Alan Emrich is doing something that I think is really kind of special. He's running a small games business and apparently doing extremely well since he was able to cut a $1000 royalty check to one of his designers. He's also teaching classes on game design and encouraging folks to get out there and make games, not just play them. And the games he's publishing are well worth your time and money, covering some unusual subject matter and providing some very fresh gameplay ideas that are sorely lacking in the "majors".
In this article over at Gameshark, I'm reviewing three of VPG's multiplayer games- CIRCUS TRAIN (which Ubarose reviewed a while back and got me interested in), LOOT & SCOOT, and FORLORN: HOPE. In a future column, I'm going to be covering a couple of their solitaire games including SOVIET DAWN, ZULUS ON THE RAMPARTS, TOE-TO-TOE NUK'LR COMBAT, and NEMO'S WAR. NEMO'S WAR is one of the best games of the year, it's _outstanding_ and hugely thematic.
It really amazes me how much narrative, detail, historicity, and gameplay these guys are packing into really small footprints. TOE TO TOE has like 20 counters and it feels more thematic than games I've paid five times as much for and that have hundreds more components.
They've got a new one out that I wish that I could have covered, it's called FINAL FRONTIER and it's very obviously a Star Trek game. It looks fun. Anybody play it yet?
Michael is a member of the Fortress: Ameritrash staff, and a regular columnist for Gameshark.