Game of Shadow Thrones

My sole regret with not using the box art's main picture is that it seems to feature Patton Oswalt as a fat little king on a throne.

When you play the game of Shadow Thrones, you win or you die. Or you come in second place but you’ve recruited so many agents on the victorious side that you kind of win anyway.

Come along, I’ll explain.

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Elsewhere: A Fistful of Dinero

Despite this being a terrible eyesore, I sort of like it better than the game's actual box art.

Another month, another writeup over at the Review Corner! This time it’s Charlie Theel’s A Fistful of Dinero, a genre mashup about shooting the fluff out of a dusty saloon. You can read about it right here, though I recommend tabbing between the review and the pictures I’ve stashed below.

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Out of the Dimly-Lit Past

Note that I cropped out their eyes. Art!

While there’s a part of me that marvels at how it’s been two years since I reviewed Noir as part of the Minigame Library, and ponders at how much I have changed and grown and aged over the past 24 months, mostly I think of that part of me as an unoriginal nitwit. We’re reminiscing now? Thinking about how I was once a fresh-faced 26 year-old? No time for that — there are murders to solve. Poor Irma is too busy being dead to pine over her lost youth, so why should I mope over mine?

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Sometimes “Tiny” Ain’t a Compliment

TED: The only game where you defend a Kingdom from a dragon with a fortune cookie for a torso. Let that sink in: the ONLY game.

“Tiny” and “Epic” very rarely go together — usually only during my annual checkup. However, Gamelyn Games has been carving out a niche for themselves with the diminutive and monumental, and their previous game, Tiny Epic Kingdoms, was a pleasant little experience perfectly suited for casual fare between the main courses of a game night. Its spiritual sequel, either a solo or cooperative game this time, is better suited for a lonely night on the tundra. If you’ve brought a match, at least you’ll have a way to keep warm.

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Here He Comes to Save the Day

Nice sweats.

A couple years back, a pair of game designers got bonkers drunk and were determined to make famous author Dan Brown’s rabid anti-Catholic dreams a reality. Under cover of darkness, they broke into CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, loaded it up with two of their favorite games — Jenga and Uno (also one of my favorites) — and cranked it up to God Particle Mode. They expected the result would be something like Uno Stacko, but thanks to a rhino horn that had inexplicably become jammed in the flubby-dub flam shaft, the result was…

RHINO HERO.

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Cold Beer, Hot Lights: 2045

That's how I look when I play baseball in my imagination.

The only hit I ever landed in baseball was against a robot. Yes, it was a pitching machine; yes, it gave me the confidence I needed to stride right up to the plate during our next game and swing away; yes, I got beaned in the helmet and walked to first. So it would be safe to say that baseball isn’t my thing. When I overheard someone talking about Arnold Rothstein’s 1919 World Series fix, I figured that was the coolest thing that had ever happened to baseball. If gangsters were more regularly rigging the game, I might consider following it.

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Lucha! Lucha! Lucha!

I choose you!

Up until a year ago, my knowledge of Lucha Libre consisted of, “That’s a Pokemon, right?” Then I watched Nacho Libre starring Jack Black, which Wikipedia informs me was based on an absolutely true story. Now I’m even less sure what you crazy kids are up to.

Luchador!, on the other hand, is much more informative. Its front of the box tells me everything I need to know: it’s about Mexican wrestling! Oh. And it’s a dice game! Got it.

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Specter Oops

Blue Bloom vs Red Bloom.

Just thinking off the top of my head, I can count on my left hand the number of board games about stealth. And that’s after the freak wood chipper accident of 2011.

Point is, while there are loads of games out there that feature hidden or obfuscated information, there are precious few about remaining unseen entirely. Fewer still about being a lady with robotic spider appendages hiding from an enormous dog-man and some dude who can tell the future. Welcome to Specter Ops.

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Alliances Mega #3: Sandy Graves

Greenish-grey vs. Greenish-grey.

In Summoner Wars: Alliances, this battle has been brewing for a while now — two battles, actually, now that I think about it. Sure, it’s the fight between the Deep Benders, which I suspect is a sort of yoga squat, and the Sand Cloaks, which sounds bonkers itchy. Just shake them out, y’know? And stop tracking all that sand all over the carpet.

More importantly, it’s the fight between Somerset and Dan. A fight that will leave only one of us left standing. Or at least a fight that will break our stalemate.

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Old Blades, New Ideas

Alternate Title: "The Blades Themselves." Mostly because I love the First Law trilogy.

Millennium Blades is a game about a group of friends playing a game called Millennium Blades. And while you might think I’m being sort of a jackass since any game can be described that way (“Uno is a game about a group of friends being too bored to play anything but a game called Uno”), you’d actually be wrong. Because Millennium Blades really is a game about playing a game. And that game is called Millennium Blades.

Hold on, let me explain.

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