All posts tagged 'Unplugged'

Unplugged: Holiday Guide 2014

unplugged_titleGive the gift of face to face time with a boardgame.  It’s time once again for me to preach to the masses on the greatness of boardgaming.  Nothing beats the social aspect of in-person gaming with friends.  Last year’s run-down of recommended boardgames was a great success.  Here again are some great examples of boardgames to get you and your family gaming.  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.  Those new to the world of boardgaming may find a bit of a sticker shock as some games are pricier than new release video games, but good boardgames will provide many more hours of entertainment than most video games.  Boardgames are also relatively timeless so they can be pulled out years from now and provide the same level of enjoyment.  In that vein, feel free to delve into some past year’s guides for  2012, 2010, or 2009.  For each game I’ve provided the number of players, retail price, and expected time for one game.  Note that often these games can be found for 20-40% less than the MSRP.

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Unplugged – Caverna: The Cave Farmers (Boardgame)

Caverna box topCaverna: The Cave Farmers
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Mayfair Games (in the US)
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-7
Time: 120 mins
(Review copy provided by Mayfair Games)

Videogaming has its rockstar designers like Sid Meier, John Romero, and Shigeru Miyamoto. Boardgaming has its own list of elite designers and Uwe Rosenberg is among them. Best known for two games, the popular family game, Bohnanza, and his deeper strategy game, Agricola. Agricola is ranked the fourth most popular boardgame at BoardGameGeek.com even though it released seven years ago. Rosenberg has produced a few titles since Agricola, but his newest, Caverna, returns to many of the mechanics and themes of Agricola. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of gaming seen in Agricola, Caverna is a solid title and may be a better choice for those looking for a title where a player can make mistakes and still be able to bounce back.

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Unplugged: Timeline (Boardgame)

Timeline - American historyThere are educational activities that are presented as games, and games that are designed to be educational. Far too often, the former makes its way to the marketplace rather than the latter. This results in a negative attitude toward any game marked as “educational.” Thankfully, the series of games entitled “Timeline” contain an entertaining game while also stealthily teaching history.

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Unplugged: GenCon 2014

exhibit iconI was able to once again attend GenCon this year.  I was one of 56,000+ people who headed down to Indianapolis to play board, role-playing, and trading card games.
I wrote up my thoughts (as well as quite a few photos) at the site:  www.OpinionatedGamers.com

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Unplugged: A Bit of Summer Archery

air_huntress_zcurve_product_copyAs I looked out at the summer rain today, I pondered what to do with my young grade school boys.  Looks like it’s time to break out the bow and arrow and do a bit of indoor archery practice! No, I’m not crazy, but I recently got a hold of some of the kid-friendly bow and arrow toys made by Zing Toys.

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Unplugged: Knock Down Those Rainy Day Blues

domino fallSummertime is upon us, and that means lots of chances for the younger ones to drive their parent’s crazy with so-called “boredom” and other funny business. “Go play outside” is the best play in a parent’s playbook, but what happens when it’s raining outside? This summer, GamerDad Unplugged will try to help fill in those gaps with a few handy ideas. First up – Dominoes!

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Remembering 1944 – Conflict of Heroes

CoH awakening the bear cover

Yesterday, we took a look at the WW2 game Memoir ‘44 in an effort to pay our respects to veterans on Memorial day weekend. Today we’ll take a look at a slightly more complex WW2 wargame system, Conflict of Heroes, published by Academy Games.

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Remembering 1944 – Memoir ’44

memoir 44 boxJune 6th, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, better known to many as D-Day. It remains the largest seaborne invasion in history, mounting up huge numbers of casualties on both sides. In honor of those who participated in the event, and to honor all veterans during Memorial day, I felt it appropriate to mention here two of the best and most accessible boardgames focused on World War 2.

It may seem strange to some to honor veterans by reviewing games based around the battles of World War 2, perhaps belittling or lessening the importance and impact of those battles. However, for most wargamers, playing scenarios about famous battles helps one to understand the history of the events. Some might find it to be particularly appropriate, as wargames are a way to preserve in memory the heroic actions and personal sacrifices of the men and women involved.

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Unplugged: Holiday Guide 2013

unplugged_titleIt’s time once again for me to preach to the masses to encourage more face-to-face time together. Last year’s run-down of recommended boardgames was a great success. Here again are some great examples of boardgames to get you and your family gaming. 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. Those new to the world of boardgaming may find a bit of a sticker shock as some games are pricier than new release video games, but good boardgames will provide many more hours of entertainment than most video games. Boardgames are also relatively timeless so they can be pulled out years from now and provide the same level of enjoyment. In that vein, feel free to delve into some past year’s guides for 2010 , 2009, and 2008.  For each game I’ve provided the number of players, retail price, and expected time for one game. Note that often these games can be found for 20-30% less than the MSRP.

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Unplugged: The Return of the Fantasy RPGs

Last time I talked about role playing games, it was a discussion of Dungeons and Dragons, including the rereleases of many old retro versions of the game and adventures as well as the upcoming revision of the game entitled “D&D Next”.  When it comes to Fantasy RPGs, there are many more fishes in the sea.  Today we’ll look at two of them.  First, we’ll examine Hero Kids, an extremely kid-friendly title for ages as young as four.  Next, we’ll look at the “other” top-tier fantasy RPG: Pathfinder, produced by Paizo Publishing – past publisher of the D&D magazines Dragon and Dungeon.  While it is moderately complex in its player options, actual player combat and skill resolutions aren’t too bad.  What makes the Pathfinder RPG system stand out is the large level of support materials produced by Paizo.  The Game Master (the person who runs the bad guys and helps manage the story) has many available options they can use to make things easier and help create a more immersive game (eg. maps, cards, tools to manage fights, etc…).

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