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      This is a river and rapids race game with the players sharing rafts and thus responsibility.

There are 8 boards plus a Start/Beginner’s board that create the course. There are coloured markers on each board to show which boards can be placed adjacent - the number of boards naturally determines the length of the race, but not necessarily the time the game takes to play; the advanced game is longer as it introduces new two and four point actions.

Players place face down score chips next to each raft. One of these is a x2 so they will score double points on that raft. With two players to each raft you may have to let one of your rafts fail to ensure success for the other.

Rafts move downstream, each player taking turn to move the rafts they are in. Players can only expend energy (card) or actions (card) on rafts they are in. Hazards in the river (on the board) have to be negotiated, dice determining the effect.

Funfair is Mayfair’s family fun games arm and I’m not sure this fits in. I believe that Whitewater falls between family and gamer leaning more towards gamer.



for 3-5 Players   designed by Reiner Knizia  

This is a remake by Reiner Knizia of a remake (Members Only) by Reiner Knizia called (Titan: the Arena) with each game being slightly revised and given a completely new chrome make-over.

Glenn’s Gallery is a card game about predictions. The players are trying to predict how many customers will visit each of the five distinct art collections as depicted by special boards that show the 8 art rooms.
Mayfair Games have put their usual highly professional touch to the production, using good stock card, wooden pieces and highly decorative game boards. However they haven’t quite managed to make Glenn’s Gallery any more interesting than its predecessors.

Glenn’s Gallery is a good solid typical Knizia game with a good solid Knizia game mechanic that works as well as you would expect for a Knizia design. The tale about Glenn and his Gallery that perforates the rules adds smiles but not miles to the game’s longevity or playability. The main problem we have found is that it takes too long to play (over an hour generally) without enough diversity to keep the player’s interest.


2012 marks the first year that the sale of legal internet downloaded movies will outstrip DVDs and Blu-Ray sales.

It is estimated that the sales of downloaded movies will be somewhere around 1.0 billion above physical Blu-Ray DVDs and DVDs. This is a massive change from the previous market when Blu Ray and DVD had a1.2 billion unit lead on downloads.

Key to the surge in consumption of online video has been the rise of all-you-can-eat subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offer customers unlimited on-demand movies for a flat monthly or annual fee. The result is that subscriptions in 2011 accounted for 94 percent of all paid online movie consumption in the United States, compared to just 1.3 percent of units consumed that were bought on an ownership basis via electronic sell-through.

Netflix, while unquestionably the market leader, is not the only online SVOD game in town. Last year saw both Amazon and Hulu develop online streaming businesses at levels unheard of just a couple of years ago. For Amazon in particular, 2011 marked the transformation of Amazon Prime from a discounted shipping offer into a diverse entertainment proposition in its own right, allowing subscribers who paid the $79 per-year service access to a range of movies and TV shows.

This Games gazette news piece is an extract from an email sent to GG by IHS.

IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. © 2012 IHS Inc. All rights reserved.

MAYFAIR love to help people learn their games. Here you can see a selection of White Glove demonstrations of Mayfair Games

PS: Don't forget to check out the STATION MASTER demo.

Watch me make a fool of myself with Bob & Angus:



The Rivals of Catan is a two-player card game based on the million seller board game The Settlers of Catan.  It  can be played in anything from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on whether you play just the Basic game, where 7 points are required to win, or one of the Themed variants, the Era of Gold, the Era of Turmoil or the Era of Progress, where 12 points are the endgame goal.

Once you have played all 3 themes separately you can play the Duel of the Princes with all 3 expansion decks.

The AGE of DARKNESS introduces three new expansion decks, the Era of Intrigue, the Era of Merchant Princes and the Era of Barbarians. The cards from these new expansion sets feature a second tag above the picture next to the card description. This second tag instructs where the card should be played, ie. City,  Settlement/City  with some even being designated as Region placement.

Regions are the cards that you play adjacent to Settlements. It goes without saying then (so I’ll say it anyway) that Region Expansions are played adjacent to Regions, sometimes specific Regions.

Other introductions to the Rivals game are the Extraordinary Sites, Road Complements, New Center Cards and Marker Cards.

Extraordinary Sites: Neither units nor buildings,  immune to attack cards.

Road Complements: Currently (in the set) only building that add an effect to the adjacent road.

New Center Cards: Metropolises. City upgrades with 4 Victory Point flags.

Marker Cards: Placed adjacent to Region Cards these can be affected only by specific events, adding to the player’s status in the placed area.

My own personal opinion is that the Rivals of Catan is a much better, more balanced and fairer game than the Settlers of Catan board game. Whether the Rivals card game would work with 3 or 4 players I’m not sure. I remember a tournament version of the original card game some years back but that didn’t work for me,  though I cannot remember why. Just a thought.




In Empire Express, building the railroad empire of your dreams has never been easier! Players start with a bare bones railroad and build their lines on a a geographically accurate map of the Northeast US, drawing their maps as they go using crayons on an eraseable board. This game is the perfect introduction to the Empire Builder series! 

Just when you thought Mayfair Games had come to the end of the tracks with their superb EMPIRE BUILDER series, they pop up with another version that is just different enough to whet the appetite once more.

EMPIRE EXPRESS is just what it says, an express (fast) cut-down (but not by too much) version of the famed EMPIRE BUILDER.

In EMPIRE EXPRESS all players begin with a 12 train - a train capable of carrying 2 loads and moving 12 dots (or the equivalent of depending on the value of the dot, town or city) - plus predetermined starter demand cards. These cards are numbered 1-12 and dealt out 3 per player according to the train colour chosen.  The Demand cards have 2 orders (only one can be completed) plus they tell you where to collect the necessary resources as well as where to deliver them and the $dollars you will collect, Making planning your journey easier.

On the board are pre-drawn tracks in the player colours, in the basic game these should be drawn in (crayon) by the players. In the advanced game the demand cards are shuffled and dealt randomly as in the usual Empire Builder game, and the pre-tracks are disregarded.  Other differences between the basic (new) game and the advanced (regular) game are that in the basic version there is no additional payment for entering Towns and Cities. In the basic game being the first to $150m is enough to win, but in the Advanced game you also need to have connected all four major Cities with a contiguous track.  Unlike the other games in this series that I have played, the load chips are pre-printed card counters instead of plastic chips on which you have to place a sticker prior to the first playing.

The basic game can be treated as a way for new players to learn how to play or it can be played by experienced Empire Builder devotees who haven’t the time for the full length version. Empire Express plays quickly and is as much fun as the original and its contemporaries.

EMPIRE  BUILDER has long been one of Fran’s (my wife) favourite games and she now counts EMPIRE EXPRESS amongst that well chosen number, as do I.


Aeroplanes explores the dawn of commercial passenger aviation during the exciting era of 1919 to 1939. Build the most efficient routes and dominate the skies!
Estimated street date 3rd quarter 2012.  
Giza the Great Pyramid (MFG4122)
MSRP $35.00
Estimated Street Date Jan 26th
Pharaoh is worried! He fears his great tomb will not be finished before his death and is offering great rewards to the clan that contributes the most to the completion of this great project. 
White Water (MFG 4129)
MSRP  $35.00
Estimated Street Date mid-February
Danger and excitement lurk around every bend in White Water! This children's game is designed by Frederic Moyersoen, the mind behind the wildly popular Nuns on the Run. It will be a sure hit with your younger customers and their parents. 
Rocket Jockey (MFG 4404)
MSRP $15.00
Estimated Street Date mid-February
Get ready to light that candle when Rocket Jockey comes roaring into your stores this February!
Designed by James Spurney, this exciting sci-fi card game plays fast and has a great retro look to it. Order it today!


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015