Episode 377: The Shores of Tripoli

Release Date: June 14, 2021

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  61 min.

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After winning its independence from England, the United States finds itself embroiled in a prolonged battle with pirates. For nearly a decade, pirates from Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers capture American merchant ships, seizing cargo and enslaving their crews. Rulers in each pirate nation demand exorbitant tribute payments in order to prevent these attacks.

When President Jefferson refuses to pay increased tribute demands, Tripoli declares open war. 

The Shores of Tripoli is a two player card driven strategy game simulating the first Barbary War (1801-1805). 

Play as President Thomas Jefferson or Pasha Yusuf Karamanli

As Jefferson, you’ll have the power to dispatch small fleets from the newly formed US Navy to blockade and bombard Tripoli or send envoys to negotiate new alliances and plot an armed revolt.

As Karamanli, you’ll rally as many regional allies as you can to constantly harass American merchant fleets, gathering gold and spreading the US naval forces thin.

Event cards capture the essence of the era, but your decisions will ultimately determine the course of history and your nation.

Tune in for a deep dive into the game and the rich history that surrounds it.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 376: The Red Cathedral

Release Date: June 7, 2021

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Running Time:  37 min.

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Nine domes rise above Moscow in 1561. St. Basil's Cathedral is the heart of the city, a colorful bonfire soon to be known across the world.

You and your team of builders have been commissioned by Tzar Ivan IV (The Terrible) to complete this strange and wondrous building. Gather materials and use your influence over guilds and the clergy to claim and build more sections than your rival architects. Earn the most prestige to gain the favor of the Tzar and your place in history.

The Red Cathedral is simple game filled with subtle strategies. Using three basic actions you'll claim, collect, and build towers and domes, adorning them with arches, crosses and jewels. Timing is the key. Tune in to explore the game and discover how an amazingly deep experience rises from such a humble set of building blocks.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 375: Unforgiven

Release Date: May 25, 2021

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Running Time:  120 min.

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In the Spring of 1865, a military tribunal is convened to determine the fate of Mary Surratt, one of eight citizens put on trial for plotting to assassinate Abraham Lincoln and other members of his cabinet. In a rush for vengeance more than justice, Mary was the first woman executed for treason by the United States.

In Unforgiven, you play as prosecution or defense, trying to persuade the jury to convict or acquit the accused. Build your case by drafting cards and dice, hoping to collect evidence, recruit jurors, and establish reasonable doubt. Will Mary once again face the hangman's noose... or can you tip the scales of justice in her favor?

Tune in to explore the game and the history behind the trial and discover why Unforgiven earns our Spiel of Approval!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 374: Hats

Release Date: May 14, 2021

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  42 min.

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It’s a garden party in Neverland.You came for the tea and cookies, but the Mad Hatter has other plans. You are swept into a game gathering wondrous and colorful hats, a hurricane of haberdashery a maelstrom of millinery. The clock is ticking… in eight short turns, by swapping cards on the tea table, can you assemble the most cherished collection of chapeaus?

Tune in to explore this card shedding, set collecting game and discover why Hats is Major Fun!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 373: Decipher

Release Date:  May 5, 2021

Download: PDF

Designers: Bill Eberle, Greg Olotka, Peter Olotka

Publisher: Heidelbär Games

2-4 players  | 30 min  |  ages 10+  | 3 min to learn | MSRP $30

 

Decipher is a clever but simple call and response word guessing game. Using your powers of deduction and construction, can you build a word from small letter fragments offered up by a puzzle Maker each round? Decipher the clues the quickest and you’ll score well. Stump the players with a tricky word and you’ll rake in the points.

Read on to discover why Decipher is Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 372: Funfair

Release Date: April 29, 2021

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Running Time:  95 min.

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A coaster with 17 loops... a pirate ride that actually sinks... a fairyland with unicorns you can pet... and did I mention? Six foot corndogs! How would you build the theme park of your dreams? Funfair gives you a chance to do just that.

Play cards to assemble an exciting mix of five attractions. Add enhancements and staff, match blueprints, and build a showcase feature to bring in the crowds

Funfair nudges players to indulge the simple pleasure of surrendering to a flight of fancy. Build a fantastic world over the course of six rounds - a world to delight the child in all of us - a world that will make your park a must-see destination for generations to come.

Listen in to explore the game and discover why it earns both our Spiel of Approval and the Major Fun Award!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 371: Paris

Release Date: April 19, 2021

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Running Time:  35 min.

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Welcome to Paris circa 1900. It is the height of La Belle Epoque and every neighborhood in the city is busy with new construction. From Beaux-Art to neo-Byzantine and neo-Gothic to Art Noveau and Art Deco... new cafes, theatres, bookshops, bakeries, hotels, and homes are springing up in a wide variety of architecural styles. 

You are a visionary investor helping to finance buildings in six different arrondissements in Paris. Start small with the backing of local banks and use two simple actions (place a key, move a key) to develop and transform the city. As you build, you'll gain access to a bonus track filled with a variety of incredible opportunities. The player best at stacking these bonuses will find greater rewards and create a lasting legacy through the iconic landmarks of Paris.

Tune in to explore the beautiful streets of Paris and learn why it earns our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 370: Cloud City

Release Date:  Feb. 6, 2021

Download: PDF

Designer: Phil Walker-Harding

Publisher: Blue Orange Games 

2-4 players  | 30 min  |  ages 10+  | 3 min to learn | MSRP $35

 

You are an architect creating a layout for a network of interconnected skyscrapers. Up and up, higher and higher, the city rises! The City Council will select only one architect’s plan - the most ambitious expansion will gather the most votes and become a blueprint for your very own city in the clouds!

Cloud City is a game about building bridges. The more bridges and the longer bridges you can construct to connect buildings of similar height, the more votes you will secure from the City Council. 

Cloud City condenses the quiet, contemplative fun of a much longer and more involved game into a brief encounter. A short story instead of a novel. No less moving or interesting for its brevity, but certainly more accessible.

Read on to discover why Cloud City has earned BOTH our awards!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 369: Orbital Velocity

Release Date: March 26, 2021

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  63 min.

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During the early days of space exploration, two nations are competing to be the first to launch satellites into various stages of Earth orbit. In order to accomplish this amazing feat of science and technology, your nations decide to pool resources and knowledge to design rockets together. 

Can you play cards to maneuver a jointly controlled rocket to the right orbital velocity and deploy your satellite first? As the rockets reach orbits farther from Earth, the challenges and calculations increase. The first to deploy three satellites will win an early lead in the Space Race and be crowned the Queen (or King) of Physics for a day.

Orbital Velocity is a simple, subtle, and ambitious game. 

From the foundation of an easy to learn math-based card puzzle, the game offers an elegant, intuitive path to understand the cosmic force of gravity and more worldly concepts in Economics and Game Theory.

Tune in to explore the game and learn why Orbital Velocity earns our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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