Games News! 20/03/2017

a warrior bird, a drugged thief, flamingo milk, correct toiletry
Lannister-Miniatures
Paul: Oh crikey, what a week it’s been. There’s been all sorts of news exploding out of GAMA, the Game Manufacturers Association trade show in Ohio, but probably the most significant of these was publisher CMON casually announcing that they’re kickstarting a tabletop miniatures game based on A Song of Ice & Fire. Yep, they’ve got a Game of Thrones wargame on the way. That’s quite the license to muscle in on and with the first box being a Stark vs. Lannister “Starter Set” there’s no doubt they have aspirations to grow this substantially.

Quinns: I might have just read too many Game of Thrones books, but this announcement seemed undercut with an amount of... intrigue.

Paul: What do you mean? MURDER?

Quinns: Oh god, no! Will you stop guessing that everyone's murdering one another?


Review: Diamant

Conversational sex act, Danny DeVito, No no no no no
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Paul: QUINTIN. I know we want to tell people all about Diamant and how this cute-but-cruel game of pushing your luck can make you either rich or dead, but I’ve got to say one thing right thing right here, right now, right off the bat. Right?

Quinns: I'll allow it!

Paul: Diamant is probably the most fun I’ve had for the least investment of time and energy SO FAR THIS YEAR. I’m so sorry. I just had to blurt that. It’s a petite wonder. PETITE. WONDER. Like… Danny DeVito. Or... a teabag?

Quinns: You’re arriving at this party a little late though, aren’t you? Last year I called Incan Gold the best little push-your-luck game I’d played in forever. Diamant is just a beautiful new edition of the same game! You can’t talk about it like you’ve just found a dead sea scroll in your back garden.

Paul: All right, all right, back that boulder up, snarkaeologist. Incan Gold? The 2006 game? And when did you come to it, exactly?

Quinns: Erm. 2016.

Paul: An entire decade of incompetence.


Update: Our Nonsense Box Kickstarter Just Got Sexier!

Make a sound effect using someone else's hand from another room
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Quinns: Hey everybody! With just seven days left on our Kickstarter for the Monikers Nonsense Box - a standalone expansion for Monikers written entirely by SU&SD staff - all backers now get a free gift!

Basically we reached 2,500 backers and decided we'd like to improve the product you guys were getting. Think of it as a kind of thank you for helping us to stretch past our original goal. We're calling this addition a "Girth Objective" and it's my guess that by 2020 every Kickstarter will have one.

As of this week every backer of the Nonsense Box Kickstarter will get a free pack of Hopelessly Stupid Fourth Round Cards. You see, Monikers is a game that starts off very pedestrian in round 1 and becomes marginally more interesting in round 2 before going completely insane in round 3. But as old Monikers pros will tell you, you can keep playing and the game gets dumber and funnier with every additional round. "Charades but under a bedsheet" has to be played to be believed.

We have a tenative list already drawn up, but we're well aware that you guys are often funnier and smarter than us in our comment threads. If you have an idea for a fourth round for Monikers, and would like to see it on a card with your name on it and a professional illustration, please leave a comment below!

Thanks so much, everyone. <3


RPG Review: Numenera

A sentient saw, a song from aladdin, a giant map, seriously you gotta see this map
Obelisk
Cynthia: Imagine rising to the top of a valley and discovering the above vista: green hills, snowcapped mountains, seemingly pristine waters, and an obelisk, tens of thousands of years old, humming with magical (or mechanical?) power. You could be the first to learn all of its secrets, or simply find out how it works, and harness its power. And that could be just the beginning of your earthly adventures.

For this uncanny place is our Earth, far, far, far into the future, after our civilization and seven others have climbed, peaked, fallen, and been rusted over. More than one alien invasion has occurred, and more than one alien species has mingled genes with humanity. A new civilization has arisen, but hasn't really gotten past the middle ages. The perplexing debris of past civilizations, from humming obelisks and transdimensional portals to enchanted amulets and portable CD players, is everywhere. The people of earth call these weird objects "filled-with-power-things": numenera.

Welcome to the Ninth World, the setting of Monte Cook's Numenera. I would say, "come on in, the water's fine," but it's probably filled with flesh-eating microdroids or laced with bubble-gum flavored psychotropic drugs or something. But forget the water, there's so much here. This place is so ancient, and vast, and tremendous. Let's explore!


Games News! 13/03/2017

hidden royalty, leverage your swans, sonar talents, jamiroquai, verdun
40dd561989ec4cbd0a067852bed4230b_original
Quinns: OH MY GOD YOU’RE BACK.

Paul: OH MY GOD I’M BACK.

Quinns: OH MY GOD.

Paul: Did I miss anything while I was aw-

Quinns: ONLY THE GIGANTIC RISING SUN KICKSTARTER, THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE GRIZZLED, THE BIG NEWS ABOUT RUNE WARS AND THIS CRAZY NEW MUSIC MIXING GAME.

Paul: …Were you eating properly while I was gone?


Review: Watson & Holmes

drop a deduce, the gut-motor, a nice hot loaf of police, elementary you're a dick
A mere thirty-six years after the release of the amazing Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, the board game industry has leapt into action! This month sees the release of the West End Adventures standalone expansion, and... we're not reviewing it.

That's because this month we're also getting a new English-language edition of Watson & Holmes, and that's EVEN MORE EXCITING. This game takes the original, superlative co-op experience that is Consulting Detective and makes it... competitive. Is this a work of evil genius to rival Moriarty? Or simply an error in deductive reasoning? Let's find out.

Have a great weekend, everybody.


Podcast #54: In A Bedroom With A Nasty Lich

tap-tap for jesus, the best maths, who invented illithids, the death of trivia
In this temporarily-educated instalment of the SU&SD podcast, Matt, Pip and Paul gathered at a hotel during the 2017 Game Developer's Conference. Their mission? To discuss the hot questions of the day.

Should liches be banned? Are humans secretly terrible at games? Why can't I have my raven back? When is an asteroid frustrating? Should SU&SD be on Pinterest? And most importantly, why do the world's best board game designers think the future is great for players?

We also reach into the mailbag to answer a question on trivia games, and discuss some deeply unprofessional games that are played by actors, on stage.

Commenters, what do you think? Should trivia games continue their slow death, or should we be huffing and puffing into their lungs like someone who kind of remembers CPR (but not really)?


Games News! 06/03/2017

goose eggs, backwards walks, roaring roses, lamplight pizzling
Speak_Out_Kids_v._Parents_Lifestyle_phogze
Quinns: Hello everybody! So glad you could meet me here, at the Games News pub. It's my round! Who's for a pint of news? [points at you] News and soda, was it?

It's happy hour, so we're going to start out with a double news on the rocks. The nonsense-mongers at Hasbro have just unveiled two new games. Speak Out: Kids vs Parents is a familial evolution of their game Speak Out, both of which feature your team trying to work out what the hell you're saying while you wear a dentist's cheek retractor.

Doesn't that sound like a game we'd make up as part of a skit? I can only approve that Hasbro has made it a reality.

The press image for it (above) is freaking me out, though. The combination of Habro's clean-cut toy photography (which has always looked a little "uncanny valley" to me) with rictus grins is absolutely terrifying. Imagine coming downstairs and finding them in your living room. "WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY A GAME," bleats the mother, spraying spit across the room.


Review: Quartermaster General: 1914

oily eels, a kick in the rules-testicles, why is ireland even on the board, oh no
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Quinns: It can be lonely reviewing games by yourself. Matt and Paul might be at the Game Developer’s Conference, but I have a solution!

Matt's head made from papier-mâché: that’s because you're great quinns

Quinns: Ha ha, you flatter me! Let’s get down to business, Matt.

Matt's head made from papier-mâché: i love business

Quinns: Today we’re reviewing Quartermaster General 1914, the third (and most highly-rated) entry in the Quartermaster General series. Like Memoir ‘44, these games might look like stodgy wargames, but don’t be fooled! 1914 is a tricky, playful card game that lets you get stuck into the drama and anxiety of WAR without having to measure any distances or frown at charts.

Now, our site has said over and over again that there aren’t enough team-based board games -

Matt's head made from papier-mâché: oh goodness no, nowhere near enough

Quinns: Don't speak, you're getting flakes of glue on the table. So team play is exactly what the Quartermaster General series is all about. In our case, 1914 is a five player game where three frail players take on two wealthy ones. It’s a tremendously exciting hook, and we're just getting started.


Review: Robo Rally (2016 edition)

clusterpickles, electric bimbling, bum-first into the robo-bin
roborally
Pip: When living with a fellow board game enthusiast you have the benefit of a ready-made companion for cardboard adventures – HOORAY! – but you also start to realise that, for a lot of games that say they're for 2-to-however-many-players on the side, there's this disproportionately large leap in enjoyment between the two-player version and the three-or-more-player outings.

Robo Rally might be the ultimate illustration of this. With three people it's a rambunctious clusterpickle of robots and conflicting agendas where your neatly programmed sequence of moves gets nudged hilariously and disastrously off course. With two we ended up trying to house-rule it so we could ginger up the experience and keep our momentum. Quinns informs me that SU&SD is all about reviewing board games in their favoured conditions, though, so consider this a review of Robo Rally the beloved 3-6 player omnishambles, and not Robo Rally the 2 player compromise-simulator.