Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 3892 0
Stacking games look very striking, and they hold out the invite of universal appeal. "Come play me," they whisper, enticingly while waving their alluring wooden pieces around. The various incarnations of Bausack have been popular, because they shoehorn a bit of strategy in too. But there's a problem: when your core concept is balancing awkward shapes atop one another, there's limited room for variety. Play one and you've kind of played them all.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 4387 0
However you might deny it, there's a comforting nostalgia in games that remind us of toys. Memoir '44 and its box full of plastic tanks and soldiers. The link between the Star Wars games of now and the action figures of yesterday. And now Potion Explosion, which is full of marbles. In four bright primal colours. A shame, then, that they're cheap marbles, chipped and misshapen. To make the game work, they need to roll down chutes and sometimes the chunky ones get stuck. Nothing a quick tip won't fix, but annoying.
Creativity Quest Hot
Analysis MT Matt Thrower Updated October 30, 2017 4998 0
I've been playing hobby games for over 30 years, the majority of that time focused on board games. Increasingly, I've been growing bored with them. Not in the sense that the games themselves are boring, but that they all look the same. Consider what lit up geeks in 2016. Terraforming Mars, which was arguably an outer space version of Agricola. Scythe, another step in the plodding evolution of the "waro", a genre that sprang up around the turn of the millennium. Even my favourite game from last year, Hands in the Sea, is a straight-up rehash of A Few...
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 4846 0
Ever since I first saw the astonishing detail of an X-Wing model, all I've wanted from the game was cool ships copied from cool films. That well ran dry within three waves of expansions. So, as the game as continued to sell, the publisher has mined Star Wars trivia for new ships to flog. A lot of them were fun to run but they didn't scratch that core itch. They just weren't quite Star Wars.
Up Your Game MT Matt Thrower Updated March 06, 2017 6376 0
Hello. My name it Matt and I am a foamaholic. It started at my high school role-playing games club. Everyone running a game would want to bring in painted miniatures for the session. Some of the older kids had folders of foam-lined cardboard to cushion the transport. They claimed these came from electrical component boxes, but I never managed to snag one. So, each week I endured the misery of seeing hours of painting work ruined by chips and wear. It gave me a fetish for varnish: even now I double-coat...
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 8342 0
Let's start with an admission: Empire Strikes Back isn't my favourite Star Wars film. Return of the Jedi is. And my favourite scene in Return of the Jedi is the beginning, in Jabba's palace and on to the Pit of Carkoon. I like it because of all the things in Star Wars it's by far the most alien and esoteric of all and because it's full of huge, slobbering monsters. So getting hold of the Jabba's Realm expansion for Imperial Assault was like getting to play with my childhood Star Wars figures all over again.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 6919 0
The phenomenal success of the X-Wing game has made it an irresistible model to follow. Grab a hot media franchise and slap a miniatures game on the top of it. The latest member of this herd is The Walking Dead: All Out War. The game art makes clear that it's based on the eponymous comics rather than the TV series. But it's all related enough to catch the eye of anyone with a passing interest in either.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 6302 0
When you open a modern board game, you don't expect to find what looks like a Parcheesi board. You especially don't expect to find it set in the midst of lush Mesopotamian jungle or to be decorated with bizarre sigils. Then you flip through the lavishly illustrated rules, picking out phrases like "blood mist" and "cannibalism". We're not in Kansas any more. I'm not sure quite where we are, but I don't think it's a place I'd want to go on holiday.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 4689 0
The hot sun burns in the sky like an incoming apocalypse. On the packed dirt below, two figures stand, ignoring the heat hammering down on their broad-brimmed hats. Sweaty hands hang down by holstered revolvers, eyes lock, mouths chew at nothing. For a long time, all is still in the hot haze. Then the Sheriff goes for his gun and his opponent reacts like a sprung trap. The guns level, fingers tighten on triggers, and both combatants are suddenly flattened by the collapsing town hall.
Board Game Reviews MT Matt Thrower Updated January 30, 2019 5942 0
Regular readers will be aware of the general contempt in which I hold co-operative games. Yet Arkham Horror, Robinson Crusoe and the D&D Adventure System are all games I rate highly. How to square this circle? Well, what those games have in common is that they project the semblance of being alive. Creatures move, events change, players need to actually co-operate due to the complexity and uncertainty. Contrast that to the rash of titles inspired by Pandemic which are far more static and which you can play almost by rote.