Staff Summer Game Picks

Summer is now officially in full swing, which means  school’s out, the sun’s out, and you are now out of excuses for not picking up a new board game. Maybe something to bring along on your family’s camping trip? Or perhaps a game that pairs nicely with some cold brews on a hot Friday night?

To wit, we’ve prepared a list of summer staff picks, showcasing the board games that have  caught our interest over the last couple of months. Think you can hack it as a hard-boiled detective? How about an interstellar outlaw? Or maybe an interplanetary colonists? 

Needless to say, these awesome games will be taking up many an afternoon and evening this summer, hitting the table at home, at the lake, or on the patio. Take a gander at the titles below and see if any them brighten up your day as well!

Tim’s Pick: Space Explorers

Space Explorers is a set collection and hand management game, where the objective is to complete research projects and be the first to reach outer space. Players compete with each other to recruit specialists and launch unmanned probes into orbit, boosting their research score. This game plays a bit like Splendor, where players use their already hired specialists to recruit others, expanding their options over time. Players can also construct unmanned probes and launch them into orbit! With a quick play time, easy to learn rules, and a great aesthetic, Space Explorers is a solid addition to any game collection.”

Kat’s Pick: Petrichor

“I've always been a sucker for nature themed games, and this one doesn't disappoint. With a truly unique theme and fantastic art direction, Petrichor caught my attention and held it. While the concept behind the game is simple, the way it's executed is anything but. Actions are determined by the cards in each players hands, and a voting mechanic creates unpredictability between rounds. Petrichor is as refreshing of a game as it's namesake.” (Editors Note: Petrichor (noun): "A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.")

Eric’s Pick: Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game

“For a newish game, let’s go with Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. Why it has “board game” in the title is the real mystery. Mystery games have always gone over well with my board game group, and Detective is the next step in the genre. In the past, we worked with newspapers and maps, now we compare fingerprints and search the internet. It’s great to see a natural evolution in the genre - something that keeps true to the core of what initially drew us in and shows us that there is still room to grow.”

Cassi’s Pick: The Ancient World Second Edition

“I love the artwork and style of Red Raven Games and The Ancient World is no exception to their pedigree. I enjoy the added strategy of the numbered citizens mechanic, wherein lower numbered citizens that are placed in spots already occupied by higher numbered ones incur a -1 gold loss, and the ambrosia tokens allow for more flexible strategies when needed. It feels like every decision has impact and is useful, so there are few truly wasted turns, but it's still important to use the limited rounds well to score victory points.”

Drew’s Pick: Star Wars: Outer Rim

“I would have to say that my favorite new board game is Star Wars: Outer Rim. I’m a sucker for Star Wars games. You can upgrade your ships and characters as you move through the board game, tailoring them to your preferred strategy. One particularly interesting mechanic is the reputation system. Based on your decisions, you can gain or lose reputation with the different inhabitants of the galaxy. Make too many wrong moves, and you’ll find yourself having to constantly watch your back as you try and stake out a claim on the galactic frontier.”

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