Review: Arkham Horror – The Card Game

chocolate vampires, a spot of light burglary, classic trepanning, screams
My goodness! After we were a little dismissive at Gen Con last year, it turns out that Arkham Horror is the best card game to come out of Fantasy Flight since Netrunner. Pour yourself a glass of interdimensional phlegm, ensure you're sitting uncomfortably, and let Matt and Quinns tell you why in this spoiler-free review.

If you're the sort of devil-may-care investigator who doesn't care about forbidden secrets, don't forget that you can watch Matt and Quinns play the whole first scenario in this video. Though actually, in hindsight we've now realised that it's a tutorial mission and actually comparatively simple. You should know that far greater twists and terrors await in the full game!


Feature: A Day in the Life of Matt’s Game Collection!

a good ol' flecking, matt's hats, big-boy joys, it's all about the soup
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[Following on from our expedition into Quinns' board game collection and the polite visit to Paul's, it's now Matt's turn. Enjoy, everybody!]

Matt: Contrary to popular belief, I am not a man of infinite luxury. Paul has an entire cupboard just for games - Quintin has a cavernous loft to explore. Many have climbed that ladder and never been seen alive again, fading away to become a new addition to the dark and dusty collage of cardboard and bones. Basically those boys have space to play with. I however, have a shelf.

But it’s a big shelf! Oh my. There’s plenty of room in the rest of my flat, but my wife is a bit of a cheery dictator when it comes to interior design - so the sins of the husband must be tidied away. It’s occasionally annoying, but it does mean I get to live in a genuinely beautiful, tidy place? Swings and roundabouts, life is compromise.


GAMES NEWS! 06/02/17

rustling with relish, Formula D for Death, Not just for Hobbits
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Quinns: Paul, I need an ambulance!

Paul: Are you dying?

Quinns: Even better! Remember my positive review of Quadropolis (pictured above)? Days of Wonder has just announced the first expansion for it. Quadropolis: Public Services will see a selection of buildings laid out between rounds like a concrete chocolate box, and whether you select a fire station or get stuck with a convention centre, it’ll change how you score.

Paul: Quinns, I’m just going to stop you there. We’re going to go LIVE to this site’s resident Quadropolis expert for some analysis.


Review: Honshu

horror-fallow, delicious finland, a lego boondoggle
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Quinns: Alright. You see Honshu, pictured above? You’re looking at one of the most desirable boxes on the planet.

The best thing to come out of Finland since karjalanpiirakat, Honshu made a name for itself during the American convention circuit last year. Contained in its small, peach-tone box are some cards and cubes, and contained within them is a simple card game, and contained within that are Japanese towns of your own design. Players draft cards and tuck them under and over one another in a gentle jigsaw, probing and pondering different arrangements, searching for a high score.

This site’s own Paul Dean was convinced after a quick play. So many people were convinced, in fact, that a publisher is finally bringing a shipment of Honshu to America next month.

But should you buy it? Ah, let me help you with that as a European, from the land where copies of this game are considered weeds, and I often have to throw away four or five mouldering copies of Honshu before my breakfast of limppu and kissel.

Honshu is good, but is it "SU&SD Recommends" good? Let’s find out.


Podcast #52: A Deception, a Dove and a Dungeon

putting down the guitar, picking on the children, when is a dove not a dove
Get your pod-plates ready! We're serving up another steaming hot pot of chat.

Matt, Paul and Quinns discuss deck-building burgle box that is Clank!, they return once again to the irritatingly more-ish Black Stories, Quinns chats a bit about Deception: Murder in Hong Kong and they discuss the standalone expansion for Welcome to the Dungeon.

We hope you left room for seconds, because there's also a reader mail that asks what games Matt and Quinns organised at their respective weddings last year, and we unseal the Pandora's Box of folk games played by school teachers. Maybe don't eat that last bit, it's profoundly poisonous.


GAMES NEWS! 30/01/17

hyperscience, dehydrated celebrities, criminal animals, a lover with a tiny miniature
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Quinns: Oh my god, Paul, it’s awful. Did you seen the news over the weekend?

Paul: I did. What’s the world coming to?

Quinns: I don’t know, but I know we can’t stand for it.

Paul: You think so? I had no idea you felt so strongly about Reiner Knizia’s Ingenious being renamed AXIO Hexagonal.

Quinns: ...Paul, did you turn on the TV over the weekend?

Paul: No, I got the weirdest feeling that it would be rather like blasting a jet of pure sadness square at my own face.

Quinns: Right. Yes.


Review: A Feast for Odin

stuff stuff stuff, rocks rocks rocks, we're going to need a better boat
This week, Paul's gone all viking on us, getting so, so enthusiastic about A Feast for Odin with this very in-depth review of a truly enormous game. Then again, wouldn't you be at least a little bit excited? This is one of the biggest boxes we've seen in some time and, with hundreds of cardboard components, scores of wooden pieces and even a moose as a first player token, we really can't blame him.

Can it deliver joy and happiness proportional to its tremendous size? And how does it compare to its ancestors, other games by the same designer such as Agricola, Caverna and Patchwork? And why does Paul think Patchwork has a French accent? It's been a strange week.


Review: Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

give me your badge and your gun and that rock you keep in a plastic bag
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Quinns: After playing co-operative social deduction game Deception, the proof is insurmountable. The 21st century police force is the greatest board game theme of all time, not because it works so well but because it doesn’t work at all.

Back in our eighth ever podcast we talked about Police Precinct, and while we had a terrible time with that game we were endlessly amused because we seemed to be playing the cast of Reno 911 on the set of The Purge. Then last year I finally got to try Good Cop Bad Cop, where in one memorable turn I confiscated my colleague’s coffee as evidence, downed it in one gulp, then shot them.

But with a name like “Deception: Murder in Hong Kong” and brooding, maroon box that includes a handful of plastic bullets, you might assume that this, at last, is a serious game about law enforcement.

You couldn’t be more wrong. I’m thrilled to say that Deception is every bit as silly as those others, and it's also the best game of the three. Come for a ridealong with me! You're statistically unlikely to be shot.


GAMES NEWS! 23/01/17

diceberts, batguins, laxatives, venmo for the human condition
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Quinns: Good morning, Paul! Ready for Games News? How are you feeling today? Rambunctious? Meticulous? Corrugated?

Paul: No, no. Dispirited. Crenelated. Crepuscular. My prandicle is absquatulate.

Quinns: Good God, that’s our SEO ruined, for sure. Perhaps you’ll be emboldened by THIS wonderful news. SHERLOCK HOLMES CONSULTING DETECTIVE IS GETTING SWOLE because the first(?!) standalone expansion is ALMOST HERE

Paul: OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO EXPLODE

Quinns: HAVE YOU FINISHED THE ORIGINAL TEN CASES YET

Paul: NO

Quinns: ME EITHER


Review: Tyrants of the Underdark

Tyrants of the Underpants, That's Drow for Now, shoving a dragon
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Paul: I have a confession to make. I have a profound prejudice toward purple and it very much affected my first impression of Tyrants of the Underdark. When my review copy arrived, I was a man with plenty to do. I opened the box that evening, saw the almost monochrome palette of so much grey, black and violet, flipped through the manual and then put this in a cupboard.

Sure, it’s game set in the murky bowels of the Forgotten Realms, Dungeons & Dragons’ most famous setting, but did it really need to be so drab? I was squinting at the card art, groaning at the board and then, suddenly, some long-sealed vault in my mind was opened and a memory of the most monstrous mediocrity suddenly burst forth: Defenders of the Realm. Oh God. This is why I don’t play D&D board games. They lack all the spirit that the RPG inspires. "Tyrants of the Underpants," I thought.

I was so wrong about Tyrants of the Underdark.