Episode 242: The Spiel on Among Nobles

 

Release Date: Oct. , 2016

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Running Time:   62 min.

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Among Nobles is a game of family building in Renaissance Europe.

Each player in among Among Nobles is the timeless overseer for an aristocratic family in 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. 

You begin with a well bred, well matched couple and, over the course of the game, you will guide them, their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren through marriages, warfare, commerce and influence throughout the continent.

Your decisions will generate prestige for your noble house. The family with the most prestige after three ages will have established the greatest dynasty of the era and be crowned the winner of the game. 

All this in a deck of 69 cards.

Tune in to learn why Among Nobles is the latest winner of the Spiel of Approval Award.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 241: Mmm! Is Major Fun!

 

Release Date: Sept 30, 2016

Download: PDF

Designer: Reiner Knizia

Publisher:  Pegasus Spiele

2-4 pl  20 min ages 5+  MSRP $23.99

 
 

Charlie and Carlotta are mice who live in the walls of the Smith family’s house. They are preparing for a big dinner party for all their friends and they need your help to gather groceries. The Smith’s pantry is full of delicious food: bread, carrots, cucumbers, fish and, of course, CHEESE! By rolling dice everyone will collect these tasty morsels but your team must be quick! The Smiths have a mean black cat who prowls through the house. If you take too long, the cat will catch you red-handed and the meal will be ruined. 

Mmm! is a cooperative game where players work together to cover every food item displayed in the pantry with a mouse token before the mean black cat reaches the door

Read on to see why Mmm is Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 240: The Spiel on Oh My Goods!

 

Release Date: Sept. 17, 2016

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Running Time:   47 min.

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Oh My Goods is a small game that packs a huge punch.

Using a deck of 110 cards, players build engines where the cards will represent both the factories you build and the goods you produce. Over time, these factories create production chains, turning basic resources into more refined goods - wheat into flour, flour into bread, and so on. 

The most surprising aspect of Oh My Goods is its press-your-luck element. Each day you must commit your workers at sunrise to work efficiently or sloppily based on partial information. Each day offers a high risk, high reward situation. Accounting for this unpredictable element makes the game challenging and fun every time you play.

Not bad for a game that can literally fit in your back pocket!

Tune in to learn why we think Oh My Goods has earned the Spiel of Approval Award!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 239: Chronicler is Major Fun

 

Release Date: Sept 8 , 2016

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Running Time:   43 min.

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Chronicler is a small game with large aspirations.  With less than 100 cards, Chronicler explores the march of technology through time. You’ll be telling the story of your civilization through the tools you choose to build... in 20 minutes or less

Now, this isn't a civilization building game in the long line of a complicated titles that gamers know and love. This is a civ builder kids and families can learn and enjoy. You’re not going to find historical depth in this level of game but it doesnt pretend to offer it. Instead you hit fast forward on the time machine. Plant the seed for your culture with a single card and see how your tech tree grows. 

Tune in to learn what we love about Chronicler and why it deserves the Major Fun Award.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 238: Ice Cool is Major Fun

 

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Download: PDF

Designer: Brian Gomez

Publisher:  Brain Games

2-4 pl  20 min ages 6+  MSRP $39.99

 
 

Young penguins can be troublemakers, especially if they’re hungry. You and your classmates have decided to sneak out of class to grab an early snack. You’ve hidden some fish around the school and there’s only one thing standing between you and these tasty morsels… the hall monitor! If you’re quick, you’ll be able to scoot through the halls and grab your fish before getting caught. If not, you’ll be stuck in detention…. again!

Ice Cool is a dexterity game where players will take turns flicking their penguins through a 3 dimensional school trying to either catch fish or catch the students skipping class.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 237: The Spiel on My Village

 

Release Date: August 29 , 2016

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Running Time:   63 min.

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My Village is a game of life and death where players will tell the story of an entire community as time passes from generation to generation. Will your village focus on commerce and craftsmen producing and selling goods? Perhaps you’ll put your energies into building a magnificent church or a town council to provide law and order or send your villagers traveling the countryside to see the wider world. Your decisions wind the clock forward every turn and when time’s wheel makes a full cycle, your decisions will even decide who lives and who dies. A game of life and death indeed!

My Village is built around the same concept used by the game Village which won the Kennerspiel des Jahres in 2012 (listen to our review of Village). Dice feature prominently in My Village; in Village they do not. But I would resist the temptation to think of My Village as Village: the dice game. Instead, think of My Village as a reimplementation. A fresh take on the concept with entirely new game mechanisms at its heart.

Tune in to see why we think My Village is worthy to carry the name of its predecessor and to earn the Spiel of Approval award. 

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2016 - Narrative in Game Design

 

Release Date: August 16 , 2016

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Running Time:   52 min.

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Game designers build worlds and allow players to tell stories though the decisions they make in the world of the game.

We explore the importance of narrative in game design with a panel of some of the best storytellers in the world of gaming. What is gained by trying to make each game tell a story? How does research factor into building the world of the game? Which comes first: the story of the mechanics? Does the new trend toward campaign and Legacy style games open new doors from a design perspective? 

Our panel features:

Ignacy Trzewiczek (Portal Games)

Richard Launius (King Richard Games)

Christopher Badell (Greater Than Games)

Scott Hill (Flying Frog Productions)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2016 - Consolidation in the Board Game Industry

 

Release Date: August 16 , 2016

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Running Time:   44 min.

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There have been waves of consolidation within the board game industry over the past 3 years.

The largest contributor to this trend is the French publisher Asmodee. Backed by a huge influx of funds from a new investor, Eurazeo, Asmodee has acquired several very successful publishers including Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight Games and most recently F2Z Entertainment. They have also acquired the licenses to mega popular titles Spot It and Catan and have reorganized their retail and distribution policies to streamline their supply chain and limit online sales. 

Does this speak to the overall health of the industry, as it expands out of the niche market, possibly allowing some of the modern games we love to make their way into the mainstream or mass market?

OR is this the start of a cycle known well in economic circles where consolidation leads to less innovation and competition with one massive player in the market dominating all levels of the playing field?

OR is the truth somewhere in the middle?

Our panel features:

Eric Summerer (The Dice Tower)

Lance Myxter (Undead Viking)

Doug Richardson (Spieler, aka Lyle Otterbein)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2016 - Designing Games with a Partner

 

Release Date: August 15 , 2016

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Running Time:   37 min.

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Working with a partner in any endeavor can be rewarding and challenging. Collaborating with someone on a creative project perhaps even moreso.

We’ve assembled an all-star panel to explore the process of co-designing games: Matt Leacock, Rob Daviau, Bruno Faidutti and Bruno Cathala. Both Brunos have a wealth of experience working with many different designers throughout their careers. Rob and Matt have also worked with several co-designers and have joined forces recently to combine two game worlds and game systems into an experience that is greater than the sum of its parts (Pandemic: Legacy).

What motivates designers to want to work together? How do they establish a common vision or divide up the tasks involved in the development process? How do they playtest since partners are often separated by distances large and small? How do they deal with conflict? How do they know when the game is done? We learn how our panelists approach these challenges and more over the course of our conversation.

Our panel features four noted game designers:

Matt Leacock

Rob Daviau

Bruno Faidutti

Bruno Cathala

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

GenCon 2016 - The Art of the Matter

 

Release Date: August 14 , 2016

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Running Time:   47 min.

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This round table discussion explores the importance of art and aesthetics as an integral part of the game development process.

From the artwork on and in the box to the size and shape of the components to the layout and logo, we examine the time and effort that goes into making a game beautiful or visually engaging. We also delve into the relationship between publisher, artist and graphic designer. These decisions and these relationships are not trivial. The publishers on our panel invest heavily in the idea that aesthetics can make an average game good and a good game great. Tune in to learn why!

Our panel features:

Stephan Brissaud (Iello)

Stephen Buonocore (Stronghold Games)

Kevin Brusky (APE Games)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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