Near the start of this year I reviewed Mindclash’s first game, Trickerion, and utterly adored its clever worker-placement mechanics and its unique theme involving magicians putting on shows for a cheering audience. Now I’ve got my hands on Mindclash’s second game, also a worker-placement title but with a radically different theme. There are some similar ideas underneath the hood, including a desire to take up more table space than any one game should ever need, but Anachrony does plenty to set itself apart. It’s big, thinky and wholly absorbing.
In Yamatai Queen Himiko has tasked you with building the capital of Yamatai, making it the jewel of the archipelago. You’re going to be doing this by creating supply lines of boats carrying various resources, constructing buildings and hiring specialists to help you out. Despite having a mere 8-page rulebook there’s a lot going on in this brightly colored mess, and like so many other games the ultimate goal is simple; be the person with the most prestige points by the end.
The chances are that at some point you’ve been watching a mindless reality TV show or yet another horrible program about a daft subject and come to the conclusion that if you were in charge of the network you could do so much better than this drivel. Well, The Networks seeks to give you that opportunity. You’ll pick from such shows as Found, Breaking Worse and Agents of S.H.A.M.P.O.O., hire amazing stars like Serial Award Winner, Cult Sci-fi Actor and that Comedian Your Parents Like and air ads for potatoes, yachts and other junk to earn piles of cash. It’s all in the name of getting the viewers and proving to everyone that you could, in fact, do it better than those suit-wearing pillocks.
In Tsuro you’ll be manning the helm of a Red Seal ship, intent on charting the unknown waters in the name of the Emperor who has decreed that from the edges of the seas to the mountain peaks belongs to him and him alone. Yet rumors persist of monsters lurking over the horizon, their huge forms hanging above the waves and swiftly moving under the surface. They also happen to destroy any boat they come close to. They are the daikaiju, and they’re here to make your life miserable.
There are many joys to be found in life; the pleasure of eating your favorite food, the smell of fresh countryside air, the laughter of friends and the creation of a deadly disease designed to wipe out every person on the face of the planet. That’s where Plague Inc. The Board Games comes in, created by the very same people who developed the videogame. So, how well does the goal of killing every human translate to cardboard?
I’ve been sitting staring at this damn screen for what feels like an eternity, the ghastly flu I’m battling having basically stripped my mental reasoning down to that of a brick. A really stupid brick. I’m supposed to be writing an intro, but I can’t think of one, so instead I’ll say this: flibble. Hornswaggle. Butt. That is all.
Assault of the Giants is a game that places players in control of their own faction of giants within the Dungeons & Dragons universe, waging war across a board and claiming event cards all in the name of scoring Ordning points. Don’t worry, though, no knowledge of the Dungeons & Dragons universe is required to delve into this quite sizable box. You don’t even need to know about Owl-Bears. But now you want to know, don’t you?
As a grown man I have no problem admitting that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favorite TV shows ever, the marvelous imagination of geek icon Joss Whedon creating something that I have cherished. I grew up watching it, and throughout the years I’ve appreciated it more and more, from being a little lad with a crush on Willow and loving the fact that it was about a badass chick killing monsters to beginning to understand how the show subverted genre norms, or the clever dialogue or the constant subtle things that were left unsaid. Of course, by today’s standards it’s cheesy and goofy…but man, is it fun, and its themes remain relevant to this day.
At the start of the year I made a resolution to review some heavier, deeper boardgames during 2017. Having played through all four eras of The Colonists in a single sitting, though, I’m beginning to regret that decision. This is no small game; in comes in a sizable box that doesn’t have any form of insert, just a whole lot of cardboard tokens and a pile of plastic bags to store it all in. The whole thing weighs over 3KG, takes up most of an average kitchen table and playing through the entire game can take up to eight hours. And oh man does it make my head hurt.
There is a type beauty to be found in so many of the huge, sprawling boardgames on the market, a type of beauty that exists within the majesty of chaos. Right now I’m playing The Colonists, a massive game that can take anywhere up to eight hours to play through all of its four eras , weighs over 3KGs and has piles of resource tokens and tiles and wooden pieces. It’s dauntingly vast, a game that sucks up brainpower and spits it out like a particularly horrid brussel sprout. There’s beauty in its webs of rules, though, in the same way I find beauty in other huge games with complex rules and systems that take hours and hours to learn. I’m looking at you Arkham Horror and your myriad of fiddly mechanics.