Games

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

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,...

Shadows over Camelot Provides Plenty of Medieval Strategy, Questing, and Dark Age Treachery

Swords clashing, political subterfuge, and shining righteousness—all within the hallowed stone walls of the legendary fortress of Camelot. For as long as I remember I have been deeply infatuated with all of the mythos of medieval fantasies. When I found a passion for board gaming, I was not surprised that I bought a copy of Shadows over Camelot on sight. When I initially played the game, I was ecstatic that the game was well balanced and has a high...

Roller Coaster Challenge Is Problem-Solving Fun for Young Players

When I saw that ThinkFun had started a Kickstarter for Roller Coaster Challenge, a brain-teaser game that lets you build your own roller coasters, my only question was what I should pick for my backing level. Should I just get the base game, or spring for the extra challenges and bonus car? My geekling is a budding roller-coaster enthusiast who also loves the challenges from Robot Turtles, another critical-thinking and logic game from ThinkFun, and this game had her...

The Rick and Morty Card Game is Totally Rickdiculous!

The wait for season 3 of Rick and Morty—the highlight of our lives—has moved so slowly, the clocks have practically started going backwards. But hey, at least we discovered time travel, right? So many rumors had floated around about the date the series would continue, and they all ended in heartbreaking, world-spiraling depression. Luckily, it’s only a couple more weeks until new episodes begin, but in the meantime I am back with another solace for you waiting fans—this time...

Anvil Industry Offers Tabletop Models for All

In 2011, Anvil Industry joined the crowded market of selling conversion bits for 28-millimeter scale models, aiming particularly at the Warhammer 40,000 range. They produce two main ranges—Exo-Lords and Regiments (power-armor-equipped soldiers and standard infantry, respectively)—selling both full models and individual sprues of bits for conversion work on other models. Anvil Industry also found success in its own tabletop game, Afterlife, which raised over $50,000 via Kickstarter in 2014. The company’s latest release, the Trench Fighters range, consists of...
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