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Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea reads like a list of things that should appeal to me. Civilizations, check. Ancient civilizations, even bigger check. But abstract! Checkity-checkmate. Interactive, chaotic, punitive, not obsessed with technology as the sole motivator of human progress. That isn’t the distant rattle of a machine gun you hear. That’s me saying “check” so fast my jaw aches.
So why is this one of my least-favorite civilization games? I’ve narrowed it down to three reasons.
I picked up Moon Base on the aesthetic alone. It was the rings that persuaded me. Three colors and two sizes, countless at a glance. Were they metal? Plastic? No, wood, with that smokey scent once reserved for laser-cut games in cheap pizza boxes. An odor that will likely never grace the moon, and already it’s what I associate with lunar colonization.
But here’s the big surprise: Moon Base is far more than a pretty face.
The first thing you notice about Hermetica is its crisp, unadorned aesthetic. Okay, that’s the second thing. The real first thing is its rectangular box, unlikely to fit neatly on even an obsessive organizer’s shelf. Then you peek inside. The springy mat, the suitably blank hexagonal pillars, the bright penny gem pieces glinting sharply against the grayscale landscape — evocative of a field of ash, perhaps, or the formless realm of thought, awaiting a kindling spark. For an abstract game, Hermetica sure knows how to pick a suit.
Then you notice something else. But that’s going to require more of an explanation.
The third day of Gen Con was pretty much just full of secrets. I’d tell you about them, but, well, that sort of undermines the whole “secret” aspect. Further worsening matters, anything provided by publishers for review was probably something I didn’t actually play at the convention — that’s for later, you know — which makes this the least-worthwhile Gen Con report of all time.
So, hey, enjoy the few things I can write about!
There’s nothing quite so good that’s quite as bad for you as fast food. Food Chain Magnate gets this. Want to sell crummy burgers at $9 a pop, plus some watery lemonade for $15 a glass? Just call them deluxe and you’re set. Slap up a billboard, talk about how cheesy your pizza is on the radio, and they will come. Heaven help them, they will come. Tomorrow, they’ll be slobbering for more.
I reviewed the underrated Infiltration here on Space-Biff! a while back, celebrating the game’s neon-washed setting, tense press-your-luck gameplay, and low barrier of entry. Then I apparently forgot all about it, because I reviewed it again this week over at the Review Corner.
It doesn’t matter which of those links you clink, just so long as you click one of them, because Infiltration is the second-best game set in the Android universe. Such a pity nobody ever remembers it exists.
If what I’m reading in these childhood development manuals holds true, then this is the year that Space-Biff! becomes truly annoying. Mostly by throwing tantrums in public and insisting it can put on its own pajamas, it can it can it can! *stomp stomp stomp* … (fails miserably at putting on its own pajamas).
Anyway, it’s fun looking back. But even more fun looking forwards! Thanks everyone who actually reads this nonsense, and here’s to three years!
It’s been a bit longer than usual since I wrote anything here at Space-Biff!, and judging by the bags of mail piling up both in my inbox and just inside my front door, it’s been as hard on you as it has been on me.
Never fear! Space-Biff! will be resuming its regular programming shortly, and after the jump, we’ll give you a glimpse of what we’ve got planned.
Today is possibly the most important day of the year — because it’s the second birthday of your absolutely favorite directionless blog about mostly boardgames but also sometimes other stuff! Wish me luck, because I hear two years is when they start getting extra cranky.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who’s made this another fabulous year. You’re the best. I’d tell you we have some awesome stuff coming up, but I really don’t have anything special planned, so… thanks for hanging around, and stay tuned!
A Survivor is Born.
At least that’s what Tomb Raider informs me, right before the credits roll. (Spoiler? Well then, here’s fair warning: mild spoilers throughout this writeup). And that — the concept of a survivor being forged from raw not-survivor material — is what I want to talk about. I must caution you though, I’m finding it difficult to talk about Tomb Raider. More on that below.