Colt Express has two things I adore: an Old West theme of bandits robbing a train, and programmed movement with character decks. Westerns are in sort of a tough place right now. The themes common to westerns are largely in tension with some now-common values, so it’s difficult to make them without effectively taking a controversial political stand (either to support those themes, or explicitly reject them). As a result, family-friendly western content is rare these days. Admittedly, I have never seen Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, but Wikipedia tells me it occurs in the town of “Nice and Friendly Corners”. I am now imagining Fred Rogers in a poncho, chomping a cigarillo, and my attempt to deride the western credentials of the Disney Junior show has gone totally off the rails as I embroider that fabulous image.* Anyway, a western family game stands out.
I love geeky tabletop games, especially the kind with a dozen different decks of cards, scores of specialized counters, multiple boards and player reference cards with charts and tables. Call me Ameritrash, but that’s the way I like it. Unfortunately, I have young children: my oldest is taking an interest in games now, but at age 5 he’s not ready for Twilight Struggle or Terra Mystica yet, and my youngest is mostly interested in teething on the pieces. As a result, I mostly play my board games on a tablet these days, and keep notes on which ones I might want to pick up when the kids get older. I say this because Space Food Truck is a digital board game. There’s no print edition yet, and that’s a shame because if there was, I’d have purchased it and put it in a place of honor in my collection, there to wait for the day we can sit down as a family and play together. If you haven’t picked up on my subtle hints, what I’m trying to say is that I love this cooperative multiplayer game.
Arrival appears to be the hot new business at the box office. Being industrial-grade Parentcore, I’ll get to it when I can — presumably just before heat death ruins home-streaming — but have it on good authority that Denis Villeneuve’s film is the new Contact, stripped of cheese. Alright, alright, alright.
Everyone hates words games. It’s true. Well, almost everyone. Your grandma still loves Scrabble, and so does that one tool who’s memorized every two-letter word that begins with “Q”. Do we want to game with those people? Hell, no! (Grandma excluded. It’s fun to game with grandma!) What if I were to tell you that there was a word game that didn’t suck? What if we took one of the most popular games of the past 10 years and mixed it with word games? How would that work? Let’s take a look at Paperback.
Describing Atlas Reactor (and why it’s all sorts of fantastic) is a tall order. It leads to a tumult of clumsy ‘…like x, but with a twist of y‘ equations that are never as helpful as they are clever, and lead to some pretty average approximations. The best I’ve managed is a supercilious ‘multiplayer turn-based strategy for the Overwatch generation‘. Thing is, it totally is. Now released, I can emphatically suggest it as strategy front runner for any serious GOTY discussion. Here WEGO.
1775: Rebellion is a simulation of the American revolutionary war against the British. It’s a subject tackled many times in gaming, but rarely with such startling simplicity as this. Originally a board game, it wowed players with its rare mixture of approachability and depth. Now it’s come to your iPad and Android tablet via a PC version.
Red7, a simple but scalable card game now come to iOS, offers a surprisingly strong metaphor for American capitalism and its discontents. Try to think of this claim, not as total BS, but as a helpful mnemonic for the various details the game adds as you activate the three independent optional rule sets. My brain apparently abhors a purely abstract game.
My name is Tanner Hendrickson, and I am a Picross 3D: Round 2 addict. I freely admit that I have a problem. After tirelessly campaigning for a release outside of Japan, Nintendo of America acquiesced and gave puzzle fans in the Americas (and soon, Europe) the best reason to own a Nintendo console since, well, the original Picross 3D. It was scary there for a while, but we did it. And boy, was it worth the wait.
Reverse off the sealed road, maintaining careful control of the Palfinger crane to avoid inconvenient jack-knifing. Park between the felled logs, stripped and segmented by the now-silent Sampo Rosenlew HR46, logging head taut from its articulated boom. Clamber aboard the sufficiently-sized trailer and drop the support jacks. Power up the claw, acclimate to the controls that differentiate clamp rotation to grip and extension. Begin to select trunks from the strewn lumber and manoeuvre them onto the bed. Lose an entire evening.