Posts tagged ‘Review’

Two New Settlers of Catan Expansion Videos

We posted a two-part video series for Settlers of Catan. It came to our attention that there were several videos about Settlers of Catan, but none that really showed you what was in the boxes of the expansions or how the expansions help enhance the game. One of the expansions has scenarios, another has campaigns & variants, while the third actually alters the standard gameplay of Settlers of Catan.

Here is Part 1. In it, Barry introduces Catan: Seafarers and Catan: Cities & Knights.

Here is Part 2. In it, Barry introduces Catan: Traders & Barbarians and the 5-6 Player extensions.


May 20, 2009 at 4:01 am Leave a comment

Jamaica Board Game – Review with Strategy Suggestions

Author: Todd Cutrona

Jamaica is a board game for 2-6 players in which each player takes on the role of a pirate as you race around the island of Jamaica.  Aye said Pirates, you scurvy dog!

This game is just plain fun.  Does it have elements of luck?  Absolutely!  Is it a family game?  Yes, but this is not Monopoly…this is FUN!


There are fantastic graphics throughout the game.  The board and cards are great to look at and the player ships are very sturdy.  This is the type of game that attracts onlookers.  The rulebook is designed to look like a treasure map…theme is just dripping from the game.


In the game each player controls a pirate ship and attempts to race around the board, find treasure, win battles and in the end, win the game.


The game ends when one player reaches the finish line. Points are earned based on where you finish on the board, plus treasure cards and gold coins (1 point per).  Add it all up and determine the winner!


Each player has their own stack of player cards.  On each card are two symbols representing the actions that can be taken with that card (see picture below). At any given time each player has three cards in their hands. Action choices are to move forward, backward, get food, take gunpowder, or take gold coins (points).


The starting player roles two dice and then places them on the board in their desired order. Then each player in chooses a card to play that round, all cards are revealed simultaneously.  Actions are based on the dice results.  In the above picture if I chose to play the top card and a 6 & 3 were rolled, then I would move my ship forward 6 places and I would take 3 food into my hull.


If you land on a space with another ship then you must battle!  There is a special battle die that shows consecutive even numbers on 5 of its sides (2-10) and a star on the 6th side.  Before the die is rolled the attacker decides if he/she will add and gunpowder tokens to the result (+1 per token) and then rolls the die.  A roll of a star is an automatic victory.  The defender then adds their gunpowder and rolls.  High score wins and the victor gets to take the items held in their opponents hold or take/give a treasure card.  The treasure cards are acquired at various points on the board and can give bonus points, special powers or curse the player (negative points).


Each ship has 5 hulls to carry items and once you place items into a hull you cannot add to it or relocate it.  Don’t worry the board forces you to spend this loot almost as quickly as you acquire it.   Spaces on the board require a payment of either food or gold when you move your ship on the space.  If you can’t pay the fee then you are forced to move backwards until you find a space that you can afford.


1. Get treasure cards, they are extremely important.

2. Use the movement cost to your advantage.  Move past what you want and if you don’t have enough food/gold, move backwards to land on the space you really wanted (like a treasure card spot).  So, don’t horde too much food.

3. Save your double move forward card till the end of the game and zoom ahead of everyone.

4. You don’t have to win the race to win the game.  Collect gold and treasure cards.

5. Remember that the game has a bluffing element.  I played one game where I got a high bonus treasure card early, but I acted in such a way that everyone thought it was cursed.  So, even though I lost battles, no one stole my treasure card.


With its simple rules and fun pirate theme it should appeal to most families.  Personally I like playing it with 4 or more people as it feels more interesting (more battles).  The game does have some luck, but the card selection allows for moderate control. Great artwork, simple rules, pirates and playable in less than an hour…buy the game you land-lover!

Buy your own copy of Jamaica. There is also a link to a video about the game here.

Here is another of our blog posts about Jamaica.

April 24, 2009 at 2:45 am 1 comment

New Carcassonne Board Game Video Review

I would like to share a video that was submitted to us as part of the Best Dang Points program.

Cory Duplantis has written several reveiw articles and presented us with this video.

Here is his review of the tile-laying game of Carcassonne. Check it out and feel free to leave any comments you want.

Thanks Cory! Enjoy your copy of Pandemic you earned!

Get your copy of Carcassonne here.

February 25, 2009 at 2:49 am Leave a comment

Shadows Over Camelot – Another Customer Submission

We had a second customer take advantage of our Best Dang Points program. This is a customer we met at Half-Off Books, in Altamonte Springs, FL. They have since become a great friend of and we appreciate their support. They are Gary Bacchus and his wife Grazielle. They stopped in about a month ago now and hung out for a while. They came back, and picked up this game from us for a game night they were hosting and then pulled up some chairs and we got in a full game of Eketorp.

So, Gary and his wife have sent some photos in and wrote up an article for you about this game, as well as thier experience with Eketorp – which they also ended up buying.

Here is their write-up of their experience with this Shadows Over Camelot:


In Shadows of Camelot you become one of the Knights of the Round Table. Together with the other knights you’ll stand to defend Camelot from its enemies. As a knight you’ll have to help Camelot by completing many different quests. Some of the quests can only be completed by a single knight, but most of them can be completed with the help of the whole party. This effort can be complicated both by the automatic advancement of evil during the game and a possibility of a traitor in your midst. This is a cooperative game for 7 players and it takes about an hour and a half to play.

The last time we played this, we played this game with 5 players. They didn’t have much board gaming experience prior to this save for commercial games.

The Concept of a Co-Operative Game

The first conceptual hurdle came right away. They had never played a game that was cooperative in nature before. The part that took a little extra bit of explanation in this part was the acquisition of relics. In the game, certain quests, such as the Quest for the Holy Grail, awards one of the players with the grail itself. This caused a bit of confusion right away as this quest is one of the quests that the entire party can help to complete.

It’s important to explain that the acquisition of the relics really does help the whole group even though only one knight actually possesses each of the items. Also, make sure the players understand their special abilities (each knight has a special ability which could make quests a lot easier).

Teaching the Game

A walk-through with the board and pieces seemed to suffice to get people through the learning part. Avoid teaching this game by reading from the rulebook. This game is easier to play than it is to explain. In particular, relating the card combinations needed in the quests to poker hands seemed to help in explaining the mechanics. The person teaching this game should probably look through the rulebook and the book of quests beforehand so they can figure out how best to distill this down for the rest of the players. The rulebook is a bit verbose in places and it would help to be able to summarize for the rest of the party.

Final Conclusions

I found that the game experience really deepened as the game progressed. Our non-gamers settled right into their roles once they understood their special abilities. I could suggest this game for new gamers, but I would suggest taking some time beforehand to summarize the rule set a bit. This game is a great way for new gamers to experience a dynamic that they may have not experienced before. Our non-gamer crowd requested this game in future game nights and I have a feeling it will have a good long stay on our table for many sessions to come.


Well, there you have it. A positive review for Shadows Over Camelot. Gary and his wife are active players at The Daily Grind – and they were the ones that suggested we speak with Infusion Tea – with whom we now have a partnership.

August 27, 2008 at 9:40 pm 1 comment


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