Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wits & Wagers Live

Tonight Northstar Games is hosting a live game of their newest edition of Wits & Wagers, Wits & Wagers Party via YouTube. The game will be hosted by Ryan Metzler.

The game itself will be played by Matt Carlson of Gaming With Children, Elliot Miller of The Gaming Gang, Matt Morgan of MTV Geek, Scott Nicholson, Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower and David Miller of Purple Pawn.

It all starts at 7:30pm tonight so don't miss it. To add to the appeal, they are also giving away a copy of the game to one lucky viewer who comments.

The game starts out like any other trivia game. A question is asked to the players and everyone writes down an answer. The difference is that each play then places their answers down in order of smallest to largest. The players then place their bets on which answer they think is either the correct answer or closest to the correct answer. Points are awarded for answering right, betting on the right answer and getting bets on your answer.

I've played the original game a couple years ago and it was a lot of fun. It rewarded a general knowledge of trivia, but it wasn't required to win. Just knowing who knew was enough. Any version of this game would be a welcome addition to any collection and great for families and groups who like party games.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Marvel RPG: Civil War Review

I've had a chance to read through the Civil War Event book for the Marvel Heroic RPG from Margaret Weis. This is the first of many announced additions to the game and features a large-scale story, new resources for Watcher's and new Data Files for the players.

New Tricks
The book starts with new tips and ways to play for the Watcher and Player characters. There is a new optional rule for using scene distinctions that is aimed to encourage their use in story-telling. The idea looks good and I think that this is a good way to get more things included and utilized in the game rather than just what's printed on the data files.

There is also a new concept called Troupe play. This gives a way for players to play as more than one character throughout a campaign. This allows for a more dynamic story that can always involve every player since even if a player's 'main character' doesn't make sense to be a given scene. With this type of play awarded XP is given to the player, not the character so that the player can choose which of his characters to advance in the story in a way that makes sense to him. A suggested use of this rule in the case of this event is that each player takes the role of a hero on both sides of the conflict. I could see this being a great idea with the game leading to some fun player vs player conflict and interaction.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Neuroshima Hex: Android review

Neuroshima Hex is one of the newest board games to make its appearance to the Android Play market. It been on the iOS for a while, but now I finally get a chance to play. The physical game was released back in 2006 by Wydawnictwo Portal and has since been reprinted by various companies.

It has a medium-weight strategy game for 2-4 players. The app comes with the original 4 armies, while there are many expansions with additional armies for the physical game. I got to play the actual copy once, and I wasn't too thrilled by it, but I knew that was mainly due to my opponent (it was his game, but I had to teach him how to play, but that's another topic.)

Hex Power
In Neuroshima Hex, players control various armies in a bleak, post-apocalyptic future. The armies range from the remaining humans, cybernetic beings and mutated soldiers. Armies are composed of a HQ tile with is placed on the board at the beginning of the game. The rest of the army is shuffled and stacked or placed in a draw bag. The majority of these tiles feature a unit. They have a nice variety of icons on it  that signify initiative, in what directions they can attack as well as the strength of the attack and the type of the attack (melee or ranged.) There are also tiles and icons that buff or inhibit other tiles. This can include making attacks more powerful, raising or lowering initiative or adding health. Then there's actions tiles, which allow players to move units or destroy enemy units.

Players take turns placing tiles until a battle is started. Battles are started by either playing a special battle tile or when the board fills up. When a battle commences, units attack in initiative order, starting with the highest numbers. All units with the same number attack at the same time, which means two units can take each other out. When all units of a certain initiative number have activated, then the next number down goes. Once all units have had their turn, then the the normal game play commences.

The game ends when either one player is left with the only HQ on the board or when one players runs out of tiles, in which case the HQ with the highest remaining health is the winner. Game play is fast, with games lasting around 30 minutes. A game on a digital device can be even faster.

Digital Warriors
I was very excited when this game was announced. I had been wanting to try again for a while and this seemed a great way to do it. This implementation met all my expectations and it plays great. The game looks good and it runs smooth on my HTC Sensation. The menu is easy to navigate and responds very well. I have been satisfactorily challenged by the AI on its medium difficulty.

It can play up to four players locally in a mixture of human and AI participants. The android version does not currently have online multiplayer, but Big Daddy Creations has said that it will come if the app sells well enough. The iOS version, which was released a while ago, already has multiplayer.

I am very happy with this game and love to go to it for a quick strategic game. I really hope that it does well enough for the online multiplayer to get implemented as it would really help give the game some staying power. If you've ever been interested in the game or are already a fan, check it out.

Tsuro: Path to a Good Time

I don't always touch upon art and visual impact when I talk about games. But when I do, thre's a good chance I'm talking about Tsuro. Tsuro: The Game of the Path in a abstract tile-laying, path creating game that can accommodate from 2-8 players. It was designed by Tom McMurchie and is published by Calliope Games.

The Path
Tsuro is a very simple and elegant game that can be taught in a matter of seconds. Each player controls a dragon piece soars along paths that are created as the game progresses. They have a hand of three tiles that show a variety of paths connecting eight points (two on each side.)The paths range from straight across, to a slight curve to the side or a complete u-turn. On their turn, a player will lay down a tile in front of their dragon. Each dragon touching the new tile then continues along its newly extended path as far as it goes. If a dragon falls off the edge of the board or crashes into another dragon, then they are out of the game. From there, its last man standing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's a Good Friday

I'm always on the lookout for a good solitaire game. I often find myself in the mood for a good game, but no one to play with. It was because of this that I decided to pick up Friday: A Solo Adventure, designed by Friedmann Friese and published by 999 Games.

A Shipwrecked Theme
Friday is based on the story of Robinson Crusoe, the victim of a shipwreck who must struggle to survive on a strange an unforgiving island. The player takes the role of his companion, Friday and must aid Robinson in overcoming a series of hazards to build up his strength. The game does a great job of relating to the theme as you can actually see your own strength and power increasing as the game progresses. What would have been impossible tasks at the beginning of the game can become minor nuisances with smart gameplay. But at the same time, the hardships on the island slowly whittle away at your life points, forcing you to accept your own mortality and (mostly) inevitable demise.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Inspecting Scotland Yard

Goodwill continues to surprise me when it comes to finding deals on great games. It doesn't always work, but when it does, its amazing. One of my latest finds is the Milton Bradley version of Scotland Yard. This classic game pits one player taking the role of Mr. X against a team of 5 Detective Inspectors who attempt to deduce his whereabouts and capture him before escape. Mr. X begins the game in an unknown location and moves around the map in secret, trying his best to evade capture. If he is successful is eluded the law for 24 rounds, he wins the game. If at any time an Inspector piece moves onto the same space as Mr. X, the other players win the game. It's a brilliant game of cat and mouse, logic and deduction, bluffing and bold moves.