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Holy GenCon reviews! This is the first of a multi-part series where we cover all of the fun stuff we played post-GenCon. There was a LOT of games and, to our surprise, much of it was pretty good! We won't keep all of these games on our shelves, but we can say that pretty much everything we talk about over the next few episodes will appeal to someone out there in our audience. This week, we chat about "filler" games. We do not mean that term pejoratively! These are games that might slide into anyone's collection and provide fun for families and gamers alike. Trainmaker (6:52) Railroad Ink (11:30) Istanbul: The Dice Game (17:27) Palm Island (24:53) Maiden's Quest (29:28) The Draugr (39:07)
We did it! Episode 100! The whole ENGN family has gathered - Anthony, Jason, and Liz. We chat about things we are thankful for, both with reference to the pod as well as to the larger world of board gaming. First, all three of us share some thoughts about an older game we are are very thankful for. These are three games that have permanent places in our collections, so we are happy to share about them with you - Nations (4:13), Space Alert (15:40), and Baseball Highlights 2045 (26:45). After that, we share some reflections about the last 100 episodes. We chat about noteworthy past episodes, favorite interviews and segments, and some life difficulties behind the mic that the pod has helped us overcome. If that wasn't enough, we also have some audio clips from past guests - gamers, content creators, and designers - who wanted to share things they are thankful about in the board gaming hobby. Thank you for joining us for 100 episodes. We're just hitting our groove. We hope you stick around for at least 100 more.
Our massive, multi-part GenCon recap rolls on! This week, we have some games that are heavily soaked in story and narrative. If you are looking to engage your family and/ or game group in some immersive experiences, we have some good picks for you. First, Anthony talks about Spy Club (3:20), a card-based game where you act as Nancy Drew-esque kid crime solvers, tracking down suspects and righting wrongs in your own home town. Anthony and Jason come down on surprisingly different sides of the fence for that one. Jason then describes and compares Z-Man Games Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger with the Graphic Novel Adventures from Van Ryder Games (13:35). They both cover the same ground, but do so in very different ways and for different audiences. Finally, Anthony chimes back in and talks about Detective: A Modern Crime Story from Portal Games (22:51). Comparing all of these experiences led both of us to discuss the broader nature of theme in games - what does "theme" actually mean, what makes a game truly thematic, etc. We didn't plan to have that conversation at all, so it felt really organic and exciting to discuss something near and dear to our hearts (well, at least one of us...).
For our last episode before 100, we are really excited to shine a big, bright spotlight on a few corners of the board gaming world that you might not know much about. If you want to build up some "indie cred" when it comes to some potential hot games in the future, this is the show for you! First up, we welcome back Chris Harris, who runs the Solitaire Print and Play game design contest on BGG. We spoke with Chris last year, and he's back to talk about how much the contest has grown, how excited we are for past winners and designers to move on to bigger and better things (including the publication of last year's winner, Black Sonata), and what's there to check out this year. As of the date of this episode airing, 8/10/18, the Solitaire PnP contest is still going on. You can check out games, participate in playtests, and follow conversations here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2011569/2018-solitaire-print-and-play-contest Our second interview is a doozy - five people on a Skype call, and somehow it did not collapse in on itself. We welcome various folks involved with the GenCant Game Design contest this year, run in tandem with Button Shy Games. Jason Tagmire is the founder and CEO of Button Shy, while Jon Simantov is the designer of Button Shy's latest game, Liberation, soon to hit Kickstarter. They were two of the judges who declared two winners. Elizabeth Hargrave was recognized for her 2-4 player, "I split, you choose" game, Tussie Mussie, while Corry Damey contributed the 2 player tile laying game, Seasons of Rice. We get into the games, the process of picking winners, and some dos and don't for anyone who wants to enter contests like this one in the future.
Jason is very, very, very excited to bring you an expansion to one of his favorite family-weight games. The Primordial expansion for Planetarium is current live on kickstarter. Brenna Noonan, who works for Game Salute and helped with the development with the expansion, stopped by the show to talk about how the two modules of the expansion directly addressed issues that people may have had with the base game. We also get a quick preview of the expansion for Everdell, also currently on Kickstarter. Brenna then goes into some shop talk about Game Salute. People hear the name "Game Salute" and they have feelings about it. Brenna gives her honest reaction to Game Salute's poor reputation, as well as what she and her company have done to rebound and move forward. Check out the project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sparkworks/planetarium-primordial-expand-your-planetarium-uni
After 74 whole episodes, we are happy to receive a visit from the Podfather himself - Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games. For this episode, we experimented a bit with our usual podcast format so we could have some fun. For the first half, we talk about some recent expansions for Stronghold Games we really enjoy - Not Alone: Exploration (5:00) and The Pursuit of Happiness: Community (9:11). Then we preview some upcoming games from Stronghold - Indian Summer (13:41) and Noria (17:00). I recorded a short note about this part of the pod right at the jump, so please check that out.
Afterwards, we really let our hair down and geek out about one of our favorite games of all time - War of the Ring (26:51). We talk about its theme, its length and balancing, and also note a very impressive, fan-made solo mode for it: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/141333/queller-bot-war-ring-solo-play. We then carry about all sorts of topics from there, including a chunky digression into the Game of Thrones TV show that we put beyond a spoiler wall. As always, we hope you enjoy the conversation!