In this wonderful hobby where we move wood and cardboard pieces across the table, we’ve collectively accepted a decision to designate some games as Euro Games and others as Ameritrash. Whether or not these labels are apt, fair, or even accurate is a topic I’ll leave to the etymologists. I do love a good irony though, so I’m always happy to find Euro Games with decidedly non-European themes. Teotihuacan: City of Gods by designer Danielle Tascini (The Voyages of Marco Polo, Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar) happens to fall within this designation and naturally I had to play it for myself and see how it stacks up.
I met up with my friend Oscar to play a couple games at Game Empire this week. It was my first time playing Castell and Oscar’s second time. I’ve been looking forward to trying out Castell ever since I first heard about it a couple of years ago. I’m always on the lookout for meatier games that aren’t too dry or that fall into typical euro game theme categories. Castell, on paper, looks great. It’s a euro game that’s not about trading or bidding. Castell is about the Catalonian tradition of creating human castle-like structures. If you haven’t seen it in action, google it, watch it, and then come back. I’ll hold your place.
You’re back. How was it? Pretty neat huh?Continue reading “First Play: Castell”
The closest I’ve ever come to designing a building was that time I drew a picture of a fort and recruited a couple friends to build it out of the discarded couches behind the apartments where I lived as a child. I’ve also never tried my hand at designing a board game (wait, does misinterpreting board game rules count as game design?) And yet, I feel that architecture and game design share similar end goals. Architecture and board game design both involve designing and creating works that seek to strike a balance between function and aesthetics. With Raiders of the North Seas, designer Shem Phillips struck a nice balance between content and presentation by combining euro-game mechanics with outstanding art. Being a big fan of Raiders of the North Seas, I was eager to check out Phillips’ latest collaboration with artists Mihajlo Dimitrieveski, Architects of the West Kingdom.Continue reading “Review: Architects of the West Kingdom”
Viticulture Essential Edition, published by Stonemaier Games and designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone, is a game that sets out to extract, distill, and bottle the challenges of running a vineyard into a clever worker-placement game. Admittedly, I don’t know much about wine. Just a few weeks ago I was at a bar waiting to watch a magic show. While the bartender wasContinue reading “Review: Viticulture Essential Edition”
I’ve heard that Food Chain Magnate by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga is an unforgiving game where early missteps can hinder your path to fast food franchise greatness. Well, I got the chance to play it today, and, wow, they were not kidding.
There are plenty of impactful early game decisions in this game of greasy spoon franchise entrepreneurship. You start off as the CEO of your own fast food restaurant with only one action at your disposal. You can hire one of the eight basic employee cards that range from errand boys who collect drinks from distributors to Management Trainees that allow you to play more employees per turn.Continue reading “First Play: Food Chain Magnate”
ACNE Play’s latest game, Pizza Boy, is now serving up bite-sized, retro-style gaming on the iPhone. Does Pizza Boy manage to deliver a satisfying slice of mobile gaming? Does it manage to avoid being too cheesy? Can I force any more puns into my review? Read on and find out. Continue reading “Review: Pizza Boy (iPhone)”
Like any good partner, I make it a point to immerse myself in the interests of my significant other. That’s why I didn’t blink when my wife-to-be asked me to pick up Travelers Tales’ LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for the Xbox 360. Well, actually I did blink…and I put off her request for few days. Even though I really enjoyed playing Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, and Lego Batman with my girlfriend, I was still a bit hesitant. Continue reading “Review: Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Xbox 360)”
I really expected to hate Vacancy. It just seemed to me that Owen Wilson running around for an hour and a half trying to avoid being murdered by Frank Whaley and company would get old pretty quick. Fortunately, the movie manages to keep a brisk pace despite Owen Wilson and Kate Beckinsdale’s un-energetic portrayals. I think that this film would have been a lot better if it was cast with unknown actors instead of Wilson, Beckinsdale, Whaley, and Embry.