Saturday, March 14, 2020

Building Your Board Game Collection Series #1: Worker Placement



Hello, Labyrinth friends, our social media staff are working on a new series of blog articles all about how to build out your board game collection.


This week we will talk a little bit about worker placement. Whether you are just getting into board games or have been playing for a while, worker placement is a very versatile mechanic that can range in complexity from light-weight to heavy-weight. The worker placement mechanic more often than not involves each player having a pool of worker-shaped meeples that they then get to place on the action of their choice. In this way, players are limited to a certain number of actions per turn or round, though often there are many ways to maximize the number of actions a player can take through either gaining new workers or upgrading current workers. Often the thinking required for worker-placement games involves sequencing actions in the most efficient way possible in order to build an engine for producing whatever resources or revenue the specific game requires for scoring victory points. Here at Labyrinth, our staffers love worker-placement games, so we are more than happy to offer some recommendations for starting this part of your collection.



Family-Friendly and Easy-to-Learn Worker Placement Games

Here are a few options for worker placement games that can potentially be played with younger gamers, while also being easy-to-learn for adults.

Little Town

Little Town is a great little game that only lasts four rounds and can be played with kids 9-years-old and up (sometimes younger depending on individual kids' reading levels). In the game you place three workers per round, and, when you place a worker, you gain the resources from all the surrounding tiles. You can then use these resources to construct buildings that gain victory points and benefit you later on in the game whenever those buildings are used. It is fun and fast and light enough that it's a great choice for family game night.  

Lords of Waterdeep

"Lords of Waterdeep is a worker placement game that is set in the D&D universe. Players take control of one of the powerful lords of Waterdeep and play the game over several rounds, placing workers to gain resources necessary to complete quests or build new buildings. The game is extremely fun and offers lots of choice in how to strategize, and there's also some light role-playing elements, which are really fun. Depending on the player, it's also a game that could be played from 12-years-old and up." --Melissa

Stone Age

Stone Age is roughly the same level of complexity as Lords of Waterdeep, though both of these games are more complex than Little Town. It is best for older kids if you plan to play it with the family. Stone Age is a game in which placing your workers can produce resources (those resources including new worker meeples) for expanding your tribe and advancing your civilization. It has a charming aesthetic, while also containing really nice pieces and fun gameplay choices.


Harder-to-Learn Worker Placement Games for Adults

The following games offer more numerous and complex options for players and are a little bit trickier to learn.

Architects of the West Kingdom

"In Architects of the West Kingdom, 1-5 players are competing royal architects trying to impress the King. One of the most fun mechanics in this game is the jail action, with which players can send opponents' workers to jail if they have gathered too many workers in one action space. Otherwise, it is also just a really rich experience, where you have a whole lot of options for how to obtain victory, and the components are beautiful as well." --Setorie This game also just had an expansion come out called Age of Artisans that adds a lot of new depths to the game.

Viticulture

"Viticulture is an amazing worker placement game! It's fairly complex, though not so complex as to be unapproachable. Players take on the role of people in pre-Modern Tuscany, trying to make their small vineyard a success. Everyone starts with only 3 workers and, later in the game, people who visit your vineyard can help by volunteering under your workers' supervision. It's a fairly unique experience coupled with nice aesthetics."--Matt



Starting your board game collection can be hard, as there are hundreds of options in each category, genre, and type of game. These are some of our favorite suggestions for starting your worker placement game collection or even completing it. If you would like to hear even more options just stop by the shop and our staffers are happy to make additional recommendations. We may also have some options for 2-player only worker placement as well. Look out for our next article, "Building Your Board Game Collection #2:  Territory/Area Control."

Friday, March 13, 2020

What's New at Labyrinth 03/13/2020

We just received some really cool stuff that we wanted to share with you all!

Spicy Dice

"Twenty four unique dice and six dice rolling games to play. It also has a section on guiding the player to create their own dice games. The six included games are: Catch 6, Keep on Rolling, 2 Out of 3 Ain't Bad, Grand Poorah, Perfecto, Diangle! This would almost be considered a set of generic dice games, except that they are specifically modified for the included games as each die has one side marked with red pips instead of white" (BoardGameGeek).

My First Rush Hour

"My First Rush Hour is designed to be a fun game that reinforces age-appropriate lessons such as matching and identifying basic shapes and colors while also offering a gentle introduction to the concept of logical deduction. Challenges progress from straight-forward matching to more advanced challenges that require simple problem-solving. Large challenge cards are placed underneath a transparent game grid and then, using the clues provided, players attempt to match the vehicles to their proper positions. Larger, chunky vehicles and a bigger grid are perfect for little hands. Once all the cars and trucks are in the right place, players WIN by driving the Red Hero Car through the maze of traffic, down an exit ramp, and out of the puzzle! Developing minds will experience the wonder of their first A-Ha! moment and have fun along the way!" (Thinkfun).

Dog Crimes

"Dog Crimes is the follow-up to our top-selling deductive reasoning game, Cat Crimes. A stand-alone game, Dog Crimes features an all-new cast of characters – and 40 all new mysteries to solve. Each of the 40 challenge cards presents a canine crime and a series of clues to help you identify the culprit. The six dog suspects feature distinctive characteristics and traits, and the gameboard supplies additional supporting evidence to help you solve the crimes. It’s the perfect game for dog lovers, and anyone who loves a good mystery!" (Thinkfun).

Minecraft: Builders and Biomes

"As in the original Minecraft digital game, in Minecraft: Builders & Biomes players explore the Overworld, build structures, and mine resources, earning points for structures and the largest connected biomes of forest, desert, mountain, or snowy tundra spaces on their player boards. Familiar foes like Endermen, Creepers, and other mobs also appear throughout the game, and they need to be defeated using weapons collected from the board. Defeating mobs earn players points in addition to granting additional awards. Game scoring occurs as the resource cube's layers are depleted. As soon as the third layer runs out, the adventure comes to an end, and the builder with the most points wins" (BoardGameGeek).

Minecraft Magnetic Travel Puzzle

We now have a Minecraft activity to take on the go! 


3D Puzzles!
(image from: https://www.wrebbit3dpuzzle.com/product/weasleys-wizard-wheezes-daily-prophet/)
(image from: https://www.wrebbit3dpuzzle.com/product/white-house/)

We just received a bunch of 3D Puzzles, including Harry Potter-themed ones and Capitol Hill-themed  ones.

Sunny and Stormy Day


"Sunny and Stormy Day is a cooperative game that encourages discussion of feelings through the metaphor of 'sunny' and 'stormy' experiences. The game has 3 separate activities, a variant on the classic tile matching game, and a draw bag with tokens that ask for the players to discuss a part of their day, and a book that tells the story illustrated on the tiles. The book tells the story of a day in the life Max the Hedgehog. During the day he experiences 'sunny' and 'stormy' events. The draw bag contains 3 tokens, a sun, a cloud, and a rainbow. They ask the participants to share part of their day that was sunny, stormy, or to share something they are looking forward to. The book and the tokens support the game in teaching about emotions but are not a part of the game." (BoardGameGeek).

Head to Toe Dominoes

"Take this Animal Parade everywhere you go! From snakes to giraffes, our Animal Parade Head to Toe Dominoes will delight children at home, at Grandpa's house, or on vacation. A great little size to toss in your bag and take on the go. Illustrated by Monika Forsberg"(Eeboo).

Cross Clues

"Cross Clues is a cooperative party game about making connections between clues. Work together to fill in the grid of code words by giving single word clues that represent the crossing of two different code words in the grid. Consider your clues carefully and think as a team to fill in as much of the grid as possible! Thousands of different combinations guarantee endless fun!" (BoardGameGeek).

Sloth in a Hurry

"Quick! Can you act Who, What, & How? Take turns drawing a Who and What card, then spin for the How! Are you a Zombie Roller Skating on the Moon? Or perhaps a Penguin Walking a Tightrope with a Robot Partner? This quick-action improv game gets kids up, active, and laughing. Easy to learn and play, Sloth in a Hurry is a non-competitive, confidence building game. Illustrated by Monika Forsberg" (Eeboo).

Puppy Fuffle
 

"Unleash your inner playful puppy with eeBoo’s new board game, Puppy Fuffle. Two to four players move around the board trying to collect as many treats and toys as they can to be top dog. If you don’t win a round, don’t worry. Every dog has their day! Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino" (Eeboo).

Time Telling Game

This is a great game for teaching kids how to tell time in both digital and analog using color coding to assist in the differentiation of different hours and parts of hours! Now in stock at Labyrinth.

Skip-Bo Jr.

We now have Skip-Bo Junior! If you're a fan of the original Skip-Bo and want to play with your kids, this is a great choice.

Stelloe

"Think dominoes but with a colorful, geometric twist! Stellö is a strategic, color-matching game with all the angles on fun. Creative connections. Cunning competition. With 5+ ways to play, Stellö is sure to be a big hit with everyone!" (PlayMoebi).

Bandit's Memory Mix Up

"Bandit the Raccoon encourages kids to shake things up in this fun, mixed-up game that tests memory. The first player to correctly identify which object is missing from the garden wins! Easy to learn, with variations that allow for solo and larger group play" (Mindware).

Yarrr Har Hunt

"It’s a treasure hunt race: players help Captain Casey and her crew discover the Shell Island Treasure by uncovering clues. But be quick: the ship will soon be back to end the hunt! Players work together and problem solve to figure out where the treasure is hidden. This cooperative game has all players working together to win!" (Mindware).

Cloaked Cats

"A mystery deduction game! Quick! It’s time to sharpen your claws and head to the Cloaked Cat ball! Players try to unmask each other among all the velvet-pawed guests. They’ll try to play their cat cards skillfully, draw the right conclusions, all while trying to reveal as little as possible about themselves. The player who can deduce the most information about the other players wins!" (HabaUSA).

Dragon's Breath The Hatching 

"Oh no! The nest, complete with dragon egg and sparkling stones, is frozen inside an ice column! Help Dragon Mom melt the thick layer of ice, but be careful that the egg doesn’t fall out of the nest! Earn points by collecting the fallen sparkling stones and placing them on your amulet" (BoardGameGeek).

Icarus
(image from: https://www.renegadegamestudios.com/products/icarus)

"Every game begins in a city-nation known as Icarus at the height of its power where, in celebration, the city has decided to erect a massive, ever-growing monument in the center of town to display its prestige to the world. During the game, you will be stacking dice to represent the construction of this monument, drawing cards from a story deck to create the escalating events in the city, and influencing the outcome of those events through actions driven by your characters’ motives. And when the dice tower finally falls, your civilization falls with it and the game comes to an end" (RenegadeGameStudios).

MTG Mystery Booster Boxes

(image from: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/mystery-booster-revealed-2019-11-11)

Mystery Boosters are here! Come draft them with us on Saturday or grab a box of your own to draft with friends.


Other Important Mentions for New Products
We just got great little Dex brand card binders that zip up and are great for taking on the go when you want to meet to trade Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, or Magic. Also, the puzzle section has recovered in full force and has a lot of new puzzles to offer as well.

Friday, March 6, 2020

What's New at Labyrinth 03/06/2020

What's New at Labyrinth 03/06/2020

Arkham Horror LCG: Where the Gods Dwell

"Your journey through The Dream-Eaters cycle has taken you to every corner of the Dreamlands, from the Kingdom of the Skai to the Dark Side of the Moon, but always have you been in search of lost Kadath, where the gods dwell. Now your quest reaches its dreaded destination, and all shall be revealed" (FantasyFlightGames).

Pokemon Construction Kits and Collectibles


Check out these cool Pokemon Construction kits, as well as cool collectibles!

Architects of the West Kingdom: Age of Artisans

"In Architects of the West Kingdom: Age of Artisans, journeymen have returned to the city as master craftsmen, equipped with knowledge of new crafts and tools. The Guildhall has never been so busy! While some apprentices spend time learning new skills, others adorn the city’s buildings with everything from golden tapestries, to stained glass windows. But don’t let the shimmer of lights and fancy wares deceive you. For not all that glitters is gold. In addition to including components for an extra player, Age of Artisans adds the new Craft Cards, a dual-layered Guildhall Board, two new Player Boards and a variety of new Apprentices and Buildings" (RenegadeGames).

Fire Tower

"Fire Tower is a competitive game where players must fight fire with fire. Most fire fighting games have a cooperative aspect with players working together to beat back the flames, but in Fire Tower your only objectives are to protect your own tower and spread the blaze towards your opponents. The game plays 2-4 players, ages 12+, and takes 15+ minutes. Action cards allow players to alter the direction of the wind, and add varying patterns of fire, water, and defensive barriers to the board. The skill comes in effectively directing the resources in your hand and using sound spatial planning to deploy them" (BoardGameGeek).

Tiny Park

"The park designer is building a new amusement park. But what's that? You have competitors building their own amusement parks next door. Good planning is half the battle! With the right mix of risk-taking and dice-rolling luck in Tiny Park, who will manage to perfectly place the attractions and complete their construction site first (with no gaps) and be the first to open their park to the happy customers?" (BoardGameGeek).

Throw Throw Burrito

Throw Throw Burrito is now at Labyrinth! Come grab your burrito-throwing game today.

Kariba

This is a hand-management game by Reiner Knizia with beautiful art that is now in stock at Labyrinth!

Rock, Paper, Switch

"Capture your way to victory in this strategy game that combines the concepts of chess with the rules of classic rock-paper-scissors! Remember that paper can capture rock but not scissors as you move across the board, but be ready to improvise: switch tiles can change the game in a single turn! A great introduction to strategy games, Rock Paper Switch develops big picture thinking as you try to be the last player with at least one of each pawn on the board!" (Mindware).

Otter Confusion

"Players must guess which zany otter is in front of them, all while Behavior cards tell them what goofy action they must perform throughout the rest of the game! You otter ask your questions carefully, or you may quickly become a burping cry-baby who talks like a robot! This family-friendly guessing game teaches memory and deduction, and will have everyone laughing by the end" (Mindware).

Slam Cup

"Match the cups then slam them down fast! Slam Cup is an intensely fast speed matching game. Match the color on the inside of your cup to the color on the outside of the top cup on the stack. Then slam your cup on top as fast as you can before someone beats you to it! The first player to stack all their cups is the winner" (BoardGameGeek).

Bye Bye Mr. Fox

"Bye Bye Mr. Fox​ is an adorable cooperative game that teaches young players about teamwork and strategy. Work together to help the hens keep their eggs safe from the cunning Mr. Fox! Spin the spinner and see what will move this turn: an egg, a chicken, or Mr. Fox? Move three eggs into each hen's house to win!" (BoardGameGeek).

Cupcake Academy

"Cupcake Academy is a cooperative game of logic and speed. Work together with your fellow pastry chefs to organize your kitchen based on your instructor’s assignments. Each assignment wants your cupcake cups to be arranged in a specific layout in the kitchen, so you must quickly move the cups to empty plates or on top of smaller cups, one at a time, before time runs out!" (BoardGameGeek).

Starlink

"Starlink is a drawing party game that takes its inspiration from the constellations in the night sky. On your turn, you must try to represent a secret word by drawing straight lines between the stars on the board, and then hope that the other players can guess what you are illustrating" (BoardGameGeek).

Professor Noggin Card Games


We just received some more Professor Noggin games!

Go Cuckoo!

"On your turn in Zum Kuckuck!, you take one standing stick and put it on the nest. If both ends of the stick have the same color, you may choose to lay an egg on it. Otherwise, you take another stick whose top color is the same as the hiding color of the previous one, up to three sticks. After laying an egg or putting the third stick with different colors, your turn ends. There are penalties for a stick touching the ground or eggs falling from the nest. The first person to lay all of their eggs can then put the cuckoo on the nest and win the game" (BoardGameGeek).

Katamino Pocket

We now have Katamino in pocket version!

New Mini Puzzle Boxes

We have received several new miniature physical manipulation puzzles. Come to a look today at Labyrinth!

New Puzzles

There are a bunch of new kids' puzzles and some more grown-up puzzles as well available in our jigsaw section.

Karuba

"This is a tile-laying race game with players starting with boards that are identical, and one player drawing tiles that they all will use. They race to get their explorers to temples first and earn points. Along the way they can collect additional points by collecting items off the paths they create. The game ends when one player gets all of their explorers to their corresponding temples or whenever the last tile is drawn and placed. Most points wins" (BoardGameGeek).

Quantik

"Quantik is a pure abstract strategy game. The goal is to be the first player to pose the fourth different forms of a line, a column or a square zone. Each turn the players will put one of their pieces on the boardgame. It's forbidden to put a shape in a line, a column or an area on which this same form has already been posed by the opponent. We can only double a shape if we have played the previous one ourself. The first player who places the fourth different form in a row, column or zone wins the game immediately, no matter who owns the other pieces of that winning move." (BoardGameGeek).

Orchard

"Obstgarten is a cooperative game for two or more players aged 3 and up. Only a quick harvesting of the trees carrying crunchy cherries, juicy apples, sweet pears and marvelous plums prevents the snitching of fruits by the impudent and insatiable raven. All players work together to harvest the fruits." (BoardGameGeek).

Rabbit Rally

Rabbit Rally is another beloved Haba game that is now in stock at Labyrinth!

Karuba Jr.

"Karuba Junior is a cooperative tile-placement adventure game in which players search for treasures in the jungle on the island of Karuba with three brave adventurers. Will you manage to place the path tiles so that you reach all the treasures before the mean pirates raid the island? You need to work together and be careful of tigers that block the paths. With skill and a bit of luck, you'll be faster than the pirates!" (BoardGameGeek).

Dragon Shield Sleeves

We now have more Dragon Shield Sleeve options!

Bunny Kingdom

"Peace has come at last to the great Bunny Kingdom! Lead your clan of rabbits to glory by gathering resources and building new cities across the land! Draft cards and pick the right ones to position your warrens on the 100 squares of the board, provide resources to your colonies, build new cities to increase your influence, and plan your strategy to score big at the end of the game. Settle in lakesides or fields to collect water and grow carrots, gather mushrooms in the green forest, and climb the highest mountains to discover rare and precious resources... Secretly rally rabbit lords and recruit skillful masters to make your cities and resources even more valuable at the end of the game.After each turn, your groups of contiguous warrens grant you points depending on the cities and different resources they include. The game ends after 4 rounds, and the player with the most points wins the game." (BoardGameGeek).

Yu-Gi-Oh! Ignition Assault Special Edition Box

"Reignite the Dueling fire with Ignition Assault Special Edition! Each Ignition Assault Special Edition contains 3 Ignition Assault booster packs, as well as 2 (of 4) Super Rare variant cards in every box! The immovable force of Gouki Guts along with the recursive power of Unchained Twins – Sarama give you a sneak preview at what's to come in Spring 2020's Eternity Code booster set, while 2 brand-new Link Monsters also enter the fray. Use Cyberse Accelerator to power up your Cyberse monsters by 2000 points, or let them attack twice! Or protect your other monsters with the huge Link-4 2800 ATK Gouki Destroy Ogre" (Yugioh-Card).

Legend of the Five Rings LCG: Rokugan at War

"With war on the tip of everyone’s tongue, the Great Clans of Rokugan will have to take stock of their resources. It’s time to raise armies, take to the court, and fight for your land. The Emerald Empire is at war, and nothing will ever be the same. Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Rokugan at War, the first pack of the Dominion cycle for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game! Rokugan at War features 60-new cards (3 copies each of 18 different cards and 1 copy each of 6 different cards) to augment your favorite decks and introduces new mechanics that place an emphasis on a player’s provinces, whether this means starting the game with a province faceup with the new Eminent keyword or overfilling a province with the powerful new Rally ability!" (FantasyFlightGames).

Marvel Champions LCG: Thor Hero Pack

"Join the fight for freedom with the Thor Hero Pack for Marvel Champions: The Card Game!With the mythical hammer Mjolner, Thor has the power to defeat even the strongest of foes with legendary strength and power.Like all Hero Packs, the Thor Hero Pack includes a fully-playable deck right out of the box that includes 15 Hero cards, 17 cards from the Aggression aspect, and 8 neutral cards. This deck allows you to harness the power of Thor, who is rewarded for engaging and dispatching villainous minions from the field!" (BoardGameGeek).

Composition

"Composition is a word spelling, card-drafting game that puts the player in the role of a maestro! Players compose words to earn ovation cards and awards. Whichever player has the most of these cards at the end of the game wins.Each round a number of cards are laid out on the center of the table, with the maestro holding the baton choosing from the selection first. From these, players can choose between a face down crescendo card that costs 5 roses, face up note cards that are free to take, and the ghost note: a wild card that may be played as any letter! Once all available cards are selected, players spell a word. Players resolve abilities on cards, earn roses, and a new round begins!Sometimes players will uncover tomato cards that can really mix the game up, so be sure to read them aloud and make sure their effects aren't getting thrown at you! Some cards also have symbols, which when paired with identical symbols earn the player bonus roses or other boons.The game has a strong music theme interwoven with the cards and concept, and of course the winning player should have a rose or two tossed their way from the others to celebrate their magnificent performance!" (BoardGameGeek).

Katamino Family

"Katamino Family is a junior version of Katamino, with two players competing on separate game boards (or possibly one game board divided into smaller spaces) to fill all of the empty spaces first. The game is played over a number of rounds, with each round becoming progressively harder. Katamino Duo also works as a solitaire puzzle, with the solver trying to fit the pieces onto the playing area in different ways." (BoardGameGeek).

Go Ape!

"Go Ape! adds a hilarious twist to the traditional game of Go Fish! Instead of asking other players for a card, you’ll act out the funny monkey picture on the card you want without talking! For example, if you need a card that shows a monkey covering its eyes, you’ll cover your eyes to see if another player has a card that matches. If you want a card that shows a monkey standing on one foot, you’ll stand on one foot. Collect the most monkey matches, and you’re the winner." (BoardGameGeek).

Keys to the Castle Deluxe Edition

"Keys to the Castle is a tile-based game of strategy and luck. Players must open and close doors (the tiles) to move along a path and be the first to cross to the other side. Special cards are played to hacksaw through barred doors, use a skeleton key to unlock padlocked doors, throw a net on a player to stop them in their tracks or use secret passageways to maneuver your way to the other side. The game is easy to learn and quick to play. With the tiles acting as the "board", there is a new outcome to each game every time the tiles and cards are shuffled." (BoardGameGeek).

Brain Builder Ben

"Little brains and nimble fingers are put into actions when children attempt to build the picture shown on the card. A deck of 20 cards with threes degrees of difficulty have the solution on the flip side. Of course kids will create their own buildings too in free play! It encourages cognitive development, cause & effect and creativity"(Haba).

Brain Builder Cat & Mouse 

"Little brains and nimble fingers are put into action when children attempt to build the picture shown on the card. A deck of 20 cards with three degrees of difficulty have the solution on the flip side. 14 peg[s]..., 20 template cards. Material: beech...For ages 2 years +" (Haba).

Dragon Market

"In Dragon Market, players attempt to manipulate boats on a river in order to pick up the items they need to complete objective cards." (BoardGameGeek).

Talent Show

"Talent Show is a silly party game with a variety of different challenges. Play against the game...or each other! Do you have what it takes to win the talent show? Roll the dice to complete the challenge for the round. Challenges include: drawing, singing, miming and combining words together. You will score points if the other players can guess what you are trying to represent." (BoardGameGeek)

ShapeShift

"Just one piece from the Brain Training range. Test your reflexes and spatial awareness with this competitive game of shape building! Each card comes with a shape challenge and there are three different difficulty levels. Get ready for some fast fun!" (ProfessorPuzzle).

Piece of Pie

"It’s time to piece together the perfect pie! ​Piece of Pie​ is a deliciously themed drafting game. Each turn, you take one of the available pieces and add it to your personal pie. Follow the recipe cards to earn the most points possible. Pick the pieces that match the featured recipes on display... and don’t forget the decorations!"(BoardGameGeek).