion: Legends of Illusion

Trickerion: Legends of Illusion

There are many boardgames about wizards throwing fireballs at things, but very few about the other kind of magic, the kind where skilled performers go on stage and make their audience think that magic might be real. One of those few games is Trickerion, an intensely strategic worker placement game with many details to keep track of and very limited …. well, everything. Between limited resources, limited time and limited space, every decision is tough. Just the way we like it.

Read more
The Gallerist

The Gallerist

Once they get into gaming, most people discover their go-to designers at some point, the handful of designers who’s name is enough to make them buy a game. Vital Lacerda is one of my go-to designers, and so it was only with a slight hesitation that I took the big chunk of cash from my wallet to pay for the huge box that is The Gallerist. And I haven’t regretted the decision since, The Gallerist has exactly what I love Vital’s designs for: finely interwoven game mechanics that seem complex at first, maybe even convoluted, but reveal an elegant design underneath and meaningful, multi-dimensional decisions on every turn.

Read more
Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot

Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot

Ignacy Trzewiczek and Portal Games are usually known for heavy games, but with Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot they ventured into family game territory. Here you wage sea battles by throwing a metric ton of dice into the game box and then using more or less improbable ship upgrades to fight. For family-friendliness, players don’t fight against one another but compete who can capture or sink the most non-player ships.

Read more

A Game of Gnomes

Every year Fragor Games releases one game, designed by the Lamont brothers and produced with ridiculously pretty ceramic miniatures. Last year, that game was A Game of Gnomes. It’s what it says on the box: a game, and about gnomes. Except the title and some puns in the rule book, it has nothing to do with that other A Game of …. Something that everyone is talking about, but it has a lot to do with mushrooms. And it has the largest single component in any game we have here at the Meeple Cave.

Read more
Among Nobles

Among Nobles

Building a dynasty of nobles, how much drier can the concept of a game possibly sound. Have children, marry them to other families, repeat until rich and and famous. I was happy to find out that this prejudice was dead wrong. Despite its theme, Among Nobles is anything but dry, it has a great balance of simple rules, strategic decision and player interaction.

Read more
The Prodigals Club

The Prodigals Club

Being rich, influential and groomed for political office, that must be such an incredibly boring life. Why is it that the lower classes get all the fun? Well, you’re not going to let them have it without you, and if you have to get rid of your wealth and your good reputation to join them, then so be it. That’s why you and some equally rich and dimwitted friends started the Prodigals Club, a contest of who can most effectively ruin their future.

Read more
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King

Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King

I admit, I didn’t expect that one day a traditional, competitive eurogame would be in the majority for the Kennerspiel des Jahres selection. But here we are, next to Pandemic Legacy and T.I.M.E. Stories, both cooperative games with a limited number of replays in the box Isle of Skye is the only competitive game with virtually unlimited replayability. Lets have a look if it’s worthy of the nomination.

Read more