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  • Barnestorming #24- California, Elder Sign in Review, Nightcall

Barnestorming #24- California, Elder Sign in Review, Nightcall

MB Updated
Elder Sign
There Will Be Games

The Barnestorming #24 Horror

Late edition- I’m at John Wayne airport in Orange County, California about to get on the red eye back to Atlanta. Apparently these barbarians don’t know what a decent internet connection is out here. Orange County sucks. I have to come out here every year to stare at powerpoint presentations for a training meeting. We did have some fun though, I got to hang out with my team and I had a damned good $15 Old Fashioned. But yeah, Irvine- no good. Victory Point Games is out here and I thought about stopping by and bugging Alan Emrich, but I didn't have time. Or a ride.


On the Table


Elder Sign goes under the knife this week at Cracked LCD. I like the game, I really do. But it’s awfully messy, unbalanced, abstract, and flaky. I actually think it’s better solo than Arkham Horror. It is too easy. Sometimes. Other times, it’s brutal and unforgiving. It is a dice game and it has a specific scope, and as a weird kind of simulation of the board game it mostly works…apart from the fact that it doesn’t have any kind of meaningful narrative, atmosphere, or storytelling. Which are, of course, more important to Arkham Horror than the mechanics.

I just wish it was a smoother-playing design. It actually could have gone through the strainer another couple of times, I think. King of Tokyo is still the best dice game out there right now.

I’ve been soloing Sentinels of the Multiverse in the hotel room and a little Dragon Rage. Even played a solitaire Awful Green Things while watching Scott Pilgrim and eating strawberry tiramisu from a Taiwanese bakery, which was fun. Good stuff. Sentinels has some major problems, but I love the spirit of it and it’s the first superhero game that feels like comics. For god’s sake, the game actually _needs_ heart counters.


On the Consoles


Not much shakin’ this week since I’ve been away from home and console-less. Back home I’ve got a copy of Dark Souls waiting to beat me into submission.

Driver: San Francisco is really, really good.

Oh, and God Hand is on PSN. I can finally play the god damned thing. Everybody that’s played it says “Barnes, you need to play God Hand”.


On the Phone


Played a lot of First Touch Soccer on the plane out here, you F:ATtie footies ought to take a look at it, it’s better than the FIFA IOS games. But then Steve Jobs died. It really hit me yesterday how significant that man was to culture along a couple of different axes- moreso than Bill Gates or other tech-barons. Tip my iPhone to you, sir.


On the Screen


Damn, I want to see Driver. I tried to get some work folks drummed up to go to a theater out here to see it, but they’re lame and boring. No one wanted to be out past 9 o’clock.

More Doctor Who, of course. I just watched the whole thing with The Master, which I liked apart from when it went way over-the-top with the Doctor turned into a bizarre, wizened creature in a birdcage. But I did actually like The Master, nefarious and funny and a great foil to the Doctor. The Britney Spears thing was a bit much though.

I also watched the one with Agatha Christie. It’s funny how the show really avoids the whole “let’s meet famous people” thing for the most part, but when they do play that card it’s usually pretty tastefully handled. I liked Donna in this one, really funny stuff- “Harvey Wallbanger! Towering Inferno!”.

Getting close to exhausting the Tennant shows…I made a play-doh sculpture of six Daleks during the training meeting I’m at. I won the art contest. My other entry was a play-doh recreation of the “Dawn of Man” sequence from 2001.



On Spotify


I shit you not, I’m sitting here watching a syndicated episode of The Simpsons and they just had a scene with Giorgio Mordorer’s “The Chase” from the Midnight Express soundtrack. Which is also on this week’s playlist.

F:ATtie Tchoss posted last week looking for more songs like the track “Night Call” by the French electro artist Kavinsky. It’s a sexy, nighttime song straight out of 1982 meant to be listened to while driving at 2am in a Ferrari in the outskirts of a city. Pretty awesome. So I made a little playlist of songs that match up with that concept. There’s some synthpop, some obscure disco, a little touch of electro. It’s fun, and it’ll put you in the mood to test drive that Testarossa.

  • Chromatics- In the City
  • Black Devil Disco Club- The Devil in Us
  • Giorgio Mordorer- From Here to Eternity
  • Phil Oakey- In Transit
  • Gina X Performance- Kaddish
  • Liasons Dangerueses- Los Ninos del Parque
  • Neon Neon- Michael Douglas
  • Kraftwerk- Aerodynamic
  • Yello- Bostich
  • Gary Numan- Airlane
  • John Foxx- Underpass
  • Anne Clark- Sleeper in Metropolis
  • LCD Soundsystem- Get Innocuous!
  • Alexander Robotnick- Obsession for the Disco Freaks
  • Giorgio Mordorer- The Chase
  • Kavinsky- Nightcall

Next week- the secret origin of Black Sabbath.

There Will Be Games

Michael Barnes (He/Him)
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

Articles by Michael

Michael Barnes
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Articles by Michael

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