Beth and I are pretty much euro-game players these days, but that does not mean that we do not appreciate games that have theme. After all, my favorite game of all-time is Arkham Horror and hers is Elder Sign. We tried to put a mixture of games with different themes on them on the list. Here we go. . .
Flash Point: Fire Rescue was published in 2011 by Indie Boards & Cards. The game was designed by Kevin Lanzig. The game has had numerous expansions. The artwork for the game was provided by Luis Francisco and George Patsourus.
In this game, the players are fire fighters working together desperately trying to rescue survivors from buildings, ships, submarines, airplanes, etc depending on the expansions that the players have. In addition, they have to put out the fires that keep springing up despite their best efforts. Explosions are going off as well, just to add to the fun.
This is one of those games that has an almost universally appealing theme. The game is easy to learn and easy to teach, at least in its base game form. It draws you in and makes you care about the cardboard chits that are survivors. In one game that Beth and I played, she was in a building rescuing a survivor while I was outside having just rescued one – and then the building collapsed. She and I just looked at each other – it was almost devastating. This game is simply dripping with theme!
Burgle Bros. was published in 2015 by Fowers Games. The game was designed by Tim Fowers with artwork provided by Virginia Critchfield, Ryan Goldsberry, and Heiko Gunther.
In this cooperative game, the players are burglars trying to get loot out of a building without tripping the alarms, being caught by the guards. They have to get from the bottom floor to the top floor 3 stories up, opening the safes along the way, and then catching a helicopter to escape.
Each of the players in this game has their own special ability which helps the team succeed at stealing the loot. The loot slows them down, as it would in real life, I suspect. The players have to dodge a myriad of alarms as well as the guards, and believe me, they feel the pressure to elude them both. This is a great game with a unique theme and it deserves more attention. I think this is an underrated gem of a game.
Star Trek Panic was published in 2015 by Fireside Games and the OP. The game was designed by Justin DeWitt. The artwork for the game, which is largely composed of screen shots from the original television show, is uncredited.
Star Trek Panic has the crew of the Enterprise going off on a 5-year mission. Sound familiar? The players chose a character from the television show to play during the game including Kirk, Spock, and Bones. All of the characters have a special ability to help them save the ship – and they are going to need them!
Who would have thought that Star Trek Panic would succeed at feeling like you are on the Enterprise? The players have to succeed at fulfilling 5 missions before the Enterprise is completely destroyed, an event that could happen at any time, as the ship is attacked on every side by both the Klingons and the Romulans. I think this game does a good job at making the players feel like they are on the star ship Enterprise. It is not perfect, but still does better than might have been expected.
7th Continent was published in 2017 by Serious Poulp. The game was designed by Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter. Ludovic Roudy was also the artist for the game.
I almost hate mentioning this one because unless you used Kickstarter to get a copy, you likely will not ever get one or you will pay an exorbitant price for it. This is an adventure and exploration game. You could easily play this game for years, there is just that much in the box. The players are adventurers drawn back to a region that they had previously explored, but they go back in order to rid themselves of some type of curse – there are several in the base game and there are expansions that provide yet more content.
One of the things that I really like about this game is that each of the characters is provided with their own equipment cards and abilities that are specific to a character. You have to pay close attention to the game tiles as many of them have information that is hidden on them, information that the players will need to have in order to have a chance at getting rid of the curse that is following them. When I played this game, I really felt like I was exploring. If you have a chance to play it, I would suggest jumping at the chance.
Even though Beth and I play euro games a lot, that does not mean that we cannot appreciate games with theme. We either own or have owned all of the games that we will be writing about, so obviously we like theme in games too. If you missed the first post in the series, you can check it out here.
What are your favorite themes? What are the game that bring those themes to life? Comment below and let us know!
As always, for these and thousands of other games, check out Board Game Geek here.
Stasia and Beth