If you're in the US and you're celebrating Independence Day, be sure to be careful with those fireworks.
I'm taking a moment from the cooking that I'm doing. What am I making? Well, I've got hamburgers and hot dogs that I'll have later. I'm going to make some crawfish gumbo. On the sweet side of things, I'm making cheesecake with strawberry glaze and then chip'n'mint cookies.
But that's as may be. At the moment, we've got our Review Roundup.
This weeks reviews/previews include: Unleashed RPG, Spyfall, Cockroach Poker Royal, Specter Ops, Ember: Shadow of the Demon, Star Realms: Crisis Expansion, Tuscany, Patrol Angis, Don't Be That Guy, and Swords and Bagpipes.
Play Board Games:
Unleashed RPG Review
The Unleashed RPG is set in the wilds of Iron Kingdoms. In this fantasy setting you play monsters that roam and fight for survival in Western Immoren.
Shut Up & Sit Down:
The English language version of Spyfall is finally available! ...And stock has immediately drained out shops the world over like a vodka martini through a sieve.
Don't worry, friends! Operating in a dangerous web of international intrigue, and with a little help from Starlit Citadel, Team SU&SD has secured a review copy. At last, we're here to tell you if this party game live up to the hype.
Review: Cockroach Poker Royal
Today I’m the proud owner of one “Cockroach Poker Royal”, the en-complicated 2012 sequel to 2004’s Cockroach Poker. And I’ll tell you what! It’s not just a great game of lying to your friends. It’s a great game of lying with your friends.
Specter Ops Review
What's this, sneaking into Friday's schedule? Why, it's a review of Plaid Hat's hotly anticipated Specter Ops, a hidden movement game from one of the industry's most renowned publishers.
Paul takes a long, hard look at the game and... well, has anyone taken a long hard look for Paul recently? Actually, it's probably best not to. He appears to have both gone missing and gone a little... mournfully malfunctional. This is the first time that's happened since last time. Do let us know if you spot him, or even any part of him. Probably don't approach him, mind.
Best not dwell on that. Have a lovely weekend!
Board Game Quest:
Ember: Shroud of the Demon Preview
While I enjoy games with lots of components and bits, and maybe some nice miniatures every now and again, there’s something to be said for a card game that gives you everything you need in a small and straightforward package. Card games have been consistently delivering through the years, with Illuminati, Gloom, the growing popularity of Living Card Games, as well as newcomers like Imperial Settlers all earning places on the shelves of gamers.
Ember: Shroud of the Shadow Demon by Paw-Warrior Games is a new addition to the mix of card games. Does this Ember glow brightly, or does it get snuffed out before it can shine? Keep reading to find out.
Star Realms: Crisis Expansion Review
Star Realms, released in 2014, has been highly praised for being a new take on the deck building mechanic. Focused on a two-player game where players directly attack each other, it’s a significant change from multiplayer-solitaire deck builders like Dominion. My review here compared Star Realms to Magic: The Gathering, but without a significant investment in both cards and time learning to game.
The first expansion, or expansions, for Star Realms is Crisis. Released in four separate booster packs, it’s possible to purchase only parts of the new cards. We will look at the contents of each pack, what it adds, and if you should be adding these to your Star Realms game.
You had me at Merlot (A Review of Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture)
“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”? Andre Simon
Running a vineyard isn’t easy. Workers need to be dispatched, fields harvested, wines created and aged to perfection, and structures built. But this is the easy part. What happens when unexpected elements are introduced that may dash all your well-laid plans?
You might have a secure strategy when it comes to playing Viticulture, but with the Tuscany expansion, you are going to have to rethink everything you thought you knew about wine making and running a vineyard.
The Ion Age:
Conflict Cornucopia blog reviews Patrol Angis
Patrol Angis has been released now for a number of weeks and hundreds of copies of the fantastic power packed A5 book have winged their way around the world. One person who had received their copy and has a lot to say about it is Chris Walkley who runs the Conflict Cornucopia blog. He has posted up an in depth review covering the book itself as well as the background, the core mechanics, force organisation and his own considered thoughts. Its a really good read and deftly explains why he likes The Ion Age so much.
Don't be That Guy Kickstarter Review
Don’t Be That Guy is a new card game from William Meyer that is cut from the same sandpaper as Cards Against Humanity, both in style and substance yet different because this time it’s personal and can rub you raw.
Unlike CAH, the goal here is not to create the most ridiculous or offensive card combinations but instead to look at a deck load full of irritating situations and behaviors of others in your group and vote for one among you to be “That Guy”. As the title says, you don’t want to be that guy because that guy is a loser and so are you if you earn seven cards before anyone else!
Swords and Bagpipes Kickstarter Review
Swords and Bagpipes is the new game from Moroz Publishing that mixes deduction, secret bidding, manipulation and betrayal into a fun little social game that uses the first war of Scottish independence as a backdrop. You’ll have to weave your way through the machinations of the political families of Scotland, changing sides for profit and scheme against others while ensuring that Scotland doesn’t fall under the iron yoke of King Edward I.
The game was first crowdfunded in Russia at the end of 2014 and published in January of this year under the name “For Scotland!”. Moroz Publishing is now running a Kickstarter project to bring the game to the international community with an upgraded design, new art, new rules and better components.
I review the hilarious party game Spyfall by Alexandr Ushan