20th Jul2022

‘Living Forest’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When a game wins the Kennerspiel Des Jahres award, it has to be taken seriously. This prestigious prize has been awarded annually for eleven years now, but it was spawned from the original Spiel Des Jahre award which has now ran for more than forty years. The purpose of the Kennerspiel award is to identify […]

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17th Jun2022

‘Dominion: Allies’ Expansion Review

by Matthew Smail

I might be wrong, but I bet that when Dominion was released in 2008, designer Donald X. Vaccarino would have no idea that his creation would still be as popular as it is in 2022. Whilst not usually regarded as a gateway game in any sense of the word, there’s no doubt that Dominion remains […]

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13th Jun2022

‘Abstract Academy’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Abstract Academy is a small (or very small really) box experience which caters for two or four players, but is best played as a two-person, head-to-head duel. The players each fill the role of students at the titular academy, which specialises in helping its pupils reach their artistic potential using minimalist colours and abstract shapes […]

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09th Jun2022

‘Azul: Queen’s Garden’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The original Azul has to be one of the most popular board games of the last five years – having sold over a million copies. Despite this success, the first pair of Azul sequels (Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra and Azul: Summer Pavillion) haven’t been quite as successful. Undeterred, publisher Plan B Games has still […]

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02nd Jun2022

‘Dune: Imperium Deluxe Upgrade Pack’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Not all remakes are good, but sometimes a modern take on a classic movie, game or story can bring a vast improvement. For me, the new Dune movie is far, far better than the original (which was just a bit before my time) and as such, it deserves only the best when it comes to […]

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24th May2022

‘Unmatched: Redemption Row’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Almost anyone who watches popular movies, reads comics or engages with fiction of any kind has surely made comparisons between their favourite characters – and in some cases crossover stories have become more popular than the fiction that started them. Without focussing on any particular theme, and by picking up a mixture of royalty-free and […]

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18th Apr2022

‘Fjords’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Whilst many sports are considered to be a “game of two halves” I don’t find myself referring to board games in that way especially often. Where Fjords is concerned though, I need to make an exception. This 2022 reprint from Grail Games takes the original two-player game, extends it to three and four players, adds […]

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13th Apr2022

‘Pandemic: Iberia’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The original Pandemic is one of the four pillars that support modern board gaming (alongside Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride) but for fans who have played the game over and over again, it can be a little bit easy and dare I say it, lacking in variety. There have been numerous spin-offs […]

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11th Apr2022

‘Star Realms’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Cards are perhaps the single most amazing and important component in board games. Yes, chess and checkers pieces have played their part, as do modern miniatures – but cards offer so much flexibility. A card can have an objective, a power, a monster or a treasure on it – it can have two or three […]

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30th Mar2022

‘Smash Up: Marvel’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you were asked by someone to head down to your local game store to buy a Marvel-themed board game, you would have literally hundreds to choose from – and sadly, most would be rubbish. With that said, I’m delighted to be able to write about a Marvel game that has two things going for […]

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25th Mar2022

‘Risk: Warhammer 40,000’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

It’s fair to say that Risk isn’t a game we play often in our house, although I do have a fond memory of the first time I played it around thirty years ago; back then it was the first “truly impressive” game that I had played, and the plastic soldiers and cannons along with the […]

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23rd Mar2022

‘Merchants & Marauders’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

One of my fondest memories of videogaming in the early 1990’s was playing Sid Meier’s Pirates! on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The idea that Nintendo’s basic 8-bit console could offer such depth and variety was astonishing to me – I could sail the length and breadth of the Caribbean, trade, build a fleet, engage in […]

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16th Mar2022

‘Resident Evil 3: The Board Game’ Review

by Matthew Smail

It takes more than just an iconic intellectual property to elevate a board game these days, especially when that game is essentially a dungeon-crawler. Games like Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion have revolutionised the genre, bringing innovation and variation to their worlds, in addition to fantastic core gameplay. Resident Evil 3: The Board Game definitely […]

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04th Mar2022

‘Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Alchemists Expansion’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

It’s no surprise to hear that we are huge fans of Quacks of Quedlinburg here at Nerdly. We’ve already reviewed both the base game and the prior expansion; The Herb Witches. In the latest expansion, Quacks of Quedlinburg – The Alchemists, the game is lifted from being the relatively straightforward experience that is accessible to […]

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25th Feb2022

‘Great Western Trail: Second Edition’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Here at Nerdly, we were a bit late to the party when it came to our review of the original Great Western Trail back in mid-2019. By then, the game had already been out for around 3 years, and it was already well inside the BoardGameGeek top ten rated board games. The thing is, the […]

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14th Feb2022

‘Summoner Wars: Second Edition Master Set’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

It’s been thirteen years since Plaid Hat Games debuted with the original Summoner Wars. An expandable system, rather than a completely standalone game, Summoner Wars sought to capitalise on the success of Magic: The Gathering and other, similar competitive card games, whilst simultaneously offering players a more spatial, chess-like challenge, and offering a fixed price […]

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17th Jan2022

‘Red Flag Over Paris’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Some three and a half years ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Mark Herman’s Fort Sumter. A two-player wargame simulating the onset of the American Civil War, Fort Sumter was a delight thanks to its light mechanics and deep, head-to-head gameplay. Even though my wife and I enjoyed it (and I rated it four […]

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05th Jan2022

‘Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The original Terraforming Mars remains one of the most popular and highly rated games of all time, and currently occupies the fourth space on BoardGameGeek’s all-time ranking list. For me, it is one of the most complete integrations of mechanics and theme in a game, and even though I am not traditionally a sci-fi fan, […]

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03rd Jan2022

‘Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

No Spoilers Here! Please note that Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion is a campaign-based experience that takes place over approximately 25 scenarios. This review includes photos of the first scenario and a few of the other components, but nothing beyond the first scenario. I’ve also kept my descriptions of gameplay beyond this first scenario to […]

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05th Nov2021

‘Deadzone: Third Edition’ Board Game Review

by Chris Thomas

Cards on the table. Since writing my last glowing review for something by Mantic Games I have signed up as a volunteer “Pathfinder” which is their super user program that gets people that love their games to rub them in the faces of as many people as possible. So, before I go on, I do […]

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18th Oct2021

‘Unfathomable’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The board game industry has a problem that videogames don’t seem to have. When a videogame goes out of print (or more likely these days, gets withdrawn from the respective marketplace) people who have bought it tend to benefit on an evergreen basis. Digital games never degrade, and even a retail game pressed onto a […]

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14th Oct2021

‘Furnace’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Bearing the weight of a theme that features heavy industries extracting coal, iron and oil from the Earth during the early 19th Century, it may be a surprise to some that Furnace is a relatively lightweight teach, with simple rules and mechanics giving away to a feverish optimisation puzzle. Variant rules can increase the complexity […]

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