I can't believe I went this long without mentioning the Bailout.
But as promised previously, I thought I'd take a few minutes to discuss the latest Futurama DVD, Bender's Game.
This movie takes no prisoners when it comes to impaling the conventions of fandom, getting its digs in on Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Dungeons and Dragons (the late Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons and Dragons, has a cameo in this film). The gags are non-stop and certainly some of the best from the Futurama writers. However, the story is pretty weak, and the justification for sending the characters on their fantastic journey is flimsy at best. In fact, one could cut a third of the movie (and admittedly some of the best gags) without having any impact on the story at all. That being said, I really enjoyed the movie and rank it above the previous Futurama DVD (The Beast with a Billion Backs) and slightly below the first DVD, Bender's Big Score. But if you're a fan of Futurama and Role Playing Games, I think you'll enjoy this effort.
And now I have an urge to do battle with some savage creatures. Signing off.
Howdy folks. November 27th is Thanksgiving day in the United States. A time where we try to set aside our differences and find common ground. And while it's actually a Christmas song, I thought this song from Dar Williams best shows the spirit families coming together despite their differences - "Christians and the Pagans."
Zack & Pack (Kosmos) - As a kid, I used to love playing with those counting blocks designed to teach basic math skills. My first glimpse of Zack and Pack brought me back to those games. This game is built around the theme of movers trying to use every square inch on their moving trucks. Players get a random assortment of blocks and then has to guess which of a variety of trucks the blocks will fit into. You lose points for unused space or left-over blocks, so picking the right truck is key to victory. Gameplay is quick, usually lasting less than half an hour. This is one of those games where playing can be so fun that you forget about trying to win.
Chicago Express (Rio Grande Games) - Oh no, not another train game! What is it about gamers and trains? But I have to admit, this game works well. Players buy stock in various railroads and the railroads use that money to expand their lines and increase their profitability. This game plays remarkably quickly and the game system is easy to grasp. Unlike many train games that force you to use established lines, you can go all over the board in this game. I'm looking forward to playing this one again.
Coming up next: When games and entertainment collide.
Howdy, folks. I know it's been a while since I've posted (but at least I've kept the cartoons up to date). At any rate, let me tell you what I've been up to.
Believe it or not, there's a major gathering of boardgame publishers every year in Essen, Germany. Now I've been to a few trade shows in my time, but Essen is in another category altogether. It's truly an international event covering a great deal of space - hall after hall with new games and happy people trying them out. Essen is open to the general public and the goal of the exhibitors is to get people to sit down and play yor game! I was there for two out of the four days of the convention and had the opportunity to try over a dozen games that I'd never seen before. Anybody who knows me knows that I'm a guy who's willing to give any new game a try and Essen put that to the test - there were so many games to try and so little time. Here's some highlights:
Stoneage (available in the US from Rio Grande Games) - In this game, players are leaders of primitive tribes. On each turn, players send their people out into the fields to harvest food, chop wood, dig for stone or (if you've got anybody left over) build a hut or other useful items. I can't wait to play this again.
Herr der Ziegen (Amigo Games, currently not available in the US) Ziegen is German for goat and in this game, each player is an alpha goat looking for the choicest specimens to add to his flock. The clever illustrations of goats in comical situations (rocking out like AC/DC, relaxing in a hot tub) add to the fun. While the instructions are in German, there is no text on the cards, making this a fairly easy game to pick up once you know the rules. A fun game for all ages.
Dominion (available in the US from Rio Grande Games) On the surface, this game looks like it would take a long time to learn, much less play. It's a card game where each player has their own deck of cards and each player has to build up that deck by selecting the best cards. During your turn, you play a card (Action), get new cards (Buy), and then get rid of any cards you can't use (Clean up). In other words, the game is as easy as A-B-C. If you're looking for a little strategy, a little light play and a whole lot of fun, give this a try.