November 29, 2007

War on Terror Board Game

Here's one from TerrorBull Games for all you tongue-in-cheek cynics out there (nothing to be ashamed about -- we're with you). War on Terror [Amazon, Funagain] is a strategy board game that fits together many games we love, and themes it with modern day troubles.

The game nicely combines elements of Risk, with a simplified resource production similar to Settlers of Catan, and stuffs a bit of Diplomacy into it as well. Dark? Yes. Well executed? Definitely, though sometimes theres such a strong balance between two sides that games may last for longer than their expected two hour duration. One thing we really like though: there is a Hidden Message pad that players may use to communicate/conspire with each other, but watch out! Some cards allow players to read the secret messages allowed. Oh boy howdy, that's good stuff -- it reminds us of the communication vouchers from so many days playing the diplomatic game in A Line in the Sand.

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November 25, 2007

Critical Gamers 2007 Holiday Gift Guide - Board Games and Card Games Galore

Welcome to the one-stop index page for all of our Holiday Gift Guides for 2007!

We know how important it is to find the right game for the right person and so we're kicking things up a notch this year by crafting up individual guides centered around particular genres of gaming. Here you'll find links to all of our artilcles, so rest assured that you'll find the right game for the right person for some unwrapping goodness in December.

Critical Gamers' 2007 Holiday Shopping Guides

If you haven't found exactly what you're looking for then please also check out our 2006 Holiday Gift Guide. It's also chalk-full of great game ideas with staying power, many are still being played on our gaming nights even late into this year.

Looking for more amazing gift ideas? Check out our extensive set of holiday shopping guides on electronics, fashion, cooking, and more.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 23, 2007

Cyber Monday and Holiday Board Game Sale: Free Shipping

The online game site BoardGameUSA is offering free shipping on all orders over $99.00. They're also offering extended discounts off nearly 50% off a rotating Game of The Day.

We have to be honest, BoardGameUSA has quite the selection going on. They have your American classics like Monopoly, Sorry!, Life!, etc, which you could find just about anywhere. But they also have an extensive collection of Eurogames. There are 4 pages of games from Mayfair, including titles like Settlers of Catan, Domaine, Bang!, and Tigris & Euphrates. If you're more a Rio Grande Gamer then their Rio Grande collection includes 10% off on: Carcassonne, San Juan, Shadow of the Emperor, and Puerto Rico.

You just can't go wrong.

If you're looking for more gift suggestions the please also checkout our own 2007 Critical Gamers Holiday Gift Guide.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

Cyber Monday and Holiday Board Game Discounts:

The online mega store is running a sale on select board games and toys, with some titles up to 60% off.

The sale includes nearly 150 items, including new games and old American classics like Monopoly, Scene It?, Sorry, Life, and titles from the Cranium Series. No Eurogames for dinner parties and the elder generations (except for Scene It?), but some great discounts for those classic family games we all grew up with.

No coupon codes required. Have at it!

If you're looking for more gift suggestions the please also checkout our own 2007 Critical Gamers Holiday Gift Guide.

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Cyber Monday and Holiday Puzzle Game Discounts: Bits and Pieces

jackson20-11-20-05a.jpgThe puzzle and game store Bits and Pieces has a 25% coupon deal running through Cyber Monday (November 26th, 2007), and other holiday deals on shipping and games through the rest of the year. They have quite the extensive selection of jigsaw puzzles, including wooden, 3D and glow in the dark puzzles (you heard us!), but also other sorts of gamin accessories. Their Outlet section has up to 75% off gaming items straight out of Spencer Gifts.

Here are the online coupon codes for the 2007 Holidays:

  1. 25% off any order - W201250 Expires 11/26/07
  2. 15% Off Any Order - W702060 Expires 11/30/07
  3. Free Jigsaw Puzzle with any Order - 14-W9914
  4. Free shipping on any $50.00+ order - W702070 Expires 12/31/07

The online store also also hosts their very own Bits and Pieces 2007 Holiday Gift Guide which has gift suggestions for Him, Her, Kids and favorites. It even breaks down each of those gift categories by price, too Sure makes life simple!

If you're looking for more gift suggestions the please also checkout our own 2007 Critical Gamers Holiday Gift Guide.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 21, 2007

Axis and Allies Guadalcanal

Axis and Allies Guadalcanal.jpg

This year's installment of the long running strategy game series that lifted us out of the Risk dark ages has now shipped to stores. Axis & Allies Guadalcanal [Amazon, Funagain] continues the line of focused battles, but this time heading to the waves in the first major engagement of American Naval and Marine forces against the Japanese Imperial army and navy just north of Australia in the Spring of 1942.

A&A; Guadalcanal includes many gaming elements new to the franchise. Players will now be able to construct destructable airfields on the various islands in the island chain, and a new dice box mechanic assigns hits and simulates the choas of combat. But don't worry, the girth and commanding presence of your major units factores into it all, so your battleship won't be sunk by a sleepy fishing trawler's harpoon gun.

Check out our other stories for more information on Axis & Allies Guadalcanal, or read on for the official game details:

  1. Axis & Allies Campaign Setting Timeline
  2. Axis & Allies Guadalcanal: Near Release Preview Blitz
  3. Axis & Allies: Guadalcanal - The Fog Lifts
  4. Axis & Allies Guadalcanal Announced

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November 20, 2007

Critical Gamers 2007 Holiday Gift Guide - Family Board Games and Card Games

For more great gift ideas across all genres of games please see our
Holiday Gift Guide Index

We kick off our series of Board Game Holiday Shopper guides with probably the most difficult of gaming archetypes: The Family Gamer. Our goal was to compile a list of fun games where each in the list spans the interest levels of younger players, and teens, and even become challenging and interesting for the elder folks playing them, too.

Our shortlist of criteria for the best Holiday Gift Family Games:

  1. Games that are interesting for adults, too. We play all of these games without any kids present because they're fun, and we're manly in our 30's.
  2. Games that are simple to learn - but yet interesting and offer a quite a few levels of depth. They have to be rewarding for everyone who comes to the table.
  3. Games that keep everyone involved from the first turn to the last, unlike the traditional family games from our past - like Monopoly.
  4. The games come to a conclusion in about an hour so they're easy to budget time for, and you won't feel that board game hangover as you burn the midnight oil.

There's no surprise that this list jives with many characteristics of Eurogames which came out of Germany in the 1990's - since they were designed for exactly this type of gaming. Also, these games listed here would be great for non families, too, like any social board game group looking to get together a few times a month to play games and just hang out.

And here's our list of Family Games for the 2007 Holiday Season without further ado:

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November 16, 2007

Catan 4th Edition Expansions: Seafarers and Cities & Knights

Following hot on the heels of the new release of Settlers of Catan 4th Edition these two classic expansions have new 4th edition treatments as well, shipping with all the new bells and whistles including new art and better materials than the all prior releases of the game.

In Catan:Seafarers [Amazon, Funagain] players compete to explore the islands surrounding Catan in order to reign in their resources and become the most powerful empire. Things take a progressive step forward in Catan: Cities & Knights [Amazon, Funagain] as players attempt to build-up their Settlements out of the dark ages; defending cities from ravenous barbarians while the market grows over more refined resources such as gold, paper and cloth.

If you haven’t played either of these fantastic expansions before then it’s new to you! Veterans will find that the rules of the new editions haven’t changed at all, and to you we have to be honest here: we don’t know if it’s worth throwing down the cash for a materials upgrade. But lucky for you – and for us - Mayfair has scheduled their 4th edition releases just in time for the Holiday gift giving / wish list extravaganza, and copies of the updated titles might somehow sneak their way onto our Holiday Wish List!

For more information about what’s inside the 4th edition releases, please see our Settlers of Catan 4th Edition story.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 15, 2007

Games Magazines Top 100 Board Game Awards 2008

Games Magazine has released their choices for the 100 Best games of 2007, which has been named "2008 Games of the Year and Other Awards". That seems a bit odd since none of the games came out in 2008, and the top games of 2007 can't yet be settled since the year isn't over. But hey, we can’t really complain because Games Magazaine has been doing this for so many years we can hardly say they're misguided, and we won't.

Especially since they’ve given Game of the Year to The Pillars of the Earth, which is easily one of our favorite games of this year, too. Maybe cross media adaptations ( in this case book->boardgame) aren't so bad afterall.

The main selections listed below are just the tip of the iceberg. has been kind enough to list all of Games Magazine’s selections from 1->100 including brief snippets of the games descriptions, which can be found on this page here. It’s the one-stop top 100 game shop for 2007/2008/Last 365 days.

Here are the top title awards:

Here's a link to the official story, though all 100 games are not listed.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 14, 2007

Starcraft the Board Game Video Overview

Fantasy Flight Games has produced a great board game overview of their latest big box title: Starcraft the Board Game [Amazon, Funagain]. This video does a fantastic job of going over the basic gameplay and rules, and depicting the pace of the game. This movie differs from the Starcraft Trailer released in October which was more about flashy images of the board and pieces.

Yep, Fantasy Flight sure is making good use of their movie studio.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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