Sea of Clouds

Sea of Clouds

The right combination of two familiar game mechanics can create something new and fun. Sea of Clouds combines a drafting game with a press-your-luck mechanic. If you enjoy only one of those, then this game is definitely worth your time because it combines the best parts of them. And it does that while letting you loot the skies as a flying pirate, if you needed any more convincing.

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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.

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Tokaido – Collectors’ Edition

Usually, when a game is about traveling a road, you win by arriving first at the destination. Of course racing is fun, but it’s not the only way to travel. Sometimes, going slowly and enjoying the trip is what you should be doing. Antoine Bauza’s Tokaido rewards that type of travel, here the winner is the player who had the richest experience along the way. That makes Tokaido very different from a racing game, and in the best way, too.

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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.

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Imhotep

Imhotep

The problems with building pyramids don’t start with stacking big stones on top of other big stones. Sure, that’s one problem, but when you get to that point you solved a couple of other things already. Like how to get big stones when all you see around is sand. That part of the operation is the focus of Phil Walker-Harding’s Imhotep: get stones from the quarries down the Nile and to the construction sites, on ships you have to share with other architects working on the same project.

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Sapiens

Sapiens

The year is god-knows-when BCE. The first people are spreading across the plains and forests looking for two things: food and shelter. Their most important tool in this dangerous voyage are Dominoes-like tiles they use to map out the surroundings. Okay, no, they didn’t really do that. You do that when playing Sapiens, map out the territory for your tribe to prosper.

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Potion Explosion

Potion Explosion

The Horribilorum Sorcery Academy for Witty Witches and Wizards, yet another institute of magical learning that not only ignores safety procedures, it’s probably using the handbook to start a fire. This time, students have to sit their Potions exam with ingredients from a rickety, old ingredient dispenser and a professor that actively encourages them to cause explosions in that thing and to drink their own potions they just created to see if they work. Realistically, this game is not about winning, it’s about surviving!

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Patchwork

Patchwork

Uwe Rosenberg is well known for his deep, complex games like Agricola, Glass Road or Fields of Arle. But those are not all he does, he’s equally skilled at small and deceptively simple looking games. In this one, you don’t have to feed your starving farmers, you don’t work and pray in a monastery, you don’t even sell your vegetables at the gates of Loyang. All you have to do is simply make a patchwork blanket.

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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.

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La Boca

La Boca

The game La Boca takes its name from the neighborhood La Boca in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a uniquely colorful place. Just as uniquely, the game La Boca is a puzzle game with strong player interaction, and that makes it a lot of fun to play.

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