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Barnes on Games- Secrets of the Lost Tomb in Review, Cave Evil Returns, Mission Command: Sea

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Secrets of the Lost Tomb
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Oh, the fonts...

OK, so I've waffled around with Secrets of the Lost Tomb for too long. I kept trying it solo even though my group pretty much laughed it off the table- almost sweeping it into the box unorganized, which is the ultimate doom for a game- and I warmed up to it. Then I cooled on it again. Then I warmed up on it again. But then I realized that it is such a derivative, redundant design with some terrible production qualities that it just does not make a case for itself despite a couple of really good ideas and a neat concept that never really comes to fruition because the content it so scattershot. I hated writing this review because I dislike coming down on a designer's first game and all that, but honesty is honesty and I promised an honest review of it. I kind of felt like this game might have that kind of crazy-enough-to-work approach, but it's almost embarrassingly close to the Launius/Wilson/Coniescka Lovecraft games AND Betrayal at the House on the Hill. So the review is here at in the Review Section- it's rare for me to do a negative one, but here it is.

I drank whiskey last night and soloed Cave Evil with two Necromancers in light of the recent announcement that Warcults preorders are open. I had not played it in some time, it was good to get it back out. Loved it just as much as I always have. Murder Giant for the win.  It's an interesting design because it is really pretty old fashioned- one of those games that feels like it fell out of a time warp. I think it's very much a modern Titan, but it adds some cool stuff like the tunneling, the resource management, spells and equipment. Fans of that kind of design, circa 1982 or so, really need to be looking at Cave Evil. Interested in seeing where Warcults takes it.

I did a little trade for Mission Command: Sea of all things, a game that you used to be able to buy by the case for $4.99 a piece. What a neat little game- I know it's just Carrier Strike, but there are some cool updates. I tried it with River and he mostly understood it, but some things like the differences between Harpoons and Sidewinders were a little confusing. I really like how simple and direct it is, I like how the "to hit" numbers are based on range. I think I might get the Air one next. I used to have Tank Battle, which is the basis for the land one, but I remember not really liking it much. 

There Will Be Games
Michael Barnes (He/Him)
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

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.

Articles by Michael

Michael Barnes
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Articles by Michael

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Deleted's Avatar
Deleted replied the topic: #212519 15 Oct 2015 17:17
Mission Command: Sea is one of my all time favorite games.

superflycircus.blogspot.com/2013/05/miss...mc-detection-on.html

I absolutely adore it. The AIR game sucks. Great toy factor but the game itself isn't much fun. The LAND version isn't much better, but is slightly better than AIR. YMMV
OldHippy's Avatar
OldHippy replied the topic: #212523 15 Oct 2015 18:02
To think people are arguing about the aesthetic of Cave Evil... my God look at Secret of the Lost Tomb... that is one of the ugliest boxes I've ever seen.
Tim Champlin's Avatar
Tim Champlin replied the topic: #212547 16 Oct 2015 00:32
Still waiting for that great Indiana Jones style game. I've been thinking about getting Fortune and Glory, but still not sure.
Grudunza's Avatar
Grudunza replied the topic: #212550 16 Oct 2015 01:38
Fortune and Glory ain't "that great Indiana Jones style game." The Adventurers is lighter than I would hope for a real IJ game, but it is a good game, at least.

Indiana Jones 5 is still likely to happen (Spielberg mentioned it the other day), and Disney will likely reboot it after Ford retires/dies... So I'm hoping the great game in that license may yet come. #galeforcenine
Hex Sinister's Avatar
Hex Sinister replied the topic: #212552 16 Oct 2015 02:52
I have heard absolutely nothing positive about Fortune and Glory. Be wary.
Legomancer's Avatar
Legomancer replied the topic: #212559 16 Oct 2015 08:39
Oh god, the first two words of the SotLT review.

"Everything Epic" is the name of the publisher. I know I'm a joyless crank, but this game would have to be farting previously unreleased Ultra Vivid Scene tracks for me to not put it back on the shelf at that sight.
Deleted's Avatar
Deleted replied the topic: #212563 16 Oct 2015 09:05

Grudunza wrote: Fortune and Glory ain't "that great Indiana Jones style game." The Adventurers is lighter than I would hope for a real IJ game, but it is a good game, at least.

Indiana Jones 5 is still likely to happen (Spielberg mentioned it the other day), and Disney will likely reboot it after Ford retires/dies... So I'm hoping the great game in that license may yet come. #galeforcenine


I really think that Temple of Chac is the real deal Indiana Jonesing game.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #212564 16 Oct 2015 09:28
Escape: Curse of the Temple is also a stupid fun game with a bit of Temple of Doom flair.
Deleted's Avatar
Deleted replied the topic: #212568 16 Oct 2015 09:44
It's not as stupid as I first thought. Yes, there's basically a rolling mechanic and that's about it, but the decisions about how to work together and pushing your luck are huge.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #212569 16 Oct 2015 09:56
Yes, and I'm a big fan of the expansions and how seamless you can tune the difficult for your group (we ride with every expansion and 2 extra gems).
waddball's Avatar
waddball replied the topic: #212590 16 Oct 2015 13:45
The Mission Command games are fun for kids. I only played the Land one (reimplements Tank Battle, which I played a lot as a youth). Good nostalgic fun.