Limbo

Game by: Playdead

Game for: Pre-teens and up

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review by: Mom

Limbo is a creepy black-and-grey platformer puzzle style game from Playdead. Although it’s a few years old, it’s still one of my favorite puzzle solving games, and I’ve played through it a couple of times. The thing I love about Limbo visually is its utter simplicity. The game is played through a series of atmospheric scenes that are dimly lit, and in shadow.

While games like Little Nightmares (see my review of this single player horror game here) depend heavily on lighting and color to guide your character along, Limbo takes visual simplicity even further by placing the puzzle solving on a 2D platform and removing all color from the game.

This quick side scroller relies on your ability to solve problems using physics and quick-thinking to survive. In my opinion, the minimalist design adds to the intrigue as you’re forced to get creative within the confines of the two-dimensional world.

If big horror titles and are too much for you, but you like a bit of creepiness in your video games, then Limbo might be the game for you. It’s beautiful atmosphere and simple adventure will keep you pushing through the trouble that lies ahead.

You can find Limbo for the Nintendo Switch on Amazon here.

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Castle Panic

Amazon Product Name (APN): Fireside Games Castle Panic

Manufacturer: Fireside Games

Review by: Dad

Our Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Castle Panic by Fireside Games is a high fantasy themed board game where players work together to defeat an invading army of orc, goblins, trolls, giant boulders and boss monsters intent on laying waste to their castle.

Castle Panic is an accessible and easy to learn board game with rules for different difficulty modes, competitive scoring for up to a six player game. But fear not, single player gamers: Fireside Games has thought of you, too. Castle Panic is one of the very few board games that includes rules for solo play.

In the base rules of Castle Panic, players work together trading cards drawn from the Castle Deck. The cards allow players to hit monsters, rebuild walls, enhance or change damage types and just generally do cool things to keep the castle alive against the enemies trying to destroy it.  Player’s turns can include trading Castle Cards with others to make the most effective use of drawn cards, playing those cards to do damage to enemies, or buff the castle.

But be warned, at the end of each turn, two new monster tokens emerge from the monster bag. 

That brings us to the real RNG (random number generator) of Castle Panic and why no two games are the same: the tokens.  The tokens in the monster bag may be monsters, boss monsters, giant boulders that destroy monsters and parts of the castle, and some tokens that cause you to draw more monsters, or cause a plague to befall your heroes. The order beasts and plagues come out of the monster bag can turn an easy game into hard mode at the drop of a hat.

Castle Panic is extremely fun to play and accessible by players of different board game experience. It’s one of those must-buy games for your gaming collection and family game nights (We love it so much, it made it to our Top 10 Board Games list here).

At the time of writing this article, there are three expansions for Castle Panic adding tougher monsters and new mechanics.  The Wizard’s Tower, Engines of War and Dark Titan expansions increase the game’s already high replay value, and add even more variety to Castle Panic than the already diverse base-rules provide. Our family has collected all of them because we love this game so much.

We may need to buy a second copy of the base game soon because our game board and tokens are starting to get worn out from how much we play it.  It is always popular on our family game nights and camping trips and I’m sure it will be for you as well. Get your copy of Castle Panic on Amazon here.

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