|Release: 9/19/2018||Download: Enhanced | MP3|
|Run Time: 75 min||Subscribe: Enhanced | MP3 | RSS|
|There are lots of gems buried in this here mine. It’ll take some dynamite and a bit of luck to get the shiny ones you want without collecting cursed ones that’ll cost you dearly.
In Ya Blew It, you roll your stick of dynamite (a nifty 8-sided die!) trying to scoop up the best claims of gems before the prospector decides to nab them all. Mining is a high risk and reward business, so you have to play your cards just right to know when to press your luck and when to play it safe. The more you can build and protect your glittering collection, the more you’ll cash in for big points.
Tune in to explore the game and learn why we think Ya Blew offers up a heap of simple, addictive Major Fun.
Listen in for a full review and discussion.
Ya Blew It!
Publisher: Wonder Forge
3-6 players 15-20 min ages 8+ MSRP $17
For info on the The Meal and Sorting Table segments featured on the show, check out the show notes at The Spiel!
Music credits include:
Designer: Scott Frisco, Steven Strumpf
2-4 players 20 min. ages 5+ MSRP $30
The big city can be a dangerous place. It’s a good thing your new high rise apartment building has its own team of superheroes to protect it! Rhino Hero and super friends Giraffe Boy, Big E and Batguin are on patrol as the building goes up, trying to reach the highest floor. Build with a steady hand and roll well in your battles and your hero will fly high!
Rhino Hero: Super Battle is a mega-scale stacking game. Using folded cards, players build a cardstock skyscraper and hope to move their wooden superhero token toward the top of the structure. When two heroes meet on the same level, a dice battle occurs knocking one to a lower floor. The hero at the highest level when the building comes crashing down wins the game.
This game has a lot of really fun components! There are 48 wall cards, 24 short and 24 tall ones. These cards are heavy duty cardstock. Each wall folds in half to make an L-shape.
There are 30 floor cards, also heavy duty cardstock. They are slender and rectangular. The front side of each floor has game icons.
There are three square base tiles. You’ll start your building using these.
The four wooden hero tokens are by far the most charming parts of the game.
Four pesky spider monkey tokens will make life difficult for you as you build.
And last but not least, there are 3 dice. Two are used for battles. One used for climbing the building.
The whimsical artwork by Thies Schwartz really helps establish the world of the game. There are animal characters living their wacky lives inside each apartment. The art also has a very nostalgic quality, the style is very reminiscent of art from old Little Golden Books.
To play, lay out the three base tiles together, separate the walls into two stacks and shuffle the floor cards and deal three floors to each player. Then flip three floor cards face up. Each player selects a wooden hero and you’re ready to play!
Each turn in the game goes like this: build, climb, battle, draw.
To build, you select one of the floor cards in your hand and play it. Each floor card has icons showing short walls, tall walls and possibly a monkey. Look at the icons on the floor card you play and select those walls from the supply. These are your building supplies for the turn.
Building must go in a specific order: first walls, then the floor, then monkeys. The first few wall cards will be placed on the base tiles. Some part of the wall must touch the yellow circles on the tile. Once you are building on higher floors, you can place your walls wherever you like – just remember you dont want the building to fall on your turn!
Now here’s the tricky part. You must place your floor on top of the walls you just placed. The floor must be flat. No angles or slides allowed! This can be especially tricky if you play a floor card that forces you to place walls of two different sizes. The tall walls are exactly twice the height of the short walls so as the building goes up, you will have opportunities to stack short walls on top of each other to form a level that is even with a tall wall.
If there’s a monkey on your floor, you take a monkey from the supply and hang it from the edge of your floor. There are only 4 monkeys in the game, so as the building goes up, you may have to move a monkey from one floor in the buiilding to a new one.
After building, you climb! Roll the light blue die to see where your hero lands. Based on the roll, move your hero up (or down) that number of floors in the building. Count each distinct level with a floor, then place your hero in the building.
If your hero lands on a level with no other heroes, you draw a replacement floor from the face up floor cards or from the top of the deck.
If your hero lands on a level occupied by another hero, a super battle occurs!
These battles give the game an added dimension of strategy, luck and fun.
The crazy building you and your fellow players create will become a sprawling structure which means there may be multiple floors at the same height. Any time you move your hero to a new floor, you want to take a moment to look closely and make sure there are no heros on floors at the same height.
The battle is a simple fast dice-off. The attacker is the new hero just arriving on the level. He or she rolls the red die. The defender rolls the blue die. The high roller stays on the level, the low roller must move down one level. No ties are possible in the game since the dice are not standard. The red die has all even numbers 2-4-6 and the blue die all odds 1-3-5. With those odds, it pays to be the attacker!
The hero that moves down after the battle does another level check. If there’s a hero on this level, you guessed it… another battle occurs! This means a single move by a hero can result in two or three battles as they careen down the building. It also means everyone is invested and involved on every turn, since you never know when you could be called to battle.
When the dust settles one hero will remain higher than any other in the building. That player gets the gold medal. Your outlook on the game changes the minute you get this medal. If another player causes the building to collapse, you win! But beware! If you cause the building to collapse while you have the medal, everyone else wins!
The battles are random, no doubt, but this element gives the game great balance. It’s not just the player who has the steadiest hand who is destined to win like most other stacking games. Your choices of what floor to use and where to build certainly have a big impact on the outcome of the game. But, timing and luck are just as important. You need to work your way to the top before hoping to see the cards come crashing down. And since there are so many battles, almost every game will lead to a sprawling crazy structure as players are forced to build higher and higher.
HABA’s first title in the series, Super Rhino (inexplicably renamed Rhino Hero in later editions), is simpler. Build a single tower up and up, moving Super Rhino higher and higher, trying to play all your roof cards before the structure falls. It’s an amazing, lovely and much beloved game. I have played it hundreds of times.
When I heard HABA was working on a follow up to Super Rhino, I was excited but also a bit worried.
It’s a risk to mess with that level of success. Make too many changes and you’ll lose the essence of the original. Too few changes, and you’ll wonder why they didn’t just do a reprint of the original.
Rhino Hero Super Battle is more ambitious. The scale is grand. And there are certainly more variables to consider on any given turn. But the essence of the original is alive and well.
Will this house of cards stand or fall?
Rhino Hero: Super Battle gives us a second question to ask:
Will my hero climb higher before the building falls?
At its core the game combines King of the Hill with the simple joy of building a crazy house of cards.
Super Battle’s ambition is rewarded with extra layers of tension and laughter.
Bigger than the original? Yep. You betcha. But not better. This isn’t a contest. Rhino Hero: Super Battle offers us a different flavor of Major Fun.
With any luck, you’ll get a chance to assemble your superfriends for a card climbing extravaganza and see for yourself.
|Release Date: 11/2016||Download: Enhanced | MP3|
|Running Time: min||Subscribe: Enhanced | MP3 | RSS|
Rollers is a press-your-luck dice game inspired by darts.
Yes, you heard me correctly… darts! Players try to open and close 5 numbered columns on their number boards. When a number is opened and closed, others will pay you chips each time you roll this number for the rest of the round!
Sound familiar? If you’ve ever played the dart game, Cricket, you’ll see how Rollers is a clever re-imagining of this pub classic, and playable by people of all ages.
Best of all, even if you’ve never thrown a dart in your life, you’ll have no problem understanding why Rollers is Major Fun!
Designer: unknown Publisher: USAopoly
2-5 players 15-30 min. ages 8+ MSRP $19.95
Music credits include:
Roller by April Wine | the song
|Release Date: 6/14/2016||Download: Enhanced | MP3|
|Running Time: 37 min||Subscribe: Enhanced | MP3 | RSS|
|Deep Sea Adventure is a wonderfully simple press your luck dice game from Japan with a devilishly fun twist: when you press your luck, you press EVERYONE’S luck!
Glittering treasure entices your team of divers to swim down into the depths. Each roll brings you closer to greater riches. The problem is, everyone shares the same oxygen supply! If too many divers get greedy, no one may make it back to the boat!
The higher scoring treasures are on tokens deeper below the boat. The more treasure you take, the more oxygen you use from everyone’s supply, making it more difficult for each player to make it back to the surface with their loot. Playing it safe may insure your survival but one good haul from the depths could net you the victory.
Tune in to learn more about this hidden gem and discover why we think it’s Major Fun!
Deep Sea Adventure
Designer: Jun Sasaki Publisher: Oink Games
2-6 players 30 min. ages 8+ MSRP $22
|Release Date: 5/2/2016||Download: Enhanced | MP3|
|Running Time: 48 min||Subscribe: Enhanced | MP3 | RSS|
|Roll like an Egyptian!
Favor of the Pharaoh is a recipe filling roll-and-keep dice game based on an earlier title: To Court the King. Starting as a lowly peasant, you rise through the ranks of ancient Egyptian society by rolling increasingly difficult combinations to gain abilities, bonuses, and special dice. When the final round begins, the player who rolls the most dice with the highest matching number will gain the Favor of the Pharaoh!
This is the first game to merit BOTH the Major Fun and Spiel of Approval awards! The basic game is easy to learn and adaptable for younger or less experienced players. Double sided level bars allow for more strategic and thoughtful play. Put simply, you can tailor the game to fit almost any group at your table. Familiar yet fresh, Favor of the Pharaoh is a worthy recipient of both honors and, perhaps, a spot on your game shelf, too.
Favor of the Pharaoh
Designer: Tom Lehmann Publisher: Bezier Games
2-4 players 45 min. ages 12+ MSRP $59.99
Special edition also available with 64 additional dice: $79.95