Yesteryear is a feature that reaches into the past and plucks the choicest fruits from the cardboard vine. Some are classics, known and loved but cast aside. Others may have come and gone without notice. Either way, they’re the games we keep hanging onto. This time it’s Brock Poulsen’s turn to harvest from his shelves.
2015 was a wild year for board games. The same could probably be said for several of the last ten or twelve years, but none of those years gave us the likes of Pandemic Legacy, Blood Rage, TIME Stories, and Kingdom Death: Monster. It’s no surprise, then, that a little box like Apocalypse Chaos slipped through the cracks.
Today on my monthly-ish feature about the games that still have a spot on my shelf despite the passage of years, we’re talking about Space Alert, the most stressful game that I’ll argue against playing before somehow acquiescing and playing anyway, blood pressure be damned. This is Yesteryear.
To this day, Vlaada Chvátil’s Space Alert remains the only game I’ve ever created an accessory for. I’m not talking a Plano box for keeping pieces sorted or an extra pack of dice so you don’t have to share the same set. Instead, I’m talking about a custom T-shirt, designed to look like a captain’s uniform complete with Space Alert logo and everything.
See, my family growing up was never much into games—
ALERT. ENEMY ACTIVITY DETECTED. PLEASE BEGIN FIRST PHASE.
Spartacus? Didn’t that game come out six years ago? In board game time, that’s at least forty years! True enough. But this is the first entry in a series about the games I’m still playing even though their cardboard scent has worn off and the cards are starting to look frayed around the edges. Not the classics, exactly, but the good stuff that’s never lost its appeal or lost its place on my shelf. This is Yesteryear.
Before his unfortunate passing in late 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting Sean Sweigart exactly once. I had no idea who he was. He was happy to keep it that way. When I asked whether he was the designer of the game he was demoing, he responded that, no, he wasn’t, he was just a guy who enjoyed sharing good games. And with titles like Spartacus, Firefly, Sons of Anarchy, Homeland, and Star Trek: Ascendancy under his belt, he wasn’t entirely fibbing.