Human Nature and Gaming – The Power of Sales

There’s something about human nature, beyond just in board gaming but also for life in general, that makes us perk up when we hear about a good sale on something.

“70% off!” a web site may proclaim, and we all kind of stand to attention.

Even if it’s something that we don’t really care about.

We often still feel that urge to jump on it.

100% Flax cookies are 90% off? I know they taste like sawdust, but c’mon. 90% OFF!!!!!!!

I think board games are a special category of this, however, because while all of us are gamers, we don’t all like the same games.

What’s worth full price to you may not even be worth 50% of full price to me.

Yet I hear 50% off and my first thought is to consider it.

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Smash Up Arrives on Digital – Extremely First Impressions

I’ve become a fan of the Smash Up card game, where you combine two different factions (Zombie Dinosaurs!!!!) into a deck of cards and try to reach 15 victory points by “breaking” bases before anybody else does.

You do this by playing minions there that have a certain amount of power, along with actions that can increase/decrease that power or let you play additional minions or do a lot of other wacky stuff that I’m not going to get into right now.

What I am going to get into is the fact that this game has finally come out for mobile devices!

Developed by Nomad Games and released by Asmodee Digital, this digital version of the game has nine factions (Dinosaurs, Pirates, Geeks, Zombies, Wizards, Robots, Ninjas, Tricksters and Aliens) to use, with more coming in the expansions I’m sure.

It’s so cool that this is finally available!

Smash Up splash page
All the usual stuff on the splash screen

Isn’t it?

Well…..yes and no.

Let me explain.

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New to Me – September 2017

September was a good month for “new to me” games. It was a good month for gaming in general, but the new ones I got to play were a nice mix of old and new.

Which illustrates exactly the point of my “new to me” post!

So why not get right into the goodness?

Tobago (2009 – Zoch Zum Spielen) – 1 play


This is a fun exploration/treasure-hunting game that I had never heard of.

The island that you are on is made up of modular tiles that are randomly placed and nobody knows where the treasures are. Each treasure starts with a clue card in play that narrows down where that treasure is (e.g: “not in a forest” or “next to a river hex”).

Tobago - Board
The randomly created island

On your turn, in addition to moving around the island collecting stuff, you play a card to one of the treasures that will narrow down its location even further. You then will be getting a “share” of that treasure when it’s finally discovered.

It’s a neat mechanism, where you have to decide whether you want to help an opponent find a treasure because at least you’ll be getting some of it if you place a card down.

It’s also played in under an hour, which is a plus!

Continue reading “New to Me – September 2017”

Century – Golem Edition (Century review appendix)

Earlier today, I posted a review of Century: Spice Road, the 2017 spice-converting card game by Plan B Games.

A new version of this game has just come out in the past couple of months, called Century: Golem Edition, with art by Justin Chan and Chris Quilliams.

The gameplay is exactly the same between the two games. The only differences are in the aesthetics and the artwork.

Century - Golem cards
Crystals instead of spices. Who would’ve thunk?

In Century: Golem Edition, instead of being medieval spice traders collecting spices to fulfill contracts, you are instead collecting and transforming crystals in order to power golems.

Century - Golems
Cute golems!

Instead of wooden cubes, you have nice plastic crystals instead.


Everything else is the same!

So which version should you get?

Personally, I love the look and feel of the Golem edition. The nice plastic crystals definitely feel better (and are easier to handle) than the small wooden cubes. The artwork is adorable too.

That being said, there are supposedly going to be more games in the “Century” line. I’m not sure what those games are going to be or whether they are going to have similar artwork.

It has been said that there will not be Golem version of those games, so your components may not be aligned when you get future games.

That may not make a difference. It may make a difference but you don’t care.

Either way, if that concerns you, you should definitely get the original version. It’s also not really worth upgrading if you already have the first game (unless you are a loving collector of art and must have the best artwork).

But if you have a choice, I would definitely suggest the Golem version of the game.

What are your thoughts?


Review – Century: Spice Road

Have you ever dreamed of being a trader in the medieval world, trading one type of cube spice for another type, fulfilling contracts by turning in certain types of cubes spices?

Of course you have! Who hasn’t?

(Pipe down, you in the back. You know you’re lying)

With the 2017 game Century: Spice Road you can do that!

Century: Spice Road box
Beautiful box cover!

Century: Spice Road is a 2017 game designed by Emerson Matsuuchi, with art by David Richards and Fernanda Suárez and published by Plan B Games. There’s also Century: Golem Edition that plays the same and has the same designer and publisher, but with art by Justin Chan and Chris Quilliums.

I’m just reviewing the game itself, though I will comment on the component differences in another post.

This review was written after 4 plays.

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Heavy Cardboard – For Those Gamers of the Heavier Persuasion

Periodically I like to highlight a boardgame podcast or media channel that I greatly enjoy as a gamer.

I had not necessarily considered myself a gamer of the “heavy” variety (I’m not talking about physical weight, I’m talking game complexity). I have played some of the heavier games out there, but much of my gaming is of the lighter, Euro variety.

Then I found myself actually playing some. Games from Vital Lacerda  like The Gallerist and Vinhos (or looking forward to playing Lisboa). Or the wonderful Terraforming Mars and Great Western Trail.

That’s all a prelude to say that I find myself fascinated by some of these games now, and I follow a number of “heavy” gamers on Twitter.

That was when Katie from Katies Game Corner tweeted a link to a video made by a group called Heavy Cardboard.

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A Sequel to A Study in Emerald – the Game?

“Perfect timing” is something that we say a lot but sometimes it just fits.

A couple of months ago, I bought a bunch of games, including one that a friend of mine had been wanting to try for a while. It looked truly interesting, so I thought “why not? It’s on sale.”

That game was Martin Wallace’s A Study in Emerald (2nd Edition), based on the Neil Gaiman short story of the same name.


The basic premise of this story and game is that the Cthulhu Old Ones have taken over the world and there are two factions fighting around the world: Loyalists who are minions of the Old Ones and Restorationists who are fighting against them and trying to get the world to see what’s really happening.

It’s a cross between Cthulhu and Sherlock Holmes, and it sounded damned interesting.

I finally got it to the table on Sunday (Spoiler: it’s a lot of fun!)

So what’s the perfect timing?

This morning, I read today’s Boardgame Geek news entry and see that there is a “sequel” of sorts coming out.

Continue reading “A Sequel to A Study in Emerald – the Game?”