Review: Terraforming Mars

this makes no sense, lonely algae, the british national anthem, the solar satsuma
For many board gamers, Matt Damon wasn't the biggest imaginary thing to happen on Mars in 2016. That honour belongs to Terraforming Mars, a game so popular that the publishers have already announced four expansions!

But what will we make of this smash hit? As Matt Damon said so aptly last year, "Wrap your face flaps around this! Mine's a lumpy one."


RPG Review: Tales from the Loop

heart-burst, thriller-made, pool-hides, english-feels, pastoral-slice
optiony
Cynthia: Omg! I think we might have an RPG blockbuster here, Quinns.

Everyone's talking about Tales from the Loop, the game of roleplaying young kids in a 1980s that never was. It’s got everything you need to play out your own version of Gremlins, E.T., Stranger Things, or any movie where kids hurriedly pedal their bicycles to save the day (but should probably be home before dinner).

And who wouldn’t want to play a kid? Adolescence is amazing, and I'm not just saying that because I spent months teaching middle school Algebra. All the hormones, and discovery, and bravery, and adventures, and confusion… it's perfect RPG fodder. The question is whether Tales from the Loop successfully unites ‘80s nostalgia and middle school feels with good science fiction mysteries.

Ok, I confess. I teared up more than once while playing it. What did you think?

Quinns: I’m going to be very British and delay talking about my emotions so I can squeeze this in above the cut: I think Tales from the Loop is a cool, clever, beautiful book, but the real reason I want everyone to know about it is that it might also be the easiest experience I’ve ever had being a Games Master.


Games News! 31/07/2017

nibbly nuisance, primetime postmortem, toothpaste as glue
RAxxon games news
Paul: Something very strange is happening in board games.

You may be in danger. We may be in danger. Of course, everyone here at Shut Up & Sit Down takes all necessary precautions in the course of their duties, but nevertheless I don’t believe any of us could’ve foreseen Raxxon, Plaid Hat’s latest game, which is slowly spreading.

Is anyone safe?


Review: Secrets

the name's bond, james bond, listen do you have 5p for a cup of tea
What's the new hidden role game that's got SU&SD buzzing? That's full of laughs and surprises whether you play it with 4 players, all the way to 8? That has the single nicest components that Quinns has EVER TOUCHED?

We couldn't possibly say. Those are Secrets, you see.

Please note that Secrets isn't out yet, and arrives in shops in August. If you're interested, we recommend contacting your friendly local game shop and asking to place a pre-order.


Review: Sagrada

a unicorn autopsy, devilish denials, the eternal damnation of two yellows touching
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Paul: Help me out here. I’m in a bit of a dilemma.

I keep telling people that I’m not especially enamoured with Sagrada, that it’s just my latest diversion, but then I say they should still try a game with me. Then it hits the table again. Then I’m playing it once more. Then we have a good time and I think about the next person I want to try it with. Then it goes back into my bag and I bring it to someone new.

Am I in denial about just how much I like this?


Games News! 24/07/2017

the horror of the everygame, the art of chill, look inside wizard's ear
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Paul: Quinns help me I have Kickstarters coming out of my-

Quinns: OH MY GOD WE NEED TO GET YOU TO A DOCTOR.

Paul: Yep. Maybe that doctor could help me with Star Realms Frontiers. This beloved tiny card game that you first wrote about in your 2015 Corner Awards has grown so large! Perhaps it needs to be lanced? It’s up to nearly five hundred thousand dollars. Half a million!

That’s a lot of money, but then this is no small deal, is it? No sir, this Kickstarter is offering a whole new wave of Star Realms products, from a new standalone expansion that can be combined with the original game or Colony Wars, to a whole load of other, smaller card sets, all of which can be freely intermingled to create a (wait for it) STAR GALAXY of cards. This is an absolutely colossal edition to a game that’s already a) not small and b) ever-growing in both scope and popularity.


Announcing our 2017 Summer pledge drive!

now that's what i call panhandling 2017, quinns hits his elbow
Hello everybody! It's been 17 videos, 14 podcasts and 55 articles since we asked our audience for donations in (who could forget?) our Christmas advert.

Today, we're once again asking you to give as much or as little as you can afford. Please, click here (or if you'd prefer, click the seductive, golden button in the upper-right) to join the thousands of people who've donated to SU&SD in the past, paying us to keep working, and to keep finding great games.

The above video says it all, but two things bear repeating. First off, we're putting up two videos in the next two weeks to make up for starting the pledge drive today. And second, we really are confident that the next six months will be the greatest in the site's history. There is so much cool stuff coming up.

We hope you're having a great summer, and thanks for sticking with us for just over six years of Shut Up & Sit Down.

Who wants another six?


Review: Warhammer 40,000 (8th edition)

19 organs, 90 dice, 400 of dollars, 7 previous editions, 1 life
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Eric: For any of what follows to make sense, I need to take you to a place in my past. Imagine the house where I grew up. Follow me down into the basement, past the unfinished walls and pantry shelving and washing machine. Back here, hidden under the stairs. Do you see it?

That was my desk.

It isn't much to look at – an austere, industrial thing. The kind of desk I now imagine factory workers flipping over in some proletarian revolution. But I spent huge amounts of my late childhood and early teenage years here. Pouring through those roleplaying manuals stacked in one corner, drawing elaborate maps on that graph paper, and – as the spackling of color attests – painting the little figurines that line the shelf above.

Those were my first space marines.

About a month ago, Games Workshop released their 8th edition of the Warhammer 40,000 rules. Back when I was painting at that desk, it was 3rd edition I played. As much as those iterations between then and now can be seen as cynical cash grabs – partly because some of them were – there is something noteworthy about this new one. But more on that in a minute.


Games News! 17/07/2017

a terrible dollar, level 10 cats, romantic comedies, drinkin ur sunlight
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Quinns: Paul, I understand you enjoy placing illustrated tiles on a grid.

Paul: I hope this is alluding to the Kickstarter for Founders of Gloomhaven, and not my rare sex fetish.

Quinns: Exactly that! Wait, what?

Paul: You haven't heard? Founders of Gloomhaven is board gaming's latest Kickstarter smash hit. Remember Kickstarter fantasy co-op adventure Gloomhaven? Well, Founders of Gloomhaven is a second game from designer Isaac Childres set in the same world, but this time he's offering a competitive game of building a city featuring "a unique mix of tile placement, action selection, hand management, worker placement, and blind bidding."

Quinns: It sounded like you said "rare sex fetish."

Paul: Founders of Gloomhaven has already raised almost $300,000, and it still has twenty-four more days to soar past its funding goal.


Podcast #63: A Bag of Glass and Cheese

a herd of managers, chasing the sandy sausage, a mid-game nap, resin pudding
You know what doesn't get enough kudos? Bags. Big ones, small ones, soft ones, leathery ones. Where would we be without bags? Walking home from the shops, clutching cucumbers to our chest with onions in our armpits, that's where.

Our 63rd podcast is all about great games with some great bags. Paul's been building (and cursing at) stained glass windows in Sagrada, Quinns has been carelessly eroding his car in the amazing Automobiles (see our review of that one here), and this time we remember to have the chat about Orleans that was meant to go the previous episode. Inspired by these three titles, Shut Up & Sit Down's campaign for More Bags In Games begins next week. Please send money now.

Could you give two figs about bags? Are they "Not your bag"? Not a problem! Paul and Quinns also provide some early impressions of the ludicrously pretty Wasteland Express Delivery Service, and answer a reader mail about why long games lead to a special kind of exhaustion.