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  • Review : Foodtown Throwdown

    Review : Foodtown Throwdown

    One of the great benefits of hosting our weekly game nights is that they have given us a chance to get to know a number of local Chicago game designers and publishers. One of which is Ben w/ Argyle Games who recently successfully Kickstarted Foodtown Throwdown, a set collection card game lightly themed around starting your own foodtruck empire.

    Foodtown is what I would consider a micro-game, it is quick to play, quick to learn and comes in a relatively small box. One of the first things you’ll notice about the game is that it has a really great sense of humor and throughout gameplay this humor continues to develop even further. Each player works to complete recipes by assembling the various ingredients in the form of cards. For example, the Hamburger recipe requires that you have 3 specific types of ingredients: meat, bread, and a vegetable. You don’t have to walk far to find a place that serves hamburgers, but have you ever had a burger made up of Grass-Fed Steak (meat), A Bag of Croutons (bread) and topped off with Colossal Mushrooms (veggie)? Along with territory and publicity cards, these recipes are worth points which everyone at the table is racing to acquire. Finally, each player also receives action cards which allow them to get what they need at just the right time or completely screw over one of the other foodtrucks by sabotaging one of their recipes!

    Humor and gameplay combine really well, allowing Foodtown to occupy a great space for folks that are looking for something to start the night off with or play in between other larger games. Its mechanics make it very approachable and easy to grasp, I expect it to continue being a Bonus Round staple to get people started as they walk in the door. For those of you that might have Kickstarted the game, it will be getting shipped out within the next week or so. However, if you’re in the Chicago area you can come join us and Argyle Games this Friday (11/13) at Beermiscous to pick up your copy at our game night!

    Not in the Chicago area? Foodtown is getting shipped soon, and is available for pre-order, support indie games!

  • List : Courtney's games of 2015

    List : Courtney's games of 2015

    Since we’re still discovering a ton of older games, we’re continuing with our tradition of highlighting our top 10 games we played for the first time this year [some new, some not].

    As Drew mentioned yesterday, we played a lot of games for the first time this year, I beat him with 65 new titles!

    Trekking the National Parks

    I’ve gone on enough about this game this year. Check out our profile from a few weeks ago. It just hit all the right notes for me when I played it at GenCon and it became a game I wanted to share with everyone.

    Great Dinosaur Rush

    I’m really glad I got a chance to play this at GenCon this year, and we backed it on the first day of the campaign. It brings two of my passions, board games and natural history/science, together in a way that is creative, engaging and a little educational. 

    Eminent Domain

    Fact: I love deckbuilding games. I hadn’t actually heard of Eminent Domain, but Drew had been curious about it, and Tasty Minstrel were kind enough to send us a copy. I was hooked! The limited card pool, ability to take actions on other people’s turns, and the mechanism of planetary exploration really set it apart from other deck builders and make it stand out.

    Harbour

    Worker placement games are my other bread and butter, and this game brings a lot of substance to the table for such a small box. After a short demo at GenCon, we were sold and picking up a copy on the spot. The theme of a goblin-run port is fun [the custom meeples are an added bonus] and the ever changing economics of selling goods makes things challenging.

    Landed

    A tile laying, zone control game by local publisher Argyle, hitting Kickstarter soon! It’s easy to introduce to new gamers, but has enough complexity and strategy built in to be interesting for more experienced players as well. We’ll be bringing this out to more pop-up events the next couple months, so be sure to drop by and check it out!

    Teen Titans

    The DC Deckbuilding game is what made the genre click for me. This newest installment, based around the Teen Titans brings some new strategy and game play style to the franchise by focusing on having cards in play that either help over multiple turns, can help boost other cards, or can be sacrificed on a later turn.

    One Hit Kill

    Someone brought this out to one of our pop-ups recently and I was instantly taken with it. It’s a quick play game where each player is trying to collect cards to complete the requirements of “building” their super weapon. Which may or may not be a cuddly bunny. Best super weapon ever?

    Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

    Ashes is a BEAUTIFUL combat-y card game with some interesting features. Dice serve as your energy source to play cards from your hand, and you choose your starting hand?! Crazy right?

    Lanterns

    This is another game that someone brought out to an event that I was instantly taken with. It’s a beautiful tile laying, set collection game where each person is competing to make the best lantern display on the palace lake.

    Raiders of the North Sea

    Have I mentioned I like worker placement games? Raiders has an interesting “place one, take one” aspect to it, which allows for 2 actions per turn. The art is dynamic and really sets the scene.

    Honorary mention, I got to play about half a game at GenCon at their table, and I enjoyed it enough that I’m still thinking about it.

    The New Science

  • Review : Landed

    Review : Landed

    You, yes you are the head of a terraforming corporation as humanity widens its sprawl across the known universe! Who needs to find another Earth when you can set up shop and just make one wherever you want? However, you’re not the only one with this bright idea, there are other corporations (players) out there whom you will have to compete with for terraforming contracts!

    That is Landed in a nutshell and Argyle games will be launching a Kickstarter to help publish the game in the next month or so! It is a tile laying game and I ought to say I like tile games quite a bit, Carcassone was one of the first games Courtney and I ever played and on most days Betrayal at House on the Hill is one of my all time favorite games.

    So how does Landed distinguish itself? Well the first thing that players will likely notice is that the tiles are hexs rather than the traditional squares you see in most tile games, which means there will be more permutations in how you might arrange them on the table. Next up, each player will have a hand of contracts which if completed will score you points. They all require you to connect tiles all of a certain color, the more in your set the more you will be rewarded. However, since you don’t know what contracts your opponents are holding you might be setting them up to steal all of your glory. Finally, some tiles have a special icon on them which can grant you a bonus “Wonder” card, a one time use ability that will let you do something unique. One of my favorite parts of the game is that these Wonder cards are limited so that the game encourages you to play aggressively early on in the game.

    Bonus points for: being a compact game that still packs a big punch, being very easy to teach & being published by a Chicago local!