Two games from this month’s crate have a distinct wizard feel to them. Alchemists and Potion Explosion are both great games that we had enormous amounts of fun playing. Oceanus and Warhammer Quest are also great games. Oceanus is an exquisitely detailed underwater exploration game, whilst Warhammer is instantly recognisable for it’s artwork.

Patchwork is a game we can’t stop playing, rated 7.8 on Board Game Geek and has a well earned 2015 Spiel des Jahres ‘Recommended’ title under its belt. Add in some Gang of Four, Nyet!, Rhino Hero and Starfighter, not forgetting The Bloody Inn, and you’ve got yourself the July 2017 crate!

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Alchemists

  • 2-4 players
  • 120 minutes
  • 13+
  • 7.8

In Alchemists, two to four budding alchemists compete to discover the secrets of their mystical art. Points can be earned in various ways, but most points are earned by publishing theories – correct theories, that is — and therein lies the problem.

The game is played in six rounds. At the beginning of the round, players choose their play order. Those who choose to play later get more rewards.
Players declare all their actions by placing cubes on the various action spaces, then each action space is evaluated in order. Players gain knowledge by mixing ingredients and testing the results using a smartphone app (iOS, Android, and also Windows) that randomises the rules of alchemy for each new game. And if the alchemists are longing for something even more special, they can always buy magical artifacts to get an extra push. There are 9 of them (different for each game) and they are not only very powerful but also very expensive. But money means nothing when there’s academic pride at stake! And the possession of these artifacts will definitely earn you some reputation too. Players can also earn money by selling potions of questionable quality to adventurers, but money is just a means to an end. The alchemists don’t want riches, after all. They want respect, and respect usually comes from publishing theories.

Potion Explosion

  • 2-4 players
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 8+
  • 7.2

Dear students, it’s time for the final exams of the Potions class! The rules are always the same: Take an ingredient marble from the dispenser and watch the others fall. If you connect marbles of the same colour, they explode and you can take them, too! Complete your potions using the marbles you collect, and drink them to unleash their magical power. Remember, though, that to win the Student of the Year award, being quick won’t be enough: you’ll also need to brew the most valuable potions in Potion Explosion!

Oceanos

  • 2-5 players
  • 30-45 minutes
  • 8+
  • 7.1

Oceanos is a game of underwater exploration with an original take on card-drafting.

Each player pilots her own submarine trying to spot the most underwater species and the largest coral reef, sending scuba-divers after forgotten treasures, collecting precious crystals to upgrade their ship and to escape the fearsome Kraken’s gaze…

Each submarine is divided into five parts, each of them independently upgradable from level 1 to level 3 and each one of them controlling a different ability of the player (however, there are no different abilities from one player to another). As there are multiple ways to score points and multiple takes on the submarine-upgrading order, the game offers several ways to win. The whole game takes mere 15 turns, each one of them simultaneous between all players, which makes it a fairly quick family game.

Warhammer Quest

  • 1-4 players
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 14+
  • 7.6

Join forces with legendary heroes to brave the many dangers of a cavernous dungeon. Wield potent weapons and magic. Conquer hordes of vile monsters. Discover fabulous treasures.

Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game is a cooperative game of heroic dungeon adventures for one to four players. Players assume the roles of some of the Old World’s most iconic heroes, then venture into the shadows to battle ghouls, Goblins, Skaven, giant bats, swarms of rats, and other monsters.

Can you survive their relentless onslaught? Can you press deeper into their lair to find the evil villain that drives them forward? There are only two ways for your quest to end – in death or in glory!

Gang of Four

  • 3-4 players
  • 40 minutes
  • 8+
  • 6.6

Gang of Four is an exciting game of Cunning, Strategy and Power. The game’s premise is simple – be the first to rid yourself of all your cards and ascend to supreme power. But beware – a strategic misstep may find you in a struggle to survive.

Patchwork

  • 2 players
  • 15-30 minutes
  • 8+
  • 7.8

In Patchwork, two players compete to build the most aesthetic (and high-scoring) patchwork quilt on a personal 9×9 game board. To start play, lay out all of the patches at random in a circle and place a marker directly clockwise of the 2-1 patch. Each player takes five buttons — the currency/points in the game — and someone is chosen as the start player.

The Bloody Inn

  • 1-4 players
  • 30-60 minutes
  • 14+
  • 7.0

France 1831: In a remote corner of Ardèche, the little village of Peyrebeille sees numerous travellers pass through. A family of greedy rural farmers is determined to make its fortune and has devised a diabolical stratagem to achieve this goal: Invest in an inn so they can rob travelling guests, allowing them to get rich without arousing the suspicions of the police! Whether or not their plan will work out, one thing is certain: Not every guest will leave this inn alive….

In The Bloody Inn, you are one of the competitive innkeepers, bent on amassing the most wealth. Unfortunately, your morals hinder you from robbing your guests… at least while they’re alive. Fortunately, your scruples have no qualms with murder. Of course, you can’t just have dead bodies piled everywhere: It’s bad for business, and besides, what if the police drop by for a visit? It’s all so much work! Perhaps you could employ some of the guests as accomplices? Everyone has a price, after all!

Isle of Trains

  • 2-4 players
  • 45 minutes
  • 13+
  • 6.9

In Isle of Trains, players are train operators, building trains with the right mix of freight cars needed to complete delivery contracts before your opponents.

Cards are used in multiple ways: they can be built as train cars or buildings supporting your train line, used as currency to pay the cost of building those new train cars and buildings or used as cargo to load on available train cars.

When loading cargo on an opponent’s train, players receive an immediate benefit or action, but they are also giving their opponent the cargo they just might need to be able to complete a delivery contract and score big!

Balancing the need to upgrade your train, take advantage of benefits from loading other players’ trains, and complete delivery contracts first is the key to being the most successful train operator on the Isle of Trains!

Rhino Hero

  • 2-5 players
  • 5-15 minutes
  • 5+
  • 7.1

Super Rhino! presents players with an incredibly heroic – and regrettably heavy – rhinoceros who is eager to climb a tall building and leap other tall buildings in a single bound. First, though, you need to construct that building.

Players each start the game with five roof cards, and they take turns adding walls and roofs to a single building. On a turn, you first place walls on the highest floor, then you choose a roof card in your hand and place it on the wall. Each roof card bears markings that indicate where the next player must place walls on the card. In addition, some roof cards force a player to perform special actions, such as placing a second roof, changing the direction of play, or moving Super Rhino to a new location on the tower. Keep your hands steady!

The first player to build all of his roof cards wins the game. Alternatively, if the building collapses, the player who caused the collapse automatically loses, and the player with the fewest roof cards in hand wins.

StarFighter

  • 2 players
  • 30 minutes
  • 13+
  • 7.2

Starfighter is a two-player-only game of space combat in which each player tries to assemble card combinations that deliver effective attacks on the opponent.

The original feature of the game is the fact that an effect will be triggered every time it becomes visible, that is, either when a player plays the card or when the effect icon becomes visible again after being covered. Room for combos!

Nyet!

  • 2-5 players
  • 30 minutes
  • 10+
  • 6.9

In each opening round of the trick-taking card game Nyet!, players take turns crossing out possible choices for starting player, trump, super trump, the number of cards you discard, and the value of tricks taken on a grid, leaving only one option in each category. Once the starting player is determined, that player chooses a partner, then the teams play out the round based on the conditions they collectively chose.

One Comment

  1. Samantha

    What was in the crate for August? I’m really looking forward to my first crate in September! 😀

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