Category Archives: Retrospective

Crying over Crysis 3

The color palette is dark because the game is dark. Or something.

Friday morning I finished Crysis 3, accidentally skipped the final cutscene, and had to catch up on events with the help of the Eighth Wonder of the World, YouTube. Which was a relief because the final boss is a real pain in the butt (spoiler?), and the ending is sort of nice, in that sappy way that’s hard to admit and look masculine at the same time. You might assume from the title of this review that I didn’t think much of the experience, but that’s not true — I liked Crysis 3 well enough, even if it left an aftertaste of bitter disappointment once its creamy flashiness had worn off. Explanation below.

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Board Games & Me: The Lost World

It's fun to look at how board games were marketed in eras past. Sadly, "3D gameboards" and "figures," rather than solid mechanics, are still determining which games appeal to the unwashed masses. Points if you know what I'm referring to.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park: Game, from 1996.

Here we are at the end of the road — hm, scratch that — at the end of the onramp that set me on a lifelong Board Game Highway. I’d already decided I liked at least the social aspect of board games thanks to Risk, and later that I was fascinated by their components thanks to Forbidden Bridge. I still hadn’t found the right game though, the one that was more than just a social catalyst or pretty components, that would convince me that board games were more than a once- or twice-a-year hobby. I hadn’t found the one that was good.

Sometime around 1997, I found it. If the header image is broken, read on to discover what it was.

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Board Games & Me: Forbidden Bridge

After my original was tragically lost, I won this one in a particularly intense Ebay bidding war.

Forbidden Bridge, the jewel of 1992.

After being bored out of our minds retrying Risk last week, I promised this time we would play something fun — and I’m making good on that promise with Forbidden Bridge, the first board game I ever begged my dad to get for Christmas (I think I asked for the Game of Life a few years earlier, but we’re going to pretend that never happened. We only played it twice, so it functionally didn’t).

Forbidden Bridge is amazing, despite not being that great a game. I’ll explain why.

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Board Games & Me: Risk

I wonder if 1980s politics informed the design of this box at all: Asia and South America are overrun by vicious Reds, Europe is barely hanging on, Africa is inconsequential... who can stand against the Crimson Tide? Thank heaven for the U.S. of A. and their huge cannons!

The family’s 1980s version of Risk.

Hi there, friendly reader. Today I’m inaugurating a short series about the games that instilled me with my current love of boardgaming, and about trying them again years later. Be warned that these aren’t necessarily the most interesting games, or even particularly good games — today’s article is about Risk, for instance, which is neither.

“So why talk about it then?” Good question! I have a good answer to go with it: Because Risk was the first game I ever longed to play. And when I finally did, it taught me something important about the power of board games.

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