The Burden of Better


My favorite gag nametag

Upon reading Michael Barnes’s recent review of Exodus: Proxima Centauri, I felt a creeping weariness set into my mind. Not because of the review itself, since it was up to his usual high standard. Rather, I felt myself resigned to the fact that there could very well be a new 4X space game on the market, one that occupies a similar space to the very epic Twilight Imperium, and 2011’s more streamlined Eclipse. For the second time in less than 18 months, there’s a new epic space game that is apparently really good. And that can only mean that people will argue as to whether it’s better or worse than what’s come before. Continue reading

The Weight of Time – Innovation: Figures in the Sand Review

Innovation: Figures in the Sand

Still so stylish…

Any game can have one good expansion. It’s the second good expansion that’s tricky. To my recollection, the only game that really released two amazing expansions was The Settlers of Catan. Even long-runners like Talisman and Arkham Horror just release more and more stuff, which is fine. The point is, it’s easy for the second time through to suddenly feel like overkill, as if the game has taken it one step too far. Continue reading

We’re The Mesopotamians! – Tigris & Euphrates Retrospective

Tigris & Euphrates cover

Tie ’em up and beat ’em up and throw ’em outta Babylon!

Let me set the scene for you. I have only been in the hobby a matter of months. I’ve cut my teeth on most of the important Eurogames of the day, methodically going through and marking games off the list as I finally experience them for myself. I’d done the “gateways” like The Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. I’d hit some of the most important “heavier” games like Puerto Rico and El Grande. So when a friend invited me to play his copy of Tigris & Euphrates, I was excited. This was a classic from the great Reiner Knizia! Continue reading

Even I Get Boarded Sometimes – Merchant of Venus Review

Merchant of Venus box cover

That robot was trapped the minute he showed casual interest int whatever that human is hawking.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the events of a year ago, when both Stronghold Games and Fantasy Flight announced a reprint of Richard Hamblen’s Merchant of Venus. Confused fans had every reason to be pessimistic. The ensuing silence only fed fears that the lawyers had been sent in to do battle. We may never know all of the details of how the whole thing happened or how it was resolved. But what I do know is that the resulting reprint of Merchant of Venus succeeds beyond anything my heart dared to hope for. Continue reading