Zombology Review Hot
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated July 17, 2018 5821 0
When Zombology came out of the packet, I thought it might have taken a knock in the post. There's no shrinkwrap, the box lid is a poor fit and all the cards spill everywhere when you take it off. Then I realised: when the designer told me this was "hand made", he meant it literally. He cut and assembled every component by hand, and that makes it an instant treasure.
Bemused Review Hot
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 5520 0
According to some literary theory, an author's interpretation of their own work is no more or less valid than that of any reader. If we apply the same to game design, what do we make of designer Jim Felli's insistence that Bemused is not a social deduction game? It looks like one, smells like one and plays like one so, in the face of so much evidence, we can only put this down to a case of madness, right?
Rants & Raves MT Matt Thrower Updated October 30, 2017 4352 0
Early in this year I set myself a goal of playing through as many innovative games as I could. I gave a shout out for candidates, picked the most popular options and got playing. It's taken a long time but the goal was and worthy one: to try and recapture the excitement of discovery in a new game. It's something I seemed to have lost, and I wanted to find out why: was it me, or was it games? Most of all, I just wanted it back. As the leaves turn golden and the nights draw...
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated July 17, 2018 6443 0
The first question I tend to ask when faced with a new role-playing game is: why? Why does this game exist? What does it do that I can't do with my favourite existing role-playing system? And even the strapline on Night's Black Agents, "a vampire spy thriller" barks that question at the full moon. If you want a vampire spy thriller, surely something like Cthulhu or Dresden Files or even Shadowrun already fits the bill?
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated July 17, 2018 5831 0
Whatever happened to block games? Fifteen years ago, Hammer of the Scots was crushing all other starter wargames with woad-stained wood. Then, after a few more releases, it all went quiet. It's all the more mysterious because they're still around, and they're still awesome. Julius Caesar is a fascinating exercise in ancient armies. And it's not alone: carrying the banner into the future is the Holdfast series from Worthington Games.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated July 26, 2018 6821 0
Time is something the medieval mages of Ars Magica have in plenty. They have no need of wealth or work. A specialist class of peasantry, called Grogs, cater for their basic needs. Their magic can bend time and potions extend their lifespans to hundreds of years. Ironic, then, that Ars Magica is one of the most time-consuming role-playing games around. It also happens to be one of the best.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 6706 0
You'd have thought there was only so much Lovecraft that gamers could stomach. Yet, year after, year release schedules continue to put a lie to that presumption. Arkham Horror: The Card Game, though, promises to be different. At night, in dreams, eldritch horrors whispered in my ear that it was new and exciting. At dawn, zombie-like, I staggered out under their baleful influence to secure and play a copy.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 6622 0
All through the colossal space battle at the end of Rogue One, I found it hard to concentrate. Seeing all those huge ships, the swarms of fighters, the epic scale, my brain kept turning back to Star Wars: Armada. That was especially true for the moment the Hammerhead Corvette came on the screen. I knew there was a new model for it coming for the game. And once the scene played out, I knew I had to have it.
Foam Fetish Hot
Up Your Game MT Matt Thrower Updated July 24, 2017 5805 0
Regular readers will know I have a bit of a foam fetish. I’m sure it started when I discovered a hand-painted figure I’d slaved over had worn, even through a coat of varnish. Now I’m not happy with anything painted, no matter who painted it, unless I can be confident it’s cushioned in acres of sweet, soft foam. This proves a bit of an issue if you start collecting Fantasy Flight’s pre-painted Star Wars miniatures or, indeed, miniatures of any kind. For a lot of games regularly-shaped foam pockets are sufficient. They’re great for storing X-Wing...
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 5230 0
Dungeon crawling is the most overworked, over-produced genre in all board gaming. Even more so than impressive Renaissance nobles. It was a surprise, then, to find one mentioned over and over when I cast about for the most innovative games around. What could Vast: The Crystal Caverns possibly do to revitalise the most moribund group of games at all? The answer came as quite a shock, because it's not only new for dungeon games but for board games in general.