Friday, January 30, 2015

Catan Junior Review

   Catan: Junior is the kid version of Settlers of Catan. It has been simplified, but you still have the same goal. Gather resources and build faster than your opponents.

   The board has two sides. One side is a two player board.

   The other side is for three to four players.

   You have some plastic pirate ships and pirate lairs. These are your game pieces.

   There is a pile of resources. There's cutlasses, goats, wood, gold, and molasses.

   There are Coco the bird tiles. These are action cards you can take. They allow you to build either a ship or a lair, move the ghost captain, or gain resources.

   Whoever has the most Coco tiles, gets to put a lair on Spooky Island. This is helpful because it's one less lair you have to build. If there is ever a tie with the Coco tiles, the lair is removed until someone has purchased more.

   To begin, you are going to put the pirate lairs on their corresponding circles. Place one of your ships on the dotted line that matches your color.

   Each player gets a reference card. This shows you what is needed to build or buy Coco tiles.

   Give each player their color pieces, a reference card, and a wood and molasses resource. Place the Ghost Captain on Spooky Mountain. You are now ready to begin play.

   On your turn, roll the die. If you have a lair on a spot touching the island with the corresponding number, you gain one of those resources. Example: Here a four was rolled. The orange and blue players receive one cutlass each. The red and blue player each receive a molasses.

   After you have rolled the die and receive your resources, you can trade with the marketplace. You can trade here once per turn. Take one of your resources and trade it with one item in the marketplace. If you want to trade further, you can trade in two of the same resource for one resource of your choice out of the stock pile. You can trade in this manner as much as you would like, as long as you have the resources available. If the marketplace has five of the same resource at any time, remove them and place one of each resource back into the marketplace.

   If you roll a six, you get to move the Ghost Captain. Place him on an island of your choice. You gain two of the resource that the island generates. While he is on that island, if that number is rolled, no resources are received for the lairs that are on that island.

   When you build your ships and lairs, they go in a pattern. You must build them in that order. You can not build a lair unless it is next to a ship. Whoever builds all of their lairs first, wins the game.


   This is a great game to play with kids. The rules are simple so it's easy to understand. You don't trade resources with your opponents. The dots and lines on the board are easy to see so they can see what they need to build next. Everyone can see who has what resources so if your kids do need a bit of help, everything is already right there. There is only one die to roll which also makes it a bit easier. There isn't a whole lot of strategy, but there is enough that they will need to have a plan.

   I think the only downside to this is the box. There isn't really a way to organize it at all. There is two open areas for everything. I guess it makes for easier clean up. I just like my games a bit more organized than dumping everything in. That's a minor thing and just a personal preference.

   Our family has had a lot of fun with this game. It is simple enough that the kids can play it completely on their own, even the set up. If you are trying to introduce your kids into gaming, this is a great game!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shall We Play a Game?

   Okay, I know I JUST blogged about loot crate, but I got the theme reveal email today. It looked like this:

   Now this made me super excited for two reasons.
      One: As you know, we LOVE LOVE LOVE games!
      Two: This is the name of our favorite local game store!

   So I decided I would share this awesome themed loot crate with all of you. I wouldn't want to keep all of the geeky gaming goodness to myself. If you feel so inclined, here is my referral link: If you use the code NEWS3 you will save $3 off of your subscription. You have until the 19th to sign up for this crate.

Product Review: eReviver Phone Case

   I was given an eReviver iPhone 6 case to try out. It is clear, flexible, and scratch resistant. The sides are raised just enough that if it fell flat on the screen, it would be protected.

   I really like this case. It is so clear and thin, you can't even tell you have a case on your phone. I like that because the phone is already big enough without having to add a bulky case on it. I am still able to fit it into my pocket. The case is smooth, but you can still get a good grip on it. I dropped my phone a few times before I had this case because the phone is so smooth it would just slip out of my hand. I don't have that problem now, even though the case is smooth. If you are looking for a case that you can hardly tell is there, this is the perfect case for you!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Loot Crate Unboxing

   What is Loot Crate you ask? It is a subscription box that shows up on your door step once a month. It has all sorts of geeky goodness in it. Some months are better than others, but that all depends on what you enjoy.

   I think this month's crate is one that will be enjoyed by many. The theme was Rewind. It had all sorts of things from the geek and gaming past.

    I made a YouTube video about it. If you would like to check it out, it can be found here.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Scoville Review

   Scoville is a game to see who can make the hottest chili by planting and harvesting peppers. It plays two to six players and takes about an hour.

   The board comes in four pieces that fit together like a puzzle. One thing that I really like about this board, is it tells you right on it how many of each type of cards you need according to the number of players. You don't have to flip through the rule book every time you play.

   To set up, place the board in the middle. Take a red, blue and yellow pepper in your hand. Mix them up and randomly draw out two. Place the two peppers in the middle two pepper spots that are outlined in green. Above that, place the morning auction cards. Flip over the number of cards according to the number of players. You will bid for these cards starting in the second round. To bid, place any number of coins in your hand. Everyone reveals the coins at the same time. The highest bidder gets to choose where they want to go in turn order. After turn order is chosen, players will choose one of the cards in the auction and receive the pepper that is shown. It is important to remember that during the harvesting phase, it goes in reverse turn order.


   Along the left side, you are going to place market cards, again, according to the number of players. You can buy these with peppers and earn coins, peppers and points.


   Place the award plaques on the bottom left. Put them in order so the highest point value is on the top. In a two or three player game, you will take the top plaque off of each pile. When you plant a pepper that matches the color on the plague, take the top plaque and place it behind your screen. These will give you points at the end of the game.


   On the bottom right is where you have your turn order. This will change throughout the game. For the first round, place the players turn markers in your hand and mix them up. Randomly place them starting on the 1. This is the turn order for this round. After each round, you will slide the player tokens into the empty circle above the turn order. This order is used if there is a tie.


   Place the correct number of recipe cards on the right side of the board. Put the peppers and coins where they can be reached by all players. Your board is now set up and ready to go.


   Next, each player chooses a player screen.

   Each player then takes their corresponding screen, their farmer, a blue, red and yellow pepper, a five coin, five one coins and your special move cards. The special move cards let you either plant an extra pepper, move one extra step, or double back once during the harvest stage. You can use them one time per game. Put these behind your screen. Place your turn marker on the turn marker spaces.

   In turn order, you will plant a pepper. (After the first round, the bidding starts the round)


   There are four breeding charts. These show you the turn order on one side and the color combos to make new peppers on the other.

   After each player has planted a pepper, you will go in reverse order to harvest. The first time you harvest, you will start your farmer on the star in the middle. Every other turn, your farmer starts where it left off the previous round. You can move up to three spaces, always moving at least one space. You do not get a pepper from your starting space. Each space is indicated by the notches between two peppers. When passing between the two peppers, you gain a pepper according to the breeding chart. Example: moving between a yellow and blue pepper will give you a green pepper. If there is only one pepper, you do not receive a pepper.

   You may not move through another farmer and must go the direction your farmer is facing. You may pivot your farmer before you move him to face the direction you would like to go.

   After the harvesting phase, you can purchase cards with your peppers. In this example, a card is being purchased with a red and purple pepper. In return, they get a brown pepper, three coins and the card is worth one point. Points are indicated on all cards by the fire symbol. You may purchase one card from the market and one recipe per round.

   When there are fewer market cards than the number of players, discard any remaining cards. It is now afternoon. Place the number of afternoon market cards according to the number of players. You will also put the deck of afternoon auction cards up. Leave any remaining morning auction cards. Once those have been taken, place them with the morning deck and flip new cards from the afternoon deck. All morning cards are blue and afternoon is green. This makes it easy to change them out when needed.

   Play continues until there are fewer afternoon market cards or recipe cards than there are players. Once this happens, that round finishes and the game is over.

   Once the game is over, count up your points. You get the points indicated on the market cards, recipe cards and plaques. Each special action card that hasn't been used is worth four points. Every three coins is equal to one point. You can sell peppers after you have purchased your cards. The peppers are worth one coin per two peppers that have been planted. This is a good way to get points for some of those left over peppers or if you need more coins for the auction bidding. Whoever has the most points, wins the game!

   I love this game! It is probably my favorite strategy game so far. There isn't really much luck to this game at all. It's easy to learn and play. The components are awesome. One thing I really like about this game is the more rare the pepper is, the taller it stands.

   I do have to say, if you are color blind, this game may be a bit difficult to play. We aren't color blind and still have a hard time telling the difference between a few of the colors, mainly the black and purple. Some of the peppers aren't cut quite right to fit into the pepper slots on the board.

   Overall, I would highly suggest this game. There isn't really any downtime between turns since you have to pay attention to what others are doing. Every play can change your strategy. This game is definitely going to get a good amount of play time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Nerd Shelf

   One of my hobbies that I have enjoyed doing lately, is collecting things to put on my nerd shelf. I started getting a little collection of things and I have taken over the fireplace mantle. It's in the back of the house where we keep our games, so I don't have to worry about finding furniture to match. I do think a superhero couch would be pretty awesome though.


   Hiding in the back corner behind some other things, is my perler bead Supernatural characters I made. Here is Castiele, Dean, Sam and Bobby

   Here I have a couple Mixles Lego's. A Tribble from Star Trek, Mega Man's helmet, a little action figure from Alien, a Ghostbuster door hanger, a Care Bear, an Assassins Creed coin and a book called How To Survive A Sharknado.

   One of our new favorite things to collect are the Pop Vinyl figures. Here we have the fighters. Sam Winchester from Supernatural. Ash from Army of Darkness, Dean Winchester from Supernatural, a mini figure from Minecraft, a scribblenaut Galactus, and Rocket Racoon and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

   Here is our Batman collection. We have a Lego batman, Batman's Lego jet, a scribblenaut Batman, a Lego Batsign, a Batman Joker, Harley Quinn key chain, an R2D2 we put together from metal sheets, a scribblenaut Green Lantern and a Transformer Hexbug.


    On top of the Batcave is my Dr. Who collection. The Weeping Angel set and the TARDIS are two different sets. They are Creative Builder brand I believe. The bigger characters are from blind boxes.

   Next to the Batcave is my Ninja Turtle home. I have a little Transformer, Predator, and Raphael.

   Above my Ninja Turtle's is my little city. Here we have a little Mega Blocks Halo figure and two Firefly characters, Captain Reynolds and Jayne Cobb.

   And beneath it all, is our superhero felt crafts we made. These are great for using those nails you hang your Christmas stockings on.

   I love collecting things! I get a monthly Loot Crate in the mail which is where a majority of these characters came from. We also enjoy doing family crafts so sometimes we will make things that get put on my shelf. Others, we have purchased as we find ones we like. I have a feeling we will be getting many more. Especially since we found a wonderful little geeky store. This is their back wall. I can't wait to go back!

   What are some things you enjoy collecting?