January 2008

Lost CitiesI am reminded of the beginning of a relationship. Two people who are trying to find where they are willing to risk making a commitment and where they feel the need to hold back.

Lost Cities is a 2-player card game that puts you and a fellow explorer in competition towards completing several expeditions to famed lost civilizations. Each player draws cards at the start of the game. Most cards feature a value between 1 and 10 and are color coded to correspond to a particular lost city. A few feature colored handshakes (investment cards) that work as multipliers and symbolize a further commitment to a particular expedition. (more…)


Meeples in the fields.There are very few board games that have had a profound effect on the gaming cultural iconography. Carcassonne’s meeples permeate gaming fan imagery. People have self-crafted life size meeples, made meeple cakes, and even taken photos of their meeples in France, the locale of game. Along with Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne helped refocus part of the gaming culture back towards board games.

Carcassonne is a fast-paced tile laying game that reinforces spatial awareness and finds a pleasant balance between strategy and luck.

Players take turns pulling and laying tiles that flesh out the countryside of Carcassonne. Tiles must match up when they are played down (roads to roads, cities to cities… etc.). When a tile is played, the player laying the tile may place one of their meeples on that tile in a variety of roles, depending on what is shown on the tile. Cities, abbeys, and roads allow for a play and in-game return on that investment. Players get points for the length of the road and can pick their meeple back up when the road has been completed to play again on a new tile. The same strategy goes for completed cities and surrounded abbeys. (more…)

Trains at the stationTrains continue to be a constant source of fascination in many cultures. From English trainspotters to American Lionel model enthusiasts, trains have continued to dig their roots into our culture….. and our games.

Ticket to Ride has you working to connect destinations spanning the continental US. The beauty of Ticket is the game play mechanics. By only allowing you one action per turn, the game keeps a brisk pace while forcing you to make and re-evaluate your strategy on the fly. Your immediate goal is to connect major cities featured on route tickets. How you are able to do so depends on the luck of the cards and your opponents. Players connect cities by collecting the corresponding number of colored train cards and using them to lay down train cars. Points are accumulated by laying down trains and at the end by adding on points for completed routes and having the longest train. (more…)

The robber amidst settlements

Settlers of Catan may well be the David Bowie of board games. It has endured longer than all expectations and it has re-invented itself countless times. What started as a humble German board game over ten years ago has spawned numerous expansions, game variations and web and console based interpretations. Catan breathed life back into board games. It has helped to shift the family away from the television and back to the living room table. (more…)