Suspect that there is an optimal path to progress, but there is something satisfying about adding more memories or knowledge or friends instead of just going for the next goal. Which may be the point. Has all the qualities that made Game Dev Story so much fun.
Update: SpoilerWould be nice to have a stats/summary at the “end”.
May 1, 2014 by wetwebworkComments Off on Lords of Waterdeep: Strategy
The reviews of A Study in Emerald, an Sherlock Holmes / H.P. Lovecraft board game based on a Neil Gaimen story, are mixed. It sounds like a confusing combination of mechanics and elements, but given the subject matter that that sounds perfect: An Old Ones inspired game should be mad, and I love the look – especially Dr Geof’s design and his non-digital approach to designing the board:
Pax Porfiriana a bit of a must buy, simply because one of the first games that inspired my own game dev was Courtney F Allen’s incredible Up Front squad leader card game in the late eighties, and I’ve had a soft spot for card driven games ever since (including a wealth of Magic the Gathering cards people have been enquiring about buying).
Pax Porfiriana probably won’t be hitting the table with my gaming group anytime soon, but I’m determined to at least solo play in the near future. Just as soon as I wade through the rulebook and chrome.
January 12, 2014 by wetwebworkComments Off on Escape – The Curse of the Temple
We began our first “avoid the cold and fact that we’re broke” game’s night of the year with Escape – The Curse of the Temple.
I ignored this game at first thinking it no more than a sub-Temple Run spin off which it isn’t – it’s a co-op game where everyone rolls dice at the same time and a desperate effort to escape the temple that it about to collapse. And you have to work together; escape alone and you fail, fail to work together to make your escape easier by ridding yourself of cursed gems and you fail. It’s all about the fail, and that’s what makes it a win.
This isn’t us playing Escape, but I’m sure we looked like this when we were
This game shouldn’t work because you can cheat and ignore that cursed die that you can no longer roll, and roll it anyway, but you don’t because you’re part of a team; because you’re part of a team you shout for help when you are stuck and another player will help you because they will fail if they leave you behind.
And if you accidentally scoop up your dice and miss that cursed die that you shouldn’t have scooped up, you’re not shafting the other players with your mistake and left feeling hollow with your misbegotten victory at the end of the game. You made a mistake – you move on. You only have ten minutes to get out of the temple, there’s no time to sweat the small stuff! And you’ll probably lose anyways because the game is tough.
Escape – The curse of the Temple dice
The toughness comes as a countdown soundtrack to your doom in the form of a cd (a thing from the dark ages when Metallica ruled the world and before mp3’s came along and Metallica tried to fight Napster and prevent the coming of the doom of the fall of the Record Companies and the loss of huge planes carrying mega rich rock bands round the world but failed and thus we were bequeathed with mp3s) or mp3 (or four), or phone app, and is a stroke of genius. It drives the game and if you watched the video above where they all cheered when they escaped at the end, well, that’s exactly what you’ll do too.
I did when I played with my son, and did again when I played with four others. We won’t dwell on the times when some players were left behind and crushed to death and we all lost.
a dodgy die
So what’s not to like? Well, you might buy a copy with some dodgy components, which is a shame. I have a dodgy die which might not sound like the end of the world, and very #FirstWorldProblems I know, but trying to wrap your head around the mis-information you’re seeing as the timer ticks down to your demise is impossible.
And the expansion Escape: Illusions has two additional curse tiles. But they’re printed on different card stock so they stand out. In the chaotic rush of play this probably won’t matter, but when you’ve paid the same price as the base game for the expansion, dammit, and the publisher didn’t bother to make them match and there really isn’t that much in the expansion so surely this would be a thing they looked out for? Well, you might be left feeling a bit ripped off.
Two new curse cards – see if you can spot them
But lets end on the positives: Escape – The Curse of the Temple is fast paced fun, a game lasts only ten minutes making it a perfect quick filler game, and you don’t need the expansions unless you want to add a fifth player. You can also play it solo which is a blast. A must buy if you find it cheap, worth considering if you can’t.
December 31, 2013 by wetwebworkComments Off on 5 stages of Amazon Appstore
Carcassonne? Great! That’s an app I’d like for free. I’m in.
Ah, so I have to install the Amazon Appstore to get it. Okay…
I can’t play the Carcassonne app without being signed into the Amazon Appstore? Why?! I’m on a bus – I don’t have my login details! Wtf?!
Uninstall Carcassonne. Uninstall Amazon Appstore. Consider paying for Carcassonne on Google Play even though the reviews aren’t great.
I jest, of course. Nothing is free, and if I’d like to play Carcassonne – which wasn’t bad as a phone adaptation of a board game goes – for free, the cost is dealing with Amazon’s App Store and making sure I log in. If I don’t like that, then I can delete both (which I did) and pay for it elsewhere – which I haven’t yet; there is nothing more annoying than trying to move the board and accidentally playing a piece because you touched a valid play spot. Until that is fixed I consider the current price too high.
September 17, 2013 by wetwebworkComments Off on Board Game Geek – random game list
Clever idea for a list over on Board Game Geek: “The random.org game a.k.a. The Best Geek List Ever“. Generate a random number from the number of games in your collection and write an entry on the game that falls under that number. I wrote a quick entry on Avalon Hill’s Outdoor Survival, number 96 in my collection of 151 games.
Did make me realize that I couldn’t do this for the digital games I have owned over the years. Some were solitary experiences that once completed I didn’t need to play again, and in the case of Soldier of Fortune wouldn’t really want to play again; I play games for a number of reasons, seeing body parts blown off people isn’t one of them.
Also the platforms have changed. I can drag out an old board game from ten, twenty, thirty years ago or more, and after skimming the rules and gathering a group of friends and play it. I still have Populous, the first Sega Megadrive game I bought, but my Megadrive has long since gone the way of all my old consoles, so the Megadrive cartidge is as good as useless. Shame.
Same thing applies to a lot of the PC games. Transport Tycoon was brilliant, but it requires DOSBox to play a less than legit downloaded version while the bought game cd sites on a shelf. Used to have a version on floppy disks before that, now I don’t even have a floppy drive on my PC.
So digital games come and go, they’re not something you collect and keep however fun they were. But enough of that, back to playing GTA V before a board game evening later this week…
September 7, 2013 by wetwebworkComments Off on Nintendo…
And “Nintendo faces ‘path to irrelevance’, says Atari founder” – BBC News
Update: The Game Cube and Wii were a disappointment not in terms of hardware – who cares about hardware except for the PC gamer building their own rig? – if it plays the latest games. If I can play the games my friends are raving about (because the games reviewers are raving about aren’t the same thing; been burnt too many times there…) then the console is doing it’s job.
But if I’ve bought a console and the games aren’t there for it – like the Wii – then I’m going elsewhere. I have bought a PS2 long after the first died just to play a game (Katamari Damacy).
Sure there are fanboys who will stick with this or that system, perhaps remembering the glory days of the past, but with so many avenues to gaming – the web, our phones, TVs, PCs – will the majority want to limit themselves to just one companies output on one platform?
See also: comment from John Gruber on Nintendo and handheld gaming:
What’s different about the post-iPhone world of mobile computing is that the buying decision is no longer about or, it’s about and. Pre-iPhone, someone interested in a handheld game device would choose between Nintendo’s offering or someone else’s. Nintendo did well in that world, selling more than enough devices to succeed. Today, though, someone deciding to buy a dedicated handheld game device is, more likely than not, deciding whether to buy something to carry in addition to the mobile device they already carry everywhere. – Daring Fireball