Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Boardgame review: Takenoko

I'm a big fan of both pandas and board games, so when I saw that there was a combination of the two in existence, I was ecstatic and had to play it immediately.

So, what is Takenoko?

Takenoko is a fun game for 2-4 players. The aim of the game is to get the most points, which are gained by completing quest cards.


There are 5 actions to choose from in Takenoko, and you can do 2 each turn. These actions are- picking & placing a tile, moving the gardener to grow bamboo, moving the panda to eat bamboo, drawing a quest card and irrigating tiles.

Of course, you can only do each action once each turn, so your turns have to be planned wisely!


After the first round, each player has to roll a die to determine the weather for that day. There are six types of weather, each of which apply a different effect:

  1. Sun- the player gets an additional action
  2. Rain- grows a bamboo on an irrigated tile
  3. Wind- the player can perform the same action twice
  4. Storm- move the panda, it eats a bamboo section
  5. Cloud- draw an improvement tile, either use it or store it until later (this is used as a free action)
  6. "?"- choose a weather type and apply its effect
Players do not have to follow the weather die and can choose to ignore it.

The end of the game

When one player completes 8 quest cards, the final round begins. Each player gets another turn to try and complete any remaining quest cards. Once each player has taken their final turn, the game ends and each player's score is totalled. Whoever has the most points is then declared the winner.

I played this for the first time with two people I've never met before, who also hadn't played it. Takenoko has the advantage of being fairly easy to learn, as well as not being a very long game.

I really enjoyed playing Takenoko, as it is an easy game to pick up and play- plus the different quest cards also add a level of re-playability to the game.

Grab it by clicking the image above


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Boardgame Review: Duck! Duck! Go!

Recently, it was international Tabletop day, so my local gaming store decided to hold a massive tournament of Duck! Duck! Go! (there were 12 players)

So, what is "Duck! Duck! Go!"?

It's a fun, fast paced game, where the object is to pass over buoys using your rubber duckie. Once a player has collected all of the buoys, they then have to get to the drain tile (of which there is only one) and escape. Seems simple, right? Well, there are more elements to the game that increase its challenge level as well as the fun you have with it. For example, there is duckie bonking, which is where you knock another player's duck away by landing on the same hex as them. They then follow the path you were travelling, and you can force them to face the direction of your choice once they stop. Which brings me onto movement. In the game, your movement is controlled by cards which you choose at random. The number on each card determines turn order, and the card has a path set out on it for you to follow. If two players have the same card, they take their turns simultaneously. There are also life rings, which act as teleports within the game- quite handy if you want to avoid other players, but you have to land on them rather than passing over them to use them.

How much is it?

Duck! Duck! Go is a relatively cheap game, at around £20-£25, and in the box you get 4 ducks as well as a bunch of tiles! You can also combine Duck! Duck! Go! sets to make the game bigger and more challenging, which makes it a brilliant party game!

So, what do you think of it?

Whilst I was playing the game, I was really enjoying myself. We were playing in teams of 2, so the game had both competitive and co-operative aspects, which is a really fun way of playing it!


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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Cook, Serve, Delicious

As someone who was a fan of the Cooking Mama series of games, Cook, Serve, Delicious really appealed to me as a game.

It's available on Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS and Android!

Your very own restaurant!

You are the new proprietor of the Cook, Serve, Delicious restaurant, based in the SherriSoda tower. Your job is to upgrade the restaurant slowly but surely and to be the best restaurant in the world!

You can buy different food/ drinks to enhance your menu- some items give you bonuses for the weather, some for the time of day, and some give you negatives due to smell, fat content and other factors.

Crazy Dave

Crazy Dave is a character in this game, his role is that he makes bets on the odd occasion which you generally can double your money on relatively easily. There is another betting system in place, but it's a lot more specific than Dave's bets are!

The overall game

I really enjoy playing Cook, Serve, Delicious and the levels of difficulty are not too different, meaning that progressing through the game never really becomes impossible, unlike some other games out there.

I do enjoy Cook, Serve, Delicious and at about £7 (less on mobile devices), it's worth the money!


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Tuesday, 11 March 2014


I've been super busy the past few weeks, so there hasn't been time to play games and review them. There should be a review up on the 19th.



Friday, 28 February 2014

Space Invaders (1994)

I recently bought myself a copy of the 1994 Game Boy edition of the classic game Space Invaders. Previously, I had only played this game on my Nokia N-Gauge as a child, and I wanted the full experience.

The game basics

For those of you that haven't played Space Invaders, it's a game where you have to save the world from an invasion of aliens- using just one ship. You have barriers you can hide behind whilst the aliens shoot at you, or you can be brave and pop outside of the barriers to shoot at them.

Different aliens

There are five different types of aliens, each worth a different amount of points. The points are lower for the closer aliens and they increase as shown below.

Is it fun?

To me, the game is quite fun because I enjoy racking up the points. Some people may not enjoy it, but it's nostalgic and the sounds made by the game are cool too.


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Monday, 17 February 2014

Twitch plays Pokemon

Over the last week or so, something like 50k people daily have visited Twitch Plays Pokemon. It's like a cross between a video game and a social experiment.

The nostalgia of the music, graphics and, well, the game, are enough to make you want to watch it for hours, but you have to watch 50k+ people try to control the main character. At the time of writing this, the stream has been going for almost 5 days and the chat is stuck in Team Rocket HQ after somehow obtaining 4 badges. The players have released the starter Pokemon (Charmander), a Spearow and a Rattata. 

With no note on how close the final battle is, this is going to be a fun one to watch.

More info can be found here

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Flappy Bird

The world seems to have been set abuzz by this free flash game. I can't see what all the fuss is about.

I played Flappy Bird for about 5 minutes, and stopped playing because it's a bad ripoff of Helicopter Game.

Yes, it has birds in it. That's it, that's all that's good about it. Except that it isn't good, it's awful. The hit boxes of both the bird and the pipes you have to avoid are about 1mm out of what they should be, meaning that it's virtually impossible to avoid the pipes. 

When you do manage to avoid the pipes, the game makes a sound that's suspiciously similar to the coin block sound from every Mario game ever, and the fact the pipes are identical also irritates me.

To control the flappy bird, you tap the screen. Unlike Helicopter Game, you have to tap continuously. So, the difference between this game and Helicopter Game are as follows:

  • You control a bird, not a helicopter
  • You avoid pipes, not random floating islands
  • You have to tap continuously to stay airborne
  • And, finally, it's a phone game rather than an online flash game.

The background changes from day to night and the bird colours change, which is nice. But this isn't a game, it's a waste of time. Yes, it's addictive, but the whole aim of the game seems to be just to get you to beat your high score.

**Note: apparently the creator of Flappy Bird has decided to remove it from app stores. A very odd move considering it was making him quite a bit of money with ad revenue. He may claim that it has nothing to do with legal reasons, but I can't see any other reason to pull a very successful game.*


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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Ur-Quan Masters HD

This is an interesting free game I found when roaming around the internet. Based on the sourcecode of Star Control II, originally published in 1992, this game has a truly retro feel to it.

A Spathi, one of the alien races you encounter.

The basis of the game

You are a member of a world once colonized by humans, and you must journey back to Earth in order to either help your people or to save humanity (you don't know which is more relevant at the start). Upon reaching Earth, you'll notice that the planet appears to be red- don't worry, it's not become radioactive, it's under a slave shield! Your new mission is to save Earth and free humanity from the clutches of the evil Ur-Quan.

An adventure/ space exploration game

The game revolves around exploring space and making allies/ defeating enemies. You have to build a fleet of ships and ensure that you bring the Ur-Quan to their (equivalent of) knees!

My opinion of the game

I really enjoy Ur-Quan masters HD and I feel that if you're into space-based games or just looking to play a nice game, you should go for this one.

Download it here.

Also, remember to save regularly. And if you have an issue with the game opening after first run, try running it as administrator!


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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

No review this week

I'm *almost* finished playing next week's game.

Instead, on Saturday, there will be an MTG related blog post about the Born of the Gods Prerelease I will be attending this week.


Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Back in March 2013, Blizzard set the internet abuzz with the announcement of their free to play game, Hearthstone. They announced that it was going to be a Collectible Card Game, where the cards were to be based on creatures and characters from their catalogue of other games.

As the only other Blizzard game I've ever played was World of Warcraft, I wasn't sure what Hearthstone would be like- but, as an avid player of Magic the Gathering, I really wanted to give it a try.

I got my beta key about a week ago now, and have been playing daily since!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Super Scribblenauts

A combination of puzzles, action and platforming, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Super Scribblenauts is trying to do too much. However, the game manages to combine those three elements very well and ends up being both fun and challenging.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land was a game that was developed to show off all the new gameplay aspects the WiiU brings to gaming, as well as being a showcase of what Nintendo were planning on bringing out for the WiiU. I got a WiiU for Christmas, and part of my New Year's celebration included playing Nintendoland with a few friends.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Top 3 of 2013

Hello and welcome to my top 3 list of videogames of 2013!

The reason it's a top 3 and not a top 5 is because I played a lot less games which were released this year than I thought ^_^

These will, of course, only be games I've actually played this year- which, as it turns out, isn't a huge list anyway.