Review: Azul

peppering of porcelain, choke down ceramics, flapping fleshy fingers
The holiday season is upon us and Paul has discovered a very special gift has come his way! But does it really suit? Azul is an abstract game, nothing like the sort of thing he usually enjoys, so was this a present poorly chosen? Has someone made a terrible mistake? Are the holidays ruined?

There's only one way to find out! Sit back, get comfortable and enjoy our special, seasonal, candlelit review.


Our Holiday Gift Guide, 2017!

big or small, wood or plastic, candle or no candle
Quinns: Christmas is almost upon us, everyone! That sweet stretch of the calendar where board games take center stage, or at the very least share the stage with potatoes and Jesus Christ.

Are you thinking about buying a new game to play with your relatives? Or are you wondering which game to buy for the stalwart board game collector in your life?

Either way, we’ve got you covered with the below holiday game guide. Enjoy, everyone!


Games News! 27/11/17

get petty, a metric yonk, World War 2 but totally nude, the gifs you give
Quinns: Hello everyone! Did our American readers have a nice Thanksgiving? I’m happy to say that I tried pecan pie for the very first time. The sugar is still bouncing around my body like a pinball.

But today I’m handing out slices of something even sweeter. I am, of course, talking about The Games News. We kick things off with the announcement of Decrypto, a team game of announcing coded messages to your team while racing to decypher the other team’s cypher.

...And I have only this second realised that “cypher” is the root word of “decypher”. That’s probably an indication that I’m going to suck at this game.

One thing I have deduced, however, is that Decrypto is almost certainly inspired by Codenames. Not only does it - like Codenames - play up to 8 players on two teams and feature a mechanic whereby a wrong move could instantly lose you the game, you are sending literal codenames to one another.


Review: Spirit Island

persnickety poltergeist, quirky quickstep, germophobe’s whistle
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.


Podcast #68: Brotherly Love and Troublesome Pies

steve buscemi, a chocolate onion, is it a Fibonacci thing
Matt and Quinns took to the stage at PAX Unplugged for this Very Special Phillysode! The first segment, "Card games that made us feel bad", includes chat about Capital Lux, Hanamikoji and Plums. Then there's "Eurogames that are actually quite good", featuring Pie Town and Altiplano. Finally, the boys move onto their game of the show, and possibly the year: Jacob Jaskov's Fog of Love. Surprising no-one, Matt and Quinns' first simulated relationship had chemistry but was horrible for everyone involved.

This podcast was followed by an extensive audience Q&A which can be found here in our video of the event. The boys were asked to recommend an out-of-print game, how they pick games during a game night, which video they most enjoyed putting together, whether Matt's hair is affected by the tides and more!

The answers may surprise you.


Games News! 20/11/17

News cockles, elevated priesting, TARDIS full of Spice Girls
Paul: Tis the season to be wet, for many of us in the Northern hemisphere, and as the clouds swell and the sky cascades, we need all the Games News that we can get to keep us toasty and dry. Thank heavens, then, for Rob Daviau, whose warm and welcoming announcement of Betrayal Legacy is like a sizzling space heater against the cold November rain.

So, are you ready to stumble through haunted houses again and again and again? It's time to get spooked. Repeatedly.


Review: Twilight Imperium, Fourth Edition

space sneeze, letnev party, a reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally big car park
At last. A full six years after we rugby-tackled one of the most glorious and gargantuan board games ever made, we once again take on Twilight Imperium. Sleeker and shinier than ever, just how does the refined fourth edition compare with its previous incarnation? Look no further, for we offer you the definitive review of this epic space opera.

And yes, we really do mean definitive. After Matt and Paul prodded the game so much at Fantasy Flight's headquarters for Matt's in-depth documentary, Quinns took on the brave (some would say Herculean) task of looking at this new edition both as a standalone game, but also alongside its predecessor, which is now widely discounted. Which one deserves your money?


RPG Review: Star Trek Adventures

splinching Spock, good space weather, the mirror universe and all its evil beards
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?


Games News! 13/11/17

undersea ant farm, Paul's exfoliating chamber, conundrumy
Paul: Games News is storm front that rolls forever toward us, each new band of rain drenching us with fresh updates and moist headlines. It’s all we can do to stay afloat amongst this unrelenting deluge, so perhaps we should welcome the watertight safety of UBOOT.

So let’s dive in! Secure that hatch and join me taking a look at one of the year’s most fascinating announcements…


Podcast #67: Spanish Tiles and Surprise Rats

quintin's bad christmas, spoiler: there's a disease, paranormal paul
Sixty six podcasts. Can you imagine such a thing? Try and picture sixty six podcasts lying jumbled-up in a big pile. You can't, can you?

Well, today we've made things even stranger by releasing the 67th SU&SD podcast, a spoooOOOoooky Halloween special in which we forgot to do any Halloween-related content of any kind. Instead we talk about how Matt's been groovin' on Gloomhaven, Paul "actually really quite likes" Azul, Quinns did his Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 review and there's even talk of the blue beast that is Lisboa. Lovely stuff!

(It all goes downhill towards the end, though, with Quinns trying to coin the word "handfeel" and begging Paul to review Sidereal Confluence instead of Charterstone. When will that boy get it together?)