Carcassonne – Review

Carcassonne is an award-winning strategy game available on line or visit the Esdevium website for local stockists, for 2-5 players, aged 7+, RRP £27.99.

I was excited to see what the soup dragon family would think of the game of Carcassonne as I had seen it at the London toy fair in January and thought that we would enjoy this style of strategy game. The box contains a score board, 45 coloured playing pieces, 84 land tiles and a rules booklet. At first glance I thought Carcassonne might be a bit tricky to learn, but despite quite a large amount of rules, there are additional ones that are not needed for your first game.

carcassonne

The game play of Carcassonne is simple, each player takes turns choosing and placing a land tile. A little like a jigsaw each piece can have a road, city or monastery. You choose a colour of playing piece (called meeples) one stays on the score board the others are used to take ownership of city’s or roads as they are built. Players take turns to do three things. First you draw and place a land tile, next place a meeples (if you want) and next you score any completed feature.

carcassonne board game

Learning what will score the most, and where to place your meeples is the most difficult part of the game to learn. But we have found once learnt we were happy to add in the additional scoring rules like adding rivers, and even farmers which all score differently and change the layout of the game. You will need a nice clear space as your city’s grow, as even though there is no board, the land tiles need space so you can add to them without having to move the whole game.

We have played Carcassonne as a 2,3 and 4 player game, although Bingo Granny wasn’t exactly sure what she was doing! The boy has enjoyed building up the cities and scoring. Dad Dragon enjoyed the strategy aspect, and I liked finding new ways to try and win. Carcassonne is a nice easy and relatively quick game to play, the box suggests an average game takes 35 minutes, we found a more competitive game took a little longer at 45 minutes. Once you think you have mastered Carcassonne there are expansion packs to change the basic game, and this is a great way to expand the game, so you don’t get bored with it.

carcassonne game

Carcassonne has already found a place in our regular Sunday game/puzzle mornings, and will be one that we can enjoy playing for some time as it makes you think hard about your moves as you play. If you would like the chance to play Carcassonne with your family then why not enter my gleam giveaway below.

 

Carcassonne

Terms & Conditions:

The giveaway is open to the UK only

  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Thursday 2nd June 2016
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Ticket to Ride Europe – Review

Ticket to Ride Europe is a board game from Esdevium Games, suitable for ages 8+ RRP £32.99 available from Amazon and other toy stockists.

Ticket to Ride Europe is a strategy game, but don’t be put off once the rules are learnt it is like Monopoly addictive! The box contains Board map of Europe, 240 coloured trains, 15 stations, 110 train cards, 6 long routes, 40 short routes, 5 score markers and rules.

ticket to ride europe

I was daunted by the size of the rule book, but once we had a test game it was actually much more straight forward to play Ticket to ride Europe. To set up the game each player picks a colour of train, stations and playing token. Then you deal each player one long route, 3 short route and 4 train cards. To start you have the chance to discard all but one of your dealt route cards. Think carefully as this is your only chance to get rid of these route cards.

ticket to ride

Ticket to Ride game play is then made up of 3 options, to take additional routes, place trains on the board, or collect the cards needed for completion of trains. This was the part we found was tactical. With the boy playing we found it was ok for him to have his route cards face up so he could see them all easily. When I play Ticket to ride Europe with Dad Dragon we use scrabble rests so we can keep our routes hidden. Game play continues with building, collecting and getting in the way of your opponents.

Claiming a train route involves matching cards to the board, and there are different rules for tunnels and ferry’s. Some involve you using your Train cards which act as jokers and come in very handy. If someone else steals a route you wanted then you have the option of adding stations to use their trains. The game ends when a player gets to their last 2 trains, and the winner is the person scoring the most. You score each time you place a train, each route you complete, unused stations and who has the longest train.

ticket to ride europe review

The whole family has loved playing Ticket to Ride Europe, and we have played as 2,3 and 4, players. Once you have 4 or more players you can use double routes and this changes the game play and tactics a little as well as filling the board up quicker. Game play takes us around an hour, or longer with new players. Most of this time is getting to know the board and place names as they are not all familiar. Once you get used to where on the map they are play defiantly speeds up. We are addicted to playing this game, and have been having adult game sessions when the boy has gone to bed. I love having found a game that makes you think and love the level of strategy needed for this game. We have had some close matches and are currently drawing so there will be a rematch coming soon!

If you would like the chance to get to know Ticket to Ride Europe why not enter my Gleam giveaway below. Ticket to Ride Europe is available via my Amazon affiliate link below. With different editions available and expansion packs Ticket to ride is a game that I’m sure will become a family favourite.

Ticket to Ride Europe

Disclaimer we were sent this game to review and the words remain our own and have not been altered.

Terms & Conditions:
The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Monday 2nd May 2016
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Labyrinth – Review

Labyrinth is a game for 2 – 4 players aged 8+ made by Ravensburger, available from £14.99 and with two additional versions, Junior and Disney we reviewed the classic version of this game.

Labyrinth, is a fun game of strategy, and the box contains maze cards, 4 coloured playing pieces, the board and your treasure cards. The rules like those of Make ‘N’ Break are simple. Deal out the treasure cards between the number of players. Starting from your coloured home spot you have to move the maze by pushing it with the spare card, and then move your piece onto the matching treasure square.

labyrinth

Each player takes a turn and this continues until you have found all your treasure and then it is a race for your coloured home square. Labyrinth might at first seem a simple game, but as we found out the game play can change depending on the number of players. The frustration of getting so close to the treasure only for it to be moved out of reach is a great fun aspect and dead ends are common. We soon discovered it mattered a lot which way round you feed the playing pieces back into the maze. The other great frustration are the fixed puzzle pieces!

Labyrinth, has been a great success with the boy, we have enjoyed battling to find the most treasure, as well as out whiting each other by setting up dead ends. Even if you get off to a flying start it only takes one tricky treasure square and you can be slowed down enough for other players to catch up. This means it really is difficult to tell who will win until you finally make it home. Labyrinth is a great thinking game, and we have all enjoyed it, even granny. The boy got a little frustrated that he was loosing only to finally win his game, and Dad and I have challenged each other to a game when the boy went to bed.

play labyrinth

I would recommend Labyrinth to family’s of all ages, as it is really a mixture of luck and strategy. This means that the boy is not always the looser like we have found with some quiz games. Dad Dragon is most impressed with Labyrinth, and we are both surprised that we have never come across it before. The game of Labyrinth would make a great Christmas game as it’s not to long to play, easy to learn, and younger children could even take part as teams. There is a Junior Labyrinth for children 5+, but I think that this game is easy enough that most children could pick up this version quickly.

 

Disclaimer, we were sent a copy of Labyrinth to review the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.