Dale Yu – Review of Unicorn Fever

Unicorn Fever

unicorn fever

Unicorn Fever is the rethemed successor to Horse Fever, a “racing” game from 2009 which I remember reviewing for my Cincygamers website over ten years ago, but that review seems to have been lost.  In any event, the game has been spruced up and just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign.  The new story:

Each player is a wealthy bettor, determined to be recognised as a the most skillful unicorn-race wagerer of the Unicorn Racing Championship and hold the title until the next rainbow appears. During 4 races, players will try to place successful bets to gain Victory Points and Gold.

To reach their goal, they will buy Contracts with unscrupulous citizens of the fairy realm to hire their services and turn the odds of the race in their favor, play Magic cards to straight up fix it, and try to avoid squandering all their hard-earned Gold and be forced to ask the Elf-Mob for Loans.  Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Review of Uberstax and Ubertrayz (accessories)

Quick link: Uberstax Universal Tabletop Game Piece and Token Holder

From time to time, we take a break from reviewing games, and instead take a look at some things that help make our game nights a little better.   Many of the things that we have reviewed on the blog have become a permanent fixture here at game nights – most notably the ever-present storage bags from Royal Bag  and the neoprene table cover from Big Viking Mats.

I think that I now have another accessory contender to add to the regular rotation here at the Gaming Castle.  After seeing an ad online, I contacted the great people at Uberstax (Uberstax Universal Tabletop Game Piece and Token Holder) to learn more about their product.  As you are probably aware, we Opinionated Gamers have a deep love for card racks, and the idea of a modular card rack system instantly caught my eye.

We were given a Rainbox box to experiment with, and we got them out as soon as we needed a rack (which is pretty often around here)

uberstax rainbow

In each color, you get 7 identical pieces, each with connectors (male and female) on the sides, tops, bottoms – well, pretty much any surface, and each package has a little “instruction manual” with a few example arrangements.

uberstax example

However, you can stack and combine these in just about any way you want.  I also got a set of four Ubertrayz which are shallow two-compartment dishes that can be used for storage of bits (in the center of the table), but the trays also have the same connectors as the Uberstax, so they can be connected to the racks as well to serve as storage for your personal bits.  There is a nice sloped entry to the tray so you can slide your fingers up with the things you need.

We have really liked the flexibility in the Uberstax/Ubertrayz system – it is so nice to be able to construct whatever sort of holder is needed for a particular game.  The Rainbow pack is also super useful to us because it serves as a very convenient player color reminder.  With ten colors available, there is rarely a game that doesn’t match up to the selection here.

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I found that I liked the Ubertrayz so much that even before I could finish writing this review, I contacted the company to buy another eight trays so that we had enough for all our needs!  They stack nicely when not in use, and they come with fairly tight fitting covers for storage of things from week to week (like when you pause your Sleeping Gods campaign for the week).

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Some examples of the product in use

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In Not Alone, we just needed a simple card rack – and since there aren’t player colors, we just grabbed whatever pieces we could find first…

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In Fantasy Realms, I used a two level rack so that I could A) see all my cards easily, and B) group cards together that interacted together.

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While playing Cubitos, we found the Ubertrayz to be a superior organizational system to the cardboard boxes provided by the publisher.  Having the sloped sides made it easy to get the things you need without spilling or knocking anything over.

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Sagani only needed the Ubertrayz to hold each player’s set of markers.

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Perhaps my favorite use so far was when we played Sleeping Gods remotely.  I needed a way to track the cards of three players and the ship – so I built a color coded three level rack to hold everyone’s cards in the right place…

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Racks in play in Shamans

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There are plenty of things on the table in Sleeping Gods in real life, and we used a combination of storage accessories as needed….

So as you can see, we have been using these racks and trays all spring, and they have definitely helped keep things organized.  The cards get less wear, as well as less sweat and oil from handling, and I still can’t emphasize enough how nice it is to have a player color reminder (especially helpful when your group has two players that always want to be yellow…)

The cost for a set is fairly reasonable – equivalent to a single game for a set of 4 racks – but you’ll end up using them for a lot of different games.  The rainbow set is admittedly more expensive, but then again you will get 10 sets instead of 4!  Though obviously not every game needs racks or trays, we seem to get them out at least once a game night since we first acquired them.  I’m very happy to have them around, and I am definitely keeping this in the back of my mind as a nice holiday gift for a few gamers around here…

You can find more info and buy them at: www.uberstax.com

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

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Mitch T / Dale Y: Review of Sagani

Sagani

  • Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
  • Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon
  • Players: 1-4
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Played 4 times with review copy provided by Eagle-Gryphon

sagani

In the beginning there was Patchwork and Habitats. And then Uwe Rosenberg took aspects of both games (Habitats was designed by Corné van Moorsel), yielding Nova Luna, labelled as a joint design of Uwe and Corné. And then came Sagani, a revised version of Nova Luna. Before we discuss Sagani, we’ll say a little more about the Sagani family tree. Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Review of the NSV Sachet games (Honey Moon, Hungry Hamsters, Thread Count, Fency Sheep)

So, earlier this year, NSV released a set of 4 “sachet” games – these are little paper pouches that you can easily hold in your hand or put in your pocket.  In each of these packets, you’ll find a pad of probably 50 double sided scoring sheets, a single pencil and a single d6.  While it doesn’t seem like a lot, it’s all the equipment you need to play a quick game. 

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The publisher describes the format thusly: “Clever games for any occasion in small and environmental friendly packing. Just tear them open to start playing! All the materials needed are already included and thanks to the double sided print of the game pad the MINNYS can be played over and over again!”  As the games are super short and similar in many ways, I’ll describe them all first and then give my opinions on them as a whole afterwards.

Continue reading

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Patrick Brennan: Game Snapshots – 2021 (Part 4)

Here’s a wombat for you. I wonder if they are tasty.

There’s a lot of 5’s and 6’s in my world at the moment.

 

When you’re playing f2f, you play games that people believe worthy of their money. A game may not be to your taste, or you may end up playing the odd mis-purchase, ill-conceived trade or a Kickstarter (aka undeveloped) game, but in the main you’re playing games that are selected by the group because they were expected to be quality. Of course it helps that your group will tend to like the same games as you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be part of the group. Either that or you’ll soon be moving on.

 

If you’re playing online however, the games presented and available for play are no longer group –selected. It’s a hotch-botch of games from all genres. I imagine that a lot are online because their market presence was too small to find their niche market. By going online, the hope is to find those gamers who never knew the game existed but who are actually part of the target market – who will find it, like it, talk about it, and expand sales and market share.

  Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Review of The Dead Eye

The Dead Eye

  • Designer: Simon McGregor
  • Art and Graphic Design: Rob van Zyl
  • Publisher: Pleasant Company Games
  • Players: 1
  • Age: 14+
  • Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Times played: 10+ with review copy provided by publisher

The Dead Eye

The Dead Eye is a solitaire adventure card game. You are a “ lone thermo-bandit downed on a hostile backwater planet. Your mission? Find the next safe haven before you lose all hope and strength… and maybe, just maybe, find a way off of this desolate rock.”  To achieve your goal, you must complete three runs; success in each determined by whether you can make it to the next Safe Haven without running out of Strength or Hope.

The game is played with 4 small decks of cards; 2 of which are the same in every game and 2 whose composition changes each time.   Though the backs of the cards are different (showing which deck they came from), the front of each shows a “thing” encountered on the planet.   The cards have a title in the center and a short description.  Then on the left side, there is a Heat Trigger area and on the right side, a Juice Trigger area.  Heat and Juice are the two currencies on this desolate planet, with Heat leading to bad things and Juice turning into good things.   The bottom of the card has the benefit or action of the card if it is activated.  And, as if there wasn’t enough info on the card, there is also generally a Heat or Juice icon at the very top of the card.  More on these cards later.

Continue reading

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