Review: Mystic Vale & bonus Mystic Crumble

mystic vale thumbnail

Ahh, is there anything more beautiful than that most classic of English summers? What about the so very gorgeous cards of Mystic Vale, cards you don’t just play, but cards you can build, piece by piece?

Intrigued? You bet you are! We took our two most experienced druids, Quinns and Matt (Paul is a bard), and we put them in a room with cards and crystals and radiant peaks. We asked them not only how it compares with our two very favourite card games, Trains and Arctic Scavengers, but if it’s capable of being as beautifully magical as the luscious Seasons.

Unfortunately, there was too much conjuration energy in that room.

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Review and a Recipe: Celestia and a Fluffy Frittata

Celestia

It’s time once again for you to place your evening in our large, spindly hands. Following on from Arboretum and Pasta With Trees, why not invite your friends over for a game of Celestia and a fluffy frittata? Lovely push-your-luck mechanics? Check! Little cardboard boat? Check! Vegetables? Check! We’re not sure who’d have a checklist like … Read more

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Review and a Recipe: Arboretum and Pasta with Trees

Review and a Recipe: Arboretum and Pasta with Trees

The Opener returns! Everyone’s favourite series featuring a straightforward game paired with a sexy recipe. Except we’re not calling it The Opener any more, it’s just “review and a recipe”. Nice and simple! Just like the game. And the recipe. And Matt.

Don’t be deceived by that svelte little box, though. Not unlike the trees it depicts,Arboretum is beautiful, tough, and all about hidden depths.

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The Opener: Love Letter & Gingerbread Pears

The Opener: Love Letter & Gingerbread Pears

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.

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The Opener: Sheriff of Nottingham & Chicken Apple Bread

The Opener: Sheriff of Nottingham & Chicken Apple Bread

The Opener returns with another game to get your friends into board gaming! This time it’s Sheriff of Nottingham. Would you like to see your mum smuggle five barrels of mead past your dad? Or watch your girlfriend get busted with a “cheese cart” full of crossbows? Of course you would.

This game’s got a history, actually. Originally a 2006 Brazilian release titled Jogo da Fronteira, it had little tin suitcases with players trying to smuggle cigars, tequila and ancient relics around South America. In 2011 it was rethemed as Robin Hood, before finally receiving yet another overhaul in this year’s Sheriff of Nottingham. The more you know!

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The Opener: Gravwell & Wicked Beans

The Opener: Gravwell & Wicked Beans

It’s an Opener! With Quinns! Has the world gone mad? No, but Gravwell definitely has. It’s a racing game set in the ninth dimension with no gravity except that created by your friends. And weirdest of all, it actually works!

And finally, two years after we first mentioned it, you guys are receiving the recipe for Quinns’ Wicked Beans. Enjoy, everybody!

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The Opener: Takenoko and a Hot Toddy

The Opener: Takenoko and a Hot Toddy

It’s not hard to catch SU&SD’s eye. An award on your box will do it. Or a panda! Or the colour pink. Or three-dimensional components. Or an inlay with phallic slots. In offering all five at once, though, Takenoko could have been made for us.

Is it a good Opener, though? The perfect game to open a friend’s mind to the wonders of board gaming like you were opening a cheap tin of brain-beans? Tell us, Matt! We have to know.

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The Opener: Pandemic, Expansions & Penicillin

The Opener: Pandemic

The Opener is back with another perfect game to start your board game night, your collection, or set your friends down the Cardboard Path. It’s Pandemic and penicillin! Meaning a whiskey cocktail called a penicillin. Going to your friends’ house and eating their mold colonies is not only unpalatable, it’s quite rude.

It might sound less attractive than Skull & Roses with fresh pizza, but you haven’t lived until you’ve had a great game of Pandemic. Catching that redeye flight to Seoul, praying you can prevent an outbreak? Driving around Africa, crates of your precious cure rattling around in the back of your jeep? That’s the good stuff, and it gets even better with Pandemic: On the Brink, and even more nightmarish with Pandemic: In the Lab.

G’wan! Treat yourself and pick up a copy. No other game is this tense and rich, and yet this accessible.

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The Opener: Skull & Roses with Fresh Pizza

The Opener: Skull & Roses with Fresh Pizza

We end Simplicity Week with a bang, and the bang in question comes from you executing your friends, one after another.

Skull & Roses is the game Matt’s reviewing here, although throughout the review he calls it Skulls and Roses, and actually, the new, gorgeous edition is just called “Skull”.

But never mind our charming incompetence! This isn’t just one of the simplest games we’ve ever played. It’s one of our favourite games, period. And just to make sure your friends come over and get involved, Matt’s also going to teach you the single darkest secret known to SU&SD. How to “make” “pizza”.

But what if I were to tell you that for the next Opener, we’re planning something even better? Ah, it’s a good time to be a board gamer. A very good time.

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The Opener: Coup & Sweet Potato Fries

The Opener: Coup & Sweet Potato Fries

Like vinyl records or the world’s most cheerful case of herpes, The Opener is BACK! Once again, Matt wants to guide you through the perfect game + recipe to open either your game night, your friends’ minds or your own board game collection. This time it’s Coup, a teeny little game of being a disgraceful liar.

If you’ve missed The Opener until this point, you’re in for a whole selection of treats. We’ve got Mascarade and cheesy twists, Ultimate Werewolf and chilli con carne, Ladies & Gentlemen and homemade scones, and even fire-fighting game Flashpoint and some flaming B-52s.

Shut Up & Sit Down: Working to make board gaming figuratively and literally delicious since 2011.

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