Story Time Dice: Scary Tales Review

Story Time Dice: Scary Tales is a game by Zach Roth, published by Imagination Generation and Brybelly. It is for 1-7 players. In this game, players will become story tellers as they set forth to tell a spooky story through some of the creepiest places. Along the way, they’ll use their imagination to overcome obstacles with the help of some powerful tools. Of course every good scary story has some kind of twist ending. In the end, will the hero make it through the story in one piece or will they succumb to the creature that stalks their every move. Their fate lies in the hands of the story tellers.

This game can be played in any way the players would like. The rulebook includes 7 different games that may be played with the dice. In this review, I will discuss a few of them. For more ideas and information, please check the rulebook.

The two games that we’ve played the most are “It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…” and Campfire Stories. These are some of the most basic ways to play. The first one that I’ll explain is “It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…”. In this game, players will take turns telling a scary story. On a player’s turn, they will roll all 7 of the dice to determine the Setting, Hero, Villain, Obstacle, Tool, Twist and Ending of their story. The player will then begin to tell a scary story using each of the seven elements. Of course, they’ll have to make sure and begin the story with, “It Was A Dark And Stormy Night…”

The next game is called, Campfire Stories. For this game, the dice are divided among all the players. To begin, the player with the Hero dice rolls their dice first. They will then begin to tell a scary story using the hero that they rolled. As soon as the player gets stuck with the story, the next player in turn order rolls their dice and continues the story where the previous player left off, just like they were telling a story around the campfire. They will need to be sure and add the element from their die roll to the story. This continues until all the dice have been rolled. Players continue to take turns telling the story. Once all the players have finished and have gotten stuck, the player with the Endings die rolls their die. They will then finish the story. It should be noted that if players would like to play a longer game, the Endings die is set aside until all the other dice have been rolled at least twice.

In this game, there are no winners or losers. The idea is to spark imagination and creativity and to just have fun telling stories.

COMPONENTS
The only components that come with this game are 7 gigantic polyhedral dice. Let me tell you, these things are like 2 to 3 times the size of a normal die. I can honestly say these are the largest dice I’ve seen in any type of board game. The dice are made of solid plastic and are very durable. Each die has a special type of plastic that allows it to glow in the dark. Each die contains one of the 7 different story elements; Hero, Villain, Tool, Setting, Obstacle, Twist and Ending. Each face of the die is a different image. So for instance, the Hero and Villain dice are both 12 sided, giving players 12 different heroes and villains to use in their stories. The Obstacles and Settings dice are 8 sided, the Tools die is 20 sided and the Twists and Endings dice are 6 sided dice. Each of the different images is pretty easy to pick out and understand. However if anyone needs help, the rulebook includes a dice guide that tells what each symbol represents on each die. I think the images are really fun and not actually creepy or scary. This is something that smaller kids can pick up without worrying about them having nightmares. The images are fairly easy to pick out, although a few of the heroes are a bit too similar in my opinion. I’d also like to point out that the images on the Tools die are a bit small too. It’s not a major issue, but sometimes I have to get right up on it to see what the element is. The dice guide is very helpful on these issues too. Overall I think the dice themselves are really cool looking and are a lot of fun to roll. Everything comes packaged inside a cardboard tuck box that is easy enough to carry with you anywhere. I really think that everything looks really nice and the added glow in the dark feature for the dice ramps up the cool factor. For the most part, these are some really cool dice.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a double sided, tri-folded sheet of color paper. The paper is actually pretty thick and is a lot more sturdy than usual paper. On one side there are the rules for 4 regular games that can be played with the dice, as well as 3 more advanced ways to play. One thing to note, the last game included in the rules can only be played if either the original Story Time Dice or the Fairy Tales expansion are owned. I just wanted to point that out. On the rules side of the sheet, there’s a picture of the box cover. This is the only real picture on the entire rulebook. The back side of the rules is the Dice Guide. This is a black and white guide to each of the 70 different dice faces found on the dice. Each particular die has it’s own section with a picture of the die face along with a label telling what it’s supposed to represent. Of course these are suggestions and may be changed or swapped to anything the players choose. It’s completely up to them. Everything in the rules is very easy to follow and understand. As a matter of fact, it only takes a couple of minutes to read over everything. Players simply need to choose a way to play and they’re ready to go. Overall I think the rulebook does a good job of explaining everything. I’m particularly happy with the Dice Guide. That side of the rules can be left out on the table or wherever you choose to play as a reference for the dice faces. Needless to say, I like how simple the rules are and I also like that there are so many different ways to play.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Players that are familiar with Rory’s Story Cubes or any of the other Story Time Dice products will understand how this game works quite easily. The main idea is for a player to roll the dice and then tell a story using the images rolled. It’s very simple to understand. However the actual story telling, that takes work. For some players, it’s quite simple to master the art of story telling. For others, they may need a bit of encouragement and possibly even some help. Unlike with the Fairy Tale dice , my son on actually found these dice to be more to his likings. If you read my review for them, you’d know that he wasn’t a fan of the sparkly pink dice. These glow in the dark ones were a lot cooler to him though. In addition, the more monster like scary elements on the dice are more to his likings as well. My daughter also enjoyed the novelty of the glowing dice but was a little less keen on the scary elements. She is still in love with the Fairy Tale dice and prefers them. In any event, the dice are great and they’re a lot of fun to play with. I really enjoy using the different dice to tell a story with. These are very good at helping to spark some inspiration and creativity in your kids. They’re also fun and useful at helping them to write stories. As a home schooler, these work great for that purpose. There are many ways that home school parents can use them. Let’s say that you want the kids to work on their handwriting, simply roll the dice and have them write a story using the elements from the dice. They can then work on their verbal communication and read aloud skills by having them read their story out loud. That’s just one of the ways these dice can be used. Fans of Rory’s story cubes or any of the other Story Time Dice will enjoy these dice as well. The dice are family friendly and lots of fun for all ages. As a home schooler and parent, I would definitely recommend getting a set of these and/or the Fairy Tale dice. They are a great addition to any home.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Story Time Dice: Scary Tales is a game of dice rolling and story telling. It doesn’t take a long time to play. Most of our game sessions lasted around 15 minutes or so. However you can play for as long as the story takes. It’s completely up to the players and the story. The dice are lots of fun and look great. My son and daughter both really enjoyed the glow in the dark aspect of the dice. I like that the images on the dice are large enough to be able to see clearly, apart from the Tools die. The Hero die also had a few issues with some characters looking too similar. The rulebook has plenty of ideas for how to use the dice. Of course you can play with them however you like. The game, as you can tell, is whatever you make of it.
It’s a lot of fun to tell spooky stories as if you were sitting around the campfire. My kids really get a kick out of it and it’s fun to hear what they can come up with from their imagination. Fans of games like Rory’s Story Cubes or any of the other Story Time Dice sets should enjoy this one. The game is family friendly and is fun for all ages. Even though the stories are spooky, there’s nothing here that should give the kids nightmares. The game is also great for home school teachers and families and can be used in a variety of ways. Overall I would definitely recommend picking up a set of these. They are really great and look amazing. That’s The End…or is it?!
8 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Brybelly at their site.

https://www.brybelly.com/

 

Advertisements
Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Story Time Dice: Fairy Tales Review

Story Time Dice: Fairy Tales is a game by Zach Roth, published by Imagination Generation and Brybelly. It is for 1-7 players. In this game, players will become story tellers as they set forth to tell an epic tale of good vs evil throughout a fantastic fairy tale world. Along the way, they’ll use their imagination to overcome obstacles with the help of some powerful tools. Of course no good fairy tale can be told without a twist. In the end, will the hero be victorious or will they know utter defeat. Their fate lies in the hands of the story tellers.

This game can be played in any way the players would like. The rulebook includes 7 different games that may be played with the dice. In this review, I will discuss a few of them. For more ideas and information, please check the rulebook.

The two games that we’ve played the most are “Once Upon a Time…” and The Never(?)ending Story. These are some of the most basic ways to play. The first one that I’ll explain is “Once Upon a Time…”. In this game, players will take turns telling a story. On a player’s turn, they will roll all 7 of the dice to determine the Setting, Hero, Villain, Obstacle, Tool, Twist and Ending of their story. The player will then begin to tell a story using each of the seven elements. Of course, they’ll have to make sure and begin the story with, “Once Upon a Time…”.

The next game is called, The Never(?)ending Story. For this game, the dice are divided up equally among the players. The Endings dice, however, is left out. To begin, the player with the Hero dice will roll their dice first. They will then begin to tell the story using the hero rolled, along with any other dice. As soon as the player gets stuck with the story, the next player in turn order rolls their dice and continues the story where the previous player left off. They will need to add the elements from their dice roll to the story. This continues until all the dice have been rolled. The dice are then redistributed as equally as possible and the dice rolling and story telling continues. Once each of the dice have been rolled at least two times, one of the players rolls the Endings dice and finishes the story. It should be noted that players may roll more than twice if they choose to play a longer game.

In this game, there are no winners or losers. The idea is to spark imagination and creativity and to just have fun telling stories.

COMPONENTS
The only components that come with this game are 7 huge polyhedral dice. When I say huge, I mean HUGE! These things are like 2 to 3 times the size of a normal die. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen dice this large before, apart from maybe those fuzzy dice that people would hang over the mirror in their car. Unlike the fuzzy dice though, these things are solid plastic and are very durable. Each die is kind of see through with lots of pink glitter on the inside that shimmers like a star when placed in the sunlight. As soon as my daughter saw them, she immediately fell in love with them. I mean after all, they’re pink and glittery. Each die contains one of the 7 different story elements; Hero, Villain, Tool, Setting, Obstacle, Twist and Ending. Each face of the die is a different image. So for instance, the Hero and Villain dice are both 12 sided, giving players 12 different heroes and villains to use in their storys. The Obstacles die is 8 sided, the Tools die is 12 sided and the Settings, Twists and Endings dice are all 6 sided dice. Each of the different images is pretty easy to pick out and understand. However if anyone needs help, the rulebook includes a dice guide that tells what each symbol represents on each die. I think the images are really fun and cute. Even without the dice guide, it’s pretty easy to figure out the different icons. Overall I think the dice themselves are really cool looking and are a lot of fun to roll. I mean, it’s not every day you find dice this big to roll. Everything comes packaged inside a cardboard tuck box that is easy enough to carry with you anywhere. I really think that everything looks really nice and it definitely gets my daughter’s stamp of approval. We’re both very pleased with the dice.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a double sided, tri-folded sheet of color paper. The paper is actually pretty thick and is a lot more sturdy than usual paper. On one side there are the rules for 4 regular games that can be played with the dice, as well as 3 more advanced ways to play. One thing to note, the last game included in the rules can only be played if either the original Story Time Dice or the Scary Tales expansion are owned. I just wanted to point that out. On this side of the sheet, there’s a cute picture of a princess with a sword fighting a dragon. Looks like she didn’t need Prince Charming to save her. At the bottom of the page is a bunch of various characters running around. The back side of the rules is the Dice Guide. This is a black and white guide to each of the 70 different dice faces found on the dice. Each particular die has it’s own section with a picture of the die face along with a label telling what it’s supposed to represent. Of course these are suggestions and may be changed or swapped to anything the players choose. It’s completely up to them. Everything in the rules is very easy to follow and understand. As a matter of fact, it only takes a couple of minutes to read over everything. Players simply need to choose a way to play and they’re ready to go. Overall I think the rulebook does a good job of explaining everything. I’m particularly happy with the Dice Guide. That side of the rules can be left out on the table or wherever you choose to play as a reference for the dice faces. Needless to say, I like how simple the rules are and I also like that there are so many different ways to play.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
If you’ve ever played with Rory’s Story Cubes, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of rolling dice and telling a story. It’s not really all that hard to understand. However the actual story telling, that takes work. For some, it’s quite simple weaving the different elements into a story that’s worth telling. For others, it may take a bit of practice and possibly even some help. My son is one of the latter. He can tell you all the history behind a particular type of gun or piece of machinery that was used during World War II and have you completely spellbound by his narration. However ask him to tell a story that uses imagination and creativity and he will stare at you like a cow trying to do calculus. It just doesn’t click with him. My daughter on the other hand is more like me. She can create some of the wildest and most imaginative stories that you’ve never heard before. It’s always interesting to sit in on one of her play times with her dolls and toys. Let me tell you, I’m still wondering how Apple White is going to find the perfect dress in time for the prom. I’m guessing it’ll come down to Ariel and some mermaid magic. That’s just my thoughts anyway. Needless to say, if you actually read the section on the components, you’d know that my daughter already loves the dice for this game. My son, on the other hand, was a bit reluctant to play with such girly looking dice. No need to worry though, we took care of that with Scary Tales dice. Expect to see a review for them very soon. In any event, the dice are great and they’re a lot of fun to play with. I love telling stories so these are quite cool to spark some inspiration when you have a bit of story teller’s block. They’re also fun and quite usefull at helping kids to learn to write stories. As a home schooler, these work great for that purpose. Want the kids to work on their handwriting, roll the dice and have them write a story using the elements from the dice. They can then work on their verbal communication and read aloud skills by having them read their story out loud. There’s just lots of creative ways that the dice can be used. Fans of Rory’s story cubes will enjoy these dice, especially since they’re about twice the size of Rory’s. The dice are family friendly and lots of fun for all ages. As a home schooler and parent, I would definitely recommend getting a set of these. They are a welcome addition to your teacher’s resource arsenal.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Story Time Dice: Fairy Tales is a game of dice rolling and story telling. It doesn’t take a long time to play. Most of our game sessions lasted around 15 minutes or so. However you can play for as long as the story takes. It’s completely up to the players and the story. The dice are lots of fun and look great. My daughter loves the fact that they are pink and sparkly. I like that they are large enough to be able to see the details of each element on them. The rulebook has plenty of ideas for how to use the dice. Of course you can play with them however you like. The game, as you can tell, is whatever you make of it. It can be a lot of fun sitting around and telling stories involving fairy tale heroes and villains. My daughter loves playing the game and telling stories. Fans of games like Rory’s Story Cubes should enjoy this one, especially since the dice are twice the size of Rory’s. The game is family friendly and is fun for all ages. It’s also great for home school teachers and families and can be used in a variety of ways. Overall I would definitely recommend picking up a set of these. They are really great and look amazing. Once you’ve played with them, you’ll be able to say, “…and they lived happily ever after. The End!”
8 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Brybelly at their site.

https://www.brybelly.com/

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shaky Manor Review

Shaky Manor is a game by Daniel Skjold Pedersen and Asger Harding Granerud, published by Blue Orange Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will take on the role of treasure hunters as they try to collect the hidden treasure from the local haunted house. They’ll have to be careful though as lots of spooky creatures will be trying to keep them from escaping the manor with their ill gotten gains. The player that can best maneuver themselves through the manor with the treasure will be declared the winner.

To begin, the boxes should be set up so that each of the walls match the floors for each room. Each player takes a Shaky Manor box along with a meeple, 2 ghosts, 2 eyes, 2 spiders, 2 snakes and 3 treasure chests. Players will set up their boxes by placing a meeple, a ghost and 3 treasure chests randomly into them. The remaining items are placed in front of the player. The cards are shuffled and placed in a pile with the objects side face up. Play now begins.

The game is played over several rounds. To start each round, players will randomly switch up all the items in the player to their right’s box. One player flips over the top card of the deck, showing a specific room. In future turns, the next player in turn order will flip over the card. Players will now race to get the meeple and the 3 treasure chests into the room pictured on the card. It should be noted however that there may not be any other items but those in the room. As soon as a player completes the task, they must then get the player to their right to double check their box. If everything is as it should be in the box and that player is the first to complete the challenge, they win the card as a point. If they are wrong, they must give back a card. The remaining players will then continue until someone is able to complete the challenge correctly. Once a player wins, the player to their right will now pick an object from those in front of the player. It is then added to the winning player’s box. A new round will then begin. The game continues until a player reaches 5 points. The first player to do this is the winner.

The game also comes with a different way to play the game. Setup is exactly the same, except for two things. In this game, all of the objects are placed into the players box, not just a meeple, 2 ghosts, 2 eyes, 2 spiders, 2 snakes and 3 treasure chests. The other thing is that after shuffling the cards, they are placed with the room side face up instead of the objects side. For this game, both sides of the cards will be used. Before each round, players will randomly mix up their boxes and then hand them to the player on their left. To start the round, the card is flipped over and placed beside the deck. The two cards are then used as a reference. The players must now race to get all the objects pictured on the flipped over card into the room pictured on the other card. Just like before, no other items may be present in the room. Once a player completes the challenge, they must get the player to their right to check to see if they are correct. If they are correct and the first player to complete the challenge, they win and receive the card as a point. If they’re wrong, they must give a card back. The remaining players will then continue until someone is able to complete the challenge correctly. A new round will then begin by flipping over a new card to reveal a new set of 2 cards. The game continues until a player reaches 5 points. The first player to do this is the winner.

COMPONENTS
The game comes with 4 large cardboard boxes that have dividers which separate the box into 8 colored rooms. The cardboard is quite thick, especially on the actual box itself. The colors and patterns are easily distinguished from each other, so there’s no worry that you might misunderstand which room is which. The walls have cut outs in them so that the different objects can be slid around inside the box. The game also includes a large selection of objects, most of which are wooden. There are meeples, ghosts, eyes, snakes and treasure chests that are all made of wood. There are spiders that are rubber. The meeple is dark brown and has some highlights that make it look like an explorer of some kind. The ghost has some little gold highlights on it, as does the eyeball. The ghost is also a meeple. The eye is a round ball. The snake is purple and is a zig zag piece of wood with a gold eye. The treasure chests are wooden cubes that are painted gold. The spiders are black rubber with white highlights painted on. The cards aren’t normal playing card size but are smaller and square. One side of the card shows the room, while the other side shows a selection of different objects. The cards are a good thickness and have a nice finish on them that makes them easy to shuffle. I think the different pieces are silly and fun looking, while the boxes are a good size. They are easy to manipulate and move around. Each piece moves around quite well inside the box, which is good. Overall I think everything looks and feels good.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a large double sided sheet of color paper. It has several pictures and a couple of examples on it. The rules are pretty much straight forward, so there’s nothing too difficult to understand. Everything seems to be laid out pretty well. With the rules on only 1 sheet of paper, everything is easy to find. The rules include 2 different ways to play the game and an additional variant for the 2nd game. There’s nothing overly fancy or jaw dropping about the rulebook, but then again there’s nothing bad about it either. Of course once you understand the rules, there’s not much need to look back at the rulebook, except maybe to see how many of each piece is placed into a player’s box for the first game. Overall I think the rulebook gets the job done and looks good too.
7 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
I remember when I was a kid there were these plastic mazes that had little ball bearings in them. The idea was to get the ball bearing from the entrance of the maze to the end of it by turning and tilting the maze back and forth. Those things were always entertaining and were good for killing time. In a lot of ways, this game reminds me of those little plastic mazes. Through the course of the game you’re tilting and turning, shaking and bumping your box to try and get the different pieces where you want them. Of course the more pieces that are in the box, the more difficult it is to get each one where you need it to go. As an adult, I have the patience and ability to gently guide each piece around the box. My daughter on the other hand is like a bull in a china shop. She will shake and turn that box back and forth, many times putting more items in her way than out. Of course she still has fun moving the pieces around. That’s what this game is, moving pieces around in your box until you get the right ones in the right room. The thing is that you’ve got other players trying to do the same thing at the same time and only one of you can win. Some things move a bit slower, like the snake or the spider, but the eyeball can be a real pain. One minute it’s way up in the far corner, and the next it’s rolled all the way into the room you’re trying to complete. This game is one that I think kids will enjoy. It’s family friendly and easy enough that all age groups can play. Adults that enjoy dexterity games should find this interesting enough, especially those adults with kids. Fans of dexterity games like Jenga or Maki Stack should enjoy this one as well. While this isn’t one of my most favorite games, as I’m not big on dexterity games, I can still appreciate the fact that my daughter enjoys it. To me that matters the most. I think there are plenty of people that will enjoy this one. This is one that I’d recommend giving a try. You very well may enjoy it.
7 out of 10

OVERALL
Shaky Manor is a dexterity based game of moving and shaking for the whole family. The game doesn’t take very long. Most game sessions last around 15-20 minutes. The components are very good. I like all the many different pieces and how well the pieces are made. They are fun to look at and manipulate. The rulebook isn’t very complex, but then neither is the game. I think that the rulebook works for the simplicity of the game. The game itself is one that kids of all ages should enjoy. The fun of moving all the pieces around and trying to get them in a particular room reminds me of the old plastic mazes with the little ball bearing inside them. My daughter likes how everything works and she seems to enjoy the game a good bit. Fans of dexterity games like Maki Stack and Jenga should probably enjoy this one as well. This is a family friendly game that is easy enough for old and young players alike. This is one that I would recommend giving a try. While it’s not necessarily my cup of tea, it’s definitely one that the kids will enjoy. This is one game that’s meant to be shaken, not stirred.
7 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Blue Orange Games at their site.

http://www.blueorangegames.com/

 

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maki Stack Review

Maki Stack is a game by Jeff Lai, published by Blue Orange Games. It is for 2, 4 or 6 players. In this game, players will be teaming up as they race to stack up plates of sushi and soy sauce. In some cases they’ll have to do it blindfolded, while other times they’ll be using their fingers as chopsticks. In the end, the team that can win 6 Challenges first will be declared the winners.

To begin, players should be divided into 2 even teams. Each team is given a Sushi Mat, Mask, and a Sushi set, consisting of a Cucumber Roll, a California Roll, a Fish Roe Roll, a Soy Sauce bottle and a Plate. The Challenge cards are shuffled together and placed face down in the middle of the play area. The rules for both modes of play are explained so that both teams understand them. Once everyone is ready, play now begins.

The game is played over a series of rounds. The way each round is played is determined by the Challenge card. If the card shows Mask mode with a red card, the team must pick a player to wear the mask. This player will be the one to stack up the objects, while their teammates direct them by describing the stack shown on the card. If the card shows Chopstick mode with a yellow card, the teammates must work together to stack up the objects on the Challenge card, but may only use one finger. It should be noted that a player that is describing the stack can not touch any of the objects or show their teammates the Challenge card. Once the game mode has been determined, the Challenge card is flipped over or picked up to reveal the stack. Both teams will now race to complete the challenge, exactly like it’s shown on the Challenge card by stacking up the various objects to match the picture on the card. If the stack falls, the players start over. The first team to complete the challenge wins the Challenge card.

The game continues with teams stacking up the different objects as they try to complete each Challenge card. The first team to collect 6 Challenge cards wins.

For games with only 2 players, the rules are a bit different. Setup is all the same, except that the masks are not used for 2 player games. Another difference is that all of the challenges are played in Chopstick mode, regardless of the card color. In this mode, the players must use a finger from each hand to stack up the objects. The rest of the rules remain the same.

COMPONENTS
This game comes with some really great looking pieces. First off there are all the large wooden pieces. There are 6 sushi pieces, 2 of each kind. There are also 2 bottles of soy sauce and 2 plates. Each of these pieces looks like just what it it’s supposed to. The pieces are fully painted and look very nice. They’re large enough that even younger players should be able to manipulate the pieces fairly easily. I really like how nice and fun the pieces are. The game also includes to large cardboard mats. These have a glossy finish and look like bamboo. There are 2 blindfolds that appear to be foam rubber with an elastic band attached to them. Surprisingly they work well. I honestly didn’t think that they would work but they are pretty good at making it hard to see. The final pieces are the Challenge cards. These are a bit larger than normal playing cards. On one side there’s a picture of the pieces in a particular arrangement that players will need to arrange them into. On the back side the card shows either the red Mask mode or the yellow Chopstick mode. The cards are quite nice and they’re fairly easy to understand as well. I like how nice everything looks on the table. It has a very thematic look to it. Overall the components are good quality and are well made. I’m quite pleased with the finished product.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook is a double sided piece of paper. It’s fairly small too. There are only 2 pictures on the page, one of each of the different card types. There are no examples of gameplay included, but there’s not really much need for any. The rules are easy to understand and are explained really well. There are rules for 2 players which are a bit different than the regular rules. The rules also include some different variants that make things a bit more difficult. Overall, everything is very straight forward and easy to follow. There’s nothing difficult to understand. Considering that the rules are so simple, there’s no need for anything bigger than the single sheet of rules. However I do wish that this had been placed on a card or something a bit sturdier, as the sheet tends to curl up around the edges. For the most part, it does the job it’s intended to do, even with the small issue.
7 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of dexterity based games. Games like Jenga have never interested me. When my friends would stack up their dice as we played D&D, I didn’t find any thrill in doing it myself. My daughter, however, is a different story. There’s something about stacking things and trying not to let them fall that intrigues her. The child has a copy of Jenga at both of her grandparent’s houses as well as having a copy at home. She will play the game by herself if no one else wants to play, stacking up pieces as she tries to keep them from falling. It’s like she’s trying to see just how close she can get to making the tower fall before it actually happens. It’s no wonder then that she likes this game too. The large clunky pieces with their bright colors and fun shapes really caught her eye, as well as mine. I’ll admit, the pieces were what caught my attention to begin with. I thought that even with my aversion to dexterity games, this looked like it could be fun anyway. It seems that I was right. I have to say that I do enjoy stacking up the pieces, maybe it’s due to the bright colors and shapes. I couldn’t honestly say. My daughter and I have played this one with just us, however I’ve simplified things a bit to handicap myself just a bit and give her an advantage. I play the normal rules of Chopstick mode, while she simply tries to stack things up accurately. It seems to work out pretty well for us, as sometimes she misses the simple details of how a particular piece will be turned. This gives her a few extra seconds to think as I’m trying to get my pieces stacked with just 2 fingers. As a family game, it’s rather fun and silly. The kids enjoy teaming up against each other, using my wife and myself as their teammates. Needless to say, the boys vs the girls tends to be a regular match up in more than just this game. It’s nice to hear the laughter as we race to stack up the pieces. It’s fun even when you just barely lose. This is a nice family friendly style game. It’s one that can be played with all ages. Fans of dexterity based games like Jenga should enjoy this one. This is one that I would recommend.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Maki Stack is a game full of sushi stacking fun for the whole family. The game doesn’t take very long at all. Most game sessions last around 15 minutes. The components are all really good quality. The wooden pieces are all big and brightly colored and we like them a lot. The rulebook is a bit small and is only a double sided sheet of paper. I really would have preferred something a little more durable, as the paper tends to roll up on the sides. The game itself if a fun family friendly style game that can be played with all ages. There are plenty of ways to play the game to make it harder or easier. There are even rules for games with just 2 players. My daughter really enjoys stacking up all the pieces and she likes watching my stack fall even more. Fans of dexterity based games like Jenga should enjoy this one. For me, it’s an actual dexterity game that I don’t mind playing. That’s a win in itself. In any event, this is one that I would recommend. Each order is sure to make you smile. So start stacking, cause your order’s up!
8 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Blue Orange Games at their site.

http://www.blueorangegames.com/

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cat Crimes Review

Cat Crimes is a game published by ThinkFun. It is for 1 player, but may be played cooperatively with more players. In this game, a player will be trying to solve a series of mysteries, perpetrated by some very sneaky and mischievous cats. The player will need to use their deductive reasoning and logic skills if they hope to uncover the felonious feline. In the end, if the player is able to determine the culprit, they will be declared the winner.

To begin, the board is placed in the middle of the play area. The player will then choose a Challenge card, based on difficulty. Each particular Challenge card describes the crime that was committed. The player will then take the specific Crime Token that matches the image on the front of the Challenge card and place it over the corresponding position on the board. For instance, the broken flower pot token would go on top of the flower pot image on the board. The Cat standees are then placed within reach of the player to be placed around the board during the game. Once the player is ready, play now begins.

As the game is played, the player will read over each individual clue to determine the placement of each particular cat. Each clue will reference one of the cats. The clue also may give an identifying trait, a position relative to one or more of the other cats and/or to one of the pieces of supporting evidence on the table. The clue may also may also reference the Birdcage or Fish Bowl. In some cases, the clue may mention that the cat or cats were upstairs sleeping. In this case, these cats will not be used in the particular challenge. Positioning the cats means understanding some of the terms used in the clues. For instance, if the clue says a cat is sitting in front of something, then it is placed at the location closest to that item. Other terms used are near, next to, between, to the left, across from or 2 seats from another cat. Understanding each of these clues will help the player to determine the placement of each cat so as to satisfy all the clues on the challenge card. Once the player has placed all of the cats around the board and they can name the cat sitting in front of the crime token, the game is over. The player has caught the culprit and they win. To make sure, the player checks the back of the card which shows the placement of each cat and which cat is the guilty one. The player is then able to start all over with a new challenge and a new crime.

COMPONENTS
The game comes with some amazing looking components. First off there’s a fairly large deck of challenge cards. As a matter of fact, there are 40 different challenges in 4 different difficulty levels ranging from beginner to expert. The cards are a bit larger than your normal deck of playing cards. They have a nice glossy finish and are a good thickness. Each difficulty level is color coded. So for instance, beginner challenges are green while expert cards are red. Each one is easy to pick out. Each card has a series of clues on the front along with a picture of the crime token used in each challenge. On the back, the guilty cat is revealed along with the placement of each of the cats around the board. These are great. Each one is a little harder and a bit more challenging than the previous one. Each one is individually numbered so that you can progress through each challenge if you like. The board is amazing. It is very thick cardboard with a linen finish. The table that the cats sit around is actually a separate layer of cardboard that is in the middle of the board for a dual layered effect. The individual cats are huge cardboard standees that are quite thick, just like the board and have a linen finish. Each one has a cute picture of the cat that it represents along with it’s name. The crime tokens are also thick cardboard with a linen finish. These depict everything from a spilled cup of coffee to a broken flower pot. These are used to cover up the original art on the board. For instance, the cup of coffee is covered with the spilled cup of coffee. The artwork on all of the cardboard pieces is absolutely adorable and is so much fun to look at. I really like the designs and love how big and nice looking each piece is. My daughter loves all the different cats and enjoys telling stories with them, even when she’s not playing the game. The game itself is very good quality. The pieces are large enough that even children and adults with smaller hands should have no problems manipulating them. The one minor problem that I have with the game is that when you get ready to put the game up, you have to remove the cat standees from their bases each time, as the box isn’t large enough to hold them assembled inside. Of course, this is only a minor gripe as everything is so thick that it hasn’t been a problem as of yet. So far there has been no damage to anything, even though I’ve removed them from their stands several times already. Overall, I’m completely in love with how cool everything looks. This is a great looking game.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook is very good. There are plenty of pictures and examples throughout the book. There is a very nice 2 page spread that explains the board and how to understand each picture on it. The rules are thoroughly explained from placing crime tokens to the key terms used in the game and how to position the cats. The book also includes some tips on playing the game as well as detailed bios with pictures on each of the cats. The book is cute and fun and is very easy to read through and understand. Everything is extremely simple and is easy enough that kids can understand it. My daughter had no problems with the rules at all. Overall, I feel that the rulebook does a great job of explaining the rules and helping players get started solving crimes. I really like how the book looks and is designed.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Apart from being extremely cute and well designed, the game itself is actually quite fun. While intended for a single player, this is one that a parent or sibling can help out with quite easily. The object of the game is to place the various cats around the table in such a way that each of the various clues on the challenge card are met. The card will give you clues such as what a particular cat is sitting in front of or which cat they’re sitting across from. Of course these are only a few of the many different varieties of clues to be discovered while playing the game. The idea is that you want to determine which cat is sitting in front of the crime token. When you’ve completed all of the clues, you’ll wind up with the guilty cat at the scene of the crime. I’ll be honest, starting out the clues are pretty darn easy. As you get into some of the harder challenge cards, especially the expert ones, even I had a bit of trouble figuring them out. It’s not wonder that on a couple of occasions, I had to step in to help my daughter figure out a particular clue or help out with a specific challenge card. This game is really great at helping children with some logical thinking and a bit of deductive reasoning. I think it’s also great for helping parents and children work together. For me, I like games like this that make you think, even though it’s designed more for kids. My daughter and I both really enjoyed this one. Even though we still have some challenges left to explore, you can bet that we’ll be solving those crimes very soon. Fans of puzzle games or game that make you think, should enjoy the challenges presented in this one, especially if they like cats or have children. This game is a lot of fun and one that I know we will revisit. I would definitely recommend this one to parents as a way of helping to encourage logical thinking. It’s a great game that is super cute and loads of fun.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Cat Crimes is a logic based game of deduction that involves some mischievous kitties. The game doesn’t take very long. Each challenge card takes anywhere from a couple of minutes to 10 minutes or so, depending on the difficulty. Players can play as few or as many challenges as they would like. The artwork and design of the components is really great. I love how thick the cat standees, crime tokens and game board are. I especially like the dual layered board and the cute and fun artwork. The one complaint that I had is that you have to remove the stands from the cats every time you put up the game. I really wish the box had been a bit bigger to accommodate fully assembled standees. The rulebook is easy to read through and looks great too. I especially enjoy the various bios and pictures of each of the different cats. The game itself is a puzzle filled gold mine. It’s a lot of fun trying to figure out where each of the cats are sitting and which one committed the crime. My daughter and I both enjoyed figuring out each crime and working together to solve them. My daughter really enjoys the huge standees and loves telling stories with them by themselves. Parents with kids of all ages should enjoy the challenges that this game presents and how it helps their kids with their deductive reasoning and logical thinking. Overall this is a very fun game that we all enjoy. I only hope that there will be some more challenge cards available in the near future to add to the fun that we’re already having. In any event, this is a game that I would definitely recommend for parents to pick up for their kids. If you miss out on this one, it’ll be a CAT-astrophe.
8 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other games, please check out ThinkFun at their site.

http://thinkfun.com

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge Review

Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge is a game by James Ernest and Mark MacKinnon, published by Dyskami Publishing Company. It is for 2-8 players. In this game, players will take on the role of one of the many characters from the Sailor Moon TV show, either hero or villain. They will use these characters to battle against their opponents with. Players will be using various types of dice to try and capture their opponent’s dice with, earning themselves points in the process. In the end, the first player to win three rounds of combat will be declared the winner.

In this review, I will mainly be discussing the Standard rules for 2 players. I will discuss the various multiplayer options a bit later, in the Gameplay section.

To begin, each player chooses one of the character cards and places it in front of themself. They will then gather together a set of Starting dice and a set of Reserve dice, based on the dice shown on their character card. This will normally mean having a mixture of different colored dice, as the game comes with only 4 colored sets of 6 dice. The player’s Reserve dice should be placed near their character card for later use. Once players have their character card and dice, play now begins.

The game is played in a series of rounds. Starting off, each player will roll all of their character’s Starting dice as their Starting roll. Players should then arrange their dice in a row so that each number is easily read. The player with the lowest number rolled is the first player. On a player’s turn, they will perform an attack on their opponent, if they’re able. The player may choose to make either a Power Attack or a Skill Attack. To perform a Power Attack, the player will use one of their dice to capture one of the other opponent’s dice. This is done by using one of their own dice that shows a number greater than or equal to one of their opponent’s dice. The opponent’s captured die is then set aside near the attacking player in their victory pile. The attacking player will then reroll the die that they used in the attack. To perform a Skill Attack, the player will use two or more dice to capture a single die from their opponent. The numbers on the attacker’s dice must add up to exactly the number of the die that the player wishes to capture from their opponent. Once again, the captured die is set aside near the attacking player in their victory pile. The attacking player will then reroll the dice they used to in the attack. If a player is unable to make either a Power Attack or a Skill Attack, they must pass. A player is not allowed to pass or forfeit their turn unless they can not make a legal attack. Once a player has finished with their attack, their turn is over and play passes to their opponent.

The game continues until a player captures their opponent’s last die. When this happens, the round is over. Each player will then score points for each die that they captured, based on the number of sides on the die. They also earn points for each of their own dice that was not captured, earning half the number of sides on the die. Players will then add up their points. The player with the most points wins the round and is given a victory token. For the player that lost the round, they are able to move one of their character’s Reserve dice into their Starting Dice group. Of course, this move is optional. Once this move is completed, a new round begins.

The game keeps going with players capturing dice from their opponents and winning victory tokens for each round won. The first player to win three rounds wins the game.

One last thing of note, each character has a special ability that can be used at various times during the game. When using these powers during play, it’s recommended for the player to take a number of tokens that match the special ability and place them beside their character card. The number of tokens is equal to the number beside the ability icon on the card. For those abilities with no number beside it, this power functions continuously. Each time a player chooses to use an ability, they must set aside one of the tokens to indicate it having been used. There are 11 different abilities. There are abilities that grant an extra turn, allow a reroll of the dice before attacking or even recover a lost die. Some abilities will allow a player to bring in 2 reserve dice or even remove one of a player’s current starting dice. For more information on abilities and how each one works, please check out the rulebook.

COMPONENTS
This game comes with some great looking components. To start off, their are 4 sets of polyhedral dice consisting of a 4 sided, a 6 sided, an 8 sided, a 10 sided, a 12 sided and a 20 sided die. Each set is a different color, there are green, orange, blue and red sets. Each set of dice has large white numbers on it and the finish is marbilized. These are some really great looking dice. They are very bright and colorful. The game also comes with a good sized stack of character cards, 24 characters to be exact. Each of these is normal playing card sized and has a large picture of the character, along with their Starting dice, Reserve dice and special ability icon. The cards are a very good thickness and have a nice finish on them. The iconography is easy to understand. The special ability even notes what the power is in smaller and condensed text beneath the icon. Also included with the cards are 6 bonus showcase challenge cards that a player may place inside one of the plastic card holders that are attached to the custom Sailor Moon Crystal lanyards. These have a chibi style Sailor Moon character on them with a cute little word balloon for challenging other players at conventions with. These are super cute and have some silly challenges written on them. I especially like Tuxedo Mask’s challenge. The lanyard is super adorable and has a string of chibi style characters on it as well. I love how cool these look. My daughter couldn’t wait to put one of these on while playing the game, even though we were just sitting at the house playing it. The final pieces to the game is a large sheet of tokens. These consist of special ability, coins and victory tokens. Each token is made of thick cardboard. The special abilities match with the icons on the character cards, while the victory tokens are rectangular and have the words Victory Token written on them, surrounded by flowers. The coins come in 2 denominations of 1 and 2. To be honest, I have no clue what they’re used for. I have looked over the rules several times and haven’t seen anywhere they may be used, unless they’re meant for Tournaments. In any event, they look cool, even if they’re not used for anything. Overall, I really like how great everything looks. If there were one thing to complain about, it would be that I wish there were twice as many of each colored set of dice. While there are enough for 2 players to play with, you’ll need more dice to play with more players. Other than that, I love the cute and coolness of this game.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is really well designed. All the information is laid out in a very easy to read and understand format. There are plenty of great pictures including a layout of all the many different character cards. There’s a great example of gameplay with detailed round by round details. Reading through this will help players to easily understand the basics of gameplay. There are several pages where all of the special abilities are explained in great detail as well. Each ability also has a picture of the icon that represents it. This icon is also found on the cards that use the particular ability. The rulebook also includes several different variants for playing the game. There are rules for Single Combat Teams, Tag Team Combat and Dice Challenge Tournaments. I’ll discuss this a bit more in just a moment. Overall the book isn’t that long but contains all of the vital information needed to play the game in various different ways. I’m pleased with the design and find it very helpful and easy to navigate.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
For many players, this game will seem very familiar. In fact, anyone familiar with the game Button Men will already have a good grasp on how this one is played. The reason being is that this game is based on Button Men. There are a few differences in the rules, but not many. For one thing, each character has a special ability that may be used at different times. With Button Men, some characters didn’t have any type of ability. Those that did, were only gifted with one of three different abilities. In this game, there are 11 different abilities. For those counting along at home, that’s 8 more than Button Men has. Each round of gameplay is also a bit different. Instead of a round lasting until each player passes, the round lasts until all of a player’s dice are captured with this game. This makes the rounds a little bit longer but gives more opportunities for come backs from almost defeated players. Of course that’s not all. As I mentioned earlier, the rules include several new ways to play the game. In Single Combat Teams, up to 4 players can play. This can be played in two teams with players controlling between 1 and 4 characters each. Each team should have the same amount of characters on each side. Winning is determined by a best of series of rounds. Tag Team Combat is played with 4, 6 or 8 players equally divided into 2 teams. In this version of the game, players tag in and out until one team is ultimately defeated. Players are even allowed to use the special abilities of their teammate’s characters as well as that of their own character. Like with the standard game, the first team to claim 3 victory tokens wins. Finally there is the Dice Challenge Tournaments. This is played with an unlimited amount of players. In this version, players compete in 1 on 1 matches while keeping track of their victories using some sort of token. Each player will start off with a number of special tokens which they must give the winner of their 1 on 1 match if they lose. If a player loses all their tokens, they’re out of the tournament. After the end of a specified play time, the player with the most special tournament tokens is the winner. As mentioned earlier, this game only comes with enough dice for really 2 players to play. More dice and special tournament tokens will be needed if players wish to play any of these special variants. Needless to say, there’s plenty of different ways to play the game. Of course for me, I prefer the original way. This game is a great filler game that looks really cute. I’m sure that this game could even be combined with the original Button Men or Button Men: Beat People Up if so desired. Fans of either of these original games should really enjoy this one, especially if they’re a fan of anime shows like Sailor Moon. I really like how easily this game can be carried. All of the components can be placed into a small bag and carried very easily. Like the originals, this game has a very small footprint making it possible to play almost anywhere. Fans of dice rolling games should love this one. My daughter loves the characters and really enjoys the fast and simple fun of this game. This is a game that I would highly recommend.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge is a dice game of combat in the Sailor Moon universe. The game doesn’t take long to play. Most game sessions last around 5 – 10 minutes. The dice and cards are all very good quality and the artwork is cute and fun, like the Sailor Moon show. I especially like the added lanyards. They are so awesome. The rulebook is very good as well and covers everything wonderfully. I especially like the special ability break downs and the extra variants to play with. The game itself is fast, simple and fun. It does involve a good bit of luck, like any dice game. The game is small enough and has such a small footprint, that it’s easy to carry along with you wherever you go. Of course you’ll need to put it in something to carry, as the main box is quite large. Fans of Button Men should be very familiar with this game, as it borrows heavily from the rules of play in that game. Fans of dice rolling games and especially Button Men, should really enjoy this game. Players looking for a quick and easy game that works great as a filler, should look no further. Fans of Sailor Moon should enjoy this one as well. Overall it’s a great little dice game that should appeal to a lot of players. This is one that I would highly recommend. In the name of the Moon, it’s fun.
8 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Dyskami Publishing Company at their site.

http://www.dyskami.ca/

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wallet Review

Wallet is a game by Wilfried and Marie Fort, published by Cryptozoic Entertainment. It is for 2-7 players. In this game, players take on the role of a birthday party goer for a huge mafia boss. Unfortunately the cops have decided to raid the party causing the big boss to escape on his private helicopter. Seems in the rush, he dropped his walled and players have a few moments to fumble through the wallet for something to save them from arrest. Of course if they’re able to grab a bit of money and jewelry at the same time, that’s all good too. In the end, the player that can secure their innocence and snag the most loot will be declared the winner.

To begin, the Hourglass cards are placed in the center of the table with the hourglass side face up. A Victory Point token of value 1 is given to each player. The remaining Victory Point tokens are placed in the interior zipped pocket of the wallet. The pocket is then zipped closed. The Special cards are shuffled together. Two cards are dealt face down to each player. The remaining cards are set aside not to be used in this round. Each player looks at their Special cards and places them face down in front of themself. The 5 Extra ID cards are placed in the front compartment of the wallet. If playing with only 2 players, the cards with the number 2 in the bottom left corner are the only ones used. For all other player counts, all the cards are used. It should be noted that if players wish to play a more balanced game, then they may choose to use the cards with the numbers on them that are equal and less than the number of players. Any extra cards are set aside. Once the Playing cards are chosen, they are shuffled together. Each player is then dealt 5 cards face down. The rest of the Playing cards are placed into the wallet. A number of coins equal to the number of players is placed onto the table face down. Each player randomly picks a coin. Once each player has chosen a coin, the coins are revealed. The player with the coin of the lowest value is the first player. These coins remain face up on the table in front of the players. Play now begins.

The game is played over 3 rounds. During a round, each player in turn order will take a turn. On a player’s turn, they may perform one action from a list of four. First, they may take 1 card from the wallet without looking at it and add it to their hand. Second, they may place a card from their hand into the wallet. Third, they may buy an ID by paying 300 CU (currency units) or more in any combination of currencies and/or jewelry, placing them face up on the table. The player will then take the extra ID cards from the separate compartment and pick one without showing it to any of the other players. The new ID card is then added to their hand, while the remaining ID cards are returned to the compartment they were taken from. Finally, they may flip over one of the Hourglass cards in the middle of the table. It should be noted that when the Playing cards are placed into the wallet, they should all be facing the same direction. Anytime a card is placed into the wallet, it should face the same direction. When taking cards from or placing cards into the wallet, players should do this without looking. When placing a card into the wallet, the player is allowed to place the card anywhere in the deck. Once each player has completed a turn, the first player must then flip over one of the Hourglass cards before taking their next turn. One last thing of note, Special cards grant a player a special benefit that allows them to different things, like perform 2 regular actions, force all players to pass a card in their hand to the player next to them or even exchange cards with another player of their choice. These cards have instructions on them that tell when they may be used, either at the beginning of the player’s turn or at the end of the round. Each card’s text should be followed as written.

Once the last Hourglass card has been flipped over, the round ends. As noted above, some Special cards may take place at this time. Once they have been resolved, any Police Officers on duty reveal themselves. A Police Officer is considered on duty if the player has the Police Officer ID, no more than 500 CU and no more than 2 types of currencies on hand. He may not have any other IDs and must also have the Police Badge. The Police Officer will then inspect a player by looking at their ID and prop cards. All players will then reveal their cards. Players will either be found innocent or guilty. Players are found innocent if they have only one ID, no more than 500 CU and no more than two types of currencies on hand. It should be noted however that Jewelry is not considered a currency. Players are found guilty if they don’t meet the requirements mentioned above. It should be noted that some IDs and prop cards will change what a player may or may not have at the end of a round to be considered innocent or guilty. For more information on this, please check out the rulebook. Any player found guilty must lose 1 Victory Point token of their choice, placing it in the interior zippered pocket of the wallet. Innocent players will then count their money. Innocent players will then draw a number of Victory Point tokens from the wallet depending on the number of players, starting with the wealthiest player. It should be noted that not every innocent player will receive Victory Point tokens. Victory Point tokens are kept face down in front of the player. Once all this has been completed a new round begins. Setting up a new round is much like before. For more information on this, please check out the rulebook.

The game continues until three rounds have been fully completed. At this point, players add up their Victory Points and the player with the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game consists of mostly a bunch of cards and some tokens. However it does have one really unique component that I’ve never seen used in a board game before, a large wallet. The wallet is a bit larger than most wallets would be. It appears to be made of the same type of material as those kids wallets we used to have back in the 80’s. The logo for the game is printed on the front of it, along with the board game companies. The wallet has one zippered pocket and one regular pocket. The back part of the wallet, where one would normally keep their cash, has a zipper on either side. It’s actually quite weird, not only because of the zippers but also because the wallet doesn’t open all the way up like a normal wallet would. The material that the 2 pockets are on is smaller than the length of the full wallet. Still, it’s a very unique and unusual game prop. The tokens for the game are made of thick cardboard. These are used for the Victory Points and the coins. The coins have a special design on them, while the VP tokens are just numbers. These are pretty good quality. The rest of the game is comprised of the various types of cards. There are the hourglass cards which depict a giant hourglass on them. These are used to keep track of time during the game. The special cards are played at different times and have several different images on them, some that are in keeping with the games theme and some that are more about actual game mechanics. The Playing cards contain IDs, props, jewelry and currency notes. There are also 5 extra ID cards. The ID cards have large illustrated images of the specific character type that they represent. The jewelry and props are all large images of what they represent, such as a credit card, badge or ring. The currency cards are brightly colored almost like Monopoly money, just in card form. The game also has some reference cards to help during the game. Needless to say, the game looks really interesting. I like the artwork for the cards especially the different character designs. Each piece fits in well with the theme and helps you to really get into the game. I like that cards were chosen for the money instead of going with paper money or something like that, although that would have been a bit more thematic. I think all the different elements work well together and make for a unique party style game.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is rather small. By that I mean that it is literally about the size of a normal playing card. It’s also not a very thick book either. Even with the book being small, it’s still got plenty of great pictures and some examples as well. The actual rules take up about 2 pages, plus an extra page for setting up the game. There are 6 pages of nothing but ID, prop and special cards. Each card is explained in great detail with an actual picture of the card. This is really great and is extremely helpful, especially when learning the game. Everything is really easy to read and understand. It doesn’t take long to read either. I will say that it does take a little bit of reading to completely understand how the game is played. For instance, you’ll have to read the section for the different cards to understand how they work instead of everything just being lumped together in the general rules. It’s a little bit annoying but with the book being so small, it’s not too bad. There is a bit of page flipping that you’ll have to do to completely get everything, so just be aware. Overall, the rulebook is pretty good. I think I would have preferred a bit bigger book, but this one gets the job done.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
On the box, this game calls itself a party game that only takes 15 to 30 minutes to play. While I get where they’re coming from, I don’t exactly get the reasoning behind that decision. I guess it’s due to the fact that games with a similar feel, such as Werewolf or other social games of that nature, are labeled as party games. Whatever the case may be, this is definitely one of the most unusual party games that I’ve ever played. It definitely has aspects of social deduction, as players will be trying to figure out which ID the other players may have. However unlike in games like werewolf, it’s not as big a deal unless you’re guilty and someone else has the policeman with a badge. That’s about the only real time that you’ll worry about it. The other IDs just place different restrictions on how you win. Of course the main idea is to get exactly what you need from the wallet and then to flip over those hourglass cards as quickly as possible so that you win. Of course the fact that each player is dealt out 2 special cards that can really mess you over is something that you have to watch out for. You may have to do a bit of bluffing or rearranging some cards into or out of your hand to get things lined up just the right way. The main thing is to keep a watch on the hourglass cards and make sure that you only have the cards that you need to be innocent. Even if you have to accept less CUs, it’s better to not be greedy and push your luck. I found that every time I felt like I could sneak just a little more money into my hand, that’s when I’d mess up. Overall this is a fairly easy game to play and it doesn’t take a lot of time either. It’s a quick party game that the whole family can enjoy. It’s easy enough that even some younger players can enjoy it as well. Fans of games like Werewolf or any of the other social deduction style games should enjoy this one as well. This is one that I’d recommend giving a try. It’s definitely a different way of playing and it gives more options and choices for players to make. I found it to be a fast, fun filler style game that will work at family gatherings or with just a group of friends.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Wallet is a party game that utilizes a very unique prop, an actual wallet. The game doesn’t take very long to play. Most game sessions last around 15 to 30 minutes. The components are great and completely unique for a party style game. The wallet is a little weird in how that the zippers are placed which makes it not want to completely open. The artwork on all the cards is top notch and the tokens are all good and thick. The rulebook is very nice looking, albeit a bit small. There are some great card references in it with plenty of pictures. The rules do tend to skip about a bit making things a bit frustrating as you have to flip back and forth through the pages. The game itself is a neat take on social deduction and bluffing especially for a party game. I feel that it’s a bit unusual for a party game but thematically things fit together quite nicely. I like that the game is short and doesn’t really overstay it’s welcome. I think fans of games like Werewolf or one of the many other games of that type should enjoy the way this one plays too. Players looking for a new twist on social deduction or for something different in a party game, should look no further than this one. This is a family friendly game that everyone can participate in and enjoy. While I’m not necessarily crazy about party games or even social deduction games, I think that this one is quite entertaining. This is a game that I would recommend giving a try. Who took my wallet?
8 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Cryptozoic Entertainment at their site.

http://www.cryptozoic.com/

 

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment