Birdwatcher from Renegade Game Studios


Renegade Game Studios take birdwatching to a new level with their game Birdwatcher where photographers try to lure birds to their tree to capture a photo of them.

The focus of Birdwatcher, from Renegade Game Studios, is to watch birds. You score points by collecting birds in different ways. For example there are birds that you get points on on an individual basis where MOST require being part of a set. If you have a set of two birds and then later get another of the same bird you can make the points from the first two invalid. Choosing which birds to photograph requires some thought if you want to win.

The images of the birds themselves are beautifully drawn and easy to differentiate between. My only complaint there is that there is only a small selection of birds to pick from. I’d have preferred a wider selection of birds, perhaps an expansion down the road will do just that. Due to the complexity the game is recommended for ages 13 and up. I feel that this entirely fair as it was way too complete complex for my seven year old to enjoy but she loved the art.

The mechanics of the game are quite simple to learn and the rulebook is well written. The examples and images in the rules make it even easier to follow and understand. One of the best things is the realism in the mechanics. Birds are constantly moving between player’s trees, possibly hindering your goals but since they’re birds they don’t care. When have you see a bird care about help a photographer get that better shot? Never. It doesn’t happen unless it’s a trained animal. Each game takes about an hour and does require patience but I feel that is intentional. The act of Birdwatching takes considerable time and patience and this game reinforces that. Overall its a great game but not my cup of tea as I prefer my games with a faster pace and more action.

American Psycho A Killer Game

American Psycho

Have you every played a card game full of murder that takes a classic and turns it upside down? With American Psycho A Killer Game you get to do both!

The folks at Renegade Game Studios sent us a copy of their new game American Psycho- A Killer Game to review. We are here to do just that. The game is based on the classic film of the same name staring Christian Bale. The film is based on the book and follows the story of a deranged man who is obsessed with killing and his own status. It even features an in depth analysis of business cards used by him and his peers. Who knew there were so many options with those cards? I certainly didn’t and I certainly didn’t think they mattered to anyone. The brings us to the game itself.

Each turn players play a card, similar to games of Hearts, where cards are assigned a point value. Unlike in Hearts the goal here is to get as many points as you can but there is a twist. To score most of the points you will need to complete specific goals as well like collecting points values in consecutive order (i.e. 2, 3 and 4). Like in Hearts one card reigns supreme and in this game it is the Killer Style card. You should save that for when it will make the most impact. The biggest difference though from Hearts is that you also earn points with your kills. Imagine playing a game of Hearts with Grandma where you stab a waiter and are rewarded for it! The could be a hilarious spin off game, perhaps i should make the suggestion?

The rulebook is high quality itself, using high resolution images to showcase examples and larger text to make reading easier. The art quality on the cards is right up there as well but the style isn’t for everyone. I personally liked the rough brush stroke appearance of the art where my wife did not. It made the depictions feel more chaotic and that was the right vibe for the game itself, she says I’m wrong though. Gameplay took a couple hands to get everyone on the same page but once we did it went quickly. The trick with the game though is figuring out your strategy for how you will be scoring the most points and no two games we played were ever exactly the same. This means a ton more games to be played before boredom strikes and placing the game on the shelf to collect dust.

Transformers Deck Building Card Game


Renegade Game Studios has brought a true 80s classic franchise to their deck building games with the Transformers Deck Building Card Game.

The original version of the Transformers Deck Building Card Game has been out for a while now but Renegade Game Studios has released a stand alone expansion along with an additional expansion. A Rising Darkness is the stand alone expansion where you can play as the Decepticons! Infiltration Protocol is the follow up expansion that works with both the core game and A Rising Darkness. It’s a great time to be a Transformers fan.

A Rising Darkness

This expansion works as both a standalone game or to further expand on the core game itself. When added to the core it brings two new modes- competitive and cooperative. This box allows players to exclusively play as the Decepticons but if combined with the core set then they can play Decepticons versus Autobots. For someone like myself who almost exclusively likes the Decepticons then this box is the best bet for them.

Infiltration Protocol

Infiltration Protocol is an expansion that works for both the core game or A Rising Darkness. This box allows you to play three new Autobots and three new Decepticons. It also features six new game modes to further vary gameplay, specifically a one versus many and a team versus team modes to say the least.

Each of these releases were followed by a single bonus pack that can be purchased, adding two MORE bots to the game! If you like Transformers or deck building games then these boxes are for you!

Exploding Kittens- Happy Salmon

Happy Salmon

Exploding Kittens claims that Happy Salmon is a 90 second game that you will play for hours. Can the claim be true?

The 90 second game is a bold claim by Exploding Kittens. Claims like this are usually reserved for crazy speed runners in video games or liars. Are the folks at EK liars? Knowing my history with their games I was inclined to believe them but was still skeptical. How can a game of Happy Salmon really only take 90 seconds to play? How simple can this game be?

Let’s answer both of those questions. First, is it really does only take about 90 seconds to play. Second, the game is by far one of their easiest to learn. It’s so simple in fact that if you can read and yell then you can play this game. The only complaint I had about this game is that my kids used the Happy Salmon card as an excuse to slap my forearms harder than necessary. That card means you and whomever has your match slap each other’s arms a few times before discarding the cards. Switch It Up means you change seats with another player. High Five means you give another player a High Five and Fish Bump means you give each other fist bumps. In you hand of cards you are calling out specific cards until you find a match and perform the action. First player to run out of cards wins.

It doesn’t get much easier than that. Seriously. The game was easy to learn and a great time by the whole family.

Exploding Kittens- Zombie Kittens expansion

Zombie Kittens

Exploding Kittens has released a new expansion for their hit card game- Zombie Kittens and this time the Zombies are coming!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Exploding Kittens is one of my favorite games to play as a family. It has nothing to do with the fact I usually win. That helps, sure but not the main reason. Between fantastic art and cutthroat chaos we can’t get enough of this game. Zombie Kittens takes the classic format of killing each other and brings in the ability to bring players back from the dead. Normally if they can’t defuse the bomb that is the end of the game for them but now they have the chance to be resurrection as a zombie and can still terrorize the players.

The phrasing on the resurrection card could be better because as it is written sounds like it allows you to bring back all dead players. It can also be easily interpreted that it only brings back the player that is dying at that instant. Having carefully read the rules themselves though this is explained a bit better. You can use it to save yourself if you are dying BUT you automatically bring back one dead player with you. To really take advantage of this expansion you really need a group of at least four players. Playing with two players makes this effectively a defuse card but with some added features that are impacted by other new cards. This is similar to what the Imploding Kitten did for the game.

Adding new features and cards to an already great game helps keep it from getting stale. This version was a lot of fun but would absolutely be better with a larger group. Being able to save yourself continues to lengthen the game time but overall not significantly. If you are a fan of Exploding Kittens or looking for a new game to play with your group then this is a great choice for you!

Exploding Kittens- Mantis


Who here likes rainbows? Who likes revenge? Who likes both? With Mantis from Exploding Kittens you get BOTH!

One thing I love about games from Exploding Kittens is their originality. Some of the games may have borrowed some mechanics from others but as a whole they look and feel entirely original. Mantis is one such game that has seemed to borrowed a basic mechanic but made it their own overall. The mechanic I’m referring to is simply trading matching cards like in Go Fish. A very simple mechanic for sure but they still made it their own. Instead of collecting numbered cards you are collecting styles of mantis shrimp. What makes this game unique, aside from what is printed on the cards, is that instead of scoring points with your shrimp you can steal cards from the other players to try to make your tank earn you points.

Let’s talk about speed of play. Most titles make claims about how quick they are to play and Mantis is no different in that regard. However, it is very accurate at ten minutes. Our first game took closer to fifteen but that was more because we were learning the rules of the game. This game is really good at reminding you who may not want to play certain games with. Some members of the family are just too cutthroat. I’m looking right at both of my teenagers. I don’t understand why they always target me specifically. It’s like they coordinate these assaults together telepathically. Overall we had a great time but it simply does not hold a candle to the Exploding Kittens game itself.