All posts tagged 'Misc'

Unplugged: Oceans (Boardgame)

Players take on the role of ocean gatherers, hunters, and scavengers in this card game of species evolving and jostling for survival in the ocean blue. A spiritual successor to the Evolution line of games, Oceans takes the game in a slightly more strategic direction, as a slightly faster flow, and favors a slightly less aggressive style of play. Whereas Evolution provided food to players at a regular rate, Oceans leaves the management of available food in the players’ hands. A great compliment to Evolution, gamers who like the former should like the new game but will have to decide if they are different enough to keep both on the shelf. As a special bonus for reading this far, I’ll note that Oceans (Oceans Board Game Lite) is available as a free app you can play on your phone! Give it a download and see whether you need to run out and buy a copy of the game for Christmas.

Oceans

Publisher: NorthStar Games
Ages: 12+
Players: 2-4
Time: 60-90 mins
(Review copy provided by North Star Games)

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Unplugged: Holiday Guide 2020

Happy Holidays! Boardgaming continues to make inroads to wider audiences, and there’s no better time to get (or get your friends and family) into the hobby than an extended holiday break. Yes, it is an unusual year so there may not be as much mixing as usual but there are boardgames out there to meet up with almost any taste. If you only have access to online gaming buddies, check out BoardGameArena.com or TableTopia.com. Boardgames are timeless, just as good today as they will be years in the future, so a purchase today will still be serving you well after the lockdowns go away. As we at GamerDad have done for the past 17+ years, it’s time for an annual rundown of recent boardgames well worth your time. Feel free to delve into some past year’s guides for 2019, 2018, or 2017 or older as they’re still great candidates for your consideration. You might not find all these titles at your local mega-mart but many can be found online or in a friendly local game store. Some may argue $50+ boardgames are expensive, but compare that to videogaming (and where multiple copies are required for multiplayer play) or heading out to the movies ($30+ for four people) and the economics of boardgaming shows their true value. For each game I’ve provided the number of players, an approximate MSRP (you might find it lower), and expected time for one game.

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Video Game Themed Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornaments 2020

Hallmark always has a wide annual selection of new Christmas ornaments and series, and in the past few years they’ve even done video game related ones!  This year they had more than ever, and I got most of them, so I thought I’d share them with you here.  Most are from Nintendo games.

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Cary Ranks the Paper Mario Games

Of all of Nintendo’s game series, the Paper Mario titles have probably had the most ups and downs.  On one hand, you have what many consider to be one of the best RPGs ever made!  And on the other end, you have what others, including myself, believe to be one of Nintendo’s worst games!  Ouch!  The newest game in the series, Paper Mario: The Origami King, came out earlier this year, so I thought it might be fun to rank them.

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Kirby Dolce Collection

Hey I thought I’d share something cool I got recently.  A while back I ordered a “Banepresto Box” which is kind of like a loot crate except you know what you’re getting.  This one had Kirby items and it was called the Kirby Dolce Collection.  Not sure why it was called that but it was food related and a good deal at only 25 bucks or so.  And you all know how much of a Kirby fan I am!  Anyway, let’s take a look at what’s inside.

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Two RPG Hero Smash amiibo

Got a couple more amiibo figures recently.  This time they are of two RPG characters who have appeared in Smash.  They are the main hero from the latest Dragon Quest game, and Joker from Persona.  Let’s take a look.

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Video Game Lottery Tickets

Got a couple of video game themed scratch off lottery tickets I thought I’d show you all.  These are from the Texas Lottery, so if they’re not in your state, they may be soon or have already appeared.

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Spiel.Digital 2020 in Essen

The largest gaming convention in the world is not GenCon or PAX. It is Spiel (literally “Game” in German) an annual gathering in Essen Germany. Typically it is housed in six huge halls in the Essen convention center. Publishers from all over the world attend, many of them using the convention to make their holiday season releases. While there is obviously a very strong German presence (boardgaming has been a popular family activity for many years,) gamers from all over Europe and the rest of the world flock to Essen to get a chance to be the first to see (and buy) these new games. Obviously, a huge in-person convention is just not going to happen this year, so the organizers have created a virtual convention Spiel.Digital that is absolutely free and runs 24 hrs a day from Thursday, October 22nd through Sunday, October 25th.

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Super-Skill Pinball (Boardgame)

Super-Skill Pinball is a great example of how a boardgame’s mechanics and theme can be interwoven to produce a gaming experience that gives the “feel” of the original theme.  Playing the roll and write boardgame Super-Skill Pinball: 4-Cade feels like playing a pinball.  Someone rolls a pair of dice and then players use either die to record the movement of their pinball on their personal dry-erase game board, marking off locations as they are “hit.”  Eventually, a player will “lose” their ball off the bottom of the board and will need to start again.  After everyone has played through three balls, players total up their accumulated points to record a winner.  

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PAX Online 2020

The Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX for short, is one of the largest video game conventions open to the public.  Unfortunately, the flagship show, PAX West in Seattle, had to be cancelled this year because of COVID.  So instead, they created PAX Online, which was all last week.  Virtual showgoers could watch videos of upcoming games, and even try demos of some of them on Steam and Xbox Live.  I got a virtual press pass to the event, so here’s an article about the show.

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