You folks have NO idea how long I tried to NOT watch “The Walking Dead” series. I have this funny quirk where I prefer not to watch a show until it is over, just so that I don’t have to wait in-between seasons. After playing the video games (by Telltale) and really liking them, curiosity eventually won out and I watched all four seasons of “The Walking Dead” on Netflix in one weekend. While I’m waiting for Season Five to play out, I figured I’d try my hand at “The Walking Dead Board Game: The Best Defense” (which will be known henceforth as “TWD:TBD” to save space and appease my aching fingers). In short, it’s a cooperative game that tasks players with surviving a certain number of rounds whilst safeguarding assets across four key locations.
“Machi Koro” strokes my ego like any other city builder in that it lets me be the mayor of my own city. Luckily, this one isn’t the type that takes hours to play. Competing against other players/mayors, your task will be to develop all of the landmarks in your city before your opponents can do the same in their own cities. In addition to building landmarks, players will be able to purchase establishments that give them the funds they’ll need to expand their city and win the game. The question remains, did I enjoy it as much as “Sunrise City” and “Suburbia”?
There’s no doubt in my mind that “Legend of Grimrock“, released in 2012, was a breath of fresh air. After all, there haven’t been a lot of tile-based dungeon crawlers to hit the virtual shelves as of late. The last one I remember playing before “Legend of Grimrock” was “Eye of the Beholder”, which was released in 1991 for MS-DOS. That’s quite a gap, though I’m not all that surprised. Action RPGs give the player the freedom to move about the environment without being confined to preset spaces and have been around since the early 1980s. Still, there’s something to be said for tile-based dungeon crawlers and the way they’ve captivated and charmed us retro-gamers. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to see the likes of “Legend of Grimrock II” so quickly, though I’m pleased to have been proven wrong. Before we jump into the review, I’d like to quickly thank Juho Salila from Almost Human Ltd. for providing me with a free press copy.
There’s no shortage of Early Access games these days and I’m not going to complain…well, my elbows and fingers might. I’ve got three more games for you to feast your eyes upon, though keep in mind that they are not yet finished. As such, the following is just a quick look at the games as they stand and not any sort of review…after all, it wouldn’t be fair to review something not yet done yet, right? At any rate, if you missed all of the other articles I’ve done, you can find the full list on my “Video Games” page via the tab above.
“Train Fever” and I have a love/hate relationship. I played it almost religiously during the Beta, something I usually never get to do because of how many games I’m asked to review. Yeah I know…”boo freakin hoo”. Workload aside, I found “Train Fever” to be pretty compelling when I first started playing it. The more I played however, the more things that began to rub me the wrong way. Before I get into that, I’d like to quickly thank Basil Weber, the CEO of Urban Games, for providing me with a free press copy.
Three more “Early Access” games have blessed my library and it’s time to weigh in and see how they look. Like the other articles in this series, it’s important to note that my opinions are subject to change as the games aren’t out of the development phase (yet). As such, the below are not reviews, but merely first impressions based upon the build I played at the time.
I would more than likely be stating the obvious if I told you that “Munchkin Panic” was a cross between “Munchkin” and “Castle Panic”, so I won’t. Erm, yeah. What I will tell you (because I totally didn’t tell you that other thing that I said I wouldn’t mention) is that “Munchkin Panic” is a bit more reminiscent of the latter. If you know how to play “Castle Panic”, you’ll be able to jump right into this so as long as you remember a few key differences. Those who have only played “Munchkin” may feel out of their element, especially if they’ve never played a cooperative or tower defense game before. Before we dive into that realm however, I’d like to thank Kris McCardel, the Marketing and Sales Manager at Fireside Games, for providing me with a free review copy.
In the words of the late John Pinette (and I’m paraphrasing), “I’m not fan of the ocean. Shit bites you in the ocean.” I personally couldn’t agree more. “FarSky” was one of the unfortunate games to fall under my radar when it released earlier this year and despite the name, features plenty of ocean and things in it willing to bite your face off. As hesitant as I was to face my personal fears of being trapped in an underwater environment, I think that “FarSky” is one of the better survival games to have hit the virtual shelves. Here’s why…
I don’t remember much about my early childhood, but I do recall a game that featured both cards and a board with matching card spaces. It was one of those games you found in your grandmother’s closet that never saw the light of day (as far as you knew anyway), but looked like a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one for reading directions back then…I just sort of made it up as I went. I had an active imagination, what can I say? At any rate, I was browsing Amazon the other day and came across “Sequence”…needless to say something clicked inside my head when I saw the product pictures. It was only about fifteen bucks to boot so I took a chance. Was I disappointed? Keep on reading to find out!
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One of these days I’m going to have to come up for air. As you may have already guessed, that day is not today as I have four more Early Access games for you to check out. Like all the other articles in this series, this is simply a quick look at the games in their current state and NOT a review. Reviewing a game not yet done wouldn’t be all that fair, now would it? Nevertheless, feel free to enjoy the short list I’ve compiled in today’s posting.
Being the host of a party can be a lot of work, especially if your interests don’t jive well with everyone elses. For example, let’s say that you’re a respectable and hardworking dad who happens to love board games. It’s a stretch, I know…just bear with me. Imagine that you are having a huge family gathering at your place and need a few ways to keep everyone entertained. Most of them happen to be nongamers, so pulling “Agricola” or “Power Grid” out of your closet will probably be met by blank stares. At best, you’ll only succeed in entertaining the toddlers who have no qualms about throwing the pieces of your treasured games all over the place. “Knee Jerk”, a game that will be launching on Kickstarter on September 16, 2014, may very well be the solution. Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, I’d like to thank Game Creator Andrew Federspiel for reaching out and providing me with a prototype copy. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often representative of the final product, making everything featured here subject to change.
“The Agents“, a card game I previewed for game designer Saar Shai about a year ago, boasted one of the most successful Kickstarter campaign I had ever seen. That campaign raised over a quarter of a million dollars, if you can believe it. This kind of success is certainly a strong testament to what a great game and a strong fan base can accomplish. “King Down”, the latest creation by Saar, is now alive and kicking on Kickstarter. It’s a bit like “Chess”, making it easy to jump into if you know what you’re doing. With that said, it introduces some new rules and mechanics that make it a completely different game. You can read my full preview here: King Down Preview.
I think you all know the drill by now, so I’ll save you the clever lead-in. The following is a quick list of the Early Access games I’ve played as of late and my initial impressions. It’s important to stress that these games are still under development, meaning that the content and opinions featured below are subject to change.
For those of you who may not be aware, I am a former member of the United States Chess Federation. I’ve won many tournaments and was once rated second best in Western Pennsylvania for my age group. I’m not the best player out there mind you, but I know my “Chess”. “King Down”, a game currently seeking your help on Kickstarter, takes “Chess” to a completely new level. Some of the ideas in “King Down” are borrowed from “Chess”, but new mechanics serve to keep things fresh and interesting. Before we delve too deeply into this, I’d like to thank game designer Saar Shai for reaching out and providing me with a prototype copy. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often representative of the final product, making the rules, pictures, and content featured below subject to change. If the name “Saar Shai” sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the same guy who successfully Kickstarted “The Agents” about a year ago.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to lead armies of livestock against people that I didn’t like. Some might argue that there are more effective & non-violent methods for dealing with such people, but nothing says “in your face” more than letting a herd of cows run rampant on someone’s property. The smell from the droppings alone would almost certainly guarantee that the victim in question would have a rather crappy day (ba dump ch!). Thank you, thank you…no autographs please! At any rate, we’re here today to take a look at “Livestock Uprising”, a strategy/war game that involves…you guessed it, livestock. Don’t worry, there’s no manure involved. Rather, you’ll be collecting resources and recruiting livestock in an attempt to create a “super army” and wipe out all who oppose you. Before we get started, I’d like to thank Game Designer Mike Cameron from Dog Might Games for reaching out and providing me with a free press copy.