This is a card set collection game that requires at least three players. Cards are drafted from hands that are passed around the table. This allows players to all pick a card they need or they can pick a card to keep another player from getting it. Cards are used to “build” a tableau.
7 Wonders Dual
This is a set collection card game similar to 7 Wonders but cards are picked from a common set on the table that is available to both players. This only supports two players. I like this a little better than the original 7 Wonders since the card drafting mechanism in 7-Wonders is a benefit to players with better memory.
10′ to Kill
This is a deduction game where players try to have their secret assassin kill secret targets. The map is set up randomly, making each game a little different. When you make a kill, it reveals the target. It’s a quick game due to the difficulty in making a kill without the other players being able to easily deduce which character is your assassin.
This is a worker placement and resource collection game. Players try to collect resources that are used to build/buy/use other resources. This is a fun game with lots of strategy choices because outside of the placement of workers and collection of resources, there is also a farm building mechanism and a few other things going on all at the same time. The theme works really well with the game-play. In this game, the first player has an advantage so there is a way for any player to claim the first player spot during each round.
Antiquity (2017 Edition)
This is a city building game where each player builds cities in front of them that interact with each other on a larger landscape shared by all players.
Asking for Trobils
The game takes place in the O-Renj planetary system. Say it out loud a few times and you will get the joke. This is a very pure worker placement and resource collection game. It has the mechanic where you place a worker on each turn and if you have no workers, you take all workers back, getting players out of sync for when they do the take-back if they don’t all have the same number of pieces or if another player has a piece “bumped” by another player. It’s a fun game and supports more than 4 players!
This tile laying game is very challenging. Players pick tiles from a shared area and then use them to build a sort of mosaic on their play mat. Their is quite a bit of player interaction since you can take what another player needs, or force another player to take a lot of something they don’t need. This is a deep game for the short time it takes to play.
Black Fleet is a pick-up-and-deliver game where players try to move goods cubes from one port to another while trying to avoid conflicts with other players. All players have a ship for delivering goods as well as a pirate ship for stealing goods and sinking opponents ships. Small decisions like taking a longer route to a port can affect the outcome quite a bit.
This is a tile placement game where players place tiles and meeples on those tiles to benefit themselves or to hurt other players. Played once and it’s a quick easy and fun game.
This is a cooperative game that we played at home for a while then lost interest in it. Fun but cooperative games always lead to all players losing. The add-on pack didn’t change the game much and I would play it without the add-on if I play it again.
Castles of Mad King Ludwig
This is a construction game where players build a room map of a castle. A master builder player sets prices for the rooms and the other players pay to build. Rooms yield various scores and bonuses and help players achieve end-of-game bonuses. The master builder changes each round. Placement choices and the price setting system make this a competitive game.
This is a resource collection and trading game with resources used to buy more territory to get access to even more resources. I have only had the chance to play once so far. It’s a fun game and the player interaction is neat since it is almost mandatory to trade with others.
A worker placement legacy game that expands and changes during each play session. A few of the rules are unclear because the designers decided to show the rules a little bit at a time in a rather contrived manner. The first game is a bit of a tutorial. We also encountered a mistake where we ended up with a card and a rule from the second game somehow and we could never figure out why it happened or how to undo it. Look at a play-through of Asking-For-Trobils to see how the worker placement feature works.
A player movement strategy game with a climbing theme. Player tokens and the blocks of the mountain are both movable in the game.
Dead of Winter
This semi-cooperative game is based on the zombie apocalypse, a tired theme after years of zombie movies and TV shows. But the game is not tiring and the theme helps the game more than it hiders it.
This is a deck building game that seems a bit like a solitaire game if using a recommended-for-beginners set cards. make sure to have more than one set of cards that affect other players. Even then, there is no way to target specific other players with any of the card sets I’ve used making this a solitaire-with-random-pain-from-outside game. It’s interesting and sometimes complicated due to some cards letting you draw more cards in the same turn.
Donner Dinner Party
A card game that I have yet to play. I bought it because it supports up to 10 players, which will be good on a big game night.
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game
This is a cooperative strategy game where cards are used for various actions and the choice of action on each turn is critical to winning. Simple after the first game and interesting so far. I played it solo (three player hands get played by one person) and it was certainly interesting. It’s hard to win, like all cooperative games. With three people, it was fun but the outcome was almost identical to the solo games I played.
This game is very much a 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate). Players exploration increases the map size and exposes new resources. With those resources, players do research, build spaceships, upgrade the spaceships, and participate in battle. The game can be played with common player capabilities or with each player have unique and different abilities. Strategy in this game is not complex and it’s the subtle small decisions that give any player an advantage.
Worker placement, resource collection, set collection., are the main features of this game. The “set collection” aspect of the game involves cards representing small sections of bookshelf that contain 2 to 4 books. Maybe 5. The books on a section of shelf, represented by a card, are of a variety of genres and it is the genre’s that you are collecting and scoring. Having a bunch of one genre is no good since your score is based on the number in a genre that you have the least of! It’s also a worker placement game since workers are placed in various “sites” where you can collect or otherwise alter your cards.
This is an entertaining survival card game. Try to collect cards that help you avoid losing due to getting an exploding kitten card from the draw deck. Fun party-style game.
Explorers of the North Sea
This is a tile placement game combined with a resource collection game and a pick-up-and-deliver game. The “board” is built as the game progresses and players sail the seas trying to collect things (or claim territory) that count as points in the end. And if your Vikings die in battle, you get points for that too!
This is a DM-less RPG of some sort. I just got it. It is the weirdest game in our collection so far. It looks like a book and I had to buy some dice and index cards to make it playable. I love the cover; although you could line up a few of these and each guy is shooting the next, I see it as the guy shooting himself because he doesn’t realize that the pictures wraps from one side to the other.
Firefly the Game
This is a do-a-job board game where you use the proceeds from a job (moving resources around the board) to get more resources in order to complete more complicated/difficult/dangerous jobs. It’s a long game with a lot of decks of cards but it a fun family game if not taken too seriously. There’s a bit of randomness that can sometimes be frustrating. It needs a lot of table space.
This is a worker placement game with an interesting twist; players pick up and move workers and then remove the workers whose color matches the last moved worker. The game has numerous ways to score and the random starting worker placement makes for an interesting game every time. This game feels a little “mathy” since there are various things to count or add up during the game. It plays well with more players since it takes time to examine the entire board and all of the possible moves each round.
A cooperative game where the players never win. That is a common theme in cooperative games :(
Fury of Dracula Third Edition
This is a one vs. many game where players cooperate to find the location of the Dracula player. Cooperation is very important and there is a bit of deduction needed whenever there’s a clue as to Dracula’s whereabouts. Played a few times and play only becomes painful if one player is fighting Dracula and taking their sweet time about it.
This is a card game based on the Kill Doctor Lucky board game. The game involves collecting small sets of cards to use for attack while also using the same set for defense (of Doctor Lucky). Easy, fun, and easy to forget to keep cards for defense!
This is a weird card game where transparent cards are used to stack “abilities” onto a family of cards on the table. Whoever kills off their family first wins! Fun but a little hard to manage the cards and to also play quickly. Some of the story-like stuff on the cards is funny.
This is a card-based worker placement and resource collection game. It’s in a small box and uses a small number of player and resource pieces to go with a bunch of cards. I only played a few solo turns so far and it’s sort of fun.
Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities
This is a hex “grid” strategy and tactics game. The player controls a set of “gladiators” who have various capabilities that are used to attack an opponent or defend itself. This is an area control game that is just a very tiny bit like chess. The game itself is beautifully made with a mouse-pad style game “board” and player pieces that are high quality poker chips. A “gladiator” is represented by a stack of health chips topped with the gladiator chip. A tactic chip or two might also end up in the stack and can help or hinder the gladiator.
A tile placement and movement game with bugs on the tiles! Fun but my daughter doesn’t like bugs so we don’t play much :) Maybe a bit of a checkers-chess combination. The lack of a board makes it easy to carry around the game in a bag.
Build an art studio and paint stuff. Players decide if a card serves them better as an addition to their studio, giving them brushes and other “tool”, or as a work of art they just “created”. This is a set collection game based on the art studio theme.
Kill Doctor Lucky
This is a strategy board game where players positions on the board (in a house) affect the possible actions of other players. Try to kill Doctor Lucky first to win. Fun easy game. This is the first game and one of the only games that I’ve played where an NPC (Non-Player Character) moves automatically.
Lanterns The Harvest Festival
This is a tile placement game. Fun, easy, and one players tile placement can also affect the scores of other players. It’s a tiny bit like dominoes.
This is a quick easy card game with very few cards. Hands never have more than two cards in them so decision making is quick and easy. This is a fun game and our go-to game when nothing else seems interesting. A round of play takes only a few minutes so players usually play to get the best 7 out of 13 wins (if I remember correctly).
Metro Paris 1898
This is a tile placement game that involves trying to make long paths through as many tiles as possible. It’s easy and fun but takes a bit of forethought to score high.
I haven’t played it yet. Looks fun but the instructions were not at all clear about how to play. I had to watch three videos before it was clear.
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
This is a party game where players discuss which player is a werewolf to kill (because werewolfs need to be killed for the non-werewolfs to win). There is some lying and some not-lying-and-trying-to-convince-everyone-that-you-are-truthful in the game because the werewolf players want to stay alive to win.
A deck building game using character tokens instead of cards. It is also a resource collection game. Strategies and tactics can be complex and subtle and this is a really fun game. Player interaction is fairly minimal in the first few rounds of the game but competition heats up as the game progresses due to various resources running out and also because there are some prizes that get claimed by the first player to reach various milestones. At the end of the game, competition is fierce as players try to get a few remaining high-scoring items. The game is more competitive with four players than three and we have not tried with two yet.
Cooperative board game. Like all cooperative games, it’s hard to win. It’s fun but frustrating to always lose. The premise is cool and the gameplay works well with players moving around the world trying to cure and eradicate diseases.
Players bid on power plants, buy resources, built/claim cities, and earn income, all from their power plants. There can be a lot of player interaction in this resource management game due to players being able to buy and store extra resources, thus raising the price, and from the power plant bidding process. Power increased, the map fills, and as soon as one player meets a game ending milestone, the player with the most powered cities wins.
Raiders of the North Sea
A fairly pure worker placement and resource collection game with a Viking theme! There are a lot of choices for where to place workers and what resources to collect. And with the other players claiming resources you might be aiming to get, the game is not predictable at all. I almost won once by getting my crew killed (a common theme in …of the North Seas games) a lot and collecting points for my dead Vikings.
This is a strategy stacking game. Players take turns moving a worker and then building a building.
A card set identification game where players try to find sets of three cards that have something in common without that same set also having something almost but not quite entirely in common. If the set has just two of the same shape, color, shading, or count, it’s not a set!
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
This turned out to be less of a strategy game and more of a story telling game. We don’t play this because there is no obvious way to do better at the game. Scoring high requires luck or genius. So much circumstantial evidence is needed to solve a case that we could never get enough of it for a solution without losing tons of points getting it. But maybe it’s just that we are not good at the game that made it un-fun for us.
Item collection and bluffing game. Always fun and doesn’t take too long to play. Players try to gather resources that let them win while also gathering resources that keep other players from guessing their identity.
This is a deck building game (like Dominion). The variety of cards you can collect is a bit higher than you might have in a game of Dominion and the player interaction when playing with three or four, is much more targeted.
Card collection game involving trading hands around the table and trying to collect cards based on what will be available in other hands. Fun family game. This is sort like like a super-simple version of 7 Wonders because after the players all take a card from their hand and play it, the hands are passed around the table.
This is tile placement combined with taking actions to achieve semi-random goals. You can pick the type of goal you want but you can’t know what the exact goal will be until you pick the card. This is fun and fairly easy but still takes some strategy and work to win.
I’m not sure how to describe this game in my own terms. It’s a factory building game? Maybe a production machine building game? Whatever the terminology, a player simply collects then plays cards that increase production of various resources so that fancier cards can be played to increase production even more. I think this is a game where having resources sitting around unused is a bad thing since they can be used when possible to increase production. If they are sitting unused then they are not being fully utilized.
The scientific accuracy of the game makes it sort of cool. It also gave me a feeling of building something or accomplishing something bigger than just collecting cards.
Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
This is a complicated game of civilization building. I interpret this as a game where many aspects of civilization building must be kept in balance throughout the game while increasing everything to gain the most points. Have too much resource production and nothing to spend those resources on? If so then you are punished. Decide to build a wonder before having resource production capacity to build it? If so then you are punished. Not building your military strength to match the rest of your civilization growth? You’re going to lose a war. After playing the iPad version a few times and board game version, this is how it seems to work for me. But alas, it is a complicated game and I still suck at it.
Ticket to Ride
This is a strategy game where taking more risk can lead to a bigger win or a bigger loss. Lots of card drafting is done to get sets of colors in order to claim routes on the map. This is a fun easy game. It takes a bit of luck and a lot of strategy to win. We have played this game a lot, especially back when we only had a few board games at home.
It’s been a while but what I remember is that this game is a card collection game where sets of cards are collected and then used to claim resources (lunches). It had a Ticket-to-Ride vibe to it. The NPC whose turn must be played by someone every two or three turns is annoying. The cards have contrived “features” that let them act like other cards in some circumstances. All-in-all, the game seems like a good idea that had some extra crap thrown on it to make it interesting. And it is playable and interesting, just not compelling to play. And the artwork is dark and sad looking with some text being very hard to read on some cards.
This is a cooperative story game that involves making decisions that seem to alter the order of the story elements but doesn’t seem to help get through the game more quickly (with a better score). Like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, this game seems to not have a way to play strategically to score higher; players can only accidentally stumble onto more effective paths to the end of the game. It was interesting the first time but just frustrating the second time (we never finished The Marcy Case). Interactive stories are just not that much fun, except maybe on a computer where the story is more rich and vivid and there’s no pieces to move around constantly.
Tiny Epic Galaxies
Just played once so far. Worker placement and dice rolling/picking are the main mechanics. You get some rather random choices to make on your turn and must use them to your best advantage. It doesn’t seem like the random rolls give lucky rollers an advantage so it is fun to play.
This is a set collection game with only a little ability to pick a winning path through the game. This game is fun because strategy is subtle and it’s hard to win big. Making a very beneficial move often leads to losing a turn or even two. This is also a very pretty game and the deluxe edition is super nice to look at!
A 2 to 9 player game of card handling, pawn positioning, and deception. We played it with two players and the game was less about deception and more about timing moves in order to be in a good scoring position at the end of the game. It comes in this cool book/box with a roll-out “board”. It is one of the best looking games that I own.
This is a Kickstarter game that is mostly card collection and some amount of card playing game. I really like this game with two players and even playing in a way that minimizes player interactions, the game is still very fun. The amusement park theme, the quality of the game and instructions, and the interesting mix of possible actions, makes this game one of my favorites.
Welcome to the Dungeon
A bluffing card game. We played a few times with two players and it was fun. I think that it would be a great 3 or 4 player game since turns can be taken quickly.