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This week at Gameshark.com I review Phil Eklund's HIGH FRONTIER and, sadly, TOM CLANCY'S GHOST RECON for Wii. It was the  best of times, it was the worst of times.

HIGH FRONTIER is an amazing game.  You've never played anything quite like it, and I'm inclined to call it Phil Eklund's best game to date. It's still squirrely due to all the scientific jargon and diagrams and it's outrageously idiosyncratic, but that is the designer's style. This game is much more of a "designer's game" than just about anything where the designer has synthesized some mechanics from other games, applied a theme to unify them, and called it a game. This is what game authorship really should mean, it becomes as much a thesis statement about its subject matter as it does a funtime activity.  It's confounding and dense but it's also completely brilliant. It's easy to say (and I do so in the review) that it's not for everybody, but if you're into games as a hobby, it shouldn't be that difficult to grasp. A game like RUNEWARS is actually much more complex.

As for GHOST RECON....Bill applied some editorial diplomacy. I rated it D---------------.  He just put D on the review. Either way, don't touch it, it's evil.

There Will Be Games

Michael BarnesFollow Michael Barnes Follow Michael Barnes Message Michael Barnes



Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of FortressAT.com and Nohighscores.com as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

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