Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time


A couple of months ago, I wrote about my brief subscription to Board Game Bento. They had some a discount code for the holidays and I always wanted to try the service. Unable to pass up a deal that gave me a chance to do just that, I signed up. I already wrote an article about the first month’s box. Due to a mix up with my Paypal account, I got subscribed for a second box even though I meant to cancel after only one.

As Bob Ross is fond of saying, that was a happy little accident. I wasn’t sure that I would continue with the subscription beyond that first month. I’m still not sure if I will and the subscription is currently on hiatus until I determine if it will be worth it. I think that I might have mentioned that the dollar value more or less checks out, but maybe not all of the games are ones that our family will play. In addition, Christine made the point that we already have a ton of games and not much room for storage right now.

As a result, the current answer is leaning not very heavily in the “no” column. Even if only one of the games is playable by the family (and so far, we have found at least one from the first two boxes that we’ve received. You may have deduced, therefore, that this article is about the game that we played from that second box. Brilliant deduction, Sherlock!

Yes, you are also correct in assuming that I only said that so that I could post a picture of my man crush.

The theme of the second box was time. There were two card games that looked interesting. One can even be played solitaire. However, we haven’t tried either of the card games yet. Christine noticed the board game, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time, said that it looked interesting, and she, Aiden, Quinn, and I played through the game.

The Good

The game is a cooperative game, which is great for our family. None of us are really that competitive except for Aiden. I mean, we all have our competitive streaks as all people do, but we temper it with an overall attitude of just have fun with it. While it may not be effective for everyone, it has fostered a safe environment in which to play games. I’ve also been able to appeal to Chris’s charitable side and get him to adopt more friendly rules during our Magic games. I also think that he gets a lot of his competitive juices out during his games against Darren, so he’s often just looking for kitchen table fun when we sit down together.

My mother got us a game for Christmas a few years ago that was a cooperative game that we played a few times. It was a pretty good game, but I think that this game captures the spirit of games better than that one ever did. You work together as a team in an attempt to recover stolen artifacts from the mansion of Professor Evil. There are several obstacles in your way; traps, time and the professor himself.

But, if you are successful, you win one million dollars.

The Bad

This seems like a common theme for board games that we’ve played recently and here we go again. When Quinn and I played Flag Dash, the set up for the game took longer than our play through and the payoff was not worth the time invested. This game suffers from a similar issue. Christine took about 15-20 minutes to simply set up the game. I thought that was a bad sign and that we’d be in for another disappointing experience.

Luckily, unlike Flag Dash, once the game was set up, it was much more intuitive to play the game. We all picked up on the turn order very quickly, used strategy and teamwork when necessary to win the game. It looked a bit grim and that we might lose. Instead of giving up, though, we formulated a plan that worked and got us the victory just before the Professor escaped with his stolen goods!

The Ugly

I said earlier that I was slightly leaning “no” with regards to signing up for a longer subscription for Board Game Bento. I haven’t changed my mind completely yet, but there currently is a bit of an ugly internal battle going on inside of me. Logically, I know that I probably shouldn’t. Inside my gamer’s heart, though, I’m pretty positive that I’m going to make the illogical decision.

Nonsense is so much more fun.

I mean, really, we’ve gotten two boxes and have gotten at least two playable games from them. That’s all I’m looking for right now. As the boys get older and get involved in more things, as I work two jobs that keeps me out of the house for 12-16 hours a day, and as we all enter that time in our lives when we all are drifting apart for a few years, the time that we do get together is precious and I’m always thinking of ways to increase that time and make it more memorable. So, perhaps it isn’t such utter nonsense after all.

The Verdict

This was a fun game. Initially, we sold it to the boys and ourselves as a game similar to Clue. Since they all enjoy playing that game so much, it wasn’t hard to convince them to give this one a try. It wasn’t as much like Clue as we thought, but it was still a fun game. I especially liked both the cooperative nature of the game and that the game had a win condition. That was missing from the last cooperative game that we played. Though, to be fair, that game was mostly just for little kids to teach them about good sportsmanship and sharing, so probably not the best comparison. We haven’t played it again since that first time, but it should become a regular in our rotation for family game nights.

As far as the overall subscription, I’m no longer certain that I won’t sign up. I’m not even leaning in any significant way towards “No”. For the reasons discussed above, I might just give it another few months to disappoint me. Then again, Aiden is a fan of the Tinker Crates, those are much cheaper, and we can work together on those, too. Plus, I just bought a whole bunch of ebooks about designing video games, building robotic Lego structures, and making drones. I have a feeling we’ll be quite busy for the foreseeable future.


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