Brock: Do you hear that? On the wind? It’s a whisper, drifting from the remotest corners of tabletop gamedom…
“It’s not a gaaaaame.”
This time on Two Minds About, Dan and I take a look at Untold: Adventures Await, from designers John Fiore and Rory O’Connor. Did this box transport us to new worlds? Were we ensorcelled by its rapturous cardboard mendacity? Read on to find out!
Did you know that Brock Poulsen and Dan Thurot originally bonded over their shared love of Plaid Hat Games’ Summoner Wars? It’s true. Which is why this month’s Two Minds About… is such a meeting of the minds. Welcome to Super Punch Fighter, one of the latest titles from Plaid Hat.
Brock: Tabletop gamers are an opinionated bunch. Ask a group of us our favorite things about the hobby, and you’re likely to hear a lot of tactile answers: The riffle of a deck of cards. A well-written rulebook. The fresh cardboard smell of a new game.
Occasionally, though, this celebration gets weaponized as proof that board games are better than video games. It’s a silly war for which the stakes could simply not be lower. Yet Super Punch Fighter, from Robert Klotz and Plaid Hat Games, tries to bring peace to those warring factions.
Dan: Because it’s a board game of a video game of a fighting game?
Brock: Right. So maybe they’re bringing pain, rather than peace? You’ve reviewed a few fighting games on Space-Biff, including BattleCON and my personal favorite, EXCEED. What do you think are key factors to make a brawler successful?
This month on Two Minds About…, Brock Poulsen and Dan Thurot are talking about a title from Fantasy Flight Games that’s different with every purchase. No, not Discover: Lands Unknown. We suffered through that one already. This time it’s KeyForge.
Brock: Once in a generation, a game comes along that changes everything. A game so groundbreaking and revolutionary that its light eclipses all competitors, like the sun blinding us to the stars.
Dan: Wow, we’re starting with some real serious business.
Brock: That game was Magic: The Gathering.
I mean, you aren’t wrong.
Today on Two Minds About…, Brock Poulsen and Dan Thurot are here to discuss Here I Stand, the only game about the Wars of the Reformation and the Reformers (and Pope-friends) who fought them.
Brock: It was an event five hundred years (give or take another two) in the making.
Dan: Five hundred years of song.
Brock: I love that one about the bulwark, especially. To commemorate the most iconic bulletin board post in all recorded history, Dan assembled a team of nerds to devote a whole day playing Ed Beach’s Here I Stand. While we’re not doing a proper review today, we did want to discuss some of our impressions, share a few experiences, and maybe finally unravel the state of souls in purgatory.
Failing that, Dan, why don’t you tell us a bit more about Here I Stand?
It’s that time again, when Dan Thurot and Brock Poulsen merge as one — mentally merge, don’t be gross — for Two Minds About…, the only series on the web in which two board game critics named Dan and Brock discuss how they felt about a board game. Today’s topic, the computer-assembled Discover: Lands Unknown. It’s the computer-generated future. And it’s a grim one.
Brock: Hear me out: spreadsheets.
Dan: Oh no.
Every so often, Dan tosses a spare Space-Biff! key to his buddy Brock for a duel of wits they call Two Minds About. Today’s subject is the most important one yet: Dungeon Alliance. It’s got a dungeon, it’s got alliances. But has it got game? Find out below.
Brock: I considered starting this one with a long jokey paragraph, something along the lines of, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have board games about exploring a dungeon? What a dream world that would be!”
The thing is, designers continue to show us that there’s meat left on the dungeon crawl bones. And — more to the point — Quixotic Games’s Dungeon Alliance, despite its occasional cleverness, is guilty of worse crimes than having an unoriginal theme.
But I’m getting ahead of ourselves.
Dan, why don’t you do the thing where you tell us about Dungeon Alliance?
Today on Two Minds About…, Dan Thurot and Brock Poulsen are absolutely going to disagree about the sublime cooperative and solo game Darkest Night. Total disagreement. Friendship-shaking disagreement.
Dan: Wow, that sounds rough. Been good knowing you, Brock.
Brock: Our friendship had a good run, but this is the one! This game will sunder our fraternal bond forever.
Today on Two Minds About…, Dan Thurot and Brock Poulsen are here to dissect the claim that One Deck Dungeon only contains one deck. Because it totally doesn’t.
Dan: You heard the invisible man. So what’s your take, Brock? One deck or not?
Brock: Is this one of those Zen kōans? Are we going to have some kind of pseudo-intellectual discussion, like when those people argued about whether you can shuffle a single card?
Dan: Well, can’t you? (faint whiffling noise) Never mind, let’s move on.
For today’s review, Dan Thurot was tasked with looking at a kid’s game — Scuttle!, an adventure of piratical treasure-hoarding — while unfortunately not possessing any kids of the proper age. His daughter can count to twenty, but even simple arithmetic is a little out of reach. In order to determine whether this is the Best Game For Kids, he has enlisted Brock Poulsen, who owns as many as THREE TIMES the number of children. You can handle that math on your own.