Games

Reviews of both new release and older board games, card games, RPG’s, and miniature games.

Twin Cities Game Stores Welcome Guilds of Ravnica

For anyone who has ever considered learning to play Magic: The Gathering (MTG), there are few ways that are better than to attend a prerelease. Every year, Wizards of the Coast releases at least two or three expansions to its 25-year-old collectible card game and sponsors events both online and in person at game stores across the globe. These events are designed to show players how to use the new mechanics that are being introduced into the set, give...

Cat Crimes Is a Great Combination of Cats and Logic

Personally, I think logic is a fairly vital skill for kids to learn. Even going beyond the obvious uses of logic in programming and other computer-related disciplines, a strong sense of logic helps in figuring out day-to-day problems. The trouble is that sometimes logic exercises can be presented in fairly dry or unrelatable situations. Pencil-and-paper exercises are fun for travel, but they can be daunting for anyone still learning how to order their thoughts. This is where Cat Crimes,...

The Cramped, Chaotic Kitchen of Overcooked! 2 Delivers Delicious Cooperative Fun

There are a lot of things I like to do with my friends: seeing movies, going on trips, shopping, and playing games, just to name a few. But after a few hours of playing Overcooked! 2, I can safely say I don’t want to work in a kitchen with them anytime soon. Even though it destroyed my dreams of opening a food truck, Overcooked! 2 provided plenty of chaotic moments that made me laugh and sigh exasperatedly in equal...

Channel A: The Anime Pitch Party Game Is a Delight for Anime Fans of All Levels

The more I think back on my life as a gamer, the more I realize how much that identity has interacted with—and even informed—my other hobbies. Even as recently as when I discovered Call to Adventure (which I wrote about earlier this month), my excitement and anticipation from that game has rekindled my interest in fantasy novels, and that’s had me reading them a lot more lately than I had been. Similarly, my entry into the trading-card-gaming scene in the...

GKR: Heavy Hitters Is a Giant-Robot Fighting Game That Holds No Punches

Pick your robot, pick your pilot, pick your weapons, and pick your victim in GKR: Heavy Hitters! This fast-paced strategy arena game lets you put the pedal to the metal—and the metal to the face of more metal—with a beat ’em up, shoot ’em up gameplay. Fans of Pacific Rim will especially find fun in GKR, since it isn’t every board game that lets you pilot your own Giant Killer Robot! In the setting of the game, televised giant...

Saved The Game Is Lighthearted Fun about Escaping Armageddon

I’ve previously mentioned that I keep my eyes peeled for tabletop games themed around real-world religion. But these kinds of games are rare because releasing anything into the glutted tabletop marketplace is a gamble, and most companies try to minimize their risk by avoiding what they see as unnecessary controversy. Then there are those like Minneapolis locals James Kenna and Zach Rapatz, who utilize crowdfunding to publish outlandish games for the people who want them, such as their debut...

In Gamifying the Language of Chemistry, CompoundIt! Is a Minnesota-Born Winner

In CompoundIt!, a board game created by Minneapolis science teacher Andrew Lyman-Buttler, chemistry and Scrabble-like mechanics join hands to create a uniquely geeky experience. The game—which is running a crowdfunding campaign through May 2, 2018—is billed as a “chemistry formula word game in which the ‘letters’ are chemical elements and the ‘words’ are compounds.” It challenges players to build binary compounds and polyatomic ions on the board from tiles representing individual elements. Lyman-Buttler describes his game as a “great new...

Soul of the Empire Is an Asymmetrical Game about Religious Strife in Ancient Rome

As a gamer with a Christian background and a resulting interest in religion, I’m always on the lookout for games with real-world religions as their focus. But this is a challenging enterprise for several reasons. First of all, most games tend to be aimed at a primarily secular audience, with spiritual elements being presented with a fantastical nature (which is reasonably done for the purpose of avoiding controversy). Second, many games dealing with religion come across as somewhat preachy,...

The Highly Replayable Gloomhaven Stands Out among Dungeon Crawlers

For months, I had been hearing constant talk about a new Legacy-type board game—the kind in which, as you progress through the game, certain situations will cause you to permanently mark or alter your board. Each time it caught my attention, I would immediately tune out, as I could never rally behind the idea of a Legacy game. I had heard previous rumors that when Pandemic: Legacy was released, some players were required to tear up cards or destroy...

Winter Is Here, and It’s Dead!

The snowflakes are falling, and the undead are rising. Fight off the hordes of zombies, survive a frigid environment, and sort out friend from foe. Dead of Winter is a two- to five-player game that runs anywhere between 45 and 210 minutes, depending on experience and game variables. This game holds features of unit-management, strategy, hidden-role, and cooperative games. Here, each player starts off by controlling two survivors of a zombie apocalypse, each with their own unique ability—for example,...
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