Sorry this long over due. The last couple of months have been taxing on my schedule. I have been sitting on a couple of ideas for blogs so lets just get to it.
I live in California, not the beach part, not the mountain part but the FARM part. The California that is not talked about, the California that makes it so I am 2 hours of drive from San Francisco and 5 hours plus North of LA. This is the "nothing to do at all in my town" part of California. Due to the nature of my location, I have a hour drive to a friendly local gaming store (FLGS for the geeks). Not to mention at my local gaming store, there are rarely substantial sales. However I am less then a 15 minute drive from my house is a Target. Now Target is not a local gaming store, far from it, its not even a place that I would buy toys from. It's a catch everything store. A store that specializes in only one thing... Terrible costumer service. Being that Target is a catch all store I was surprised to read about an article that Target will be branching into the hobby board gamer market in August 2016. They signed exclusive deals with certain board game publishers to only sell specific games at their franchise juggernaut. With that being said I thought I would take a look at the exclusive games and other hobby board games that are being sold at Target. This list of games is not games that can be purchased on their website, which carries a lot more games, but games that I have physically seen in my local Target store. I will be grading these games on a Pass or Purchase scale.
Oregon Trail - Quick little card game that has old PC 8 bit graphic art. Very hard to win just like the computer game. This was only purchased due to nostalgia. Otherwise it's a PASS.
Sushi Go - Fun family drafting game. Great introduction to 7 Wonders. Family favorite of ours, and we played this game for months in a row. But being that it is limited to 5 players you want to hold out and purchase Sushi Go Party at different store - PURCHASE unless you have a bigger family/group, then purchase party edition.
Roll for it - another quick little tin. It comes with dice and a deck of cards. You are simply trying to roll for what the combination is on the cards. First one to 30 points wins. PURCHASE if you like rolling and mindless games or and it can be a little cut throaty.
Qwixx - Bingo replacement. My family loves this game, one person rolls the dice and then marks off the dice that are rolled but you must x off numbers in orders. Fun game that be played an unlimited amount of people but better with 8 or under. PURCHASE
Rolling America - Another game similar to Qwixx but you are making numbers on a map of the USA. Great family game. PURCHASE
Munchkin - Classic take that game. The humor of the game is the selling point, not to mention the silly art. After two or three times playing the novelty of both of those things has worn off. PASS for me but I understand its place at Target.
Codenames/Codenames After Dark - This is a great word game. Now with that being said know that they are both the same game except After Dark is the "adult" version of the game. Trust me, you do not want to play After Dark edition with your family. Great game, easy to explain/teach and will have you laughing for hours. PURCHASE
*(Update they are working on a Marvel Codenames version - instant buy for this comic book nerd here)
Risk Europe - My love for the Game of Thrones Board game has been made evident in how high it ranks in my top #100 but this game is the introduction to area control type of games like it. I love it, my only complaint is the combat is RISK combat, so much simpler but not my favorite style. Maybe PURCHASE if you are looking for a Risk replacement.
Betrayal at House on the Hill - This is one of the games I do not own. There is a reason for that, horror games do not hit my table that often and the mechanics of this game seem old, every time I do play my friends copy. The newest expansion helps spice the game up a bit but the countless different endings in the "haunt" book make question why is Target even selling this game. Oh I know because it sells like hot cakes. After talking with the owner of my FLGS in stockton, California, He told me he sells a copy of Betrayal at least 3/4 times a month. Crazy, I'd PASS on the game but thats becuase its been replaced better Horror/Traitor games that have come out more recently.
Evolution the Beginning - This is a weird game that Target is selling. First of all its not even the full game. It's a beginners edition, so its cards and tokens. The full version of the game comes with trackers, and much more tokens. I do not understand this exclusive. I repeat exclusive, EVOLUTION THE BEGINNING is only sold at Target. I have yet to purchase this version of the game. I say PASS
Ticket to Ride - PURCHASE PURCHASE PURCHASE PURCHASE PURCHASE. Set collecting card game, that allows you to place trains on a board. SO GREAT. This game is the start of collection.
My 1st Ticket to Ride - Now the Junior version is an exclusive to Target. Being that I do not have kids I can not tell you if it hits the younger age gap. However I do plan on acquiring this game when I do have kids of my own because it will serve as the introduction to ticket to ride. Purchase if you have a young family member.
7 Wonders - I've notice this one a time or two in the store. I do not know if its currently sitting on Target shelves but I purchased my copy from Target a couple of years ago. This is drafting daddy of game. It plays best at 4-7 players. You are card drafting and trying to build the right cards to obtain the most points. Great family game if you family is bored with sushi Go - PURCHASE
Machi Koro - This game is a combination of Catan and Dominion. You roll 1 or 2 dice to get money to purchase cards to get points. Target has exclusive version called BIG CITY LIGHTS. PURCHASE if you are looking for a 30 min light game.
Cards Against Humanity - This is a dirty, filthy version of Apples to Apples. This card game is a cross the line nasty brain that is funny to try. However when your Aunt brings it and says lets play, I throw up in my mouth. Codenames After Dark is my line of dirty/adult games. PASS!
CCG- Magic/Pokemon/yugioh/Dicemasters - They offer so many different collectable card games. These are lifestyle games, and destroy your bank account if you are complete-tionist. PASS for me but I know plenty of people playing them.
Pandemic - My number #1 game is absolute a PURCHASE. Everytime I go to Target I want to buy a copy of it and give it to someone. It's a co-op masterpiece. LOVE IT!!! PURCHASE
King of Toyko - Yathzee meets monsters and wrecking people in the face. Love it. Great family game and simply to learn. PURCHASE
Catan - This the grand daddy of them all. The one that started a movement. The game that created it's own category of games and really introduced america to EURO-Game. PURCHASE! Even if you never play your copy this game belongs on the self.
I also wanted to list a couple of games that i believe Target should sell but is not sold in stores. Some of these are listed on their website but I think are great enough to be sold in stores.
Harry Potter Deck Builder
Sheriff of Nottingham
New York 1901
Dead of Winter
6 Nimnt (6 Take)
I know as Target is dealing with this current exclusivity deal, it would warm my heart knowing that the sales numbers do increase in board games enough to warrant a bigger section the 10 feet of 4 shelves it has in my store. Here's to hoping that Target has seen the light and follows the money. Remember always Cut the deck before playing.