Game Day September 2010: Cleopatra

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the seriesSeptember Game Day

Cleopatra Box ArtThe next morning we kicked off a game of Cleopatra, a Days of Wonder game, after breakfast.  Cleopatra is another resource management and building game, but varies quite a bit from Catan.  In this game, each player is an architect in Ancient Egypt, trying to build parts of a palace for Cleopatra herself.  During the game, players will collect resource cards, build different structures, and occasionally play special “character” cards to try to help them earn the most Victory Points.  However, some of these building pieces come at a cost: use of sub par resources or interaction with shady characters may help you build faster but will earn you “corruption points” at the same time.  The person with the most corruption points at the end of the game is … Continue reading

Game Day September 2010: Catan Germany

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the seriesSeptember Game Day

Catan Germany Box ArtIt was getting pretty late when we finished A Touch of Evil and many folks either went home or went to bed.  Three of us stayed around to start one final board game of the night, though: Catan Geographies: Germany.  This game is very similar to other versions of Settlers of Catan but uses its own unique game board and ahs a number of key differences.

If you’re not familiar with the popular Settlers of Catan game franchise, you might want to look it up.  It is probably one of the most well-known German board games that have been ported to English, and for good reason.  Catan is a fun strategy game of resource management and city building, with relatively simple rules.

Catan… Germany is similar … Continue reading

Game Day September 2010: A Touch of Evil

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the seriesSeptember Game Day

A Touch of Evil Box ArtA Touch of Evil is a huge game that would be difficult to sum up in just a paragraph or five.  Instead of trying to describe it all myself, here is the game’s description:

“Tis’ the dawn of the 19th century; an age of science, superstition, and witchcraft. Howling fills the night as a full moon rises over the small, secluded village of Shadowbrook. Gruesome murders have become a daily occurrence and terror haunts the streets at night. An evil creature has taken up residence here and the countryside is engulfed by a tide of darkness. But all is not lost…not yet.

A small group of heroic individuals, with the courage and strength to fight, have arrived in town. Some just passing through while … Continue reading

Game Day September 2010: King Me

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the seriesSeptember Game Day

King Me Box ArtI hadn’t played King Me before, but ever since my girlfriend played it with the rest of that same group, she’s been interested in getting me to try it.  Everyone thought it would be a great game to try out for someone with a visual impairment, since the game seems simple enough and there isn’t a lot to keep track of.  While I appreciate the simplicity of the game and did have a lot o fun with it, I still had a bit of trouble picking it up and playing immediately.  I can see how a few modifications would make the game more enjoyable for someone who is visually impaired, and I think overall it would be a real blast to try again.

King Me, for those of you not familiar, is a simple game in … Continue reading

Game Day September 2010: Overview

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the seriesSeptember Game Day

September 18th, 2010.  My girlfriend and I missed our opportunity to attend the annual Portland Pirate Festival ( ) and our group’s bi-weekly movie night fell through, but the day wasn’t a loss.  Instead of movie night, some friends threw together an impromptu board game night, so we packed a bag full of games and headed downtown for a night of entertainment.

We were told to bring as many as we could, since everyone was dying to try something new and they knew our library of board games was starting to get quite large.  I remember that we brought Ivanhoe, Grand Tribunal, Knights of Camelot, Middle Kingdom, Settlers of Catan: Germany, Cleopatra, and Dork Tower.  There may have been one or two more, but it ended up almost being irrelevant.  We had just arrived at our friend’s apartment when another movie night regular called.  He and two others were … Continue reading

Pompeii Review

Pompeii Box Art

Game Info

Publisher: Mayfair Games

Year Published: 2006

Number of Players: 2 to 4

Play Time: 45 minutes

Set-up Time: About 10 minutes

Ages: 10 and up

Table Size: Medium Table


The year is 79 A.D. and you are a humble Roman citizen who has just moved in to the fine city of Pompeii. It’s so enjoyable here that you invite your friends and relatives to join you, and soon the city is abuzz with happy citizens. Unfortunately for you, a dark omen falls upon the city; nearby Mount Vesuvius is about to erupt, and all of your friends and family must now try to escape for their lives before becoming victims of one of the deadliest volcanoes in history!

Pompeii is a … Continue reading

Cape Horn: First Impressions

Cape Horn Box Art

Game Info

Publisher: Rio Grande Games, Kosmos

Year Published: 1999

Number of Players: 3 to 5

Play Time: 45 to 60 minutes

Set-up Time: Less than 5 minutes

Ages: 12 and up

Table Size: Small to Medium Table


Cape Horn is a sailing game based on a historical race that took place in the 1800s, in which clipper ships set out from New York to sail to San Francisco in the fastest time possible.  One of the biggest obstacles they faced along their route was Cape Horn — the bottom tip of South America where the seas are some of the most windy and treacherous in the world.

In this game, players will take the roll … Continue reading

Forbidden Island: Review

Forbidden Island is a very fun game with relatively simple game mechanics, but it can be difficult to master and win. If you find it too simple on the “novice” difficulty though, you can make it harder on yourself by increasing the difficult to “normal”, “expert”, or “legendary” by starting the game’s water meter at increasing higher levels. The inclusion of these difficulty options should ensure that even veteran players are challenged with the game and can continue to play it for a long time to come.
Continue reading

Neuland: First Impressions

Neuland is a Civilization-style board game from Z-Man Games, originally published in 2004. We picked up the game a couple of months ago and recently cracked it open for our first session. Despite experience a bit of burn-out from teh amount of time we spent on the game, we enjoyed our initial run. Continue reading