11 Ways to Tell You’ve Got a Gamer on Your Christmas List

5 12 2013

Family-playing-board-game-007We understand that having a gamer in your life can lead to confusion during the holiday season. Chances are you’ve found yourself walking into a store, or looking at Web sites you never knew existed, and are wondering if someone is playing some sort of elaborate prank on you.

So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to explain some of the oddities you might be experiencing this year with that gamer in your life, and hopefully make this a joyous and bright Christmas for all.

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Kickstarter Weekly—August 1, 2013

1 08 2013

Well it’s Thursday and you know what that means… It’s not yet Friday. But never fear because we’re here with another installment of Kickstarter Weekly, the place where we make our recommendations and let you know what’s a poppin’ over on Kickstarter. Let’s jump in, shall we?

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TOG Visual – Michael Coe and Dungeon Heroes!

12 07 2013

DungeonHeroesBox4_zps46bd4d57One of our first stops at Origins was the Gamelyn Games booth, where we had a little chat with Michael Coe, founder of Gamelyn Games and designer of Dungeon Heroes, a fun little 2-player dungeon crawl with outstanding components.

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Heartland Hauling More Kickstarter News!

22 08 2012

A few weeks ago Scott interviewed “The Great Heartland Hauling Co.” designer Jason Kotarski, as he and game publisher Dice Hate Me Games kicked off their Kickstarter campaign to get the game into production. Since then they’ve hit their funding goal and they have also reached their first stretch goal!

That means they’ve raised enough cash to include the Truck Stop INspansion. A feature of the game that will allow players to upgrade their rigs, give them special abilities, and hopefully an edge on other truckers while they’re trucking cross country.

Last night we got a sneak peek at the next stretch goal for the project: truck meeples! Oh, and you can’t have the orange one…it’s mine.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

And check out our interview with Jason here.





Carcassonne – We’re Not Tiling the Bathroom!

1 07 2012

We’re certainly not delusional enough to think that we’re the first to come along and review Carcassonne, Rio Grande Games’ tile-placing, city-building, meeple-playing, game released in 2000. But since this game consistently resides in my personal top 3 list, for a number of reasons I thought we should give it a look here at TOG.

The mechanics of the game are simple: Draw a tile, place that tile, and choose whether or not to place a “meeple” or follower on it. Each tile features one or more different features—a portion of a city, a road, a cloister, or farm land. Not every tile has every feature, though. Each feature represents a different way to score, and presents multiple strategies to employ throughout the game.

Who Might Like This Game? If you’re a person who likes to plan 4-5 moves in advance, this may not be the game for you…or is it? Most times you’ll find yourself thinking about 4-5 moves in the future for 3 different strategies that could come into play, depending on what tile gets pulled and where it gets played. With the randomness of the tile pulls it’s best to not put your eggs in a single basket.

There’s plenty of discussion going on around the Internet about strategies, and when to place a follower or not, when and how many farmers you should commit, and so forth. Personally, I think the game is won and lost at the farmer scoring, but the tricky part about that is that they don’t score until the game is over, so playing too many farmers too soon will leave you with no way to score points during the game.

What Makes This Game Stand Out? The ingenious mechanic that really makes the farm wars (and city wars, for that matter) so competitive is the creative gyrations one must go through in order to overthrow another player and take control of a city or a farm. Once a player has control of a city or a farm, you can’t simply place a tile adding on to that city or farm and then add one of your followers. Once it’s claimed, it’s claimed; the only way to overtake it is to perform a maneuver my friends and I have affectionately termed “cracking in.” That means placing a tile nearby with one of your meeples on it and hoping that you pull the right tile to connect your follower into the feature before your opponent pulls one that locks you out!

I know, I’m making this game sound like a thrill a minute, but once you get a few turns in you’ll start to see the competition for control of cities and farmland heat up—and witness the painstaking agony of watching someone else pull “that one tile” that you REALLY needed!

Who Can Play This Game? This game is really about as family friendly as it gets; I’ve played it with my 6-year-old several times (the game is suggested for players ages 8 & up; I like to believe that my kid is a genius). There’s no violence, or malevolent nature behind the game; you’re taking on the role of builders creating cities, farms, and so forth. You aren’t building brothels or dungeons or anything off-kilter; it’s just a solid, fun game that will make you think and strategize, a lot!

We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the many expansions available for Carcassonne in the upcoming weeks. Make sure you check back—or subscribe using that handy button on the right there…

If you’d like us to review a title please let us know and we’ll do what we can to get our stinkin’ paws on it, and let you know what we think of it!

Thanks for reading!

You can get the Carcassonne: 10 Year Special Edition on Amazon right here!








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