Author Archive

Clans of Caledonia Preview

Posted on April 26th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Clans of CaledoniaNote: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. These days a universally accepted truth is that dwarves are Scottish. And, as memory serves, they’ve only been featured prominently in one hardcore Eurogame. This preview explores one game that couldn’t afford the dwarf license* (*not […]

Quartz Review

Posted on April 25th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

QuartzBreak out the Scottish accents and the mining puns. Practice twisting the corner edges of mustaches (or imagined mustaches) and fill some tankards with inebriating beverages (or root beer). And don’t forget to brush up on bag groping skills. They’re needed top play Quartz, a new game from Passport Games Studios. Quartz is a push-your-luck, […]

Why Games Work: Belfort

Posted on April 21st, 2017 under , , . Posted by

BelfortSome games are deceptive. The box will lie to your face. Belfort is one of those games, but, oh, how I love the lies! Don’t be fooled by the excellent, comic art on the cover here, there’s a good amount of meat inside. But what makes Belfort stand out from many other games in a […]

Lotus Review

Posted on April 20th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

LotusInteresting uses of area control pop up when you least expect them. Sometimes, games need no reason to justify their gameplay as long as they’re interesting. Both of these statements explain the existence of a new game designed by Jordan and Mandy Goddard from Renegade Game Studios. Debuting at Gen Con 2016, Lotus sold out […]

V-Commandos Review

Posted on April 4th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

V-CommandosSuperhero movies are ubiquitous today. You can’t go six to eight months without seeing one or watching a trailer for the next. If you travel back in time to the late 1950s through the 1960s and 70s, the World War II commando replaces the superhero. Wouldn’t it be great if someone made a board game […]

They Who Were 8 Review

Posted on March 30th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

They Who Were 8One of the earliest forms of Greek literature is a poem by Hesiod called the Theogony. It’s a story of the genealogy and origins of the ancient Greek pantheon of gods. It is these tales which form the basis of much of the drama and intrigue of the mystical traditions and origins of Western drama. […]

The Oracle of Delphi Review

Posted on March 24th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Oracle of DelphiStefan Feld is known for complex games involving a subset of randomness through dice rolls. Usually his designs encompass some trading of resources to complete objectives along with upgrades to improve actions. There’s usually some kind of economic backdrop that aids in fading the theme to the background. A new title from Tasty Minstrel Games […]

RPG Coasters Review

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 under , . Posted by

Cthulhu CoastersWhat’s up plebes?! Cthulhu here again. The human Tony has summoned me to review something he can’t force one of his minions to review. He’s been teaching me some human slang as well. Waassssssssup! Have you seen those hilarious commercials? Oh never mind. We got coasters this time. The humans have informed me that when […]

Incorporated Review

Posted on March 15th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

IncorporatedWe’re in the era of massive, global corporations that control several aspects of how we live our lives and what our culture means. Just as it is exciting and fun to play a game of RISK imagining we’re commanding massive armies traipsing across the globe, it can be equally satisfying to manage an intercontinental corporation […]

The Money Pit of Oak Island Preview

Posted on March 9th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Money Pit of Oak IslandNote: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. Nearly 40 years ago, a television show called “In Search Of” hosted by Leonard “Spock” Nimoy aired an episode called “The Money Pit”. The show tells the true story of the discovery of a hole on […]

Gaming Canon: Dungeons & Dragons

Posted on March 2nd, 2017 under , . Posted by

Player's Handbook MonkI recently watched a series of videos on YouTube from a professor’s class on game design. One of the core curricula of the course was for students to play a game several times then write a paper dissecting the game’s core elements. I found this quite fascinating. For anyone new to gaming, is interested in […]

Cosmic Run: Rapid Fire Preview

Posted on February 27th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Cosmic Run: Rapid FireNote: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. Setting out to make a two-player game can be straightforward, but it also requires the designer to consider that, if the design is too conflict oriented, it won’t be a hit for playing with a loved […]

Carcassonne: Amazonas Review

Posted on February 24th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Carcassonne: AmazonasThe Carcassonne: Around the World line of games typically uses some standard Carcassonne rules, but integrates a variant or expansion out of the box to deliver an experience that exemplifies a particular time and place. The previous two offerings, South Seas (review here) and Gold Rush, explored the South Pacific in the time of colonialism […]

Castles of Burgundy: The Card Game Review

Posted on February 16th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

The Castles of Burgundy: The Card GameIn the automobile industry, tailoring a car’s niche in the marketplace takes a lot of effort. Engineers and marketers work hand-in-hand to make sure the lineup of a company’s vehicles fits many different types of buyers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that board game publishers do the same thing. Either the company’s overall game […]

Forged in Steel Review

Posted on February 8th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Forged in SteelAmericans sometimes look across the “pond” and see Europe as a fanciful world of culture, refinement, near-fantasy and elitism. As Eurogames become more and more common in the United States, the historical themes that inhabit these games form a pastiche of cities steeped in mythic-Euro culture and an Old World feel. Americans often don’t look […]

Covert Review

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

CovertEspionage has been a tool of governments for millennia. The modern origins of fictional spycraft begin with Joseph Conrad’s short story, “The Secret Agent”, and the organization of modern agencies dedicated to covert intelligence operations during World War II. This became fodder for Ian Fleming’s character of James Bond and the image of a suave, […]

Why Games Work: Tammany Hall, Cosmic Encounter, Chinatown

Posted on February 2nd, 2017 under , . Posted by

ChinatownSome games test our skills at evaluating the abstract movement of playing pieces on a board. Some games judge a player’s ability to calculate a winning move mathematically. The art of haggling is something that few games tackle. Even fewer do them well. Knowing how a game makes negotiation enjoyable is key to discovering those […]