Review: Jungle Speed Safari

memorable injuries, fractured fingers & french frottage, hot potatoes, hotter brains
Review: Jungle Speed Safari

Quinns: What I love most about Jungle Speed Safari is your friends’ fear when you set it up. If there’s a rule the manual’s missing, it’s that you’ve got to play this up. “OK,” you announce, dealing out the game’s cards. “If you’re wearing rings, take them off. It’s impossible to get blood out of cards.”

“Funny joke,” says one of your friends. “That was a joke, right?”

“What?” you say, and then: “Can everybody see something purple in this room?”

Your friends look around, assess the room, their chairs. They start to panic. “What do you mean?” someone says. “What are the wooden things in the middle of the table? And what do these pictures on the cards mean? WHAT ARE WE PLAYING?”

“Shhh,” you say, pressing a finger to their lips. “Don’t be scared. It’ll all be over soon.”

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The Very Best Introductory Wargames!

wargames, warboards, wararticles, warwords, warpaul, warwarwarwaraw
The Very Best Introductory Wargames!

Paul: Hey Matt! Sorry to call unannounced. How are you? You’re looking well!

Thrower: What do you want?

Paul: Oh. I did kind of stop by to ask you a .. favour?

Thrower: I told you I could attach the beaks, I couldn’t take them off again.

Paul: NO! It’s that, well, you and I have been playing a lot of these wargames, and I …

Thrower: You’re enjoying them?

Paul: Is that it? Yes! I’m enjoying them. The strategy’s so absorbing, the theme so transporting. I was hoping you might be able to perhaps suggest a few I could try with people who aren’t … you?

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Hot Games! 21/04/14

robot rebels, nanoplagues, holobabies, maybe chocolate will be better in the future
Onward to Venus

Quinns: Are you enjoying your Easter break? Did you have an egg hunt? I’m doing an egg hunt right now! Except instead of eggs it’s news, and instead of chocolate there are no eggs. I mean, no news.

But like Jesus, I’ve got a plan! This week we’ll look at the top six games on BoardGameGeek’s “hotness” sidebar, which shows the games that users have been clicking on the most. Like Easter chocolate, this will be initially exciting, slightly tasteless, and maybe just a bit sickening.

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Some Tips for Rules Explanations!

the domain of dwarves, the rules of rules, the law of laphroaig
Some Tips for Rules Explanations!

What’s the ultimate test of any board game night? No, it’s not your friend getting their arm trapped down the back of a radiator while recovering a lost meeple. That had us scared, but a little olive oil sorted Brendan right out. We’re talking about rules explanations.

We get a ton of questions about the best way to teach rules, so we’ve put together the above video. Teaching rules is going to be most people’s first ever exposure to this hobby. And exposing your friends is, of course, serious business.

What are your best tips to teach games, readers?

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Review: Hey, That’s My Fish!

eldery inuits, the horrid adélie, go with the floe, unadulterated children
Review: Hey, That's My Fish!

Paul: Hi Brendan!

Brendan: Paul.

Paul: Would you like to get together and review Hey, That’s My Fish!? I am not incredulous, it’s just that the title of the game ends with an exclamation point and then I wanted to add a question mark because I am asking you, Brendan, a question.

Brendan: What is your question?

Paul: Why is your hood up? I am asking you this question to highlight that your hood is up because our readers, at home, cannot see how you have decided to array your attire.

Brendan: My hood is up because it is cold. It is cold because we have been playing Hey, That’s My Fish, which is a game set on some melting ice. Melting, probably from global warming, but still cold.

Paul: That’s good! Because I just asked you if you wanted to review it would you get with the program please okay I’m going to insert a page break and we’re getting down to this and I want a lot less of your attitude today because frankly-

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Paul’s Roleplay Design Diary! Part 2

the accounting skill suite, statty protestations, a desparate die, beefsweats
Paul's Roleplay Design Diary! Part 2

Paul: Wow. Thank you all so much for your feedback and interest in the first installment of my RPG design diary. I’ve been tweaking and tinkering games since I was tiny, but starting something from scratch is a quite different experience. I feel very much like I’m fumbling in the dark, but your responses have been very encouraging and I think I’ve started off on the right foot.

After chewing out a few rough concepts (as well as doing an awful lot of scribbling on notepads), what I’d like to talk (write?) about in this installment is mechanics. Not beefy, sweaty people with large wrenches, but numbers and dice and systems, the engine room of the game. How big do I want that engine room to be? How complicated? Mechanics will affect the pace and feel of the game as much as, perhaps more than, any background or histories I write.

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Games News! 14/04/14

thighs, bounties, alien markets, you must make the tragedies happen
Merchants & Marauders

Quinns: We’ve got lots of exciting announcements to get through today, but our lead story has to be the announcement of Body Party. Say it with me now! BODY PARTY! Don’t those words drip with possibility and shame?

The design debut of none other than W. Eric Martin of the BoardGameGeek News blog (to which our own Games News owes quite the debt), Body Party challenges teams of players to hold more and more cards between various body parts.

Imagine it. It’s match point. The air is pungent with adrenaline and hormones. A card is revealed. To win, you’ll need to press it to your friend’s back using your… thigh? But your hand is already pressing another card to your friend’s chest! So you all shuffle into position, and you win the game for your team, kneeling above your friends like a sweaty colossus.

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Eurogamer review: Talisman Digital Edition

fisher price swords, skeptical exorcists, benign unicorns, instant death
Eurogamer review: Talisman Digital Edition

Quinns: Morning, ladies and gents! Let’s start the week with a clatter of dice a scream of horror. I’ve reviewed the digital edition of Talisman: The Magical Quest Game for Eurogamer, though the article is mostly my thoughts on Talisman.

Stuff like this:

Talisman isn’t just random. It is riotously, hilariously unfair. I remember my friend crying with laughter because my pious Knight kept finding money. Nothing but bags and bags of money under every single rock, and never anything to spend it on. I was still waving around my crap Fisher Price sword while she was wielding a magic lance atop a benign unicorn. Finally, I arrived on a space where I could draw three adventure cards at once, and the first was a merchant caravan. Success!

The second card was a group of brigands who stole all of my money and dumped it on the other side of the board, for anyone to take. And as always in Talisman, you resolve nasty cards first.

…And so on. You’ll find the full article right here. I had a ton of fun writing it! This box is all magic and problems.

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Review(s): Machi Koro Vs. Splendor

carpet corner, criminal cafés, a man atop another man, the secrets of gems
Review(s): Machi Koro Vs. Splendor

So many games feature dice, but so few capture the thrill of gambling. Why is that?

The answer is, of course, to just buy Machi Koro and shout “WHO CARES!” right in your friend’s face while buying a fourth bakery. Though if you’re looking for a dazzling little economic card game for 2-4 players, we’ve also taken a look at Splendor… and a look back over our shoulder at Mundus Novus.

Wow! On reflection, we really do make your lives difficult, don’t we?

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Podcast #15: Fleeing the City

the mundane train, the fastest pirates, the russian's roulette, volcanoes

Oh my goodness it’s a PODCAST! Rarest of all the pods. Gather round and hear Quinns and Paul talk of the giggly Jamaica, the confusing Rivals for Catan, the tricksy Great Fire of London 1666, the long-awaited Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts and lots more. But that’s not all! Paul’s back from GDC and … Read more

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