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Barnestorming- Shadows of Malice in Review, Segamania, Patlabor

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19 Mar 2015 12:57 #199757 by Michael Barnes

 On the Table

Shadows of Malice should likely be considered to be one of this year’s “vanguard” designs. Chances are, at least half of you reading this won’t be interested and a quarter of you will actively hate it. But for the quarter of you that remain, this may be your favorite game of 2015. It’s an utterly compelling, leftfield design that does not feel anything like any other game out there. In some ways, it feels like a game that dropped through a wormhole from an alternate 1982. In others it feels like something from a sleek, minimalist future.

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19 Mar 2015 14:33 - 21 Mar 2015 16:11 #199758 by Sagrilarus
Wow.

For anybody just using the Fortress:At synopsis to judge Barnes' opinion of Shadows of Malice, do yourself a favor and get the full read at No High Scores. This is not his typical review.

I'll be honest -- I don't usually agree with your opinions on games. But this game changed your writing approach, focusing very heavily on the description of gameplay and elements, working your opinions into that instead of the other way around. That's telling, and you do one hell of a sales job on it in spite of your admonition that some players won't like it. It's like you're daring someone to do a shot of some liquor they've never heard of before.

So I'm thinking of buying as much because it seems to harken back to the less-structured games of the 70s as anything else. These days most game companies are trying to indemnify themselves by creating heavily structured, fully defined designs with a lot of gloss paint applied at the end. For the last few years I've played games with a guy that changes rules mid-session and is as comfortable calling a rule from memory as taking the time to look it up, and that's changed me (changed me back actually) into a much more laid-back boardgamer. I've been enjoying games more because of it. This one could be a good pickup for me and my boys, since they're essentially old enough now to play anything available on the market.

I'd be curious to hear how old the designer is and what he played in the past to inspire this approach.

S.
Last edit: 21 Mar 2015 16:11 by Sagrilarus.

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19 Mar 2015 14:52 #199759 by hotseatgames
Reading the review, I was reminded of the review for Duel of Ages. I already have Duel of Ages so I don't feel overly compelled to get this game. I realize they are totally different yet in my mind they still seem to occupy a similar space. Maybe that space is "quirky adventure games".

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19 Mar 2015 15:32 #199762 by san il defanso
That's actually my question. How close does this game relate to something like Duel of Ages II? I love that game, but it sounds like this is both less complicated, more "strategic," and less bonkers in general. It almost seems like it covers the same ground as something more adventury, like Mage Knight.

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19 Mar 2015 15:56 - 19 Mar 2015 16:17 #199767 by Black Barney
What did you watch Inside Llewyn Davis on? A smartphone with cheap headphones in the middle of a sunny day?

That movie is all about atmosphere and feeling. I felt FREEZING when he did the walk back through that Chicago parking lot after his audition. The gaslight cafe sessions were hauntingly good, i had chills.

It's tied for my favourite Coen Bros movie. i can't decide if I prefer it to No Country.
Last edit: 19 Mar 2015 16:17 by Black Barney.

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19 Mar 2015 16:04 #199769 by san il defanso
Alright, I reread the review, and now I'm strongly considering getting Shadows of Malice with the money I've been saving up for The Temple of Elemental Evil. That game will be on shelves for a while, but this looks like the rarest of Pokémon, and something I'd really dig.

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19 Mar 2015 16:28 #199770 by SuperflyPete
LOL, "rarest of Pokemon" for the win.

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19 Mar 2015 16:33 #199771 by san il defanso
No points for guessing what my sons have been watching lately.

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19 Mar 2015 16:37 #199772 by SuperflyPete
I read the review, and was compelled until I reached this point:

Mike @ NHS wrote: This is a wild, dangerous and risky design


LMAO. You shouldn't do hyperbole, because you suck at it. Saying "This game is a wild ass design that might really have made the designer look like a total asshat" is one thing, what you said is total bullshit. There's nothing dangerous about designing a game, except maybe to your wallet. A "Dangerous and Risky" Design (TM) would be your plan to go to the Million Man March on stilts, dragging a chain behind you and wearing a T shirt bearing the word "Auctioneer" in bold, block letters.

Dangerous. LMAO. That's funny.
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19 Mar 2015 16:53 #199773 by Black Barney
I think Barnes is moonlighting as the header-writer for 24-hour cable news networks
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19 Mar 2015 16:55 #199774 by allismom3

Sagrilarus wrote: I'd be curious to hear how old the designer is and what he played in the past to inspire this approach.

S.


D&D and Zelda

entropymag.org/the-devious-weasel-interv...n-shadows-of-malice/
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19 Mar 2015 17:47 #199779 by Frohike

Sagrilarus wrote: I'd be curious to hear how old the designer is and what he played in the past to inspire this approach.


Byron Campbell just posted an interview which answers both of those questions:

entropymag.org/the-devious-weasel-interv...n-shadows-of-malice/
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19 Mar 2015 19:19 #199781 by SuperflyPete
The game does sound really cool and I love the idea of being able to form parties. Very neat shit right there.

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19 Mar 2015 19:35 #199783 by Shellhead
Thanks in part to the pictures at Frohike's link, I understand how the random monsters are generated. But how is that information tracked? Do players need to write those stats down? Or are there components that support the documentation of stats generated for a random creature?

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19 Mar 2015 19:45 - 19 Mar 2015 20:06 #199785 by Michael Barnes
Up to you. No specialized bookkeeping components. You could even use an olde tyme golf pencil and small pad.
Last edit: 19 Mar 2015 20:06 by Michael Barnes.
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