Review: Gaia Project

Quinns: Everybody, stand up from your chairs! Pull up your pants. Spit out that gum. An esteemed classic has returned.

We reviewed fantasy town-building game Terra Mystica back in 2013 and found ourselves submerged in strategic nirvana. Today 28,000 people have rated it on BoardGameGeek, awarding it in an average of 8.3 out of 10. That’s shockingly high considering just how complicated and odd Terra Mystica is, with its challenging puzzle squished in between ugly mermaids and magic bowls. But there you have it! It’s just that enjoyable.

This week we’re looking at the sequel, Gaia Project, which is a big deal in more ways than one. As well as swapping Terra Mystica’s musty fantasy for a sci-fi backdrop, it’s more expensive, more complicated and demands significantly more table space. All set up, you’re looking at an asteroid belt of iconography.

Read moreReview: Gaia Project

Review: Necromunda: Underhive

[We once again welcome SU&SD miniatures correspondent Eric Tonjes for a report from some far-flung warzone. If you’ve not yet caught up on his work for us, do so on the double!]

Eric: A few years ago I had the chance to revisit the grade school I attended as a child. It was a jarring afternoon. The huge hallways were suddenly kind of small. I could see over the bookshelves in the library where I used to get lost. The teachers… several of them were younger than me. I walked in the door feeling nostalgic; I left a bit unsettled.

I found myself remembering that visit as I got ready to open Games Workshop’s new remake of Necromunda. A skirmish game set in the collapsing underbellies of hive cities in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the original Necromunda one-upped the grim darkness of the 41st millenia by adding gangs, drugs, slavery, abject poverty and child soldiers. To a 15-year-old me, it was a thing of glorious joy. Yet I wondered, would this turn out to be just another narrow-halled school with five-foot bookshelves?

Read moreReview: Necromunda: Underhive

Review: Spirit Island

Paul: The invaders are coming. They’re a white tsunami sweeping across the land, surrounding and engulfing everything in their wake, threatening to drag it all beneath the waves. They settle and they spread, they capture and they conquer. Gradually, methodically, they destroy everything.

You and your fellow spirits are all that stands in their way. Together, you will burn, drown and starve as many of them as you can. But, more than anything else, you’ll horrify them, with the hope that your actions are so soul-rendingly awful that their like are never seen again. It’s time to be terrifying.

Read moreReview: Spirit Island

RPG Review: Star Trek Adventures

Cynthia: “Space. The final frontier.” As a kid, whenever I heard Patrick Stewart utter those words, I’d drop everything, leap into my favorite chair (from the back, à la Riker) and watch. Star Trek: The Next Generation is more deeply rooted in my nerdy American psyche than pumpkin pie, Marvel superheroes and football combined. So when Modiphius announced they were publishing the first Star Trek roleplaying game in fifteen years, I began tugging Quinns’ sleeve like a kid passing an arcade. “Can we review that? Please?!

But does it provide that perfect blend of discovery, combat, philosophy and cheap humour that characterised Star Trek at its strongest? Can it submerge us the suffocating moral ambiguity of Deep Space Nine, inspire us like The Next Generation, or make us squee with dread like the tribbles of The Original Series? Does it boldly go where no science fiction RPG has gone before?

Read moreRPG Review: Star Trek Adventures

Review – Star Wars: Rebellion: Rise of the Empire

Quinns: Matt, are you ready to review the Rise of the Empire expansion for Star Wars™: Rebellion? To bring everyone up to speed, Rebellion is a grand 2-4 player game set in the Star Wars universe. I reviewed it and said it was fun, but I couldn’t quite recommend it. The review did have a really nice hologram effect, though. You should check it out.

What does the expansion add? Well, let me just quote the press materials: “Rise of the Empire isn’t just inspired by Rogue One; it follows the movie’s example, adding new depth and story to the Rebellion game experience just as seamlessly as Rogue One provided new insight into the Galactic Civil War presented in the original Star Wars trilogy.”

Matt: I just did a big vomit out of a window. In Real-World Terms™ it’s an expansion that adds quite a bunch of stuff: new leader characters, new cards, a whole new combat system, more unit types and plastic figures, and a brand new planet: EWOK-HOTH, HOME OF THE CHILLYBEARS.

Read moreReview – Star Wars: Rebellion: Rise of the Empire

Review: Flipships

(This review contains gifs. Viewing it on a mobile device may use a lot of roaming data. If your usage is metered, consider reading this at home!)

Paul: The aliens are coming. Aggressively advancing, ever encroaching, nothing seems to stop their dreadful descent. The sunlight shines off their silver spacecraft as they pierce the heavens and prepare to bring down so much death and destruction onto the city below.

You and your friends are all that stand in their way. Together, you will use a small flight of fighters and the most precise cardboard-flipping skills the galaxy has ever seen to win the hour. You will flip them round the moons. You will flip them in low orbit. You will flip them in the atmosphere. You will never surrender.

Or you’ll flick a state-of-the-art starfighter straight across the room and lose it behind the sofa. Who’s to say?

Read moreReview: Flipships

Review: Modern Art

Quinns: With CMON’s new edition of Modern Art, a game of blisteringly quick and dangerous art auctions, Shut Up & Sit Down continues its exploration of classic Knizia. Just who is Reiner Knizia? Where did he come from? What is he doing? We’ve interviewed him and I still don’t know. All I can tell you is that he’s responsible for more than 500 games, literally some of which are good.

But Modern Art isn’t just the oldest Knizia game we’ve ever reviewed. With the exception of 1981’s Consulting Detective, I think this is the oldest game we’ve reviewed, period. It came out way back in 1992, when Paul was celebrating his 30th birthday and Matt hadn’t even been born yet.

Can you feel it? This site is trembling with time right now. Slip inside my cardboard Tardis. Let’s see if the years have been kind.

Read moreReview: Modern Art

RPG Review: Unknown Armies

Cynthia: The third edition of Unknown Armies appeared in May of this year and got my attention with this pitch: “An occult game about broken people conspiring to fix the world.”

Alright, I thought, I’m hungry for games set in the actual dumpster fire world we live in, and I enjoy creepy, occult things, and I always want to investigate characters with secrets, traumas, and unsolvable problems. So I gathered a small cabal and led them into a morally ambiguous underworld of deadly rituals, paramilitary organizations, ancient crypts that appear only at midnight, young women without tongues, and murder. I plunged them into an international struggle for the future of the TransCanada oil pipeline, of Vancouver real estate, of the White House, and the world.

If you’re ready for a game of of vast conspiracies and sleepless nights, a game in which your obsessions give you strength and great power comes with great corruption, in which you’ll be haunted by invisible demons with ten-inch claws and compelled to do bloody deeds, where heroes are less Captain America and much more Jessica Jones… then read on. Just be warned: in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this game is not family-friendly. Nor is it for the faint of heart.

Read moreRPG Review: Unknown Armies

Review: Rhino Hero Super Battle

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.

Read moreReview: Rhino Hero Super Battle

Review: Legend of the Five Rings

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.

Read moreReview: Legend of the Five Rings

Shutupshow Tweets

Pandemic World Championship at SHUX'19?! Isaac Childres and Matt Leacock special guests? World exclusive game launches before Essen?! Kids get in free?? I think our not-so-little-anymore con just put on a top hat!! shux.show twitter.com/Zmangames_/sta…

About a day ago from Shut Up & Sit Down's Twitter via Twitter Web App