Games News! 04/09/2017

wok star, bagged alpacas, a tile-laying tile layer, one very angry passenger
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Paul: Good News to you, my friends. Or, as we say here in Canada, News Be With You. I’m writing this Games News from atop a rock on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, watching the sun plunge past the horizon, thinking about the final touches we’re putting to SHUX. I’m already considering how to make next year bigger, better and cheaper, so it’s all that I can do to pull my head out of all this and tell you about Fantasy Flight’s BATTLE FOR ROKUGAN.

Quinns: It’s time to have a Really Honorable War.


Review: First Martians

plodding & prodding, it's a crane not a gun, every flavour of lozenge
OH MY GOODNESS! It's time for a fantastically exciting box. First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet is a game of surviving as the very first colonists on the Solar Satsuma, and keeping your wits about you as your home crumbles like a dunked biscuit.

It's also the sequel to 2012 release Robinson Crusoe, which Quinns didn't get on with very well. What's changed in five years? A lot, we can tell you.


RPG Review: Blades in the Dark

a georgian george clooney, a ghost whisperer, word-confetti
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Quinns: Remember last month when we reviewed Tales from the Loop, the charming sci-fi RPG of bicycles, bottle rockets and 1980s theme songs? Today we’re going to look at the other new role-playing game that’s been turning heads among my friends, and we’re going as villainous as Tales from the Loop was innocent.

Blades in the Dark is a game by John Harper, who you might remember from Cynthia’s review of superb free RPG Lady Blackbird. But while that game was an improbable 15 pages, Blades is 336 pages. By comparison, it's his opus.

Which is very good news if (like me) you’re a fan of Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora books or the heist genre in general, because Blades is a game of playing regency-era criminals. Oh, yes. This is a scoundrel simulator, and whether you want to play a crew of classy vice dealers, some down-and-dirty brawlers, or even a worrisome cult is simply the first of one million entertaining decisions that you'll be making.

Blades in the Dark also offers a vast, seductive backdrop to your escapades: The haunted city of Doskvol, which will be familiar to anyone who’s escaped into the gloompunk of videogames like Thief, Dishonored, Sunless Sea or Fallen London.

This is going to be a long review, and not just because this is a huge book. You see, not only is Blades the most fun that my friends and I have ever had playing an RPG, it’s also like nothing I’ve ever played.


Games News! 28/08/2017

sky bastards, staying in vegas, cardboard fishes, marble madness
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Paul: The Games News comes at you live today from the Shut Up & Sit Down jacuzzi. We always thought it would be cool to have one, so we splashed out but didn’t actually think about where it would go or how we were going to install it. So now we’re just sat in an empty jacuzzi. In our swimming trunks. With no water and no bubbles.

Still, there’s a new Uwe Rosenberg game coming, hooray! Let’s all hail Nusfjord, a game of fishing and worker placement.

Quinns: Hooray! That said, we made this our top story without thinking about how we were going to illustrate it. So up there is just a picture of the real-life town of Nusfjord.

Paul: This isn't our finest hour, is it?

Quinns: Quick, let's distract them with the box!


A Re-Review? Arkham Horror: The Card Game

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Quinns: So, we’re seven months on from when Matt and I first peeled the delicate outer membrane from the otherworldly Arkham Horror: The Card Game (otherwise known as ‘shrink-wrap’). We were stunned at how much fun we had. After years of rolling our eyes at Fantasy Flight’s Lovecraft products, we found that inside this small, unassuming box was an absolutely electric experience. I was as surprised as anyone when I announced that it was my favourite game of 2016.

Now, you’ll remember that while you can go back and play this game’s scenarios on “Hard” and “Expert” modes, most of the appeal is in the first playthrough, making each new expansion pack feel like a long-awaited episode of a favourite TV show. You call your friends over, microwave some popcorn, put the popcorn in the bin so nobody can get grease on the cards and sit down to see what happens to your characters (and their decks!) next.

Which begs a question. Now that the first full campaign has been published (seven expansions that make up The Dunwich Legacy), how’s this TV show doing?

And I think most players would answer you the same way. A small laugh, a faraway look, and then they'd say “Oh, man. It’s good. And... weird.”


Review: Pit Crew

Salted Sharon, Peppered Peter, a coyote on coke
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Paul: Sometimes you gotta go fast.

And in a world where that speed comes from pounding alloy pistons, feels like warm, rubber-scarred asphalt, stinks of fetid fumes and fury, the Pit Crew are the kingmakers. They, and thus you, decide the monarchs of motorsport, with deft hands of restoration and renewal.

Collectively you wrench home a new wheel, working as well together as the finely-tuned machine you maintain. Nobody is screaming for petrol, nobody has broken the engine, nobody has just dropped a card. It’s fine. It’s okay. You’re the pit crew.


Games News! BUMPER EDITION 21/08/2017

wooden waterfall, offer extra intestines, it's war time, Dual wielding mops
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Paul: It’s all hands to the pumps here at Shut Up & Sit Down this week. The News Dam has burst under the weight of stories gushing out of the fiftieth GenCon, along with everything else independent of that massive show that has continued trickling forth. Dual wielding mops all week, we’ve been doing the best that we can to soak up all the information. Some stories are HUGE, others are CRUEL TEASES. It's all too much.

Put on your lifejackets as we dive right into this BUMPER EDITION and start at the deep end with the BRAND NEW STAR WARS MINIATURES GAME.


Review: Bärenpark

furry tetris, bear patch of land, *blep*
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Even if we’d tried, if we’d deployed all the forces at our command, we’d never have been able to keep Paul away from reviewing Bärenpark. It’s a tile-laying game and it features bears. The best we can do is hope he doesn’t overdose on pure pleasure.

That said, Paul is a consummate professional and it’ll take more than a boxful of bruins to win him over. Can Bärenpark deliver or, at heart, is it just too simple?


Podcast #64: Dolphins Are People Too

lying about bluffing about cheating, a dog on a horse, an accidental tease, the best bird
Buckle up, everybody! The 64th ever Shut Up & Sit Down podcast is here, and it's something of a round the world special.

It's Quinns and Paul in the driver's seat once again as they discuss their journey Between Two Cities with the new Capitals expansion. Paul's desperate to discuss the weird creatures he met during Train Heist. The pair examine the fast cars and small components of Pit Crew. Quinns abruptly remembers that he has the first expansion for Captain Sonar, and talks about that a bit. Finally, Paul recalls his time in parts unknown, playing World Championship Russian Roulette.

But our automotive notions don't stop there! This week we have a particularly extravagant folk game played by the employees of a car rental business. What's going on behind that plain-looking desk? More than you could imagine.

Enjoy, everybody.


Games News! 14/08/2017

the cutest of planks, I want to be auntie, torso-sized guns, razorwings
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Quinns: Hold onto your hats! Twilight Imperium 4th edition wasn't the only news-belch to erupt from Fantasy Flight Games' silky gullet this week. For many folks the bigger announcement was Fallout: The Board Game. The world's most popular post-apocalyptic video game franchise is finally coming to tabletop*.

Releasing in just a few months, the game will offer 1-4 players the chance to steer a tiny plastic miniature through the wasteland, racing the other miniatures to complete objectives and thereby acquire the most "Influence".

Reading the preview, it sounds like the game's trying to offer an irradiated sampler platter of what you do in the video game: Scrounge rare loot, level up, tangle with radscorpions, align yourself with factions and resolve the occasional moral quandary.

Sounds good, right? Well, here at SU&SD we're keeping our feet off the excitement-ometer for the time being, and here's why.