Battle of Epicness - Cosmic Encounter vs Death by Coconut

Let's cut to the chase, Cosmic Encounter is Tom Vasel's #1 game of ALL TIME by FAR. If you don't know who Tom Vasel is, he is the authority in the board gaming industry. He is the creator of The Dice Tower, which is the largest board game reviewing network on YouTube that also has a popular podcast. He even hosts his own gaming convention (Dice Tower Con) and recently hosted a cruise boat for board gamers! Therefore, for someone who has played literally thousands of games (not me, Tom), Cosmic Encounter being his #1 overall is saying something. 
In Cosmic Encounter, each player is the leader of an alien race.  The object of the game is to establish colonies in other players' planetary systems. The game involves heavy negotiation between players, strategy, and fun! Each alien race has its own special power to add to the mix. I just played this for the first time tonight, and I already see where the hype comes from.  It definitely shines in a group of four to five.

As f…

Murder Mystery Dinner meets Modern Times

Have you ever hosted your own Murder Mystery Party? It is easier than it sounds! Just buy the kit online (in this case A Murder on the Grill), and it comes with everything you need...invitations, character overviews, costume recommendations, scripts for each character to read, and a CD that will be the host for the night. I highly recommend checking it out for a night of fun with your friends (and it's a perfect replacement to game night).  In this scenario, the body of Tom Dooley was discovered at an outdoor barbeque, and you must solve the murder before the killer strikes again! This had a nice twist at the end, which one person figured out and properly solved the case! 
As for the beer, we tasted a nice range of brews with a specific focus on Modern Times, including their Orderville IPA (yum), Protocosmos (yummy), and Fruitlands (yum-a-licious). Not to mention some great guest appearances from The Bruery, Paradox, and Toolbox Brewing...all sours of course. Finally, we had one do…

AssassinCon + Cascade Sours

AssassinCon is a fun hidden movement game where each player takes on the role of a secret assassin at an annual convention where the deadliest folks get together every year to prove who is the best in the world.  The goal of the game is to catch your target while evading the person chasing you. Points are scored for correctly assassinating your target or identifying who is pursuing you. The nice thing about this game is that there is no player elimination, so even if you die, you're still in the game! For only $20 online, I recommend it!
The game was well hidden amongst epic beers at our game night (see image below). Our choice for the evening were sour beers from Cascade Brewing, which is based out of Portland. When you visit the brewery in person, they give you a menu where the front says Non-Sours and the back says Sours. I love how the default beers at this brewery are sour beers, so the section of normal beers is specifically called Non-Sours (vs the other way around normally…

One Night Ultimate Werewolf + Too Much Beer

Too much beer? Is that really in the title? Well let me break this down for you. During game night, we tasted Ballast Point Mango Even Keel, Boulevard Love Child, The Bruery Eight Maids-a-Milking, Stone Arrogant Bastard - Bigger Longer & Uncut,  Delirium Tremens, Ommegang Game Of Thrones Valar Dohaeris, Cantillion Iris, Stone Enjoy By 10/31, Coronado Punk' In Drublic, and Jester King's Biere De Miel. It's safe to assume game night was going to be a blast no matter what game we played.
We decided to go with One Night Ultimate Werewolf (ONUW), which many say is the best party/social deduction game of all time. I still think The Resistance is better; however, this is a great game, especially if you are looking for something new. ONUW is a social deduction game for up to 10 players where everyone gets a role: One of the Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of a single nigh…

Good Cop Bad Cop + Mango Even Keel

Good Cop Bad Cop is a pretty decent deduction game where each player secretly takes the role of good cop or a crooked cop. The goal of the game, like other deduction games, is to try to figure out who is on your team and eliminate the opposing side. In this game, players investigate others, grab one of the 2-3 guns on the table, and try to take out the opposing leader to win the game. There are 'Equipment' cards that add some special powers & actions to the game, which make it interesting. Overall, it's an inexpensive game ($14 online) and recommended if you have already exhausted the other deduction games in the market (eg Resistance, One Night Werewolf, etc). However, if you're new to the genre of games, I would recommend skipping this one and going straight to the best in the industry...The Resistance, which you can read my review of here
As for beer pairings, we went with Mango Even Keel, which may be my favorite session beer out there. It is brewed by Ballas…

Skull King + Epic Funky Beer

Skull King is an excellent trick-taking game. Don't know what tricks are? Don't worry, neither does the average Eric. The point is that this is a simple card game on the surface, but there is a lot of strategy and depth hidden throughout.  This game is played in rounds, and the key is that you have to bet (in advance of the round) how many tricks you will win. Therefore, you need to analyze your cards and bet which ones will win in each trick. If you are right, there can be a major payout. If you are wrong, you lose points. I highly recommend seeking out this game if you enjoy card games and are looking for one with more depth. Note: I got the German version (since it was highly recommended) instead of Grandpa Becks one you can find in the States, so I had to order it off a German website and pay for international shipping. #WorthIt

Above you will see a slew of epic beers alongside Skull King (yes, I put my game in my friend's refrigerator without asking). From the several…

Castle Panic + Boulevard Brewing Sour Ale

Castle Panic is a cooperative game for up to six players where everyone must work together to defend a castle from monsters that attack from the forest at the edges of the board. Players can trade cards, attack monsters, and work together to fend off the ugly beasts. Players either win or lose together, although there is a variant where the person who slays the most monsters is declared the Master Slayer.  In that variant, the players would then need to balance the survival of the group with their own desire to win. We played the standard way since winning as a group is fulfilling enough. If you enjoy cooperative games like Pandemic, definitely check this one out!

Boulevard Brewing Company is a solid brewery from Kansas City, Missouri. With the plethora of West Coast Beers, I don't get to taste too much of the MidWest on a usual basis, but this beer was excellent. Love Child #7 is the seventh in their series of sour beers, where each subsequent batch they increase the amount of Fl…

Quiplash XL: Apples to Apples for the 21st Century

Quiplash XLdeviates from our usual table top game theme. This web-based, TV-projected game is unrivaled as a large group party game. It is similar to Apples to Apples, but everything is faster-paced and digital format. 
Your party host will pull up the game on a TV screen and a game code will show up. Anyone in the room (or actually anyone on earth) with the code can enter it at on their smartphone. From there, players join and give themselves a nickname. Because answers can get exceptionally raunchy, some players opt for anonymity. But you can’t stay anonymous for very long as other players will quickly figure out who is who.
Like Apples to Apples, Quiplash rewards you based on funny answers to hypothetical questions. Or more precisely, players in your group are more likely to award points for responses that are creative and relate to the group itself. Inside jokes and current events tend to score better than average. We find that just as in games like Balderdash, the more …

Machi Koro meets Wurstkuche

Machi Koro is a popular family drafting game where you are the mayor of the city Machi Koro, and you must grow the city into the largest in the region! The citizens are demanding jobs, theme parks, cheese cake factories, pizza joints, and more! On your turn, you role a die, collect income, then purchase new property. As the game progresses, you start earning more income on each die roll since you have more properties (somewhat similar to Monopoly but way more fun). The first player to construct all of their landmarks wins!  The original game is only 2-4 players, but the expansion allows you to play with a much larger group. Highly recommended if you're looking for a family-weight drafting game. However, if you're playing with your family, you may not want to drink as much beer as we did while playing.

Wurstk├╝che is an epic restaurant that has locations in both downtown Los Angeles, as well as Venice.  The place is known for exotic sausages (everything from pork to rattlesnake t…

Last Night on Earth + Draughtsmen Aleworks

Zombies, so hot right now! For our first zombie game review, we are starting with Last Night on Earth.

Last Night on Earth is a 2-6 person survival board game that pits small-town Heroes vs Zombies!  Most of the group are heroes, and they compete against 1 or 2 players who control the zombies.  Each hero has its own special abilities, but the zombies lack all skills except eating flesh.  The game comes with several scenarios, which include simple survival, rescue, or escape. Differing combinations of heroes, scenarios, and board configurations offer a lot of replayability.  The game also comes with a CD Soundtrack of thematic music, so if you still live in 1995, it will be awesome! 
Overall, this is a fun group game that can support up to six people.  It's fun being on either side, trying to kill the opposing group, and even more fun if your group gets into character.  If you like Zombies, you should enjoy this game. It's only $40 online, which is fair based on the number of com…