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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.
Anthony has run for the hills this week, making room for Jason to revel in new cooperative games from GenCon (don't worry, Anthony be back next week in all of his Euro glory). Jason also brought along a few friends from the One Stop Coop Shop YouTube channel and also CoOp Cast, Colin and Steve. Thanks for helping out! They go over some fun games that were featured at the big show. Colin breaks down Talisman: Legendary Tales (4:14), a children's style adventure game that hearkens back (sort of) to the old Talisman game that many folks have played before. Jason and Steve then break down SEAL Team Flix (12:17), a flicking game about marines infiltrating some enemy bases. It's certainly unique, which we appreciate here on ENGN! Jason and Colin then break down Kitchen Rush (22:54), newly released in the US from Stronghold Games. Kitchen Rush is a real time game about running a restaurant that Colin has played an estimated 40 times already (so you know it must be pretty good, at the very least). Finally, all three of the boys on the call have a nice, healthy debate about The Captain is Dead: Lockdown (36:03), a standalone expansion to The Captain is Dead from AEG.
Time to blast off into space! We have three games for you this week which all take place in the so-called final frontier.
First up will be Kepler 3042 (1:41), a Euro-style game which emulates space exploration, but with a heavy Euro twist. Next, we talk about Alien Artifacts (14:15), a new empire building card game from Portal Games. Finally, for all you Star Trek fans, we give you our opinions on the Borg expansion for Star Trek Ascendency (26:35).
Finally, we canvassed some people online to see what they thought about space themes in games (42:48). What's appealing? What turns people off? We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the threads for some very insightful answers.