Episode 113: Deciphered

113: Deciphered

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2010

Running Time:  125 min.

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An enigma, wrapped in a riddle. We dust of our deductive muscles and try to crack Code 777, a brain-burning game with roots in Indian Poker.

News & Notes: Wooden Catan, Hotel Samoa, Show Manager
The List: Code 777
Truckloads of Goober:  Dungeon of Doom
Players: Interview with Stephen Buonocore - Stronghold Games
Game Sommelier:  5 quick/cheap games to decide what game to play

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

News & Notes

Top 10 Selling Board Games 2010 (through July) Link

Courtesy of ICv2 newsletter here's the list:

1. Settlers of Catan
2. Dominion
3. Ticket to Ride
4. Munchkin
5. Carcassonne
6. Small World
7. Mystery Express
8. Pandemic
9. Agricola
10. Horus Heresy

Catan 15th Anniversary Wooden Edition Link

Retailing for $150, releasing before Christmas.

Hotel Samoa Link

Try to attract the most tourists to your resorts

Show Manager Link

Hire actors and crew to put on the best show.

Spiel-a-thon 2010  Register Now

Friday, November 19  1:00 - 4:00 PM

BoardGameGeek Con Dallas, TX

Irving Lecture Hall DFW Westin

The 4th annual fundraiser for The Spiel Foundation is coming soon.

We're looking forward to a great event full of fun and games.

The List

Code 777 Official Site | BGG

A classic game returns with a new publisher and a new look. Try to deduce your 3 digit code by listening to questions asked and answered by your opponents.

More information on influential game designer Alex Randolph. link


Stephen Buonocore - Stronghold Games Link

A new interview segment debuts this episode. Players will feature informal chats with designers, publishers and other luminaries in the game world.

Truckloads of Goober

Dungeon of Doom Link

Try to open the treasure chest at the top of the step pyramid,but beware the giant skull may spring to life if you use the wrong key! New edition is called Tomb of Doom.

The Game Sommelier

The Challenge (from Ed Crawford): 5 ultra-short games to play to decide which game to play

Dave's suggestions

Component Hide & Seek

Component Quiz/Identification

Word Puzzles

Brian Hamilton's suggestions

Pick a #, divide by the # of players. The remainder (counting clockwise) is the person who gets to choose.

Show a # of fingers; person with the lowest # of fingers without being duplicated, gets to pick the game.

Next Challenge: 5 games that feature penalty points

Mail Bag

Fantasy Geekball on BGG Link

Andres Pabon wrote in to let people know the next round of "teams" are being formed now. Surf over to the competition (and vote for Andres!).


Music credits (courtesy of IODA promonet) include:

"Code Monkey" by Jonathan Coultonbuy the track

"L'enigma Gaudi"  by Orquesta Simfònica i Cors, Manuel Valdivieso  -  buy the track

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


Sgzmjr enq sgd vdkk-cdrdqudc sqhatsd sn Zkdw Qzmcnkog! Mns rtqd zants xntq Rnlldkhdq ohbjr. Xnt chcm's mzld zmx zbstzk fzldr, zesdq zkk, chc xnt? Sghr lhfgs ad sgd adrs trd enq Sgd Fqdzs Czkltsh!

Rgzld xnt bzm's fds hmsn sgd Rohdk-z-sgnm rdozqzsdkx rhmbd sgd bnm'r rnkc nts- H lhfgs ad hm Sdwzr zqntmc sgzs shld!

when I really need it?!

I had the chance to try Code 777 at Essen. It was a cool game, but I didn't like the glossy production. I prefer more sturdy linen cards and wood or mah-jong material over plastic bits.

I was also lucky to buy Crows from Valley Games. They had the most impressive video instruction. Easy to understand and nice produced. The salesman was very pleased to say that the producer of this video is known to always keep the deadline!

(OK, he informed me that Stephen Conway is the very person to be credited for this..)

Grand Cru, Era of Invention and Forbidden Island was other excellent games from the Essen fair.

Patrik Strömer


Thanks, Patrik. The fine folks at Valley Games hired me to do the video for them and considering I had almost no time to complete the project, I think it turned out quite nicely.

I'm waiting for Valley Games to give the OK to post the video online and then I'll post links in case anyone wants to see it.

I'm interested in Grand Cru and Era of Invention. Seems like there were several wine themed games debuting at Essen this year. More games for the real Sommeliers, I suppose! :)

That one's eeeeeasy... just take a step back and I'm sure all will become clear... 

Trying to think of other games that involve decoding information and you know I can't do it, probably due to the difficulty in making this compatible with replayability. 

As for Grand Cru, the challenge for the real Sommelier, should he choose to accept it, would be to look at this recent spate of wine games and, having selected the finest, pair them with appropriate games about cheese for a balanced gaming evening.

Thanks for once again being great Sommelers! Code 777 sounds like the perfect gift for my dad. One of my earliest gaming memories is playing Twixt with him.

And LOVE the music choice, Code Monkey is one of my favorites, it always makes me smile.

Glad to hear Code 777 might fit the bill for you and your Dad. It's nothing like Twixt, per se, but it still has that classic game feel, if you know what I mean. Seems like the game could find a lot of players in both the family game and the hobby game camps.

Jonathan Coulton is a favorite of mine, too. Code Monkey immediately leapt to mind when we were putting this show together. :)