Dale Yu: Review of Flick ‘Em Up

 

Flick ‘Em Up

  • Designer: Jean-Yves Monpertuis
  • Publisher: Pretzel Games
  • Players: 2-10
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Times Played: 7, both with review copy provided by Z-Man as well as at Gathering of Friends

Flick em up

Flick ‘Em Up is the first release in the Pretzel Games line, a new subsidiary of F2Z Games that promises to bring light, beer-and-pretzels style games to the market.  I first ran across this game at the Gathering of Friends in April 2015, and since playing it there, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its arrival on the market. Continue reading

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SdJ Re-Reviews #12: Adel Verpflichtet (a.k.a. Hoity Toity)

  • Designer:  Klaus Teuber
  • Publisher:  Multiple
  • Players:  2 – 6
  • Ages:  8 and Up
  • Time:  45 Minutes
  • Times Played:  > 10 (On Various Editions)

Adel Cover

Adel Verpflichtet: Teuber gets a second win, and the hobby starts to go global…

Klaus Teuber published six games in the two years following Barbarossa’s Spiel des Jahres win: Timberland, Licht und Schatten, Die Älplerstafette, Asterix und die Römer, Einfaltspinsel, and Adel Verpflichtet.  Adel Verpflichtet – which roughly translates to Noblesse Oblige and whose name is a nod to a 1949 film – gave Teuber his second Red Pöppel and marked his continued rise as a German game design star.  The jury praised the game’s seamless interweaving of individual game elements, well-written rules, and lack of downtime.

Adel Verpflichtet is most notable for introducing the U.K. and U.S. to German games.  The German game hobby had been separating from that in the rest of the world since the early-to-mid 1980s, but in 1990 Adel Verpflichtet became one of the early ambassadors of German game design.  Avalon Hill published the game under its German name in 1991, going as far as to use the same art and German wording on the cards.  Notably, the Avalon Hill edition was the first game by a publisher in the United States to carry the Spiel des Jahres logo, and the cover prominently called Adel Verpflichtet Germany’s “Game of the Year.”  That same year Gibsons published their British edition under the title “Fair Means or Foul.” Continue reading

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Dale Yu: Review of Parfum

 

Parfum

  • Designers: Marcel Suesselbeck and Marco Ruskowski
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 45 min
  • Times played: 4, with review copy provided by Asmodee

Parfum

I have always felt that Fresko was an under-appreciated game – which is an odd thing to say as it is the 2010 DSP winner and a nominee for the 2010 Spiel des Jahres.  Despite these awards, the game didn’t seem to get a lot of buzz around here, and it’s a game that I don’t see getting played any more at conventions, etc.  However, I’ve always admired the game, and it is a game that remains in the game collection here after 6 years. Up until now though, Fresco was a “one-hit wonder” as it was the first (and only) design of Suesselbeck and Ruskowski.  Thus, when Parfum was announced as the second design from this team, I was immediately interested in the game. Continue reading

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SdJ Re-Reviews #11: Café International

  • Designer:  Rudi Hoffmann
  • Publisher:  Multiple
  • Players:  2 – 4
  • Ages:  10 and Up
  • Time:  45 Minutes
  • Times Played:  > 5 (On the 1989 Mattel German Second Edition)

Cafe International

Café International: Rudi Hoffmann gets a win…

Rudi Hoffmann was one of the earliest – and most prolific – of the German game designers.  Though his name isn’t mentioned much today, he had an enormous impact on the German hobby, and his name belongs alongside Sid Sackson and Alex Randolph.

He released his first game in the 1960s, and then he released more than 20 titles in the 1970s.  He wasn’t as active during the early 1980s (although he did receive a 1981 SdJ nomination for Ganoven Jagd), but he made a comeback later in the decade, receiving nominations for Janus (1988), Maestro (1989), Heuchel und Meuchel (1990), Ramparts (1993), and Minister (1998).

His best known work, Café International, won the SdJ in 1989 after being ranked number one that year by eight of the nine jury members.  The jury cited the game’s theme, family friendliness, and healthy combination of luck and skill. Continue reading

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The Opinionated Gamers predict the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres

Opinionated Gamers Predict the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres (Roundtable)

Now that the short list has been revealed for the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres, it’s time for us to discuss the three finalists and predict who we think will win from this list.   The award will be given away on Monday July 6 in Berlin.  Our format for this prediction is simple.  Each OG writer who wanted to participate was allowed to give a single vote for who they thought would win the prize!

Our prediction for the 2015 Kennerspiel des Jahres is…: Continue reading

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The Opinionated Gamers predict the 2015 Spiel des Jahres

Opinionated Gamers Predict the 2015 Spiel des Jahres (Roundtable)

Now that the short list has been revealed for the 2015 Spiel des Jahres, it’s time for us to discuss the three finalists and predict who we think will win from this list.   The award will be given away on Monday July 6 in Berlin.  Our format for this prediction is simple.  Each OG writer who wanted to participate was allowed to give a single vote for who they thought would win the prize!

Our prediction for the 2015 Spiel des Jahres is…: Continue reading

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SdJ Re-Reviews #10: Barbarossa und die Rätselmeister (a.k.a. Barbarossa)

  • Designer:  Klaus Teuber
  • Publisher:  Multiple
  • Players:  3 – 6
  • Ages:  10 and Up
  • Time:  60 Minutes
  • Times Played:  > 7 (On the Rio Grande Games and Catan GmbH Editions)

Barbarossa Box

Barbarossa und die Rätselmeister: The game that launched Klaus Teuber’s career…

In 1981, Klaus Teuber — then a dental technician — was unhappy with his company and his profession, so he started developing games in his basement.  He had been reading Riddle-Master, a fantasy trilogy by Patricia McKillip, and as he would later tell the New Yorker: “I was sorry to see it come to an end, so I tried to experience this novel in a game.”  This inspired him to create Barbarossa, a game in which a man wins a contest of riddles against a ghost.   Continue reading

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Mary Dimercurio Prasad: Origins 2015 Part 2

Origins 2015 Part 2Origins (TM)

Hello gamers! Welcome back! Be sure to check out Origins 2015 Part 1 – you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the fun!

I don’t think I mentioned one word about food in the first part – must be some sort of record. I’ll have to remedy that…

Food!

As usual, the place I visited most often for meals was the North Market. I was amazed at how much it had changed in the last year (again!). One of our friends recommended the new Hot Chicken Takeover. It’s located upstairs where they used to film a cooking show. My husband and I liked it so much, we ate there three times! Their hours are rather wonky though – Thurs-Sun 11am to 3pm. Also, they actually do sell out of chicken! So get there early. There is a count down posted on a wall chalkboard of how much chicken is left, as well as “sold out” signs for specific parts (wings, legs, etc.).

Hot Chicken Takeover

L to R: Ravindra Prasad (husband) and Ralph Anderson (Eagle/Gryphon Games)

Continue reading

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Results of 2014 Meeples Choice Awards

The Spielfrieks user group has completed its voting for the 2014 Meeples Choice Awards and the winners are:

ROLL FOR THE GALAXY
CASTLES OF MAD KING LUDWIG
SPLENDOR

The first two games were well ahead of the pack, but the fight for the last spot was spirited. Both Deus and Istanbul finished only one vote behind and four other games were within striking distance.  Congratulations to the designers:  Wei-Hwa Huang, Tom Lehmann, Ted Alspach, and Marc Andre.

Here are the final results.  For each game, the first number shown is the number of votes received during the final round (out of 112 votes cast).  The value in parentheses is the votes the game got during the nominations stage (out of 100 votes cast).

1. Roll for the Galaxy – 33 (34)
2. Castles of Mad King Ludwig – 28 (35)
3. Splendor – 19 (40)
4. Deus – 18 (38)
4. Istanbul – 18 (31)
6. Five Tribes – 17 (25)
6. Star Realms – 17 (14)

8. Orléans – 16 (22)
9. AquaSphere – 15 (19)

10. La Granja – 13 (19)
11. Panamax – 11 (16)
11. Red7 – 11 (13)
13. Alchemists – 10 (18)
13. One Night Ultimate Werewolf – 10 (9)
13. The Golden Ages – 10 (11)

16. Linko! – 9 (9)
16. Patchwork – 9 (16)
18. Dead of Winter – 8 (13)
18. Fields of Arle – 8 (13)
20. Imperial Settlers – 7 (12)
20. Port Royal – 7 (10)
22. Kanban – 6 (14)
23. Abraca…what? – 5 (10)
23. Star Wars: Imperial Assault – 5 (9)

23. ZhanGuo – 5 (11)
26. Xia: Legends of a Drift System – 1 (9)

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Mary Dimercurio Prasad: Origins 2015 Part 1

Origins 2015 Part 1Origins (TM)

The Origins Game Fair was held June 3-7 in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. Registration this year was via bar code, emailed to those who pre-registered. The wait time in line was a lot shorter: during peak hours (Wednesday around 9am), we waited about 20-25 minutes. This was much better than in previous years.

This year was the 40th anniversary of the show. Attendance was up quite a bit from last year, from 12,902 unique badges (39,214 turnstile) in 2014 to 15,938 unique badges (43,791 turnstile) in 2015. Continue reading

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