GAMES NEWS! 02/12/19

aggro brickies, reminder: avoid arrest, everyone is on fire again

Ava: Happy December, my beautiful news-children. It’s the season of barging around shops, loads of social obligations, wrapping up work and presents, slow news days, and it being really, really hard to stay sober. This week we’re focussing on what I optimistically like to call ‘presents for your future self’, but might more accurately be called ‘gambling on games that have limited incentive to actually be good because they’ve already sold out their stock before they started production’.

Sorry about the cynicism, honestly. I have a finite amount of Christmas Cheer, so I have to be really grumpy for most of December in order to still have some in reserve for the actual festive period. It won’t last all month, I secretly love Christmas.

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Tactics & Tactility #5 – The Clairvoyance of Failure

Doomed Drinks, Magical Maths, Abstract Fingers

[Tactics and Tactility is our column about the feelings, details and pleasures of tabletop gaming. This week Ava is looking at Quacks of Quedlinberg and the perils of prediction.]

Ava: I’m a potion maker, I’ve got a bag of secret ingredients. There’s magic spilling everywhere. In this moment, I know the exact odds of failure, and I make the fatal mistake. I say it out loud.

‘There’s only one thing that can kill me, and there’s loads in here. Knowing my luck, I’m doomed.’

I pull out that one ingredient, my cauldron explodes, and so does the table. A wave of sympathy and laughter. Of course I did the thing. A one in six chance was the only possible outcome.

Quacks of Quedlinberg is a simple push your luck game wrapped in the right trappings to take it off the table and into your hearts. It’s built out of simple probabilities, a little calculation, and the illusion of control. You pull tiny cardboard chits out of the soft, black bag you’ve built for yourself. You always know exactly how many of the dreaded berries inside can ruin everything.

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Review: Don’t Get Got

poster child for a smarty-pants, bad buttonin', the box wants to be cut up

Who wants to feel nervous and paranoid? Yes, more nervous and paranoid than normal.

Don’t Get Got is a party game that runs in the background of your normal life, able to turn a party or ordinary day at work into a nightmarish playground of the mind. It’s cheap, sweet, utterly unique, and gets people dancing for joy more frequently than we’ve seen in eight years as board game reviewers.

Don’t understand? You will! Just click play on the video.

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GAMES NEWS! 25/11/19

penny-fight, cetacean versus paintin', an ol' race-faff

Ava: QUINNS QUINNS I’M ON A TRAIN!

Quinns: You’re writing the news from a train? I–

Ava: CHOO CHOO!

Quinns: I’m so glad you’re–

Ava: NEWS NEWS!

Quinns: Ok, I’m now looking forward to the wi-fi dropping you in about eight seconds.

Ava: CHOO CH-

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10 Oink Games Reviewed In 10* Minutes

minerables, most boys, Honey I shrunk the games, this is just juice

Bending the very essence of TIME to our wills, this week we’re proud to announce that we’ve managed to compress 21 minutes and 11 seconds into ten minutes of human time. How did we do it? We’ll never tell.

10 Oink games, reviewed in just 10 minutes. Have we missed one of your favourites? Do let us know – there are plenty more Oink games in the sea, and we’ll soon be perfectly positioned to try them after the internet drowns us for the things we’ve said about Deep Sea Adventure.

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GAMES NEWS! 19/11/19

A sticky and skull-encrusted wicket, a Portugeuse puzzle puddle, a back-up bird bath

Ava: Ooh hoo hoo. It’s late in the day for a news harvest, but I’m sure there’s still some pickings out in the fields. Let’s have a little news-pumpkin fesitval and think about chickens, gems, memories, moods, pretty mosaics, old worlds, new boats, weird moons and sadness.

Ooh I’ve gone autumnal maudlin. Let’s see if BoardGameGeek can shake me out of it.

Due to a clash with BGG Con, head honcho W Eric Martin won’t be making it to the Tokyo Game show this year. This is a shame as his tour of the Japanese game design scene is always pretty exciting. Instead he’s giving us a long distance roundup of just a few games.

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Cerebria: Emotional Turmoil with a Purple Pillar

A worm named desire, land of orangina, cones of brainshire, positive thunks

This week Matt truly takes one for the team, with the team being humanity – and everyone within it. That’s right, he’s reviewed a fiddly eurogame that doesn’t have an especially useful manual. Cerebria is one hell of a thing, it’s just not remarkably likely that this thing will be for you. Find out, today, via the medium of Internet Opinion Video.

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GAMES NEWS! 11/11/19

a lonely space bureaucrat, gnarly jackets, Big Spitting Bumpy Boys

Quinns: Woo! I don’t know what your weekend was like, Ava, and I don’t want to be coy, but I played a *very* large board game that I’ll be covering in our big, year-end blowout review.

Ava: How large are we talking?

Quinns: OK, imagine how big a board game should be.

Ava: *closes eyes* I’m doing it.

Quinns: It’s even bigger than that!

Ava: Oh my.

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Your Introduction to… Carl Chudyk!

MSpaint nudity, a fiery finish, a bucketful of hope, Carl's sequential kinks

Ava: Welcome to an occasional series introducing you to a single, storied game designer. Today I want to tell you about the games of a man called Carl.

Certain designers have a set of obsessions that shine brightly when you put all their work together. There’s a pattern of passions that unite their work. Carl Chudyk is my my board game design crush, and it’s because he ploughs a furrow that nobody else could. His games are relics from a weirder, smarter world. He builds layered puzzle-systems where possibilities multiply at every turn. They’re challenging to learn, but a delight to wrangle.

It’s odd though. I struggle to recommend them to people, even though they’re my favourites. I don’t like to push people into an experience that might feel horrible the first time round. It’s like asking someone to dive into a river that will be cold until they adjust.

But I want to talk about Carl Chudyk anyway. Once you’re swimming with him, you’ll find something you couldn’t get anywhere else.  You’ll open tiny boxes and find yourself tucking ideas under possibilities and watching your table turn into a sea of systems. You’ll still be finding surprises on your hundredth play.

You’ll get stories. Stories of the time a game felt different to anything else.

These aren’t reviews. There’s no time for that.

Instead I’m going to dissect a few games, pull out a few gutsy details, and see if I can read in the entrails why Carl is the way he is. Why he fills me with wonder and what makes me scream. Take a deep breath. It’s a fast river, you might not be able to get out.

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