GenCon 2019 - Mental Health & The Power of Board Games

Release Date: Aug. 8, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  47  min.

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Board Games can be a source for many kinds of enjoyment. But their power also overlaps into many areas of mental health - learning to play can help us develop meaningful skills and ways of looking at the world that extends far beyond the tabletop. We examine how games can be a powerful and positive force on many different levels related to mental health with teachers, professionals and players.

The panel:

Sen Foong Lim   (psychology professor, game designer) 

Katie Aidley   (Wargames Are for Everybody)

John Knoerzer (licensed clinical social worker)

Bruce Voge (North Star Games, The Party Gamecast)

Bebo (Be Bold Games)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

329: Order of Invention

Release Date:  June 24, 2019

Download: PDF

Designers: Tim WK Brown

Publisher:  Breaking Games

2 or more pl  | 20 min  |  ages 8+  |  MSRP $20


Bubble Wrap… Instant Coffee… Processed Cheese… The Zamboni.

Do you know which came first?  The name of the game says it all.

But here's the thing. The inventions in the game - they aren't ones you read about in history books. They are the flotsam and jetsam of our modern world. 

And that's what makes the game shine! 

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 328: Troika

Release Date:  June 24, 2019

Download: PDF

Designers: Jun Sasaki

Publisher:  Oink Games

2-5  | 20 min  |  ages 7+  |  MSRP $19


In Troika, You are a fortune seeker, hoping to cash in on a recent discovery. On a distant planet, scientists have found a type of stone, which when combined properly, can yield great riches.

You’ve traveled to the planet, but now you’ve been told that getting these gems won’t be enough. You must also gather the right kind of stones to provide enough fuel to get you back to Earth. Gems and fuel. Anything less and your mission will be judged a failure.

Troika is a whimsical twist on classic set collecting games. Read on to discover why we think it's Major Fun!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 327: Detective

Release Date: June 17, 2019

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Running Time:   120 min.

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You are part of a new team at the Antares National Investigation Agency.

Together you work to solve a cold case with roots in World War II. A tapestry of corruption, greed, and violence across the decades is yours to unravel.

Decide what leads to follow first and be prepared to dig deep. Hit the streets... before they start hitting back!

Like Holding On, Detective is a drama-driven game fueled by tragic situations we normally don't associate with fun.

It provides an immersive and innovative experience by embracing technology. This allows Detective to expand the boundaries of what games can be.

Listen in for a full review and discussion!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 326: Holding On

Release Date: June 3, 2019

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Running Time:   85 min.

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It could be tonight, it could be a week, but the end is coming for Billy Kerr. Each day, you and your team of nurses do your best to make him comfortable.

But Billy is not going quietly.

And he's not going to make your lives easy. His troubled past will haunt him to the end of his days unless you help him find peace of mind.

Holding On offers a game experience like no other. It is a drama-driven game that asks us to redefine the boundaries of play.

We don't just witness Billy's story. We play through it - the regrets and triumphs - the decisions that define his path. And in doing so, we are invited to reflect on our own.

It takes an act of true courage and audacity to embrace tragedy as a new voice for games. And that's exactly what Holding On is.

Listen in to explore the game and discover how these brave and bold designers forge a new path for players to enjoy.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 325: Tiny Towns

Release Date:  May 27, 2019

Download: PDF

Designers: Peter McPherson

Publisher:  AEG

1-6 pl  | 45 min  |  ages 12+  |  MSRP $40


You are the mayor of a tiny town in the forest, where the smaller creatures of the woods have created a civilization hidden away from predators. This new land is small and the resources are scarce--you take what you can get, and never say ‘no’ to building materials. Cleverly plan and construct a thriving town, and don’t let it fill up with wasted resources!

Tiny towns is part pattern building puzzle with a generous dose of strategic Bingo thrown in for good measure. Read on to see why we think it offers a fun bridge between casual and thoughtful players where both can meet and have fun.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 324: Wombattle

Release Date:  May 27, 2019

Download: PDF


Andrea Szilágyi, Judit Maróthy



3-10 pl  | 30 min  |  ages 10+  |  MSRP $30


Somewhere in the universe, wombats gather in parties to find a champion. All creatures are welcome, facing challenges ridiculous and sublime. In fact every time they play, the challenges will change since the players themselves shape them. A word, a memory, a drawing, a gesture, even a song could be the key to unlock the heart of the judge.

Wombattle is a whacktastic party game driven by an unexpected dexterity element and whimsically weird art. 

It's an arena for laughter and silliness and a giant reminder of the simple joys we can discover through play.

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 323: Egizia

Release Date: May 20, 2019

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Running Time:   68 min.

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The mighty Nile: cradle of life and civilization -  and a powerful source of fame and fortune. 

In Egizia, players sail ships carrying workers and stone to build mighty monuments for the Pharaoh. The river offers great rewards and abilities as it flows ever Northward to the sea.

And therein lies the challenge.

Each ship must be placed downriver from your last. When you sail past a space, there's no going back.

Tune in to discover why Egizia is modern classic with an even brighter future.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 322: Forbidden Sky

Release Date: May 6, 2019

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Running Time:   85 min.

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First came the island. Your team of adventurers found relics in temples sinking into the sea.

Next was the Desert. Crashed in the wastes, your team rebuilt an ancient flying machine to escape.

And now, high above the clouds, your team discovers an abandoned launch station from a lost space-faring civilization.

There’s just one problem. A deadly storm is coming. Can you rewire the station (creating a real electrical circuit) and gather your team for a rocket launch into the Forbidden Sky? 

Forbidden Sky is the third in a trilogy of cooperative games by noted designer Matt Leacock. Each game in the series adds new challenges and levels of complexity to overcome.

Listen in to explore the game and discover why it deserves BOTH awards!

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 321: Echidna Shuffle

Release Date:  Apr. 29, 2019

Download: PDF

Designer: Kris Gould

Publisher:  Wattsalpoag

2-6 pl  | 15 min  |  ages 6+  |  MSRP $30


Echidnas, prickly cousins to the platypus, love to roam the forest floor. They often bump into friends along the way as they walk their well worn paths.

What the echidnas don’t know is this. The insects of the forest ride them everywhere… like the bus or the subway! Better yet, echidnas are like spiny unaware Uber or Lyft drivers, picking up and dropping off passengers as they shuffle along.

In Echidna Shuffle, each player has three colorful insects they are trying to get home. Can you catch a ride on an echidna and help it shuffle through the forest to your home stumps? The problem is there are so many echidnas around, they often wander off course, especially when you get close to your bug’s home!

Written review continues after the break.