Paul: WELCOME to our sunny June Games News, live from a Brighton pub. Quinns and I are, in fact, writing this together in a secret alcove in a cider pub. Yes, that’s right, we have suddenly both become forty-five years old.
Quinns: Paul, it’s time for you to get a round in.
Paul: You don’t need to type that, I’m sat right next to you. Also it’s not even 1pm.
Quinns: Don’t give me that you NARC
Paul: Impossible to ignore this week is SEAL Team Flix, a Catacombs-a-like dexterity game of counter-terrorism and Tom Clancy-ish special ops. SEAL Team Flix has you and your friends chasing down terrorists, disarming bombs and rescuing hostages, all performed via fierce token-flicking. It has a branching campaign, all the guns you’d expect for an experience like this, cover that can be destroyed and a sort of sniping mini-game that uses a separate board.
It’s an impressive mix of a serious and detailed look at military operations and the inevitable comedy of slapstick stupidity when you accidentally throw a flashbang at your friend’s head. The thing is, comedy in games like this doesn’t dispel the tension that comes with having to make that vital shot, or from that moment where a single mistake or success can turn a game on its head. I can see how SEAL Team Flix could be both funny AND very exciting.
Quinns: And there’s no equivalent of a dungeon master facing you and your friends, either. You’re all buddies, fighting opponents governed by an AI system that the designers talk a little about in this diary!
Paul: In other Wizkids news we have Marvel Strike Teams on the horizon, a one versus many game of superhero combat where you can put yourself in the shoes (or cape, or spandex, if superheroes still wear that) of your favourite Marvel characters. One player takes on the role of the villainous villain, while everyone else teams up as characters like the Hulk, Captain America or Iron Person. Predictably, you have all sorts of individual superhero powers at your disposal, as well as the ability to improve yourself across a campaign, but what interests me most of all is all the replay value from randomly-generated scenarios.
Quinns: Gosh, it’s ugly. Even the tiniest Kickstarters these days work with talented artists and art designers to make their game look gorgeous. Wizkids is being made to look amateurish by the amateurs.
Paul: What about fantasy megafranchise Dungeons and/or Dragons? You’re excited by a bit of that, right? Gale Force Nine will be publishing Vault of Dragons at the end of the summer, giving players the chance to play rascally rakes trying to find a big pot of gold buried somewhere under the Forgotten Realm’s infamous city of Waterdeep. Now, I’ve never been hugely inspired by any of the D&D board games, but you’re cautiously optimistic about this one, right?
Quinns: Sure! Gale Force Nine have a habit of surprising us with really high-quality franchise games. Also, the tagline calls it a game of FIERCE CONFLICTS and HIDDEN TREASURES. That sounds like the marketing copy of a trashy 1980s board game, and I love it.
Paul: Our daily paper route takes us past Kickstarter Mansion and today that means the new game from Tueusday Knight Games (of Two Rooms and a Boom), That’s Not Lemonade.
Quinns: I’m liking the sound of this. It’s a tiny-box push your luck card game where players have to pull lemons out of a deck without drinking pee.
Paul: Is that… really what it’s about?
Quinns: Honestly, I think this sounds pretty swell. Matt and I had plenty of fun with Bye-Bye Black Sheep, which is a card game with even less decisions and more luck than this one. I bet this is a ton of fun. Perhaps it’ll even be 2018’s Love Letter. Alan I know you’re reading this, don’t you dare use that as a pull quote.
You know what’s hot? BOARD GAMES. You know who knows it? VIBEO GAMES.
This week Scythe came out on Steam as a standalone digital game, and that’s not all! Ticket to Ride was just announced for PS4, and Carcassonne will be releasing on the Nintendo Switch.
Slowly but surely, board games are seeping into the public subconscious. Soon, we will have respect. Soon, we will have control. By the year 2032, Shut Up & Sit Down will be the Prime Minister of the UK. It’ll be me, Matt and Paul all sat on one another’s laps, squeezed into a single chair.
Paul: When I worked in the video games industry when I were a young lad PS4 games were £5 and you could buy a Mars bar for 20p.
Quinns: That’s not true. You were NEVER a young lad.
Paul: In more serious news-
Quinns: This is absolutely not a serious news story.
Paul: Shut Up & Sit Down’s YouTube channel experienced a SUSTAINED ATTACK this weekend-
Quinns: No it didn’t-
Paul: -when literally DOZENS of Axis & Allies fans (see evidence.png) attempted to slip covert messages to us in our YouTube comments, subtly hinting that we should, perhaps, review Axis & Allies. Unfortunately for them, this scheme came undone when we noticed a pattern literally instantly.
Quinns: It was amazing. By the time the second comment came in, we already knew this was some kind of organised community effort. By the time the fourth stealthy suggestion came in, we were cracking up in the company Slack. By the time the twentieth person dropped a sly hint that we should review the seminal, aging, Avalon Hill wargame Axis & Allies, I’d fallen in love. It was like I was Cillian Murphy in Inception. This is… Quinception.
Paul, I don’t know where this idea came from, but I think we should review Axis & Allies.
(Axis & Allies community, if you’re reading this, we can only commend your incredible psychological warfare. For what it’s worth, we WERE planning to take a look at the upcoming Axis & Allies & Zombies, so you can look forward to some coverage of that in the future.)
Paul: Over the weekend team SU&SD were also cracking up over The Dragon’s Tomb, a new YouTube channel dedicated to teaching you how to play board games THE RIGHT WAY.
Quinns: Speaking as a reviewer who’s gotten all sorts of rules wrong over the years, this will be an invaluable new resource. Do take a few minutes to check out TDT’s priceless work.
Paul: Also, we have an Instagram account now! Instagram is a trendy new social media phenomenon where you “share” some “pictures” of things that you like and we’ve decided to be “early adopters.” Unlike most Instagrammers, we won’t be sharing pictures of sausages or dogs or sausage dogs, but you will get to see even more of what we’re playing, what we’re doing and life “behind” the “scenes.” Which is mostly me being incompetent! I’ve spilled so much food on myself these last three days.
Quinns: Yes! Please do follow our Instagram. With your help, we think this social media platform could be the next big thing.