Many, many board games involve the concept of laying down tiles to do a variety of things, such as building the board. Azul, though, actually has you laying down tiles to create a beautiful mural. The reason behind this is that you’re a tile-layer who is to decorate the palace of King Manuel I of Portugal after the King became enamored with azulejos (blue and white tiles, originally) of the Allhambra in Spain.
Who doesn’t love a good circus? Over the years, though, the humble sideshow has faded away because it typically featured oddities and things deigned to be “freaks”. This might have included bearded ladies, giant rats or seemingly possessed items. Barker’s Row reckons these things are good enough to bring back, though. The idea is to put on the best side-show of freaks, oddities, strange monsters and mysterious artifacts that you can, with the first player who fills their cardboard grandstand with paying customers being the winner.
Who knows what wonders the planets hold? I mean, obviously ours has Coke, cakes and video games, so it’s clearly the best, but those other planets out there might hold resources key to improving those things! Better video games, more types of cake, NEW FLAVORS OF COKE! The possibilities are truly endless.
Due to the review copy of Wisdom of Solomon arriving just before the Kickstarter began and the campaign having just six days left as I write this, this is going to be a short review so that you can at least get an idea of how it plays. So let’s just leap head-first into this, shall we? And please, forgive me if my writing is a lot rougher than it usually is, which is certainly saying something.
Peak Oil places you into the shiny, pointed shoes of someone running an oil empire where you must deal with investing in new technology, drilling for oil and then selling that oil before the world has run out of its favorite fossil fuel and will presumably be turning into a post-apocalyptic scenario quite soon, possibly with some guy called Max blasting around. This all takes the form of a worker-placement game where you have to fight for control of a few different locations across the board while fending off the other players.
As a child – which is assuming I’ve actually progressed mentally from that point, which I clearly haven’t – I had freaking loads of teddies in the shape of monkeys and apes that had pride of place on my bed, their job being to defend me from the potential horrors that lurk within dreams and to act as unwilling test dummies for attempts at performing wrestling moves. Years later I found a drawing online of a teddy bear wielding a tiny sword standing over a young girl as a towering monster leans over them. It’s a beautiful little drawing, a perfect illustration of the importance of a teddy bear. And now here we are with a board game that brings this idea to life.
Y’know, it has been a while since I professed my undying and eternal love for Firefly, a cult sci-fi show that didn’t even get to run for a full season before it was callously canceled by those muppets at Fox, a crime so heinous that I still have not forgiven them. The point is for a show that only ran 14-episodes it still managed to spawn a feature film, various comics and now numerous board and card games. That’s a hell of a legacy.
Games usually get a second print run if they’ve done something right, so this second edition of Kingsburg seems to indicate that when it first came out people must have quite liked it. Me? Well, I’m still a relative noob, so I never played it when it first came out or in the intervening time Now its gotten a bit of a royal makeover with all-new artwork, some rather sexy dice and the entirety of the To Forge a Kingdom expansion rammed into the box for good measure. But thousands of people are wrong all the damn time, so is this dice-placement game actually any good? Have I really been missing out?
I’ve had the misfortune to be involved in a few fires in my times, most of them started by me because of reasons, and during all of them I never once considered grabbing a handful of dice and hurling them at the flames to put them out. Not once. And yet here’s Hotshots clearly showing me that true firefighters use dice to combat the spreading flames. Man, firefighters are freaking hardcore, aren’t they?
Yup, you and up to three other folk (though the game lists a 2-player minimum you can easily play solo) take on the roles of firefighters attempting to combat a raging forest fire that is threatening to consume huge swaths of the land. It’s a theme I’ve never seen before, so Fireside Games have to be commended for coming up with something unique. Now just watch as someone in the comments proves me wrong.
Noria is a deceptive game, its lovely artwork which features a massive floating mountain hanging high in the sky producing a myriad of thoughts about what its theme could be, but a wheel-building game of politics wasn’t quite what sprung to mind when I first saw it, I have to admit. But that’s what we’ve got.
So, the game’s big selling point is the sizable, plastic three-tiered wheel on which three cardboard rings sit and can be rotated. Into these rings, you’ll be inserting little cardboard discs that control the various actions you can take throughout the game, with each ring being spun around to the next segment at the end of your turn and thus changing what you’ll be able to do on the next turn.