Monday 22 February 2016

Review - Dread Pirate: Buccaneer's Revenge

Dread Pirate: Buccaneer's Revenge

Dread Pirate: Buccaneer's Revenge
Published by Front Porch Classics
Designed by Dan Tibbles
For 2-4 players, aged 8 to adult.

Dread Pirate: Buccaneer's Revenge game box

Ahar, Me Hearties.

Uh, no. Wait...

Avast, ye scurvy landlubbers,

No, that doesn't work...

Ahoy, Mateys.


Batten down the hatches, splice the mainbrace, shiver me timbers, and... uh... Roger the Cabin Boy?

Nope. Screw it. Let's start again.

Thursday 11 February 2016

Review - Fireteam Zero

Fireteam Zero

Fireteam Zero
Published by Emergent Games
Designed by Mark Langlois and Christian Leonhard
For 1 to 4 players, aged 14 to adult

Fireteam Zero box

A few days ago, I wrote a review of Mansions of Madness. During that review, I mentioned how I have recently started to lose interest in games that confuse clutter with depth, or which mistake having lots going on with offering meaningful decisions. I'm talking about those games where fiddling around with tokens, and exceptions to the rules, gets in the way of actually playing and having fun. Where your immersion in the world is constantly impeded by ugly rules intrusions that jab you in the ribs and say, "It's only a game, Son."

Huge games with hundreds of cards and dozens of counters, and handfuls of miniatures, and a 32 page rules book, have started to feel like a chore. They often take a long time to set up; they take an age to teach; playing the game could take all evening; and at the end of it all, you are left to wonder if all of the bookkeeping and rules referencing really added up to an enjoyable experience. Did you feel like a bloodthirsty barbarian, or did you feel like the bloodthirsty barbarian's overworked accountant?

Thursday 4 February 2016

Review - Mansions of Madness

Mansions of Madness

Mansions of Madness
Published by Fantasy Flight Games
Designed by Corey Konieczka
For 2 to 5 players, aged 13 to adult

Mansions of Madness box

Way back in the mists of time - and I mean way, way back - I was a young man. Naive, adventurous, and a bit geeky.

Back then, I met a girl, and if you asked me at the time, I would have told you I loved her. Remember, I said I was naive?

She seemed to like me, and we began a "whirlwind romance." We made a special effort to make space in our schedules to spend time together. And it was all exciting and new.

But over time, and actually rather swiftly, we started to realise that we didn't really have very much in common. Remember, I said I was a bit geeky?

It became more and more obvious that we weren't really enjoying our time together.

So it ended.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this is a very familiar-sounding story.

And it is.

It's familiar to the point of cliche.

And it's familiar, because it happens all the time.

It even happens with board games.

That's why I'm writing this review of Mansions of Madness, a game I actually reviewed years ago, but which I felt the need to revisit.

After all, sometimes (like with a childhood romance), it's hard to let go...