As a parent looking for games to play with my kids, I am always impressed at the quality and durability of titles from HABA. With quality cardboard and wooden parts, they sometimes aren’t cheap (although these titles are relatively inexpensive) but components are first rate. While my oldest child is now able to play more strategic games with dad, he still enjoys playing these when we get together for a family gaming moment with the entire family. Here’s a few HABA games I’ve played in the past few months, starting with my favorites.
It’s time once again for me to preach to the masses on the greatness of boardgaming. Nothing beats the social aspect of in-person gaming with friends. Last year’s run-down remains a great list of recommended games. Here again are some great examples of boardgames to get you and your family gaming. You might not find all these titles at your local mega-mart but many can be found online or in a friendly local game store. Some may argue $50+ boardgames are expensive, but compare that to videogaming (and where multiple copies are required for multiplayer play) and the economics of boardgaming shows their true value. Good boardgames are timeless, just as good today as they will be years in the future. They will provide many more hours of entertainment than most video games. In that vein, feel free to delve into some past year’s guides for 2014, 2013, or 2012.
For each game I’ve provided the number of players, an approximate MSRP (you might find it lower), and expected time for one game.
As you look through your holiday lists, don’t forget to include a good boardgame or two. Aside from eating together (also highly encouraged,) there are very few activities requiring people to interact face to face. Not everyone is all that interested in a heavy thinking game, and there are a whole line of simple dexterity games that are great fun for all ages. The following is a list of what I call ‘flicking games,’ games that involve players flicking wooden (plastic in some cases) pieces around a playing area as the main objective. Some are straightforward while others require a bit more than just manual dexterity.
The theme for all things Pathfinder this fall has been dark and deadly supplements to the game to bring a bit of horror to player’s games. Supplements have been released featuring the covert shenanigans and evil organizations found in Ultimate Intrigue and Villain Codex, the dank and dark setting found in Horror Adventures, and the dark ghostly burdens found in the Haunted Hero Handbook. It is as if the teenaged(1) Pathfinder RPG has entered its Goth stage. There is even a release of miniatures, Deadly Foes, designed to complement these dark tales of woe. Aside from the darker side, the Pathfinder rulebooks have taken a page from cell phone technology and have been shrunk into easier-to-carry paperback editions.
This year, Dungeons and Dragons is all about the giants. The various types of giants (fire, hill, cloud, etc…) have gone to war with each other to determine the best kind of giant. Since the release of of 5th edition, Wizards of the Coast has picked an overarching storyline and theme for the year’s releases. This year focuses on a disruption of the natural order of giant seniority, and the infighting between the giant types to get higher in the pecking order. Player characters get caught up in the political intrigue and can even steer the outcome in one way or another before the tale’s final denouement.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, “Trek-ifiying” things is rampant and the world of boardgaming is no exception. While there are probably Star Trek versions of Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit, I intend to take a look at Star Trek versions of games popular with boardgame hobbyists. These games, sometimes called Eurogames (since they are popular in Europe) or designer boardgames (as the game designers are recognized for their efforts just like authors or directors) are popular as they emphasize player interaction and minimize luck and player elimination. Episode 2 deals with a couple games best for more serious strategy gamers.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, “Trek-ifiying” things is rampant and the world of boardgaming is no exception. While there are probably Star Trek versions of Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit, I intend to take a look at Star Trek versions of games popular with boardgame hobbyists. These games, sometimes called Eurogames (since they are popular in Europe) or designer boardgames (as the game designers are recognized for their efforts just like authors or directors) are popular as they emphasize player interaction and minimize luck and player elimination.
Unplugged: Pokémon: The Trading Card Game Mythical Pokémon Collections and Steam Siege Booster Packs
When I was in college I used to write game reviews for The Dallas Morning News. This was in the late 90’s and when Pokémon first got popular, I was writing tons of articles about the franchise. I even like to say that Pokémon helped pay my way through college! I even covered Pokémon card game tournaments back then, and purposely learned how to play just so I could write about them better. I have to say that because of having to use energy cards to perform moves, I didn’t really like the card game as well because I felt that slowed the game down. Me personally, I prefer SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Anyway, Pokémon has always been big since then, but with the recent release of Pokémon GO on mobile devices, I imagine the franchise will get a boost of popularity this holiday season, including the card game. So parents, here are some new things you may want to look out for this Christmas if you have a Pokémon card game fan in the family.
I’m not sure how you pronounce it, but Shephy plays like one of those indie card games you buy at those fancy gaming and comic book stores. In fact, while looking up pictures for this review, turns out that Shephy IS a real card game. You can even buy it on Amazon. It’s a Solitaire style game where you try to build your flock of sheep up to 1,000 by strategically playing cards that add and take away from your flock. It’s a free-to-play downloadable title on iOS and Android, but reviewed on iPad here.
TANKS: Panther vs Sherman Starter Box
Designers: Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates
Publisher: Gale Force Nine, LLC
Time: 30 minutes
TANKS is a new, lightweight system of miniatures from Gale Force Nine, focusing on (surprise) the tank battles of World War II. The idea is to have a fast-playing miniatures wargame to serve as an introduction to the hobby. This is the first wargame by Gale Force Nine, who produce a prodigious amount of pre-painted battle terrain, presumably usable in TANKS games as well as the more complex Flames of War game owned by GF9’s parent company, Battlefront Miniatures.