Episode 354 - The King's Dilemma

Release Date: June 29, 2020

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  101 min.

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The King’s Dilemma tells the story of a royal council over many generations. This story is involved and evolves from game to game. Each player assumes control of a noble house on the council and each game represents the career of one member of your house and the reign of one monarch.

Every crisis the kingdom faces is yours to navigate. And each decision, even seemingly trivial ones, will shape the future of the country with consequences planned and unforeseen.

The question is: how to rule? Each house has its own private agendas and each council member has his or her own personal goals. What legacy will you help write with each vote? Every decision will impact you, your house, and the people of the land.

The King's Dilemma is a drama-driven game. It is a world in a box, inviting us to explore difficult topics and explore people and their motives by making choices for them or as them.

Listen in to take a deep dive into this story-forward experience and discover why this game is a refined step forward in the evolution of a new genre.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

The King's Dilemma       Horrible Games  |  BGG  

Episode 353: Maquis

Release Date:  June 19, 2020

Download: PDF

Designer: Jake Staines

Art: Ilya Baranovsky


Side Room Games

1 player  | 20 min  |  ages 14+  | 10-15 min to learn | MSRP $25


You are a leader in the Maquis, the Resistance. Your small band of freedom fighters works to disrupt the Nazi Occupation of one small town in France.

Your agents sneak around - blowing up trains, cutting phone lines, publishing underground newspapers - while avoiding collaborators and soldiers patrolling the streets.  It's a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. One rash choice and your comrades might be swept up, never to return.

Maquis is a solitaire worker-placement game with variable goals. You have 15 days to complete 2 Missions before the Occupation discovers you. 

This isn’t WWII in a box. It isn’t even the Battle for France. Your decisions create the story of a brave handful of people, banded together in a struggle for freedom.

This makes for a game filled with tension and empathy, a hidden gem you can play in less than 30 minutes.

Read on to explore Maquis and discover all the reasons we think it earns our Spiel of Approval.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 352: Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons

Release Date:  June 10, 2020

Download: PDF

Designer: Prospero Hall   Art: Jenny Frison

Publisher: Ravensburger

2-5 players  | 45-60 min  |  ages 10+  | 5-8 min to learn | MSRP $35


Long ago, Amazons were given a formidable task by the gods of Olympus - protect Doom’s Doorway on the hidden Island of Themyscira. 

Countless dread beasts, powerful magic, and fallen gods have been imprisoned through this gate to the Underworld.

The Amazons have watched and waited, ever-vigilant, for this day…

Three enemies now threaten the island: Ares, Circe, and The Cheetah. It’s time to sound the alarm!

Don your golden armor, your battle tiara, your lasso, and your sword.

Can you lead Wonder Woman and her band of fierce warrior women to save their home?


Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons is a cooperative programmed action game whose base mechanism might make you think of stud poker. Each turn a plan will arise from partial knowledge each Amazon shares. But these plans are temporary at best. The game encourages a flexible mindset and demands teamwork. Diana and her allies must coordinate their efforts to accomplish as much as possible each turn or face ruin.

Read on to learn why we think Wonder Woman earns our highest honor and discover how it is leading the way to a new era in media licensed games.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 351 - Across the United States

Release Date: May 29, 2020

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  57 min.

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Prior to the American Civil War, you had two ways to move people and goods between coasts. You could make a 2,000 mile journey by wagon train through daunting terrain, or take an arduous voyage by ship all the way around the tip of South America.

Both of these choices were dangerous and expensive. And, as everyone knows, you most likely just died from dysentery.

But now, in the latter half of the 19th century, the vast American continent stands open and ready to be connected... by rail!

Can you build a transportation empire by investing in railroad companies, delivering goods and passengers, and picking up gold along the way?

In a train game world full of slow freights, Across the United States is a Bullet Train, delivering balanced fun at blistering speed, refusing to get sidetracked by little details. 

Listen in to discover why we think it deserves a place at your table and the distinction of our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Across the United States       Okazu Brand |  BGG  

Episode 350 - Walking in Provence

Release Date: May 19, 2020

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  100 min.

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Fields of lavender coat the hills of southern France with waves of purple blooms each Summer. Nestled between the flowers are rows of golden wheat, lush forests, sunflowers, windmills, and small villages with magnificent old churches.

Equipped with cameras, handheld and aerial, you set off into the countryside to explore and capture the wondrous beauty of rural France. 

Walking in Provence is a card-driven map building game. Over ten turns you will create a mini-map and move your photographers to open meadows hoping to create the right mix of flowers and features for the perfect shot. 

The game is elegant and welcoming; it offers depth and challenge to players new and old. Listen in to discover why we think Walking in Provence is a treasure hidden in a small box.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Walking in Provence       Emperor S4 |  BGG  

Episode 349: Dragonrealm

Release Date:  May 12, 2020

Download: PDF

Designer: Darren Kisgen 

Art: Chris Beatrice


Gamewright, Game Factory

2-4 players  | 20-30 min  |  ages 10+  | 5-10 min to learn | $25

Pack your lucky socks and get ready for an adventure exploring Dragonrealm! Sneak into the witch’s cabin, search the ogre's treehouse, or storm the dragon’s lair. Explore the wilds and add adventurers to different locations in the hope of getting the most treasure. But watch out for goblins, who might get there first and grab the treasure before you!

Dragonrealm is an engaging dice-driven set collecting card game. It provides players with a story, strategy, and plenty of risks whether you're a seasoned dungeoneer or a wizard fresh from the academy.

Read on to explore the game and discover why it has earned BOTH our awards!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 348: Pictures

Release Date:  Apr. 29, 2020

Download: PDF


Daniela and Christian Stöhr


PD Verlag, Rio Grande Games

3-5 players  | 20-30 min  |  ages 8+  | 5 min to learn | $45


A game of Pictures starts with a simple premise: you don’t have to be the next Van Gogh or Kahlo to discover there’s a little artistry in each of us.

There’s no drawing or painting involved. Instead, you’ll use blocks and rocks and sticks and symbols and shoelaces and tiny colored cubes to create your version of a picture. Will others be able to find your picture when it’s hanging in a gallery with others?

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 347 - Wordsmith

Release Date:  Apr. 24, 2020

Download: PDF


Bill Eberle, Peter Olotka, Greg Olotka


HeidelBÄR Games

1-4 players  | 20-30 min  |  ages 10+  | 5 min to learn | $30


Writers have talent - stringing words together, making them sing. But Wordsmiths? Their skills are more rare and special. They build each letter in every word from the ground up, one piece at a time.

From an assortment of basic shapes, can you assemble letters from a template and then use those letters to build words? Be quick and dig deep into your vocabulary to score big. Wordsmith gives new meaning to word play!

Written review continues after the break.

Webcam Cribbage

So, you want to play Cribbage with a friend even though you’re sheltered during the pandemic?

Of course, you could play on an app, but part of the joy and fun of playing a game like Cribbage is being able to chat and see the person you are playing with. There’s also a tactile experience to the game, holding the cards, moving your pegs around the track. So...

How about trying Webcam Cribbage?

Here’s how.

Episode 346: Planet

Release Date: Apr. 6, 2020

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  100 min.

Subscribe:  Enhanced  | MP3 | RSS


You hold the power of cosmic creation in your hands.

Here, in your very own little corner of the universe, there’s a planet waiting to take its final form. You have mountains to sculpt, oceans to pour, forests to tend - hoping each new ecosystem will attract more animals to fill your world.

After locking in the last land mass, you’ll step back to admire and compare your creations. The most lively planet will earn a special place among the stars.

Planet is a 3-D magnetic tile laying game that invites us to think big and think carefully every time the world turns. Tune in to learn why it earns our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.