Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 Origins Awards Announced, and My Predictions

The nominees for the 2015 Origins Awards have been announced, and I'm surprised and pleased to see that I've played most of the games in the board and card game categories. Given my penchant for expressing opinions about games I've played, I decided to do a quick review of the nominees, and my make predictions for the winners. 

Some of these games were released prior to 2014, so I'm not sure exactly what the nomination criteria are, but I believe the lists represent a fairly well-considered splice of recent gaming releases, so I've got no beef with the nominations. 

If'd like to see the full set of nominees, click here! For my consideration of the nominees, and my predictions, continue! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Siblings Trouble, by Edo Baraf

Limitation breeds creativity. If I ask you to tell me a story, chances are, you're less likely to be able to come up with something on the spot than if I ask you to tell me a story about two mongooses (not mongeese - I looked it up) who run afoul of a mean king cobra - at least in my experience.

For that exact reason, I thoroughly enjoyed Edo Baraf's game, The Siblings Trouble, which is live on Kickstarter right now. In this quick, structured storytelling game, you play the role of one of four of the titular siblings as you adventure through a cave you stumbled upon. The elements of the story are heavily influenced by the cards you flip, which follow an order outlined in the rules - a set pattern cards, mostly "path" cards (usually some kind of event that influences the flow of the story) and "location" cards (usually chances to face monsters and earn treasure).  In each game, there is also one "big secret" card (where one of the siblings reveals why you're really there), one "boss" card (the final monster you'll need to face), and the entrance card (to start the adventure) and the "heading home" card (where you wrap up any loose ends from your story and describe the journey home).

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shadows Over Camelot Reviewed by a Traitor

This is a guest post from Aubrey House, a regular in my Thursday night gaming group. Aubrey is a long-time MMO player who's new to tabletop gaming, and I've asked her to weigh in on various games to provide a new player's perspective. Aubrey has played Shadows Over Camelot twice, first as the traitor, then a few months later as one of the heroes.

Shadows Over Camelot is widely recognized as the first cooperative game to have a hidden traitor. It still compares favorably to the giants (Battlestar Galactica and Dead of Winter). I asked Aubrey to answer a few questions about her first time playing a co-op/hidden traitor game, both with and without the hidden traitor mechanic.

Please enjoy a Q&A session with Aubrey!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Specter Ops Unboxing Video

Here's my quick unboxing video of Specter Ops by Emerson Matsuuchi, published by Plaid Hat Games!

I'll review this in full once I've had a chance to play it a few times, but right now it's on my short list for most anticipated games of the year. Enjoy!

Rodney Smith teaches Specter Ops on Watch It Played

JR Honeycutt is a full-time husband and game-player, and co-host of The Nerd Nighters. You can find him on Twitter at @JayAhre or at a Friendly Local Game Store in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Some of his reviews are also published in Ravage Magazine or at Tabletop Gaming News

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sheriff of Nottingham, by Sérgio Halaban, André Zatz, and Bryan Pope

Some say that Sheriff of Nottingham is a bluffing game, and while that's technically true, I tend to think of it as a bartering game. Bluffing is at the core of the experience, but the flavor of the game is the wheeling and dealing that's caused by it. It's the difference between Sheriff and Coup, or the Resistance, or any number of other bluffing games.

You see, if the Sheriff has a hunch that you're lying, that you're not just a simple farmer sending goods to market, you've got a chance to finagle your way out of a penalty. If you're a great liar, kudos to you. If you can't lie a bit, that's ok too, and there's a chance you could win. But if you're a great deal-maker, if you've got the blood of the merchant coursing through your veins... well then you're almost certain to claim victory in the famous town of Nottingham.