Review of Pups

Pups

  • Designer: Charlie Bink
  • Publisher: Bink Ink LLC
  • Players: 2-5
  • Ages: 8 and up
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Times Played: 5
  • Game provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Pups

Introduction

Pups is competitive trick-taking card game in which players are dog trainers using their packs of loveable pups to complete in a series of legendary canine showdowns to become the top dog. During each of seven rounds, trainers will receive a pack of seven Pups, bid on how many showdowns can be won during the round, complete in a series of showdowns by playing Pups with the highest valued one winning, and then collect Reward Treats for successful bids or Penalty Poos for failures. The trainer that has earned the most overall treats wins and is declared Top Dog!

Pups is the second game successfully crowdfunded by Charlie Bink and Bink Ink LLC using Kickstarter. The campaign ended on August 15, 2016 and was supported by 586 backers. The game shipped to backers in December 2016 and is currently available for purchase directly from the publisher. Continue reading

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The Opinionated Gamers discuss the 2017 Golden Geek Awards

The winners of the voting for the 2016 BGG Golden Geek awards were just announced.  We’ve been talking about the winners amongst ourselves – and we thought it would be interesting to bring this discussion to the blog.

 

The methodology (taken from BGG):

 

The Golden Geek Award is given annually to the best new games of the year, as selected by you, the users.  In order to avoid voter fraud, we have adopted the following restrictions. Voting is restricted to either supporting users (having a supporter badge from any year is sufficient),voters who pay a one-time 20 GeekGold fee, or users who have purchased an avatar or a geekbadge.

 

First, there will be a nomination phase. Each eligible voter can nominate up to 10 items in each of the categories. The 10 items with the most nominations in each category will become the nominees for the final voting. You are not restricted to the list of suggested nominees.

 

The final voting will be resolved using a condorcet voting system – specifically the Schulze method. You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schulze_method

 

For those who don’t want to read the specifics of the system, users will rank the games in each category from 1 to 10, (with a 0 for no opinion), and, through some mathemagical computations, we will select the winner.

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Gang Up! A Criminally Fun Card Game

Gang Up! A Criminally Fun Card Game

  • Designers: Robin Keizer and Paul van der Meer
  • Publisher: HOT Games/Czacha Games
  • Players: 3-5
  • Ages: 10 and Up
  • Time: 30 – 60 minutesTimes Played: 2, with a copy provided by one of the designers

 

Gang Up! A Criminally Fun Card Game is a card game where players compete to be the boss and have the toughest gang. Players start the game with a hand of 6 cards.  These cards can either be gangster cards, which you recruit to form your gang, or influence cards that can help your gang achieve their criminal goals. Players also start the game with 5 status; you need status to recruit gang members, exert influence and commit crimes and being the first to achieve a status of 20 will win you the game.

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Dale Yu: Review of Portal of Heroes

 

Portal of Heroes

  • Designer: Johannes Schmidauer-Konig
  • Publisher: Mayfair
  • Players: 2-5
  • Ages: 10+
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Times played: 3, with review copy provided by Mayfair Games

In Portal of Heroes, players are heroes that go through portals to the world of Molthar and “bind fantastic beasts” to you – which is boardgame rule speak for discarding appropriate cards in order to collect other cards. Continue reading

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Play – The Games Festival

Play

Modena, once again, will be the Italian Gamers Capital. The 31st of March will start the ninth edition of Play – The Games Festival, the greatest games event in Italy with more than 80 exhibitors and more than 2000 tables for games.From 31st of March in the City and 1st and 2nd of April in ModenaFiere (Modena Exhbitors Hall) with more than 22000 square meters dedicate to games!

The official program closed yesterday with more than 400 events/tournaments ranging from Boardgames to Role Play Games passing from Miniatures, Collectable Card Games and Live Games.

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War of the Ring Anniversary Edition (Review by Chris Wray)

WOTRSetup

War of the Ring wasn’t the first game to use the intellectual property from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (LotR) trilogy, but it is arguably the game that dives deepest into Tolkien’s world.  The game was released in 2004 by a trio of designers out of Italy — Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, and Francesco Nepitello — and was born out of a desire to create a game that simulated the struggle for control of Middle Earth.  As Di Meglio said in a 2016 interview, “Lord of the Rings was a mass-market IP, and most games were very simple, family-oriented. We wanted something which could give us, as players, a full immersion in the LotR Trilogy, with all the details.”

An Anniversary Edition of this 2005 International Gamers Award winner was recently released by Ares Games.  This limited edition features painted miniatures, a hardcover rulebook, an oversized game board, and several other nice touches.

This article has a brief photo tour of War of the Ring Anniversary Edition.  Please excuse my below-average photography skills.  I’m in love with this edition of the game, which I’ve taken to calling “my precious” (pun intended).  If you’re interested in the history of the War of the Ring or a review, I recently wrote an article in Counter Magazine, which is available through the BGG store.

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Dale Yu: Two Real Time Co-op Games – Dungeon Time (Ares) and Magic Maze (Sit Down!)

Dale Yu: Two Real Time Co-op Games – Dungeon Time (Ares) and Magic Maze (Sit Down!) 

Well, this is sort of an interesting coincidence… On the same day, I received packages from two different game companies with games similar in mechanism.  Both of the games promise a short (<15 min) co-operative game experience that use a sand timer. I thought it would be nice to review them together here.  If you read yesterday’s piece, it’ll seem like déjà vu all over again…

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Dale Yu: Two Real Time Co-op Games – Magic Maze (Sit Down!) and Dungeon Time (Ares)

Dale Yu: Two Real Time Co-op Games – Magic Maze (Sit Down!) and Dungeon Time (Ares)

Well, this is sort of an interesting coincidence… On the same day, I received packages from two different game companies with games similar in mechanism.  Both of the games promise a short (<15 min) co-operative game experience that use a sand timer. I thought it would be nice to review them together here.  If you read tomorrow’s piece, it’ll seem like déjà vu all over again…

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2016 Designer of the Year Award

It seems we live in perilous times and each day they keep getting perilouser. In such an age, I’ve heard it said that what we really need is something steady and reliable. Something that’s been with us for years, that has passed the test of time, and which has never let us down. If deep down, that’s what you’re looking for…sorry! All I have to offer you is the 2016 Designer of the Year award!

Most of you reading this know what to expect (including the preceding tomfoolery), but for the rest of you, let me explain. I began writing Designer of the Year (DotY) articles back in 2004 and thanks to a series of weak-willed and easily bribed editors, they’ve continued ever since. The idea behind them is simple. We have a metric buttload of “game of the year” awards, but nothing which rewards the individuals who are responsible for these wonderful creations—namely, the designers. So every year at about this time, I recognize the person who, in my opinion, had the best collection of games over the last calendar year. As much as is humanly possible, I want to keep my personal feelings out of it, so I have three reasonably objective criteria. First, how popular the games are, based on the game’s ratings (and number of ratings) on the Geek. Second, how well the games do in the annual awards. Since many of the designs came out during the latter part of last year, they won’t be eligible until this year’s awards, meaning there’s some projections and guesswork at play, but my track record for this is pretty good (I’ll talk about last year’s exception to the rule a bit later). And third, how much “buzz” the games generating. (A nice example of a game with good buzz is Friedemann Friese’s Fabled Fruit, which has generated a reasonable amount of discussion for its clever twist on legacy games.) I take all those things in consideration, combine them in some mystical way, and try to come up with a good and worthy recipient for the year. Continue reading

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Dale Yu: First Impressions of Saboteur: The Duel

 

Saboteur: The Duel

  • Designer: Frederic Moyersoen
  • Publisher: Mayfair Games
  • Players: 1-2
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Times played: 2, with review copy provided by Mayfair Games

In Saboteur: The Duel, two players play as competing Dwarves, trying to get the most treasure out of the cavern.  In the game, each player has a starting card, and then space is left for path cards to be played.  Starting four card widths away from the start cards is a pyramidal arrangement of goal cards – these are the cards that hold the gold which the dwarves seek.

A deck is created from the 34 path cards and the 18 action cards.  There are four dwarf counters of each color available in each round.  Each player is dealt a hand of six cards.  Starting with the Green Dwarf, players will alternate turns until one of the round ending conditions is met.  The game is played over three rounds, and the player with the most gold at the end of those three rounds is the winner. Continue reading

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