[Board games] I choose poorly.

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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    I agree that SUSD can be very erratic in what they recommend or not, but I like them more than most other reviews because they move way beyond the 'Did I have fun y/n' format that so many other reviewers follow. They dig deep into the experience and all of the components of that, such that even when I disagree with them, I can tell from watching whether I would like it, even if they didn't. They blend together the rules explanation and the review in a way I haven't seen before.

    I do find that they're reliable...in that they always seem to have the EXACT opposite opinion I have of every game I've played. Like, I think they've given an enthusiastic thumbs up to every single game I've seen them review, except Scythe and Eldritch Horror, two of the best games to come out in the last 5 years. Really? Out of the tons of games coming out, those are the only two you give a "meh" to?

    But I guess they still do their job as reviewers in that I can rely on their opinion, even if it's in bizarro way.

    MrBody on
  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    I was shocked they didn't like Scythe or Terraforming Mars because I also think they're boring and inferior to existing games and made to appeal to the mainstream. I don't see a problem with them having those opinions at all. Which is to say I guess I enjoy when things are unpredictable, and you have to take each review for itself and its content and tone instead of just looking at the ending.

    ArcticLancer on
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    Ah_Pook wrote: »
    MrBody wrote: »

    Back to the explanations, here's how Tom's style would explain Scythe:

    "Scythe is a game that's sort of area control, sort of worker placement. You start around the board your workers and leader. Your leader can move onto these spaces and get an encounter card. Your workers can move, but can't cross rivers unless you're the Nordic faction who can swim. Your leader and mechs can cross rivers once you get your riverwalk mech. Your workers can produce resources on their space when you take the produce action, but if you attack someone and force their workers to flee, you lose popularity. Your popularity is a score multiplier you use at the end. It makes your stars worth more. You can get stars by completing objectives, winning battles, or getting all of your bottom row pieces of a certain category. You get coins for all these cross referenced with your popularity but you also get bonus coins according to the structure bonus card that's drawn during the game setup, during which you also construct a deck of factory cards according to the number of players plus 1."

    Now that I think about it, he's a real life Ben Wyatt explaining Cones of Dunshire.

    You can see for yourself exactly how Tom explained scythe...



    I dunno I think he does an alright job at giving a brief overview of a very intricate game in a compact time frame there personally. What would you like instead?

    He pretty much went along the lines of my example. I dunno I think I did an alright job of giving a brief parody overview of a 12 minute review in a compact paragraph there personally. What would you like instead?

    I mean, right in the first minute or two he starts off with specific stuff that makes no sense until you know the broad overview.

    Here's how you would explain Scythe:
    "Everyone starts as a faction on the edge of the board. In the middle is 'the factory', which is valuable to reach but not vital (think Mecatol Rex in Twilight Imperium). Each turn, everyone takes an action that usually amounts to moving, producing resources, constructing something with those resources, or improving your economy. The game ends when one player reaches 6 milestones, called "stars", out of the 10 listed at the top here. Stars usually involve maxing out a certain category, completing a secret objective, or winning a battle. Even though the game ends when someone hits 6 stars, they don't necessarily win. The winner is whoever has the most money, and a big chunk of that comes from this table that gives you bonus money at the end of the game for each space you control, the number of stars you have, and any excess resources you have stockpiled. There's a score multiplier for these bonuses called 'popularity', which is another thing you invest in during the game purely for end game score. It leads to an interesting dynamic where someone might want to end the game as quickly as possible with 6 stars and win solely on the star bonus before anyone else can build up much, and someone else might delay ending the game to build up their popularity and other scoring factors. End of the game usually sees people hovering 1 or 2 stars away from ending the game and wondering if they'll have more money than everyone if they go for that final star.

    Most of the action is going to take place on your player mat here. You can take 1 of 4 actions here every turn. In each one you do the stuff at the top first, then the stuff on the bottom. The top stuff is usually free or has a small cost: moving units, producing resources on spaces you control, paying money for resources you don't have access to, increasing your combat power, or gaining popularity. The bottom stuff all has a high resource cost that you won't be able to afford at first and will have to skip. The general gist of the game revolves around planning out your development so that you can afford the bottom cost as quickly and and often as possible every turn. What the bottom row does is remove pieces from your mat and places them somewhere else, unlocking the bonus that they were covering up before. Anyone who's played Terra Mystica will immediately be familiar with this system. So, you build a mech by taking it off your mat and placing it onto the board, you now have the bonus it was covering up. You take a cube or building off your mat, you now get that bonus it was covering up every time you take that action. When you take a cube off, not only does it increase the bonus on the top row, but you place the cube on the bottom row to cover up the cost, making everything cheaper. Essentially you want to unlock the most bonuses and reduce costs as the game goes on to get the most efficient engine going as possible.

    And aside from a very simple combat system, that's pretty much the whole game. NOW here are some little details like combat and the factory..."

    I think that would take 3 minutes and give a much more complete picture than Tom's 13 minutes bouncy ball explanation.

    MrBody on
  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Just started playing Star Realms yesterday by downloading the free version of the iOS app.

    I guess I'd describe it as a simplified Dominion meets a simplified Magic TG? I'd definitely play it with someone, even though I loathe and would never touch the other two.

    It's hard to tell how much I like it though since the free version you can only play the computer who is a cheating mo fo, always starting with decks two turns or more ahead of you.

  • MNC DoverMNC Dover Game Designer/Stay-at-home Dad Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    Just started playing Star Realms yesterday by downloading the free version of the iOS app.

    I guess I'd describe it as a simplified Dominion meets a simplified Magic TG? I'd definitely play it with someone, even though I loathe and would never touch the other two.

    It's hard to tell how much I like it though since the free version you can only play the computer who is a cheating mo fo, always starting with decks two turns or more ahead of you.

    I've played a metric ton of Star Realms, both online and offline. Great deckbuilder with tons of optional cards expansions to add in if you want. If you really like it, you can check out Hero Realms, which is fantasy Star Realms. It has optional character classes with unique starting cards and abilities. As well as a co-op campaign to do some fun PvE.

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  • RendRend Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    I agree that SUSD can be very erratic in what they recommend or not, but I like them more than most other reviews because they move way beyond the 'Did I have fun y/n' format that so many other reviewers follow. They dig deep into the experience and all of the components of that, such that even when I disagree with them, I can tell from watching whether I would like it, even if they didn't. They blend together the rules explanation and the review in a way I haven't seen before.

    I do find that they're reliable...in that they always seem to have the EXACT opposite opinion I have of every game I've played. Like, I think they've given an enthusiastic thumbs up to every single game I've seen them review, except Scythe and Eldritch Horror, two of the best games to come out in the last 5 years. Really? Out of the tons of games coming out, those are the only two you give a "meh" to?

    But I guess they still do their job as reviewers in that I can rely on their opinion, even if it's in bizarro way.

    I can't stand Eldritch Horror! So the opinion that it's one of the best games to come out in the last 5 years is at least controversial beyond the opinions of the editors of SUSD :p
    Never played Scythe though.

  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    MNC Dover wrote: »
    MrBody wrote: »
    Just started playing Star Realms yesterday by downloading the free version of the iOS app.

    I guess I'd describe it as a simplified Dominion meets a simplified Magic TG? I'd definitely play it with someone, even though I loathe and would never touch the other two.

    It's hard to tell how much I like it though since the free version you can only play the computer who is a cheating mo fo, always starting with decks two turns or more ahead of you.

    I've played a metric ton of Star Realms, both online and offline. Great deckbuilder with tons of optional cards expansions to add in if you want. If you really like it, you can check out Hero Realms, which is fantasy Star Realms. It has optional character classes with unique starting cards and abilities. As well as a co-op campaign to do some fun PvE.

    Seems like they gouge you with the DLC. $26 total if you want it all. Recommendations?

  • Dirk2112Dirk2112 Registered User regular
    Rend wrote: »

    I can't stand Eldritch Horror! So the opinion that it's one of the best games to come out in the last 5 years is at least controversial beyond the opinions of the editors of SUSD :pop:

    I neither liked Eldritch Horror nor Scythe. I am a horrible person, I know. I think I would give Eldritch Horror another try with a group that was more into the theming.


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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    It's not that no one's allowed to not like Scythe or Eldritch, but literally every other review I've watched from them loved the game and gave it two thumbs up.

    There's not liking Scythe & Eldritch, and then there's them being the only two games you don't love.

    "But they didn't like X game is this video!" yeah yeah. I'm just going by my sampling of close to ten videos. Scythe and Eldritch objectively do not belong in the bottom 20% of games.

    MrBody on
  • MNC DoverMNC Dover Game Designer/Stay-at-home Dad Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    MNC Dover wrote: »
    MrBody wrote: »
    Just started playing Star Realms yesterday by downloading the free version of the iOS app.

    I guess I'd describe it as a simplified Dominion meets a simplified Magic TG? I'd definitely play it with someone, even though I loathe and would never touch the other two.

    It's hard to tell how much I like it though since the free version you can only play the computer who is a cheating mo fo, always starting with decks two turns or more ahead of you.

    I've played a metric ton of Star Realms, both online and offline. Great deckbuilder with tons of optional cards expansions to add in if you want. If you really like it, you can check out Hero Realms, which is fantasy Star Realms. It has optional character classes with unique starting cards and abilities. As well as a co-op campaign to do some fun PvE.

    Seems like they gouge you with the DLC. $26 total if you want it all. Recommendations?

    If you like the game enough, just buy the cheapest DLC to get you online. I've bought all the expansion stuff for offline play, but not online. Your call.

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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    Dammit, I had a great time with Run, Fight, or Die but it's up there with Cthulhu Wars and Kingdom Death for games I want to own but they're all needlessly overproduced miniature games that desperately need a cheaper version.

  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    It's not that no one's allowed to not like Scythe or Eldritch, but literally every other review I've watched from them loved the game and gave it two thumbs up.

    There's not liking Scythe & Eldritch, and then there's them being the only two games you don't love.

    "But they didn't like X game is this video!" yeah yeah. I'm just going by my sampling of close to ten videos. Scythe and Eldritch objectively do not belong in the bottom 20% of games.
    I feel like you're going multiple directions with this. A yay/nay recommendation doesn't inherently mean they think the game is good/bad. Not recommending 2 out of 10 games also wouldn't mean this two are automatically the bottom 20%. I love High Frontier but I wouldn't recommend that on the regular ...

    I don't really know what to say about the "not like VS don't love" comment besides it seems pretty silly. "They loved everything except the most popular things! How absurd of them!" ...? Really? :/

  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    It's not that no one's allowed to not like Scythe or Eldritch, but literally every other review I've watched from them loved the game and gave it two thumbs up.

    There's not liking Scythe & Eldritch, and then there's them being the only two games you don't love.

    "But they didn't like X game is this video!" yeah yeah. I'm just going by my sampling of close to ten videos. Scythe and Eldritch objectively do not belong in the bottom 20% of games.

    I don’t see what objectivity has to do with something as subjective as a game review.

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  • FryFry Registered User regular
    I would not be surprised to hear the SUSD folks say that they find it challenging to even make a video for a game they're not very enthusiastic about. I suspect there's some strong reporting bias - if they don't find a game especially good/fun/interesting, it probably doesn't get a video.

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  • psyck0psyck0 Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    It's not that no one's allowed to not like Scythe or Eldritch, but literally every other review I've watched from them loved the game and gave it two thumbs up.

    There's not liking Scythe & Eldritch, and then there's them being the only two games you don't love.

    "But they didn't like X game is this video!" yeah yeah. I'm just going by my sampling of close to ten videos. Scythe and Eldritch objectively do not belong in the bottom 20% of games.

    They have said many times that they don't usually do reviews for games they don't like, which is part of the reason most of them are positive. The negative reviews tend to be high profile games that they are getting pressure to review. If you listen closely, too, most of the time they will say that they enjoyed the game, they just don't think it is a must-own.

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  • ArcticLancerArcticLancer Best served chilled. Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    I would not be surprised to hear the SUSD folks say that they find it challenging to even make a video for a game they're not very enthusiastic about. I suspect there's some strong reporting bias - if they don't find a game especially good/fun/interesting, it probably doesn't get a video.

    This is probably even more the case after their Scythe review. Paul apparently received a truly unreasonable amount of backlash for not liking it. :|

  • InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    I would not be surprised to hear the SUSD folks say that they find it challenging to even make a video for a game they're not very enthusiastic about. I suspect there's some strong reporting bias - if they don't find a game especially good/fun/interesting, it probably doesn't get a video.

    This is probably even more the case after their Scythe review. Paul apparently received a truly unreasonable amount of backlash for not liking it. :|

    Nerds continue to demonstrate that they are, in fact, the worst.

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  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    Fry wrote: »
    I would not be surprised to hear the SUSD folks say that they find it challenging to even make a video for a game they're not very enthusiastic about. I suspect there's some strong reporting bias - if they don't find a game especially good/fun/interesting, it probably doesn't get a video.

    They've mentioned something to that effect in the donor newsletters. Usually that's the place where they mention that they played something, but didn't think it was review-worthy.

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  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    And there's reviews which they don't do because the game is "fine" but not particularly special. Often those games will get mentioned in another review as examples of a type, or a variation etc.

  • LeumasWhiteLeumasWhite New ZealandRegistered User regular
    I'm quite happy for them to just review things they enjoy. Feeling obligated to review crud games seems like a real quick way to get burned out.

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  • FairchildFairchild Rabbit used short words that were easy to understand, like "Hello Pooh, how about Lunch ?" Registered User regular
    Fry wrote: »
    I would not be surprised to hear the SUSD folks say that they find it challenging to even make a video for a game they're not very enthusiastic about. I suspect there's some strong reporting bias - if they don't find a game especially good/fun/interesting, it probably doesn't get a video.

    Hickok45 admits this up front. He gets EVERY gun to review, but only films the ones that he likes, because he doesn't want to spend the time on creating and editing a video about how much he hates a particular gun. I'd also say that he's such a decent, positive guy that it's just not in his nature to generate such negative energy.

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    I agree that SUSD can be very erratic in what they recommend or not, but I like them more than most other reviews because they move way beyond the 'Did I have fun y/n' format that so many other reviewers follow. They dig deep into the experience and all of the components of that, such that even when I disagree with them, I can tell from watching whether I would like it, even if they didn't. They blend together the rules explanation and the review in a way I haven't seen before.

    I do find that they're reliable...in that they always seem to have the EXACT opposite opinion I have of every game I've played. Like, I think they've given an enthusiastic thumbs up to every single game I've seen them review, except Scythe and Eldritch Horror, two of the best games to come out in the last 5 years. Really? Out of the tons of games coming out, those are the only two you give a "meh" to?

    But I guess they still do their job as reviewers in that I can rely on their opinion, even if it's in bizarro way.

    Arkham/Eldritch Horror are indicative to me of the big blind spots they have. The big complaint they have seems to be the randomness of these games, but then they enthusiastically recommend things like Tales of Arabian Nights, which I haven't played, but from listening to their review sounds at least as random, in terms of having the game happen to you. Or various other games that I can't remember now. But it's definitely a thing. It really feels like one bad play can ruin a game for them forever.

    I'll also say that if you purposely don't review games that you don't like, then I think that kind of hurts your rep as a game reviewer. I WANT negative reviews for games, because I want people to actually articulate what they did AND did not like about them. We can see here why it's good to have that kind of perspective, because the few that you do release that are negative feel out of place, and it's hard to understand WHY without that context. I also think it's good for reviewers to make them actually articulate their reasoning so that THEY can understand why. And, it helps people understand those reviewer's taste, so they can know how much they should trust their taste in the future. If you're unceasingly positive, then I don't trust your perspective as much.

  • DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    Lovecraft Letter was a hit tonight. It was more popular than the original game. It even worked well with two players. In fact, I think I enjoy its 2P experience over Love Letter's due to the additional options available from the insanity cards.

    Next up, I want to hold a military might/area of control night. I've selected BattleLore 2E, Inis, Kemet, Small World, Ethnos, and Quantum as my top choices. I might throw Battle for Rokugan on the list, as well, but the other games seem more exciting. I'll probably pick two to actually bring. It's a tough choice between them all.

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  • WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Okay! My second group of friends want to go to a board game cafe this Saturday, and I am proverbially (also literally) rubbing my hands in anticipation. What would be a good, easily teachable, medium-weight game for five that is also likely to be present on a medium sized board game cafe (so, no obscure stuff) ((actually, go mention the obscure stuff but say it's obscure. Maybe I'll get lucky))?

    I'm already thinking of going for these as "appetizers":
    - Sushi Go (base)
    - Coup (base? Haven't played expansions)
    - Small World

    I'm not sure if I want to reccommend these to my group:
    - Ticket to Ride (they want action)
    - Concordia (winning is a bit too opaque, plus it may not be present in the cafe)

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    I agree that SUSD can be very erratic in what they recommend or not, but I like them more than most other reviews because they move way beyond the 'Did I have fun y/n' format that so many other reviewers follow. They dig deep into the experience and all of the components of that, such that even when I disagree with them, I can tell from watching whether I would like it, even if they didn't. They blend together the rules explanation and the review in a way I haven't seen before.

    I do find that they're reliable...in that they always seem to have the EXACT opposite opinion I have of every game I've played. Like, I think they've given an enthusiastic thumbs up to every single game I've seen them review, except Scythe and Eldritch Horror, two of the best games to come out in the last 5 years. Really? Out of the tons of games coming out, those are the only two you give a "meh" to?

    But I guess they still do their job as reviewers in that I can rely on their opinion, even if it's in bizarro way.

    Arkham/Eldritch Horror are indicative to me of the big blind spots they have. The big complaint they have seems to be the randomness of these games, but then they enthusiastically recommend things like Tales of Arabian Nights, which I haven't played, but from listening to their review sounds at least as random, in terms of having the game happen to you. Or various other games that I can't remember now. But it's definitely a thing. It really feels like one bad play can ruin a game for them forever.

    I'll also say that if you purposely don't review games that you don't like, then I think that kind of hurts your rep as a game reviewer. I WANT negative reviews for games, because I want people to actually articulate what they did AND did not like about them. We can see here why it's good to have that kind of perspective, because the few that you do release that are negative feel out of place, and it's hard to understand WHY without that context. I also think it's good for reviewers to make them actually articulate their reasoning so that THEY can understand why. And, it helps people understand those reviewer's taste, so they can know how much they should trust their taste in the future. If you're unceasingly positive, then I don't trust your perspective as much.

    I actually also hate arkham horror, and while I don't love Arabian nights, I definitely don't hate it. I also like betrayal at house on the hill. I've played arkham and betrayal probably a dozen times apiece, and tales probably three or four.

    I think the difference for me is that while all of these games are essentially 95% random, the lovecraft ones tend to paint themselves as "difficult" games, where the implication is that your misfortune is your fault. And to a degree, it is, you can definitely play those games optimally, but they are still hugely random.

    On the flip side I feel like betrayal and tales of Arabian nights don't take themselves seriously enough as a game to be won for me to mind the randomness. Yeah sometimes the haunt in betrayal is total unfun bullshit, but more often than not I find it just to be ridiculous b movie bullshit, which I find fun. Similarly with tales, if you go into it trying to win you'll probably have a bad time, but if you go into it with the mindset of "hell yeah I'm going to drink a hurricane" then it's a lot more fun.

  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    Lovecraft games are not “play this perfectly or bad things will happen to you as punishment.” They’re, “This world is full of terrible things and your insignificant characters will probably be crushed by a cruel and uncaring universe, unless maybe if you play well and get lucky you might survive by the skin of your teeth.” It’s supposed to be an unfair challenge, which makes it not your fault.

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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Are there any decent websites or magazines that do reviews of all released games? I kinda do this with videogames where I listen to the Co-Optional Podcast to listen to a bunch of goofs being excited about games, I read a local magazine for more elaborate reviews of both the good and the bad. Then there's more essay-like articles and YT videos to learn more about the industry and the art of making videogames.

    For boardgames I wouldn't know where to look besides SUSD and Watch it Played. Sometimes Polygon or Ars Technica has an interesting article.

  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    Just started playing Star Realms yesterday by downloading the free version of the iOS app.

    I guess I'd describe it as a simplified Dominion meets a simplified Magic TG? I'd definitely play it with someone, even though I loathe and would never touch the other two.

    It's hard to tell how much I like it though since the free version you can only play the computer who is a cheating mo fo, always starting with decks two turns or more ahead of you.

    I've not played the Star Realms app for a while but I've never seen the computer start with a more advanced deck? Unless you are talking about the campaign?

    As an aside I've played several hundred games of Star Realms and while I find it a fine time waster on my phone I don't think it's that good as a game.

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  • MrBodyMrBody Registered User regular
    edited April 2018
    Opinions on Wasteland Express, Euphoria, and Mistborn: House War ?

    MrBody on
  • CaptainPeacockCaptainPeacock Board Game Hoarder Top o' the LakeRegistered User regular
    Aldo wrote: »
    Are there any decent websites or magazines that do reviews of all released games? I kinda do this with videogames where I listen to the Co-Optional Podcast to listen to a bunch of goofs being excited about games, I read a local magazine for more elaborate reviews of both the good and the bad. Then there's more essay-like articles and YT videos to learn more about the industry and the art of making videogames.

    For boardgames I wouldn't know where to look besides SUSD and Watch it Played. Sometimes Polygon or Ars Technica has an interesting article.

    Boardgamegeek has reviews posted from users for just about every game.

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo Like a bad lobster in a dark cellar Registered User regular
    Aldo wrote: »
    Are there any decent websites or magazines that do reviews of all released games? I kinda do this with videogames where I listen to the Co-Optional Podcast to listen to a bunch of goofs being excited about games, I read a local magazine for more elaborate reviews of both the good and the bad. Then there's more essay-like articles and YT videos to learn more about the industry and the art of making videogames.

    For boardgames I wouldn't know where to look besides SUSD and Watch it Played. Sometimes Polygon or Ars Technica has an interesting article.

    You are odd issues of things occasionally in some flgses but I don't think there is anything that tends to survive for more than a year.

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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Aldo wrote: »
    Are there any decent websites or magazines that do reviews of all released games? I kinda do this with videogames where I listen to the Co-Optional Podcast to listen to a bunch of goofs being excited about games, I read a local magazine for more elaborate reviews of both the good and the bad. Then there's more essay-like articles and YT videos to learn more about the industry and the art of making videogames.

    For boardgames I wouldn't know where to look besides SUSD and Watch it Played. Sometimes Polygon or Ars Technica has an interesting article.

    Boardgamegeek has reviews posted from users for just about every game.

    Oh yeah, nearly forgot! There's some great reviews there as well. Just kinda gotta hope that someone wrote something smart. There certainly is enough text there.

  • Ah_PookAh_Pook Registered User regular
    Spielbox is a pretty good boardgame magazine

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  • AuralynxAuralynx Darkness is a perspective Watching the ego workRegistered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    Opinions on Wasteland Express, Euphoria, and Mistborn: House War ?

    Euphoria is pretty good, and plays significantly differently depending on which leaders you start with and what strategies the other players seem to be pursuing. I've played it 3-4 times, though not in a while, and had a good time with it each time.

    I haven't played Wasteland Express but if I remember right the people I know who have weren't impressed.

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  • jergarmarjergarmar hollow man crew goes pew pew pewRegistered User regular
    MrBody wrote: »
    I agree that SUSD can be very erratic in what they recommend or not, but I like them more than most other reviews because they move way beyond the 'Did I have fun y/n' format that so many other reviewers follow. They dig deep into the experience and all of the components of that, such that even when I disagree with them, I can tell from watching whether I would like it, even if they didn't. They blend together the rules explanation and the review in a way I haven't seen before.

    I do find that they're reliable...in that they always seem to have the EXACT opposite opinion I have of every game I've played. Like, I think they've given an enthusiastic thumbs up to every single game I've seen them review, except Scythe and Eldritch Horror, two of the best games to come out in the last 5 years. Really? Out of the tons of games coming out, those are the only two you give a "meh" to?

    But I guess they still do their job as reviewers in that I can rely on their opinion, even if it's in bizarro way.

    Arkham/Eldritch Horror are indicative to me of the big blind spots they have. The big complaint they have seems to be the randomness of these games, but then they enthusiastically recommend things like Tales of Arabian Nights, which I haven't played, but from listening to their review sounds at least as random, in terms of having the game happen to you. Or various other games that I can't remember now. But it's definitely a thing. It really feels like one bad play can ruin a game for them forever.

    I'll also say that if you purposely don't review games that you don't like, then I think that kind of hurts your rep as a game reviewer. I WANT negative reviews for games, because I want people to actually articulate what they did AND did not like about them. We can see here why it's good to have that kind of perspective, because the few that you do release that are negative feel out of place, and it's hard to understand WHY without that context. I also think it's good for reviewers to make them actually articulate their reasoning so that THEY can understand why. And, it helps people understand those reviewer's taste, so they can know how much they should trust their taste in the future. If you're unceasingly positive, then I don't trust your perspective as much.

    These are totally valid points, but SU&SD are clearly not comprehensive game reviewers in the same way as The Dice Tower, for example. You could even say they are not game "reviewers" so much as game advocates. They spend a long time on a review, even for an abstract game like Azul, and often dip into considerations of what good board games should do. And they clearly want to highlight games that are fun and engaging, especially the first time you play, or that do something really different and interesting. They certainly want the hobby to be more than the BGG top 100. I feel like it's very consistent that they like Arabian Nights but panned Eldritch Horror, because they liked the strong narrative of the former, even as they admitted that often you're just "along for the ride".

    But really, whether they recommend a game seems less important to them than the review itself. Someone mentioned skipping ahead in Dice Tower reviews (which I do as well), in order to get the final thoughts. I can't imagine doing that in a SU&SD review. For me the recommendation is often the least interesting part of the review. If I've sat through the whole thing, I should have a pretty good idea of the kind of game it is, and who it works well for, and whether I should get it. Or at the very least entertained and enthused about playing games.

    When I was a child, I had a fever...
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  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Lovecraft games are not “play this perfectly or bad things will happen to you as punishment.” They’re, “This world is full of terrible things and your insignificant characters will probably be crushed by a cruel and uncaring universe, unless maybe if you play well and get lucky you might survive by the skin of your teeth.” It’s supposed to be an unfair challenge, which makes it not your fault.

    I know that's how it's supposed to feel, but the game doesn't feel unfair in the lovecraftian sense to me, it just feels unfair in the punitive sense. I would argue that arkham horror and its lineage does not execute on it's lovecraftian setting particularly well.

    Obviously a lot of people love those games, and they'd probably disagree, but as a huge fan of cosmic horror that's the axis on which I dislike the game

    mysticjuicer
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    I mean, I always pitch Arabian Nights as a game that's about the journey, rather than the end goal.

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  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Okay! My second group of friends want to go to a board game cafe this Saturday, and I am proverbially (also literally) rubbing my hands in anticipation. What would be a good, easily teachable, medium-weight game for five that is also likely to be present on a medium sized board game cafe (so, no obscure stuff) ((actually, go mention the obscure stuff but say it's obscure. Maybe I'll get lucky))?

    I'm already thinking of going for these as "appetizers":
    - Sushi Go (base)
    - Coup (base? Haven't played expansions)
    - Small World

    I'm not sure if I want to reccommend these to my group:
    - Ticket to Ride (they want action)
    - Concordia (winning is a bit too opaque, plus it may not be present in the cafe)

    I can't remember if Lords of Waterdeep plays 4 or 5 without the expansion, but that could be a good one. Maybe Pandemic?

  • JustTeeJustTee Registered User regular
    Okay! My second group of friends want to go to a board game cafe this Saturday, and I am proverbially (also literally) rubbing my hands in anticipation. What would be a good, easily teachable, medium-weight game for five that is also likely to be present on a medium sized board game cafe (so, no obscure stuff) ((actually, go mention the obscure stuff but say it's obscure. Maybe I'll get lucky))?

    I'm already thinking of going for these as "appetizers":
    - Sushi Go (base)
    - Coup (base? Haven't played expansions)
    - Small World

    I'm not sure if I want to reccommend these to my group:
    - Ticket to Ride (they want action)
    - Concordia (winning is a bit too opaque, plus it may not be present in the cafe)

    I'd recommend Quantum or Azul, but they both only play up to 4.

    I'd say Ladies And Gentlemen could be great if people are willing to play with the theme a bit. It handles odd numbers of players in a hilarious way. It's pretty compact, easy to teach (might be lighter than medium, to be honest), but it's got enough meat on the bones to be worth more than a few plays.

    Diagnosed with AML on 6/1/12. Read about it: www.effleukemia.com
  • Zombie HeroZombie Hero Registered User regular
    I played Heroes of Land, Air and Sea this past weekend. It was really fun. I rarely enjoy dudes on a map game, and i think this one joins Forbidden Stars, and Blood Rage as my favorites in the genre. I have yet to play Twilight Imperium and the space politics look promising on that end.

    Really is a shame that licensing issues caused Forbidden Stars Lifespan to end.

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