Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated July 17, 2018 4918 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.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated June 21, 2018 5305 0
One of the most famous magic items in Dungeons and Dragons is the bag of holding. On the outside, a small cloth bag. On the inside, a pocket dimension capable of storing huge amounts of stuff. Pax Renaissance is the closest real-world equivalent that we have. On the outside, a small box, no bigger than a couple of packs of playing cards. On the inside, one of the densest, biggest games we've seen this decade.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated June 21, 2018 3946 0
As a worker placement game, I didn't have much hope for the engaging theme of Alchemists. All the rich, wacky art, plastic potion bottles and player screens in the world couldn't make up for the thematic drag of worker placement. At least, so I assumed. Turns out that I was very wrong.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated June 21, 2018 4422 0
The latest in my series of reviews on super-creative games is live, and it's the best of the lot so far. So good, in fact, that I wanted to showcase it on Shut Up and Sit Down. It's Millennium Blades, the collectible card meta-game about playing collectible card games.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated May 28, 2018 5302 0
Historical wargames are often a terrible waste. All that wealth of history, all over the world - political, social and economic - and games choose to focus on violence. Such a shame, especially when turning history into a game is such a great way to get inside it, to learn it and understand it. Now the case for the prosecution has a new exhibit to showcase all these points: An Infamous Traffic.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated June 21, 2018 4751 0
Escape the Room is such a popular game concept that it's spilled over into almost every genre. You can escape rooms on computer, in a role-playing setting, even in real life. But it's never made much impact on the board game scene for a simple reason: it's mix of mystery and puzzling doesn't fit the format well.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated June 22, 2018 3758 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 M MattDP Updated June 22, 2018 4302 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 M MattDP Updated October 30, 2017 4907 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 M MattDP Updated June 22, 2018 4683 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.