All posts tagged 'Unplugged'

Dice Stars (Boardgame)

In Dice Stars, players choose dice from a common pool to best fill in their scorepad. Choosing stars is important as they can double or zero out sections of your score. Players roll dice into a common pool and then choose sets of dice in the pool to score on their pad. A quick, 20 minute game provides players with interesting choices to mitigate luck and provide strategic play, while still providing some of the highs and lows of a dice-based game.



Dice Stars
Publisher: Wizkids
Ages: 10+
Players: 1-4
Time: 20 minutes
(Review copy provided by Wizkids)


Legends of Andor (Boardgame)

Legends of Andor is a cooperative fantasy adventure boardgame, where the players combine efforts to achieve an overarching goal while simultaneously protecting the kingdom from attack. Players range the countryside combatting evil and growing in power. Fully cooperative, the players race against the game clock governed by a deck of cards that slowly ramps up the difficulty of the game until the players ultimately win or lose.



A local GameCon for charity (Boardgames)

I attended a local charity game convention Saturday, I thought I’d make a brief post as it may inspire others to do the same. In brief, I had a good time teaching beginner games to a host of new gamers. The star of my day was a 5 player game of the AEG rerelease of The Captain is Dead. A close second place was repeated plays of Escape: The Curse of the Temple with some brand-new to gaming sophomores.

The local game shop, The Sage’s Shoppe  (complete with extra letters) paired with a couple gamer high school teachers to host an all-day gameathon in order to raise money for the school’s summer backpack program. Low income kids often have their only decent meal of the day at school, so they are given backpacks full of food for the weekends so they can have a good meal on Saturday and Sunday, too. The summer program attempts to help with this over the summer months when school is not in session.



Unplugged: D&D Minis – Monster Menagerie II (RPG)

Traditional RPGs are games of the mind, but it doesn’t hurt to have spiffy little plastic figures on hand to help set the tone and sort through the complexities of battle. Figures can be bought unpainted or, for a bit more cash, they come prepainted. As a busy parent, I easily fall into the latter category. While any figurines aren’t cheap, they can add a bit of fun as players can see the unruly monsters gather around their poor characters, eager for a kill.




Unplugged: HABA Games 2016

cliff cardAs a parent looking for games to play with my kids, I am always impressed at the quality and durability of titles from HABA.  With quality cardboard and wooden parts, they sometimes aren’t cheap (although these titles are relatively inexpensive) but components are first rate.  While my oldest child is now able to play more strategic games with dad, he still enjoys playing these when we get together for a family gaming moment with the entire family.  Here’s a few HABA games I’ve played in the past few months, starting with my favorites.






Unplugged: Holiday Guide 2016

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  remains 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) 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 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.


Flick em Up or Cool Penguins – Dexterity Games

flick em up photoAs you look through your holiday lists, don’t forget to include a good boardgame or two. Aside from eating together (also highly encouraged,) there are very few activities requiring people to interact face to face. Not everyone is all that interested in a heavy thinking game, and there are a whole line of simple dexterity games that are great fun for all ages. The following is a list of what I call ‘flicking games,’ games that involve players flicking wooden (plastic in some cases) pieces around a playing area as the main objective. Some are straightforward while others require a bit more than just manual dexterity.


Pathfinder RPG Fall 2016: Smaller and More Evil

pathfinder mini boxThe theme for all things Pathfinder this fall has been dark and deadly supplements to the game to bring a bit of horror to player’s games. Supplements have been released featuring the covert shenanigans and evil organizations found in Ultimate Intrigue and Villain Codex, the dank and dark setting found in Horror Adventures, and the dark ghostly burdens found in the Haunted Hero Handbook. It is as if the teenaged(1) Pathfinder RPG has entered its Goth stage. There is even a release of miniatures, Deadly Foes, designed to complement these dark tales of woe. Aside from the darker side, the Pathfinder rulebooks have taken a page from cell phone technology and have been shrunk into easier-to-carry paperback editions.



Storm King’s Thunder (D&D RPG)

storm kings thunder moduleThis year, Dungeons and Dragons is all about the giants. The various types of giants (fire, hill, cloud, etc…) have gone to war with each other to determine the best kind of giant. Since the release of of 5th edition, Wizards of the Coast has picked an overarching storyline and theme for the year’s releases. This year focuses on a disruption of the natural order of giant seniority, and the infighting between the giant types to get higher in the pecking order. Player characters get caught up in the political intrigue and can even steer the outcome in one way or another before the tale’s final denouement.


Star Trek: The Boardgame Generation – Episode Two

As wfranklin-mint-star-trek-50th-anniversary-3d-chess-set-1e celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, “Trek-ifiying” things is rampant and the world of boardgaming is no exception.  While there are probably Star Trek versions of Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit, I intend to take a look at Star Trek versions of games popular with boardgame hobbyists.  These games, sometimes called Eurogames (since they are popular in Europe) or designer boardgames (as the game designers are recognized for their efforts just like authors or directors) are popular as they emphasize player interaction and minimize luck and player elimination.  Episode 2 deals with a couple games best for more serious strategy gamers.