February 2, 2011

Can you Control the Spread or Will There Be a Pandemic??


Pandemic is a two to four player cooperative game designed by Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man games in 2008. Pandemic is a truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose. With many strategic options there is tons of replay value and only takes 45-60 minutes to play. The game pits a team of specialists from different fields together to cure 4 different deadly diseases and stop a pandemic outbreak before they wipe out mankind. Players must work together to build a strategy of eradication before they become overwhelmed and the diseases overcome the world.

At Pandemic

Pandemic: On the Brink expansion adds a fifth player and tons of additional challenges. While the expansion requires the base Pandemic game in order to use, it adds depth and complexity, six new roles (plus 1 revised OpEx and a Bio-Terrorist), 8 new special events, and several optional challenge kits to increase the difficulty of the game. Two of the challenges are the Virulent Strain challenge which makes one disease become particularly deadly in unpredictable ways and the Mutation Challenge which adds a fifth (purple) disease that behaves differently than the original four.

At Pandemic: On the Brink

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January 31, 2011

Hasbro to Give Game of Life Modern Makeover

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Hasbro has announced that the Game of Life will be receiving a modern face lift and a renaming to be released before Christmas of this year. Milton Bradley's first game was created in 1860 and has been republished many times in the past, however the latest update will bring the game into the 21st century.

The new version of the game will be called Game of Life: Adventures Edition. Some of the changes that we can expect include a new transportation method, an airplane, to replace car, separate islands focused on the career paths, and spaces that change as the dial spins.

The Game of Life is a classic and a favorite of many board gaming families throughout the last 150 years. Can Hasbro continue to update this wonderful game and bring it through another 150 years? Only time will tell, but the latest edition feels like a step in the right direction.

Thanks to Ben for sending us this tip.

Via Pocket-lint at Game of Life

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January 28, 2011

Ticket to Ride: A Must-Have for Any Board Game Enthusiast

Ticket To Ride.jpg

Since entering the scene in 2004, Ticket to Ride, designed by Alan R. Moon and published by Days of Wonder, is a favorite of many board gaming fans. Ticket to Ride is a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars and then use those cards to purchase routes between two locations on the board. The player continues to purchase routes in an effort to connect two specific locations determined by destination cards drawn at the beginning of the game.

Ticket to Ride is meant for 2-5 players, ages 8 and up, and takes about 30-60 minutes to play. It has won many awards including the 2004 Game of the Year in Germany. With the five official expansions (Mystery Train, USA 1910, Europa 1912, Switzerland, and Dice Expansion) and four spin-offs (Europe, Märklin, Nordic Countries, and Ticket to Ride: Card Game) there is plenty of variety to keep any board game fan entertained!

At Ticket to Ride

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January 24, 2011

White Goblin Games is about to Get Nuts!


Whether it be something in the brownies or that they are just plain insane, Netherlands' White Goblin Games is about to 'Get Nuts'. WGG has just announced their latest card game will be released this quarter.

So what does going nuts get us? Here is information from their press release:

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January 20, 2011

Gamewright Gives Us a Sneak Peak Into 2011 Product Line

In anticipation of the 2011 American International Toy Fair taking place in New York this February, Gamewright has given us a sneak peak into a few of their 2011 games that will be debuted at the conference. Ranging from kid friendly board and card games to adult and family friendly games, Gamewright is sure to have something for everyone.

Here is a quick look at what to expect from Gamewright this year:

Splish Splash!

The Game That's Swimming With Fun!

2 - 4 players * Ages 4+

Jump right into this lively game that's sure to make a splash! Roll the die and then drop the wooden pebble into the pond. Did any colorful shapes splash out? If so, match them up to your playing board. Be the first to fill up your board and then dry off with a win!

Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011

Mermaid Beach
A Very Splashy Card Game
2 - 5 players * Ages 6+

Soak up the fun down at Mermaid Beach! Swim along with Swirly Shirley, Betsy Bubbles, Rip Rider, and a colorful cast of undersea characters as you try to collect the most seashell cards. Watch out for sneaky waves and icky seaweed along the way. Most of all - don't get caught holding the sea monster at the end of the game!

Playing time: 15 minutes
Availability: Spring 2011

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January 17, 2011

Monopoly - A Classic Board Game for the Family


This classic family board game is one of our favorites, and great for any family evening of board game fun. Monopoly is a game of luck, chance, and wheeling and dealing. You buy and sell properties in Atlantic City, and try to corner parts of the board, build houses and hotels, and charge other players exorbitant rent. We think if you haven't tried it recently, a revisit to Monopoly's world is in order.

At Monopoly - A Classic Board Game for the Family

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January 7, 2011

Qwirkle Board Game is Mensa Winner


We've been playing this with our our 6 year old and they love it. The games last around 30-40 minutes, and you'd think that's too long but it's not. The game is all about mixing and matching and as the title suggest a bit quirky. Qwirkle is also a Games Magazine Award: Best Family Game Runner-up 2007, and Mensa Best Mind Game Award Winner 2007.

At Qwirkle Board Game

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January 3, 2011

Monopoly Mapped to Modern Games

Scott Nicholson of ex Board Games with Scott fame has put together a video that really rings true with us. It tackles the game Monopoly, the classic monolith of board gaming from our youth. Now, we roll our eyes at this title mainly because it has numerous outdated mechanics. Things that - if you think about it - really rub you the wrong way and have been since fixed by the evolution of new mechanics that emerged over the last decade through the Renaissance of board gaming.

Scott has put a list of his own often groan-worth Monopoly mechanics, and the good mechanics, and recommends new games that emulate and fix these elements. It's a great primer for those of you looking to get back into gaming, or for a shotgun blast of interesting titles that have refined games that you may look fondly back to.

Nice work Scott! Especially since you just retired? :) Maybe the videos were posted out of order.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

December 30, 2010

Battlestar Galactica Exodus Rules Posted

Thumbnail image for BattlestarGalacticaExodus.JPGWe've been drooling over facets of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica board game expansion "Exodus" for the past few months. Specifically we're looking forward to the optional overhaul to the ship combat system. New Viper types, new Cylon launch rules, and a Cylon armada that continues to build even after the Galactica hits warps speed. Any ship you leave behind will amass on a separate Cylon fleet board, only to resurface the next time the robotic fleet catches up with with the squishy flesh bags. Oh the humanity!

Now, veterans of Battlestar Galactica already know that it's a game that places the Humans in dire straits right off the bat, so FFG isn't just going to toss more ships at you and call it a day. Nope, they aim to give you new tools for you to fight back against the increased threat. To that end the expansion provides new viper abilities which, in part, allow you to escort Civilan ships home. There are alsao new zippier Viper VIIs (if you fix them by taking out their cyclon susceptible network computers) to mix in with your older Galactica Viper Museum Relics, new rebuildable nuclear warheads, and a new CAG officer who's seriously adept at coordinating viper patrols.

All this is just one of the expansions three optional addons. Other options include a new Final Five Cylon mechanic, which seems reasonable and more interesting that the super Cyclon boss mechanic from Pegasus, and a new Ion Nebula Human Trauma / Exploration of Ship to Find Allies But Watch Out for Landmines mechanic. This final one sounds WAY too complicated for us. The rules even suggest you don't play it until you've played with the other options numerous times. For us, that probably means never, especially considering we thought the previous Pegasus Expansionseriously screwed the pooch on the complexity level.

Checkout the full rules on the FFG website. We'll let you know when Battlestar Galactica Exodus hits shelves.


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December 21, 2010

Battle Cry Civil War Board Game Returns to Shelves


The much sought after Battle Cry [Amazon, Funagain] war game is back on shelves! For years this American Civil War tile was a legend among circles. Those who've played it would rave about it. Those who wanted to play it found that demand had nearly completely starved supply. Copies of Battle Cry cost $100 bucks plus.

Now, 10 years later, and on the 150th Anniversary Year of the American Civil War (happy anniversary?), Battle Cry has received a reprint.

The original edition hosted numerous American Civil War battles and was based on the popular and easy to learn Command & Colors battle system (BattleLore, Memoir '44, Battles of Westeros). The title was a tactical board game breakthrough when it arrived on the scene in 2000 due to its approachability and streamlined play. Now it's returning again with 30 scenarios - twice the number as before - new artwork an a few rule tweaks.

Here are the official details:

""From 1861 to 1865, the United States was at war with itself. The battles of the American Civil War have taken a place in the fabric of American history. And here is your chance to recreate 15 of those Civil War Battles.

Battle Cry elegantly and simply recreates the Civil War experience. The gameboard can be setup with woods, hills, houses, and other features to recreate the specific terrain of the battle. The game system involves using cards to issue orders to specific units on the board. Combat dice decide the outcome of an attack, modified for terrain, distance, and other factors. Whenever a unit is completely destroyed, the victor gets the flag from that unit. Collect six flags first and win the battle.There are also rules for campaign play. "

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