Dale Yu – Review of Bellum Magica

Bellum Magica

  • Designer: Frederic Guerard
  • Publisher: Blue Orange
  • Players: 2-5
  • Age: 10+
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Played on review copy provided by Blue Orange USA

bellum magica

In this game, players are evil lords who have somehow simultaneously discovered the recipe for riches and power – they will compete with each other to become the most powerful evil lord by collecting resources, recruiting evil creatures and finding treasure chests.

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Tiny Epic Stocking Stuffers

Ho! Ho! Ho!  

The holidays are rapidly approaching and like many others, you’re getting ready to travel to see friends, family and the ones you love.  You want to take gifts, and you are the Santa of board games, bringing joy to your nieces, nephews, cousins and everyone else during the holiday season.  Sadly you have very limited space in your luggage for the big box games, either as presents or just to take along to play.

Do not fret!  Do not frown!  Gamelyn Games and designer Scott Almes have got you covered! Introducing Tiny Epic Games, a collection of awesome games to suit a wide variety of mechanics, themes and at a price point that can’t be beat.  They’re Tiny, they’re Epic and Gamelyn Games puts a ton of game into each box that is about the size of a medium-sized novel!  Not only do these games take minimal space on your gaming shelf (or in your check-on bag, or suitcase!), but they were designed having a smaller carbon footprint in mind! The games are designed…for the most part…to be set up and explained fairly quickly and get playing right out of the box.

Perhaps you are looking to blast off through the universe and colonize planets while exploring the galaxy in Tiny Epic Galaxies.  Or maybe your interest lies in a more horrifying zombie apocalypse, fending off hordes of zombies and trying to meet objectives and survive in Tiny Epic Zombies.  Or you’re looking to suit up and get into the arena to battle other Mech warriors, upgrade the most powerful weapons and battle it out in Tiny Epic Mechs!

Welcome to Tiny Epic Stocking Stuffers!

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Dale Yu – Preview of Jamaica (2021)

Jamaica (2021)

  • Designers: Malcolm Braff, Bruno Cathala, Sebastien Pauchon
  • Publisher: Asmodee/Gameworks
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 30-45 minutes

jamaica new

Well, a few years ago, back in 2017, I was a bit surprised to see an expansion for Jamaica, titled “The Crew” be released.  Why?  Well, the original game Jamaica came out way back in 2007 – and ten years is a long time to go between the release of the main game and its first expansion!  (And as a full disclaimer, I did some work on the rules for both of the new versions – though I get no financial compensation based on the success of the game)

As it turns out, Jamaica has had a long run of popularity since its initial release, and the expansion has apparently done well since it came out.  That popularity has also led to a new edition of the base game, now in a traditional 30cm square box.

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Dale Yu: Review of Escape Room in A Box: Time Drifters (Isabel’s Story and Kira’s Story) – Spoiler Free

Escape Room in A Box: Time Drifters (Isabel’s Story and Kira’s Story)

  • Designers: Juliana Moreno Patel and Ariel Rubin
  • Publisher: Mattel
  • Players: 1-4
  • Age: 15+
  • Time: 75 minutes on the box


Over the past few years, there have been a number of Escape Room game franchises that we have come back to again and again.  For me, the Escape Room in the Box have been among my favorites, (along with the EXIT series, the UNLOCK games and the Deckscape series).  Each has their own signature style and gimmicks, and I look forward to seeing what each one has to offer with their newest installment.

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Dale Yu – Review of Love Letter Princess Princess Ever After

Love Letter Princess Princess Ever After

  • Designer: Seiji Kanai
  • Publisher: Renegade Game Studio
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 10+
  • Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Played on review copy provided by Renegade Game Studios

love letter princess after

Love Letter has been one of my favorite microgames ever.  The original version came in a super small packet of sixteen cards, and that set got a LOT of play when it first came out.  It was the perfect sort of game to play while out (you know, back when you could go to restaurants and bars with friends).  The game fit in your jeans pocket, could be explained in 3 minutes, and just about everyone could understand and enjoy it.  

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Dale Yu – Review of Mysterious Ladder

Mysterious Ladder

  • Designer: Jin JH Bang
  • Publisher: Korea Boardgames
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 7+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Korea Boardgames

mysterious ladder
Well, when I first got this game, I wasn’t quite sure what the title was – there weren’t any English subtitles anywhere on the box! From the art, it looked like there was a monkey who had climbed to the top of a mountain and grabbed a golden lemon! Once we found the translation online, we discovered that we were close…. The game is called Mysterious Ladder, and the monkeys are vying for the Golden Coconut, not a lemon!

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