Saturday, June 30, 2012


Day 59 - Betrayal at House on the Hill
Designed by Rob Daviau, Bruce Glassco, Bill McQuillan, Mike Selinker, and Teeuwynn Woodruff

"Betrayal" is a very unique game in which 3 to 6 players enter a very spooky house and go exploring. At first, the players are working together to explore the house and to try and collect items for future use. Eventually, something happens in the house that causes a player to become a traitor. At this point ("The Haunting"), the game becomes the traitor and the house (along with any other evil help that is given him/her) against the rest of the explorers (whom we will call heroes). One of the greatest elements of the game is the replay value. As players move throughout the house face down tiles are shuffled and chosen when walking through an open door. The house is very different each time the game is played. The Haunting could happen very early in the game or after a lengthy exploration period. Each triggered "Haunting" is usually different because there are lots of different stories or scenarios to be played out (each game the traitor will have a different goal with different help from the house and the heroes will have a certain way of winning as well). This game is especially fun to play a few times for a Halloween party, but is fun any time of the year. A lot of the scenarios are based off of horror movies or classic books and it is really fun to see who turns out to be the traitor and to find out what the game is going to be like after "The Haunting." The components are pretty good, but the game's room tiles tend to warp and the little plastic pieces that keep track of player's trait values are either too tight or way loose. I really enjoy the story feel of the game and the excitement of not knowing what's going to happen next. I myself became the traitor during tonight's game and was successful in using my demons and demon lord to kill off all the other players (sorry about that guys, nothing personal). So, the game definitely has a horror type ambiance that you will have to be comfortable with in order to enjoy the game. The scenarios are well done and you might just get a bit spooked - and that is How Lou Sees It.

Friday, June 29, 2012


Day 58 - Dominion
Designed by Donald X. Vaccarino

What can I say about Dominion other than the fact that it is one of my favorite games. Dominion won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award in 2009 and has won numerous other awards including a Mensa Select. The box might be a little misleading to some who are unfamiliar with the game. The game is actually a card game and the box is such to provide an organizational tray. The game is a deck building card game for 2 to 4 players and it takes about 30 minutes to play.

This game has a lot going for it. The actual game play is quite ingenious and yet really simple to learn. Players start with some victory point cards and money cards. Players then use these cards to purchase action cards or better money/victory cards. The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins. So, the concept of the game is simple and so is the strategy, but the multiple different action cards make the game very interesting. You can't just buy up victory cards either, because you shuffle your cards and only draw 5 cards at a time for your turn. If you buy too many victory cards in the beginning of the game you won't really be able to purchase other cards because your hands will be full of victory cards. Anyway, there are 25 different kinds of action cards provided in the base game, and there are a plethora of expansions that add more action cards and/or add different types of cards to the game. There are so many different possibilities to play with because you only play with 10 different action cards each game. Dominion and its expansions are fabulous and I recommend the game to anyone and everyone and that is How Lou Sees It.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Trap Your Mind

Day 57 - MindTrap II
Designed by Richard Fast

Tonight's game happened very late, so please forgive the short review. MindTrap II is a fun 2 player (or 2 team) game in which players are tasked with answering puzzling questions. I have not played the original MindTrap, but it appears that this second version has made some nice additions with adding tangram puzzles and stick puzzles. I bought this game from the D.I. a while back for a dollar and I'm glad I did. This is a great game for those who enjoy "brain teasers." The components are good and the tangram and stick puzzles really add a lot to the game in my opinion. Fun board game in which I can see a teacher actually just purchasing the game for all of the puzzles to provide a "self starter" (provide the kids something to get their minds thinking). I don't recommend trying to play this game late at night and that is How Lou Sees It.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lou May Have Prejudice, But He Also Has Pride

Day 56 - Pride and Prejudice The Game

It is a truth universally acknowledged that not all books make good board games. This game based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice just didn't make the "high society" of board games in my opinion. First of all the game components are very cheaply made. The board is good quality, but the rest of the pieces are made of a very thin cardboard. The game is for 2 to 4 players and it really doesn't take too long to play (around 30 minutes or so). The game is pretty simple; each player chooses a couple from the story and moves the individual characters around gaining "Regency Tokens" and "Novel Tokens." You need to have some basic understanding of the characters and what happens in the book (or movie) to be able to collect the required "Novel Tokens." Luckily, I have watched both the older movie (5 hour long one), the newer version (Keira Knightley one), and of course the Wishbone version.

Side note or a big SHOUT OUT: I am so grateful for the shows I grew up with and was faithful watching such as Wishbone, The Magic School Bus, and Bill Nye The Science Guy. I learned so much and I am sad that these shows are not really on T.V. for my kids as they grow up. Wishbone particularly educated me well in classic literature and I was surprising my parents all of the time with my in depth knowledge of these different classics. Thank you Wishbone, part of my win tonight is dedicated to you! Oh, and for Magic School Bus fans, I just learned tonight that you will soon be able to buy the complete series on DVD (AWESOME!)

Yes, I won tonight! I think that that fact alone should tell you that you don't need to know much about Pride and Prejudice to do well in the game (watch the newest movie for time sake and you should be good to go). The game is basically a Candy Land type game with a bit of trivia in it as well. The game plays pretty well though, so it isn't terrible. Could be a great game to have in an English teacher's classroom. The trivia as I have said already is pretty general and probably wouldn't give a fan of the book any trouble whatsoever. So, I would say the game doesn't really appeal well to the hard core fans (too easy, a bit boring) and it won't appeal to those who don't know anything about it either. I actually had fun playing the game tonight and really the movies are not as bad as I thought them to be (I would still pick the shorter Keira Knightley version over any of the others).

In honor of a poem I wrote in High School regarding Colin Firth (aka Mr. Darcy): Firthy, Firthy, amazes me the impact you have had on young ladies (and old ladies) around the world. What is this hold you have created on the hearts of women everywhere? Is it because your English? Is it because of your dimple chin? No, they have just fell in love with another form of Mr. Darcy and that is How Lou Sees It.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Game, Set, Match

Day 55 - Set
Designed by Marsha J. Falco

Because Wimbledon started yesterday, I thought that today's title was a perfect match. So, tonight I serve up a review on set and forgive me if I slip a few Tennis references in; it's not my fault. Set is an amazing card game in which players visually look at 12 face up cards and try and find "sets." The game has 3 different colors (purple, green (like grass), and red (like clay)), 3 different shapes (squiggle (squiggle, squiggle, squiggle....), oval, and diamond), and 3 different shading (clear (or open), solid, and shaded). Finding the sets are sometimes easy, and sometimes you can find yourself starting at the 12 cards for a long time trying to find the set right under your nose. A set consists of 3 different cards in which the 3 cards are either all of the same or all different in each of the 3 categories. A few examples are thrown out on the picture above. The game can be played with 1 to 20 players, but I think it really works best with 2 to 4. I love the simplicity of the game and how the game makes you think. You have to quickly internalize the 12 cards and find and call out "Set!" before your opponents do, or you will be left in the dust. Set is a fast paced card game for all ages that should be in every home, and that is How Lou Sees It.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Have You Reached Your Limit?

Day 54 - Limits
Designed by Uwe Rosenberg the name of LiMiTS! Do you feel like your life never quite reaches the limit of fun? Well this is the game to push you over that asymptote. Uwe, the designer of Agricola, has done a great job with this little card game. It reminds me a bit of Liar's Dice, but with cards and I find Limits to be much more enjoyable. I love the mechanics of the game and how the cards are utilized. No pen and paper needed to keep track of score, the limit cards double as negative point cards for the one breaking one of the defined limits (or wrongly accusing another player of doing so) and then there are positive point cards as well making score keeping easy and keeping the exact score of each player somewhat a secret. Another thing I really enjoy about the game is that you just have to shuffle once at the beginning of the game and deal out cards to everyone just once as well. Once the game is set up, cards in the discard pile are placed (not shuffled) on the bottom of the draw pile - easy as that. The limit cards are another fun aspect of the game and give the game variety and good replay value. Each limit card has each of the 5 colors on it with an assigned limit for that round (a limit could be 0 cards, 3 cards, or "X" - an infinite number) and each card is very unique and only a certain amount will be played with. Each player also chooses a color from his/her hand to place face down increasing secretly that colors limit by 1. So, the game is nice because it has some memory skill to it as well as bluffing. The game is for 2 to 6 players and the game length can be adjusted very easily. The game is brilliantly done and is a fantastic card game to add to any collection and that is How Lou Sees It.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Treasures Found On Forbidden Island

Day 53 - Forbidden Island
Designed by Matt Leacock

The island is forbidden for a good reason, it can be deadly. In forbidden Island 2 to 4 explorers try and collect 4 hidden treasure before the island mysteriously sinks. Each of the players take on different roles with different abilities. Ironically enough, I was the Engineer tonight and The Wife was The Messenger. We successfully collected 3 of the 4 before we both sank with the island.

Matt Leacock is THE name for co-operative games because of his game entitled Pandemic. Forbidden Island has a lot of similarities to its predecessor Pandemic (in which players try and cure multiple diseases spreading across the world) and both are really fun games where players all work together (check out my review on the Lord of the Rings board game which is also a co-op game). I really enjoy each of the different roles and how they help vary each game along with the fact that the island is different each time as well. The game has tremendous replay value because of this. The game also allows you to change the difficulty of the game. The game doesn't take very long either (which means if you lose, you can always set it up again and again until you win :). The game components are all very nice (they all come in a fun tin which is the perfect size). I enjoy the atmosphere that the game creates; it creates a sense of suspense and excitement making sure that no game played is boring. Things you might be saying after a game of Forbidden Island: "Oh...we were so close, if only we had one more turn before that tile sank!" "Wow, that was a little too close for comfort, how did we manage it?" "We lost again? Let's just play one more time. I'm sure we can get it this next round." Forbidden Island is definitely a fun game for the entire family and it is refreshing to play a board game with friends as a team and that is How Lou Sees It.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Thief Robbed The King In The Citadel

Day 52 - Citadels
Designed by Bruno Faidutti

What does an assassin, thief, magician, king, bishop, merchant, architect, and warlord have in common? They can all be found in the charming game of Citadels. Citadels is a really fun card game for 2 to 7 players (8 players with The Dark City Expansion - the 3rd edition from Fantasy Flight games includes this expansion). If you have been following my blogs, you know that I am a huge fan of games that can play with a wide range of people - Citadels definitely fits that description. I play this game quite a bit with large friend gatherings and also 2 player games with The Wife (tonight, The Wife won 34 to 30).

The object of the game is to build the most majestic city you can earning you the most points at the end of the game. District cards are shuffled and each player starts with 4 cards and more can be drawn if one so chooses on their subsequent turns. These district cards will make up your city when you spend the required gold to build it into your city (build it and hope the warlords don't come). You can always build cheep districts, but this won't help your city necessarily gain the prestige you are looking for. You can only build one of each type of district card (unless you have a special card saying otherwise). Also, each district card has an associated color on them (gold, green, blue, red, and purple) and you gain bonus points at the end of the game if your city has at least one of each.

There are 8 different character cards (mentioned at the very beginning of this blog) and each has a special ability associated with them. These cards also determine the order of play. The current king keeps things in order and calls out the different cards in order (they are also numbered to make this easy - the list above has them in sequential order as well). At the beginning of each round, players take turns secretly picking roles (the king picks first and then clockwise). The game changes a bit during this part of the game according to how many players you are playing with (sometimes you are randomly placing role cards face down, some are face up out of play etc) and it is designed such to ensure that there is some guess work to what other players have chosen to be.

Players collect gold, build district cards, and use their character's special ability to gain victory. The game ends when a player builds his eighth district card (game continues to the end of the current round, and the player who triggered the game ending gets 4 bonus points). Most of your points at the end of the game come from the value of the district cards in your city. There are also some additional bonus points to be incorporated. The game is really a lot of fun and is really different each time you play (the expansion adds even more versatility to the game). I think just about everyone could enjoy this game and that is How Lou Sees It.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Lucky Post 100

Day 51 - Kill Doctor Lucky
Designed by James Ernest

You need to ask yourself just one question - "Are you feeling lucky?" In the game Kill Doctor Lucky, all of the players are trying to be the one to kill the lucky doctor. When I first heard about this game I thought that it sounded kind of crazy and I didn't know how it would really work, but it works very nicely. Just imagine playing a game that is the exact opposite of Clue. Players move about the mansion trying to get in a room alone with the old man to kill him. I know, it is a little morbid, but it is a lot of fun. Players use move cards and room cards to be able to move around in addition to their free space move. Players also have weapon cards to attempt to murder Doctor Lucky and Failure cards to foil the attempts by the other players. I enjoy deductive reasoning games and Clue is definitely a fun game as well, but given the choice between Clue and Doctor Lucky, I would take the Doctor. The game is for 3 to 7 players, but when you get up to 6 or 7 the game seems to drag on a bit more. I also own one of the expansions for the game that includes Doctor Lucky's pet dog. I really like this addition to the game and I think it really adds a lot. It seems a bit ridiculous to me that the wooden dog piece and the little rule booklet costs $8.00 though (just a bit over priced). Great game and that is How Lou Sees It.

Lou's 100th Post

A big SHOUT OUT to ME! Tonight's post is my 100th post for How Lou Sees It. It almost feels like some sort of party should be happening right about now. It also means that these A Game A Day blog posts have now accounted for more than half of my total posts. Well, thank you for supporting me in my endeavors and here is to the next 100!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flamingos, Felines, and Fifty Days

Day 50Zooloretto
Designed by Michael Schacht

Tonight is Day 50 of my A Game A Day (AGAD) project! Wow, I can't believe I have played a different game each day for 50 days straight. I owe a giant SHOUT OUT to The Wife for sticking with me in this endeavor. She deserves a great big prize at the end of this thing, that's for sure. I told her tonight that there is an end in sight to this project since I am running out of games to play. I still have a few games up my sleeve, but those will run out quickly. Don't worry fans, I have not played all of the best games leaving you with a lackluster finish. Games that you can look forward to include Power Grid, Forbidden Island, Limits, Go, Citadels, Killer Bunnies, Kill Doctor Lucky, and Dominion. So, I think we are going to be able to make it to 60, but we will see how much longer I can last after that. Once I run out of games to play, I will continue to review games and add them to the list as they become available. I think that it is fitting that on Day 50 The Wife and I share our second tie of the series. Thank you everyone for your support and now onward to tonight's game review.

For fans of Michael Schacht's Coloretto, this is a no brainer. Zooloretto uses the same concept from Coloretto to acquire animals for your zoo. In your zoo, you have multiple areas where you can show off your animals, but keep in mind that you still only have limited room to keep the animals. If you find yourself with too many animals of one kind, or you see yourself with a little flamingo with no where to go, these animals stay in your barn (where for each kind of animal in the barn, you get -2 points). The game has vendor stalls to help you get points at the end of the game where you may not be able to otherwise, and they give you a +2 points for each different type in your zoo. Some animals are in the mood for love and will supply you with a little baby if you are ready for one or not! Zooloretto mixes the best elements from Coloretto and presents the same concept in a fun theme for all ages. Zooloretto is made for 2 to 5 players and takes about 40 minutes to play. There are a lot of expansions for Zooloretto as well as a stand alone/expansion called Aquaretto (look for the game with the dolphin on the front). You can't go wrong with any of these games from Michael Schacht and that is just How Lou Sees It.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why Settle For Four Crowns When You Can Have Five

Day 49 - Five Crowns
Designed by Marsha J. Falco

Five Crowns is a fun card game worthy of each of its five crowns. This card game is basically the face card version of Quiddler. The game is played in 11 rounds where the first round players are dealt 3 cards, and the second round 4 cards etc. The current number of cards dealt each round also signifies the current round's wild card (on the round where 9 cards are dealt, all the 9 cards are wild). There are 6 Jokers which are always wild. Players draw a card and discard a card "going out" when all of their cards in their hand save one can be put into either a "run" or "book." Basically, you can either get the same valued cards in any suit as a book, or you can get a sequence of cards in one suit. The game is similar to Rummy with the additional little changes. A fabulous card game for 1 to 7 players and that is How Lou Sees It.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Important Crime Scene Evidence Has Been Tampered With

Day 48 - Simply Suspects
Designed by William Stephenson

Fans of Clue, Three of a Crime, Mastermind, and any other deductive reasoning game will enjoy Simply Suspects. What I really enjoy about this game a lot is the actual length of the game - it's really short compared to most games of this nature. The game is very easy to understand and even though the game is very simple it also has some great strategy to it as well. Players are all assigned one of the 6 suspect cards, they are given some "get away" cards that allow the player to move a specific number of spaces instead of leaving their luck up to the dice roll and the game begins.

Each player is trying to point all of the evidence to the other players while not making it too clear who they are so they don't get accused of the crime themselves. The board makes it highly likely that each player will stop at the Grand Jury space on their way around the board. If you end up on this space with 2 or more pieces of evidence on your suspect you are out of the game. If you don't have 2 or more pieces of evidence on your suspect, then by all means you can accuse someone else (guessing who they are). If you are correct, they are eliminated from the game, but beware - if you guess incorrectly, your out. The last player standing wins the game. A very quick game lasting only about 15 minutes, this is a great deductive reasoning game for 2 to 6 players and that is How Lou Sees It.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Play Like an Egyptian

Day 47 - Nile DeLuxor
Designed by Daniel Callister and James Mathe

Now that you have the Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" stuck in your head, you can now read this blog post. If you don't already have it stuck in your head from the simple title of tonight's post, then here are some of the lyrics to help out:

All the old paintings on the tomb
They do the sand dance, don'cha know?
If they move too quick (Oh-Way-Oh)
They're falling down like a domino

And the bazaar man by the Nile
He got the money on a bet
GOLD crocodiles (Oh-Way-Oh)
They snap their teeth on a cigarette

Foreign types with their hookah pipes sing:
Walk like an Egyptian.

OK...onto the game review! Nile DeLuxor is seriously one of the best new card games that I have played in a long time. I guess the game isn't really that new, but tonight was the first time that I played the game. Nile DeLuxor is actually a newly expanded and updated version of Nile which originally came out in 2009. This new version allows the game to be played with up to 6 people and it also provides an expansion that can be played with that is really a lot of fun.

For those who enjoy the game Bohnanza, I would say that you would also really enjoy Nile DeLuxor (and if you are one that doesn't enjoy some of the elements in Bohnanza, I think you would actually like Nile DeLuxor). Nile DeLuxor is a 30 minute card game for 2 to 6 players. The game is very easy to learn and isn't really complex but it provides a lot of strategy and luck that is a perfect combination. Players are trying to plant and harvest each resource. Scoring is similar to the game Ingenious, where the winner is determined by having the highest lowest score. This drives a lot of the strategy for game play because each player is trying to harvest each resource as evenly as possible. In other words, you are only as strong as your weakest link. On each active player's turn a card is flipped to determine what crop or crops are harvested for that turn (all players) and what crop or crops can't be planted that turn. The game is brilliantly designed and well balanced. The expansion portion of the game adds another "crop" which is stone. The stone can be used to build monuments which can help the player a lot throughout the game but have no impact on the actual scoring at the end of the game. The game ends when the resource deck has been exhausted a number of times equal to the number of players. The Wife and I played twice this evening, once without the expansion and once with the expansion. She won the first game and I won the second game (I gave myself the win for tonight though since Nile DeLuxor includes the expansion).

I am actually very surprised that I had not heard of this game prior to a few weeks ago. Nile DeLuxor is awesome and is quickly becoming one of my favorite card games. A big SHOUT OUT to Minion Games for making tonight's game possible! After my introduction to Minion Games through Nile DeLuxor, I am very excited to try out their other games (especially Tahiti and The Manhattan Project - I helped make a documentary on the Manhattan Project with some classmates in high school and have a great interest in nuclear power). Thanks Minion Games and keep up the good work! Everyone else, Nile DeLuxor is definitely a game worth checking out and I'm certain you will enjoy it and that is How Lou Sees It.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Enchanted Forest

Day 46 - Enchanted Forest
Designed by Michel Matschoss and Alex Randolph

This enchanted game won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award in 1982. Made for 2 to 6 players, this game only takes about 20 to 30 minutes to play and is great for kids. I grew up with this game and it was definitely one of the favorites. The players embark on a journey into the Enchanted Forest seeking out hidden treasures to impress the king. Durring the game players roll the dice and have to move the exact number on each die. The movement is split among the two die and it really helps kids with counting and planning. When a player lands on a blue tree space, the player can look at the picture hidden underneath. Players will need to memorize where the different treasures are to declare to the king where they are hidden. When a player rolls doubles he/she has the option to use magic. The player can trasnport to any blue tree space, can travel up to the castle, or if already across the bridgs can be transported to the castle to make a declaration. The game is very well done with nice components and a great theme. A fun memorization game that is educational and deserves the Spiel des Jahres honor and that is How Lou Sees It.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dinos Make Everything Better

Day 45 - Checkers

The classic game of Checkers. The game is pretty simple. You position your pieces such to capture/remove your opponent's pieces from the board. The first to eliminate the other player wins. If you succeed in getting one of your pieces to your opponent's side, you get a king to replace that piece. The king piece can move in any direction while your other pieces are limited to move only twoards your opponent. I struggle a bit with Checkers because I find myself wanting to play Chess instead. Maybe not to any one's surprise, I don' usually fair well when playing Checkers and again it was confirmed tonight with a loss given to me from The Wife.

I did enjoy playing Checkers more growing up though and you know why? One word: Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs make everything better. I was lucky enough to grow up with a DINO Checkers game set where the pieces are dinosaurs (the kings for each player being the king of the dinosaurs the, T-Rex). The board is cleverly designed with lava and rock and mini volcanic mountains are supplied for each player to place captured dinos in. The theme of the game is done very well and DINO Checkers is the reason why I even know how to play play Checkers.

Dinosaurs are awesome (Checkers is OK) and that is How Lou Sees It!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bluff'n Dice

Day 44 - Liar's Dice
Designed by Richard Borg

You lie. You win or you lose. A fun game that works for any number of individuals greater than two. You know Pirates of the Caribbean? Winning your father's freedom brought to you by Liar's Dice. Or rather winning the honor of being the BEST liar, something we should all strive for.

Everyone starts with a set number of dice, say six, then they roll them and keep them covered. Then you go around the circle with each person raising either the number of die of a certain number or the number on the die or both. (There are many variations on how to do this part.) What follows is a potential round...

Lou: One Two
The Wife: Two Twos
Nicole: Two Threes
Nathan: Three Fives
Lou: Four Fives
The Wife: Four Sixes
Nicole: Five Sixes
Nathan: Call.

When Nathan calls, if Nicole was lying, or rather there were less than five sixes on the table then Nicole loses a dice. If indeed there were five or more sixes on the table then Nathan loses a dice. And thus the game continues with rounds until only one person remains with any number of dice.

Learning to lie never was quite so fun and That is How Lou Sees It.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Day 43 - Q•bitz
Designed by Peggy Brown

I would be very interested in knowing how this game received its name. After playing the game, the first thing that popped into my mind regarding the name was quarterback blitz. Perhaps the name came from this phrase because the game is played so quickly and the players must react quickly to win (any insight Peggy?). Q•bitz is, excuse my alliteration, fantastic family fun.

Q•bitz is a game for 2 to 4 players ages 8 and up and it only takes about 15 minutes to play (this can be shortened or lengthened - it just depends on how many rounds you really want to play). The game includes 16 dice in 4 different colors, 100 card designs, and 4 recessed boards to fit your dice in a 4x4 grid. The cards, dice, and boards are good quality (the dice are a lot lighter than I thought they would be).

The game reminds me of tangrams because of the different shapes that are created using the dice, but Q•bitz makes creating these different shapes and designs so much fun. There are three different kinds of rounds to play in Q•bitz:
  1. The first round - A Q•bitz card is flipped over and players rotating and placing their dice as quickly as possible try and be the first to create the design on the card.
  2. The second round - A Q•bitz card is flipped over and players roll the dice trying to create the design first with what is rolled. The dice can be re-rolled at anytime, but it is an all-out race to be first.
  3. The third round - A Q•bitz card is flipped over and players have 10 seconds to memorize the card before it is flipped back over and the players try and recreate the design first.
I love the slight variations in each round and the third round is definitely the most interesting. I love shapes, geometry, and patterns so this game was a big hit with me. I also really like the fast pace of the game. I think that Q•bitz would be a great game for children to play as well to help them with visual spacing and memorization. 

I'm working on a 2 player variant as well where each player takes one of the other unused sets of dice for a fourth round. The round would consist of taking turns rolling the dice Yahtzee style. The player can choose how many dice of his color he rolls along with how many dice of the extra color he took for this round (we will call them "attack dice"), where the total of the players dice must add up to 16. The dice that are his/her normal color may be used on their playing board to fulfill the design trying to be made while the "attack dice" of the other color rolled, may be used to take up spaces on your opponents board with die matching the required space.

Q•bitz is a lot of fun. Again, a big SHOUT OUT to MindWare games for making this review possible and that is How Lou Sees It!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kramer Slides Five

Day 42 - Slide 5
Designed by Wolfgang Kramer

Slide 5 is based on its European counterpart called 6 Nimmt. I love this card game! Ok, the first thing that I really enjoy about this game is the pure range of players you can play with; the game is made for 2-10 players. It is hard to find a game that plays so well with such a wide range. The game can be understood very quickly and the actual game only takes about 30 minutes to play. The game has luck, strategy, and is very unpredictable at times.

Strap on your skis and grab your scarf! Skiing is a fun past time, but beware of avalanches - they can be deadly. Players choose numbered cards from their hands and place them face down in front of them. The players then flip over their cards simultaneously and place them on the "hills." If you are the player that places the 6th card in a row, you just created an avalanche trapping skiers in the snow and adding unwanted points to your name. The winner is the player with the least amount of points after 5 rounds. Simple game that is very exciting and fun to play with a ski lift full of people or a small bus full and that is How Lou Sees It.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, It's to the Mines We Go!

Day 40 - Mine Shift
Designed by John Forte Jr.

Everyone loves jewels, but too often we don't reflect on where that jewel came from and the effort that was taken to obtain the jewels for your enjoyment. Mine Shift is a quick 2 player strategy game where each player not only maneuvers their 4 jewels around the board, but they maneuver and change the very board itself! I think the cover does a great job instilling the visual idea into the player's mind. So, strap on some head lamps, grab your pick, and start singing Heigh-Ho as we enter the Mine that is constantly ready to Shift.

The game is very quick and simple to learn, and you will be playing before you know it. The game includes 27 nicely crafted tiles which have random walls placed throughout the tiles (each tile divided into 4 segments). The players shuffle the tiles and draw 10 tiles creating a 3x3 box with 2 tiles which off-shoot the square to create each player's starting piece/home tile. The goal of the game is to get your 4 jewels from your start piece to your opponent's start piece (or your home tile). Each player takes 3 actions a turn and can choose from either of these: moves a jewel (or also referred to as a stone), rotates a tile, or shifts a tile. The player must move at least one jewel during their turn.

Being able to rotate the tile pieces and shift them reminded me of The aMAZEing Labyrinth board game (Day 16), and players are allowed to jump over other stones like in Chinese Checkers (and the whole concept of moving your stones to your opponent's starting area as well). If you like The aMAZEing Labyrinth and Chinese Checkers, I think that you will enjoy this game. The game can also be adapted or changed to your liking. Because the game comes with 27 tiles, you can create a bigger starting board and the game will be different each time. The game comes in a nice tin, although it was a little larger than I originally thought it would be (it may not be as travel friendly as you might think). I love games that come in a tin. The Wife and I enjoyed the game tonight (she won by the way), but it didn't seem too challenging to either one of us. I believe kids ages 7 - 14 would enjoy this game the most, but it definitely is interesting enough that adults will enjoy it as well. Mine Shift is also a Mensa Select game winner!

A big SHOUT OUT to MindWare games for making this review possible and a thank you for their support of my A Game A Day project. You should also be exited for an up-coming review of Q-bitz. MindWare games produces some fantastic educational and thought-provoking games (I'm hoping to get a hold of Qwirkle and/or Qwirkle Cubes for an upcoming review as well!) and that is How Lou Sees It.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Life on the Farm

Day 39 - Agricola
Designed by Uwe Rosenberg
(Uwe also designed Bohnanza)

Life on the farm was never easy. Waking up at the crack of dawn to feed the animals and milk the cows. In Rosenberg's Agricola player's try and establish the best farm possible in only 14 rounds. Player's accomplish this by plowing fields, sowing grain and vegetables, raising animals like cattle and sheep, building fences and stables, and expanding and renovating your home. Each action can only be taken by one person each round. Player's start with two family members and thus has two actions each round. To be able to perform more actions, one needs to expand their home to make room for a bundle of joy (who will be working out in the fields before the little one even knows how to talk).

This game is definitely one of the most overwhelming games out there. There is a lot to do and it will probably drive you a little crazy the first few times because you will never feel like you have a handle on things (of course this is only my experience and The Wife would definitely agree with that as well). Part of the stress from the game comes from the negative aspects of life if you are not prepared. Throughout the game there are 6 harvest phases when player's harvest their grain and veggies, feed their families, and breed themselves some animals. Each family member needs 2 food (exception for newborn family member, they only need 1 food) and for every food short you are, you take a begging card (which is -3 points at the end of the game). During the game, you are trying to diversify your farm, because if you are lacking certain elements, you will end up getting negative points. You also will get negative points for each unused space in your farm.

Even though there are a lot of components to the game and a lot that you are trying to do, the actual game play is very simple. I think that is one of the reasons that I like the game so much. Understanding how to play the game is fairly simple I think, but with so many goals to the game and things to work on, one can get lost in that pretty easily. Agricola does provide however a few different ways to play, and the Family Version is quite a bit simpler. I've played other versions more frequently than The Wife, who prefers the Family Version after playing the version with Occupation and Minor Improvement cards tonight.

One of the reasons I enjoy Agricola so much, is the fact that there isn't a whole lot of luck to the game. There are no dice in the game what-so-ever. You must utilize each action to its fullest and you must give up on some things to obtain more important things. The game is fantastic. Is the game frustrating to those who don't like to make important decisions each and every move? Yes (myself included, but as you get a bit more comfortable with the game you get less frustrated and instead try and determine how to make the best of what you have). The game is different each time due to how your opponents move etc, and with so many different cards to play with in different games, your strategy will change. Even with the Family Version, Agricola isn't the best game for those just being introduced to strategy games. I think Hawaii would probably be a bit of a simpler introduction to this style of game (and even Hawaii isn't that simple, Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne are probably some of the best intro games I would say).

The bottom line is that Agricola is a very fun and easily understood complex game. The game takes about a half an hour per person playing (perhaps a bit longer for the first time or playing with the cards). You can play with up to 5 people (there is even directions on how to play a solo version of the game). The game is a bit pricey, but this is understandable due to the amount of wooden components, all of the cards, and game boards. In my opinion the game is well worth it, and for people who are looking for a great game with a bit more complexity to it than say Settler's of Catan, I would definitely recommend this game and that is How Lou Sees It.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Free Trip to Hawaii with Board Game Purchase

Day 38 - Hawaii
Designed by Creg Daigle

Are you in need of a serious vacation? I know that I am. One place that I desperately would like to go is Hawaii. Lucky for me, Rio Grande Games provides a chance for everyone to experience a bit of Hawaii without breaking the bank to get there. When playing Hawaii, one experiences traveling to the main island as well as seeing the smaller islands by boat, watching hula dancers and surfers, you go fishing and see the different statues to different gods, and you can taste the sweetness of fruit and trade goods using clams as currency. Tikis are essential and kahunas are very nice to have on one's own little paradise island as well. This trip only has a limited number of seats though! The game is made for 2 to 5 players and the trip will last about an hour or hour and a half.

Each player is tasked with providing for their island. As chieftain, you have the responsibility to go to the main island and retrieve certain buildings, plants, and people etc. to keep your villages happy and flourishing. Hawaii has a lot of great components to the game including many wooden and cardboard pieces. The theme is fun and the artwork is perfect for the game. The game also includes some nice little huts that players can put together to keep their supplies secret from the other players. Players score points throughout the game, at the end of each of the 5 rounds, and of course at the end of the game there is a final scoring as well. While I played Hawaii, I caught myself finding similarities between Hawaii and a few other games such as Agricola (to be played soon) Pantheon, and even Royal Palace.

During each round, you are limited by your resources and by what the other players choose as well (each round, there are only a certain amount of each item that can be purchased or obtained). The game might seem a bit overwhelming at first, and I thought the rules were a bit confusing in some areas, but once you have played through a round it becomes pretty clear (and after one game, the scoring makes a bit more sense). One thing I really do appreciate about the rule book is the fact that they have multiple examples given of turn taking and scoring (this helps out significantly in my opinion and I wish some game rules had more of this). Hawaii is definitely a high quality game in its pieces and in its gameplay. Worked well with 2 players and Lou finally takes the lead on the big scoreboard.

A big SHOUT OUT again to Rio Grande Games for making this review possible as well as 4 other reviews previous to this one! A big SHOUT OUT to everyone following this blog as well and thank you for supporting me in this A Game A Day project. I am now less than 2 weeks away from my 50th straight day of playing a different game each day. Board games are marvelous and that is How Lou Sees It.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mastermind on a Ledge

Day 37 - Mastermind
Designed by Mordecai Meirowitz

Mordecai, I thank you. Wikipedia says that you were a postmaster. I have always wanted to be a postman and I believe you have inspired many to follow in your footsteps. I also have the desire to create some sort of board game. It's like we are very connected souls you and I. Tonight The Wife and I played your game Mastermind. Fantastic game.

About 8 days ago, The Wife and I played Three of a Crime which is a simplified version of Mastermind. In the game players take turns creating codes or breaking codes. The code is represented by using little colored pegs and once the code maker is ready, the other player (code breaker) guesses at the code. The code maker then gives the player some information on that guess (he will put out a red peg for each peg that is the correct color and in the correct location, and a white peg for each peg that is the right color, but that is in the incorrect location, and no peg if the color and location is wrong). This continues and players get points for how long it takes the other player to come up with their sequence of pegs. Great travel game for two players and another way to help children with deductive reasoning. I would suggest starting your young kids with Three of a Crime and then when they get the hang of that, upgrade them to Mastermind. Fantastic fun. Oh, and I won tonight creating a tie between The Wife and I!

Man on a Ledge

This movie came out to theaters at the beginning of this year and I picked it up from the Redbox a few days ago. I was intrigued by the trailer and I actually enjoyed the movie. It was an entertaining film even though I thought some parts of the movie didn't have the greatest acting. The movie stars Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks. PG-13 rating due to language, violence, and an underwear scene. A fun idea for a movie, but I feel that it could have been better and that is How Lou Sees It.