2013 Holiday Gift Guide—Kids Games!

Whether you have kids of your own, know someone with kids, or were a kid once yourself, it can be hard to find just the right game for the tiny little snot factories in your life. So as we continue our gift guides, we're going to give you some of our favorite new and old games you can pick up for the kiddos—all of which are in print. And on a few of them we've linked to our review of the game, so you can investigate yourself if it's a game you'd be interested in. We'll give you the MSRP, and age/audience as it's appropriate. So without further ado, here's the list!

cheeky monkeyCheeky Monkey—This is a cute little press-your-luck set-collection game involving exotic animals. It even comes in an adorable (albeit legless) stuffed monkey. Our youngest kids really love this game.

Cost: $29.99 (Find it online)

Ages: 5 and up

Review: http://wp.me/p2hTk7-vM


candle questCandle Quest—We haven’t forgotten our Jewish readers! (Okay, we don’t know if we have any of them, but still…) This auction game has you trying to be the first to complete your menorah. It’s a retheme (actually, the original theme) of the game It’s Alive.

Cost: $21.99 (Find it online)

Ages: 5 and up

Review: Coming Soon!      

pigPick-a-Pig/Pick-a-Dog—In this game you’re trying to quickly spot the differences in the portraits of dogs (or pigs). It’s cheap, and fast. If you grab a copy of both (pig and dog) versions you can combine them for even more animal selecting enjoyment!

Cost: $10 (Find it online)

Ages: 7 and up

Review: http://wp.me/p2hTk7-Fu


mayfair_catan-junior-rightCatan: Junior—This game is designed to teach kids the basics of Settlers Of Catan, and it does so marvelously. It plays quickly, and there are decisions to be made—but they’re manageable. The colorful and chunky components only add to the appeal.

Cost: $30 (Find it online)

Ages: 5 and up

Review: http://wp.me/p2hTk7-qC


The classic code-cracking game is back in a 25th Anniversary DelCrazy Creatures Dr. Gloom—This cute little card game has you adding creatures from your hand to Dr. Gloom’s machines. It helps kids with their counting, and learning about higher and lower numbers.

Cost: $15 (Find it online)

Ages: 5 and up

Review: http://wp.me/p2hTk7-A1


louieLooping Louie—This is a holdover from last year's list, but it's just so stinking good it deserves to be on every list. This is a kids game, but I can tell you that I've played just as many games with adults as I have with kids. It's a super-fun game where Louie whirls around on a pivot, trying to knock out your chicken tokens. You're trying to keep him away from your chickens and send him at your opponents' chickens. Sounds crazy. Is crazy. Is also crazy fun.

Cost: $30 (Find it online)

Ages: My 5-year-old plays it, but he's probably too young by just a bit. Six or 7 and up, I'd say.


LabyrinthThe Magic Labyrinth—This clever little game lets you build a different hidden labyrinth under the board every game, and then you're trying to be the first to make it to tokens without running into one of the hidden barriers. There's a big memory aspect to this, and some luck. But best of all, there's no David Bowie in super-tight tights. *shudder*

Cost: $30 (Find it online)

Ages: 5 and up

There it is, our highly recommended list of kids games for this 2013 Christmas season! Stay tuned as we unveil more of our 2013 Christmas Holiday Gift Guide this week!


A Podcast Update!

RailwaysCoverHey gang! In case you missed it, last week we uploaded our second episode of the Theology of Games Podcast! In this episode we talk about the spectacle that was GenCon, a few games we're looking forward too, and we do our first ever Double-Take review on the podcast! Our featured review game for this episode is Railways Express, from Eagle Games!

Now, for some more news, we're getting ready to record the next episode, and one of the segments we're excited about is our "Mailbag" or "Tweet" bag, or whatever we should call it segment, where we answer questions from readers and listeners just like you. That is, of course, if you're the type of reader or listener who writes us and asks a question to be answered on the show!

So, have a question about gaming? Faith? What kind of razors we use to shave our heads? Fire away! You can leave them here in the comments, or post them on our Facebook page, or Tweet 'em at us! Also, if you have a question and wish to remain anonymous you can email them to us at TheologyofGames@Gmail.com and request anonymity, which we would be glad to grant you! We can't stress enough how much we enjoy and appreciate our interaction with you, so we hope you'll join us and be a part of what we're doing!

If you haven't given the podcast a listen here are some links for ya:

You can find the podcast right here.

And you can subscribe using this RSS feed - http://theologyofgames.libsyn.com/rss

We plan to record this week, and this podcast will feature our first "on air" interview as well! We're a little excited about the whole thing!

Thanks for reading (here), watching (here) and listening (here)!

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Railways Express—A Double-Take Review (Plus a Video Review)

RailwaysCoverWhen a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. ~Corrie Ten Boom Today we're taking a look at the new game from Eagle Games, Railways Express, which is a stripped-down version of the Railways of the World series. So what do we think? Let's find out...

The Overview

Railways Express is a tile-laying train game where you're trying to connect each of the four cities on the map that match your color.

2-4 Players

Ages 7 and up

15 minutes per player

photo(5)The Components

64 plastic locomotives (16 in each of the four player colors).

231 track tiles—these include straight tracks, curved tracks, and complex crossing tracks.

120 reroll cubes in each of the four player colors.

4 wooden dice—2 track dice and 2 terrain dice.

1 game board. This thing is huge. The scale might be 1:1...

18 Service Bounty Cards for an optional way to play.

24 Railroad Operations Cards for an optional way to play.

The Setup

Each player has four cities on the map in his or her color, and one of those cities is considered the Home City for that player. (Monterrey for Blue, Los Angeles for Yellow, Minneapolis for Red, and Montreal for Purple.) Each player places a train in their Home City, and then places two reroll cubes in their other three cities. Then each player places one reroll cube in each of the "neutral" gray cities on the map, and takes two of the remaining reroll cubes to start the game. Designate a start player.

photo(7)The Gameplay

Each turn in very simple:

1. Roll the four dice and split them however you choose.

2. Build track tiles on the map based on the roll.

The track dice have two sides with two straight tracks showing, two sides with two curved tracks, and two sides with one of each. And the terrain dice have two sides with grassland, one side with water, one side with mountains, and two sides with all three terrains, which acts as a wild.

So you roll all four dice, and the pair them up—one terrain die with one track die. Then you place up to four track tiles following the terrain and track you rolled. You can split the placement however you'd like. So if you roll a mountain and a grassland, you could place one mountain track, two grasslands, and then the other mountain track.

Your first track played in the game must be from your Home City, and each subsequent placement has to either come off of a previously placed track tile or a city of your color that you've previously connected to.

Because of where you are on the board, and the terrain and track you roll, it's possible you won't be able to place any track down at all—or will only be able to place fewer than four tracks. That's here the reroll cubes come in. You can turn in any reroll cube you've collected to reroll one or two of the four dice. You care free to use more than one reroll cube on a turn if necessary.

You can choose the order of cities you visit once you leave your Home City. Once you do connect to one of your Home Cities, you get to collect the two reroll cubes on it. No player can ever connect to a colored city of another player. You are free to connect into and out of any of the gray cities on the board, and if you do, you get your reroll cube on that city. Because the spaces are hexagons, up to three players can connect to each of those gray cities, but the fourth player is just out of luck.

But the point of the game isn't to connect to the most cities—it's to connect your four cities. So don't get distracted. Once someone does connect those four cities, each player who hasn't had an equal number of turns gets one final turn. Ties are broken by reroll cubes.

The Extras

The game comes with two decks that give you more options for play.

The Service Bounty Deck consists of 18 cards that are identical, other than the city named on the card—there's a card for each of the gray cities on the board. You shuffle the deck at the beginning of the game and deal four face-up. If someone connects to one of those cities while the card is visible, he or she gets an extra reroll cube, and you discard that Bounty and draw a new one so there are always four visible bounties.

The Railroad Operations Deck are various cards with various powers, that include being able to play on any terrain without having to roll a terrain die, a free track tile placement on a certain terrain, and cards that you play on others that keep that player from playing on a certain terrain type. You get to draw a card when you connect to a gray city (not one of your own).

photo(6)The Verdict

Jeremiah—So let's talk about the components. Everything was well-made—the cards, the board, etc. There were some choices that I wouldn't necessarily have made (wooden dice, plastic trains seemed backwards to me), but nothing that ruins the game. The only quirky part about the components were areas of the board that were or were not considered to be water hexes. The rules say that only the bright blue hexes are water not the pale blue, and sometimes it was really hard to define what those were.  Oh, and did we mention, the board is HUGE!?

Firestone—Yeah, unless it's something like Twilight Imperium, I almost always prefer wooden pieces to plastic, but they're mostly good. (The wooden dice are just okay.) I agree that those ambiguous water spaces are the board are annoying, though it's easy enough to make a house-rule decision. Publishers: If a space isn't a water space, don't put water in it! No one will be angry if you err on the side of clarity!

Firestone—I was pleasantly surprised to see that the game was for ages 7 and up. And it proved to be true! We even played with my 5-year-old, and with a little help, he was doing well. We'd talk about how to split his dice, and then he would put them down where he wanted to go. The age requirements might be my favorite thing about this game.

Jeremiah—Yeah, I was really glad that even on the box it says the game is for ages 7 and up. Most games I play with my kids (5 & 7) have an age rating of 8, 10, 12, 13 etc. and up. Railways Express is a great, introductory tile placement game, and is really for just about any age of gamer!

Jeremiah—I really enjoyed that this was SO easy to learn, but it didn't feel like an easy game to play. Which is to say that I felt like there were some weighty decision to make, concerning how to spend your re-roll cubes, which path to take and so on, but the mechanics were pretty light weight and uncumbersome.

Firestone—I felt it was kind of decision-light, but that just means it's a good family game and not a good gamers' game. I like family games, so it's not really a dig.

Jeremiah—While there are some decent decision making moments, the game is really driven by the dice. For "certain people" *cough cough* Scott *cough* that can be a major downside. But dice-rollers have a certain appeal for the casual player, and this Railways Express is no exception to that. This will be one that I pull out for casual players, or family game nights for sure. Making the right decisions can definitely give you a great advantage, but there aren't so many decisions to be made that a casual, or younger player will be gripped with analysis paralysis.

Firestone—Since when do I not like dice?! Oh yeah...since always. :) Look, if you roll better in this game, you will do better than those who don't. Period. Again, in a family game that's fine.

Firestone Final Thoughts—I've not played any of the Railways of the World games, but as an "express" version of anything, this does what it's supposed to. It strips down play, and is a great introduction to the concept of building tracks on the map. As far as I'm concerned, this was the very, very first step in introducing my 5-year-old to Age Of Steam. If you're playing with gamers, keep it on the shelf, but when it's with family or nongamers, put Railways Express on the table.

Jeremiah Final Thoughts—Railways Express is exactly what Eagle Games says it is. It's an express, or streamlined version of their hit title Railways of the World. It plays fast—an hour max, and probably faster with experienced players—which could definitely earn it a spot as a solid filler game, although that would seem weird because it's so HUGE. If you're looking for a quick-playing game, especially with casual players or a game for your family game night, you should definitely put this game on the table!

Thanks for reading! And if you'd prefer watching, just click on the vid below! And please subscribe to our YouTube channel while you're at it!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXrTJz0VbS0]

Kickstarter Weekly - May 13, 2013

This week we're starting off with a Kickstarter Weekly! So let's get rolling! The fine folks at Game Salute/Springboard are currently running two campaigns right now:

Alien FrontiersAlien Frontiers 4th edition - This edition of the Kickstarter classic is being packed out with new game components, some new promo cards, and a new double-sided game board! $50 gets you a copy of the game and some cool promo goodies! Check out the campaign here!




epic death boxEpic Death! - In this card game players control a party of adventurers seeking the glory of battle and attempting to achieve the most "Epic Death" to create a great legend for themselves. Of course, their opponents are trying to kill them off in the lamest way possible. The campaign funded in just one day, so you can bet they're gonna smash some stretch goals! You can score a copy of the game for a pledge of $35, and secure yourself all of the stretch promos as well!  Check it out here!

stgorytellerStoryteller Cards - Buttonshy

As we said in our last Kickstarter Weekly piece, Jason Tagmire of Buttonshy has launched the first campaign under the Buttonshy brand. Storyteller Cards are a creative tool for writers, teachers, game masters, game designers, etc. If you're looking for a cool tool to get your creative juices flowin,g this is it! The campaign is halfway funded and it only takes $10 to get yourself a deck of the cards! You'll find all the details here!

Going Once...

Francis DrakeFrancis Drake - Eagle Games The campaign for Francis Drake has been a smashing success and is going to fund! There is still time to jump in on this one but it closes this evening! $59 scores you a copy of the game and helps them hit another stretch goal before the clock runs out! Check it out here!

Thanks so much for reading! Don't forget to tell your friends about us by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and Instagram as well as subscribing over on the right!

Kickstarter Weekly—May 4, 2013

It's another Saturday edition of Kickstarter Weekly! This week we feature white whales, a new iteration of LARPing, and some railway dice rolling fun. All that and much more, so let's get started! The RatRace Board Game - Innov8Seven Design


RatRace is an interesting take on a board game. In a sense it's a type of LARP game. The game board is a calendar, and the events you face in life become allies or foes you defeat. Twenty British pounds will get you a copy delivered to your door. Find out more here.


Moby Dick, or, the Card Game - King Post Productions

Moby Dick - Example of the three different decks used for the game.

Great literature translated into a game? Apparently so! Moby Dick is a card game for up to 4 players. Players are embarking on the epic voyage to find the elusive white whale. You can get in on this campaign for $30, which will score you a physical copy of the game and a print-and-play pre-release version. Check out the details here.

Canterbury - Quixotic Games

Canterbury - Tons of game bits included with the game!

Canterbury, is a civilization building board game. Players take turns building different structures in the medieval town of Canterbury. Each structure supplies different needs to the town, and scores points.  The game looks cool, but it's a little pricey, with a $60 price point to get a copy of the game. But you will get your name on the box at that pledge level as well! Check out the campaign here.

Railways Express - Gryphon and Eagle Games

Railways Express - Prototype map and tile pieces

An express, dice rolling version of Gryphon and Eagle Games' Railways of the World board game. The game feature lots of dice-rolling, and tile-laying as up to four players compete to finish their railway routes. The game play looks fun and fast. You can still get in on a few remaining early bird pledges for $38 after that it will cost you $40 for a copy including free shipping. The details lie on the other side of this link.


fox and chickenFox & Chicken - Michael Fox A few weeks ago we told you about Michael Fox's Werewolf interpretation, Fox & Chicken. The campaign closed this week and it is fully funded and all of the stretch goals were unlocked! Congrats, Michael! Check it all out here!


Coming soon!

Buttonshy's upcoming Kickstarter

Storyteller Cards - Buttonshy

Jason Tagmire of Pixel Lincoln fame is launching his first product under the Button Shy brand. Look for the Storyteller Cards project to launch on Kickstarter May 5th.

Thanks for checking in with us this weekend! Are you backing any of these projects? We'd love to hear which ones, and why!  And don't forget to look for us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram! Have a great weekend everyone!

What You Missed...

What more could you ask for in a week of posts? Three reviews, an interview, and a ton of news! #boom Specifically...

spacesheepcoverWe shared news of the interesting-looking Space Sheep, a real-time customizable cooperative game from Stronghold Games.

Then I talked about Grail games a little bit—and how I was recently able to snag one of the games at the top of my Grail list. Update: I talked about moving to the next game—Magic Labyrinth—and I found a copy of this out-of-print gem for $34 shipped. Awesome!

Then we talked about yet another expansion for the hit game Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak.

Review #1 was a Double-Take Review of Reverse Charades. Spoiler Alert: We loved it.

Then we broke some news about another Smash Up expansion, sweet tiles for The Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game, and Mayfair's Facebook contest—which we didn't win... :(

Then we interviewed Randy Hoyt and Tyler Segel from Foxtrot Games about their upcoming game Relic Expedition.

Review #2 was The Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom.

And finally, Jeremiah gave us his first impressions of the print-and-play copy of Relic Expedition. Once I get a chance to play it (I've been ridiculously busy!), we'll have a proper back-and-forth on our thoughts.

Have an awesome weekend. We'll see you next week!

Kickstarter Weekly—A New Look

There has been such an increasing amount of activity on Kickstarter over the past few weeks, that we've decided to put a newer spin on our Kickstarter Weekly features. You'll still get them on Thursdays, but instead of piecing them out we're going to feature several projects, and give some news about them as we go. So welcome to the new Kickstarter Weekly here at TOG! Francis Drake componentsOur first project this week is from Eagle Games: Francis Drake, a game designed by Peter Hawes, puts players in the heart of Spain's new world as they sail the Caribbean, buying, selling, trading, and raiding ports for goods to return home with and sell for profits! The gameplay looks well-thought-out, and there are some customized aspects, giving it a higher replayability factor. The board and components look gorgeous as well!

The campaign has 32 days left and they've already blown past the funding goal, so it shouldn't be long before the stretch goals start getting knocked off. The only downside is the game is a little pricey, but if you've got your eye on a few other titles from the Eagle/Gryphon catalog, they've thrown together some really nice bundle packages.  Check out the campaign here, and consider getting in and helping them reach the stretch goals!

Paradise Fallen boxOur next campaign is Paradise Fallen from Crash Games, a card-management game game set in a modern post-apocalyptic island setting. Crash Games plans on setting up an entire series of games, using this title as a launching point, to create a deeper universe for games and expansions to live in. Players control tribes trying to survive while placing obstacles in the paths of the other tribes. You'll strive to survive, find food, and and explore the fallen paradise.

Canoe meeplesYou can grab a copy of the game for a $25 pledge, and there are again some nice bundles available for higher price points. The campaign has 27 days left and is still $10,000 short of their funding goal, so they've got a ways to go before it funds—let alone hitting stretch goals. I'm loving the artwork so far, and they've come up with some great outrigger canoe meeples as well! (What meeples will they come up with next!?) If card management, and post-apocalyptic island survival are your thing(s) then head on over and check out the campaign here.

TeramyydUp next is Teramyyd: Earthsphere a steam-punky, monster-fighting sky pirate, questing game.  I (Jeremiah) am very intrigued by this game. The game appears to have multiple scenarios for players to embark on, and within those scenarios lie different quests to complete on their way to victory. Let's not forget the cool sky pirates flying machines that you can upgrade and add to while trying to defeat sky monsters!

IO Worlds has blown past their funding goal by $40,000 with 32 days remaining on the campaign. And have already unlocked a new baddie and a new ship as the first two stretch goals. And the 3rd one looks way cool too! The bad news is, all of the early bird pledge levels have been devoured! So it will take a pledge of $75 to snag a copy of the game, but as the stretch goals pile up, the box you get will be stuffed with more and more cool little miniatures! You can check the campaign out for yourself, right here.

PL-Bicycle1If you haven't done so, your window of opportunity is closing to get in on the Pixel Lincoln: Bicycle Playing Card campaign! There are two inexpensive options for jumping on board, a $10 pledge will get you a 21-card expansion for Pixel Lincoln the deck building game. Or a $12 pledge will get you a deck of PL playing cards! There's just 5 days left, so best hurry on over!

Smallworld2And finally we want to extend a congratulations to Days of Wonder who CRUSHED their campaign to bring Small World 2 to the tablet realm (including PCs through Steam, android and iPad). They blew past their $150,000 goal, pulling in almost $400,000! This unlocked ALL of their stretch goals! Congrats to DoW, and the over 7,000 folks who backed the campaign!

Have you backed any of these projects? We'd love to hear what pushed you off the fence, and what you're excited about!

Thanks for reading TOG! Please tell your friends about us, and don't forget to check us out over on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to sign up on the right to receive TOG via email!

Triassic Terror—Kickstarter Weekly

triassicToday's edition of Kickstarter Weekly features a new game from Eagle Games: Triassic Terror. It's an area-control game where you're competing for the best habitats. From the Kickstarter page: "Triassic Terror is a highly interactive game in which players compete for the best habitats. The better the habitat the more Victory Points (VP) you earn for occupying it. Ownership of a habitat goes to the player with the greatest number of Dinosaurs (Dinos) present, so the heart of the game is all about growing your herds, making new herds, and migrating your herds to new uninhabited lands with the best habitats. Competition for habitats is fierce, and if outnumbered your Dinos may become extinct." The game comes with:

  • Prehistoric Island Game Board
  • 6 each of Player Dinosaurs + T-Rexes + Scoring Markers
  • 1 Game T-Rex + 2 Velociraptors
  • 1 Pterodactyl Token
  • 1 Turn + 1 Start Player Marker
  • 12 Volcano + 12 Hatch Counters
  • 1 Set Up and 3 Player Aid Charts
  • 120 Wooden Dino Meeples
  • 78 3-Dino discs
  • 6 Action Tiles
  • 28 Environment Cards
  • 1 Rulebook

The game still has 15 days to go, and it's only $3000 away from funding. The buy-in is pretty expensive, but it looks like you get a TON of stuff in the box. And some of the advance buzz is pretty good. One Boardgamegeek user who has played the prototype version said, "Without doubt this is the most interesting area control game I have played..." Check out the campaign for yourself. And as always, thanks for reading!

Why, You 'Cheeky Monkey'—A Double Take Review

IMG_0867 We know how much you all love to hear the thoughts we both have on games, so here we go with another Double-Take Review! This week's lucky contestant is Reiner Knizia's Cheeky Monkey, from Eagle and Gryphon Games.


  • 1 very adorable and VERY soft plush monkey (who is a double leg amputee and has had his abdominal cavity hollowed out in some sort of freak accident). This acts as the bag, from which you'll be drawing chips.
  • 52 white plastic poker chip tokens
  • 1 sheet of animal stickers, which you'll place on those poker chips.
  • 7 bonus tiles, which are large cardboard disks with animals (and the number of bonus VPs they're worth) on one side, and facts about the animal and its habitat on the other.

IMG_0864Gameplay—Players simply take turns pulling tokens out of the abdominal cavity of the plush monkey, and placing the tokens in front of them. If a player draws a token that matches the top animal of any player's stack, they get to capture that token as well and place it in front of them. If they draw a duplicate to one they've already pulled that turn, they lose everything they've gained that turn. If they decide to stop after drawing any number of tokens, they keep those tokens and place them in a single stack in any order they choose. Then play continues to the next player.

Going Cheeky—If a player draws a Monkey token, they can choose to "go cheeky" and take the topmost token of any player's stack—exchanging the Monkey token for the chosen one.

The game is over when the last token has been drawn and stacked. The tokens are sorted by type, and each bonus token is awarded to the player with the most tokens of that type. Each regular token is worth 1 point, and the bonus tokens are worth their face value. The scores are totaled up and the highest score wins.

The exuberant 5-year-old shakes the monkey...

The rules have several scaled-down variations to help younger players learn and play the game—such as using no bonus tokens, or not being able to go cheeky. This is a nice way to get younger kids into the game, and then gradually introduce a new rule or two in subsequent games. (And there will be subsequent games...)

Jeremiah—When the package containing this game arrived and I pulled it out, my boys immediately wanted to play! The monkey "container" is cute and soft and looks great sitting on the shelf in my nerd room.

Firestone—That's exactly what happened here, too. "Dad! Dad! What is that? It's a GAME?! Can we play?"

Jeremiah—The downside of the components is the stickers! I was totally okay with having to put the animal stickers on the tokens; the problem was they didn't come off of the paper cleanly or easily. So it took forever trying to peel the perfect circle of paper off of the back of the stickers.

Firestone—I have never felt as uncoordinated as when I tried getting those stickers off the sheet. It was like Andre the Giant trying to thread a needle while wearing mittens... But once I got the stickers off, they went on great, and I haven't had any problems with them peeling.

Jeremiah—The game is pretty fun and has lots of teachable moments for younger kids. My youngest often gets very upset when someone takes his favorite animal from the top of his stack (which is often whatever animal is on the top of his stack!). So there are lots of "being gracious" and "good sport" talks that happen around that aspect of the game. Despite that, my boys both LOVE the game and think it's really fun.

Firestone—My teachable moments involve learning when to press your luck, and when not to. "Son, you have all but one of the animals already on this turn. The chances of you drawing an elephant are slim..." He, of course, draws an elephant and I realize they haven't learned A THING!

Jeremiah—The length of the game makes it the perfect kids filler game. Or the "we don't have time to setup/play anything else right now" game, but they're not getting cheated out of playing a great game. It just happens to be shorter, for those nights when bedtime is eminent.

Firestone—We (try to) have Family Game Night every Monday, but sometimes the evening gets away from us and we realize it's nearly bedtime. Cheeky Monkey is the perfect length for a quick game—though if the kids are really pressing their luck, sometimes the game can get "stuck" for a little while.

This game gets a solid 7 from me—a great game that the kids love to play. The monkey bag gets a perfect 10, though. Overproduced, unnecessary, and completely wonderful.

Jeremiah - It may be hard to think that a game this simple has even simpler rules, but those scaled down rules made it super easy to teach my 4-year old the game. I told them when we started that there were other rules and when we finished the first game they immediately wanted to know the rest of the rules. When I explained the "Going Cheeky" rule, they both grinned ear-to-ear and my 4-year old exclaimed, "If I get a monkey, I'm going to go cheeky!"

I'm giving it a bump up to a 7.5—my boys really like this one...a lot. It's totally a kids game that will never see the light of day with my gaming friends. And in the category of inexplicably disfigured but amazingly cute and cuddly plush animal containers, it scores an 11!

We'd like to thank Gryphon Games for providing a review copy of Cheeky Monkey, and you for reading! We would LOVE it if you liked us on FaceBook, and followed us on Twitter!

Wizard's Brew—Kickstarter Weekly

wizardcoverThis week's featured game is actually a reboot of an older one: Das Amulett, an out-of-print 2001 game from designers Alan R. Moon and Aaron Weissblum. It was on the short list for Spiel des Jahres that year, but lost out to Carcassonne. Gryphon and Eagle Games have launched a Kickstarter for Wizard's Brew, a new version of Das Amulett, with a few small differences and improvements. They passed their $10,000 goal just this morning, so it will be funded in 18 days—and this will be a limited edition that will include a small expansion and promos only available through the Kickstarter campaign. Some of the stretch goals include component upgrades and even more expansion spell cards. The game looks to combine resource management, auctions, and player interaction into a meaty filler that plays in around an hour. Check out the campaign for yourself, and as always, thanks for reading!