The Struggle for Catan

The Struggle for Catan is a fast-paced card game that lasts around 10-15 minutes with two players, set in the world of the classic board game.
Before I bought this, I’d always been aware of the big brother to this game, Catan (formerly known as the Settlers of Catan) but had never tried it out.

I wasn’t really in the market for another big-box game, but after trying out the Catan app for Android I was tempted.

There are a number of games produced under the Catan name; among them there’s the full game, a dice game, a purely two player game and The Struggle For Catan.

I decided on this one because too many reviews claimed the two player-only game, Rivals for Catan, is too much like two solo games playing out side by side, with little player interaction.

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Interview with a designer: Justin De Witt of Fireside Games

Justin De Witt is chief creative officer at Fireside Games, a company best known for its smash-hit Castle Panic.

I recently got the chance to put a series of questions to Justin to delve into his background, how he got started in the boardgame industry, and to find out Fireside Games’ future plans.

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Colt Express

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It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a game with as much commitment to its theme as Colt Express.

A 3D game like this could have been a gimmick but, implemented as it is, the models become an integral part of the game.

Players play a selection of criminals out to hold up a train, with the game fighting back in the form of the Marshal. Who can finish the game with the most ill-gotten gains?

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Castle Panic: The Wizard’s Tower expansion

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Some background: for those of you who haven’t played Castle Panic, it’s a (mainly) cooperative board game which sees players fight to keep a hoard of monsters away from their castle walls until they’ve all been vanquished or their castle has been destroyed.

It’s a fast-paced, enjoyable game capable of creating some genuine moments of tension as your best-laid plans go awry thanks to a badly timed monster card affecting the game in ways you weren’t planning for.

I reviewed the game some time ago, here.

Unboxing, don’t let the bold, cartoony visuals, bright colours, and the 3D features of the game fool you into thinking it will be easy. It’s a genuinely thought-provoking game.

Real cooperation is required to beat Castle Panic, often forcing players to think several moves ahead. Continue reading

Ninja Dice & Location cards expansion

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What is Ninja Dice?

It’s a 2-5 player push-your-luck dice game from Greenbrier Games, funded by a 2013/14 Kickstarter Project.

It comes in a neat little black soft cube styled as a ninja which holds everything – dice, instructions, with room for expansions.

The aim of the game is to roll a ‘house’ which players’ characters must then enter and defeat to claim treasure and become the most powerful ninja.

I missed the original Kickstarter project for this game, and I’ve always found it hard to find in the UK.

So when a Kickstarter went live for its expansion, Kage Masters, offering a copy of the original game, plus its even-harder-to-find Location Cards mini-expansion, I signed up.

In this review, I’m going to take a look at the original game, plus the Location cards, and leave Kage Masters until another day (I’ve not played it yet!).
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Pandemic

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What can I say about this game that’s not already been said?

Consistently voted one of the best board games ever made, and with enough expansions to last a lifetime, Pandemic has earned the title of modern classic, right up there with the likes of Carcassonne, Dominion, Catan and the rest.

I don’t have much time to play many of the so-called big box games at the moment, but Pandemic was a must.

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Batman Fluxx

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What is Batman Fluxx?

It’s a variation of the classic card game, Fluxx, with fantastic cartoon/Art Deco artwork featuring characters and settings from the world of Batman.

This is the latest version of Fluxx, following sets including Zombie Fluxx. It was also recently announced that publishers Looney Labs will be working on Firefly Fluxx (shiny!).

If you’ve not seen my interview with Andy Looney, the awesome founder of Looney Labs, take a look here.

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Interview with a Designer: Andy Looney of Looney Labs

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Andy Looney is the driving force behind Looney Labs, the company responsible for classic games including the all-conquering Fluxx and its many editions.

I recently got the chance to quiz Andy about his background, what he gets up to at Looney Labs, and how the team picks the next edition of Fluxx.

So sit back and enjoy a fun interview that, if you’re anything like me, will make you jealous of the lucky ones who work at Looney Labs… Continue reading

Boss Monster 2: The Next Level

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Regular readers of this blog, if there are any, will know I really like Boss Monster. Unfortunately I came too late to the hobby (and to Kickstarter) to back the original game, and somehow the digital version passed me by too.

So when Boss Monster 2 was announced, I knew I had to hand over some money to the guys at Brotherwise Games as fast as I could.

Since then I’ve also interviewed the brothers themselves, which you can see here. So, full disclosure, this review isn’t exactly going to be unbiased. Continue reading