Review – Takenoko

Sometimes you’re in the mood for a light, relaxing game rather than a no-holds barred slugfest of a game where your brain feels like it’s going to melt from all the decisions you have to make.

Sometimes you happen to find that game and you have a nice smile on your face, ready to enjoy a luxurious romp through some fun game mechanics.

And then a panda comes along and eats it because you’re out of bamboo, and you’re back to square one.

Yes, I’m talking about the classic 2011 game published by Matagot called Takenoko.


Takenoko was designed by Antoine Bauza with art by Nicolas Fructus, Picksel, and Yuio. It plays 2-4 players.

Is it a fun game?

To borrow a phrase, does a panda…uh…do bathroom things in the bamboo patch? (Editor: Actually, we don’t know that they do)

Let’s take a look!

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Review – Raiders of the North Sea

I’ve always wanted to be a viking.

Not because of the ability to pillage the coastal regions of the North Sea (though that does have its appeal, especially if it lets me shop at Harrods).

No, it’s because of the hats.

Viking hat
I think my head would fit in there

I think I would rock one of them.

However, since I will never be a Viking (unless I invent a time machine or get my own History Channel show), I will gladly settle for playing Raiders of the North Sea, the fantastic worker placement game designed by Shem Phillips with art by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (aka: the Mico) and published by both Garphill Games and Renegade Game Studios in 2015.


It plays 2-4 players.

In the game, you are Vikings trying to raise a crew for your raiding ships, then going across the water to raid and pillage various settlements for all of the booty, and perhaps get sent to Valhalla on the way.

They knew what they signed up for.

Let’s see how it plays.

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Review – Clank! In! Space!

Everybody loves a good scoundrel, especially in the Science Fiction genre.

When you were a kid, did you want to be Luke Skywalker or did you want to be Han Solo?

Han Solo

The scoundrel always got the girl (we need more SF movies where the female scoundrel gets the guy!). Sure, Luke blew up the Death Star, but he couldn’t have done it without Han.

And he got Princess Leia to fall in love with him to boot!

Why am I talking about thieves and scoundrels?

Because today we’re talking about Clank! In! Space! (and that will be the last time I include all of the exclamation marks in the name. Sorry, Renegade) (Editor: Coward).


Clank in Space is designed by Paul Dennen with art by Rayph Beisner, Raul Ramos, Le Rastislav, Nate Storm, and  Franz Vohwinkel. It’s published by Dire Wolf Digital and Renegade Game Studios. It plays 2-4 players with a solo campaign as well.

Clank in Space is the sci-fi version of the classic (Editor: 2016 games cannot be “classics!”) deckbuilding game Clank! (What is it with the exclamation marks, Renegade?).

In the game, each player is a thief scoundrel who has sneaked aboard Lord Eradikus’ pleasure ship to steal one of his valuable artifacts. Lord Eradikus is actually kind of an evil dude, so really you’re doing the galaxy a favour by stealing stuff from him.

You’re just a lovable rogue!

Let’s see how it works.

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Review: Sagrada

Stained glass windows are beautiful things to look at. No matter what you think of a church’s architecture, the stained glass is usually one of the main attractions and draws your eye to them.

You know what else draws your eye? Beautiful boardgames! (Editor: That transition was painful)

What has to be one of the most beautiful boardgames of the past two years, or at least the most colourful (maybe after Azul) has to be Sagrada.


Sagrada is a dice game about creating stained glass windows. But with dice!

I’ll bet you thought you’d never hear stained glass and dice in the same sentence, unless it was that news story a few years ago about vandals throwing dice at stained glass windows and breaking them.

Sagrada was designed by Adrian Adamescu and Daryl Andrews, with artwork by those two and Peter Wocken. It’s published by FloodGate Games and plays 2-4 players (Disembodied voice: “Until the expansion…muwahahahahahahahahaha!”).

Let’s see how it plays.

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Review – Cat Lady

We all know the stereotype of the old lady living alone with hundreds of cats, right?

Of course you do.

What’s the next best thing to becoming a cat lady, though?

Playing a card game where you get to collect cats, of course!


Cat Lady is a set-collection card game for 2-4 players published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG). Published in 2017, it was designed by Josh Wood, who also did the artwork.

Let’s see how it plays.

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App Review – Istanbul

Rubies make the world go around. Isn’t that what Marilyn Monroe always said? (Editor – Dating yourself *and* being wrong all in one sentence. That’s quite the accomplishment!)

If you’re a merchant in Istanbul in some vague time period of the past, rubies are your ultimate goal and the reason you’re doing all of that trading to begin with.

At least that’s the case if you’re playing Istanbul, the new boardgame app from Acram Digital, adapting the boardgame designed by Rüdiger Dorn.


Acram Digital is known for their stellar boardgame app editions of Steam and 8-Minute Empire and Istanbul blows those out of the park (it probably helps that I like this game better than the other two to begin with).

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Expansion Review – Smash Up: What Were We Thinking?

Another day, another Smash Up expansion.

This is becoming almost a weekly thing! Or maybe it just seems that way.

Anyway, with my latest expansion acquisition (not the latest expansion period, since I am nothing if not eclectic (Editor: You mean random, right?) in my Smash Up buying habits).

Still haven’t come up with the meta joke yet to open these reviews, but I guess that will probably happen with the last one.

Ain’t that always the way!


My latest expansion is What Were We Thinking? The expansion is once again designed by the illustrious (and probably extremely handsome) Paul Peterson with art this time by Alberto Tavira, Marcel Stobinski, Gong Studios, and Francisco Rico Torres. It is once again published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) and was released in 2017.

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