Review: Monikers

is it mall santa, it's mall santa, mall santa, it must be mall-OH MY GOD IT'S TAPEWORM
Remember when we told you that Skull was the game that'll make you and your friends shout the loudest? Monikers (buy here) might be the funniest game we've ever reviewed. Weirder still, it might be more than 100 years old.

We've always suspected that old things were the best, but now we know. Time to cancel those forthcoming reviews of Armada and Dragon's Gold. Next week, we'll be reviewing whist, football and tuberculosis.

Review: Mysterium

dreamy psychics, incompetent ghosts, toast crumbs, terror crumbs
Review: Mysterium
Quinns: Everybody, stop! STOP!

[Montage of factory workers looking up from industrial machinery. Doctors and nurses looking up from their surgery. Soldiers locked in deadly hand-to-hand combat, who freeze and turn to face the camera as one.]

I’ve played a new board game and it’s really, really good!

[Amiable mumbling as factory workers loosen their aprons and turn to face the camera, doctors take five on the edge of the operating table as blood spurts into the air, soldiers dust one another off and sit cross-legged like toddlers.]

Mysterium is a co-op game of ghosts, murder and hilarious incompetence, in that order. All but one player is a psychic spending the night in a horrid house where a killing took place. The final player, who may not speak, is a ghost sending everyone else horrible dreams. The ghost must guide the psychics to the correct murder weapon, crime scene and culprit before the week is over, or... well, I’m not sure. Maybe the psychics have concert tickets. It doesn't matter, and you won't care. You'll be laughing too much and thinking too hard.

Review: Saboteur

peek at my deposits, its dwarfs or dwarves, some dwarves just want to watch the world burn
Review: Saboteur
Paul: The problem I’m having writing this review is, rather than simply telling you how Saboteur works, I really want to give you a selection of quotes from some of my recent games. The thing is, none of these will be remotely illuminating, since they’re all going to be the same sort of questions, which all go like this:

“What are you doing?!” “Why did you do that?!” “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!”

Or they’ll be the same sort of answers, which go like this:

“I’m helping!” “I have no choice!” “JUST TRUST ME.”

Or they’ll be the same end-of-round exasperation, the same old post-battle cry of Saboteur:


I guess Saboteur is something of a game of soundbites.

Review: Doomtown: Reloaded

cowbeys, revulvers, timbleweeds, a straight flosh, high naan
Following on from XCOM, it's time for our second big review of the year. Doomtown: Reloaded is a portable game with some big ideas. It's a generous box with a golden future. It is, in fact, the first real competitor to the awesome Android: Netrunner.

Is this town big enough for the both of 'em?

You can read Quinns' extended impressions on Doomtown's combat system here, and get your own fancy Netrunner tokens right here.

Review: San Juan

Madcap magicians, shark socks, hello my name is indigo montoya
With spring's sunshine is still weeks away, Paul decides to review the classic card game San Juan, packing sugar and indigo off to make money.

Sent abroad to set up SU&SD's (North) American office, with a rather unclear remit he also laments the limited nature of board game printings and distribution.

Holy Cow: Doomtown Is Pretty Neat

pastelboys, a bad circus, the 17th space hussars, Quinns' sex thing
Holy Cow: Doomtown Is Pretty Neat
Quinns: I want to play Doomtown: Reloaded a little more before I'm ready for our official review, but I also want to write about it before SU&SD wraps up for the year. Greedy boy that I am, I intend to have my cowboy cake and eat it by writin’ up some impressions.

Silas: Yeeee-hawww! Let’s get to it.

Quinns: ...Who are you?

Silas: Ah’m Silas McCoy, a fictional character invented by that dirty Brendan fella fer his Colt Express review. Yeeee-hawww!

Quinns: Yeah, I don’t think so.


The Opener: Love Letter & Gingerbread Pears

a knife or something, It's pronounced Coup, Brendovia, Right down to the navel
At last, we give the video treatment to one of Shut Up & Sit Down's favourite games, Love Letter! On this Opener, Matt explains why this petite, elegant and excellent game is both an essential and a great way to introduce new people to the hobby.

It's not just an excuse to dress up, not at all, and Matt actually has a very interesting story related to that.

It is an excuse to show you how to make gingerbread pears, perfect for any holiday season.

Review: Paradise Fallen & Yardmaster

coffee table board games, the whirlpool that isn't, paul's disappointed face
Review: Paradise Fallen & Yardmaster
Pip: Brendan, you know that thing when your parents ask you to look after their plants or cats or whatever while they go on holiday and suddenly the crushing weight of responsibility and not abusing the access you suddenly have to the wine cupboard rests heavy on your shoulders?

Brendan: I have heard of this feeling.

Pip: Is that what's happened with Shut Up and Sit Down with Paul in the US and Quinns off in Bali? And now we have to water the board games and take the cards to the vet?

Brendan: What? What are you doing with that watering can? Get away from the board games! Oh God, what have you done? Everything is all… mushy.

Pip: No no, it's fine, there are two left! Yardmaster and Paradise Fallen. We can still do a review of these and Paul won't do his disappointed face at us.

Brendan: I hate Paul’s disappointed face. It looks like Gary Oldman. Still, it’s kind of wet and cold in here now.

Pip: Pub?

Review: Abyss

pearls, clams, su&sd godhead, butlin's at skegness, cirri
Review: Abyss
Quinns: Paul, you're tracking water on the carpet and you've got a starfish on your forehead.

Paul: Oh! Sorry. I've been running around the undersea realm of Bruno Cathala's Abyss. Don't worry, though. Written reviews are rarely canonical so the carpet will probably be fine.

Quinns: What?

Paul: Well, it'll be fine in the canonical universe. After this review finishes our story will return to the SU&SD godhead and this reality will, in all likelihood, be erased.

Quinns: What?!

Paul: You know, like how I killed you in our review of Descent 2nd edition.

Quinns: WHAT? But I've still got so much to live for! I wanted a wedding-

Paul: Life is full of surprises, and so is Abyss! Let me get these barnacles out of my ears and I’ll explain.

Review: Anomia

pulling a wild one, bellied laughs, tongue springs, hot team quillian and deen
Review: Anomia
Brendan: Oh man, since Paul and Quinns left at the end of the sci-fi special I have nobody to play board games with. Hey, Supercomputer, do you want to play Anomia with me? It’s a quick-fire party game about blurting out words under pressure and beating your friends to the punch. You’ll like it!

Supercomputer: Anomia. Latin origin. Meaning “without name”. Would you like me to run a simulation of the universe without names, nouns, pronouns, designa—

Brendan: No! I mean, no Supercomputer, but thank you. I just want to play this simple card game with someone. I’m sad that my friends left. You remember what we talked about? Sad? It’s an emotion.

Supercomputer: Runtime error. Do you mean when those called Paul Dean and Quintin Smith inexplicably abandoned you to become an accountant and a low cost assassin respectively? Reducing the number of your human friendship circle from 2 to 0?

Brendan: It’s not zero! Matt is still my friend.

Supercomputer: Initial and ongoing analysis of his facial expressions indicates that the one called Matt Lees regards you as subhuman and without merit. Would you like me to run a simulation of some friends?

Brendan: ...