Review – Azul

Don’t we all need a little colour in our lives? Something to make things brighter, lift our spirits?

Did you ever want to lay tile without having to get all of that adhesive ready first?

Azul is the game for you, then!

Azul 2
Excuse the finger. It was glued to the lens with tile adhesive

Azul is an 2-4 player abstract tile-laying game designed by Michael Kiesling with art by Philippe Guérin and Chris Quilliams. It’s published by Plan B Games in North America.

Yes, there is a supposed theme for the game (“Azulejos” were originally white and blue ceramic tiles that the Portuguese king fell in love them with and wanted his palace to be decorated with them, with the players being tile laying artists who are competing to get the job), but let’s face it: it’s an abstract game.

As somebody who doesn’t really do abstract games, what do I think?

Let’s take a look.

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How to Succeed at Boardgames…and Life

Boardgaming is a social activity. Whether you do it with friends or you do it with people you’ve just met, you are interacting with one or more people in an attempt to have fun and enjoy yourself.

Like anything in life, there are rules to live by in boardgaming that will make things go a lot easier for you, enable you to actually have fun, and make sure that the people you play with can have fun too.

If you can do that, and follow these guidelines even beyond your boardgaming session, then maybe you might have a more pleasant life as well?

A little Road House wisdom

It couldn’t hurt.

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App Review – Lotus

Sometimes you just need a little tranquility in your life. Your day at work was terrible. The kids are getting on your nerves.

Zombies are rampaging down the street.

You know, a typical Monday.

On days like that, you need a game that’s peaceful, that will contribute to your inner Zen.

On those days, you’ll pick up your mobile device and open the Lotus app.

(Hopefully you downloaded it before the Zombie Apocalypse cut all the power)

It’s peaceful right from the beginning!

Lotus is a beautiful 2-4 player card game published by Renegade Games. The app is published by Renegade and Dire Wolf Studios.

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Oh no! There are women on the Dice Tower!

Batten down the hatches! Get ready to repel boarders!

Long-time readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of the Dice Tower.

Back in April 2017, they reached the 500th episode of their podcast and in celebration, changes were made.

At first, Tom Vasel and Eric Summerer alternated between having a longer show with a “3rd chair” guest on it and then a shorter show where they talked about some games played and some gaming topic.

That change didn’t go over well.

Fairly shortly after that, the BIG CHANGE was implemented, with Tom & Eric doing the episode one week and then Suzanne Sheldon & Mandi Hutchinson doing the next week (with Tom & Eric doing a Google Hangout video show that week).

The reaction to that was…mixed may be an understatement.

Continue reading “Oh no! There are women on the Dice Tower!”

Hating on HATE

(Editor’s Note: A previous version of this post said that HATE was designed by Eric Lang. Actually, the Kickstarter page says this: “Created by the same design team who brought you the Zombicide series, under the supervision of Eric Lang…”. I regret the error and the post has been amended)

Yesterday saw the Kickstarter launch of one of the most divisive games that I’ve seen in a long time.

Why do I say “divisive?”

Because every boardgame content creator that I follow on Twitter (and I follow a lot) universally condemned the game but it also hit almost $500,000 in the first few hours, with almost 4500 backers.

What game am I talking about?

The new design from CMON Games, HATE.

HATE is based on the Chronicles of Hate graphic novel series by Adrian Smith. The world of HATE is a brutal post-apocalyptic world where tribes viciously fight each other for resources.

(All pictures are from the Kickstarter page)

Yeah, that’s not subtle

The first indication that this was going to be a divisive game was the trailer.

The trailer is full of sadistic and foul language in an effort to earn its “Mature Audiences” rating. The narrator emphasizes every “fuck” like he’s an 8-year-old who just heard the word, realizes that it pisses off his parents, and wants to keep using it as much as possible.

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App Review – Patchwork

Patchwork is a game of grid-management, putting puzzle pieces into your grid in a much more efficient way than your opponent.

That’s basically what it breaks down to.

Since I am not the most spatially aware person around (I once tried to push a 5-inch object through a 1-inch hole), I don’t really care for these games.

In fact, when I played Patchwork on the table for the first (and only) time, I really didn’t like it.

When Digidiced put out an app for it, even though I’m a fan of their work, I had no interest in picking it up.

Then the other residents of the wonderful Stately Play web site forums decided to do a decathlon of various mobile games, and Patchwork was chosen as one of them. I told myself  “fine, I’ll learn the game just to participate.”

Lo and behold, I ended up loving the game.

Patchwork End
Somebody went to the remnant sale!

How can you not like a game where you make ugly quilts?

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Top Games Played in 2017 – Honourable Mentions

I managed to play 100 games in 2017. That’s a record for me, I think. Some were new to me (58 of them) while others were old favourites.

Seven of my Top 10 games played were actually new to me, so they couldn’t have appeared on my list last year.

When I was going through the 100 games, I marked off the games that I felt might make my Top 10 and then checked to see how many I had chosen. Turns out that I had chosen 16. From that, I formed my Top 10, but that leaves 6 really cool games that could conceivably have made the Top 10 but didn’t quite do so.

So why not tell you what those are?

Hell, I need content, so why not?

Here they are, the Top 11-16 games I played last year, in no particular order.

Great Western Trail (2016) – Stronghold Games


Designer: Alexander Pfister

Artist: Andreas Resch

Continue reading “Top Games Played in 2017 – Honourable Mentions”