I C E (Saturday Review)

The snowshelf reached from horizon to horizon in all directions. We were in the Valley of the Ancient Ones, which was a frozen region, pounded by deadly storms, but which had made space for a single, lone city. It was summer and time for the guilds to go on their annual pilgrimage and explore this tundra. As one of the leaders, you were about to take your guild to look for vestiges of a civilization whose existence had been passed down through myths and stories. If you were successful, you would bring riches and prestige to your lodge. You knew the risks, but you were prepared to go out onto the I C E by Bragou and Samson F. Perret from This Way.

Gold n’ Grog (Saturday Review)

Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum! That was the song that accompanied the small boat being rowed by a motley crew of scallywags. We were heading to our secret pirate treasure island to retrieve the loot we had stashed over many, many years. The problem was, none of us knew exactly where we had buried our spoils. We had packed plenty of shovels though to make short work of this small patch of land. After we pulled up on shore and spread out on the island, it was time to dig for Gold n' Grog by Jake A Smith from Next Adventure Games.

The Battle of Versailles (Saturday Review)

This week, Hope Thompson joins us on the blog with her review of a game about the fashion show held in 1973 in Versailles, France that pitted newcomer American designers such as Anne Klein, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows and Bill Blass against the stalwart French designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior. Hope's father, David Thompson, talks to her about her experience of playing The Battle of Versailles by Eloi Pujadas and Ferran Renalias from Salt & Pepper Games.

Trick-Taking it to the Next Level – my fascination with trick-taking games (Topic Discussion)

As you probably know by now, I absolutely love trick-taking games. I have long wanted to share this love with other people, but found it can be hard to teach trick-taking to people who have never come across it. Luckily, in recent months, I have found one or two games that are great for introducing people to trick-taking. They have allowed me to share my passion for this genre of card games. They are great stepping stones. I can start to draw on this giant collection of games that are often great for all the family and key to many of my social interactions as a teenager - but let me explain.

Repeated Replayability – another look at games’ longterm interest (Topic Discussion)

I have previously looked at replayability in board games and I must admit, I still can't put my finger on why a game like Chess, which has no variability and no randomness, is so hugely replayable and remains interesting even after dozens of plays, while other games with variable setup, different factions and a large amount of chance are sometimes boring after only a handful of plays. So let me grapple with this topic in yet another article.

Taiwan Night Market (Saturday Review)

There was all sorts of Xiaochi and other street food on offer, as well as a variety of speciality drinks. It was still rather quiet, but already the stall owners were busy. The streets were heavy with the scent of various herbs, spices and all sorts of wonderful flavours. As it was getting darker, more and more people found their way into the wonderful maze of this amazing Taiwan Night Market by Zong-Ger from Good Game Studio.

Gingerbread Towers (Saturday Review)

The house smelled of cinnamon, golden syrup and ginger. It was no surprise, because our oven was full of gingerbread rectangles on two trays. It wasn't long until they were done and needed to come out of the oven to cool down. We had small bowls full of sweets and a piping bag ready to decorate them. Suddenly, I had an idea. Rather than building a traditional house, we could instead make Gingerbread Towers by Jessica Metheringham from Dissent Games.

Chop Stacks (Saturday Review)

Using chopsticks isn't easy. A lot of people are uncomfortable with or have no experience using them. However, like so many things in life, it's all a matter of practice. So rather than embarrassing yourself in front of a restaurant full of people who seemingly have no problem picking up their food with two wooden sticks and transporting it to their mouths, you could just learn how to use them in the comfort of your own home with family or friends who might also want to master them. To answer the challenge and make it a fun experience, here is Chop Stacks by Dax Gazaway from Red Flag Game Studio.

Viking See-Saw (Saturday Review)

We were going to leave our Scandinavian homelands to search for fortunes in new shores far beyond the horizon. However, before we could set off, we had to load our boat with provisions, equipment and a daring crew. The problem was, that it was a rough, windy day and our longships were dangerously swaying on the swell. Getting everything safely stowed on board was going to be tricky. It was almost like we were on a Viking See-Saw by Reiner Knizia from Itten Games.

Akropolis (Saturday Review)

It was the 5th century BCE and we, the Athenians, had been victorious over the Persians. The Delian League was now under our military control and the income generated by federation fees had made us prosperous. It was time for an ambitious building programme and the most talented architects in ancient Greece were ready. We were going to build housing, temples, markets, gardens and barracks. Our planning rules were going to create a harmonious community, enhanced by plazas. We would create new quarries to provide the stone to stretch our city towards the sky. We were going to build our high city, our Akropolis by Jules Messaud from Gigamic.