Eldritch Horror

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Eldritch Horror is the perfect game for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, weird horror and cooperative games with a roleplaying element to them. It is a modified version of its more complex predecessor Arkham Horror, and requires less of a time commitment and patience to learn how to play. While Arkham Horror can take 4 players all day to play, Eldritch Horror is designed to play in under 2 hours while still embodying all the existential dread beloved to fans of Arkham Horror and Lovecraftian fiction.

In Lovecraft’s stories, the protagonists face the fear and dread of hidden forces that, once revealed, usually cause them to go insane and gibber on about non-Euclidian geometry, indescribably colored fungus and unnameable gods. In this beautifully designed board game, players are given the chance to quell the unspeakable horror of the Elder Gods and save humanity.

You will play an investigator with unique abilities that will aid you in your struggle with an Ancient One and his minions. You must travel the world and to otherworldly dimensions gathering hidden clues, solving Eldritch mysteries, and fighting hideous monsters to prevent the slumbering Ancient One from awakening. You will have your fellow investigators and various Lovecraftian companions to help you as you acquire the necessary equipment and skills for success, but be warned! this game fights back! Like Lovecraft’s characters, investigators are likely to be driven insane from reading blasphemous tomes, be cursed while trying to cast unutterable spells, and suffer various abnormal physical and mental afflictions, only to be devoured by an amorphous, tentacled entity lurking in the stygian darkness of his Cyclopean temple. Win or lose, the fun of this game is in the madness of the journey, but if your lucky, you may get the satisfaction of kicking Cthulhu’s squamous butt!

-Mandy

Rummikub

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Do you like moving puzzles? Rummikub is a spin off of the card game Gin Rummy. It starts out easy with runs and three of a kinds but as the board builds the combinations get harder! If you start your move but cannot finish you LOSE. How hard could that be? Like I said in the beginning it is simple but toward the end when you have twenty sets in front of you to keep track of it becomes much more of a memory game! Good for ages 10ish and up. I played a 5th grader at Thanksgiving and that kid almost kicked my butt.

-Laura

Caverna

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Caverna is a highly replayable competitive resource management for 1-7 players. In Caverna, each player begins with a pair of dwarves who are trying to grow their family and expand their livelihoods. Dwarves tunnel into caves for rubies and ore, which can be traded for goods and forged into weapons. Players don’t combat each other but, with weapons, their dwarves can go on expeditions to retrieve loot like donkeys, wood, or stones. Dwarves also expand outside their mountain, plowing fields of wheat and pumpkins, fencing pastures, and growing their herds of sheep, donkeys, pigs, cows, and sheep.

Caverna, Agricola, and Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small are all designed by Uwe Rosenberg, and I’ve enjoyed them all. However, I felt that Caverna’s ‘simple’ setup is better suited to two players and the ‘normal’ setup offered too many options-48 possible rooms to build! It took a bit of getting used to. Caverna does take less time to play than Agricola, only 30 minutes, compared to Agricola‘s 60 for my partner and I. It also doesn’t contain the randomization that Agricola’s Occupation and Minor Improvement cards provide.

Caverna is one of the classic worker placement/resource management games, and belongs on every board game lovers’ shelf. It is also the natural progression for lovers of Agricola, as it continues some of the basic mechanics, making it easy to learn, but introduces enough difference in feel to still excite.

-Natalie

Forbidden Island

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Do you really like Pandemic but find it’s theme to be a total bummer? I have good news for you! Forbidden Island is a cooperative game for 2-4 players created by Matt Leacock. If you’ve played his other awesome game, Pandemic, in which players take of the role of CDC agents and try to save the world from a plague, then you already have a good idea how Forbidden Island works as the mechanics are very similar but with a few fun tweaks and a way less depressing theme.  

In Forbidden Island players choose one of six fearless adventurers each with their own special ability and must work together and escape with all four of the Island’s mysterious treasures. Sound easy? Well, it is not. The Island hates you and doesn’t want you stealing its shiny treasure so it is sinking back into the ocean trying to take you and the treasure with it!

Working together is key and discussion is totally encouraged to figure out your optimal turn. On your turn you can move around the island, shore up flooded areas, trade a card with another person, and capture a treasure. After that you draw from the treasure card deck which contains helpful treasure and item cards but also the dreaded “Waters Rise” card. Which increases the number of cards you draw from the flood deck and also makes you shuffle the discarded flood card pile and put it on top of the flood deck before drawing from it. It gets pretty intense especially when an important location might sink and cause you to loose the game.

Forbidden Island is a really great time. The artwork is incredibly beautiful and a joy to look at. It can get pretty harrowing and that’s fun! I highly recommend this game! Check it out sometime!

-Mikey