Raederle's Board Game Reviews

Ratings are out of 10. I'm calculating my ratings based on the following:
4.5 points: Enjoyment of game
1.5 points: Strategic (not just luck)
1 point: Plays quickly, smoothly
1 point: Replayability
1 point: Aesthetics, artwork
Game Title Description
Rating
Own It?
Aprx.
Times Played
Heir to the Phoenix Crown brings together deck-building like Dominion or Thunderstone with symbols somewhat like Race for the Galaxy. Also includes interesting "narrative" similar to Smallworld. On a turn you might narrate, "I employ my acrobat in my cob home, she uses a potion. The potion causes the usurpers (the other players) to discard a card. Then with my lantern, vegetables, and golds I have enough love, strength and currency to send my acrobat to purchase a wisdom scroll. I also have extra accommodations in my Gnome Bluff, so I'll recruit a luminary — Princess Eshana."
9.3
Yes
26
Gheos: Build and rearrange land-masses with tiles that fit together correctly no matter which way you turn them. You play one of the Gods instead of a civilization, making "battles" more fun and less of a personal blow. Scoring happens throughout, not just at the end.
9.2
Yes
13
Race for the Galaxy: Like my other favorites, this game is played without having to read text on cards or components. Symbols explain in detail how a card functions. Simultaneous play for most of the game. Very strategic with a nice mix of luck based on what cards you draw.
9.1
Yes
32
Smallworld: Civilizations are created by matching a description such as "flying" to a race such as "vampires." The adjective and the race each provide an ability to the civilization. This game creates a fun narrative as new civilizations emerge and old ones go into decline.
9
Yes
9
Tikal has an awesome theme: Excavating ancient Mayan or Aztec temples as archaeologists with ten action points per turn. One action point to move, one action point to put a new "digger" on the map, several points to excavate temples (which makes them worth more points), five points to make a "camp" (where new diggers can be "spawned"), and so on. Scoring happens throughout the game (when volcano ties are drawn), and is based on the location of diggers in respect to temples and the temples' value.
8.4
Yes
8
Elysium is a beautifully illustrated game has symbols and text on every card for clear, quick understanding of the game. While offering a complex range of possibilities it manages to also be easy to learn, dynamic and quick-playing. Strong theme and mechanics.
8.2
Yes
1
Lewis and Clark The Expedition is a fun adventure game brings together resource collection (similar to Stone Age) and strong theme (like Smallworld) and epic levels of strategic contemplation. Only draw back is that one can really fall into "analysis paralysis" when playing this game.
8
No
1
In VivaJava: The Coffee Game you will temporarily team up with other players to pool interests for a limited time. Very dynamic strategy and fun theme.
7.9
No
1
Voice of Conscience is perfect for parties, ice-breakers, and even class-rooms. This game gets people thinking and talking about interesting subjects.
7.8
Yes
17
Thunderstone is a deck-building game where each turn you decide to either go to market to buy things or go to the dungeon to fight monsters. Brings in battling without having to battle other players.
7.5
No
6
Power Grid is about building a network of powergrids. Has paper money which acts as your score. Involves a lot of math and contemplation of location. Very well balanced game which successfully strives to make the game strategic and fair.
7.4
Yes
11
Therapy The Game: Luck, strategy, party-style, psychology and uncomfortable questions thrown in a blender... This game is based on studies on how the human psyche works, and playing the roles of psychologist and patient. Earn "mastery" is the six different phases of life to win. Avoid psychosis so as not to lose any of your mastery. Great game for getting to know people better. A little out-dated, as new research and new environment makes some of the questions no longer relevant/factual.
7.3
Yes
23
In Goa you're a spice trader. Fun game of economics. Very much about mechanics and not so much about theme.
Want!
7.3
Splendor is about collecting gems. It is mostly mechanics, but the gem theme is gorgeous. Some of the most fantastic artwork I've ever seen in a board game. Great balance of luck and strategy, although I'm fairly certain it is more luck-based than I'd prefer.
7
Want!
4
Love Letter is a surprisingly strategic game with very few cards and just a few pink cubes. This very affordable, travel-friendly game packs a lot of fun, strategy, theme and beauty into a very tiny embroidered bag.
7.4
Yes
7
Stone Age is a resource-collecting, hut-building and baby-making game. Fun, simple, nice parts and art. Easy to play and teach. Good theme as well as good mechanics. Replayability is somewhat lacking as the game isn't very different from one play to another.
6.8
Yes
9
Cave Troll has similar mechanics to Tikal; theme of monsters and heroes. Plays fast.
6.6
No
1
Migration is essentially checkers, except with each piece having special abilities, awesome art, awesome maps and pieces. Cute theme.
6.5
Yes
8
Apples to Apples is a game about comparing "like" things (and not apples to oranges). Party game for lots of laughs.
6.4
Yes
3
Carcassonne Build the map as you go. Score as you play. With expansions it has a lot of dynamic strategy. "Carcassonne: The City" is a great two-player version which can be modded for three-players quite easily.
6.1
Yes
8
Ingenious Place double-hex pieces on a hexagonal board to create rows of colors and shapes to score points in individual colors. Your lowest colors' score is your final score, so you must score well in all of the colors to score highly. Highly strategic. No theme or substantial aesthetics; purely abstract mechanics.
6.1
No
1
Forbidden Desert Cooperative game about excavating the desert and building an ancient flying machine to escape. Fun mechanics, but virtually no replayability. Beautiful artwork. Plays smoothy and quickly. Easy to learn, but complex enough to be interesting.
5.8
No
1
Castles of Burgundy Create your own castle/territory with teeny-tiny hexes. Each hex you add affects scoring and/or actions you can make. Interesting integration of dice to determine where you can place hexes and what actions you can take.
5.4
No
1
Le Havre Collect and distribute goods. Take actions based on available buildings. Harvests similar to Agricola. Fun economics game; mostly mechanics with weak theme.
5.3
Yes
3
Sentinels of the Multiverse This cooperative game uses superheros similar to famous super heroes we're familiar with (such as superman and batman) as well as creative superheros like Ra (the Egyptian god). These heroes fight together against a "boss" deck. Plays quickly and is easy to learn.
5.2
No
1
Batman Love Letter This game is the same as love letter with different artwork. The only difference is in the way tokens are allocated. I only recommend this to Batman fans, as the original artwork of Love Letter is of a higher quality. The rating I've assigned here may be unfairly low due to the fact that I'd just rather play the original Love Letter.
5.1
No
1