Go7Gaming ZGH-OO3 Storage Solution for Zombicide: Green Horde – No Rest for the Wicked Review

Recently I was given the opportunity to check out a new product from Go7Gaming. That product was the ZGH -003 Storage Solution for the Zombicide: Green Horde – No Rest for the Wicked Box from CMON. The insert came in a flat rate shipping package. Inside there were several laser cut wooden sheets wrapped together in a large ziplock bag with some full color instructions explaining how everything should be put together. After taking out the the sheets from the package, I read through the instructions and was then ready to assemble the product.

Now then, let me explain exactly what this product is and what it does. First off, this is an insert for the expansion for Zombicide: Green Horde but it will also hold lots of extra materials. Once it’s been assembled, the insert makes it possible to keep all of the different miniatures, cards and tokens that come with the game separate. For me, I’ve added the miniatures from Wulfsburg, along with the equipment and zombie cards that go with it. The insert looks really great when it’s finished. It even comes with some tags so that you can label each section for what’s inside. Of course you’ll be able to see a bit more about that a little later. At this time, let’s go ahead and cover what all you get and the basic instruction on how to assemble this insert. We’ll start off by separating out all the different wooden sheets. As you can see, there’s a lot of sheets of wood to be assembled. Each piece is cut so that you can easily punch them out from the main sheet that they’re attached to.

If you’ve read any of my reviews for Go7Gaming inserts, you already know that glue is pretty much a staple for building these things. It’s not an absolute necessity as you can use other things like tape, but it’s definitely the best option. With this review I won’t be telling you each time when to add glue to your pieces. Just be aware that if there are 2 pieces being put together, you’ll want to apply glue between them both. With that said, let’s begin the assembling process starting with the large mini tray.

To build this tray you will start off by placing the base down on the table. You will then need to connect the left side outer wall and the inner wall together with the base. Next you will attach the inner wall to the long outer wall and connect it to the base as well. From there you will connect the 2 outer walls at the top and bottom of the base, attaching them to the sides and base. Finally you will attach the last outer wall and connect it to the base, inner wall and outer wall. Once you’re finished, it should look something like this.

After you’ve let everything dry, you’ll be able to place dividers and splitters into this tray to make room for individual storage of minis. When finished with this, you may have something that looks like this.

Once you’ve finished with the large mini tray, you’ll need to move on to the base insert. This holds the bulk of the items that come with the expansion and will also provide extra room for other pieces as well. As with the previous tray, you’ll need to start by placing the base down on your table, making sure to align your holes in the proper direction, as shown on the instructions. You’ll then attach the inner divider wall to the inner wall. You’ll then need to connect that wall to the larger inner wall. The right side tabs of the other 2 inner walls will be connected to this larger inner wall, noting the arrangement on the tops of these. This whole structure is then connected to the base, which should look like this once attached.

After you’ve finished with all that, you’ll start adding the outer walls, beginning with the bottom wall, attaching it to the base and the inner divider walls. Next you’ll attach the left outer wall to the base and inner walls, followed by the top outer wall and lastly the right outer wall. What you should end up with should look like this.

With all that assembled, you’ll insert the smaller dividers near the bottom and the larger dividers near the top, like so.

Once all that’s done, you’re finished. You can then decide what goes where and place the appropriate name tabs as you see fit. That completes the assembly process for this insert.

MATERIALS
At this point, I would normally explain how the different components of the game look. However since this is an organizer and not a game, I’ll describe the packing and insert instead. Everything came prepackaged in a flat rate shipping box. Since I received the bundle of all 4 organizers for Zombicide Green Horde, my shipping box was splitting open mostly due to the weight. Inside the box, everything was for this insert was placed inside a large zip lock style bag with all the wooden pieces shrink wrapped together. Everything looked very nice and there were no problems with anything. The wooden sheets are nice and thick and are very easy to punch out the different pieces. If you decided to use glue or tape, you’ll need to supply your own as the organizer does not come with any included. Assembling the product was fairly simple, and didn’t take that long to finish. Overall the materials look great and everything is strong and durable. I’m very pleased with every aspect of the materials.
9 out of 10

INSTRUCTION
At this time, I would normally be explaining the rulebook of the game. Instead, I’ll cover the instructions that came with the insert. The instructions came on two sheets of double sided paper. There was a detailed process that walks you through each step of assembling the insert. There are plenty of pictures to help you see exactly what piece goes where when assembling. Everything is explained very well and I didn’t find it difficult to figure out at all. Everything is well written and looks good. One thing that was unclear was just what all I should place inside this organizer. I did turn to the website to get some ideas and basically waited till I had everything put together and stored to see where I’d need to put the extra miniatures and cards that I left over. That’s why I chose to place the miniatures from Wulfsburg in this box, along with the smaller euro cards. I felt this was an appropriate place to keep these separate from the base game. Overall, I’m pleased with the instructions.
8 out of 10

CONSTRUCTION
For this section, I normally would be explaining how the game played and my thoughts and feelings on it. However since this is a product review, I’ll give my thoughts on the assembly process as well as anything that I feel is important to note. It didn’t take a long time to put everything together here. After all, it was only a large mini tray and the base insert. As a matter of fact, this was probably the easiest of the 4 inserts that I assembled. Figuring out where everything went was a bit challenging. Thankfully I was able to look on the website to get a good idea of what went where. Just like with all Go7Gaming inserts, this one also is a bit loose around the joints and connections so be aware that you’ll need some glue or something to hold it all together. Once I got everything together I realized that I still have a lot more room for a lot more pieces. Not sure what all else I can or will place in there but I’m sure something will come up. For now, there’s just a lot of extra dead space, that’s even after all the add ons and extras that I got with the game and expansions. I almost wonder if I’d be able to just move the stuff in this box to one or more of the others and would be able to completely eliminate this box. Not sure, but will think about no doubt. In any event, if you only had the core game and the No Rest for the Wicked expansion, I’m sure this insert would be a big help. As it is, I added the stuff from my Wulfsburg box into this one to free up at least one more box. May try to reconfigure some things and see what I can come up with. Either way, the box is stronger now and a bit heavier to boot. Overall, I think this one is nice and it holds everything together quite well. I would recommend this to anyone that owns the expansion and the base game. Just be aware that you may have more free space than you know what to do with.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
The Go7Gaming ZGH-003 Storage Solution for the Zombicide: Green Horde – No Rest for the Wicked Box is a great way to get your game organized, especially if you have a lot of extra pieces from the Kickstarter. It has plenty of room for all the pieces from the No Rest for the Wicked expansion, as well as being able to store lots more, as you can see from my pictures. The materials are very good and hold everything in a well organized way. The only problems is determining where to put everything and what to do with all the extra empty space. I will say that the website was helpful at determining where each piece from the expansion went. My own ideas led to filling in a bit more of the box. The instructions are very well written and easy to follow. The insert has a ton of room…possibly too much room. Even so, it looks great and fits everything in the box really well. I would recommend this for owners of the No Rest for the Wicked expansion, especially if you have a lot of extra stuff that you need to store. Overall this is a nice insert that does it’s job.
8 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great products, please check out Go7Gaming at their site.

http://go7gaming.com/

 

 

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Go7Gaming ZGH-OO4 Storage Solution for Zombicide: Green Horde – Friends and Foes Review

Recently I was given the opportunity to check out a new product from Go7Gaming. That product was the ZGH -004 Storage Solution for the Zombicide: Green Horde – Friends and Foes Box from CMON. The insert came in a flat rate shipping package. Inside there were several laser cut wooden sheets wrapped together in a large ziplock bag with some full color instructions explaining how everything should be put together. After taking out the the sheets from the package, I read through the instructions and was then ready to assemble the product.

Now then, let me explain exactly what this product is and what it does. First off, this is an insert for the expansion for Zombicide: Green Horde but it will also hold lots of extra materials. Once it’s been assembled, the insert makes it possible to keep all of the different miniatures, cards and tokens that come with the game separate. For me, I’ve added the Rat King and Swamp Troll, along with the obstacles that came with the Kickstarter. I have also stored some smaller cards and character ID cards as well. The insert looks really great when it’s finished. It even comes with some tags so that you can label each section for what’s inside. Of course you’ll be able to see a bit more about that a little later. At this time, let’s go ahead and cover what all you get and the basic instruction on how to assemble this insert. We’ll start off by separating out all the different wooden sheets. As you can see, there’s a lot of sheets of wood to be assembled. Each piece is cut so that you can easily punch them out from the main sheet that they’re attached to.

If you’ve read any of my reviews for Go7Gaming inserts, you already know that glue is very important for building these things. It’s not an absolute necessity as you can use other things like tape, but it’s definitely the best option. With this review I won’t be telling you each time when to add glue to your pieces. Just be aware that if there are 2 pieces being put together, you’ll want to apply glue between them both. With that said, let’s begin the assembling process starting with the large storage trays.

To build this tray you will start off by placing the base down on the table. You will then need to connect the long outer wall together with the base. It should look something like this. You will then want to connect the smaller outer walls with the side tabs of the wall you just attached, as well as connecting this smaller wall with the base. Once you have one of these connected, you’ll want to do it again on the other side. Finally you will connect the other long outer wall to the smaller walls and the base. That completes one of the two trays like this that you’ll need to build. For the second one, you’ll follow the same procedures. Once you’ve allowed everything to dry, you should have two trays that look something like this.

You can then add some splitters to divide up the trays into separate sections, as you see fit.

Next we’ll move on to the small card tray. As with the previous tray, you’ll start off with the base. You’ll then need to attach the long outer wall to the base. You will then want to attach the smaller walls, noting the positioning of the tab holes at the top of each. Once both smaller walls are attached, you can connect the final long outer wall. You’ll want to make sure that the cuts in the top of this wall are going in the same direction as the other long wall. Once this is all assembled and had time to dry, you’ll end up with something like this.

You can now add in some spiltters for separating off different sections of the tray, again as you see fit.

The last thing that you’ll need to build for this insert is the large base insert. Once more you’ll start with placing the base on your table. You will want to note the positioning of the smaller section that juts out from the base. You’ll then want to connect the L shaped outer wall with the divider wall which will also be connected to the small inner wall as shown on the left below. You’ll also want to connect the left side tab of the small outer wall to the inner wall as shown on the right below.

You’ll then need to connect the inner divider wall to the base. All of these are then going to connect together as shown below.

You’ll also need to connect the left side tab of the inner wall before attaching the large outer wall to the small structure that you just built, being sure to connect the tabs to the wall, as shown below.

Next you’ll attach the outer wall that runs alongside the inner divider that you placed into the base earlier. You’ll follow that up with the smaller outer wall that connects with the first wall you placed and the last wall you attached. It should look something like this.

You’ll then need to connect the inner dividers that are shown below.

Once all that’s done, you’re pretty much finished. Once you’ve decided what goes where, you can place the name tabs into the trays and you’ve completed the assembly process.

MATERIALS
At this point, I would normally explain how the different components of the game look. However since this is an organizer and not a game, I’ll describe the packing and insert instead. Everything came prepackaged in a flat rate shipping box. Since I received the bundle of all 4 organizers for Zombicide Green Horde, my shipping box was splitting open mostly due to the weight. Inside the box, everything was for this insert was placed inside a large zip lock style bag with all the wooden pieces shrink wrapped together. Everything looked very nice and there were no problems with anything. The wooden sheets are nice and thick and are very easy to puch out the different pieces. If you decided to use glue or tape, you’ll need to supply your own as the organizer does not come with any included. Assembling the product was fairly simple, and didn’t take that long to finish. Overall the materials look great and everything is strong and durable. I’m very pleased with every aspect of the materials.
9 out of 10

INSTRUCTION
At this time, I would normally be explaining the rulebook of the game. Instead, I’ll cover the instructions that came with the insert. The instructions came on two sheets of double sided paper. There was a detailed process that walks you through each step of assembling the insert. There are plenty of pictures to help you see exactly what piece goes where when assembling. Everything is explained very well and I didn’t find it difficult to figure out at all. Everything is well written and looks good. One thing that was unclear was just what all I should place inside this organizer. I did turn to the website to get some ideas and basically waited till I had everything put together and stored to see where I’d need to put the extra bits and baubles that I had remaining. That’s why I chose to place the Rat King and Swamp Troll miniatures in this box, along with the other pieces. Overall, I’m pleased with the instructions.
8 out of 10

CONSTRUCTION
For this section, I normally would be explaining how the game played and my thoughts and feelings on it. However since this is a product review, I’ll give my thoughts on the assembly process as well as anything that I feel is important to note. Putting the insert together didn’t take that long. I actually wound up wasting more time looking online at the pictures there to figure out what miniatures needed to go where. With only a couple of trays and one big insert, it wasn’t that difficult. I’ve mentioned in other reviews how that Go7Gaming’s inserts tend to be a bit looser than normal inserts. For that reason that I usually recommend glue or tape to hold everything together with, or both. I’ll say that I like that even with the rulebook and everything inserted in the organizer, there’s no problem with getting the lid down on the box like with other inserts that I’ve dealt with. The insert even makes the box a bit more structurally sound too. So there’s that benefit. The trays are great and they make things a lot easier to find what you’re looking for. The addition of all the little name tags are a big help too. It’s easy to forget where you put each piece, but the name tags help you remember. Even with the added pieces and cards that I’ve added into the box, there’s still lots more room to add even more cards and miniatures. Doubt I’ll be needing any more storage for this game any time soon. Overall I’m very happy with the look and feel of this insert. It does a great job of keeping everything organized and easy to find. I would highly recommend this to anyone that owns this particular expansion, especially if you have extra pieces and no room to put them anywhere else. I have to say that this is really well designed.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
The Go7Gaming ZGH-004 Storage Solution for the Zombicide: Green Horde – Friends and Foes Box is a great way to get your game organized, especially if you have a lot of extra pieces from the Kickstarter. It has plenty of room for all the pieces from the Friends and Foes expansion, as well as being able to store lots more, as you can see from my pictures. Assembling everything was rather easy. The only real problems that I had was trying to figure out where to put each piece. Thankfully the website and my own ingenuity were there to help me figure it out. The instructions are very good at instructing you on how to build each tray and insert. They’re pretty simple to follow too. The insert itself is really great for storing a lot of different cards and pieces in one box. It also looks great once it’s all put together. Overall I’m quite happy with how nice it looks and how well it fits everything inside the box. I highly recommend this insert for owners of the Friends and Foes expansion, especially those with extra bits and pieces that they don’t have room to store in the other boxes. It’s well constructed and a great addition to my game. Grade A product from a Grade A company.
9 out of 10

 

For more information about this and other great products, please check out Go7Gaming at their site.

http://go7gaming.com/

 

 

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Company of Heroes is coming soon!

Today I wanted to share with you guys an all new game that just arrived on Kickstarter today. The game is Company of Heroes. It’s based on the long running video game franchise and the HBO series Band of Brothers.  Below are all the details of the new game and what you can expect.

This World War II board game captures the drama and excitement of the beloved Company of Heroes video games. The video games, originally inspired by the memoirs of veterans as well as the Band of Brothers HBO series were developed by Relic Entertainment and published by SEGA.

The project is a dream come true for Bad Crow Games, who developed the board game. Spearheaded by Colonel Bryan Green (retired, 2018) the team is comprised entirely of US Army veterans. As long-time fans of the Company of Heroes series and World War 2 strategy games, they have faithfully adapted their favorite mechanics and experiences into this beautifully crafted board game.

Game highlights from the development team:

 

“Our goal was to streamline the tactics, choices and moments of the video games into an accessible board game that could be played by anyone, even those new to the wargame genre. Like the video games, we wanted players to experience a relationship with their units, starting when they are initially purchased, and growing as they are given better equipment and accomplish tasks, eventually becoming veterans as they see combat.” Colonel Bryan Green

“It is different from our favorite tactical skirmish games because it focuses so heavily on seizing objectives to capture resources and increase supply production. Supply is spent on constructing new buildings, new units and upgrading their equipment; just like in the video games, but on your kitchen table.” – Staff Sergeant Brian Gabrielson

“A big aspect of the Company of Heroes board game is operating on teams. Similar to the video games, each player will need to focus on their aspect of the battlefield but also support their team-mate to achieve the overall strategy. It really creates a memorable camaraderie when you come to the defense of your partner, or you combine tactics to pin and flank your enemies.”

– Captain Aaron Gabrielson

The Core Set, available for $99 on KickStarter, includes US, British, Soviet and German armies. It can be played with 2 to 4 players but an optional add-on pack provides solo and cooperative components and missions. It includes a beginner, standard and hard-core mode to adapt to the players’ preferred complexity level.

 

For more information about the game, you can check out the primary community on Facebook below.

https://www.facebook.com/Companyofheroesboardgame/

You can also check out a draft of the rulebook as well.

https://issuu.com/badcrowgames/docs/company_of_heroes_board_game_rulebo

If you like what you see, you can back the game on Kickstarter by following the link below.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/223137030/company-of-heroes-board-game?ref=discovery_category_newest

I hope you enjoy the pictures and information and that you’ll think about backing the game. As always, thanks for your support and Game On!

 

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Sushi Roll Review

Sushi Roll is a game by Phil Walker-Harding, published by Gamewright Games. It is for 2-5 players. In this game, players will be rolling dice and adding them to their personal trays as they try to score as many points as possible. Of course their opponents will also be trying to do the same thing, removing dice from the conveyor belts. In the end, the player that collects the most points by taking the cutest and most fun sushi dice will be declared the winner.

To begin, each player takes a tray or player board and places it face up in front of them. All of the different tokens are separated by type and placed into individual piles in the middle of the play area. Each player takes 2 chopsticks and 3 menu tokens, placing them beside their tray. A number of conveyor belts are selected equal to the number of players, this will include the red bordered conveyor belt. These are then shuffled together and dealt out randomly one to a player. Each player will then flip the tiles face up and whoever has the red bordered tile is the first player. Any unused conveyor belts or trays should be returned to the box. All of the dice are placed into the dice bag. The bag is then shaken to mix the dice together. Each player in turn order will then draw a number of dice from the bag as noted in the rulebook. For a 2 player game, 8 dice are drawn where in a 5 player game, only 5 dice are drawn from the bag. Players will place their drawn dice onto their conveyor belts. Once everyone is ready, play now begins.

The game is played over 3 rounds. Each round begins with all of the players picking up all their dice and rolling them. Once rolled, the player places their dice back onto their conveyor belt without changing the faces on the dice. Each player will now take turns starting with the first player and continuing in turn order. On a player’s turn, they will follow 2 steps. First they may use as many menu or chopstick tokens as they would like. This step is optional. A menu token will allow the player to reroll any number of dice from their conveyor belt by returning 1 of these tokens to the supply. A chopstick token will allow the player to choose 1 die from an opponent’s conveyor belt and swap it with 1 die from their own conveyor belt without changing the face of the die by returning 1 of these tokens to the supply. Once they used as many tokens as they would like to, the player moves to the next step which is to choose a die to keep. To do this, the player will simply move 1 die from their own conveyor belt to their tray without changing the face of the die. If the player chooses a die that shows either a menu or chopstick icon, that player will immediately take the corresponding token(s). Some die faces have more than 1 icon of these types showing. In that case the player will take tokens equal to the number of icons. The same thing is also true for the pudding die face. If this die is taken, the player takes pudding tokens equal to the number of icons on that particular die. If a player chooses a nigiri die and they already have a die with wasabi showing on it, then the player must place the nigiri die on top of the wasabi die. Once each player has completed these steps for their turn, play moves to the next part of the round.

For this next part, all players will need to slide and roll. That is to say that they must now slide their conveyor belts to the player on their left, rerolling all the dice on the conveyor belt that was just passed to them. The player with the red bordered conveyor belt in the new starting player and play continues like above with each player taking a turn, using tokens and choosing a die. This keeps going until all the dice on the conveyor belts has been used. When that happens, the round ends and scoring commences.

At the end of each round, players will score the dice that they have collected on their trays. They will then earn scoring tokens equal to the points that they scored at this time. Players earn points for having the most maki rolls, for each type of nigiri that they have including a bonus for nigiri on top of a wasabi die. They can also earn points for appetizers, scoring points for based on how many of each type they have. Once scoring is completed, all the dice are returned to the bag, which is shaken up. The same number of dice are then drawn from the bag for each player. Players will then place their dice onto their conveyor belts and a new round begins.

The game continues until the end of the third round. When that happens, final scoring occurs. At this time, players compare the number of pudding tokens that they have collected. The player with the most will score 6 points and the fewest will lose 6 points. Players will also gain points for unused menu and chopstick tokens. Players will then add up all their scoring tokens and the player with the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game has some really cute and fun looking pieces to it. There are a lot of cardboard pieces including the scoring tokens, pudding tokens, menu tokens, chopstick tokens, trays and conveyor belts. All of the tokens come in 2 punchboards. These are a good thickness and apart from the scoring tokens, all have artwork that matches the die faces. The pudding tokens have cute little puddings on them. The menu tokens have a cheery little menu on them. The chopstick tokens have a pair of normal chopsticks on them. Each of these is really cute and fits the artwork of the game quite nicely. The scoring tokens are a little different. They have this bright sunburst type background with bright red numbers on them. They kind of make me think of poker chips, just in cardboard form. The trays and conveyor belts are a good bit thicker but are also made of cardboard. The trays have a reference for all the different types of dice, while the conveyor belts look like little grey sectioned off conveyor belts. One of the conveyor belts has a red border around it which signifies that player is the first player. I like that each tray has references to help you understand how each die scores. It also helps you understand both how many tokens to start the game with and how many points these tokens score at the end of the game. These are both really nice and quite durable. Finally there are all the dice in the cloth bag. The game comes with 30 dice which includes 10 appetizer dice, 6 maki roll dice, 5 nigiri dice, 5 special dice and 4 pudding dice. Each die type is a different color. For instance, the pudding dice are all pink just like the pudding token’s background. The faces of each die are super cute. Many of the images are taken straight from the sushi go card game. I absolutely love the bright colors and the fun images, so does my daughter. She thinks they’re very kawaii. The dice bag is pretty nice too. It has the name of the game screen printed on it, along with the game company’s logo. It’s big enough to hold all the dice without any problem. Overall, I really like the look and feel of the game. The images are in keeping with the original game and carry over a lot of that same cuteness that made it so popular. I think fans of the original game will really like these components as well.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
If you thought that the rulebook would be any less cute than the game, you’d be wrong. This book is bright and colorful and full of fun too. There are lots of bright colors and plenty of pictures in what’s essentially 2 pages, front and back. The book also has plenty of examples and even some cute little jokes and pieces of artwork inside. Every step of the game from setting it up to final scoring is covered in great detail. It doesn’t take long to read and is easy to understand. I’m very impressed with the book. It’s well written and well designed. Nothing else needs to be said.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
I love Sushi Go. It is a really cute and fun game. This game takes everything that I loved about Sushi Go and turns it into a dice game. I love rolling dice. I especially love rolling specialized dice, like the ones included in this game. This game takes everything that I enjoyed about Sushi Go and made it even better by adding dice. Each round you’re choosing a die from in front of you and adding it to your tray. Then you’ll swap dice with the player to your left. You keep doing that each turn until you’ve taken all the dice off the belt. That’s when you’ll score all the dice you collected that round. Do that 3 times and the game’s over. Simple and easy. While that doesn’t sound all that interesting, I’m sure people thought the same about Sushi Go. Those people were wrong then and they’d be wrong now. This is a quick and simple game that’s actually a lot of fun. I love the drafting aspect of the game. The added benefits from the various tokens can really help mitigate the luck of the roll making things a bit more strategic. Of course knowing exactly when or if you decide to use them is where that strategy comes in. This is one that my daughter and I have really enjoyed playing. We loved the original Sushi Go, so it’s no wonder that we would love this one too. I think fans of Sushi Go or Sushi Go Party will really enjoy this one too, especially if they like rolling dice. Overall this is a great family game that doesn’t take a long time to play. I highly recommend it. It’s a lot of fun.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Sushi Roll is a cute and fun game of dice drafting to score the most points. The game doesn’t take long. Most game sessions last around 20 minutes. That’s a few minutes longer than Sushi Go but it’s still a fairly quick game. The components are top notch. I really love the special dice and find the cuteness of each piece is over the top. The rulebook is short and sweet and covers everything really well. The game itself is family friendly and makes for a great filler game or for a fun night of dice rolling cuteness. This is one the whole family can enjoy without being overly strategic. Even so, there’s enough strategy that veteran gamers can enjoy it as well. Fans of Sushi Go and Sushi Go Party will love this version as well, especially if they like rolling dice. This is probably my daughter’s favorite new game. The cuteness and fun of this one hits on every point for her, as well as for me too. I highly recommend this game. It’s a great game that should be in every gamer’s collection.
9 out of 10

 

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

http://www.gamewright.com

 

 

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Bloom Review

Bloom is a game by Wouter van Strien, published by Gamewright Games. It is for 1-5 players. In this game, players take on the roll of flower shop owner. They’ll be trying to make the best bouquets for their customers by collecting similar flowers and placing them together. Of course great planning is key. Too many bad choices can spoil the bunch costing them points. In the end, the best floral arranger will be declared the winner.

To begin, each player is given a random sheet from the pad of game sheets along with a pen or pencil. Each sheet is marked with a letter in the bottom right corner from A to E. Each player should have a different letter. The 6 dice are placed in the middle of the play area. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played over several rounds. Each round is divided into 3 steps. The first step is to roll the 6 dice. The first player takes all 6 of the dice and rolls them to create a shared pool of customer dice.

For the second step, the players will take turns choosing customers and making bouquets. To do this, the players will take turns choosing 1 of the customer dice from the pool, starting with the first player and continuing in turn order. Once a player has chosen a die, they will remove it from the pool and then circle the exact number of flowers equal to the value of their chosen die. It should be noted, players are allowed to only circle flowers that are horizontally or vertically adjacent to each other. They may also circle flowers in adjacent garden beds. They are also able to circle fewer flowers than the value of their die, but this will result in unhappy customers, more on them in a bit. Instead of using one of the colored dice, the player has the option of using the clear die, which is the wild die. When choosing this die, the player choose the color of the customer that they wish to use and then circles that many flowers of that color. Players may notice that some sheets have white flowers on them. These may be used as any color and can be combined with flowers of any color. Earlier I mentioned unhappy customers, customers become unhappy when the player circles flowers in a different color than the chosen die or when there are less flowers circled than the number on the die. A tick mark is added to the unhappy customer section of the player’s sheet fore each unwanted or missing flower. At the end of the game, these tick marks subtract 1 point from the player’s score. If a player is ever able to circle all the flowers of the same color, they can shout, “Bouquet!” This allows them to circle the highest available number in the scoring section for that particular color. The other players must then cross this number off their sheet. Earlier I mentioned garden beds, these are the 6 sections of flowers that are divided off on a player’s sheet. If a player is able to circle all 12 flowers in a garden bed, they may then circle the first available number in the “garden beds” section of their sheet. One last thing should be noted, once per game players have the option to re-roll all the remaining dice that are available to them on their turn. Once this power has been used, the players must cross off the re-roll icon on their sheet. If their re-roll is not used, it gives them 1 point at the end of the game.

The third and final step is the end of a round. Once all players have taken a die and circled flowers, the round ends. The 6 dice are collected and then given to the next player in turn order. That player becomes the new first player and a new round begins.

The game continues until either one player has circled 3 numbers in their color section or one player has circled the fourth number in their garden bed section of their sheet. If either of these happens, the round should be finished so that every player has had the same number of turns. Final scoring will then occur. Players score points for all the circled numbers in their color section, for all the circled numbers in their garden bed section, for not using their re-roll ability. Points are subtracted for each tick mark in the unhappy customer section. Players add up all their points and the player with the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
There’s not really a lot to this game as far as components go. There are 6 brightly colored dice. Each of these is almost a pastel color, except for the clear one which is more frosted than actually clear. The corners of these dice are rounded and they are very high quality. The other thing that comes with the game is the pad of score sheets. This is a pretty thick pad of colored paper. Each sheet is double sided and there are 5 different sheet types from A to E, noted in the bottom right corner. I will note that several of my sheets were already coming off the pad and some had started rolling up on the end. Not the greatest thing in the world but it’s thin paper so what’re you gonna do? The box that the game comes in is one of those magnetic close lid boxes. It’s a little larger than your hand, unless you’re Andre the Giant. In that case, it’s pocket sized. The one thing that I’m not really understanding is that there’s nothing to write with in the box. You have to provide your own writing utensils. There could have at least been a little golf pencil or two in there. There would have been plenty of room in the box, even with the rules. That I don’t get, but maybe that’s just how these types of games are done. I’ll be honest, I had never played a roll and write game before this one, so I don’t know what to expect from other games like this. I will say that I like the dice but honestly the box and the sheets are a little meh for me. I’m really not that impressed overall. However, I will say that it’s a small little game that can be carried anywhere so there’s that. Maybe I’m just too spoiled with large box miniature games with wooden components and metal coins. That’s probably true. In any event, the simplicity of this is one that I’m sure roll and write gamers will like. For me, it’s just ok.
7 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rules for this game come on a double sided glossy sheet of folded paper. The paper is fairly thick and durable. There are lots of pictures and examples on the sheet and everything is super simple to read through and understand. Each step of the game is explained in great detail. The rules even come with instructions for playing the game solo. I’m very appreciative of that. To be honest, there’s not really much that I can complain about as far as the rules go. After reading over everything in just a couple of minutes, you’re pretty much ready to go. I don’t really remember having to look back at any of the rules while playing the game so apparently the rules are easy to remember too. At least this part of the game, I’m impressed with. Very well done.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Over the years I’ve played a lot of different games and learned a lot of different mechanics. This game was my first foray into Roll and Write games. I can’t say that I’d ever been interested in this particular mechanic before. Of course that was before I gave this game a go. The simplicity and ease of play of this little game is quite nice. It’s pretty fun and isn’t all that hard to play. That said, there’s still plenty of challenge to the game. Lots of choices from picking your customer die to how to use that die on your own sheet. The fact that there are several different sheet types so that no 2 players will have the same layout is pretty smart. The game is really quick and simple and is one that even the younger players can join in on, making it a great little family game. I’ve played this one several times with my daughter and she really enjoyed choosing dice and picking flowers. I think the bright colors really helped hold her attention a little longer than normal. Thankfully the game is so quick that we were finished each time before she started getting tired of playing. Another thing that I found helpful was that she could draw on her own sheet. Most games are simply move here, do this, play this card, etc… but with this one she felt like she was actually a part of the game. Granted the graphics and the production value aren’t over the top, this is still a great little filler game that the whole family can enjoy. I think fans of roll and write games will enjoy this one. As a complete newbie to the mechanic, I can say that I really enjoyed playing this one. This is one that I would recommend.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Bloom is a light weight filler roll and write style dice game that has players collecting bouquets of flowers to earn points. The game is simple and doesn’t take long at all. Most game sessions are done in around 20 minutes or so. The components are bright and colorful but aren’t over the top in terms of quality. They’re pretty simplistic but functional. The rulebook is very well written and is easy to understand. A few minutes reading over everything and you’ll be ready to go with no trouble. The game itself is fairly simply and easy to play while being enjoyable at the same time. This is one that the whole family can enjoy, even the younger kids. The size of the box makes this one easy to carry around. The small table presence makes it possible to be played virtually anywhere. The game is cute and fun without too much complex strategy involved. Fans of roll and write games should enjoy this one, as well as players that are looking for a quick and easy filler game. This is one that I would recommend. If you don’t think that you’ll like this one, try it….it’ll grow on you.
8 out of 10

 

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

http://www.gamewright.com

 

 

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Harbour: High Tide Expansion Review

Harbour: High Tide is an expansion for Harbour by Scott Almes, published by Tasty Minstrel Games. It is for 1-4 players. This expansion adds 30 new cards including new building and a new type of card.

For more information about Harbour and how to play the game, please check out the link below.

https://jlnelson73.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/harbour-review/

The setup for this game is a little bit different. First off, all the new building cards included with this expansion are shuffled into the main Building deck. Next, the Board cards are shuffled together and a number of these are dealt face up to the middle of the play area. The number of Boat cards dealt out is equal to the number of players plus 1. Any remaining Boat cards are returned to the box. The rest of the setup is exactly the same as with the core game itself. It should be noted that when playing with this expansion, players should not use the Inland Traders side of the Market Board.

Along with the changes in setting up the game, there are also a few gameplay changes as well. The Building cards are all placed in a line. This is because the order of Building and the adjacency of each one, both in the line and in front of players, matters now. When a new card is dealt to the line in the middle of the play area, it is dealt to the end of the line and everything else moves down to fill in any empty slots. These cards should not be rearranged. When players acquire new buildings, these should be added to the left of the player’s Player Board. Each additional card acquired will then be added to the left of that card and so on.

Another new feature of this game are 2 new Building symbols; Small Businesses, Bonus Actions and Variable Point Buildings. Small Business is a small shack like symbol inside a green circle. When a building with this symbol is purchased, the player may choose to pay $2 less for it. If this happens, then the building is placed above a building already owned by that player, making it a second story of that building. Buildings placed liked this do not count as a separate building and are still considered separate from the building it’s placed on. That means that the player may not perform both actions when visiting either the second story building or the base building. It should also be noted that these second story buildings are considered to be to the left or right of the buildings on either side of it in the line, but not the building below it. Another new symbol is the Bonus Action. This is a gold arrow inside a pink circle. When a building is purchased that has this symbol on it, the player may immediately move their pawn to a different, unoccupied building or boat. They may then perform the action that the card provides as a bonus action. Finally there are the Variable Point Buildings. These are noted as a asterisk next to the point value of a building card. This means that the value of the building varies, as indicated by the text of the card’s ability.

The last new aspect of the game are the Boat cards. As noted above, these are laid out in the middle of the play area. Players may place their pawn onto one of these as their move for the turn. Once this happens, the player must then pay the resources shown on the Boat card. They will then move the Boat in front of them. The Boat is now considered hired by that player and can not be hired by another player until it is returned to the middle of the play area. When that player chooses to take a “Buy a Building” action, they may choose to return any number of Boats that they’ve hired, back to the middle of the play area. The player will then gain the dollar value of that boat for that single purchase only. That means that a player may pay for some or all of a building’s cost by returning Boats. For instance, say a player want’s to purchase the new building, “Petting Zoo”. If they had the Knotilus in front of themself, they could return this Boat and acquire the building for free. Let’s say that the player had the Gertrude instead of the Knotilus. The Gertrude provides $6 instead of $5. If the player chose to send the Gertrude back for the $5 cost of the Petting Zoo, they would acquire the new building but gain no change for the overpayment. One last example, let’s say that the player wanted to purchase the Yoga Studio which has a cost of $8 instead. The $5 of the Knotilus or the $6 of the Gertrude would not be enough. The player would either have to ship some goods along with sending one of these Boats back or they could simply overpay by sending both Boats back, overpaying by $3.

Just like with the base game, once a player finishes their fourth building, the game ends. The other players get one last turn before scoring takes place. Victory points are totaled and the player with the most Victory Points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
As I mentioned above, this expansion comes with 30 new cards. All of the cards are packed inside a small tuck box along with a folded rules sheet. Each card is really well designed. The quality is the same as that of the base game. The artwork on each card is very similar in style as that of the base game as well. The same silliness and fun carries over into this expansion. A lot of the same style of humor can be found in each of these cards as well. For instance, there’s the Pet Store which shows a rat man selling what appears to be Gizmo from Gremlins to what could only be Frye from Futurama with a fist full of money. These subtle little references to silly and fun things are what I really enjoy looking at each time a new card is flipped over. I should also mention once more about the new type of card that’s introduced in this expansion, the Boats. Each of these has a different backing from the regular Building cards. Instead of a seagull on a dock, the Boat cards have the silhouette of a boat out in the water and a large white question mark over the silhouette. As far as the quality of the cards, they’re great. I like the way they look. I love the fun images and I like the feel that these new card types bring to the game.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this expansion is a simple multi-folded double-sided sheet. For such a small rules sheet, there are plenty of pictures and an example or two. The new rules for including the expansion are all laid out quite simply and easily. Everything is easy to understand and can be read in just a few minutes. The rules include notes on a few new building cards that help explain how they work a bit better. Honestly there’s not a whole lot to say as the sheet is rather straight forward and to the point. Overall the rulebook is well done.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Harbour is a fun light weight game that I rather enjoy. So of course I was excited about there being an expansion for the game. As far as content goes, there’s not a whole lot of stuff. In fact there’s only 30 cards that are added to the game. However what those 30 cards adds, changes the way the game plays in a pretty cool new way. With the addition of the boats, a player can have new ways to pay for all of or at least part of a new building. This gives the player some extra options and make things a bit easier when paying for those really expensive buildings. I also like how the new rules about building a second story onto existing buildings can also give a player more options and give them a break on price. The new building cards also have a lot of new options, some of which give bonuses based on controlling other cards. There are even a few that deal with the new boat cards making them even more interesting options. Basically the expansion adds lots of new choices to help the players and it provides a lot of new fun in the process. Overall, I really enjoy this expansion. It adds a new dimension to the gameplay and a lot of humor to an already great game. Fans of Harbour will be happy to add this expansion to their game. Those not familiar with Harbour, should really check it out along with this expansion. I’m not sure that I would ever go back to playing with just the base game. That’s just how much fun the expansion adds. Needless to say, this is one that I would highly recommend. For such a small package, it adds a whole lot of fun.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Harbour: High Tide is a small expansion for Harbour that adds 30 new cards to the game. The expansion doesn’t add much length to gameplay. Most game sessions last around 30 to 45 minutes. The cards are really great and have lots of fun images full of humor. The rules are very simple to understand and can be read over in just a few minutes. The expansion itself adds a lot of new choices to the gameplay with new card types like the Boats and lots of new building types like the Small Businesses. Fans of the original Harbour will absolutely love this and will enjoy all the new options that are presented in this expansion. Those unfamiliar with the game should definitely check it out along with this expansion. This is one that I would highly recommend. In my opinion, it’s a definite must buy for Harbour owners.
9 out of 10

 

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

 http://playtmg.com

 

 

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Sailor Moon Crystal: Truth Or Bluff Review

Sailor Moon Crystal: Truth or Bluff is a game published by Dyskami Publishing Company and inspired by Jacques Zeimet’s Cockroach Poker and other passing/bluffing games. It is for 3-8 players. In this game, players will be playing tiles and trying to score success tokens. Of course they’ll have to be careful as the other players may be bluffing about which character tile they laid down. In the end, the player that makes the most accurate choices and gathers the most points on their success tokens will be declared the winner.

To begin, all the Success tokens are placed into the small cloth bag. Each player is given a plastic tile holder, which they will place in front of themself. The Ending tile that reads, “The game ends when one player needs to play a tile and has none in their tile holder,” is placed in the middle of the table. Another Ending tile is chosen, either randomly or by consensus from the group, and placed beside the first tile. The remaining Ending tiles are set aside and not used in this game. A number of Character tile sets and Villain tiles are placed into the large cloth bag. The number of tiles is determined by the number of players. The specific tiles that are used are based on the number printed on the left side of the tile. This number indicates the minimum number of players needed to add those particular tiles. The rulebook includes a chart which tells when to use the White Character tiles, how many Character sets are used, how many are not used and the number of Villain tiles added as well. For more information, please check the rulebook. Once the correct type and amount of tiles have been added to the large draw bag, players will randomly draw out 12 tiles each and place them standing up into their plastic tile holder. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played over a series of rounds. Each round the starting player will remove a tile from their plastic tile holder and place it face down on the table in front of them. They will then slide the tile across the table to any opponent of their choice. The player then states the identity of the character on the tile. This statement can be either true or false, as determined by the player. The player that receives the tile then has two choices. They can either Initiate a Challenge or Look and Pass. The first choice is to Initiate a Challenge. To do this, the player will either declare truth, if they think the tile is exactly who their opponent declared earlier, or they will declare bluff, if they think that their opponent was not truthful of the tile’s identity. Once this is done, the player will then flip the tile over. If the player was correct on their response, then the passing player will collect the tile and place it face up in front of themself in their play area. If they were incorrect in their assumption, then the receiving player collects the tile and places it face up in front of themself in their play area. The player that won the challenge and did not collect a tile will then draw a random Success Token from the small bag. The token is placed face down near them. It should be noted that the player may look at the token but must keep it secret from their opponents.

The other choice that the receiving player may make is to Look and Pass. To do this, the player will look at the tile to confirm it’s identity. They will then perform the same actions as the player that passed it to them, except that they can’t pass the tile to the starting player or to another player that has already passed the same tile. Once the tile is passed, the player declares the identity on the tile, either true or false. If the tile has been passed to every player except the final one, then they may only choose to Initiate a Challenge. The player that collected the tile and placed it face up in their play area now becomes the starting player for the next round. A new round will then begin. One thing of note, Villain tiles may be played instead of normal Character tiles. In this case, the passing player must choose one of the other identities to declare when passing it. If the receiving player chooses to Look and Pass, then they must also do the same thing. If the receiving player chooses to Initiate a Challenge instead, then the only correct answer would be bluff. If bluff was declared, then the receiving player collects the Villain tile. If truth was declared, then the passing player collects the tile. The player that collects the tile will then immediately perform the bonus action indicated on the tile, if possible. That player will then start a new round by selecting and passing a tile.

The game continues until one or both of the Ending tiles conditions have been met. Whenever this happens, the game end is triggered. Whichever player triggered the game’s end is defeated and can not win the game. The remaining players will add up the values of their Success tokens. The player that has the most points is the winner.

COMPONENTS
This game has some really cute and fun components. First there are all the different tiles. There are Character tiles, Villain tiles and Ending tiles. The Character tiles have a picture of one of the heroic characters from the Sailor Moon universe in chibi form. For those that don’t know what chibi is, well that is a Japanese style of art where the character has a large head and small body. There are 8 different characters in 12 sets. One of the sets of Character tiles is composed of white Character tiles. These tiles are special and may cause a end game condition. However they function normally when declaring the tile’s identity. There are also Villain tiles which are more normal anime style artwork. These look more like the actual villains from the show. The Ending tiles have a clouded background and text on them. These tell the players when to end the game. I have to say, I really like the artwork on the Character and Villain tiles. They are really cute and fun. My daughter especially liked the chibi style designs of the various heroes. Each of these tiles is made of thick cardboard and are really good quality. Also made of thick cardboard are the Success tokens. These come in values of 1, 2 and 3. Each of these has a number and a piece of art on them. The 1 has a bow with a broach. The 2 has a picture of a Moon Stick. The 3 value has a picture of the Legendary Silver Crystal. I’ll be honest, it’s been a long time since I watched the show, so I’m not sure exactly what all these images are. Regardless, the tokens look really cool and fit in with the theme of the game nicely. Next there are the plastic tile holders. The game comes with 8 of these to hold each player’s tiles with. These are actually pretty cool and work quite well. The final pieces are the 2 cloth draw bags. There’s a larger bag for the Character tiles and a smaller one for the Success tokens. These bags are very good quality. The larger one is sort of pink with little moons and what appears to be bunny heads on it. The smaller one is black and has the game’s logo in white on it. Both of them have draw string closures. Needless to say, I’m very impressed with the bags, as well as the rest of the components. This game has a lot of the same feel and look of their other Sailor Moon games, but just a little cuter. Overall the components get a thumbs up from both my daughter and me.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook isn’t all that big and doesn’t really have a lot to cover. The rules themself are fairly straight forward so there’s not a whole lot of explaining that needs to be done. The book does have a few small pictures of some of the tiles and tokens. It also provides several examples of gameplay to help clarify the rules a bit. The book includes charts for choosing tiles based on the number of players, as well as one to explain the bonus actions of each Villain tile. There’s also a section devoted to the Ending tiles that contains pictures of each, along with an explanation. The rules are fairly straight forward and are very easy to read through and understand, especially with examples interspersed here and there. The back cover of the book has a picture of all 8 Character tiles which is really cute. Overall I feel that the rulebook does a good job of covering everything with minimal time spent reading. I will say that I think it would have been nice if there had been a few variants thrown in to change up the gameplay, but overall the book gets a passing grade from me.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
The rulebook states that this game is inspired by the game, Cockroach Poker and other similar card passing/bluffing games. I’ve never played Cockroach Poker, so I can’t say how similar the two games are. What I can tell you is that this game is rather fun for a large group of players. I have yet to play it with a full compliment of 8 players, but would love to give it a try. The first time I played this, I immediately thought of the game, Shinobi. There are a few subtle differences, but the main premise is the same. Each round your passing off a tile or card and telling that player what it is. They then have to determine if you’re telling the truth or lying about it. If they get it right, they get something special, in this case a Success token. Get enough Success tokens or enough of the ones with the higher values and you’ll win. Simple as that. This game is fairly light and easy to play. There’s nothing overtly difficult about it. It can be taught in just a few minutes and is one that the whole family can easily enjoy. The theme might not suit everyone, but is still fun even for those on the fence. I like that the game isn’t very long. As such, it’s one that can be a great filler game. My daughter rather enjoyed this one, collecting tokens and playing tiles. The theme and artwork were right up her alley. Even though it wasn’t something she was overly familiar with, it bore enough of a similarity to the Glitter Force on Netflix, that she was able to enjoy it. Fans of Sailor Moon or bluffing games like Cockroach Poker or Shinobi should enjoy this game. This is a game that I can recommend, especially for those parents that enjoy playing games with their daughters.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Sailor Moon Crystal: Truth or Bluff is a fast game of bluffing with a Sailor Moon theme. The game doesn’t take that long. Most game sessions last around 30 minutes. The components are cute and fun. I especially like the chibi style tiles and the high quality bags to draw them from. The rulebook is also quite good. It’s fairly straight forward and easy to read through. The game itself is quite simple and easy to play. It’s fairly light and family friendly. It’s even simple enough for younger players. The game was inspired by Cockroach Poker and other bluffing style games, but it reminds me of Shinobi. I think fans of any of those style games should enjoy this one as well, especially if they like Sailor Moon. This is a game that I would recommend. Even Queen Beryl can’t resist the charm and fun of this one.
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/

 

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