Sunday, January 29, 2012

Top 42 Part 3 (28-22)

Thanks for coming back. Previous parts can be found Part 1 and Part 2

#28 This Game is Bonkers!
I did a larger review of Bonkers in my Mousetrap post for Not in Candyland, so I'll just talk briefly about it.  Bonkers is a fairly quick game all about dice rolling and then movement, but rather than have a preplanned board, the players set up what different spots do.  Some will involve advancing your piece, others going to Score, while others let you roll again or exchange tiles.  The players build the board, and this has appealed to me since the first time we played.  Sure, most moves are fairly obvious, and there's tons of luck, but Bonkers is a game that everyone has fun playing, and you don't really care if you win or lose.

#27 Kingsburg
Kingsburg is a Dice Management game, meaning that you roll dice, and use them to get different resources which in turn you use to build buildings.  These buildings give you points, and points are how you win the game.  The interesting part of the game is the advisor track.  Each advisor has a number - 1-18, and different things associated with them, anything from 1 victory point, to 4 stone, or one of each resource and a point.  Obviously, the higher the number the better the item, but you have to use your dice.  Each player rolls 3d6, and the low roll gets to place on one advisor with one or more of their dice.  That's the strategy to this game - how to make what you roll work best for you.  It isn't always as simple as taking the highest advisor possible, sometimes you have to break up your dice, but in breaking them up, you run the risk of someone else blocking you.  There are also a lot of different buildings you can go after, and with different ones doing unique things many strategies exist for building order.

#26 Race for the Galaxy
RftG is a card based empire building game.  At the start of a turn, each player selects a phase that will be played by all players this time, with the selector of the phase getting a bonus.  The neat part of the game is that the cards in your hand are the developments you can make, the planets you can settle or conquer and the way you pay for those things.  Games don't take all that long once you know how things work.  There are several different strategies which all seem to work well depending on your cards and what you opponents attempt.  I traded away my copy, since I don't play on my own, but my gaming family still has their copy, so we can play it if we want.  I do play a fair amount with the free download against an AI, and this program now supports online multiplayer.  It's a  well designed game, which gets it high on this list, but a long learning curve and a lack of interaction keep it down at 26.

#25 Wits and Wagers (and Family Version)
W&W is the better Trivia Pursuit in the sense that it's trivia, but you don't have to know all the answers.  One person takes a card and reads a question. Each person then writes down what they think the answer is on their card.  After everyone is done, the cards are revealed then organized from low to high.  Now, depending on the version, the betting rules change, but since no one has has answer right (most likely) players have to bet on where they think the answer is, as in between two different answers or higher than the highest, lower than the low, or on an exact answer.  Players then get points or chips (again, based on the version of the game).  After 7 questions in the base game, or until a certain point number in the family version, the game is over, and high score/chips wins.  Of course play can go longer depending on the players.  I've learned a lot of random facts from this game, and the great thing of W&W is that you don't have to know the answer to do well, and leads to things being more fun and less stress.  It's a great party game, and something I'd love to play in big teams.

#24 Tiki Topple
I was first introduced to Tiki Topple by an RD at college and her husband.  It was a great game to end the night, so I decided to pick up my own copy.  It's been a hit ever since.  I've given it as a wedding gift, and other game plays have lead to two people picking up their own copy.  The best use of Tiki Topple was in a Jr. High and HS game day that taught kids more about games.  In the game, there are 9 tikis which form a totem pole.  Your secret mission, is to get your 3 tikis to the top of the pole at the end of the game to score points. Each card has a tiki from each of the 3 groups of tikis on the board, meaning something starts in the top 3, something in the middle, and something in the bottom 3.  First place must end in 1st to get points, but 2nd can be 1st or 2nd, and 3rd just has to be in the top 3.  You play until you either have 3 tikis left, or all players have played their tiki toast cards.  A tiki toast card simply removes the low tiki from the round.  The rest of the game is about moving your tikis up, and trying to avoid them getting toasted.  It's really lighthearted, and rather out of your control.  It is fun to watch someone's face as you toast their Wikiwiki that they needed in 1st.  That satisfaction is short lived because your Hookipa that you need in 1st will then get toppled and toasted before you can do anything.  If you go in knowing it's a fun and random game, you'll have a good time with it, but if you want tons of control look elsewhere.  Tiki is a great random game for me, and something I love playing anytime someone suggests it.

#23 Risk Legacy
This is much more than Risk.  It's a modified campaign, and the goal isn't world domination, it's playing to a certain victory point count.  I've only played two games out of the recommended 15, but it made a great impression.  There are packets containing secret information which you open at specified times depending on game events, like eliminating a player, or playing a certain number of missiles.  The tagline of the game is "What has been done can never be undone."  Let me tell you, there are things that other players have done that I'd like to do differently, but that's the charm of the game.  We have a unique Risk board that plays differently than anyone else's, and that really cool to me.  Yes, the combat is still the same, but there are special faction powers and 'scars' which change some of that, and a lot of rules I've yet to get into, since each packet changes those rules as well.  I know I'll get 15 plays out of this eventually, since that's what the campaign is set-up to do.  That's more than most new games out there, so for the innovative ideas Risk Legacy comes in at #23.

#22 For Sale
For Sale is a pretty quick and easy to teach property game.  Each turn, you reveal one property for each person playing.  You can then bid or pass. If you pass at any time, you pay half your bid rounded up and take the lowest numbered property on the table.  The last person pays their full bid and gets the highest property.  There are only 30 properties in the game, so a 5 player game only takes 6 rounds, a 6 player game takes only 5 rounds.  After all the properties are distributed, players take their hand of cards and will use them to secretly bid on checks.  There are 30 checks valued at $0 to $15,000 with two copies of each and no $1,000.  There are checks turned up for the number of players, then each player chooses a property, places it face down.  Then all are revealed and the highest property gets the biggest check, the lowest property the lowest check and so on.  At the end, you total up your checks and any remaining bid tokens you have with the high score winning.  Overall, the game takes ~20 minutes, often less.  It works for 3-6 players, but I find it best for 5-6.  I'll play For Sale any time, and will probably play it for as long as I play boardgames.

Well, that's the first half of the list.  Hope you've enjoyed it so far.  Keep checking for more parts to the list on Wednesdays and Sundays, as well as other reviews throughout the week.


  1. Tiki Topple ranks higher than the Adventurers???? Seriously, David? *shrugs* To each his own, I suppose... :-P

    1. It's higher due to replayability and ease of play.