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11 Oct 2023 22:45 #340745 by Cappster_

Sagrilarus wrote: Boy, Atmosfear is really horrible. The new version found a way to make it worse.

That's a tough bar to crawl under.


You take that back. The OG VHS and DVD versions are great!... At what they are.

That new app version though... Wow. It was truly awful. Why would anyone trade the charm of a super campy actor with the glitchy mess that was ... whatever that was?
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12 Oct 2023 09:58 #340746 by Sagrilarus
Exactly right. The "killer app" in the original version is the actor. The one thing the new publisher took the time to replace was the actor. The gameplay is as elementary as a game can be but there was amusement in that guy's sneer. The melting makeup was frosting on the cake.

Now there's a poorly done animation that removes any charm the original game had. Nothing interesting remains.
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12 Oct 2023 15:06 - 12 Oct 2023 15:07 #340747 by Cappster_
My official review:

There is much to love about Nightmare: The Video Board Game and Atmosfear: The DVD Board Game. What they lack in depth of play, they more than make up for with character and charm.

You don't pull Atmosfear off the shelf and dust off your DVD player (or YouTube) for its tactical and strategic depth. You put Atmosfear on the table because the game makes zero attempts to be anything other than what it is - Entertaining as hell.

So, what makes such a basic roll-and-move, get-your-things-first board game so good? Quite simply – the Gatekeeper. The actors that take on the role in both the VHS and DVD versions set the stage, and then they command it. It’s campy. It’s absurd. It’s fun. It’s exciting. Somehow, it just works.

So, imagine our disappointment when we boot up Atmosfear: Interactive App Edition and are greeted by a CGI Gatekeeper. From the start, you can tell it is a second-rate job – the mouth barely moves, and the “facial expressions” are just the textures of the face being stretched (remember the big Mario face in Mario 64?). We each dutifully downloaded the App as instructed and were even further disappointed as we learned that all it did was whisper to us that we were maggots. There was a real opportunity here for interesting interaction with the game, but we got nothing. The voice work was phoned in – and I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t computer-generated. Interactive here is a complete misnomer. There was more interaction with the VHS and DVD, and neither format is interfaceable.

It was also buggy. At one point, the “gatekeeper” comes on screen and states that there is 1-minute left in the game. Then the game clock comes back on and is still counting from 9 minutes. The game then abruptly ends about 3 minutes later. There were freezes, and the phone apps disconnected from the game constantly (not that it mattered; they were useless and added nothing to the experience).

I’m so glad that we didn’t record this play. I would have struggled to rate it even close to a 7. It took everything great about the originals and completely tossed it.
Last edit: 12 Oct 2023 15:07 by Cappster_.
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12 Oct 2023 17:28 #340748 by Shellhead
I think I played a demo game of Atmosfear at GenCon some time in the mid-'90s. The gamerunner gave each of us a black t-shirt that said Atmosfear in green letters on the back. I eventually used white fabric paint to paint a skeletal torso on the front for my Donnie Darko halloween costume. I don't know if I still have that shirt. The game was fun for a one-off, but it was the VCR tape version which seemed to offer very limited replay value. I saw another demo game at the Mall of America in 1998, but I was just taking a coffee break from work at the time.

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12 Oct 2023 19:10 #340749 by Cappster_
Yeah, it's no good for repeat plays. But if you pull it out every year at say, Halloween, it's still a bunch of fun.

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13 Oct 2023 23:44 - 13 Oct 2023 23:45 #340757 by Road Judge
Last week got a couple games played of the expansion for War of the Ring 1st Edition War of the Ring - Battles of the Third Age. Last week I turned 55 so my adult son said pick a game you want to play a few times during the week and I picked that one. :)

For those not familiar it was an expansion of miniatures, cards, tokens and a double sided board to play the Battle for Helms deep or the Battle for Minas Tirith. You use additional minis from the base War of the Ring game combined with expansion. It's probably my favorite expansion of any game I own.

Tonight was my game group and got two games in.

We played a five player game of Lancaster. Much different game at playing 5. A LOT of jostling for the same spots, really enjoy it.

Next was a game of Heat. I've only played it one other time before. Played the Great Britain map and I lost by 2 spaces. Ugh, but I had been near the back of the pack on the last turn so I felt pretty good about my comeback and almost near win.

Kinda off topic so apologies if I shouldn't mention it here, but for those that kept their copies of 303 Squadron (I did), the updated rule set that has been promised forever just dropped today on BGG. I have not read them, I just downloaded them and plan to read through in the next few days and HOPEfully play the darn game finally.
Last edit: 13 Oct 2023 23:45 by Road Judge. Reason: bolding game title
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14 Oct 2023 11:22 - 14 Oct 2023 11:24 #340761 by southernman
Gaming has been a bit sparse, in comaprison to the previous half dozen years, due to my main 'home' group breaking up and following on getting embedded into a new club plus building work in my house over the last 3 months.

But I've been able to get some irregularly played favourites out or join in with other people's copies - so a few games of Nemeis, three games of Battlestar Galactica in the last six months (compared to none in the last six years), Fortune and Glory, Western Legends, Legendary Encounters: Alien & Firefly, and a first play of Forgotten Waters.

Lot's of fun with them all - Forgotten Waters was a great laugh, and as for Battlestar Galactica well the second of the three games one guy got both Cylon cards and then off loaded one to me with not much time left, we managed to do a lot of damage and had food down to 1 or 2 but the humans got the fleet to Kobol - I had never seen one person get both cards on my previous dozen or so plays before. And then in the third game a couple of months later the same guy got both Cylon cards again - unfortunately for him we managed to jump before his first turn with both cards and get to eight distance so he was unable to pass it off ... but incredible bad luck for him.
Last edit: 14 Oct 2023 11:24 by southernman.
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15 Oct 2023 00:43 #340765 by hotseatgames
Tonight I had a Halloween game night, starting with a 6 player game of Damnation: The Gothic Game. This was the first time playing for everyone, other than a solo run that I did to familiarize myself with the rules. It was fucking awesome, and this has immediately become one of my favorite games. Early on there was a lot of avoiding other players, particularly the Wanderer, who can claim the power of adjacency from a distance and even around corners. The very first trap to be triggered was of course the Oubliette, causing the first death. One character made a beeline for the Vampire and starting chasing people, eventually catching one character and chomping them twice to murder them. The third death was caused by yours truly when I took the power of adjacency over them and marched them onto a trap. By this time the revealed Death Knell cards had the entire place quite deadly. The Fall then occurred, which meant the 3 dead players didn't get to do anything else. It was okay though, because one of the 3 remaining living players had a lot of health and could simply avoid the other two and win by attrition. Which is what happened. Everyone liked it.

Next up was Psycho Raiders. I was a raider, and we ended up with a sinister Sheriff and Mechanic. After we rammed the fuck out of the Campers' truck, they took off on foot. Ginger used adrenaline and will to live to run a whopping 14 spaces and scream her lungs out, waking up every townsfolk on the board! This proved to be a very sound strategy. Even though the truck was shot, who came roaring in from the north side of the map... Joey in his Camaro. He heard the screams and joined the side of the campers.

The sheriff was in his car and immediately revealed himself to be sinister, approaching the camaro. Torch used the mystical power to appear anywhere, and lit the camaro on fire, essentially imobilizing it. Ginger ran for the Church.

Dawn, unfortunately, ran afoul of Beau and Spud, and wound up dead. The same fate soon befell Randy, who had gotten pretty lucky considering he had already been hit by the van. I kept the sinister Mechanic in my back pocket, as they had moved him to the car and I was really hoping they were going to pick Randy up with him. But it didn't matter because Randy got brutally murdered before that could happen.

On the brink of death, Ginger actually managed to jump out of the church window and hide, making it off of the north side of the map. It was down to the wire, and a great session.

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15 Oct 2023 13:42 #340768 by dysjunct
Also had a spooky game day yesterday:

ESCAPE FROM THE HIDDEN CASTLE aka HUGO aka MIDNIGHT PARTY, 2p while waiting for another to arrive. I won and it was not even close. This isn't much of a game but whatever. You roll dice and get chased by a ghost!

CAMP GRIZZLY. I was Shelly the nature orienteer, others were Jody the sensitive guitar guy, and Karen the artist. I drew the virginity card and successfully retained it despite tempting fate with Jody. But it wasn't enough to save me as some surprise discovered bodies ramped up Otis' stats and then it was a downward spiral. Karen went first, hacked apart over the foosball table. I tried to escape to the barn but met a similar grisly (sorry) end there. Jody managed to find a chainsaw, and held Otis at bay as he sobbingly looted our bodies, made his way to the boat ramp, and swam for dear life. Otis jumped in afterwards but Jody was apparently an Olympic swimmer as he sped away. Otis vanished beneath the current, never to be seen again -- (post-credits, a stinger sounds as bubbles pop to the surface). Solo win for Jody.

Every time I look at the box on my shelf I think about the ~$1000 I could have if I ebayed this plus all the expansions. But then every time I play it it's so damn fun. Ugh.

THE BLOODY INN, 3p. This was one of the games where I was firing on all cylinders. I was a conveyor belt of murder, expanding my inn and then funneling bodies beneath it with cold efficiency. Eked out a win by 10 points, with A. a distant third as he just couldn't get going.

THE CAT IN THE BOX, 3p. Okay, not especially spooky but it fit into the time frame. A. ran away with it, 14pts I think, while I ended with 4 and R. ended with 3 (both of us losing points due to paradox). Another fine game full of profanity and howls of rage and disappointment.

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15 Oct 2023 18:14 #340771 by Jackwraith
Cat in the Box could be spooky if you postulate quantum ghosts whispering in your ear (or frontal lobe) about whether they're actual quantum derivations or the spirts of the dead cat come back to haunt you for playing a game about it.

The Cthulhu Wars gang got together again, but first we tried Tiny Epic Crimes for the first time. As I've noted before, two of the last three releases (Pirates, Vikings) in the TE line have been kinda underwhelming, so I'm hoping that wasn't a beginning of a trend. Crimes has at least partially reassured me that it's not. Yes, it's basically a more complex version of Clue, but it's a really fun more complex version. You're all cops on the beat trying to keep Edge City free of crime while figuring out who it was that offed the local kingpin. You're trying to complete various tasks to gather evidence that narrows down the suspects to the killer, but also have to keep various crime waves and other problems (arsonists, etc.) under control at the same time. You have 48 hours to solve the case and everything you do- from driving across town to exercising probable cause -takes time. The evidence is revealed under the old "red lens over red-gridded cards" trick, so that you can see only parts of the Suspect cards properly while trying to assemble your case. There are two ways to play, competitive and cooperative, but even the competitive side carries some necessary cooperation in order to keep from having your suspects flee town and making it more difficult for everyone to solve the case. It's a nice update of one of the classics of yesteryear and I can see it getting a lot more play, especially since the game turned out well enough that even the bumps of the first ride made it enjoyable. In the end, three of us picked the right person, but one won on a tiebreaker, since he had the highest badge level.

Then we turned to Cthulhu Wars on the Primeval Earth map. Since we had one second-timer and the other two players were playing factions they hadn't tried before, I left out any neutral monsters that would have led to more confusion. It was Yellow Sign vs Sleeper vs Bubastis vs Ancients (me.) It was the first time I'd seen Bubastis in action and, yeah, I can see where some of the complaints come from, as it's pretty easy for them to ramp up and get to anywhere without expending much power, while their main base- the moon -is untouchable by other factions. The cats jumped out to an early lead and Primeval is usually a good combat map, because gates are harder to keep (glaciers) and power is in abundance. But these were four not especially combat-forward factions, with Sleeper usually being the most aggressive once a couple Formless Spawn are in play. So, I kinda bided my time, stalling while summoning my free Un-Men and began Ritualing from the second round onward, since I had all four Cathedrals in play by then. I soon had two of my three Yothans in play, as well, so no one wanted to mess with the aquamarine guys. Bubastis was still out in front, but then lost Bastet on an ill-advised venture into Sleeper territory, so couldn't score at the end. Meanwhile, Sleeper stalled successfully to be able to add two more gates on the last round, which came to an end because of Instant Death, which is also pretty unusual in my experience. He ended up Ritualing to bring himself to 30, but had spent so much power on building gates that he forgot to save enough for his last spellbook (Spend 3, everyone else gets 1)! I was at 16 and had 14 points in Elder Signs, but also had all six, so the weird humans snuck away with the win. What might have been the funniest moment of the game was Bubastis teleporting all my guys (maybe seven?) in one region to the moon, which I would have had to pay power to leave, like usual, and would have been disastrous for any other faction that couldn't dematerialize and show up anywhere on the map for free... Next time, we visit the Library and some of the gray dudes will accompany us.
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15 Oct 2023 20:14 #340772 by Shellhead

dysjunct wrote: Every time I look at the box on my shelf I think about the ~$1000 I could have if I ebayed this plus all the expansions. But then every time I play it it's so damn fun. Ugh.


I have never regretted keeping Camp Grizzly. Today was my pre-Halloween board game event, and we started off with Camp Grizzly. Four players, plus three more who showed up near the end of the game. We happened draw mostly expansion characters, which is a whole lot of sociopathy. We found the items for a barn escape early on, but Otis kept showing up near the barn. The B Queen got killed by Otis. Later, the game went to campfire showdown when the bodycount hit 13. We were loaded for bear, so to speak, with a shotgun, the chainsaw, some other weapons, plus Chet had telekinises. One by one, Otis killed everybody except the pacifist girl, who managed to defeat Otis three times, with just a baseball bat. Unfortunately, she needed to defeat him four times for the win, and he won the last exchange of blow.

Then we played The Isabel scenario from Desperation. Nobody noticed, but I had papered over my basement windows to make the basement potentially darker. I briefly explained the game and emphasized that it was more of a creative storytelling exercise than a game. But to add a bit of game, I had each player draw the name of a character from a cup. If your character was still alive at the end, you would be a winner. Then I turned out all the lights and turned on a couple of battery-powered lanterns that simulated a flickering flame. One lantern hung from a small lantern stand in the center of the table, while the other lantern got passed to the current player each turn. It was a brutal game, but five of the twelve characters were still alive at the end, and three of them belonged to players, counting myself.

One guy had to leave early, giving us six players for The Gothic Game (original edition). One player kept drawing cards that involved eating food or drinking alcohol. Another player had a lingering stench from a rough encounter, and got swarmed with rats. Nothing interesting happened to me until I got to the Trophy Room and met Death. He (it?) followed me for the rest of the game, until I expired at the bottom of the great spiral staircase while trying to lose him.

Another player left early, leaving us with five players for Alien: the Fate of the Nostromo. The friend who brought it never looks at reviews and just buys game based on gut instinct, which often fails him. We FAT:ties had a lively debate about this game years ago, when Barnes was still active here. As I predicted way back then, the complete absence of character/player elimination makes for a terrible mismatch with the excellent Alien franchise. We were also supposed to complete six different missions (mostly pickup-and-deliver), which was largely impossible due to the frequent and chaotic movement of the xenomorph. Nobody died or even got injured but we lost due to very low morale. Weak sauce.
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16 Oct 2023 20:58 #340781 by hotseatgames
Took a solo run through the Funko / Prospero Hall joint, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This game has a Psycho Raiders vibe to it, but is not nearly so open-ended as that game. On the up side, it's infinitely simpler to play.

This is one vs. many, and the Sawyer family (villains) only start with a single character on the board. As they raise the Panic meter, more of them get out there, culminating in Leatherface. Once he shows, the survivors are fucked.

The survivors have scenario objectives to accomplish. The game comes with 5 scenarios. In the first, they have to find 3 appropriate cards to start one of the cars on the lot. This involves a LOT of searching, and I really like the way this game handles searches. Each spot can only be searched once, but will eventually refresh since only 5 search locations can be exhausted at any one time.

The "Trespassers", as the survivors are known, started off decently,. spreading out and looking for materials. The Old Man (the first villain on the board) hassled one of them mildly, but eventually got the panic meter up enough to bring out Grandpa. Grandpa just sits in one place and swipes at people as they go by, so I put him at the base of the stairs. He actually scored the first kill, finishing off one trespasser who had been pretty jammed up by the Old Man.

Outside, one trespasser was doing a great job of finding vehicles, but the Hitchhiker showed up and carved him into oblivion. This spurred Leatherface into action, and he managed to swiftly devastate the last two trespassers.

I'm looking forward to trying this with real players.
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16 Oct 2023 22:43 - 16 Oct 2023 23:21 #340782 by Jackwraith
Monday group was three so we tried Land and Freedom again. My first play was with another group that is a bit more tentative about making hard choices, but this group is three very experienced and very aggressive gamers (they're part of my TI4 group, if that gives you any indication.) The two of them picked the Moderates and the Anarchists, leaving me with what they considered my natural role of the Communists. I warned them of my previous experience with the game, in which we got destroyed by the ramped up power of the Fascist cards in Year Two, so we spent some time guarding against that and, by the first round of Year Three, had actually won the Northern front. At the same time, we made a calculated decision to give up the Southern front during that year to make Aragon and Madrid more manageable (to win, you need three fronts at +1 Republican strength or better.) The Anarchists added the most tokens in Year One and won that Glory round, while they and the Moderates added about the same in Year Two, with the Anarchists holding a 2-1 edge and the Commies not even getting on the board. In the end, we won the war, sending Franco and the rest of his bastards to hell. I won the bidding phase in Year Three, giving me an automatic token on the Glory track and when the last five were pulled, the Anarchists had won, 4-3-2, with my Commies charging hard at the end but not able to close it out. It was a great game with a lot of hard choices. It's an automatic choice the next time we have three, I think.
Last edit: 16 Oct 2023 23:21 by Jackwraith.
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24 Oct 2023 17:46 #340848 by dysjunct

Jackwraith wrote: This time, I knew we were going to have four, so I intentionally brought a modern classic: Magical Athlete. For those who didn't pay attention to the Cult of the Old announcement thread, Virabhadra clued me into the fact that a wholesaler that he uses for rare/out-of-print stuff had a couple copies of Athlete and I'd been looking for one for a while that didn't cost insane Ebay prices. So, I got in touch with them and bought one for $65. When it arrived, it still had the shrinkwrap on it, but I figured they might have done that when they picked it up. But, no, this copy was literally NiS because it hadn't been opened since the day Z-Man printed it. I had to punch out all the tokens and unseal the cards, which is kind of astounding. So, I finally got it to the table with a group of hardcore gamers; none of whom had heard of it.

In the first game, everyone had kind of a motley collection, since no one was really sure how the systems worked except me. But I kept missing out on the really good picks and ended up with an equally motley selection of the Witch, Philosopher, Troll, Thief, and Medusa. Pretty much all "Don't do that" types, except the Thief, whose power is only good in close games, of which this one was not at all. The guy who took the Assassin did use it on the wisest target, which was the Merchant, but there were two players who rushed out ahead of everyone, with one winning 13-10-4-1; that 1 being me. I'm usually the target of really competitive games that I'm teaching to others, which is fine, but I also had miserable luck with the dice and, again, a pretty poor lineup.

The second game was quite different. I ended up with an excellent group of the Assassin, Priest, Ranger, Siren, and the Merchant. The reason I had the latter was because I had the first in my list, which I used to eliminate the Pirate from the game, since I didn't want to deal with the kidnapping. I did decently in the first couple races, but then started to crush things with Ranger, Priest, and Merchant. In the last race with the latter, I swapped places with the Martial Artist no less than three times, eventually winning that one, which gave me the overall win, 11-9-6-2. These are gamer types, so I could tell they were a little less enthused about something that seems so simple (Roll a die and move?) but they soon got into the swing of things and there was more laughter at the die rolls and power effects than many other games we've played in the past. Magical Athlete has lost none of its charm and I think will easily be a return play.


Couldn't find a dedicated thread, so I'll mention here that there's a new version of Magical Athelete coming in 2025:

boardgamegeek.com/thread/3173244/cmyk-x-magical-athlete
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28 Oct 2023 14:18 #340872 by DarthJoJo
Against dragonstout’s advice I did buy the DC Deck-Building Game for my eldest’s birthday. And he’s right. It’s atrocious. Nothing about it is particularly DC, which makes sense since the same engine powers Lord of the Rings, Street Fighter and NHL deck builders. It doesn’t have interesting mechanics so much as boring synergies. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are clearly the worst heroes. We house ruled allowing multiple super villains to flip each turn to encourage the occasional ridiculous combo turn. It’s as lazy as an IP cash-in can get.

And it doesn’t matter. My boy loves it. We’ve played every day since his birthday. I remind him of an occasional extra line of text otherwise he does all the buying and adding himself. Just today he lost by one point but didn’t care because he was drawing more than eight cards a turn with his Flash engine. He gets excited when he sees Gorilla Grodd and wants to know if Parallax could beat the Anti-Monitor.

Played a round of Dominion to remember what a good deck builder is. My janky Oasis, Watchtower, Bandit Camp combo wasn’t actually that janky and could have beat my wife’s traditional “Big Money plus something” strategy if I had paid more attention to the remaining Provinces earlier.

Seriously. Why did everyone decide unlimited actions and buys were a good idea? They make turns brain dead.
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