Less Sweaty Than Mowing an Actual Lawn – Mow Money Sneak Peek

A lot of writing about games is having the right connections to learn about stuff before it’s big news, and to experience new stuff before everyone else. I’m at a distinct disadvantage here for a couple reasons. First of all I don’t know a ton of people who design games seriously. Most hobbyists will mess around with little designs but nothing comes of it. Secondly, I’d usually rather just play published designs. Playing someone’s home-grown design is a little like proofreading a term paper, except I know less about editing in this case. I would much prefer to play something that has probably been polished and developed properly than some pasted-up trainwreck, thanks very much. But there are exceptions to every rule, and Mow Money is a big exception to mine. Continue reading

Between Seven And Nine – Discworld: Ankh-Morpork Review

box cover

Turtle not included.

I made a strange realization a week or so ago. For all of my Ameritrash leanings and pretensions, I usually like games by Martin Wallace. Wallace usually designs dense economic games with drab names that only conjure images of furrowed brows around the table. But heaven help me, I enjoy his work. I’ve been playing Brass with some friends online, and when I combine that with my face-to-face experiences with the game I find that it’s becoming one of my favorite heavy Euros. I enjoyed Last Train to Wensleydale as well, though I would need to play it a second time to make sure. I don’t love everything he’s done, of course. I’m not a huge fan of Steam (though I want to try the older Age of Steam to make sure), and Automobile showed me how frustrating and dull his games can be. But of the Wallace games I’ve played, I like more of them than I hate. He’s especially shown himself to be gifted at lighter fare, like his older game Way Out West and the criminally rare Moongha Invaders. Continue reading

Eat My Spell – Wiz-War Review

Wiz-War

Cool box cover, or coolest box cover?

No doubt many of my readers have read and enjoyed the Harry Potter books. Remember the final sequence of the fourth book? Harry is one of four champions in the poorly-named Tri-Wizard Tournament, and the final ordeal is to plunge into a magical labyrinth. In the labyrinth, nothing is as it seems. The walls shift, the atmosphere plays tricks on him, and  his sense of direction abandons him at inopportune times. Not only that, but the other competitors keep running into each other, slinging spells and hexes at each other in an effort to grab the Tri-Wizard Cup. It’s an all-out four-way battle between wizards, and that’s pretty much what Wiz-War is. Continue reading

Friday Fallout: May 3, 2012

Well, it would appear that I have a lot of new readers. I got a shout-out in Drake’s Flames yesterday, as well as a link on Reddit. So my traffic had what could conservatively be called a “spike” yesterday. To those reading for the first time, welcome! I try to update about 2-3 times per week. One of those entries will be a full-on article, cross-posted on other sites. The rest is for you, dear readers. Subscribe, add me to your RSS reader, follow me on Twitter, whatever. And I definitely want to encourage comments and discussion. Feedback is always welcome. Continue reading

Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop

The title card…you were expecting a mildly clever caption?

I’ve been asked by several people (read: exactly one people) what I think of Wil Wheaton’s new YouTube series, Tabletop. For those not in the loop, this is a half-hour series posted every other Friday. Wheaton and some other minor nerd celebrities get together and play a hobby game, while graphics explain the rules of the game as they go. There have been two episodes released so far, Small World and The Settlers of Catan. Continue reading