InPandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand.
The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck areEpidemic!cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases' activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the "normal" spread of the infections.
Taking a unique role within the team, players must plan their strategy to mesh with their specialists' strengths in order to conquer the diseases. For example, the Operations Expert can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases and which allow for greater mobility between cities; the Scientist needs only four cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal five—but the diseases are spreading quickly and time is running out. If one or more diseases spreads beyond recovery or if too much time elapses, the players all lose. If they cure the four diseases, they all win!
The 2013 edition ofPandemicincludes two new characters—the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist—not available in earlier editions of the game.
Dobble is a simple pattern recognition game in which players try to find an image shown on two cards.
Each card in originalSpot it!features eight different symbols, with the symbols varying in size from one card to the next. Any two cards have exactly one symbol in common. For the basicSpot it!game, reveal one card, then another. Whoever spots the symbol in common on both cards claims the first card, then another card is revealed for players to search, and so on. Whoever has collected the most cards when the 55-card deck runs out wins!
Carcassonneis a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of his meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.
During a game ofCarcassonne, players are faced with decisions like: "Is it really worth putting my last meeple there?" or "Should I use this tile to expand my city, or should I place it near my opponent instead, giving him a hard time to complete his project and score points?" Since players place only one tile and have the option to place one meeple on it, turns proceed quickly even if it is a game full of options and possibilities.
Exploding Kittens is a hilarious and highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players take turns drawing cards from the deck until someone draws an exploding kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game – unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. The deck is made up of cards that help you to try and avoid exploding by peeking at cards before you draw, forcing your opponent to draw multiple cards, or shuffling the deck.
The game gets more and more intense with each card you draw because fewer cards left in the deck means a greater chance of drawing the kitten and exploding in a fiery ball of feline hyperbole.
If you’re into card games or laser beams or weaponized enchiladas, this is the game for you.
Super Rhino!presents players with an incredibly heroic – and regrettably heavy – rhinoceros who is eager to climb a tall building and leap other tall buildings in a single bound. First, though, you need to construct that building.
Players each start the game with five roof cards, and they take turns adding walls and roofs to a single building. On a turn, you first place walls on the highest floor, then you choose a roof card in your hand and place it on the wall. Each roof card bears markings that indicate where the next player must place walls on the card. In addition, some roof cards force a player to perform special actions, such as placing a second roof, changing the direction of play, or moving Super Rhino to a new location on the tower. Keep your hands steady!
The first player to build all of his roof cards wins the game. Alternatively, if the building collapses, the player who caused the collapse automatically loses, and the player with the fewest roof cards in hand wins.
In many ways7 Wonders Duelresembles its parent game7 Wondersas over three ages players acquire cards that provide resources or advance their military or scientific development in order to develop a civilization and complete wonders.
What's different about7 Wonders Duelis that, as the title suggests, the game is solely for two players, with the players not drafting cards simultaneously from hands of cards, but from a display of face-down and face-up cards arranged at the start of a round. A player can take a card only if it's not covered by any others, so timing comes into play as well as bonus moves that allow you to take a second card immediately. As in the original game, each card that you acquire can be built, discarded for coins, or used to construct a wonder.
Each player starts with four wonder cards, and the construction of a wonder provides its owner with a special ability. Only seven wonders can be built, though, so one player will end up short.
Players can purchase resources at any time from the bank, or they can gain cards during the game that provide them with resources for future building; as you acquire resources, the cost for those particular resources increases for your opponent, representing your dominance in this area.
A player can win7 Wonders Duelin one of three ways: each time you acquire a military card, you advance the military marker toward your opponent's capital, giving you a bonus at certain positions; if you reach the opponent's capital, you win the game immediately; similarly, if you acquire any six of seven different scientific symbols, you achieve scientific dominance and win immediately; if none of these situations occurs, then the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.
All of the eligible young men (and many of the not-so-young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the palace, and you must rely on others to take your romantic letters to her. Will yours reach her first?
Love Letteris a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2–4 players. Your goal is to get your love letter into Princess Annette's hands while deflecting the letters from competing suitors. From a deck with only sixteen cards, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire!
With dozens of international awards and over 6 Million games sold, the Ticket to Ride series is one of the most popular modern board game series to date!
Ticket to Rideis a cross-country train adventure where players collect cards of various types of train cars that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities in various countries around the world.
You are head of a family in an Italian city-state, a city run by a weak and corrupt court. You need to manipulate, bluff and bribe your way to power. Your object is to destroy the influence of all the other families, forcing them into exile. Only one family will survive...
InCoup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.
Each player starts the game with two coins and two influence – i.e., two face-down character cards; the fifteen card deck consists of three copies of five different characters, each with a unique set of powers:
Duke:Take three coins from the treasury. Block someone from taking foreign aid.
Assassin:Pay three coins and try to assassinate another player's character.
Contessa:Block an assassination attempt against yourself.
Captain:Take two coins from another player, or block someone from stealing coins from you.
Ambassador:Draw two character cards from the Court (the deck), choose which (if any) to exchange with your face-down characters, then return two. Block someone from stealing coins from you.
On your turn, you can take any of the actions listed above, regardless of which characters you actually have in front of you, or you can take one of three other actions:
Income:Take one coin from the treasury.
Foreign aid:Take two coins from the treasury.
Coup:Pay seven coins and launch a coup against an opponent, forcing that player to lose an influence. (If you have ten coins or more, you must take this action.)
When you take one of the character actions – whether actively on your turn, or defensively in response to someone else's action – that character's action automatically succeedsunlessan opponent challenges you. In this case, if you can't (or don't) reveal the appropriate character, you lose an influence, turning one of your characters face-up. Face-up characters cannot be used, and if both of your characters are face-up, you're out of the game.
If you do have the character in question and choose to reveal it, the opponent loses an influence, then you shuffle that character into the deck and draw a new one, perhaps getting the same character again and perhaps not.
The last player to still have influence – that is, a face-down character – wins the game!
A new & optional character called the Inquisitor has been added (currently, the only English edition with the Inquisitor included is the Kickstarter Version from Indie Boards & Cards. Copies in stores may not be the Kickstarter versions and may only be the base game). The Inquisitor character cards may be used to replace the Ambassador cards.
Inquisitor:Draw one character card from the Court deck and choose whether or not to exchange it with one of your face-down characters. OR Force an opponent to show you one of their character cards (their choice which). If you wish it, you may then force them to draw a new card from the Court deck. They then shuffle the old card into the Court deck. Block someone from stealing coins from you.
InCatan(formerlyThe Settlers of Catan), players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources (cards)—wood, grain, brick, sheep, or stone—to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game.
Setup includes randomly placing large hexagonal tiles (each showing a resource or the desert) in a honeycomb shape and surrounding them with water tiles, some of which contain ports of exchange. Number disks, which will correspond to die rolls (two 6-sided dice are used), are placed on each resource tile. Each player is given two settlements (think: houses) and roads (sticks) which are, in turn, placed on intersections and borders of the resource tiles. Players collect a hand of resource cards based on which hex tiles their last-placed house is adjacent to. A robber pawn is placed on the desert tile.
A turn consists of possibly playing a development card, rolling the dice, everyone (perhaps) collecting resource cards based on the roll and position of houses (or upgraded cities—think: hotels) unless a 7 is rolled, turning in resource cards (if possible and desired) for improvements, trading cards at a port, and trading resource cards with other players. If a 7 is rolled, the active player moves the robber to a new hex tile and steals resource cards from other players who have built structures adjacent to that tile.
Points are accumulated by building settlements and cities, having the longest road and the largest army (from some of the development cards), and gathering certain development cards that simply award victory points. When a player has gathered 10 points (some of which may be held in secret), they announce their total and claim the win.
Catanhas won multiple awards and is one of the most popular games in recent history due to its amazing ability to appeal to experienced gamers as well as those new to the hobby.
It is a time of unrest in 1920s Europa. The ashes from the first great war still darken the snow. The capitalistic city-state known simply as “The Factory”, which fueled the war with heavily armored mechs, has closed its doors, drawing the attention of several nearby countries.
Scytheis an engine-building game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor. InScythe, each player represents a character from one of five factions of Eastern Europe who are attempting to earn their fortune and claim their faction's stake in the land around the mysterious Factory. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.
Each player begins the game with different resources (power, coins, combat acumen, and popularity), a different starting location, and a hidden goal. Starting positions are specially calibrated to contribute to each faction’s uniqueness and the asymmetrical nature of the game (each faction always starts in the same place).
Scythegives players almost complete control over their fate. Other than each player’s individual hidden objective card, the only elements of luck or variability are “encounter” cards that players will draw as they interact with the citizens of newly explored lands. Each encounter card provides the player with several options, allowing them to mitigate the luck of the draw through their selection. Combat is also driven by choices, not luck or randomness.
Scytheuses a streamlined action-selection mechanism (no rounds or phases) to keep gameplay moving at a brisk pace and reduce downtime between turns. While there is plenty of direct conflict for players who seek it, there is no player elimination.
Every part ofScythehas an aspect of engine-building to it. Players can upgrade actions to become more efficient, build structures that improve their position on the map, enlist new recruits to enhance character abilities, activate mechs to deter opponents from invading, and expand their borders to reap greater types and quantities of resources. These engine-building aspects create a sense of momentum and progress throughout the game. The order in which players improve their engine adds to the unique feel of each game, even when playing one faction multiple times.
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.
InCodenames, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.
Codenames: Win or lose, it's fun to figure out the clues.
A long time ago at the Japanese Imperial court, the Chinese Emperor offered a giant panda bear as a symbol of peace to the Japanese Emperor. Since then, the Japanese Emperor has entrusted his court members (the players) with the difficult task of caring for the animal by tending to his bamboo garden.
InTakenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow, and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.
InPatchwork, two players compete to build the most aesthetic (and high-scoring) patchwork quilt on a personal 9x9 game board. To start play, lay out all of the patches at random in a circle and place a marker directly clockwise of the 2-1 patch. Each player takes five buttons — the currency/points in the game — and someone is chosen as the start player.
On a turn, a player either purchases one of the three patches standing clockwise of the spool or passes. To purchase a patch, you pay the cost in buttons shown on the patch, move the spool to that patch's location in the circle, add the patch to your game board, then advance your time token on the time track a number of spaces equal to the time shown on the patch. You're free to place the patch anywhere on your board that doesn't overlap other patches, but you probably want to fit things together as tightly as possible. If your time token is behind or on top of the other player's time token, then you take another turn; otherwise the opponent now goes. Instead of purchasing a patch, you can choose to pass; to do this, you move your time token to the space immediately in front of the opponent's time token, then take one button from the bank for each space you moved.
In addition to a button cost and time cost, each patch also features 0-3 buttons, and when you move your time token past a button on the time track, you earn "button income": sum the number of buttons depicted on your personal game board, then take this many buttons from the bank.
What's more, the time track depicts five 1x1 patches on it, and during set-up you place five actual 1x1 patches on these spaces. Whoever first passes a patch on the time track claims this patch and immediately places it on his game board.
Additionally, the first player to completely fill in a 7x7 square on his game board earns a bonus tile worth 7 extra points at the end of the game. (Of course, this doesn't happen in every game.)
When a player takes an action that moves his time token to the central square of the time track, he takes one final button income from the bank. Once both players are in the center, the game ends and scoring takes place. Each player scores one point per button in his possession, then loses two points for each empty square on his game board. Scores can be negative. The player with the most points wins.
Bananagrams is a fast and fun word game that requires no pencil, paper or board, and the tiles come in a fabric banana-shaped carrying pouch. One hand can be played in as little as five minutes. Much like Pick Two! , but without the letter values.
Using a selection of 144 plastic letter tiles in the English edition, each player works independently to create their own 'crossword' faster than one's opponents. When a player uses up all their letters, all players take a new tile from the pool. The object of the game is to be the first to complete a word grid after the "bunch" of tiles has been depleted.
There are variants included in the instructions, such as Banana Smoothie and Banana cafe for limited set skills or space-deprived places, and the game is suitable for solo play.
Here's a game that's enormous fun and will sharpen your wits and hone your imagination. The 54 images were designed by Rory O'Connor of Ireland, a trainer in creativity and creative problem-solving. They can be used to arrive at answers or decisions in an indirect and ingenious way.
Originally Rory had put the images on the faces of a Rubik's Cube, and players would turn the Cube to scramble the images, then choose one side to play with. Kate Jones of Kadon Enterprises suggested putting the 54 images on 9 separate cubes, to allow for quicker ways to generate more varied combinations, including conceptual puzzles. Rory readily agreed, having considered the 9-cubes idea himself earlier. At a creativity conference held at Kadon headquarters in May 2004, a prototype was whipped up, and in 2005 Kadon launched the cubes version of Rory's Story Cubes.
Each jumbo 1" cube has 6 images or icons, with a total of 54 all-different hand-inlaid images that can be mixed in over 10 million ways. You roll all 9 cubes to generate 9 random images and then use these to invent a story that starts with "Once upon a time..." and uses all 9 elements as part of your narrative.
Play it as a game for one or more players, or as a party game for three or more. Or play it as an improv game where each player contributes part of the story, picking up where the last one left off. Win award points for speedy delivery, inventiveness, imagination, drama and humor.
Full instructions include several other ways to use the cubes to solve problems, break up writer's block, enhance your imagination and heighten your ability to find unifying themes among the diverse images. Interpret or get at the meanings of your answers more quickly. It's fun, easy, and mind-stretching.
As a puzzle the cubes will really give your imagination a work-out. You'll practically feel both sides of your brain dancing. The challenge: Fit the 9 cubes into a 3x3 square. Now examine the cubes in any one row and turn them so their tops have something in common. Do this for all 3 rows. Explain your choices, or challenge another player to identify the element they share. More than one answer may be right, and there are thousands of possible combinations.
Rory's Story Cubesare recommended for all ages over 8, though it's fun to watch a younger child create combinations with the cubes and make up stories.
Based on the best-selling novel seriesA Song of Ice and Fireby George R. R. Martin,A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Editionlets 3-6 players take control of the great houses of Westeros in an epic struggle to claim the Iron Throne.
The updated second edition brings a host of enhancements to yourA Game of Thrones experience. It incorporates elements from previous expansions, including ports, garrisons, Wildling cards, and Siege engines, while introducing welcome new innovations. Convenient player screens will hide your underhanded dealings from prying eyes, while new Tides of Battle cards convey the uncertainty of war. This, along with updated graphics and a clarified rule set, means the time has never been better to claim the Iron Throne.
A Game of Thrones: The Board Game Second Editionincludes:
The multi award-winning game Jaipur, by Sebastien Pauchon, returns with all new artwork by Vincent Dutrait and the same great gameplay.
You are one of the two most powerful traders in the city of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, but that's not enough for you because only the merchant with two "seals of excellence" will have the privilege of being invited to the Maharaja's court. You are therefore going to have to do better than your direct competitor by buying, exchanging, and selling at better prices, all while keeping an eye on both your camel herds.
Jaipuris a fast-paced card game, a blend of tactics, risk and luck. On your turn, you can either take or sell cards. If you take cards, you have to choose between taking all the camels, taking one card from the market, or swapping 2-5 cards between the market and your cards.
If you sell cards, you get to sell only one type of good, and you receive as many chips for that good as the number of cards you sold. The chips' values decrease as the game progresses, so you'd better hurry! On the other hand, you receive increasingly high rewards for selling three, four, or five cards of the same good at a time, so you'd better wait!
You can't sell camels, but they're paramount for trading and they're also worth a little something at the end of the round, enough sometimes to secure the win, so you have to use them smartly.
In an abandoned warehouse a gangster band is splitting its loot, but they can't agree on the split! It's time to let the guns talk and soon everyone is aiming at everyone. The richest surviving gangster wins the game!
Ca$h 'n Gunshelps you relive the best scenes of your favorite gangster movies. The goal is to have more money than anyone else after eight rounds while still being alive.
Each round, one player is the Boss, and he controls the pace of play. First, loot cards are revealed on the table to show what's up for grabs. Next, players load their guns by secretly selecting either a "Bang!" or a "Click! Click!" card from their hand. The Boss counts to three, and on "Three" each player points his foam gun at someone else; due to his status, the Boss can tell one player who's pointing a gun at him that he needs to point it in another direction. After a pause to observe threats and measure the seriousness in an opponent's eyes, the Boss counts to three again and anyone who doesn't want to risk getting shot can chicken out and remove themselves from the round.
Everyone who's pointing a gun at someone still in the round now reveals their card, and anyone who's the target of a "Bang!" takes a wound marker and gets none of the available loot. Starting with the Boss, everyone still in the round takes one loot card at a time from the table — money, diamonds, paintings, the position of Boss, medical care (to remove a wound), or a new bullet (to add a "Bang!" card to your hand) — until everything has been claimed.
After eight rounds, the game ends. Whoever has the most diamonds receives a big bonus, and paintings score based on the number of them that you've collected. Whoever has the most valuable stash wins!
In the standalone gameCarcassonne: Safari, players go out on a safari and try to see as many animals as they can, despite these animals hiding in the bush, in the savannah, or near watering holes. Help your friends to dig out such holes and receive bonus points. Sometimes you will see animals while taking a nap under a big baobab.
Carcassonne: Safariis the fourth title in the "Carcassonne Around the World" series.