Review: Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne & The Oregon Trail Card Game

It’s something of a tradition to play board games and drink on Black Friday. It started when several of our numbers worked retail, and while none of us are stuck there anymore, it’s still something fun to do.

First up was Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne, the well, game. Specifically the one based on the HBO series. We enjoy the “fuck your friends over” sorts of games, and while we’re competitive, it’s all good natured. So, Game of Thrones was a lot of fun. Bit complicated setup, but once you’ve played a couple of times it flows really well.  The game requires you to either lie, ask favors/alliances of other players, or be really aggressive. I  have a really hard time with the first two when I’m playing with friends, so I usually fall back on aggressive. Each of the Houses has their own strength/style so if you want to succeed find the house that matches your play style.

House Stark is not aggressive.

The House Stark lost, twice.

Status quo was maintained. (I guess?)

A couple of the character powers seem a little unbalanced, but that may just be because I was on the receiving end of them and my friends had a better handle on strategy. The game requires 3 to 5 players, but personally I wouldn’t play with less than 4 as it very much felt like 2 against 1 with just 3 players.

Once you understand how to play the game it’s perfectly possible to play it when you’re a couple Moscow mules in.


tumblr_oh8k1q9yrs1qbhma4o3_540Once we’d played a couple rounds of Game of Thrones, we broke the seal on Oregon Trail the Card Game. I’d originally picked it up for my nieces and nephew thinking it’d be something we could play at Christmas, but I’m glad that I gave it a test run.

Oregon Trail was disappointing. The rules are ambiguous, there’s a sample play, but nothing that really spells out any sort of order of play. Both my friend Terry and I poured over the rules and were left scratching our heads. It took us a while to figure out that the game is a co-op but maybe also last man standing? We spent a lot of time just drawing cards trying to build the Trail and waiting for something to happen.

There’s supposedly videos of how to play, but one of my biggest pet peeves in boardgames right now is the tendency to send me to a video instead of just writing clear and concise instructions.

We won’t be playing it with the kids this Christmas because it was boring and the game play was slow. It basically cashed in on nostalgia and did little to actually make a challenging intelligent game.  Also it required way too much table space.

You’re going to want to be several drinks in before you play this game, and even then it’s just not that fun.

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