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?
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.
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.
It looks like publishing giant Asmodee are up for sale.
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.
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.
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?
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...
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.
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.