Category Archives: Impressions
Everyone with a soul loves dexterity games. Maybe it’s their inherent lightness, the way they push the most diehard rule-memorizing gamers off their pedestal and onto a level playing field with the rest of us. Or maybe it’s just the fact that everyone likes flicking things around a table and trying to cause as much damage as possible, from smacking quarters into other kids’ knuckles in the cafeteria to games like Catacombs, Ascending Empires, Rampage, and Disc Duelers letting us vent a little of our carefully suppressed anger.
Well, today we’re looking at another dexterity game, and like the best of them, it’s going to let you smack the hell out of anyone who stands in your way.
The other day (okay, it was really sometime back in December), I had the opportunity to sit down with Rich Nelson, the owner, lead designer, and all-around hot topic of Giant Goblin Games, not to mention the proprietor of last year’s successful Kickstarter campaign for Storm the Castle! In the midst of a bustling board game store, we met up to give his newest prototype a whirl. Which now that it’s mid-April, is up on Kickstarter.
Rich Nelson, founder of Giant Goblin Games, is in the process of shipping his baby to nearly a thousand Kickstarter backers at the very same moment I sit here writing this. Storm the Castle! is his first foray into the intimidating world of boardgame publishing, and he’s determined it won’t be his last.
Since we live in the same city, I got to sit down with him for a look at his second project, the aptly-named Tanks of War: Third Reich Rising (because it’s about tanks, and war), and after talking for a while about what he’s doing to differentiate this from all the other WW2 games out there, I got a chance to play it. Quite a few times, in fact. What follows are my impressions of this WW2 tank-battle deck-building game, which should show up on Kickstarter sometime in the next week or so.
It’s more than a little flattering that my most-received request for Space-Biff! is for my thoughts on Metro: Last Light from 4A Games and Deep Silver (and formerly THQ, rest in peace). This is probably owing to the synopsis I wrote last year, which you should totally read, if only because it makes me feel beautiful on the inside.
My one hangup in delivering an actual review is that, while I’d love to fall back on a tried-and-true critique like “it’s two steps forward and one step back,” the reality is more that Metro: Last Light is dancing the Charleston, with so many steps, leaps, and bounds in every direction, that in the end I can’t be sure which direction it’s moved at all. Which isn’t to say I don’t have thoughts on the proceedings — I’ve got plenty. And you can read them below, in a format that includes only a few minor spoilers.
It’s usually a matter of policy for me to refuse to read impressions or reviews of games that I’m going to talk about in order to remain pure and unsullied by the opinions of others. In the case of Endless Space, due this summer from Amplitude Studios, I played neglectful mother and left that prohibition back at the supermarket. I can now think of three possible intros, none of them mine, and all of them quite good. The only solution, it seems, is to play it straight and tell you that Endless Space is looking great.