Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Yellow Meeple's First Impressions:- 16th April 2018 at The Ludoquist

This blog is by no means my first impressions of The Ludoquist. We visit the board game cafe in Croydon quite a lot, with different groups of friends, and, of course, Amy works there. However, it's the first time we've been by ourselves and set aside a day for gaming. I've been keeping  a list of games on the shelves that I wanted to play and we managed to cross of quite a few. We identified some great new games as well as avoiding a few bad purchases.

I won't feature all of the games we played, but here's some of the Yellow Meeple's first impressions;

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Sonar

Game: Sonar

Publisher: Matagot

Designer: Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier

Year: 2017

Sonar is a 4-player sequel to the game Captain Sonar from 2016. I've been really eager to try Sonar, because I had rel problems with Captain Sonar, despite loving the concept. Captain Sonar was a game I loved when we first played it turn-based, but it completely fell apart when I played a real-time game with a team who were just awful at cooperating. It was so bad that it forced me to leave a gaming group and never go back.

The concept of Sonar is the same as it's bigger brother, with some hidden movement and an elaborate take on Battleship. I was really excited to see a version that I could play with 2-players, so that I didn't have to relive the experience of poor communication and cooperation. At first Sonar was a Target exclusive in the USA, but now it's available in the UK and we've been giving it a try.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Torpedoes away! :- Sonar

Game: Sonar

Publisher: Matagot

Designer: Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier

Year: 2017

Sonar is a 2-4 player re-imagining of 2016's Captain Sonar. With a lowered player count and less roles, Sonar promises to be a quicker and easier to pick up experience. In Sonar you take the role of either the captain or the navigational officer of a submarine. As the captain you will navigate the submarine through the sea, avoiding islands and trying not to be predictable. As the Navigation officer you will "spy" on your opponents, trying to work out where in the ocean they are. Should you manage to hit your opponent with 2 torpedoes then you have sunk them and claim victory!

At the start of a game of Sonar a large screen is placed across the center of the table, separating the two teams. Behind the cover of fold-up cardboard each team is handed 2 maps of the area you are fighting in, one dry-erase pen per player and a sheet of cellophane. Teams will take turns, each turn the team captain will announce a direction of travel or one of the 4 actions. The opposing navigation officer will draw any movement on their cellophane sheet, over time the pattern of movement should narrow down or even completely reveal the enemy's location. To aid in finding them the navigation officer can move their cellophane over their copy of the map, testing out potential routes that the other team took.

Friday, 13 April 2018

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Spires

Game: Spires

Publisher: Nevermore Games

Designer: T. C. Petty III

Year: 2017

From the publisher: A royal family with a penchant for towers has decreed the builders of the kingdom – the players – to perk up the kingdom's skyline with new spires. In answer to their call, players compete to catch the eye of the royal family and ultimately, the title of Royal Builder. Players must be careful though. If they build a spire taller than the royal palace, they'll be penalized instead of praised.

Spires is on my radar thanks to listening to a podcast (I think it was Draft Mechanic) who said it was one of their favourite trick taking games. We've been exploring the world of trick taking games recently, with the goal of finding out what people actually mean when they use the term (!) and so I was delighted to find that Nick from Board Deck & Dice managed to get hold of a copy of Spires from the USA. Spires combines a few different mechanics and has its own twist on tick-taking, so let's take a look at how it plays.