Reviews

The Quacks of Quedlinburg (Saturday Review)

“Carefully now,” you mumble as your hand reaches into the bag of ingredients. “That’s it,” you mutter as you pull out another pumpkin piece and add it to your bubbling pot. “One more, just one more,” you say to yourself as you pray that the next ingredient won’t be another cherry bomb. It would be disastrous. You have plenty of toadstools, pumpkins, crow skulls and emerald spiders in your bag, so you should be all right. “Come on, come on,” you pray as you slowly withdraw your hand and reveal the ingredient you hold. “Oh no!” It’s a cherry bomb of course and with a loud bang, your pot explodes. Now you have no chance of competing with the other Quacks of Quedlinburg by Schmidt Spiele.

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Doughnut Dash (Saturday Review)

“Silence!” you shout at the two imps sitting opposite you in the surveillance van. “It’s time you two pilferers sneak into the factory and steal some tasty doughnuts. It’ll be absolutely pitch black in there, so I’ll be watching you from here and tell you which direction to go. Remember: north, east, south or west. Just make sure you keep going until you grab a doughnut or hit a wall. Oh, and if you come across anyone from a rival gang, just grab one of their doughnuts as you bump into them. All right?” The two imps reply with a loud and clear “Yes, sir!” and shuffle out of the van. Moments later, you spot them on the security cameras. Good. You’re ready to start the Doughnut Dash by The Dark Imp.

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Kingdomino (Saturday Review)

Four mighty rulers compete to create the most wonderful dominion of them all. They stand proud at the top of their keep and survey the blank canvas of their lands below them. They want to create beautiful lakes full of fish to cater for many fishermen, large forests with mighty trees that will keep their many woodcutters supplied all year round, expansive meadows full of content sheep and happy farmers, giant fields bursting with healthy grain that hard-working millers will turn into flour in their many mills, expansive mines which overflow with precious ore and make the people rich and some wonderful swamp that… well… does something amazing too. Whoever creates the most productive realm will become the Kingdomino by Coiledspring Games.

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Prisma Arena (Saturday Review)

Everything felt new and awkward. You had practiced for this as much as you could. Yet, you didn’t feel confident. “You can do it,” Dawna whispered into your ear piece, as if she knew what you were thinking. “Let’s get ’em,” came the roar from Farg over the comms, bringing you right back down to earth and giving you the extra nudge you needed to do this. With these two Mo’kons by your side, you stood a good chance. You might not win this time, but you would learn and grow in experience. You would become stronger. It was time for you to step into the Prisma Arena by Hub Games.

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Forbidden Sky (Saturday Review)

Lightning strikes around you every few seconds, a hurricane is howling around you and visibility is almost zero. Add to that the fact that you’re on a rickety platform 7,000 feet in the air, barely tethered to the barrier rail by rope in an almost vain attempt to stop you from being blown off and plummeting to your death, and it’s obvious why the situation is so precarious. You are desperately trying to get to the launch pad, get into the rocket and get away and to safety – but you are still exploring your route there and you also have to wire up the launch system – and you’re running out of time. You have to be quick and work together to reach the Forbidden Sky by Gamewright.

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Forbidden Island (Saturday Review)

You and your fellow experts had been dropped off by helicopter on the island. It was going to be a rush job, but you were used to it by now. You had to work together to explore the area, find the artifacts and get them and yourself back to the helicopter. The problem was, the water level was rising all the time and this small island was disappearing fast. You did have a diver amongst the group, which would come in useful, but all of you had to shore things up as much as possible to buy yourself some extra time. To add to your troubles, you were on a Forbidden Island by Gamewright.

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King of New York (Saturday Review)

The monsters are on the rampage. Military jets fill the skies while tanks rumble through the gridlocked streets. There is the endless noise of sirens and people screaming. It’s absolute chaos on the ground, but to you, it’s more of a minor irritation than anything much to worry about. The jets are like wasps with a painful sting and the tanks like cockroaches trying to bite you. Your real worry are the other monsters, whose attacks could kill you. You’re desperately trying to get to Manhatten and become the King of New York in this exciting game by Iello.

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5 Small Box Games (Saturday Review)

If you don’t have much room for games in your house, like me, then small box games are ideal. Of course, what one person considers a small box might be a medium-sized box for someone else, but I will go with what I consider small boxes, which is really small, and list five great small box games that will cover a wide range of tastes and experiences. They’re listed in alphabetical order, so there is no favouritism here. 

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Deep Sea Adventure (Saturday Review)

The dive team was getting ready to leave the submarine. The oxygen tank was full, but it was limited. Everyone’s lines were connected to it, so everyone had to be frugal and be aware that the air was shared among the team. It was going to be risky, but nobody was under any illusions. After a few last checks, it was time to leave the vessel and hunt for treasure – and make it back alive. It was going to be a Deep Sea Adventure by Oink Games.

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AireCon 2020 (Saturday Review)

It feels like a long time ago now, but thinking back to AireCon, which took place last month, still puts a smile on my face. It meant a long car journey for me, travelling over five hours from the South Coast all the way up to Harrogate in deepest Yorkshire. I started early, around 6am, on the Friday, because I was aiming to get there by lunchtime. I wanted to see a few people who were going to be there – one of my wonderful Patreon supporters, a game designer who I got chatting to on Twitter and who was demoing his new game at the event, a more established game designer who I was hoping to arrange an interview with, as well as the board game “celebrities” who had made their way from across the pond. It was going to be busy.

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