Justus Productions

Dungeon Attack!

Dungeon Attack!

From: Attack Dice

Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

Dungeon Attack! is a dice driven, semi-cooperative dungeon crawl from Attack Dice.

The basic idea of the game is to survive and clear a 3 level dungeon accumulating gold and magic items along the way. The player with the most gold at the end of the dungeon is the overall winner.

You’ll first start the game by picking a character to play. Each character has a special ability that may be used once per round and a combat rating which allows the character to collect a maximum number of defeated monster dice during their turn. Characters may take up to 3 wounds before they are knocked out of the game.

Characters can do a number of actions as long as they are facing no attacking monsters. Possible actions are assisting another adventurer, busting the door, using his/her special ability, using a magic item to heal one hit, recovering from stun, recharging one magic item or passing on his/her turn.

Once everyone has picked a character, the game begins and all the monster dice are put in the middle of the table to represent the first level of the dungeon. Player one will then “bust the door” down by picking up all the dice and rolling them. The dice have 3 faces – a skull which represents a defeated monster, a foot which represents a moving monster and a sword which represents an attacking monster.

All swords rolled must be kept by that player and re-rolled on his or her next turn. Any skulls rolled are kept by the player up to his combat rating. Ex: The mighty warrior has a combat rating of 3. He may keep up to three skulls rolled that turn. If he rolls more than 3 the excess is ignored and remains with the warrior to roll his next turn. Any feet rolled may be kept by the player to roll again on his next turn, passed over to another player(s) or put back into the dungeon.

A player can only be wounded by rolling all swords. So the more dice you roll the less of a chance you’ll get hurt. The designers equate it to fighting against a bunch of kobolds (rolling a lot of dice) and fighting against a giant (rolling one die). You have a better chance of getting wounded rolling that one die than rolling a lot of dice.   If you take a wound you turn your card to the “stunned” side. If you take another wound you’ll turn it to the wounded side. Take the third wound and you flip your card over and you’re knocked out of the game. There are a couple of ways of healing in the game. If someone is playing the cleric he can heal a character one wound, or if the wounded character has a magic item he can use it to heal himself of a wound. Magic items are the only way of reviving a “knocked out” character.

Example of gameplay: 

Bob is playing as the “Mighty Warrior.” Since Bob is facing attacking monsters left over from his last turn he has to roll the 5 dice that are in front of him. He gets 2 swords (attacking monsters), 2 skulls (defeated monsters) and 1 foot (moving monster). He places the defeated monster dice beside him and has to keep the 2 attacking monster dice and roll them his next turn. The moving monster he may either keep to roll next turn, give to another player or put back into the middle for someone else to roll. Before his turn is over though Bob decides to use his special ability which allows him to re-roll a die as long as he rolled at least one defeated monster during his turn, which he did. He decides to roll the moving monster die and luckily rolls a defeated monster symbol. He puts this die with the other two defeated monsters he rolled earlier. Bob’s turn is now over.

The basic game does add a twist when you get to the second level of the dungeon. A boss monster die is added to group of regular monster dice. The boss can only be defeated on a re-roll. So if you roll it and a skull comes up you must roll it again and hope for a skull. If not, the boss lives and goes back into the pile. In the third level two boss monster dice are added.

Once you finish a level everyone will roll all defeated monster dice they’ve accumulated to search for treasure. What you find depends on what you roll. If you roll a foot you find nothing. If you roll a sword you find a gold coin worth 1 gold. If you roll a skull you find a magic item worth 3 gold. If you’re lucky enough to defeat a boss die, the treasure is similar – once again a foot means you find nothing, but a sword means you find 3 gold coins and a skull means you find a magical artifact worth 5 gold.

If you were lucky enough to back the Dungeon Attack! Kickstarter you probably got the great add-ons like the Adventurers pack which gives you extra character cards, the dungeon adventure cards, plastic treasure tokens and the extra event dice like the trap door die and the labyrinth die. If you didn’t you can still get them via the website, but these items are limited.

I can’t really say a bad thing about this game. Everyone I’ve played it with has thoroughly enjoyed the game.   It’s easy to learn, fast to play, and it’s portable. What’s also nice is that the designers encourage people to make up their own house rules for the game, plus if you have their other game, When Zombies Attack, you can incorporate the zombie dice into the game as well. I guess the only real negative thing I can say is they lack a nationwide distribution deal for the game. I’m sure, though, that will be rectified in the future. For now I’ll just direct you to their website to buy the game or if you’re lucky enough to catch them at a convention you can buy it from them there.

Codex Rating: 15

Product Summary:

Dungeon Attack!

From: Attack Dice

Designed by: Emil G. Palisoc and John S. Jacobs

Art by: Tim Lattie

# of Players: 1 – 4+

Time: 10-15 minutes

Recommended age: 10+

Retail: $19.99 (US)

Website: http://www.attackdice.com/

Reviewed by: Barry Lewis



Building an Elder God

Building an Elder God

From: Signal Fire Studios

Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

If you’re familiar with monster card/tile building games such as “Cartoona” and “Monster Factory”  then “Building an Elder God,” by Signal Fire Studios, will be easy to pick up and play.  As for those of you who are not, don’t fret, it’s a very easy, fun game to learn and play.

The basic premise of the game is to build or “summon” your god first, all the while slowing your opponents down by damaging their god along the way.  First one to “summon” their god or who is the first one eaten or driven insane, wins.  I guess it depends on your definition of what “win” is when dealing with madness inducing conglomerations.

You start the game with a body card and a mouth card, 2 necronomicon cards and a starting hand of 5 cards.  You’ll always have 5 cards in your hand, no more and no less.  So make sure to draw or discard to get back to 5 cards. Place the body in front of you and put the mouth and necronomicon cards aside for now.  The players then take turns placing cards next to the body to create their creature.  Players can also place “damaged” or “shotgunned” cards on other player’s creatures to slow down their progress.  If you have a damaged body part, you can either use one of your necronomicon cards to heal it and make it immune to any other damage for the rest of the game or you can place a “healthy” card of the same type over it.  Also, some body parts have a purple-ish hue around them indicating they are immune to damage.

To win the game, you must have at least the minimum number of body cards stated in the rules to win the game.  Once you have the required number of body parts you can then play the “mouth” card and win the game.  We were playing a 5 player game so the creature had to be at least 8 cards minimum not including the body and mouth.  There is a “variant” game in which you use elder sign cards as well, but since we were just learning the game we decided not to use them.

There were a few minor rules questions, but it didn’t take away from the fun.  The most common issue were the cards themselves.  They were very “sticky” or tactile and made it a little difficult to deal and draw from the pile.  The group I played it with really enjoyed it and called it a great “filler”game.  I also enjoyed it, but lost as usual because I was paying too much attention to my creature and not paying enough attention to the rest of the group.  The game is definitely needed in your library for “pick-up” gaming.

打印Codex rating: 13

Building an Elder God

Produced by: Signal Fire Studios

Developed by: Jamie Chambers

Design and Art by: Ben Mund

# of Players: 2-5

Suggested Age: 6 and up

Playing time: 15 to 30 minutes

Retail Price: $19.99 (US)

Website: Signalfirestudios.com


Disc Duelers

Disc Duelers

From: Level 99 Games

Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I need more dexterity games in my life?”  If you answered “Yes!” then I have a review for you.  If you answered “No” then you’re lying to yourself.  Now it’s time to enter the world of “flicky” games with my review of Disc Duelers by Level 99 Games.

Disc Duelers is basically an elimination game where you try to eliminate the other players’ discs before they eliminate yours.  The game has two versions-the basic game, or Classic Elimination, and the advanced game.  I’ll talk about the basic game first since the majority of the rules are covered in the basic game.

For the sake of this review I’ll be reviewing this as if it’s a two player game.  Before the game begins you and your opponent will have a chance to place terrain.  Each player gets to place a piece of terrain anywhere on the board, with a few minor rules in placement.  The terrain must be evenly distributed among the players.  So if you have five pieces of terrain then only four will be placed and the fifth will not be used.  Terrain can be small boxes, books or just about anything. I personally like using Legos or Duplo bricks.  Once this is done you’ll then begin to build your team of characters.  Once you’ve done this take the discs that correspond to your character cards.

When you look at your characters’ cards, the characters have two stats: Movement and Attack.  The number of Attacks each character gets is listed on the red disc and each number of Movements is listed on the blue disc.  Also on the character’s card at the bottom is a Special Power.   The Special Powers vary and give the characters their own unique feel.  All characters have 5 life unless noted on their card.    Here’s a quick play tip – use unused character discs to keep track of a character’s wounds by placing them on the character’s card.

At the beginning of a game all character cards are upright or “Ready.”  When you act with a character’s disc the character’s card is then turned sideways or “Unready” and cannot be used again until all other characters have acted.  When all characters have acted then the round ends and all characters return to their “ready” status and can be used again.

You’ll then randomly choose who goes first, but before the first player acts each player will take one of their discs and place it at the edge of the table.  The disc is then moved twice onto the board.  This is repeated with all the players’ discs until all are on the table.

At the beginning of  every player’s turn you must announce  what you are doing with that disc, either moving it or attacking with it. This is very important for the sake of taking or doing damage.  Movement is very simple – just flick where you want to go up to the number listed on the character’s card.  You have to be careful and have good control when moving since if you hit another disc, including your own, the disc you’re moving will take a point of damage.  Although, if you hit a piece of terrain while moving your disc will not take damage.  The rules for attacking are basically the reverse of moving.  To attack just flick your disc into another opponent’s disc.  The opponent’s disc will take a point of damage.  If you attack and hit terrain your disc will take a point of damage as well. Also, if anyone’s disc falls off the table either during movement or attacking that disc takes a point of damage.

One of the fun aspects of the game is doing combo damage to an opponent.  For example you attack an opponents’ disc and hit it for a point of damage, the attacked disc continues to move then hits a piece of terrain for a second point of damage, it’s momentum then causes it to fall off the table for a third point of damage!  The game limits you, though, from taking more than one point of damage from each kind of hit.  For example, you attack an opponent’s disc and hit it for one point, it then hits a piece of terrain for another point of damage and deflects into a second piece of terrain, but since it’s already taken a point of damage from the first piece of terrain the third point of damage from the second piece of terrain is then ignored.

So that’s the basic game.  The “advanced” game just adds in crates and items.  So let’s talk briefly about them.

Set the game up as normal and then place as many crates half to the number of players, up to 3 crates, on the table.  So in a two player game only one crate will be in play.  The crate is then dropped by one of the players about two feet over the table.  Where the crate lands is where it stays.   To open the crate a player, during their turn, just has to hit the crate with one of his or her discs either during its movement or attack.  When a player hits the crate they may draw an item card from the item deck and put it with that character’s card.  Only the character that opened the crate may use the item.  The crate is then re-dropped by the player to the right of the current player’s turn.

Items can increase attacks, modify movement, heal and protect.  There’s also a few that are a detriment to your character if you’re unlucky enough to draw them.  The items can either be used once then discarded, or used once per round depending on the symbol on the card.  Cards that can be re-used are turned sideways when used and can be readied for use again at the beginning of a new round.

The game has, to me at least, a lot of replay ability since there are 50 characters to choose from and 48 different items.  The discs slide nicely on any smooth surface and the game can be played on any sized table.  The game does have other variants such as soccer, volleyball and racing, but honestly I haven’t played them yet since I’m having fun just playing the regular game.  If there is any real “con” to the game it’s that you have to sticker the discs.  The game is easy to learn and fun to play.  It’s a great game for kids and adults, but it’s light theme may not fit those hardcore game nights.

Codex Rating: 14

Disc Duelers

Produced by: Level 99 Games

Designed by: D. Brad Talton Jr.

Illustrated by: Fabio Fontes

# of Players: 2-6

Suggested Age: 10+

Playing Time: 45 minutes

Retail Price: $39.99 (US)

Website: http://www.lvl99games.com/






Dungeon Heroes

Dungeon Heroes
From: Gamelyn Games
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

Pretty much all my gaming friends know I have a penchant for buying games that have solitaire rules and tend to avoid games that need at least 3 players to play.  So when I came across the game Dungeon Heroes, I did a little research on it and decided to buy it.  Obviously the game plays differently solo than when you play against another person.  The idea of the game is for the heroes to get through the dungeon and find 3 treasure chests before the DM can defeat them.  Pretty basic stuff.  The DM has monsters, traps and trick floors to use to stop the heroes.  There are four heroes in the game and each has a specific job; a cleric can heal himself and others, a warrior can kill monsters, a wizard allows you to reveal any one unflipped tile on the board and a thief can disarm traps.  Each hero moves the same, which is forward, back, left and right, except for the wizard and the thief who can also move diagonally.

Getting back to the tiles for a moment, along with the DM tiles there can be found four different item tiles the heroes can find and use.  The sword allows any character to defeat a monster, the thieves’ tool allows any character to disarm a trap, the wizard’s hat allows any character to reveal a tile, the cross allows a character to heal himself or another character and the Holy Grail allows a defeated hero to be brought back into the game.

In the two player game the DM on his or her turn will place tiles face down 4 at a time anywhere on the board and the heroes can reveal them by stepping on them on their turn.  Depending on the tile, and the hero, certain things will happen.

For example when the warrior steps on a tile he then reveals it and if it’s a monster then the warrior automatically defeats it, if the tile was a trap then the warrior takes the damage listed on the tile, since he can’t disarm it.

The DM will go through two game phases.  The first phase is the “passive phase” which is when the DM puts down 4 tiles at a time.  The second phase is when the DM has put down all available tiles.  The DM will then reveal all the monster tiles and replace them with the monster meeples.  This is called the “aggressive phase.”  During this phase the DM will move the monsters towards the heroes trying to defeat them using the monsters or forcing the heroes to move over trap tiles and take damage.  By the way, monsters move like the heroes except for the goblins who can move diagonally as well.

In the solo game there’s no “passive phase.”  You’ll place all 36 tiles face down in the dungeon and start the game.  The heroes will move first and reveal tiles.  You’ll resolve them just like in the two player game.  Once the heroes turn is over, it’s then the “dungeon’s” turn.  You reveal all the tiles on the furthest row away from the heroes.  If any monsters are revealed you’ll replace the monster tiles with the monster meeples and then move those monsters towards the heroes.  The dungeon will do this for every row, every turn until all the tiles are revealed.  All the while you are moving the monsters towards the heroes.  The monsters follow certain “programmed” rules both when moving and attacking heroes in the solo game.  The game ends, as I’ve mentioned before, when either the dungeon successfully stops the heroes from acquiring the treasures or if the heroes acquire the treasures.

Gamelyn Games did a fine job with the game’s look and feel.  The game components are well done with the hero and monster meeples really standing out.  Also the game is easily transportable which is a plus as well.  The game even has a couple of expansions out if you’ve grown tired of playing the basic game.

This review is based on solo play and I’ve found the game to be fairly easy to solo but still enjoyable if you’re looking to play something quick.  The game is definite “filler” material and would go well with its theme on game nights.


Codex Rating:   12 (Score based on solo play only)


Dungeon Heroes

Produced by: Gamelyn Games

Designed by: Michael Coe

Art by:  William Bricker

# of Players: 1-2

Suggested Age: 13+

Playing Time: 15-30 minutes

Retail Price: $30.00 (US)

Website: http://www.gamelyngames.com/cms/

Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom

Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom

From: Stronghold Games

Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom or Crazy Creatures of Dr. Doom depending on what version you have (in the European version he’s Dr. Doom) is a fast, quick-to-learn card game in which you try to rid your hand of creatures and have the fewest penalty points at the end of the round and eventually at the end of the game in order to win.

The game consists of 48 creature cards, 12 of each color; red, blue, green and yellow, and ranging from numbers 1 to 6.  There are also 4 “machine” cards which have a plus sign on one side and a minus sign on the other.  You start the game by placing the 4 machine cards plus sign up in the middle of the table.  You then deal out a certain amount of cards to the players depending on how many are playing.  The amount of rounds also depends on how many are playing.  Ex: 4 players, 4 rounds.  You then start placing creature cards that correspond to the same color machine next to it.  The plus or minus on the card dictates what numbers you may play.  For example if you play a red 3 and the red machine is on its “plus” side then you may only play red cards that are equal to or higher than the card just played.  So only  a red 3 or higher may be played on that pile.  Likewise, when the machine is on the minus sign cards equal to or less than the card on top of that pile may be played.

There is one twist that will allow you to play a card contradictory to the rules.  All cards with 1s and 6s have a “DNA” symbol on them.  You may play those cards on top of one another regardless of what the machine card is set to.  The same color rule still applies, though.  For example: there is a red six on top of the red machine pile and the machine is showing the plus sign.  Obviously there’s no number higher than 6 in the game, but you may play a red 1 on top of the red 6 since they both have the “DNA” symbol on them.

After reading that you’ve probably thought to yourself “Well how do you get the machines from plus to minus or minus to plus?”  Simple -if you play a card with the same number as the top card on that pile then you may flip that machine card over to the new setting.  Now if you don’t want to flip the machine card over then you can force your opponent to draw a card from the reserve pile.

So that’s the game really.  I did enjoy playing it, even though I played it with a “non-gamer” friend, who has an annoying habit of beating me in just about everything we play.  This time was no different as his “rain man” ability continues to confound me.  The game does play quickly even with us learning the rules as we went, and the game played no more than 25 minutes.  This game is definitely made more for kids or “light” gamers.  Most hardcore gamers may play it once, but it’s only good once in a while for a filler at game nights.

Codex Rating:  9

Product Summary

Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom

Designer: Michael Schacht

Artist: Dennis Lohausen

Number of Players: 2 -4

Player Age: 7 and up

Playing Time: 20 minutes

Retail: $15.00 Retail (US)

Website: www.strongholdgames.com


From:  U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Reviewed by:  Barry Lewis

We’ve all pretty much grown up with computers and we’ve played the games that come with the computer: Minesweeper, Solitaire and Hearts.  I played a lot of Hearts on the computer.   I learned a lot from playing Hearts as well, but the two main things I learned was that I suck at Hearts and I suck at card games in general.  Well much too my chagrin, I absentmindedly requested to review a card game called HeartSwitch from U.S. Games Systems Inc.  We all probably know U.S. Games Systems since they are one of the largest producers of playing cards in the world.  The company, though, has over the past couple of years moved further and further into the hobby card game market and is actually doing well with such recent games as Hooyah: Navy Seals card game.

By now you’ve probably figured out from my opening paragraph that HeartSwitch is Hearts, but with a twist.   Just in case you’ve never played Hearts, the object of the game is to rid yourself of as many or all of the point cards in your hand by the end of the hand, or trick.  The point cards are the hearts, which are worth one point each, and the queen of spades, which is worth thirteen points.  The person with the lowest total points at the end of the game wins.  HeartSwitch builds on this by adding in eight new cards that changes the dynamic of the game some.

The eight cards are the Wicked Spade Witch, the Kind Club Witch, the Evil Heart Witch , the Good Diamond Witch and four cards called the Magicians.  The Spade Witch counts as an additional 5 points.  The Club Witch cancels either or both of the Spade Witch and Spade Queen taken by a player.  The Heart Witch doubles the point value of each Heart taken, but has no point value itself.  The Diamond Witch can deduct up to 5 points taken in that current hand, but does nothing if no points are taken in that same hand.  As for the Magicians, it took a few hands for me to figure them out.  They’re basically “wild” cards.  You can play them anytime, but they have no point value, don’t belong to any suit and cannot win a hand unless all players play Magicians.  If that’s the case then the person who led with the first Magician wins that hand.

I did enjoy playing the game even though I still suck at it and since there is actually some strategy to playing Hearts, my strategy was not to come in last.  The new cards can even the playing field some if you are playing with people who do play Hearts on a regular basis.  Granted this didn’t help me one bit.  The game has nicely produced cards, as one might expect, and a book of score sheets which is a nice touch as well .  HeartSwitch is a descent filler for a game night, but I don’t see hardcore gamers playing this on a regular basis just due to it’s “light-ish” feel and lack of theme.  This game does excel when played with non-gaming friends and/or relatives though.  My only real problem, actually it’s a pet peeve of mine, with the game is that it needs at least three players to play.  I’d really like to give this game two ratings;  one rating for playing with other gamers and one rating for playing with non-gamers.  So I’ll just take the average of the two.
Product Rating:  12

Product Summary


From: U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Type of Game:  Card Game

Game Design:  Jodi Boginski Barbessi

Artist:  Jodi Boginski Barbessi

Retail Price: $ TBD (US)

Number of Players:  3-6 players

Player Ages:  10 and up

Play time:  Up to 60 minutes

Website:   www.usgamesinc.com

1st and Goal

From: R&R Games
Reviewed by:  Barry Lewis

1st and Goal is a football board… Wait! Wait! Don’t click to another review!  I know that sports board games do not tend to get much love, but 1st and Goal is fun and deserves a chance.  The game uses both cards and dice for the game mechanics and they do work well together.  So just take a closer look at 1st and Goal before you click over to that deck-builder review.

The game board itself will not “wow” you.  Although what the board itself does is one of those little touches that we gamers generally like.  The board’s football field has a thin metal strip in it that allows the magnetic football and magnetic 10-yard marker to stay in place on the field so you never have to worry about bumping the board and losing track of where the ball is on the field.  My only issue with the board is minor, but it’s with the way the scores are tracked.  Both players have 2 number tracks.  One track has 1 thru 9 and the other track has 10-90 in tens.  So if you’ve scored 14 points you would place a clear disc on the 4 and another on the 10.  It does nothing to take away from the enjoyment of the game, but maybe they could have found a less “clunky” way of keeping score.  The play calling cards are on sturdy, glossy card stock and are very easy to read and understand.  The dice tell you the outcome of the play called and how many yards are gained or loss.  The dice are a little bigger than normal and easy to read, but here’s the potential deal breaker with the dice.  You have to sticker the dice with the numbers.  It’s not a big deal, but for some gamers it’s a turn off, I know.

To start the game, the two players will flip a coin and the winner decides whether to be on offense first or defer to the second half.  Once this is done, the offensive player will take the offensive deck and the defensive player will take the defensive deck.  Each player will draw 8 cards for their starting hand.  Every time a card is played, the players may draw another from the top of their decks.  The offensive deck has two types of plays: run plays and pass plays.  The pass play cards come in three different styles: short, medium and long/bomb.  The defensive cards have two types as well.  They are running defense cards and pass coverage cards.  The play starts with both players choosing a play card from their hand and laying it down face up for both to see.  You would then compare the cards.  Running cards work better against pass coverage cards and pass play cards work better against run stopping cards.  The cards work in conjunction with the dice, but let’s quickly look at the cards first.  Both the offensive and defensive cards have the play types listed on each card.  You would compare the two cards to see what colored dice the offense would roll for yardage.  The cards also play a part in how long the game goes.  On each offensive running play card is a flame symbol in the top of both corners.  Every time you use a running play with that symbol on it, you must “burn” or discard the top card of the offensive play deck.  So just like in real football the more you run, the faster the game goes.  When the offensive deck first runs out it is halftime, when it runs out again it’s the end of the game.  While the cards are fairly simple, the dice are a little more complicated, but not much.

There are four types of dice; the play die, the referee die, the penalty die and the yardage dice.  The play die is rolled for every play and each side is different.  The play die has an X, a T, a penalty flag, a lightning bolt, a “Hail” and a “Mary”.  If the offense rolls an X it means the play is broken up no matter what.  The “T” means potential turnover.  If you rolled a “T” you would then roll the referee die and if it comes up a “T” then the ball is turned over to the defense.  If no “T” is rolled then there’s no turnover.  If the penalty flag comes up on the play die then there’s a potential penalty on the offense or defense.  You’d then roll the referee die and if the offense side comes up then it’s a penalty on the offense and if the defense side comes up it’s a penalty on the defense.  If neither side comes up then there’s no penalty.  If a penalty is confirmed then the offensive player rolls the penalty die and adds or subtracts the yardage shown on the die.  The lightning bolt means “Breakaway!”  When the lightning bolt is rolled the offense adds the yardage dice together then rolls the play die and yardage dice again.  If the lightning bolt comes up again add the yardage and roll again.  The offensive player continues rolling until anything else but the lightning bolt appears.  I tend to play with the optional rule that if you roll 3 straight “breakaways” then it’s an automatic touchdown.   If a “Hail” or “Mary” is rolled they have no effect on the play except during the last play of the half or game.

The penalty die is rolled on occasion in response to certain results of the play die.  The referee die has a “T”, an X, a “Hail” and a “Mary” like the play die, but has an offense side and defense side for designating penalties.  To help identify the play die and the referee die from one another I used a permanent black marker to draw stripes on the referee die to make it resemble the black and white striped shirt referees wear.

There are 7 yardage dice.  The red, ivory and brown dice are for running plays, while the yellow, blue and green dice are for passing plays.  The seventh die is black and is rolled by the defensive player on most plays and will, usually, subtract yardage from the offensive player’s roll.

Here’s a quick example of play:

Its third down with 9 yards to go for a first down and the offense chooses to run the ball; defense picks a short passing play.  The Defense guesses wrong.  After comparing the two play cards, the offense gets to roll all three running dice along with the play die, while the defense gets to roll his black die.  The offense rolls a “hail” on the play die which has no effect on the play and a 2, 4 and 5 on the yardage dice.  Defense rolls a -1. So add the offensive dice together (2+4+5=11) and subtract the defensive die (-1) to get 10.  The offense gains 10 yards and gets the first down!

R&R put a lot of thought into this game.  What’s in a real football game is in the board game minus the ACL tears, concussions and massive contracts.  Safeties, punts, field goals, Hail Mary passes, extra points; if you can name it, it’s probably in the game.  R&R even have expansion packs for the game with different teams.  There are 6 packs or “divisions” with 4 teams in each division.  Each team has its own strengths and weaknesses so you can pick a team that suits your playing style.  In the end, I’ve put away my other football games, Strat-o-Matic Football and Pizza Box Football, for 1st and Goal because of the relative ease of play and it’s more visually appealing than the 2 other mentioned games.

So if you’re still in doubt about the game, I always like to point out that I have a friend who loves football, but HATES sports games yet will sit down and play this with me every time I bring it to a game event.  Broaden your horizons and try this game at least once.

Product Rating: 12

Product Summary

1st and Goal

From: R&R Games

Type of Game:  Board Game, Sports

Game Design:  Stephen Glenn

Artists:   Scott Fleenor , Matthan Heiselt

Graphic Design:   Jennifer Vargas

Retail Price: $29.95 (US)

Number of Players:  2-4 players

Player Ages:  13 and up

Play time:  60 minutes

Website:   www.rnrgames.com

Those Pesky Humans

From: Minion Games
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

“Those pesky humans are always trying to steal my treasure!” and that sums up the game Those Pesky Humans.  Thanks for reading…

No, no.  Come back.  There’s more I promise.  Basically you’re a dungeon overlord who has worked hard for his ill-gotten treasure and humans are always showing up and trying to take it.  The nerve of some humans!  As you have gleaned from just these couple of sentences this is a typical player(s) vs. GM/DM game.  This game definitely takes its cue from past games such as Hero Quest and more recent games like Descent.   The objective of the game is for the human team to find the three legendary gems hidden in the dungeon and escape with them.  The Overlord’s objective is simple, stop those pesky humans.

Just looking at the art on the box of Those Pesky Humans you can tell it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  The art work is cartoony but fits the game’s overall feel.  There is plenty of clever and funny flavor text spread throughout the rule book and on the game cards as well.  The game does use card board standups instead of plastic miniatures for the humans and the monsters.  The only real “problem” I had was with the cards themselves.  The ink looked to have faded some and the ink had peeled off just a bit when I first took them out of the plastic wrap.  Also the cardboard they were printed on seemed to be a lower level of quality as well.  These are two very minor problems and do not take anything away from the game.

The game setup is quick and simple.  Each player will take on the role of one or more of the human avatars and one player will take on the role of the Overlord.  The players then take their corresponding character card and pick 3 special ability cards.   The character cards tell the players the avatar’s movement, attack strength, defensive rating and hit points.  Also characters have an “innate ability” which can be used once per round.  Once characters are set the Overlord will select 10 random room tiles.  These tiles will make up the dungeon.  The Overlord will then place doors, which could be locked or trapped, on the connecting dungeon tiles.  Then 10 treasure tokens will be pulled, 3 of which are the legendary gems, and placed strategically within the dungeon by the Overlord.  Now you’re ready to play.  If you would like a shorter game you can use 7 dungeon tiles and only place 2 legendary gems inside the dungeon.

The game has 3 phases: the draw phase, the movement phase and the combat phase.  Each player will draw a number of “human” cards depending on how many are playing.  These cards will either help the players or hinder the Overlord.  Be careful though, the Overlord has “monster” cards at his disposal as well.  The Overlord can summon creatures to help protect his dungeon as well.  A problem with the original rules was the Overlord could summon 2 monsters per round.  This led to the humans getting overrun before the game really got going.  The new rules, which are found on the Those Pesky Humans website, now have the Overlord being able to summon only 1 creature per round.

The game mechanics are simple.  You can move up to the number of spaces that are listed on your character’s card unless there is a card effect in play that modifies movement.  The combat is very basic as well.  You roll your die and add your attack strength along with any modifiers to get your total and if your total is higher than the monster’s total defensive rating than you have wounded the monster.  You only do 1 point of damage per attack regardless unless you play a card that allows you to deal extra damage or allows you to have a second attack.  To move from one room to another you will have to open doors.  To open a door you will have to use your movement.  You will move up to the door and as long as you have 1 space of movement left you may open the door.  If the door is locked you will need 2 spaces of movement to open it.  Some doors are trapped and if any character, other than the thief, opens a trapped door they will take damage.  If the thief opens a trapped door then the thief automatically disarms the trap and takes no damage.  The thief also only needs 1 space of movement to open locked doors.  Once a door is opened it remains open unless the Overlord plays a card closing the door.  Obviously monsters may move freely through doors.

As you can see those are the basics of the game.  There are a few other little rules, but it’s extremely easy to learn.  I would strongly suggest downloading the new rules off the website, though.  I do like this game.  It doesn’t break any new ground, but it doesn’t destroy any either.  It is a solid, light dungeon crawler and is especially good for kids.


Product Rating: 11


Product Summary

Those Pesky Humans

From:  Minion Games

Type of Game:  Board Game

Game Design:   James Mathe

Writing, Layout and Additional Design:  Clay Gardner

Artist: Chuck Whelon

Retail Price: $ 49.99(US)

Number of Players:  2-4 players

Player Ages:  8 and up

Play time:  90 minutes

Website:   http://thosepeskyhumans.com/

Caveman Curling

From: Gryphon Games

Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

I have to admit I’ve grown fonder of dexterity games, or as my two year old calls them “flicky games.”  Maybe it’s that I find them more enjoyable to play or maybe it’s that I have no real grasp of tactics or strategy for other games, but regardless games such as Crokinole and Pitch Car grace my gaming table on a regular basis.  So when I came across the game Caveman Curling in a hobby industry magazine, I shouted “Huzzah!  It must be mine!”  Of course I shouted this in my head since the kids were asleep and my girlfriend already thinks I’m one stiff breeze away from being institutionalized.  Sorry.  I digress.

When you open the game up the first thing you’ll notice about the game is the “board” itself.  The board is not a board, but a sheet of paper-like material called “Tyvek,” which makes it very durable, allows it to roll up for easy storage, and the discs slide well on it.  You’re now probably asking yourself “If it rolls up then how do you keep it flat when you play?”  Well that’s a very good question and one that was answered by the designers very ingeniously.  Provided in the game are two weighted magnetic pieces of wood called “slammers” which clamp at either end of the board helping it to lie flat.  What you’ll also notice about the board is the art.  I always find something new that makes me laugh.  It’s fun and very busy.   It’s kind of like a prehistoric “Where’s Waldo.”

Caveman Curling is a light game that only takes about 15-30 minutes to play and is very easy to learn.  Basically, you and your opponent will take turns flicking your discs or “stones” down the ice and the closest stones to the center will gain points at the end of the round.  First player to 6 points wins.  If the round ends and no one has reached 6 points, then a new round begins. Sounds simple and it is, but included in the game are two usable special items that can make for a very strategic game.  These two items are hammers and totems.  Each player get 2 totems and 6 hammers to use each round.  The hammers come in two sizes, short and long, and are used to reposition your stone closer to the center depending on where the stone stops.  You can also use the hammers to place your stones in the way of your opponent, effectively “screening” your opponent from having a clear shot to the center.  I like this strategy and use it frequently.  The totems are used by placing them on top of the stones and are used to protect them.  If a totem is ever hit and knocked off a stone the player whom owns that stone may re-shoot it at the end of the round or if the stone happens to slide into a better position that player may choose to leave it there.  Also, in case you’re wondering, there’s no rule that says you can’t knock your own totem off your stone for a re-shoot at the end of the round.  Also, you cannot use a hammer and totem together on one shot.  Either use one or the other.

The game states 2 to 6 players, but it seems to works best with 2 players.  The age recommendation states 7 to adult, but it may be played by slightly younger players.  The only real problem that I’ve encountered is that the board can slide a bit when you’re playing, but that can be fixed, supposedly, by attaching felt pads to the bottom of the slammers or just holding the board at the shooting end with your other hand to keep it from moving.   That’s what I do and it seems to work.  Overall this game has a lot of replay value and will continue to make it to my gaming table for a long time to come.  If you’re a fan of dexterity games definitely give Caveman Curling a flick.


Codex Rating:   12


Product Summary

Caveman Curling

From: Gryphon Games

Type of Game: Board Game, Dexterity

Game Design by: Daniel Quodbach

Cover and Additional Art by: Bony le Ludonaute

Retail Price: $ 49.99(US)

Number of Players: 2-6

Player Ages: 7 to Adult

Play Time: 15-30 minutes

Website: www.eaglegames.net


Reviewed by: Barry Lewis


From: R&R Games
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis

“Let’s see…it’s a dexterity game with magnets.  Must buy IMMEDIATELY!”  Yep you guessed it.  It’s time to delve back into the world of “flicky” games.  Normally this game would not have “blipped” on my radar if it wasn’t for my two year old discovering how cool magnets are.  So it was just “kismet” that I would come across the game AttrAction.

This is not a very long review because this game is very simple to learn and plays very quickly, but it’s still lots of fun.  The basic idea is whoever “attracts” the most magnets at the end of the game wins!  That’s it. That’s the game, but for the sake of having a somewhat longer review let’s just take a quick look at the rules and the pros and cons of the game.

At the beginning of the game each player will take 1 magnet from the 25 magnets provided.  You’ll then spread the rest of the magnets, standing on their short end if possible, on the table.  Pick who will start the game and that person will then place on the table and flick the magnet given to them in the hopes of attracting the other magnets.  The idea is to create a “cluster” or group of magnets.  If this happens you will take that cluster for yourself.  If you happen to make more than one cluster you can only take one cluster and leave the others for the other players.    If you happen to shoot and hit nothing then your magnet that was just shot remains on the board with the others.  If you shoot your magnet off the table or it knocks or pushes another magnet(s) off the table then the magnet(s) goes to the player on your left.  If you find yourself without a magnet to shoot then you may take one off the table and shoot it. That’s it!  Short and sweet.  Most dexterity games don’t take very long unless you’re playing a game like Pitch Car.

Here’s what I like about the game.  It’s easy to learn, easy to play and is portable.  R&R Games even provides a little cloth bag to keep the magnets in.  The game can be played basically on any flat smooth surface.  I also like that it’s noisy, even though this reason finds its’ way into the negatives section as well.  I like the clicking and clacking the magnets make when they cluster.

Now, for every positive there’s a negative (a little magnet humor for you).  The main negative is the magnets are small so you must supervise very carefully when playing with younger children.  Nothing ruins a game night more than having to take your child to the ER because he or she decides they need more magnets in their diet.  Usually before the game I count and make sure all 25 magnets are accounted for and I count again after the game to make sure all 25 magnets are still there.  Also beware of tables with metal in them.  Since these are magnets the metal will affect gameplay.  In addition, be careful where you put the game.  Keep the magnets away from sensitive electronics.  So don’t forgetfully throw them into your laptop bag on the way out the door for game night.  The last problem is they’re noisy!  Depending on where you play you may very well disturb other people with the noise.

I still enjoyed the game even though it looks as if the negatives outweighed the positives.


Product Rating: 10


Product Summary


From: R&R Games

Type of Game:  Board Game, Dexterity

Game Design:  Jeff Glickman

Editing by:  Frank DiLorenzo

Graphic Design:  Jenn Vargas

Retail Price: $15.95 (US)

Number of Players:  2-4 players

Player Ages:  14 and older*

Play time: 10 minutes

Website:   www.rnrgames.com

*Adult supervision recommended if game is played with small children in the house or persons of any age that are prone to placing small objects in mouth.