Games Of The Years

I got involved in this hobby seven years ago, and I’ve been writing about it pretty steadily for about three, with occasional pieces before that. At some point every board game writer will have to deal with the expectation to crown their “game of the year.” This is tricky for a lot of reasons. Continue reading

The Group Of Ten

Count ’em.

Once you have been in the hobby five years, you begin to look at your game shelf and say, “I have too many games.” This doesn’t actually mean you’re going to get rid of any of them or that you will stop buying new ones. Mostly it’s just an acknowledgement that, hey, space is getting a little tight, and that you’ve spent a considerable amount of money on all the games you have. Continue reading

The Rumpus Room Top Twelve – 2013 Edition

This is the fourth year I’ve done a big countdown for my top twelve games, but I still feel like it’s a work in progress. My first installment back in 2010 seemed to assume that these were the twelve “best games EVAR,” like there was a standard that these games were held up to, and they were the ones found to be at the top of a linear list of every game I own. Now that I’m putting together this list for the fourth time, that’s obviously a load of crap. Not that I don’t consider these games among the best ever made, but the list this year is almost totally different from the first one that I published in 2010. I mean, I put Dominion on the first iteration of this list, and Puzzle Strike on the second one. Those might reflect the last time I wrote much positive about either one of those games. One list by itself doesn’t mean much anyway. I’m not the same gamer I was in 2010, and that’s fine. I keep doing these lists because they tell me a lot about where I am right now as a gamer. Consider this a portrait of what I want in a game in December of 2013. Continue reading

Stronger Than Ever – King of Tokyo: Power Up! Review

Power Up! box cover

This is why China’s nuclear program poses a threat to us.

It must be tough to make a good expansion. The proof is that there are a lot of mediocre ones, especially today when we have fewer “games” and more “core sets.” An expansion is essentially an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle a second (or third or fourth) time. A couple of games have pulled it off, but if a game has multiple expansions, it’s typically a case of diminishing returns. Either they ramp up the complexity, or they add more new content than any one group could possibly need. Add enough stuff, and a game could collapse under the weight of its own franchise. Continue reading

Friday Fallout – November 16, 2012

christmas cat

Let’s wait until after Thanksgiving, hmmm?

My article on F:AT didn’t run last week, so that meant that I already had one lined up for this week. That’s why you didn’t hear from me this week: I didn’t have deadline fear. And my excuse for posting late today? I usually punch this thing out over my lunch break, but our internet was completely out from about 10 AM on. It’s still technically Friday now, right? Continue reading

The Rumpus Room’s Top Twelve – 2012 Edition

Here we are once again, at roughly that time of year where I like to post my twelve favorite games! It’s hard to believe that this blog has operated in some form for over two years, but here we are. This list has become an annual tradition, but this year I took a different approach. Rather than just assuming that I knew what my favorite games were, I instead made a list of games that I thought should be in any conversation about my favorite games of all time. One by one, I would take one game and roughly insert it where I felt like it belonged at this point in my gaming life. That means that this list is a snapshot of my gaming tastes right now, which is far more interesting than some feeble attempt at objectivity. As such, there was some movement in my favorites, and some games from the previous two years have fallen into the “honorable mention” category, or off the list altogether. So without further ado, I give you… Continue reading