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  • Review: Forbidden Desert

    November 24, 2014

    Forbidden Desert is the sequel to Gamewright’s 2010 co-operative hit Forbidden Island. While it brings many similar mechanics back to the table, it adds enough new twists to stand proudly beside its older brother and even surpass it in some areas. An average game will take 2-5 players around thirty minutes, and is generally easy to learn for ages eight and up.

    In Forbidden Desert, players take on the roles of characters within a hearty band of archaeologists who have crash-landed in a treacherous and turbulent desert while searching for a fabled ancient flying machine. Now their only hope of survival is to unearth and assemble the four parts of this great flying contraption before they, too, find themselves buried deep beneath the sand. Unfortunately the players have no idea where the airship or its pieces are, and the desert can be a very inhospitable place.

    I’m going to take a moment here just to say that Forbidden Desert does an excellent job instilling a sense of atmosphere with its theme and art. Choosing to forgo the bright candy-like colors of its predecessor, Forbidden Desert’s thematic production makes you feel adrift in a chaotic, sun-bleached desert; lost amidst the shifting dunes but for the dwindling strength of you and your team. As you set up the randomized tile grid that makes up the core of the game, you’ll look down upon the pale expanse in front of you and might even feel your feet sink a few inches into the sand…

    Read more about Forbidden Desert!

    Review: Splendor

    November 17, 2014

     

    The goal of Splendor is to become the most successful gem merchant in Renaissance Europe using a very simple mechanism of card-acquisition which represents mines, transportation methods, and artisans. It takes about five minutes to learn and a full game can be played in about 40 minutes to an hour. Overall, Splendor has a strong production value and its components are absolutely lovely – the gems themselves are represented by heavy chips that are amazingly satisfying to play with.

    To set up a game of Splendor, the development cards are separated into three respective decks. Four cards from each deck are placed face-up in a row, making a grid of twelve cards. This represents the different kinds of developments that each player must purchase in order to score prestige points and win the game. Each development shows its cost in some combination of colored gems. Each card also has the type of gems that it will produce once a player has purchased it. Finally, some cards will have a prestige point value in the upper left corner. The first person to acquire fifteen prestige points is the winner and the most successful gem merchant in Europe!

    Read more about Splendor!

    Flames of War Firestorm: D-Day

    November 17, 2014

     
    On June 6th, 1944 the Allied Armies of World War II stormed the beaches of Normandy and started the battle in Western Europe that could spell the beginning of the end for the Third Reich of Hitler’s Germany. However, that end was not assured as the German forces arrayed along the Normandy Coast still had a chance to repel the Allied invasion forces with a strength of men and materiel equal to the task. Could they mobilize in time to strike the decisive blow and throw the Allies back into the sea? Or would the combined might of the Allied Powers form the bridgehead to defeat Nazi Germany?

    On Saturday, November 22nd the NorCal Flames of War Tournament Circuit will be bringing the battles of the Normandy interior to Gamescape North in the final organized tournament event of the 2014 NorCal FoW Tournament Series. This D-Day Firestorm Tournament, produced and run by one of the original NorCal Generals, Richard Barnes, will feature only those companies and forces that played a part in the historical Normandy campaign and each battle will be fought by Allied and Axis forces on terrain themed to particular battlefields of those fateful days. Commanding the American, British, Canadian, Polish, French and German forces will be twenty four of the NorCal FoW Circuit’s best Generals as they vie for prizes that will take the form of Flames of War models and units painted by the expert artist Richard Barnes, himself. As the finale to the 5th year of the NorCal Flames of War Circuit, this should be one of the best displays of tactics, miniatures modeling and camaraderie that you will find in the Northern Bay Area!
     

    NorCal Flames of War Firestorm: D-Day Tournament
    Saturday, November 22nd 10:00am – 8:00pm
    The Day of Days comes to Gamescape North!

    Review: Machi Koro

    November 11, 2014

     
    We’ve been looking forward to the release of Machi Koro since March, and we’re really happy to finally see it on our shelves. It blends elements from several of our favorite games to create a new experience that is thoroughly enjoyable. Machi Koro is about building a thriving community with the use of cards that get added to each player’s tableau. Like Dominion, each card in turn gives specific functionality to a player which allows them to acquire more income in order to buy more cards. All of this hinges on the roll of the dice each turn, which determine what card types will produce on any given turn, much like Settlers of Catan.

    Read more about Machi Koro!

    Bargain Basement Bazaar

    November 4, 2014

    Thanks to our annual Bargain Basement Bash sale events, there’s a lot more room in the Gamescape Dungeon for…other things. This year, the thought occurred to us that it might be fun to morph BBB into something a bit more inclusive. So on Saturday, November 15th 12-5pm, we’ll be holding the first customer-focused flea market the store has ever hosted. We’re calling it Bargain Basement Bazaar, and it’s a great chance for you to offload some of your own tarnished treasures to an eager community of intrepid game-hoarders. Here’s how it’s going to work:

    If you have a closet full of old loot that you’d like to transmogrify into new gaming product, you can rent a table at this year’s Bazaar. The cost is $10 per 5’x2′ table, and you can grab more than one. You’re welcome to sell pretty much any analog gaming product that you want (within reason – no offloading a stack of shrink-wrapped Kickstarter games or inventory from your failed online enterprise!). By participating in the Bazaar, you tacitly agree to use our system for transactions: we’ll give you Bazaar Tickets for the event on which to record your sales, and these will be transferable at the counter as credit for any new product in the store at full value. We ask that sellers refrain from trading between themselves, and that no cash transactions are made in the store. The idea here is that you get a place to hold a flea market with a ready-made clientele drooling over your discarded treasure!

    This year’s special feature is a great, explosive purge of Gamescape’s old gaming terrain! We’ll also be setting up a table with lots of stuff that we no longer use, and it’s fair game for anyone looking to beef up their own battlefields with crumbly buildings, rustic farmsteads, cratered streets, and arcane forests. Prices will be set low so many bountiful battle boards can be built on a budget. Bitchin!

    Contact us ASAP if you’d like to rent a table or three, and we’ll make sure to slot you in and reserve your selling space. Tables will undoubtedly go fast, so jump on it early!

     

    GSN First Annual Bargain Basement Bazaar
    Saturday, November 15th  12-5pm
    How bizarre is your Bazaar?

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