GAME REVIEW – Time’s Up! Title Recall
by John Gallant
Most people are familiar with games like Taboo and Charades and have fond memories of foolishness when playing them. Time’s Up Title Recall takes those games, throws them in a pot, and cranks the dial up to awesome! Here’s how:
40 of the over 400 cards are all dealt out to the players and then everyone gets 2 more cards. You get to look at them and decide which ones you think will be too hard for your partner to guess. The ones you don’t like? Back in the box!
Now all the 40 cards get combined in The Deck of Fame which one team starts with and Round 1 begins! In this round one person is trying to get the other to guess the title, band name, TV show, etc.. using gestures, hints, and sounds. The catch? You only have 30 seconds and you can’t pass so give good hints! If your partner gets it quick, you can go to the next card and try to get as many as you can before time runs out. Those cards are your glorious points. The deck passes to the next team and so on until the deck runs out.
Then, it’s on to Round 2 and my favourite part about this game. Since you go through the deck until all the cards are given out as points, everyone has heard what all the cards are. In Round 2, the same cards get used, but you are only allowed to give ONE word as your clue plus whatever noises and actions you want. Your partner can only guess once as well, so make it a good one! If you get a tough card, the game relents and lets you pass, again trying to get as many points as you can in 30 seconds.
Round 3 is similar except no words at all are allowed, which ends up making for hilarious situations.
Since I’m a sciencey guy, what I love most about this game is it’s cleverness in taking advantage of short term memory and associations. 40 cards aren’t too many to keep in your head at one time and as the higher rounds progress, you can do some process of elimination in your guessing. Also, any game that gets me up pantomiming “Band on the Run” by running around like a crazy person has got to be a good one.
The only drawback to the game I can see is that if you play it with the same people often, it may get too easy. However, with over 400 cards, each having two different titles on them, you’ll be having tons of fun for a very long time. If you haven’t played it, you should. In fact, this is one you should probably have in your collection as well. It’s just that good.
Players: 4+ players
Play Time: 60 minutes
Publisher: R&R Games
Designers: Michael Adams & Peter Sarrett
Board Room Price: $21.99 plus tax
Our rating: 5 hourglasses out of 5
“Once upon a time, there was a world filled to the brim with radical magic…”
These are the words you are greeted with when opening the rulebook to Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards : Duel at Mount Skullzfyre, and immediately sets the tone for a game dripping in goofy fun. It’s a game about battling wizards in a quest to become the Last Wizard Standing – play some cards, roll some dice, and watch the chaos unfold before your eyes!
Perhaps the most brilliant aspect of this game, aside from the artwork and hilarious flavour text, is the utter lack of a barrier to entry. Our Board Game Bosses can literally get a table of uninitiated gamers playing this game in two minutes! The steps are simple:
1. From a hand of 8 cards, choose up to three that form a red ribbon with a tail at either end.
2. Read the the name of your newly-created spell in your most epic wizard voice.
Epic Wizard Voice!
3. Follow the instructions on your cards to deliver unspeakable damage to your foes!
The number of dice you roll is based on the matching number of “Magical Glyphs” on your cards, adding a bit of hand management strategy to the game. To be clear, though, if you’re looking for a deep, rewarding experience of designing and executing a masterful plan, you’re looking at the wrong game. Epic Spell Wars is all about the thrill of shouting out silly spell names and rolling dice, and in the realm of the ridiculous, this game reigns as Undisputed Overlord!
At The Board Room Game Cafe, we often recommend this game to folks that have enjoyed other silly games like Munchkin, and those who are looking for a relatively brainless palate cleanser between meatier gaming adventures.
As the back of the box says …
“The chaos is limited only by your thirst for destruction!”
Players: 2 to 6 players
Play Time: 30-45 minutes
Publisher: Cryptozoic Entertainment
Designers: Cory Jones, Rob Heinsoo
Board Room Price: $29.99 plus tax
Our Rating: Four flaming swords dripping with entrails out of Five!
(Note: This game contains language unsuitable for most children)
Flaming swords courtesy of http://www.alispagnola.com
Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of the deck building game as a core mechanic in many great designer board games. Dominion has achieved incredible popularity, with a whopping 8 boxed expansions released since its debut in 2008. Fantasy Flight Games has created entire game systems called Living Card Games around the principles of deck building. Now, we have a game that looks to streamline the deck building experience, and that game is Star Realms.
The premise is simple – each player has a space armada, represented by a personal deck of cards, which is developed and expanded with the goal to overthrow the opponent by political influence or brute force. Starting with just a few trade and combat cards, players will acquire allies from four unique factions – The Blob, Trade Federation, Star Empire, and Machine Cult. Making use of the ships and bases from these allies, players will wage war on each other until one has had their Authority (read: life points) depleted.
Although it doesn’t offer the same level of deck building options as larger game systems, the strength of Star Realms lies in its simplicity. The icons are easy to understand, the rules are straight-forward, and despite its short play time, the variety of strategic options are plentiful. All in all, a very satisfying experience in a very small box!
As a cafe game, it’s a dream come true. Our Board Game Bosses can explain the basics in just a few minutes, getting players into the game experience quickly, and the small footprint leaves room on the table for our tasty snacks and beverages.
Players: 2 players per set
Play Time: 15-30 minutes
Publisher: White Wizard Games
Designers: Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle
Board Room Price: $14.99 plus tax
Our Rating: 4 Board Room Mugs out of 5
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