Well, I know I'm suppose to be playing my Steam games right now, but I got paid on Friday and needed a new puzzle which means we had to go to Book and Game which means I was tempted by all the pretty board games! I couldn't resist taking a couple home. Those sexy little thangs.
Labyrinth the Duel: We picked up this game because both Beau and I have fond memories of Pipe Dream. That's basically what this game is. There are 16 treasures lining the board and treasure cards representing each. You draw one treasure card to determine where your little wizard token starts and then you draw another treasure card to tell you where to try and get your wizard to. There are two game boards, so you are able to either play by yourself or race another person. If you race another person the first one to 8 cards wins; you just flip a card and the first person to that treasure calls it out. If they call out and can't actually get to the treasure, the other player gets the point.
I really liked this one! It was a lot of fun and I loved the racing to the goal aspect of it. It is not incredibly easy to find great 2-player games, and this one definitely qualified. It was quick and fun, and I can definitely see Beau and I breaking it out quite often.
Problems: The game board is both very inventive and very frustrating. You have little plastic square blocks that you attached the labyrinth pieces to and set them on the board. It's a pretty ingeniously simple way to get a game with sliding pieces to work well with easy storage and not easy to break. However, you have to take time at the start of the game to try and make sure all your "pipes" are in different directions and in the heat of a race with another person it's extremely easy to accidentally flick your pieces off the board. It was also a little frustrating that sometimes you would turn over a treasure card and one person was already connected. That didn't ruin the game for me though because it was also pretty funny and seemed to happen an even amount for both players.
Recommended: I would recommend this one for sure if you enjoy Pipe Dream or any puzzle game based off of it. Labyrinth is a solid game that is easily played over and over again. I absolutely love that it provides fun for both one or two people.
Redshirts: Not to be confused with the book by John Scalzi, as I confused it, seeing it at Book and Game and exclaiming loudly "Oh, I heard of that book...wait, that's not a book! What the hell is that?!"...and then I had to buy it, of course. Redshirts is a lot of fun! It's a card game where you are the captain of a ship and you start out with five Redshirts. You pull mission cards with requirements like "science" or "tactics" and you assign a Redshirt to it. You want to assign Redshirts that don't have the skills you need to complete the mission, because failure means at least one Redshirt will die and the goal of the game is to kill off all of your Redshirts. In the mean time, other players can put down cards that change your location, skills, equipment, etc. in order to try and cause your Redshirt to succeed at the mission and therefore not be killed.
Problems: It is a way longer game than it seems! You bounce between killing off and having to add new Redshirts a lot, plus most of the cards are "play anytime" which means there's a lot of back and forth when missions are trying to be resolved. They clearly try to mitigate this by the limit put on card draws and how many are allowed in your hand at one time, but it still took Beau and I around three hours to complete a game. It might take less with more people since you would have to use your hand more wisely to stop others. Some of the card rules are also slightly ambiguous, so you might expect a little arguing.
Recommended: Yes! I really enjoyed the game, even with the unexpected length for two people. If you have some time, this game is awesome. Plus it played very well with two people and I could see it also working just as well with more. Once you get past the initial learning the phases of each turn, it's pretty easy to grasp. We had a few hiccups, but it's not an incredibly complicated game.
Definitely go pick it up if you enjoy silly humor and hilariously balking your friends, especially pick it up if you enjoy corny Star Trek humor. DON'T pick it up if you are going to be like "oh god, Kesley Wusher? That is so dumb. I hate everything and I don't know what silly is."
Random side note: Did you know that there is an expansion for Zombie Dice?! I didn't even know that was possible! I didn't pick it up because it was waaaaaaaaaay too much money for three dice, but I'll have to watch to see if I can ever find them on sale.