Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 28, 2019 4129 0
Azul sits out on the shelf, because there are too many games and I can't find anywhere to put it away. Elder daughter arrives home and seizes on it with a level of enthusiasm only a pre-teen can muster. "OH my GOD that is the MOST GORGEOUS game I have EVER SEEN!". There is a pause. "What is it?" I explain it's a game about tiling walls. Her enthusiasm cools noticeably. But we play it anyway.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 28, 2019 3204 0
The press release is black. Black font. Black images. Black box art featuring a black pen and ink drawing of a spooky castle thronged with spooky bats. But it's the title that catches my attention. Printed in that font of thick letters inside thin outlines so beloved of Games Workshop of yore, it screams "ESCAPE THE DARK CASTLE". Both font and words immediately capture my attention.
Essays MT Matt Thrower Updated June 04, 2018 828 0
Hanging on the wall in a cramped hallway is a huge painting. Three boats speed across it, their tall sails blurring as they whip in the wind. The rippling sea and bruised sky are patchworks of colour, contrasting fiercely like the elemental enemies they are. Light, catching on the surface, reveals unexpected textures. Rakes of painterly brush strokes shimmer, their refraction bringing it all to life as I move my head.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 29, 2019 5167 0
The box says "QUEEN DOM" on the side in huge marker-pen letters. A neighbour signed for it before my wife retrieved it and put it in the halls where my kids and their friends passed it as they came in from school. I wonder, with a thrill of horror, how many people think I've been ordering sex toys. "It's .... it's a game," I stammer, holding the box open as proof. No-one cares.
Rants & Raves MT Matt Thrower Updated May 29, 2018 5474 1
It was a filthy, awful hole. The furniture was ancient, the carpets torn and the wallpaper peeling. There was food mouldering in the fridge when we moved in. But it was cheap and so it was home. It consisted of two rooms. One was a kitchen diner with a bed in it. The other, mine, was a bedroom with an en-suite toilet. I used to lie in bed in the mornings, listening to my flat-mate take a dump while I smoked cigarettes to cover the smell. My small collection of games lived on a high shelf...
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 29, 2019 6350 0
Children are not as foolish as adults sometimes think. I put three figures of stuffed toys in front of mine: a rabbit, a lion and a patchwork doll armed with a pencil. "Choose one to play," I suggest. They look suspicious. One rummages in the pile of plastic from the box and pulls out a pig with a rattle. "Why can't I play this," she asks. I explain that this is a storytelling game that will unfold over many sessions. That we have to meet the pig in the story before someone can play him. ...
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 6129 1
Looking forward to a nice two player night with my favourite gaming crony, Graham. I've packed beers, printed play aids, read the rules - twice - and I'm about to leave. The phone rings. "Matt? It's Graham. I've got a house full of teenagers. Bring some multi-player games. And some more beer." I'm in a rush, so I grab the first thing in front of me. It's Colt Express. I got it on a whim to play with my daughter. I mean: it's cheap, it's got a cool 3d train and it...
Rants & Raves MT Matt Thrower Updated September 21, 2018 5464 1
We'd dropped the acid just before sunset on a day so hot you could smell the tar cooking on the roads. We climbed a hill as we came up and spent the night on a golf course, pretending to play as the shapes and sounds shifted and blurred around us. Then, tired but happy, we lay and let the warm grass tickle our necks as we watched too many stars spinning overhead, twinkling in too many colours.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 5948 0
"Do you know what Space Invaders is?" I ask my daughter. "Yeah, it's that really old video game with all the funny-shaped things." It's close enough, so I let it slide. Flip Ships is like Space Invaders, I tell her. There are two rows of alien cards at the end of the table and we're working together to take them down. We've got to flip little cardboard discs off the opposite edge to try and hit them.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 8118 0
It was a bitter journey home, the wind finding seams in coats and gloves, ice frosting on cars and windows. When I reached the sanctuary of the porch I found, as well as a welcome glow of warmth, a package. Books, from a land much colder and windier than mine. I opened them, stamping in the hallway, my kids crowding round to see what they were. "Turd ... wang?", one of them attempted, brow creased by the typography. I tried not to laugh and showed them how to read the font: Trudvang.