Second Look—Legends of Andor

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.I had originally posted about Legends of Andor in October of last year. Shortly after that I received a copy of the base set and its two expansions, New Heroes and Star Shield, in the mail to take a look into. It took a while to get this one to the table, but I’m glad I finally was able to sit down and play.

Legends of Andor is a cooperative fantasy adventure game with a built-in narrator. The game has you jumping in right away with a short introductory adventure that lays out the basics to you, then has you jumping into a full adventures. There’s a Legend Deck that lets you know how to setup for each adventure, and has cards that are activated from a timeline that progress the story and game conditions. It’s a great mechanic that makes you feel like you’re playing a fantasy narrative.

THK691745 collage 2Each character in the game has its own strengths and weaknesses, and players will have to constantly weigh their options and figure out who is going to tackle what tasks in any given adventure. The adventures build in scale, but each never really takes more than an hour of time to play through.

My kids and I ate it up. The game has a strong RPG feel with all the convinces of a board game. The New Heroes expansion gives players more flexibility with character choice, but also opens the game up to more players. Sadly, we haven’t gotten to the Star Shield adventure yet.

Legends of Andor is a structured way to get an epic RPG adventure in much less time than you’d think. The Legend Deck is a great mechanic for moving the story along, whether the players are prepared to do so or not. I can’t wait to see what else KOSMOS has in store, and I’m hoping we’ll see more small box expansions, and maybe a large one or two.

Legends of Andor and its expansions, New Heroes and Star Shield, were provided free for review by KOSMOS.

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Legends of Andor

THK691745 collage 2KOSMOS and Thames are releasing Legends of Andor in November, a cooperative board game for 2-4 players. The game has the players protecting Castle Andor, and even pursuing other quests once that’s been completed. There will even be add-ons for sale to expand the hero roster and add more quests. All this in a 30-60 minute play time.

Color me interested.

The base game will retail for $59.95, while the New Heroes (which expands the game for up to 6 players) and The Star Shield add-ons will be $19.95.

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Second Look—Dimension


I was really excited when Kosmos reached out to me and offered to send a game to review. With the current lineup that I saw at Toy Fair, my mind was buzzing with what game they were going to send me. When I received Dimension I thought, “OK. Not what I would have chosen, but at least I haven’t played it before.”

I kind of wish I didn’t play it at all.

As a puzzle game, it’s not too bad. That’s all there is to it. It’s multiplayer solitaire, and I’m just not a fan of this type of game. Cards are drawn which dictate the rules to how your colored balls have to be placed, and you have a specific amount of time to stack them and follow the rules. Points are scored based on now well you follow the rules, and the amount of balls you use.

Overall it just felt kind of flat as a multiplayer game, though it kept my kids busy when I set out a set of cards and set them to the task by themselves.

I’ve found the game for around $30 at it’s cheapest online, and I’m not sure if its really worth that price.

A copy of Dimension was provided free for review by Kosmos.

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Toy Fair—Kosmos


It seems like a long time since I’ve seen Kosmos game around, but they’re back with a vengeance in 2015! Six new games were being shown, some great reprints among them. I wish I had more pictures from the booth, but for some reason they all came out incredibly blurry. The only clear shot I got was from Lost Cities.

Dohdles! – $39.95 – Ages 8+

A sculpting family party game for 3-6 players, Dohdles is actually a reprint of the Spiel des Jahres winner Barbarossa. You need to sculpt items and have someone guess what it is, but you don’t want everyone to guess correctly! You also don’t want to make it so no one guesses correctly. Find the right mix to score the most points. Available in May.

Ubongo – $39.95 – Ages 8+

A reprint of the excellent puzzle game where players race against a timer to solve a puzzle. The faster you solve the geometric puzzles, the more gems you get. This new version looks excellent, and it’s about time I added this one to my collection! Available in May.

Dimension – $49.95 – Ages 8+

Dimension is another puzzle game, but this one uses colorful spheres. Using rules from 6 cards, players need to build with the spheres while adhering to the constraints. Fast building is important, but so is following the rules. Available in April.

Lost Cities – $19.95 – Ages 10+

A favorite of my wife and mine, Lost Cities is back in all its glory. With a very slightly updated look, everything you love about the classic exploration card game is still here. Play expedition cards to earn points, but make sure you have enough to cover the cost of the journey! Available in April.

Lost Cities: The Board Game – $39.95 – Ages 10+

Just like Lost Cities, except bigger and supporting up to 4 players. Of course it’s a bit different being a board game instead of a card game, but all the mechanics are still there. Set out on expeditions by playing cards in a path’s color to proceed along. Available in April.

Kahuna – $24.05 – Ages 10+

Another faithful reprint of a classic Kosmos game, Kahuna is a two player game where you’re trying to gain dominance of 12 small islands. As always with Kosmos 2-player games, it’s deceptively simple yet very strategic. Available in April.

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Lost Cities Board GameEuropean game company KOSMOS is set to launch a series of six popular strategy board games directly in the U.S. for the first time.

Lost Cities: The Board Game and Kahuna are both popular games previously distributed by Rio Grande Games that have been out of print in the U.S. market for a few years. Ubongo was distributed by Z-Man Games and is also currently out of print. Dimension and Dohdles are both new to the U.S. market. Read the rest of this entry »

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Settlers of Catan

CatanKosmos and Mayfair Games have announced a joint restyling of Settlers of Catan, led by a title change. Dropping “Settlers of”, the game will henceforth be known simply as “Catan”. Additional art and design changes are also being made inside and on the box.

Catan’s new look will be previewed at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg.

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2013 Spiel des Jahres

Spiel des JahresThe 2013 Spiel des Jahres—German Game of the Year—has been awarded to Hanabi, designed by Antoine Bauza and published by Abacus Spiele in Germany. Hanabi is a cooperative card game, where each player can only see every other player’s cards.

For the main Spiel des Jahres award, the jury of German journalists selects a game that it considers outstanding for “gaming amongst family and friends,” in other words, a game that works well for people who are not dedicated hobby gamers. The Kennerspiel des Jahres, or Expert Game of the Year, award was given to Legends of Andor designed by Michael Menzel and published in Germany by KOSMOS. The jury had also earlier awarded the Kinderspiel des Jahres, Children’s Game of the Year, to Der verzauberte Turm.

In an earlier statement, the chairman of the jury, Tom Felber, had said that the value of a game “does not depend on the box size.”

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