Tabletop • It’s only been in the last couple years that I’ve really taken to solo gaming and a lot of that has to do with Victory Point Games. A lot of other games offer solo variants or whatnot, but VPG pumps out games that were made to solo, and I haven’t found one that wasn’t a blast to throw down on the table. My first venture into this brave new world was even more remarkable considering the theme, the third edition of Dawn of the Zeds. This deluxe edition of Zeds was out of print for a bit, but it’s back on Kickstarter now and, if you want a copy, now’s your chance.
Tabletop, PC/Mac/Linux • There’s something very cool happening over at Victory Point Games. For years they were known as a company that made interesting games with components that weren’t very interesting, but not anymore. Over the past 2-3 years they’ve started to reprint second and third editions of games and upping their component game. Thus, we’ve seen gems such as Nemo’s War, Dawn of the Zeds, Healthy Heart Hospital, and Darkest Night all reappear with shiny new versions, begging for gamers who had poo-pooed VPG in the past to love them. It’s not hard to do, they’re all fantastic. The latest reimagining is another title I hadn’t heard of called Gem Rush. Not only is the shiny new 2nd edition currently on Kickstarter, but they’ve also announced that a digital version is on its way to Steam for PC/Mac/Linux.
Tabletop • Despite two school musicals, umpteen volleyball tournaments, and a spring break drive to Florida, I’ve finally managed to get the second video of our Darkest Night 2nd Edition playthrough finished. Whew. This video picks up where the last one left off and brings us three full turns, namely turns two through four. Future videos will be one turn (maybe two) so I can get these things out the door quicker. Seriously, trying to do all these turns at once was a big mistake and just too much damn work. Not like you care about that, but I really want to get at least one out per week. Two per week would be amazing. Also, my microphone broke while in Florida, so I had to record using a crappy headset mic. It sounds like I’m recording in a bathroom which, I assure you, I only did for 37% of the video. See if you can figure out which scenes! I’ll be looking to get a new microphone, but it might be awhile. I apologize in advance for your aching earholes.
Tabletop • Okay, we’re going to try this again and see what happens. Yes, I know I abandoned the Liberty or Death walkthrough but I have several good reasons. Or excuses. Let’s call them excuses. First, right around Thanksgiving my gaming area was “ungamified” due to all the family stuff happening through the holidays. Secondly, I had to pack Liberty or Death away and, thirdly, I’m far too lazy to get it back out and set it up and whatnot. I was also a bit wary of starting up again using the format I had been using, basically my iPhone flying around the board. It made Liberty or Death feel more like the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan which means the shaky-cam feel was a bit too nauseating. So, it took me awhile to get this new format down, but I like it a bit more. I’m still working on getting my narration to fit what you’re seeing on screen, but it’s not too bad and will get better the more I do this. I will be getting back to Liberty or Death and the hope is to make board game vids (and even video game vids) a more common occurrence. I know a lot of readers dislike videos in general. I get it. I’m trying to figure out how to not have these appear on the front page at all, but instead show up only in a new menu. Hopefully I get that working and this will be the only one that gets front page treatment. Also, they shouldn’t diminish the quantity or quality of the writing. For example, While this series is a walkthrough of Darkest Night 2nd Edition, I still plan on writing a Cardboard Critique and more for the front page, sans video. Thanks for sticking around as I stumble through figuring all this out.
Tabletop • I’ve never played a solo game quite like Nemo’s War from Victory Point Games. I went into it prepared for the usual solo/cooperative game tropes–turns divided by a “bad” phase, more fires to put out than you have hoses, a general sense of being completely screwed–but found none of those. Instead, Nemo’s War felt more like one of those open-world video games like the Elder Scrolls series. Do whatever the hell you want, when you want, and have fun doing it. There’s never that moment, as in other cooperatives, where you “beat the game”. It’s strange, yet mesmerizing.
Tabletop • As a sad and lonely man, it’s only natural that I would gravitate toward games I can play by myself. This used to mean playing a game meant for 2+ players alone by taking control of all sides. Over the past year or two, however, I’ve discovered that there are great solo games out there, you just have to look. GMT is one company that regularly puts out games that play great when you’re all by your lonesome, and Victory Point Games is another. To be honest, before HexWar brought Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp to digital, I wasn’t familiar with VPG’s offerings. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with several of their designs, and have Kickstarted several others (including their latest Kickstarter for Chariots of Rome). The latest to draw my attention is one with a unique board game theme, Healthy Heart Hospital.
Tabletop • In the comments following our review of Arkham Horror: The Card Game, there was short discussion of Fantasy Flight‘s recent decision to split their rulebooks into two separate tomes, a Learn to Play guide and a Rules Reference. Victory Point Games has done FFG one better. Actually, four better. That’s right, when you pull the lid off of the latest edition of Dawn of the Zeds you’ll find no less than six rulebooks staring you in the face. Six. If the tech writer at VPG was writing A Song of Ice and Fire the series would have ended back in 2005. I’ll admit, the six manuals seemed like a whole lot of overkill until I actually got this to the table. Dawn of the Zeds can be a massive, complex game if you want it to be, or it can be a simple struggle against invading hordes. Either way, it’s harder than hell and hell of a lot of fun.