stateofgameslogonewIt’s been awhile since we really dove headlong into the nature of game reviews and critical thinking (way back in Episode 32!), so we thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic since things have been a little bit… crazy, lately. Besides, we really didn’t have a choice since the DHM 7th Anniversary grand prize winner Lee McConnell got to come on the podcast AND pick the topic! In the end, though, it turned in a deeply satisfying and timely discussion, so join us and let us know your thoughts. Enjoy!

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stateofgameslogonewThe end of August has come ’round again, and that can only mean that it’s time to talk about Gen Con. The biggest show in North America just keeps getting bigger, and with it so does all the excitement, spectacle, and adventures. Although working duties keep the three of us from spending as much time gaming and hanging out as we used to, we did manage to have a lot of fun, play quite a few games, and listen to Richard Launius talk about how the shark in his newest game really, really wants to get the mayor fired. Boy, do we have stories to tell.

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Greetings, dear readers! I’m back from Gen Con with most of my sanity and some of my health, so it’s time for a big ol’ pictorial recap. This year’s show was the 50th anniversary, and it was huge! Every badge was sold out, and there was a record 207,000 visitors. It was truly a legendary show, and I did my best to capture some of that in the pics below.

As usual, we had a car full as we set off for Indianapolis! Lillian made the trip with us this year for her first Gen Con ever.

As usual, we had a car full as we set off for Indianapolis! Lillian made the trip with us this year for her first Gen Con ever.

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stateofgameslogonewIt’s always awesome to have a long-time friend and podcast listener on the show, and it’s even better when that guest throws down with TC on a serious game topic! I’ve known Van Ryder Games founder AJ Porfirio for almost as long as Kickstarter has been around, and yet he’s never been on the show. After a controversial tweet last week, I figured he was due, if only to give us all an amazing opportunity to talk all this tactics and strategy kerfluffle through!

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The last video I posted was for something huge… and this one is for something tiny! But still epic. In this video, I go on a solo quest in Tiny Epic Quest, the newest release from Gamelyn Games. It’s pretty fun with multiple players, but does the game hold up when you’re all alone? You’ll just have to watch and find out!
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stateofgameslogonewI’ve been recording The State of Games for over 6.5 years now, and there have been many great milestones, and also a lot of bittersweet goodbyes. I’m so thankful to have recorded so many episodes with so many great people over these years. And, so, it is with a heavy heart that I find the need to say goodbye to yet another era in the podcast’s storied history. Exactly what does that mean? I guess you’ll just have to listen and find out!

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Hello dear readers, and welcome back to a new Crowded Table! With both Origins Game Fair and RuthCon now behind me I have played a plethora of new titles with which I’d like to share my thoughts. What’s great about this particular Crowded Table is that not only have I played a ton of new games – I’ve also played many of them a ton of times! From here on out in my Crowded Table features, as well as any full reviews on the site, I will be stating how many times I’ve played the game, and with what player counts. If a game is played only 1 or 2 times you can consider my thoughts as an impression and I may need to explore the game further to discover nuances, faults, or shiny bits. If a game is played three times or more, then I consider my thoughts to be wholly review-worthy.

Lisboa

IMG_6693Trying to sum up a Vital Lacerda game in about 200 words is like trying to shove a hippo into a VW Beetle, but I shall sally forth. In Lisboa, your job is to reconstruct the grand city of Lisbon after it was devastated by an earthquake, then a tsunami, and then three days of fires in 1755 – things were in a bit of disarray, to say the least. You’ll achieve all this by doing something as simple as playing a card from your hand every turn; of course, the choices of what to do with that card are myriad. You can place the card in your portfolio which will give you an immediate bonus, but also either a permanent boost to your influence, or a ship that can gain you victory points (wigs) for goods, or special powers like discounts when you have to spend money. You can also use the card to visit the Royal Court, taking actions from one of three nobles that will allow you to build shops in the ruined city for the opportunity to produce goods and gain wigs, build public buildings for even more prestige and wigs, or do things like build ships, influence the Cardinal for special abilities, gain royal favors, and more. Although the game is exceedingly long (typically 3+ hours even without a rules explanation), and the time between turns isn’t swift, players are able to use royal favors to take follow actions during other player turns. This not only keeps players engaged during the long rebuilding process, but is also a key factor for success in the long run. Lisboa is not for the faint of heart, nor for those who have a limited schedule, but if you have the dedication and patience the game is rich with choice without cerebral overtaxation. In my opinion, it is Lacerda’s finest design accomplishment to date.

Score: 5 out of 6

Times played: 2

Player counts: 4 (twice)

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