Up Your Game M MattDP Updated March 06, 2017 6245 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 M MattDP Updated June 22, 2018 7974 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 M MattDP Updated July 26, 2018 6664 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 M MattDP Updated June 19, 2018 6111 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 M MattDP Updated July 12, 2018 4576 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 M MattDP Updated July 12, 2018 5784 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.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated July 12, 2018 9235 0
There's little sadder than finding out a favourite toy is broken. So it was with A Few Acres of Snow. After enjoying a few months in the gaming limelight, someone found out it was bust. If you don't know why it's bust you're best left in ignorance so we'll not elaborate. Suffice to say that even the designer agreed and proclaimed the game impossible to fix. And so a promising new avenue of deck-building design turned out to be a short cul-de-sac of disappointment. We all moved on. All except for Daniel Berger.
Interviews M MattDP Updated October 31, 2016 5131 0
If you caught my Mansions of Madness review the other week, you'll have gathered I was both impressed and disappointed by the game. The experience of playing is unique, but it feels overpriced especially given limited replay value out of the box. All that, however, has the potential to change given where the game goes in the future. On that basis I asked for, and got, the opportunity to chat to the designer Nikki Valens and Keith Hurley, VP of Media and Interactive at Fantasy Flight. I wanted to explore the game design, the motivation for...
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated May 28, 2018 6437 0
The first time I took delivery of X-Wing ships, their quality just blew me away. Over nine full waves and the odd side release, we've become bored by perfection. Cracking open the clamshell on this batch, assembling dials and storing away the models felt almost mechanical. Then I sat down to makes some lists to test them out. It took two hours to make one competitive fleet for each of the three factions. Two hours I could have spent playing instead.
Board Game Reviews M MattDP Updated July 12, 2018 6751 0
History starts at home. So when I began to dig into the past, I did so first in Britain and then in Europe. The remote, surf-swept volcanic islands of the Pacific seemed a long way away, even when our Imperial past reached out to them. Even when I watched Bridge on the River Kwai and read Helmet for My Pillow. Terrible things happened there. Terrible yet important things but they were too far away to touch me.