Recent boardgaming roundup!

Capsule reviews of boardgames I've been playing.
  1. Food Chain Magnate
    I'm not a Splotter fanperson, but I've been really enjoying this. Meaty but quite playable, interesting decisions, very tightly designed, but extremely punishing of experience differentials amongst the players.
  2. Mystic Vale
    Basically another deckbuilder with a "card construction" element using transparent overlays, Gloom-style. Fun, and brings together some interesting game elements (deck-building, push-your-luck, risk management) in a cool way. Not as tight as the classics in the genre though (Ascension), and noticeably more chaotic than average for a deck-builder. Probably best 2-player, 4 is a bit thin. I've enjoyed it.
  3. Take it Higher!
    This classic Knizia came off the shelf for the first time in a long time; I had forgotten how good it is. Play the Rocket game once, then move on to the "full" game.
  4. Imhotep
    Played this after the Spiel des Jahres nod. Meh. Thoroughly pedestrian, not even making an attempt to do anything interesting. At least it's short. ish.
  5. Star Wars Rebellion
    Verdict is that this is not interesting or engaging enough to sustain the playing time, and playing the Rebels is boring (?!).
  6. Tin Goose
    Still totally awesome.
  7. Ascension: Dreamscape
    The durability of the Ascension franchise has been really impressive. Yet another great set. The Ascension knock-offs are starting to pile up, but the original is by far the best.
  8. Mega Civilization
    To say that this has exceeded expectations would be a vast understatement. Expectations *were* somewhat low, but still. This has proved to be well-done as both a rational (if still 6-hours-plus) 5-6 player game and an insane monster gaming event (16-18 players, 12 hours). Francis Tresham's original, classic Civilization is still the gold standard though.
  9. Blue Moon
    Wonderful to get this tremendous classic game onto the table again. One of the absolute best.
  10. Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game
    Pretty fun "heavy filler". Vastly superior to the boardgame IMO, at least with 3-4 players. Captures everything essential from the boardgame in a fraction of the playing time.
  11. Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion
    This expansion may have been overlooked by fans. I've found it super-fun and quite different from any other version of Race. It really wants 3+ players, but it has really revived my interest in the franchise in a way Roll for the Galaxy couldn't quite manage.
  12. Port Royal
    Decent push-your-luck/economic-engine-building game. Fun, simple, clever, worth playing, but not going to set your world alight.
  13. T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case
    I think hobbyist gamers tend to give games way too much credit for just having a really clever idea, even if the execution is half-assed and fails in extremely basic ways (see also: Risk Legacy). The Marcy Case is a joke. But the idea was clever.
  14. 504
    So as not to end on a downer, 504 is a great idea that *is* tremendously well executed, and I'm still enjoying the heck out of it. Along with Tin Goose, has restored by enthusiasm for the 60-120 minute classic German-style game.