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Game Reviews

Bombing Each Other Silly in Nuclear War

Following is a list of my personal game reviews. Hear my thoughts on games that work and games destined to gather dust in the closet.

What are my qualifications for being a reviewer? None, except a love for good games, a long history of playing board and strategy games, and a lot of strong opinions.

Be forewarned, however, I am a gaming enthusiast more than a gaming critic, so many of the reviews will be positive or even glowing. I bought many of these games after reading good reviews on the web or after positive gaming sessions at friend's houses. In any case, I will attempt to mention what doesn't work or what could use improvement. It is with love and passion that I review these games, and my hat is off to the bright designers who created these games.


Recent Reviews

  • Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2002.
        A chart of the tile distribution and discussion of the difficulty of categorization.
  • Was Sticht?, Karl-Heinz Schmiel, Moskito Spiele, 1994.
        A trick-taking card game with many interesting, interlocking mechanisms.
  • Carcassonne: The Expansion, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2002.
        Add some inexpensive new rules and tiles to your Carcassonne games.
  • Carcassonne, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2000.
        Build cities, roads, farms, and cloisters in this very clever and fast tile laying game.
  • GRYB, J. David Barnhart, JDB Games, 2000.
        Conquer territory in the Go-like abstract strategy game.

Game Reviews Ordered by Title

Click on a game title to see my review.

  • Acquire, Sid Sackson, 3M, Schmidt Spiel, Avalon Hill, 1962/1979/1993.
        Shrewdly purchase stock, make mergers, and liquidate holdings in this classic business game.
  • Auf Heller und Pfennig, Reiner Knizia, Hans im Glück, 1994.
        Maximize Heller-hoarding in this tile-laying medieval market game.
  • Button Men, James Ernest, Cheapass Games, 1998.
        Kick your opponent's butt by capturing their dice. Simple, fast, and furious.
  • Carcassonne, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2000.
        Build cities, roads, farms, and cloisters in this very clever and fast tile laying game.
  • Carcassonne: The Expansion, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2002.
        Add some inexpensive new rules and tiles to your Carcassonne games.
  • Carcassonne: The Expansion Tile Distribution,
        An easy-to-print chart of the tile frequency in the expansion game.
  • Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2002.
        A chart of the tile distribution and discussion of the difficulty of categorization.
  • Cloud 9, Aaron Weissblum, F.X. Schmid, 1999.
        Decide whether to leap or ride the balloon to the clouds. But can you trust your buddies?
  • Durch die Wüste, Reiner Knizia, Kosmos, 1998.
        Place your camels to connect oases, enclose areas, and block your opponents.
  • El Grande, Wolfgang Kramer & Richard Ulrich, Hans im Glück, 1995.
        Place your Caballeros carefully to influence and control 15th century Spain.
  • Elfenland, Alan Moon, Amigo, 1998.
        Elves attempt to visit many cities in this fun version of the "Travelling Salesman" problem.
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, James Wallis, Hogshead Publishing, 1998.
        Players tell tales of preponderous proportions while others challenge or influence the outcome.
  • Close Combat II: The Russian Front, Atomic Games, Microsoft Corporation, 1998.
        A real time computer strategy game that closely resembles Avalon Hill's Squad Leader.
  • Family Business, James Wallis, Mayfair Games, 1982.
        "Rub out" rival gangs while avoiding a similar fate in this fast beer and pretzels card game.
  • Family Detective, SNL Games, 1978.
        An epic psychological battle of hunter and hunted in this exciting family game.
  • GRYB, J. David Barnhart, JDB Games, 2000.
        Conquer territory in the Go-like abstract strategy game.
  • Guillotine, Paul Peterson, Wizards of the Coast, 1998.
        Players execute the most ignoble nobles while avoiding the crowd favorites.
  • It's Mine, Reiner Knizia, Winning Moves, 1998.
        Which card player is the quickest on the draw? Be careful, there are some bad cards in that set.
  • Lost Cities, Reiner Knizia, Kosmos/Rio Grande Games, 1999.
        Two players form expeditions while thwarting their opponent in this short, fun card game.
  • Mamma Mia, Uwe Rosenberg, Abacus Spiele, 1999.
        Pizza experts attempt to create masterpieces in this fun and fast card game. Manga!
  • Manhattan, Andreas Seyfarth, Hans im Glück/Mayfair, 1992.
        Players attempt to score points by owning buildings, neighborhoods and the world's tallest building.
  • Maul of America, Jim Dietz, Jolly Roger Games, 1998.
        Characters run, zombies attack, and players yawn in this not so fun beer and pretzels game.
  • Medici, Reiner Knizia, Amigo/Rio Grande Games, 1995/1998.
        Outwit and outbid your opponents for juicy cargos in this commodity auction game.
  • Montgolfiere, Dominique Ehrhard, Eurogames/Descartes, 1992/1999.
        Bluff your way to the moon in this light, simultaneous play balloon race.
  • Ra, Reiner Knizia, Alea/Rio Grande Games, 1999.
        Bid for sets of tiles, sometimes taking a disaster along with the gold.
  • Rette Sich Werr Kann, Ronald Wettering, Walter Müllers Spielewerkstatt, 1993.
        Toss your friends, that is enemies, overboard in this leaky lifeboat game.
  • Rheinländer, Reiner Knizia, Parker, 1999.
        Expand your duchies by carefully placing your knights along the Rhine River.
  • Ricochet Robots, Alex Randolph, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 1999.
        Race the clock and each other as each player attempts to solve the robot puzzle.
  • Samurai, Reiner Knizia, Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 1998.
        Place tiles, influence and capture tokens in feudal Japan.
  • Scotland Yard, E. Binz-Blanke, Ravensburger, 1983/1985.
        Scotland Yard detectives hunt and attempt to capture the elusive Mr. X.
  • The Seafarers of Catan, Klaus Teuber, Kosmos/Mayfair, 1997/1999.
        Build ships and sail to new lands in this excellent Settlers expansion.
  • The Settlers of Catan, Klaus Teuber, Kosmos/Mayfair, 1995.
        Players reap goods, trade, and build settlements on a randomly determined island.
  • Streetcar/Linie 1, Steffan Dorra, Goldsieber/Mayfair, 1995/1996.
        Players race to complete their streetcar lines. Then they race their street cars.
  • Taj Mahal, Reiner Knizia, Alea/Rio Grande Games, 2000.
        Use your cards to win power and position in this excellent tile placement game.
  • Torres, Michael Kiesling, Wolfgang Kramer, F. X. Schmid/Rio Grande Games, 1999.
        Build a big castle and sramble your knights to the top.
  • Triple Threat Baseball, Doug Spohn, Rafael Colón, and Scott Turner, Triple Threat Games, 1999.
        Recreate the pace, the tension, and feel of baseball in this well crafterd sports game.
  • Verräter (Traitor), Marcel-André Casasola Merkle, Adlung Spiele, 1999.
        Profit from the war between the Eagle and Rose royal houses. Beware the traitor who tips the battle.
  • Vampire, Reiner Knizia, Goldsieber/Rio Grande Games, 2000.
        Simple, quick, fun rummy-like card game.
  • Vinci, Phillippe Keyaerts, Eurogames/Descartes, 1999.
        Advance you armies across the board in this diceless battle of civilizations.
  • Was Sticht?, Karl-Heinz Schmiel, Moskito Spiele, 1994.
        A trick-taking card game with many interesting, interlocking mechanisms.
  • Web of Power, Michael Schact, Goldsieber/Rio Grande Games, 2000.
        Place pieces to score majorities and strengthen alliances in this fast-moving placement game.
  • Zillions of Games, Jeff Mallett and Mark Lefler, Zillions Publishing, 1998.
        An excellent computer game engine for playing hundreds of abstract board games.
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