"Is this supposed to be like Team America?"
Yay, Thunderbirds is really quite good. Review here. It's definitely a Matt Leacock game, so if you've played a relatively unknown and obscure hipsters-only game called "Pandemic", this may be one to check out as well. It's not redundant with that game, and in fact it has some neat- and very Thunderbirds-y- concepts for co-operative play. The main thing you do in this game is kind of like what the helicopter dude does in his other games- you port other characters around to deal with crises. But in this game, you are piloting those incredible Thunderbirds machines. Not only that, the game is influenced by The Game of Life- you stick a little bust of your character into the Thunderbird. It's fun and it's a neat way to move specialists around the board to handle the disasters they are best equipped for.
This has kind of a weird effect though in multiplayer. Because even though you are a character, other players pick you up and move you around because each of the disasters usually gives bonuses for having certain IR members or vehicles. So it kind of feels like everything is mutual, which in a sense I think represents a sort of ultimate endpoint of the co-op design concept.
But hey, it's fun, bottom line. One thing I love about it is how The Hood works. He moves on a track and advances through the pop-up disaster cards AND by die rolls- so if you want to chance a roll to stop a disaster, you have to consider that The Hood might move. And there are three plots that you have to thwart- you see what the next one coming up is so you have a longview of what you need to be doing. Because if he makes it to even the first plot space, it's over. It's a neat way to keep tension throughout the game and pace the escalation.
It's colorful and the plastic Thunderbirds are cool (they have a sticker sheet!), but it's a disappointment that all of the pod vehicles don't have miniatures. But the upshot of that is that you can actually load their tokens onto Thunderbird 2 to cart them around to where they are needed.
So yeah, this is a good one. I think it is a little more esoteric in terms of subject matter if you aren't at least familiar with the show. I haven't watched it in decades, but I knew enough to get it. I played with a couple of friends that knew almost nothing about it and they could not have cared less about the subject matter. I just told them that it was kind of like GI Joe or M.A.S.K., 1980s supervehicle stuff but in the 60s.
RESISTOR_, from Level 99 Games, is so cool. It's like Netrunner circa 1981. The concept is that two supercomputers try to hack each other to prevent the other from launching their nuclear arsenal. It has that seldom-used thing where you can't see what's on the back of your cards but the other player can, which is a pretty neat mechanic here. Especially because you have to remember what is on the cards when you flip them over. The goal is to create a connection to the other mainframe five times. It's a very, very neat head-to-head game in a small box. Takes about two minutes to explain and 20 to play. And the box is like a console that you stick a cartridge into, it holds the cards upright and keeps you from seeing the back. Thanks to Brad Talton for giving me a heads up on this one. Review is also at the Review Corner.
I have reviews ready for Wings for the Baron (very good) and Hunt: Unknown Quarry (kind of shaky social deduction game, but interesting and very aggressive) but No High Scores is having a meltdown today. Hopefully it'll go back up shortly.
Zev's package came today, Clash of Cultures expansion and Merchants and Marauders add-on too. Very excited to get both of these great games back to the table. M&M adds a lot of stuff, looks like some of it may be superfluous but I'm hoping to do an EVERYTHING game with it because that's how I roll. The CoC expansion, which is apparently out of print forever now, looks _essential_. Some really cool additions, love that the civs all get a little unique tech list. It is already the best non-Civilization civilization game, this looks like it will push it over the top.
Playing lots of Brass and Steam, but on IOS, not IRL. Man, Steam is so much better when you aren't playing with a table of Mentats. Brass is really obtuse for me, I don't know why. I think I get it now, but I still can't win it.