18th Mar2021

‘Calico’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Cats seem to be making quite an impression in the board gaming world lately. The Isle of Cats is one example that I spent a lot of time with last year, and Twitter seems awash with cats in box lids and cats making cameo appearances in games with themes of all kinds. Calico is a […]

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12th Mar2021

‘Zombicide: Night of the Living Dead’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Well, I am sure you all know that here at Nerdly we love a good zombie movie, and at the same time we’re also fans of CMON’s Zombicide game series. Having already covered both Zombicide: Green Horde and Zombicide: Invader, I often wonder what new ideas CMON will come up with next, besides a simple […]

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25th Feb2021

‘Sorcerer City’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Originally released under a successful Kickstarter by Druid City Games, Sorcerer City is a fairly large, big budget experience that mixes up several styles of play. Designed by Scott Caputo (famous for WhistleStop), the game claims to mix deckbuilding, tile placement and real-time elements together in an off-the-wall fantasy setting that should appeal to just […]

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23rd Feb2021

‘Parks’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When I first opened up Parks, the first thing that struck me was the incredible presentation and build quality. This is a small box with a beautiful enough cover to begin with, but once you open it, Parks expands to show off a fabulous Gametrayz insert, some gorgeous wooden hiker meeples and several decks of […]

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19th Feb2021

‘Black Rose Wars’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

I have always been a bit of a sucker for a thematic game that links mechanical gameplay with the storyline of each turn as it unfolds. In Black Rose Wars, each of up to four players acts as a mages seeking the favour of the titular black rose – an artifact of tremendous power. As […]

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28th Jan2021

‘Beez’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Recreating the ponderous, often clumsy movement of bees in a board game could not have been easy, yet somehow Plan B Games and designer Dan Halstad have managed to do so with Beez, the latest release in Plan B’s line of attractive, similar looking games that also happens to include Azul. In Beez, each player […]

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26th Jan2021

‘Jurassic Parts’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Whilst dinosaurs appear to be a recurring theme in board games lately, palaeontology and the study of these great, ancient beasts is something that I haven’t seen recreated in wood, plastic and cardboard to date. Jurassic Parts takes a relatively simplistic, set-collection based approach to representing the subject, but despite easy-to-follow rules and fast turns, […]

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21st Jan2021

‘Cloud City’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Designed by Phil Walker-Harding and published by BlueOrange, Cloud City has some serious credentials working in its favour. Walker-Harding is the designer of a number of legendary titles including Barenpark and Imhotep, whilst BlueOrange hold the rights to some of the most popular games in recent years. With that said, when I first laid eyes […]

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19th Jan2021

‘God’s Love Dinosaurs’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

It’s no surprise when you get into it, that God’s Love Dinosaurs is a Pandasaurus Games product. There’s a clue in the name of course, but it’s not just that – it’s also in the way that God’s Love Dinosaurs handles the titular subject matter. God’s Love Dinosaurs is pure, irreverent silliness that never for […]

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23rd Nov2020

‘Britannia: Classic and Duel Edition’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The original Britannia is something of a collectors item these days, having first been released just three years after I was born and since then having been published in numerous languages, including an English language re-release from industry giants, Fantasy Flight Games. The version that I’ve been playing for the past month or two is […]

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18th Nov2020

‘Marvel: Crisis Protocol – Venom and Shuri & Okoye Expansion(s)’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Following on from the Black Panther and Killmonger review that we did for Atomic Mass’s Marvel: Crisis Protocol a few months ago, I’m delighted to have picked up the other two expansions that were released at the same time, namely, Venom and Shuri and Okoye. The addition of Shuri and Okoye to my roster enables […]

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13th Nov2020

‘Oceans’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

If you look back at my review for Evolution Climate back at the start of 2019, you’ll note that I absolutely loved it. With thematic, educational links between visuals, components and mechanics, Evolution Climate struck the perfect balance between learning and enjoyment. However, where Evolution Climate focused on the development of birds and mammals and […]

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06th Nov2020

‘Arkham Horror: Living Card Game (Core Set)’ Review

by Matthew Smail

Among all of its many properties, the Arkham Horror LCG (or Living Card Game) has got to be one of the most popular lines that Fantasy Flight Games produces. I have spent several evenings over the past few weeks invested in the three stories that make up the most basic core set, but in addition […]

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05th Nov2020

‘Mysterium Park’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

In the original Mysterium (which I’ve never played) one player acts as a ghost, whilst the others take on the roles of paranormal investigators who must solve the mystery of how the ghost died. To do this, they’ll decipher various clues and messages left by the ghost, and this mechanic is expanded upon through at […]

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02nd Nov2020

‘2GM Pacific’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

When I think of wargames, I am often reminded of how broad the range of games covered by that term actually is. On the one hand, you have super heavy, army level simulators such as those represented in many of GMT Games most famous series, whilst on the other, you have the more straightforward and […]

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02nd Oct2020

‘Star Wars Unlock!’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

The Unlock! series of games has been around for quite a while, and even though I don’t tend to dive into every single one, there are a few that have really appealed to me. The last one I reviewed was subtitled Heroic Adventures and it featured a Sherlock Holmes mystery, a retelling of Alice in […]

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01st Oct2020

‘Iron Harvest’ Review (PC)

by Matthew Smail

Back in 2016, a board game called Scythe blew the world away with its incredibly evocative artwork, which featured hand painted images busy farmers working the fields against a backdrop of huge, mechanical walkers that seemed to eye them in equal parts both wary and protective. This artwork came from Polish artist Jakub Rozalski, and […]

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21st Sep2020

‘Marvel Splendor’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Whilst I’ve noticed an increasing number of dubious uses for the Marvel branding – including everything from sweets to underwear – Marvel Splendor is one tie-in that actually makes sense. The link between classic Splendor gameplay and Thanos’ quest for the Infinity Stones is so clear that I could imagine that whoever runs marketing at […]

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18th Sep2020

‘Glasgow’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Given that 2020 has been completely spoiled by the Covid-19 Pandemic, I find myself playing more and more games with just my wife. Whilst I always enjoy these head to head contests, she enjoys a much more limited subset of games to me, and so I have to make my proposed choice for any game […]

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27th Aug2020

‘Camel Up’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

Camel Up is perhaps one of the longest standing and best loved betting games in the market, but believe it or not, I hadn’t tried it until I was asked to undertake this review. Whilst Camel Up has been around for years, the version I’ve been sent is a recent reprint – and goodness me […]

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19th Aug2020

‘Clank!’ Board Game Review

by Matthew Smail

People who love deckbuilding games are certainly spoiled for choice these days, with the likes of Dominion, Mage Knight and Legendary all building on the core idea of starting out with a weak deck and building it up to something much more powerful over time, albeit with their own twist. Clank! easily sits alongside (and […]

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13th Aug2020

‘Civilization VI: Frontier Pack 1 – Maya and Gran Colombia’ Review (PC)

by Matthew Smail

Even though I’ve played every single Civilization game, owned every expansion and even religiously explored every spin-off and related title, it wasn’t until Civilization VI came along that I realised just how fundamental the differences between the civilizations are to the gameplay experience. These days it seems obvious – and indeed the very existence of […]

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