28 September 2019

PinkFae Archive #47: Board Game Review: Geoquest

Today we have another board game review from the PinkFae archives. This one is for a game released through Gamecrafter called Geoquest.

The front cover of the box for Geoquest. The title, in yellow, with a compass rose in the center of the capital letter Q, in the upper right, with the subtitle 'Geocaching Adventure Game', superimposed over a photo of wooden steps built into a trail leading through a forest.

One of the advantages of living in the early 21st century is that there are print-on-demand services available for just about everything you might want. Games are no exception; through the Gamecrafter website, anyone can design and sell their own board or card games! This means that if anyone wants to play a game based on a certain topic, but such a game does not exist, they can make their own. Such is the case with the new game Geoquest.

J Keller and his son Jason are board game enthusiasts who wanted to find a game that captured the enjoyment they get from their other hobby, geocaching. They were unable to find such a game, however, so they created their own. It's only just recently become available on Gamecrafter, but they were kind enough to send me a copy. I was able to play with some of my friends, so today I will review it for you.

And as an added bonus, next week, I will post an interview I had with the creators! Until then, we start as always with the ratings.

21 September 2019

PinkFae Archives #46: Party Gaming: The Dangers of Playing with Non-Gamers

This week's entry is another one from the PinkFae Archives. Today's article focuses on playing 'party games,' or perhaps 'games in a party context.' It was originally published on 18 December 2016.

A group of people at a party sitting around a table playing The Resistance.

I recently went to a November holiday party. We played The Red Dragon Inn and a few other games. I became quite angry during the course of the evening, as people were playing the game wrong.

OK, that's not really a fair statement. Technically, there's not a wrong way to play a game, as long as everyone is having fun. But, of course, I was not having fun. And that can be the problem with playing games at a party. People play games for different reasons. The problem comes in when those reasons are at odds with one another.

This is not to say that board games have no place at a party. Rather, that the decision to play a game depends on several factors. Not least of which is the people with whom you are playing.

14 September 2019

Board Game Review: Azul - Stained Glass of Sintra

The game components alongside the game box. There is a pink bag with translucent tiles in various colours that resemble small pieces of glass, about the size and shape of starburst candies. There are several round tiles, a scoring board, long rectangular tiles with notched bottoms that come in four sets of eight, and wide rectangular tiles with notches along the top designed for the long pieces to fit into. There are also four plastic pawns and a tall but skinny cardboard box decorated to look like a tower of stained glass windows..

Last year, I wrote a review of the popular game Azul. Not long after that, they released a sequel in which, rather than tiling the walls of the building, you're installing stained glass windows. Needless to say, when I got a chance to play it at Geekway to the West earlier this year, I took it. And I really enjoyed this game. It's similar enough to the original that it definitely feels like it's in the same family, yet different enough to justify owning both.

So now, let us look at Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra by Michael Kiesling, published by Next Move Games. I'm going to approach this review as if you've never even heard of the original, just in case there's anyone out there who is brand new to the Azul family. I ask that everyone else bear with me.

We start, of course, with the numbers:

07 September 2019

My Review of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

The promotional poster for Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The three main characters, the gelflings Deet, Rian, and Brea, standing on a rocky mountain surrounded by purple glowing filaments of energy, looking at the crystal of the castle in the background, as the three suns of Thra are setting beyond it.

I don't know if you know this, but I am a huge fan of The Dark Crystal.

Ok, that's a paltry attempt at humour. If you read this blog at all, you know that I hold The Dark Crystal up as the greatest example of true fantasy that has ever been created. I have written before about the astounding amount of creativity that I feel went into this film. Tolkien did something wonderful when he created Middle Earth; he took elements of existing mythology, added many of his own ideas, and blended it all together into a cohesive (and incredibly well-detailed) world.

Almost all fantasy (excluding 'modern fantasy,' obviously) has followed on that pattern to some extent. Some fantasy worlds do away with non-human races (like Game of Thrones), others add or remove or alter some non-human races (Earthdawn added the Obsidimen and T'skrang, for example), but they're otherwise all more or less the same basic idea of pseudo-medieval settings with magic.

This is not the case with The Dark Crystal.