Thematic Games are board games and card games in which the central theme is of primary importance to game play. They’re usually gorgeously produced with high-end artwork and often include miniatures and/or specially sculpted components to enhance and carryout the theme. Pop culture icons like Marvel Superheroes, Star Wars, Cthulhu, and Lord of the Rings are common subject matter for Thematic Games.
Thematic Games are typically much more luck-based than Strategy Games. They may also have an element of player elimination. Play times can run from 1 to 3 hours or more.
Mechanics run the gamut in Thematic Games, including dice rolling, deck building, hidden traitor, cooperative play… Theme, however, is always clear and present.
Halloween. The time of year when the barriers thin between this world and the next, when all manner of creatures walk the streets in broad daylight and haunt your doorways into the night. A time when we don costumes, watch scary movies and play spooky board games. Yes, play spooky board games. There are a number of modern board games […]
Lately I can’t get enough of Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition. I love how immersive it is. It’s as close to a D & D (Dungeons & Dragons) experience as a board game has ever come – that I’ve played so far. The app takes the place of a game master: describing rooms; items and monsters you encounter; directing the […]
Tim and I are really enjoying Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. We loved Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 so much we played the campaign through twice (total of 34 games): once just the two of us and a second time with two other people. While Season 2 is a sequel – story-wise – to Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 you don’t have to have […]
My first experience with Robo Rally was at a gaming invitational in Raleigh, NC. Lori, a long-time Robo Rally enthusiast and aficionado introduced me to the chaotic, programmed movement game of racing robots to successive numbered flags on a factory floor filled with movement-altering and damage-dealing obstacles that you must successfully navigate if you want to win the race. Whew! Say […]
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind Should auld acquaintance be forgot and games of auld lang syne. It’s so easy to focus solely on the latest releases when choosing games to review, that I thought I’d change things up a bit and reflect on some of my favorite games of auld lang syne. I have so […]
Anything goes on Halloween. You can walk down the street in your pajamas and call it a costume and no one will blink an eye. So when it comes to hosting a Halloween game night, any theme goes, too. Finding good board games to suit that theme might be more of a challenge, except that I’ve done all the work […]
It’s no secret that I’m an avid Pandemic fan. And not just of the base game and its expansions, I love its spin offs Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert, too. So, of course I immediately preordered Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu when I heard the first whisper of its coming. Now it’s here and I can’t wait to tell you about […]
Pandemic Legacy, designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, hit game stores worldwide October 8, I received my copy October 9. I couldn’t wait to unwrap its mysteries and proceeded to open the box and examine and inventory its immediately visible contents – and read the rulebook. I say “immediately visible” because not all of the contents are meant to […]
With Halloween right around the corner and The Walking Dead scheduled to return to our living rooms Sunday, October 11, Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game shambled into my brain as a good choice for a review this month. Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is a semi-cooperative board game of Zombies versus a bunch of B-movie Hero […]
Pandemic Legacy, designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, is scheduled to hit game stores worldwide October 8. Each group of gamers that plays the game will write their own Pandemic Legacy as the game unfolds, campaign-style, in literally unique ways based on how each session ends. Because Pandemic, with the On The Brink Expansion, is my favorite cooperative game, I’ve been avidly […]
Aim to Misbehave as a captain of your very own Firefly class ship. Hire some crew, take on jobs and keep flyin’. That’s the aim of Firefly: The Game. Firefly: The Game is a highly thematic game with heavy pick-up-and-deliver mechanics. Five Contact decks (Amnon Duul, Badger, Harken, Niska, and Patience) provide the jobs you can take on: some are […]
Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island is a cooperative, worker-placement game that I’d had my eye on for over a year. When it finally released in the U.S. in August 2013, we were one of the few stores to get the full quantity we preordered. Probably because I preordered it so early. In Robinson Crusoe, there are so many […]
King of New York is a sequel to the popular mutant monster king-of-the-hill dice game, King of Tokyo. This time, the giant monsters have moved their rampage to New York, where they’ve found more ways to acquire fame and wreak destruction – which translates to more opportunities for strategy and multiple paths to victory for players. The end goal is […]
We interrupt this program for an important news bulletin. Giant mutant monsters have invaded Tokyo and are laying waste to the city. While the monsters appear to be more concerned with fighting amongst themselves than attacking the population, residents should evacuate the area immediately… Such is the theme of the dice-rolling game King of Tokyo, in which players play giant […]