Ye Olde Meat and Potatoes – A Lyssan Guest Review

Today on Dice Hate Me, we’re lucky to have a guest review by the most excellent and always helpful Marc Specter. Marc takes a look at Lyssan – a sprawling boardgame that racked up some nice funding last year on Kickstarter, at about the same time as Carnival. So grab ye some mead, dear readers, and dig into this special feast! The arrival of Lyssan is upon us.  As team leader of the group that was privileged to run Lyssan at Origins this year,  I feel it incumbent upon me to provide you, gentle gamer, a preview of your next great game. We play in a time where few games make it to the table more than a few times, and where the new... Read More

The State of Games, Episode 21 – The One About Gaming Memories of 2011

Auld lang syne. Many of you have heard the phrase, and many more of you have sang it as the ball in Times Square has dropped, signifying a new year. Essentially, it translates as “long, long ago” – as in “a galaxy far away.” However, in relation to convential transpirations, it simply means “things that happened this year.” And that’s going to be our featured translation as we take a look back on the year that was – in games. Read More  Read More

A Sinfully-Delightful Masterpiece: The Road to Canterbury Review

“Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, and the peoeple dyd feast upon the lambs and slothes, and carp and anchovyes, and orangutans and breakfaest cyreals, and fruyt-bats…” - the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, paraphrased   Sometime in the late 14th Century, author, philosopher and alchemist Geoffrey Chaucer – having dutifully observed and soulfully absorbed the full folly and sin of mankind in his surroundings – decided to share his singular vision with a vast audience in the way he truly knew best: through sarcasm, lyrical satire and bawdy humor. Early... Read More

Expanding Space – An Alien Frontiers: Factions Preview

When I first interviewed David MacKenzie of Clever Mojo Games back in July of last year, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the Alien Frontiers and Kickstarter phenomenons. I knew that I was fascinated with how a small company could create such a big buzz in such a short time, and so down the rabbit hole I plummeted. After playing and loving Alien Frontiers, naming it the Dice Hate Me Game of the Year for 2010, and getting to know David, his brother Fred, and the amazing things that Clever Mojo Games has been up to in the past year, I can safely say that it has been a great trip… and it’s far from over. Clever Mojo –... Read More

A Sweet Science: An Interview with JAB Designer Gavan Brown

For generations, “the sweet science” has always referred to the manly art of fisticuffs; you know, boxing. When I was but a wee lad, I heard the term and immediately imagined a man in a big, white lab coat mixing up ice cream flavors in the lab – such are the machinations of the five-year-old mind. Regardless, for many years of my youth, whenever I would draw I would draw ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream. Looking back now on all those drawings of ice cream cones, I guess I truly associated art with my personal “sweet science.” All of this is to say that I now have the perfect storm of interpersonal connections*... Read More

Sweet Dreams are Made of These: an Onirim Review

At least when you win. Which, despite its difficulty in accomplishing, has me repeatedly coming back for more. “So, the Labyrinth is a piece of cake, is it? Well, let’s see how you deal with this little slice…” – Jareth In Shadi Torbey’s Onirim you play the role of La Sonnambula, making your way through a labyrinth of rooms filled with beautiful dreams, disturbing nightmares, and coveted keys. Your responsibility is to discover all eight doors by collecting sets of cards or discarding the matching keys. Now here’s Cool Thing #1 about Onirim: you can do this by yourself or in a cooperative effort with one of your... Read More

Origins Game Fair 2011: Day 3

I’m happy to report that on Day 3 of Origins, The Great Banana Quest was finally fulfilled. With my system unable to sustain another morning of breakfast sandwiches, I scoured the convention center for something remotely healthy. Thankfully, I was able to bribe a smoothie attendant out of a banana, no doubt depriving some poor convention-goer of some frozen fruit goodness later that day. But I digress. First order of business for the day: Leviathans. For those not in the know, Leviathans is a miniatures game of aerial combat between huge fleets of heavily armored airships – giant, floating flotillas held aloft by giant Tesla coils.... Read More

Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Artist!

Last month on Dice Hate Me, I shared a sneak peek at one of the newest games being playtested in the Clever Mojo Games stable – Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, by designer Seth Roback. Since then, I’ve gotten a closer look at a new board layout and a revised rulebook that actually made me understand the mad machinations behind this offbeat and intriguing game. David MacKenzie will have the prototype in tow at Origins, so I’ll be sitting down for a few sessions, and taking copious notes and pictures, so look for that during my periodic updates during the convention. Read More  Read More

The State of Games, Episode 9 – The One About Getting Kickstarted

The State of Games, Episode 9 is fitted, fueled up and ready to fly. Time to kick the tires and light the fires! Can you all guess what this episode is all about? I’ll give you a hint – it’s not about motorcycles. It’s about making some money and playing some games. Awww, yeah. Read More  Read More

Kickstarter Profiles, Part 2: Startup Fever

Sometimes in the board game community, hobbyists throw around the term “gamer’s game” to describe a game which includes advanced mechanics or a play experience best suited for someone who has done a bit more than advance their token to Boardwalk a few times in the family parlor. For prime examples of “gamer’s games,” see: Troyes, Twilight Struggle, Puerto Rico; do not see: Clue, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride. Designer Louis Perrochon, and a few others, have remarked that Startup Fever may have developed into just such a “gamer’s game.” After taking the prototype for a test drive, I can’t honestly say I know exactly as to... Read More