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 18 months and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every other 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

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Terror in Meeple City



GameTerror in Meeple City

PublisherRepos Productions

Designer: Antoine Bauza & Ludovic Maublanc

Year2013

  


Do you like destroying things? Have you always wanted to be Godzilla for a day? You don’t mind looking like a fool whilst doing it? And you enjoy searching for meeples under your sofa? Terror in Meeple City might be the game for you!





Terror in Meeple City is a light-hearted dexterity game for 2-4 players. The board is a 3-dimensional city-scape with a number of multi-storey buildings which are held up by meeples. There are also chunky bus tokens and of course the city is populated by fearsome monsters. Each player is responsible for a monster who wants to destroy buildings and each meeples.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Scarier than the 1998 Godzilla:-Terror in Meeple City






GameTerror in Meeple City

PublisherRepos Productions

Designer: Antoine Bauza & Ludovic Maublanc

Year2013



Meeple City was a happy place, a square mile of urban bliss located on an island off the coast of Japan. That was until the fateful day in 1963, the world was still reeling from Godzilla’s attack 9 years before, but Meeple City was attacked by not 1, but 4 giant lizards! The carnage was unspeakable with only two dozen people escaping from the island and reaching the mainland. Survivors tell tales of the monsters throwing cars at each other, biting through concrete and scoping up people by the handful to eat. The four lizards have never been seen since, and now Meeple city is looking to rebuild. Some people call them foolish for returning, but what are the odds that the monsters will strike again?

Terror in Meeple City is a deep and complex game in which you play as Godzilla-style monsters rampaging around town, knocking down buildings and eating people. You might think that sounds horrific, but the people were being used to hold up the buildings, so think of it as relieving them from their eternal Atlas-style punishment. You’ll stomp around the city throwing cars at each other, blowing down buildings with your monster-breath, dropping your monster-meeple on a building made of people-meeple to expose the tasty treats within. When I say you’ll be doing it, I mean it, this isn’t a roll a dice or play a card style game, this is a “put your chin on the monster and blow as hard as possible” type game.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 17th-23rd April


This week I’m very happy to have squeezed in a visit to our local board game cafe which allowed me to try a couple of new games. I also discovered a local micro-pub which has a nicely stocked game shelf. The only downside is that I really wanted to try their copy of String Railway, but none of their tables are large enough! This week we have played one new game found in a charity shop and tried two new titles at the cafe.
 
Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game



GameBrewcrafters: The Travel Card Game

PublisherDice Hate Me Games

Designer: Ben Rosset

Year2014




I first heard about Brewcrafters early in our board gaming journey and what stuck with me was the description of Agricola on the theme of brewing beer. Since we’d only just got Agricola to the table I decided against another significant investment, in spite of the very appealing theme! Instead I put some research into the card game version and, after hearing good things, made a much smaller investment in Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game.



In Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game you are using cards to build up your brewery, including the equipment, staff and fields where you grow your ingredients. It’s important to have the right mix of equipment and people to brew the beers you are famous for! Perhaps you specialise in brewing standard Ale, but doing it really well commanding a higher price or maybe you brew Special Reserve with rarer ingredients, or you’re a bit of a jack of all trades.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Card game or beer mat selection?:- Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game



GameBrewcrafters: The Travel Card Game

PublisherDice Hate Me Games

Designer: Ben Rosset

Year2014

We started back in 76, if you could call it a start, one of those one-stop home brewing kit. At the end we had a plastic barrel full of ale, terrible ale that burned its way down and yet was somehow was barely alcoholic. It’s safe to say we’ve come a long way from there, now we have 9 different ales in regular production along with our “Ale of the year”. We challenge our finest brewmasters to produce something truly special that we will only make for the year. Now if you’ll follow me to the barrelhouse we have a few samples for you to try.

Brewcrafters: The Travel Card Game is a 2-4 player in which you set up your own brewery. You’ll hire staff, build brewing equipment and, of course, brew beer. Ultimately making the different beers is the way you win the game, but without investing in infrastructure you’ll struggle to rack up those points and increase production. Interestingly the 4-player game is actually a 2v2 co-op game where 2 players build the same brewery.

The game play is fairly simple, each turn you draw 2 cards, either from a selection of 5 face up cards or blind from the deck. Then you either play a card into your brewery or brew a beer by playing the ingredients. Each card in the game is both an ingredient and a brewery upgrade, though you can only have 1 of each upgrade in your brewery at any one time. Different drinks you brew are worth different amounts of points depending on the rarity of the ingredients you use.

A game in progress, scores and beer recipes are at the bottom of the player areas, their brewery is a little higher up and the cards available are in the middle.
Brewcrafters is simple, sure, but that’s what you expect for a travel game, the fact that you can fit it into a pocket (it wouldn’t be comfy, but you could) and it can play 4 players is a strong selling point. I feel like 3 players is the sweet spot as it gives you all separate breweries to run, but the game is fun and playable at any player count. There are some surprising complexities that you can use, for example if you play all the fruit cards as upgrades then you remove them from the deck and therefore making special reserves will be harder as the ingredients are rarer, although you can always play 2 of 1 ingredient type to count as 1 of any other (enough hops tastes like apple... right?).


A selection of cards, the ingredients are in the top left. Note that sometimes the same bit of equipment have different ingredients so you might want to be careful about what you remove from the ingredient stock.

However the simplicity does take away from the replayability, in a 2-player game you’ll be seeing the same brewery upgrades multiple times which takes away from the excitement and reduces the choices you make, you really want to be making the choice between having the upgrades or using the card for ingredients but it soon becomes a no-brainer. The art is nice and the cards are solid, but one of the biggest niggles I have is the score counters which are far bigger than needed to mark your score, I just don’t understand why that happened! I do recommend this game, but don’t expect the most depth and replayability from it, most games will feel pretty similar.

6/10

Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions:- 10th-16th April



Last weekend we attended a house warming party. There were 18 people so games that included everyone were limited, but at first people wanted to stick together and unfortunately that led us to social deduction games – which regular readers will know I hate. We had a near miss with Werewolf where luckily we managed to sneak away and play a game of Jaipur instead, but we did join in with two new social deduction games as well as getting to play some fun party games, like Telestrations and Articulate!.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Paperback



GamePaperback

PublisherTim Fowers

Designer: Tim Fowers

Year2014

Paperback was on my list of wanted games for a long time, I even tried to pre-order a copy when I went to New York last year, but eventually, like many UK gamers, I was very excited to pick it up when a UK online retailer finally got Paperback in stock. Why was I so excited? We love deck-builders, they’re probably our second favourite style of game after co-ops. Before we really got into gaming we enjoyed really enjoyed the word game Bananagrams. Finally, I’d heard great things about Paperback as a two-player game.

In Paperback, like most deckbuilders, you start with a deck of 10 basic cards from which you draw a hand of 5. On your turn you try and arrange these letters to make a word and you earn the money shown on the cards you manage to play. You can also try and earn an extra 1c by using the central common card as part of your word. You can then spend the money to buy more letter cards, which might just be one letter with a higher monetary value than the ones you start with, but also might be two letters or a letter with a special ability to help boost your turn. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Pay-Per-Word writing:- Paperback


Game: Paperback

Manufacturer: Tim Fowers

Designer: Tim Fowers

Year2014



Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer

Paperback is a 2-5 player deck building game in which you play as an aspiring author, by creating words with your cards you get paid, just like a real writer! Essentially it feels like a deck building Scrabble, though without the grid to play on and with a sense of progression. 

Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 3rd April – 9th April



It’s nice when you come across new games unexpectedly. We went to our usual Sunday board game club expecting a very quiet affair since a weekend-long convention was happening just down the road. I was hoping to play some of our older titles like Stone Age and Ghost Stories, but instead we got to try out one new game and one new expansion.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Ticket to Ride Europe



GameTicket to Ride: Europe

ManufacturerDays of Wonder

Designer: Alan Moon

Year2005



Ticket to Ride: Europe is one of the games that we owned before we really entered into the gaming hobby. It was definitely alongside Catan in terms of games that Amy’s video gamer friends were very into at the time. So is this classic gateway game still standing the test of time?





In Ticket to Ride you are trying to connect together cities by different lengths of train route. You do this by laying sets of matching coloured carriage cards to allow you to lay out your trains. You immediately score points which are greater when you build longer routes. However you will also be working towards completing tickets which connect different cities across the board, and are secret so only score points at the end of the game. Throughout the game you draw carriage cards wither from the face-up line or the face down deck to try and collect cards and build routes before your opponents – once a route has been built on, it is blocked for other players.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

I like trains!:- Ticket to Ride: Europe


GameTicket to Ride: Europe

ManufacturerDays of Wonder

Designer: Alan Moon

Year2005

They run across Europe like the veins in your body, the trains carry coal and steel just like your blood carries oxygen. Then we use that coal and steel to make more trains, which carry more steel to make more trains and, ultimately more money. Where the train goes, money goes, where the money goes we take our share. Our business is building a better tomorrow, we deserve our share for that.


Ticket to Ride Europe is a 2-5 player route control game and follow-up to the popular game Ticket to Ride. In case anyone has managed to miss the Ticket to Ride phenomenon it’s a game in which you collect coloured cards in order to build your train routes and connect cities, connect the right cities and you complete tickets which are worth bonus points at the end of the game, but fail to complete your tickets and you’ll be penalised. The European version of the game isn’t just a new map, it also adds a handful of new rules and a balance tweak in the tickets.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 19th March – 2nd April



It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted some first impressions. We’ve been pretty busy trying to buy our first house and of course planning a new games room to go in it! We did however finally play a game that’s been sitting on the shelf for almost a year – Twilight Struggle and I got the chance to visit Draughts in London this week and try a couple more games.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;