Episode 67: Party On!

67: Party On!

Release Date: Nov. 17, 2008

Running Time: 93 min.

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Schwing! With family gatherings just around the corner, we try out Good Question and Say Anything, two new party games with wild questions and hilarious answers.

News & Notes:  Dominion, Ferti & FRED, Fluxx 4.0, Loaded Questions: Political Party
The List: Good Question, Say Anything
Name That Game: Win Say Anything
Designer's Workbench:
Interview with North Star Games' Dominic Crapuchettes
Truckloads of Goober: Apples to Apples
Game Sommelier: 5 games guaranteed to make Dave refuse to play
Mail Bag:
1960 errata

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

 Game News & Notes

Dominion  Official Site | BGG

Innovative medieval-themed card drafting and deck building game. Has a collectible card game feel without being collectible.

Fluxx 4.0  Official Site | BGG

A new version of the ultra-chaotic card game Fluxx is on its way. Released six years after the original,the new version wil feature color art, cards previously only available as promotions, and new rules including keepers that become creepers.

Ferti Games & FRED Distribution Join Forces FRED | Ferti 

European company Ferti Games will has struck a deal with FRED Distribution to make their games available in the United States. Classics like PitchCar, En Garde, and Le Passe Trappe should see wider availability in North America.

Carcassonne: Cult, Siege & Creativity Official Site | BGG

New tiles for the tile-laying title that set the standard for all that followed. Cults compete with Cloisters for points and two blank tiles give you a chance to make your own custom pieces.

Loaded Questions: Political Party Official Site | BGG

Who said politics can't be hilarious? This party game asks quasi-political questions like: Who Would be a terrible First Lady? or If the US made cloning legal, who would you clone first? A judge tries to match secret answers to each player.

Last Night on Earth: Revenge of the Dead Official site | BGG

A mini expansion to the great B-movie zombie horror board game. It is only available online and features 10 new cards and 1 new scenario.

The List

Good Question Official Site | BGG

Select a word from your card, try to phrase a question that will lead the other players to say that word. Here's the catch: The third answer, not the first, will score the most points! Make your question too easy, you won't score much. Make it too hard, and you won't score at all.

Say Anything Official Site | BGG

A light hearted game that shows what your friends REALLY think. Pick a question: "If I could have a BIG anything what would it be?" Players write down an answer and the judge selects his/her favorite. Players score by betting on which answer the judge will select.

Designer's Workbench

Dominic Crapuchettes - North Star Games 

We discuss the challenges facing a small game company trying to get its titles into the mass market. We also talk about North Star's committment to bringing more attention to game designers.

Truckloads of Goober

Apples to Apples  Official Site | BGG

Buy the crate edition and you get over 1,000 cards!


 Game Sommelier

The Challenge: 5 games Stephen likes that Dave will refuse to play. This challenge comes from Gregory in Seattle. His goal is to find out what games we really despise. As a form of restitution, Gregory has agreed to pay $2.50 to the Spiel Foundation for each thumbs down Stephen gets.

Stephen's List

Dave's Vote

Trick 'r Treat
Thumbs Down
Haunting House
Thumbs Down
Chez Geek
Thumbs Down
Thumbs Down
Xena: Warrior Princess Board Game
Thumbs Down

Next Challenge: Find  five games for the historical figures Bill & Ted kidnap in their time traveling phone booth.

Mail Bag

Thanks to John Richard and Jason Ober for correcting several small mistakes in out rules rundown of 1960: Making of the President.


I'm sure there are some goofs in there somewhere. Let us know if (when?) you find one!



I really would love to make some great commentary on the show at this point, but I can't. It keeps crashing my iPod. I can even skip forward a chapter or two and try to pick up partway through, but the iPod still makes that "disk stopping now" noise, the screen goes to black with the apple logo on it and a few minutes later it's back at the main screen. It's not happening for any other album or podcast that I've tried.

Did you guys do anything differently this week and/or is anyone else having this problem??

-- Joe

Several people have reported this to me. I don't know the nature of the problem other than guessing it the uploaded file was slightly corrupted during the upload process.

I have mixed down a new version of the file and have re-posted it to the media sever. If you delete the older file and re-download it through iTunes, it should work fine. At least that is what I am hearing from others who are having the problem.

The weird thing is, it doesn't seem to be causing problems for everyone. Given that I use the same process to create the files each week, it's really got me puzzled! I certainly hope it was just a quirk of fate and a few flipped bits that buggered up the file.

I am 28 minutes in with no problems. 

No problem for me with the download :-)

Another great show - a change of pace which had me grumbling at the beginning (what ? party games ?) but which I was bought into by the end. I particularly liked the Designer's Workbench section. It certainly got me thinking.

I, for one, have NEVER bought a game based on what the cover looked like. I doubt many geeks have.. which is kind of interesting. If I review my games collection, ponder the artwork on the box, I'm pretty sure that there's a high number I would have rejected based on the cover should such a thing matter to me.

There's a sommalier for you - name Five games where you know that the box is going to get a bunch of non-gamers interested in playing.

I like the challenge for this week. Funnily enough the Bill and Ted movie was on TV last night so maybe Rob was looking ahead in his TV magazine.  At least I have some ideas now. I'm also wondering if said time travellers were the inspiration for this months Show title ? Nice twist.

I can't make the sound of mouth guitar in text, but Wayne's World popped up a couple of times. Party on Wayne!

I love Designer interviews, and this one was excellent. Looking forward to the series continuing.


Do you guys accept money orders? If so, made out to whom?

Having my own technical difficulties this week, but I assure you I haven't skipped out on my end of the bargain. The intent wasn't merely to find out what you hate, but to highlight the contrast. I remembered Flinch from a previous sommelier, so no surprise there. I mentioned the "Chez" games myself in the original challenge, so I'm right there with you, Dave. I'm sure Kovalic is a nice enough guy but his art has become a warning flag to me that I'm probably not the target audience for the product. My problem with this sort of humor is that if you were never in the subculture he's coming from, you're not going to get any of the jokes. On the other hand, if you were, you and your friends have probably already made them all yourselves. Many, many times. Hundreds obviously disagree if the spew of Munchkinalia is any indication, but there you have the crux of my challenge. It's not necessarily that they're bad games; it's that they highlight the differences between kinds of players.

This oddly ties in with your interview. That caricature of the gamer as aggressively outside the mainstream may pose a problem in understanding the mass market now. For example, women in my local game store seem to do just fine, thanks. Marketing is weird. I have to admit that as much as I respect the classics, a large department store recently had a huge sale on games and I was disappointed that there was nothing I was remotely tempted to buy that I hadn't already owned for years. Even today, the last real overnight crossover game blockbuster is still probably Trivial Pursuit, possibly because, after the decade of D&D, Car Wars and Avalon Hill, more casual players hadn't been given a new game in years. The other well-known party games kind of rode its coattails, although its star seems to be burning out a bit. It might be useful to take perspective from other arts. The film adaptation of the comic Persepolis, for example, brilliant as it is, was unlikely to do the same business as Robert Downey's adaptation of the comic Iron Man. Don't get me wrong, I liked Iron Man. I love Trivial Pursuit. Even so, the phrase "art house cinema" probably exists for a reason and similarly some very good games may just not be blockbuster material. Ticket to Ride seemed to break ground because the game world got so collectively behind that single product in the attempt to engineer (no pun intended) a crossover success and I've started to see some Knizia titles in the larger bookstores. Weirdly enough though the next real household word will probably eventually be Catan if what I overhear in cafes and restaurants is anything to go by, and a gradual ten year word-of-mouth sleeper hit may not be what a fledgling game company needs to survive.

Oh and yes, I admit to buying a game almost entirely because of the cover art namely "Mission: Red Planet" which I salivated over from the moment I saw the original French edition.

Sorry for the delay. Having been gone for 2 straight weeks, it has been a struggle to get caught up and back in the normal routine.

Or what passes for normal here.

1. You can make the money order out to me. I sent you my snail mail address via email.

2. We had a good time with your challenge. It's good to remind people that there are some games that don't resonate with us. That list is very small, as you heard. Not every game is going to appeal to every player. We strive to give you a good idea of the games we cover, make it clear where we stand, but also leave room for listeners to make up their own minds and decide if it sounds like a game for them.

3. I agree not every non-mainstream game is going to appeal to the mass market. Here I Stand is most likely never going to fly off the shelves at Target. Some games we love will remain happily in the niche. That said, I think many gateway titles (Zooloretto, Lost Cities, Carc.) would find greater success if they had access to a wider market. Succes on the scale of monopoly or the latest media tie-in dreck? Perhaps not. But enough success for a big business to make money off it on the scale that would justify their spot on the store shelves. Big corporations are risk averse to say the least, which is why they fall back on established game franchises and media tie-ins. I don't think North Star's example is meant to imply that they'll ever displace these big players, but rather that big retailers can benefit from taking small risks on these smaller companies. In return the consumer benefits from greater choice and the retailer becomes less dependent on the whims of two or three giant toy/game consortiums. The more small success stories like North Star, the less risk averse the big boys are to taking the leap on the next one. Add in the presence of board games on things like xbox live now, I'm glad to see more games forging a path from the niche to the mass market even if some get lost in the woods along the way.


I absolutely agree that many games not only can but are finding a wider audience. (Again, I increasingly overhear people talking about this "new" game they've discovered called Settlers of Catan and have even seen people playing in coffee shops. Kind of weird to me only because for a game that's so easy to play, I've always found it a challenge to teach compared to other games that have a stiffer reputation.) The key to this, I believe, are local game stores that provide a welcoming and, if you will, mainstream environment. It's a bit of a strange time for people of my "certain age" who were growing up during the first heyday of the "niche game". I grew up reading bizarre rulebooks so they don't seem odd to me but when I try to imagine it from another person's perspective, I must reluctantly admit that some of my favorites are as much a niche interest as 1960's foreign film and James Joyce. ("It's called Arkham Horror; it's got a 30-page rulebook and it's going to take us about three hours to- wait, where are you going?") I find them rewarding enough to be worth the effort, but I'm not surprised if somebody else decides to spend that effort on something else. But those aren't the only new games out there anymore of course, and I, like you, will play almost anything. I would probably find it just as challenging to name five games I would refuse to play as you did.

One big problem for small publishers that I have no idea how to solve is that even when they've got the audience's attention, they're carrying the burden of a smaller operation than Hasbro. I saw a trio of people- all female, as chance would have it- wander grinning out of my friendly local game store a couple of nights ago. One of them was saying, "I love that store, but it's so expensive!" I understand the perils of smaller companies and smaller print runs, and the corresponding increase in production costs, but even I am starting to wonder with the list prices of new games like Agricola and Galaxy Trucker if things are coming to a point where I'm going to find myself increasingly priced out of the hobby. By contrast, a huge multinational like Hasbro can muscle in and sell Monopoly or Clue (which again, I actually enjoy and respect, don't get me wrong) for under 20 bucks. I wonder if there could eventually be a line of smaller budget or travel editions of some popular recent games, something like the gaming equivalent of the paperback book. Hmmm...

And yes, you have a point the video incarnations of many things seem to be taking off; the new games has an article on this. Of course, the new Games has a cover story/ 4 page advertisement about Pez which isn't a game in any way I can tell.