Sunday, October 29, 2006
Niagara was produced in 2004 by Zooch Verlag (Rio Grande for English version) . It is a board game for 2 ot 5 players. Niagara has won many titles in its name, it was GAMES Magazine Family Game Nominee 2006, it won MENSA Best Mind Game 2005, it won Spiel Des Jahres Game of the Year 2005, and it was Deutscher SpielePreis 2nd place winner 2005.
Niagara currently has 2 expansions, Diamond Joe, a free expansion which adds a trader canoe to the game, and Spirits Of Niagara, which adds new cards, new canoes, new game elements, and makes the game into a 2-6 player game.
The quality of the game components are excellent. Wodden canoes, thick cardboard cards/chits, clear plastic disc, colored plastic (crystal like) gem stones, and a very think double layered game board, are the components you should expect when buying this game. The game component holding trey that comes with the game is perfect, better then most of the board games I have seen.
The game revolves around collecting these gems stone located along a river (game board). There are only 7 gemstone at each of the 5 gemstone reservoirs along the river. Players needs to collect 5 different colored gemstones, or 4 same colored gemstones or 7 of any combination of gemstones to win the game.
Players needs to collect these gemstones while limited to the number on the paddle cards/chits in their hands (1-6 + 1 weather card/chit). The river always flows towards the fall at the same rate as the slowest canoe (the smaller numbered paddle played) plus the weather (-1 to +2). Canoes that have fallen over the waterfall could be rescued at a payment of 1 gemstone. Players however has to play all the cards/chits in their hands before replenishing their cards/chits.
Another twist to the game is intrigue in the form of weather control and thievery. Players can manipulate the speed of the river by playing the weather card/chit. Players may add -1, 0, +1, or +2 to the river speed. Empty canoes coming up river may steal another canoes gemstone by ending their move exactly in the same spot at another canoe.
These game mechanics makes this game a thinking gamers game. Players needs to balance their goals with the flow of the river and the options they have using math and logic. Even at first glance I could see why this game won so many titles and awards.
It takes hard work for a board game to get the game of the year award like Spiel des Jahres. A board game must be family friendly, reasonably competitive, reasonably challenging and has good components to win the game of the year award. A board game with the game of the year award almost guarantees a good fun time.
Out comes Perplexcity. Perplexcity is not exactly a collectible card game. You collect the cards, you sometimes trade them, and they do have rarity but that is where the similarity ends. You do not play duels with it but there is a game to be played.
On each card is a puzzle, and on its back is a piece of a clue usually a map. The puzzle if solved gives you points on the Perplexcity web site. The clue on the back leads to the location of a stolen object. A stolen object from the imaginary Perplex city. Who ever finds this object can win 20,000USD.
Because of the success of the game they decided to release a board game version of Perplexcity. A board game without an entry on board game geek (the moment I am writing this post). A board game that gave itself the game of the year award.
Is this the first kink in the integrity of board games awards amour? I hope not. I think such marketing ploys should be stopped.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
I'll be getting:
- Dawn Under
- Spirits Of Niagara
- Diamond Jack (Niagara Ex)
- Mystery Train (Ticket to Ride Ex)
Friday, October 27, 2006
I have always told anyone who would listen to me to listen to podcasts (audiocast as I like to call it now) instead. Free and easy you could listen to audiocasts and be informed anywhere anytime.
Now that we have upgraded to beta I have added The Spiel Enhanced Audiocast feed on to our site. The Spiel is an audiocast by Stephen Conway and Davis Coleson. You will need iTunes to listen to the enhanced version of this audiocast and I highly recommend you to do so. There is an MP3 version of the audicast but I think you will see why the Enhanced version of The Spiel is the board game audiocast to took forward to.
The guys at The Spiel has highly influenced my wish list of games and their reviews have not done me wrong. So give The Spiel a try and spread the word.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The game box is big mainly to accommodate the multi-piece map of Japan game board. Thick cardboard hex tiles, a fordable Japanese style blind to hide your tiles and winnings behind, and a bunch of plexiglass Buddhas, tall hats, and rice fields. The plexiglass pieces are very nice. I kinda wish all the wooded pieces from other games are made of the same stuff instead.
Basically Samurai is a tile laying game. At first glance it seems that the game came with too few components for what the game is suppose to be but I was wrong. The game plays very nicely. The goal of the game is to influence and claim the plexiglass pieces by placing tiles with the proper icon and number. when the piece is surrounded on land with tiles the number on the tiles with the proper icon is added and the one with the highest total claims the piece.
The only truly complicated part of the game is scoring. Unlike other games it does not matter how much pieces a player claims. The objective is to have the most majority of the type of pieces. A majority of 2 or 3 is a straight win. A majority of 1 calls for a comparison of other pieces that are claimed.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
For some odd reason the local game store here want to keep it a secret that they are going to be open for gaming today on Eid and tomorrow. So do not tell anyone in the mood to game to come by ok?
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The game comes with very nice think card board, game boards (use 2 or 3 or 4 depending on number of players), camel tracking board, and item chits. There is also a lot of wooden camels and 2 short think cylindrical wooden tokens, a sheet of stickers for the camels and tokens, and a rule book.
The game box is large, the game pieces will not disappoint and they give you enough zip lock bags to keep all the game bits. Nice!
The game is simple. The goal is to move your camel caravan and save as many of your cargo as possible thus getting the highest score. Throughout the game your items are going to be stolen. Each item gives you points equal to the number of items that are stolen.
The detective work comes in when each round you get to see a set of three cards. These cards tells you which items from a camel in which stall, and in which lot it is going to be stolen from. Each round players will get to look at up to 3 out of the 5 sets of cards. Based on the cards and opponent movements players must deduce the safest place to put their camel.
It is a deductive game. Expect some downtime during the game spent deducing the best places to place the camels. Game time differs with number of players.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
It is done. We have upgraded to Blogger Beta. I am sorry that to do this I had to remove everyone from the blog and re-invite everyone. Now we can categorise our posts. Something that I have always wanted to do. And we have a Web Album where we could put up pictures of our gaming activities.
Blogger Beta has many new features we have yet to try. So accept the invite to those who got it and let us try this Blogger Beta out.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I first discovered Hoity Toity on Board Games With Scott a board game videocast.
Hoity Toity is one of those deep but simple games. The game is a great gateway game. Introducing new players to many aspects of modern board games. It has very simple but useful high quality pieces. One small gameboard/score track, 6 small card decks for player actions, 1 large card deck of "collectibles" card, and six wooden meeples. Interestingly the game is very communal lots of player interaction with little to no downtime and for 3 to 6 players. The game seems to have perfect timing. It flows like it should it ends when it should. Overall a very well rounded game.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
For those of you who missed this month's board game order pool all is not lost. The next order pool is going to be made on the 15th of November.
Remember, if we pool our order there will not be a shipping charge and if our order is big enough, we could get a discount! Check for prices and availability at Imagine Games. All game prices are as printed.
Note. If you want a game sooner then just e-mail me. With cheap next day delivery you will have your game in no time.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I'm glad to report that Y!pp!e's mates had a good time during the game night we held last week, and were wondering when we could do another one.
Well, never fear, we can have one this coming Friday! As usual, it'll be at 8.30pm and all are welcome to join in the fun. Don't let the fact that it's Friday the 13th scare you off, we've got bright lights and nice people in the room haha
Alrighty then, see you all there!
I know you guys have been having fun during Friday Games so good for you! But are you always gaming hungry? Is that dinner enough to sustain hours of gaming?
Check it out: McDonalds like every year in the month of Ramadan, holds a buffet dinner. For about Rm20 you could have as many of any McDonalds food you want. In Ipoh it is only available at the town Mcdonalds. It is not that far out of the way for cheap food is it?
So check it out.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Just a quick post to let you know that several new games have arrived at the Vault:
1. Power Grid
2. Power Grid expansion
3. Amun Re
6. Railroad Tycoon
7. Conquest of the Empire
We were also expecting 'In the Shadow of the Emperor' but unfortunately it missed the shipment so it'll be delayed for awhile.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
We're looking to organize a game night this coming Friday, 6th October, at the Vault.
Y!pp!e will be calling in his friends, and darkelf has also indicated that he'll be able to make it so it looks like we should be able to get another night on. We'll start at 8.30pm as usual. We've not decided on what to play but do feel free to suggest if you'd like to play something specific.
Also, a new shipment of games is likely to come in within a week or so, with some titles like:
1. Amun Re
2. Power Grid 2nd Edition
3. Power Grid expansion - France & Italy
4. In the Shadow of the Emperor
8. Conquest of the Empire
With these added to what is already in store, there is definately a large selection to choose from. Something you're interested in that's not on the list? Tell us and we'll bring it in for you.
Alrighty then, hope to see as many of you as possible this Friday. Cheers!