26 November 2016

Board Game Review: Harbour

Two players contemplating their next move at Harbour. Both are sitting at a table looking at the components of Harbour, which are spread out before them.
Are you ready for a surprisingly great find? A friend introduced me to Harbour a couple of weeks ago. It's a game about owners of shipping companies building structures on the harbour to increase the amount of goods you can purchase and sell. That sounds really lame, doesn't it? And yet, between the humorous artwork and card text, the innovative mechanics, and the robust, competitive game play, this game turns out to be extremely enjoyable.

Don't believe me? Just look at the ratings:

19 November 2016

A Followup to Last Week's Entry

Last week, I posted an entry about Kickstarter. Specifically, I was talking about how some projects are on there because it's a new company (or perhaps just an individual) who has no way of bringing their idea to fruition without crowdfunding. Other projects are there as a way of gauging interest; some creators put their ideas on Kickstarter to see how many people are willing to back it, and if the project doesn't reach its goal, then it's probably not a viable product.

But there are quite a few people who use Kickstarter only as a way of funding a project without having to spend any money themselves.

By the way, for those of you who are curious, Conspire managed to get funded with just hours to spare. They finished at 101%, beating their goal by a mere $101. It was close; I wasn't sure it would make it. I was actually checking in every 20 minutes or so to see how they were progressing.

Anyway. Whether or not a creator truly needs the money is only one consideration in deciding to back a project. Another factor is the stretch goals (for those of you who don't know, a 'stretch goal' is an extra something that will happen if the project reaches a certain goal). A perfect example is the Order of the Stick Reprint Drive. Rich Burlew, an independent artist responsible for The Order of the Stick webcomic, wanted to get his older books back into print, but didn't have enough money to do this on his own. He wanted to reach a goal of just under $58,000 to bring volume 3: War and XPs back into print.

12 November 2016


I was talking to a good friend recently about backing new games on Kickstarter. He brought up an interesting point. He described the criteria he uses to decide which projects to back. The way he described his approach, he would back games from new producers who looked like they have the potential to become something noteworthy. If it's a producer's first game, he's willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Subsequent projects will be judged on how he felt about the first project.

But one thing he said that was really interesting was that he won't back projects from big companies.

This is of particular interest to me, as I watch people going crazy for the new game from The Oatmeal. The game is called Bears vs Babies, and is currently sitting at nearly 25,000% funded.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Bears vs Babies is a bad game. I'm not even saying that the previous game, Exploding Kittens, was a bad game. I've played it, and enjoyed it, and am not averse to playing it again.

05 November 2016

Board Game Review: Terra Mystica

A game of Terra Mystica in progress. The board, made up of a series of hexagonal spaces, each representing a different terrain type, some with discs to indicate that it has been changed to a different terrain type, is covered with wooden pieces of various types, some of which have cardboard tokens indicating that they've been turned into cities.
I recently got to learn a hefty game called Terra Mystica. Being the dedicated game reviewer that I am, I will now review it for you. As always, we start with the numbers.