COG Gaming

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


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Bloc by Bloc Kickstarter Review | COG Gaming

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Bloc By Bloc ReviewYear Published: 2016
Designer: Rocket Lee, Tim Simons
Publisher: Out of Order Games
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 90-150 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Power to the Cubes!

It’s certainly an interesting time to live in the United States.  We’re in an election year so politics is heating up in different ways on both sides of the aisle, and over the past decade we’ve seen the rise of various social movements that have continued to gain traction and change the cultural landscape and sociopolitical dialogue.  Accompanying those trends is a rising tide of impassioned social protest and rhetoric, be it from groups like Black Lives Matter, or from anti-immigrant groups.  As a result, or even as the motivation behind some of these movements, police and government conduct are topics that are once again heavily in the popular spotlight, and under extraordinary amounts of media/public scrutiny.  Even in the most dramatic throws of upheaval experienced to date in the U.S., however, we’ve yet to see the worst a situation can devolve into given the right confluence of corrupt police authority and intent, and zealous, inflamed popular response. Continue reading

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Galaxy of Trian Deluxe Edition and Expansions Review | COG Gaming

Galaxy of Trian game box for COG Gaming board game reviewYear Published: 2015
Designer: Grzegorz Kalarus, Sebastian Oliwa, Seweryn Piotrowski
Publisher: Creativemaker LLC
Players: 2-4(6)
Playtime: 60 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: This is a Side A and Side B nebula- why don’t you exmitter your way out of it?

Regardless of your taste in mechanics, your preference in theme, or your entry-point to the hobby, there are some games just about every gamer has played or will play throughout the course of their gaming journey.  It’s not that these games are the best of their genres, or even that they’ve particularly maintained a feeling of being new or innovative that keeps them relevant: rather, I’d say it’s their accessibility combined with just enough depth to keep more seasoned hobbyists interested that accounts for their continued pervasiveness and expansion. Continue reading

Sultan's Library logo for COG Gaming review


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COG Gaming Print and Play Review of Sultan’s Library

COG Gaming - Sultan's Library, main library location cardYear Published: 2015
Designer: Ryno Lourens
Publisher: Photon Games
Players: 2-4
Playtime: 15-45 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: Who knew libraries could be so dangerous?

Sultans generally get what they want, and in Sultan’s Library from Photon Games(currently on Kickstarter), the Sultan wants books.  Lots of them.  Acting as Envoys of the Sultan, 2-4 players are tasked with traveling the world seeking knowledge to ultimately return to his library.  Each manuscript acquired by players in their travels has a knowledge value, and after one player has deposited three such items into the library the knowledge points are totaled and the Envoy who has delivered the most valuable finds wins the game. Continue reading

COG Gaming - Xenoshyft Onslaught cooperative board game box art


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Xenoshyft Onslaught Kickstarter Edition REVIEW | COG Gaming

COG Gaming - Cool Mini or Not Xenoshyft Onslaught Box ContentsYear Published: 2015
Designer: Karen Philosophales, Michael Shinall
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not
Players: 1-4
Playtime: 45-60 minutes

One Sentence Synopsis: “It’s an ugly planet. A BUG planet! A planet hostile to life…” -Last Words of Unnamed Field Reporter

“Join the Mobile Infantry and save the world. Service guarantees citizenship.”  Starship Troopers was the first “R” rated movie I ever saw, and almost 20 years after its release it’s still the quintessential action film for alien bug hunting.  Although it has been a while since I’ve seen it, the memories I had of the propaganda newsreels, the initial shootout with the bugs, and the epic defense by the Roughnecks of the outpost on Planet P, all came flooding back the second I saw Xenoshyft Onslaught on Kickstarter.  Something about the art reminded me of Starship Troopers– maybe that the weaponry and armaments were futuristic but still connected in some form to modern technology or design- and after reading the description I was pretty sure I had found that against-the-odds base defense moment distilled into boardgame form.  Having enjoyed Xenoshyft Onslaught over the last couple of months, I can confirm that’s exactly what Cool Mini or Not’s latest title brings to the table. 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


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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