Saturday, May 18, 2019

PinkFae Archive #36: ZOE (Zombie Orpheus Entertainment) - A Great Little Company

This article is another entry from the PinkFae Archives. It is another in the series I wrote about Gen Con 2016. It was originally published on 8 October 2016.

The ZOE logo: a white circle with five hands rising up from the bottom in silhouette, as if they were the hands of zombies erupting up out of the ground. A short arc, about a quarter the circumference of the white circle, concentric with the white circle, runs along the bottom edge of the circle, bisecting three dots. This logo, which is white on a background of dark blue fading to black in gradient, is the inverse of the normal colours: a black logo on a white background.

One of the booths I stopped at whilst I was at Gen Con was the Zombie Orpheus Entertainment booth. I knew I wanted to see what they had, because I'd enjoyed Dark Dungeons so much. ZOE was the company that had produced that particular film. So I stopped by and talked to one of the representatives for a moment. This is what they had to say.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

PinkFae Archive #35: Board Game Review: Tell Me a Story

This week's entry is another PinkFae Archive, this one being a review of the game Tell Me a Story from Escape Hatch Games, by Kirby Atwood, Cody Faulk, Brent Woodside, and Kayla Woodside. It is also an installment in the series I wrote about Gen Con 2016. This article first appeared on 1 October 2016.

The box, about 3 centimetres by 7 centimetres by 5 centimetres, with the game Tell Me a Story. The box is black with various white line drawings all over it, and a large speech balloon with the title n the front and the lid.

A brand new company called Escape Hatch Games had just released their first game a month or so before Gen Con. As I was wandering around the exhibit hall, I saw their booth, with the name of this first game proudly displayed on a banner behind them, and I knew I had to check it out. I stopped to ask them about it, and they did a quick one-round demo with me, and I knew I had to have it. Last week, I finally got to play a full game for the first time with three of my friends. It was epic. So now I shall review for you, my loyal readers, the wonderful game called Tell Me a Story.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

PinkFae Archive #34: MetaArcade: A New Frontier in Roleplaying Games.

This week's entry is another PinkFae archive from the series I wrote about Gen Con 2016. This article is a look at MetaArcade, an online platform allowing solo gaming using the Tunnels & Trolls system. This article was originally published on 23 September, 2016.

The MetaArcade Logo: The word MetaArcade in stylized letters, the first four in blue and the rest in red.

One of the more interesting things that I got to see at Gen Con was the MetaArcade booth. They're working on an interesting new concept: digital roleplaying. That sounds like computer or console-based RPGs, like the Final Fantasy series or Secret of Mana. But it's not. Here, let me explain. In order to explain, we'll need to go back in time to 1975, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Tunnels and Trolls logo: the words in a fancy serif font, coloured yellow, curved up in the centre, with a troll's head at the end of the text.

Tunnels and Trolls

A librarian by the name of Ken St Andre read a friend's copy of Dungeons and Dragons, and loved the idea of fantasy roleplaying. However, he thought that D&D's rules were too complex, and the need for multiple polyhedral dice would intimidate new players. So he wrote his own game in the same genre, calling it Tunnels and Trolls. Although it was very similar to D&D in feel and style, the rules were more straightforward, and it only required six-sided dice. St Andre self-published the first edition, and in July of that year, Flying Buffalo mass produced the first commercial edition.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Board Game Review: Majesty: For the Realm

The cover art for Majesty: For the Realm. A queen stands in front of four other people; two look like warriors, one looks like a young peasant girl, and the last one looks like an old peasant woman. The queen is holding a fancy cushion on top of which sits a crown. These people are looking towards the viewer with fields in the background; windmills and other buildings can be seen in the distance.

I have been learning a lot of cool new games so far this year. One of those is Majesty: For the Realm. It's a quick but fun little game from Z-Man Games, designed by Marc André. The premise of this game is that the players are competing to claim the crown. Players must manage the subjects in their domains to amass more power than their rivals.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this game at first, but in the end, I found myself quite enjoying it. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Let's look at the numbers for this box of fun:

Saturday, April 20, 2019

PinkFae Archive #33: Diversity Panel at Gen Con 2016: A Review

This week's entry is another installment from the PinkFae Archives. This one was first published on 11 September 2016.

The official illustration of Shardra, the first trans character in Pathfinder, an excellent representation of diversity in gaming. She is a dwarven female in elaborate shaman clothing, holding a large mace, with a fantastical lizard-like creature on her shoulder.

One of the panels I attended at Gen Con was 'Diversity in Gaming.' I expected it to be about ensuring an inclusive environment for all people in the games industry. Instead, it was three staffers from Paizo, the company that publishes the Pathfinder roleplaying game, discussing their company's policies on inclusiveness.

Not what I expected, but still worthwhile.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Board Game Review: Santorini

I realised recently, much to my surprise, that I hadn't yet reviewed Santorini, published by Roxley Games and Spin Master Games. Let's fix that right now, shall we?

The cover art from the Santorini box.It shows a small island with buildings of the style of the Greek cities on Santorini being built by two cartoon representations of Greek Gods (specifically, Poseidon and Aphrodite). A few humans can be seen on the island, in the buildings, and on the nearby mainland. In the background, Hermes and Demeter are watching from a cloud.

This is a surprisingly deep and thinky-thinky game for as quick and simple as it is. It feels like it was designed as a kids game, and although the rules are simple enough that children can easily learn to play, there's enough strategic depth to satisfy most adults.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Let's look at the numbers:

Saturday, April 6, 2019

My Unusual Dice Collection

A couple of weeks ago, in my glossary of gamer jargon, I mentioned that I personally own some oddly shaped dice. I thought it might be fun to share some of those with you today. Of course, my collection is nowhere near as large as the amazing dice collection shown at dice collector dot com (warning: that site is very much stuck in the mid-90s, webdesign-wise). But I do like the small collection of odd dice that I have.

So, here we go.

Now, when I say that I have some odd dice, I'm not talking about dice that are just alternate shapes of 'normal' dice, like these two unusual d6s:

A small black ball with white dots painted on the sides as if it were a cube, and a length of a hexagonal steel rod with holes punched into the sides, a different number of holes on each side.

That's one that's a sphere (it has a small weight inside it, and ridges in which the weight can sit, so that it will always stop with one of the numbers on top, even though it's just a sphere) and one that's a length of hexagonal steel with 'pips' punched into the sides.