Dale Yu: Review of Tiffin



  • Designers: Jonathan Hager and Rael Dornfest
  • Publisher: Rio Grande Games
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 14+
  • Time: ~40 minutes
  • Times played: 4, with preview copy provided by Rio Grande Games


I have personally been fascinated by the dabbawalla system in Mumbai ever since I saw a PBS documentary on it many many years ago.  While I cannot find the link to the actual full documentary, here are a few links on YouTube that might shed some light on it…


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YSwy081K1Y  (in case you speak Spanish)

This system essentially is a lunch delivery service where an entire army of people manage to collect tiffins, or little metal lunch boxes, from people’s homes and then get them delivered into the city to the right person for a nice homecooked lunch.  The scale and scope of this system is mind-boggling, and the error rate is so low that it should put USPS, FedEx and UPS to shame – as well as the baggage systems of the airline industry! (Of course, I never quite figured out why the working folks can’t just carry their lunchbox with them as they head to work – but if they did, then this entire industry of lunch delivery wouldn’t exist!)  In Tiffin (the game), players act as the delivery personnel, and they will earn money by their participation in the tiffin deliveries. Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Fatal Rendez Vous (Game Review by Chris Wray)

  • Designer:  Oliver Finet
  • Publisher:  Gigamic
  • Players:  5-20 (Best with >10)
  • Ages:  8 and Up
  • Time:  30 Minutes
  • Times Played:   > 5 (On Review Copy)


Fatal Rendez Vous is a social deduction game from Gigamic.  Each player arrives at a Parisian mansion for a relaxing weekend, but soon tragedy strikes: one of the guests is murdered.  It turns out that among the guests are two assassins determined to carry out their evil plans.  The guests must try to identify these evildoers and lock them in prison.

Fatal Rendez Vous plays a bit like Werewolf or Mafia, but with a clever twist: the players need to identify the two bad guys and put them in prison at the same time.  As an added bonus, this game comes with some cool props to enhance the thematic atmosphere.  If you or your group like social deduction games, this is worth checking out.  

Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment


The International Gamers Awards committee is extremely proud to announce the finalists for the 2016 IGA in the General Strategy category.  Games released from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 are eligible for consideration.

This complete list of this year’s nominees includes: Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment

Dale Yu: First Impressions of Grimslingers



  • Designer: Stephen Gibson
  • Publisher: Greenbrier Games
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 12+
  • Time: 20-40 minutes
  • Times played: 2 (free for all duel) + 1 co-op, with review copy provided by Greenbrier Games


Normally, games that arise on Kickstarter fly under my radar – mostly because I’m so busy with already published games that I simply don’t have time to really look at games that might possibly be…  However, Grimslingers is one that was brought to my attention by a number of friends, and I have been following its KS page occasionally to watch its development.  The game had a modest goal – likely enough to simply allow for the production costs of the game – and the successful campaign ended up raising almost seven times the goal amount.  When I was contacted by Greenbrier Games to take a look at one of the production copies, I was more than interested in trying it out.

At its core, Grimslingers is a dueling card game set in an alternate Wild West, one with magical undertones.  What interested me most about the game was the flexibility of the system.  The game can be a 2p PvP battle, it can be played in teams, and it can even be played cooperatively. As there are essentially two different games in the box – the versus duel and then the cooperative campaign game – I will talk about them in separate sections.   Continue reading

Posted in First Impressions | Leave a comment

Dale Yu: Review of 3 Wishes


3 Wishes

  • Designer: Chris Castagnetto
  • Publisher: Passport Games / NSKN
  • Players: 3-5
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 3-5 minutes
  • Times played: 7, with preview copy provided by Passport Games


3 wishes3 Wishes is a micro game – given to me as I visited at the Passport Games booth at Origins 2016. The entire game comes in a small ziplock bag, made up of 18 playing cards and 3 extra cards which have all the rules on them.  The game is a quick playing game that involves memory, intuition, bluffing and a lot of memory… Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Beyond Baker Street (Game Review by Chris Wray)

  • Designer:  Robin Lees, Steve Mackenzie
  • Publisher:  Z-Man Games
  • Players:  2 – 4
  • Ages:  13 and Up
  • Time:  20 Minutes
  • Times Played:   > 5


I was drawn to Beyond Baker Street when I heard it compared favorably to Hanabi —  which is one of my all-time favorite games — and I ended up playing this new Z-Man title a few times during Gen Con.  The rumors were true: the game is quite similar to Hanabi.  But in the end, Beyond Baker Street is a different game, one that is more forgiving and more variable.  If you like cooperative deduction games, this is worth checking out. Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Area 51 – A First Look

Area 51 – A First Look
By Stefan Alexander
Art by Christian Opperer
Publisher – Mücke Spiele
Ages: 12+
Length: ~15 minutes per player
Players: 2 – 6 players (probably best with 3-4)

First Look by Jonathan Franklin


Have you ever wanted to gain alien technologies for fun and profit?

Of course you have. There are six places I want to teleport to right now.

Have you ever thought about where you would put all that stuff? I hadn’t until I started playing Area 51. It takes security, the right conditions, and space (ha!) to store these goodies.

Area 51 is a clever game about building bunkers and transporting alien technologies around Area 51. Alas, the other players are trying to store those same items are in their bunkers.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Dale Yu: First Impressions of Evolution: The Beginning

Evolution: The Beginning

  • Designer: Dominic Crapuchettes
  • Publisher: North Star Games
  • Players: 2-5
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 45 min
  • Times Played: 2, with review copy provided by North Star Games

evolution beginning box

Evolution: The Beginning is the “first step into a vibrant ecosystem of evolution-themed games”.  The original game in the series, Evolution, was originally designed and produced in Russia (SEE REVIEW HERE – https://opinionatedgamers.com/2015/05/20/dale-yu-review-of-evolution-northstar-games/) – though a few years ago, the entire product was sold to North Star Games; the game was tweaked by Mr. Crapuchettes and re-released.  Since then, a few expansions (Evolution: Flight and Evolution: Climate) have been added to the family.

This most recent release is meant to be a primer to the series, targeted as mass market audiences.  As North Star Games already sells their games in stores such as Target, they definitely have a pipeline to said mass market. Continue reading

Posted in First Impressions | 5 Comments

Dale Yu: First Impressions of Aquarium



  • Designers: Tim De Rycke, Sander Vernyns
  • Publisher: Z-man Games
  • Players: 2-6
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Times played: 2, with review copy provided by Z-Man Games

aquarium box

In Aquarium, players vie with each other to have the best aquarium – by having the best looking fish and plants – at the end of three rounds of playing (at least in a 4p game).  The game revolves around the pet shop board – a place for up to five cards to be displayed.  At the start of the game, each player gets a matching set of 9 Action cards and fifteen points worth of beads.  Each player is also randomly dealt a one-star valued fish.  The deck is then divided into six equal-ish piles and a Feeding Time card is shuffled into sections 2, 4, and 6.  The deck is then reconstructed with pile 1 on the top and pile 6 on the bottom.

The 4p game is played over three rounds.  Each round ends immediately when a Feeding Time! card is revealed from the deck.  Thus, there are a variable number of turns in each round, and each player may not get the same number of turns in any particular round. Continue reading

Posted in First Impressions | 1 Comment

Codenames Pictures (Game Review by Chris Wray)

  • Designer:  Vlaada Chvátil
  • Publisher:  Czech Games Edition
  • Players:  2 – 8
  • Ages:  10 and Up
  • Time:  10-20 Minutes
  • Times Played:   > 5


Codenames Pictures is the much-anticipated follow-up to Vlaada Chvátil’s Codenames, winner of the 2016 Spiel des Jahres.  Czech Games Edition released the game at Gen Con, where it was piled high and selling well.  Codenames Pictures topped the Geekbuzz leaderboard for the convention, and it seems like this game is on its way to being a hit.   Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments