Dale Yu – Review of Ubongo 3D

Ubongo 3D

  • Designer: Gzegorz Rejchtman
  • Publisher: Kosmos
  • Players: 1-4
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Played on review copy provided by Thames & Kosmos

ubongo 3d

I first was exposed to this game back in 2009,  bringing home the humongous box (nearly a full cube) from Essen. Ubongo was one of the first puzzle games that really caught my eye, and I thought that the change to a 3D puzzle might be interesting.  As it turns out, interesting isn’t the right descriptive term – it might be better to say impossible.  I found that I had a hard time solving the puzzles in this game.   I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, and as a result, my original copy of the game eventually hit the trade/sale pile.  

Now in 2021, Kosmos has released an updated version, now in a more traditional sized box.  Though it doesn’t explicitly say it, I think that this is a reprint of Ubongo 3D Family (first out in Germany in 2019).  This version has slightly more puzzles, but also in a slightly easier distribution. Continue reading

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Dale Yu – First Impressions of Kokopelli Expansion 1

Kokopelli Expansion 1

  • Designer – Stefan Feld
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 10+
  • Time: 45-60 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Queen Games

kokopelli expansion 1

A few weeks ago, we reviewed Kokopelli, and at that time, we only played with the base cards.  Since then, I have been able to get the game back to the table, now with some of the cards from the first expansion.  Component wise, this expansion is essentially more of the same, providing you with 9 more ceremonies (12 cards of each, and a selection tile for each of the new ceremonies).  The one thing that is doesn’t include is a small reference sheet for the players – something that was provided for the initial 16 ceremonies in the main box.

Continue reading

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Simon W’s Sunday SPIEL 2021 Report

A slightly late write-up of my last, shorter day. The halls looked slightly less busy than Saturday and the show definitely felt like it was winding down as we headed into the afternoon. I had a chance to look at just one game as follows:

azul queen garden

Azul: Queens Garden

Ostensibly aiming to be more complex than Summer Palace, Azul Queen’s garden changes the basic mechanism of tile selection compared to the previous 3 iterations of Azul: now tiles are placed on top of a stack of cardboard tiles which are gaming pieces rather than just for decoration; and furthermore tiles are drawn only 4 at a time from the bag to place on the tile. As soon as 1 or more ceramic tiles are taken from the cardboard tile, it is moved to the side and the next lowest cardboard tile in the stack is populated with 4 new (ceramic) tiles. This goes on until all the cardboard tiles in the stack have been populated  – the stack size depending on the number of players. When a cardboard tile is empty, it is flipped to reveal a pre-printed symbol of the same type as the ceramic tiles on one of the 6 hexagonal spaces it has to place tiles. The cardboard tile also always depicts a water fountain in its centre – which I’ll come onto later. Continue reading

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2020 Meeples Choice Award Nominees Announced

The Meeples Choice Awards have announced their nominated games for the 2020 calendar year.  The voting for the awards usually takes place in June, but because of COVID lockdowns, the decision was made to delay the proceedings for a few months, to give the voters time to play more of the previous year’s games face to face.

Here are the 29 nominated games, together with their designers and publishers:

1840: Vienna Tramways  (Lonny Orgler) — Lonny Games
18Chesapeake  (Scott Petersen) — All-Aboard Games
Anno 1800   (Martin Wallace) — Kosmos
Beyond the Sun  (Dennis Chan) — Rio Grande
Bonfire  (Stefan Feld) — Hall Games
Calico  (Kevin Russ) — Flatout Games
Cantaloop: Book 1  (Friedemann Findelsen, Grzegorz Kobiela) — Lookout Games
CloudAge  (Alexander Pfister, Arno Steinwender) — Nanox Games
Dune: Imperium  (Paul Dennen) — Dire Wolf
Faiyum  (Friedemann Friese) — 2F-Spiele
Hallertau  (Uwe Rosenberg) — Lookout Games
Iwari  (Michael Schacht) — ThunderGryph Games
Loot of Lima  (Larry Levy) — BoardGameTables.com
Lost Ruins of Arnak  (Michal Stach, Michaela Stachova) — CGE
MicroMacro: Crime City  (Johannes Sich) — Edition Spielwiese
My City  (Reiner Knizia) — Kosmos
Nadavellir  (Serge Laget) — GRRRE Games
Oceans  (Nick Bentley, Dominic Crapuchettes, Ben Goldman, Brian O’Neill) — North Star Games
On Mars  (Vital Lacerda) — Eagle-Gryphon Games
Paleo  (Peter Rustemeyer) — Hans im Gluck
Pandemic Legacy: Season 0  (Matt Leacock, Rob Daviau) — Z-Man Games
Praga Caput Regni  (Vladimir Suchy) — Delicious Games
Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade  (Geoff Engelstein) — WizKids
The Isle of Cats  (Frank West) — The City of Games
The Red Cathedral  (Isra Cendrero, Shei Santos) — Devir
The Search for Planet X  (Matthew O’Malley, Ben Rosset) — Foxtrot Games
Under Falling Skies  (Tomas Uhlir) — CGE
Viscounts of the West Kingdom  (Shem Phillips, SJ Macdonald) — Garphill Games
Warp’s Edge  (Scott Almes) — Renegade

Over the next week, the voters will choose their favorites from that list and the three games with the highest vote totals will be crowned as the MCA winners for 2020!

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Dale’s list of SPIEL 2021 Games to Get On The Table Soon

So yesterday I published a list of games that I was excited to get from the SPIEL Fair. However, I am blessed to also have a fair number of games already here at The Gaming Castle. Here’s a list of the games that I’m hoping to get on the table soon as we continue our tour through the games from the 2021 releases. I’m down to once or twice a week right now, so the unplayed pile of games grows larger and larger each day.

Continue reading
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Simon W’s Saturday SPIEL 2021 Report

The halls keep getting busier – today it was actually slow and difficult to walk between halls, just like a real Essen. the only difference of course is the reduction in number of halls being used – with a large part of hall 5 cordoned off, and Hall 7 and 4 not being used, I guess it feels more croded than it is. However most publishers seemed pretty happy with the fair, and by this afternoon a lot of the big games had been sold out, including the new Azul, Siege of Runedar and in fact all Ludonova’s stock, almost all of Feuerland’s stock, and so on.

Games I looked at today: Continue reading

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