Author Archives: Craig V (shigadeyo)

About Craig V (shigadeyo)

I'm an outdoor adventurer, kettlebell/strength enthusiast, foodie/beer guy, and a touch of geek all rolled together. Some of my many interests include: beer, homebrewing, fitness (kettlebell and barbell), travel, food and cooking, hiking, backpacking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), letterboxing and board and card games, of course!

Review of Codinca

Rival treasure hunters (i.e., players) have discovered the Temple of Codinca while exploring the Yucatan rain forests. To open the Temple and find the great treasures contained within, players must use various mechanisms to manipulate a grid of sixteen carved Symbol Tiles to match specific Key Patterns. The first player to match their own Symbol Tiles to their four Key Patterns will unlock the secrets of Codinca.

Codinca is an abstract strategy game that combines skill and chance. Players take turns using various actions (e.g., flipping, swapping, and shifting) to manipulate a common grid of tiles to create patterns that match their individual Key Cards. The game is meant to be fast-paced and tactical.

Codinca was first available as a pre-production release at the Essen Game Fair (Spiel) in 2012. Only 150 copies were available and it sold out. A Kickstarter campaign was launched in September 2013 to fund a full production release, but it failed to reach the necessary goal. The game largely disappeared until it re-debuted at the 2016 UK Game Expo in new pocket edition. According to the announcement from the publisher, “the mechanics have been streamlined, the tiles made substantially chunkier, the rules include six languages (English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish & Polish), and it all comes in a very pretty pocket sized magnetic closing box.” This review is for the new 2016 release of Codinca. Continue reading

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Review of Escape Room The Game (NO SPOILERS)

“Escape room game [in a box]” has apparently become the hot new board game genre of 2016. From virtual versions dating as far back as 1988 to real world escape rooms being created around 2006, it seems inevitable that a hybrid version of the concept would find its way into the growing board game hobby. Cooperative puzzle games have always been of great interest to many people and capturing the escape room feeling in a box that can be played anywhere is an exciting evolution.

There are already a handful of “escape room in a box” games available and Escape Room The Game is latest having been released in late 2016 in the USA by Spin Master Games. However, there are a couple key differences that set it apart from the previous games. First of all, Escape Room The Game contains not just a single escape room game, but four different Adventures that have varying difficulties and all look, feel, and play slightly different. Secondly, the game utilizes a unique electronic “Chrono Decoder” around which the game unfolds. It also helps pull the players further into the game so that they are anchored more to the game and the make believe “room” being created rather than arbitrary location where the game is being played. Continue reading

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Review of Herbaceous

Herbaceous is self-described as “a flavorful card game” in which players can “relax while enjoying this elegant game of picking and potting herbs.” The objective is to score the most points by potting the best collection of herbs. To do this, players take turns drawing and planting herbs into the Community Garden and their individual Private Gardens, and later picking those herbs to pot into various containers. Every player has an identical set of Container Cards, but each type of container has different requirements for what it can hold. Points are scored at the end of the game based on the number of Herb Cards potted in each container.

Herbaceous is the fifth game successfully crowdfunded by Eduardo Baraf and Pencil First Games using Kickstarter. The campaign ended on September 23, 2016 and was supported by 2,208 backers. The game shipped to backers in January 2017. Continue reading

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Escape Room In A Box: The Werewolf Experiment (SPOILER FREE)

How to play Escape Room In A Box: The Werewolf Experiment is quite easy; just open the box, read the rules, choose a leader, start a countdown timer, solve the puzzles, open the locks and then win (hopefully). It’s that easy! In all seriousness, setting up the game and learning how to play is very quick and easy since there are only six rules along with a few “Tips for Success.”

Actually playing the game is not quite as easy, but it’s a whole lot of fun! Once the “Rule” panel is removed, the game has started and the clock is ticking… Continue reading

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