One of the most important games over the last decade or so has decidedly been Portal. and broke new ground in the first-person puzzle game genre, and had an enormous pop cultural influence as well. And apparently, it now gets a board game.
. It has a habit of capitalizing on our nostalgia to make us buy special versions of familiar board games, and the 2014 Toy Fair confirmed this trend is about to continue with games like Monopoly: Pokemon, Monopoly: The Legend of Zelda, and a Heroes of the Storm version of a card game called Bang!. more »
Scoundrels of Skullport (Scoundrels) is billed as a double-expansion for the Lords of Waterdeep board game from Wizards of the Coast (WotC). Lords of Waterdeep is a great game, one worthy of most any gaming group. While a solid design, it has a few quirks, quirks that aren’t really addressed in the expansion, which nonetheless might be worth it for fans of the main game.
Otontin is a dice game with cards and strategy on the side, loosely modeled on the pre-Columbian empires of the new world. The Mesoamerican tribes were fascinating cultures. Their mathematics could match anything in Europe until the 15th century. Their warriors were incredibly fierce, believing the key to combat prowess was to wear as brightly colored feathers as possible (comparable to going into combat with a bulls eye on your chest), and gold was not of great value (they called it “the excrement of the gods”). No, it was all about cocoa beans, the true sign of wealth. Otontin models the fights between the cities for cocoa, but not so well
Space Junk is a Kickstarter board game, with the Kickstarter still in progress. One of the biggest turn-offs about Kickstarter is you often down know when, or if, you’ll ever receive what you pay for. Once the developers get the money, it takes time to, well, develop the product. That’s not a concern for Space Junk, as I received a completely working copy of the board game (minus the stretch goals, but I can live with that); the game will ship soon after it funds.
It’s New Year’s Eve, so what are you doing here? You should have plans – party-related plans with people you love. Oh, wait. That is why you’re here, isn’t it. You’re going to get together, and it’s going to be a big gamer party, and you need some suggestions. Well, 2013 was a pretty good more »
The winter snows are coming, and that can mean loss of internet connection, or even (horror!) power blackouts. This is a tough time to be a gamer, because nowadays gaming means electricity, and most every game is “enhanced” by online play. They key to survival of rough winter weather is preparation, and that means getting the right game for the problem at hand.
Kickstarter has created a golden age of board games: now anyone with a great idea can his own game published, by raising money directly from the public. These games vary in quality, but Hegemonic is toward the high end, and may be the first truly classic game in its genre to be funded by Kickstarter.
Lords of Waterdeep is a good game, with a nice Dungeons and Dragons theme without the burden of Dungeons and Dragons rules. It’s biggest weakness by far is that it plays best with as many players as possible. The game models a bustling fantasy city, and few players means little bustle.
The original Manhattan Project was the first (we’ll say) big successful government conspiracy–teams of scientists worked in secret for years to build the ultimate bomb. Nowadays, the government’s kinda strapped for cash, so if they want another big project, perhaps they’d go Kickstarter too. If so, they’ll have to pick a different name, because the Manhattan Project Kickstarter is already underway. Actually, this is the second Manhattan Project Kickstarter, the first was for the board game expansion.
Robert E Lee may have been a “rebel,” but he is one of the most beloved generals of American history, and lived his life as the very definition of a southern gentleman. Even today, his name commands respect, and I have several friends (male and female) named after him–or, more accurately, named after relatives named after him many decades ago. As the man who very nearly liberated the Southern Confederacy from Lincoln’s enforced Union, no Civil War game is complete without a representation of this icon. There have been many games based on the Civil War, and Bobby Lee is a classic in this large genre, although out of print nowadays. If the Kickstarter funds, Bobby Lee will rise again, upgraded to third edition rules.
With board games making reappearance in people’s living rooms again as the rediscovery of how much enjoyment can be had with them, I think it’s time to bring a little technology into the design. I believe NFC is the answer. NFC or Near Field Communication has been around for some time now, but it took more »