Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First: We lace up our boots and take a stroll in the great outdoors in TRAILS
Next: We evolve in the age of dinosaurs in Apex Theropod Deck Building Game
Lastly: We revisit the best of 1970’s television in The S.W.A.T. Game


Designed by: Henry Audubon
Published by: Keymaster Games (2021)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 20 – 40 min

In TRAILS, players hike back and forth along the trail, collecting rocks, acorns and leaves; taking pictures; and encountering wildlife to gain bonuses. At trailhead and trail end, you can turn in resources to earn badges, after which you start back in the other direction.

As players visit the trail end, the sun sets over the trail. As night falls, trail sites grant more powerful actions, but they won’t last forever. When the sun leaves the trail, the last round of play takes place, then the player with the most points from collected badges, photos taken, and bird sightings wins.

Let’s hit the trails!

Apex Theropod Deck Building Game: Collected Edition

Designed by: Herschel Hoffmeyer
Published by: Outland Entertainment (2020)
Players: 1 – 6
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 60 – 160 min

Apex is a deck-building game, where you play as a prehistoric predator competing for territory and resources against other predators. Each playable species has a unique deck to master. Each deck has different strengths, weaknesses, and strategies—creating a varied and constantly evolving experience.

Your species must overcome a very brutal environment including harsh climate changes, disease, attacks from predators, grievous wounds, infections, and deadly prey. The game incorporates many dinosaurs that behave in their own distinct way. The goal of the game is to endure the environment, build up the population and evolve your species, and become the apex predator.

Those are the very broad strokes, the rules are much more refined like any other deck building game, and I’m sure we’ll touch on some of them as I throw it back to Celeste so we can sink our teeth into this review.

The S.W.A.T. Game

Designed by: (uncredited)
Published by: Milton Bradley (1976)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 8 to 14

SWAT, the special weapons and tactics team featured on good old fashioned 1970’s television, is now a board game! Or rather, it was a board game – where players compete to move their SWAT teams into position on the gameboard to capture the fleeing culprit who is constantly jumping around the various hideouts on the board.

Players will roll a pair of D3 dice to move their SWAT trucks around the board. Move the truck to various entrance spots on the board to allow the SWAT team to disembark. Roll the dice again to move each of the 2 members of your SWAT team, assigning one die roll per token moved.

After all players have a chance to go, the culprit moves. Sin the spinner to see the result on where the culprit moves, or if they stay put.

To win, move both your SWAT team members on the two red spots that surround the culprit’s hideout. Now let’s get SWATTING!

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