Friday, July 31, 2015

Code Master Review

   Code Master is a single player game by ThinkFun games.

   You have a few different tokens, blue crystals, a portal and an avatar.

   It also comes with a scroll book and a map book.

   Each page in the map book has a few different levels on it. Green is beginner, yellow is intermediate, blue is advanced and red is expert. Each level will will show you how to set up. For level one, you will put your avatar on the five space, the portal on the three space, you will use two red and two green moves and you will use scroll one.

   Once you set up your board, you will start your programing. The goal is to get your avatar to the portal by using only the number of moves and colors that you are given. On this level, you will get four moves, two being red and two green.

   If you look at the map, there are more lines and colors than you will use. You have to plan out your moves so that you end up at the portal with no moves left.

   On this level, I programed a red move, green move, red move, green move.

   Move your avatar along the lines. First was a red move

   Then a green that went across the top of the map.

   another red

   and then the green that brought me to the portal. If you make a plan and it doesn't work, simply start your program over.

   Some levels have blue crystals. Place the crystal on the number indicated.

   When you stop on the space, simply slide the crystal onto the avatar's staff when it stops on that space.

    If there is more than one crystal, you may only pick up one per visit to that space. You may need to go past it a few times to gather them all. You will notice some of the paths on this map are made with arrows. This indicates you can only go that direction on that path.

   Some of the harder levels will use a little more complicated scroll. The hexagon spaces are used for conditional tokens.

   If your scroll has more than one space for a conditional token, you must decide which token you want where. The blue hexagons represent the number of crystals you have. If you have the number indicated, continue on along the path with the green check mark. If not, follow the path along the red X. The orange tokens are Troll tokens. This is asking if there is an orange troll on the space you are currently on. The purple tokens are the same as the orange, only they are asking if there is a purple troll on your space.

   Place your conditional tokens on your guide scroll and plan out your program.

   This is a great game to get your mind going. My oldest loves to pull this game out and work his way through. The beginning ones are rather simple, but they get harder quickly. I have yet to get all the way through the book. If you or your child enjoy programing games, this is a great one to play. Perfect when you only have a minute or are on your lunch break at work.

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

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tokaido Review

   Tokaido is a game for two to eight players that lasts about an hour.

   Inside, there is a nice little insert with plenty of room for everything.

   The board is pretty long and has a basic art design.

    There are many travelers to choose from. Each one has a hole on the top left to place your colored disc. The upper right shows you how much gold you start with. Each traveler also has a special ability.

   There are too many travelers to go through and explain, but the rule book is excellent at explaining what everything does. There are a lot of symbols, but they are pretty easy to remember once you read them over.

   To set up, you are going to choose your traveler and a color. Take the corresponding disc, score marker and traveler piece. Place your disc into the hole on your traveler card. 

   Place the score markers on zero. Randomly place the traveler markers in the first Inn. Shuffle the different decks of cards and place them face down on their designated areas on the board.

   This game is done in line order. The person that starts the game will not always be the first one each round. You can move your piece to any open space you choose. Some places have a double space so two travelers can be there at the same time. This is only used for four and five player games. The traveler that is on the second space, moves before the player on the front space.

   The person that ends up in the back always goes first. This makes it so some people may get to go more than once during their turn.

   If you jump too far ahead, you may be waiting a bit before you get to move again. Sometimes, this is necessary if you need a certain space.

   As you stop along the trail, you will be collecting cards. Each space has a corresponding action. 

   When you stop on the Village, you get to draw three souvenir cards.You can choose any of the cards that you draw. Their cost is on the bottom left of the card and is between one and three gold per card. They also have a suit on the bottom right. You can only have one of each suit in each set. The first card in the set is worth one point. The second is worth three, the third is worth five and the fourth is worth seven. Therefore, each set is worth sixteen points. You can buy as many of the three cards as you have gold for and may have more than one set of cards at a time.

   If you land on the hot springs, simply take the top card. It will be worth either two or three points.

   If you land on the encounter space, draw the top card. These are friends that will help you along your journey. They will give you gold, points, money to donate to the temple or cards.

   As you go along, you will come along to an Inn. You must stop at these. The first person that stops, takes the first spot in the line up. They then draw cards equal to the number of players plus one. Food costs either one, two or three gold. If you purchase a food, it must be one that you do not already have in your pile. You must wait for each player to arrive at the Inn before continuing. Pass the cards to the players as they arrive. Once everyone has had a chance to purchase food, the last player that arrived then moves out and continues down the path. This makes it so that the first to arrive has the largest selection of food, but will be the last to leave.You do not have to purchase food cards. Discard the cards that were not purchased.

   If you stop on the temple space, you must donate one to three gold. Place them on your corresponding space on the board. You get one point for each gold you donate. At the end of the game you receive bonus points for donating.

   Along the way, you will also be painting panoramas. Once you finish a panorama, you can no longer stop on the corresponding space. The first piece is worth one point. The second is worth two and so on.

   There are three different types of panoramas. Paddy


   and Sea.

   There are some achievement cards you can earn. The top three are for the first person to complete each type of panorama. These are handed out as soon as they are earned.

   The bottom four are handed out at the end of the game. The first one is for the traveler that has the most hot springs cards. The second is for the traveler that has the most encounter cards. The third is for the traveler that has the most souvenir cards. The last is for the player that has the highest sum of coins on their food cards.

   Add up all of the ending points, whoever has the most points is the winner!

   I will be completely honest. The first time I played this game, I didn't like it, at all. I got a bit behind and wasn't able to catch up. I got blocked out by others and quickly ran out of gold due to not being careful. I had no idea what I was doing.

   I am also a firm believer that you should give a game a few tries before deciding if you like it or not.

   I gave the game a few more plays and liked it a little more each time. Now I love this game! It looks difficult. There's a lot to remember, but once you play, it all makes more sense and is easy to play. I've gotten many comments about how the turn order works. I think it makes it more engaging when you have to watch to see when it's your turn. Our ten year old really enjoys this game and asks to play it often. It is becoming one of our go to family games! The art is amazing and fun to look at. It's very detailed. The board doesn't have much art on it, but it still looks beautiful.

   If you like games that are a bit different, use a little more strategy (including blocking others out) give this game a try. You won't be sorry! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What I Have Been Working On

   Here are a few things I have been working on.

   I helped Chrissy get ready for a Harry Potter birthday party for her daughter. We made a Golden Snitch cake. It was pretty simple to make. We used my ball cake pan and then frosted it with vanilla frosting. I added some swirls and such to give it some texture. We then used some gold food coloring spray to color it. The wings are cut out of some thick paper and taped to tooth picks. Easy peasy!

   My eight year old kiddo has had two surgeries in less than a month. This has given me plenty of time to sit around and crochet while I wait for a whimper or a "Mom, I'm hungry/thirsty/in pain/cold/tired/can I watch..." Since I have a hard time just sitting, I usually have some sort of project going.

   My friend had twin girls so I made her babies these. I don't have a picture of them in it yet since they are still in the NICU. They are doing well, just not home yet.

   I have a favorite YouTube gamer guy. He does a segment on Board Game Breakfast. They have board game news and such. Anyway, he does a segment called Head in the Clouds so I made him this dice bag. I thought it was rather cheesy, but he loved it!

   His YouTube channel is Pair of Dice Paradise, so I also made him this mat. He can use it for his games or hang it on his wall. Whatever he'd like.

   There's a game convention coming up called GenCon. Since there are so many gamers that can't make it, last year they started a GenCant. It's silly fun and run on Twitter. People and game companies donate prizes and there are giveaways involved. I made this dice bag to donate this year.

   That's all of my projects I've done recently. I hope the kiddo stays healthy now so we can get back to some sort of normalcy and enjoy what's left of their summer break. What projects have you been working on? Feel free to share in the comments!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Product Review: Imikas Electric Pencil Sharpener

   I was given an electric Pencil Sharpener to try for free for my unbiased opinion.

   The sharpener comes with a USB cord so you can either plug it in

   Or you can use four double A batteries.

   You can change how sharp you would like your pencil. Just slide it to your desired sharpness.

   I sharpened this brand new pencil. It only took about ten seconds to be fully sharpened.

   The scraps are stored in a compartment on the side. It is easily removed for quick emptying.

   This pencil sharpener worked great! It's fast and efficient. It is electric so it does make some noise but it sharpens fast. If the shavings compartment is off, it will not work. This helps keep fingers from being injured and is a huge plus if you have kids around. It's so easy to use, I'm sure my kids will have fun sharpening every pencil in the house!

  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