Terra Mystica

For 2 to 5 players in 60 to 150 minutes. A high complexity game of area control in which you play one of 14 different races which must live in one of seven different kinds of environments. In order to advance your race, you must expand your liveable environment.  The game also involves advancing in religion, special skills, seafaring, terraforming, resources, finance, and dwelling to advance and control more than your neighbors.  The races include Fakirs and nomads in the deserts, halflings and cultists in the plains, alchemists and darklings in the swamp, mermaids and swarmlings in the lake, witches and auren in the forest, dwarves and engineers in the mountains, and giants and chaos magicians in the wastelands. There is a lot to do and much more comes down to strategy than luck.

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T.I.M.E. Stories

For 2 to 4 players in 90 minutes. The game can also be saved to continue later, and unlimited attempts are possible as this is a game of time travel using a team of agents often taking control of locals to the time and place. Explore all the possibilities and try to solve the puzzles and mysteries in the scenario using a set number of Time Units, TU. The original game comes with one time paradox scenario covered by 120 cards. Future sets will come with different stories and missions to play through.

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Among the Stars

For 2 to 4 players in about 30 minutes.  Be the space race to create the best space station (recognized by victory points) over the course of 4 years in game using simultaneous card drafting.  These races are living in peace and building together to fight a greater incoming threat. Different races have their own special abilities making various strategies possible even with relatively fast game play.

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No Thanks!

3 to 7 players in 20 to 30 minutes.  This game is another that involves trying to have the lowest score.  A card is placed in the center of the table and players can choose to pass on the by placing a chip or pick up the card along with all the chips placed on it. Each card is worth from 3 to 35 points but can be less if placed in runs (example 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 would be worth just the lowest card 10 points).  Chips are also worth -1 point in the end.

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The Oracle of Delphi

2 to 4 players in 70 to 100 minutes. An attempt to please Zeus by completing 12 tasks. Whoever can complete the tasks first gets to visit the gods on Olympus.  However, information is necessary to complete the tasks.  Your player explores from island to island killing monsters, giving offerings, raising statues, etc. Directions come from the dice representing the Oracles of Delphi.  They guide the way along with possible help from the gods.

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Jump Drive

2 to 4 players in 10 to 30 minutes playing a fast paced tableau building card game in the Race for the Galaxy universe.  Game play is fast and simple.  Discovering planets and building technology by discarding cards. You build up your point making and card gathering ability with each build until someone reaches or surpasses 50 points, and the game ends.  The highest point total wins.  Exploration can also help in building better card options as well as some cards synergy and related card symbols.  Not complex but fast and fun with interesting art to look at while going for points.

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FitzIt

2 to 17 players in 20 minutes it says. Although, I am not sure I would try for the 17 player variety.  Maybe that is just listed based on the number of cards in the box per player.

The game includes many cards that include descriptions.  The idea of the game is to fit cards descriptions together in a crossword like grid by naming items that could fit several cards in your hand and 1 already on the table.  Your 2 cards might say, “Usually used while camping” and “Can Away” while the cards in the grid say “Provides shelter” and “Can be rolled up”. You could add your cards and say, “a tent” as long as nobody else had already used that word before.

Whoever uses up all their cards first is the winner.  It is also possible to give cards away to other players by putting out sets of 4 or 5 cards or adding to a line of cards that is already 4 cards long.

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Cockroach Poker

2 to 6 players in 20 minutes.  This is a game of reverse set collection involving bluffing to try to give cards away and give the other player a set to make them lose.  This is done by choosing 1 card on your turn to offer secretly to the other player and claiming what it is.  The other player can choose to believe you, disbelieve you, or pass the card on.  If they believe or disbelieve you and are right, you are forced to keep your card, and the next person takes their turn. If they believe or disbelieve and are wrong, they have to keep the card in their space.  If they pass, they get to look at the card and make a new claim to another player (unless you play with 2 then no passing). The player with a set of 4 of the same type of cards (5 in 2 players) or the one who runs out of cards first loses. The Royal version is mostly the same with a few additional cards choices like creature kings.

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Chicken Cha Cha Cha

A childish looking but challenging game of memory for 2 to 4 players in 20 minutes it says.  Maybe children have better memories.  The game progresses by finding the matching picture in the middle to move to the next space on the board.  The board set up can be in any order.  It is of course easy to remember some of the pieces, but there are a lot of them, so it can become difficult to make progress quickly.  A player’s turn ends when they choose the wrong picture and can’t proceed.  The game ends when one chicken passes all the other chickens and takes all the tailfeathers.

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Bang!

The original card version that I still haven’t played because most people say the dice version is a big improvement.  This one is 4 to 7 players in 20 to 40 minutes while the original can be quicker and doesn’t leave dead people just watching the game for quite as long.  The game is basically the same with Sheriff, Deputies, Outlaws, and Renegades all playing for different goals but using card play instead of dice.  I will give it a shot one of these times as it is already available at Cafe Swan Valley.

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