"This will be a great time," you announce to your cactus or spouse. “I have been convinced by this game’s art and premise that I will enjoy myself."
Your coat’s still on. You pick up the phone. “Barry?" You say. “It’s me. Would you like to come over and have a great time?"
I was convinced Robinson Crusoe was the game for me. Guess what!
Paul: No, it’s me, I am a mist-
Quinns: Say hello to Fortress: America (and imagine it responding to your greeting with an excitable 21 gun salute).The ENTIRE WORLD (made up of three players) is invading near-future America (controlled by one player). I’m talking bombers over Boston. Hovertanks in Houston. APCs in… in, uh…
Paul: In Annapolis! This may well be the ultimate in what we call Ameritrash, big flashy board games with lots of components.
Today I was walked through WONDERFUL post-apocalyptic tactics game Neuroshima Hex!, released in 2006 and since expanded by a untidy bag of army packs. My friend took out this game, taught it to me, and promptly put it away again.
"We’ll play on the iPad," he said. “It’s better on the iPad."
My face promptly crumpled up like a plastic bag in a strong breeze. Worst part of it is, he was right.
The tiny box looks like it should contain soviet suppositories, and inside it you’ll find 110 cards in the same hospitalised colour (Lung? Nicotine?). The deathly manual informs you that every one of these cards is an “innovation", from archery to automobiles, and 2-4 players will use them to race from one end of history to the other.
Let’s say you agree to play Innovation, even though it’s clearly not your thing. That experience can be compared to going to drink a tall glass of dirty water, and discovering it’s neat whisky.
Because board games age so goddamn well, running a board game site can be a bit like running a daycare centre. Those guys can’t rest because it might mean a kid getting stuck behind a radiator or someone eating a rock. We can’t rest because even if we stay on top of new games, we’re writing under the weight of every awesome game we’ve never played.
Shadows over Camelot is one such older game we need to tell you about. One of HUNDREDS. It never ends, but all the same we’re going to talk about it with the good humour of men throwing a shiny penny into a wishing well.
Mission: Red Planet is a game of racing to colonise Mars in a congenial, steampunk fashion.
3-5 players jostle to load their tiny astronauts into ships on the launchpad board, these land them on the planet board, and you all try and dominate regions and fulfill secret objectives in a game of area
Quinns: PAUL. THE GAME.
Paul: Right! As is proper, we played a board game for Hallowe’en. Something a bit different. A game that’s both a trick and a treat.
Quinns: A shiny new game called City of Horror. This game made our Hallowe’en. And it’s going to make every Hallowe’en after that.
Paul: That’s right Quinns, and-
Quinns: That’s right!
Paul: …so the best thing we can say about Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is that it’s equal parts family friendly and utter chaos, so it’s perfect for a Discworld game. Two to four players are trying to gain control of the 12 districts of the city of Ankh-Morpork, clutching at power with their clumsily, pudgy hands as if they’re all trying to model clay on the same pottery wheel.
Quinns: Fingers slipping over oily fingers, all of you swearing, someone’s got clay in their eye, until finally the thing comes to a stop and all you’ve made is a mess.