COG Gaming

Official Blog of COG Gaming – Board Game Reviews, News, and Entertainment

The Grizzled card game review- dove in box

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The Grizzled Card Game Review | COG Gaming

The grizzled Box art - COG Gaming reviewYear Published: 2015
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Designer: Fabien Riffaud, Juan Rodriguez
Players: 2-5
Playtime:  30 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Combat the psychological toll of the trenches through camaraderie, brotherhood, and companionship.

 Whether video games or board games, I generally play games for the fun of them and, if multiplayer, for the social interaction.  Although many have at least some sort of a story or plot, if they have any relevance outside of the “what am I doing it and why” question it’s almost always to function simply as a mechanism for moving the gameplay along in a way that isn’t completely boring.  It’s rare to find a title in either medium that speaks to players on a deeper level, connecting them to the game and eliciting emotion in such a way that it transcends the boundary of pure entertainment and merges into the realm of art. Continue reading

COG Gaming | Board game review for Evolution

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Evolution Board Game 2nd Edition Review | COG Gaming

Evolution board game box artYear Published: 2014
Publisher: North Star Games

Designer: Dominic Crapuchettes, Dmitry Knorre, Sergey Machin
Players: 2-6
Playtime:  45 minutes – 1 1/2 hours

One Sentence Synopsis: Bend nature to your will and see how many species you can evolve to the top of the food chain. 

Evolution is a competitive game of direct player conflict for 2-6 players where each person creates new animal species and attempts to evolve them in symbiotic ways using trait cards to ensure those species thrive and survive at the expense of others’.  At the end of the game players add up the population sizes of all their active species, the evolution scores of any traits those species are assigned, and the food they’ve been able to bank throughout the game, and the person with the highest score is declared king of the jungle…or desert…or whatever your favorite ecosystem might be.  Gameplay is light and quick, but even with the brisk setup I found the advertised playtime of 50-70 minutes a little generous for player counts of two or three unless everyone has their evolutions laid out well in advance of their turn.  With four or more players, however, the trait deck depletes more quickly and the playtime correspondingly comes into line at about one hour even with the additional time for each player’s turn. Continue reading

COG Gaming - Apex Theropod Deck Building Game Logo

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Apex Theropod Deck Building Game: Exotic Predators Edition REVIEW | COG Gaming

COG Gaming - Apex Theropod Deck Building Game Tyrannosaurus Rex vs. Spinosaurus

Year Published: 2015
Designer: Herschel Hoffmeyer
Publisher: Die-Hard Games LLC
Players: 1-8
Playtime: 45-290 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: If you see ripples in the water, don’t worry…it’s probably just you.

LOOKING FOR A REVIEW OF THE SECOND EDITION? CLICK HERE (or read this first for additional context)

Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game is a Player versus Environment card game for 1-8 players where each person plays a unique apex predator dinosaur species. Starting with a small deck of basic cards, players work throughout the game to acquire more mature and powerful versions of their dinosaurs’ species, and evolution cards that will help them take down larger prey dinosaurs or even gigantic titans like Alamosaurus. Although each dinosaur successfully hunted on the ever-changing game trail is worth points, the real challenges for players are the boss dinosaurs and their minions interspersed throughout the other animals. Possessing unique abilities and requiring multiple rounds of fighting to beat, these boss cards are the ultimate test of players’ dinosaur species, and the one who beats the most bosses before the extinction event is the winner. Continue reading

COG Gaming - Gruff card game logo


COG Gaming Reviews Gruff, the Tactical Game of Mutant Goats

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COG Gaming - Gruff card game Shepherd cardYear Published: 2015
Designer: Brent Critchfield
Publisher: Studio Woe
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 20-45 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: These goats gruff are the real reason the troll never bothers anyone anymore…

Mutant. Goats. I think that’s all the introduction this game really needs, because if that doesn’t pique your interest I honestly don’t know what will.  Gruff is a strategic, expandable card game for 2-4 players.  Each player takes on the role of a unique, demented shepherd charged with herding mutant, weaponized goats.  There’s only room in the pasture for one herd, meaning there’s only one thing left to do: have a mutant goat war!  The duel is one to the death, and the last player standing at the end of the game is the winner. Continue reading

COG Gaming - JunKing Kickstarter preview box art

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JunKing: an Imp Lands Game Preview | COG Gaming Kickstarter Highlight

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COG Gaming - JunKing Kickstarter preview box artYear Published: 2015
Designer: David Gerrard
Publisher: Self Published
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 15-60 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: It’s all about the endgame. 

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, or so the saying goes.  In JunKing’s case, humanity’s junk is the Scavenger Imp’s treasure.  Set in Justin Hillgrove’s whimsical Imp Lands world, JunKing pits 2-4 aspiring Imps against each other in the Junklands as they try to find the most prestigious items to raise their standing within the tribe.  Throughout the game players decide which cards to equip in the limited slots available to each person and which cards to hoard for their points value, all while attempting to strategically position themselves for the coveted crown being found.  The game ends once the crown card is drawn, and the Scavenger Imp with the highest junk value is declared the new chieftain of the tribe.
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Abyss Board Game REVIEW | COG Gaming

cog gaming board game review - Abyss Box ContentsYear Published: 2014
Designer: Bruno Cathala, Charles Chevallier
Publisher: Asmodee
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 30-60 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Devotin’ full time to floatin’ will leave you beached.

Abyss is a light, competitive game for 2-4 players where each player attempts to become King of the Abyss by utilizing hand management, set collection, and push-your-luck mechanics to recruit Lords, to affiliate Allies, and to take control of underwater locations in order to gain influence points.   Continue reading