Tag Archives: Rio Grande Games

Tzolk’in and Dungeon Petz Expansion Review – Starlit Citadel Reviews Season 3

Tzolk'inThe Mayan Calender

In Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar – Tribes & Prophecies, each player now becomes the leader of a particular tribe, each of which has a special ability that only that player can use. The game includes 13 tribes to provide plenty of variety, (You know that 13 is a spooky and magical number, right?)

With this expansion, the game of Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar is also influenced by three prophecies that are revealed ahead of time and fulfilled when the time is right. These prophecies give players other opportunities to score points, but they can also lose points if they don’t prepare themselves for the prophecy effects. As with the tribes, the expansion includes 13 prophecies. (Woohoo, 13 again!)

This expansion also has new buildings and components that allow up to five players to compete.

Dungeon Petzs Dark Ally

Bringing you more than just new pets, cages and magic items, the Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys has a whole new district in the town. This is the heart of the expansion. It’s kind of a back alley district in the Imp town where all the weird existences live and try to do their business. So would you like to hire an illegal worker or buy a pet on the black market? Maybe book a facility that produces food for active dogs, cats and dragons? And what about a fancy ribbon or a cool spiked collar for your pet? Taking care of your pets will never be the same.

Box Contents:
1 Two-sided Progress Board Extension
1 Two-sided Dark Alleys Board
9 Pets with rotating wheels
10 Plastic Fasteners for assembling pets
9 Plastic Imps (2 in each color, 1 black)
3 Cage Tiles
2 Addon Tiles
2 Customer Tiles
2 Exhibition Tiles
3 Artifact Tiles
6 Facility Tiles
8 Accessory Tiles
4 Permission Tiles (1 in each color)
1 Rule book


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Concordia Review


Two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire ruled the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. With peace at the borders, harmony inside the provinces, uniform law, and a common currency, the economy thrived and gave rise to mighty Roman dynasties as they expanded throughout the numerous cities. Guide one of these dynasties and send colonists to the remote realms of the Empire; develop your trade network; and appease the ancient gods for their favor — all to gain the chance to emerge victorious!

Concordia is a peaceful strategy game of economic development in Roman times for 2-5 players aged 13 and up. Instead of looking to the luck of dice or cards, players must rely on their strategic abilities. Be sure to watch your rivals to determine which goals they are pursuing and where you can outpace them! In the game, colonists are sent out from Rome to settle down in cities which produce bricks, food, tools, wine, and cloth. Each player starts with an identical set of playing cards and acquires more cards during the game. These cards serve two purposes:

  • They allow a player to choose actions during the game.
  • They are worth victory points (VPs) at the end of the game.

Concordia is a strategy game which requires advance planning and consideration of your opponent’s moves. Every game is different, not only because of the sequence of new cards on sale but also due to the modular layout of cities. (One side of the game board shows the entire Roman Empire with 30 cities for 3-5 players, while the other shows Roman Italy with 25 cities for 2-4 players.) When all cards have been sold, the game ends. The player with the most VPs from the gods (Jupiter, Saturnus, Mercurius, Minerva, Vulcanus, etc.) wins the game.

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Friday – A Written Review (2d6 Exclusive Content)




Designer:            Friedemann Friese

Publisher:           Rio Grande Games (2011)


The anticipation is killing you.  Arriving to the venue early, you grab a $10 beer and snatch a prime position in the pit not far from the stage.  The agony of having to endure the opening act performed by a band no one’s ever heard of leaves you groaning – and then magic fucking happens.  The small unknown outfit of young shredders shoot fire from their dicks and lightning bolts from their eyes and by the time the main attraction comes out, the beloved band you paid to see, you’re already mentally exhausted and spent from the 45 minute aural jackhammer which took you by complete surprise.  That band whose name you have tattooed across your upper ass cheek can’t possibly top what’s already happened.

Friday is that young group of musicians who come out of goddamn nowhere and kick you in the groin.  This isn’t the type of game you build an online order around, rather, it’s a filler to throw in to meet the $100 free shipping threshold.  Then when it arrives and you actually break the little bastard out, you are floored and quickly discard the other $85 of cardboard deadweight and find yourself absolutely enamored with this little beaut.



A small amount of components yet a large amount of game.


This is a solitaire deck-builder with somewhat bland cartoonish artwork and a mellow theme that someone who places Earth Reborn as their number 1 game would probably never enjoy.  Yet, I’ve played this game dozens and dozens of times and don’t see that ending anytime soon.  The basic structure of the game is that you start with a weak deck of Robinson cards that boast low strength values.  You flip two Hazard cards and choose one to fight, which instructs you how many cards to flip over from your deck.  You may then pay Life points to flip over additional cards as the goal is to have a total strength equal to or greater than the Hazard difficulty on the card.  If you beat the Hazard you add it to your deck and may draw it later, in which case you use the bottom half of the card which possesses a Strength and Ability such as acquiring more Health tokens or drawing more cards.


friday weapon

A Hazard/Knowledge card with the Hazard on the bottom half and the gained Ability on the top.


The goal is to build a stellar deck with high strength cards and wicked abilities.  After running through the Hazard deck three times, you face two Pirate cards which are very demanding and cause brow-furrowing tension.  The ingenious of the design is a very welcoming simplicity with astounding depth.  Key decision points include choosing which of the two Hazards you face (which can set the tempo of your deck), agonizing over decisions of when to spend Health tokens to draw, and deciding which cards to cull (“trash” for you Dominion fanatics).  You have to pay Health in order to remove cards from your deck but there’s a delicate balancing act, as you cannot rely on the standard small fine-tuned deck strategy prominent in your Grandfather’s deckbuilders.  See, every time you re-shuffle your deck you gain an Aging card, which is has a negative effect when revealed.  Aging cards can be absolutely brutal and get more severe as the game progresses.

This is an absolutely fantastic game that offers a brutal challenge by kicking you in the teeth and then picking you back up.  It’s a constant war of balance as you acquire cards, throw out cards, and try to set the tempo while the game keeps fucking with your engine.  If you don’t achieve a delicate balance before the timer runs down, you will find yourself below deck on the Pirate’s ship employed as the new peg boy.  This sense of brutality has me licking my lips and ready to return every single time.



The brutal Pirate cards.


Friday is a great solo game that performs at an exceptional level for being so ridiculously cheap.  It is one of those games that pulls you back in and has you craving just one more game so that you can experiment with a new strategy and get ever closer to beating the bloody Pirates.  With a scaling difficulty and wide myriad of card effects and encounters, this one will have you engaged for an exorbitant amount of plays.  Still waiting for Z-Man’s paddle boat from China to get here with Robinson Crusoe so that you can fight over one of the 15 copies with a fellow gamer?  Screw that, pick up Friday in the meantime for a little over a ten spot and fill that hole in your life that’s been missing since you were an adolescent.


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Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts Review


Alien Artifacts

Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts, is the fourth expansion for Race for the Galaxy, is incompatible with earlier expansions for that game, instead taking the game in a new direction. Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts consists of two parts:

  • 46 new cards including 5 new start worlds to add to the base set, plus a set of action cards and start hand for a fifth player. These can be used without the orb cards.
  • 49 cards used to represent the Alien Orb which players jointly map and explore, gaining artifact tokens of various types that provide powers and VPs. There are also five new Explore action cards used in the orb game (instead of gaining an additional card or greater card selection).

The orb game is optional and provides a new RFTG experience, as players have to balance how much effort and actions they wish to put into exploring the orb versus developing their empires.

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