Dale Yu – review of A Greek Life – A puzzle poster

A Greek Life – A puzzle poster

A narrative puzzle game on a poster

So, we’ve done a few of the puzzle games from Argyx in the past, and we have found them to be interesting and quite challenging. The puzzles included in the previous games were quite inventive and had difficult solutions. Continue reading

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“Let’s Ride” – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns… A Solo Game Review

There has been a recent trend of pop culture IP (intellectual property) being used as themes for board and card games – and not just the usual re-skins of classic games. (I will admit to being intrigued by the Minions/Despicable Me version of Operation… but we all have our weaknesses, right?) Prospero Hall recently finished running a Kickstarter for a legacy Jurassic World game while Ravensburger published a Princess Bride storybook game (“Inconceivable!”). One of my favorite new (to me!) games of 2021 was Dune: Imperium from Dire Wolf… and Funko is set to publish a game based on one of my favorite movies of all time, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. (I’d be the first kid in line for a high-quality Singin’ in the Rain game while you’re at it, folks.)

Of course, there’s a long tradition of superhero games as well – while I’m a fan of the Marvel Champions LCG, my younger son is an avid collector/player of Heroclix in the Marvel universe… and the whole family enjoys the DC Comics Deckbuilding game. But making a game about one of the seminal graphic novels of the last 40 years? Could it be done?

Well, it has. And over the next 1000 words or so, I’m going to tell you about my experience with this solo campaign game from Cryptozoic and designers Daryl Andrews and Morgan Dontanville.


“Sherman, set the wayback machine for the spring of 1986.” (I must note that large numbers of you who are reading this probably have no idea who Peabody and his boy Sherman are – and you’re poorer for it.)

It was the final semester of my undergraduate career as an English major (whose specialties were Steinbeck and Chaucer) and my first experience with collecting comics. I’d read about The Dark Knight Returns in a magazine and decided to splurge a bit of my limited resources on it. Reading The Dark Knight Returns led to collecting Watchmen…and I was hooked.

For the next 3+ years, I collected DC Comics religiously (which is funny, because I was a seminary student at the time.) Telling comic book collector moment: I used money from selling off my copies of Batman: A Death in the Family to buy my wife’s engagement ring. (Still married 32 years later. Still amazed I got so much money for a pretty sub-standard stunt to goose sales.)

I sold the collection almost 20 years ago – but I’m currently enjoying a walk down memory lane courtesy of DC Infinite Universe and my iPad. It’s been fun to read those comics over again… some definitely hold up better than others. 

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Dale Yu: Review of Marvel HeroClix: Marvel Studios Disney Plus – What If…? – Miniatures Game 

Marvel HeroClix: Marvel Studios Disney Plus – What If…? – Miniatures Game 

  • Designer: uncredited
  • Publisher: Wizkids
  • Players: 2
  • Age: 14+
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Played with review copy provided by Wizkids

what if

According to their website –  HeroClix is the #1 Selling Collectible Miniatures Game in the World – with over 750,000,000+ figures and counting, HeroClix is the most purchased collectible miniatures game on the market.  The game has been around since about 2002, and there have been countless versions (hyperbole here, obviously they are countable) of the game, all using the same base ruleset.

If you aren’t familiar with the series, HeroClix is a tabletop combat game using 3-D collectible miniature figures of your favorite characters. By building a force from your collection of figures, you can take on the roles of your favorite characters and challenge your friends to epic battles. 

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Dale Yu: Review of Cartaventura Lhasa

Cartaventura: Lhasa 

  • Designers: Thomas Dupont, Arnaud Ladagnous
  • Publisher: Kosmos
  • Players: 1-6
  • Age: 12+
  • Time: ~ 120 minutes (but distracted by soccer on TV and lunch!)
  • Played with review copy provided by Thames&Kosmos

cartaventura lhasa

Cartaventura: Lhasa is a narrative card game in which players build an adventure using cards which offer them different choices during play.  The game is solely composed of 70 square cards.  There isn’t even a rulebook in the box!  The rules, as you need them, are explained along the way.  While the story is not completely free-form, there are multiple endings available in each deck of cards, and which ending you see depends on the path you choose to take as you reveal the story. Continue reading

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Ark Nova, Cascadia, and Mission Deep Sea Win 2021 Meeples Choice Awards!

The Meeples Choice Awards (MCA) for the 2021 calendar year have been announced.  The voters’ three favorite games from last year are:

ARK NOVA
CASCADIA
THE CREW:  MISSION DEEP SEA

Imperial Steam was the closest contender to the winning games.  The other titles that finished in the top 10 were Golem, Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition, Boonlake, Free Ride, Hadrian’s Wall, Azul: Queen’s Garden, Imperium: Classics/Legends, and So Clover!.

As it turns out, all three of the MCA winners were also honored earlier with Golden Geek awards.  Cascadia, Mission Deep Sea, and Ark Nova won Golden Geeks for, respectively, Light, Medium, and Heavy Game of the Year.  Cascadia is also one of the SdJ nominees and the incredibly popular Ark Nova may well grab a bunch of other awards before it’s through.  The gaming award season has just gotten started!

Ark Nova dominated the MCA voting, with half of the voters listing it as one of their three favorites from last year.  It’s been a long time since a game has appealed that strongly to the voters.

Congratulations to designers Mathias Wigge, Randy Flynn, and Thomas Sing for their wins.  As a group, they’re quite new to the designing biz:  Wigge and Flynn won for their first published games and Sing only has a handful of other games to his credit (one of which, The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine, won a Meeples Choice Award back in 2019).  Congrats as well to the winning publishers:  Feuerland, Flatout Games, and Kosmos.

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Kickstarter Preview – Olymplakks

Packaging-olymplakks-presentacion-5_page-0001

As you likely know, we tend not to feature games on KS here on the blog; but there is a game which is currently in the midst of a campaign (and already funded!) which caught my eye, and I wanted to talk a bit about it.  While funding in and of itself is not a promise of completion; the company has a good track record of producing and fulfilling previous KS projects.

Plakks is a company which I have been following for awhile; they make wooden dexterity games that are sturdy and fun.  I nearly pulled the trigger on their golf game a few years ago (Pitch and Plakks), and their newest offering appears to be a festival of sports themed mini-games — something that looks like would work great here in my local group.

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