Monthly Archives: February 2018

Seikatsu Review



IDW Games

A review by


  • 1-4 Players
  • 30 Minutes
  • 10+ Ages


Every so often you want to put away the dice. The cards do not need shuffling. The miniatures need rest and the desire to send the meeples out to work has passed. You want to sit, relax, watch the birds and smell the flowers. The sun is shining and life feels good. Enter Seikatsu which is a word that means Life in Japanese. You and up to three friends have a garden to tend and birds to watch. Waxwing.

Inside the gorgeous art on the box of Seikatsu you will find,

  • Rulebook,
  • Cloth bag,
  • Garden board,
  • Score pawns,
  • Garden tiles,
  • Koi Pond tiles.


To call the Garden and Koi pieces is to do them a disservice. They are in fact similar in size to poker chips. But they do look a lot nicer. All the components in Seikatsu look spectacular. The only thing that you could create a grumble about is the score trackers. While they are wooden and flower shaped they are a little on the small side. Another 2 or 3mm diameter would have made them perfect (I am having to be very picky here). The insert holds all the components well but to be fair like a lot of boxes is on the big side. It could have been half the depth and still held everything with room to spare.


How is a game of Seikatsu played? Each player starts with two tiles in their hand. On their turn they draw a third tile from the communal bag. They then choose one of those tiles to lay onto the board following some basic rules.

  • Tile must be placed adjacent to a previously placed tile onto an empty space.
  • That’s it.

Seriously I told you the rules were simple.


Where Seikatsu is interesting is how you score your points and the placement of those tiles becomes critical. This is because the Garden tiles each have flowers and a bird on them.

When you place a tile you instantly score for matching with adjacent birds creating Flocks. So far so easy, You also have Some Koi ponds ‘wild tile’ that when played allow you to call them as one type of bird. Still sounds too easy doesn’t it.

However it is the end game scoring where you will have been thinking towards for the entire game. Once all the tiles have been placed you will score for the flowers. Even though all players score using the same Flowers, what makes it different is you score based on your view of the garden. Each straight line from your garden viewpoint scores exponentially more points based on the largest group of Flowers. Thus what might be a group of 4 for your view will only be individual flowers for all other players.

Scarlet Tanager.

And the strategy becomes clearer. Will you place a tile to score birds now or flowers later? Which is the optimal move for points? Does that tile you just placed score an opponent 11 points at the end of the game? Is a Bird in the hand worth two in a bush?


Seikatsu is a game of contemplative reflection. It is a gentle easy to learn and easy to play game. Light on rules, with a hidden depth that is joy to uncover. Great for families and meet-ups and worth bringing out at game groups. One point to note is this a good with solo play a nice puzzle. 2 and 3 players really shine. 4 Player does feel a little “tacked on” but do not let that put you off. Seek this game out then sit back and relax.

I was provided with a copy of Seikatsu to review as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

Warriors of JOGU

Warriors of



Monsoon Publishing

A review by


  • 2 Players
  • 30 Minutes
  • 14+ Ages


Conflict has erupted across the land of Jogu. Various warring factions vie for control. Not so much of the kingdom itself, rather for access to the liquid Saiur. An energy generating liquid which has the ability to transform the economies of the various factions and their followers. You will be called upon to master both war and deception in your efforts to emerge as the victor and claim the spoils you and your followers so richly deserve.


The gorgeous art box contains all you need to play. At the time of writing The Kickstarter relaunch campaign is due to happen in March 2018. Because of this the final component count could potentially change due to any stretch goals reached dependant on the campaigns success. The preview copy I received for preview had inside,

  • Location board,
  • Scoring track board,
  • End game and round markers,
  • Victory point and moral markers,
  • Location cards,
  • Faction cards (currently 200 in 5×40 card faction decks),
  • Stay tokens,
  • Start player token,
  • Rules.


The basic core concept in Warriors of Jogu has players trying to out manoeuvrer each other. Each round you will send troops to various locations to battle for supremacy. There is however a catch (isn’t there always). You only know one of the two initial battle locations in each round. Your opponent knows the other. Can you work out where your opponent is focussing their battle forces while deceiving them about the location of yours? Misdirect by sending troops to dummy locations. But watch out, your rival will be doing the same. Just to complicate things a little further there is a restriction on the total value of all cards that can be placed at a single location (cue some rule breaking abilities if you please).


Warriors of Jogu is normally played over seven rounds. I say normally as this can possibly change due to special abilities on some of the cards that might become available each round. All rounds in a typical game are broken down into a series of five phases. These phases are,

  • Reinforcement→ A discard and draw phase to replenish your hand to seven cards.
  • Scout→ Each player draws a battle location card from their location deck.
  • Deployment→ Taking turns players will either place a card onto one of the location spaces on the board or pass (if you pass that is it no more actions this round).
  • Resolution→ Reveal battle locations. Calculate battle location strength (highest wins). Place your VP marker onto track. Reduce losing players moral based on their cards used. If moral track reaches zero, that’s it you lose.
  • Clean-up→ all used faction and location cards are discarded, round marker moves and start player rotates.

Games ends either when round tracker and end game tracker are on same spot at which point most VP wins. Or if a players moral drops to zero game ends immediately and opponent wins.


Hold on a minute. Didn’t you say something about special abilities?” Yes I did. This is where Warriors of Jogu steps up its game if you will pardon the pun. What would otherwise have been a box standard number crunching card game. Manages to throw you a bit of a curve ball with the use of interesting special abilities. Some examples of these are,

  • Playing restriction→ Might only allow you to play a card to a certain location or only if another card is already in play on that location.
  • Instant→ Effect triggers when card is played might include play card upside down or play a card from your discard pile.
  • Timing→ Effect triggers at a certain point in the round for example move a card if opponent plays card to this location.
  • Resolution→ Effect triggers during this phase example could be gain moral or opponent loses moral.
  • Protection→ Immunity to abilities and effects from other cards.

Things change up even further with the fact that many cards have multiple abilities that can all trigger.


Does it all come together into a neat little package in Warriors of Jogu? Well almost. I did enjoy playing the game and found some of the card abilities interesting. I do think the variety in each of the faction decks could have been greater. An example of this is that the Guards of Keion faction 40 card deck only has 6 different cards. Eleven (11) of which were the one card and eight (8) were another. That equates to almost half of your deck of 40 cards being comprised of just those 2. Do all cards really need abilities? Some cards with no abilities would have allowed for greater variety and made for some interesting decisions. This does not mean that Warriors of Jogu is a bad game, far from it. I do however think some more work on card variety would have helped.

Now onto a big bug in my ointment. Box Size! Here we have a game that comes in a box 30×22×7cm when it could easily have been almost 1/3 of that size. I do understand arguments about shelf presence but do we really need so much empty space on a Kickstarter game? Surely a smaller box could have saved on shipping cost while still having plenty of room to allow the sleeving of cards. A larger collector style box could have easily been introduced for expansions.


A light 2 player deck battler game that plays well and deserves some of your time to experience. Some nice ideas well implemented. Just let down with a lack of variety. One to watch going forward I think.

I was provided with a copy of Warriors of JOGU to review as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

Dice Throne

Dice Throne


Mind Bottling Games

A review by


  • 2-6 Players
  • 20-40 Minutes
  • 8+ Ages


The mad king has offered his Throne to a worthy Champion. He has been making this offer for a thousand years. Yet to this day none have proved worthy. Heroes come from all over the kingdom and from all different backgrounds and disciplines. All with their own reasons for seeking power. Will you prove your worth to the king and succeed where others have fallen? Can you defeat all comers to claim the ultimate prize? The Dice Throne awaits a Champion.

Moon Elf.

The core box of Dice Throne Season one(Season two expansion is currently live on Kickstarter until 9th March 2018) Contains all you need to play up to 6 players. Inside your box you will find,

  • Dice, 5 individual per character, (30)
  • Combat Point tracker wheel per character, (6)
  • Life counter per character, (6)
  • 32 Cards per character comprising upgrades and abilities, (192)
  • Turn order reference cards one per character, (6)
  • Hero boards and leaflets one per character. (12).


The gameplay in Dice Throne is very reminiscent to Yahtzee in so much as you Roll five dice. You then keep some of the dice and then re-roll up to twice more trying to achieve certain combinations. While on the surface this might not sound like it gives much scope for player interaction or battling. Dice Throne is so much more than first meets the eye.


Each player will equip with a different character. Each character comes with their own player board, deck of cards, ability leaflet tokens, combat tracker, life tracker and a character specific set of 5 dice. Play is carried out over a series of Phases.

  • Upkeep→ Applicable status effects are resolved.
  • Income→ Gain combat points and draw a card.
  • Main phase 1→ Play Action cards, Upgrade abilities and sell cards to gain CP.
  • Offensive Roll→ Roll your 5 dice up to 3 times to try to activate one of the abilities from your player board.
  • Targetting→ This only occurs in games of more than 2 players and designates applicable targets.
  • Defensive→ Target player rolls a designated number of dice once to activate various defensive abilities.
  • Main phase 2→ This phase repeats Main phase 1.
  • Discard phase→ discard down to your hand limit.


So what is all this talk of abilities then? Obtain 3, 4 or 5 of a specific symbol to deal direct damage. Small or large straight will activate more advanced abilities for example the Pyromancer might gain some Fire Mastery to allow them to deal damage undefended by dice rolls. The Barbarian might Stun an opponent allowing a second immediate attack for free. Or will you prefer the Monk’s ability of gaining Chi which can be spent to reduce damage later on. Each character also possesses an Ultimate ability for 5 of a kind. These attacks can deal a larger amount of damage and multiple special abilities simultaneously. An added bonus is that these attacks cannot be defended by defensive dice rolls only card abilities can reduce the damage received. These abilities and much more will be at your disposal as you attempt to reduce your opponents to Zero life points and Claim the Throne.

Shadow Thief.

Dice Throne is a lot of fun to play. While the re-roll mechanic allows you a chance to minimise the ‘luck of the roll’ and the ability cards can allow you to even alter some of the results further. You are still reliant on a lot of luck. Accept this and you will enjoy yourself. Games do not take too long to play especially at 2 or 3 players. Also having to roll for targetting is at one and the same time both refreshing and annoying. On the one hand it is good because it can stop the ‘ganging up’ that can occasionally occur in these style of games. However if and opponent is only on 2 Life points, not being able to target them for the “kill” can also be frustrating. This is a game that I really enjoyed playing and can heartily recommend. Dice Throne is very suited for Family play and meet-up evenings and refreshingly also suitable for game night play scaling well from 2 all the way to 6 and allowing for some fun rivalry and banter. If you can enjoy a game even with ‘Luck of the roll’ (or lack of in some games) Then I can strongly suggest you look to pick this up at retail or even consider both this and the expansion on Kickstarter.

I was provided with a copy of Dice Throne to review as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

Hack Trick Review

Hack Trick:

It’s hacking time!


Mind Fitness Games

A review by


  • 2 Players
  • 15 minutes
  • 10+ Age

What is Hack Trick?

You are two hackers. You need to complete hacks for money and reputation. Your mission, infect a critical combination of global servers or destroy one with a concerted attack. You need to achieve this before your fellow hacker. You need to prove your ability as the greatest hacker alive.

What is in my Box?

Hack Trick packs a surprising amount of fun into a few components. Inside you will find,

  • 1 Rule-sheet,
  • 18 Cards,
  • 20 Virus cubes,
  • 6 Bitcoin markers,
  • 3 Map tiles.

So a card game then?

Sort of. Hack Trick: It’s hacking time is a card based 3 in a row style game in a similar vein to tic-tac-toe. Originally released in 2015 Mind Fitness Games have re-implemented and improved the gameplay with the introduction of a global map. Instead of just putting ‘O’s & ‘X’s onto a board in turns. Where you can place your Virus cubes are restricted through the use of cards and your Hack can also be intercepted with you Virus being intercepted and quarantined.

How does it work?

Each player has a set of Virus cubes. The aim is to place three Virus cubes in a straight line either Horizontally, Vertically or Diagonally. This signifies a successful critical virus attack winning the game (sound familiar?) The other way to win is to succeed in placing three Virus cubes onto a single server. This signifies you destroying the server. 

What about the cards?

Where you target your Virus cubes is not just a free for all. You start the game with a hand of three cards from a deck of 18 numbered and a communal face card in the centre of the play area. On your turn you place a card onto the central area, using the sum of the top card and your played card will allocate your target. You might choose a card to allow you to try to get the eponymous 3 in-a-row. Or will you try to get 3 onto one target. Another option could be to deliberately target an opponents hack This will capture their virus and remove it from their game. You are not usually forced to play (see below) You can opt to draw a card instead. This will strengthen your hand and give you more options going forward.


You might be saying to yourself “this does not seem to have a lot of strategy?”. You are about to be pleasantly surprised. As well as capturing opponent cubes they are not only removed from the opponents pool but can also be turned against them. At the start of your turn you can remove the captured cube from the game to force your opposition to reveal the sum of their cards. This can provide you with valuable information. After placing your cube you could decide to remove on of yours from the game to force the opponent to play a card or to protect you from the same retaliation. So lots of opportunity to mess with their plans.

Who is it for.

Hack Trick is a very light weight quick playing game. Perfect for travel given the small amount of ‘bits’ involved. Even with the designated 10+ age recommendation. This is a game that is easily played by younger players. Not really game group or meet-up use as only for 2 players. But that being said you could play it on the train or in the car while travelling to or from somewhere or even while waiting for food to be served when out and about.

My thoughts.

Light, Fun, non-heavy. Easy to access for all players. Perfect travel or waiting play game with enough strategy to actually need you to concentrate. Not a ‘must have’ more of a ‘nice option to have’ and it only takes a small space on the shelf. The 6”x4”x1½” box is still too big so you can really compact this down further into a cloth bag and shove it into your pocket.

I received a review copy of “Hack Trick: It’s hacking time” through the Board Game Exposure group to review. This game will now be forwarded onto another reviewer. I have tried not to let this influence my review.

Darkness a preview



Taylor Hayward

A preview by



  • 2-5 Players
  • 20-30 Minutes


During the Dark Ages in Europe, There were many Mystics. They tried to control Nature via the use of powerful stone artifacts. Using energy from animals with matching affinity they would “energise” these artifacts. This energising of the artifacts granted them great power. Those who were less prepared however risked releasing dark spirits into the real world to create havoc unless they were contained. Do you have the power and abilities to utilise these artifacts? Can you stop the dark spirits from breaking into our world? Will you become the most powerful of all the mystics? Ring.

Your battle for mystical supremacy will take place using

  • Animal Spirit Cards,
  • Relic Cards,
  • Artifact Cards,
  • Darkness Cards.

Note: The copy of Darkness I received to preview was a prototype copy. As such quality and quantity of components are liable to alter as stretch goals are achieved. Also note art work and minor rules changes are likely.


You and up to four opponents will compete to gather mystical artifacts and valuable relics on your journey to victory. Over the course of six rounds you will gain points from the collection of these with the ultimate aim of having the most mystical score and being crowned as the head of all mystics. You all start with an identical set of 15 animal spirits and each round you will use the power of some of these spirits to try to claim artifacts or relics. The more you collect the more valuable they will become at the end of the game.


OK so about now your itching to know how to claim these artifacts and become the all powerful mystic leader. Well I will tell you.

Your starting set of animal spirit cards are colour based in sets of 3 (five different colours) Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Blue. Now first off for those that have colour sight issues. You will be pleased to note that all of the cards have vastly different artwork to enable you to differentiate them. The icons used are replicated throughout the game whenever that colour is used.

Initially a series of artifact cards are revealed. Each of these have a primary and secondary animal spirit aligned with them. At the end of each round the mystic that has used the most of the primary animal spirit will claim the artifact if there is a tie then the secondary will be counted.


You will also be aiming to claim powerful relics. These can give you big point boosts or special abilities. These are claimed at the end of a round by a player who has managed to play five animal spirits that match those required for the relic.

Regardless of weather you target the relics or the artifacts. The round is played in three phases. In each phase you secretly select a diminishing number of spirit animal cards from your hand. When all players have selected you reveal your chosen cards. Once the third phase is complete you will have six face up cards in front of you. These are what you will use to claim artifacts and/or relics. All players then return the animal spirit cards to their hands. The central tableau of artifact and relic cards is then replenished ready for the next round


Be warned though, all this mystical activity will call forth the dark spirits. When these appear they need to be dispelled to avoid terrible havoc. To dispel these dark spirits at the end of a round, one player must have used a matching number of animal spirits. If this happens the dark spirit is cast out and order is returned. Fail to remove however and they enter “the veil” if at any point there are 3 dark spirits in “the veil” all players discard artifacts down to the fewest number held.


After you have completed six rounds points are awarded based on the number of artifacts in each set you possess. From 1 point for one card through 16 points for 6 cards up to 67 for a set of twelve.


Darkness is an interesting little game. It falls neatly into the filler category and plays well at various numbers. That being said I did find it a little ‘dry’ at 2 player but 3-5 is much more interesting. Play is easy to learn and also to teach. It feels very familiar in its structure. At its heart Darkness is a set collecting game but one which tries to add something a little different into the mix. It is due to launch onto Kickstarter on 6th March 2018. and could well be classed as a nice little shelf filler for family play or occasional filler at meet-ups. It is a little too lightweight for game groups. The artwork is nice and distinctive.

I was provided with a copy of Darkness to preview as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

Dead & Breakfast Preview

Dead & Breakfast


Brain Crack Games

A preview by


  • 2-4 Players.
  • <30 Minutes.
  • T.B.C. Ages


Dead & Breakfast is the upcoming release from Brain Crack Games. Yes, it is from the same people who brought you Downsize, Mined Out and most recently Farsight. Well following on from that eclectic mix, they are back. This time they want you to build an Hotel. But no ordinary Hotel oh-no that would be no fun at all. You are tasked with building, the most horrifyingly scary hotel possible. Things are never that simple. Because not only are you going up against other entrepreneurs, who are set on making their hotel the best. You also discover that the local builders who are working on all of your properties have become home to a spectral nuisance out to make your lives even trickier. Do you have what it takes to make your hotel bloom and the guests scream? Ghosts.

Inside the box you will find,

  • Window tiles,
  • Wall tiles,
  • Door tiles,
  • Guest tiles,
  • Bonus scoring tiles and a Ghost.

Please note, the copy I received is an early prototype print and as such while the rules themselves are almost finalised. The components are going to improve dramatically and the artwork may undergo some changes. These should only serve to make the game much more attractive to all players.


In a game of Dead & Breakfast. Each player will start with their Hotel lobby (front door) this, in keeping with all the best hotels in the world (and quite a few of the worst) is in the middle of the ground floor. You as players will be selecting window tiles to try and complete floors in a 5×5 grid.

This process is made slightly more complicated by the ghost haunting the builders yard (the window tiles tableau). This ghost will restrict your selection of tiles to just three each turn. Each of these will consist of either 2 windows side by side or vertically. Still sounds easy hey? Not so fast there. Each window tile also has vines growing on it and flowers blooming. These flowers have the power to give you points. But only if the vine they are growing from can be connected to the Door tile. And only then if the flowers are matching in colour to those shown above the door. I thought that would make you stop and think.


I thought you said scary hotel? Flowers are not scary”. Well yes I did. Most of the windows have a monster or scary creature inside them. They might be Spiders, Voodoo dolls, Ghosts or even worse (now you start to understand the section headings). These creatures of fear are important to your success. This is because as you complete a floor you attract a Guest to the hotel. Each Guest is afraid of something this is shown by their image. When placing the Guests you will be trying to align them with their fears, either Horizontally or Vertically based on their card icons. You will be scoring points at the end of the game based on your success at lining them up and this is harder than it first seems.


Oh dear I do not want or cannot take one of the available window tiles. Well never fear (save that for the guests). If you find yourself stuck you do have an option to build 2 blank walls. While this will mean you miss out on some windows scoring opportunities. It is not all bad because the wall tiles have lots of vines to help you connect other flowering tiles together.

Once all players have completed their hotel construction you calculate points based on flowers correctly connected and guests aligned with their monsters. There are also some optional Bonus score tiles that can be used at the start of a game and these will allow extra points for things like ‘number of different monsters on a floor or pairs of monsters in a column’. The highest total points is the winner.


When I first received Dead & Breakfast. My first thought was, “Oh look another tile laying grid game”. However once I started to read the rules I was very pleasantly surprised. It very quickly became clear that there was much more to this game than many other tile games. The amount of thinking over which window tile to select was surprisingly high given the variety of creatures and the orientation of the tile. The scoring of the guest in conjunction with monster location added a lot more forward planning in what at first appearances is a cutesy art game. Once you start connecting the flowers to the door as well, you are suddenly putting even more thought in. This is not to say this is a heavy game, It is a light filler. but once you get under the hood there is a fair bit of thinking required. There is even some room for a touch of ‘take-that-esque’ play as you might decide to take a sub-optimal window tile because the next player is then left with a choice of tiles they cannot use or are worthless to them.


Simple mechanics, Surprisingly thinky, Quick playing, Easy to teach, Easy to learn and Suitable for family, meet-up play,

Put this firmly on your radar for the upcoming Kickstarter.

I know I will be. You can sign up for their Newsletter here.

I was provided with a copy of Dead & Breakfast to preview. I will be passing this copy on to another reviewer in the BGE group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.




Alcyon Creative

A review by


1-3 Players


Firefly, Dark Matter, Killjoys and Star Trek. What do they all have in common? You and your crew are piloting a spaceship on an adventure. Every week is a new adventure while there is an overarching story running throughout the series. Space battles, Heroes, Villains, loss, Love and Friendship. Now welcome to the new kid on the block and in cardboard form at that. Ironclad. Take on missions and Take Sides. Your decision in one game affects the later decision making and of the overall campaign.

Big claims. But does it live up to the trailer?


As this was a preview prototype copy components were not final. You will have modular space hex cluster which will be used in a variety of layouts for the campaign. Lots of chits, Hero cards, Intel tokens, upgrade modules. Dice, Ship cards Damage trackers and exhaustion tokens to name just a few. The artwork that is on show is beautiful and very thematic.

NB. All images are of prototype components and subject to change


Even though the rulebook was an early copy I was impressed at the clarity and ease of access. Where many games have a simple set up image and you need to work it out from there. Here we have not only a comprehensive set up guide but also a step by step tutorial to learn how to play. When I say step by step I mean it. The tutorial even had the die roll results needed for the information to be clear. Not only that, you have not one but two tutorials. The first gives you a basic understanding of the core rules. The second tutorial goes into more depth dealing with combat etc. It is titled “Mutiny” Also included are reference guides, Quick play guides, Intel guide sheets. In fact all the info you could need, nicely laid out. Yes there are some minor errors here and there but that is to be expected in a preview copy and will not be evident in the full release copy. There will also be a full campaign book as well containing progressive storylines. The decision you make in one mission will affect options and available actions in later missions. I only had access to the first 3 of these and they showed a huge amount of promise. This really does have the potential to create a boardgame that emulates the feel of the aforementioned sci-fi epics.


Enough of the excitement hows the play? You start by setting up the space map according to the current scenario. Each player is assigned System Orders for the weapons, bridge or hanger. Players set up the Ship Status board, Intel tokens and any other required information is placed onto the space map. Heroes are assigned to the various ship systems. In a two player game the extra system will be controlled by either or both players (it is a Co-Op after all). Your Ship miniature is placed onto the starting sector and your ready to go. The available actions each turn is based on the available heroes and crew morale. Your options each turn will be chosen from the following,

  • Recon: Reveal an Intel token from an adjacent sector.
  • Move: Move to an adjacent sector. You will then have to resolve the Intel token and also deal with any environmental actions depending on the sector (hint most are not good see below).
  • Rest: Rest up to 2 heroes to remove exhaustion tokens.
  • If you manage to add the correct upgrade modules you will also have access to.
  • Heal: Heal wounded Heroes.
  • Repair: Use Salvage to repair ship damage.

She canna’ take much more.

As you would expect being in a metal can in the violent vacuum of space can be a bit dangerous what with Solar Flares, Super Nova, Black Holes and Geomagnetic Storms to name just a few. Then you need to factor in the basic homicidal nature of just about every race of aliens. Space Combat and Space Pirates. If you manage to survive all this you might just dock at a friendly Spaceport to spend your hard earned credits.

Super Nova.

Undertake missions for the Cartel or the Federation, side missions from the corporation. Decisions you make will gain or lose you reputation until you reach a point where you are forced to choose a side Who will you work and fight for?

Warp Speed.

All of this on its own is enough for me to recommend you seriously looking at Ironclad when it becomes available to buy. But if none of that has convinced you yet, There is more. Yes even more than a twelve part space opera with side missions and decisions causing long lasting consequences. Having looked at the various component options already included. Your story does not stop there. Just like the best Sci-fi series you can have a season 2. This with just individual missions you can make up yourself. Want to run some smuggling operation, Bounty Hunter or Gun for Hire? If you can think up a premise for a mission you can build it in Ironclad. The possibility for invention is very promising indeed.


Space exploration, Heroic actions, decisions that count, Continuing Story Arc, Campaign and potential for inventive play. All of this makes me say Look out for this and get ready to buy it. The only negative is that it is only for 3 players.

IRONCLAD successfully funded on Kickstarter November 2017. It should be available for pre-order soon

I was provided with a copy of IRONCLAD to preview as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

MoonQuake Escape

MoonQuake Escape


Breaking Games

A preview by


  • 2-6 Players
  • 45-60 minutes
  • 10+ age


You naughty naughty naughty alien! You have broken some space laws and did not say you were sorry. Off to prison with you.

You find yourself locked up and abandoned on the prison planet of Zartaclaton. Where you will have time (lots and lots of time) to ponder your poor life choices. Like getting caught for one. Suddenly the ground starts to shake violently. It is a moonquake. Who thought building a prison on a planet with an unstable core and a moon with an erratic orbit was a good idea? As the buildings start to collapse under the stress of the quake you find yourself FREE!

Unfortunately your only free of the prison the planet is being torn apart by the quakes. Your only hope is to reach the escape rocket. There is however a small problem. Well several of them to be accurate. There are several other prisoners who are out of their cells, A homicidal prison guard intent on stopping you, Permanently! and the escape rocket only has room for 1 and all the other prisoners know it. Use whatever means necessary to stop the other inmates and get to the rocket first while avoiding the guard. Make sure you have enough energy to blast off before it is too late!


Inside Breaking Game’s distinct orange heavy box art of MoonQuake Escape you will find,

  • Rulebook,
  • Standees + Stands,
  • Status cards with sliders,
  • Moon orbit token and spinner,
  • Die,
  • Phase marker,
  • 3D board,
  • Cards.


First thing to say about the components in MoonQuake escape is that they are fun. As is signature to Breaking Games releases expect lots of Orange in the colour scheme. With plenty of delightful artwork to look at it is very “kid-safe” but not childish. Everything looks and feels nice but not over the top. The board is a 3D revolving affair with folding corners to allow for safe storage. It has a novel orbiting Moon which acts as an energy supply spinner and player marker. All of this serves to make MoonQuake Escape visually accessible to non hobby gamers which is something that can only be considered a positive.


Playing MoonQuake Escape follows an easy to learn and teach, turns broken into phases system. There are 4 phases to a turn or round,

  • MoonQuake→ Resolve orbit cards from previous round. This also acts as turn order decider (clockwise or anticlockwise), Moon moves and spins to allocate charges and planet rings are revolved.
  • Escape→ Alien movement and draw phase.
  • Action→ Take actions based on your locations bonus ability spending energy to do so. This phase allows you to shoot other players, move, spy, steal and use or ready equipment.
  • Guard→ Guard moves or shoots.


Initially when you look at MoonQuake you will think kids game. Do not let it fool you it hides a level of light strategy and gentle take that. All of which will allow young Timmy to stick it to grandad with a Grenade Launcher. While still offering a fair level of play for a board game meet-up evening.


I am not sure how much table time this would get with a regular games group, who would probably be looking at heavier weight games. I have enjoyed playing MoonQuake Escape to review. I would consider it to be a nice gateway or family rainy afternoon game. Would I give it a space on my “Games to play with the kids” shelf? Not sure is the honest answer. As another Breaking games title “Asking for Trobils” currently has that spot on the shelf. One small niggle I did have is that the connector of the planet rings to the board is mostly cardboard. This brings in an element of durability question to the frame.



  • Great for kids and families.
  • Meet-up suitable.
  • Light weight and Gateway.
  • Great fun art. Orange.

  • Durability.
  • Too light for some.
  • No minis.

I was provided with a copy of MoonQuake Escape to preview as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

Food Truck Champion

Food Truck



Daily Magic Games

A preview by


  • 2-5 Players
  • 8+ Age
  • <60 Minutes


You have always fancied working for yourself. You wanted the freedom to work where and when you wanted. You wanted to be your own boss. Well now you can. On offer is a chance to have fun and be your own boss. Go where you want with a mobile food truck. Sell the food you want to eat. Great food and great service. Hire staff and show yourself to be the one and only true. Food Truck Champion.


Food Truck Champion comes in a small form box. The artwork is fun and light. Inside you will find,

  • Rulebook,
  • First player card,
  • 6 Critique tokens,
  • 24 Popularity tokens,
  • 95 Game cards,
  • 5 Starting order cards,
  • 5 Owner cards,
  • 5 Food Truck boards,
  • 1 Active player truck token.

Hot Dogs.

The component quality in Food Truck Champion is very nice. The cards feel a nice quality card stock. The active player marker is a nice 3D wooden food truck and the Popularity and Critique Tokens were nice wooden discs. All of these were screen printed. Food Truck (player) boards were nice size with large iconography that is quite easy to understand. I would have liked them to be a little thicker but that is a very minor point.


When I first read the rules of Food Truck Champion I was completely confused. They made no sense. Then I realised it was my fault. The rules are laid out with the card anatomy between set-up and how to play. Because the iconography is so clear I skipped this bit ‘Facepalm moment’. The card anatomy also contains explanations of what the different parts of the card do as well as describing the icons. Cue second read and ‘These rules are simple’. Seriously they are straight forward and easy to understand when you read it properly.

Cold Cans.

The main concept of Food Truck Champion is set collection. You are trying to collect ingredients to complete orders. Completed orders earn you popularity. Most popularity wins. Along the way you will Hire staff, Take orders, Purchase ingredients and upgrade your truck. All of these functions can be achieved with the same set of cards using the clever 3 part card. On one end of the card is listed and ingredient. On the other end you will have a staff member while the middle contains the food order with the required ingredients. How do you use these? Read on to find out more.


Each player in a game of Food Truck Champion starts off with their owner card and a hand of 4 cards. The remaining cards are set as a draw deck in the centre along with some face up cards. On a players turn they are able to do 1 of 3 basic actions,

  • Market Research→ This action allows you to draw 2 cards from the deck into your hand.
  • Take Charge→ You will be able to pick up your Owner card from your player board.
  • Lead a Staff Action→ Use a member of staff from you hand to take a “Staff Action”.

Staff Action.

As you no doubt will have realised the “Staff Action” forms the main part of a game of Food Truck Champion. This action triggers a secondary action phase where starting with the next player. You in turn can choose to copy the Staff Action (play the same staff card). If you choose not to you can Market Research (draw two) or Take Charge (pick up your owner card). Different staff will allow you to do various actions and the strategy is in deciding who to use when.

  • Driver→ Will allow you to collect ingredients from the centre.
  • Cashiers→ enable you let you take orders.
  • Manager→ Hire Staff to take bonus actions.
  • Cook or Chef→ Use ingredients to complete orders.

The more ingredients in an Order the more points it will be worth. Completed Order tickets also count towards bonus point collection targets for end game scoring.


Food Truck Champion was an interesting game to review. I say this because on the surface it looked and felt quite lightweight. Once you got under the surface there was some nice decision making to be had. Which card do you take when? And do you want it as Staff, Ingredient or Order. The artwork from Clare Donaldson is perfect for the theme. Overall I found Food Truck Champion to be fun and enjoyable. There is a good amount of game in the box and it is one I will be seriously considering for my shelf. It will play well with families, meet-ups and boardgame groups. Easy to teach but enough to keep you coming back for more.

I was provided with a copy of Food Truck Champion to preview as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.

Quirk Legends



Emmerse Studios

A review by


  • 2-6 Players
  • 15-30 minutes
  • 5+ Age

What is Quirk Legends?

Back in 2017 I was sent a game for review. It was called Quirk and to be 100% honest I loved it. In fact I loved it so much that my family and I played it every day on holiday. You can read my original review here “Quirk Review”. Fast forward to January 2018 and Emmerse Studios have released their follow up, Quirk Legends. How does it compare? Find out now.

What is in my Box?

Inside the Box you will find 56 cards which include,

  • 39 Character cards (13 Sets of 3),
  • 7 Tactic cards,
  • 7 Skip cards,
  • 3 Defence cards,
  • Rules leaflet.


Yes I am putting my summary here before you get to the review itself.

Why you ask?

To put it simply because I want to save you some time. Buy this game. It is as simple as that and you can also get the original game of Quirk at the same time. Just visit the following link QUIRK LEGENDS” to back for a May 2018 delivery. You can get Quirk legends for £10 or both games for £20. There is even an option to get a Quirky T-shirt as well.

Why should I buy?

  • I have the original game why should I get this one?
  • That is a very good question. As an owner of the original We played the original so much that we almost “overdosed” on it and we also discovered an optimum play style. The designers have taken all the feedback from players and reviewers like myself. They have gone away and improved the rules. Not just that they have also created 13 new characters with new traits “Good”, “Evil” and “Neutral”. All of this works as a standalone version of the Quirk style of play. Where the big sell comes into play is the fact that as well as a standalone game. You can also combine both sets to make a MEGA-Quirk. This would allow you to even exceed the 6 player recommended limit. Family gatherings anyone?

Sell it to me.

If you have never heard or played Quirk. You are in for a treat. At first Quirk Legends appears to be a very simple game. The real love for this game comes from how you play. You start with a hand of cards and need to collect sets of 3. The process of doing this will have you laughing hard. Where most games want you to pick and pass or blind draw (yawn). Here you have to act out the card you want (sound effects are encouraged). How would you pretend to be a wizard? Cue much imaginary wand waving and spell casting. Or would you prefer to be a superhero (puffed chest hands on hips). Add in the relevant sound effects and if your not laughing everyone else around the table will be.

Once you have a set of 3 matching charactera to form “A Quirk” you place them in front of you. Your aim is to get more Quirks than any one else. Getting them is easy it is the holding onto them that is harder. There are Tactic cards that will allow you steal Quirks from other players. You might be lucky to have a Defence card. To, well defend yourself of course. There are also some Skip cards to force people to miss a turn (mwahahaha..Sorry went all Evil Villain there).


Quirk Legends is not a heavy strategy game. To be honest it is in actual fact a very light strategy game. Deciding when to use a Tactic or Skip Card is as tactical as it gets. Instead Quirk Legends like its older sibling Quirk, is all about having some fun and being a bit silly. This is something it achieves with great ease and aplomb. 5 year olds, 40 Year olds or even 80 Year olds will all have fun. They will also all have the same chance of winning. There is a lot of luck involved in what cards you draw when you have been Quirked or when picking who to ask for a Quirk. Be prepared to laugh maniacally at someone without success looking for super villains. Only for the next player to laugh back at you and steal yours. But that is OK Quirk Legends is a fast fun game to play and you can quickly get one game after another played.

Who is it for.

Quirk Legends is squarely aimed at the family market with one hand held affectionately out towards the younger players. Everyone under the age of 12 I have shown it to has loved it instantly. That is not its only appeal. If you are have some friends over and the wine is flowing? Then break out Quirk Legends once everyone is relaxed (he-he). It will get you all screaming with laughter. As for gaming groups? I can see the appeal for some but I do not really see this being a regular in our gaming group (they are busy being cowboys or terraforming Mars).

My thoughts.

I love Quirk Legends for family play. It is a lot of fun. It is a very quick game that does not outstay its welcome. There is almost zero downtime. My family loved the original so much that they took to responding to the Quirk requests in character which really adds to the fun. I can see this happening already with Quirk Legends.

The Good

  • Cards are nice quality.
  • Portable, small size.
  • Fun by the bucket load.
  • Standalone or mix in with original.
  • 100% Family Friendly.
  • Tactics and Skip cards stop runaway leader.
  • Nice artwork.
  • Clear icons.
  • New characters add challenge.

The Bad

  • Could be too light for some.
  • You have to be silly.
  • Won’t be out till May.

I was provided with a copy of QUIRK LEGENDS to review. I have tried to ensure it has little bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.