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.
I refuse to have any more dead on my hands.
There are tons of hidden identity thingers to choose from these days, but what sets Mascarade apart from the crowd is the fact that you're often not sure of who YOU are, let alone who everyone else might be. Taking a look at your card takes your whole turn so I'M THE BLOODY KING becomes I'M THE BLOODY KING, PROBABLY.
The general gist of all this chaotic magic is probably best expressed in my aforementioned video, so if you're totally clueless seep that into your face and then come back to absorb my thoughts on the new, first expansion - because for reasons I'll make clear shortly this may be a good time to go all-in and buy both.
Let's see what golden games we're squawking about today, eh?
Appearing one miserable month after our glowing re-review of the X-Wing Miniatures Game, Star Wars: Armada will offer some strikingly similar 2 player space battles, but EMBIGGENED. The profoundly personal pilot management of X-Wing replaced with cumbersome capital ships and whole, abstracted squads of fighter craft.
Does your brother want to play Twilight Imperium for eight hours? Does your dad understand how the Ambush card works in Memoir ‘44? Will your mum flip the table again if she loses another game of Space Hulk?
Here, then, are Shut Up & Sit Down’s recommendations for games your family can play at Christmas. These are all games with rules you can learn in just a few minutes, and won’t keep you returning to the manual. Some are simple, some are smart, some are physical and some are outright dangerous. But they’re all terribly, terribly good fun.
This month he's encouraging us to don the masks of the fabulous Mascarade by Bruno Faidutti, one of our favourite designers. This game is pretty. It's funny. It's simple. Most of it even occurs underneath the table. But most excitingly of all, Matt's baking again! Today is a good day.
Attend a Masquerade of the renaissance and try to discover the identity of your opponents. Who is telling the truth? Who is bluffing? Reveal the truth all while hiding your own true identity!
The goal of the game is for players to gain the most gold pieces that they will amass either by telling the truth, or alternatively, bluffing. Players each receive a Character card, that they will switch, or not, with their opponents throughout the game play. At each turn, players have the option to either announce who there are, and therefore are able to activate the power of that Character, as long as none of the other players challenge them; to secretly look at their card; or to swap their card with another player.
In our eighth instalment Paul and Quinns are joined by Matt Lees as they thoroughly deconstruct Egypt simulator Kemet, senile dementia simulator Mascarade, and Police Precinct! Which simulates literally no policemen or women who have ever existed.
*Rejected adjectives for this analogy: Lukewarm, creamy, gassy.