Board Games, Solo, The Five By

Review: Sonora

This review of Sonora appeared in Episode 92 of The Five By. The following is the script I used when recording the podcast, and, as such, there might be some discrepancies between the text and audio due to editing for time and flow.

It’s dusk in the desert and the sun hangs just above the horizon, seeming to linger just a moment too long. The last traces of the golden red desert landscape finally give way to a deep and inky purple. In this newly dark world, insects buzz and chirp the same dirge they’ve practiced since time immemorial. An owl hoots overhead as a giant wooden disc flies across this idyllic landscape and ricochets against a nearby cliff. It careens at a sharp angle, throwing   sand dozens of feet into the air as it comes to stop. You walk up to the disc and notice there’s a giant number five on top of it.

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Board Games, Reviews, Worker Placement

Review: Architects of the West Kingdom

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.

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