The Review Queue

Want to know what's coming up on GJJ Games?  Below are games that I may be reviewing in the upcoming weeks or months.  I say 'may' because occasionally I don't receive games that publishers/designers contact me about (they put me on a list and sometimes there aren't enough copies to go around) and sometimes I review a game just because I feel like it.  Also, every once in awhile I play a game that just isn't ready for production.  So rather than post a bad review I give the publisher/designer the option of having me hold off.  Sometimes I get updated rules and/or components, in which case I'll play again and post a review (if the game is ready), sometimes the designer moves on to other projects or I just don't get updates.  So, without further ado, here are games in my review queue!

Recently Published - these are games I just finished publishing reviews for.
  • Adepts - A resource management and worker placement game for 2-5 players.  Players assign workers to gem mines and process them to produce mana while also casting spells to help with mining, production, and affect competitors.  Update: The review is finished and will be posted closer to the Kickstarter launch.
  • Z.O.R.P. - Zombie Oblivion Response Pack - A light zombie themed game where one player controls zombies and the other players control heroes trying to traverse the board and find a cure. Update: The Kickstarter campaign failed.  The review is written, but I'll post it when I'm needing more content.
  • Cauldron Quest - A cooperative family game about getting the ingredients to a potion that will stop the evil wizard.  Full Review.
  • Bridges to Nowhere - In “Bridges to Nowhere”, you are attempting to outwit your opponent and construct a more efficient bridge. “Bridges to Nowhere” is a 10-minute, 2-player card game consisting of 4 rounds with 2 phases to each round.  Kickstarter Preview.  EBGN
  • Manaforge - Manaforge is a dice-rolling resource management game of crafting magical equipment for 2 to 4 players. Each player plays a wizard that specializes in creating magic items. These wizards cater to rich adventurers looking to trade their hard-won spoils for magical gear to make themselves more powerful.  Kickstarter Preview.
  • Tiki Island - Send your villagers to safety as they escape destruction by island hopping across the seas.  But watch out for other villagers, monsters, and disasters that will try to stop you.  This was already on Kickstarter, but my review copy came at the beginning of the campaign.  The campaign was successful and a review will be forthcoming, although post-campaign.  Pre-Retail Preview
  • Mole Rats in Space - A cooperative family game by Matt Leacock about getting your mole rats to their space ship's escape pod while avoiding snakes, climbing ladders, and steering clear of chutes.  Full Review.

Waiting to Review - these are games I've received and am working on playing and reviewing.
  • The Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction - Standalone game based on the popular "Manhattan Project" board game by Minion Games, this is a simpler card-only game using dual-purpose cards in a quick and exciting race to completion.  Full Review.  Estimated review date: March/April 2017.
  • Heroes & Tricks - Heroes and Tricks is played without a game surface as trick playing is managed through a special deck box that provides trick and hero sections. Full Review.  Estimated review date: Late March / Early April, 2017. - Played
  • Herbaceous - In Herbaceous, herb collectors compete to grow and store the most valuable medley of herbs. Everyone starts with four containers, each of which allows a different grouping action.  Estimated review date: Late March / Early April, 2017.  EBGN - Played
  • Ice and the Sky - Ice and the Sky is a cooperative game for 2 to 4 players, lasting for about 20 minutes. Players will really depend on each other (no one can lead the party) and there will be tension increasing during the game... It is a game of balance between the elements of Water, the Earth and Air, as well as the Biosphere.  This game is based on the true story and upcoming movie Antarctica: Ice and Sky.  Preview.  Estimated review date: Early April, 2017.  EBGN Played
  • Dice of Crowns - The old king is dead, and his crown must be yours!  Unfortunately, all the other houses of the kingdom have the same idea. It is time to take matters into your own hands. For each treacherous step, is a roll of the dice...  Full Review.  Estimated review date: April, 2017 - Played
  • Dice Derbi - A dice chucking fishing game that combines dexterity with strategy.  Full Review.  Estimated review date: April, 2017.  Played
  • Wanted Earth - Wanted Earth is an epic miniatures strategy board game for 2-4 players. Fight as the heroes defending the planet or try to conquer Earth as the invading alien race.  Kickstarter Preview.  Estimated review date: April, 2017.  Played
  • Archmage Origins - This is a prequel to Dawn of the Archmage.  2-4 Player card game. You need to capture & control more monster minions than your magic using rivals to be the victor.  Kickstarter Preview.  Estimated review date: April, 2017 for April/May 2017 Kickstarter.
  • Roll Player: Minions & Monsters - In this expansion to the hit Roll Player, players get to use the characters they are building to battle minions, and gain XP to prepare for the main monster battle at the end of the game.  Kickstarter Preview.  Estimated review date: May, 2017.  Played
  • Dawn: Rise of the Occulites - A miniatures skirmish game that follows tribes of Occulites (alien creatures) through many different scenarios and campaigns.  Full Review.  Estimated review date: May, 2017
  • Triassic Terror - A dinosaur themed area control game.  Full Review.  Estimated review date: May, 2017
  • Pick-A-Pig & Pick-A-Dog - A fast and frantic card matching game.  Full Review.  Estimated review date: May, 2017
  • Knot Dice - Dice with Celtic knot designs on them that can be used for a variety of games and puzzles (including one that I have been designing).  Full Review.  Estimated review date: May, 2017
  • Death Wish - The retail version of a game that I reviewed prior to its successful Kickstarter.  Full Review.  Estimated review date: May/June, 2017
Waiting to Receive - these are games I've been contacted about and will hopefully receive to review.  If I wait for more than a few months without contact, or see the game already on Kickstarter, I'll take them off this list.
  • A book based on Star Realms.  I don't know the title yet. EBGN
  • SteamPunk Mek Dice Tower and Pocket Dice Tower - These are laser cut dice tower kits that I'll be able to build and test out.  Game Accessories.  Estimated review date: April, 2017
  • Lucidity: Six-sided Nightmares - A light filler dice game with press your luck and collection aspects, and a heavy thematic element.  Kickstarter Preview.  Estimated review date: June 2017.
  • Brigade - Control rival firehouses offering protection to the good citizens of Tinderbox from a raging fire. The aim of the game is to win the Loyalty of the people with acts of heroic fire fighting and earn the coveted position of Fire Chief..  Kickstarter Preview.  Estimated review date: June 2017.
  • Dawn of the Archmage - Summon creatures from your various schools of magic and pit them against each other in the arena. You summon creatures of various power levels and value and they fight each other using a dice based combat system.  Kickstarter Preview.  Estimated review date: July/August, 2017 for August 2017 Kickstarter.
Unlikely to receive these, but still hopeful:
  • Pocket Prison - A mini-card social deduction game.  EBGN - UPDATE: Project On Hold
  • Zipang Portable - is a gorgeous Ukiyo-e style card game designed by Japanese artists, easy to learn, fast to play, yet strategic, in which players will dive into the great battle of the 17th Century Sengoku period to play Japan's most iconic characters.
  • ToSS: Trials of Sword and Staff - A party dexterity game with a fantasy quest theme that can also be a drinking game (although I won't play it as a drinking game).  I was contacted about reviewing this, but may not receive a copy until it is ready for retail.  We'll see.
  • Space Race - I was contacted about this during its (successful) Kickstarter campaign and may get a chance to review it prior to it heading to retail.
  • The CopyCat - A word-based, hidden-identity psychology game where players have to figure out the "CopyCat" among the Humans using clever word descriptions, teamwork, and strategy.  This is a higher player count game, which is usually a challenge for me to get to the table, so I will only be receiving a copy of this if they have extras.
Played and Not Ready for Review - these are games I've received and played, but I felt weren't ready for production so didn't write a review - hopefully I'll receive updates when the game is ready.
  • Into the Black: A Game of Space Piracy - A semi-cooperative game about pirates boarding a spaceship, finding loot, and taking over the ship from the current crew.  The version of this I played was not ready for production and had a lot of issues.  I never received updated rules or components, but the game is now on Kickstarter with many updates (several of which I suggested to the designer) that make the game look much better than what I played.  
  • Lost in Space - a deduction game where players are aliens trying to use their ship's detectors to determine which planets in the solar system are Earth and the other planets.  The version I played was interesting, but only worked when one or more players chose to bluff.  If no one bluffed the game was very boring.  I made a few suggestions to the designer and he is working on updates to the rules that take some of those suggestions into consideration.  The latest set of rules look more intriguing, but I haven't yet received a playable update.
Never Received - These games I was contacted about reviewing, was looking forward to reviewing, but never received a review copy.
  • Barnyard Roundup - A family friendly bluffing game where players are trying to collect farm animals to sell on market day. UPDATE: I won a copy of this in a giveaway, so I may review it still.

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