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Board Games

The Witcher photo
The Witcher

Take on monsters in the Witcher Adventure Game


It's actually a board game, not a point-'n'-click title
Jan 08
// Alasdair Duncan
Whilst fantasy RPG fans like myself bide their time until the arrival of The Witcher 3 later this year, we might have another game set in the world of Geralt of Rivia. The Witcher Adventure Game isn't actually a point-'n'-cl...
Mega Man Board Game photo
Mega Man Board Game

20 minute video shows how Mega Man: The Board Game works


It's not all that complicated if you're a table top fan
Jan 08
// Chris Carter
The folks over at Jasco have put together a rather lengthy video of a playthrough of Mega Man: The Board Game. It'll take you through setup, a typical turn, how the pieces look while in play, and pretty much everything in-be...
Collusion Kickstarter photo
Collusion Kickstarter

Hybrid board/videogame Collusion full of lies and deceit


Like chocolate and peanut butter with backstabbing
Jan 06
// Darren Nakamura
As a fan of board games and videogames, my ears perk up when I hear about developers attempting to combine the two in interesting ways. Especially exciting are games focusing on subterfuge, deception, backstabbing, and lies....
Mega Man board game photo
Mega Man board game

Mega Man The Board Game is going international


The Kickstarter is still pretty healthy
Dec 30
// Chris Carter
The Mega Man Board Game is a thing that's happening, and starting today, international pledges will be honored. The gates have opened for Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East, which is a major upgrade from the ...

Getting to know the people behind the Mega Man Board Game

Dec 14 // Chris Carter
Destructoid: So who initially approached whom with the concept for a Mega Man board game? Did you outright ask Capcom for permission, or did they reach out to Jasco first? Jason: I was up working in the middle of the night at a Best Western in Manhattan two summers ago. I wrote down the concept for the game (specifically a Mega Man game) and then fell back to sleep. Months later we approached Capcom about licensing both Mega Man and Darkstalkers for our upcoming plans and the rest is history! Did you anticipate your project to be funded this quickly? It hasn't even been 24 hours and you've already exceeded your lofty goal. We certainly hoped it would go this well, but we were all very nervous, anxious and excited to see how our project would do. We've put almost two  years into the development, design and testing of this and we believe that if we get enough funding to produce our entire dream, fans will love us!  What went into the decision to focus exclusively on the first Mega Man game? We know how important many of the characters, robot masters, and classic stages are in each of the Mega Man games. Because of that we wanted to really focus on each game one at a time. If the funding allows us, we want to make everyone's favorite characters and stages a possibility in future expansions. Can you tell us a bit more about your relationship with the Archie Comics team, since a lot of the art from the comics is used for the game? We have a good relationship with Archie Comics. We worked with them extensively on the Mega Man Universal Fighting System (UFS) card game. The board game itself is actually not going to use much Archie artwork. We have hired out our own team (see cover art) and we are using it as place holders until more artwork is done. Can you explain a bit about what goes into the deck-building element of the game, and how you decided to use this mechanic rather than dice for movement? So the balancing of your deck is very important to strategy. We like to consider ourselves somewhat expert at creating great card games, and used our expertise to add to the board game experience. The history of Jasco Games (coming from Sabertooth Games and Fantasy Flight Games backgrounds) has always had a deck-based dice element.  From War Cry (Warhammer CCG) to Warhammer 40K CCG to The Universal Fighting System, there has always been this awesome mechanic. What it does is removes some of the "Luck" factor and allows players to design their deck to "roll" the numbers they think they need. From a game balancing side of the design process, it also allows us to make the good die rolls have slightly less impressive abilities and the bad die rolls to have amazing abilities. This puts the player into a decision of do I want to roll well, or get awesome abilities to use when I build my deck? Then they have to remember that some numbers on their dice will do special things at certain times in the game so they will need a balance of 1s through 6s. The other big reason for no dice, is they don't determine how far you move. The challenges on each stage will, so rolling a die for movement wouldn't help you anyway in Mega Man The Board Game.  Do you have any plans to sell the game pieces individually? Do certain goals need to be met for those fans who don't necessarily want the game, but just the figures as a collector's item? We do plan to sell add-ons individually for collectors. Now the minis in the core games will only be available that way under our current plans, but all of the extras are planned to be available. Do you have any retail plans for the game currently? What will be the best way for people to pick it up post Kickstarter? We have partnered with coolstuffinc.com and Southern Hobby Supply to really push this thing after launch. We also have over 500 retail stores we work with already and will be bringing on someone full time to try to push the game into mass market stores like Hastings, Game Stop, Walmart, Target, Barns & Nobles, Toys R' Us, etc. If this project does well, does the Capcom license potentially allow for further board games in the future? Are there any Mega Man sub-franchises in particular that the team is eager to explore? We do have several plans for our Blue Bomber. Currently, the Mega Man Board Game and Universal Fighting System expansions as well as two other projects we have in the works. We are also working on the Darkstalkers license and have some very exciting things to announce at GAMA in Las Vegas this Spring! What would be an estimated timeline for the game's shipment, now that you've met your Kickstarter goal? We have it planned to ship out in October, but we will be pushing for as early a release as possible. We would love to see this come out before the Summer (fingers crossed)! Thanks for your time, Jason!
Mega Man Board Game photo
How does one approach Capcom with an idea like this?
It's safe to say that the Mega Man Board game Kickstarter is a massive success. In just under 24 hours it cleared $150,000, which far exceeds its $70,000 goal. But in an odd turn of events, Capcom is not funding the game -- t...

Mega Man board game photo
Mega Man board game

Mega Man: The Board Game kicks off its Kickstarter


The final concept revealed in video
Dec 12
// Chris Carter
In case you hadn't heard, board game manufacturer Jasco is producing a Mega Man tabletop game with the approval of Capcom, and now, they have a live Kickstarter. It's meant for two to five players (barring future expans...
Mega Man Board Game photo
Mega Man Board Game

Mega Man Board Game shows off Guts Man and Fire Man


The project has also submitted to Kickstarter
Dec 10
// Chris Carter
That Mega Man board game project is still chugging along, and it has new figures for Guts Man and Fire Man to show off. So far all of the figures look pretty detailed, so I can't wait to get my hands on the finished prod...
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Space Hulk digital version now available on iPad


Get your motion detectors ready
Dec 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
Space Hulk, the Games Workshop board game of paranoid derelict exploration, has found a new home on iPad today. Featuring cross-platform play with the PC and Mac versions, you can now skulk around killing your friends pretty ...
DICE+ impressions photo
DICE+ impressions

Impressions: DICE+


High tech hexahedron
Nov 26
// Darren Nakamura
Earlier this year, we got our first look at DICE+, which promises to combine the physicality and social aspect of board gaming with the wider appeal of tablet-based videogames. With tons of features listed, it appeared to be a pretty slick piece of technology, but limited by its short list of compatible software. For now, that is still a pretty accurate assessment.
Backgammon photo
Backgammon

Backgammon Blitz headed to PS4 this winter


As well as PS3 and PS Vita
Nov 07
// Jordan Devore
When a new console comes out and there's nothing left to play, we sometimes resort to buying games we'd otherwise never get. Thinking back to some of the utter garbage I bought on Xbox Live Arcade in the Xbox 360's first year...
Mega Man board game photo
Mega Man board game

Mega Man board game shows off Proto Man mini


Kickstarter is launching this week
Oct 29
// Chris Carter
Jasco's Mega Man board game is shaping up quite nicely, with a new miniature shown off in the form of Proto Man. A Kickstarter is also planned this week to help fund more extras like this, but rest assured the board game is c...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

These castAR glasses do virtual and augmented reality


Former Valve engineer's project turns to Kickstarter
Oct 14
// Jordan Devore
The augmented-reality project hardware engineer Jeri Ellsworth was working on while at Valve didn't stop once she was let go from the company. castAR, glasses that put "holographic-like" projections on a special surface, has...
 photo

Risk: Plants vs. Zombies board game looks super cool


Has double-sided game board
Sep 30
// Dale North
PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies gets mixed with living room classic Risk for a cool hybrid board game. Imagine the tabletop battle we all know, but now with characters from PvZ. The double-sided game board lets you play three way...
SeaFall photo
SeaFall

Risk Legacy designer announces new game SeaFall


Start a legacy up in this ship
Sep 23
// Darren Nakamura
Risk Legacy was probably the most innovative board game of 2011. It took the classic Risk gameplay that we all know and hate, and turned it on its head by adding a multi-game campaign, built in mini-expansions with prerequisi...
The Witcher photo
The Witcher

A Witcher board game is in the works for 2014


An iPad version will be launched as well
Aug 26
// Alasdair Duncan
It feels like a long-overdue idea but the world of The Witcher will become a board game, set to be released in 2014. Polygon spoke to CD Projeckt's Red Marek Ziemak, who confirmed that an iPad version would be released alongs...
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Impressions: Boss Monster


Retro Card-Gaming Fun
Aug 26
// Aerox
Boss Monster is a card game you likely haven’t heard of. Successfully Kickstarted back in November of last year after exceeding its requesting funding amount by almost 18 times the original goal, it’s been availab...
Mega Man board game photo
Mega Man board game

Details on Mega Man The Board Game sound wild


This ain't no Candy Land
Aug 17
// Tony Ponce
While Jasco Games' Mega Man CCG is more or less ready to ship out the door, Mega Man The Board Game is still a work in progress. However, Jasco did go into some detail at Gen Con about how the game will progress and how it ca...

Review: Divinity: Dragon Commander

Aug 10 // Patrick Hancock
Divinity: Dragon Commander (PC)Developer: Larian StudiosPublisher: Larian Studios Release Date: August 6, 2013MSRP: $39.99  The single-player mode in Divinity: Dragon Commander sets up a decent plot about a being who can transform into a dragon who is disputing with its other, equally crazy siblings. The story portrayed through the cutscenes is certainly well told, but serves as more or less a justification to go from one map to the next. Though the tutorials don't do much to explain this, Divinity: Dragon Commander is a mix of boardgame-style territory control (a la Risk) and real-time strategy (RTS) battles. The majority of a "match" will have players moving pieces around a game board in an attempt to control and dominate as much of the map as possible. The biggest problem is that the tutorial doesn't even attempt to explain any of this. After watching the multitude of tutorial videos, it's easy to assume that the game is only an RTS game, as it doesn't touch on any of the mechanics associated with the boardgame portions of a match. When first confronted with the board, some tooltips are displayed to help explain things, but they are incredibly insufficient. The tutorials for the RTS elements are also insufficient, as is the case with just about every non-interactive tutorial. There is a "Training Ground" that allows players to screw around as they please, but it does little in the way of actively teaching anything. [embed]259314:49940:0[/embed] The boardgame portions of the game take place in turns and require a "big picture" type of thinking in order to play effectively. Two types of resources are up for grabs: gold and resource points. Occupying various areas on the map will add to the amount of resources gained per turn, the exact amount being displayed on the territory itself. When a battle occurs, the player has the option to choose a specific general, each with their own playstyle, to auto-simulate the battle and play the odds, or they can control the Dragon Commander and head into battle themselves. The battles play out like many other real-time strategy games, but with one twist: the player can take control of a jetpack dragon and partake in the battle themselves. Doing so is somewhat limited; there are a couple of minutes in the beginning of the match in which the dragon cannot be spawned (it takes resources, which you don’t yet have, to spawn the dragon), and there is a brief period after death in which the dragon cannot be spawned. The dragon has specific abilities at its disposal as well, each with its own separate cooldown. There are also three different dragons to choose from, each with their own abilities and playstyle. Playing as a dragon is like playing a third-person shooter; it's very action-oriented. When doing so, however, it is important not to forget about the troops on the ground. Battles will be fought in tandem, as the player commands the dragon in the sky while their troops march beneath them into battle. There are limited army commands while in dragon mode, so it is possible to command an army while simultaneously breathing fire on enemy scum. Mastering these army commands is a hugely effective way to get a leg up on an opponent, since it's incredibly easy to forget about a ground army while soaring through the air and toasting fools. Playing as a dragon against the AI can feel a bit unfair at times, as it takes a battle with a statistical 30% chance of victory and turns it on its head due to the enemy being disadvantaged and dragonless. It makes the single-player campaign a bit of a breeze on normal difficulty, so long as the player knows when and how to use their dragon. If multiple battles break out in the same turn, however, the player-controlled dragon commander can only be used in one of them, leaving the other two up to the AI and auto-complete. It's a nice caveat to give AI opponents a break from the one-sided dragon battles. As for the non-dragon RTS mechanics, battles consist of vying for resources called Recruits. Recruits are gained over time as long as the player has Recruitment Centers built on top of certain locations around the map. These locations are neutral in the beginning of the map, and need to be captured by having at least one unit nearby. The beginning of the match is incredibly important as players have limited units and must try to capture and hold as many build locations as possible, both for Recruitment Centers and unit-producing buildings. Since there are only so many locations that can hold buildings, players must decide which type of buildings to build and where to construct them. Most maps have at least some water, allowing for boats to be built and used, taking the battle from the land to the sea. Structures can also be built on the boardgame-style map after owning a territory.  The buildings have a variety of effects: some will increase the amount of gold or research points per turn, others will generate cards. Cards are strategic advantages that can be played before battles or on territories themselves. Some cards will reduce the amount of units on a territory while others will add units to the player's side during a battle or reduce the effectiveness of a specific type of unit on the enemy's team. The RTS controls do feel a bit clunky when compared to the standards of the genre. Intermediate tactics like control groups can be utilized, but most units move way too slowly to micromanage effectively. In addition, the camera is constantly shifting position when going back and forth between RTS and dragon mode and it can be quite frustrating to constantly have to re-adjust the camera. The true highlight of the single-player campaign is what happens in between turns, aboard a ship called the Raven. This is where the diplomatic elements come into play, as a group of five diplomats will constantly bug the player with proposals and recommendations as to how to run a country. Each diplomat represents a specific race: Undead, Elves, Dwarves, Lizards, or Imps. Making certain decisions will alter how each race feels about the player, so balancing the favor of each race becomes quite the juggling act. The Raven is also where players will spend their research points. These points, accrued each turn, can be spent on new units and unit abilities or on new dragon abilities. Deciding where to spend research points is no easy feat, as doing so can drastically alter a playstyle. One player might want to spend heavily on their dragon, making each player-controlled battle that much easier, while someone else might want to focus on their army and let their AI generals auto-simulate the battles. A good amount of humor is peppered throughout these interactions. One turn you may be asked to legalize an Elven herb with "healing properties" for medical use and the next you may have to pick a wife in order to form a political marriage with one of the races. There are plenty of goofy situations and decisions to be made, which are only made funnier by the fact that the council is completely serious about these proposals. A lot of polish has gone into the interactions that take place aboard the Raven. Most of the dialogue is well written and can be genuinely funny instead of relying on cheap jokes for laughs. I continually found myself spending more and more time talking to the NPC characters simply because I wanted to read more of their dialogue. It is, of course, also possible to take the battles online against honest-to-goodness humans. The Raven doesn't make an appearance in any multiplayer mode, since chances are people would spend forever in between turns, but its absence is made up by the presence of dragon-on-dragon battles. There are two game modes: Campaign and Skirmish, the latter of which is a single battle in the RTS-style of gameplay, without the boardgame map. The former is just like single-player but without the Raven. The dragon battles are the clear highlight of multiplayer. Battles are no longer instantly won once the player decides to command their dragon, because the enemy player can do the same thing and fight back. The strategy shifts dramatically when a player knows that a dragon can emerge at just about any moment. Anti-air units are way more valuable as most of them, when grouped up, can take out a dragon pretty quickly. The dogfights, er, dragonfights, that can happen in the air are intense and are a true test of a player's focus, as it's even easier to forget about a ground army when using skills and dodging. Each area and NPC looks unique and beautiful, both in terms of technical graphics power and character design. A pretty big issue for some players, though, is the lack of a colorblind mode, as the default colors of the single-player campaign are red and green. This issue persists on both the overworld map as well as mid-battle. During the battle, enemy units are labeled when far away from the camera with a red icon, but the icon goes away as they get closer for some strange reason, reverting back to the reliance on color differentiation. This is less of an issue in multiplayer, since players can choose their color. The voice work of Divinity: Dragon Commander deserves special mention. With so many different characters aboard the Raven, the voice acting was immediately a cause for concern for me. Luckily, each character performs well and it is a joy to talk to each and every one. Sure, no one character's voice actor stands out as particularly amazing, but the sheer virtue of not having a single character grate on the nerves is not to be understated. Divinity: Dragon Commander is a prime example of a game being bigger than the sum of its parts. The RTS elements are a bit rough, but at least it's possible to control a dragon with a freaking jetpack to blow stuff up, while the boardgame-esque territory map requires players to think of the big picture. Talking to the colorful cast of NPCs aboard the Raven in between turns in single-player was easily one of my favorite non-dragon parts of the game and really highlights the writing and wit that the Divinity series has come to be known for. The tutorial needs a lot of work and the game isn't very friendly to colorblind players, but Divinity: Dragon Commander will certainly unleash the dragon strategist in all of us.
Dragon Commander review photo
Dragon dragon, rock the dragon
Dragons and jetpacks, Civilization and StarCraft. Mix'em all together and what do you get? Divinity: Dragon Commander. Okay, it's a bit more complicated than that, but those are certainly the core elements at play when discus...

Space Hulk photo
Space Hulk

You can now pre-purchase Space Hulk on Steam


Purge the hulks of the foul xenos in the name of the Emperor
Jul 27
// Alasdair Duncan
If you've been hankering to purge Tyranids then you'll be glad to hear the new version of Space Hulk is now available for pre-purchase on Steam. It's been 20 years since the original PC version and with XCOM: Enemy Unknown&nb...
Mega Man Board Game photo
Mega Man Board Game

Mega Man Board Game Facebook page opens


It looks like it may incorporate the Archie comics
Jul 26
// Chris Carter
Remember that amazing Mega Man Board Game that was revealed a short while back? Now it has an official Facebook page, promising updates and info very soon. While we don't know a whole lot right now, due to the first Facebook ...
Golem Arcana photo
Golem Arcana

Shadowrun dev builds board/videogame hybrid Golem Arcana


Expect a Kickstarter campaign next month
Jul 24
// Darren Nakamura
Jordan Weisman has a pretty impressive résumé, not only for the quality of games he has been behind, but for the fact that they have been in both the board game and videogame arenas. With titles such as Shadowr...
Chainsaw Warrior photo
Chainsaw Warrior

Vintage solo board game Chainsaw Warrior going digital


'The Dark Souls or Super Meat Boy of its day'
Jul 23
// Darren Nakamura
Joining the ever-growing list of board games turned videogame is Games Workshop's 1987 solo adventure Chainsaw Warrior. In the solo affair, one man is tasked with saving New York from an evil presence known as the Darkness. A...
Mega Man board game photo
Mega Man board game

An official Mega Man board game is a thing


Jasco Games is heading up an offiically licensed tabletop entry
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
Look up! It's not a bird, it's not a plane -- no, it's not the incredibly obscure Rock Board videogame -- it's an actual physical Mega Man board game, coming soon! There aren't any details yet, but we do know that it is comin...

Review: 7 Grand Steps, Step 1: What Ancients Begat

Jun 25 // Fraser Brown
7 Grand Steps, Step 1 - What Ancients Begat (PC)Developer: MousechiefPublisher: MousechiefReleased: June 7, 2013MSRP: $14.99Rig: Intel i5-3570K @3.40 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 670, and Windows 7 64-bit I am not a gambling man. I don't play the stock-market, I haven't played the lottery since my 16th birthday, and the last time I bet on a horse, I was nine years old and my father placed a £1 bet for me -- I made £2 and called it quits. Luck is such a whimsical force, unreliable at the best of times, and I don't like putting my faith in things that I can't control. 7 Grand Steps forced me out of my comfort zone, for it relies on a lot of luck, it can be random and arbitrary, and that might be one of its biggest weaknesses. But often it's grounded in simple rules and clear objectives. Herein lies the problem with this Wheel of Fortune- and Game of Life-inspired digital board game: I'm not sure what it is. It's a dichotomy, you see. Half of it relies on a straightforward set of mechanics rules: players take control of a single pawn, a person who will become the progenitor of a huge bloodline, and this pawn sits on an ornate wheel representing the period of history and their social class. The innermost ring of the wheel is the lowest caste, and the outer section is the nobility and ruling class. On the left of the wheel is a coin slot, and beneath it are a variety of coins that represent certain fields of knowledge dependant on the era and the knowledge of the family. Initially, the coins represent simple things like foraging or masonry. Placing these coins in the slot will move the pawn to the nearest section of the wheel that also has that symbol -- these coins will always move them to the right, further away from deadly crocodiles that sit at the left edge of the wheel, where it rolls off the screen. Scattered among the various sections of the wheel are colored beads, these are legend markers, and to make breakthroughs like technological improvements (which add new symbols to the wheel and unlock new coins) or improve the pawns social status, moving them to the next ring with its different symbols and new challenges, these beads must be collected.  The pawn does not exist in isolation, however. Other families exist, and they too are attempting to collect beads. They are not simple adversaries, though. To gain more coins, special ingots can be fed into the slot, and these move the pawn backwards, towards another pawn nearby. When it lands on a section with another pawn, they interact, generating more coins for both parties. In this way, opponents are also allies, and integral to success. At the start of each generation, the individual pawn can choose a spouse (who comes with a dowry) giving players two pawns to control, offering more chances to get new coins and collect beads. If the spouse had another suitor, that opponent pawn will become an enemy, attempting to halt player progress by being a complete douche. I'm guessing they show up at your house an inappropriate hours with inappropriate gifts for your spouse and always forget your name. "It's Fraser, not Frank." "Calm down, Francis." Couples can also have children, and while they are not present on the wheel itself, they should not be ignored. At the end of a generation, one of the children can be selected to be the new pawn, and their success will depend on how they were raised. Coins are not just used to move pawns around the wheel -- they can be given to children to further their education. All children start off with an F grade in every field of knowledge, but the more coins they are given, the further they advance, all the way up to AA. The better their grade, the more likely they will be able to generate the corresponding coin when they become an adult. It's a tricky juggling act, ensuring that you have enough coins to both move your pawns, avoid death, collect beads, and educate your children. This becomes especially difficult when you have a lot of children. Logic dictates that if you can only choose one child to carry on the bloodline, you should focus on educating them. Unfortunately, treating one child differently from the others will lead to jealousy and rivalry, and when they come of age, they will take their hatred out on the new pawn. I often found myself having coins stolen by my pawn's brothers and sisters, impoverishing me just because they were angry over some perceived slight from years before. There's a lot to take in, though the mechanics are all very simple, amounting to spending coins and always moving forward. It's all very objective-based, with preparing for the Great Challenge of the Age being the primary goal of each era. 7 Grand Steps implies that successfully overcoming this great challenge is easier if you invest in legends: unlocking new technology, performing heroic acts, and moving up the social ladder.  The latter seems especially important, as when you reach the ruling ring, a whole new gameplay style unlocks, allowing players to interact with neighboring civilizations, control the military, manage resources, and generally play through a text-based strategy game hidden within the board game.  Yet, when you finally reach the Great Challenge of the Age, it's not at all clear what impact your earlier choices had. It is one of the many aforementioned choose-your-own-adventure-style scenarios, and these are the most baffling and poorly explained aspects of 7 Grand Steps, and they are also where we see the game's schism, as it ceases to seem objective-based. These text adventures crop up quite often, starting with each new generation. When a new pawn is selected, for example, a male pawn will participate in a coming of age ceremony, but the outcome of the ceremony is completely out of the player's control, and it's not obvious how much of it is random and how much of it has something to do with the way the child was raised. If he sneaks out of the ceremony, what does this mean? What impact does it have on the pawn? None of this is explained. Then players can choose how the pawn is known by selecting certain epithets, but they rarely have any bearing on the text that came before. Likewise, similar issues appear during heroic events, where more choices can be made, but the outcomes again seem random or arbitrary and lack a defined impact. Going back to the Great Challenge of the Age, this is where these spotty text adventures lose all weight. The challenge dictates the future of your family and society, and plenty of choices can be made, but it's incredibly easy to "fail" the challenge and end up continuing the story with another branch of the family. Why you failed the challenge and what you could have done earlier to avoid this is never explained or remotely obvious, and it all seems to be down to luck.   At least the challenges have a massive impact on the rest of the game, unlike the other choose-your-own-adventure segments. One failed challenge saw my family enslaved, entirely altering the flavor of the experience, making my story, at least for that era, all about attempting to free my family from the shackles of slavery.  Ultimately, both disparate elements of 7 Grand Steps fail to create a cohesive, enjoyable experience. The objective-based facet is intriguing and multi-layered, but without other players the competitive, social aspect feels hollow and is a missed opportunity. The expansive, over-arching narrative is fascinating, but the random nature of the text adventures makes the experience less than engaging, and at no point do the pawns ever become real characters, as their actions can be chosen on a whim, and they never go towards fleshing the members of the family out.  It is strange, then, that for all of its flaws, I found myself continually pouring those little coins into the hungry slot, obsessively watching history play out. I might not be able to name any individual pawns, but I can certainly recall the most important events that led to great changes in my dynasty. I remember how a simple family of masons attempted to flee their city, knowing that a vast army was approaching, only for the powerful priesthood to trap them, forcing them to work on a great project until the enemy army took over their city. I can also vividly recollect the hard work and dedication of another branch of the family, hundreds of years later, trying to change their fate as slaves, only to become masters of slaves themselves. And I now regret the glee I felt when those once descended from slaves became wealthy, powerful rulers of a city, and did nothing but improve their own station and fill their coffers.  In retrospect, I like having this unique story to tell. However, I found little joy in actually playing it. Frustration, irritation, and boredom, sure. But little joy. I might have been better off playing the slots in my local, dilapidated amusement arcade. At least then there would have been a chance I could have won a few quid, and with my winnings, I could just have bought a book. 
7 Grand Steps review photo
The Generation Game
Board game, wheel of fortune, a vast narrative spanning thousands of years -- 7 Grand Steps is a strange beast. Through simple slot machine mechanics, choose-your-own-adventure scenarios, and eventually actual strategy, one b...

Space Hulk screens photo
Space Hulk screens

Space Hulk unit sports stylish belt chain in new screens


Perhaps to keep his space wallet from being space pickpocketed
Jun 18
// Darren Nakamura
We haven't seen much from the videogame adaptation of the board game Space Hulk since its initial reveal. During GDC this year, GameSpot was able to see a gameplay demo, and it looked rough around the edges, to put it li...
Batman board game photo
Batman board game

Batman Arkham City Escape the Board Game is a thing


The Dark Knight is not limited to L-shaped movement
Jun 17
// Darren Nakamura
Walking through my friendly local board game shop the other day, something caught my eye. On a display stand was a shiny box labeled Batman Arkham City Escape: the Board Game. We hadn't previously heard about it, but it has b...
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Flower coming to Vita, IndieCade E3 lineup revealed


So many indies!
May 29
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Here's a nice surprise! Hidden within the IndieCade E3 lineup was the announcement that thatgamecompany's Flower is officially heading to the PlayStation Vita. Oh, and like I said, the full IndieCade E3 lineup was revealed. Y...
BioShock board game rules photo
BioShock board game rules

BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia rulebook posted


Read how cardboard Columbia will function
Apr 24
// Darren Nakamura
We first heard about BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia just a few weeks ago, and this week, Plaid Hat Games has released a PDF of the game's rulebook for your perusal. Board game geeks may want to read it from cover to...
Mario's Game Gallery photo
Mario's Game Gallery

Behold, the first Mario game voiced by Charles Martinet


No, it wasn't Super Mario 64
Apr 20
// Tony Ponce
[Update: And I've just been informed that Mario was voiced in Mario Teaches Typing, which predates even Hotel Mario. The original 1991 DOS version used a different actor, but a 1995 CD-ROM re-release replaced him with Martin...
Fallout Monopoly  photo
Fallout Monopoly

Homemade Fallout Monopoly makes the apocalypse worth it


This is the best way to show that you love someone
Apr 11
// Fraser Brown
Despite my love of board games, I rarely get a chance to play any. My friends and the people I can occasionally stomach socializing with have little interest in sitting down and playing them with me, so I have to content myse...

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