Saturday, April 28, 2018

Board Game Review: Near and Far (Part 1)

Oh my goodness, guys, I am so excited for this week's entry. I've been waiting for this entry for a long time! I tend to write my entries weeks in advance, mostly so that if I'm busy during a week, I don't miss posting. But that means if something really neat comes along, I have to wait a while until I have a week with no entry posted before I can say anything about it. So I've had to wait for this one.

One thing you may notice about this entry is that it's listed as 'Part 1.' That's because there is so much I want to say about this game, I've decided that I'm going to do it in two parts. Today's entry, part 1, will be an overview of the game itself. Next week, in part 2, I will discuss my thoughts on the game. And that's the part that's going to take some time to get through. Because there's a lot to be said about how I feel about this game.

All right, enough dilly-dallying. Let's get started!

The cover art for Near and Far: a mountainous landscape with someone standing at the end of a rope bridge in the foreground.

This week, I am going to start reviewing the game Near and Far. As always, we're going to start by looking at some numbers. And as always, here's the chart that tells you what those numbers mean:

Saturday, April 21, 2018

PinkFae Archive #12: Interview with Board Game Designer John Trobare

This week's entry is a very special PinkFae archive. It's my first game designer interview, and even better, it's an interview with my good friend John Trobare. This interview was first posted on 19 March 2016, not long after he had successfully published his game Asphodel through Kickstarter. So let's get right into it!

The interviewee, John Trobare, with his son, enjoying a day outdoors.

My good friend John Trobare is an accomplished individual. He created the game Asphodel, which he self-published last year through Kickstarter. In addition, he opened his own pizza delivery business two years ago. All this in addition to being a devoted father and husband, and playing games several times a week, including annual trips to the Geekway to the West convention in St. Louis.

I decided to interview Mr Trobare for this week's entry. So one Sunday evening, we sat down with some family and friends to talk over dinner.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Legacy Games: A Double Edged Sword

I enjoy the video reviews at Shut Up & Sit Down. I often disagree with their assessment of a game, which merely shows that I look for different things from my games than they do, and that's fine. But I still enjoy watching the reviews. In part, this is because they're very informative, and in part because they're generally enjoyable to watch. This will be pertinent to the upcoming board game review, which I will post in two weeks' time: Near and Far.

You guys, I am so impatient to post the review for Near and Far.

But right now, I want to talk about one of SU&SD's favourite things: legacy games. The guys over at SU&SD tend to fall all over themselves when talking about legacy games. In their review of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, they refer to Risk Legacy and other legacy games using the following statement: 'So, in other words, Pandemic Legacy is just like Risk Legacy, but with one vitally important difference: Pandemic was a great game to begin with!' (This statement can be found at time stamp 2:32). This implies that simply making a game into a Legacy version makes it great.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Board Game Review: Terraforming Mars

A friend of mine recently acquired a copy of Terraforming Mars. She was very excited to try it out, so I played it with her and a couple of others. It wasn't the first time I'd played; I'd had a go at it some months prior when another friend got a copy. Having now played it twice, I think the time has come to do a review of it.

So here we go with another Game Dork review. As always, we start with the ratings:
Strategy and Randomness are rated from 0 to 6. A 0 means the rated aspect plays no part in determining the game's outcome; and a 6 means that it is the only factor that determines the game's outcome. Complexity is also rated from 0 to 6; a 0 means that it's so simple a six-year-old can play it, a 3 means any adult should have no trouble playing, and a 6 means that you'll need to refer to the rulebook frequently. Humour can be rated as 'None,' meaning the game is not meant to be funny, or it may have one or more of the following: Derivative (meaning the humour is based on an outside source, such as a game based on a comedy film), Implicit (meaning that the game's components are funny, such as humourous card text), or Inherent (meaning that the actions the players take are funny). Attractiveness has nine possible ratings. Ideal: the game is beautiful and makes game play easier. Pretty: The design is beautiful and neither eases nor impedes game play. Nice: The design is beautiful but makes game play harder than necessary. Useful: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but eases gameplay. Average: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Useless: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Utilitarian: The design is ugly, but eases gameplay. Ugly: The design is ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Worthless: The design is ugly, and makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Average Length of Game Play describes how long an average game will probably last, give or take. Gamer Profile Ratings measures how strongly a game will appeal to players based on their interest in one of four areas. These areas are measured as High, Medium, or Low. Strategy describes how much a game involves cognitive challenges, thinking and planning, and making sound decisions. Conflict describes how much direct hostile action there is between players, from destroying units to stealing resources. Social Manipulation describes how much bluffing, deceiving, and persuading there is between players. Fantasy describes how much a game immerses players in another world, another time.
Strategy: 4
Randomness: 2
Complexity: 3
Humour: None
Attractiveness: Nice
Average Length of Game Play: 2 hours
Gamer Profile Ratings:
  Strategy: Medium
  Conflict: Low
  Social Manipulation: Low
  Fantasy: High