Board Game Bento – September 2016 (“Game Plan”)

October 16, 2016


Announcement Month September
Unboxing Video
Average BGG Rating Standard: 7.2 | Weighted: 7.2
Est. Value $67.66
Base Price $50.00


infamy Info
BGG Rating: 7.0 | Est Value: $24.95
zepattack Info
BGG Rating: 7.0 | Est Value: $20.00
ambyria Info
BGG Rating: 7.5 | Est Value: $20.71


Board Game Bento Branded Sunglasses Est Value: $2.00

Information Card



BGB-Game Plan Back.jpg


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Asmodee – Skull (Review)

September 27, 2016


Publisher Asmodee
Genre Card
Number of Players 3-6
Play Time 45 minutes
Initial Review Date 9/26/16
Last Updated 9/26/16

In this abstract game each player bids in an attempt to bluff their opponents.


Each player is given a set of four round cards that look like highly stylized drink coasters. Each set of cards have unique artwork both on the front and back. Three of the cards show a picture of a rose, the fourth card shows a day of the dead style skull. Each player also recieves a matching play mat, which is slightly larger than the cards and is square.


Each player starts by placing a single card of their choice face down in front of them in order to “ante-in”.

Then the starting player may either “raise” or “bid”. If a player no longer has any additonal cards to raise with, then they must bid.


  • Raise – a player takes another one of their cards and places it on top of their stack.
  • Start Bidding – a player must announce how many cards they can flip over without revealing a skull.


Once bidding starts a player may either bid or pass.

  •  Bid – a player must announce how many cards they can flip over without revealing a skull and this number must be higher than the last player to bid. A player may not bid more cards than the number of cards on the table.
  • Pass – a player takes no acton and sits out the remainder of this round.

Once a player wins the bid, they must start flipping over cards. It should be noted that they must start with their own stack first and may not flip over any cards of another stack until they have flipped all their own cards.

If a player successfully flips a number of cards equal to their bid they score 1 point (this is represented by turning over their play mat.

If a player flips over a skull, then they have lost the bet. When this happens the player who’s skull they flipped over, selects one of the player’s cards at random and it is discarded without revealing it. Only the owner of the cards may examine them afterward and knows for sure if they still have their skull card or not. If a player flips over their own skull card then they still lose the bet as normal and they must discard one of their own cards randomly. Once the card has been discarded they may examine their remaining cards as normal.

If a player loses all of their cards then they are eliminated from the game.


There are two ways to win in this game.

  • Be the first player to score 2 points.
  • Be the only player to not be eliminated


This game is a pure bluffing game. The short goal of scoring only 2 points means that riskier players will either win quickly or quickly be eliminated. As such, you can’t play it safe the whole time. Sometimes it can be worth failing a bet just to keep players guessing if you still have your skull card or not. Since now there is a chance that you don’t.

If you enjoy bluffing games this one is defintely worth a shot. It’s short enough that if you find you don’t enjoy it you haven’t wasted a lot of time on it. The only real downside to the game is that there isn’t any play outside of the bluff. There aren’t really any odds to fall back on or calculate. You have to judge what other players have, based on their bets.


Devir – Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft (Review)

September 13, 2016


Publisher Devir
Genre Card
Number of Players 2
Play Time 30 minutes
Initial Review Date 7/11/16
Last Updated 7/11/16

In this two player game, you take on the roles of Sherlock Holmes and his older smarter brother Mycroft Holmes. The two of you are having a friendly battle of wits to see who can solve the case first.


Each player is given the three meeples of the same color. Next, each player receives five investigation tokens. The board is then seeded with the first three starting cards and then each player draws two character cards. Each player chooses one of the two character cards and they are placed on the board face up. The unchosen characters are shuffled into the character deck.

Finally, the clue deck is shuffled and four cards are dealt face up next to it.


During the course of the game, each player will take turns moving one of their standing meeples from its current character card to different character card where they do not currently have a meeple. The character card is activated and then the meeple is laid down to indicate it has been used.

The abilities will be one of two basic types

  • Spend X investigation tokens to collect Y clue cards from the center row
  • Collect X investigation tokens.

The exact quantities and ratios vary and some are conditional and their benefits/costs are determined by the current state of other elements in the game.

Once both players have activated all of their meeples, setup begins for the next day. First, the board is checked if any one character card has 2 meeples on it. If this is the case that character card is exhausted and can not be used the next day. To represent this, this character card is flipped face down.

Then, regardless if a character was exhausted or not, a new character card is drawn and placed in the next open slot and all meeples are stood up on their respective cards, starting the new turn.


Scoring happens after day 7 is resolved.

Points are determined based on the clue cards each player has collected. There are 9 different types  of clue cards. 7 of the nine have a number on them. Wild cards have similar artwork but do not display a number and finally, there are map pieces.

For each of the numbered cards, a player scores points for them only if they have more of that number than their opponent. The player scores a number of points equal to the number, minus how many cards of that number their opponent holds.

for example. If you have 6 of the cards labeled 9 and your opponent has 2 You would score a total of 7 points for those 6 cards.

In cases of ties, no points are awarded to either player.

Map fragments score points based on how many you have as follows.

  1. You get -1 point.
  2. You get 1 point.
  3. You get 3 points.
  4. You get 6 points.
  5. You get 10 points.


The game is well done. The mechanics match the theme well, with each illustrated character card representing a famous character from the novels, with the artwork closely resembling how the characters are described as appearing. It even makes sense that the character might want nothing to do with the holmes after a day in which they were visited by both Sherlock and Mycroft picking their brain and asking them strange questions.

The game also includes some additional cards that can be used for advanced play, which feature famous villains from the books along with the holmes brothers themselves.

Overall, the biggest shortcoming this game has is that it is strictly a two-player game, which may limit its replayability. The game is well made and fans of sherlock holmes and/or set collection games will enjoy it.  However, if the idea of a two player set collection game doesn’t really interest you then you can easily pass on this one.


Board Game Bento – August 2016 (“For Science!”)

September 6, 2016


Announcement Month August
Unboxing Video
Average BGG Rating Standard: 7.0 | Weighted: 7.01
Est. Value $85.24
Base Price $50.00


 pic2056454_md Info
BGG Rating: 6.5 | Est Value: $15.25
 pic2915673_md Info
BGG Rating: 7.5 | Est Value: $20.95
 pic1322957_md Info
BGG Rating: 6.9 | Est Value: $27.75
 pic1617510_md Info
BGG Rating: 7.1 | Est Value: $7.96


Board Game Bento Branded Calculator Est Value: $13.33

Information Card

BGB-Science Front


BGB-Science Back.jpg


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Wizards of the Coast: Dungeon! – Review

August 16, 2016


Publisher Wizards of the Coast
Genre Family Game
Number of Players 1 – 8
Play Time 30 minutes
Initial Review Date 3/29/16
Last Updated 3/29/16
Official Rules PDF

This game is a re-print of a classic board game that came out in 1975. At that time it was produced by TSR (the makers of Dungeons and Dragons). TSR and it’s properties were later sold to Wizards of the Coast (the makers of magic the gathering).

In this game you play as competing adventurers exploring some underground ruins in search of treasure. But creatures still live in the dark places and will need to be overcome in order to claim the treasure.


Setup of this game is very straight forward. Each player is given a cardboard standup that represents the character they are playing. If you are playing a wizard you will roll a single die and add 6 to the result. You then take a combination of spell cards (of your choice) equal to that result. This means that depending on how you roll, you can end up with between 7 and 12 spell cards for the entire game.

Each player places their character in great hall in the center of the board and then play begins.

Game Play

This game is very simplistic. Each turn you can move your character up to six spaces. If your movement places you inside of a chamber or room you immediately face a monster and your movement for that turn ends. The rooms are color coded to represent the “level” of the dungeon. You draw a monster from the appropriate stack and then roll two six-sided dice. You then consult the monster card to your class. If you rolled a total value that is equal to or greater than this value, then you defeated the monster and draw a card off of the corresponding treasure deck (treasure decks are also sorted by level). If you failed to beat the monster then you roll two dice and consult a table to see what happens to you. This can be anything from the monster killing you outright (very rare), to taking some damage (uncommon), to the monster missing (very common).

So, long as you stick to fighting monsters that are level appropriate to your character you will usually win.

Wizards have the option of using an offensive spell card on monsters after the monster is revealed. The spell will also be listed on the monster and it is resolved as a normal attack. Except that if you fail to kill the monster the monster does not get to attack you back.

Aside from the normal treasure, there are also magic swords that can be found as treasure. A magic sword is the only way you can “upgrade” your character. Each sword adds either 1 or 2 to your die roll. Wizards are the only class that can not benefit from a magic sword.


You will quickly realize that the different characters are not balanced against each other. The wizard is clearly the most powerful, while the rogue and cleric are the weakest. The game tries to make up for this by setting the finish line lower for the weaker classes.

Each piece of treasure you get has a value and the higher level treasures are worth more than the lower level treasures. In order to win you have to acquire an amount of treasure based on your class and then return to the great hall. The first player to do this wins.

Treasure needed to win by Class

Class Total
Rogue (Halfling)  10,000gp
 Cleric (Dwarf)  10,000gp
 Fighter (Human)  20,000gp
 Wizard (Elf)  30,000gp

In this way the more powerful character are encouraged to go to the higher level areas of the dungeon, while the weaker characters can explore the lower level areas.


This game is a good way to introduce others to Dungeons and Dragons. It introduces concepts like classes and races. It also will expose players to the iconic monsters in Dungeons and Dragons, even giving players a sense of how dangerous the different types of monsters are relative to one another.

While, a bit different from traditional roll and move children’s games, it still has that overall feel. Once you know what you’re doing the game gets repetitive really quickly. You start to wish there was more to do in the game and that there was a way to make your character more powerful than just simple magic swords. The rogue and cleric classes make you feel like you’re in the “kiddie pool” while the fighters and wizards get to do the fun stuff.

In the end if you’re looking for a way to introduce dungeons and dragons to completely green players this can be a way to go. However, once they start playing a real tabletop rpg this game will just collect dust.


Pressman: The Oregon Trail – Review

August 9, 2016


Publisher Pressman
Genre Card
Number of Players 2 – 6
Play Time 45 minutes
Initial Review Date 8/7/16
Last Updated 8/7/16
Official Video How to Play

This game is a historical journey back to the 1980s. In the 80’s there were a number of “edutainment” games. These games were an attempt to blend video games with education. Oregon trail was an attempt to teach history through video games. This is a card game version of that 80’s video game. The artwork of the card game has been done in the same style as the original video game. Unlike the video game, you play this one with your friends, working together and get at least one of your group to Oregon.


You start by separating the cards into their respective piles (trail, supply and calamity cards)  and shuffling those piles. Each player is dealt five trail cards and a number of supply cards based on the number of players. The remaining supply cards form a market. To create the market the remaining supply cards are sorted into face-up piles based on their card type.

You then take the Start and finish cards and place them 3 feet apart (which is 9 card lengths).

Now the first player starts.


On your turn, you must do one of the following

  • Play a trail card: In order to play a trail card, it must connect with the existing path when placed evenly against the previous trail card. You may rotate the card to make this connection if needed.
  • Draw a trail card: you can only draw a trail card if you can not currently play any of the trail cards you have.
  • Play a supply card: Supply cards are played on calamity cards in order to resolve them. Unresolved calamity cards often result in one or more player’s deaths.

Trail cards when played often come in one of five types.

  • Fort: This card allows you to collect two supply cards.
  • Town: This card allows you to collect one supply card or remove a single calamity card.
  • Empty: These are one of the best kinds of trail cards, you progress without any event.
  • River: These cards will require you to roll a die in order to progress. A failed die roll will sometimes result in a supply card being lost or the entire group being killed, depending on the river card.
  • Calamity: These cards look like the empty trail cards, except they make you draw a calamity card.

Once you play a trail card, you follow the instructions (if any) and then your turn ends. This means that when you draw a calamity the next player will have to deal with it, not you.

When 5 trail cards have been placed, they are then collected and stacked. This means that you will have to play a total of 25 trail cards in order to travel from the start to the finish.


This game not only pulls on nostalgia but it seems built on it as well. Unfortunately, this means that certain aspects of the game loom large (like dying of disease and failing to ford the river. While some of the parts of the game that were actually educational have been lost.

In the original game, the primary focus of the game was proper trip planning. You made decisions about what to stock up on. There were also several forks which you were presented with which were often a choice of (longer safer path or shorter more dangerous path). You even controlled the speed at which you traveled which impacted how often your wagon broke down. If you planned properly and made smart decisions most of your group if not all of them would arrive safely. You would sometimes lose someone to the RNG but that was typical of 80’s style video games in general.

Sadly, this card game is a badly watered down version of the original.Trip planning has been thrown completely out the window since your supplies are randomly given to you and the few fort and town cards that are in the game (2 of each) mean that at best these cards just help you deal with whatever problems you’ve encountered, making them completely reactionary. Often, the only decision you’ll be making is if you want to deal with another river crossing or another calamity both of which are terrible options. Of course, that’s in the early game, in the late game you probably won’t have any choices at all, it will just be whatever the next playable trail card is.

It’s worth playing for nostalgia and the theme might be appealing to history buffs, but I think after a few play-throughs you’ll be wishing it had more depth to it. If you want an inexpensive nostalgic card game, this is probably worth picking up and you’ll feel that you’ve gotten your money’s worth after a few plays. Otherwise, I would recommend staying away from this game.


Board Game Bento – July 2016 (“Sports”)

August 5, 2016


Announcement Month July
Unboxing Video
Average BGG Rating Standard: 6.1 | Weighted: 6.3
Est. Value $95.00
Base Price $50.00


 Fisticuffs! Box Art Info
BGG Rating: 6.8 | Est Value: $20.00
 pic1802112_md.jpg Info
BGG Rating: 5.2 | Est Value: $10.00
 Icons+of+Awesomeball+tabletop+game+Kickstarter+Nic+Gregory Info
BGG Rating: n/a | Est Value: $25.00
pic2323186_md Info
BGG Rating: 6.3 | Est Value: $20.00


Board Game Bento Branded Chalk Board Info
Est Value: $20.00

Information Card


BGB-Sports Front.jpg


BGB-Sports Back.jpg




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