Quartz: Review

Type: push your luck

# of players 3-5

Playtime: 45-60min

Complexity: 2/5

Dwarves love digging through their mine for treasure.  Well in Quartz you have found a new mine.  You and the other dwarves have 5 days (rounds) to gather as much money as you can because the richest dwarf in the end will be the new owner of the mine!

This is not your typical push your luck game.  when digging around in the mine (bag) for valuable gems it is exciting and fun.  Hoping to get a valuable gem, perhaps an amber and definitely not the obsidian.  Two obsidians are definitely bad news.  get your second obsidian and they break your cart.  When this happens all the valuable gems you have collected for the day tumble back into the mine and your day is done.  But you do gain some valuable experience to help in a later round.  On your turn instead of mining a gem you can go ahead and play one of your cards.  have someone grab gems for you, or pass of one of your obsidian to another dwarf, or steal gems helping you to multiply your payout at the end of the day.  Where this differs from the typical push your luck is the cards.  The interactivity between players is the fun and excitement in the game.  Your luck might be going great but the other dwarves might be waiting in the dark to take advantage.  The decision to keep going or to stop is always a calculated risk and never an easy decision.  leaving at the right time could mean getting a bravery bonus which could make all the difference in the world.

This game is easy to learn and has beautiful gem pieces.  The game play is quick with little down time which is great.  The momentum of the game changes quite often which is something that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Even when you are out for the day you are encouraging the next player to push their luck just a little too far to end up with nothing just like you.  Recommended for anyone who is looking for a quick fun game with interaction laughs and a little light hearted revenge.  Its complexity is a little low for those who love highly strategic games but anyone looking for less than that will not be disappointed.  This is a 5/5 for what it is.  If you want more complex well there is another game out there for you.

Keep on gaming A-Gamers.

Tell us what you think of the game or let us know what game reviews you would like to see

 

Century Spice Road: Review

Type: Light Strategy

# of players 2-5

Playtime: 30 - 45min

Complexity: 3/5

In Century Spice Road this game takes you back centuries ago to a time where trading spices were so was the most important market in the world and the value of spices rivaled that of gold! Well you take on the role of a caravan leader in search of wealth and fortune.

One of the first things to note about the game is how beautifully simple the mechanics are that you and your friends will almost immediately be able to play with very few questions around how the game works.  with 4 different actions you can perform on your turn (play one of 3 types of cards, Acquire a new card, rest in order to reuse your cards, and Claim a point card). This is where the simplicity ends.  choosing when to do each action is an added layer of strategy.  Soon you are choosing weather to upgrade your hand by Acquiring new cards, Or weather you should be using your actions to Claim a particular point card before your opponents.  

This game is ideal for 2 - 5 players.  For people who want a game that is easy to learn but strategic enough to take up a little time.  There is some luck element in terms of point cards and merchant cards that show up but don't let that fool you.  Strategy is the base of this game.

I highly recommend this game for all levels of player.  From beginners to strategic players.  It takes a couple play throughs to get a hang of how to be efficient in the game but that is the beauty of it.  The game is simple enough to learn that it playing multiple times will be something you will want to do immediately.  one of my favourite games this year I would easily give it a 5/5

Let us know what you think of this game and what other reviews you would like to see by commenting below.  Our list of games is available on the website.  

Keep bringing your A-Game!

 

Arena for the Gods: Review

Type: Light strategy
# of players: 2-6
Playtime: 30 - 60min
Complexity: 3/5

In Arena of the gods you take on the role of a mythical hero.  Fighting gladiator style to please the gods.  You sacrifice your life in order to obtain the best equipment for a grand battle.  Don't sacrifice too much life or you might be the first person to turn in their weapon.  When that happens, whoever has the most life points remaining wins!

Drawing on mechanics very similar to King of Tokyo, or King of New York also by iello games.  But this takes the strategy to the next level.  using dice rolls to also activate your weapon, mount, armour, or spells. Combining your abilities to take advantage of your strengths and the weaknesses of your opponents.  This game really begins to take shape with 3 or 4 players forcing you to carefully weigh your strategy so you don't leave yourself weak to another opponent.

This game is really for anyone who wants to take on their friends head to head.  Strategic enough for a board game veteran but easy enough for someone new to games.  I can definitely see why this is one of the most popular games right now. 

Are you ready to enter the Arena of the Gods?

Although extremely fun it does have a medium learning curve making it best for strategic players.  Learning how to best use your abilities and how much life to bid for each power can take a couple play throughs.  But once you have played a couple times you will be addicted.   Because of this I give this game a 4/5.  

 


 

Patchwork: Review

Type: Light Strategy
# of Players: 2
Playtime: ~30 mins
Complexity: 1/5

This is my go to game for couples that want to try a new game.  The rules are extremely simple, but the depth is great.

Patchwork is a great strategic version of tetris.  You're spending your buttons(points) to purchase the best of 3 available pieces for your board(quilt) you need to think about the cost, shape, and future income each piece will give you.  You get some control of what your opponent will have access to.  You're try to save buttons, but race towards certain check points.  The goal is to collect as many buttons as you can while covering as much of your board as possible.

 I've yet to find a couple that hasn't enjoyed this game.

I give this game a 5/5

7 Wonder Duel: Review

Type: Light Strategy
# of Players: 2
Playtime: ~30 mins
Complexity: 3/5
 

For those of you that have played 7 Wonders this game will feel very familiar, but with some interesting and welcome game mechanics for this 2 player variant.  Both are played over 3 ages, contain all the same types of buildingsI should start by saying that i'm not a fan of 7 Wonders.  I find that the ages are too short and don't give the player time to actually strategize, you're just building what's best out what's available.  With more players you won't see your original hand again.  However, I love Duel.  At it's core it's still a drafting game, but in this variant all the cards are laid on the table in a pyramid style and both players are drafting from the same pool.  This allows you to build your strategy not only based on the cards that are available but what's coming up for your opponent.

Just like 7 Wonders you'll be choosing a card each turn to either build, discard for money, or build your wonder.  Another improvement that Duel makes is the 3 different win conditions, instead of just collecting points.  You can either advance your army all the way on the war track, collect enough unique science symbols to win through scientific advancement, or just collect the most points by the end of the game.  There is just enough randomness with having face down cards that are only revealed when they cards below them have been drafted.  I can't say enough good things about this game, especially compared to 7 Wonders.

I would definitely reccommend playing it.

Settlers of Catans: Final Standing for Season 3

Season 3 has come to a succesful end.  We saw more than 100 people come in throughtout the course of the season.  Many regulars.  Lots of fun and laughs were had.  Catan was played.

When the dust settled, these were the final standings for the season.  The difference between most of these positions is just 100ths of a point.  It was so close.

1. Michael
2. Max
3. Peter S
4. Seth
5. Etienne
6. Ellie
7. Dan
8. Gary
9. Mikey
10. Steph
11. Jennifer
12. Shian
13. Delta
14. Mitchell
15. Richard

Settlers of Catan: Season 3 Update

Season 3 of our Catan league is well under way and we have more people playing than ever.  If you love Catan or just want to come learn, feel free to join us on Mondays.  We generally start with a game or two of Catan and move into other games afterwards, usually wrapping up the night around 2am.

For the beginners, we're more than willing to teach you the game.

For the advanced players,   we play mostly Cities and Knights

We also keep rankings based on your average score.

 

This seasons leaders are

Regular
1.  Richard
2. Steph
3. Rachel
4. Dan
5. Kevin
6. Pedro

Cities & Knights
1. Bogdan
2. Derek S
3. Gary F
 

Settlers of Catan: Season 2 Final standings

Well, our second Season has come to an end.  It was great meeting all the new people as well as hanging out with the our regulars of course.  Next week will be our final tournament for Catan.  Feel free to join us for some festive fun.

Hope to see you all next season!

The final standing for season 2 are:

Regular

1. Jonathan/Bogdan
2. Derek F
3. Jennifer
4. Gary
5. Derek S
6. Asim
7. Ally
8. Dana
9.  Rachel
10. Derek M
11. Simon
12. Mitchell

Cities & Knights

1. Gary
2. Bogdan
3. Jonathan
4. Derek S
5. Jennifer
6. Dana
7. Derek M

Settlers of Catan: League Standings

Season 2 is well under way and I'm happy to see new people getting into the league and standings.

Anyone interested in joining us.  It's Monday nights at 7pm.  You don't need to know how to play or be an expert.  We have beginners to experts that just come to to have fun.  We generally end up playing other group games after catan as well.

To be ranked you need to play a minimum of 5 games.  You get an extra point for winning the game.  And the rankings are determined by avg score.

The current standings are:

Regular:
1. Gary
2. Bogdan
3. Awesome Asim
4. Derek F
5. Jennifer
6. Dana
7. Mitchell

Cities and Knights
1. Gary
2. Bogdan
3. Derek S
4. Dana

Big News, We're in the News!

People are always asking how things are going.  I'd have to slow but steady.  Though things are certainly picking up.  We were recently featured in 2 blogs.

The Brown Bag  and BlogTO

We were also recently interviewed by the Toronto Star.  Hopefully that article will be coming out in the next week.  Much Music will also be shooting an interview here next week.

Our plan for world domination is coming together nicely.  Come find out what all the hype is about!

Settlers of Catan League: Update and standing

Our Settlers of Catan Night/League has been doing well and consistently growing.  We are getting 20~ people every week.  We have lots of people, from beginners to more experienced players.  We play all the flavors of Catan and are always looking to try more.

Feel free to join us if you're free.  We'll teach you any version you'd like.

A few people have been asking to know where they stand in the league.  So I'm just posting the top 5 leaders for now:

Our leader board as it stands

1. Bogdan
2. Jon
3. Chong
4. Bart
5. Asim
 

Settlers of Catan League

We started off with a couple of successful Settlers of Catan events.  It has been quite popular, so we've decided to start a league with rankings, and prizes.

We had a good turnout for our first week.  We had 8 people show and would love to have more join us. If you love the game/gaming/meeting new people, then come out and join us.

We're still working out the details but this is how it works as of now.  It's every Monday night.  The cost is $7 and includes a drink, you're also welcome to stay afterwards and play as many games as you'd like.

We keep separate rankings for the regular version and Cities and Knights.  The rankings are based on your avg score in your games.  Winners of each game get an extra point added to their total for that game.  To win prizes you must play at least 5 games.  Ties will go to the player that has played the most games.

Coming Soon

I'd like to start off by thanking everyone for their kind words and support in our first few weeks of business.  It has been slow but has also grown week over week.  We plan on being here as long as you'd like us.

Being new, we're still learning and listening to everyone's feedback.  That process will never change for us.  I'd like to keep everyone informed of some our planned improvements, some based on the feedback we've been receiving.

Games
While we haven't had an issue with our game selection (currently at 135 games), we're hoping to get up to around 400-500.  If there are any games you'd like us to add to our collection, feel free to let us know.

Acoustics
We've found that it gets very loud with just a few people.  We're happy that people are having fun.  We also realize that it's nice to be able to hear the others at your table.  We will be installing acoustic panels to help control the sound from being amplified too much.

Food
While we're happy with our current menu we know that there is room for improvement.  We are working on improving it with more options.

Visibility
We need more/better signage.  We're working on a couple of options but would appreciate some feedback.

Shopping
We realize that after playing a great new game, many people can't wait to get their hands on a copy of game for themselves.  We plan on adding games for retail sale as well.

Liquor License
Yes! We're absolutely getting one!