The Ludological Investigation Society: A Story

St. Punishment's School for Boys, Missiles, O.B.E.s (withdrawn)
The Ludological Investigation Society: A Story
[SU&SD is hugely proud to introduce the Ludological Investigation Society. A regular column on not just what we're playing, but how we play, written by none other than England's own Lord Custard Smingleigh.

In this inaugral column Smingleigh offers a heartfelt tale of play, galactic war, and more beautiful boys than he.]

It was the end of the school year at St. Punishment's School for Boys, and we had finished our end of year exams. Our school work was done, but our time still belonged to the school until it had finished forcing the oldest boys through the educational sausage machine that is the GCSE system, so the teachers allowed us to bring something in to entertain ourselves.

Some brought in decks of cards (with strict gambling prohibition enforced by form master Dr. Blandshaw), some brought in books and magazines, some brought in Game Boys (I’m dating myself here, aren’t I?), and I brought in a board game.

Games News! 08/07/13

hot boilings, feral stories, grimy madmen, time AND space, space, time
Games News! 08/07/13
Quinns: Summer is here! That magical time of year when we move from playing board games indoors to playing them outdoors. As a result the entire SU&SD crew now look like boiled lobsters. Bright red, but with a hint of decadence.

Today's games news will be arranged from stuff that excites Quinns the most to least, starting with THIS: Neuroshima Hex 3.0 has been announced by Z-Man games. You can read our impressions of 2.0 here, but basically it's a tricky, colourful, inventive strategy game that's so lightweight as to practically float off the table. Better yet, 3.0 sounds even better.

The Opener: Infinity Dungeon & Awful Jelly

hang on does he live in the box, Mr. Blobby, decanthings, I... am a wizard
Get ready to GET EXTRAVAGANT! Matt Lees' The Opener is back with another game to kick off your evening, and a perfect accompanying snack.

This week Matt picks over the crashed zepplin of ideas that is Level 99 Games' Minigame Library, and finds something interesting but it goes a bit wrong. He also applies his trademark culinary expertise to an English delicacy known as "vodka jelly", which seems quite interesting but it goes a bit wrong.

We blame the heat. Englishmen react about as well to heat as chocolate does. When will it end? It must be 20°C in here.

Review: It Never Snows

fancies, tweezies, the marvellous vomiting box, protocol Hot Pear
Review: It Never Snows
[You know, after his ominous introduction to wargaming, that one dinner and the library incident, we're starting to suspect there's something dodgy about Matt Thrower, our war correspondent. What do you think, Paul? ...Paul?]

Paul: Oh, my head! Where am I? Why am I tied to a chair?

Thrower: You’re in my house, and safe for now. You’re tied to a chair because I’ve kidnapped you.

Paul: That seems quite straightforward.

Thrower: Yes. We must play another game, you see.

On 17th September 1944, a German officer in Holland looked into the sky and saw white flakes falling. “But it never snows in September” he thought. Do you know what he’d seen?

Games News! 01/07/13

slingshots, poetry, quinns doesn't get to talk about glass blowing ever again
Games News! 01/07/13
Quinns: Glass making! That's something we all have a passion for, right? I'm sure there isn't a child reading this who doesn't dream of growing up to make glass. Ah, the heat of the furnace! The otherworldy, suggestive nothingness of the... the glass. Where would we be without glass? We'd be sat in the dark counting our armpits, that's where.

Which is, of course, why the noble Uwe Rosenberg, designer of such crushing hits as Agricola and Le Havre, has announced his next game will be Glass Road: A game of supervising a glass workshop in 14th century Bavaria.

Now, I'll admit there's a small chance that you might not be excited by medieval glasswork. If that's the case, don't worry! Theme aside, this looks like a lovely game.

Review: Terra Mystica

Rise of the Mermaids, purple power, Mr. Bear, time for a lie down
Oh my goodness! Terra Mystica is a fantasy building that boasts two achievements: It's the heaviest box we've ever reviewed, and the one to sell out fastest.

Scientists are at a loss to explain this heinous corruption of the laws of physics. Tell you who's not at a loss, though! The hot boys of Shut Up & Sit Down. After just few plays of this beast, we're ready to tell you whether we think it lives up to the hype.

(It does.)


RPG Review: Monsterhearts

Mr. Stephens, Mr. Dungeon Master, get to the sex, it hurts every time
RPG Review: Monsterhearts
Quinns: Welcome to the second of our indie RPG reviews! Last time we looked at Shooting the Moon, a lovely game of love. So what could be more suitable for our second game than Monsterhearts, the darkest game Shut Up & Sit Down has ever looked at.

Monsterhearts is a game of “the messy lives of teenage monsters,” where 2-4 players play a coterie of youthsome witches, vampires, fairies and so forth, who go to the same school. A final player’s job is simply to “make their lives interesting.” Which, as we found out, is the easiest job in gaming.

Leigh: Saying we “play as” monsters is only part of the story, isn’t it? The monster identity of each teenage character is as much allegorical as anything else. Or, rather, the particular traits, strengths, failings of these creatures as they’re prescribed by folklore have quite a lot in common with the stuff of growing-up drama. The Ghost who lurks at the edges, feeling invisible. The Werewolf afraid of the power in her dark side, the Vampire who can’t stop using others.

Quinns: Yes. It’s a metaphor! Except it’s... not?

Kotaku Article: Winning is Killing Gaming

peaty scrounging, professor hangover, jittery jobs, the yawhg
Kotaku Article: Winning is Killing Gaming
Quinns has again been published on gaming enormo-blog Kotaku, talking about a wonder of the board game world! This month he discusses how, unlike video games, it doesn't matter how good you are at boardgames. The article starts like this:

I remember a colleague taking a 5 minute break, away from the jittery job of reviewing Battlefield 2. “It’s fun when you win,” he said, exhausted. “And boring when you lose. Haven’t we moved past that yet?”

No, we haven’t. For a medium that’s evolved from play, video games have an overwhelmingly binary view of success and failure, one so crippling that if we settle into a single player game and make no progress, or lose every multiplayer match in one night, our lives will have been worsened. And we never ask why games are like this. After all, how else could it be?

Board games have the answer.

...and continues vigorously until it stops. Quinns would point you towards the article himself, but he's currently in hiding from furious gamer-gangs, who cry his name on every street corner. Go read! Don't let his sacrifice be in vain.

Games News! 24/06/13

hot baths, hot ramen, hot jungles, hot plane crashes, hot pockets
Games News! 24/06/13
Quinns: Crack! Boom! Patter patter patter. It's monday, and this is your board game weather report, predominantly plucked from the dark skies of the Board Game Geek News Blog.

Big news first. Days of Wonder, publisher of such incomparably plush releases as Small World and Memoir '44, have announced their new game: Relic Runners, seen above. Releasing this September, it sounds and looks absolutely luxurious. Players will explore a dark jungle, building bridges, forging pathways and nosing through forgotten ruins, all in a quest for priceless relics. Which, for the first time in the history of board gaming, are represented by objects you'd actually want to own. Images after the jump.

Introducing… SU&SD’s Rapid Reviews

sugar, caffeine, palpitations, awards, award-winning in-camera animation
A review special! Not just one game review, but a hatful!

Now this is something a bit different. Fueled entirely by sugar and caffeine, we typed and shot this review in just half a day. Our mission? To review half a dozen games with two minutes allotted to each. Approximately. Thereabouts. Oh God.

But we met with a success of sorts and here, for your viewing pleasure, is the result. We look at games old and new, including D-Day Dice, Ingenious, Samurai Sword, Goblins, Inc., Shadow Hunters and Betrayal at the House on the Hill, but NOT IN THAT ORDER.

Several days after filming, the sugar may not have entirely worn off. Still, this was a good experience for us and training of sorts. Preparation for... something greater.