Review: Merchant of Venus

Review: Merchant of Venus

[Since Mark Wallace’s Actual Board Game Journalism went down so well, we’ve decided he’s allowed to stick around. For now.

But he’s not out of the woods yet, with his fancy words and professionalism. He has to earn his porridge, potatoes and time above ground, so we dispatched him to review Merchant of Venus, a gorgeous-looking Fantasy Flight remake we’ve had our eye on for a while. How might he fare… with a review?]

Mark: If you think of yourself as a certain type of freewheeling gamer, you’ll like the sound of an interstellar commerce game that comes complete with spacelane pirates, racial technologies, first contact with far-off cultures, and an alien salesman who needs a lift to the Volois’ system after waking up hungover on the Zums’ delicious chicle liquor.

Yes, you say to yourself, I’m ready to blast off into space! I can’t wait to buy low and sell high! I’ve been searching for a game of “space exploration and interstellar trade for 1-4 players,” as it says on the Merchant of Venus box (which happens to be decorated with some really outstanding art from someone called Alex Aparin). Let’s go!

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Merchant of Venus

Merchant of Venus (2nd Edition)

The galaxy is bursting with opportunities for savvy space traders to exploit, and the race to profit blasts off in Merchant of Venus. Discover new alien cultures and learn where you can get rich selling their goods in this board game of interstellar trade and exploration for 1-4 players. From your First Contact with alien cultures to the establishment of trade routes and spaceports, your quest for cash demands you keep on the move. Successful traders will quickly locate fast and reliable trade routes, timing their purchases and sales with the interest in the market.

Featuring a double-sided board, Merchant of Venus offers rules for both Richard Hamblen’s classic game and Rob Kouba’s reimagined version.

Space traders, get your ships ready for launch because it’s time to engage in some wild entrepreneurship!

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Excitement: The Top 10 Games Coming in 2012


Paul: If 2011 didn’t spoil us enough with board games, it looks like 2012 will. Below we present our top ten games coming this year. Ten whole games! That’s a towering collection, a veritable Cleopatra’s needle, so you lot had better start commissioning specially-constructed barges to ferry those needles home to you. Games barges. For these towering games needles. Yes.

One thing’s for sure, though. The most exciting games in the coming year are definitely something Quinns and I will both agreed on. Definitely.

Quinns: Oh, god. Let’s get this over with.

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