Author Archive

Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn Review

Posted on December 12th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Civilization: New DawnDesigning board games is a challenging business. It has the same risk as movie production, albeit at a dramatically smaller scale. However, the need to meet the demands of a taste-specific audience while also attracting a larger audience is still at the core of some types of game design, especially when dealing with an existing […]

Wizards Wanted Review

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

Wizards WantedIn software quality assurance testing, one of the most important concepts is to use the software in a way that doesn’t just test the most common scenarios, but also tests extreme scenarios. The software should work and present appropriate errors to guide the user even when they’re using it in a non-intended way. There should […]

Near and Far Review

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

Near And FarArtist, designer and publisher Ryan Laukat’s success with blending the storytelling + resource management in Above and Below has the potential to be duplicated in a new sequel. Near and Far is a storytelling and resource management game in the same thematic world as his previous game. Players occupy the role of adventurers forming a […]

Smash Up iOS Review

Posted on November 29th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Smash Up iOSThere are a couple of primary axioms that strongly illustrate the reasons people will buy or switch to an iOS version of a game. The first is convenience. Getting players together for a physical game takes coordination to get people together and then manipulation of game components. The second is cost. A five dollar app […]

Ink Monsters Review

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

Ink MonstersMonsters, Inc. has definitely registered itself in the minds of moviegoers as the default style for cute monsters. From the wackiness and cuddly factor of the creatures to the range of colors and appendage designs, the film’s style just ingrains itself into the minds of fans. That’s important because any game that implements that style […]

The Quest for El Dorado Review

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

The Quest for El DoradoOne of the most common ways people sum up a game (and indeed the same way Board Game Quest does it) is to mention the primary mechanisms in a game. For example, a press-your-luck, dice rolling game might immediately conjure visions of Yahtzee and other derivative games. Unfortunately, this can also have the effect of […]

America Review

Posted on November 13th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

AmericaVeteran game designer Friedemann Friese normally has a thing. He names all his games with the first letter F. However, when veteran game designer Ted Alspach joins in, some exceptions follow. The real exception in this case is actually a trivia party game. This, like its predecessor games Fauna and Terra, presents players with a […]

Middle Earth Meets Dungeons and Dragons

Posted on November 10th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Adventures in Middle EarthI used to play roleplaying games. I’ve been a Dungeon Master for Dungeons & Dragons (Basic, Advanced, 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition), Shadowrun, d20 Modern, Pathfinder, and even a little bit of Vampire. Each system should be judged on the game mechanisms for the type of world it aims to serve and how those work with […]

SpyNet Review

Posted on November 1st, 2017 under , , . Posted by

SpynetIf there’s one designer whose name is legend amongst card gamers, it’s Richard Garfield. The designer of Magic: The Gathering and Android: Netrunner has a distinguished repertoire, but he still has the occasional misstep. Whenever he delivers a new game, especially a card game, it’s a tense moment to digest it and decide if it’s […]

King Frog Review

Posted on November 1st, 2017 under , , . Posted by

King FrogMany game designs set up grand themes and try to connect abstractions of reality with elegant mechanisms. Designers steep themselves in the world of their games honing the minutiae of decision structures. The rabbit hole goes deep and produces all sorts of types of games. Just as crucial is the role of the consumer in […]

First Class: All Aboard The Orient Express Review

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

First ClassOne of the best detective movies of all time is Murder on the Orient Express (1974) which is the film version of Agatha Christie’s famous novel of the same name. The performances that each actor brings to their characters are unforgettable. The perfect opening flashback is further enhanced with amazing art direction, staging, cinematography, and […]

H.I.D.E.: Hidden Identity Dice Espionage Review

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

HIDEStarting with Dr. No, the films featuring international spy James Bond have nurtured a genre with a combination of mystery, action, and gadgetry. If you’re going to boil the many elements of interest here into a small dice game, what better place to start than with mystery and action. Mayday Games new title aims for […]

Fog of Love Review

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

Fog of LoveUsually the first few paragraphs of a game review offer a smattering of small talk to introduce a game. It’s just enough to frame the context of the review and then tie the end conclusion back to the introduction. However, this review is going to get very heavy, very quickly. If gamers are not familiar […]

Cast the Ritual Preview

Posted on October 23rd, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Cast The RitualNote: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. Classic card games have a particular allure. There’s a steady comfort with multiple games with the same cards, and games usually keep the rules pretty simple and straightforward. This is the formula that keeps them played […]

Escape from 100 Million B.C. Review

Posted on October 19th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Escape from 100 Million BCWhatever big budget movie next summer has in store, the concept usually begins with a pitch meeting where the producer needs to be convinced that the idea is viable. In this game review, that pitch goes something like this: “Ok, what if there was a team of time travelers sent back to the distant past […]

Lisboa Review

Posted on October 10th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

LisboaSometimes the word “backdrop” is used to describe a game’s theme, especially with games that have only a minor connection to their theme. On other occasions, designers can take a theme and elevate it beyond the confines of the game. Vital Lacerda is a designer who knows this. When his new game was announced as […]

Loot Review

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

LootPirates. Once they were they were the darlings of the board game theme hivemind. Today, they still make the occasional appearance but they’re certainly not in vogue. One release from way back before even pirates were a thing is the card game Loot. It’s got a new printing from Gamewright. The concept of Loot is […]

Schotten Totten Review

Posted on October 6th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Schotten TottenThe title for Schotten Totten has a bit of a story to it. The word Schotten means “Scots” or Scottish people in German. Totten apparently comes from another phrase in German using the word Hottentotten, a derogatory term for a certain tribe in Africa. It basically means that the customs of these people, misunderstood by […]

Safe Breaker, Break Free, and Operation: Escape Room

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

Operation Escape RoomThere clearly aren’t enough games to teach kids how to be crimin…, err… spies. Readers who agree with this statement or even those looking for a safe space to allow their kids to be… uh… spies will appreciate this next review. Here we’re taking a look at some offerings from YULU Games in their SPY […]

Level Up My Game – Game Haul Game Night Bag

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

Game Night BagEver since I started going to game night, my luggage has always been a point of fixation for me. In my roleplaying game days it was what kind of filing box to bring and how to tote all the miniatures. In my board game era, the bag chosen for game night has been slowly evolving. […]

Age of Rivals iOS Review

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

Age of Rivals iOS review7 Wonders: Duel is a great adaptation of the card drafting civilization game. Depending on your point of view of the style of drafting, some gamers felt that the structure was not drafting in the same vein as the original. The simultaneous card selection is devolved into a turn-by-turn selection that may force your opponent […]

Brutal Kingdom Review

Posted on September 19th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Brutal KingdomsHaving first seen the cover for Brutal Kingdom, this reviewer was a bit taken aback. There’s a vulture pulling a dagger from a cloak with nefarious purpose in mind. Gamers entering this world may ask: “Is the image appropriate?” In this small card game, each player uses characters to outwit and gather more influence than […]

Crows Preview

Posted on September 18th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

CrowsNote: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. There are some abstract games that implement a modicum of theme just to deliver justification for the gameplay. Even Chess historically derives its play from medieval armies lined up for war, but has generally been accepted […]