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

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The other lost cities:-Tikal



GameTikal


PublisherRavensburger

Designer: Kramer and Kiesling

Year: 1999


Day 10: I'm nearing the site of the aerial photography, everyone else might have said I'm mad, but I know I saw signs of stonework.
Day 12: The jungle is so thick that I'm spending more time with my machete out than not.
Day 14: I found some scraps of stone on the floor, clearly man-made, I think I could make out a carving. I'm on the right trail
Day 15: It's here, the temple is real, I'm going to be the most famous explorer in the world, or my name's not Dora!



Tikal is a 2-4 player territory control game in which you play as an expedition leader seeking to discover and uncover the lost temples of Tikal. The game has a heavy focus on time management as you try to uncover and hold temples and discover sets of artifacts that will make you famous, you also have to manage your workers as you can’t be everywhere at once, but a smart player can be ready to steal temple control just in time for the scoring round.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- My Top 10 Board Games

This week is the 1 year anniversary of The Game Shelf!

Thanks for all your support and readership over the last 12 months. Hopefully we’ll go from strength to strength in the next year and keep putting out interesting reviews each week from our two different (but often similar) points of view. Do let us know if you have any feedback or different things you’d like to see on the blog – we’re always open to new ideas.

To celebrate the occasion I’ve finally taken the plunge and decided on my Top 10 Board Games of All Time. It was such a hard list to put together and is very different to what it might have been just a few months ago, but our tastes are changing as we discover and collect more and more games.

Here we go with the Top 10;

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Dungeon Petz



GameDungeon Petz

PublisherCzech Games Edition

Designer: Vlaada Chvatil

Year20
11

Dungeon Petz is a game in which you control a group of imps, whose goal is to raise animals, keeping them happy, clean and well fed, until you think it’s the right time to sell them to some very dubious characters who definitely only have your adorable pet’s best interests at heart. In the meantime, whilst your pets are still growing up you can exhibit them in a ‘Crufts’- like competition where they will win for being the best a certain characteristics such as playfulness, anger or how much food they can eat. This very adorable and slightly questionable world is what drew us to Dungeon Petz.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Putting the "adorable" in flesh-eating monsters:- Dungeon Petz



Game: Dungeon Petz

PublisherCzech Games Edition

Designer: Vlaada Chvatil

Year2011

Four years I worked for that dreadful dungeon keeper, “mine here” he’d say, “Go trigger that trap”, “Hold on let me possess you, you’re not doing it right”. Enough I say! Enough of his hero slaying dungeon full of red-horned devils, smelly fat-demons and hungry spiders! So I left, but not before noticing how much he liked monsters. Those monsters he had he got for free, but why shouldn’t he pay! Why shouldn’t all dungeon keepers pay for the finest quality monsters? The best of the best, the fartiest of demons, the hungriest of spiders the horniest of devils! And that’s why I’m the proprietor of the first ever imp-run pet store! Now my old dungeon keeper pays me, well... he paid me before... but it’s different now okay! I’m my own imp and no-one can take that from me without a really big whip or a big enough bag of gold!
 
Dungeon Petz is a 2-4 player worker placement game in which you control a group of imps who are trying to set up a pet shop full of various forms of monsters. Firstly a pet shop is a wonderful idea for a board game and I don’t know why more people haven’t made pet shop games, secondly this game is simply adorable! The manual is written with a hint of cheek which really suits the theme of crazy little goblins running a pet store, and perhaps most importantly the rear couple of pages have descriptions on all the pets and buyers so you start to feel that little bit attached about ensuring your mutant eyeball plant goes to a good home!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 15th-22nd May



This week has definitely been one for buying games, but we haven’t really got round to trying many yet. This buying addiction could not come at a worse time, with an imminent house move and shelves that have long since overflowed onto the floor, plus the UK Games Expo coming up where I’m bound to want to buy stuff! For now we’ve tried one of the new games I bought, one that’s been sitting on the shelf for a very long time and one belonging to a friend.


Here are the Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Overthinking by the Yellow Meeple:- Top ten board games fround in UK charity shops



I’ve been a bargain hunter for a long time. As I teenager I’d look in charity shops and car boot sales for video games to sell online. When we got into board gaming, we started to do this again, keeping an eye out for bargain board games to help grow our collection.

In the past few weeks I’ve seen quite a lot of buzz on Facebook, Youtube and BoardGameGeek about charity or thrifting finds with one group of people super excited to share finds and another group of people taking the stance that if you find something priced cheaply in a charity shop you should tell them and pay them more. For me, if I’m lucky enough to find something cheap in a charity shop, then I pay the asking price – if I don’t then someone else will. I’ve definitely spent a lot of money in them over the years and they’ve had a lot of stock back from me too.

I’ve probably had 30-40 ‘modern’ board game finds as well as picking up some more mass market titles too. But here I’ll list my top ten finds, in order of how awesome I think the find was, not necessarily how highly I rate the game.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Seasons



Game: Seasons

Publisher: Libellud

Designer: Régis Bonnessée

Year20
12

Seasons is a game I find it quite difficult to sum up – I suppose it’s a fantasy themed, card combo, dice drafting, resource management game? Most people trying to sell the game to me told me it was a game with awesome chunky dice which is great for two players and had some drafting. We generally play two player, enjoy drafting and dice for some reason tend to favour me rather than Amy, so why not give Seasons a go?

Seasons is a game that takes place over 3 years and each year you progress through the four seasons at a different pace, which you have some control over when you draft the dice. You roll different coloured dice during each season and the different coloured dice have different symbols on them, which mainly reflect which elements are more abundant in each season. Quite logically water is more abundant in Winter, Fire in Summer, Earth in Spring and Wind in Autumn and the other elements are more rare by comparison. Different elements become valuable in seasons when they’re in short supply.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Summer never lasts long enough:- Seasons



Game: Seasons

Publisher: Libellud

Designer: Régis Bonnessée

Year20
12
The first rule of magic is know your environment, the second rule of magic is KNOW YOUR ENVIROMENT, the third rule of magic is don’t drink from your neighbours cauldron. Today we’ll cover rules 1 and 2. You can only draw upon the element which surround you, in a fiery desert you can cast fireballs galore, but in a frozen tundra you’ll struggle to conjure even a spark. The elements surround us, permeate us, but only as an extension of your environment, the biggest risk of casting a spell that uses fire when you are surrounded by cold is that you’ll take the element from your own body and that *will* kill you. Magic is dangerous, only immature amateurs would think of using it for games or tournaments! 


Seasons is a 2-4 player card game in which you play as 1 of 4 wizards taking part in a three year long tournament. The game includes a mix of drafting, dice rolling and creature summoning all on a background of via the changing of seasons across the three years you play.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 1st – 14th May



As I feared, the last fortnight has not been our biggest two weeks in gaming. It’s been very busy for both of us and we’ve actually acquired as many new games as we’ve played new games. I decided to take advantage of an Amazon deal and pick up Dixit, which we’re amazed we’ve only had the opportunity to play once before and Amy has an amazing find in a charity shop, picking up Eldritch Horror, which will give me the opportunity to try it again after a disastrous introductory game a few months ago with 6 players and poor rules explanation. Nevertheless, we’ve got two new games to the table that have been sitting on our shelf for some time.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Biblios



Game: Biblios

Publisher: Iello

Designer: Steve Finn

Year20
07


Biblios came onto our radar as an auction game that was enjoyed by people who didn’t like bidding and auctions. It also said on the box that it played two players, quite unusual for an auction game, and in the instruction book there were no special rules for a 2-player variant. So how have we found Biblios and have we enjoyed playing with just the two of us?

Biblios is not a strongly thematic game, but a little research tells you that the theme is supposed to be that you are each a monk, competing to amass the greatest library my amassing the most supplies and workers. This certainly doesn’t come through in the game other than through the nice, but quite bland artwork. Really, in Biblios you are collecting groups of coloured cards, trying to have the highest numerical value in a colour compared to the other players in the game.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Of monks and monkeys :- Biblios


Game: Biblios

Publisher: Iello

Designer: Steve Finn

Year20
07

Brother Markus wandered through the cavernous halls, his footsteps echoing through the chamber joined only by the scribbling of quills on parchment. Markus paced until he found himself next to a young monk’s writing desk, gently he raised his hand, the scribbling stopped leaving only silence, silence that was punctuated by Markus’s hand slamming on the desk. The inkpot bounced into the sky before tipping over the monk’s page, the young man began to protest until he met Markus’ stern eyes. Markus’ gaze was locked onto the monk’s work, as the ink dribbled its way across the parchment that represented hours of work the young monk saw it. He had smudged an F!


Biblios is a 2-4 player card game in which you play as an abbot trying to create the greatest collection of holy writings. In the game you’ll be competing on 5 categories which represent the resources and people needed to create your sacred tomes, in addition you’ll be acquiring gold, which always comes in handy. The game is split into 2 sections, the first you’ll be distributing resources among the players and an auction pile and in the second you’ll be running an auction for the remaining resources.

Monday, 2 May 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s Top 5 Board Game Expansions



I’ve been pretty reluctant to make a favourite expansions list because I’m not the sort of person who expands every game I like. I also don’t buy into the idea of ‘essential’ expansions. For an expansion to be essential it implies the game NEEDS the expansion ie. there is something wrong with the base game that it fixes. If I don’t like a base game I’m not going to keep putting money into it to try and make it better. For those who use essential to mean it’s just that good, then that’s fair enough and I will look into that kind of expansion for some of the games i love that need a new lease of life to get them to the table more often or with a new audience. 

Here’s the Yellow Meeple’s top 5 expansions;

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Yellow Meeple’s First Impressions 24th-30th April



Last Sunday turned out to be a very successful day in gaming. In spite of me having an awful hangover and Amy starting with a cold, we soldiered on to try out two big new games. We also ‘completed’ our collection of Marvel Dice Masters (as far as we care to at least) by raiding a friend’s spares.

Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;