Review: Detective Club

Ben: Picture the scene: you are in an art gallery. The curator asks you to pick two paintings that match a specific word. They won’t, however, tell you what that word is. You run off and pick two different paintings; one of a horse, the other of an apple in a window. The curator then tells you the word they were thinking of was “escape”, and asks you why on earth you picked those two paintings.

Welcome to the most unusual club in the world!

Detective Club is a party game that sees 4-8 players trying to match fabulous picture cards to different words. Each round, a different player will choose a word, write it on all but one of the adorable tiny notebooks the game comes with, shuffles them, and deals them out. Can you see where this is going?

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Review – Inuit: The Snow Folk

Kylie: Inuit: The Snow Folk is a deeply alluring card-drafting strategy game that sees 2-4 players vying for the title of the greatest leader of the Snow Folk. 

First up, let me take you on a tour of the rules. Inuit is a breath of fresh air as far as rules go – it’s incredibly simple. On your turn you’re going to draw a card from the deck and place it face up in the middle of the table. This communal area is known as the Great White.

You can then optionally turn over some more cards before finally choosing to take one or more of the face up cards and putting them in the relevant space on your player board. The game ends when the polar nightfall card is drawn from the deck and whoever scores the most points wins.

That’s it. Rules tour is done. Phew!

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Review: Piepmatz

Quinns: Piepmatz is a profoundly beige card game for 2-4 players about songbirds fighting over a bird feeder. Now, I should be up front- this game is not a best-in-show card game, as I talked about in my recent 6 Nimmt review.

But you know what? I think it comes very close indeed. I’ve loved my time with it, and it’s now nesting in my game collection.

Let me tell you how it works. This design’s a little fussy, so bear with me. “Pretty rough teach on this one,” as I learned never to say on podcast #89.

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Review: Le Havre

Ava: Le Havre could be the perfect resource shuffling game. It’s a tightly wound knot of decisions and possibilities, that unfurls and unwraps as you play.

An elaborate and ever-increasing roster of buildings offers ways to process, use, acquire and sell as many goods as you can. Tiny, square, double-sided tokens flood the board, spilling out of warehouses that heave with potential, begging for you to grab them before someone else does.

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Review: Fuji

Kylie: Wolfgang Warsch’ gorgeous new game, Fuji, pits players as mismatched adventurers who find themselves on top of Japan’s most famous volcano. But it was poor planning on the part of the travel agent, because right as you reach the top, Mount Fuji begins to erupt. You and your companions will have to race against the flow of lava, back to the safety of the village.

Did I mention that this is a co-operative game? Together, players will either scramble to safety, or burn to a crisp.

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Review: Museum

Ava: Let us take you on a tour of the weirdest, most beautiful objects in the world. We can show you the largest palaces and the most specific digging implements, the canniest navigation tools and the shiniest hats you’ve ever seen.

Welcome to Museum, a game of archaeology (stealing), curation (re-arranging), and prestige (letter-writing).

Quinns: With over 300 gorgeous illustrations by Vincent Dutrait, Museum is the definition of a labour of love. In fact, Ava and I approached it like a real museum, taking a leisurely tour of its exhibits across two days.

Finally, we’re ready to write our review. Ava, do you want to explain the game?

Ava: Let me be your guide through the byzantine corridors…of board game.

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Review: Underwater Cities

Kylie: In Vladimír Suchý’s heavy management game Underwater Cities, players are competing to build the ultimate deep sea nation. But is it actually better, down where it’s wetter? Are there no troubles when life is the bubbles? Can we really trust a crustacean that sings? I guess we should find out.

Each player is given a personal city map which you’ll fill with a scattering of white and red biodomes, which will connect to a flourishing network of factories and laboratories. Ideally, this network will score you points, as well as act as an engine that’ll occasionally spew out resources such as credits, biomatter, and kelp. Lots of kelp.

Apparently when we colonise the seas, the only thing available to eat will be kelp. I’ve never tried kelp. Have you tried kelp? They tell me it’s the kale of the sea, but I’m pretty sure that’s a lie.

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Review: Tiny Towns

Quinns: Tiny Towns is a cute little 30 minute city-building game that arrives in U.S. stores tomorrow. The box is full of winsome wooden buildings, players erect farms and homes, and on the cards you can see animals living peaceful lives.

All of which is a little misleading. The best bit of Tiny Towns is hearing one of your neighbours – having carefully examined their own tiny town – mutter “Oh, sh**.”

Intentionally or not, designer Peter McPherson has captured the reality of living in a tiny town. Friendly interactions, with a pungent undercurrent of jealousy.

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Review: Betrayal Legacy

[Hello everybody! Please welcome back Jon Bolding, the rogue who offered us reviews of Orléans and the World Wide Wrestling RPG. As a special Halloween treat, today we’re shoving him towards the campaign-powered sequel to Betrayal at the House on the Hill. Bwa-ha-ha…]

Bolds: Moving to live in a new place is stressful, nigh on terrifying. A place where the faucets turn differently, the light switches are in odd places, and your bed faces a wholly new wall.

Well, GET READY, because Betrayal Legacy is a game about moving into a new house over and over, forever, without end. A new house where the portraits leak blood, the attic is infested with gremlins, and even the ghosts have skeletons in their spectral closets.

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Review – Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

Eric: As a teenager, one summer I decided I wanted to learn all of the trick taking card games, a genre that I found strangely fascinating (I suppose this tells you a lot about me as a teenager and the rural midwestern world of the United States where I grew up). I learned the rules for Spades, Pinochle, and Pitch. I sort of learned how to play Bridge. I at least read the rules for Whist and Euchre. At the end of the process, though, I found myself feeling confused. In theory, I knew that the variations between these games should excite and engage me. In practice, I was at a loss to differentiate one from the other. None of them could really hold my interest.

That is probably a strange place to start my review of Games Workshop’s newest offering, Kill Team! A re-release of a variant of Warhammer 40,000, the game’s big selling point is its size. Unlike the sell-your-car-budget armies of its larger cousin, in Kill Team each player uses a small band of 5-20 miniatures to do battle in a space designed to fit on a kitchen table. As I’ve played around with it, though, I find myself at a loss as to what to say.

Kill Team is, at the same time, an exhausting incremental iteration on a tired system… and the best thing Games Workshop has released in years.

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Only a few weeks until SHUX, so Matt is hard at work designing all the maps and signs and printed schedules! And he's doing it without looking at the screen! Reckless!!! ift.tt/2M2P3ff pic.twitter.com/WH8wmOmM0c

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