Staff and Customer Picks

Posted by Erica Sanders on

Our wonderful staff from the Ashland store and the warehouse as well as our great customers have offered up their top recommendations. This list will be ever growing and changing along with the section in the store!
Staff Picks
Terraforming Mars - Difficulty: 3.2/5 “Never tire of learning about terraforming another planet to save humanity through this amazing card-driven adventure. So gratifying to run a futuristic corporation employing technologies to raise the oxygen, add oceans, tow comets, plant greenery, raise microbes and animals, build cities, and raise the temperature of another otherwise un-inhabitable and far-away planet.”
Roll for the Galaxy - Difficulty: 2.8/5 “The variety of planets and technologies in this game is astounding with so many different colors of dice each with their own theme and purpose. Dice-rolling and action selection at its tense and challenging best.”
Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar - Difficulty: 3.7/5 “Ancient temples to Mayan gods assist your tribe to farm corn, harvest wood, stone and gold to build great cities and apply useful technologies. The colorful board is beautiful with five inter-locking gears that turn on the board as time elapses and you develop your strategy which can even includes human sacrifice.”
Crystal Palace - Difficulty: 3.7/5 “Beautiful reproduction of the 1851 London World Fair where you play as one of six major countries all vying to develop and exhibit unique technologies and impress the other nations through a process of planning, politics, logistics and hiring the leading personalities of the time to assist you. The dice are not rolled but applied in a unique placement mechanism that is both challenging and intriguing.”
Taverns of Tiefenthal - Difficulty: 2.6/5: “Fill your tavern, but don’t forget to hire help!”
A Fistful of Meeples - Difficulty: 2.1/5: “Mancala-esque gameplay that makes you think ahead each turn, in the wild west!”
Scythe - Difficulty: 3.4/5: “Such a beautiful game with great mechanics.”
Downforce - Difficulty: 1.8/5 “I’m not really a car guy or into racing but after giving this a try I’ve found I can’t get enough of it. I play this game every chance I get.”
Century Spice Road – Difficulty: 2/5 “I really enjoy the ‘hand building’ mechanic of this game where you develop a hand of cards that you play out and recollect several times in order to generate the spices you need to win.”
Point Salad - Difficulty: 1.2/5 “Games with lots of different ways of scoring are often derided for being just a ‘point salad’ and yet these are often games I enjoy most, so I love having a clever little card game that embraces the term, full of vegetables and ways to score with them.”
Betrayal at House on the Hill - Difficulty: 2.4/5 "It has a lot of replay-ability, wrapped up in kooky fun."
Red Dragon Inn - Difficulty: 1.7/5 "It has so much personality and is easy to introduce others to."
Villainous - Difficulty: 2.4/5 “Take on the role of one of Disney's most iconic Villains in this unique asymmetrical card game. Between the gorgeous art and competitive gameplay being bad has never been so much fun!”
Everdell - Difficulty: 2.8/5 “Prepare for the coming winter as you build your ideal woodland city. Everdell is a hybrid worker placement, resource management, and card drafting game with some of the most impressive components you will find today. Enjoy what each season has to offer in this multi award winning game!”
Tokaido - Difficulty: 1.8/5 “Explore feudal Japan at your leisure as a traveler embarking on the Tokaido pilgrimage. This game is simple enough to enjoy for the whole family, but offers enough underlying strategy that this ambient game offers something for everyone.”
Horrified - Difficulty: 2.1/5 “Prepare yourself to enter the world of the classic Universal monsters in this cooperative strategy game. With varying levels of difficulty, unique monster abilities and weaknesses as well as challenging gameplay- Horrified is the perfect game to play with friends.”
Barenpark - Difficulty: 1.7/5: “Every family I introduce this to loves building a Tetris bear zoo!”
Gizmos - Difficulty: 2.0/5: “Engine-building greatness with colorful marbles and great art!”
Sushi Go! - Difficulty: 1.2/5 “Quick, gateway, great theme, my go to game appetizer :), wide audience.”
Cat Lady - Difficulty: 1.5/5 “Great theme, simple yet strategic set collection.”
Dixit - Difficulty: 1.2/5 “Works for all ages 5-90, colorful and lighthearted fun.”
Rurik: Dawn of Kiev - Difficulty: 3.1/5 "This game is so unique and well designed. Not to mention absolutely beautiful."
Gloomhaven - Difficulty: 3.8/5 "One of the best dungeon crawlers ever made."
Patchwork - Difficulty: 1.7/5 "The strategy with a Tetris like twist. All with the charm and zen of building a quilt"
Azul - Difficulty: 1.8/5 “Azul is easy to learn and fun to play for all ages and experience levels. It only takes 30 minutes to play a game and you will, most likely, want to immediately play it again. It is a timeless game that will be on your game shelf for many years.”
Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth - Difficulty: 2.5/5 “This is a fantastic adventure game that is accessible to everyone. The rules are easy to learn. You are helped by a companion app that makes it even easier to learn and play. You can adventure through Middle-Earth as Gimli, Legolas, Bilbo and Aragorn. How cool is that?”
The Quacks of Quedlinburg - Difficulty: 1.9/5 “Quacks is a press your luck game. There is a fun tension to pulling ingredients from your bag and placing them into your cauldron. The question is, do you keep adding ingredients to your cauldron? If you do, you will score more points. However, if you pull the wrong ingredients from your bag, your cauldron will EXPLODE.”
Mysterium - Difficulty: 1.9/5 "An excellent blend of art, who-done-it, and spooky cooperation. Easily Eerily one of my faves!"
Customer Picks
Tyler C. - Settlers of Catan: Difficulty: 2.3/5 “Great strategy game, easy to learn, but harder to master.”
Tyler C. – Call to Adventure: Difficulty: 2/5 “Story building card and dice(ish) game.”
Tyler H. - Res Arcana: Difficulty: 2.6/5 “Different starting configurations + different strategies to win = high replay value.”
Tyler H. - 7 Wonders Duel: Difficulty: 2.2/5 “Balance offensive and defensive card drafts to outwit your opponent.”
Tyler H. - Colt Express: Difficulty: 1.8/5 “Set the wacky Wild West script; Watch the madness ensue!”
Tyler H. - Terraforming Mars: Difficulty: 3.2/5 “Complex, but so is planet colonization. Bonus - we learned science!”
Tyler H. - Star Wars Imperial Assault: Difficulty: 3.3/5 “Star Wars RPG in a Box. Addictive! Perfect for Quarantine!”
Andrew P. - Arkham Horror: The Card Game: Difficulty: 3.4/5 “Because it's one of the best coop games in my opinion.”
Christine J. - Ticket to Ride: Difficulty: 1.9/5 “... because it is Funagain and again and...”
Eden H. - The Castles of Burgundy: Difficulty: 3.0/5 “Because it's dice rolling tile laying point salad. And it's a FELD!!”
Annie J. - Throw Throw Burrito: Difficulty: 1.1/5 “Even my 5 year can play, tons of laughter and movement!”
Tim T. - The Isle of Cats: Difficulty: 2.3/5 “Filling boats with mythical cats. Great thematic tile laying game.”
Lennon P. - Carcassonne: Difficulty: 1.9/5 “Carcassonne due to the ease of visual playing, allows lots of diversity in ages that can participate.”
Michael S. - Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective: Difficulty: 2.7/5 “Solve 10 intriguing mysteries with your favorite partner or solo!”
Jordan B. - Wingspan: Difficulty: 2.4/5 “170 birds to choose from, quality craftsmanship, and peaceful competition.”
Kevin G. - Fallout: Difficulty: 3.0/5 “Challenging and complex but the story plays like a chose your own adventure.”
Alex B. - 7 Wonders: Difficulty: 2.3/5 “Simultaneous card drafting strategy perfection in under an hour for 3-7.”
Rich P. - Sentinels of the Multiverse: Difficulty: 2.5/5 “Co-op with no quarterback, high variability even without expansions!”
Rich P. - King of New York: Difficulty: 1.9/5 “Approachable dice rolling fun, depth for gamers, great theme!”
Heath B. - For the Queen “For the Queen randomizes prompts so each player contributes to an exciting, meaningful, emerging story.”
Heath B. - Pandemic Legacy Season 1: Difficulty: 2.8/5 “[It] is challenging but not too complex, and its storytelling is Hollywood-great!”
Natasha B. - Undaunted Normandy: Difficulty: 2.2/5 “Simple 2p wargame, progressive campaign with asymmetrical goals, beautiful art, not super long!”
James H. - Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle: Difficulty: 2.1/5 “Great 2-4 player co-op deckbuilder fighting against the forces of Evil. Game gets harder each ‘Year’ and there are 7 years! Also an expansion and another on the way!”
Heather G. – SET the card game: Difficulty 1.7/5 “It's very portable and can be adapted to many levels and numbers of players. It can be played by one or a bunch. We simplified it when the kids were little (find 1 thing in common) and then added layers as their brains grew. We've played with teams and added timers all depending on the crew at the table. It was published in its current form in 1991, but I think I've been playing a version of it since my childhood in the 70s.”
Steven E. - One Night Ultimate Werewolf: Difficulty: 1.4/5 “A short round party game guaranteed to ‘turn’ your friends into monsters! Do you have what it takes to deceive your friends and live to howl at the moon another night?”
Vanessa T. - Takenoko: Difficulty: 1.9/5 “My kids enjoy Takenoko.”
Vanessa T. 5 Minute Dungeon: Difficulty: 1.1/5 “I love 5 minute dungeon as it has a built in time limit, is cooperative, easy to learn, hard to master.”
Jef H. Through the Ages: Difficulty: 4.4/5 “Through the Ages has infinite replayability with the way cards come out different every time!”
Jef H. Res Arcana: Difficulty: 2.6/5 “It’s just fun!”

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