Friday, July 05, 2013

Two Great Games Reprinted and Back In Stock!

Greetings Fellow Gamers!

Well, it was a happy day at the store on Thursday!  Why, you ask?  Because, on Thursday, two very fine games arrived in our shipment from Lion Rampant -- two games which have been much in demand and very difficult to acquire over the past several months.  What games were they you ask?  Why, the two games in question were: King of Tokyo and Love Letter!  For those of you that haven't already stopped reading and headed down to the store to grab a copy, let me introduce you to both of these titles.

We'll start with King of Tokyo.  King of Tokyo is a two to six player game designed by Richard Garfield (designer of such notable games as Magic the Gathering and RoboRally) and published by IELLO Games.  When I introduce people to the game, I usually begin by saying this: "It's like Yahtzee, but with monsters -- and, unlike Yahtzee, it's fun!"  Yup, in King of Tokyo you'll get to take on the role of a fearsome monster (my favourite is Cyber Bunny -- doesn't sound fearsome I know, but you haven't seen him when he's angry) who is battling it out with several other monsters to see who can do the most damage to the city of Tokyo.

Each player will begin by selecting a monster and placing it in front of them.  Then, in player order, you'll role the six special dice that come with the game.  If you roll one's, two's, or three's you'll be have the possibility of scoring victory points -- which is good because one way to win the game is to be the first player to reach 20VP.  If you roll the claw symbol you'll be able to attack the other monsters at the table -- which is good, because the other way to win is be the last monster standing!  If you roll the heart symbol you can use that to heal your monster.  And, if you roll the lightning bolt symbol you'll collect energy cubes that can be used to buy cards that will give your monster special abilities and powers -- such as an extra head, or a spiked tail, or the ability to spit acid!  The purchasing of cards is really the best part of the game because they not only make your monster unique, but the cards also reflect the humour found in many of the 'B-Movies' of the monster genre.

In my opinion, this is one of the best family games to come along in good while.  The rules are straightforward and accessible, to the point that I would say that children age six and up could comfortably play the game -- but it's still fun and humourous for adults as well.  It has great components -- especially the chunky dice and the wonderfully illustrated cards.  Additionally, each player has their own monster token and a cool player board that has dials which track both your health and victory point totals.  Ultimately King of Tokyo is a fun, accessible game that plays quickly and should sastifying family gamers and the experienced gamers alike!  Oh and did I mention that you can play the Cyberbunny?

The other title to grace our shelves again is Love Letter.  Love Letter is a two to four player game, designed by Seiji Kanai and published by AEG.  I can honestly say that few games in the last year have proven to be as universally popular as Love Letter -- as evidenced by the fact that the game is already in it's fourth (or fifth?) printing since its release last year!  So why is this game so popular?

The answer I think is that the game represents a near perfect fusion of: ease of play, satisfaction of play and price point.  Let's start with ease of play.  The game consists of a single deck of sixteen cards -- yup, that's all, sixteen cards!  And the rules are about as simple as you can get.  On your turn, you'll begin with a card in your hand, you will draw a card from the deck, and you'll play one of the two cards in your hand, carrying out the instructions written on said card.  That's it, that's all.  One sentance and you already know how to play the game!  Yet, here's the thing, for such a simple game with so few components, when it's all over you still feel that you've had a satisfying gaming experience.  Why?  Because there are still decisions to be made on your turn, decisions which can often involve a level of both deduction and bluffing.  The goal of the game is to be either the last person with a card in hand at the end of the round, or, the person with the highest value card in hand at the end of the round.  You knock others out of the game by forcing them to discard their cards or by leaving them with lower valued cards through careful card play.  Thus, even though the game is simple, you still need to think and play carefully -- hence it's satisfying nature.  Finally, you get all of this for the remarkable price of $9.95!  Simply put, there are few titles that offer you better bang for your gaming buck!  Finally, the game plays quickly and (like King of Tokyo) proves to be a really fantastic family game.  Overall, this is a fantastic title, one that has proven to be a hit every time that I've pulled it out.

Friends and neighbours, here's the deal:  both of these games have a tendancy to vanish quickly once they've hit store shelves.  The high demand for both of these titles, coupled with the lag time between reprintings means that they often sell out quickly and then can't be acquired for the next several months.  So, if you've played these titles and you know how good they are, or, if you've not played them but are interested in expanding your cardboard horizons, I'd suggest that you head down to the store prompty and grab a copy while they're still available.  They won't be there long and believe me when I say you won't regret purchasing either one of them.

Thanks for reading and: Game On!

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