A Game of Reviews

Well who left the door open? Just about anyone could walk in here and leave a review, I’ll just close the… actually, since I’m here I could probably leave a review… just a little one… since Shmee’s busy with other things…

I’d be doing him a service. He’ll thank me later.

Over Memorial Weekend the family Paladin traveled south to that terrible place of bridges and confusing freeways, Portland, OR. To pass the time my brother taught us three new games you might like to check out yourself.


The first is The Resistance: Avalon or as I like to call it Mafia with fancy cards. It goes by other names as well, such as Werewolf or The Resistance since all of these games are the same basic mechanics. It’s a party game, so you need 5-6 people to make it fun. To begin players are given role cards, telling them they are loyal followers of Arthur or evil servants of Mordred. Only the servants of Mordred know each other while the rest of the table devolves into paranoia and fear. The goal is for either group to complete three quests, with the servants of Mordred playing fail cards and just generally being sneaky. You learn a lot about the people you play with, like my wife and brother are not to be trusted – EVER and that my sister will always suspect my brother even when he’s done nothing wrong. I had fun playing this game, but I’m not sure I can recommend it since you can play Mafia for free with just a deck of cards (rule http://www.princeton.edu/~sucharit/~mafia/oldmafia/rules.htm from Princeton no less!). Avalon does add some extra role cards like the Merlin card, but I didn’t feel like they added much to the game to make this a must buy. If you like nice themed cards with printed rules instead of a deck of playing cards and rules passed down via oral tradition then Avalon is a great game, I just like free.


The second game is Love Letter and it’s fabulous. It’s one of the few games my wife has walked away from and said we should buy (this has only happened like twice so it’s a big deal). In Love Letter you are trying to win the favor of the Princess by outmaneuvering your opponents. You start with one card and on your turn you draw a second one; now you must decide which one to play, weighing things like using the lowest pointed Guard card to guess at one opponent’s hand or go big with the higher point Prince forcing another opponent to draw a new hand but leaving yourself exposed. You can get knocked out of the game almost right away and while this can seem super unfair, yet in reality you’re hardly out of it for long since most rounds lasts five minutes and you are going to be too busy to notice because you’re watching how the whole thing turns out. Love Letter is going into our collection and it should be joining yours as well.


The final game is Marvel Dice Masters: Avenger vs. X-Men, a mouthful of a title for a game with a mouthful of dice. MDM:AvXM is a collectable card game (CCG) that uses Marvel’s famous superheroes like Captain America, the Hulk, and Wolverine. Each hero has their own flavor and powers that they add to your team of six cards, but most importantly they give you a set of themed dice. I loved rolling Storm’s clear blue and Hawkeye’s purple dice to gain dominance over my brother’s yellow and red Iron Man and black themed Nick Fury. The other great part about the dice is there is no bad roll, you can reroll or use what you got in different ways – allowing a guy like me who can consistently roll 1’s to not be frustrated that the fates have abandoned me. The rules can be a little daunting when you start, so it helps to play with someone who knows what’s going on or to set aside an afternoon to play several games and experiment. The other downside is this game is super popular and has sold out almost everywhere. I think I picked up the last copy in Bellingham the other day, so you can either pay $50 online or wait for the $15 second printing. It’s a fun two player game, with lots of strategy, and more importantly dice so I recommend it.

Whew, this review stuff is hard. I’ll just sneak out. This can be our little secret, OK.

No, seriously don’t tell him.

2 Replies to “A Game of Reviews”

  1. I’ve been hearing a lot about Love Letters! I may have to genuinely check it out now. The local game store has been selling out of the Marvel Dice game fairly quickly as well.

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