All posts tagged 'Misc'

Unplugged: Tales from the Loop (RPG)

Imagine a game set in the 80s where kids on bikes explore their local town. While dealing with every-day problems of parents, bullying, and homework they simultaneously need to sort out strange, otherworldly happenings that somehow just don’t seem to grasp the attention of the adults. One’s first thought may be to think of the Netflix series, Stranger Things but I’m actually referring to the role playing game, Tales from the Loop. The Tales from the Loop role playing game (tagline: Roleplaying in the ‘80s That Never Was) was actually conceived as a stretch goal of a Kickstarter project over a year before the Netflix series ever aired. The Kickstarter project actually set out to compile the hauntingly nostalgic art of Simon Stålenhag of Sweden. His images contrast the everyday life of living in a small town in the 80s, juxtapositioned with what-if images of robots and alien technology. The two art books were easily funded, and a stretch goal was set out (and met) to create a role-playing game based on the art. In a serendipitous moment, the role playing book was released just a few short months after the Stranger Things series and the hype from the Netflix series helped to push the role playing game into the limelight. Jump forward a few years, and publishers have now released a Starter Edition of the game, containing premade characters, the basic rules, dice, and a short playable scenario. Combined with Simon Stålenhag’s surreal art, the box serves as an excellent introduction to the core mechanics and standard backstory for the game.  (One final aside, we’ve now come full circle for both Tales from the Loop and Stranger Things.  You can watch Tales from the Loop on Amazon Prime and there’s a version of the D&D RPG based on the Stranger Things series on Netflix.)

Tales from the Loop (Roleplaying in the ‘80s That Never Was)
Publisher: Free League Publishing
(Review copy provided by Free League Publishing)

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Cary’s Best Games of 2020 SO FAR Awards Show!

WORST.  YEAR.   EVER.  I think we can all agree that 2020 has been one of the worst years in our lifetime, what with the Coronavirus, quarantines, riots and looting, and much more.  Some days I wonder if we’ll EVER get through this.  But there is one good thing about this year so far.  We’ve had quite a lot of really good games come out the first half of this year!  Normally I like to write a blog this time of year with my favorite games of the year so far, because the holiday titles and E3 announcements usually take precedence by the end of the year.  Of course, because of the Coronavirus there was no E3 this year, and as of this writing we still don’t know what big games will be out for Christmas.  Just another reason why this year sucks.  So I don’t know how much different my list will be by the end of the year.  But keep in mind that this is my list and my picks only, no outside opinions and whatnot.  And if a game isn’t on my list, it either just didn’t appeal to me or I haven’t played it yet.  Can’t play ‘em all, you know!  But with that out of the way, let’s take a look at my picks.

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Unplugged: A Trio of Cat Boardgames

In the past few decades we’ve seen the power of cats. Take a popular item and stick a cat on it, and its popularity grows. Examples include Garfield (whose creator took a look and decided a cat-comic would sell well) and an extremely popular cat-based card game. (A cat game who must not be named – I fail to see the attraction of its randomness.) Today I want to take a look at a few cat-themed games that I’ve encountered in the past year or so. Cat Lady has players drafting cards off of a 3×3 grid to score points at the end of the game. Kibble Scuffle has players playing cats around feeding bowls in order to trigger a feeding phase. The Lady and the Tiger is a slight outlier, as only half of its richly illustrated cards show a tiger. It is also more than one game in a box as it contains five different games that can be played using the cards and glass tokens in the box. The three games span a wide variety of play styles, so there is sure to be one (or more) fit for your gaming needs.

 

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Unplugged: The Castles of Burgundy (Boardgame)

As with all entertainment, some things just seem to settle into the role of a classic. The Castles of Burgundy, a boardgame released in 2011, is one such game. Released in 2011, it remains high on many boardgame favorite lists and is currently ranked 14th overall at the popular web site, Boardgamegeek.com. The game centers around a set of dice and each player’s personal game board, displaying a hexagonal grid. Players roll dice and then use them to place tiles on their board. Each type of tile grants special abilities and players must make the best use of these special abilities to score points over the course of the game. Turns are quick and, once grasped, the rules are straightforward making this a richly rewarding game to play. The game has also spawned other versions, such as a simpler, fully dice based roll & write style game called The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game.

The Castles of Burgundy (& The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game)
Publisher: Alea
Ages: 12+ (10+)
Players: 2-4 (1-5)
Time: 30-90 mins (15-30 min)
(Review copy provided by Alea)

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The Ladies of Gals Fighters

Recently I reviewed Gals Fighters, one of the best games on the NEO GEO Pocket Color.  I loved that little handheld, and I’m glad they ported this game to the Switch!  It took a more silly, lighthearted tone.  Female fighters from other SNK series compete in the Q.O.F. (Queen of Fighters) tournament to win a talisman that grants any wish.   But the stories they gave to each of the characters and their wishes are pretty silly, and since I like talking about silly fighting game characters, I thought I’d make a separate blog about them!

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Pac-Man Loot Box

We’re ending Loot Box Week on a high note, as I’ve saved the best for last.  Well, you all may know how much I like Pac-Man, so it’s the best for me anyway.  I first saw this Pac-Man Loot Box before Christmas at Target, but it was too expensive.  So after Christmas I got it on sale.  Even then, it’s the most expensive loot box I’ve ever bought, at 20 bucks.  And the paper packaging around it was gone, too.  But I said, “Aw what the heck” and bought it anyway!  So let’s take a look inside!

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Super Mario Loot Box

Next up on Loot Box Week is a Super Mario Loot Box.  I got it on sale at Wal-Mart after Christmas last year for five bucks!  It was on clearance so I doubt you can find it now.  It was such a good deal that I bought the other same one they had and gave it to one of my brothers for his birthday.  Anyway, let’s take a look inside!

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Midway Classic Arcade Loot Box

While not quite as popular as they used to be, Loot Boxes are a recent craze as of late.  They’re boxes full of themed items that you either order through the mail, or get in a store.  Most of the time you don’t know what you’re getting, but sometimes you do.  The themes in these boxes range anywhere from video games, movies, or just dog toys and treats.  I’ve been tempted to get loot boxes from time to time, but I usually don’t because I like to know what I’m paying for, and many are just too expensive.  That loot box at PAX South that had Mega Man on the sides was mighty tempting, but not at 50 bucks!  However, there have been a few times in the past year or so where I bought a loot box sold in the games section at Wal-Mart or Target when they were on sale.  Why did it take me so long to write about them?  Well I thought I’d save them for a rainy day, and now seems about as rainy as ever.  So it’s Loot Box Week here at GamerDad, and the first one we’re going to look at is a Midway Classic Arcade Loot Box!

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I Need an Island Vacation!

I think we can all agree that 2020 is one of the worst years in recent history.  It certain has been for me, and probably for most others, what with everything going on!  I feel like I need a vacation on a desert island.  And luckily, I kind of got that with Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  I am so thankful that it came out when it did.  It gave me a sense of normalcy and saneness during these times.  You see, the Animal Crossing game series is very special to me because it’s a game I’ve loved playing with my friends and family over the years.  And it’s not the first time an Animal Crossing game helped me cope with a rough patch in my life.  So in this blog, I thought I’d go over the other times an Animal Crossing game helped me get through tough times, and I’ll briefly talk about the other games in the series as well.

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AO Tennis 2 (Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Video games about sports come in two varieties, arcade titles focused on giving a fast-playing game giving just a taste of the sport, and simulations trying to preserve as much authenticity as possible. AO Tennis 2 is one of the latter. Focusing on the Australian Open (thus the AO in the name) rather than some of the It offers up everything one would expect of the genre, tutorials, plenty of character customizations, deep gameplay controls, multiplayer options, and a new career mode. As a simulation, AO Tennis 2 should appeal to those looking for more of a technical tennis simulation, but more casual players looking to smash a ball around with friends should look elsewhere.

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