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

Sunday, 27 May 2018

The Game Shelf Previews:- The UK Games Expo 2018

This year we are attending the UK Games Expo from Thursday afternoon until Sunday evening and we couldn't be more excited to finally get our chance to attend the whole show for the first time! The UK Games Expo takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 1st June to 3rd June 2018.

Last year, attendance surpassed that of the Origins game fair in the USA, and I can only imagine how much busier it might get this year. Thankfully there is additional space for both exhibitors and open gaming which should allow the convention to grow. With over 350 exhibitors, there will be a lot to see, so here are the games and exhibitors we'll be looking out for specifically.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

The Game Shelf Previews:- Villagers

Game: Villagers

Publisher: Sinister Fish Games

Designer: Haakon Gaarder

Year: 2018

You are the founder of a new village in the Middle Ages, in the wake of a great plague. With scarce resources, you need to choose wisely which of the refugees you will select from the road to settle with you. You need to build up a population of villagers who rely on each others specific skills and crafts and provide each other with food and the ability to build new houses, which will in turn increase the capacity of your village and make you prosperous.

Villagers is coming to Kickstarter from Sinister Fish Games. Both the game design and artwork are from Norwegian designer Haakon Gaarder and I feel as though you can really see some inspiration in the art from the middle ages in Scandanavia. We first tried a prototype of the game at Airecon in 2018 and are really pleased to be able to share our thoughts on the preview copy.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018


Game: Pioneer Days

Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games

Designer: Matthew Dunstan, Chris Marling

Year: 2017

Pioneer Days is a 2-4 player dice game in which you lead a wagon train across the Oregon Trail. You will roll dice into a common pool to determine which actions are available then draft these dice to select which action you do. However the remaining dice will determine which of the 4 disaster tracks rise, so sometimes preventing disaster can be more important than furthering your goals. If you can manage to prepare for disasters and have a little left over you can trade in your goods for favours, and in the wild west someone owing you a favour is worth it's weight in gold! Or you could simply mine gold. Gold is also happens to be worth it's weight in gold!

Pioneer Days is a dice drafting game, at the start of each round the dice bag will be filled with 1 set of the 5 dice, plus one additional set for every player. Each turn the active player will draw a number of dice from the bag equal to the number of players +1. Players will then take turns picking one of these dice until only 1 die is left. The colour of this die dictates which disaster track raises (black being especially bad, raising all 4 tracks!). Each die you take gives you 3 possible actions, you can sell the die for money, with each face being worth a different amount, you can collect the townsfolk associated with the die's face, or you can collect the associated resource.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Sunset Over Water

Game: Sunset Over Water

Publisher: Pencil First Games

Designer: Eduardo Baraf, Steve Finn, Keith Matejka

Year: 2018

Sunset Over Water comes from the same team of designers, artist and publisher who released Herbaceous - a small card game which has gained a lot of praise. For us, Herbaceous was pretty but not a super impressive game, but seeing all of the eautiful artwork in Sunset Over Water made us set aside those concerns and give the game a try.

Sunset Over Water is a game about hiking to a perfect spot, painting idyllic landscapes and then either keeping those paintings for you personal collection or selling them on comission to buyer who are looking for that perfect combination of landscape features.