Robinson Crusoe, Codenames: Duet, Spirit Island, and Unearth
Hello sweet gamers, hope you still like board games because we’ve got some new ones, hot off the presses!
First, we’ve got reprints of Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, and a couple of Uwe Rosenberg classics, Le Havre and Glass Road.
In the realm of the new, we’ve got Codenames: Duet, a 2-player, fully cooperative version of 2016’s Spiel des Jahres winner. Now in a fetching lime green!
Encouraging more cooperation, we have the anti-colonialist Spirit Island, in which you protect your island from colonists by playing as abstract concepts such as River Surges in Sunlight and Vital Strength of the Earth. Each spirit has entirely different strengths and niches and although the game is fairly complex, there’s loads of room for smart decisions, cool combos, and great teamwork.
Unearth is an accessible, attractive dice placement game in which you’ll compete to claim the most ancient ruins, and honour your ancestors by assembling great wonders. With multiple strategies and plenty of ways to mitigate your luck, Unearth is straightforward enough for kids while remaining entertaining for adults.
Terraforming Mars and Concordia back in stock!
Good news, folks! The reprints of Terraforming Mars and Concordia are finally here, and Concordia’s received shiny new box art!
We’ve also got some sweet new games in stock, so let’s talk about those.
Near and Far is the brand new game from celebrated designer, artist and writer, Ryan Laukat. This time you explore a world map by map, discovering cool stories and vignettes, and having crazy adventures. It’s a heavy box, but don’t let that fool you. It’s still a straightforward game, it’s just packed full of pieces, booklets and all manner of great stuff!
Cottage Garden is the younger sibling of 2014’s Patchwork. It’s a less tight, gentler game featuring plants and cats instead of Patchwork’s patches and button economy, and its less tense nature and 2-4 player count makes it more widely accessible while sacrificing only a bit of strategic depth. In short, Cottage Garden is a charming horticultural dalliance that’s satisfying for meganerds and non-gamers alike.
Dice Forge plays with a novel mechanism that’s been explored only a couple times before: dice crafting. Everyone’s dice have removable faces, so that you can use the results of your rolls as currency or power or purchase more profitable faces for your dice! Dice Forge has a familiar feeling of progression and managing luck to classic deckbuilders (Dominion, Legendary) and bag builders (Orléans, Quarriors), but the novelty of popping off the satisfyingly chunky old faces and clicking the new ones into place is just great.
The Gallerist is an elegant, thinky game in a huge box. There’s so much to it, so much depth, but it still manages to deliver a sleek and smooth gameplay experience. As a gallerist, it’s your job to discover and patronize new artists, fill your gallery with their works, sell off their art to fulfill contracts, hire assistants and send them jetting off across the world to make sure you’re being talked up in the right circles, and coercing VIPs, investors and collectors into your gallery with the promise of free tickets so that you can throw parties and have them tweet about it.
It’s a worker placement game, but there are only four spaces to head to, and you can’t stay in the same place you just were, so in most cases you only have three choices! Of course, those three choices cascade immediately, with each spot offering two actions and each action being tightly tied to everything else that’s going on, so what appears to be simple never truly is! Some games manage to be extremely intricate and extremely elegant at the same time, and The Gallerist knocks that feeling out of the park.
Oh, and one last thing: we have some brand new board game mystery boxes from our lovely local distributor, Universal Distribution, full of underappreciated games, damaged boxes, demo copies in good condition, and more! Guaranteed to have over $120 retail value, priced only at $52.99! While we don’t know what’s in them, ask about the boxes in store and you can give ’em a shake, gauge their weight, and pick your favourite!
Summer fun, in or out of the sun
With summer finally here, we all need some games that we can throw in a bag and take anywhere. Here are a few compact games that work just as well on a beach towel or picnic table as they do on your kitchen table.
Coup is a snappy little bluffing game for 2 to 6 players, with each round only taking a couple minutes. Everyone gets two hidden roles that let them safely perform actions (assassinating other players, taking a bunch of money, stopping someone else from stealing cash), but because everyone’s powers are hidden, you can claim to be any role you like, performing any action you like. If someone calls your bluff you’ll be forced to lose one of your roles, but if you weren’t bluffing after all they’ll lose one of theirs! Last person with any roles left wins!
Citadels lets you fulfill your city-building, set-collecting dreams while incorporating a healthy dose of misdirection and reading your opponents. Everyone chooses from the same set of characters each round, each character giving you a power that increases in strength and efficiency as you construct more buildings.
Looking for something for group, a road trip, or a night of drinking? In Spyfall, everyone knows where they are except one person, who is the SPY, and has to figure out their location. Meanwhile, everyone else has to figure out who the spy is! Take turns asking each other leading questions that show everyone that you’re in the know, but without giving anything away to the spy!
Star Realms is a tiny deckbuilder that lets 2 players rapidly build up their fleets and bases and blast each other into space dust. Want more variety of ships? Combine it with Star Realms: Colony Wars, a standalone second set that also lets you expand the game to 4 players. Prefer a fantasy theme? Check out the recent sword and sorcery revamp, Hero Realms.
Want something deeper, that will reward repeated plays and let you pursue mastery? BattleCON is a 2-player fighting game in a box, with each player getting to choose from a whole host of fighters, each with their own styles, powers, and nuances, then laying into each other with a straightforward but deep card combo battle system.
So Canada does a lot of awesome things, but did you know that we also have a healthy bunch of boardgame designers churning out awesome games? Well, I mean you probably knew that in theory given our relatively large population but I know I’d have been hard pressed to name a single Canadian developer until doing the research for this post! So I’m going to highlight three games you may or may not have known were created by Canadians!
This beautiful game was designed by Christopher Chung, a first time designer from Toronto. Place a lantern tile onto the board and while trying to match colours to earn favour and become the greatest artisan. The combination of tile laying and set collection mechanics is simple to understand but in depth enough to keep you engaged.
Montreal born Eric M. Lang is the designer of this epic Viking themed board game. A wonderfully epic game of battles and glory, the following quote from BoardgameGeek is all you need to know “The only losing strategy in Blood Rage is to shy away from battle and a glorious death!”
Two dudes from Calgary (Gavan Brown and Matt Tolman) made this awesome space mining themed deckbuilder. Now I personally am a sucker for any deck building game, but Super Motherload is top of the heap all the same. The excellent theme and clever use of boards to emulate a side scrolling video game adds to an already fun game.
Happy Canada Day everyone!
It’s our 3rd anniversary! 10% off Friday, May 5th through Sunday, May 7th!
We’re pleased to announce that Games on the Drive turns three years old this week! Being able to sling games and dispense dice for three years takes a ton of support from the community, so we’ve decided to express our gratitude with a store-wide 10% discount* from Friday, May 5th through Sunday, May 7th!
Thank you so much to all of our customers, supporters and friends.
*Discount does not apply to Magic and Pokemon boosters.
Junk Art, Rails and Sails, Sherlock Holmes, Conan, Dream Home
Hola folks, do you like board games? I like board games, so let’s talk about board games.
Before we dive in, I’m pleased to report that we’ve received reprints of Stone Age, Carcassonne, Mysterium and Dixit. Come and get ’em, we’ve got plenty.
So! Junk Art is a crazy game from the makers of Flick ‘Em Up in which you’ve gotta stack your irregularly-shaped blocks as high as you can. Your friends will pass you cards showing which blocks you have to incorporate, and if your tower ever crumbles you’ll have to keep building from the rubble. Whoever has the highest tower at the end wins!
Dream Home invites you to build the house you’ve always wanted, furnish it as you like, and earn points for doing so! At the end, you’ll grade your home based on your design decisions, how well-furnished and comfortable it is, the quality of the roof and how functional your room layout is. Dream Home’s straightforward decisions and cute design make it easily accessible for kids, but interesting enough for adults to play as well.
Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails is the biggest and broadest iteration of the classic series yet, and it features a double-sided board so you can choose between spreading your freight lines across either the great lakes or the entire world! You’ll have to collect different sets of cards for trains and boats, and place ports to connect your land routes to your sea routes. It’s big, it’s attractive, and it comes with Days of Wonder’s trademark high production quality.
Ooh, this one’s exciting. Although the reprint of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is still in the works, we’ve received the first modern expansion, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures! Even better, you can play it without a copy of the original! Chase down Jack the Ripper himself across four connected cases, and explore six more independent cases. A must-have for fans of the original, and an excellent starting point for those who are interested but couldn’t track down a copy!
Conan is a big, brutal romp through a series of classic barbarian adventures, featuring a diverse cast of player characters, each with their own specialties and nuances. This one comes with a “mature content” label, probably because it’s an uncompromising cooperative slaughterfest that evokes the feelings of the source material. It plays impressively well, as smooth and intuitive as you could ask for, and the result is a bold, often-cinematic experience rich in exciting moments and cheers.