Not Wastelands, Not Badlands — Radlands
I’m picky when it comes to dueling games. To be clear, not every two-player game is what I’d call a “dueling game.” To qualify, it needs to be snappy, brutal, and not overly enamored with Magic: The Gathering. For years, my preferred favorite has been John Clowdus’s Omen: A Reign of War. Now a stranger has wandered into town: Daniel Piechnick’s Radlands. And while it’s far too early to call this particular duel for one side or the other — ask me again in a couple of years — for the time being, this relationship has reached the puppy love phase.
(Steam) Engine Builder
What do luminaries George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell, Marie Curie, and Guglielmo Marconi have in common? Their love of contraption racing, naturally.
If nothing else, Steampunk Rally, which comes with sixteen characters to select from, makes for a serviceable who’s who of inventors. Slap down Sakichi Toyoda, ask what he invented, then shake your head in resignation when everyone guesses Toyota. That’s the man’s company, not one of his inventions. Depending on the way you say it, you either sound doubly smart or doubly pedantic.
Are mining games the train games of 2015? No? Well, something to think about, anyway.
In the meantime, there’s Super Motherload [sic], a board game based on the video game Super Motherload [sic], which itself traces its lineage all the way back to Dig Dug. Minerals, prepare to get drilled right in the minerals.