February News Dump

Time Marches on. February for me, was quite successful. I got a major promotion at work, and my son learnt to roll over. Thankfully, one of us is pulling their weight. In terms of the website, we now have a new navigation menu which I hope you’ve already used, and enjoyed.

That’s it! Let’s talk games.

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Find out what lies beneath in Sub Terra

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I don’t remember the time I went spelunking very well, but the wet walls and unrelenting darkness still stick with me. I remember the times I fell behind, not able to see anyone but hear their voices echoing through small limestone gaps. As a thirty-year-old man, this terrifies me. However, I was at the age where the novelty of exploring outweighed the danger. What if I got lost?  Would I die of starvation or thirst? Or worse still, what if I wasn’t alone?

Sub Terra is a 2-6 player cooperative tile laying and exploration game, designed by Tim Pinder and published by Inside the Box Board Games. It is a cautionary tale about what happens when occupational health and safety is ignored. You and your friends are spelunkers, who failed to perform the necessary safety checks before abseiling into a cave. During the decent the ropes snapped, and you are now trapped in its murky depths. Will you make it out and claim that juicy workers compensation? Or will you be the latest victim of The Descent?

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My Top 7 Most Intimidating Games

My collection has finally reached a size where there are some games I’m afraid to play. Whether it’s the setup time, the large amount of rules, or something else entirely, these games look down from the shelf, and intimidate me more than Stronghold Games’ new logo. So what are these scary games, and why do they frighten me so?

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Lay some tiles with the family in Azul

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If you’re like me and thought all board games are abstract, well, you’re both right and wrong. The term abstract game is now a genre term that reasonably means the game contains minimal luck, usually two players, and little to no theme. Think of Chess and Checkers as prime examples of abstracts, or more recently Azul. A 2-4 player abstract game designed by Michael Kiesling and published by Plan B games.

In this game players put on their overalls and travel back in time to build a fabulous new wall for the King of Portugal. That was me squeezing all the thematic juice out of Azul. Instead of an entertaining or thoughtfully storied experience this board game opted for complex, yet arbitrary scoring system that determines a winner by skill, intelligence, and masonry. Was it worth the sacrifice? Let’s find out.

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Where the Heck is the Friday Post?

Dave Collinson is getting married in nine days. If you don’t know of him, he’s pretty cool. He’s an artist who’s done some work on board games, has his own board game called Lumberjerks, and a game he’s been working on just recently came out of early access called Damsel. If you haven’t heard of him till now, do yourself a favour and checkout his portfolio here.

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Test your dexterity in Vampires Vs. Unicorns: Floor War

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One of the reasons I love board games is how diverse they are. Already on this blog we’ve reviewed a board game which has you picking up sticks in Go Cuckoo, a tight-knit two player game where you’re wheeling and dealing with geishas in Hanamikoji, and a story driven game about being trapped on a desert island in Robinson Crusoe. Today we review another game that pushes the boundaries of tabletop games by removing the tabletop. I was provided a free copy of the newly Kickstarted floortop board game called Vampires vs. Unicorns: Floor War.

Vampires vs. Unicorns is a two-player card throwing dexterity game, designed by Jim DuBois, and published by Yumfactory. Players take turns doing their best 1990’s Joker impersonation by throwing playing cards at each other’s base. As soon as one player destroys their opponent’s castle, they win the game, and are ready to take on 1990’s Batman.

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Board Games I’m Looking Fourward To

February is in full swing, and being a week away from payday it’s time to look to the future and see what hotly anticipated board games are going to be sending us broke . This month sees a couple of Kickstarters and a reader suggested game. Let’s get to it!

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Why you shouldn’t play Exploding Kittens – and games you should play instead

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I’m obviously a dog person, so the thought of blowing up some baby cats has some appeal. Combined with my affinity for Oatmeal’s artwork and humour, and my intense love for small box games, Exploding Kittens seemed right up my alley. However, this is a negative review, and I wanted to warn you ahead of time because a lot of people enjoy this board game – which is fine – but I think you will lose that enjoyment once you analyse the game at a certain level. Which is what this review will be doing. As the saying goes, never learn how sausages are made, because you’ll never want to eat a sausage again.

Exploding Kittens is a 2-5 player game, designed and self-published by Matthew Inman, Elan Lee, and Shane Small. Players take on the roles of professional bomb defusal experts, whose idea of defusal is giving the bomb to someone else. In this de-sexed, declawed version of hot potato only one player will make it out with their life, and a face full of scratches. Will it be you?

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January – Bit of News, and a lot of Games

Can you believe it’s February already? I’ve been so busy with work and child that it’s all been a bit of blur. Anyway, let’s take a look back at how January unfolded.
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Bite off more than you can chew in Takenoko

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If I had a bucket list, seeing a panda would be on it, and it would be crossed off. Fortunately, I got the chance to see them in Japan, and it surprised me that they were exactly as accident prone as the gifs around the internet would have you believe. Coincidentally, Takenoko is a board game about a panda being gifted to Japan, could it be an ancestor of the ones I saw? I want to believe.

Takenoko is a 2-4 player game designed by Antoine Bauza, and published by Matagot Games, and if you’ve ever wanted to yell at an endangered animal, then this is the game for you. As you and your friends attempt to establish a wonderful bamboo garden at the behest of a Japanese emperor, a pesky panda has other plans. In a game with all the makings of a hit TV sitcom, you must keep the panda fed, and out of the way, while doing your best to grow the garden’s bamboo, only then will you be crowned the ultimate gardener.

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