Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Gift Giving Guide

So many games and so many gifts to give this holiday season! Is there anything

better than getting a shiny new game for Christmas? I don't think so. But with so many games out there how do we decide what game would make the perfect gift? Well...reading my holiday gift guide might help. :) I would love comments and feedback for this list, so please post your suggestions for great gifts as well.

Party Games: Party games are great for people who enjoy getting together with a large group of friends and family to just hang out and have a great time. There's usually not a whole lot of strategy in party games, but if you can find a good one there's always a lot of fun and laughter. Three great party games are:

Wits and Wagers
Say Anything

Family games: I love playing games with family. It's always a great time when my brother and his family are in town and we get to sit down and enjoy some games. Games that are best suited to families have some light strategy. There's enough strategy to be engaging for the older family members, but not too much for the younger ones. Some great family games are:

Forbidden Island
Zeus on the Loose

Heavy Strategy: Seasoned gamers might enjoy a game that has a little meat on it's bones. Something that is challenging and has some deeper strategy. These games tend to have a longer play time, usually at least 2 hours and sometimes longer. For those types of gamers the following games might do the trick:

Power Grid
Dungeon Lords

Medium weight strategy: For those game players who enjoy some strategy in their games, but don't want a heavy strategy game that might go on for 2 to 3 hours, this group of games is for you! These are the types of games that I'm most drawn to. Typical playing times for these types of games can range from a half hour to 90 minutes. Some great games to choose from are:

Dominion - Best game ever. Just go buy it now. You won't be disappointed. :)
Galaxy Trucker

Games to introduce to new gamers: Let's face it, not everyone plays games. There's a huge world of board games out there, but most of them haven't hit the mainstream and are relatively unknown. So if you want to introduce someone to the wonderful world of board gaming it's a good idea to ease them into it with what many people call gateway games. Gateway games introduce people to modern board games without being overwhelming. They generally play in under an hour and have light strategy. Some great gateway games are:

Ticket to Ride
Settlers of Catan - probably the most famous gateway game and the one that got me into gaming.

Games for two: Much of my gaming is with my wife. So I'm always looking for games that play well with two players. The following games play great with two players:

Lost Cities
Campaign Manager

Kids Games 4 +: One of the best things to hear as a father is "Daddy, do you want to play a game?" My daughter just turned 4 and there are some great games for her age group.

Feed the Kitty
Duck Duck Bruce! - the box says 6 +, but my daughter does great with it.
Go Away Monster

Kids Games 6 +: I've run a number of kids game day's at my home. We invite anyone who wants to come with their families and all of my kids games are available for everyone to play. It's great to see families playing games and enjoying time together. The following are some games for kids 6 and up that everyone has enjoyed.

Orders Up!
Space Race
Too Many Monkeys!

Well, hopefully this gives you a few ideas in case you're stumped on what to get this Christmas. Games can be the gift that keeps giving. They provide hours of entertainment and help to bring friends and family together. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season. Happy gaming from The Board Game Nut!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Adventurers

"At the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, a group of rival adventurers is about to explore the temple of the ancient Mayan god Chac. The temple is full of priceless archaeological treasures, but guarded by deadly traps and perils! Each player plays an Adventurer represented in the game by a figure and a card. These Adventurers are on a mission to carry away as many archaeological treasures as they can, even if it means facing the traps of this lost temple deep in the middle of the jungle." (from the rule book)

If this sounds like Indiana Jones the board game, you're right. The game even comes with a plastic bolder that rolls down a corridor throughout the game threatening to crush everything in it's path (and it frequently does). The adventures is a light press your luck family game for ages 10 and older. It plays in about 45 minutes and accommodates 2 to 6 players.

When I first opened the box I was very impressed with how everything was laid out. I love game boxes where all the stuff in the game has it's own spot...and this game has a lot of stuff. The components are some of the best quality components I have seen in a game. They even rival the quality of a lot of Days of Wonder games, which is saying a lot. So what do you get? The game comes with the following: A large game board, 12 adventurer figures, 12 adventurer cards, 18 wall cards, 65 treasure cards, 28 lava room and clue Glyph tiles, 2 sun tiles, 1 large masking card, 5 plastic planks and a support forming a "wooden" bridge, 2 plastic walls, 1 plastic bolder, and 5 dice...whew!

To start the game each player randomly selects two adventures to use during the game, although only one adventurer is used at a time. So why would you select 2 you might ask? Well, there's a really good chance your first adventurer is going to die, so you get a replacement right off the bat. The additional adventurer card is also used as a cheat sheet throughout the game. After characters have been selected a starting player is chosen and you are ready to go.

The goal of the game is to carry as much treasure as you can out of the temple before dieing. The problem is, the more treasure you carry, the slower you go and the better chance you have of dieing. The first phase of every turn is to adjust your load level. Every character can carry 0 to 3 treasures for a load level of 2. This means that if a 2 or higher is rolled you get one action for each die roll of 2 or higher. If you're adventurer is carry 4 to 6 treasures, your load level increases to 3. If a 3 or higher is rolled you get one action for each die roll that is 3 or higher. Your load level gets increasingly higher with the more treasure you carry. In phase one you can dump treasure to lighten your load and have the possibility of more actions.

Phase two is what determines how many actions you get for your turn. The current player rolls all five dice, and depending on the load level of the adventurer, you count up the actions for each player. There is a max of 5 actions per turn.

In phase three you get to perform your actions. There are four actions that can be taken during your turn. You can always move one space for one action. You can search for treasure and take the corresponding treasure card for the part of the temple you are in. If you are in the wall room you can take a peek at a special glyph tile and discover a trap in the lava room. Or you can use your characters special ability.

In phase 4 you move the walls and the bolder. To move the walls you flip over the next three cards in the wall deck. If you flip over a card with an arrow, or multiple arrows, you move the walls in the number of arrows. If the two walls come together and you are still in the wall room, you are crushed and die. It's important to not take too much time in the wall room. :) You then move the bolder. For the first turn the current die roller rolls three of the 5 dice. If a 3 or higher is rolled the bolder is moved one space for each 3 or higher rolled. If you are in the path of the bolder you die. For turn two four dice are rolled. For turn three the bolder reaches it's cruising speed and all five dice are rolled. In the last game I played, the bolder caused much death and destruction. It was a lot of fun.

For the last phase of a turn you pass the dice to the next player and they become the new first player and dice roller.

So I've talked a little about the wall room and the bolder, but those aren't the only ways to die. You can also fall through a trap and die a horrible death in the lava room, or maybe you don't make it out of the underground river and you fall off the waterfall. There's always the chance that when you try and cross the rotten bridge that all of the planks give way and you fall to your death. And if all that isn't enough, if you don't make it out of the temple before the bolder seals off the exit, you die in the temple with all of your treasure.

All of this makes for a very fun press your luck game. The game has some strategy, but really it's the type of game that's just fun to play and shouldn't be taken too seriously. There's quit a bit of luck in the game due to rolling the dice and the random selection of treasure cards, but in my opinion this doesn't detract from the game at all. It actually adds to the tension and enjoyment of the game. You just don't know what is going to happen. Is the bolder going to move 4 or 5 spaces? If it moves 4 I'm OK, but if it moves 5 I will be crushed!

I really like The Adventurers. It's not something I will pull out for every game night, but when it does make it to the table everyone has a blast. So if you're looking for a light press you luck game the whole family can enjoy, The Adventurers might be for you. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I've been playing Carcassonne for years. So when I heard about a card game based on the original I was intrigued, but a little cautious. Many card game versions of other popular games have come no where close to the quality of the original. Granted, they probably are trying to target a different audience, but the fun factor just isn't there. So I got a copy of Cardcassonne and we gave it a shot.

The game comes with 4 scoring tracks, 5 treasure chests, 5 scoring tiles, 140 cards, and of course 10 meeples (you can't have Carcassonne without meeples).

To start the game you set up the scoring track and the dealer deals 10 cards. Each of the scoring tracks match one of the four colors in the game. The yellow row is the cloister row, the red row is the road row, the green row is the field row, and the blue row is the city row. The cards are placing in the the rows that correspond to their color. Once the cards are in place the dealer deals a number of cards to each player depending on the number of players. Not you're ready to play.

During a players turn you have one of two options to choose from. You can lay a card down on the corresponding row, making sure to match the colors, or you can claim a row by placing your meeple at the head of the row. If you are placing a card on a row you must make sure that the first card that you lay down is played face down. The color of the face down card does not have to match the color of the row. All other cards for the round are placed face up. If you claim a row that means that at the end of the round you get all of the cards from your meeple to the end of the row or to another players meeple. Play then goes to the player to your left. The round is over when everyone has placed all of there cards and meeples. You then score for the round. After you have scored the dealer deals more cards and another round begins.

There are four types of cards that are scored. There are person cards, animal cards, building cards, and jokers. All person cards have a number from 1 to 3 on the top of the card. During scoring for the round you add up all the numbers on your cards and times that number by the number of the cards. You then move your small meeple on the scoring track the points scored for your person cards. The animal cards are scored by using a chart on a scoring card. The more animal cards you have of one type the more points you get. For example, if you have one animal you get 3 points, two animals of the same type you get 6 points an so on, until you max out at 20 points. Animals are kept in front of you the entire game and can be scored multiple times in later rounds. Although, they can only only be scored if you are adding an animal to a specific color for the round. Buildings are only scored at the end of the game. If you get a building you immediately put it under your treasure chest and you can't look at it for the rest of the game. If you have one type of building at the end of the game it is worth zero points. If you have two different types of building you get 5 points. 3 types get you 15 points. And if you have all four different types of buildings you get 30 points. The trick is trying to remember throughout the game what buildings you have under your treasure chest. Finally, joker cards can be played with either building or animal cards and scored with them for the round.

The game ends when the deck runs out and the final scoring round has taken place. The person with the most points is the winner!

I really like Cardcassonne. I think I even like it better than the original. My wife definitely likes it better than the original. It's a "nicer" game in her words. Carcassonne can get a little cutthroat when you steal peoples farms and cities, and with some of the expansions it gets even worse (princess and the dragon for example). In Cardcassonne I really like the tension that builds up during the game. You have some really hard decisions to make on whether or not to claim a row or to place a card and wait to see if there are better cards on the row later. But, you never know if someone is going to steal "your" row before it gets around to your turn again. The cards that are placed face down are another really fun aspect to the game. Unless you placed the card you never quite know what you are going to get. Cardcassonne is a game where you are constantly tying to guess what your opponent is thinking and be a step ahead of everyone else. There's some really fun strategy to the game. Are you going to focus on animals, building, or person cards. Or maybe a combination of all of them. I've seen games where there are huge point swings at the end from the building cards under the treasure chests. This really adds to the fun because you really don't know who is going to win until the end.

So if you're looking for a fun strategy card game that plays in 30-45 minutes this might be the game for you. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Game Sale

This upcoming Saturday (May 15th) I'm having game sale. For all of you who live in or close to Salt Lake we would love to have you come. All of my games will be 30% off retail plus you can enter a drawing to win a free game. Follow the link below to RSVP or you can contact me with any questions you might have.

Huge Board Game Sale

We hope to see you there.



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Duck Duck Bruce

I've recently been playing a lot of Gamewright games. Gamewright publishes games that are mainly focused toward kids. I've played a few of them with my 3 year old daughter and she has loved them. What's surprised me most though is that I've had a ton of fun playing them as well. One of the games that I've had the most fun with is Duck Duck Bruce.

Duck Duck Bruce is for kids 6 and up. I played it with my daughter, but she didn't quite grasp the concepts. She really like the fun art though. I played it with my wife a little later in the day and luckily she picked up on it really quick. :)

Gamewright says this about the game: "A flock of ducks waddling through bizarre locations and a rambunctious dog named Bruce. If this sounds like a strange combination for a card game, wait until you give it a try! After just one round, we guarantee you'll be barking (or quacking) for more. Remember to say "Duck!" every time you reveal a duck card and do your best to resist the temptation of turning over more cards than you should. Oh, and Bruce loves to be scratched behind his ears, and on his belly, and well - just about everywhere else!"

The object of the game is to score the most points by collect numbered cards in a variety of different suits. A suit of duck cards could be: ducks at a pond, ducks on a log, or ducks on a treadmill for example. Cards are numbered from 1 to 4 but only the highest number in each collected suit counts at the end of the game.

To start the game all of the cards are shuffled and put in the middle of the table. The starting player turns over the top card of the deck and starts a row of face up cards next to the draw pile. If the card is a duck the player says "Duck!". The player can then either take the card or draw another card and place it next to the first. Play continues and the player either takes the card/cards or keeps drawing cards. If two cards of the same suit are drawn it's called a "double duck". If you get a double duck you must discard all cards in between and including the two cards that match. The remaining cards are then place into your nest for scoring at the end of the game. Play then passes to the left.

If a Bruce card is turned over all players shout "Bruce!". Your turn ends immediately and you lose all of the face up cards in the row. You now have the opportunity to steal cards from another player. The player says 1 to 3 indicating how many cards they are trying to steal. The player then rolls the dice and if the number on the dice is equal to or higher than the number of cards they want, they get to randomly take those cards from another players nest and add then to their own nest. If the roll is a -1 the person they are trying to steal from gets one of their cards.

The round ends when the draw deck is gone. Players then sort all of the cards in their nest by suit and count only the highest numbered cards in each suit. The person with the highest total is the winner for the round. You can play for a set number rounds, a specific length of time, or play until one player reaches a set point value.

Duck Duck Bruce is a lot of fun. I really enjoy press your luck type games. The game kind of reminds me of Incan Gold, but has a different feel and is definitely geared more toward kids. The art is great. The cards are high quality and should last through hours and hours of fun. This is a great game to help teach and reinforce counting and matching skills for kids. Games can be great teaching tool and this game is no exception. So if you're looking for a fun press your luck type card game with a fun theme this one might be for you. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mystery Express

Ever since I played Ticket to Ride for the first time I have been a big fan of Days of Wonder and the games they publish. They set the standard in component quality, artwork, and just plain fun games. They have just recently announced their newest game called Mystery Express. It's a whodunit on rails. Here's some flavor text from the DOW website about the game:

Seeking a well-deserved break from your latest misadventures, you decide to splurge, treating yourself to the extravagant luxury of the most talked about train of our time - the legendary Orient Express. Most unexpectedly, and rather unfortunately, the holiday turns out to be short-lived. The train has barely left Paris when word spreads that someone has just been murdered, and in the most hideous manner...

Mystery Express is a deduction game where you are trying to figure out the who, what, when, where and why before your journey ends. It kind of looks like a game in the same vein as Clue. After checking out the site this one's definitely on my radar and it will be one I pick up as soon as it comes out. Only time will tell if it's another Days of Wonder classic, but I'm excited to find out. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Ubongo is a game that I didn't think I would like, but was pleasantly surprised. The game is a puzzle game where you are trying to be the first person to solve your puzzle. First of all, I'm not very good at puzzles, and second, if there is time limit...well, that's just a disaster waiting to happen. It turns out I'm a little better at puzzles than I thought and with a little practice I'm getting better. :)

comes with the following components: 1 game board, 4 sets of 12 tiles (think Tetris or Blockus), 1 sand timer, 36 puzzle boards, 4 player pawns, 72 jewels, and one custom die. To set up the game the game board is placed on the table in a place that is easily reached by all players. The game board consists of six columns with twelve holes in each of the columns. Once the game board is set up the jewels are randomly placed in all of the holes. The puzzle boards are then handed out to all of the players and you're ready to go!

All of the puzzle boards are double sided with one side being the hard side and other side the easy side. Each puzzle board contains a pattern of squares that you are required to fit either 3 or 4 of your tiles on. The easy game is 3 and the hard game is 4. On the top of each of the boards there are 6 symbols. Each symbol corresponds to a side on the custom die. The symbols on the puzzle boards have 3 or 4 pictures of tiles below them. To start the game a person rolls the die and all players then match the symbol on the die to the symbol on their puzzle board. The indicated tile pieces are then taken from your tile supply and they must be used to complete the puzzle on the board. The timer is then turned over and all players frantically try to complete their puzzles. The first person to fit their pieces on their puzzle board yells Ubongo!

The first player to complete the puzzle can move their pawn up to 3 spaces in any direction on the red spaces on the game board. The second player to finish can move up to two places. The third person can move one space and the fourth player has to stay where they are. Once the players move their pawns they immediately take the next two available jewels in the row. If a player does not complete their puzzle before the time runs out they do not get to move their pawn or take any jewels. If no players complete their puzzle before time runs out the timer is flipped over one more time. If nobody finished their puzzle the second time feel free to mock each other. If you complete your puzzle but don't take any jewels before time runs out then you're out of luck and don't get jewels for that round.

The winner is the person who collects the most jewels of any color. If two or more players have the same number of jewels in their "best" color, then one of those players with the most jewels in their second best color wins. And so on.

Ubongo is a lot of fun. It's very easy to explain and play. New players are up to speed in a matter of minutes. I introduced the game to a game group over the weekend and every one really liked it. One of the new players actually won. I like the fact that the faster player won't necessarily win. The faster player does have an advantage because they can move the furthest and will get first pick of the jewels, but with good strategy slower players can be competitive as well and still have a chance to win. The only thing that I don't like about the game is that two of the jewels are very similar in color. It makes it a little hard when your quickly trying to pick which jewels to take, especially when the time is almost out. So if you're looking for a great family game that is very accessible to a wide group of people Ubongo might be for you. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Days of Wonder!

Great news from The Board Game Nut. I'm now able to get Days of Wonder games! Days of Wonder makes the very popular Ticket to Ride line of games as well as Shadows over Camelot, Colosseum, and Small World. I received my first my first shipment of games in today. My inventory list has been updated with all my new games with the current pricing.

I also received some new games from Gamewright. Gamewright's games are mainly focused towards kids. I now have a good selection of games for kids ranging from 3 years old and up. I just played two of the new games with my daughter and she loved them! All of the Gamewright games that I have played are not only fun for the kids, but are also fun for the adults as well. So if you're tired of Candyland and the other old standbys, give one of the Gamewright games a try.

Also, Alicia and I will be hosting a game day for kids sometime in the next two or three weeks. It will be an open house where you can come and play all of the games I have available with the whole family. Up until now all of my game nights have only been for adults. It will be fun to involve all of the little munchkins as well. It will also be a great way to try before you buy and make sure it's something your kids will enjoy. If you're not in the market for new games, come anyway and have a fun afternoon playing games with the kids. More details about the open house will be coming soon.

If you have any questions about the games I carry or games in general please give me a call or send me an email. I would love to help if I can. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fast Flowing Forest Fellers

I know what you're thinking. Fast Flowing Forest Fellers...really? That's the name of the game? That's the best they could come up with? If you're thinking that I would have to agree. This game has the weirdest name of any game that I have heard of, and I've heard of a lot of games. Despite the crazy name the game is pretty fun. It's a quick light strategy race game where you are trying to be the first person to get your lumberjacks down the river. Here's what the rules say about the theme of the game:

"Daring lumberjacks meet at the river to begin their traditional contest of the fastest log riders. By skillful maneuvers they try to beat-out their competitors to get ahead in this running of the river. Sometimes you want to move ahead quickly and other times you want to block others in your race to be the first across the finish."

The game comes with some pretty cool stuff. You get 10 lumberjacks on logs, 45 logs, 80 movement cards, 5 jokers, 5 player cards, and 6 double sided game boards. The quality of the game is great. The only gripe I have is the box isn't laid out very well to store the components. You get a deck of cards, but no place to put them. What are supposed to do with the cards, just let them flop around in the box? I'm sure you could easily make a tuck box to store them in, but it would be nice have that included or have the box layout have a slot for the cards and other components. The game does come with a large resealable bag to store all the other components that works well. The box layout does nothing to affect the game play, but little touches like well thought out box design adds to the overall feel of the game.

So how do you play? Two game boards are selected and put together. Every board has rapids. When placing the boards together you have to make sure that the rapids match up. Logs are then placed on the board on all of the indicated spots. Players then select their starting lumberjack color (one male and one female) and their deck of cards that corresponds to their lumberjack color. The cards that make up your deck have a number ranging from 1 to 5 and a picture of a male or female lumberjack. The cards when played indicate how far you can move your lumberjack on your turn. There is also a wild beaver card in your deck that allows you to move either lumberjack up to three spaces.

Beginning with the starting player, each player plays one of their cards and moves their lumberjack the indicated number of spaces. You can move down the river or up the river, but movement on to the rocks, banks, and up the rapids is not allowed. You may not move your lumberjack directly on another lumberjack or log, however you may shove up to two other figures in a straight line. If three or more figures are in your way you cannot shove them, but must find another way around. At the end of your movement you then check to see if anything has landed on a current. Currents are indicated by arrows facing in a specific direction. Anything that is on a current must move one space in the direction of the current. If there is another current space that the figure moves on to it keeps going until the figure can't move any further. This make for some pretty fun game decisions and consequences. By cleverly shoving logs or lumberjacks you can send your opponents helplessly down the river in the wrong direction! After all movement has been resolved the player draws a card returning their hand to three cards and the next player takes their turn. The winner is the person that moves their lumberjacks past the last spaces on the river.

I like FFFF. It's easy to play and teach which makes it very accessible to a wide range of players. With 6 double sided game boards it would take a long time to repeat a setup, so replayability is high. The game suggests only placing two boards together, but I don't see why you couldn't put 3 or more boards together for a longer game. The only problem I could see is you might run out of logs to place on the board. There's not a ton of strategy, but there are some interesting choices to make on when to play certain cards and where you move on the board. A bad move could put you in a position to be whisked down the river in the wrong direction. So if your looking for a light strategy race game that would work for families and casual get togethers with friends, this game might be for you. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Great Dalmuti - By guest writer MaryAnn

Several years ago our friends introduced our family to a game titled "The Great Dalmuti". Surprisingly, we realized that at previous times in our lives we had played this game but under several different titles. We knew it as President, Janitor, and Scum. Since our original introduction to the game however, it had been several years since we had played the game. We were thrilled when The Board Game Nut was able to locate a copy of this game for us as we'd been told it was only available through the European market.

We picked up the game after Thanksgiving and began playing with a couple of people we knew, along with some strangers. One great thing about this game is it's quick pace. As in any card game, some luck is involved, however strategy is definitely an important element of this game as well.

The game is based on a hierarchical seating arrangement which begins with The Great Dalmuti presiding at the head with the lesser Dalmuti to his left, progressing finally to the lesser peon and ultimately the Greater Peon - a.k.a. the shuffler, dealer, and garbage/card collector. While the two peons have to pay 'taxes' (their best cards) to the Dalmutis, the Dalmutis get to give their worst cards to the peons. The Dalmuti then begins the first round laying down a set of cards while each player then lays down a set of the same amount of cards, but of a lower numerical value. Whoever lays down the lowest set of cards gains control and begins the next round by laying down the next set. The first player to rid himself of all of his cards becomes the next Great Dalmuti, and so forth. The last guy - well, he's the great peon and can get to work.
While not an extremely technical game, this game is interactive and yes, slightly addictive. It is a great game for parties and for breaking the ice, especially as seats and positions are exchanged after each game. Complete strangers quickly fall into the camaraderie of light banter, complaining, railing against the masses/overlords, and scheming to make their way around the table.
Another great aspect of this game is that children can quickly pick up the strategy and play as well. When we were first introduced to this game, a 10 year old maintained control of the Great Dalmuti seat for the entire evening much to our chagrin!
While fast paced, each individual round can be completed within 10-20 minutes.
This is a fun, interactive, and easily learned game which can be played with 4-10+ people.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Galaxy Trucker

So with a name like Galaxy Trucker the game has to be good right? I'm just going to get this out of the way early. I REALLY like this game. It's probably the most unique game that I've ever played. It's got a speed element, some good strategy, fantastic components, and everyones spaceships can get blown to pieces by asteroids. What's not to like?

Most of time learning a game can be kind of a pain in the butt. Digging through rules and trying to figure out the game mechanics can be a confusing and frustrating experience. Galaxy Trucker on the other hand has one of the best rule books I have ever read. All throughout the rule book there's flavor text that adds to the theme of the game and the rules flow very well. It was actually fun reading and learning the game. The rules also recommend playing through the game as you read the rules the first time. The rule book explains just enough to start playing, but not too much to get you confused. I usually read through the rule book once or twice before I play, so it was nice to just jump in and start.

For an overview of the game here's the flavor text from the start of the rules: "Corporation Incorporated is an interplanetary construction firm that builds sewer systems and low-income housing on the less-developed planets of the Galaxy. For years, Corp Inc. has tottered on the brink of bankruptcy: transporting building materials to the edge of the Galaxy, where the need for their services is greatest, is a risky business.

The company was saved by a few visionaries on the board of directors. Instead of shipping materials to the Periphery, they reasoned, why no build the materials into the spacecraft and let them ship themselves? Furthermore, why hire pilots if there are nut-cases who will do it for free?

That's where you come in. Just sign the contract, and you gain unrestricted access to a Corp Inc. warehouse. Build your own spaceship from the available prefabricated components, and fly to the Periphery. Of course, you may have to eat a loss, but any profits you make along the way are yours to keep, and Corporation Incorporated will pay you a bonus for quick delivery.

It's possible that you will end up with an insurmountable debt and finish your days panhandling on the streets of Deneb III, but if Lady Luck should smile upon you, you just might find yourself among the 10 billion richest people in the Galaxy!"

So when I opened Galaxy Trucker for the first time I was amazed with how much stuff was in the box. You get a ton of tiles representing all of the ship components used to make your spaceship. You also get money (cosmic credits), aliens, humans in spacesuits to man you spaceship, small green battery pieces that look exactly like tic-tacs, a pair of dice, a bunch of boards to build your spaceships on, wooden goods cubes, and I'm sure some other stuff I'm forgetting.

The game is played over three rounds. For each round there are two phases. In the first phase you get to build your spaceships. All of the building tiles are placed in the middle of the table face down. These tiles represent the warehouse you use to build your ship. The boldest player says "GO!", and the round begins. Everyone playing then simultaneously takes a tile from the supply, turns it over and decides if they want to add the tile to their spaceship. All players have a starting cockpit on their ship and the tiles they draw must connect to the cockpit, or another tile they have previously placed. All of the tiles also have connectors. In order to legally place a tile the connectors on the tiles must match up. The types of building components you can can build your ship with consist of: cabins for your crew, guns, E-batteries (the E stands for enormous), alien life support systems, engines, goods containers, and shields. There are other rules for placing the tiles that I won't go into, but when playing you need to make sure you follow the rules or there are penalties. Oh, and did I mention that you are being timed? Depending on what round you are in is how much time you get to build your ship. Ships built in later rounds are bigger, so you get more time. If you run out of time before your ship is finished you have to fly an incomplete ship, which probably isn't the best thing to do.

Now you get to fly your ship! The game comes with three decks of cards that represent your flight to the Periphery. Depending on the round you have a certain amount of cards that are randomly put in the flight deck. The later rounds have more cards so your flight is longer. The person who finished their ship first is the leader and gets to draw the first card. The cards represent things you encounter during your journey, such as meteoric swarms, epidemics, sabotage, Pirates, Slavers, Planets, combat zones, and other things that can be either good or bad. Depending on how well you build your ship is how it will hold up during the flight, or how many goods and cosmic credits you will get. After all of the cards have been drawn, the flight is over and the rounds' scoring begins. The person who arrived to the final destination first gets bonus points, as well as the person who has the prettiest ship, which basically means the ship who took the least amount of damage. This goes on for three rounds, and the person with the most cosmic credits after three rounds is the winner.

Galaxy Trucker is one of those games that is just as much fun to lose as it is to win. There is something strangely satisfying about seeing your ship blown to pieces by meteors or a pirate invasion. I played a game with my wife and brother in law and nobody made it to the end in the third round. We were all taken hostage! The game was still a blast, and I wanted to play again. The only downfall to the game that I can see is the price. It's one of the more expensive games I own, but with everything you get in the game it makes sense. I still think it's a good value for the amount of enjoyment you get. So if you're looking for a great game with a sci-fi theme this one would definitely do the trick. Thanks for reading and happy gaming!