Osprey Board Game Reviews

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing a large number of games in the past couple of years from Osprey Games, which began as an offshoot of Osprey Publishing in 2008. I take great pride in reviewing all the games I receive, and I always play board games many times over with groups of friends to provide you with the most accurate, and insightful reviews as possible. Please enjoy, and as always, let me know what you think by leaving your comments in the areas below on each page of The Board Game Show blog. And if you like what you see, please consider signing up for our weekly email in the box on the right, liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter, subscribing to our podcast in your favorite app, or simply telling friend. Game on!


Escape From Colditz Board Game Review, The New Edition Edition

I love microcosms. Take the classic WWII German submarine movie, Das Boot. There is an inescapable immersion generated by the cramped quarters, the interplay among the submariners, and the life and death struggles that demand excellence and cohesion in crisis after crisis. Since prisons practically define microcosms, I’ve had my eyes on Escape from Colditz by Osprey Games since the reprint was announced last year. (The original game was published in 1973.)

Escape from Colditz allows players to immerse themselves in the historic escape attempts by the multi-national groups of POW’s secured inside the walls of Colditz Castle during WWII. More…


A Review of the Agamemnon Board Game

Who doesn’t want to play a God manipulating the fates of humankind against another God? While that level of thematic immersion requires an extraordinary leap of hubris, I have a few friends I might describe as God-like in their grasp of board game strategies and their ability to grind opponents into meeple dust. Powers of winning aside, I would prescribe Osprey’s Agamemnon to anyone wanting to embark on a strategically challenging, yet easy-to-learn game that will have you matching (or nearly so) wits and wiles against your most Mensa-infected opponents.

More specifically, Agamemnon, designed by Gunter Cornett and published by Osprey Games, is a two-player, abstract game for board gamers who would enjoy puzzling out control over as many multiple areas of a game board as possible. In Agamemnon, these areas are expressed as “Strings of Fate” and represent the machinations and controlling influences of the Gods during the events of the Iliad. Classic literature aficionados should note that one player is representing the mortal armies of Troy and the other, Greece. More…


A Review of Escape From The Aliens In Outer Space

An alien plague turned some of the crew into monsters, so it’s time to put on your Ellen Ripley underwear and fight for your survival in Osprey’s incredibly original and immersive Escape From The Aliens In Outer Space board game.

Allow me to set the scene:

You know Space Station SELVA inside and out, and that’s a good thing, because minutes ago the lights went out, and crazy human-alien hybrids want you to join their club. That is the club where aliens stop at nothing to satiate their appetite for flesh.

Yes, something went horribly wrong aboard the station, as often does when scientists start messing around with alien spores and injecting them into their subjects while trying to find a cure for a disease killing millions on Earth. (They meant well. Don’t judge.) That didn’t work out so well, so now the humans are rushing to the escape pods, praying they are fully functional. More…


A Review of They Come Unseen

Commander Andy Benford was the living and breathing embodiment of Tom Clancy novels while many of us were still cutting our war gaming teeth on the likes of Risk, Stratego and Axis & Allies. (Okay, maybe also Panzer Blitz if you weren’t a total wimp.) Benford saw service aboard diesel-electric submarines, a nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine and a nuclear-powered Polaris ballistic missile submarine, all during the Cold War. He retired from service in 1993.

He also designed a game, They Come Unseen by Osprey Publishing.

Who better than a retired Cold War submariner to design a game that simulates the cat and mouse interactions between Soviet destroyers and NATO submarines in the stormy, icy waters of the Barents Sea? They Come Unseen does just that with palpably tense and exciting game play. That is when you’re not trying to clarify a rule in the 10-page FAQ. More…


A Review of The King is Dead

When a game promises “politics and power struggles in the dark Arthurian Britain” and only eight actions per player, per game, the money flies out of my wallet. The promise of simple game mechanics that belie a deeper, strategic experience are nearly always a major draw for me. The King is Dead delivers on these counts.

I first discovered The King is Dead at the Osprey Publishing booth at GenCon Indy this year, and what immediately captured my attention — before hearing anything about the gameplay — was the quality of the components. The linen-textured game box opens like a book, and printed on the inside surface of the box is an atmospheric depiction of knights approaching a hillside village.

The mounted game board has an antique, distressed look and depicts Great Britain partitioned into eight, historically accurate territories. The game’s cards mirror the aged look of the board with clear depictions of the actions they convey, and the remaining components include faction control counters, wooden faction cubes and a cloth bag from which to draw them. Finally, Osprey has provided purposeful storage trays in which to store the game pieces. More…


A Review of Shahrazad Board Game

Shahrazad is the storyteller in One Thousand and One Nights (commonly referred to as “Arabian Nights“), the book which includes the tales of Aladdin and Ali Baba. You, on the other hand, will be playing the role of Shahrazad, who happens to be the inspiration for the new game of the same name published by Osprey Games.

Your goal in Shahrazad is to be the best storyteller and impress The King. In practice, this solitaire or two-player cooperative game is about playing tiles to create sequential chains of numbers (from lowest to highest), while also connecting as many adjacent, like-colored tiles as possible.

In doing so — or in doing so poorly — you are in effect telling great stories, nonsensical stories, or something in between. Whatever the result, your final score will be the judge as you receive one of five “verdicts” from The King, with different results for solitaire and co-op games. More…



A Review of The Lost Expedition Card Game

At the turn of the 20th Century, if your spouse said he was going to map out the unexplored regions of the Amazon, you’d best kiss his ass goodbye. Unless his name was Percy Fawcett. In this case, you would see your husband return time after time from his expeditions, until one day he doesn’t.

The Lost Expedition is a card game for 1-5 players that draws its inspiration directly from the David Grann book, The Lost City of Z. Having read the book, designer Peer Sylvester, said, “It was soon clear to me that I wanted to design a cooperative game that mirrored what expeditions in the Brazilian jungle might encounter… [O]ne important point was to only feature creatures and events which are real.”

Sylvester also made a point to feature many of the tribes Fawcett encountered and adjusted the difficulty of their respective cards to reflect their historical dispositions (kind or unforgiving) as closely as possible. More…


A Review of Samurai Gardner

Even a samurai needs time to unwind at the end of a long day. Some attend to the gardens of their feudal lords, and that’s where you come in. Samurai Gardner is a new game from Osprey Games that challenges players to build the most impressive garden, that is if your samurai reflexes are primed to catch a fly with a pair of chopsticks. More…


A Review of London 2nd Edition

In 1866, the Great Fire of London is said to have consumed 70,000 homes! In Martin Wallace’s second edition of London by Osprey Games, players take part in the grand effort to rebuild that city. Those who do the best job will have generated the most prestige and successfully managed to control a constant influx of poverty. It sounds simple enough, but there are a lot of moving parts that come together in a game that is destined to become a classic. More…


A Review of Star Cartel

Fans of the hit series Firefly will immediately understand what’s going on in Star Cartel by Osprey Games.

Jayne Cobb: What’re we expectin’ to find here that equals the worth of a turd?

This light economic, smuggling-themed game for 3-6 players has players running illicit shipments of various goods, upgrading ships to increase capacity, and like any successful smuggler, skimming off the top to enrich themselves. The player who can amass the highest valued stash by game’s end, wins! More…





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