Second Look—Poopyhead

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.There’s so many ways I can compare this game to it’s subject matter, but it’d be a bit crude for a family site such as ours. Let’s just say that Poopyhead left me and my kids with a “not so fresh” feeling after giving it a few plays.

Poopyhead is more a novelty than a game. It comes with 5 rubber poop headbands, a Whoopie cushion, and some cards. Players need to rid their hand of cards by playing them to the center stack in the correct order: Toilet – Poo – Paper – Wash your hands. Gameplay is simultaneous, so all players are trying to get their cards down as fast as they can. Rid your hand of all your cards and hit the Whoopie cushion to end the round. The player with the most cards left in their hand has to place a poop on their head. The player with the least poop on their head after five rounds wins the game.

The game seemed like it’d be something the kids would enjoy. Potty humor is always in fashion with little ones. Unfortunately the poop became more of a problem than a fun gimmick. The kids loved to laugh at others who had to wear the poop, but all got upset when they got laughed at for wearing it. The Whoopie cushion also broke the first day we got the game from repeated abuse by the kids. The actual card play wore out fast, and the kids were soon asking to play something else.

All in all Poopyhead was a bit of a stinker for us, and it’s already been tossed in the basement to be forgotten about.

A copy of Poopyhead was provided free for review by Identity Games.

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Second Look—Oh My Gods!

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.I first saw Oh My Gods! at CT FIG, where I had a chance to play the game with it’s designer, Tim Blank. Having just done an unboxing of the game, I figured it was time to write up my review.

Oh My Gods! is a game of deduction where you’re trying to figure out which god stole Zeus’s lightning bolt. At the start of the game one god is chosen blindly and hidden from all the players. Each turn you ask the player to your left if they have a specific god, or you can ask if any of the Gods have a specific trait or element. If they’ve got what you’re looking for, they show it to you. You can also play one of your god’s special powers instead of asking a question, though this reveals that god to the entire table.

SkyZeusPlay continues until someone has narrowed down their list to make a guess at who stole Zeus’s bolt. Here’s the catch. You guess wrong and you’re done. Out of the game. Don’t fret, though. Oh My Gods! plays quick, so waiting for the next game won’t take long.

My family and I really enjoyed this one. The rulebook is clear, the art was appealing to all of us, and the gameplay give us more than something like Guess Who, and isn’t a chore to setup and play like Clue. We’re actually heading out on vacation this week, and Oh My Gods! has been packed up to come with us to play on slow afternoons.

You can snag Oh My Gods! from Gameworthy Labs for $24.98.

A copy of Oh My Gods! was provided free for review by Gameworthy Labs.

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Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Perspective and Sun, Moon & Stars are two micrograms from Minion Games. The former contains only 27 cards, while the latter has just 18. Don’t let the card numbers fool you. Both of them are meatier than your usual micro game fair, and I have to say I was surprised by the experience from both.

I’ll start with Perspective, in my mind the more difficult of the two. It’s not hard to learn how to play the game, but the game itself is difficult. At it’s heart, it’s a memory game. You’re given a goal card and have to arrange the cards in the correct order with the correct colors. The only issue is you need to do so using the backs of your cards, which only your opponent can see. Through clever card play you can flip, trade, sort, and reclaim cards in hopes of setting up your hand for a win.

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I played Perspective with my 10-year-old, and it took a few tries to get the hang of the game. Once we did, it was a race to see who could memorize what was going on and get their hands in order. Sadly, my tasted victory more than I. We had a great time, even though the game was a bit of a brain burn.

Sun, Moon & Stars is a bit lighter, but my no means less of a game than Perspective. Depending on how many players there are, they are seated North, South, East, and West, and give a goal. Different animals have different victory conditions. Players try to move the sun, moon, and stars around the table so they’ll be in the positions desired by their goal animal. It’s a bit quicker of a play, and puts the players in more direct confrontation that Perspective.

64c3e3ea5ecd51d1a02aff24a3e5eb95_originalTaking only 5 minutes to play, the game encourages you to play multiple rounds. It’s not hard to do so, as the pleasing aesthetic and, quick play, and satisfying play make it an excellent filler.

Both games are available from Minion Games for $9.99 each. Both are worth the price.

Copies of Perspective and Sun, Moon & Stars were provided free for review by Minion Games.

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Second Look—StoryLine: Fairy Tales

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Take a popular party-game mechanic, turn it into a kids game with a fairy tale theme, and you’ve got StoryLine: Fairy Tales, the first in what I’m guessing will be a line of StoryLine games. I was a bit skeptical of this one, but had a great time playing it with my kids

Storyline comes with 30 Narrator cards that cover two different stories. Then there’s 100 story cards, 20 each of 5 different types. Each turn a different player takes the role of Narrator and flips over a Narrator card for the story they’re playing. The card will dictate what type of cards the players need to play to continue the story. Each player starts with one of each of the five card types, and will also draw an extra of the type needed for the round. Then the players each play the appropriate card face down. The Narrator chooses a card, and whoever played that card gets a token.

StorylineThe tokens are the only part of the game I’m not 100% on board with. If it were as simple as the player with the most tokens wins, then that’d be fine. That’s not the case. Tokens are awarded to players face down. Some are worth 1, 2, or 3 points. Others have special rules, like a boot that’s worth nothing or a crown that lets you take 2 more tokens to score. This means that a player with the least amount of tokens can still pull a win with a lucky hand of tokens. My kids were kind of upset with this too. It seems a bit too random, and was a bit of a buzz-kill at the end of the game.

Overall we had fun. The cards are beautiful, the gameplay simple, and there’s some pretty funny card combinations that can take a more traditional Fairy Tale and really turn it on its head. We may just stick with counting actual tokens, and not using the points and special token powers.

A copy of StoryLine: Fairy Tales was provided free for review by Asmodee 

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Second Look—Guildball

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.This one has taken me a bit to get written, mostly because I needed the time to get it to the table…and the table needed to be cleared off enough to have space.

Of course with most miniatures game, the miniatures need to be assembled before play. Guildball minis are excellent, finely detailed, and a bit of a pain to get assembled. Tiny pieces along with dynamic figure poses proved a challenge for me, as I’m not the best at getting these things together. One I did get them finished, I patted myself on the back and got to work learning the rules.

The rulebook is a gorgeous, full color book full of amazing art, world lore, and the rules of the game. This is both really awesome, and my one complaint about the game. The rules are sprinkled in with all the extra fiction, and at times I found myself just wanting the rules compiled without all the extras. It’s a minor gripe, but one just the same.

As far as the game goes, I was pleasantly surprised how uncomplicated it was. It’s not Dreadball level of ease, but it’s certainly a lot better than other miniatures sports games. Once you have the flow of the game down, it’s a breeze to play the game. That doesn’t make the game any less deep. There’s plenty here to satisfy both miniatures gamers and sports gamers. The sheer amount of teams and their miniatures already released is amazing, and there’s more on the way soon for Season 2.

There’s a lot of things to buy here, so you’re not going to hop into this game inexpensively, but everything I’ve seen so far is a worthwhile investment. The only thing I don’t have is a pitch, and I’m going to make sure I get one for future plays.

Steamforged Games is a fairly new company, but they’re already proven they’re a strong contender in the hobby. I can’t recommend the game to everyone, but if you’re a miniatures fan, a sports fan, or someone who’s looking to get into sports miniatures games, you can’t go wrong with Guildball. It’s a blast, and is quickly becoming one of my favorites, possibly knocking Dreadball from it’s high throne on my shelf.

The Guildhall rulebook, Butcher and Fisherman teams, and appropriate token/template sets were provided free for review by Steamforged Games.

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Kickstarter Preview—Landed

Landed is a tile-laying terraforming game that’s just wrapping an already funded Kickstarter campaign. Designed by Marcin Zarycki and published by Argyle Games, it’s a 2-4 player game where players are laying down tiles and trying to claim pieces of land to fill various contracts. Each turn players can lay a tile, draw back up to 4 tiles, or draw new contracts. They can also play Wonder Tiles acquired any time during their turn, or use one of their cubes to claim land after they place a tile. It’s very simple to learn, easy to play, and a fun light-weight game.

Landed requires careful tile-laying to maximize lands you’re looking to profit from, while also making sure you break up formations that may score your opponents points. Of course you can always piggy back off opponents’ formations, and they off yours, for a slightly less profitable score. Each contract card has several conditions that can be met, each more profitable than the last. Most of these have two values: one from the first person to claim the territory, and one for the second. You also need to keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of cubes to claim land. Once you’re out, you can’t complete any more contracts.

The whole game plays in about 15-45 minutes depending on the number of players. Two player games tend to be quick, and offer more flexibility on the board. Four players are a bit longer, but also a bit more tense as land is quickly taken by other players. You can make sure you get a copy of the game for a $34 pledge, and the more they make, the more stretch goals are unlocked.

It’s a fun game that can be learned and played quickly. A good choice if you’re into tile-laying games, and aren’t looking for anything very heavy.

A prototype copy of Landed was provided free for preview by Argyle Games.

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Second Look—Legend of Vyas

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.The Legend of Vyas is a new CCG by Vansh Games that depicts the Indian epic, The Mahabharata. Of course you don’t need to be familiar with the story to enjoy the game, which my son and I really did.

First off let me just say the presentation of the game is amazing. The box is beautiful, with a minimalist design and a custom cut foam insert for the dice, cards, and box of counters. In the set you get 2 fully-playable decks, 3 stick dice, and a small cardboard box of counters to track damage and such. It’s all laid out beautifully, and really gives a great first impression for the game. The cards are durable, and feel amazing. They’re a step up in stock than your standard CCG cards. Thicker, with a heavier feel. The dice are both unique, and well made, and the counters are a solid cardboard with a nice finish.

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The game itself follows through on the physical quality of the components. Each player fields warriors, an advisor, a hero, and a formation card. The formation card actually dictates how many warriors are on the field, and how they’re arranged. This actually has a lot to do with gameplay, as your troops in the front protect rear ranks, and your hero and advisor. Turns are simple. Roll the 3 dice to see how much energy you have to work with that turn, cast spells, field warriors, or equip your hero, then attack your opponent’s ranks. Each warrior has an attack value and health value. There’s no defending. You attack, it does damage plus/minus modifiers, and that’s that. Games are quick, brutal, and require you to always make sure you have a backup plan.

While the game is a CCG, this starter set is the only product available right now. The set is $30, and very much worth the price. There’s an expansion set of 32 unique cards being launched on Kickstarter on May 8th that will also include 2 legendary cards just for the campaign.

A review copy of Legend of Vyas was provided free for review by Vansh Games

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Second Look—Onitama

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Elegant. That’s probably the perfect word to describe Onitama, a new release from Arcane Wonders. A perfect-information, abstract game played on a 5×5 board, each player is trying to either capture the opponent’s Master, or get their Master to the opponent’s shrine. Everything from the box, the components, and the gameplay are top notch.

Onitama comes with a deck of cards that illustrate how a piece can move on a turn. At the start of the game you shuffle the deck, give two cards face up to each player, and put one card face up to the side of the board. Each turn a player will use one of their cards to move a pawn, then swap it with the card on the sidelines. The entire game is played with the same 5 cards cycling between the players. It’s a simple, and beautiful mechanic as players maneuver themselves around the board waiting for an opportunity to strike.

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I was able to teach the game to my 6, 9, and 10-year-old with no problem at all, and each of them had enough of a grasp on the game to make smart decisions. My 6 and 10-year-old even beat me the first time they played. All 3 have also pulled the game out to play on their own on multiple occasions now.

I don’t think I can really say much more about it, as I’m already gushing quite a bit.

Onitama is more than worth the $20 you’ll spend to add it to your collection, and you should add it to your collection. It’s a game that I believe will stand the test of time, and always have a spotlight space on my game shelf.

Onitama was provided free for review by Arcane Wonders.

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Second Look—Crossing

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Asmodee has a lot of companies under their belt now, and one of those is Moonster Games, publisher of Crossing. Crossing is a game where the peaceful fantasy races of the world come together to snag as many Life Stones as possible by any means necessary. The Summer Solstice is the one time of year they’re not so kind to each other.

The goal of the game is simple. Get as many Life Stones as you can, before the supply runs out. You do this by simultaneously pointing to mushrooms with stones on them. The problem is if another player pointed to that mushroom you both get nothing. Toss into the mix that you can point to a player’s stash to steal it during a turn, and things get a bit more crazy. Have a ton of stones and thing someone might try to steal them? You can cover them instead of pointing to a tile to protect them, but you’re giving up a turn to snag more stones.

pic2797773It’s hectic, and fun, and really quick. It’s simple to learn for almost any age, though I’ve found that the 8+ age rating might have more to do with maturity than the ability to play. My 6 year old was getting really upset when his gems were stolen, and started to have pretty bad anxiety during play. My 9 and 10 year olds had a blast, and were able to laugh off losses in their fun of playing. My little guy has stated he wants to try again, so I’ll see how well it goes next time with him. After a few plays, having a better understanding may help him with his fear of losing stones.

Overall the game is a blast, is short, and everything can be tossed into the included bag an carried around quite easily. It’s not a game you can focus a whole game night around, but it’s great for short bursts with the kids. At around $25, it’s in a good range to just pick up and play with the family, and I recommend you do so if you’ve got small ones in the house.

A copy of Crossing was provided free for review by Asmodee Games.

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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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