Cardboard Critique: Black Sonata

February 20, 2019 David Neumann 8

Tabletop Remember those math puzzles your friends would quiz you with when you were a kid? They’d always begin by asking for your birth year, adding the day you were born, subtracting the hour, dividing by the number of eggs you had for breakfast and, viola, the answer would reveal, correctly, how many pet otters you’ve owned since the age of six. Having that answer always pop up correctly, no matter who you tried it with, was like a small miracle. It was like opening a portal to universe where magic existed and everything fit into a specific place. As I grew older and submerged myself in math, the magic was replaced with the cold dissection of numbers and seeing the trick for what it was: a simple math equation. Enter Black Sonata from Side Room Games, which feels like the most complicated math puzzle I’ve ever been dealt. The cool thing is, I can’t see the math and, even if I could, I don’t think I’d be able to suss out how the trick works. The only explanation that makes any sense: Black Sonata is magic. Real magic.

After an epoch, Evolution has been released

February 12, 2019 David Neumann 18

iOS, Android, PC/Mac I like to poke fun at the guys from North Star Games for being the Blizzard of board game app development. After all, it took Blizz 10 years to bring us Diablo 3, whereas North Star has been working on Evolution for the last five. Of course, that’s board game years, so its roughly equivalent. Still, Blizzard games are known for their polish and sheen right out of the box, and that was North Star’s plan with this elongated dev cycle: make the board game app that all others will be (unfavorably) compared to. Well, it’s out in the wilderness now, so you can go see if they accomplished their dream.

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

February 8, 2019 David Neumann 14

I’m going to save you a little time this week by not including my scry. That’s because you can go back to last week’s and just re-read that one if you’re curious. It’s all Slay the Spire all the time at my house, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. So, here’s the rest of the crew with their takes for the next few days. Get out there and enjoy your weekend, everyone!

More viking game goodness appears to be on deck

February 8, 2019 David Neumann 2

PC/Mac Sorry for the lack of content this week, folks. Real job getting in the way of fun these days. Thus, I don’t have time for a lengthy post bemoaning the rise in viking-themed pop culture stuff and will, instead, just bring the thunder up front. Champions of Midgard is a viking-themed board game of worker placement and dice chucking and, apparently, it’s coming to digital.

Hiding in plain sight: Victory Point Games’ Gem Rush is worth a gander

February 6, 2019 David Neumann 13

I was a backer of the Kickstarter for Victory Point Games‘ recent release of Gem Rush Second Edition. I had never played (or even heard of) the first edition, but I love the “premier” stuff VPG has been putting out recently not to mention that most (all?) of their games are playable solo. Oh, and the designer is Jeremy Lennert, who I fell in love with via a previous VPG title, Darkest Night Second Edition. My copy of Gem Rush arrived before the holidays and has sat, untouched, since. Not the game’s fault, just my crappy time management. Anyway, I had forgotten (until prompted in the forums) that the Kickstarter had mentioned a digital version. With little to no fanfare, the digital version of Gem Rush was released way back when and has completely slid under our radar. Time to fix that. Gem Rush is a polished, tight app of a pretty great board game that no one is aware of. Let’s change that.

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

February 1, 2019 David Neumann 13

After our sabbatical we returned last Friday with a roundup of the upcoming weekend’s affairs. You may have noticed that contributions last week were…light. Well, not this week! We’re all back in the saddle, ready to tell you the games we hope to play, if we can just get our kids to leave us alone for two goddamn minutes. Ahem.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 now available for Mac

February 1, 2019 David Neumann 1

-PC/Mac I’m not sure how this happened, but suddenly I have two very good RPGs to play on my Mac. Of course, I don’t have time to play either of them, but they’re both downloaded anyway, just in case. One of them is Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire which added turn-based combat support in a patch mid-January. The other is the one right up there in the headline. Divinity: Original Sin 2 has just been released for Mac.