Monday, 22 February 2016

Crossing

Time to play: 15 minutes.
Players: 3-6 players
Suggested age: 8+
Price: £16.99 (RRP)

Mike: A big thank you to Esdevium Games for our review copy. You can find your nearest game store using their handy store locator.

Crossing is a bluffing/party game. You play as fairy folk trying to claim life stones or filch them off other players. The aim of the game is to collect and make sets of these life stones.

At the start of the game, everyone picks a character card and places it in front of them. Then a number of mushroom tiles are placed in the centre of the table equal to the number of players less one. Two life stones are added to each mushroom tile from the bag and you are ready to go.

Typical set up for three players.


David: I really like the character cards the artwork is fantastic. Setting up the game is very easy and the rules are very simple to teach. We never had to check back to the rules once after reading them.

The six character cards.


On the first turn, you count to 3 and everyone points at a mushroom tile. If you are the only player to point to a mushroom tile you can take the life stones and put them on your character card.

If more than one person points to the mushroom tile you get nothing. After the first turn, you can point to another player’s character card instead of a mushroom and steal their life stones.

After the stones have been taken by the players a stone is added from the bag to any mushroom tile with stones already on it. Empty mushroom tiles get two stones.
Play continues until the bag is empty and this signals the last round.

Mike: Stealing or Filching as the game prefers to call it, from other players can be a worthwhile move. Players can protect their stash of stones by placing their hand on their character card instead of pointing. This protects your stones and you can take them off your card and place them to the side. They are now safe but this move comes at a price as by banking your stones you can’t play in the next turn.

This adds a nice amount of strategy and a bit of push your luck to the game. Do you feel lucky and continue to take from the centre? Do you play safe but lose a turn and miss a chance to gain more stones?

The rules clearly say you can talk between counting and this can add a nice bit of bluffing and devious play. Any deals you make are not binding - those that have played Sheriff of Nottingham will know the deal here.

At the end of the game, everyone counts up their gems and get 5 points for each set of three (blue, orange and red). 2 points are given for each white gem and 1 point for each leftover gem that can’t make a set.

This would give you a score of 22 points.


David: Yeah, everyone kept stealing my gems but then again I did have a big collection on my tile. We only played this with 3 players I would love to see how it plays with 6 as it would be a lot more chaotic.

Mike: Yes I would like to see how this plays in a bigger group. The next group game session we are in we will get this out instead of resistance.

As David already mentioned the artwork is fantastic. The price of this game is towards the higher end for a filler. Don’t let that put you off too much though  as the components are of a very high quality. If you compare it to the game called “The Game” of a similar price point and that is just a deck of cards.

Seriously look at these components and artwork.


Do we recommend it?

Yes from both of us. This is a great game to introduce younger gamers to the bluffing mechanic. This game works really well with 3 players and is not complicated enough to cause issues when more players are added. It has a really family friendly theme and feel to the game which might change after a few turns of stealing gems from your nearest and dearest.


Thumbs up from us here at Board Know More.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Fruit Salad

Time to play: 15 minutes.
Players: 2-6 players
Suggested age: 6+
Price: £9.99 (RRP)

Mike: This is the first of two filler reviews we have the second game –Crossing will be up next.

A big thank you to Esdevium Games for our review copy. You can find your nearest game store using their handy store locator.

Fruit salad is a reaction and memory game for all the family. To me, it feels a bit like a cross between snap with the memory element of pairs. At the start of the game, the 60 cards are dealt out evenly to all players. With the aim of the game being to get rid of all your cards or win 4 rounds.

David: The starting player rolls the 2 dice, one is a fruit type and the other is a number from 4 to 8.


5 Strawberries are needed to win.

This tells everyone what fruit and how many of that fruit you need to keep track of. Players, in turn, each place a card from their hand into the centre of the table. This is called the salad bowl.


David plays first and there are 2 strawberries.


I go next and there are now 3 strawberries in the salad bowl.


You need to remember what has been placed. When you believe the required number of fruit are in the bowl you slap your hand on top of the bowl, just like you would in a game of snap.

Mike: Sounds simple right? Well, it would be if the goal didn’t change throughout the game. If any of these cards come out below you reroll the fruit or quantity dice.


Left card re-roll quantity die. Right card re-roll fruit die.


So you also need to be trying to keep a running count of how much of the other fruit has shown up in the salad bowl. Once you have stopped the round by placing your hand on the salad bowl you go through the cards counting up the fruit.

If you are correct and the number of fruit on the fruit die is equal to or greater than the number on the quantity die you win the round. You take one of the cards from the fruit bowl and place it face up in front of you as a victory point token. All the remaining cards are dealt out to the other players. If you got it wrong you lose and take all the cards from the salad bowl into your hand.

David: There is also an “any fruit” side to the dice which can be useful if it is rolled later in the game as it gives you a chance if you have forgotten some of the other fruit amounts.

This game is simple but great fun. It is much better than snap as you have to think a bit more about the game and the way the goal changes keeps you guessing.

Mike: That is quite simply all there is to this game. Which makes this a great filler game and fantastic for younger players who like card games.

The rules mention a small rule change for younger players that lets them look at the card first before playing to give them a small advantage. I really like this idea as it can be a little difficult to remember the counts of all the fruits (even for adults).

I was really surprised by this game. It sounds very simple and at its core it is, yet the changing goal during the game trips you up and keeps you on your toes throughout.

Fruit Salad is a welcome addition to our set of family games and another one at the top of our lists to take on our travels. The game comes in a nice small tin that looks like an old-fashioned sweet tin. Coming in at just under a tenner as well is a perfect price for a filler game and will give you hours of fun.

David: This is a great introductory game for the family and is a very addictive. I would like to play this with my sister when she is a bit older it will be a perfect game to introduce her to memory card games.

Mike: So there we go we both recommend it. If you’re looking for a filler game that can be played with kids, your family or a way to kick off a board game night we think this is for you. 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Podcast Episode #6: Carcassonne, 10x10 and Julian Cowboys.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Carcassonne the classic original and a few variants we have played.
  • Our 10x10 challenge. This is to play 10 games 10 times over the year.
  • What we have played recently, our completion of Pandemic Legacy (no spoilers) and some Julian Cowboys.
  • Some upcoming games we are looking forward to.

Please get in touch especially if you have completed Pandemic Legacy we would love to hear your experience.