Review – Befuzzled from FunQ Games

Review – Befuzzled from FunQ Games

Posted with permission from Paco Garcia Jean, From G*M*S Magazine

For some reason I am getting to like silly little games that hardly take any time to play, are easy to learn and can be enjoyed with many people. Maybe something to do with my age, with my lack of patience for loooooooooooooong rules manuals and the fact that sometimes playing something silly and pointless is good fun. Who knows!

For that reason I have liked recently games like Triplica, Total Rumble, Forbidden Island and a few others. Undemanding, unpretentious, to the point and pointless (yes, even Forbidden Island is a pointless game… excellent and good fun, but rather pointless).

Now come Befuzzled. This is the new game from Fun Q Games, our sponsors. Creators also of Triplica.

Before I continue, you’re going to tell me that I am biased because the production company sponsors my website and therefore I will not be impartial. Well, you’re wrong.

You’re wrong for two reasons. First of all because I wouldn’t sell a game as good if it weren’t bad. Sponsorship or not. I am rather rigid about that rule.

Secondly because the Fun Q Games guys are grown ups and if I had something to say they didn’t like, they’d probably take it on board and learn from their mistakes. If you don’t believe me, contact them and have a chat. You’ll be amazed.

So, with the disclaimer out of the way and your skeptical mind put to rest (because it should be!), I will start with the review proper.

Befuzzled is a quick card game in which the players take turns to associate a shape with an action and perform it. You get 8 cards with simple actions written in them. Things like clap your hands. A card with different shape is placed on the action cards, allowing the action to be read. The player that is the “judge” in that turn will draw a card from the pile of cards with the shapes, place it on the table and, quickly, uncover it to show the shape.

The rest of the players then have to act quickly, match it with the action that matches that shape and perform the action on the card. The first player to perform the action is the round winner. The judge decides who was first in the event of a tie.

Yep!… that simple!

The box is small. Roughly twice the size of a deck of cards. If you want to take the game with you and don’t want to carry the box, then the cards will fit in any pocket… standard Poker sized cards. The box is solid enough and the cards are good quality. Good enough quality to be able to withstand spills of liquid (though I wouldn’t recommend making them too wet). The rules are concise, easy and well written (enough for a dyslexic like me to understand them right away).

The game can be played by many people. I found when I played with another 2 players it was a bit boring, to be honest, though I can imagine children being able to play it forever and not get tired of it.

Play it with 4, 5 people or more, and you start to hear more laughter. Add an after dinner drink and I can promise you’ll like this game. Heck, you could even devise your own actions and play them rather than stick to the original ones.

Conclusion

Befuzzled will not replace more deep and complex games, make no mistake. For obvious reasons it lacks the depth of most Eurogames and Ameritrash productions. However the simplicity, the sheer silliness and fun of having to react to the sight of a shape makes it really fun to play. Add to it that it is perfectly family safe and your kids will enjoy it as much as you (well.. maybe not that much!) and you have a winner for the whole family.

With the price as it is, you just can’t go wrong. It’s not even out yet (at the time of publishing this article) and already being nominated for awards, so the game must be doing something right!

I am more than happy to award this game 4 stars – which is probably one of the highest scores I ever give – and recommend it whole heartedly!

For more information and ordering, please visit Fun Q Games website.

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Review – Medieval Mastery from Chaos Publishing

Review – Medieval Mastery from Chaos Publishing

Designer – Miles Ratcliffe

Art – Roger Barnett, David Inker and Miles Ratcliffe

UK Games Expo 2011 unearthed a number of new releases by various companies and that is great to see. Clearly the great British desire to invent and create is alive and well in the board games industry. I conducted a number of video demos for the UK Gaming Media Network and one of them was with young Miles Ratcliffe, 18, who had designed a game called Medieval Mastery and set his own company up to sell it. I was pretty impressed by this as its tough enough for us oldies to design and sell games let alone a young whippersnapper!

Well, Medieval Mastery is a for 2-6 players aged 10+ and involves players in the roles of feudal Kings warring over their lands. You will need to send your knights forth to do battle across various types of terrain , whilst managing resources that are available to you.

The game board is made up of a number of terrain tiles which are set up randomly enabling you to hav a different set up each game and more tiles according to how many players are playing.You are provided with a set of cards which give you conflict and support strength as well as resources and artifacts which can further help you against the enemy. Lastly, the pips on the dice provided represent your knights. The quality of the cards and dice are fine. The artwork on the box is fine and on the cards and tiles,  is effective, appearing as sketches of the relevant terrain, artifacts, etc. The tiles are rather thin though. For a starter game, this is perfectly acceptable but to compete with the large variety of games set in the same genre, the next version would need more robust tiles and probably full color tiles.

Gameplay

This is a relatively simple gateway or entry level game and is centered upon conflict. The aim for the players is to be the first to conquer 13 points worth of territories (each tile has a value). The dice are used to track the number of knights placed in a territory or castle. Each player has their own set of cards and dice. During the turn they can advance knights onto adjacent tiles by placing a die from your reserve indicating the number of knights which you are advancing up to a maximum of 6.  The tile entered must be able to trace a connected path of knights back to your castle. If an occupied tile is cut off (in other words, there are no adjacent tiles which are connected back to your castle) you cannot advance out of that tile until it is reconnected. Basically this is a basic supply line rule.

Battles occur when knights are advanced into an enemy occupied territory. Battles are fought by by playing Conflict cards with the highest strength played, winning. They can add modifiers from artifacts and add strength with Support cards. They also factor in terrain effects for the tile. Lastly, players may choose to play Resource cards as they deem fit which have different effects. If the attacking player wins, they conquer the territory being fought over. Casualties are taken by the losing side reducing the number on the die involved. Ties are a defender victory.

Not a complex game, pretty easy to get into. Managing your card hand is important to get the most value of your cards. The movement and capture of territory through battles works pretty well.

Did it work for me?

At first pass, this game appears to be a bit cheap and cheerful but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the mechanics held together well. All in all, this is a nice gateway game and 18 year old Miles Ratcliffe has done a credible job in his first design. The game turn moves along quickly and I like that the games scales from 2-6 by adding to and changing the layout of the map. An upgraded version with thicker tiles and full color art would do it further justice. Medieval Mastery is a light, fun game and definitely suited to those who like straightforward and uncomplicated conflict. It is not going to set the world alight but it would be a nice addition to your game collection. I look forward to further designs from Miles.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6 out of 10

Family friendly?

Yes, I would say that the age is right and that the family could enjoy this game.

For further information about Chaos Publishing, go to – http://www.chaospublishing.co.uk/

Upgraded – Martin Wallace’s Video Demo of A Few Acres of Snow – Part 2 at UK Games Expo 2011

Upgraded – Martin Wallace’s Video Demo of A Few Acres of Snow Part 2 – at UK Games Expo 2011

Check out my video demo with Martin Wallace of his new game – A Few Acres of Snow at UK Games Expo 2011

This has been upgraded by Chris from the Unboxed Blog http://www.unboxedbgb.blogspot.com/ – He’s done a great job!

Upgraded – Martin Wallace’s Video Demo of A Few Acres of Snow Part 1 – at UK Games Expo 2011

Upgraded – Martin Wallace’s Video Demo of A Few Acres of Snow Part 1 – at UK Games Expo 2011

Check out my video demo with Martin Wallace of his new game – A Few Acres of Snow at UK Games Expo 2011

This has been upgraded by Chris from the Unboxed Blog http://www.unboxedbgb.blogspot.com/ – He’s done a great job!

Press Release From Victory Point Games – For the Crown now available

Press Release From Victory Point Games – For the Crown now available

From designer Jeremy Lennert, comes a highly popular, two player, ‘deck-building’ game, For the Crown. Civil war has broken out between two royal brothers over the succession of the kingdom, and the people of a once-peaceful nation must choose sides and rush to war. In For the Crown, you must gather key resources, train an army from scratch, and capture the rival King and Heirs to prove your claim to the throne!

In this game that combines the ‘deck-building’ mechanic with the most engrossing variations of Chess, do you have what it takes to wisely divide your attention between preparations and military maneuvering? To outpace your opponent’s development while eluding capture? Strategize your position and seize glory in For the Crown!

Click here for all the details and to order For the Crown!

– Victory Point Games