Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Twinkle Twinkle Little Mai-Star

Designed by Seiji Kanai
Published by AEG
3 to 6 Players
30+ Minutes
Hand Management

(9/10 Stars)

This little card game surprised me in a great way. I think the theme of the game may turn some people off to the game, but play it once and I think you will be hooked. The game is elegant. The artwork and quality of the components and rule book are fantastic. The core game play is simple and easy to learn.

Players pick 1 of the 6 different geisha to be for that game. Each one has a different unique ability that will make a great difference for that player if used wisely. This adds some variability to the game. The rest of the cards are either played as a guest providing money (victory points) and usually very important and powerful actions to help yourself or hinder others. Or, the same card can be played as an advertiser increasing your reputation in one of the 3 areas that will help you be invited by a guest.

The game mechanics are solid and it provides some really interesting decisions from you on what to play as a guest and what to play as an advertiser. How are you going to use your special ability to get ahead? Playing guest cards to score points is one thing, but I was surprised at how interactive this game is. Whenever someone is laying a guest, you may just be targeted and you may lose the powerful advertiser you just laid down, or maybe your newest guest leaves you, or maybe you have to draw additional cards.

The game is simple and yet provides many choices and lots of fun and that is How Lou Sees It!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Who is the Belle of the Ball?

Designed by Daniel Solis
Published by Dice Hate Me Games
2 to 4 Players
30+ Minutes
Set Collecting, Card Drafting

(8/10 Stars)

One of my past featured Kickstarters, the Belle of the Ball has finally arrived and the party can now get started! I was able to interview Chris from Dice Hate Me Games and the designer Daniel during the Kickstarter campaign and I was very excited to see the final version.

Belle of the Ball does not disappoint - the game mechanics are well thought out and work very well, the components are top notch, and the artwork is just fantastic.  With all of that and a well applied theme, Belle of the Ball may just become your new favorite set collecting game.

With elegant simplicity, Belle of the Ball may just be the star of your next game night.  The game provides good player interaction and the guest cards have some pretty funny names that will have everyone laughing (or at least smiling).  The Belle of the Ball cards provide the needed variance and strategy as you each try and create the best parties.  Collecting guests that share similar interests, I think the theme fits really well.  I like that the game has some different advance variants that will ensure good replay value.  Well worthy of being featured on my blog, I say don't wait for an invitation - go get a copy for yourself and start your own party today!  And that is How Lou Sees It.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Qwixx Review

Designed by Steffen Benddorf
Published by Gamewright
2 to 5 Players
15 Minutes
Dice Rolling, Score Card Management

(8/10 Stars)

Qwixx is a simple dice game that provides lots of fun. Published by Gamewright, the game fits in very well with their other family friendly games.  Qwixx is easy learn and fun for kids as well as adults.  The game is very straight forward and players will always be engaged in the game even if they aren't the one rolling the dice.  The game provides solid mechanics that keep all players on the edge of their seats hoping for the numbers they need.  It feels like Yahtzee meets Bingo and they had a colorful child named Qwixx.  

The game can help children develop simple math skills and sequence understanding.  While the game won't be providing a huge amount of strategic depth, you will need to understand and follow basic strategy.  The game is enjoyable as a light dice game should be and with nice short play times will keep players coming back for more.  The quality of dice, instructions, and scoring pad are fantastic and would make a great gift to someone who enjoys games such as Yahtzee, Farkle, Pass the Pigs, and Bingo.  Push your luck and cross of a number, Qwixx will definitely be played many times at my house and that is How Lou Sees It!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mages Profit from Bluffing and Cheating

Designed by Seiji Kanai
Published by AEG
3 to 6 Players
30 to 40 Minutes
Hand Management, Bluffing, Wagering, Take That

(8/10 Stars)

Cheaty Mages published by AEG with original Japanese artwork.  This is a really fun and interesting strategic bluffing game with good player interaction.  The game is easy to learn and quickly enjoyed by a nice range of individuals.  While players make strategic choices and try and bluff their way to victory, the game also provides some luck element from card draws and sudden changes from certain spell cards.  The game is very fun and I would recommend to those who enjoy games such as The Coup, The Resistance, Killer Bunnies, and/or Munchkin.  Designed by the same designer who brought us the huge hit Love Letter - this is definitely another top notch game.  AEG also does a great job with the production quality providing a great gaming experience that you will not be quick to forget - unless a mage casts a forgetful spell on you that is...and that is How Lou Sees It!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Holiday Season is Here, and so is Holiday Fluxx!

Designed by Andrew Looney
Published by Looney Labs
2 to 6 Players
10 to 40 Minutes
Hand Management, Fluxx

(6/10 Stars)

Holiday Fluxx is one of the newest themed Fluxx decks available from Looney Labs. The general idea behind any of the Fluxx games is very simple. Fluxx is a hand managment game that is constantly changing. Not only are your cards changing, but players are changing the rules and even the goal of the game constantly. A very fun concept. It keeps the game very variable and interesting. The game is not complicated even with all this change. 

The base rules and idea of the game (again, these can be changed or modified throughout the game) is that you draw a card and play a card each turn. The goal cards can be played to the center of the table one on top of the other - with the one on top being the current goal of the game. If a player meets that goal, they win the game. Usually the goal cards just list what cards a player must have played in front of them in order to win. Players have Keeper cards which are cards necessary for certain goal cards and Creeper cards (only in certain versions) which usually inhibit you from winning until you get rid of it (or it may be required from a goal). Action cards allow players to add more chaos to the ever changing game. You may be drawing 4 cards at the start of your turn but you may have a rule that limits you to only 2 cards at the end of your turn.

A very intriguing concept for a game and one that can be very fun. It can get long at times, but hopefully you are in no rush and you are just enjoying the game. The game isn't really what I would call a strategic game by any means, and there is quite a bit of luck involved. A player may start with the required goal and necessary cards to complete that goal and win the game very shortly after starting, or you may change the game back and forth so frequently that it takes you an hour to finish the game. Very interesting. 

I'm a huge fan of this holiday season and I think that this is such a great addition to the Fluxx family. Looney Labs has many different themed decks including Monty Python, Zombie, Pirate, Star, and Oz to name a few. If this isn't the right theme for you, check out their other themed decks. Life is too short to remain constant all the time, so every once and a while you just need to change things up - a lot - and you can do it with Fluxx and that is How Lou Sees It!

Argent: The Consortium Unboxing

Designed by Trey Chambers
Published by Level 99 Games
Around 30 Minutes per Player
2 to 5 Players


I open up Argent and show you what is inside the box! Very excited to play this one. Look for a review after I get a chance to play it here on my blog, YouTube channel, and on Board Game Geek, You can check out my interview with founder and president of Level 99 Games, D. Brad Talton Jr., that I posted during the Kickstarter campaign by checking out the interview tab or clicking here.

Hopefully I can get back to posting reviews as I am very behind! Lots of games to review and little time to do it in. I guess we all have our struggles. :) Sickness has run rampant in my household for the last 3 months and life gets busy. Try and always make time for gaming and that is How Lou Sees It!