Quick post today. Pax Unplugged was awesome! Here are some of cool games I picked up.
First off some promos and freebies I picked up.
I also won a copy of Pick the Lock, a little card game.
One of the coolest items is Zendo, signed by Andrew Looney. This game has been on my want list for a long time and they finally reprinted it.
Garbage Day is a fun, unique card game.
Finally I can’t leave a convention without a mystery bag/ box and this time around I got Battle Yahtzee Deadpool which intrigued me in the past and Are You the Traitor (not really a fan of social deduction games).
I am definitely going to Pax Unplugged next year and I can easily see it being my favorite convention.
I was recently introduced to the world of thrifting and the thrift stores in New York City. It is (in my opinion) the closest you can get in the modern world to digging for treasure. I really do enjoy the thrill of the hunt and reading other people’s thrift store hauls on reddit. So it about time to share some awesome board games I found in thrift stores.
My best find has to be Ingenius for less than $5 after discounts. It is pretty much brand new. I don’t usually like abstract strategy games but Ingenius is quickly becoming one of my favorite games in my collection. It is a tile laying game and how you place your tile each turn will score points in one or two of six colors. What is clever or dare I say ingenius about this game is you only score the points of your worst performing color. So you can’t go all in in just one or two colors. I highly recommend this game.
I got Rush Hour Deluxe Edition for $4. The box is a little banged up and it is missing two cards but everything else is there. This is a puzzle where you have to get you car out of a traffic jam. I got through the easy scenarios but I am having some problems solving even the intermediate puzzles. Rush Hour is probably the most well known game of the Thinkfun puzzle line and I also recommend Roller Coaster Challenge if you ever come across it.
Finally I got this party game, Emoji Cards for $3. I actually came back for it because I was surprised Tom Vasal of the Dice Tower gave a positive review for the game. It doesn’t look like much but it is Charades meets the game, Concept. I am also brainstorming a variant for this game. It is still in the testing phase but as a little teaser it can be best described as a reverse Codenames.
What have been some of your best thrift shop finds? In the past, I have also gotten Carcassonne for $5, Ascension for $5, Qwirkle for $1, Stonehenge with the expansion for $10 and Tsuro for $5 at a used bookstore but unfortunately they don’t sell games anymore.
This year, I can’t say New York Comic Con was a lot less crowded but I can say it was noticeably less crowded which is a good thing. Anyways, I went in looking for good deals for board games and I have a huge stack of games sitting right next to me.
I love mystery boxes and a booth was selling one with board games and card games. I couldn’t resist.
I got Evil Genius Deathray along with an expansion and a tiny card game called Save the Cupcake in it. Evil Genius Deathray does not look like a good game. It feels like a bad Munchkin and I hate Munchkin. Save the Cupcake on the hand looks like a good quick 2 player card game. It is actually quite fun and interestingly enough it hasn’t had a retail release yet.
You know how I said I couldn’t resist a good mystery box well… I bought another one on the last day of comic con. This one was a Carl Chudyk themed box. It had Innovation, Innovation: Artifacts of History expansion and Red 7. I don’t know much about these games but at first glance they both have elements of Fluxx. These games have a good rating on Board Game Geek so I am interested in trying these out.
I got this push your luck dice game, Dancing Dice for $3 and Le Boomb for free. It was bundled with Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate (with promos) and Tuchulcha which my brother bought. Dancing Dice is high on my to try list. I like push your luck, Yahtzee like dice games and this seems like a nice twist to the usual formula. Le Boomb is barely a game but it could be an interesting way to determine who goes first in a game. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate is the new hotness in the board gaming world. It is a D&D reskinning of Betrayal at the House on the Hill, one of my favorite games. Finally Tuchulcha has really, really boring box. Looked it up and it is a fancy Parcheesi like game. Not really my thing.
Finally I got this copy of Tak, signed by Pat Rothfuss. This is probably the coolest item I got in New York Comic Con this year. Tak is 2 player abstract game that is quick to teach and a lifetime to master. I usually avoid abstract games but I played this game a couple of times and I loved it. Throw Pat Rothfuss (my favorite author at the moment) in the mix and it was a no brainer.
I also bought a bunch of comics but wow that is a lot of games!
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.
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.
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 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.
So this is a follow up to my Think Geek Warcraft Epic Box blog post. I can’t be the only one who thinks the items you get are super random. I gave it some thought and designing a board game with these components could be a fun challenge. So again the five things that came in the box were: a mini poster, a lanyard with a Warcraft card, a Horde patch, a coin with the Horde symbol on one side and the Alliance symbol on the other and finally a Warcraft hammer key chain.
I designed a fun (although that can be subjective) game that uses everything but the mini poster and nothing else. Also everything can be hanged on the lanyard so it is portable and travel friendly.
This is only a two player game and it is a coin flipping game with a dexterity element which requires quick reaction times.
First the players have to sit across from each other. To set up, put the card on the middle of table, the hammer on the far end on one side of the table and the Horde patch on the far end on the other side. The card in the middle represents the base, the hammer represents attack and the Horde patch represents defense.
On your turn, you will flip the coin. If it lands on the Horde side, you are the Horde for the round and you have to quickly take the Horde patch and place it on the card in the middle. Your opponent is the Alliance in this case and he or she has to take the hammer and tap the base before you place the patch on the card. If it lands on the Alliance side, you have to take the hammer and tap the card before your opponent places the Horde patch. Whoever succeeds scores a point and players immediately lose if they touch the wrong item (if both players touch the wrong items they both score zero for the round). Reset the board, take turns flipping the coin and let’s say first to three points wins.
Be care not to hurt your opponent with the hammer and it can be fun psyching them out so they touch the wrong item.
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…
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.