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In solidarity MeepleGamers:

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We can be individuals of hope and change.

In solidarity MeepleGamers: 1

End Racism.

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland – Hobbyworld – Review

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You are literally cutting the game. The box calls for scissors… The people at Hobby World are sadists… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Josh Hale

MeepleGamers

10/10

Publisher: Hobbyworld


Designer: Nikolay Zolotarev


Artist: Uildrim


Game Type: I Cut, You Choose


Game Type: Set Collection


Initial Year of Release: 2020


Age Range: 10+


Expected Playtime: 40 Minutes


Number of Players: 2-4

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 2

Theme and What is it?


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10/10

Rarely, and I mean rarely does a game idea make me excited and cringy at the same time. Cutterland, a pixelated set collection, I Cut You Choose, game by Hobby World does both. 

Here you are a world builder, a la Simcity or Populous (for those Genesis fans in the house), and are building a world that has all sorts of nasties. Each of these nasties have different scoring mechanics, that ultimately will either help you win, or give you a devastating defeat. 

I have to say… the fun here was not on my radar. It should have been.

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 3
A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 4

Gameplay Mechanics


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10/10

You get 3 4×3 cards, each randomized to have different baddies on them. You have to cut the pieces to be given to the person to the left, in an I-cut-you-choose, mechanic.

This game, however, takes that to the next level. You are literally cutting the game. The box calls for scissors… The people at Hobby World are sadists… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Each different baddy is scored at the end of the game in different manners. The Krakens score depending on how much they eat. RELEASE THE KRAKEN!

The centaur scores depending on how much grassland it has. The goblins score is multiplied depending on how many goblins are in the same area. You get the point, the rusty scissor point.

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 5

Initial Impressions


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10/10

When I was told about Cuttlerland, I immediately detested Hobby World, in a loving manner of course. 

The game makes my belly hurt. Why must I cut my game??? You people have a demented sense of humor. I love you.

Each cut felt horribly gratifying. It brings me a tear even now. I knew I had to get this game to the table.

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 6

Game Build Quality


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10/10

The game is paperstock and cardboard stock, with a nice box. This ain’t rocket science. 

You are going to cut up your game. So, they made it with as much quality as they could, before you would curse them for destroying a nicer game. 

The game build is exactly as it should be for this sacrilege. They did a great job!

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 7

Artistic Direction


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8.9/10

Pixel art. Because. That is what you do.

In all seriousness, the art here is absolutely on point and perfect for the play style. 

I love the box art, and the game conveyed the scoring mechanics perfectly. The towers did make scoring a bit clumsy, but I am not sure how to fix it.

Beyond that, I am a huge fan of what they did with the art.

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 8

Fun Factor


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10/10

This ultimately depends on your sense of anal-retentiveness. I know most games will get played less than 10 times in their lifetime in a family library for collectors. For that reason, the cutting did not bother me personally.

However, I can see where some people will be devastated. Some people should never play legacy games, no matter how much they would enjoy the game, because it hurts too bad. 

Those people know who they are, the rest of you should find this game delightful. 

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 9

Age Range & Weight


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10/10

10+. My 8-year-old could easily play this game and learn the scoring mechanics. I don’t know how well she would do with the score multipliers and such. 

However, I know she would delight in cutting the cards. So, I can EASILY see a family falling in love with this game. 

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Conclusions


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10/10

This is one of my highest scores I have given in a LONG time. The art had a couple of flaws that made scoring a bit messy. Beyond that, for my play-style, I REALLY enjoyed Cutterland. I even enjoyed cutting, despite the fact that it made my tummy hurt. 

We need more games that destroy themselves. Because why not? I know this is counter-intuitive to every collector out there. But it gives an experience you cannot find in other games. 

It has been brought to my attention that you could feasibly save cut pieces and put in blind draw bags. Whether it is practicable or not, I will let you decide. 

I myself might just buy two, as this game makes my top shelf with EASE.

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A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 12

Chatty Meeples 10: Intellectual Property

The question today was about intellectual properties. What’s do you love to……

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 13

City of the Big Shoulders – Parallel Games – Review

Facebook Twitter Instagram City of the Big Shoulders is a great game…….

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 14

Tattoo Stories by Games By Bicycle – Review

Facebook Twitter Instagram If you are looking for a social, fun and……

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 15

FLASHBACK FRIDAY – Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection – Chaosium Inc. – Review

Facebook Twitter Instagram Light, easy to learn, and quick, I think you’d……

Mint Control – Five24 Labs – Preview

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Smooth, like butta

A smooth game that fits in your pocket and can be carried everywhere! Be careful, they aren’t real mints!
Mark Gillham
The guy in Columbus
  • Area Control
  • Action Selection
  • Crowdfund Date: 2020
  • Official Publication Date/ Street Date: 2020
  • 13+
  • 15-30 Minutes
  • 1-4

Mint Control is an area control game for 2-4 players battling it out to see who will have the most influence in the buildings. Each building provides benefits to those who have control as well as victory points. The player with the most victory points! 
Look for Mint Control on Kickstarter starting March 3, 2020!

Mint Control is a delightful area control and action selection game. Here’s how it works: multiple buildings will be placed out with open spots for control. Each of these buildings has a different point value or ability that can assist the players with influence at a location. Players will be fighting for control of these locations by using action selection to place influence, oust another opponent’s marker, gain benefits from being in control/at a location, or gain economy. Once a player has placed their 5th and final marker, at the end of the action sequence the game will end. Count up the points earned from the buildings, player with the most points earns the victory!

On first play of this game, Mint Control is a solid entry level game to the area control game. Select actions, try to place influence in the different buildings. I was able to play this game with some people that were not regular gamers on the first play, and they enjoyed it as well. This entry into the concepts added strategy but was still light enough that the new players were able to pick it up quick.

The cards are excellent stock and fit really easily with in the container. The pieces for the mints and the starting player are very nicely put together and thematically accurate. A really nice touch that helps prop this theme up. The player candy pieces to put down for control are distinctly colored using blue, purple, green and orange. Overall, solid components for this game. This is based on a prototype, and products are subject to change.

Justin Blaske took this product and maintained the mint theme. A good base for his artistic grounds was covered. Solid choice on the artwork on the outside of the tin so much that I had several people almost take a mint out of the tin! The writing and symbols on the cards are very easy to decipher with minimal instruction references. Great artistic direction on for Mint Control!

Mint Control was a fun experience for both experienced gamers and new gamers. The new gamers who played in my groups stated they enjoyed being able to learn one or two mechanics while still have some strategy to it. Experienced gamers stated they enjoyed the strategy aspect changing depending on the buildings available while being a lighter game. When it was all said and done, it was a pretty big hit at the table.

After playing through Mint Control, I feel like players 8+ would be able to play this game. The mechanics are simplified so that those who are not used to area control or action selection will be able to pick it up with ease. The game is also light and would be an entry level game that works well as either a “gateway” game or a quick game between grandiose pieces. An enjoyable experience that fits many roles for game night.

Mint Control is a well-designed game that provides an entry point into the area control genre. It does an excellent job at teaching these mechanics while still keeping the strategy portion of it. It really does a great job filling multiple roles as either a light/gateway game for non-experienced gamers while being a solid filler for experienced gamers. A smooth game that fits in your pocket and can be carried everywhere! Be careful, they aren’t real mints!

Re-Chord – Yanaguana Games – Review

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 You can choose to attempt to be excellent to each other, but the game is not really setup that way. You sir, like Stifler, are ready to rock out… 

Josh Hale (The Green Goof)

MeepleGamers

8.9/10

Publisher: Yanaguana Games


Designer: Marshall Britt


Designer: Andrew Toth


Artist: Marshall Britt


Artist: Jennifer Hrabota Lesser


Initial Year of Release: 2019


Age Range: 8+


Expected Playtime: 40-60 Mins


Number of Players: 1-5


Game Type: Semi-Uncooperative Area Control


Game Type: Semi-Cooperative Area Control


Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 46

Theme and What is it?


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10/10

You are a guitarist, setting your chords, to have a truly excellent rock show. You can choose to attempt to be excellent to each other, but the game is not really setup that way. You sir, like Stifler, are ready to rock out… 

Unlike the VAST majority of musical games I have played, where you are actually making music, a la ROCK BAND, here you are building the ROOT of the music, the chords. The developers assure me, that you can actually use these chords to rock on.

So the question becomes… ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 47
Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 48

Gameplay Mechanics


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8/10

To play an electric guitar, most people would agree that picks would be helpful, you know the little plastic things that you see guitarists use between there fingers?

Here picks are drawn from a bag, and used for their color, or for a generic black. Based on the color, you can take additional actions, that are outlined on your player cards, and on the board. Ultimately, you are trying to play your cards, which each are a chord, and with enough correct chords, you can play the personal scoring music type. 

You are being cooperative and uncooperative at the same time. Thus the game classification. You cannot really plan this ahead, but you can try to be mean. Sadly, often when you try to be mean, you are actually being nice. CURSE YOU Yanaguana!!!

I had metal, because, You can’t kill the metal. Sadly, nor could I score it.

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Initial Impressions


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10/10

I knew I had seen this game quite a while ago, and then… POOF. It had disappeared. Sadly, I could not remember the name. So when I had a meeting with Marshall Britt for some unrelated things, and saw it again, I was stoked, and now, it was in its final form. 

My dream is to play flamenco guitar a la Antonio Banderas. Here, this game, at least gives me a chance to play a game about playing a guitar. I was stoked.

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 50

Game Build Quality


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9.1/10

Yanaguana opted to make the main board from neoprene, mouse pad material. I like this choice with the picks. They would be SUPER hard to play with, if they were not easy to pick up with the neoprene. 

The game is built very well, and the components are second to none. If you are the type of person that purchases games, for awesome quality, this may appeal to you.

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Artistic Direction


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7.5/10

For how colorful the game is, and how much table presence it has, it was done with relatively little art.

This is not a bad thing, most of it was EXCELLENT graphic design decisions that have led to a beautiful game on the table. 

While I love how it looks, the art nerd in me, wishes for a bit more. That is honestly just me being a picky snob, and not a reflection on how nice the game looks on your table. I will try to get my nose pointed in a more downward manner going forward.

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Fun Factor


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8.7/10

I have read this game is partially considered to be a take that sort of style. I HIGHLY disagree. 

Take that, to me, is all about knowing your actions will 100% mess your neighbor up. Here, you have no idea what your neighbor is doing. You therefore, cannot with intent screw them up. Therefore, though it has take that feely moments, I would not classify it as such. 

For that reason, if you love take that, this will give you some of those feelings. If you hate take that, those feelings can largely be avoided, since you have no clue what your neighbor is trying to do.

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 53

Age Range & Weight


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10/10

8+. Yanaguana, seems to have appropriately defined the age by the ability of a player to play the game. Figuring out the chords, and end game music types, might be harder. However, I am a fan of teaching kids how to play, more than worrying about score. 

So I think they hit the nail on the head with the age range.

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Conclusions


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8.8/10

This game has eluded my ability to to find or play it for a while, but it goes live almost immediately after this article is published. 

While this game would definitely make my shelf, I will be shooting it out to another content creator, so they can see it. This is not something I make a practice of, but I want this game to find a larger audience. It has some art to its soul, and as someone who has performed professionally, has a soft spot in my heart. 

Now, if only Yanaguana can teach me guitar by osmosis… This, game would EASILY make my game shelf.

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Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 55

Dungeonology: The Expedition – Ares Games – Review

Facebook Twitter Instagram Not all the dungeon dwellers in Dungeonology are pleased……

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 56

PAX East 2020 – I’m headed to my first convention!

I have mixed feelings about attending PAX East. On one hand I’m……

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 57

Boss Monster: Rise Of The Minibosses by Brotherwise Games – Review

 8.5/10 Facebook Twitter Instagram Boss Monster: Rise of the Mini Bosses……

City of Gears box art

TABLETOP TWOSDAY – City of Gears – Grey Fox Games – Review

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The Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber Ep 3

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The Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber Ep 3 58
Click on the comic to read & play!

Read & Play!

The Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber Ep 3!

Minnesota game company Fight in a Box (Squirrel or Die, Hedgehog Hop, Processing) invites everyone to come play in this labor of love (Estimated play time @25 seconds an episode.) Every choice will permanently be reflected in Fight in a Box’s next title – Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber coming to KS this winter.

We’re all doing evil every two weeks! This episode closes midnight, Wednesday, September 16th, 2020.

-s

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Party – Weta Workshop – Review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Party - Weta Workshop - Review 59
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Party - Weta Workshop - Review 60
Ben Parker
Ben Parker
Writer

Theme&What is it?

As you make your way to the designated village you come across a very nice hill with a door in the side. On the door is the mark you have been looking for.  The secret mark that let’s adventurers know this is the home of a master burglar. You look around and it seems like you might be the first one here. Should you wait or head in and meet your new adventuring companion? Might as well head in.

As your other companions arrive you soon realize this is starting to become quite the party! You also notice that it is starting to get on the nerves of this burglar. Being a sensible dwarf, you do what is expected. You really kick the party into overdrive and make up an awesome musical description of the dinner situation. But you don’t want to anger your host too much. He is, after all, the person who will make the companionship 14 members. Heavens know you don’t want to go on this journey with only 13.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Party is a worker placement/pickup and deliver game for 2-4 players. 

I was very excited to get a copy of this game. The Hobbit is one of my all-time favorite books. I have read it so many times. I still remember reading about the unexpected party for the first time all those years ago (I was 11 or 12 the first time I read The Hobbit). I was not at all disappointed. The game has all the hectic energy that you feel reading the book. You feel the song as it comes together around the board and if you are like me you sing it. Not the movie version, the cartoon version from the 70’s.

The game was easy to learn and easy to teach. I played with Ally and my two oldest (11 & 8). We played a practice round to make sure everyone had the basic idea and then we reset and got right into it. Everyone enjoyed it. There was not much downtime between turns. Just enough to figure out what you wanted your next move to be based on what other people were doing. The overall length of the game was great. We finished up in about 70 minutes. After a couple of plays that should be between 45-60 minutes. 

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

An Unexpected Party has a worker placement element. Players take turns placing their workers around the board, which represents Bilbo’s hillside home. In each room there are different areas to place your dwarf. There are doors you can “open” and these provide items and party cards. There are spots where you can sing. When you place on one of these spaces, you play a party card with a lyric from the song about things that Bilbo hates (not sure how much I can type about the song since it is copy protected). You have to place the corresponding item that matches the song lyric from your personal supply and set it in the required room.  These items are collected by searching doors and enter a room where Gandalf is located. 

Be careful during all of this because Bilbo is watching and getting more curious and more furious all the time. Curious markers go on a player’s board and can be gained a number of ways. Once all curious spaces on a player board are full, the next time you have to add curious markers you will flip over a curious marker to show the furious side. Furious markers cause players to have less room to carry items. If a player has filled up all of the curious spaces with furious markers then that dwarf must sit in the kitchen. At this point the player will select a new dwarf and it is that dwarf’s turn to give Bilbo grief. 

Players continue to make messes and sing about it and Bilbo tries to tidy up until the entire song is sung or until Thorin (king of the dwarves) enters the house. When he gets there it’s time to get down to business. The player with the most points wins!

Very nice, high quality components. The board was thick cardboard and the cards were nice card stock. The standees were what I would expect to see. 
My only issue was the size of the box and the insert. I was not able to fit everything back in and close the lid without it being pushed out a bit from the components inside. It is not terrible, but another ½ inch would have been enough space to fit everything. Maybe I need to unpack and replace items a few times to really get the feel of how it all should fit. Not a big deal but I noticed it.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

The artwork was headed by the person in charge of artwork for The Hobbit movies. Theis made the game tie in perfectly with what we have all seen on screen. The dwarves were the same as they are in the movie and their personalities really stand out. Also, Bagend looks amazing laid out on the gameboard! It feels like you are hanging out in Bilbo’s home. This all allows players to become involved in the story and enjoy the moment you have together. 

I loved creating the song. The lines are pulled right from the book. We had a rule that you had to sing your card as you played it on the song track. This made for lots of laughs and merriment, which is what the dwarves were going for. 
It is also fun to be in a world that I am so familiar with. I love this story and being able to be the characters and take part in the story was very exciting. 
The worker aspect was polished, and moving around to collect items needed to complete song cards was challenging given limitations on placement due to other player’s moves and Bilbo’s placement in the house.

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

The age recommendation for An Unexpected Party is 10+. That is a spot-on evaluation. My 8-year- old son played and did not have much difficulty picking up the mechanics but he did struggle with creating a strategy. He didn’t do terribly, he was just never competitive. I think with another year or two he would be doing just fine. My 11-year-old daughter ended up winning our first game. 
The game is a fairly light worker placement game with a splash of pickup and delivery. You should not hesitate to play this game with board game newbies, especially fans of the books. This could be a nice entry for them.
Seasoned players should have nothing to fear either as there is plenty of strategy to go around and many chances to mess with other players. 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Party was very well received. It lived up to the excitement I had going into it. The game was very easy to learn and teach. We were able to play it as a family and enjoy time together with a game that had many elements that made the experience enjoyable. I look forward to moments like that and that means I totally look forward to the next time we get to play An Unexpected Party. It truly ended up being just that, an unexpected party. 

Myconclusions

Cosmic Encounters – Fantasy Flight Games – Review

Cosmic Encounters - Fantasy Flight Games - Review 68
Cosmic Encounters - Fantasy Flight Games - Review 69
Ben Parker
Ben Parker
Writer

Theme&What is it?

Out Of This World

The time has come. Total galactic domination is at stake. As the leader of your people you must make sure that your people come out on top of all of this. You will battle other alien races throughout the galaxy and form alliances to try and gain control of new star systems and planets. The end goal is to create an empire that spans the entire galaxy. This is the only way that your people will not only survive, but thrive.
Cosmic Encounters is a handmanagment/auction game for 3-5 players.

The updated edition of Cosmic Encounters had a quick start guide that was very helpful. It made it easy to learn and teach to a group. It was missing a few things, like how Artifact cards work, but I hopped into the full rulebook and found those. 

The updated edition of Cosmic Encounters had a quick start guide that was very helpful. It made it easy to learn and teach to a group. It was missing a few things, like how Artifact cards work, but I hopped into the full rulebook and found those. 

Our first game moved along at a good pace.It took about two full rounds for everyone to feel comfortable with the game. It took another round or two for people to start seeing what they needed to do to win battles and how to make alliances work based on the unique alien abilities that were in play.

Overall, it was a good afternoon playing Cosmic Encounters. There were some rules that need to be clarified, but we did not run into many issues with our first play through.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Each player selects an alien race that has a unique ability. After that, players take their planet boards and spaceship pieces and set up their homewords. On a player’s turn they are on offense. 

When on offense a player will draw a Destiny card which tells them which other player they are to attack. They then take the Hyperspace Gate and point it towards one of the planets of the player they are attacking. The players on offense and defense select how many ships they want to bring to the battle by placing them on the Hyperspace Gate (offense) and the planet being attacked (defense). At this point, the offensive and defensive player can seek allies to join the battle. They can also play encounter cards and other cards or even use their alien abilities to try to create the most influence in the battle. All ships and encounter cards are added up for both sides and a winner is declared.

If the offense wins, they get to place ships on the planet they just attacked. Their allies for the fight do the same. The losers of the battle (either on offense or defense) have their ships thrown into the Warp which makes these ships unusable until they can be retrieved.

The player to establish five colonies on other player’s planets is the winner and has gained enough power to be crowned king of the galaxy.

As It Should Be

I was happy to see that all of the components in the game were of a nice quality. Sometimes when games are reissued or revised they can lose some quality. I haven’t ever seen other editions of this game, but this edition is well done. The cards and cardboard are all industry standard or higher quality. The little spaceships are really fun. They are my favorite. They are hard plastic and are built to stack on top of each other. I liked everything I saw.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

But How Does It Look?

The artwork stays well within the sci-fi genre. It is very classic in its portrayal of the alien races. That is where most of the art is found in Cosmic Encounters, the alien cards. There are over 50 and they look really good. Besides that there is a little on the planet pieces and Warp and Gate pieces. The box looks great and seems to get plenty of attention on my shelf.

Hose Others…Always Fun

What makes Cosmic Encounters so fun is the auctioning aspect of each encounter. This process can totally take a 180 when the encounter cards and other special cards and even the alien abilities all factor in. Allies can make some difference but the ally phase happens before many of the other factors come into play. All of this maneuvering and posturing make for a very enjoyable experience. Plus, you should brush up on your alien trash talk to really put this over the top. 

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

Great For 10 And Up

The recommended age for Cosmic Encounters is 12+. I played a game with my 8 and 11 year old and they both picked it right up. My 11 year old ended up winning. My 8 year old had a tough time with auctioning. He was all over the place, which in a way made him unpredictable but I do not think it was on purpose. He still beat me. After seeing both of them do ok with it I would say that 12+ might be high. It depends on how many games the child has been exposed to.
This is not a heavy game. It should work well with those people who are new to board games and also hold the interest of long time gamers. Just because it is on the lighter side does not mean there is some good substance here.

And On To The Conclusion!

Cosmic Encounters has been around for over 40 years. This was my first time with it and I really enjoyed it. Many older games feel dated. I felt like Cosmic Encounters help up well for its age. The gameplay felt fresh and it allowed for stellar player interaction. The art, quality and experience were all top notch. If you are like me and maybe missed this game (because it came out before you were born) now is as good of a time as any to check out Cosmic Encounters.

Myconclusions

My City – Kosmos – Preview

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My City - Kosmos - Preview 80
Josh Hale
Josh Hale
The Guy
My City - Kosmos - Preview 81
John Doe
John Doe
Writer

Theme&What is it?

A city builder that feels like a tile game

My City is a puzzle game that keep adding new complexity as you work your way through a legacy campaign that is designed to give you more and more game content without making it so complex as to be cumbersome. The game is approachable in a way most legacy games could never be, in a way that it is interesting for kids also.

This is just tetris right?

That is obviously an over simplification. However, when you play this game you are playing a polyominal game that builds from what has previously been done. It is unlike most of these games I have seen in that “gravity” is irrelevant to base of game, and instead focuses on relative gravity. That is, all pieces are aggregative.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Turn a card, place that tile, next to something you have already placed.

Obviously, this is an oversimplification again, but that is the base mechanic, a la Sagrada. It is interesting and fresh, as each third game, adds or subtracts new mechanics. Basically the game has a built in legacy “timer”. You can always play the forever mode, but the real interesting part of the game is the legacy mode that has a story of a settlement building and expanding.

Land and Water.

This is SPARTA! Oh, sorry, wrong IP.
Here you are building tiles on a game board and flipping cards. The base composition of the game works just fine. The cards seem to be fairly cheap, as they started having rips the second game in. In this sort of game, it does not matter a whole lot.
I would have liked to see a little better quality cards, but that is fairly nitpicky.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

Simple Art

The game is not designed to be the Mona Lisa. It is a simple idea and a simple execution. The art is serviceable, but not something you would likely hang on a wall.
That is entirely okay. Not all games have to double as art, and vice versa. Some games, can just have interesting mechanics. Though I am VERY tempted to 3d print buildings… 😂

Like tiles, will travel

I have always been a tile game fan. This game is a new iteration, but nothing that has drastically changed the tile game landscape. That is okay though, I like it. Reiner Knizia focuses on approachable mechanics, and here he did an excellent job.
The work he has done is ultra approachable, and fun, because I have been able to play with my 8 year old, and she has beat me multiple times.

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

10+

I think the game can be played by a younger audience, but each playthrough should be on a different day. She gets bored after 1 playthrough. 2 games, and the ending is a bit painful. “Look daddy, I can do a round-off and mess up the bed.”

Fun, and fresh

This game deserves the playthrough if for no other reason than you can play it with a younger audience, and it is engaging enough they want to play it multiple times to advance the story. Though for effect you really should talk like a pirate while reading the monologue. Just sayin’

Myconclusions

Northern Sedition for Through the Breach from Wyrd Games – Review

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Whatisit?

Howdy All!

Before I go forward, a quick comment. This is a module review. Due to the current conditions I haven’t been able to gather with friends to play through this adventure. I am a fan of Through the Breach and Malifaux, the game setting that spawned this one. I’ve run two separate campaigns in Through the Breach and several Free RPG Day one shots. Thus, I feel like I can speak to the quality of the product while not being able to fully address how it plays. I hope to come back to this at a later date an actually run this adventure for friends, and if I do I will write up an expanded response to this. Due to that, this is more of a first look than a full review. With that said…

Northern Sedition is a Penny Dreadful adventure for the Through the Breach Role Play Game. This adventure is part 2 of 3, I’ve not read neither of the other parts and will not speak to those here. I will however be avoiding spoilers for most of this. I’ll post some thoughts at the end of my conclusion with significant warning that they are coming. The adventure does a nice job of paraphrasing the history of the town and what happened in the first book. It also gives a couple of random charts to let you set up how the previous adventure ended if you didn’t play it. This gives the Fate Master the ability to customize the state of the world to their liking or let the cards decide.

Players will take on the role of the Fated and deal with a series of problems in the frontier town of Ridley. The story follows the Fated being hired by the town council to function as additional law enforcement after having dealt with some recent troubles. There’s trouble in the town of Ridley and they’ll need to work with the locals to uncover the full extent of what’s going on.

The player’s actions and decisions will have reaching effects on the town. Small actions, such as deciding whether or not to let a prisoner escape can have reaching repercussions. There are also several optional encounters that are set to fill out the world and the difficulty the heroes are having in the town.

The story plays out over four acts with four to five scenes per act. An act is designed to be played in one or two session, giving you quite a bit of content. There is also a section of complications that you can use if the players are having too easy of a time of it.

Finally, it includes a section of possible Fate Draws to help focus the different acts around the players in the game. These come from multiple books and list each with the book, position, and suits so they can be looked up easily.

You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry…

The game does add an Advanced Pursuit named the Rampager. It’s basically a berserker class. It’s slightly limited in that one of the requirements only exists in this story. That trigger could be shuffled around a bit and added to somewhere else with very little work.

WhatDoesn’t itAdd?

WhatisFixed?

Was it broke?

As an adventure module it doesn’t add any new rules or systems to the game as a whole.

A Quick Grab?

It really comes down to how much you like writing your own adventures versus using prewritten ones. If you like published material this is a pretty good one.

Do IWantThis?

Tough Questions

If you like published adventures this isn’t essential but it’s pretty good. I’d say it’s worth giving a run to, though the question of whether or not you only need this instead of all three parts isn’t something I can answer.

Do IWantThis?

Whatdo i think?

A Quick Recomendation

I enjoy this module. It has a good story, an excellent villain, and some nice through lines that should carry over to part 3 or give you enough of a jumping off point if you want it. I think it will work for a good number of Through the Breach campaigns.
Each chapter is bite sized enough to be played out in one or two sessions while having enough content and characters to feel like a developed experience. The use of player choice and consequence looks like it’s well laid out and has some nice twists that make sense in the way the world is set up.

I have a few drawback that I’m going to save for the spoiler section because they will play into how the story unfolds and a few of the choices that need to be made. If you’re a layer and think this might be a fun story to jump into then send you Fate Master this way to check out the rest of the review. Know that I do think the module is worth your time, but has a few missteps that stop me from blindly recommending it without a caveat or two.

If this is where you leave us then stay safe and be well.

WarningSpoilers Ahead

Let’s Talk

If you’re sticking around then there are one or two bits I want to touch on to give you a fuller picture of the adventure. The first of these is that the module comes with four potential villains for the overarching story. This ends up being both a strength and a weakness for the overall adventure.

There is a reason for each of them to be here and they will have an effect on the story and enemies the players will face. Though you won’t see any of them in person for this section of the adventure there presence will be felt. The module has a villain who is pushing this section of the story. It’s his plan, his tools, and his motives that make all of the decisions that come about. However, the major villain is pulling his strings and getting him the bits he needs to complete his plan. The end result of this is that the plan feels a bit generic. This is made necessary to fit the four masterminds and still feel relevant to the modules villain.

Each of the four masterminds are Malifaux heavy hitters, which is a good reason to keep them at bay from midrange fated. Pandora, Jack Daw, Sonia Crid, and Marcus are all used to good effect and their fingerprints can be felt on the story by the effects the various items have on the player’s enemies. If Sonia Crid is the mastermind then the players will deal with a lot of fire and Guild interference. Marcus unleashes beasts on the town giving the players a challenge in how hard and numerous some of the enemies are. At one point in the story the fated will face off against their lieutenant/Henchman.

The module also requires a bit of set up and record keeping. There are multiple factions in the town and you’ll need to go through all of the decisions and possible results for part one and decide how each of the events turned out and what effect this has had on the town. There’s also a large political faction chart that keeps track of which factions the group might encounter, how the public favors them, and how the fated interact with them. There are bonuses and penalties depending on how much the public opinion has swayed to wards and away from the group. Additionally, several of the factions might have ceased to exist and be replaced with different NPC’s and factions meaning the book as a few places where it needs to remind you that if NPC X is missing they’ve been replaced with NPC Y.

On the positive side, all of this extra work will give you a more complete and meaningful adventure. The fated’s actions can result in the loss of NPC’s, political parties, and other effects. Their decisions and actions will have real consequences to the story. Yes, you’ll need to make some extensive notes to keep track of what’s going on and to who, ut I think it will be a more fulfilling story in the end.

I will also give a personal note on one particular element of the module. It does provide examples of fate draws that can be relevant to each chapter. However, I felt like the connections were fairly weak. Fate draws should be meaningful and weighty anvils that hang over the head of whoever’s thread you’re focusing on. To that end, I would recommend ignoring the suggestions and being prepared to rework sections to give the player whose line you’re dealing with more of a focus. The module is written where everyone is the star of each session and while I feel like everyone should have a moment in the spotlight, the fate system in Through the Breach allows for one player to be the focus of each session. This is a preference to how I like to run the game. You may play a different type of session from me. However, it was something I felt needed addressing here.

Anyway, that’s all I have here. I hope you get a chance to check the module out and have fun running through the adventure.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

Bestiary 3 for Pathfinder – Review

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Whatisit?

You have discovered a tome…

Bestiary 3 is a Pathfinder sourcebook focused entirely on adding monsters/creatures for Game Masters to fill their worlds with. The book is a compact list of different creatures from various mythologies and fantasy settings.

Bound in hide…

Monsters. It includes selections from past fantasy games that have been absent from Pathfinder to help round out more traditional gaming monsters. It also includes a smattering of monsters from different mythologies there are several Asian, Mayan, and Norse creatures. Not enough to be their own pantheons but enough to give a setting an okay flavor of beastie.

WhatDoesn’t itAdd?

WhatisFixed?

Age worn pages…

It offers no errata or rules editions so the rules remain unchanged.

Detailed sketches fill its pages…

This is going to depend on whether or not you want more monsters or options for you campaign. If yes, then this is a pretty good addition.

Do IWantThis?

These are the creatures of this land…

Again this depends on your current opinion. If you feel like you have enough options I don’t know that there’s anything here calls for this.

Do IWantThis?

Whatdo i think?

This may prove useful n your travels.

Overall the book is a nice addition and will give you some interesting options for your campaign. The few monsters from various mythologies were a nice addition though I would have preferred a book dedicated to Asian myths and monsters, as well as one for Norse, Mayan, and Fairy monsters. There are a lot of creatures that could have been added and made their own books.

On the other hand if you want something a bit unique and are looking for some inspiration this might give you a few fresh ideas. I can’t really say whether or not you have to have this one. I know that when I started playing RPG’s I bought every book for every game I played because I felt I had to have all of the information on hand. As I’ve grown in playing I’ve come to rely less and less on these things.

My final take on this is that there’s nothing here that’s off putting or bad and yet there was nothing here that made think this was a must add book. It is a list of monsters and their stats. Based entirely on that sentence you probably know if it’s for you.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

The Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber Ep 2

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The Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber Ep 2 119
Click to vote & play! https://www.fightinabox.com/cucumber

Play by vote!

The Adventures of Kaiser Cucumber, a comic strip powered by terrible democracy, continue with episode 2.

Minnesota game company Fight in a Box (Squirrel or Die, Hedgehog Hop, Processing) invites everyone to come play in this labor of love. Every vote will permanently be reflected in Fight in a Box’s next title – Mouse Cheese Cat Cucumber.

We’re all doing evil every two weeks! Voting for this episode closes midnight, Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020.

-s

Unauthorized – Chara Games – Review

Unauthorized - Chara Games - Review 120
Matthew Kearns
Matthew Kearns
Writer, Trainer, Midnight Planner

Theme&What is it?

The State Knows All, Sees All, Is All

The State is everywhere and the underground Church provides hope and a memory of freedom.  Play as The Police, a Pastor, or one of the many unaligned roles and guide the group towards a victory for your cause.  Do you adhere to Big Brother or are you following your calling to God or are you secretly an agent for the other side?

1984 Come Alive?

Interesting topic to bring to a game.  Not a big fan of social deduction games but the theme certainly lends itself to this style of play.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Simple setup, straightforward game play

Goal
The goal of Unauthorized is to be on the right side at the end of four rounds, either the Church if they have the majority and at least one is not imprisoned, or the State with a majority, tie, or all Church-aligned are imprisoned.

Setup
Based upon the number of players, shuffle and deal out the roles to the players.  Each Police gets seven State Experience cards, each Pastor gets seven Church Experience cards, and the neutral players are dealt seven cards from a shuffled Experience deck.  The remaining role cards are set aside and the remaining Experience cards are put in the center as a draw pile.

Turns
There are four rounds in the game. Each round has three phases of play: Card Actions, Player Turns, and Change Dealer. During Card Actions, cards are exchanged and played based upon which round it is. For Player Turns, starting with the Dealer, each player performs one of the following actions: Role Power, Speak to Neighbor, Seek Parole, and Conduct a Public Execution. Finally, to Change Dealer, pass the Dealer card a number of places to the left based upon the number of players and start the next round.

Great cards

The game components for Unauthorized are only cards.  They are of decent stock with a sturdy core, built for a lot of shuffling.  The texture is a gloss finish, where a linen finish would’ve been better for gripping the cards.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

Evocative

The art in the game is straight-forward and well done.  The role cards get the most attention with more intricate pictures of the people.  There is a set number of Experience card images for both Church and State that are reused.  Wish there was more to the art, more intricacy, but the art style reflects the theme’s style.

Gotta love the theme

The fun in the game is like other social deduction games — figuring out who is who and what is what.

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

Could be younger but easy to pick up

The age range of the game is 12+ and the game is really simple, rules certainly less than a sheet of paper.  The age range is off at least a couple years for complexity but given the number of players needed, I wouldn’t try younger.  The theme could lend itself to the age restriction for some people.

Close but felt like it needed more

Theme and art are great for this game but where we felt the issue with the game was with the mechanics for achieving victory.  Many of us felt that regardless of the abilities of the characters and the switch up of cards for each round, the game was either too random based upon the draw of cards or didn’t feel like there was much control over how to achieve a victory — the end of game came with the big reveal and the result wasn’t all that satisfying.  This might be different depending on the number of players (we had 6) but, as I mentioned before, social deduction games aren’t something my group really likes.

Myconclusions

Schrödinger’s Cats – 9th Level Games – Review

Schrödinger's Cats - 9th Level Games - Review 121
Ben Parker
Ben Parker
Writer

Theme&What is it?

Are You A Cat Person?

Take on the role of feline physicist and attempt to prove once and for all if curiosity killed the cat. Well…actually…all you really will prove is what is in the boxes at the end of some random and extremely inhumane experiment which does not seem to have any purpose. To be totally honest I think this Schrodinger was not a cat person. At all.
Schrodinger’s Cats is a bluffing/memory game for 2-6 players. 

Super Simple

Schrodinger’s Cats was very simple to figure out. It was equally simple to teach to others. We played one practice round and then got the game going. The pace is fast and rounds are short. This is a positive since people get knocked out of the game. It might feel like a long wait for the player knocked out first of a six-player game. 
The game revolves around bluffing and trying to discern what other players may have in their hand. Some people will be way better at this, which will give them a natural advantage, but there’s still some randomness based on how the cards are dealt that can negate this natural talent.. 

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Bluff and Bid Your Way To A Win

There are three things inside of the boxes. An alive cat, a dead cat or nothing. Players take turns bidding how many of any of these types of boxes are found in all player’s hands. To start the round, each player receives a number of box cards equal to the number of players. The starting player will place a bid (give their hypothesis) for how many alive cats, dead cats or empty boxes are distributed between all players’ hands. The next player either increases the bid for the same type of box or changes the bid to a new box. Example, switches from 4 alive cats to 3 empty boxes. Players continue to bid until, during a player’s turn, they feel that the number is too high. They call for the player to prove their hypothesis. All players reveal their hands and count the type of card that was bid. If the bid was not correct then the bidding player is knocked out of the game. If the bidding player is correct then the player who called to prove it is knocked out of the game. A new round begins and the remaining players receive new cards based on player count. This continues until one player remains and they are the best feline physicist in this bizarre experiment.
At the start of each game players receive a unique physicist card that has its own ability that can be activated once during the game. Player’s can also place cards face up for everyone to see. Doing this allows players to discard and redraw cards. This can be useful if a player is having a tough time making a bid. There is also a Heisenberg’s Theory card that is a wild card and counts as whatever the current type of card that has a bid. 

Not too Tabby…I mean Shabby

This is a small box game. You will find cards, a cardboard bidding board with a cat meeple. All of the components you will find and the box are fairly standard. I don’t see any reason why this game will not hold up to many plays.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

You Punny Cat

Most of the cards in Schrodinger’s Cats are one of the four types of cards, Alive Cats, Dead Cats, Empty Box or Heisenberg’s Theory. Each type of card duplicates the art, so the only art that really happens is the unique Cat Physicists. These each have their own artwork and punny name. As far as the artwork is concerned, these pun-filled cards are the highlight of the game.

Lying Is Always Fun, Right?

The bluffing aspect of Schrodinger’s Cats is the best part of the game. Trying to make the most believable hypothesis which you can win and knock out another player is challenging and entertaining. It is also great fun when someone just does an off the wall bid. This will always provide laughs. 
The game is light hearted, while being slightly gruesome. The art is very cartoony which overcomes bidding on boxes with dead cats in them.

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

The age recommendation is 8+. I played it with my eight-year-old and he had a bit of a struggle with his bids and had some hilarious ones. It was not a big deal, more fun than anything. He ended up taking second place the time he played. I feel that this age recommendation is very fair.

One thing to keep in mind is that people are removed from the game. I can totally see a kid getting out on the first few rounds and losing interest and finding something else to do. When you are out, you have to wait for a new game.

And The Conclusion Is…

Schrodinger’s Cats has some nice pros and one really glaring con. The con is that people exit the game early and have to wait for other people to finish. I always avoid games like this when I host game nights. I want people to stay engaged or they end up just sitting around talking and it is hard to get games running again. At least that has been my experience. Because of this I would not call Schrodinger’s Cats a party game, although it feels like it should be.
Pros of the game are the bluffing and deception aspects of the game and also that it is a relatively short game. Which makes sitting out until the next game, not too bad.
My suggestion would be to know how your gaming group operates. If they can handle a game where players get removed from the game and still stay engaged then Schrodinger’s Cats may work really well for your group. It does play up to six players and does have lots of player interaction. 

Myconclusions

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