All posts tagged 'Unplugged'

Starfinder Beginner Box (RPG)

Role-playing games are experiencing a huge renaissance, with gamers not only playing but watching other people play on Twitch and other streaming sites. The most popular genre remains high fantasy (think Tolkien or Harry Potter) while other genres, such as space or superheroes, tend to fade into the background. Starfinder is Paizo’s newest RPG, a conglomeration of their popular Pathfinder fantasy game with common tropes found in space operas. As with any complex game, the challenge lies in getting past the initial learning curve. The Starfinder Beginner Box is Paizo’s answer to easing gamers into the setting and rules. Containing everything a group of players need to get started, the Beginner Box is a great way to jump into the Starfinder game at a pretty good value.

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Unplugged: The Pokémon Card Game Featuring Detective Pikachu

When I was in college and writing game reviews for The Dallas Morning News, the first E3 I went to was when Nintendo was going to release Pokémon in the US for the first time.  I knew it would be a big hit, so I requested to my editor that I be in charge of covering everything Pokémon related for the newspaper.  He was like, “yeah sure, whatever,” but he did keep his promise for at least a couple of years.  I even learned how to play the Pokémon card game so I could cover events and competitions revolved around it.  I like to say that Pokémon helped pay my way through college as I was writing tons of Pokémon articles then!  It’s amazing to me that Pokémon is still super popular after all this time, even the card game.  And now there is a new live action movie out in theaters called Detective Pikachu.  To celebrate, the makers of the card game have released a wide selection of Detective Pikachu cards and packages, so today we’re going to look at all of them!

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Unplugged: Street Fighter Exceed Card Game

Street Fighter is one of the most popular video games ever made and helped jump start arcades and the one-on-one fighting game genre.  And now you can play a card game with characters and themes from the famous franchise.  Exceed is an existing card game with fighter style mechanics, and their latest series includes characters from Capcom’s classic series.  You can read more about it here, but before you do, please make sure to read my review below.

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GamerDad Unplugged: 2018 Holiday RPG Guide

Role Playing Games have surged in popularity in the past couple of years. If someone in your life shows a leaning towards imagination, creativity, or storytelling, an introduction to the world of role-playing games might be in order. In the past few years I’ve mentioned a few in the annual Unplugged guide, but the resurgence of the hobby deserves its own list this year. If you’re thinking about adding a role-playing game to your holiday gifts or activities, here are a few examples and ideas spanning a wide variety of types and recommended ages.

 

 

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15th Annual GamerDad Unplugged Gift Guide – 2018 Edition

Happy Holidays! Boardgaming has had a serious upsurge in the past few years, and there’s no better time to get into the hobby than an extended holiday break. As we at GamerDad have done for the past 15+ years, it’s time for an annual rundown of recent boardgames well worth your time. Nothing beats the social aspect of in-person gaming with friends. Last year’s run-down is a great list of recommended games. 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. 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. Good boardgames are timeless, just as good today as they will be years in the future. They will provide many more hours of entertainment than most video games. In that vein, feel free to delve into some past year’s guides for 2016 , 2015 , 2014 , 2013 , or 2012 . 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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Catacombs (3rd Edition) (Boardgame)

Catacombs takes the basic idea of flicking wooden discs around a game board and transforms it into a competitive role playing game of players vs a game master. Played over a series of boards, players journey into a dungeon in hopes of becoming powerful enough to beat the final boss in the game. A fun mix of disc-flicking, tactics, and a fantasy theme create a very unique, and enjoyable, boardgame. The newest edition (with fancy new rubber playmats rather than cardboard) is currently finishing up a Kickstarter campaign.

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Ticket to Ride: New York (Boardgame)

Arguably the best-selling modern boardgame is Ticket to Ride and its sequels.  Players collect sets of train cards (like sets in Rummy), and use them to occupy routes on a game board map of the United States. Players earn points for placing large sets of trains as well as bonus points for managing to connect cities shown on their personal “ticket” cards.  Many versions have been released which change the map (Europe, Asia, the UK, etc…) and each add in some small twist to make the version unique. Ticket to Ride: New York is the newest release and it takes most of what is best about the game and distills it down to a small box game, playable in less than 20 minutes (closer to 30-45 minutes if playing with new players.)  While the “large box” games tend to allow more long-term grand strategy, New York serves as both a great introduction to the game and a fully playable version when you have less than an hour to spare.

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Legacy of Dragonholt (Boardgame)

The Legacy of Dragonholt boardgame is essentially a tricked out choose your own adventure. Allowing freeform character generation and spanning multiple volumes, it is more than a simple book. However, despite its boardgame sized box, but it is not a traditional boardgame. If that sounds interesting to you, Legacy of Dragonholt is a great choose-your-own adventure experience with strong role-playing game flavor.

 

 

 

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Thunderstone Quest (Boardgame)

The fantasy-themed deckbuilder, Thunderstone, has reappeared with some minor improvements and the option of (mildly) story-based campaign play in the form of Thunderstone Quest. Initially launched as a Kickstarter, a second Kickstarter has just begun with previous and new offerings. As with other deckbuilders, Thunderstone has players purchase cards from a central tableau to improve their starting deck of cards, but it also introduces an area for players to use their cards to defeat monsters for additional points. Thunderstone Quest is the third version of the game, polishing up a few rough edges and introducing a story-based campaign mode to link a series of games together.

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Star Trek Ascendancy – Borg Assimilation (Boardgame)

Star Trek Ascendancy is a civilization building wargame. Previously only a competitive affair, the Borg Assimilation expansion adds in a Borg race that runs rampant through the galaxy. Players can cooperate to defeat it, or risk being assimilated (and taking over the Borg race themselves.) The expansion now allows a solo play version of the game (win before the Borg takes over) but if more than one player is present the game remains a competitive one (although with a common enemy.)

 

 

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