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  • Profile : Trekking the National Parks

    Profile : Trekking the National Parks

    While looking for new games to play at GenCon in 2015, I stumbled across a game called Trekking The National Parks. I pretty much instantly bought my seat at the table, and eagerly awaited the convention and chance to play this game. Trekking the National Parks is a simple set collection game where each hiker is tasked with visiting America’s National Parks and collecting their corresponding park cards for points. The game is self published by Charlie Binkele and his family, who wanted to “create an educational game that would allow us to revisit the exceptional experiences we’ve had while embracing these natural wonders.“

    We’ve brought this game out to a lot of events, and it’s always a hit. It plays up to 6 players, and serves as a great “gateway” game. Trekking’s mechanisms and theme both lend themselves well to people who might not play many board games. With that said, it still has enough strategy involved to keep veteran gamers interested. I generally recommend it for: families, outdoorsy people, and beginning gaming groups.

    Courtney’s bonus points: It comes with a Park Guide Book, which gives tips, history, and details about our nation’s most beautiful landscapes. And it’s available in National Park gift shops!

    Drew’s bonus points: There’s a lot of fun packed into this surprisingly fast game.

  • 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