Profile for Cody Carlson > Reviews

Browse

Cody Carlson's Profile

Customer Reviews: 532
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,557
Helpful Votes: 2365




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Cody Carlson RSS Feed (Salt Lake City, UT United States)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Rivals Batman vs The Joker Deck Building Game
Rivals Batman vs The Joker Deck Building Game
Offered by Planet Comics
Price: $17.70
13 used & new from $14.40

3.0 out of 5 stars Really Fun Game, But Not Different Enough, March 3, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There are lovers and haters of the DC Comics Deck Building Game out there, and I fall into the former camp. While it may not be the most thematic game, I think it is a fun, quick, easy-to-learn, setup, and play system that provides a great experience every time I break it out. This new Rivals game featuring Batman and The Joker is an interesting twist on the tested Cerberus engine. Unlike the original game, or Heroes Unite or Forever Evil, Rivals is a two player game that functions in much the same way as the others. Players start out with Starter cards, seven punch cards and three vulnerability cards. Throughout the game players add up power from their hand to buy more and more powerful cards from the Line Up that will cycle through their deck, allowing them to build fun and exciting card combinations.

The major mechanical difference with Rivals is the Confrontation. Essentially, each player- one is Batman and one is The Joker- gets three oversize player cards. These contain special abilities and have cost values of 9, 12, and 15. At the beginning of a player's turn, he or she may declare a Confrontation- essentially stating that they will not spend their power this turn on cards from the Line Up, but rather will attack the other player directly. During this exchange the defender may play a block card, which increases the cost of the card he is defending. The attacking player must meet or exceed the card's cost to defeat it, and take the card away from the defender. The card then goes into the attacker's victory pile, it's ability no longer available for the defender (though his next card will have an ability). If at any time a player captures all three of his opponents oversize cards he automatically wins. If that has not happened, once the cards from the Main Deck and Line Up are exhausted players count up the victory points from all of their cards and whoever has the most wins the game.

Rivals is a lot of fun. It's a very quick game because as one player is taking his turn the other player is preparing for it- not a lot of downtime. This is an improvement over the multilayer original game because players with analysis paralysis can take forever. . The fundamental problem with Rivals, however, is that it is not different enough from the original game. The Confrontation is a great mechanic as it allows for that direct conflict in a fun and engaging way, but it is the only major difference- and it's not really enough. If I were new to these games, I think I'd rather just spend a little bit more money and buy the original game, or Heroes Unite or Forever Evil, all of which feature two player play. While the direct conflict may not be as exciting as Rivals, the original game still packs quite a punch, and can be played with more people if you desire.

Rivals is a good idea, and hopefully future sets (this set says Rivals 1) will feature even more unique mechanics that can really change up the system. As it is, Rivals is undoubtedly a good game, but if you already own one of the other sets you don't really need this one, and if you are looking to get into the DC Deck Building Games, you're better off starting with one of the others.


Juicy Fruit Starburst Gum, Strawberry, 1.428 Ounce (Pack of 10)
Juicy Fruit Starburst Gum, Strawberry, 1.428 Ounce (Pack of 10)
Price: $18.64
9 used & new from $12.09

5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing, Surgar Free Rush of Flavor, March 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first time I opened the package for this Juicy Fruit Starburst Gum, the scent of juicy fruit permeated the air, hitting me like a 2x4- a sweet, delicious 2x4 of goodness. What can I say, this gum just fills up your mouth with strawberry flavor and one has a hard time believing that it is sugar free. With 15 sticks to each package, and 10 packages to the pack, this is a pretty good deal. I really enjoyed this Starburst gum quite a bit.


Braven LUX Wireless HD Bluetooth Speaker - Retail Packaging - Purple
Braven LUX Wireless HD Bluetooth Speaker - Retail Packaging - Purple
Price: $99.99
2 used & new from $99.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound and Easy to Use, February 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Braven's wireless speaker is easy to use and looks great as well. The speaker boasts as easy interface with large buttons on either end, for power, volume, pairing/activate call/pause music, etc... It also boats audio in and audio out jacks, a USB charging port, and a removable cap. It's small but looks great, and delivers a terrific sound quality. If you're in the market for a wireless Bluetooth speaker, you might want to give this Braven speaker a try. I think you'll like it.


Travelpro Crew 10 22 Inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter, Black, One Size
Travelpro Crew 10 22 Inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter, Black, One Size
Price: $186.99
7 used & new from $173.90

5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Suitcase That Can Take Punishment, February 21, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Travelpro expandable suitcase is a great compact travel storage item. Lots of space and compartments highlight this sleek, black design. The handle easily pulls out from the suitcase and retracts easily as well. The thing that really strikes me is the durability. Traveling a lot in a car, this thing can take the punishment of shifting around without looking too much the worse for wear. I really like this travel suitcase and would recommend it.


Xcom: The Board Game
Xcom: The Board Game
Offered by Toy Fuzz
Price: $56.95
19 used & new from $47.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let Me Tell You Why You Need To Buy XCOM The Board Game, February 17, 2015
This review is from: Xcom: The Board Game (Paperback)
Having never played XCOM the video game, I didn't know what to expect from XCOM The Board Game. Knowing that Fantasy Flight Games was behind it, however, made picking up this game a no brainer. In XCOM The Board Game one to four players take on specific roles in order to fight an alien invasion of Earth. One player plays the Commander, who must keep track of the budget, deploy interceptor aircraft to fight UFOs, and choose which Crisis card the team will have to deal with. The Chief Scientist must choose which tech to research and how many resources will be devoted to each research. The Squad Leader will be responsible for selecting missions, deploying four different types of soldiers to accomplish the missions, and deploying soldiers to defend XCOM's headquarters. The Central Officer is in charge in satellites, which are used to combat UFOs in orbit. All players have starter cards and can gain techs which allow them to use special abilities to help to the team. Everything the team deploys, from interceptors, to soldiers, to scientists, to satellites, must be paid for out of the budget, and so players must constantly negotiate with the rest of the team for everything they want to do.

The Central Officer has another major responsibility in this game- managing an app on a tablet, cell phone, or laptop (which is downloadable for free from FFG). The game plays out in two phases- a timed phase and a resolution phase. During the timed phase, the app tells the Central Officer what action can be taken by which player, and gives them a strict time limit to accomplish their task. The tasks may be: research tech in a specific slot, an alien invades the HQ, interceptors must be deployed, UFOs appear over continents or in orbit, a new mission must selected, and more. The Central Officer must relay all of this information as quickly as possible to the other players, and make sure they are not taking too long. During the resolution phase, players then resolve all of the tasks that they set in motion in the timed phase. Players roll dice in order to get success for tech, knocking down UFOs, killing aliens in the base, and more. Players roll XCOM D6 dice, which features two success symbols on, as well as a numbered D8, which functions for the alien enemy. When you fail a dice roll, you can roll again, but it becomes increasingly likely that you will be defeated because with each non-success you move the threat marker up one space (from 1 to 5). If the D8 is equal to or lower than the threat marker, it is a fail and you lose the scientists, interceptors, soldiers, satellites, etc... If, at the end of the resolution phase, there are UFOs left over continents, that continent is moved forward on the panic track (if two nations make it to the orange section of the panic track- the players lose the game). If there are any aliens left over in the base, the base damage marker moves forward (if ever this marker reaches the end- the players lose the game- and there are also other negative consequences for it hitting red points). Players are working toward being able to complete the "Final Mission" and the app will tell you when you are able to do this (based on completing other missions and other criteria). Once the Final Mission is completed successfully, the players win the game.

XCOM the Board Game is a thrilling adventure that offers a fun yet stressful timed component. Not all of the decisions in the game are in the timed phase, so players won't be stressed out too much (like in, say, Space Alert or Damage Report). Rather, decisions of significance are equally divided between the timed phase and the resolution phase. The app is really fun and adds a lot to the game, without it being gimicky. It draws players into the high tech feel of the game, while at the same time giving players just enough time to negotiate with other players about how much money can be spent on each task, and then making those decisions. Essentially, what you do during the timed phase is really about setting you up for the resolution phase, getting yourselves into the best position to deal with the multiple crises the game presents. The dice rolling during the resolution phase adds a push-your-luck mechanic that may cost the team, but the potential rewards are just too much to ignore.

All told, XCOM The Board Game succeeds brilliantly in creating a tense, engaging, and incredibly fun experience. Each player will get sucked into their role, and the unique game challenge that that presents. At the same time, all players know they have to work together or suffer catastrophic defeat. Fun, inventive game play, really well designed cooperative mechanics, and a great theme make XCOM The Board Game a winner!


Murano SW
Murano SW
Offered by Noble Knight Games, Inc.
Price: $49.95
5 used & new from $49.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Murano is a Good Light-to-Medium Eurogame, February 15, 2015
This review is from: Murano SW (Toy)
Murano, from Mayfair Games, is a fun mid-level eurogame that takes place in Venice. Two to four players work to gain the most victory points by manipulating gondolas around the board, building buildings by placing tiles on islands, and various other actions. On a player's turn he or she may move a gondola along the track around the board, but must stop before entering a space with another gondola. Whatever space the gondola lands allows players to take a specific action- from collecting building tiles, building buildings and roads, producing glass in factories, selling goods to customers, and more. Also, an important action is drawing character cards and placing gondoliers on the islands. At the end of the game, if certain conditions on an island have been met for held character cards, and the player has a gondolier on that island, he or she may spend that gondolier to capitalize on the character card. Whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

The above, of course, is just the bare bones of the rules for Murano, and there really is a lot more to it than that. The game is very interesting as it really forces players to decide which gondolas to move in order to do the actions that are required for victory. Players' strategies must evolve over the course of the game as new character cards are drawn and considered, and players will end up fighting over resources and islands. Though the game initially looks rather intimidating, it is actually a very fun and relatively quick light to medium level eurogame. This is a perfect game for families and those who prefer indirect conflict in their board games. Very fun.


Dead of Winter Crossroads Game
Dead of Winter Crossroads Game
Offered by goHastings
Price: $84.98
12 used & new from $79.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Hidden Traitor Game Since Battlestar Galactica! An Amazing Narrative Experience!, February 14, 2015
Dead of Winter, from Plaid Hat Games, is a semi-cooperative board game with a hidden traitor element. The game takes place in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, as survivors have made a haven for themselves at a place called simply The Colony. There, plagued by shortages and fighting the bitter winter cold, they hope to make their stand. In addition to The Colony board, several location cards are set out, featuring places like the Gas Station, the Hospital, the School, and more. Players choose, either together or randomly, a scenario and place it in the appropriate spot on The Colony board. Each scenario features a group victory condition that all players must complete in order to win. The Colony board also features a round track and a morale track, with each scenario noting the starting space on each track. If ever either track gets down to zero, the players lose. Also, each player is given his or her own objective cards. Essentially, each player must complete his or her specific objectives as well as the scenario's objective if they are to win the game. Players must help each other to complete the main objective, but must also work secretly to complete their own private objective. As though this was devious enough, one of the players may receive a Betrayal card, making them a secret traitor who works against The Colony's interests in order to win.

At the beginning of the first player's turn he or she must resolve a Crisis card, some unique problem that players must all contribute cards to in order to beat it by the end of the round. If they do not beat the Crisis, something bad will happen to The Colony, most likely a loss of morale. Then, players take their individual turns. All players having rolled dice at the beginning of the round players can spend their dice rolls to take certain actions like killing zombies, searching for equipment at locations, or taking out the trash (seriously- an important part of the game). Players can also take actions without spending dice like moving to locations, trading cards with other players, playing cards, and more. Whenever a player moves to a location or kills a zombie, however, they most roll the exposure dice, which will either wound them, frostbite them (which makes them progressively sicker), or zombie bite them, which will kill them and spread the infection.

Also, at the beginning of each players' turn, the player to the right will draw a Crossroads card and read the top part secretly. If conditions on the board match conditions on the card, the rest of the card is read, providing a new narrative element and leading to a decision. The active player can choose between two options- something good with a cost- or all the players may be required to vote on the question. The game ends if either track hits zero, or if the scenario objective is met. Each player checks to see if he or she has met their own secret conditions to determine winners.

Dead of Winter is a fantastic game that is incredibly innovative on a lot of levels. First of all the whole dynamic between completing the individual objectives and the scenario objectives is a lot of fun. Players do not know if other players are acting in their own interests or in the good of the whole. Additionally, with the possibility of one player being a traitor, the game really succeeds in creating an air of paranoia, perhaps better than any board game since Battlestar Galactica. Where the game really shines, however, is in the Crossroads system. The idea that on any player's turn a dynamic new narrative element appears requiring a tough choice is just fantastic, and really takes Dead of Winter from being a good game to being a great game.

A game that revels in tough choices, fun narrative play, an eerie theme, and paranoia so thick you can choke on it, Dead of Winter is easily one of 2014's best games and a wonderful tabletop experience. You will want to check this one out for sure!


Argent: The Consortium
Argent: The Consortium
Offered by Roundtree Games
Price: $44.95
10 used & new from $38.51

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Big, Big Worker Placement Game, February 10, 2015
This review is from: Argent: The Consortium (Toy)
Argent: The Consortium, from Level 99 Games, is a worker placement game in which players vie to become the new chancellor of a magical university. Essentially, players must learn who is voting for the new chancellor, and then adopt strategies to get their vote. The voters have cards that say that they will vote for the player with the most X tokens, or the most Y tokens, or the most gold, or the most spells, or the most etc.. These voter cards are placed face down. On a player's turn, he or she may take actions to gain those items and tokens, or look under the voter cards to determine who is voting for what. A worker placement game, players place their figures on spaces in rooms throughout the university, and each space allows players to take special actions. The order in which figures are placed in the rooms can have an impact as well, allowing for more or less abilities. Players each have factions that offer individual strengths and abilities, and each player has different colored figures that can perform different actions even as they perform the action of the room they are on. When the game ends players reveal the voter cards and see who the voters elect the new chancellor. There is A LOT more to it than that, but this is just a basic overview of the rules for Argent: The Consortium.

First of all, Argent: The Consortium is a huge game. Make sure you have a ton of space to play on, because you'll have university tiles, player boards, bell tower cards, spell cards, item cards, and more all over the board. Seriously, this may be the largest game in terms of sheer playing space that I have ever played- and I've played Arkham Horror with expansions and Firefly: The Game! Game play itself is a lot of fun, as players are bombarded with options and potential strategies. There is really a ton of things that you can do in this game, and a ton of things that can happen to you. In this sense, Argent: The Consortium's strength is also its biggest weakness. Players who suffer from analysis paralysis will really suffer in this game (as will those who play with them- waiting for their turn), and even seasoned players will agonize over the best path to victory. Still, this does mean that the game has significant replayability.

With great components, stunning artwork, fun competition, and a great thematic experience overall, Argent: The Consortium's strengths outweigh it's weaknesses. If you like challenging and engaging worker placement games with lots going on, you will want to pick up this game!


Zvezda Models Armada Invincible Historical Wargame Building Kit
Zvezda Models Armada Invincible Historical Wargame Building Kit
Price: $58.63
12 used & new from $49.40

4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Game of 16th Century Naval Warfare, February 10, 2015
Armada Invincible, from Zvezda, is a game of naval warfare and strategy set in the 16th century. One player takes on the role of the English and the other the Spanish in the time of the Spanish Armada. Each player receives a ship card and a command card, along with a dry erase marker to write on them. Each player also receives a ship model which must be assembled before play. Players then pick a scenario from the scenario book. Simultaneously, players write down their orders on their command card- low mast, half mast, full mast- which give them movement tokens, and in which direction they are moving or turning. Wind is set before the scenario, and depending on the ship's relationship to the wind, movement will cost more or less tokens for each space it moves. If the enemy ship is in range and line of sight, players may begin combat. Combat is also simultaneous, and players roll a number of D20s depending on how many cannons they have that are still active and charged. Consulting a chart on the ship card, players are told what their dice rolls hit on. Ships that sustain hits must cross of durability points in the hull along the port, starboard, or stern. If every all the durability points on either side of a cannon are knocked out, the cannon itself is destroyed. Also, once a cannon is fired it must recharge before it can fire a again. One cannon on each side of the ship may recharge per turn. Also, in combat, players can select which type of ammunition to use- chain, ball, or grapeshot. There are also rules for crew, pikemen, and musketmen on deck, boarding parties, and more. Each scenario has objectives and victory conditions, but if at any time all the durability points on one side of the ship are destroyed, the ship goes down and that player loses.

Armada Invincible is a fun and engaging naval warfare game that really packs a punch. The dry erase cards are a great way to keep track of information and the variation in options and scenarios mean that this game has a lot of replay value. It is a game of constant tough decisions as you need to line up for an attack, but may not have the movement points because you'll turn into the wind. Do you expose yourself this turn in the hopes of advantage on the following turn? Or do turn away to regroup. Do you close in tight and try to board, or do you keep your distance? Should you try to dismast the enemy ship, or merely bombard and peck away at his cannons and durability points?

The game's ship models are beautiful and highly detailed, but they must be assembled. For those of us without a model building aptitude, that can be quite intimidating, (my friend assembled them for me). Also, without glue or adhesives, the models tend to lose pieces during play and must be re-attached. It is a little annoying but nothing that stops the game from being generally enjoyable and engaging. If you like board games with strong historical themes and naval adventure, you just might want to check out Armada Invincible.


Sellswords
Sellswords
Offered by bringbackdeals
Price: $15.45
10 used & new from $13.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Light Card Placement Game That Offers Variation Each Time You Play, February 10, 2015
This review is from: Sellswords (Toy)
Sellswords, from Level 99 Games, is a fun and engaging light card flipping game. At the beginning of the game twelve cards are dealt out in a pile in the middle of the table. Back and forth, each player takes one of the cards, which boasts a red side and a blue side, depending on who plays it. Each card has four attack numbers on its sides, as well as special text that allows for special abilities during the game. Placing a terrain card in the middle of the table, which may contain special modifiers to the game, players take turns placing their cards next to already placed cards or the terrain. When a card's attack value on the side that is adjacent to an enemy card is greater than the enemy card's, the active player may flip the enemy card over to his color. Each card's special abilities, however, can be game changers. For instance, a card may allow you to attack a card two spaces away instead of just being adjacent. One card will allow you to successfully any card around it, but then that card itself must be flipped. Some cards effect scoring. And there are many, many more. Once all cards have been placed, scoring takes place by determining the number of your cards in rows and columns. After two rounds, the player with the most points wins.

Sellswords is a fun little card game. The heart of the game is each card's special abilities, which allow for variation with each play. Also, this game is very quick, each round playing in perhaps 10-15 minutes once players know what they are doing. It is very light, and the mercenary theme, while present, is not particularly strong. If the abstract nature of the game doesn't turn you off, you might really enjoy Sellswords as a two player opener for game night.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20