Games News! 25/09/2017

a gurgling relative, deadly dancers, a wobbly future, the star bean
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Quinns: You know how we usually do silly intros for the Games News?

Paul: Absolutely. That’s classic Games News.

Quinns: Well, I dunno if we have to today. I think our top story already sounds like a Dr. Seuss story.

Board game designer Friedemann Friese, who likes to make games that begin with the letter ‘F’, has announced a series of sequels to his title Fabled Fruit. Fear, Fortress and Flee are his three new games in the Fast Forward line, all of which use the Fable system (see below). All of these games are green, because Friedemann likes green games (and has green hair).

Speaking of which, they’ve also announced the first expansion to Fabled Fruit, and you’ll never guess what it adds.

Paul: What does it add?

Quinns: Limes.

Paul: Limes?

Quinns: Limes.


Review: Rhino Hero Super Battle

the clambering proletariat, doomed societies, the duality of heroism, monkeys
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Quinns: Leigh, thank you very much for agreeing to appear on Shut Up & Sit Down. I hope you won’t be expecting any special treatment as my wife.

Leigh: Not at all! It’s a pleasure to be invited to this forerunning venue for material game criticism.

Quinns: Do you think you’re up for the task?

Leigh: I certainly hope so!

Quinns: Glad to hear it. Today the text we’re looking at is Rhino Hero Super Battle, the outsize sequel to 2011 sleeper hit Rhino Hero. From the box - and I quote - “This time not only does the wobbly skyscraper need to be built & climbed, but there will also be fierce battles between the four superheroes Rhino Hero, Giraffe Boy, Big E. and Batguin.”

In more ways than one, Leigh, the world of Rhino Hero just got bigger.


Announcing The Metagame: Game Away

a boomerang made of jesus, hot dog-based misadventures, hit the club
Quinns: Hi everyone! Remember how 7 months ago we did a Kickstarter for an expansion for Monikers written by the SU&SD team? Since everyone seemed to love that and the finished product is now floating its way towards backers at a blistering 20 knots, when we were asked if we'd like to do that again, we said "Yes."

The Metagame: The Game: The Games Expansion: Game Away is our expansion for The Metagame, which I awarded the SU&SD Recommends seal back in 2015. In a nutshell, The Metagame is ten funny, accessible games in a beautiful box, and it's like nothing else in your collection.

Questions after the jump!


Review: Legend of the Five Rings

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Quinns: Phew! I birthed two of the year’s toughest reviews last week, but there’s no rest for the wicked. Today we’ve got some coverage that a lot of people have been asking for.

Remember when Fantasy Flight Games bought the rights to 1996 collectible card game Netrunner and released a new edition that took over my life? Well, Legend of the Five Rings (henceforth “L5R”) is them doing that again. This was originally a 1995 card game, but any week now shops will receive FFG’s beautimus new edition using the Living Card Game business model of releasing fixed expansions rather than randomised boosters. This makes it cheap compared to most collectable card games, albeit still expensive compared to board games.

In other words, we could have a hit on our hands. Have Fantasy Flight folded the original game’s steel into a captivating card katana?

Let’s find out.


Games News! 04/09/2017

wok star, bagged alpacas, a tile-laying tile layer, one very angry passenger
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Paul: Good News to you, my friends. Or, as we say here in Canada, News Be With You. I’m writing this Games News from atop a rock on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, watching the sun plunge past the horizon, thinking about the final touches we’re putting to SHUX. I’m already considering how to make next year bigger, better and cheaper, so it’s all that I can do to pull my head out of all this and tell you about Fantasy Flight’s BATTLE FOR ROKUGAN.

Quinns: It’s time to have a Really Honorable War.


RPG Review: Blades in the Dark

a georgian george clooney, a ghost whisperer, word-confetti
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Quinns: Remember last month when we reviewed Tales from the Loop, the charming sci-fi RPG of bicycles, bottle rockets and 1980s theme songs? Today we’re going to look at the other new role-playing game that’s been turning heads among my friends, and we’re going as villainous as Tales from the Loop was innocent.

Blades in the Dark is a game by John Harper, who you might remember from Cynthia’s review of superb free RPG Lady Blackbird. But while that game was an improbable 15 pages, Blades is 336 pages. By comparison, it's his opus.

Which is very good news if (like me) you’re a fan of Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora books or the heist genre in general, because Blades is a game of playing regency-era criminals. Oh, yes. This is a scoundrel simulator, and whether you want to play a crew of classy vice dealers, some down-and-dirty brawlers, or even a worrisome cult is simply the first of one million entertaining decisions that you'll be making.

Blades in the Dark also offers a vast, seductive backdrop to your escapades: The haunted city of Doskvol, which will be familiar to anyone who’s escaped into the gloompunk of videogames like Thief, Dishonored, Sunless Sea or Fallen London.

This is going to be a long review, and not just because this is a huge book. You see, not only is Blades the most fun that my friends and I have ever had playing an RPG, it’s also like nothing I’ve ever played.


Games News! 28/08/2017

sky bastards, staying in vegas, cardboard fishes, marble madness
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Paul: The Games News comes at you live today from the Shut Up & Sit Down jacuzzi. We always thought it would be cool to have one, so we splashed out but didn’t actually think about where it would go or how we were going to install it. So now we’re just sat in an empty jacuzzi. In our swimming trunks. With no water and no bubbles.

Still, there’s a new Uwe Rosenberg game coming, hooray! Let’s all hail Nusfjord, a game of fishing and worker placement.

Quinns: Hooray! That said, we made this our top story without thinking about how we were going to illustrate it. So up there is just a picture of the real-life town of Nusfjord.

Paul: This isn't our finest hour, is it?

Quinns: Quick, let's distract them with the box!


A Re-Review? Arkham Horror: The Card Game

a surprise pterodactyl, vomiting into a trumpet, cereal box fiction
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Quinns: So, we’re seven months on from when Matt and I first peeled the delicate outer membrane from the otherworldly Arkham Horror: The Card Game (otherwise known as ‘shrink-wrap’). We were stunned at how much fun we had. After years of rolling our eyes at Fantasy Flight’s Lovecraft products, we found that inside this small, unassuming box was an absolutely electric experience. I was as surprised as anyone when I announced that it was my favourite game of 2016.

Now, you’ll remember that while you can go back and play this game’s scenarios on “Hard” and “Expert” modes, most of the appeal is in the first playthrough, making each new expansion pack feel like a long-awaited episode of a favourite TV show. You call your friends over, microwave some popcorn, put the popcorn in the bin so nobody can get grease on the cards and sit down to see what happens to your characters (and their decks!) next.

Which begs a question. Now that the first full campaign has been published (seven expansions that make up The Dunwich Legacy), how’s this TV show doing?

And I think most players would answer you the same way. A small laugh, a faraway look, and then they'd say “Oh, man. It’s good. And... weird.”


Games News! 14/08/2017

the cutest of planks, I want to be auntie, torso-sized guns, razorwings
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Quinns: Hold onto your hats! Twilight Imperium 4th edition wasn't the only news-belch to erupt from Fantasy Flight Games' silky gullet this week. For many folks the bigger announcement was Fallout: The Board Game. The world's most popular post-apocalyptic video game franchise is finally coming to tabletop*.

Releasing in just a few months, the game will offer 1-4 players the chance to steer a tiny plastic miniature through the wasteland, racing the other miniatures to complete objectives and thereby acquire the most "Influence".

Reading the preview, it sounds like the game's trying to offer an irradiated sampler platter of what you do in the video game: Scrounge rare loot, level up, tangle with radscorpions, align yourself with factions and resolve the occasional moral quandary.

Sounds good, right? Well, here at SU&SD we're keeping our feet off the excitement-ometer for the time being, and here's why.


Review: Whitehall Mystery

a gutted game, an over-large uniform, nicotine discs, a rat in a trap
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Quinns: Career Shut Up & Sit Down fans might remember our 2013 Halloween Special, where we reviewed a game called Letters from Whitechapel. This was a beautiful, heinously tense game where one player controls Jack the Ripper, facing off against a team of police players who hunt him through the streets of London like a wild animal. It would be in ill taste to say that we were charmed by that box, but Paul and I would both have to admit to being seduced. What a puzzle. What a board! What fabulous pressure.

Fast-forward to 2017, and it was only a couple of months ago that I was arching my eyebrow at the announcement of a spin-off titled Whitehall Mystery. I read the preview articles and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I was supposed to be excited about.

This week review copies of Whitehall Mystery stepped out from the foggy alleyways of publisher Fantasy Flight, and I gave it a play. And you know what? There’s now egg on my (blood-flecked, murderer’s) face.

I think this is the best hidden movement game ever made.