Dice Hospital: Review

Written By Hank Park (future Lawyer/board game enthusiast)

Dice Hospital is a game that keeps you on your toes as you try to discharge as many patients from your hospital as you can without letting neglect lead any of the others to the morgue. In quick summary, Dice Hospital is divided into 8 rounds, each of which consists of patient intake, improving your hospital, treating (and neglecting) patients, and discharging them for points. And the best part? Each patient is represented by a simple 6-sided die: a 6 meaning they’re one step away from being discharged, while a 1 means they’re just one step away from the morgue, for negative points.

There are a couple mechanics in this game that really require you to assess what kind of hospital you want to run, and by doing so, decide in what kind of strategy you want to use. For instance, discharging more patients at once gives you more points: 1 patient discharged gives 1 point, while 2 patients discharged gives 3 points. This means you might want to keep patients hovering around 5 or 6 until you have enough of them to discharge for a large point sum. However, you run the risk of not having room for intake, as you must take 3 new patients each round. If you can’t fit them, any overflow immediately goes to the morgue! And speaking of intake; taking sicker patients allows you to pick what improvements to your hospital you’ll make earlier than those who take healthier patients. Again, finding a nice balance between risk and reward plays a heavy theme in this game.

However, the true beauty of this game lies in the treatment phase, where you assign your nurses to different wards in your hospital to treat different dice. Each ward can only be used once, but dice can be treated multiple times in one round if you’d like. However, any dice that are untouched by the end of the round are considered neglected and go down one pip in health. The puzzle aspect of this game is the fact that all wards treat patients differently - you might have one ward that simply increases a green die by 1, but another ward might require 3 green dice that are all one apart (ie 3, 4, 5) in order to be treated! On top of that, some nurses might have special abilities that allow you to treat multiple patients, which can be combined with the aforementioned ward abilities!

As confusing and stressful as it might sound, there is nothing more satisfying in this game than pulling off a wonderful chain of treatment plans and discharging half of your hospital’s patients at once for a huge point combo. That being said, I did lose my first game doing so to an opponent that discharged patients in smaller chunks throughout the game, so I’m sure there’s a healthy balance there to be found as well. If you like games that involve engine building and puzzle solving, Dice Hospital is definitely one I’d recommend.

Holiday Hours

The Holidays are fast approaching. We keep getting asked what our hours are.

We will be closed Dec 23rd-25th.

Dec 31st we will be open until 1am for anyone that wants to celebrate the new year with us.

All other days we will open our regular hours for your gaming pleasure. I would suggest making reservations during the holidays to make sure we can accomodate your group, we tend to get quite busy.

Have a safe and happy Holiday season!

Just like Snakes and Lattes?

Every time someone comes in and asks what we do, we tell them we’re a board game cafe. Very often they respond with “just like Snakes and Lattes?”

I get it, they were around first, they have the recognition, and they set the standard. So are we like them? The short answer is YES. We charge a sitting fee to play our game library, we teach you games, and serve you drinks and snacks.

At the same time we’re also different, very different. We actually pride ourselves in our differences.

We welcome singles to come play games with us and others. We have regular meetups where you can come play/learn games with others if you don’t have your own group or want to make friends. Monday nights we have the most amazing group of regular friends that we’ve made. They’re not even customers, we’ve become so close through gaming. We have even started attending each others weddings. It’s probably the thing that makes us most proud of our little cafe.

We do our best to learn your name. While it’s impossible to learn everyone’s name, if we see you more than once, we will impose friendship on you. Everyone at A-Game believes work is better when you can call everyone your friend.

Trivia Nights. Over a year ago we made a partnership with an awesome guy named Rob. He comes in twice a month and hosts trivia nights every other wed. The first of the month is a General all categories, and the second one is themed (i.e. Harry Potter, Music, Toronto, etc) It’s always a ton of fun. You don’t even need your own team, we will find you one if need be.

We take reservations. We know how much it sucks to be on the Snakes and Lattes wait list. Feel free to make a reservation with us, we’ll have your table waiting for you.

We love games! I’m definitely not saying that Snakes and Lattes doesn’t, but we do our best to have the latest and greatest games. We currently have Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, it’s not even available for retail sales yet.

We don’t have a Liquor License. This is a temporary difference as we’ll have one in a couple weeks. Let us know what your favourite beer/wine is!!

Tournament Tuesdays, on tuesdays we throw tournaments for some of your favourite games like Splendor, Catan, or Terraforming Mars. Check out our events section for the next one

Clash Royale. We’re not just board games A lot of people don’t know but we’re the official hosts of the Clash Royale Canadian champshionships. The qualifiers and finals take place at the cafe, and supercell sends us free swag to give out like an Iphonex, pins, statues, etc…

So while we are like Snaked and Lattes, we also welcome you to come find out what makes us different as well. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Game Review: Century Spice Road - Eastern Wonders

Type: Light Strategy

# of players 2-5

Playtime: 45-60 min

Complexity: 4/5

The sequel to Century: Spice Road takes us to east to the asian spice trading as we move onto Century: Eastern Wonders.

Much like the previous game the actions are fairly simple but it does take things up a notch from Spice Road.  If you are new to the series it isn’t so complicated that you will be lost but it is a much simpler transition if you played Spice Road. For this review I will focus on the main differences between Eastern Wonders and Spice Road.

Eastern wonders takes a little longer to set up as it uses tiles and little pieces like the upgrades and outposts that weren’t in the previous. But once its set up you can dive right in. You determine turn order from the little play mats each player starts with and then in reverse order players select from one of 4 different sets of starting resources and then pick their starting tile. You will then notice that this version isn’t about drafting cards to shape your individual strategy in the game but more that your actions are tied to the tiles layed out in front of you. Personally i find this evens the playing field because everyone has access to the same actions but it is how you traverse the map that will determine your outcome. You have to set up outposts to determine which actions you want to do. Getting their first costs you less in resources as well. Although you get points for laying out most any outpost laying out the right ones can unlock powerful abilities which can give you an upper hand. Allowing you to move further or increase your capacity to store resources. These choices are what make the game interactive. making sure you are one step ahead of your opponents and shaping a strategy that will get you to the end with the most points. One of the criticisms we would hear about Spice road is that the last turn is often not fruitful for most players as they are limited to the actions they can take that will get them points and are just going through the motions. In this one players have some options. placing the right outpost can turn spices that were worth no points into points while potentially unlocking an upgrade worth more points if planned correctly. This is the reason I give Eastern wonders the advantage over Spice Road.

This game is ideal for 2 - 5 players.  Eastern wonders has decreased the amount of luck involved in the game and increased the strategy while not making it too difficult. on the downside the setup time can be a little more effort than you would want.  if you are only going to own one of the two Century games then this is the one I would recommend if you enjoy a more strategy over luck. But if you own both this is a step in the right direction where the game can also be played by joining the two together to create a combined experience called Century: Sand to Sea. This is planned to be expanded upon again with next years Century game giving me something to look forward to.

I highly recommend this game for all levels of player.  From beginners to strategic players leaning is little more towards those who enjoy strategy. with a board the strategy seems a little bit of a shorter learning curve compared to its predecessor.  The game is simple enough to learn that it playing multiple times will be something you will want to do immediately. excellent addition to the century library of games while setting up for the third expansion quite well. I look forward to seeing what they do with the last installment. I would give this game a 5/5. Strategic, entertaining, and easy enough to learn. If you are looking for pure strategy its a definite improvement over spice road.

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!

We're Open!

We are quite pleased to let you know that our new location at 797 Dundas Street West is now OPEN!

It has been a long few weeks without all of you in our lives.  We've been slaving away at the new location preparing it for you.  While we are far from finished updating the space, we are ready to invite you all to come check it out.  Please bear with us while we get used to our setup and refine it to get it up to full speed.  We would also love feedback when you're here as to what you'd like to see us do.

Come drop by and say hi and maybe play a game or 15

We're Moving!!

Exciting news.

When we opened 3 years ago we challenged you to bring your A-Game and you did.  So much so our old digs were getting too small.  So we're currently moving into a new space at 797 Dundas Street west.  Our location at 240 Queen Streest West is now closed, but we're putting the finishing touches on our new space and hope you will come visit us when we're open.  Follow us here or on our fb/instagram to find out when we open. 

See you soon!

Clank: A Deck-Building Adventure - Game Review

Type: Deck Builder

# of players 2-4

Playtime: 45-60min

Complexity: 3/5


If you enjoy deck builder games like Dominion, Star Realms, or Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle then you are certain to like this twist on the deck builder.  In Clank you are building your deck to help equip your thief best so that they may steal the most from the Depths where the dragon rests.  Careful not to create too much noise clanking around or you are more likely to get attacked by the dragon and killed.  

As soon as one person dies or one person returns to the top of the castle then the countdown begins.  Everyone has just 4 turns to get out and get as far away from the depths as possible.  Just because you got out first does not mean you win.  its all about who scores the most treasure in the end.  A fine balance between smarts, speed and greed.  

I really enjoyed this one as a deck builder because it really works with the theme.  Controlling a meeple and deciding between increasing your skill or movement or attack to achieve the best results is enjoyable.  Watching your opponents is necessary so they dont run away with the win.  

Great anywhere from 2-4 players.  great competitive game which fits the theme and is mediuum in difficulty.  Easy to Learn as you play and for that reason I give it a 5/5

Keep on gaming.  Let us know what other games you would like to see reviewed.



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

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:


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:

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