Dice Placement Games

Tharos (Saturday Review)

We had been on this planet for decades now, exploring its riches, mining for crystals and ore, building factories, markets and other public buildings, growing our pool of experts and increasing our commerce. Now it was time for the steam guilds to move to another section of the amazing planet Tharos by Spielworxx.

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Doom Machine (Takebacks)

Humans were close to becoming extinct. No, this wasn’t some sort of natural disaster. It was what many films had predicted. An artificial intelligence had seized power and started to manufacture parts that it added to itself. The longer we waited, the bigger this monstrosity grew and the more powerful it became. If we did nothing, it would eventually become our Doom Machine by Nathan Meunier.

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Earthenwar (Saturday Review)

We were going to fight it out head to head or rather golem to golem. Using our magic control grids, we would steer them around the arena and inflict damage on each other until one was mortally wounded. It was going to be a quick fight, but the battle would take longer. We would fight over many rounds to decide the victor in this Earthenwar by Lazy Poet Games.

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Genotype: A Mendelian Genetics Game (Saturday Review)

Progress was slow, but it was very satisfying seeing the little pea seedlings grow and then, eventually, flower before finally producing pods that slowly swelled up to bursting with new peas inside. We carefully crossed different plants in the hope that they would create new varieties and over time we were able to predict the height of the plant, its flower colour, the pod colour as well as whether the peas were smooth or wrinkly based on their parentage. We were finally ready to work out each plant’s Genotype by Genius Games.

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Chai: Tea for 2 (Saturday Review)

We had been growing tea for generations on our large plantation. We knew everything there was to know about the cultivation of the plants, the best time and method of harvesting the leaves and how to treat them to turn them into wonderfully aromatic tea, ready to be steeped and drunk. We even had ships waiting for our teas to take them out into the world. But for the moment, it was time to relax and enjoy a nice cup of Chai: Tea for 2 by Steeped Games.

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Under Falling Skies (Saturday Review)

The sky suddenly darkened above me. As I looked up, I saw the giant spaceship that was filling up more and more of my view. It towered above the skyscrapers like a huge saucer, dotted in lights and what seemed like openings. It was hard to make out, but it seemed to be bigger than downtown. Suddenly, small aircraft emerged from the spaceship’s openings and started to descend. It felt like we were suddenly living Under Falling Skies by Czech Games Edition.

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Top 5 Board Games of 2020 (Saturday Review)

As is customary at the end of a calendar year, it’s time for my top 5 board games of this, rather odd, year and for me to announce the winner of the Top Table Award 2020. Let me say that this year, I happily allowed games into the top 5 list that were published before 2020, as long as these games were new to me this year. There is a clear winner for me, not just based on the number of plays, the amount of enjoyment the game brought and the nostalgia factor that the game has for me, but because this game took a well-established genre and took it to the next step, making it more accessible to a wider range of people. However, let me not spoil it for you, but start at number 5 and work my way to the top slot.

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Doom Machine (Digital Eyes)

I was ready. It seemed like an impossible task, but I was mankind’s only hope. I had to do what I could and fight my way through the ever-increasing number of machine parts, which were making the machine stronger and bring it closer to sentience. It was a matter of taking it one machine part at a time until I reached the core and was finally able to put an end to the Doom Machine by Nathan Meunier.

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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia (Digital Eyes)

You were constantly tired from working endless hours day in and day out. You had very little time to think about the world and when you did, you didn’t have the words to describe what you saw and felt. However, you had used every spare moment to puzzle together scraps of clues into a bigger picture and had created new words with meanings that your heart dictated, but that were otherwise unknown. You felt that you were now so close to wrestling away the power from your oppressors and turn this world into a better place – but you knew you had to make sacrifices to build your Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia by Stonemaier Games.

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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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