In solidarity MeepleGamers:


We can be individuals of hope and change.

In solidarity MeepleGamers: 1

End Racism.

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





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



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?





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





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





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





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





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





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





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






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

  • All

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


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





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)



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?





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





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





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





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





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





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





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






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.

  • All

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 26

Dungeonology: The Expedition – Ares Games – Review

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

Re-Chord - Yanaguana Games - Review 27

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 28

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

Facebook Twitter Instagram City of Gears is a steampunk themed game that……

Furnace from Hobby World – Review

Steve Mayne
Steve Mayne
Writer, Magnate

Theme&What is it?

Prep the Coal

Welcome to the world of 19th century industrial capitalism. You are a power broker of the last century and are looking to turn your wealth into a fortune through the shrewd acquisition of production facilities while using your opponent’s holdings to your own advantage. You’ve got a limited time to strike it rich and prove that you are the best business person the world has ever seen.

Furnace is a bidding/drafting game where you acquire factories and resources then manipulate them into an engine that will make you a fortune. You do this by taking advantage of a unique auction mechanic and then utilizing your engine to produce resources that you can sell for cold hard cash.

Can you create the best corporate engine? Can you show the world who’s the best? The heat is on and your opponents are right on your heels. Good luck.

Stoke the Fires

Furnace is played over four rounds. Each round starts with players taking part in an auction using mechanics I’ve never seen before. Each player has four bids numbered from 1 to 4. You’ll go in turns placing a bid on one of the available factory cards; there’ll be a number of these based on player count. You can place any of your bids on a property with a few exceptions. You can’t place two bids on the same card, and you can’t match a bid already on a card. You can outbid an opponent for a card but you can also underbid them.

After everyone has placed their bids, you’ll go down the row in order and resolve the auctions. Everyone who was outbid will receive compensation from the factory. This is printed on the top of the card and will give players resources, allow them to convert resources, or to exchange resources for victory points. Each player who receives compensation will get it a number of times equal to the bid they placed. The player who wins the bid by placing the highest marker will get the factory to add to their tableau. You continue down the row with each property until you’ve resolved them all.

After this each player will go through their tableau which will include all of the buildings they’ve won and their starting building and perform their actions in whatever order they choose. This will allow them to produce new resources, upgrade factories, and turn in resources for victory points. You must do each card one at a time and once complete you move onto the next card without ever going back.

After everyone has finished you advance the round, deal out a new auction row, and start again. This continues over four rounds. In the end the player with the most points wins.
The game also includes unique powers for each player as an optional rule. However ti is recommended you not use them in the first game.



Heat the Ore

When first looking at this game I wasn’t sure what to think. It has a very striking but dry appearance. After reading the rulebook, I was intrigued by the auction mechanic. It was new to me. It might exist somewhere else in the world but I had never seen it and was excited to try it out.

Smelt the Steel

The quality of this game is exceptional. Everything in it was very well done. The wooden pieces were a nice size and the shapes were easy to distinguish and manipulate. The cards are good stock and had a wonders feel to the. The few pieces of cardboard in the game were nice and thick and easy to move around and use. The bidding discs were four different sizes representing the different bids. This made stacking them and recognizing at a glance who was winning an auction and what bids had been placed on it simple. All told, the components are top notch.



Pour the Bars

I said earlier that the art is striking. It is, and they don’t let the fact that almost every card shows a factory as a reason to hold them back. They did not rest on this. The art is simple and clean but has enough pops of color to give the game an understated beauty. While I don’t know that I would call it beautiful, I would understand having framed copies of the art on your walls.

Strike the Anvil

This is a very thinky game. You will spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to bid and the order to perform your own actions. Other than the auction the game does have a bit of a solitaire play experience. You will spend the second half of each turn running your own engine. This game is as much about figuring out that puzzle as it is about bidding against the other players.



Work the Hammer

The box says 12+ and I think for a complexity level that’s pretty dead on. I think most 12 year olds will be able to understand the rules and perform the auctions. They may need some help with the production phase, but it shouldn’t be too daunting. From a content standpoint there’s nothing objectionable in the game and families can easily enjoy the game without worry.

End the Day

Overall, I enjoyed this game. I found the auction to be the most engaging portion of the game. I also felt that it was surprising in how much depth it had. It’s easy to fall into the trap of placing your bids from largest to smallest but then you realize that you might want to bid with a lower chip to go after the compensation. It’s tempting to place the 3 on a card because you want triple the compensation reward from it and another player has already bid their 4 or you think they might.

I especially like that you can’t have your 4 outbid which means you’ll always get something. Every round you get at least one new card for your tableau. This means your engine is always growing and does more every round.

The production phase of each round is performed in a bubble. You won’t be able to effect the other players and they can’t touch you. Also, as the game goes on this phase gets longer and longer creating long silences at the table as people figure out how to use their factories to produce points. If you’re playing a game for a social experience where you chat with the other players, this will most likely not be it.

The bonus powers offered by the advanced cards were nice and simple. They don’t add much if any complexity to the game. However, I do agree with the rule book that they should be left to a second game. I tried to use them in my first game and because I wasn’t familiar with the factory cards ended up over preparing for my ability in the first round and had very disastrous second and third rounds. Now that I’ve played the game more those ability cards are nice additions. Your mileage may vary but I’d suggest holding off on using them.

There is a rules variant for two players that I have not tried and can’t speak to. It looks simple enough, but I can’t say for certain.

All in all, I like this game and will probably be adding it to my collection. It’s currently on my short list for best of the year, but considering that it’s March I know that doesn’t hold too much weight. Still, it’s a damn fine game.

As always, I recommend you try before you buy, however, I understand in this day and age that it’s difficult to do that. If you do purchase it sight unseen and enjoy auction games or engine building games then I think you’ll enjoy this one too.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.


The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes


A Class Above the Rest

Greetings friends. We here at Meeple Gamers have once again gathered for our regular forum from the halls of intelligentsia to put our opinions toward the important gaming questions. This week we’ve decided to focus the question of classes in Role Play Games.

To be perfectly clear, when I say class I’m not referring to the one word designation. There are different words used in different games. Class has been replaced by job, pursuit, architype, profession, and dozens and dozens of others. For the short hand purposes of this list we’re using the word class.

How we determined the actual best class was the same way we handle all of our debates; we all put forth one or two examples and then debated the merits of each one using our research, experience, and hard data gained from countless minutes of internet googling. After a long period of open conversation we took inspiration from the recent month and divided all of the classes into a large ladder format and paired the classes against one another until only the best remained. Afterwards we took the top eight and the two runners up who received the most support and compiled this list.

I hope you can see, that a significant amount of thought and work went into the writing of this list and we did not ask people to randomly list 10 different classes and games on an internet forum, put them into list form, and pull reasons for why they belong here out of our butts the day before this was due.

With that out of the way, I’ve put on my best smoking jacket, poured a healthy brandy, and lit my favorite. Let’s begin.

The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 53

10: Weirdo from Tales from the Loop

Tales from the Loop is a wonderful collaborative game where players take the parts of teens in a small town dealing with other natural threats such as robots and dinos and myths; oh my. Of all of the fantastic classes in the game the Weirdo is the best. The character lets you follow in the footsteps of famed character such as Chunk from the Goonies, Pee Wee from Pee Wee’s big Adventure, and Allison Reynolds from the Breakfast Club.

Your character gets to embody the odd, unusual, and the outcast. You’ll get to play someone who has weird quirks, ticks, and tumbles. Everyone else will have a character who is defined for them. The Jock is the athlete who likes sports, the popular kids is the one with friends, but the weirdo is the one who likes vampires, comics, anime, or sticks. You get to create your character from a plethora of everything. Nothing is out of bounds for you and your creative freedom. Want to be obsessed with pin ball, go for it. Like wearing Hawaiian shirts, feel free. Do you wear an over-sized bowler hat then welcome to the party.

The freedom to roleplay the weird, wild, and woeful is why the Weirdo is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 54

8: Spider from Blades in the Dark

Blades in the dark is heist game set in a dark steampunk fantasy world. Players take on the role of a team of criminals; smugglers, spies, or assassins. Every game is the team taking on a new job. The Spider is the mastermind who plans the job, stays eight steps ahead of the other side, and keeps the team going with an exit strategy. As the Spider you’ll be following in the footsteps of Debbie Ocean from Ocean’s 8, Nathan Ford from Leverage, and Kermit from the Great Muppet Caper.

Ostensibly the Spider is in charge of the team, but from a role-play stand point you have a much more important job. As the Spider it’s your job to help set up the roleplay opportunities for the other players. You help to guide them into teams, and add your voice to theirs. You let them have a chance to play with one another while only stepping in occasionally. As the Spider, it becomes your job to focus the spotlight on the other players at the table. This doesn’t mean you won’t get a chance to play. You will be in the mix with everyone else. As the Spider, you’ll be setting the tone. It’s like being the drummer in a band, you set the tempo for everyone else.

This is not a role for beginners. This is a part that should only be taken by experienced gamers and most likely ones that are shepherding newer players into this game or gaming in general. You are taking a role that will help the story teller set the pace for the adventure and should only be chosen after careful consideration. But, if done with forethought and care the Spider can be a very rewarding experience for both you and the rest of the table as a whole.

The party friendly nature of this class is why the Spider is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 55

6: Chem Maker from Fallout

Fallout is an RPG based on a popular computer game series set in a nuclear apocalypse circa 1950’s Americana. In the game you are a homeless wanderer moving from town to town helping out where you can for a place to stay, some bottle caps to spend, and enough supplies to get you to the next town. As a Chem Maker you’ll be able to fashion medicines, stimulants, and physical/mental enhancers to boost the survivability of your friends and any random person you come in contact with. You’ll be following in the footsteps of Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, Silent Bob from Clerks, and Tina Carter from East Enders.

The Chem Maker fills an interesting place in RPG’s in that they can craft something valuable, affordable, and in demand. In most systems you can craft something that fits into one of those categories but never all three. This means that your character becomes the front man for the group. You are now in charge of dealing with the locals in most cases. You’ll be the one in a position to deal with NPC’s and deposits the heavy lifting of interaction on your shoulders.

The danger of this is that you can easily take over a session by negotiating a business contract and stop the rest of the group from accomplishing anything meaningful. This forces you into the difficult position of believably playing your character while also knowing when to back away from that realism to allow for the game to take over without breaking the emersion for yourself or others. It is a challenge and not one often taken on by many players. If done successfully, it can be very rewarding.

The challenging act of negotiating realism vs gameplay is why the Chem Maker is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 56

4: Rigger from Shadowrun

The future is dark, corporations run everything, and you are part of a team of criminals who rob from the obscenely powerful and give to the highest bidder. In that team is the Rigger. You control a series of drones, vehicles, and devices that allow you to perform a number of tasks from the safety of your van somewhere down the block from the action. You’ll be following in the footsteps of characters like Ender Wiggin from Ender’s Game, Ned Leeds from Spider-Man: Home Coming, and Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road.

As the Rigger your job is to get the players in and out of trouble. You can scout for the team, enter combat, and courier objects and people while sitting in relative safety blocks and sometimes miles away. You are a multi-tool for the party and will be welcome in every situation.

The trick of the Rigger is to find an interesting balance between being the guy behind the desk, the wheel, or the controller and interacting with the party. While your character will rarely be in danger you’ll still need to be a part of the tension. That can be interesting dynamic if handled correctly, but can also break immersion in the game and the world if done poorly. Certainly there will be some bit of work on the part of the Game Master to give you unexpectedly tense moments, but the lion’s share of the difficulty will be on your shoulders.

The utility of the character balanced against the risk of tedium is why the Rigger is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 57

2: Athlete from X-Crawl

Imagine if you will that you’ve entered the dungeon. The room before you is filled with bright lights, orcs, waist high barricades, and a spinning pillar in the center of the room that shoots gouts of flame at irregular intervals. Just off the field a heavy metal house band begins to play, a crowd of a few thousand people start to cheer, and confetti rains down from the scoreboard. The orc warlord takes a moment to welcome you to the final room and challenge and offers you a ceremonial toast of his tall, ice cold glass of Pepsi. After you drink, he salutes you, and the fight in on. That is X-Crawl. And by playing an Athlete class character you’ll be following in the footsteps of characters such as Happy Gilmore from Happy Gilmore, Casey Jones from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Becky Icebox O’Shea from Little Giants.

As the Athlete you’re playing an all-around character. You’re there for the combat, but also to take on the physical challenges of climbing walls, running obstacles, or even swimming. You’ve trained for all of the physical skills and requirements the other more traditional classes like fighter and rogue might not be ready for. Your weapon of choice is a holy hockey stick, flaming baseball bat, or mithril tennis racket. You get the team to rally when they’ve had a bad room and keep the momentum up when they’ve gotten on a streak.

As the Athlete you are the party multi-tool. You slot in as a cheerleader, front line blocker, back line support, or behind the line diver. You have to take on this dance of knowing when to change your position while keeping the team moving forward and capitalizing on the momentum you’ve built. You’re not as flashy as the wizard or strong as the barbarian but you’re more versatile overall. All of that doesn’t mean you have to be peppy and upbeat. There are tons of examples of angry dour athletes who motivate their team through trash talk, threats, and hope and prayers. The Athlete gives you a wide range of options and is a great class for beginners because of it.

Its multiple uses and beginner friendly approach is why the Athlete is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 58

9: Doctor from Star Trek Adventures

To those unfamiliar with Star Trek, first congratulation on your Rumspringa, and second this is a classic science fiction tale that show humanity at its best. You play the crew of a star ship as it travels the universe fulfilling its mission. What that mission is will depend on the type of ship and story your group is telling and can encompass anything including a diplomatic, scientific, or military mission. As the Doctor you’ll be following in the footsteps of Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: The Next generation, the EMH from Star Trek Voyager, or Buckaroo Banzai from the Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the Eighth Dimension.

In this case the class is your position on the crew. Every player will take on the role of one of the command positions and be in charge of the ship. Admittedly, we almost took Helmsman for obvious reasons but after much debate, possibly our longest, we decided that the Chief Medical Officer or ships Doctor was in fact the best.

As the Doctor you’ll have ample opportunities to interact with every member of the crew. You’ll have a more natural in for playing out a scene than say the Science Officer and the Chief Engineer. You’ll be included on most away missions to planets since they’ll want to have a medic there if anything goes wrong and that gives you more opportunity to deal with the locals. It also gives you a reason to step back and let other players have a chance at the spotlight. You don’t awkwardly try to explain you’re going to look at the thing over there, you can go and help an injured bystander.

The versatility of moving in and out of a scene is why the Doctor is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 59

7: Wizard from Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings is a RPG based on a series of epic fantasy novels where a band of adventures walk from one place to another and something amazing happens. While the books don’t tend to focus on the exciting points in the series choosing instead to spend four chapters describing in detail a blade of grass they walked past three days ago and only give a concise three page run down of a seven day city siege they are very popular. Conversely, the ROP tends to focus on the exciting portion of the story. In this the wizard acts as the party’s guide, mentor, and power house. You’ll be following in the footsteps of Radagast the Brown from Lord of the Rings, Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Mad-Eye Moody from the Harry Potter Series.

Your function as the Wizard is to be both mentor and guide to the party. You’re there to help the quest along and dole out sage advice while not over shinning the rest of the group with your knowledge. You’re also a bit of a protector and protected. You have enough power to lay waste to an entire city but are frail enough that a small child with a sling shot can drop you from across a field putting you in a unique balancing act.

Playing this mix of ultimate power and vulnerability lends itself to interesting scenes and interactions with the rest of the party. Your reputation and the legends surrounding wizards will make your interactions with NPC’s a juggling act of enough confidence that they respect you but not so much that they rise up against the tyrant. The wizard is the class that can be most easily abused and most easily stopped making your interactions with those around you a fascinating verbal dance.

The dual nature of this class is why the Wizard is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 60

5: Glitter Boy from Rifts

From one Post apocalypse to another we have the Glitter Boy. You stroll through the apocalypse in an armored suit that is nearly indestructible, hits like a tank, and is shiny enough to see from orbit. You have taken on the immense challenge of painting a huge bullseye on rest of your party while being totally immune to the consequences. You’ll be following in the footsteps of Tony Stark from the Avengers, Tank Girl from Tank Girl, and Superman from Superman.

Playing a Glitter Boy means you are drawing fire from targets you can’t even see. Everyone wants to prove they’re better than you and will fire first and challenge second. You need to walk through the wasteland aware of the collateral damage you will be causing to your own party who can barely stand up to your weapons. You are measuring restraint against those rare times when you get to cut loose.

Knowing that you can nuke Texas from inside Texas and be fine is alluring, but judging when to use that power and knowing not to is what makes the Glitter Boy such a unique character choice. You go into a Glitter Boy knowing you’ll most likely not be using your best stuff on a regular basis and that is the challenge of this character. Knowing when to fire everything or, as Tank Girl was an option, not knowing when to do it and dealing with the aftermath.

The intricate balance of decision and consequence is why Glitter Boy is on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 61

3: Elf from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

I’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons for so long I use and ampersand instead of the word and. Back in ye olde days D&D came in a red box and focused on building characters who could survive impossible challenges. In those days a human was a default and everything else was a class; like elf. Elves could detect all sorts of hidden things, got some spells, and had a level cap because they were so much more powerful than say wizards; also a class. However, playing an elf came with its own role play challenges. Taking on those challenges meant you were following in the footsteps of Sylvanas Windrunner from Warcraft III, Tauriel from the Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug, and Bernard from the Santa Clause.

Elves are often viewed as nature based characters and ranged damage. You’re great with a bow, can move silently as a class feature, and can hide in nature with ease. You’re great for playing in an outdoor environment and can work well inside a dungeon under the right circumstances. Once they changed elves from a race to a class this changes and you start seeing a lot of what elves were once famous for being moved to druids and rangers, but in those early years if your party wanted someone in touch with nature, they needed an elf.

One of the challenges of playing an Elf is that you re removed from the world while being a part of it. You are taking on the role of an ancient being who’s done a lot by the time they’re old enough to go adventuring. Even at the earliest adolescent age you character is in their 70’s. You end up having to walk this fine line between knowing about the world and experiencing things for the first time. You’re also more comfortable with nature than with cities. Your character is always an outsider and needs to act in such a way.

The challenge of playing the familiar alien is why Elves are on this list.
The Discerning Gamers Top 10 Best RPG Classes 62

1: Wastrel from Through the Breach

We arrive at the final class on our list, the Wastrel. A scoundrel, a rogue, a cad, and a ne’er-do-well. These exist in the Malifaux universe found in Through the Breach a steampunk, western, Victorian, Lovecraftian, gothic, horror, comedy, wuxia, and fantasy roleplay setting. (I think that’s all of them.) You are the citizens of a parallel world filled with demons, opportunity, and magic. From the list above you can tell that there are a wide variety of stories to tell here. The Wastrel fits in as a fast talking gambler style of character. Playing one of these and you’ll follow in the footsteps of Doc Holiday in Tombstone, Daniel Caan in from the Road from El Dorado, and Poker Alice in real life.

As the Wastrel you are the group’s mouth piece. You get to know the locals, talk to the folks in the bar in a social setting, and insert yourself into the community as if you’d always been there. You’re also a support character; all of your abilities are based around improving your party’s chances of success. You are there to make everyone better.

Roleplaying this character is a party centric experience. You are announcing to everyone at the table that you are here to help. You are going to be leading the way in every social situation, helping to introduce the team to the right people, and making sure that in combat you might not do the most damage but you’ll make sure the gunfighter hits. You are putting everyone else’s glory ahead of your own and getting to do it with a more than likely charming drawl; because let’s be honest, a Wastrel has an accent. Might be English, might be southern, might be Spanish, or even Italian but by god it’s there. Why play a Wastrel if you ain’t doing an accent. (Be honest, when I said Tombstone you immediately thought, “I’m your huckleberry.”)

Being fully invested in the party and having an accent is why the Wastrel is on this list.

Class Dismissed

And there we have it. A list of the top 10 best RPG classes. I’m certain you have opinions and we’d love to hear them on our discord, social media, or in the comments. Let us know because I may do a commenter’s list at some time in the future.

I hope you enjoyed the list. I know we all had fun making it. My pipe is about finished and I’ve finished my brandy so I believe I’ll step away for now. Thank you all for stopping by.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

Steampunk Rally – Roxley Games Laboratory – Review

Steampunk Rally - Roxley Games Laboratory - Review 63
Matthew Kearns
Matthew Kearns
Writer, Trainer, Midnight Planner

Theme&What is it?

Steampunk is an eclectic work of cogs and rivets.  It is airships, goggles, and steam.  It is romance.  It is traveling on clouds and diving beneath rugged waves.  It is adventure.
― Aether Emporium

Boy that quote sums up this game.  As one of the great scientists and inventors of the ages selected by Nikola Tesla, build a contraption using all manner of energy transfers and get it across the finish line.  Penny farthings, naphtha cannisters, propellers, and more make up the pieces of these great steampunk creations that rumble, amble, and roll along the rally’s course in the Swiss Alps or the Hoverdrome.  Avoid complications from terrain, challenges, and the other racers for a chance to be crowned the Greatest Inventor of All Time!

To truly change your stars, you must first be willing to risk everything.
― K.L. Harris, Equillian’s Key

I went back and forth with this game before I first picked it up at Barnes and Noble.  It is one of the oldest games in my modern game collection, but picking it up shortly after it was released to the public after the Kickstarter.  Punching tokens and looking through cards while reading the rules immersed us in the theme and got us itching to get going.



A clockwork heart can’t replace the real thing.
― Dru Pagliassotti, Clockwork Heart

The goal of Steampunk Rally is to be the inventor with their contraption the furthest beyond the Finish Line at the end of the last turn and with the most parts in their contraption.

Choose a course side of the tiles. Take out the Start, Finish, and End Track tiles, and randomly choose three Middle Track tiles and arrange the tiles between the players in a 2×3 fashion. Place Challenge Tokens on the track if being used.

Shuffle the Boost cards and Gold, Silver, Bronze Machine Item decks and place next to the rally tiles. Put the red, blue, yellow dice and cog tokens in piles next to the rally tiles. The Draft Direction token near the players.

Each player selects an Inventor and takes their associated Cockpit and Machine Part cards and a light bulb token. Place their Inventor Standee on the Start location.

There are five phases (Draft, Vent, Race, Damage, Upkeep) of play and some are executed simultaneously.

During the Draft Phase, players each takes a Boost card, Bronze, Silver, and Gold Machine Item cards. Select one of these cards, play it, stash it, or sell it, then pass the rest of the cards face down to the player next to you in the direction indicated by the Draft Direction token. This is repeated until the four cards are used up.

The Vent Phase allows you to spend cogs to reduce the face value of the dice on your contraption; 2 total pips per cog. Some Boost cards can only be spent during this phase.

Moving your contraption happens in the Race Phase. Roll your dice, turn over your light bulb token, and allocate dice to Machine Parts to protect your machine, make it move, or gain more dice to use. This is where the “engine” aspect of the game can really take off if you gather parts that will feed or expand each other.

The Damage Phase is where damage to the contraption is resolved as indicated by the Damage Gauge. If the Damage Gauge shows a negative value, remove as many parts (and discard their dice as necessary) as it takes to get back to 0.

The Upkeep Phase prepares your contraption and other items for the next round (store dice, flip over the light bulb token, etc.).

These rounds continue on until an Inventor ends the round beyond the Finish Line, then one more round is played.

Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.
― Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days

The game’s components are made up of tiles, tokens, dice, and cards.  The tiles and tokens are made of a good quality cardboard and paper for rigid and lasting pieces.  The dice, all d6, are translucent colored dice and there are plenty of them — nothing like the heft of a handful of dice to chuck.  The cards are the only quibble I have — the look is good but would have wanted a sturdier cardstock with a core, linen instead of a slick finish that would get dull after some play so I would suggest sleeving them.



There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in proportion.
― Edgar Allan Poe

The game presents some of the most visually appealing and thematic art of the games I’ve played.  There are so many unique cards from Boost to Machine Parts to each Inventor in the game, not to mention the box and rulebook.  Kudos to Mr. Cuddington!

“Hail a cab, please, Floote. I am going out.”
“Are you certain that is wise, Miss? “
“To be wise, one might never leave one’s room at all”
― Gail Carriger, Soulless

A good part of the appeal of the game is the theme and incorporating the theme to the max is what the game does.  Building up your contraption with a cornucopia of air, fire, and electric components in multitudinous combinations gives a good bit of nanty narking.



You’d be surprised what an eleven-year-old can get away with.
― Richard Due, Idiot Genius: Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy

The age range is 14+ for the game but the weight of the game belies a lower age by a few years, even down to 10 or so.  Older ages lend toward better strategies but the younger players, especially those who have a bent towards science and/or science fiction, will get a kick out of the art and information about these great inventors and scientists.  The difficulty of the game in learning the rules is low and player aid cards are provided for the most pertinent symbology and turn order info, making the game easy to learn by someone who knows the game.

Darkness is your cloak. Fear is your ally. Wickedness is your manna.
― Stephen Hunt, The Court of the Air

So I’ll start with the game aspect.  The two keywords for this game are versatility and replayability. The setup has randomness with the cards and selection of the rally course.  Different ways to influence the dice played and those yet to play can make it hard for others to predict where you might go with your strategy.  Card draft and pass makes for a curious wrinkle in it all too.  I will say though that the aspect that has the least randomness are the rally course tiles.  Yes you have two sides for two different tracks but the track is short and three of the 8 tiles are always used and present so the courses can feel the same each time.

Aside from the mechanics, I have to point out that the art oozes theme and is at least half of the appeal to the game for me.  There is some much going on in the Inventors, parts, and Boost cards that being distracted by the cards can make it take a little longer to play — none of us have issue with that.

When I initially started getting into more modern gaming, this game was one of the first I picked up.  My boys and I were certainly not let down when I opened this game up from the start and put our contraptions to work.  Out of the gate the first time, It took a bit of time going through the rulebook, pretty as it is, because some of the asynchronous nature of the game made it difficult reading the rules in order and getting it all in my head, yet a couple rounds in we were good to go.  Later on when my game group picked up playing board games over RPGs, this is still one of our perennial favorites to pull out.  With the newest Kickstarter just delivered, we can’t wait to see what comes next!


Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games


Ready Player 1

With the recent announcement of games based on Among Us, Monster Hunter World, and Sea of thieves along with so many others over the past few years I started thinking about what other pc/console games I’d love to see on my table top and how would I like them to play.

I’m really trying to not pick games that have already been brought to the table, so games like Bioshock which came out a while ago but since they’ve had their shot I’m going to try and focus on games that deserve a chance. I’m also focusing on board and card games. My list of computer games that need to be turned into pen and paper RPG’s is different, and I may take a crack at that one later on.

Also, I would love to know which games you think should be on the list, drop a comment below, head over to our discord, or let us know on social media. We want to hear your answers too. If we get enough I might even put together a commenters list later on.

Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 74


Control is a fun, dark game that takes place in the Oldest House the home for the Bureau of Control. It’s a mix of X-Files, Warehouse 13, and the Liberians. You play Jesse Fayden who’s entered the building for the first time during an attack by the mysterious Hiss. Over the course of the game you uncover some of the mysteries of the house, recruit allies, and arm yourself with amazing powers and weapons.

I think Control could work on table top by not making the players take on the roles of characters in the game but new agents joining the Bureau. Using a mixture of storytelling, exploration, and combat you could have a pretty good game. Especially if you added a campaign mode; though it would work as a series of one off missions.

Take the exploration from a game like Betrayal at the House on the Hill mixed with a bit of Warhammer Quest could make for a pretty fun experience. Especially if you put a mystery book like Betrayal to give every game a different Objects of Power for the players to encounter. Mixing these elements could give the game a good flow and be a lot of fun.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 75


In case you’ve never heard of Diablo, it’s an old school dungeon looter from Blizzard. The game features up to four players delving deep into various dungeons and planes to fight against the forces of ultimate evil. You get loot, upgrade weapons, pick new skills, and fight giant bosses. Diablo is a top down game that inspired the “looter shooter” genre of games where you go into a level play through, get better equipment, and go through again.

As a table top game this is pretty straight forward. It’s go in, fight the monsters, survive, and get loot. It’s a nice quick beer and pretzels game that just hits a nice fun evening. It also would feature some iconic boss monsters that would make amazing miniatures, Go look up pictures of Diablo and the Butcher and think about how they’d look as tabletop minis.

This could be one of the easiest crossovers I came up with. It would work great as almost any dungeon crawler but I’d love to see it skinned onto Shadows of Brimstone. It does a good job of simulating over land travel, gives you fun crowd fights, and excellent boss monster battles. It also handles stepping from one dimension to another mid adventure really well. Sure, it would be nice to have a story and I do love playing through the Diablo story arcs and seeing what’s going on with all the characters and towns. However, I once I get through it the first time it’s all about running the end game and just going through random rifts to gear up and wreck house for a couple of hours with my friends.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 76

Fortnite: Save the World

While I’ll admit that the Battle Royal mode of Fortnite has taken the principal attention for the game, I originally fell in love with the Save the World mode. I still play it too. Save the World is a base building and defense mode where players search a map for resources, weapons, and traps. They take those supplies and gather around the mission’s objective and build a base. The base features any traps and materials they gathered and takes into account the area they’re building around. Once the base is constructed, the players can trigger the end fight and a horde of undead called husks in the game rush the base in waves. Players have to defend and repair the base while dealing with husks in increasing number and power level.

I think this game could work really well as a combination of exploration, tower defense, and rush game. Have the players do a quick abstract hunt phase where they gather resources by using special abilities from a randomized deck. The deck can be influenced by what type of terrain they’re in from dessert to forest, the type of terrain from city to wilderness, and the type of mission from defend to deliver the payload. Once they’ve finished the resource phase, they can place defenses on a minis based combat map, that include walls, weapons, and traps, then they enter into the meat of the game horde rush minis experience.

I’m honestly surprised the Epic games hasn’t teamed up with CMoN to take a riff on the Zombicide engine for this. The mini’s would look fantastic, the Zombicide combat rules would work pretty well, the different character abilities would fit into the game pretty well, and the number of player minis would be massive based entirely on the in game skins. The only drawback to this plan is the massive number of Kickstarter exclusives that would be rolled out for the game.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 77

Life is Strange

On the surface, Life is Strange is an odd as a table top experience. The idea of deep character driven mysteries with some weird and supernatural powers could be a hard cross over. It’s also unusual for the characters to crop up in more than one game. There are a couple of exceptions to this, but the general statement is true. Most of the games feature a mystery to be solved, the characters trying to deal with that mystery, and someone has an extra-natural power or ability. The first game focused on Max Caulfield trying to discover the fate of a missing teen while being able to revers time over short periods.

I think this could be an interesting game if you focus on the mystery and character elements. Yes the special powers are cool, but one of the games, Before the Storm didn’t have any powers in it and was still extremely intense and engaging. Let the story focus on the characters and how they interact to solve the mystery of the story. I think focusing on those things would work really well.

I’d love to see Lucky Duck Games take a run at this as a spinoff of the Chronicle of Crime engine. The millennium series has introduced some supernatural elements that work really well in the system. With the app to keep track of relationships and decisions you could have a pretty good recreation of the mysteries and experience found in the Life is Strange Universe.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 78


Overwatch is a competitive multiplayer character based arena shooter. You pick a character from a large collection of different colorful options. You and your team will line up against the other team and work to score points based on the arena you’re in. There are different goals from taking a series of points on the map, defending an area, or pushing a payload along a route. The wide variety of maps feature different routes, bottle necks, and defendable points. Players compete to a set victory condition and then line up and go again.

Now that’s basic Overwatch and you could certainly make a very fun hero minis game like Malifaux, Super Fantasy Brawl, or Hordes. That would be a fine game and lots of fun for all. However, what I’d love to see is a focus on the upcoming Overwatch 2 which adds a story mode to the basic Overwatch experience. Players will use the same stable of characters to take part in running arena battles, horde assaults, and boss fights. Overwatch has always had a rich history for all of its characters that is demonstrated through the numerous cinematics that have been released over the years. They’re all wonderful and you should check them out (bring tissues).

For the first version of the game as a tournament style combat simulator I’d say any number of miniatures companies could do a pretty amazing job though I’d love to see Privateer, Wyrd, or Steam Forged take a swing at it. However for the second idea I’d love for that to be taken over by anyone with a good horde mode board game. I couldn’t think of one that I had played but had some friends recommend a couple that would fit the bill based on my description of what I wanted. A fun, miniature based, dice chucker, with special powers, and hordes of monsters. I was pointed towards Deep Madness and the Agents of Mayhem board games. Again I haven’t played wither but checked out a couple of videos online and they looked pretty good.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 79


The Darksiders series is one I adore. While I love each individual game, I think basing a table top game on any given game from the series would be tough. While they all have an interconnected story, they also have different mechanics, powers, and focus on a different character. Each of the games follows one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; War, Death, Fury, and Strife. While War is very Zelda like in its themes Death follows a more Diablo based route and Fury is patterned after Darksouls. It’s a hodgepodge of ideas that while great for interweaving a fun narrative doesn’t work well when combining them into a set game.

That said, if you make the four Horsemen the playable characters and set them on mission over the twisted apocalypse filled landscape you could have some pretty fun experiences. If you give each of the characters some of their signature powers and weapons and then have some that can be passed around; a feature in every game is each of the characters eventually armed with at least one weapon from each of the others. Mix that in with waves of minions, fun bosses, and interesting arenas and you’d have a pretty solid game.

I think it would work best as a dungeon crawler similar to Descent. If you want the full tilt campaign experience I think Oathsworn would be a nice paring especially with the side quests, interesting characters, and large maps. I haven’t played Oathsworn, but what I’ve seen would fit the themes of Darksiders.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 80

Evil Genius

This may be because I just picked up the second one and am having a ton of fun taking over the world. Evil Genius is a game where you play a 60’s era Bond style supervillain bent on taking over the world. You build a base, send minions out on missions, work to build your doomsday device all while protecting yourself from the forces of justice with minions and traps.

This would work as an engine building worker placement game with a world map that you place the worker on. Everyone would have their own genius, powers, and henchmen. You’d send them off to perform the different jobs you’d need to complete your plans. Then you’d have a personal board to represent your own base that gives you extra minions, defenses, and technology. Then the world map gets peppered with jobs, crimes, and missions you can also send workers to. This means you’ll be trying to balance going out into the world and building heat to get the endgame points while also working in your base to get an engine that will let you build your doomsday device and win the game.

I’ll be honest, I can’t think of a game that does this. I really tried, and almost said Agricola but honestly I don’t think it hiits the right vibe I’m looking for, I do hope someone builds it though.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 81

The Legend of Zelda

I love Legend of Zleda, I’ve played most every game since the very first one. The few I’ve missed were due to not owning a Wii U. The basic story of Zelda is a young warrior named Link journeys out into the world, gathers the various pieces of a mystic power called the Tri-Force, the Master Sword, other various bits of kit, and heads off to battle the big boss at the end of the game. It goes back and forth from over land exploration to deep diving various themed dungeons and has a fantastic feel and weight based on decades of games expanding the history and lore of these characters.

I think if you expand this idea into an exploration and dungeon crawl that could be lots of fun. If you even expand the idea to use not only the Zelda proper games but add in the idea and themes found in Hyrule Warriors you would end up with a very cool game. Have the players take on not just Link but add in the various other champions like Daruk and Revali. Have them explore the overland sections of the game and then dive into the various dungeons.

I think this game would work best either a one vs many where one player controls the monsters for everyone else similar to Descent. However, another Fantasy Flight Games property that I think would be a much better fit is Lord of the Rings: Journeys into Middle Earth. The app driven exploration and adventure game that lets you play different characters as they travel across Middle Earth while being chased by various monsters would fit the land of Hyrule in such a great manner. I would adore having that system tuned to this property.
Top 9 Video Games That Deserve Table Top Games 82

Monster Prom/Camp

Monster Prom is an adult humor based competitive dating simulator. Stay with me. In the game you play students at a monster high school in the weeks leading up to prom. You’re goal over the course of the game is to gain affection with one of the students in the school by entering into a series of events that force you to make decisions that build affection with one or more of the students in the school. Every event comes down to a choice between two options and your chance of success is based on the stats you’ve cultivated as you play. At the end of the game you ask a student to prom and based on your affection level you will find success or failure.

As a table top game this could go one of two ways. It could be a quick simple party game where players play cards to place affection tokens on different students. They can get a series of challenge cards that give them affection with different characters and see how they go. In the end they get to pick a student they want to take to prom and if you’ve reached that characters affection target and have the most points on that character you get the date to prom.

However, I think this game would really sing as a story based legacy game. One of the big plusses of the pc game is the massive number of events, special story lines, hidden dateable characters, and secret endings. Take that and recreate it through a deck of cards that starts small and gradually adds in more events, more challenges, and more dateable characters. You start with six potential love interests and end with nearly a dozen. If you could pull that off with a King’s Dilemma style game mechanics and I think you’ll have a pretty fantastic experience.

Press Start to Continue…

That’s my list. I know it’s only 9 games because the only other one I could think of was Gauntlet and there’s already several games that match it so well I didn’t feel right including it. I hope you enjoyed the list and like I said do let us know some games you’d like to see make the jump to table.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

Temporal Odyssey – Level99 Games – Review

Temporal Odyssey - Level99 Games - Review 83

Matthew Kearns
Matthew Kearns
Writer, Trainer, Midnight Planner

Theme&What is it?

Time to Go

Open portals through time, pulling monsters and allies to fight for you and fend off the hordes sent by your opponents.  In Temporal Odyssey, you cast spells to cheat death and collect artifacts in your quest as a Traveler to dominate and win, becoming the master of time!

First time’s a charm

There was a bit of trepidation with this game as I wasn’t a fan of the last game I reviewed from this publisher.  The layout and art did attract me and the concept, so here’s hopin’.



Time’s a-wastin’

The goal of Temporal Odyssey is to deal 3 Instability to your opponent and defeat his Traveler.

Shuffle the class cards and their associated spells to form the three time period draw decks: Past, Present, Future.  Shuffle and place the Token deck next to the time period decks.  Shuffle and place the Instability deck on the other side of the table.

Each player chooses a Traveler and its associated cards, and is given 4 AP tokens. Choose the first player and give the Haste spell from the Token deck to the player that goes last.

Both players put the Traveler and Tower into play.

At the beginning of your turn, you resolve any Start of Turn effects and perform clean up tasks. You then may acquire or play cards from your hand, limited by the number of AP tokens needed. Allies and spells defeat creatures and nullify effects in effort to cause an opponent to gain Instability.  After playing cards, group your cards in front of you to defend against your opponents’ attacks.  To end your turn, draw three cards from one of the time period draw decks: Put one in your hand, put one in the Banish pile, and put the last on top of that deck face-up.

 “In a time of destruction, create something.” ― Maxine Hong Kingston

The game components are cards and tokens.  The cards are typical card stock, nothing special, so I’d suggest sleeving.  The tokens are made from a sturdy cardboard stock.



 “Everything you can imagine is real.” ― Pablo Picasso

The art of the cards and the box is great. The game has an anime quality to it and the art follows right along.  There are a handful of people responsible for this contribution, each with attractive offerings.

Time flies

This game is all about the take-that! aspect of a card battle game.  With the random draws from the time period decks, it takes some time to figure what works best with your Traveler and how to win.



“Time is an illusion.” – Albert Einstein

Age range is 12+ and the game has a middling weight to it, even though it has a fairly short duration.  I’d say weighing both, they are about accurate because the theme is along the interest lines for older kids and above.  The difficulty might skew a little younger to maybe 10 but not really lower.

Time’s up!

Temporal Odyssey I’m afraid is another game by Level99 Games that just doesn’t quite do it for me.  There are interesting mechanical bits to the rules that I feel could have been expanded upon. Yet I didn’t feel a whole lot of tension or player-to-player struggle.  When we were done, we really didn’t feel like there is as much replayability to the game or excited to give it another go even though there appear to be many combinations of classes, decks, etc.  The artwork though was really top-notch.


Gladius from Deep Water Games – Preview


John Doe
John Doe
Writer, Ring Master Maximus, Story-teller, gamer, & Hawaiian shirt aficionado. he/him.


For the Glory!

I was invited by Deep Water Games to take part in an online seminar for their upcoming bluffing game, Gladius. Over the course of the event they talked about the game, rules, plans for the future, and a couple of other odds and ends. I’ve not played the game yet, so this isn’t a review just me sharing some of the knowledge I received and maybe a couple of my own comments on the game and what I’m hoping for from it.

For the Money!

Gladius was designed by first times Victoria Cana and Alexandre Uboldi. Likewise this is artist Cheryl Young’s first game as well. The game is a joint production from Cat Quartet Games and Deep Water Games. While this is also Cat Quartet’s first game Deep Water Games has brought us Welcome To and Fantastic Factories. If you’re familiar with their games it looks like this one will follow similar quality and support lines.

IWho’s Behind It

What’s it about

For the Fun!

Gladius looks to be a quick and simple family weight game. The rules were explained to us in a few minutes and I’m pretty sure I could play the game right now and not have to look anything up. In the game you’re playing Roman citizens watching, betting, and fixing the gladiatorial games. You start the game with a number of 1st place and last place bet tokens these will be used to gain points over the course of the game. Every round starts with the reveal of an event that will tell you how many gladiators are on each of three teams and what stats are used for that event.

Players will place one bet on a team and then go in turns playing cards on the various teams. Some cards are played face down and affect the outcome at the end of the round and some are played face up and have an immediate effect. When you’re ready to pass for the round you place a second bet and are no longer able to influence the round until everyone else passes.

Once everyone is done, bets on the first place card and last place card are kept in face down stacks for endgame scoring. Bets placed on the second place team are returned to the player who placed them for future rounds. Then you draw a new event for the next round. This continues for three rounds and then final totals are scored.

The game features a deck of influence cards that are dealt out as modifiers to be played. There are also 5 spectator cards that have their own unique power. Plus 20 unique gladiators to enter the arena. 6 different events to draw over the course of the game.

Are you not entertained?

As with all things, this is hard to say. Their hope was to have it in their warehouse in the middle of April and heading to backers and retailers by the end of the month or early may. Of course this is entirely adjustable based on shipping from the factory and so many other factors. Hell, the Suez Canal is currently backlogged by a ship that went sideways. Anything can push this back. Fingers crossed they get it out to store on time.

What’s Next

For the Emperor

While they had no set plans for what will come next for the game they talked about how they’ve supported games in the past. They mentioned they are looking at; small packs of new cards featuring more events, player powers, and influence cars. Themed packs similar to the packs released for Welcome To. The possibility of adding the gods in a future small expansion was mentioned. They also talked about play mats.

May the odds be ever in your favor

As I’ve said, I haven’t gotten to play this just yet. I hope to get a copy in my hands around the same time as everyone else. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts on the game. It certainly hits a nice sweet spot of being family friendly welcoming game.

If you’re interested in the game, head over to their website and check out the page for it. There’s also a few videos on YouTube from different reviewers. I know Dice Tower had some very flattering things to say about it and if you go check out their video let them know Meeple Gamers sent you.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.


Cargolino Valentino – Viravi Edicions – Review

Cargolino Valentino - Viravi Edicions - Review 87
Ally Parker
Ally Parker

Theme&What is it?

The Great Snail Race

Calling all snails, the race is about to start! Time to show off your slow talents to win the game! Be the last to cross the finish line and take home the trophy!

Faster Than Actual Snails

The game is colorful and cheery and it makes me feel happy. It is fun because it is fast paced, simple and the dice helps make the game move fast as you make your moves. 



Being Slow Is The Best

Players take turns racing their snails. The whole point of the game is to have the slowest snail in the game. Each player is randomly assigned a snail that they keep secret from other players. On a player’s turn they roll dice and move either the snail that matches the color on the dice or they move a snail onto a flower that matches the color of the dice. They need to do this and be very sly so others do not figure out which color snail they are. Once a snail has crossed the finish line, the slowest snail on the board is the winner!

Feels Good

The components for Cargolino Valentino are super sturdy. The snail cards and snails are cardboard thickness and would take a lot to get damaged. The point tokens are not as thick and sturdy. The game board is heavy duty and can be played many times without wear and tear occurring. 



Looks Good

The board is so colorful and detailed. For just having various flowers and leaves there is a lot of effort and detail put into the board. The snails are cute with the art showing their different personalities. 

Deception Is Always So Much Fun

Not knowing who is who makes for an interesting game.  Because the goal is to be the last snail to cross the finish line, you have to be sneaky with your moves so no one becomes suspicious of you while you are trying to make the other snails cross the finish line first. 



Not Quite A 5+ Game

Cargolino Valentino is a 15-20-minute game that can be played with up to 6 players ages 5 and up. I think that kids any younger than 5 would not have the attention span to play two rounds, and they may not understand the concept of not wanting to be the first across the finish line. 

Family Fun

If you are looking for a fun game that has simple directions and is an easy game for kids to play, then you want this game on your shelf. It’s colorful, fast-paced, and easy to learn. 


Harbour – Tasty Minstrel Games – Review

Harbour - Tasty Minstrel Games - Review 95
Ben Parker
Ben Parker

Theme&What is it?

Harbour Working

From the master of small box games, Scott Almes, comes Harbour. A game where players compete in the busy port of Gullsbottom to build the best dock. You must collect goods and manipulate the market in your favor to have the most valuable buildings in the whole Harbour. Harbour is a set collection game for 1-4 people.

So Much In A Small Package

Harbour was super easy to learn. In less than ten minutes we were up and running with our first game with just a few minutes of explaining the game to the other players. Everyone caught on quickly and it was very competitive. The symbols on the cards at first felt a little intimidating because there a were so many of them, but once you understand a few of them, then it starts to make sense and you can figure it out. The design was very thoughtful and made it easy to understand the iconography. The first game went very smoothly, everyone enjoyed it and it should be no problem getting it back out to the table. 



Place Your Worker Get Things Done

In Harbour, players select a starting card, which can be a generic starting card, or a unique starting card that will have its own special ability. From there players take turns assigning their worker to a building. This building can be any of their own, any building in the harbour, or another player’s building, if they pay the player to use their building. When placing their worker on a building, it allows them to take the action of that building, which can add goods to their stock, exchange goods, or even change the value of goods in the harbour. When players have enough goods in their warehouse, they can exchange them in the harbour for money and then use the money to purchase the available buildings in the harbour. The building purchases are added to the players game board. These buildings will be worth victory points at the end of the game. The game ends when a player has 5 buildings, including their starter building. The player with the most victory points wins the game.

All That And A Bag Of Chips (Fish And Chips)

Harbour has a fantastic build. Sometimes small-boxed games can feel cheap to save space that is not the case with Harbour. The cards are above what you expect, the player boards are very nice cardstock, and the tokens are all nice wood cut outs. I always have high expectations for Tasty Ministeral games; they’ve never let me down.



Eye Maties

The art is stellar. All of the building cards have unique art. There are 14 unique player boards and each with a different character. The art work does a great job tying the game together and making it fit with the theme.  

Funner Than A Barrel Full Of Fish

There is a lot of game in a little tiny box. Harbour feels way bigger than the package would lead you to believe. There is tons of strategy and multiple ways to accomplish your goals. 



Young Crew Members Welcome

The recommended age for Harbour is 10+. I think a ten-year-old who has gaming experience can feel comfortable with the game. It can feel like a lot of options each turn because of all the buildings that are available to perform actions on. But once you figure out your strategy it doesn’t feel overwhelming. It is not a super heavy game but there is some good meat to it that will keep everyone entertained. Because there are a lot of building cards there is a lot of replay ability. 

Fresh As Fresh Can Be

I thoroughly enjoyed playing Harbour. There was time to figure out my strategy but the game doesn’t run long, so I only had so many turns to execute my game plan. Once you purchase a couple buildings, your options are a bit more open; depending on what buildings you decided to buy. That will direct many of your future moves, so every time you play the game afterwards, your game plan will be different, depending on what buildings you purchase. This keeps the game fresh for many, many plays.  


Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic


Let’s Kick This Off

If the experts are to be believed we are reaching the end of it all. The vaccines are heading out and we may soon be able to spend time in the presence of others. I don’t know how the rest of you have been doing but this past year has been rough for me. I haven’t done anything for around a year. I’m a health risk and I take care of my grandmother who just turned 97. I have avoided people outside of my immediate family.

I’ve managed some gaming. My family has humored me with a couple of game days here and there. My regular game group has met nearly once a week in Table Top Simulator to play different games.

Still, I’m ready to see faces again. I want to be at a table with people. I miss people.

With all of that said, I’ve been thinking about this for the last few days and here’s a list of the top 10 things I want to do after the pandemic is over.

Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 114

Go to a convention.

Even before this last year it had been a long time since I’d gone to a convention. Partly money but mostly my health. I’m not in great shape. I’m trying to get better. Before everything I was walking about ¾ a mile three to four times a week. Since, not so much. I’m trying again, with varying levels of success. However, I hope to make 1 convention this year. I want to go for at least one day and walk around, play a demo or two, and just be there. I used to go to two or three cons a year. The last one I attended was the CMoN Expo in Atlanta. I had such a great weekend. I want to do that again.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 115

Play some Malifaux

I used to belong to a regular Thursday night league. I love Malifaux and have been playing the card based miniatures game with the fantasy, steampunk, gothic, Victorian, wuxia, Lovecraftian, hillbilly, and western themes. I’ve been playing the very cowboy centric Guild faction since I got involved all the way back in 1st edition all those years ago. I look forward to flipping fate for the Santiago clan in the near future.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 116

Play Wonderlands War

I say Wonderlands War because I’m looking forward to the interesting bag building area control game set in a post story books Wonderland. The game, the pieces, all of it looks amazing. I’m excited to get it in the mail and touch all of the bits. However, I could have listed a lot of things here. Every year after Christmas, I would get together with friends and we would play stuff we got for the holidays. Any new Kickstarter would hit the table. Birthday or Unbirthday presents would get pulled out for our enjoyment. I miss that. I want it back. When I get it back, Wonderlands War will be one of the first games to drop on the table in all of its poker chipped glory. (Yes, I backed the deluxe edition).
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 117

Return to Star Trek Adventures

My group was just starting a Star Trek Adventures campaign. I was having such fun. I really like the game, the mechanics, and the setting. I’m a Trek fan. I love Trek. We have played a couple of times online, but it’s just not the same. Plus we were in the process of learning the game and doing that online is just difficult. We’ve agreed to put it on hold until we can all be in the same room and can all work it out together. Until then, I’m looking forward to seeing the crew of the science vessel, the USS T’Pol, take flight again.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 118

Finish Gloomhaven

To be fair, we’ve been playing this one online. Our in person campaign was interrupted by the pandemic and we found a way to play online. We’ve been advancing the campaign and working our way towards the end. With Frosthaven coming out this year we want to be ready to start that one as well. Pandemic is a massive dungeon crawler with a unique card based combat system. The story evolves over time, with dozens of boxes to open and things to discover. I’m very excited about this game and what comes next. Heck after almost two years I think we found the first piece of the end game recently and I’m excited to see what comes next.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 119

Play Chronicles of Crime with my friends

A friend in my game group owns Chronicles of Crime. It’s a nice sitting room mystery game with a wonderful app integration for exploring the crime scenes and the rest of the story. I love games like Consulting Detective and Escape but this was special. We were slowly working our way through the story. We’d started both Welcome to Redview and the core set. I really like the game. I enjoy mysteries in general and it was fun to play through those and see how clever we were. Also in the past few months I won the first of the Millennium trilogy and would like to get that to the table.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 120

Play some non-solo Marvel Champion

I did this twice. I got the game two Christmas’ ago and really like it. I’ve even picked up a couple of the extra heroes. I’ve played it solo and done okay. I’m batting in the 200’s. I like this game and how it lays with more characters. I like that every hero gets a role and cards that fit into their deck to support that role. These are mixed with their own personal cards and give you a nice tight deck. I haven’t tried the deck building yet. I’m trying to keep it as easy to play with others right now, but one day hope to deck build. I enjoy how all of the villains feel unique. They have their own mechanics, themes, henchmen, and missions. Everything feels like Marvel. I like feeling like the Hulk, Thor, and Captain America. I like being a hero.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 121

Play Super Fantasy Brawl

I like miniatures games. I have for a very long time. My favorite one of them all is an old Upper Deck game called World of Warcraft Minis. I loved this game. While SFB isn’t a one for one comparison I get a lot of the same vibes off of it. You make a team of three gladiators for an eclectic collection, send them into the arena, and battle over points. You can get those points by defeating the other team’s models, but the real way to win is by completing objectives. That is an interplay I miss. I’m looking forward to playing.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 122

Pandemic Legacy Season 0

I love legacy games; my family has generously been playing through Clank Legacy with me. I love the Pandemic Legacy games. I’ve played through the first two seasons with the same people and we’re all waiting to be together to play through season 0. I’m excited to see how the game plays out and the story. I really enjoy the stories in these games, and can’t wait to see how it all begins. I’ve also avoided learning how to play the game so I can’t really say a lot here. Just that if you like Pandemic, you’ll probably enjoy this.
Top 10 Things to do After the Pandemic 123

Taking Part in the Extra Life Marathon

My favorite thing to do every year is the 24 hour Extra Life marathon. I adore this thing. It’s a fun event that helps raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It lets me do some good in my community, spend 24 hours playing games with friends, and just relax and enjoy myself. Yes it’s a ton of work and I’m exhausted for two days afterwards. I am more proud of what I’ve done through this marathon than anything else I’ve ever done.
I didn’t get to do it last year. My family came by and we played games for a couple of hours, but it just wasn’t the same. It was really great that they did that but it was still just a little bit empty. I’m looking forward to doing it again this year.

Final Thoughts

That’s everything folks. The whole ball of fun. It’s been a rough year, and I’m hoping we get to start back in on all the fun things that we didn’t get to do until now. Even this list is just a small portion of things I want to do. I’ve missed so much over the past year, my Memorial Day BBQ, Holidays, restaurants, friends, and I could keep going on.

If you have anything you want to vent about missing then I’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to. Drop a comment below and tell us some stuff you can’t wait to do.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.