Episode 294: Linkee

Release Date: May 4, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: D. Tempest, T. Hyatt-Williams, Ben Drummond

Publisher:  Bananagrams, Big Potato

2-200 pl  | 30 min  |  ages 12+  |  MSRP $22.50

 

Linkee is a party game that asks each team to find an off-kilter link between four questions/clues. First to find the link wins a letter card. The first team to spell Linkee wins the game!

Linkee is simple, addictive, collaborative fun that builds as you play. It’s a game that will bring lots of laughs to any party – a game where it’s easy to lose yourself in the fun of playing, no matter who wins or loses. And that’s the measuring stick of any great party game that calls itself Major Fun.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 293: Azul

 

Release Date: Apr. 30, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: Michael Kiesling

Publisher:  Plan B Games

2-4 pl  | 30-45 min  |  ages 8+  |  MSRP $40

 

In the late 15th century, King Manuel of Portugal visited the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. He fell in love with the beautiful decorated tiles called azulejos (borrowed from the Arabic word az-zulayj meaning polished stone). Manuel ordered his royal buildings, including his palace at Évora, to be covered with these beautiful tiles. The tile artists who traveled from Spain followed the Islamic stricture prohibiting any depictions of people or animals in the design. The result was a vibrant geometric style that is part of the soul of Portugal’s art and culture even today.

In Azul, players are artists decorating the walls of Manuel’s palace at Évora. Each turn you select colored tiles, hoping to fill rows and build part of a larger pattern to score points.

Azul’s simple elegance and beauty make it accessible to many while its ornate patterns hint at amazing layers of depth and strategy to explore each time you play.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 292: Cursed Court

Release Date: April 16, 2018

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   74 min.

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Each year, a different group of nobles comes to court, hoping to curry favor with the royals. From Spring to Winter, you and your fellow players watch from the shadows and try to predict who will appear, hoping to increase your fortune and power in the realm.

Cursed Court is a clever and wonderfully accessible auction game that draws its inspiration from an unlikely source: stud poker.

Each season, you will place a bid on a noble or grouping of nobles based on hidden and public information.

You share two face down noble cards, one with each neighboring player. The rest of the nobles are revealed one at a time, face up to all.

The problem is, your knowledge is always incomplete. You must place a bid after each card is revealed.

Do you bid on a sure thing, bluff to keep others from claiming the best nobles on the board, or take a risk hoping for a big payout?

Bid wisely and you'll gain power and influence at court. Bid poorly and you might be scrubbing pots!

Nearly anyone can enjoy this inventive and beautiful mashup. It's quick, simple, engaging, and full of tense moments with each new noble revealed. 

Listen in to explore the game. You don't have to have a royal pedigree to discover why Cursed Court is Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 291: Candygrams

 

Release Date: Apr. 10 , 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: Johnny Landers

Publisher:  Candygrams LLC

2-4 pl  | 15-20 min  |  ages 6+  |  MSRP $25

 

Candygrams is a colorful crossword game that offers fun and challenging twists to a traditional word game.

Roll dice, build words from the colors rolled. Use all your tiles to win and reuse tiles already played, if you're clever.

Young players can play on one level and word nerds can appreciate it on another. The magic is both groups can enjoy playing together without the game bogging down. 

This makes Candygrams a delight and most surely a delicious helping of Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 290 - Pioneers

Release Date: April 2, 2018

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   82 min.

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Westward ho! Immigrants from around the world have flocked to the United States to start a new life. As the country expands its territory to the Pacific, more and more pioneers set out, using stagecoaches and wagon trains, to reach new cities and towns along the way.

Each town has its own needs - a barkeep here, a farmer there, bankers, merchants, soldiers, innkeepers, and even a gold digger or two. Your job in Pioneers is to help these folks find a place that suits them by building roads and using your stagecoach. The player who does the best job settling this new generation of Americans will win the game

Pioneers is a gateway game to a new generation of players just discovering the hobby. It’s easy to learn, easy to teach and each time you play, you’ll discover new layers of depth and fun by charting a different path, literally. Each decision and each road and pioneer you settle will give you a new way to see the game. And best of all how everyone else plays will change your decisions. Their choices will let you see the game in a new light every time.

Listen in for a full review and discover why Pioneers deserves BOTH our Spiel of Approval and Major Fun Awards!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 289: Santa Maria

 

Release Date: March 19, 2018

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   84 min.

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Listen:

 
 

 

It's the 16th century and you're in charge of a fledgling colony in the New World. Here's your chance to write a new kind of history: one where you keep *all* the colonists in your community happy!

Santa Maria is a dice-based action selection game. Each turn you place a new tile in your colony and use dice to activate a row or column. Your goal is to create chains of actions and resources through production, religion, conquistadors and shipping.  And when you retire at the end of each round, all the work you've done will reap even greater rewards. 

The game offers a fantastic variety of strategy without being needlessly complicated. This makes Santa Maria constantly challenging and consistently fun - and a worthy winner of our Spiel of Approval!

Listen in for a full review.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 288: Witches of the Revolution

 

Release Date: Mar. 16, 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: M. Craig Stockwell

Publisher:  Atlas Games

1-4 pl  30-60 min  ages 14+  $40

 
 

 

The American colonies were a refuge to those seeking shelter from religious persecution. When the rallying cries for independence from England began to ring out, many answered the call for open revolt, including the witches.

These are the untold stories of a few brave covens of witches who fought for freedom, silent authors of American history along side the Founding Fathers.

Witches of the Revolution is a cooperative deck-building game. Players each lead a coven recruiting allies and weilding magic to overcome a constant wave of threats and complete secret missions. Complete enough missions before tyranny overwhelms the land, and you’ll help forge a new nation!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 287: Squaremino

 

Release Date: Mar. 12 , 2018

Download: PDF

Designer: N/A

Publisher:  Frost & Frost

2-4 pl  15 min  ages 6+  MSRP $28.95

 
 

 

Squaremino is like a favorite sweater or perfectly broken in pair of shoes. It feels familiar and comfortable. So familiar, in fact, you may even think you've played before because it stays true to the soul of its cousin - dominoes.

That said, Squaremino is a clever and strategic twist on the tile laying classic. It celebrates its heritage but finds a way to stand on its own.

That’s a fine line and a fun line for any Major Fun game to walk!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 286: Ancestree

 

Release Date: March 1, 2018

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   68 min.

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Genealogists are a curious and squinty lot. They spend much of their lives buried in the archives doing research, trying to uncover hidden branches of their family trees.

All those late nights are about to pay off. If all goes well you’ll have enough information to prove your lineage is historically significant - a family tree for the ages!

Ancestree is a tile drafting game where each player cultivates a family tree over three rounds. You'll build dynasties, marriages, and wealth to score points. 

The game is wonderfully simple to learn but the scoring system makes each decision matter and each decision fun. 

Ancestree is also inclusive. It celebrates diversity and allows us to play with the idea of family.  Allowing more people to find themselves in the game is a powerful and playful idea. Inviting more people to the table helps open a door to the wider world of games and (we hope) allows even more people to share the joy and fun we find through play.

Listen in for a full review and discover why Ancestree is Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 285: Majesty: For the Realm

 

Release Date: February 19, 2018

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:   64 min.

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From millers and brewers to knights and nobles, it takes all sorts to build a kingdom.

In Majesty, players recruit subjects to help create a prosperous new realm. Each character offers a simple but specialized way to bring wealth, health and security to the crown. 

Majesty is an easy to learn, wonderfully elegant and interactive card game. Each character card you add to your kingdom will have implications within and beyond your borders. 

The game is simple enough for almost anyone to learn but also modular, so as you learn, you can tailor the rules to suit your tastes.

Not only does this make Majesty: For the Realm Major Fun, it means you have a hand in defining the kind of fun you have every time you play!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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