Hey Guys, I’m starting a new series based on games launched here in Brazil.
I don’t want these to come across as lamentations about prices and the woes of gaming afar from EU/US, so I think these would be a good chance to revisit titles that represent a variety of periods from a perspective of whether you think they are good choices for someone to buy or publish and as remembrance of times long gone by.
Also, I want to add that I am receiving help from Uba in editing/grammar/proofreading/etc. and I’m really grateful she is doing so and in her own free time so please be kind if something slipped through both of us, English it’s not my first language.
I will preface this first in the series by telling you about growing up as a kid fascinated by games and not really having access to them.
As a kid in the 90’s I played the Brazilian versions of Monopoly, Clue, Risk, Stratego, and liked them just fine, but it was when I was seven in Christmas ’94 that my older brother received as a gift a game that would change my life forever: Dragon Quest by TSR (licensed by GROW in Brazil).
In Brazil we open the gifts right after midnight in Christmas Eve, that night we stayed up till 5 am learning and playing. I remember till today my first character Damien, the Cleric.
I was hooked forever.
In ‘95 my brother went to “Forbidden Planet” one of the two gaming shops we had in São Paulo (Brazil’s biggest and richest city) to buy our first RPG AD&D 2e by TSR (licensed by Editora Abril in Brazil), being the DM in our gaming group and not having much money, he bought the DMG book thinking we could get started with this and he also bought a new game highly recommended by the store owner, who not only let a kid buy only the DMG, also told him RPGs were dying and he should pursue other games : our first Magic decks, one Ice Age and one 4th ed. by WotC (licensed by Devir in Brazil).
In the following years my brother distanced himself from games and I (despite reading the DMG countless times and many many many solo plays of Magic) was left without a group and a game (I only got the 2e PHB and MM recently and as a curiosity). For years I only read (Dragão Brasil magazine) and talked about games. There was an occasional game of Supremacy, Dragon Quest, Hero Quest, made up RPGs about Saint Seiya, Yuyu Hakusho, Pokemon, etc. but I wanted so much more, I’d ask anyone and everyone I knew to play games with me, I played any game any time I had a chance, I learned a bunch of traditional card games in that time.
When I got into high school I went to one of the top schools in the country, a school that required tests and the people who frequented did not necessarily lived close to it. I got to know a lot of new people who had similar interests that I did or simply were easily excitable and I sure as hell hyped up RPGs as most as I could and in about a week we had a Vampire: the Masquerade game going with 20+ people. That was a great time with Live actions, multiple gaming systems, lots of free time, etc. The day I saved enough lunch money to buy the beautiful edition of Castle Falkenstein by R. Talsorian Games (licensed by Devir in Brazil) is still vivid in my memory.
After I went to Uni and started to work, it became harder to maintain a regular group, especially because we all knew each other from high school and uni but lived far apart, transport was even worse at that time than it is now, also, relationships, going to bars and clubs took precedent to gaming multiple times, that started a moment where I again read and talked about far more than played any game.
One day, browsing RPGs in the miniscule FLGS Livraria Moonshadows I saw a beautiful square box, and thought, strange, I never heard of this game! It was Settlers of Catan by KOSMOS (licensed by Devir in Portugal).
Talking with the owner he said the board game bar next door (WTF I thought! There are those?!) Ludus Luderia was having a Catan tournament the very next day, it was free to enter and the game was really good, etc. I bought on the spot for R$150 (~ £40 $66 71,5AUD) learn the rules that night, tried to play by myself, with my girlfriend and the next day lost the first game to an 8 year old girl whom I think could beat me to this day.
But it was great fun, I had more income, less commitment was needed and a whole new world of gaming opened up to me with BGG, Cool Stuff Inc., renting board games, etc.
Next time we will see how elusive is that RPG experience condensed in a board game, how I learned about F: AT, how waiting to see dollar fluctuation and whether I’d be taxed or not was more exciting than some of the games that I first got and our first games in the series of is it really worth it?
Thanks, and until next time. Tchau!