Ganz schön clever

This year, the third seal of the apocalypse has been broken: A roll-and-write game is nominated for Kennerspiel des Jahres. Or was that the fourth seal? How did that happen? Has the world gone mad? Did the Yahtzee mafia threaten the jury? Take their children hostage?

It’s something much less sinister. I didn’t think it could happen, but Ganz schön clever might be a roll-and-write game that deserves to be on that list. There’s something about it that sets it apart from other games where you roll dice and write numbers on your score pad. In this game, the dice have different colors.

Read more

Video Review: Arena – For the Gods

If you compare mythologies from all over the world two things quickly become obvious. One, the gods get bored easily. Two, they don’t have the attention span for complex entertainment. A game where heroes bash each others head in for the glory of the gods is exactly their kind of fun. Which brings us to this video review of Arena: For the Gods.

Read more
Bohemian Villages

Bohemian Villages

Ah, Bohemia, land of the dice, where the fate of whole families hinges on a few rolls of the metaphorical bones. The locals didn’t mention anything about that when we passed through on our vacation, but it’s probably one of those things you don’t discuss with outsiders. Being a village boy myself, I can relate to that. When someone passed through our village, we also didn’t tell him who’s life had been ruined by the dice. But in Bohemia, or at least in Reiner Stockhausen’s Bohemian Villages, the dice have a much more direct influence on the not-quite-meeple-people’s lives. The dice decide what career they can take and sometimes to which village they have to move.

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
Heroes

Heroes

Wizards never live in peace. Wherever they meet, they fight. Heroes is another game to prove this simple fact, and it packs the excitement of a real-time game into the wizard duel, because players roll at the same time, trying to collect the energy to cast a spell before their opponent does.

Read more

Machi Koro

City building games don’t have to be big and complex, Machi Koro proves that. All you need to build your city are two dice, some cards and about half an hour of time. You couldn’t take anything away from this game and still call what is left a game. But even being that light, Machi Koro is published and popular in more countries than most games ever see.

Read more

Greenland

Greenland is a pretty hostile environment for human beings, and survival is at stake there every day. Not so much nowadays, but people have been living there since long before packaged food and electric heating. The game Greenland gives you some idea just how dangerous the place is: careful planning and good tactics will go a long way, but a bit of bad luck can still wipe out your people.

Read more

Blueprints

“Light dice game” usually implies lots of rolling and very little influence over who wins the game in the end, it’s just whoever rolls better. Not so in Blueprints. There are many dice, sure enough, but you don’t roll them all that much and if you win or not depends less on how you roll them and more on how you use them.

Read more