Assembling an incredible sort of UK board game supergroup/cabal, this video features guest appearances from Jon Purkis (aka Actualol) as well as Efka and Elaine! (No Pun Included). For the inititated, we'd love to point you towards Jon's song about Pandemic Legacy, and NoPunIncluded's review of Great Western Trail - if only for the shocking revelation that cows are no longer required for fresh milk.
But do go and poke around! Both channels do great stuff, and it's worth noting that just last month Actualol popped onto Patreon. Finally, special apologies to Efka - Matt got a bit too involved in the game and literally wasn't a proficient cameraman. Everyone else: enjoy!
(This review contains gifs. Viewing it on a mobile device may use a lot of roaming data. If your usage is metered, consider reading this at home!)
Paul: The aliens are coming. Aggressively advancing, ever encroaching, nothing seems to stop their dreadful descent. The sunlight shines off their silver spacecraft as they pierce the heavens and prepare to bring down so much death and destruction onto the city below.
You and your friends are all that stand in their way. Together, you will use a small flight of fighters and the most precise cardboard-flipping skills the galaxy has ever seen to win the hour. You will flip them round the moons. You will flip them in low orbit. You will flip them in the atmosphere. You will never surrender.
Or you’ll flick a state-of-the-art starfighter straight across the room and lose it behind the sofa. Who’s to say?
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.
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?
Fast-forward to 2017, and it was only a couple of months ago that I was arching my eyebrow at the announcement of a spin-off titled Whitehall Mystery. I read the preview articles and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I was supposed to be excited about.
This week review copies of Whitehall Mystery stepped out from the foggy alleyways of publisher Fantasy Flight, and I gave it a play. And you know what? There’s now egg on my (blood-flecked, murderer’s) face.
I think this is the best hidden movement game ever made.
We couldn't possibly say. Those are Secrets, you see.
Please note that Secrets isn't out yet, and arrives in shops in August. If you're interested, we recommend contacting your friendly local game shop and asking to place a pre-order.
I keep telling people that I’m not especially enamoured with Sagrada, that it’s just my latest diversion, but then I say they should still try a game with me. Then it hits the table again. Then I’m playing it once more. Then we have a good time and I think about the next person I want to try it with. Then it goes back into my bag and I bring it to someone new.
Am I in denial about just how much I like this?
Hearing that this game of epic adventure and dangerous expeditions was now out in the wild, you can bet that Paul unwrapped his copy faster than you can say “You can have a dog in your party.” He’s been journeying high and low ever since. So what does he think?
Alright, so the "land" of Ethnos is a bit rubbish. But this is a new game from Paolo Mori, who gifted us with Libertalia in 2013 and Dogs of War the year after that. Surely he has earned a moment of your time? Sit a while, traveller, and listen to Matt and Quinns rave about his latest design.
On the plus side, I am road testing one of Jenn Sandercock's edible games – The Order Of The Oven Mitt – and thus I have a mouthful of gingerbread rather than cardboard. On the less plus side you aren't supposed to eat the board yet and I've just remembered I don't like gingerbread.
The gingerbread debacle happens every year around Christmas. Faced with the dramatic potential of pretending to be a giant devouring a village I will tuck into any number of gingerbread houses and gingerbread folk, trying to ignore my tastebuds. I mention this to make it clear that the gingerbread problem is my own cross to bear rather than anything to do with Jenn. BUT gingerbread is a really useful building material so it's working really well as the substrate for the game.