Fast & Furious: Highway Heist (Saturday Review)

First gear. Screams of tortured rubber and plumes of acrid smoke fill the air as we barrel over the brow of the hill, rapidly advancing on our target. The tank is an incongruous sight, squat and menacing in the middle of the highway, two shiny black beetles flanking each side: SUVs filled with seemingly infinite numbers of violent goons, like clown cars of criminality.

Sea Salt & Paper (Saturday Review)

The sea was calm and the sun was shining. The sandy beach stretched for miles, strewn with shells, some occupied by hermit crabs. In the distance, I could see a few small boats. Underneath the long abandoned lighthouse, there was a small colony of penguins. As I closed my eyes and dozed off, I dreamt of fish and merpeople. My mind was thinking about Sea Salt & Paper by Bruno Cathala and Théo Rivière from Bombyx.

Berlin Brettspiel Con 2023 (Preview)

Tucked away near Gleisdreieck in Berlin's Kreuzberg district is STATION-Berlin, home to the German capital's main board game convention Berlin Brettspiel Con. For three days in July, hordes of tabletop hobby enthusiasts converge to play games, speak to the dozens of exhibitors and generally have a great time. For the first time, I'll be among them and I can't wait. I'll be attending as a member of the press and have made a short list of whom I want to talk to.

Outback Crossing (Saturday Review)

The bitumen road had given way to a well-maintained dirt track. My monster road train was stubbornly ploughing on, throwing up red dust behind it in giant plumes. From time to time I could see kangaroos, wombats, spiny anteaters, platypuses and dingos. I even caught a rare glimpse of a Tasmanian devil. It was very busy in this arid landscape. In fact, it was so busy that it felt like there was an Outback Crossing by Bruce Whitehill from Mücke Spiele.

Next Station: London (Saturday Review)

London's ageing underground network is creaking and groaning. It can no longer keep up with the exponentially increasing demand of daily commuters and rising tourist numbers to the UK's capital. It's time to scrap it all and start anew and Transport for London has hired you to redesign everything. It won't be easy to optimize the interchanges for a better flow, provide stops to as many tourist sites as possible and take advantage of the tunnels passing underneath the Thames. The first station has been built and now it's up to you to create the Next Station: London by Matthew Dunstan from Blue Orange Games.

UK Games Expo 2023 (Saturday Review)

I visited the show last year as a member of the press. I spoke to a lot of exhibitors and spent time in the evenings catching up with friends and playing a few games. However, this year was different. For the first time, I came up to demo games on behalf of Asmodee. That meant my travel, food and accommodation were all paid for and I even got a bit of an hourly wage. At the same time, it also meant I only had an hour's lunch break to wander around the halls. It really changed my experience of the UK Games Expo 2023.

Qwirkle (Saturday Review)

Gosh! The tiles were almost like dominoes, but square instead of rectangular. They came in a combination of six shapes and six colours. Every time you laid out tiles with the same colour, but different shapes or the same shape, but different colours, you had to connect them to what was already there, but without doubling up on colours or shapes. It quickly became confusing. It was a right Qwirkle by Susan McKinley Ross from MindWare.

Raiders of the North Sea (Digital Eyes)

We were a band of feared Viking warriors of Borg on the Lofoten islands. Our chieftain had tasked us with assembling a cunning and mighty crew, collecting provisions and journeying north to plunder gold, iron and livestock from foreign lands. We would find glory in battle and the Valkyrie would lead the fallen to Odin's Valhalla. We were the Raiders of the North Sea by Shem Phillips from Renegade Games Studios.

Forests of Pangaia (Saturday Review)

Before the dawn of time, Gaia, our Mother Earth, gave birth to the first trees. With their strong trunks and majestic crowns, they quickly converted the fallow land into fertile soil. They cherished the everlasting rituals of Gaia that sent a ferocious force through their veins, bringing life to the highest branches and deepest roots. It did not take long for them to cover the whole continent and create the vast Forests of Pangaia by Thomas Franken from Pangaia Games.

Bagh Chal (Saturday Review)

The tigers were stealthily making their way onto the meadow, where the goats were grazing. Watching their calm and coordinated approach made you believe there was going to be only one outcome - and it wasn't going to be in favour of the goats. However, the sheer number of grazing animals didn't make it easy for the hunters. It didn't take long for one animal to sense the danger. Suddenly, the whole flock was alert and bunched together, making it virtually impossible for the large cats to attack. It was now their turn to make the next move in this Bagh Chal from Lemery Games.