April Fool’s Day Gaming News (Chris Wray)


In honor of April Fool’s Day, here are a few highlights of gaming news.  All of this is meant in jest and good fun!

Chris Wray


Cardboard Component Causes Countless Complaints

Next Move games recently announced the availability of a resin first-player token to replace the original cardboard piece in their hit game Azul, but the component — available for only the cost of shipping — sold out within hours.  Countless complaints immediately flooded into BoardGameGeek, with numerous gamers decrying the use of cardboard in board games.  One user called the original token included in the first edition a “weird component choice.”  Apparently feeling that a non-resin token wasn’t good enough, one user said he “couldn’t be more disappointed” at players instead having use the cardboard piece, adding his “incredulity to the sea of disbelief we are all swimming in” at the thought of cardboard being used in board games.

While an employee of  Plan B and Next Move patiently responded to comments in the thread, it quickly expanded to hundreds of comments.  Recently, a user lamented that he wasn’t “sure what the options are from here.” One user, to the surprise of many, responded by recommending players “enjoying the game with the perfectly functional cardboard token.”

The controversy’s impact on Azul’s Spiel des Jahres chances remain unclear.  Though at least 34 of the past 39 Spiel des Jahres winners used cardboard for one or more game components, the recent controversy raises questions about whether gamers are still willing to accept cardboard in games.  

“Flumoxing”: Friedemann Friese Fears Finishing Fs

Designer Friedemann Friese, famous first and foremost for Funkenschlag, is facing fallout from his fateful decision to have the first letter of his games begin with “F.”  “There’s a finite number of ‘F’ titles,” found Friese, “and forgoing other formats was, frankly, foolhardy.”

2F Spiele, his publishing house, recently celebrated its 25th year, and nearly all of his titles start with “F” and feature green boxes.  Friedemann himself sports green hair. But at a recent event, when flipping through the well-worn “F” section of his dictionary, he cried out one word: “Flumoxing.”

His friend and developer, Henning Kröpke, recently comforted Friedemann by assuring him that, at their current rate of usage and growth, it would take another 504 years to finish the Fs.  “Fortunately, our foray into F will fuel 2F into the future.”

Toni Alspach Exasperated by Ted’s Recent Additions to Family Home

“When did we get swans?” asked Toni Alspach, exasperated, as she crossed the moat to her home in the hills of Tennessee.

The COO of Bezier Games had recently given her husband, game designer Ted Alspach, permission to “do a few home renovations.”  But as she pulled into the driveway, she realized that she no longer recognized the entrance to her own house. Perhaps Ted calling their home “Burg von Alspach Castle” in the Castles of Mad King Ludwig rulebook wasn’t the lighthearted joke she had first thought it was.

As she walked into the first room, she immediately recognized it as a recently-added activity room dedicated to Tichu.  “Ted! I like the new room!” she called, tossing the mail on a nearby table. When Ted didn’t respond, she decided to explore further, also dialing him on his cell phone.

Suddenly she found herself in another activity room, this one dedicated to all things One Night Ultimate Werewolf.  Ted wasn’t answering, and she started to become alarmed. It didn’t help that she was in a room surrounded by werewolf-themed art, which mostly took the form of play mats framed on the wall.  

Unable to reach Ted, she instead decided to call Dale Yu, family friend and developer of Castles.  “Dale, Ted’s been adding to the house again. The new entrance to the house is a Tichu room. And now I’m in the Werewolf room.”  

“That’s just good strategy,” noted Dale.  “At least he’s keeping the activity rooms next to each other.  You’re gonna want to avoid the room with all the Werebeasts.”

Toni heard the sound of a train coming from the next room.  As she entered it, she found Ted, enjoying his many Age of Steam maps.  “I found him,” she said, hanging up on Dale.

“Ted, these housing additions are a bit out of control.”  

But Ted couldn’t talk.  “Oh no,” muttered Toni, “it’s happened again.”  Calling to her children, she screamed, “Kids! Your Dad needs us to figure out the magic word again!”

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