Category Archives: Board Games

A Review of the New Legends of the Hidden Temple Board Game Along With Some House Rules

I loved, loved the Legends of the Hidden Temple TV show and when the board game came out it, it was an easy buy for me. But a huge red flag for most gamers is that this board game is made by Pressman Toy which hasn’t had the best track record for board games especially after the Oregon Trail Card Game. As it, yes Legends of the Hidden Temple isn’t a good board game.

Legends of the Hidden Temple Board Game

But its biggest strength is the nostalgia factor and playing this brought back all sort of warm memories of the show. All in all, I think the Legend of the Hidden Temple board game does replicate the show well… almost to a fault. The show made the contestants do some silly things so likewise this board game made you do some silly things. For example, you have to flip a cup in one challenge and play sort of a simple version of beer pong in another. I actually don’t mind this but this is why I recommend playing this with only people who have seen the show. If they never seen the show, this would just be a bad party game.

The biggest problem though is this game is too long and it kind of drags on. If you play with a large group, many of the eliminated players will have a lot of time to kill. Some of the rules are a little vague too so I recommend some house rules.

  • In the first moat challenge, you have to quickly roll dice to match your team’s side and move up if you do but if you roll the opposite team’s side you lose some of your progress. I would just do away with this rule so you always make forward progress. Also it is a bit unclear but I play it as ten spaces you have complete to win and only the first two teams to finish gets to move on because…
  • I only played one of the three temple games challenges which each playthrough which means you have to award the two other pendants elsewhere. The first team to finish the moat challenge get the first pendant (the next player to finish just gets to move on). The two teams then play the steps of knowledge challenge and the first team to get three questions right gets the second pendant.
  • For the Smashed Printing Plate of Frederick Douglass challenge (basically the card game slap), there is no reason to play through the whole deck. I just play with 40 random cards which is a little more than half the deck.
  • Finally in the temple run challenge, the silver monkey rules are a little vague. I play it as a memory game. You can only look at one card at a time and have flip the card face down before you look at another card. When you know where the base, the middle and head are, point it out and flip the cards to see if you are right. If you are wrong, flip all the card face down again and shuffle it and start over.
  • This is not really a house rule but I always play the Temple Run song in the final challenge to add to the suspense. It is a good way to keep track of time too.

I think all these house rules speed up the game and gets to the good part (the temple run) faster. It also adds a little variety and replayability to the game since you can play a different temple game each time. All in all, this board game isn’t for everyone but there is something there and I wished it was refined just a bit.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Board Games

Fake Pokemon TCG Cards

I was at a dollar store and I saw “Pokemon TCG” packs for only a dollar! But I know what you are thinking and yep I knew these cards were fake aka knockoffs aka bootlegs but curiosity got the best of me and it was only a dollar! So I have this sketchy Breakpoint pack.

Fake Pokemon Cards Pack

Of all the bootleg cards (baseball cards, Magic cards etc), Pokemon TCG ones are probably the most readily available. I remember you can get fake Pokemon TCG cards when it first came out in 1998-99 and they were being sold all over Chinatown. But these first generation bootleg cards were horrible. They were super faded and paper thin. The sure shot way to see if you have fake card back in the day is if you can see light through the card aka the light test.

I also found it weird when fake Pokemon cards had different fonts, weird translations, different card designs or even different artwork. Kind of like this bootleg I had in my collection.

Fake Pokemon Cards Pikachu

I wonder why they can’t just get a scan or photocopies of the actual cards.

Anyways, these fakes are a bit better.

Fake Pokemon Cards

The box it came in was spot on. The text had the right font and it wasn’t faded like you would expect. I wonder if they just “recycled” the box from real Pokemon TCG packs and replaced it with these bootleg packs. The wrapper is a little more sketch. The pictures are too dark but you really have to look carefully to find anything else off about the wrapper. It is when you look at the actually cards you can easily tell these cards aren’t real. They don’t have the right gloss and feel different when you handle them. The collation is also really weird and the foil process is different. The picture and text also aren’t as sharp the real cards especially on the back. The cards though are a bit thicker than the ones I remember as a kid and it passed the light test.

So all in all, you can still easily spot the fake cards but they are getting a lot better.

Leave a comment

Filed under Board Games

Awesomely Awesome Board Games: 1313 Dead End Drive

13 Dead End Drive was an awesome board game that came out in 1993. In this board game, you want to be the sole inheritor of a huge fortune and you do that by killing the other characters with deadly traps sprinkled around the mansion. What is unique about this game is you can control any character on your turn (perhaps to lead them to a trap). I describe it as Mouse Trap if it was a good game. It had a very visual board that definitely draw your attention. I remember playing it when I was in elementary school and this youtube video reminded me of it. 13 Dead End Drive is unfortunately long out of print so it now fetches a pretty penny.

13 Dead End Drive was a fairly popular mass market game but did you know it had a lesser known sequel 1313 Dead End Drive that came out nine years later?

1313 Dead End Drive

1313 Dead End Drive actually streamlined the game and fixed a lot of the flaws of 13 Dead End Drive. First off, in the original game the traps broke way too often and it isn’t a problem I believe with the sequel. The board in the sequel was also easier and faster to set up and while playing the game, it had less things to keep a track of.

As for the rules in the original, there was a portrait on the wall which said which character is the going to inherit the fortune and if he or she escapes the mansion, the player who controls that character wins. So if it is your turn and if you don’t own that character, you have to kill him or her. 1313 Dead End Drive takes that out and replaces with a money track aka the will. Certain characters start off with more money but as characters start to die the money trickles down and you also don’t instantly win if you escape the mansion with one of your characters. Instead the player with the most money after the last card of the deck was drawn wins. This works a lot better.

Both 13 Dead End Drive and 1313 Dead End Drive are still fun games to play. There is a bit of deduction, a bit of bluffing and a bit of take that in this game, all mechanics that I love. If you want a unique light filler I highly recommend either game.

Leave a comment

Filed under Board Games

Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Packs

This is a little update of the previous blog post. I finally found some Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Packs for sale and I picked up nine of them.

Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Packs

Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Pulls

I pulled a Jyn Erso and a Mon Mothma. I have to go through the cards I have but these two cards seem to be a start of a deck. I am very happy with my pulls even if I didn’t pull a legendary card.

Leave a comment

Filed under Board Games

Star Wars Destiny Rey & Finn Starter Deck

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you. Honestly I was hoping to open some packs of the newest Star Wars Destiny set, Spirit of the Rebellion for this special occasion but I couldn’t find any for sale. Instead I got the next best thing, the Rey & Finn starter deck!

Star Wars Destiny Rey and Finn Starter Deck

Star Wars Destiny is probably my favorite tabletop game right now. It is actually one of the reason I don’t really collect and play Magic anymore and it is biggest reason I don’t play Dicemasters anymore. It has a great theme and it has the perfect combination of luck and strategy built into the framework of the game.

Despite that, this game has some flaws and it really doesn’t have anything to do with the game itself. A) – The collectible card game model makes this game very expensive to play especially if you are planning on playing in tournaments. B) – The game is sold out everywhere and distribution of the game is a bit iffy. C) – Starter decks don’t give you a complete deck since it has only 20 cards of the 30 cards you need. So for A you really can’t do anything about it. Fantasy Flight is supposed to have fixed B with a bigger print run but given that the new set was supposed to come out on May 4th and I haven’t seen packs in stores yet give me some cause for concern. Finally for C, Fantasy Flight should really just put any 10 cards to fill out the deck.

Anyways when the packs do come out I highly recommend that game. It is easy to learn and fast to play but it still gives you some interesting choices. I can’t wait to build my Baze Malbus and Chirrut Imwe deck!

1 Comment

Filed under Board Games

Lost CCGs: Naruto CCG

I was looking through the discount DVD section the other day and I found a Naruto Volume 5 – Shinobi Weapons DVD. To my surprise it also came with a Naruto CCG promo card!

Sakura Haruno Promo Card

The card was loose in the DVD case so some of the corners were damaged. Oh wells.

Anyways, I played the Naruto CCG years ago and I may have played it two, maybe three times. I used to own a bunch of cards but not really enough to build a tournament deck. I did have a friend who loved the game so I just borrowed his decks to play.

Again my memory of the game is kind of hazy. But as you can see there are two combat stats for each character, one for when he or she is healthy and one for when he or she in injured. A big mechanic of the game is organizing all the characters aka ninjas into teams and have them attack your opponent. Also on your turn you will be playing missions, charging chakra and playing jitsu cards.

Unfortunately any CCG is a huge money sink and it is a very, very competitive market so it is no surprise to see Naruto CCG out of print. So many in the past have. But if I can get some Naruto CCG cards for cheap, I wouldn’t mind picking it up again and trying out the game again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Board Games

Awesomely Awesome Board Games: Don’t Break the Ice

Don’t Break the Ice was a fairly popular kids board game. It even inspired a German TV show. What is surprising though is how old the game really is. It was in fact first released in 1968 by Schaper Toys. It has since seen a bunch of different printings but as expected it is much harder to find the older versions of this game. Luckily it was recently reprinted by Hasbro with a Frozen theme and this is the edition I have…

Frozen Don't Break the Ice

So in Don’t Break the Ice, Anna and Olaf are in the middle of dangerous patch of ice! Each player then take turns using a mallet to knock a piece of ice off. If Olaf stays on top, it is the next player’s turn but if he falls, you lose! If you can find an older version of the game I really recommend it over this. The grid was 6×6 rather than 5×5 so the figure can be in the middle of the board and the base of the older version was made of plastic rather than cardboard. Plus if I recall the older version came with two mallets instead of just one. But given that the older version now goes for over $35, this does the job.

All in all, Don’t Break the Ice is a quick, fun and silly game. I don’t really care for the Frozen theme but I have to admit it sort of works. There is actually a very similar game called Penguin Trap that has a bigger board but it hasn’t seen a US release.

1 Comment

Filed under Board Games