August 8, 2009

Game Review – VisualEyes

Filed under: Game Reviews,Reviews — Screenhog @ 5:03 pm

VisualEyes is a game of quick-thinking and creativity. It’s a game that anyone can play, but knowing a whole lot of common phrases will give you the edge you need to win.

The game contains 18 dice that have individual pictures on each side. The dice are rolled, and then everyone around the table tries to find common phrases, like I’ve done in the illustration to the left of this review. In one mode of the game, players have about two minutes to find as many phrases as possible on the dice. After the time is up, everyone compares their word lists. If two or more people came up with the same phrase, they cancel each other out, and if someone came up with a phrase that’s a bit of a stretch, they’re voted down by the other players, but every legitimate phrase earns one point. First person to 20 points wins!

Creativity is encouraged, although bending the pictures too much into other things to try and make them fit a phrase probably won’t work. Playing on words is allowed, which means that “peace” can also be “piece”. You can add small words like “a”, “in”, or “and” to help you. Also, the phrases are only allowed to be two pictures long, so my sentence at the bottom wouldn’t be allowed (whether or not it made the other players laugh).

All things considered, it’s a fun game to play with a few friends, and it usually has some pretty hilarious moments. For instance, on one round that showed two dice with a calendar and a penguin on an iceberg, someone wrote “March of the Penguins”. On another round that had an obese man and a parka, someone suggested Chris Farley’s “Fat Guy in a Little Coat”.

There are a few downsides of this game. For instance, if you play this game too many times in a row, you start noticing a few of the same phrases over and over again, which takes a bit of the fun away. Another point is that it doesn’t work to have large groups of people play this, as it gets difficult for everyone to see the pictures on the dice. It’s also more of an adult game… in my experience, younger kids have a hard time coming up with phrases.

Those, however, are fairly minor compared to the actual fun of the game. If you want to see how well you’d do playing this game, see if you can find other phrases on the dice shown here. What about “papercut”? “Cut time”? “Playing with fire”? “Happy hour”? “Clock face”? “Two-faced”? “Time flies”?…

February 21, 2009

Game Review: Carcassonne

Filed under: Game Reviews,Reviews — Screenhog @ 10:51 am

When I had first heard of Carcassonne, I had assumed that it was basically a Middle Ages variation of Risk. After all, it’s a game in which you put your pieces on the board, taking over various roads, cities, and other areas of the countryside, and the first two syllables of its name were “Carcass”.

However, I was mistaken. First off, you don’t start off with a static board. The board is made up entirely of square tiles that are built up as you go. Plus, there is no element of removing your opponent’s men. This is purely a strategic building game, and is much shorter than the average game of Risk.

In the game, you are constructing the southern French city of Carcassonne, one tile at a time. The tiles have pieces of roads, cities, and/or fields on them, along with the occasional cloister (monastery). Every time you place a tile, you have the option of playing one of your 7 followers on the tile you just played, claiming a road segment, city segment, field segment, or cloister. Once you’ve placed a follower, he stays there until the road, city, or cloister gets finished (if you place your follower on a field, he doesn’t leave until the end of the game). For every road, city, or cloister that gets finished, the follower on it earns points. Your goal is to get more points than your opponent(s).
(click to read the rest of this post…)

Powered by WordPress