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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. 

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 10

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.

A game to destroy your delicate sensibilities; Cutterland - Hobbyworld - Review 11

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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

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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

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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 17

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 18
Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 19

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.

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 20

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 21

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.

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 22

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.

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 23

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 24

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.

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 25

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 26

Dungeonology: The Expedition – Ares Games – Review

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Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 27

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

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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

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Pathfinder Flip Tiles: Urban Starter Set from Paizo – Review

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Whatisit?

Ye Olde City Building




This is a set of 6” square terrain tiles for use with Pathfinder and other Role Play Games (RPG). The tiles depict an array of city features from rooftops to fountains. The tiles are coated so you can write on them with dry, wet, and permanent marker and remove the marks later.

Roads and Alleys

There’s a nice selection of tiles for games with urban settings. Though they mostly focus on roof tops and nondescript interior. The inclusion of different landmarks such as fountains and statues help to add flavor to the set. I would have preferred a few tiles with more mundane items, lamp posts, benches, and similar items. I feel like there’s more roof tops than are strictly necessary for a single table.

WhatDoesn’t itAdd?

WhatisFixed?

Under Construction

This is a purely cosmetic item, as such it doesn’t really change the game in any way.

City Planning

If your game uses miniatures for combat and takes place in a urban area then this is a decent add. Though I have a few problems with the set that I’ll discuss in the conclusion.

Do IWantThis?

City Infrastructure

Honestly, this isn’t a thing you need to play the game. With the use of battle mats, downloadable maps, and theatre of the mind play you won’t have to add this to your collection to have a good game.

Do INeedThis?

Whatdo i think?

The Final Planning

For the most part this is a fine set. I think there are too many of the same roof top design and I wish they’d added a few more bits and bobs. As I said, I wish there were more small options for decorations. There are a few interiors, however many of them feature single square rooms. They felt oddly disjointed and unnecessarily small. There are a few that featured 2 space square rooms and based on the scale of 1 square equals five feet, one has to wonder how often a ten foot house comes into play. It seemed like a misjudged application.

Additionally, the tiles are a bit thin and easy to knock around as you’re moving your minis. However, if you have a piece of plastic or other means of holding them in place they should be fine.

I tried both dry erase and permanent marker on the tiles to see if the erase ability claim was accurate. I don’t own any wet erase markers. Both came up easily. I had to put a small amount of effort into removing the sharpie, but it came up clean.

While this wouldn’t ne my personal preference it’s an okay addition to any collection. I could see using these for urban set campaigns and doing pretty well with them.

As always, try before you buy where possible. However, if you can’t this should do what you need for street based encounters.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

Ardillas del Bosque (Forest Squirrels) – Atomo Games – Review

Ardillas del Bosque (Forest Squirrels) - Atomo Games - Review 30
Matthew Kearns
Matthew Kearns
Writer, Trainer, Midnight Planner

Theme&What is it?

Gather ‘dem nuts!

It’s autumn and you need to hide your nuts from the other squirrels so you can find them during winter.  Once winter comes along, you have to find your nuts, but watch out for the other forest creatures as they may not help you.  On your journey you may find nuts left by other squirrels or turn over a leaf to find poo.

More than meets the eye

Ardillas del Bosque is both a memory and set collection game that will test your deviousness. Will the other squirrels find your nuts or nothing? It’s cute and simple but has a bit of replayability when the kids beg for you to play again.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Hide the Nuts, Find the Nuts

Goal
The goal of Ardillas del Bosque is to have the single largest collection of nuts.

Setup
Arrange a number of forest tiles based upon the number of players, matching the specific fruit in the corners and the center. Each player takes a set of leaf tokens based upon the forest tile closest to themselves and shuffles them with the leaf side up. The forest creature tokens are put to the side.

Turns
There are two phases to gameplay: Autumn and Winter. During Autumn, the players take turns looking at one of their player tokens in secret and then placing it in one of the hiding spots on the forest tiles. During Winter, the players take turns selecting a token from the forest tiles, turn it face up, and follow instructions based upon the type of token.

When all the tokens are gathered, compare your sets of nuts collected.

Other Info
There are a number of options and variants of play to keep the game fresh and exciting as the kids get older. There is even a mode for playing the game with kids younger than 6 as well.

Nothing more, nothing less

The game is made up of cardboard tiles and tokens.  They are made with the same type of stock and a fairly durable paper laminate.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

Cute little forest animals

The art of this game is spread out throughout the components and handbook.  Lots of variation and certainly plenty of cute little forest animals to look at.  Hope to see this artist contribute to more games.

Nut collection

The primary aspect is trying to collect nuts, making this a good teaching game.  But, when you’ve got a poo token in the mix, all bets are off, especially with kids.  Plenty of jokes and hey, why not have another prize for the one who gets the most poo?

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

Hits the spot

The age range says 6+ and the weight is perfect for them.  The use of memory and the different options for playing the game keeps it interesting for the young ones and the older ones as well.

Watch out for the poo!

Ardillas del Bosque is a great little game to pass some time with the younger kids along with a teaching tool for practicing memory techniques.  Not many pieces so it’s easy to clean up.  The many playing variants keep the game fresh and want to be played.

Myconclusions

Enhance Gaming Dice Case and Rolling Tray – Review

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Whatisit?

A Belt Pouch…

The Enhance Gaming Dice Case and Rolling Tray is a sturdy carrying case for your gaming dice. It includes a mesh pocket to hold dice in place while in transit and a detachable dice tray for rolling. The case is made of sturdy materials, with thick sides that hold up to transport. Zippers are large and well made to facilitate frequent use and the need to separate the halves of the case. It also has a sturdy carbine clip to attach the case to other belts, bags, and rings.

…Full of Gems…

I think this case is very useful for carrying large amounts of dice. The dice tray is large and allows for dice to roll around without crowding so you can organize them after rolling if necessary. If you like having this type of accessory available then I think this is one you’ll enjoy using.

Do IWantThis?

Whatdo i think?

…A Worthy Prize.

I checked this case out at the same time I tested the adventures bag. I think this is a great addition to any player’s tool kit. The case is well made and sturdy; holding up to my testing methods. In this instance, not being able to visit conventions or game groups due to current conditions I drove around with the box in the trunk of my car. Sometimes it was attached to the full Adventurers Case and sometimes left loose. This was the best I could do to replicate convention conditions. It stood up well to the travel conditions; I have a lot of loose junk in my trunk.

The case works well, it held a significant number of dice and the mesh netting kept them all in one place so I didn’t have to worry about them falling out when opening the case. I also purposefully knocked the top half of the case off of the table a couple of times and it held up perfectly.

The other half of the case worked well as a dice tray. It was large enough that I could roll all of the dice for a standard D&D character creation and sort them without feeling crowded. It has three metal strips to act as a base keeping it level; a feature I appreciate.
The zipper on the case is sturdy and big. I liked this because it was large enough that separating and reattaching the two halves of the case a simple task. I’ve had trouble with smaller zippers going back together cleanly and that was not a problem for me in this instance.

The only negative I have is I’m not very thrilled with the zipper on the mesh pouch. The construction is fine, but it goes across the middle making the opening to reach the dice a little tight for me. It makes getting to specific dice or sets quickly, difficult. I’m not sure about the logistics, but I would prefer that the dice is around the edge to allow for wider access to the dice.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent tray and will be adding it to my kit at future conventions and game nights. I like to recommend try before you buy, but I’m not sure how you can do that here. If you get a chance to play around with one of these, I’d recommend it. I think you’ll be impressed with the quality.

Until next time, stay safe, and be well.

NARAMATA: Interview with designer Chris Dias

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NARAMATA: Interview with designer Chris Dias 32

Naramata: A Game of Wine & Tourism is a game that just finished its Kickstarter successfully. I had a chance to sit down with Chris Dias to discuss the game, his inspiration, and the creative process. While the Kickstarter is over, you will still be able to get in with late pledges…

=-=-=-=-=-

Naramata is a medium complexity board game for 1-4 players who assume the roles of tour guides taking guests through wine country and attempting to satisfy them by visiting the various businesses along a route. It has been described as “Tokaido plus-plus” with additional mechanics and strategy as players upgrade their vehicle in their efforts to score points over three days of business.

What are the mechanics? Were there things you tried that didn’t make the cut?

It employs variable player powers, point-to-point movement, and set collection. Originally, the game would encompass the whole of Okanagan Wine Country, but eventually, we settled on just the Naramata Bench. We also considered additional daily objectives, but we felt the game was getting too busy. We also had to dump one set collection concept in favor of the cheese cards given a legal obstacle that popped up.

NARAMATA: Interview with designer Chris Dias 33

What makes Naramata unique?

Most people think of Viticulture when they think of a wine-themed board game (or worse, Wineopoly). In truth there are about a dozen, like Vinhos and El Vino, but most of them involve running a winery. Vinhos has you operate several; El Vino has you picking grapes. There’s some economic aspect. With Naramata, you are visiting wineries to satisfy tourists. The game is about the tourists, not the wineries.

Why should someone back it?

There are a lot of wine drinkers in the world, and a bunch love visiting wineries. But for those that can’t because of location, money, time, or in 2020, COVID; you can simulate it with Naramata. It’s not as weighty as Viticulture or Vinhos, so you can drink and play and not feel like you are fated to lose. For those in Canada, a game set within our borders which is also exceedingly rare.

How long have you worked on it?

The concept hit me in 2019 but was only a passing fixation until a business friend pushed it to the foreground. Most of 2020 was spent on its development. Once we realized what the game would be called, progress greatly accelerated.

NARAMATA: Interview with designer Chris Dias 34

What obstacles did you overcome to get the game done?

The biggest, honestly, was getting support from the wineries. We couldn’t call this game Naramata without having real wineries on the board. 26 of the 28 wineries in the game are real locations. But getting them all to sign the dotted line took a lot longer than previously planned. And then COVID hit. I also got married in 2020. Yeah, it was a full year. 🙂

What is player count, and sweet spot?

The game supports 1-4 players and can be played between 2 and 4 days in-game. A four-player, four-day game should only be attempted by experienced gamers.

NARAMATA: Interview with designer Chris Dias 35

How long does it take to setup and play?

Setup is easy. One die, five decks of cards. Play time has been anywhere from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours depending on players and number of days. We have done a 3-player, 4-day game in 2 hours. A three-day game is standard.

Age range?

We suggest 12+, ignoring the theme; remember, drink responsibly. 😊

How “heavy” is this game?

As mentioned, it’s medium weight. Robert Geistlinger said it best when he said it felt like “Tokaido plus-plus”. Tokaido is a gateway game. Naramata is more complex than Tokaido, but not as weighty as Viticulture.

Is there room for expansions etc.?

Absolutely.  We already have plans for other wine regions, including Osoyoos, Napa, and Niagara. Plus we want to offer more tourists and more player vehicles.

What games should this sit next to on a shelf?

From the retailers backing this game, it looks like it will share space with cookbooks and wine bottles, but with games stores, I would certainly place it next to Nations or Near & Far… I mean… alphabetical and all. 😊

NARAMATA: Interview with designer Chris Dias 36

Was this always the theme or were there iterations?

Always. We started with the theme and worked in the mechanics. With my background with tabletop role-playing, I always start with the theme.  

What inspired this theme choice?

I wanted something that connected with my own life. I owned 300 board games and 200 bottles of wine. I wanted a board game to reflected my passion. My wife and I take wine tours every year. It was staring me in the face, and I almost missed it.

What is something you wish you had known when you started to develop it?

Any time you think the game is finished, it’s not. When you think it’s perfect, it’s actually broken. There is always room to make the game better. 

=-=-=-=-=-

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about Naramata, Chris, and congratulations on the successful Kickstarter!

NARAMATA: Interview with designer Chris Dias 37
John Doe
Writer

Theme&What is it?

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any othefdsfr Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

General Idea (you type something here)

Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.

Myconclusions

Geek Out: The 80’s Edition – Ultra Pro – Review

Geek Out: The 80's Edition - Ultra Pro - Review 38
Ben
Ben
Writer

Theme&What is it?

Test Your 80’s Knowledge

The generation that produced some of the greatest movies, music, graphic design and video games known to mankind now has a game that encompasses all of that pop culture. Geek Out: the 80’s edition has teams of players competing to prove they are the ultimate 80’s geek. 

Relive Your Childhood or Younger Year (If You Are Really Old)


I lived my childhood in the 80’s, I was ready for this game. The teams ended up being me versus five other people. I ended up beating them by one point. This should teach you who should be playing this game. You need to know 80’s pop culture and experienced it. If you didn’t, you won’t be able to make very high bids. 

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

How It Works

In Geek Out you will split up into multiple teams. You roll a dice to figure out what topic you will be testing your 80’s knowledge. There are movies, TVs shows, music, video games, fashion, politics…if it happened in the 80’s you need to know about it.  A team rolls a dice, picks a card and selects the topic based off of the dice roll. The team offers an opening bid of how many things they can name in that category. For example: Name two films in which John Cusack appears.  The next team can offer a higher bid, if there is another team, they can offer an even higher bid. Once a team has offered a bid and every other team has passed, that team has to name as many as they bid. If the team is able to fulfill their bid, they move up one space on the score track. If they are unable to fulfill their bid they move backwards once space on the score track. Once a team has scored five points, they are the winners. 

Just What You Thought It Would Be

Everything is ok. It is all up to industry standard, nothing fancy, nothing terrible. It is a nice little box, a very standard party game build. 

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

So Much Neon

Geek Out has a really great use of vintage 80’s vibe graphic design; neon colors, futuristic triangle designs, and big bubble letters. If you grew up in the 80’s you will feel right at home.

Nostalgia

Showing off everything that you know is always fun, but it is its most fun when you are able to name all of the characters from the Goonies. This game is a fun stroll down memory lane just as much as when I first read the book “Ready Player One.”

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

Gotta Be All Old

13+ is the starting age for Geek Out 80’s. I don’t think this age is ideal. You would have to be nearly 40 years old or older to really appreciate this game and understand the time period and it’s culture and to be able to rip off a list of six hit songs by Journey. If you can’t do that, you have no chance at winning. 

For The Right Group

I enjoyed this game probably more than the other five people enjoyed this game because I knew answers. I knew the topics because I lived through it. One major problem that we ran into quickly and every group who plays this game will run into the same issue. We spent a lot of time on our phones verifying answers, verifying dates to make sure that a song or movie came out in the 80’s.  Game nights for me is always a phone free zone. We could not make that happen while playing this game, and once a topic was looked up, it turned into a rabbit hole where you were being educated more and more on the 80’s. It was hard to keep peoples’ attention and focus especially when a lot of people didn’t know answers. So Geek Out: the 80’s edition works for a pretty select group of players, it needs to be people who intimately know the pop culture of that decade. 

Myconclusions

Vertium – Caper Games – Review

Vertium - Caper Games - Review 39
Matthew Kearns
Matthew Kearns
Writer, Trainer, Midnight Planner

Theme&What is it?

Coper is the Where, Vertium is the What

Refugees of Earth, banished from their home, explore the galaxy and find planets in the Coper system full of a powerful new element called Vertium.  The factions of refugees struggle against one another for control of these planets and their deposits of Vertium.  First the planets must be colonized to establish a foothold and then the real battle begins.

Cautiously Optimistic

Small box but lots inside, more so than expected from what I could tell was a low complexity game.  Once again, reading the rules gave some fits in the setup and gameplay.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Phase 1: Colonize, Phase 2: Fight!

Goal
The goal of Vertium is to have the most Victory Points at the end of Phase 2 with ties broken by total planet/moon values controlled.

Setup
Choose your faction and gather your pieces.  Lay out planets (face up) and orange moons (face down) randomly based upon the number of players.  Randomly assign the three blue moons face down, each to a planet.  Shuffle deck of resources, deal 6 to each player, and place 2 face up next to the deck to form the Supply.  Shuffle the Secret Objective cards for the planets played and randomly deal 1 to each player.  Flip over the orange moons.

Turns
There are two phases to gameplay.  First phase is Colonization.  During a player’s turn they try to make sets of resources to apply Colonization Tokens to planets, one type of resource per planet.  When a player places the fourth resource, he gains control of the planet by placing a Captain meeple on the planet and is awarded a number of Vertium crystals equal to the number on the orange moon.

From this point forward until the end of the phase, the moon will begin orbiting the planet; once a moon makes a full revolution, another Veritum is generated.  Once all of the planets are colonized, the end of the phase is reached and Phase 1 scoring is done.

Second phase is Battling.  There are 3 rounds during this phase where each faction gets an opportunity to attack a planet; the order of attacking is based upon the rank of VP from Phase 1. 

During a player’s turn they send one of their Captains and a number of Vertium, representing their power, to another planet in effort to take it over; at least 1 Vertium must remain and is turned into a Captain meeple to show ownership of the planet.  When two factions battle, they roll dice to see if they hit or defend against attacks.  Any hits not stopped remove 1 Vertium from the other side and if no Veritum are available, the Captain meeple is destroyed, thus ending the battle.

Once the battle rounds are complete, final scoring is tallied.

Other Info
The game comes with two mini expansions, a co-op variant, and solo variant that provide more variety to the gameplay.  There are also alternate rules for running Phase 2.

Good Quality

 The components of the game are tokens, playmats, meeples, cards, and dice.  The tokens and playmats are made of cardboard with some being prepunched in the box.  The presses did a good job with the unpunched items as they came out easily with no issue.  The cards are standard cardstock, nothing special.  The meeples are generic wood cutouts and painted.  The dice are custom for the game and look pretty good.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

Simple Yet Functional

The artwork matches the theme and is functional.  It isn’t attributed to anyone for credit.  The most interesting and intricate piece is the box cover, also reused for the backs of the playing cards.

Little Bit of Something for Everyone

This game scratches two different itches.  The first is for a strategic element for colonizing the planets.  The second is for pure dice-chuckin’ fun.

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

On Target

The age range starts at 9, which makes sense for the complexity for the strategy and game length, even though the game has many tiny components for choking hazards.  The complexity is low given the first phase is primarily about set collection and then the second is rolling dice.

Two Different Games

I found this game to be two different games.  Based upon the theme’s lore, it is understandable but still felt disjointed.  The game starts off in Phase 1 with strategy with a little randomness given card drafting for the set collection to colonize the planets.  This can take awhile as the players are playing chicken to see who will get the planet to the third resource so it can be finally colonized potentially on the next turn.

Then Phase 2 is all about the randomness with dice rolling using very limited choice by players for augmenting a dice roll result.

Depending on how well a player did in colonizing in the first phase, there might be a runaway winner as a foregone conclusion OR a player who did really well in their Phase 1 completely falls apart in Phase 2 because of bad dice rolls and there is little to nothing they can do about it.

I maybe see this game as more of an intro in 4X games given that it has maybe 3 of the Xs fleshed out to some extent, but they aren’t used concurrently.  I would have liked to have seen more of the theme and story incorporated with like unique faction powers, distance between planets taken into account, etc. but that, of course would’ve, driven the complexity up and maybe some of the flexibility down.

Item of note: there is a rules variant for running Phase 2 called “American Style Battling”, though I don’t understand why it’s called that.  It conjures up terms that might offend some players (“Ameritrash” and the like) or turn them off from the game.  It probably would have been better to call it “SOAR Style Battling” given the in-game history of the faction are descendants from North America.

Myconclusions

Enhance RPG Adventurer’s Bag Review

0

Whatisit?

Packing for Adventure

The Enhance RPG Adventurer’s Bag is a carrying case for all of you Role Play Game needs. It includes several pockets, pouches, straps, and cargo areas to meet your needs.

The case comes with a large area for books and includes two Velcro dividers to help organize the bits and books you’ll need. A set area with foam insert for miniatures helps to organize any figures you’ll need as a Player or Game Master. There’s foam netting in one of the pockets to help organize your pens, markers, and other writing and note taking materials, the pocket is also large enough to include a standard journal for note taking.

Sturdy straps, zippers, and rings are included to help give the durability to the case and allow for frequent use. The rings also allow plenty of space for additional attachments, such as the dice bag which I’ll talk about in a separate review.

A Bag of Holding

I think it will be really useful for GM’s and players. There’s a decent amount of space options to help keep you organized and it’s built very well to keep everything in place and protected.

Do IWantThis?

Whatdo i think?

A Welcome Edition

I like this bag. While I haven’t been able to attend any conventions or game groups this year due to the various levels of quarantine I think this bag will hold up well to these environments. I drove around with it loose in my trunk and it held up well to the punishment. (It was the only thing I could think of to field test it.)

The miniatures area has slots for 16 minis with around 1” bases and a bit of room for flare and reach. I wouldn’t have objected to two larger slots for bigger beasties, but I think spare foam inserts are easily available from multiple sources and should be easy enough to obtain if I end up really needing one.

The only thing that sort of stands in my way on the bag are the two straps for paper maps. I haven’t used paper maps for a long time, I tend to rely on Battle Mats and a designers tube to carry them. However, the 2 straps include on the bag for paper maps seems sturdy enough. However, they are placed horizontally on the bag and this could cause the maps to extend past the edges of the bag. Going through a convention or crowded game store this feels like a recipe for getting your maps trashed. I wish they had been included on the side to keep the maps vertical. In the end I already keep mine in a tube so it won’t affect me very much but it is something to be aware of.

All told I really like this bag and have already moved my gaming kit into the bag. I’m looking forward to next year when I can take it to cons, clubs, and my friend’s houses. It’s a high quality bag and well worth using.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

Drinks With Frenemies – BE Game – Review

0
Drinks With Frenemies - BE Game - Review 41
Ben
Ben
Writer

Theme&What is it?

A Game about building friendships…sort of

If hanging out with frenemies has been super difficult for you, now it won’t be so bad. Grab a copy with Drinks with Frenemies and find ways to get even with your frenemies and maybe after a few rounds you can even become friends. 

Hey, we even played with kids

We played with our kids. We decided it would be best not to use alcoholic beverages and substituted with Sprite.  It became more of a normal group party game and since we were using Sprite, they didn’t mind losing the challenges because they got to drink it. The game would have served its purpose if we had chosen lemon juice or tomato juice instead. 

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

Frenemies are the best

Drinks with Frenemies is a party game where players compete to see who can have the most or the fewest drinks depending on how you want to win the game. Players take turns playing cards onto the player board and there are group rules that apply to everyone. There are frenemy rules that target a single player and there are other cards that are truth and dare style cards. Cards require people to take drinks for failing to follow the rules. The game continues until everyone is passed out or someone plays an end game card. At that point the frenemy is chosen and must take the final shot. 

Not a much to it

The game consists of a bunch of cards and I received a neoprene-playing mat. I am not sure if retail versions of the game come with the playing mat.  The cards have a surface that will let you spill a couple drinks on it without taking too much damage. That is all the game consists of. 

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

Minimalistic design

It’s all words.  There isn’t much art. The cards have symbols to let you know what type of card it is. But other than that, there isn’t a lot of art but graphic design makes everything look clean and readable. 

Laugh and laugh some more


The fun part about this game is hanging out with your friends (or family) and just doing funny, silly and crazy things.  There is going to be a lot of laughs and if you are using adult drinks you’ll probably laugh even more. 

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

Make sure everyone is legal

Suggestion on the game is 16+. I would not recommend that age range if you are using alcoholic beverages, for obvious reasons. We played it with our 5-year-old and he had fun, so it can work for all ages keeping in mind the sort of beverage you use. 

Solid Party Game

Drinks with Frenemies has potential to be a solid party game, whether you are using alcohol or not.  We don’t drink, but after playing it we realized there are many options to make this game work.  You can do tart drinks, bitter drinks or even break out the disgusting flavored jelly beans, vomit flavored anyone? There are many ways to make this game work if you aren’t a booze hound. But if you are someone who likes to imbibe in the nectar of the gods, drinks with Frenemies will make your night of debauchery even more fun. 

Myconclusions

Lost Ruins of Arnak – Review – Czech Games Edition

0
Lost Ruins of Arnak - Review - Czech Games Edition 42
Andrew Vogel
Senior Writer, Gummy Bear Guy

Theme&What is it?

If Indiana Jones, deck-building, and worker placement had a baby…

…It might just look like Lost Ruins of Arnak.

The Lost Ruins of Arnak…

…is the 2020 big box release from Czech Games Edition.

The publisher describes it as follows:

On an uninhabited island in uncharted seas, explorers have found traces of a great civilization. Now you will lead an expedition to explore the island, find lost artifacts, and face fearsome guardians, all in a quest to learn the island’s secrets.

Lost Ruins of Arnak combines deck-building and worker placement in a game of exploration, resource management, and discovery. In addition to traditional deck-builder effects, cards can also be used to place workers, and new worker actions become available as players explore the island. Some of these actions require resources instead of workers, so building a solid resource base will be essential. You are limited to only one action per turn, so make your choice carefully… what action will benefit you most now? And what can you afford to do later… assuming someone else doesn’t take the action first!?

Decks are small, and randomness in the game is heavily mitigated by the wealth of tactical decisions offered on the game board. With a variety of worker actions, artifacts, and equipment cards, the set-up for each game will be unique, encouraging players to explore new strategies to meet the challenge.

Discover the Lost Ruins of Arnak!


I’ve been looking forward to this game since deck-building and worker placement are two mechanics my game group enjoys.

Lost Ruins of Arnak served both those mechanics well.

InitialImpressions

GameplayMechanics

General Idea

This game blends deck-building and worker placement in a pretty even balance.

The deck you generate is kept tight, with a unique mechanic of putting acquired cards at the bottom of your draw deck which causes them to get into your hand more quickly. When you shuffle & move cards from your play area back to the draw deck, you put them at the bottom — beneath anything you’ve received in the previous round. I really like this mechanic — it cycles the new cards more quickly and gets them into play. The other mechanic that I found innovative and thematically sound was the market that slowly changes from heavy on Items to heavy on Artifacts as your archeologists trek further into the jungle and, presumably, away from shops.

The worker placement aspect is also tight — you’ve got only two meeples (archeologists) to place. However, there are lots of OTHER things to do on your turn (as free actions) that keeps you involved in the game even when both your meeples are out. When a player explores a new site and reveals a Guardian, the new site becomes a worker-placement destination for all players — and any player can attack the Guardian in that site until it is defeated. When a Guardian is defeated, you gain Victory Points for the end-game and are granted a boon — a one-time use bonus — from the Guardian.

As new site tiles are revealed, the worker-placement aspect expands, making player’s choices more confounding. It’s a delicious brain puzzle.

There is also a Research track which provides bonuses, upgradeable assistants, and other goodies to archeologists willing to discover something and then write about it in their journal — a nice thematic touch. The way this mechanic is realized is that each player has two tokens — a journal and a magnifying glass — in their color on the Research track. Their journal token can never be higher than their magnifying glass token on the Research track. There are rewards (Victory Points) for the player who gets highest on the Research track, and they might even find the Lost Temple (which awards, as you might expect, more Victory Points).

Lost Ruins of Arnak keeps the action light and easy, even though this is a Euro game through-and-through (everything, eventually, comes down to Victory Points). There is a little bit of analysis-paralysis for those that are prone to it.

Prototype ahoy!

I received a prototype copy of the game for this preview. The components are 3d printed, the cards seem to be made of plastic, and the board appears to be wrapped with vinyl onto which the game graphics have been printed. All in all, a very nice prototype copy. However, that doesn’t talk about the quality of the produced game. I know that the cards in the production copy are linen-finshed, so that’s different. Another notable difference is the production components are not 3d printed and feel a lot nicer in your hand.

GameBuildQuality

ArtisticDirection

Indiana Jones-style adventure in the deepest jungles.

The artwork is very well executed. The art is evocative, colorful, and thematic. The iconography is clear and makes sense after just a few minutes. The game provides reference sheets that appear complete and thoroughly explain icons.

The cardboard components of the game are well thought out. For example, when an archeologist explores a site, a site token is placed there. I thought it was a nice touch that the site tile has a little cut-out shaped exactly correctly so it does not cover the worker placement icon. When the Guardian awakens, its tile fits appropriately over the site tile. Nice attention to detail.

It’s fun!

The game board has two sides with slight differences in travel costs and a different Research track. This adds variety to the game, which is already good because of the number of cards available.

The few negative things I have to say about Lost Ruins of Arnak are as followss: the game feels like multi-player solitaire, it will generate analysis-paralysis in some folks, the game is a table hog, and it just doesn’t feel quite long enough. In all my plays, we’ve wished for one more round to really get our plans in action. Perhaps that will feel less-so after some more plays.

I read that in the design of the game, it was deliberately shortened to this length to prevent it from dragging. I suppose I’d rather wish for “one more round” than wish for “please let it end”!

FunwoohooFactor

Agerange

If you’re old enough to see Indiana Jones…

…you’re old enough to play Lost Ruins of Arnak. The game box says “12+” but I expect that younger gamers could play it with a little adult guidance.

An enjoyable mix of two mechanics.

Lost Ruins of Arnak successfully mixes worker placement and deck-building, and adds a bit of innovation to both. If the theme appeals to you, I think Lost Ruins of Arnak is a sure-fire hit for your game night.

Thanks to Czech Games Edition for the prototype copy.

Myconclusions