Many of you may remember a Kickstarter Project last year called Pixel Lincoln! I was a staunch supporter of it and am still looking forward to getting my hands on a copy, both as a backer and as a reviewer! That said, the game has not survived Kickstarter completely unscathed, timing being it's biggest opponent!
Thankfully, Jason Tagmire, who is the designer, stopped by Kickstarter to provide some amazing photos of the first print... here is his update along with the pictures:
"Hello friends. Things are moving forward with everything Pixel Lincoln over here, as we just received the test print for review. Are you prepared for a ton of images? Thanks to everyone who pledged we exceeded all of our initial goals and in the end, we have a jam backed box of awesomeness. I am so happy with how this came out, and I hope you guys are as well.
Note: The printing may look light and that's because it is. This is simply a test print for review purposes. Along with the printed materials came some high quality prints, showing the actual print quality. It's going to be super vibrant when finished. In the meantime, here are some images. Dialup users beware!"
The recent Critical Review of the DC Deck Building Game from Cryptozoic spawned some good and healthy discussions! Some people thought I was too light on it and others thought I was too harsh on it. I've received several requests to do a Critical Play and I hope that this session helps bring to light some of the things discussed, and possibly, brings up new items to chat about.
In this video, my wife and I sat down to play a two player game, with me being The Flash and her being Wonder Woman (of course), to take on Ra's Al Ghul and 7 other dastardly Super Villains inside the DC Universe! Additionally, we didn't do a "Fan's vote" on this review as we weren't doing them at the time, so we added a poll at the bottom of this post to cast your vote on if you think this is a Crit, Hit or Miss!
In 1984 I was a sprouting youth, with big dreams, nerdy thoughts, and a love of bad movies. Really bad movies. I remember this one, with Dabney Coleman, and Henry Thomas (yes, Elliot from ET), called Cloak and Dagger. I think HBO played it at the top of every other hour because I must have watched it 50 times over. It was terribly bad, terribly fun and it made me want to grow up and be a spy as my trade of choice!
Obviously that didn't happen or pan out (although I may know the secret location of a specific WOW mini some players have a yearning desire for), alas, my level of spy espionage and thrilling adventures is pretty hum drum and regular. It's because of that though, that when a truly fun and engaging game comes about on the topic, I get excited, but temper it with the fact that there really haven't been many fun games about being a spy. Sure, there's a lot of deduction games, but being the spy? Being the underhanded, dirty trick tactics and backstabbing figure in the shadows? Not so much... until now!
The Albino Dragon is an up and coming game publisher who is small but passionate about games! Erik Dahlman, who is the CEO and owner and Shane Tyree, the artist, have combined to start tackling projects on Kickstarter to bring fun, exciting, and different games to the lovers of all things cardboard and plastic!
Last year, they has some bumps, as small companies tend to have, while producing Dragon's Bard, soon to be known as the Dragon Whisperer. They had a successful Kickstarter campaign and then had to postpone it for several reasons. The good news for fans of that game is that it will be resurfacing soon, with a new name, new artwork, but still the same cool trick taking combos you saw in some of our footage last year.
Prior to Dragon's Bard, was Genegrafter. This game started it all for Albino Dragon and led them down the road to Ace of Spies, the Call of Cthulhu Bicycle playing cards, and their current project, the White Rabbit Bicycle playing cards. Coincidentally, if you didn't back Genegrafter, you can grab it as part of their reward tiers in the White Rabbit project so if this interests you, there's a chance to still jump in!
Genegrafter is a filler game all the way, it's fast, it's furious, it's got unique and differentiated artwork, and it's one that does what it does, and does it well. It is by no means groundbreaking, but it offers fast and fun enough gameplay, that had I backed it, I'd be happy to have it show up at my door and be able to crack into it!
The Table Top... the final frontier! Through my entire geek filled life, there have been few constants. One though, is this; either you love Star Trek or you love Star Wars. Very rarely do the two co-exist. Both licenses are extremely popular in pop culture and geek culture, with everything from toys and bed sheets to documentaries being made about them, their fans, and their experiences living in their unique universes.
I myself have always been a Star Wars fan. I've been recently playing the Star Wars Living Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games and enjoying it very much. Meanwhile, my boss, Mrs. Tox, has always been a Trekkie, not hard core, but enough to put me in my place when I say something dumb about how many buttons a commander has on their collar or something. However, aside from a few random game, she still pined for a good Trekkie game.
So when I was approached about doing a review for this game, I knew it would both be interesting, passionate, and exciting, so how could I say "no"? Thankfully, I didn't, and as such, I transportered myself onto the bridge and prepared to tackle the final frontier!
Packs Of War Each Rank. That's what P.O.W.E.R. stands for. I know, not the "jump up and captivate you" type thing is it? The name P.O.W.E.R. sounds cool though so when I was contacted about potentially doing a Critical Review for this game, I was intrigued, both as someone who enjoys war games and someone who enjoys deck builders.
P.O.W.E.R. is described by the designer, PK Torretto, as a "Non-collectible deck-building tactical military game". The goal is simple, end your opponent's turn with an infantry or tank unit in their HQ and you win. You get to your opponent's HQ by crossing the battlefield, which is an 8 x 4 square grid but of course, your opponent will be sending Missiles, Tanks, Helicopters and Troops of their own to stop you! While all this sounds cool, is it fun? Let's don some camo, grab our ammo, and dive into the trenches to check it out!
Antoine Bauza has provided table top gaming fans a lot of enjoyment over the years. Probably his best known hit, and a personal favorite of mine, is 7 Wonders, which is artistic, strategic, and enjoyable by many ages and gamer types. Over the last few months, there's been a lot of buzz about two oriental themed games he has been working on, Tokaido and Takenoko. While we're looking forward to playing Tokaido soon, today we have the garden growing, bamboo eating romp called Takenoko for your pleasure!
I am personally always concerned "the next game" from Antoine will be a bit of a letdown, as almost all his games are simple, fun, and highly addicting. I'm happy to say, that is not the case here, and Takenoko delivers on all levels of gaming goodness! The simple premise of Takenoko is that there is a Garden, a Gardener, and a Panda. As all players build out the Garden, anyone can use the Gardener or the Panda to Grow and Eat Bamboo to achieve objectives from cards they will have in the game. When a certain number of achievements are met, the last round commences, and points are tallied up.
Simple right? Well that's where Antoine's designs usually shine, in making the simple extraordinary. More after the video, but for now, let's jump into the garden and get to growing!
2012 was a great year for gaming! Let's face it, no matter what genre you like, there was goodnes all over the place! Whether it was big name publishers providing beautiful, exciting, and adventurous fun, or it was Kickstarter/Indiegogo sites providing creative avenues for others to bring their creations to light, there was a LOT of fun to be had on tables everywhere that'll likely bleed into 2013!
As we close out the old and ring in the new, I'm a big believer in looking back to know where we've been before moving forward to even more greatness! With that, I give you the 5 awards I made up semi-randomly, that obviously mean everything! (Tongue, planted FIRMLY in cheek as said!)
Are there other games that should be in all these categories? Sure. The arguments can, and should, be made for them. I encourage you, our Critical Fans, to tell not only me, but the world, what you think by discussing below, or on our social sites! Whatever you do though, enjoy your games and the experiences they bring you! Everyone has their favorites and these are merely mine, with some thoughts and suggestions for discussion by the best fans anyone can ask for... YOU!
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