What Are Your Thoughts on the Golden Geek Awards?

4 03 2014

Golden geekLast Thursday over on the Geek they announced the winners of their annual awards: the Golden Geeks. So we thought this week we would share the list of winners, give a hardy congratulations, and see what everyone else thought about the list of winners: Were there any surprises? snubs? head-scratchers? Let’s take a look!

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide—Gamers’ Games

13 12 2013

Alright, here it is! It’s our final list of gift suggestions for the 2013 Christmas season! These are games we suggest picking up for the tried and true gamer on your list. Many of these games we’ve played and reviewed, and others we’re hoping to find under our tree in just under 2 weeks!

So, here we go! Our list of gamers’ games for 2013!

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Award Announcements: The Spiel des Jahres, Kennerspiel des Jahres, and Kinderspiel des Jahres

21 05 2013

By Firestone

HanabiThe biggest awards in boardgaming were announced today.

First up is the big one: The Spiel des Jahres, which is the German game of the year. This is a highly sought-after prize, as a win here can mean big sales—look at Ticket To Ride!

There are only three nominees:

Qwixx, by Stefen Benndorf

Augustus, by Paolo Mori

Hanabi, by Antoine Bauza

I’ve played Hanabi, and it’s terrific.

They also released a list of “recommended games”—kind of a consolation list of games they think you still ought to play.

Libertalia, by Paolo Mori

Divinare, by Brett Gilbert

Hand auf Herz, by Julien Sentis

Escape: The Curse of the Temple, by Kristian Amundsen Østby

La Boca, by Inka and Markus Brand

Riff Raff, by Christoph Cantzler

Rondo, by Reiner Knizia

Mixtour, by Dieter Stein

Yay!, by Heinz Meister

I’ve played Escape: The Curse of the Temple, and Libertalia, and the latter is one of my favorite games of last year.

BrugesThe Kennerspiel award is for more complex, gamers’-type games. The nominees are:

Bruges, by Stefan Feld

Legends Of Andor, by Michael Menzel

The Palaces of Carrara, by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling

I’ve played none of these. The recommended games for this category are:

Terra Mystica, by Jens Drögeüller and Helge Ostertag

Tzolk’in, by Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini

I’ve played Tzolk’in, and you can check out my review of it.

And finally, the Kinderspiel des Jahres—the children’s game of the year—nominees:

Mucca Pazza, by Iris Rossbach

Gold am Orinoko, by Bernhard Weber

Der Verzauberte Turm, by Inka and Markus Brand

And the recommended games:

Kakerlakak, by Peter-Paul Joopen

Kuddelmuddel, by Haim Shafir and Günter Burkhardt

Move & Twist, by Kerstin Wallner and Klaus Miltenberger

Pingi Pongo, by Peter Neugebauer

Bim Bamm!, by Lukas Zach and Michael Palm

Baobab, by Josep Maria Allué

Linus, der Kleine Magier, by Wolfgang Dirscherl

Mix Fix, by Andrew Lawson and Jack Lawson

Madagascar Catan Junior, by Klaus Teuber

Star Wars—Battle Of Hoth, by Bastiaan Brederode and Cephas Howard

I’ve played none of these…

Which ones have you played? Were there any glaring omissions in the nominees? Which ones do you think will win?

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Bad News for Terra Mystica

6 05 2013

MysticaCoverby Firestone

I’m a fan of many of Z-Man Games’ games, but sometimes their business practices just baffle me. (The fact that the second Pandemic expansion will be completely incompatible with my “old” edition still upsets me. If they think I’m buying a whole new set of the game and the first expansion to get that second one, they’re out of their minds. Yeah, I know I can buy two compatibility packs, and they didn’t have to offer that at all, but still… Grumble, grumble, grumble…)

Anyway, Z-Man has been posting EVERYWHERE about their highly anticipated new game Terra Mystica: Boardgamegeek ads, numerous posts on their Facebook page, over and over and over. Then, in the comments below an April 29th post about how the game is almost here, Sophie Gravel posted, “Guys, here is the very simple story. Terra Mystica oversold by approximately 100% of our print run. By the time the pre-orders were received from our distributors, the games were already printed and on our way to us so there was no way for us to adjust with a higher quantity. Another print run has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive at the end of the summer. Thank you for your understanding and making this game such a success!”

How is that in any way a professional way to announce that you screwed up? And it appears online game stores didn’t get any sort of heads-up about this until they received their smaller-than-expected shipments of the game. It’s just one more questionable practice from a company I’m increasingly disappointed in—even though I love their games.

So if you see a copy of Terra Misstica Mystica on the shelves of your FLGS for a reasonable price, you might want to snatch it up. And then mail it to me… 🙂

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Terra Mystica Drops May 1!

11 04 2013

MysticaCoverZ-Man Games just announced on their Facebook page that the highly anticipated Terra Mystica is in the warehouse, and will be in stores on May 1. Here’s the publisher’s description…

“In the land of Terra Mystica dwell 14 different peoples in seven landscapes, and each group is bound to its own home environment, so to develop and grow, they must terraform neighboring landscapes into their home environments in competition with the other groups.

Terra Mystica is a game with very little luck that rewards strategic planning. Each player governs one of the 14 groups. With subtlety and craft, the player must attempt to rule as great an area as possible and to develop that group’s skills. There are also four religious cults in which you can progress. To do all that, each group has special skills and abilities.

Taking turns, the players execute their actions on the resources they have at their disposal. Different buildings allow players to develop different resources. Dwellings allow for more workers. Trading houses allow players to make money. Strongholds unlock a group’s special ability, and temples allow you to develop religion and your terraforming and seafaring skills. Buildings can be upgraded: Dwellings can be developed into trading houses; trading houses can be developed into strongholds or temples; one temple can be upgraded to become a sanctuary. Each group must also develop its terraforming skill and its skill with boats to use the rivers. The groups in question, along with their home landscape, are:

  • Desert (Fakirs, Nomads)
  • Plains (Halflings, Cultists)
  • Swamp (Alchemists, Darklings)
  • Lake (Mermaids, Swarmlings)
  • Forest (Witches, Auren)
  • Mountain (Dwarves, Engineers)
  • Solitude (Giants, Chaos Magicians)

Proximity to other groups is a double-edged sword in Terra Mystica. Being close to other groups gives you extra power, but it also means that expanding is more difficult…”

My all accounts this is a heavy, gamer’s game—so not something you’ll want to pull out with your nongamer friends over for dinner and looking for something to play. Still, can’t wait to try this one out. Thanks for reading!








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