★★★★☆ Castle Panic: keep calm and don’t pull any boss monsters out of the bag.

Check out this game if: you are looking for an intro to cooperative board games that still has a little meat on it.

This game stands out because: it may be the most accessible co-op game. If you want to introduce someone to the concept of co-op board games, this may be the easiest -it’s also fun because pulling monsters out of a bag is very thrilling.

Positive:
1. This game almost always has an exciting ending (where pulling the right card will win the game -or pulling the wrong monster will lose the game).
2. This game plays a good range of players (1-6).
3. Co-op means every one works together to win (good vibrations).
4. Being able to show everyone your cards allows everyone to work together for the win.
5. Although there is a lot of luck in this game, it feels very rewarding to win.
6. There are a couple versions of this game with different themes (good chance you and your friends/family will find one that works well for your group). 

Negative:
1.This game is not very complex -after a few plays, you’ll likely feel like you’ve played/seen everything.
2. Some times it feels like the tiles are stacked against you and there is nothing you can do to win -I still think that’s fun.

Brief Overview:
In this game, you and your friends are trying to defend the castle from monsters. The monsters attack the castle from all sides, but they only move one space per turn (during the game, this feels very fast).
To protect the castle, every player gets a hand of cards with benefits (some attack monsters and some protect the castle).
By pulling cards from a draw pile and trading cards with your friends, you can plan the best strategy to protect the castle, but the game doesn’t end until all the monsters are killed.

Number of Players 1-6
Age 10+
Time 60 mins
Friendly ★★★★☆
Teachable ★★★★
Replayability ★★★☆☆
Creative Freedom ★★★★☆
Inclusive (no elimination) ★★★
Interaction ★★★☆☆

 

Versions:
Currently there is a zombie and Star Trek version of this game -both are different enough to own them all, but they are basically the same concept. There are also a couple expansions -which just make the game harder, so if you’re feeling confident you can increase the challenge).

Teaching Advice:
The best way to teach this game is to start from the end. Tell everyone that the only thing you need to do to win this game is protect the castle in the middle (walls on the outside are only there to protect the castle).

Next explain how the cards work (you don’t need to be thorough because everyone will help each-other come up with the best strategy).

Finally, explain the turn order (make sure to stress the timing of drawing cards and trading).

Link to Video Tutorial.

Link to Castle Panic on Amazon.

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