Mysteriums Park, Azul, and Other Board Games We Bought During Our Shopping Binge

It’s been a while since Steff and I went on a board game shopping bender. But after binging a ton of videos from the excellent YouTube board game channel No Rolls Barred, we felt compelled to expand our collection! Here’s what we picked up!

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Keeping the Board Game Action Going Through Board Game Arena

Extenuating circumstances have made playing board games with others difficult. Steff and I still gather around our coffee table to play here-and-there, but we haven’t shared a table with others to play board games with since before the pandemic hit.

During this time of social distance, I’ve turned to Board Game Arena for my tabletop gaming fix.

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Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America Review

Right now is a strange time for the Pandemic series of board games. Based on scenarios that occur in a fictional future or historical past, its core premise is the current nightmare of our planet. And oddly, it’s also ignited sales for a franchise that was already one of the best-selling in all of tabletop gaming.

Though it might seem in poor taste for Z-Man games to have released Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America just as our real-life pandemic took its grip on the western world, I personally believe that the timing was an unfortunate coincidence. At the very least, players can experience the game for themselves for free with their print-and-play option. For those who get a physical copy, here’s what you’re in for.

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Blockbuster Party Game Review

For a younger generation, the box pictured above means absolutely nothing. For the rest of us old folk, its nostalgia is undeniable. Long before the advent of Netflix, we went to video rental stores like Blockbuster to rent movies in VHS format.

When my wife Steff and I first saw this box on the shelf, we immediately did a double take. No, this isn’t a remnant from the past. It’s the box for a new tabletop party game featuring the Blockbuster brand.

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I Had to Grow Up Before I Could Play Dungeons & Dragons

Fog is setting in. Knifey McStab, Charlotte, and Marla have their hands full against a horde of zombies. Having retreated in a previous turn, I wan’t close enough to help my allies by stabbing a zombie with my rapier. Digging deep into my repertoire, I grabbed some tinder off the dry ground and use magic to create four makeshift torches. Before ending my turn, I launch them towards the heat of battle, allowing my party to finish the fight with a clear view of our opposition. As icing on the cake, I kick on the Auto-Tune to sing the song that a bard would when lighting the battlefield for their comrades.

This past weekend, I had an amazing time playing and streaming Dungeons & Dragons for the first time. Thank you Jason, Kris, Rachel, Mat, and Jon for sharing this experience with me. Though it’s literally taken us years to set this session up, my journey to get here goes way further back.

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Settlers of Catan Review

Settlers of Catan – or just Catan as it’s known these days – is still a giant in the world of tabletop gaming. Originally released in 1995, the game has since sold over 22 million copies and is often cited as the spark that ignited the modern wave of tabletop gaming.

Though I’ve been a tabletop gaming enthusiast for a number of years now – and have an unopened copy of Settlers of Catan sitting on my shelf – my wife and I never found the right time to play. At last, thanks to our friends Brendan and Matt, we’ve finally crossed Catan off of our bucket list. Many years after the fact, is the island of Catan still worth settling?

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Carcassonne on Nintendo Switch Review

Simple to learn, difficult to master, and providing a unique challenge every time, Carcassonne is a tabletop gaming classic. It’s no stranger to the world of video games either, as it’s made some fantastic appearances on mobile and the Xbox 360.

It goes without question then that the much newer Nintendo Switch version should provide a better experience then, or at least one comparable to those older iterations. Right?

…right?

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Deep Sea Adventure Review

(NOTE: Received this game as a gift from Kris and Rachel over at Double Jump. Thank you!)

Take a deep breath cause we’re going under! Deep Sea Adventure is a press-you-luck board game where two-to-six players will venture into the abyss as scuba divers with visions of fishing out the best loot. However, it’s every scuba diver for themselves and it doesn’t take much for someone to compromise the mission for everyone. Will you bring back hoards of treasure? Or will your finds slip through your fingers and fall to the bottom of the ocean?

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Pandemic Review – Nintendo Switch Version

In the world of tabletop gaming, Pandemic is a modern classic. Throwing two-to-four players into a world where four deadly viruses are on the verge of destroying humanity, you must work as a team to contain the spread while developing cures before it’s too late. Yes, the game is incredibly stressful, but there’s a magic that comes with working as a team and leveraging each character’s unique abilities in order to overcome this challenge.

Just like the viruses you’re trying to eradicate, the hit board game has spread to the Nintendo Switch? Is this version a plague on the console? Or a cure for your digital tabletop fever?

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Mystery Date: Catfished Review

From Monopoly: Millennial Edition to Game of Life: Quarter Life Crisis, Hasbro has been updating its classic board games with parody versions meant to appeal to young adults in modern times. One game in the series that I couldn’t pass up was Mystery Date: Catfished. Putting an online dating spin to the legacy title, will you swipe right on your future soulmate?

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