Review: The Mind

THE PROBLEM OF THE INTERNAL, THE PROBLEM OF THE EXTERNAL, Commander J’Pec
Paul: The Mind is one of the very best games that I have played this year. In the last twelve months. In the last twenty-four. Brace yourself, plant your feet, tense your muscles and tug that timeline back as far as you want and I think The Mind is still one of the very best games I have played between now and whenever. I have written so much about it and yet I still can't communicate its gentle brilliance.

It’s also barely a game, not so much a skeleton of rules as a single bony finger, the sort that would be tentatively and timidly excavated, brush by brush, by archaeologists baffled by both its simplicity and its profundity. How, they might ask, could something so simple be so magnificent?


Games News! 21/05/18

hard raisins, crab attacks, needle size, Underwater Cities
Images from MojoNation.com

Paul: This year's Spiel Des Jahres nominees are coming at us like hail in a windstorm. That’s to say SIDEWAYS and KIND OF PAINFULLY. Like HARD RAISINS. A HARD RAISINS’ A-GONNA FALL.

Quinns: Well said, Paul! I can hardly tell you just had a big coffee.

If you’re not aware, once a year this prestigious German prize is awarded by a jury of critics for “excellence in game design”. Because the winner of the Spiel des Jahres can sell up to half a million copies, it's basically the only prize in board gaming that matters. You can see the past winners here.

It’s now also tradition that every year Shut Up & Sit Down looks at the nominees and contort our faces into the kind of expression you might wear when checking if you’ve broken a toe.


Review: Bargain Quest

eaten by a witch, the realm of retail, doritos: cool original
Who's ready to make a sale? Bargain Quest is a game about running a shop in a fantasy world, and figuring out the best way to empty the pockets of doomed heroes. Though if they actually manage to slay the dragon? Well, that's just free marketing.

Better yet, Bargain Quest is Matt's new favourite way to get newbies involved in the joys of board gaming. But will he sell Quinns on it? That boy's a famously tough customer...

The Sushi Go Party! review mentioned in the review can be found right here. Thanks to Dice Saloon here in Brighton for letting us film. They're an awesome, friendly shop with a ton of free play space, and locals should check them out.


Games News! 14/05/18

probing polyps, Deceptive or derivative, barrelling toward middle age
Paul: Hello and welcome to another fresh and frothy Games News (the last one written by me on the Western side of the Atlantic for a little while yet). We have all sorts bubbling up this week, from interesting new releases to controversial accusations, but we can’t possibly lead with any other story but this one:

It looks like publishing giant Asmodee are up for sale.


Review: 878 Vikings & Viking Age expansion

Rebuffing viking bobbins, A diddly hand of cards, A katamari made of axes
Who remembers Quinns' anciente video reviewe of 1812: The Invasion of Canada? Well, today we've got a redux for you! It's our review of the latest game in that series, 878 Vikings, as well as the Viking Age expansion.

And boy, those mechanics have stood the test of time. It's still tons of fun to invade a country with a buddy, rolling handfuls of dice together and stretching your armies too far, too fast. Click play and find out why Quinns calls this series the mac & cheese of wargaming.


Review: Space Base

admirable admirals, a cheeky tug, the insurmountable greed of your nasty space-friends
Quinns: Ever since team Shut Up & Sit Down first borrowed a camcorder and began proselytising and/or squawking about board games, we’ve been borrowing a line from designer Sid Meier. “A good game is a series of interesting decisions.”

But is this true? Six year later, I'm pretty sure that sometimes a good game is one where you roll dice and then nice stuff happens, or perhaps you own a spaceship(!).

Well HOLD ONTO YOUR PANTS, because in the newly-released Space Base all of these things are true. Each player starts with 12 ships that are straining at their docking clamps like greyhounds before a race, and you’re going to be shrewdly dispatching them across the galaxy for profit and points.

What you’re really doing, though, is designing a slot machine. Won't you listen to me squawk about Space Base? I really like this game.


Games News! 07/05/18

Paul’s clinging, Paul’s itch, Paul’s piques
Paul: All right, everyone, stand back. We’ve had reports of some unexploded Games News here and so our team of experts are stepping in to carefully, cautiously and capably dismantle and defuse this thing. This is a complex process and meticulous work.

Quinns: Is it? Nah, let’s dive straight in with the story that’s impossible to avoid: There’s a new edition of X-Wing coming! It gets a wide release in September, after a GenCon reveal, but is it different enough?


Podcast #77: Shipping & Deceiving

get comfortable, loosen your tie, and help yourself to a glass of paul's beer
HONK! After a long journey, the latest Shut Up & Sit Down podcast is now docking with your ears. The pinnacle of opinion-container technology, it's 400 metres long bow to stern (but you shouldn't feel a thing since it's largely metaphorical).

The thing is, the boys have finally played Container, a ridiculous economic game that'll be enjoying a similarly ridiculous new "Jumbo" edition in July. This podcast also contains chat about Decrypto (see Paul's recent review) and Medici, each of which deliver big experiences in small containers.

Finally, we spend a whopping 25 minutes discussing two games: Brass: Lancashire, which is the new edition of classic game Brass, and Brass: Birmingham, the hot new "sequel". We've now played both of these much-anticipated games, and you know what? Going against Quinns' Brass video review, Shut Up & Sit Down can finally recommend Brass. But you'll have to listen to find out why...

Enjoy, everybody!


Review: Decrypto

The cat fell asleep, etymilogical detective, CUMBERBATCH FROM EGGS
Paul: I have never, in my life, seen so much frantic, last-minute lying. I’ve never seen so many misunderstandings over cake. I’ve never thought I’d have to explain to someone how oil is obviously, indisputably associated with Texas. And I never thought a tiny misunderstanding over a simple word like “heat” could, and would, ruin everything.

But that’s Decrypto for you, a game of discord and deception that somehow ends up fraught, funny and absolutely fantastic. It sets you the simplest of challenges and creates the most convoluted complications as you and your friends try to tell secrets out in the open, right in front of each other.


Review: Crystal Clans

dandelion warriors, floodlights of dread, cooking the books at fraggle rock
Quinns: To look at the box of Crystal Clans, the new 2 player card game from publisher Plaid Hat, is to hear the soaring soundtrack of Saturday morning cartoons. The bracing breeze of GI Joe! The salty spray of the Thundercats-

Matt: Quinns this is a family show.

Quinns: It sure is, Matthew, and so is Crystal Clans! This box is a bat-signal that immediately summoned my childhood fascination with not just “fantasy” but the fantastical.

Contained within this game's deliciously diverse clans are knights that ride bees into battle, necromancers who pursue a romantic Dia de los Muertos aesthetic, time-travelling twins and one massive crocodile. This feels like a world for everybody, and the manual doubles-down on that by using the feminine “She” to refer to the player.

Everything in Crystal Clans has a touch of the revolutionary about it, and that extends to the actual game. This is like no other box we’ve ever reviewed.