Review by Mark Capell-Helm

game box

In 2017 a company called Themeborne, released a new game going by the name of “Escape the Dark Castle”. In which you were trying to, well, Escape from a Dark Castle with lots of monsters and nasty surprises along the way. People liked it, in fact Quite a lot of people liked it. So much so that several expansions were added. Creating a fantasy set game which played in a very similar way to the choose your own adventure stories.

Fast forward to 2020 and Themeborne have returned with a new title “Escape the Dark Sector” This time we have travelled to the future and are stranded in a prison cell on a large (read huge) space station. You and up to 3 other crew mates must work together to escape your cell, find your ship and make good your escape. Sounds simple enough (ha-ha if only).

box title

The space Station is full of rampaging cyborgs, Alien eggs, Mercenaries and possibly even a little Matrix moment. Across 3 episodes with 4 (sometimes more occasionally less) chapters in each, you will need to work as a close knit team to survive. This is not a case of “Oh poor bill did not make it, we will remember him” You all win or all lose (mostly lose in my experience).

So what’s in the box, how does it feel and is it worth getting if you already have the previous game? Read on to find out.


What’s in the Box”

inside Escape the Dark Sector’s game box you will find

Over 30 dice, Rules, Item cards, A set of crew cards, Chapter, Scenario and Boss, large tarot sized cards (over 80 all together) and Medical record sheets.


So what do you do with this stuff? I hear you ask. You start by randomly choosing a boss card from 5 (this might not sound many but trust me you wont be seeing much of these cards) then the various chapter cards and finally a Scenario opening.
Note:- There are only 3 opening Scenario Cards which is a shame as being the most used cards more variety would have been nice.

Once you have assembled your ‘Story’ deck you each choose a character. All 6 of the characters have strengths and weaknesses using the stats Cunning, Wisdom and Might. These are reflected in your personal crew dice.

game set up ready to play on playmat

You are then ready to begin..

The rules to Escape the Dark Sector are fairly light and easy to pick up. The game box promises you will be playing in minutes and games taking around 60 minutes to play.

For once I actually agree with the claims with the caveat that the first play through you will make a few clarification checks in the rule book. Barring a very unlucky set of dice rolls 60 minutes is pretty close. I did have one particularly useless crew who failed to escape in under 30 minutes dying horribly after some really bad decision making. But enough about my disasters is it fun?

Boss cards

Play my Story

How do you play Escape the Dark Sector then? You start by revealing the chosen Scenario card and reading the text aloud. This will set the scene for your adventure. After this point you will working as a team chose the crew member to lead you all into the next room. This Crew mate will reveal the next chapter and read the continuing story aloud. Quite often there will be an event that unfolds requiring that person to roll a skill test or take some damage. Following this you will all need to make a decision based on the information given. Rolling dice to try to defeat enemies, collecting items, regaining health or being the victim of some barbaric blood sport. Should you all survive you get a breather to reload guns use healing items etc. before choosing the next chapters leader and moving onto the next section before hopefully facing off against the Boss enemy and escaping in your ship.

chapter cards

While gloriously simple in concept there are some clever little touches. At the start of combat if you have ranged weapons you can exchange gunfire before going hand to hand to try to finish off your enemies. You can use a flanking ability to sneak up on an enemy for a surprise attack, use a medical drone to heal or make use of your cybernetic implants to give you and edge.

Fun Factor!

The big question is IS IT FUN?

Before I answer that question,

Have you ever read and played a choose your own adventure book? If so you will know that the story is everything. There needs to be atmosphere, tension, immersion, OH-No moments and those all important fist pumping “get-in” moments. Without these the desire to finish the adventure is quickly lost. So are these all in Escape the Dark Sector?

Atmosphere? In short YES although this is quite dependent on your group buying into the story premise. If your not big Sci-fi fans then a lot of the “special” moments will pass you by. That moment when you reveal Alien face-hugger eggs or the Glitch in reality al-la Matrix these and many more are present.

Immersion? Personally I found this to be much less successful. Because the artwork used is much more reminiscent of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. I personally did not feel it quite fit the setting being portrayed in the game as well as it could have. That being said it is nice artwork and is in keeping with their first game so it is consistent. I thought the dice rolling would cause us to lose some of the immersion but my group did not feel that at all and we stayed immersed in our characters throughout.

Tension? Another big fat YES bucket loads in fact. Looking at the expression of your crew mate as they revealed and started to read the next chapter card. Only to realise you were all in the deep doo-doo.

item cards

OH-NO” and “get-in”? YES here as well rolling a bunch of dice will always create those memorable moments. Rolling big to take down a cyborg first strike or rolling badly and slipping onto some laser grids.

So Is it FUN? YES If you like Sci-fi and don’t mind losing often to a game that is very punishing and difficult but which never feels unbeatable.

In the words of my 12 year old son when after playing his first game I asked “What did you think?” he replied “I will tell you after we play again NOW!”

While not being a heavy weight game this is a perfect game for those less familiar with modern gaming. This does mean that it will feel much too light for some. Also the luck elements involved with dice rolling will also put some people off, even allowing for the small amount of luck mitigation you can get within the game itself.

This is a game that will stay on my shelves and I hope to see more scenario opener cards in future expansions. Escape the Dark Sector is different enough from it’s predecessor to warrant owning both as they both scratch different parts of the same itch. I look forward to seeing where the next “Escape the Dark…..” takes us.

Disclaimer- Themeborne sent me an unsolicited copy of Escape the Dark Sector to review along with the Playmat. No Obligation to provide a positive review was asked nor offered. I have endeavoured to be as impertial as possible.

So Long My World

So Long My World

Game by

Axis Mundi

A Preview by


  • 1-5 Players
  • 30 minutes
  • 16+ Ages

20th June 2018 Live on Kickstarter “So Long My World”

What is ‘So Long My World’?

It is the end of the world as we know it. No I am not talking about the song either. In fact this is no Hollywood blockbuster happy ending save mankind in the last 10 minutes. Mankind is dying, the candle is going out. This IS the last day in fact the last few hours! No do-overs no final saving grace. Your not the hero of the piece, nor are you the villain. You are just an average person who has just been told mankind will cease to exist in 12 hours. What do you do? What would you the player do? This is the question that needs asking. Will you try to be with your loved ones to spend the last few precious hours together? Will you go on a bloodlust fuelled rampage with no fear of retribution or punishment? Or will you not face those last hours choosing instead to end your time prematurely? Difficult questions with difficult answers. Look inside yourself. Just what would you do?

What is in my Box?

I was sent a preview copy of So Long My World so component quality and quantity was not finalised. There was also some rulebook editing required. That being said the contents I received were,

  • Clock to time end of mankind,
  • Remnant cards,
  • Gestalt cards,
  • Event cards,
  • End cards,
  • Reference cards for players,
  • Rule/Scenario book,
  • Vision Tarot sized cards,
  • First player token,
  • Time token,
  • Vision tokens,
  • Feelings tokens,
  • Mark of Sol tokens.

16+ Really?

YES. So Long My World is dealing with a very dark concept and as such it uses some dark artwork to depict death and Slaughter on the vision cards. There is also the underlying theme, the end of humankind and how you would react in that situation. As such I strongly advise you bear that in mind. This is a dark theme that is not suitable for younger audiences.

How does it work?

The game begins with the Vision cards being set out. The event deck is then constructed. Players are given 2 of the remnant starting cards and 3 random from a shuffled remaining deck. Gestalt cards and feeling tokens are set out with players choosing either a Hope or Madness Feelings token to start the game. They are also given a set of Vision tokens matching the centre Vision images. After everything is laid out according to the rulebook (including the time on the clock till the games end) play can begin. Over a number of rounds play is split into 5 Phases,

  • Event– The top card from the Event deck is revealed. This allocates Feelings tokens to the various Vision cards. The first player must also resolve the Event revealed. This is often a choice that must be made.
  • Choice– Each player secretly decides which Vision they wish to visit by placing a Vision token into their hand. These are revealed simultaneously with the aim of collecting the required Feelings to play Remnant cards.
  • Hinder– Players may in turn order spend Feelings to play Hinders. This will allow them to change turn order, change a selected Vision or even immediately claim Feeling tokens from a Vision.
  • Vision– This phase is broken into,
  1. Effect-players can choose to activate a Vision ability,
  2. Drain-take up to two Feelings or one that matches the Vision from the central system or 1 Mark of Sol or draw a card.
  3. Play cards– spending Feelings allows players to activate a card for a one time effect or on some occasions a permanent ability.
  4. Spend Marks of Sol– This will allow drawing Gestalt cards or ignoring a Reboot effect or gain end game points.
  • End– First player passes to the left, Time counter advances one hour (when it reaches XII the game ends)

Is it really the end?

The End of all things. When the time runs out, humanity ceases to exist, Forever! In the last few moments before the final death, players can reflect. Did they become who they were meant to be or was it wasted living a lie?

The players total up their insight points with the highest amount winning and showing themselves as truly them.




There is some clever strategy on display in So Long My World. With the hidden Vision selection and Hinder cards allowing you to try to mess with others decision so you can benefit. Ultimately it boils down to collecting the right matching symbols to be able to play cards and when/if to spend Marks of Sol.

Who is it for?

This is not a family game it has a dark theme that really sets that out from the start. An exception would possibly with a family with older children. It is a game I could see a game group playing either at the start or end of an evening. Again the theme might be off-putting for some. Game meet ups is more the audience for this game given it has a 30 minute estimated length. My difficulty in suggestion is some players may find examining inner madness and desires along with the end of humankind either disturbing or upsetting depending on personal situation and/or belief.

My thoughts.

When I was first asked about So Long My World I was very intrigued and a little concerned. How would such a sensitive subject matter be handled? The designers could have very easily gone wide of the mark with humorous art or attempts at brevity. However I have to tip my hat in respect, they have avoided those obvious pitfalls. I will also add that this has been a hard review to write while remaining as impartial as possible due to my own personal circumstances over the past year. So an attempt at a fair summary would be.

As a straightforward game the gameplay is lightweight and fairly easy to learn. Some nice light strategic choices help it flow well.


If you can immerse yourself completely in its theme so that you really resonate with the choices, decision and flavour text. It will become a much more unsettling, thought provoking insight into your own psyche.

So on that basis my recommend or not is based on the immersed game experience instead of just gameplay

  • For my shelf – Yes
  • Recommend a friend – Maybe
  • Play again – Yes

I Was provided a copy of So Long My World for preview. This game has now been passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.

UKGE 2018



And Beyond



Welcome to post UKGE 2018 at the Birmingham NEC, now bigger and better than ever before. 2017 saw attendance of over 30,000 using one trade hall and an area outside for open gaming and tournament play. This year two halls with trades stands, a 2,000 seater open gaming section and tournament play across the second hall will have helped smash that figure. I will go out on a limb and say attendance will be better than hoped and nearing the 40,000 across the 3 days.

So just what was on display? In short everything. If you can think of a genre of board or tabletop gaming it will have been on display. Now think of an accessory, upgrade or bit of bling for board-gaming and it will have been on display. There were also 100’s of other things that you cannot think of. In short UKGE has now become one of the top 3 must go to conventions in the world.

After spending 4 days chatting with retailers, designers, creators and publishers. What games did I like the look of, enjoy playing, found unusual or just deserved a wider audience? Read on to find out more.

Hero Master:– Here we have what is shaping up to be a great little game and one I am personally a little excited having been following its development for a while now. If you have ever played D’n’D or any other type of role playing or dungeon crawling game. You will be well aware of playing alongside these characters. We are talking the guys who could get a critical fail when needing a 2 to succeed. The bane of any adventuring party here is their chance to redeem themselves. A dragon is attacking and all the ‘real’ heroes have gone off to fight leaving only the most inept and clumsy heroes behind (lets face it you do not want someone tripping over and stabbing you in the lag at the wrong time do you?). There is nothing for it but the worst of the worst must band together to save the day, Work together competitively while trying to prove you are the real thing and can join a proper adventuring party gaining fame and fortune. Expect fun, laughs and comedy shenanigans along the way

LightSeekers:Think Skylanders crossed with Pokemon but with more style. That is what Playfusion brought to the table with this TCG. Your Hero uses magical energy to cast spells, creatures, items and locations all with the aim of defeating your opponent. Playable by 2+ players the clever use of attack player to left and defend from player to the right stops any ganging up. Beautiful artwork and clever mechanisms mean that any CCG or TCG player will instantly feel at home while the rules make it an easy to learn game from the start. Throw in the free to play app with augmented reality from scanning the cards and this is an instant win with children from 9+ and adults alike. Find this now at your FLGS or Online.

Age of Sigmar:– TCG from the same people who brought you LightSeekers. Utilising the same style of card mechanics with rotation giving varying results. Only this time instead of one Hero you have four Champions. Every time you get them to use a spell or unit they are aligned with it charges a special power. Once these are fully charged they unleash all sorts of devastation onto your opponent. With a graphical style aimed at the older child 13+ There is a lot to like about this game. Due for full release at GenCon this year (2018) could be one to watch as this is also due for an app support with augmented reality inclusion.

Metro City Melt Down:– This upcoming Kickstarter puts the players into a co-operative situation in charge of Fire, Police, Medical or Guard. You will be trying to stop Metro City from falling into chaos using very limited resources (dice). With varying levels of difficulty and numerous monsters on the rampage, public opinion falling and disease spreading. Easy to lose hard to win (approx 40% win ration on hard). One I am hoping to have for review in the near future. Currently undergoing an artwork overhaul with a Kickstarter launch aiming for November this year.

Assembly:– A virus has broken out on a space-station you are a lone survivor trying to escape. The computer is venting the station to kill the virus. Unfortunately this will also kill you. You must try to build a spaceship to to escape with only a limited amount of oxygen and an even more limited number of options. Solo or Co-op with restricted communication plays in around 10-20 minutes. Live on Kickstarter due to end on the 21st June and over-funded already. A £3 pledge gives you access to the full colour base game print n play.

Catan. Rise of the Incas:– Yes Catan produces another offspring this time with a twist. Over 3 eras you build a civilisation and then let it fall into decline to build another and another. Using many of the familiar ways of playing we are used to from the other iterations of Catan. This interesting regeneration of the core idea looks very promising and I will look forward to trying it in the near future. All new art and play pieces update this title nicely. Look out for the Alpaca. Due for release mid to late September.

Summoners Isle:- You are summoners in training. You visit Summoners Isle to learn your craft in order to protect the mainland. Use strategy to prove yourself in combat, absorb spirit energy show you have true command over your creatures. This new game from Robbie Munn is an interesting 2-4 player game that he produced in a limited number print run for the UKGE. I could not resist snagging a copy for a great price. Look out for a fuller review coming soon.

Vikings in Space:– a 2 to 5 player worker placement euro strategy title which places you in charge of a TV station. You are trying to get the highest viewing figures by televising Viking battle fights. You recruit Vikings for the arena and set them off to fight. running at about 2hours playtime. Well worth looking out for soon.

Final Fantasy TCG:– For anyone who loves the Final Fantasy console and PC games this is for you. Comprising characters from every iteration of the series lovingly recreated onto these Cards and using compatibility bonus’ (the more FF VII characters you have on the table the stronger Cloud becomes) Square Enix have managed to recreate the look and feel of the games in card form. Now where is my Chocobo?

Off the Rails:– Goblins in a mine with mine-carts chasing the most jewels and trying to escape. Laying tracks as you go the clever distance move mechanic means what starts as a very simple filler quickly turns into a bit more of a strategic up yours game. The use of action points lets you make decisions over track laying, minecart movement or speed adjustment. Funded in 2017 and having a bit more widespread availability. This is a cute 1-4 player game played in around 60 minutes. Watch out for the cave collapsing as you dig it out though.

Line:– for those not up on the boarding lingo Line is the term for stringing a sequence of tricks together on a skateboard. Yes Skateboarding is now crossing over into boardgaming. Following the success of games on console and PC like Tony Hawks, this card laying tableau building game has you trying to complete the perfect run. Stringing together the best combination of tricks, flips, grinds and grabs. Can you out rad your opponents? Playing up to 4 players in about 15-30 minutes with tactical drafting. Get ready to hear more about this game in the near future as they go to Kickstarter with the expansion.

Witless Wizards:– Drawlabs are following up their recent hit Mystic Scrolls with Witless Wizards. Where the former was dealing with apprentice wizards this time they are looking at the other end of the age spectrum. Your old wizards are forgetting their spells. You will be using push your luck each player has 3 decks to equip their wizards and defeat the others currently live on Kickstarter at $19 for an entry level pledge. Well worth a look at that price.

Micro-brew:– Here we have the latest from One Free Elephant. Micro-brew is a mint tin sized game BUT it is not a small game to play here is a full on worker placement game with an approximate 1hr playtime. You will be brewing various beers using a sliding puzzle mechanic to obtain loyal customers and earn the money you need. I was lucky enough to be given a review copy of this game so look out for a full review very soon indeed.

Old Hellfire Club:– Destitute aristocracy and members of a secret society. Drawing cards which are all based on real historic figures. You make your living recounting elaborate and exciting stories from your past. Unfortunately your opponents will be using their cards to prove you a liar and win the coins for themselves. 100+ cards illustrated using authentic Victorian art and unsavoury facts about real people. This is already a beautiful looking game which despite its apparent similarity to Horrible Histories is not aimed at kids. Can you weave a magical spell on the patrons to win the money?

FReNeTiC:– No I don’t have a sticky caps lock. Here is a word game based around the periodic table. Each round players will draw a certain number of tiles from a bag these will give the letter combos as shown in the periodic table. You will then have a set amount of time to make as many words as possible. The catch is the letter combinations must be used as they are. So as the titular tiles would show F, Re, Ne, Ti and C each tile is worth a different amount of points most points wins. Interesting spin on the word game sector coming soon to a shop near you.

Dominations:– 2-4 players start as primitive tribes around their campfires. Using triangular domino style tiles you will gain various civilisation points like religion, science or military Use this knowledge to build cities and wonders. Expand your civilisation gaining power and upgrading cities and mastering skills. Over a series of ages you will develop what you hope will be the most memorable nation. What drew me to this game was the fact that for a civilisation game there is no combat as such (you can copy others abilities). I am looking forward to playing this one again especially if I can obtain a review copy.

Tales of the Northland’s: Saga of Noggin the Nog:– that is a mouthful so will just say Noggin the Nog from now on. Recently a successful run on Kickstarter, this was a game I was super excited about before the UKGE. After sitting through a rules explanation I was even more excited. For those not in the know Noggin the Nog was a 1960’s-1970’s stop motion animation with beautiful art and subjects that were well ahead of their time. Using influence players will try to help the titular Noggin gain his rightful position as the king of the Northlands. However Nogbad the Bad (yes the baddie) is trying to get their first. Using a combination of action point allowance, worker placement and a time used mechanic to determine turn order this is a game that is going to shine (yes I backed it on Kickstarter).

So that is the games that caught my eye. There were so many it is impossible to cover them all. Now to tell you a little more about the UKGE itself.

The ticket price for a full 3 day pass is incredible value for money given the opportunity to see chat and play some many games. Location wise the Birmingham NEC is convenient to reach from most of the country. Trains run to the Birmingham International Airport station and it is just a few minutes covered walk to the NEC itself. Road travel is easy with the Motorway being just a few minutes down the road. Parking for 1000’s of cars and Hotels nearby (expensive). Accommodation can also be found a short 5-10 minute train journey into the city itself. With a multitude of Air BnB and cheaper hotels and guest house near to the venue as well.

Food in the halls themselves was nice but expensive. Just outside were food trucks, Subway, Nandos, Gourmet Burger and Pizza. Prices were not much higher than normal high street. So good food was easy to get.

The staff of the NEC and also the Volunteers of the UKGE were in my experience very helpful at all times. They were smiling and willing to answer any question (even my “Where is the Piazza suite?”. “Right behind you sir!”). Volunteers all sharing my love of gaming and geekdom as well. Leading to lots of “have you seen…” or “Ohh that looks good….” moments. I must say a huge well done to every single one of them. The planning and organisation going into an event of this scale is mind boggling.

Now that UKGE has reached the size it has we are also starting to see some of the bigger European publishers coming over. I hope to start to see a lot more interaction from the American game market in the next year or so with even some notable game launches. This year we had the Plan B game Century Eastern Wonders (follow up to Spice Road). This was a must buy and most stockists had sold out b efore the end of Friday with a few copies appearing on the Saturday morning (very briefly).

So are there any negatives? Well to be honest a couple the floor-plan layout can be confusing with smaller aisles appearing at odd points. While this meant you wandered a bit more it could make it harder to find or return to a particular stand (there was a map in the free magazine). The other one is nothing to do with the UKGE itself it is to do with the hotels. They know people want to stay close by and they charge accordingly. 3 or 4 nights for 2019 will easily set you back £500-£1000, which in my opinion is far too much. Next year I will be looking at staying further afield. A must visit though for anyone interested in the resurgence of the boardgame industry.


Villagers from Sinister Fish


Game by

Sinister Fish

A preview by


  • 1-5 Players
  • 30-60 Minutes
  • 10+ Ages

What is Villagers

Have you ever played a PC game by the name of ‘Settlers’? If so then Villagers will feel very familiar to you. You and your fellow players are the founders of new villages set in the middle ages after the great plague. The roads are teeming with refugees looking for a new home. You need to tempt the best of them to join your village, allowing it to grow and prosper. Choose wisely because food and resources are limited. New residents may allow you to access new or improved skills but they also need supplying by other people from the roads. Choose well and build the most prosperous new village before your opponents do the same.

What is in my Box?

The copy of Villagers I received was a preview copy and as such components and quality were not finalised. In saying that, The standard of the preview copy was very high indeed. Inside the very stylish but understated box there was

  • Numerous coins in denomination of 1,5,10 and 20.
  • Basic Villager cards,
  • Founders cards,
  • Player aids,
  • Travelling Villagers.

The art on show was gorgeous in its simplicity. Illustrated by the artist Haakon Gaarder. The illustrations for each villager were easy to recognise with all icons and titles clear and easy to recognise.

How does it work?

Each round players take turns to draft new villagers based on their food supply. As each villager is claimed, they are replaced on the road by another from the reserve stacks. Players will then allocate villagers for building based on their available building slots. This can be followed by an income phase. After the second income phase the game ends and the player with the most money is the winner.

Sounds simple?

On the surface of it Villagers is a very simple game. BUT (yes it is a big but) there is a depth that is belied by the simple exterior. To start with players can only draft two new villager cards. You can only start to gain more by producing more food. However it is no good drafting more villagers if you cannot do anything with them. So you decide to try to draft villagers with extra building capacity. Some villagers allow you to place others onto them gaining more money, food or building capacity. Wait what is this? Some of the villagers have padlocks on them this means you will need to unlock them. This may cost or earn you 2 coins. If you have the right villager in your tableau you can earn the coins from the bank. If an opponent has the required villager you will be paying them. You can also unlock by paying to the central bank. There are also ‘special’ villagers which allow you to bend or break various rules. 


Choosing when to go for more building capacity or drafting more villagers is critical and different every game. Using ‘Special’ villagers at the right time could swing things in your favour. You will be constantly surprised how much thought you put into each villager draft and subsequently each building option. In fact the amount of thought required for what is essentially a card game is surprising.

Who is it for?

Villagers is a game for everyone. That is something I do not say often or lightly. Children as young as 9 or 10 can play the game without any major issue making Villagers suitable for family play. While its suitability for meet-up groups is an easy recommend with the 5 player count and it having a shortish playtime. I can also recommend Villagers for regular game groups as the amount of thinking and subtle depth mean that it is a great shorter game to start or finish off a game night.

My thoughts.

I first received my preview copy of Villagers about a week prior to its Kickstarter launch. I did intend to try to have a preview ready for the launch, but following my customary 3-5 minimum play I wanted to be certain of how I felt about the game. I do not mean in a negative way but more an intangible desire to play again repeatedly. After more than 10 plays at 2,3 and 4 player (I did not have the solo variant available at time of testing) I could still not find a ‘one way to play’ You do not reveal all the cards each game meaning Sinister Fish have avoided the single strategy way to play. A definite recommend.

  • For my shelf – Yes.
  • Play again – Yes.
  • Recommend a friend – Yes.

I Was provided a copy of  Villagers for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.

Zombie Legacy

Zombie Legacy

A game from

SLAM Games

A Preview by


  • 2-5 Players
  • 60 minutes

What is Zombie Legacy

Society has fallen to the Zombie Hordes. You and a few survivors have banded together to try to survive by scavenging for supplies like gas, food and medicine. But everybody is different and their experience and life before the fall have shaped who they are. Ex-cons, Police, Single Mums. Thieves, getaway drivers, Sword wielding ninja types all these and more. Who can you trust if anyone? Who will stand by your side and who will let you fall? As your stories unfold friendships will be made and broken, factions will form and survival will be about more than the undead. The question is, Do you have what it takes to survive?What is in my Box?

As you would expect from a Legacy game, a lot of the contents are kept secret. What I can tell you is that when you open the box you will find,

  • A board,
  • Zombies (go figure LOL),
  • Player Characters,
  • Boxes,
  • Packs,
  • crates,
  • sealed decks,
  • Tokens,
  • Stickers.
  • Various other components to be revealed.

First order of note is that the copy of Zombie Legacy I received was a prototype copy and as such did not contain all components for the full legacy. The components were also not to full production quality. I have taken these factors into account. Also being legacy I do not want to spoil aspects of the game so have deliberately left some information out or been a little vague where this might have impacted prior knowledge.

Legacy? That sounds scary!

Legacy games are a little bit of a scary prospect for many gamers. The thought of putting stickers onto the board or tearing up cards. There is also the hurdle of perceived value. Normally you buy a game and that is it you play it as often as you want and the 3PG (Cost per player per game) goes down dramatically often being pennies per game for a really popular game. With a Legacy game however you generally have a finite number of games (often 12) which can make a game feel more expensive (it is not).

How does it work?

Zombie Legacy begins with players deciding on a character to play. There are 10 to choose from, 5 male and 5 female. You will then stick their picture to your player board, this is followed by selecting various ‘backstory elements’ and a starting weapon. You will then place these stickers onto your board as well giving you over 2,000 possible starting combinations for a character. Each of these combinations can change how your character develops throughout your journey (more on that in a bit). Once all players have chosen character set-up, you will open the first deck of cards. Following each cards instructions step by step you will set up for your first campaign.

Sounds simple?

The main gameplay within Zombie Legacy is fairly straightforward. Each game consists of a quest that you need to complete. Players move revealing tiles as they go. Uncovering weapons, survivors, medicine or quest items. Then any zombies on the board move according to simple to follow guidelines. Each time a zombie and a player occupy the same tile an encounter occurs. Draw an encounter card which might give you a lucky break and a reward or more commonly give a die modifier to the zombies. Win and you kill the zombie lose and you take damage. Players will try to complete the main quest before the encounter deck runs out. If that happens you will be able to reset that level and replay that quest.

Strategy & character development?

On the surface the co-operative aspect of Zombie Legacy allows you to work as a team to complete your objective on each level. However as you progress through a campaign of Zombie Legacy, your character will gain motivation cards based on your backstory choices. These are mostly hidden bits of information that will guide the way you play the level or even the entire campaign. Other players will also have their own motivations guiding their actions. Can you trust them?

Who is it for?

Zombie Legacy is a lightweight entry into the legacy aspect of gaming. You can raise the difficulty if you are finding the level a little to easy. As such it can be considered as suitable for the more occasional gamer. While also fitting well with the more experienced gamer looking to explore the legacy style game. Given the zombie theme not really recommended for younger players but families with children over 10 should have no issues. Meet-up groups are a little trickier unless you have the same players most weeks because with its 60 minute playtime it is of the right length. Game groups might enjoy the experience if the theme is appealing.

My thoughts.

Zombie style games are not normally my game of choice. Saying that however I did enjoy Zombie Legacy’s approach with the character motivation progression. I did feel it was a little on the light side for my personal tastes BUT as I only had the first 4 episodes to preview. I felt that could be down to the story arcs only just getting established. Well worth a visit especially for those looking to dip their toes into the legacy game genre especially if they enjoy the zombie theme.

  • For my shelf – No,
  • Recommend a friend – Yes,
  • Play again – maybe.

I Was provided a copy of Zombie Legacy for preview through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.

Eye for an Eye

Eye for an Eye

Game by

Darwin Games

A Preview by


  • 2-6 Players
  • 15-25 minutes
  • 14+ Ages

What is Eye for an Eye?

Here we have an Arena combat, Real time, Dice rolling game with zero downtime. Yes that’s right ZERO downtime. Everything and I do mean everything happens at the same time. Damage dealing, Healing, Blocking, Movement and special abilities are all available at one and the same time. OK I hear you. Real time and dice rolling in the same game? Won’t that just favour the fast rollers? Well read on to find out

What is in my Box?

The copy of Eye for an Eye that I received was a prototype copy and as such component quality and quantity was not finalised. Even allowing for that fact the contents were nice to look at. There were,

  • 30 Dice,
  • Plastic Cups,
  • Tokens,
  • Game board,
  • Player boards,
  • Health tokens,
  • Rulebook,
  • Player Character minis.

There are likely to be several stretch goals upgrading and improving the components throughout the current (at time of writing) Kickstarter campaign

There is also a downloadable soundtrack to create an atmospheric timer.

How does it work?

Gameplay within Eye for an Eye is fairly straightforward. Each player has their own board specific to the race they are playing. These boards have allocation spaces for attacking, defending, special abilities etc. players roll their dice and allocate one, some or all of them however they like. They keep doing this until they decide to use one of the abilities. The Nimbus for example can Heal, Parry (block), Fly (move even over obstacles) and Axe Cleave (attack). They also have the added ability of Gliding which allows them to use two different die results for the same outcome.

A game begins and you all start rolling and trying to outmanoeuvre / attack dealing as much damage as possible. Deal enough damage and you can eliminate an opponent. More commonly in larger groups however is the timer runs out you all total your damage and most life left wins.

Sounds simple?

Gameplay in Eye for an Eye is on the simpler side but this does not preclude the ability to use some strategy. Each of the figures has a special designed base which shows the facing direction at a glance. Get attacked from that direction and you can block. Get taken from behind and you are in for some pain. Deciding when to use the attack or block and how many die to use will be your main focus of strategic thinking. Do you go little and often attack or wait, build up and hit hard. There are several different game modes including an advanced mode with more character cards with extra abilities

Who is it for?

Here is a game for fans of real time play, arena battles and take that will find a lot to enjoy here. With its short play time plenty of room for enjoyment at meet-ups. Not really a game for Euro-nuts but some good fun to be found for family play

My thoughts.

When I played Eye for an Eye the first time I had a lot of fun, playing three rounds back to back introducing the advanced cards from game two. This surprised me as I am not normally a fan of Arena or Real time combat games. A few days later when I played again with some different players I did not get that same wow factor. By my third play a few days later I was very ambivalent towards it as I just felt I had seen what was on offer and there was nothing to keep me coming back. This I think is a fatal flaw in most arena combat games. They can only offer variable player powers to add variety. Ultimately this was fun for the first few times but lost its shine. That being said as a more strategic and euro-y type player I am not really the target for this game. I do urge you to give it a try you might find it more engaging in the long term.

  • For my shelf – No,
  • Play again – No,
  • Recommend a friend – Maybe.

I Was provided a copy of Eye for an Eye for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.


No Escape

Game by

OOMM Board Games

A Preview by


  • 2-8 Players
  • 30 minutes
  • 13+ Ages

What is No Escape

You have done it. You finally landed your dream job working on the space station Titan. You arrived last week and have been getting your space legs ever since. Tomorrow you are due to start working all your clearance codes and passes have been activated. Suddenly there is a huge explosion and the station shakes violently. Alarms sound and Gas starts to fill the room. Outside you see escape pods launching and the evacuation warning sounds. The electronic display tells you that there is a single seater escape pod left, then the power fails. You are now in a race against the other survivors to try to find the last pod and escape before the station explodes. Will you survive?

What is in my Box?

The copy of No Escape I received for preview was a prototype copy and so quality and quantity were not 100% finalised. At the time of writing No Escape was live on Kickstarter meaning stretch goals could also have an impact.

  • Double sided start board (2-4 & 4-8 player sides),
  • 42 Action tiles,
  • 90 Maze tiles,
  • 12 New path tiles,
  • 8 Player pieces,
  • 24 Energy tokens,
  • 2 Custom (1-3 numbered) six sided dice.

How does it work?

You objective is to be the first player to exit the board while adding to the maze and using Action tiles to slow your opponents or help yourself. All players start on the central start board they also take 3 tiles from a central stack of Action / Maze tiles. On your turn you have several action options to take which include compulsory actions. These are,

  • Compulsory Action,

  • Play Maze tile to extend the maze in a legal direction based on corridor directions. No Maze tile in hand and you discard entire hand then reveal tiles from the stack until you reveal a tile you can place.
  • Roll the dice and move your character which can interact with other players character pawns.


  • Optional Actions,
  • Play Action tile from your hand with an immediate effect,
  • Use Energy token to add +1 to your movement.

Once you have done this you redraw back to 3 tiles in your hand. Play passes to the next player.

Sounds simple?

The main method of gameplay in No Escape is very simple. Play tiles to extend the maze making life difficult for your opponents while trying to get off the board yourself. First off the board wins but if the tiles stack ever runs out the station explodes and everyone loses. It really is as simple as that. The main wrinkle comes into play when you start using the Action tiles to aide yourself or hinder your rivals with some mild take that style elements of play. Another method of interaction is when you encounter another players pawn. You make them turn round and push them along the corridor, often in the opposite direction they wanted to go.


Here we have a game that is very ‘strategy-lite’. This does not mean that it is a bad game at all just that the decision on where to place the next Maze tile is usually fairly obvious. The interaction of strategy comes with the use of the Action tiles, of which there are a wide range. Some of these include,

  • Redo – Play any one tile from the discard pile.
  • Tactical Update – Play 2 maze tiles this turn.
  • Switch – Change locations with another player.
  • Supply Stash – Target player draws 3 Tiles.

Who is it for?

No Escape is a very entry level gateway tile laying game most suitable for larger family groups containing some ‘non-gamers’ or meet-up groups when you want a bigger group game to play. Very rules light and easy to teach. I do not see this being used by the Game group setting as there is not enough ‘meat on the bone’.

My thoughts.

This is a tough on for me to call. I say that because having played at 2, 3 and 4 player it felt very flat. I would have loved the chance to play a full 8 player as there could potentially be more room for fun over a beer-n-pretzel style title. Fortunately it does not outstay its welcome and with an average 30min playtime you can easily play a quick game or two. Personally though I do feel that there was something missing, maybe an additional mechanic or take that element. Overall an interesting take on the tile laying mechanic and one that shows promise from an interesting designer.

  • For my shelf – No.
  • Recommend to a friend – Maybe.
  • Play again – Maybe.

I Was provided a copy of No Escape for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.

Goblin Grapple

Goblin Grapple

Game by

Silver Gaming.

A Preview by


2-4 Players

What is Goblin Grapple?

  • Is it a wrestling game? No.
  • Is it a new type of apple? No.

Goblin Grapple has you trying to strategically build an army of Goblins before your opposition. Can you get your armies strength to 100 before the other factions? Put you strategy hat on and come with me.

What is in my Box?

The review copy of Goblin Grapple I received came in a tuck box style deck box with a deck of cards and a small rules booklet. The deck of cards were broken down into different groupings of,

Spies, Defenders, Assassins, Mages, Knights, Raiders and Kings.

Each of these classes of Goblin has its own lovingly created artwork that is very evocative of the role that character plays.

How does it work?

The gameplay with Goblin Grapple is fairly straightforward. You can take one or all of the following either once or as many times as you want or are able to.

  • Play a Goblin to your Army – Place a card face down in front of you to your “Army Stack”
  • Play a Goblin to challenge an opponent Army – Opponent reveals top card from their Army, highest number wins (assassin always beats king regardless of number) and cards go to victors garrison.
  • Discard a Spy Goblin – Steal a card from an opponent hand.

Once a garrison has 21 points in it the round ends. Each player totals their Army and Garrison cards. If neither player has reached 100+ points then play a second round.

Sounds simple?

Yes Goblin Grapple is a very simple to play game with easy to access gameplay. It is not however bereft of strategy. Making choices every turn over which card to play into your Army, Do you attack? How strong is your attack going to be? What cards do you use this turn or do you want to save them for another turn? All of these decisions and more can make a difference to your chances of victory.

Strategy really?

OK so maybe I should say Strategy-lite gameplay. This is because the better you know your opponent or the better you are at reading them, the more chances for success you will have. The careful use of the few cards with ‘abilities’ can help you make educated guesses as to best tactics each turn. They did however feel to few and far between. Otherwise you are just boiling it down to luck of the draw each time and that would be no fun at all now, Would it?

Who is it for?

Goblin Grapple is a game for families with younger players. Simple rules and gameplay makes this an ideal gateway game for the younger player. Minimal card text and large clear numbering all add to this. I cannot honestly see this making an impact at meet-up or game group play being far to lightweight for both of those settings.

My thoughts.

Goblin Grapple, interesting idea, simply executed. Unfortunately too simply for this gamer. Not enough interaction from card abilities take this from just about OK down to a luck of the draw style game more than anything else. A shame because the artwork is nice but the gameplay just needs something else to make it gel. If there was a ‘player life count attack option’ or some extra mechanic to play alongside it could have helped this gameplay. The base gameplay does not have enough for me to recommend.

  • For my shelf – No
  • For a friend – No
  • Play again – No

I Was provided a copy of Goblin Grapple for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.

Tour Operator

Tour Operator

Game by

Keep Exploring Games

A Preview by


  • 2-4 Players
  • 45-75 minutes
  • 8+ Ages

What is Tour Operator

As the name suggests Tour Operator has you as the head of a travel agency. As such you will need to manage your resources including fuel for planes and your staffing all the while looking after the needs of the tourists. Get them where they want, with what they want, when they want and into the accommodation they will be happy with.

What is in my Box?

Inside the box you will find quite a lot or beautiful artwork in a gentle nice fun style making it feel very welcoming,

  • 4 Plane/ Office boards,
  • 4 Hotel Boards,
  • 30 Tourist cards,
  • 28 Employee cards,
  • 25 City Cards,
  • 4 Aeroplanes,
  • 200 tokens,
  • 5 Dice, Rules booklet.

These are the components in the preview copy and the starting list of the current Kickstarter. They are very likely to change as goals are reached and components get upgraded.

How does it work?

In a game of Tour Operator you are trying to send tourists on holiday. A game is played over a series of rounds based on the number of players. 2 player games last 7 rounds, 3 players will be 6 rounds while 4 player lasts 5 rounds. At the end of the correct number of rounds the highest scoring Travel Agency wins. Each of the rounds is broken down into a number of phases which consist of,

  • New Tourists appear – Players draft up to 4 new tourists for their Travel Agency.
  • Gain & use resources – Each player will roll the 5 custom dice to gain resources.
  • Previous Tourists check out – Any Tourists that have reached the end of their stay leave the hotel.
  • Tourists fly & Scoring – Any tourists on planes can now be flown to their destinations and Victory Points scored.
  • Tourist Check-in – You will need to locate the Tourists into the preferred rooms If a Tourist cannot be put into a room they gain you minus victory points.
  • Activities & unhappy travellers – Tourists already on holiday take part in activities scoring you bonus points while those sat in your Office spaces become more dissatisfied. If they become angry they leave and you gain minus victory points.

Sounds fairly simple?

The basic rules for Tour Operator are very straightforward and easy to pick up. All the Icons used come across very clearly and easy to understand. This includes the bonus points and accommodation needs icons. Each Tourist has different preferences based on Activities they want to take part in like shopping, discoing or Beach. The room they want to stay in is shown along with the duration of their holiday duration time. Staff you can recruit will have bonus abilities to assist you either as a one off or an ongoing effect. Travel around the locations is based on your fuel each location costs one fuel.


You might be thinking cute graphics, 8+ age requirement, easy rules and easy teaching would be a recipe for a super lightweight game with no strategy? Wrong answer! You will be pleasantly surprised to discover that Tour Operator is (in my opinion) a mid weight title in terms of strategy. There is no hidden info, Dice rolling can be mitigated with the use of Staff abilities, Staff recruitment is based on the draw 3 choose 1 method which will allow you to make useful decisions as opposed to the “get what your given” method. Your strategy for playing starts with deciding which tourists to place on your plane. How much fuel do you have? Where can you reach? Do you want to use all the fuel available? Once you have made those choices you will then look at your competition. What’s that? Looks like Stella needs to visit Tokyo to place all her Tourists? I will fly there instead I can still score some bonus and she will have a Tourist without a room and minus points. Yes you have a little element of take that as well.

Who is it for?

Tour Operator is an entry level mid weight game with more strategic play available if you want to expend the added brainpower. Equally as good as a straight up race for points as a deeper thinky game. Suitable for Family play due to its easy to understand rules and accessible use of graphics. With a play time of up to 75 minutes it just about fits into the meet-up category. I do not think it has the depth or involved play for regular game group but will definitely be one that comes out from time to time.

My thoughts.

Before giving my thoughts I will be honest and say that the game designer Nestor is a designer I have spoken to many times during the development of Tour Operator. Mostly about my opinions over artwork choices. This has not affected my thoughts or review but is for openness and clarity.

I liked Tour Operator quite a lot. It is accessible and easy to both teach and learn. The ability to plan ahead or just play on the fly. Minimal luck with good mitigation means that this is suitable for almost everyone apart from ‘dudes on a map’ exclusive players. Tour Operator felt well balanced and while there is the chance of a hugely bad / good roll your Staff recruitment choices will help you stay in the game.

  • For my shelf Yes,
  • Recommend a friend Yes,
  • Play again Yes.

Tour Operator is live on Kickstarter now with a short campaign finishing on April 28th. Go check it out for yourself and the option for 5Euro discount coupon for the first week as an added incentive makes this a much better value campaign than many others.

I Was provided a copy of Tour Operator for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher. All images used are from Kickstarter page due to prototype components being received for preview.

Lost my Mummy

Lost my Mummy


David Gumbrell

A review by


  • 1-2 Players
  • 20 Minutes
  • 7+ Ages


Lost my Mummy is a card game for 1-2 players. The tuck box storage tells you. ‘Lost my Mummy is a family friendly fast paced card-game. Rave your opponent to find your mummy by searching for clues about Canopic jars, Death wishes and Amulets’. So what does this mean to you and me in real terms? Read on to find out


When you open the tuck box you will discover 72 cards, three themed dice (Red, Blue and Green) and a rules sheet. The artwork throughout is a gentle and lighter depiction of Mummies Tombs and general Egyptian paraphernalia surrounding the titular Mummies.


OK how do you find your Mummy then?

The overarching goal of Lost my Mummy is to find three Mummies. When this happens the player with the most reward money wins the game.

Players start with three Mummy cards valued at 50 King’s Gold Rings. First player rolls the Blue die and draws that number of cards. However if you roll an Eye symbol you forfeit your go. Once you have drawn your cards you choose one to play either a card matching a Mummy or an Action card. If a swap a Die card is revealed the active player gets to upgrade the dice they roll. The remaining cards are discarded play then passes to the next player. Once you have found three matching cards you can turn your Mummy card over keeping it safe and securing your rewards. First player to find three Mummies ends the game and the total rewards from the Found Mummies is calculated highest total wins.


In an attempt to increase replayability there are three variants included on the rules sheet as well as a solo mode on the makers website. In all honesty these variants only change the number of cards required to find your Mummy. Artisan (100 Gold Rings cards) needs sets of four, Scribe (150 Gold Rings cards) needs sets of five and Grand Vizier allows you to select from the three values and collect the correct number of cards accordingly.


Lost my Mummy is a set collection game which is all luck based. Roll a dice, draw cards or miss your go. Pick one to play discard rest. There is no “bad roll” mitigation other than ‘swap a dice’ which allows you to draw more cards. The whole miss-a-go with no mitigation is a horribly outdated mechanic and deserves to be locked into a pyramid along with the Mummies. In one game I played with my son he rolled three Eyes in a row. So for three rounds he sat there doing nothing. He refused to play a second game with me. In fact all players I played with said 1 game was enough.

Pointless, Boring and outdated mechanics mean that at 20 minutes this game still manages to outstay its welcome. I cannot recommend this game even for 7 year olds, there are better games out there.

  • For my Shelf – NO
  • Recommend to Friends – NO
  • Play again – NO

I was provided with a copy of “Lost my Mummy” 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.