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September 26, 2020
Your 8-bit computer may seem to be collecting dust in your loft, but actually, there is still a lot of life in the old box yet. Two of the microprocessors, Mikro and Chip, are keeping themselves amused by playing little, fun games. After all, their buffers and memory stacks are still in working order. With a handful of assembly instructions, they keep each other entertained: push, pop, peek as well as some Mini Memory Mischief by A...
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The more we play games, the more we learn. We learn better strategies, new mechanisms, how to be a better loser, as well as a better winner, we learn that we don't always have to have the latest games, or that we definitely do, and we learn a few other things besides. In this article, I want to focus on something else though. I want to look at what playing board games has taught me about myself, about the people around me, and ...
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September 19, 2020
It was the fifth factory you had visited today, as you were trying to find three turquoise ceramic tiles to complete your pattern in the King's palace. You needed three - exactly - no more, no less. The first factory you had visited had no turquoise tiles, the second had four, the third had only one and the fourth had two. The factory you were in now, was the last one that made these tiles, and if it didn't have the exact n...
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Naomi Robinson is a freelance artist and illustrator based in the North-West of the UK. She has worked on a variety of different board games and RPG books, with a wide range of styles and themes.
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Throughout time, terrible things have happened: plagues, wars, colonialism, genocide, executions, experimentation, extinctions, terrorism, abuse and many other atrocities. Some are still going on, most are condemned and they all evoke strong emotions in us. So when board games, which most of us see as a fun way to spend time, use these terrible events as their background, their setting, it seems to be a contradiction and it becomes...
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I slammed down Cowgirl and immediately opened the bidding with a "Klik", which was countered with a "Thwak" and to which I responded with a "Splat". A "Twang" played by the other side brought us level again, which meant I could still win this. After a moment's hesitation, the other side played "And" and immediately put down Wheel-Demon, closely followed by "Zooom", giving them the...
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When I play board games with my games group, I'm usually more competitive than I would otherwise be. I want to win and try to find the most efficient way to get the most points. However, I know that I'm not usually very good at spotting where the points in a game come from, unless maybe when the theme of the game is really good and guides me to victory. At the same time, others in my games group are usually very good and se...
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September 5, 2020
With a loud "Bang!" the head flew off, followed by a "leg-splosion" that severed both legs, leaving only the body and the left arm. It wasn't pretty. Yet, you knew you could turn it all around. There were still plenty of options. You just had to duck and dive and try and swap body parts with another robot to boost your own. You were sure that in the end you would be a Bots Up.
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Keturah Ariel Nailah Bobo was born in Toledo, Ohio with strong family roots in Detroit, MI. Keturah grew up with parents that instilled in her the importance of individuality and creativity. Keturah graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design with a bachelors degree in fine arts. Columbus, Ohio is a melting pot of culture and artistic freedom that has nurtured Keturah’s growing body of work.
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Let's have a little fun and see if we can somehow classify the people we play board games with. Don't worry, the article is tongue-in-cheek. I'm not trying to label people in a certain way. We're all unique and different and we change over time. Yet, I do reckon you will probably see yourself or one of your board game friends in one of the groupings in this article. Oh, and by the way, we're all gamers - whateve...
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I know, it's not yet Christmas, but bear with me on this one. Cracker Games by The Dark Imp is going to be on Kickstarter on 1 September 2020 and is scheduled to reach backers in December, before Christmas. So, yes, lead times are a bit longer. However, even if you're not in the mood for the festive season, the Cracker Games are worth checking out, as you'll see in my review below.
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Luck, chance, randomness - there are many names for introducing a bit of chaos into a board game. Dice rolling, a deck of cards or maybe a dexterity element can all introduce an unpredictable outcome that makes a game less predictable. In this article, I don't want to investigate at what point randomness becomes too much, or whether chance in games is fun, but instead I want to look at the different forms of randomness you can ...
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"Guess what?" I asked - but there was no reply. The other player just looked at me - suspiciously. "Guess what?" I asked, this time with more feeling. Yet, there was still no reply. The other player tilted their head and squinted at me. "Guess what?" I tried for the third time. The other player started to open their mouth, but then thought better of it. It was going to be harder than I thought. The other pla...
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Tumo Mere is a concept artist and illustrator specializing in video games and comics. He is also the lead artist for the Swordsfall RPG. Hailing from Botswana, Tumo incorporates a modern African style through their intricate art and cultural knowledge.
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I always wondered what the difference is between a reviewer and a critic, or even a review and a critique. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, sometimes they're describing two different things, but very often they seem to be used for things that have a lot of overlap and are very similar in many ways. In this article, I'm trying to grapple with those terms and decide for myself what I think they mean.
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The irrigation system was ready, but there was still work to be done on the trellises. The windmill, cottage and tasting room were still just ruins and only the first third of the wine cellar was accessible. The crush pads were all clean and ready to receive the first harvest of grapes, yet the fields were still bare. Orders for some red and white wine had already come in and two types of grapes were ready to be planted. It was the...
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Complexity is a fairly vague term. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as "the state of having many parts and being difficult to understand or find an answer to." Yet, it's not clear when parts are considered "many" or at what point something is difficult to understand. Here are my thoughts on complexity in board games and what I think it all means.
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The task in hand wasn't going to be simple, but the rewards were huge. You could become ruler of Naqala if you were able to influence the people of the land to help you reach your goal. You were hoping to get the help of the djinns, but they would only listen to you if the people were on your side. It seemed impossible, but you knew that you could talk to each group individually and over time you would eventually have the help ...
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Marco Bucci is a freelance artist and his experience includes books, film, animation, and advertising. He has worked for Walt Disney Publishing Worldwide, LEGO, LucasArts, Mattel Toys, Fisher-Price, Hasbro, among many others.​ He is also a passionate teacher and currently teaches "The Art Of Color & Light" at CGMA.
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I have previously written about small box games in my article "Compressed collections" which can create a lot of gameplay with only a few components. However, even larger box, or big box, games are sometimes very inventive when it comes to using components in a clever way to create more gameplay and possibilities than would otherwise be possible. After all, board games have it much harder when you compare them to computer g...
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