Essen 2015 - Geek Nation Tours

Release Date: Oct. 16, 2015

Running Time:  14 min.

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Geek Nation Tours organizes trips around a theme for people with a shared passion. We chat with Zak Gucklhorn who led a gaming trip through Germany, including castle, cathedral and brewery tours, a Rhine cruise and culminating with a stop at the game fair at Essen.

We also learn about several other upcoming tours including Star Wars and Game of Throne tours and a Zombie apocalypse tour!

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - White Wizard Games

Release Date: Oct. 16, 2015

Running Time:  27 min.

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White Wizard Games breathed new life into the deck building genre with their first title, Star Realms. It is a head to head space battle game that comes in a small box for $15. 

We chat with Rob Dougherty, one of the founders of the company, about the runaway success of Star Realms and how this success has enabled them to launch new games like Epic, a fantasy card battle game, built around the same philosophy.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Watson & Holmes

Release Date: Oct. 16, 2015

Running Time:  26 min.

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We chat with Spanish designer Jesus Torres Castro about his deduction game Watson & Holmes.

In the game, players relive new adventures of the world's most famous crime fighting duo. You step into the shoes of Doctor Watson and work with Sherlock Holmes to solve a series of 13 unpublished cases. Visit locations, interview witnesses and make inquiries. Follow the trail of clues and try to be the first to solve the case.

We also chat with Raphael from Ludo Nova, the publisher of Watson & Holmes, about the state of games/gaming in Spain.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Steffen Spiele

Release Date: Oct. 15, 2015

Running Time:  26 min.

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Designer Steffen Mühlhäuser is fueled by a passion for abstract games. His company, Steffen Spiele, publishes games that are equal parts art, strategy and fun. Our conversation explores the history of Steffen Spiele and his dedication to elegance and beauty in all aspects of a game - from components to gameplay.

We also discuss three recent releases: Ten, Schnipp Trick and Words Klauer.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Insect Hotel

Release Date: Oct. 15, 2015

Running Time:  16 min.

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Designer Dennis Kirps chats about his latest game: Insect Hotel.

It's a little known fact that beneficial garden bugs love to spend time in hotels. It's your job to fill as many rooms as you can, sometimes luring them with honey and keeping pesky spiders and cockroaches away. 

 

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Jam Sumo

Release Date: Oct. 15, 2015

Running Time:  17 min.

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Cubiko is small British company that makes handcrafted strategy and dexterity games. Gavin Birnbaum talks about the inspiration behind his designs and how he taught himself carpentry in order to bring his games to life.

We also chat about Jam Sumo, which is two flicking games in one. 
In Jam you try to flick dice from a platform into a central hole to avoid scoring the face up pips on your dice. In Sumo, you try to flick your opponents dice off the board and score the face up pips on your dice.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - HABA

Release Date: Oct. 15, 2015

Running Time:  22 min.

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Markus Nikisch has a fun job. He is the creative director for HABA, one of the most successful children's game publishers in the world. Markus chats about the loud and crazy process of developing dozens of new titles for kids and kids at heart.

We also discuss Spookies, Karuba and Adventureland, a new line of family games from HABA geared toward older children and adults. 

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Episode 216: Size Matters

Release Date: Sept. , 2015

Running Time:   132 min.

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Small companies, big fun. There has been a lot of consolidation in the game industry of late. International corporations like Asmodee and F2Z have bought up several well known established game publishers, making large companies even larger.

Despite this trend, there are more small game publishers bringing titles to market than ever before. And while not every game is the next Settlers of Catan, there are a lot of hidden gems from small companies that come and go without getting their due. This episode gives some love to small press companies and small press games. Big or small, we hope you'll agree the only measurement that really matters is fun.

We review two titles: Lift Off and Letter Tycoon.

In Lift Off, you spend fuel and screws to get all your aliens off a planet that is set to explode. You might use a jet pack or a rocket but a slingshot or a trampoline might work in a pinch. You must also time your launch with the phase of the moon and avoid the dreaded Garglore in order to escape.

Letter Tycoon is a word game with an economic twist. You build words with letter cards and then earn money instead of points. With this money, you can buy patents on particular letters, meaning when other players use that letter for the rest of the game, you get to cash in as well. 

News & Notes: Spiel-a-thon, Essen, L5R from AEG to FFG
The List: Lift Off, Letter Tycoon
Back Shelf Spotlight: Bullfrogs, Darkest Night
Game Sommelier: 5 games from obscure small publishers in Dave's collection

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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