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Josh Wolfe RSS Feed (Laurel, DE)
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Guildhall
Guildhall
Offered by math-n-stuff
Price: $55.00
3 used & new from $49.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review from a 2 Player Perspective, January 30, 2013
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Guildhall (Toy)
Overview:
Guildhall is a "take that meets set collection" game. There are 6 professions, each with it's own special ability:

- Trader: Trade cards from guilds between players
- Dancer: Draw cards from the deck
- Historian: Add cards from the discard pile to your guild
- Weaver: Add cards from your hand to your guild
- Farmer: Gain victory point tokens
- Assassin: Discard cards in other players' guilds

There are 4 sets of 5 colors of each profession. Using the abilities of the different professions, you're trying to complete sets (one of each color of a profession) to turn in for victory point cards. First one to 20 points (combined between victory point cards and tokens) wins.

Components:
The game comes with 120 profession cards, 30 VP cards, 52 VP tokens and the rule book. The cards are a nice card stock and the art is unique. It's life-like, but with a slight cartoon-y look. Very appealing. The cards use a pictograph system to help convey what the card does and it's effective. At a quick glance, you can double check what you're about to play is going to do. I did have one card seem to stick to the back of another when I was opening the box for the first time and it peel a little, but it doesn't affect the gameplay. The tokens are sturdy, though I had one or two rip a little when I was punching them out. The rule book is concise and does a decent job at explaining what's going on.

The box itself is a bit too bulky for what comes in it and I feel it was definitely made to compete for shelf space. It measures 8.5" x 8.5" x 2.4" and comes with a giant, plastic insert that doesn't quite hold all the cards once they're shuffled and have a little bend in them. I'd say about 60-70% of the box is empty space. I would find a smaller, more convenient storage solution, but the rule book is the size of the box, so it would either require a smaller reprint or a toss of the rules.

4/5

Gameplay:
Guildhall is played very simply but opens the door for big combos, which I think is the core of a great card game. On your turn, you get two actions. You can:

- Discard as many cards as you want and draw back up to 6 cards in your hand
- Play a card from your hand (may not repeat any professions you've played that turn or duplicate any cards in your guild)
- Trade in a set to purchase a VP card

When you play a card, you get to use it's action. The more of that profession in your guild, the more powerful the action can be. With zero or one Historian in your guild, you may only take the top card of the discard pile. With two Historians, you can search through the pile and take a card. With four, you can search through and take two cards. Combining actions and using them in the right order at the right time is the key to the game. Play a Weaver to get the 4th Trader into your guild. Then play a Trader to be able to trade away two of your less useful cards to get your 4th and 5th Assassins. At the end of your turn, add the cards you've played into your guild. When you have all five colors of a profession, turn those cards over to complete the set. In the example I just shared, you just completed two sets in one turn.

Gameplay is very fluid, though some may say it suffers in the fact that you can't really plan ahead because other players are able to manipulate your guild. I disagree by saying that the player interaction is a plus and keeping your intentions hidden until the last second is a key component of playing successfully.

5/5

Ease of Learning:
New players may feel overwhelmed with the number of choices at any one time on their turn, but after a game or two, they will start to begin to learn the symbols and how cards work together. The symbols on the cards are what really help and I wish more games did something like that. The biggest thing to remember in the game is that when you cannot play a duplicate card or receive a duplicate card (through trading, VP card bonuses, historian, etc). The rule book does a very nice job of covering everything and even has a section labeled "Duplicate Do's and Don'ts".

5/5

Final Thoughts:
This is a great medium weight game that promotes player interaction. Our two player games ran about 30-45 minutes, and I see it scaling well up to 4 players and playing in about the same time since not every attack will be directed at you (unless the other players don't like you). We're really into Dominion, and this is a lighter, quicker alternative. It only takes a minute to set up and put away. This is quickly becoming my go to if I want to get a game or two in after dinner. I have to dock it points for the oversized box and slight quality errors in the card and tokens. Players can get caught up in analysis paralysis, but it's not terrible. Really, it's just a very fun game that does reinvent the wheel, but does make it roll very well.

4/5


Kill Doctor Lucky Game
Kill Doctor Lucky Game
12 used & new from $45.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Game That Has Slipped Under the Radar, December 19, 2012
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Kill Doctor Lucky Game (Toy)
This doesn't get played often enough at my house. I picked it up a while ago after seeing a couple reviews and the idea of a "Clue prequel" sounded great. We have played it a couple times with 3-5 people, and it seems like the more the merrier.

Basic Idea: You hate Dr. Lucky (it's fun to come up with a reason depending on the character your choose) and want to kill him. You can only kill him when nobody is looking. Line-of-Sight is determined by doorways, not your character's position in the room. When you try to murder him, you may play a murder weapon, using it's murder value (plus any spite tokens you have), or play nothing, using your hands, which have a murder value of 1 (plus any spite tokens you have). Everyone else, in turn, plays Failure cards that have to add up to the murder value. If they succeed, you fail. If they can't, then you killed Dr. Lucky.

Component Quality: This is the first version I've played of Kill Dr. Lucky, so I have no experience with the wooden tokens, but the cardboard pieces are very sturdy and add character and flair to the game with the artwork of each character on them. I think it's better to pick a person than a color, anyway. The cards aren't bad. I see them getting bent fairly easily, perhaps, but you're not drawing and shuffling them a lot, so I don't see that happening often.

Gameplay: Plainly put, it's a lot of fun. Reading the Failure cards is a hoot. There's a bit of strategy involved with trying to set yourself up to get Dr. Lucky to walk into your room so it jumps to be your turn and chaining that together to get more cards quickly. The game gets tense toward the end as Failure cards get used up and you know his fate is imminent. Also, sometimes trying to kill Dr. Lucky without a weapon just to get more spite tokens to add to your murder value is useful and another thing to consider.

Rule Clarity and Tweaking: The people I play with get bored listening to rules being read, so being able to sum up the rules is important and you're able to do that with these rules. The rules are very detailed, mentioning different scenarios and having a bit of wit in them. Two important things we've noted, though, are that (1) you can see through the Gallery balcony into the Dining Room, Drawing Room, Foyer, and Piazza and that (2) you only draw a card on your turn if you're in a named room. We have changed the second rule for 3 player games to be allowed to draw a card anywhere. It helps get more Failure cards into your hand and help the game last a little longer. Also note that the first time around, everybody goes in order regardless of what happens on the board. We misread this rule when we tried to play with 7 people once and the last 3 people weren't getting to go and were very unhappy.

And His Little Dog, Too: While I haven't played with the expansion, I think it will add a very fun new dimension to the game. There are three variations, and in all of them, the dog moves like a player, one room at a time, towards Dr. Lucky, basically following him around the mansion. The first variation is "Old Dog", which treats the dog like another player who prevents Dr. Lucky from being killed if the dog has line-of-sight. I feel this is best for games of 3-4 players as it helps prevent an early death. The second variation is "New Tricks", which gives the dog a spite token every time Dr. Lucky escapes being murdered, but you manage to kill the dog, you get all of it's spite tokens. This variant should be good for games with 5 or more players as you may need the extra spite tokens to overcome all the Failure cards that the other players may have. The third variant combines the two into "Old Dog, New Tricks", which I think is the best overall as it combines strategy of "Do I leave the dog alive to help stop other players from killing Dr. Lucky or do I take it out to become more powerful?"

Overall: I really like playing this and hope that it gets pulled off the shelf more. This ends up being a game where one or two people will say "Yes! Let's play!" and the others will go "Oooh, alright", but two or three turns in, they're full in character, shouting "Stay away from the old man! He's mine!" The mechanics are solid and the fact that there's basically a built in timer (Failure cards running out) help keep the game to a limited time. We have had games that are over quickly due to luck of the draw (first hand has nobody with Failure cards and the first person can kill Dr. Lucky in a couple minutes). I also wish there were a couple more "Move" cards. We played a 4 player game last night and the game ended with 3 cards left in the deck and I had only seen 3 Move cards in my hand. I think a couple more of those would help. It still gets a solid 4/5 from me. This is a must get for anyone who enjoys moving around a board, drawing and playing cards, and witty humor.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 1, 2014 7:17 PM PST


LeapFrog My Own Story Time Pad
LeapFrog My Own Story Time Pad
Offered by Play It Again Games and more
Price: $18.50
48 used & new from $2.91

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Larger than it looks, though the screen is still small, November 1, 2012
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Length:: 7:29 Mins

This is the same thing as the purple one. Screen is sort of small, but it works. Sounds quality is great.


SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)
SanDisk Sansa Fuze 8 GB Video MP3 Player (Black)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far exceeded my expectations. Super durable, October 23, 2012
Length:: 3:15 Mins

This little guy has been through everything; life of a college student, every day in the car, being dropped, shoved into pockets/bags, been in the rain. The thing is nearly unbreakable. It is showing signs of wear and tear after a couple years, but I am thoroughly impressed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2012 6:09 PM PST


Dead Silence
Dead Silence
Offered by POETS CORNER
Price: $9.99
34 used & new from $5.81

5.0 out of 5 stars A slightly different sound, but it delivers, October 12, 2012
This review is from: Dead Silence (Audio CD)
While their sound on this album may be altered a bit from their last two or three albums, their lyricism, messages and musicianship remain top-notch. Overall, I think this is as good as II, my favorite album of theirs. I've always loved the drums on the previous albums because they seemed to have their own melody (a la "Fallen Leaves) and not just drive the song along. On this album, they seem to have been pulled back a bit into more of a "keep the beat with some fun stuff thrown in" role. Guitars go from chugging to off beat accents to solos and everything is awesome. The singing is the unique voice as always and the harmonies are as good as ever. It's always great to have a punk singer who can, ya know, sing.

Song breakdown!

1) Lonely Road to Absolution - Fitting introduction. Sets the tone for the rest of the album. Epic feeling and leads directly into...

2) Viking Death March - A quintessential "speak your mind and fight the power" song. Great music and powerful lyrics "You preach about love/And teach about fate/But all your beliefs are still rooted in hate/". Will definitely be a crowd favorite (it was the single, after all).

3) Surprise, Surprise - This is their "don't buy into the mainstream crap" song like "Where is the Line". Very, very catchy.

4) Running Across the Tracks - Unique sounding song, not like anything else on the album. More screaming, more accenting instruments instead of a steady melody. Very fun song to sing along with in the car and headbang with.

5) Love Was Still Around - This song took a while to warm up to, but once you read the lyrics, you'll get the message and the song will stick with you. It's directed at an unnamed person who commits a mass shooting and asking them if they regret it. "It's easy to think twice/A choice can change your life".

6) Stand Up and Run - Sappy love song. My least favorite track. Not a bad song, but doesn't feel up to par with the rest of the album.

7) Crooked Minds - A definite headbanger. Chugging guitars and lots of screaming. Message is about the natural environment being taken away by cities. "They swallow up the green and build up the gray"

8) Man Alive! - Fast paced song about living your life and not wasting it by working for nothing. Not my favorite, but not bad.

9) Hanging By A Thread - One of my favorites to sing along with. Sounds almost like a radio song, but I don't care. The lyrics are great and it's a very catchy song.

10) Cure for the Enemy - Definite top 3 for the album. Guitar melody sticks out as very unique sounding and you'd be able to pick the song out of a line up. Just an overall great song.

11) Don't Count on the Wicked - Another song that took a while for me to like. The intro kicks you in the face and I love the singing in this one. The ending is powerful and will definitely be a sing along at concerts.

12) Show Me The Way - Meh. An alright song. I skip it most of the time. Is very forgettable. The chorus could be sung along with at a concert, but it doesn't hold up to the rest of the album.

13) Swallowed Up By The Ocean - An amazing slower song by them. The piano intro is something that will catch those unaware by surprise. Great singing and building up of the song. An unexpected favorite.

14) Dead Silence - End with the title track. Signature Billy Talent sound. Their guitars have that very distinct sound to them, the drums are busy doing their thing, and there's plenty of accenting harmonies in the vocal department.

Probably my favorite album that's been released this year so far and will get plenty of play next to the rest of the Billy Talent albums.


Borderlands 2 - Xbox 360
Borderlands 2 - Xbox 360
Offered by Isomergames
Price: $14.99
226 used & new from $3.98

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bajillion More Guns, Fun Times, and Laughs, October 10, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I've put in 64 hours since the game came out and have just finished my first playthrough, so I thought I'd share my...um...thoughts!

This is for the PC version.

The Good...

Gameplay: If you played Borderlands, you know what to expect with Borderlands 2. Run, kill group of enemies, scavenge, repeat. Add in some driving and a couple boss battles and you have the Borderlands recipe. With Borderlands 2, though, it is a lot more polished. Enemies interact with the environment, guns feel better (more on that later), the new skills are fun to use in combination (using Phaselock to pull an EXP Loader away as it's about to explode). In the first game, going from group of bad guys to group of bad guys felt like a chore. In this game, you're looking forward to the next group of people to test out your new weapon or skill.

Characters: As of this review, there are 5 characters you can be and each one plays differently, lending to the replayability of the game. The character skills interact nicely with one another (Maya's Phaselock is great to hold an enemy in place while Zero uses Deception to charge up a critical shot on an easy target) and can be used to either play solo or with a team. The skill trees for each character feel different enough that you'll find yourself respecing (redistributing) your skill points often just to try out a new combination or fine tune for a difficult fight.

Sound: I don't see many people talking about the high sound quality. The background music really sets the tone and seamlessly ramps up when the action kicks in. The enemies yell out hilarious things all the time ("What's your face!! NO!!"). When Buzzards come flying by, you can hear the Doppler effect. Something I noticed after playing some Call of Duty recently was that the gun sounds are in your ears. Borderlands 2 gun sounds sound like they're coming from in front of you, where the gun is. It's hard to explain, but play the two back to back and you'll understand. Also, the voice acting is top notch with even the One-Time-Never-See-Them-Again quest characters being uniquely voiced.

Visuals: The same cel shading style is back and it looks better than ever. The light diffusion and ambient occlusion makes it sooo pretty.

Guns: Only with Borderlands could you have a section devoted to guns. But that's what it's all about, right? And boy, do they deliver. Each manufacturer acts completely different from the next (throw your gun like a grenade when you reload? Shoot fire or acid on everyone?) and the unique style of each gun helps them really stand out. Obviously, with their gun building "program" (for lack of a better word), you're going to get guns that are extremely similar to each other, but I'm pretty sure I haven't seen two exactly the same guns. I've kept a gun far past when it was useful just because it looked cool or had a cool feature.

Humor: The humor is in full force from the very beginning. You'll be laughing out loud at the things that happen, get said, the interaction, and even probably stuff that shouldn't be funny. The writers are brilliant and I'll probably get whatever games they're involved in from now on because the writing is that good.

Story: It's a better story than the first by a long shot. There's a couple nice twists along the way and the side quests and Echo recorders help flesh out the character backgrounds.

----------------------

The Bad...

Gameplay: It does get repetitive at times and the respawn rate can make it a chore to get around. I've had some issues where my bullets don't hit properly. I also had a glitch where an enemy ended up in a place where I couldn't kill him and I had to restart the game.

Characters: Really no complaints about the characters.

Sound: Sometimes, if you're listening to an Echo recorder and walk into the area that triggers the next part of a mission, the mission dialog will cut it off, potentially making you miss something.

Visuals: I've had some graphical glitches with the texture spazzing out. Also, the level geometry (where you walk) doesn't always match what is shown (you'll be hovering above the ground instead of being behind cover).

Guns: Really no complaints about the guns.

Humor: Really no complains about the humor.

Story: It's slow at times. They say you "faced Handsome Jack and survived", but it doesn't feel like that.

---------------------

Final Verdict: 4/5

I want to give this a 5/5 so bad, but there's enough there that aren't disputable complaints that it gets knocked down to a 4. People wanted more of the same but better and that's what we got. Better guns, better enemies, better humor and better story. But along with that, we got more of the same glitches, odd level geometry, and slight repetitiveness. They've said they're already thinking about Borderlands 3. I can't wait. But until then, Borderlands 2 will suffice nicely.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2012 5:44 PM PDT


Columbia Men's Extra Capacity Slimfold Mixed Leather Wallet, Brown, One Size
Columbia Men's Extra Capacity Slimfold Mixed Leather Wallet, Brown, One Size

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holds everything and more. Very high quality., October 8, 2012
Length:: 4:00 Mins

A slideshow and walkthrough of the wallet and how much it can hold with dimensions. I've had the wallet for well over a year and it's still going strong. Highly recommended.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 6, 2012 7:13 PM PST


Blade mCX2 RTF
Blade mCX2 RTF
Offered by Best Service Stores
Price: $99.99
31 used & new from $79.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An RC Heli Beginner's Review, September 25, 2012
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Blade mCX2 RTF (Toy)
Length:: 4:12 Mins

I have a Syma S107 and I've flown a couple other lower end models. This is a great step into 4 Channel. Please forgive the crashing and the long pictures. Flying comes in about half-way into the video.


POOF-Slinky - Ideal Tripoley Diamond Edition Card Game, 0C261
POOF-Slinky - Ideal Tripoley Diamond Edition Card Game, 0C261
Price: $17.82
83 used & new from $8.50

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still fun, but can't look past shoddy quality, September 11, 2012
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Length:: 9:44 Mins

I played Tripoley all the time as a kid and when I got it recently, I was excited...until I opened the box...


Mini Cushie Roll Pillow (Red)
Mini Cushie Roll Pillow (Red)
Offered by AB Marketers
Price: $16.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the car and around the house, September 4, 2012
Length:: 2:15 Mins

This thing is so comfortable. If they made full sized pillows, I may just have to replace my current ones.


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