In Sheepy Time, you are the Dream Sheep – the sheep that people count in order to drift off to Dreamland! You will jump over fences to try to make people sleepy – and avoid the nightmares! As you succeed, you will collect Winks – and punningly, trying to get 40 Winks is the goal of the game…
The game uses a ten-segment board that looks like a snowflake, the fence is placed between the number 10 and number 1 wedges of the board. Two Dream tiles are placed above spaces 5 and 10, and a display of 4 face up Dream tiles is put near the board. The scoreboard is also set up, with a scoring aid matching the number of players. A nightmare is chosen, and it’s card is placed next to the scoring table. Finally, the deck of playing cards is constructed – using cards from the Nightmare and the player colors in the game (choosing the cards appropriate for the player count).
Times played: 3, with review copy provided by Calliope Games
I will admit that one of my “holy grails” is finding a great transportation game. One of the first games that I truly loved as a kid was Scotland Yard, and I fell in love with the idea of moving around the board using different modes of transport, etc. Later, I tried to find and then later design the perfect cabbie game, moving around a city, picking up passengers and dropping them off at various different locations. On the Underground was another game that I adored though you only walk and ride the Tube in that one…
This review branches out a bit from the typical Opinionated Gamers fare. Planet Apocalypse originated as a board game from Petersen Games in 2020. This year the board game expansion has been Kickstarted along with the subject of our curiosity – a Dungeons and Dragons 5E compatible sourcebook based on the Planet Apocalypse setting. If you have no interest in role playing games, 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, or nightmarish forces from places darker than the hells or abyss, you can safely move on.
Sandy Peterson is the role-playing legend who brought Call of Cthulhu to the hobby forty years ago. Call of Cthulhu innovated the sanity mechanism and role playing based more on investigation and discovery, where combat is less frequent, more chaotic, and more dangerous. When the opportunity for a free review copy of this source book was made available, I immediately volunteered. I have been running D&D campaigns since 1981 myself and am currently running two active groups. I was intrigued to see what was billed as “Dark Lords always seem to threaten the world. This time, that threat becomes real. Your fantasy world is about to get destroyed by the Hordes of Hell!” would add to my campaigns and volunteered to receive and review a preview copy.
We recently conducted our Sydney no-ship mass auction to mass success. First one in almost two years given the times. Almost 1700 games listed, roughly 70% changed hands. We used to do maths trades, then we tried the mass auction, and we alternated between the two (one every 6 months), and I think we’re at the point now where this means the death of the maths trade. The maths trade relies on someone kind and decent actually owning and executing the code, and it relies on all the participants to enter coded-up want lists. Or, hey, just throw your game on the auction list and away we go! So much easier.
In our version, we favour trades. A game is put up with a reserve price and the owner can say trade preferred or sale only. If a trade is offered and made prior to the auction, great, success for the owner – any bids made so far are redundant but everyone knows this going in so it’s not an issue, trades are favoured. But most games go on to sell to the highest bidder. We also have anti-snipe rules in place – the auction for each game doesn’t end until 10 minutes after the final bid. This encourages more early bidding (as well as it being more socially frowned upon now to snipe among gaming friends here) and most games get their final bids well prior to deadline. But there’s usually a handful of games which provide an entertaining finale where the bidding stretches out over another hour or two because they both really really *really* want it.
Played with review copy provided by publisher/designer
Vidrado is a game that might look familiar to you – it is all about manufacturing typical Portuguese tiles – a theme made popular by Azul. This little card game is like an Adlung game on steroids – the game is comprised on 102 cards, all packaged in a double thick card box.
In the game, players are workers at a small craft tile factory; each aspiring to become the plant manager. In order to get this promotion, players must show proficiency at the four stages of tile manufacturer: modeling, glazing, drawing and painting. Each of these four stages of tile production has its own “deck” of cards, denoted by a different colored back. The Brown deck symbolizes clay, the basic form of the tile. The white deck is the ceramic glaze. The Grey deck symbolizes the charcoal used to draw the design onto the tile, and the Blue deck represents the paint used to finish the illustration of the tile. To start the game setup, each of these four decks is shuffled separately and the placed face up – with space for a discard pile beneath.
Time: 45 minutes (in actuality our games have been closer to an hour or slightly more)
Played with review copy provided by Pegasus Spiele
In Doodle Dungeon, players take on the role of dungeon architect. For once, you’re not the human hero trying to crawl through the dungeon, defeat the enemies and grab the treasure. Here, you’re on the other side of the coin, setting traps and placing monsters in just the right places to get a nice unsuspecting human snack. This game is an offshoot of the very familiar and popular Roll and Write (RAW) genre, tentatively labeled as a Draft-and-Draw (DAD).
Each player gets a Dungeon Sheet, which shows a 10×10 grid at the bottom and a few areas to mark other info at the top. Write the name of your Dungeon and your name at the top. Each player also gets a pencil, a Dungeon Template, and a smaller score sheet. The Build deck is constructed based on the number of players and is shuffled. The start player gets the start player marker, which cleverly is a plastic pencil sharpener.