DGA

Star Realms

December 20, 2014 Leave a comment

“Star Realms” is advertised as a “space combat card game” that “pits players against each other in a fight for dominance over the entire galaxy.” In all honestly, they had me at “space”…I’m a dreamer, what I can say?  At any rate, “Star Realms” is like “Dominion” in the sense that it is a deck-builder…that is, start with a few crappy cards and build your deck until you have the powerhouse that YOU yourself designed.  Its play time of twenty minutes attracted me too, especially with the holiday season right around the corner.  No time for “Stone Age” or “Lords of Waterdeep“, no sir…there are presents to wrap and cookies to make.  Before I go off on some mad holiday-related tangent, let’s quickly get a look at what came in the box and how the game is played.

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The Builders: Middle Ages

December 19, 2014 Leave a comment

I have a rather unhealthy fascination with all things “medieval” and I’m not exactly sure why.  Games like “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” that feature swords, bows, and magic are much more appealing to me than a modern-day shooter like “Call of Duty“.  “The Builders: Middle Ages” attracted me for that very reason, though the fact that it was a microgame (small package & easy to play) also had something to do with it.  It reminded me of “Splendor” in the sense that you’ll be using money to buy cards, which in turn can sometimes be used to buy more cards…though obviously there are a few differences.  Let’s quickly take a look, shall we?

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PRESS RELEASE: “12 Realms: Ghost Town” Seeking Support On Kickstarter

December 18, 2014 Leave a comment

The expansions for “12 Realms” seem to keep on coming, though I have yet to hear anyone complain.  After all, who wouldn’t want to vanquish a dark lord or two after a hard day’s work?  “12 Realms: Ghost Town” is the latest of the expansions and is currently seeking your support on Kickstarter.  Amazingly (but unsurprisingly), the project has already more than quadrupled its goal of $4,000 in less than ten days time…though there’s still time to buy into the project now to get some nice bonus content via the various pledge levels.

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Quorsum

December 15, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s not often that an “abstract” game comes across my desk, but the ones I do own, I really enjoy. Most of the abstract games in my collection really spark the synapses and encourage critical thinking, a skill that any parent worth his/her two cents should often strive to develop in their kids. We’re here today to take a look at “Quorsum”, a game that is advertised as abstract (I’ll get to that) and hit virtual shelves just recently.  In short, it’s a two player racing/strategy combo game that features both dice and a randomized board layout.  Before I get too far ahead of myself however, I’d like to quickly thank game co-designer Steve Erickson for reaching out and introducing me to the game.

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DGA’s Early Access Corner (12/12/14)

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment

DISCLAIMER: The title “Early Access” means that the product/game is still under development. As such, the content featured below is subject to change. This includes any opinions I may have at the time of writing, as Alpha and Beta builds sometimes change their core mechanics on a whim. It’s important to stress the word opinions, as I find it unethical to review something not yet released in its final form. In other words, don’t take anything you see here too seriously. You can view all of the articles of this series by clicking the “Video Games” tab, located on the top of this page.

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Splendor

December 10, 2014 Leave a comment

“Splendor” puts you in the role of a merchant during the Renaissance period.  Your goal will be to increase your prestige by purchasing cards (mines, shops, etc.) with differently colored chips (gems) that you can collect on a regular basis.  Since all cards have varying costs and require different gem colors, it’ll be a race to see who can best manage their resources and make the most logical purchases based on the situation as it presents itself.  In other words, there’s a heavy focus on chip collecting and card development.  This might sound a bit complicated to some but it has a play time of only thirty minutes…meaning you won’t spend hours scratching your head and yearning for the game to “just be over already”.  Quite the contrary, in fact.

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Fight The Dragon

December 9, 2014 Leave a comment

I’ll say it now and get it out of the way…the dragon is a jerkface.  There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  Regardless, I find myself coming back for more punishment…a testiment to this game’s addictive qualities.  “Fight The Dragon” has been on Steam’s Early Access for a while and will be officially launching today (as of 12/4/14).  As best as I can describe it, “Fight The Dragon” is a hack and slash action-RPG, but with both premade and user-generated levels.  Your ultimate goal will be to slay the dragon, but it’ll be a while before you become strong enough to do so.  Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Seon Rozenblum from 3 Sprockets (the same folks who developed the recent “Cubemen 2“) for providing me with a free review copy.

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PRESS RELEASE: “The Guardians: Explore” Seeking Support On Kickstarter

December 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Deck Building games like “Dominion” are popular for a reason: they allow players to define how their deck will take shape throughout the course of the game.  “The Guardians: Explore”, a game seeking your help on Kickstarter, seems to be somewhat similar in that regard.  In this case, you’ll be not only drafting and redefining your deck, but working with others at times to fight off some really nasty foes.  I’ve always wondered what a cooperative deck builder would play like as all of the ones I own are competitive in nature.  It’s great to see new ideas like this come to light and change the way we think about the games we all know and love.

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Family Challenge

December 5, 2014 Leave a comment

While the box art doesn’t indicate it as such, this game is also known as “Beat The Parents Family Challenge”. This may clue you in as to what you’re in for, especially if you’ve played “Beat The Parents“.  As you might have guessed, this game will allow parents and their children to face off over a series a mini games across four different events…sort of like the Olympics in that once a team wins one medal, everyone will move on to the next category.  The aforementioned “Beat The Parents” received above average marks (at least from me) so I was anxious to give this one a try when it arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of the folks at Spin Master Games.

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Hedbanz Act Up!

December 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Spin Master Games has an obsession with props…there’s no other logical explanation behind it.  In “Moustache Smash“, for example, players had to pretend to wear mustaches.  “Hedbanz Act Up!” is a lot like “Heads Up!” in the sense that players will be wearing headbands and inserting cards into them to engage in “Reverse Charades” as I’ve dubbed it.  In fact, both games are almost exactly alike save for the different categories featured in the latter. Before moving on to the review, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Spin Master Games for providing me with a free press copy.

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Shark Mania

December 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Remember “Shark Attack” from way back in the day?  I sure do…it was one of the first board games I owned as a child.  Each player received a fish and your goal was to move around this circular board as quickly as you could lest the shark catch up and eat you.  “Shark Mania” is similar but opts for a more stylish, if not complicated playing area.  It’s also got a push your luck element in the sense that players (pirates) will be trying to collect coins as they go.  The catch is that they can either move or collect loot, not both.  Before I go any further, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Spin Master Games for providing me with a free press copy.

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Moustache Smash

December 4, 2014 Leave a comment

You get to smash your mustache against cards lying on a table…enough said.  Okay, perhaps that could be taken out of context a bit.  In “Moustache Smash”, each player will have a plastic stick with a mustache attached to it…trust me, you’ll prefer this over using your own (though it would make for some rather funny home videos).  On the reverse side is a suction cup which is used to pick up cards as they are dealt onto the table.  You’ll have to be quick as the first player to grab a matching card wins it.  Before I get ahead of myself though, I’d like to quickly thank the folks at Spin Master Games for sending me a free press copy.

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DGA’s Early Access Corner (12/1/14)

December 1, 2014 Leave a comment

DISCLAIMER:  The title “Early Access” means that the product/game is still under development.  As such, the content featured below is subject to change.  This includes any opinions I may have at the time of writing, as Alpha and Beta builds sometimes change their core mechanics on a whim.  It’s important to stress the word opinions, as I find it unethical to review something not yet released in its final form.  In other words, don’t take anything you see here too seriously.  You can view all of the articles of this series by clicking the “Video Games” tab, located on the top of this page.

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DGA Awards 2014

November 27, 2014 2 comments

The gaming industry continues to surprise me with each passing day.  More and more creative people are stepping forward and bringing forth their ideas in the hopes of being able to share them with gamer families and friends all over the world.  Don’t believe me?  Go check out crowdfunding sites like “Kickstarter” and take a gander at how many games have made it through “Early Access” programs on digital distribution sites like “Steam“.  The number of games that have successfully made their way to an official release / retail distribution with the help of the general public is staggering.  On one hand, it pains me to think about how many games wouldn’t have seen the light of day had crowdfunding / early access programs not existed.  On the other, it makes me feel good to know that so many people share my love for gaming.  Needless to say, tabletop gaming and video gaming are two concepts that won’t be dying out any time soon…quite the contrary, it seems.

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PRESS RELEASE: “Deception” Seeking Support On Kickstarter

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Trick-taking games come a dime a dozen, but “Deception” piqued my interest immediately when I learned that you needed to be a little like Sherlock Holmes to deduce a player’s identity.  That mystery factor found in some games like “Battlestar Galactica” is just a big plus in my book as I’m always up for trying to read tells and discovering who players truly are.  “Deception” is currently seeking your help on Kickstarter with only 26 days to go, so if you plan on getting in on the action, now’s the time to do it.

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Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

“Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)” could be described as a puzzle platformer, but that would be doing the game a huge injustice.  It is “the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people” and “nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers and community members contributed to the development of the game.” Going to such lengths to preserve the culture and get the details right in a video game is pretty impressive, if you ask me.  In this little gem, you’ll take on the role of a young Iñupiat girl named Nuna and her trustworthy companion (an arctic fox) with the intent on finding the source of the “eternal blizzard” that threatens everything she’s ever known.  Before I go any further, I’d like to quickly thank Laurie Thornton, the co-founder of Radiate (a PR firm), for providing me with a free press copy.

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