The Group of Ten, 2015-2016 Edition

You may recall that last year I wrote a piece about what games I would keep in my collection if forced to winnow it down to just ten titles. At the time it was just an interesting thought experiment, but it ended up gaining a little traction. My friends at DFW Nerd Nighters ended up doing a whole episode about it, their longest one I believe. This year, Nerd Nighter JR Honeycutt has released an updated version of his list from last year. Continue reading

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The Rumpus Room Top Twelve – 2014 Edition

A pogo stick!

The holiday season is a time for tradition, and as we all know “tradition” is a Christmas-y word for obligation. I’ve been at my tradition for five years now, where I look at my twelve favorite games and see what has shifted over the last year. My approach has evolved some, but I do it again from scratch every year. Our tastes aren’t set in stone after all. You can see by reading my lists from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013Continue 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

In Ages Past – Clash of Cultures Review

Clash of Cultures

Best cover image of 2012? MAYBE.

Does the world really need another Civ game? If you had asked me a year ago, I probably would have said no. Not only is it a crowded genre, it’s crowded with classics. There’s the old Francis Tresham game from Avalon Hill, still played by people with more time than I have. Vlaada Chvatil’s Through The Ages is one of the highest-rated games on Boardgame Geek. Kevin Wilson and Fantasy Flight cashed in on the popular computer game license a couple years ago with their own civ game. And I’ve personally always had enormous respect for Serge Laget’s Mare Nostrum. That doesn’t begin to touch on less epic games that incorporate aspects of civ games (like Settlers of Catan and Innovation) or that transport the genre to a more speculative setting (like Eclipse or Runewars). It is into this cramped space that Christian Marcussen felt compelled to launch his sophomore effort, Clash of Cultures.  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

Friday Fallout – August 31, 2012

boston

It’s funny because they talk differently!

Weeellll, here we are again. The lead-up to a new baby is nerve-wracking, because you never know how long that lead-up will be. But for now, I’m still chillin’, still keepin’ it real, and still gamin’. Continue reading

Long, Long, Long

Why Don't We Do It In The Road?

Come and keep your comrade warm.

When I was first introduced to the albums of the Beatles, my favorite album was The White Album. Since I had only known their hits, my first exposure to the Fab Four’s albums was overwhelming and kind of wonderful. Every song took me to a different place, and those places were always surprising. As I listened to their other albums, I found that pretty much all of their stuff was terrific. Rubber Soul and Revolver were tighter than The White Album. Abbey Road was more polished. Sgt. Pepper was more revolutionary, and A Hard Day’s Night was just punchier and more fun. But after all these years with The Beatles, I keep coming back to the White Album, even though it’s something of a mess. Continue reading