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Pan Am Flies High - Review

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Barnestorming- Temple of Elemental Evil in Review, Lift Off, Small Box Games

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11 Jun 2015 17:11 #204080 by Michael Barnes

This week my review is over at Miniaturemarket.com, and it's the new Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System title- Temple of Elemental Evil. Aside from that Magic/Heroscape thing coming out later this year, this was my most anticipated release of 2015. And I have to say that even though I really love it, it is a disappointment. This was a great opportunity to gently nudge the system toward a "2.0" stage. The new campaign rules are great and there are a lot of elements I wish were in the past games, but it comes across as a "1.5" version. The scenarios, for example, are much simpler and really kind of same-y- get to tiles 9-12, fight the boss. The town scenarios are a great idea, but they're really kind of dumb interludes between the usual hack and slash fare.

 

 

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12 Jun 2015 09:17 #204081 by charlest
I'll never get your love of D&DAS. Super Fantasy has twice the color and gumption.

I see that Soulfall cover and I just think Free Willy.

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12 Jun 2015 09:28 - 12 Jun 2015 11:26 #204083 by Gary Sax
This has got to be the most flooded genre due to kickstarter, right? That seems like it's an issue.
Last edit: 12 Jun 2015 11:26 by Gary Sax.

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12 Jun 2015 10:19 #204089 by iguanaDitty

Gary Sax wrote: This has got to be the most flooded genre due to kickstarter genre, right? That seems like it's an issue.


I never liked D&DAS anyway, but agreed that with more games covering the same ground more than a vanilla approach is necessary to be interesting. Especially with 3 games out already that are all basically the same.

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12 Jun 2015 10:27 #204091 by VonTush
At this point just about every genre is flooded, not because of KS individually, but rather because the industry as a whole is hitting a saturation level that is sustainable only because of the 3 month life cycle or community consciousness of most games.

Regarding the D&D:AS, I've only played Ravenloft, I really just didn't like it. To be honest I never got a sense of setting. I also found myself more engaged with maximizing my resources against the mechanics rather than exploring and spelunking. So it just felt like resource management in fantasy dress.

What I've been playing recently for my dungeon-crawl/hack-and-slash craving is Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King in Arcade Mode. It's a dice chucker and likewise a bit too easy but I do get that sense of heroes of substantial power slashing through waves of enemies that the D&D:AS never really provided. It feels like Gauntlet the Board Game and made some great improvements over the original Super Dungeon Explore.

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12 Jun 2015 11:46 #204098 by Michael Barnes
It's definitely a flooding issue...I can't even keep up with what's new, what's current, what's out this week anymore. I look at the front page on BGG and half of the hot list is games I've never even heard of. Invariably, two out of three of those are Kickstarters.

Think back to 2010, when Ravenloft came out...it was an event. Everybody was talking about it. Now, a game like that comes out and vanishes anywhere from a week to a month later. Because something else is out, taking its place. The only games that seem to stay perennial, "over the churn" as it were, are things like X-Wing and Netrunner. Games with serial marketing, strong organized play and a la carte components. Say all you will about serial games, that is a very smart strategy in a market where there is this kind of turnover in interest.

Is it really healthy for the industry, gamer or genre to have SO MANY choices that are really fundamentally the same? If you wanted to play a dungeon crawl/dudes in a hall board game in 2000, you had like maybe five choices. Now there's likely at least five times that many currently in print and on the market, not counting anything in Kickstarter funding.

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12 Jun 2015 11:46 #204099 by Josh Look
I've only played Soulfall once but I really enjoyed it. Yup, it's a John Clowdus game.

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12 Jun 2015 11:48 #204100 by Michael Barnes
I know, right? I read the rules and they just couldn't have been written by anybody else.

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12 Jun 2015 12:21 - 12 Jun 2015 12:22 #204105 by VonTush

Michael Barnes wrote: Is it really healthy for the industry, gamer or genre to have SO MANY choices that are really fundamentally the same?


To be honest, I think so. In general the industry, customer base and game selection have all grown and none have hit a point of critical mass. And despite some doom and gloom predictions, I don't see that happening any time soon.

The other day I was in my FLGS shop discussing how jaded I've become towards new releases. And during the discussion the owner mentioned that he's confused and saddened in a way that time and time again some of the best games ever printed gather dust on his shelves, bypassed for the new hotness. But that's also why the lights are still on in the shop.

That's what it sounds like ToEE did...It remained stagnant and tried to recreate the magic from five years ago. It didn't do more when it could have. Perhaps ignoring the past five years of industry change?
Last edit: 12 Jun 2015 12:22 by VonTush.
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12 Jun 2015 13:11 #204107 by Mr. White
I love the DD:AS games. For my dollar the best dungeoncrawlers outside of Advanced HeroQuest.

I made generic character sheets for all the official classes so you can now toss the cards, name the characters, use any minis, etc. I've also put together a loose campaign system where you adventure from one location to another and roll on what scenario you'll play. The first three games are a ton of fun under this system.

fortressat.com/forum/10-ameritrash/14597...das-campaigns#145977

Haven't played ToEE yet because I was hoping there'd be more new. These game boxes are fairly large. Not sure I wanna stack that's 4 high...The only two things that'd I'd look to add at this point are a) a hero pack of the kids from the D&D cartoon or b) a Dragonlance adventure. Neither have any modern currency so I don't expect to add any more at this point.

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12 Jun 2015 13:17 - 12 Jun 2015 13:24 #204109 by Mr. White
Super Fantasy...never played it, but looks like crap. I'm not a fan of any sort of cutesy art...unless it's by a Senor Aragones.

Last edit: 12 Jun 2015 13:24 by Mr. White.

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12 Jun 2015 13:23 #204111 by charlest
The art sucks but the game is great. You should read Barnes' review.

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12 Jun 2015 13:31 #204113 by Mr. White
From Barnes - "Super Fantasy: Ugly Snouts Assault- GREAT dungeoncrawler, fired by the return of D&DAS. And the fact that this genre is over-represented in my collection as it is. $28"
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax

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12 Jun 2015 13:42 #204114 by VonTush
The plus side of having saturation to the level we have is that there's likely an aesthetic and complexity to fit your style.

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12 Jun 2015 13:48 #204117 by charlest

Mr. White wrote: From Barnes - "Super Fantasy: Ugly Snouts Assault- GREAT dungeoncrawler, fired by the return of D&DAS. And the fact that this genre is over-represented in my collection as it is. $28"


Yes and I of course disagree with him on that. I was just saying if you've never heard of it you should check out his review.

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