All posts tagged 'Unplugged'

Star Trek: The Boardgame Generation – Episode one

Leonard_Nimoy_William_Shatner_Star_Trek_1968As we 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.




Unplugged: Pokémon: The Trading Card Game Mythical Pokémon Collections and Steam Siege Booster Packs

POKEMON1When I was in college I used to write game reviews for The Dallas Morning News.  This was in the late 90’s and when Pokémon first got popular, I was writing tons of articles about the franchise.  I even like to say that Pokémon helped pay my way through college!  I even covered Pokémon card game tournaments back then, and purposely learned how to play just so I could write about them better.  I have to say that because of having to use energy cards to perform moves, I didn’t really like the card game as well because I felt that slowed the game down.  Me personally, I prefer SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash on the Neo Geo Pocket Color.  Anyway, Pokémon has always been big since then, but with the recent release of Pokémon GO on mobile devices, I imagine the franchise will get a boost of popularity this holiday season, including the card game.  So parents, here are some new things you may want to look out for this Christmas if you have a Pokémon card game fan in the family.


Shephy (iOS, Android)

SHEPHY_BOXI’m not sure how you pronounce it, but Shephy plays like one of those indie card games you buy at those fancy gaming and comic book stores.  In fact, while looking up pictures for this review, turns out that Shephy IS a real card game.  You can even buy it on Amazon.  It’s a Solitaire style game where you try to build your flock of sheep up to 1,000 by strategically playing cards that add and take away from your flock.  It’s a free-to-play downloadable title on iOS and Android, but reviewed on iPad here.


Unplugged: TANKS – a beginner’s miniatures wargame

TANKS box coverTANKS: Panther vs Sherman Starter Box
Designers: Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates
Publisher: Gale Force Nine, LLC
Players: 2
Ages: 8ish
Time: 30 minutes

TANKS is a new, lightweight system of miniatures from Gale Force Nine, focusing on (surprise) the tank battles of World War II. The idea is to have a fast-playing miniatures wargame to serve as an introduction to the hobby. This is the first wargame by Gale Force Nine, who produce a prodigious amount of pre-painted battle terrain, presumably usable in TANKS games as well as the more complex Flames of War game owned by GF9’s parent company, Battlefront Miniatures.


Unplugged: Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters (Boardgame)

ghost fightin boxIn the past decade, the idea of cooperative boardgames, where everyone wins or loses as a team, has blossomed. As dad of young boys, I enjoy playing games together where we can all be on the same side. In Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters!, players move through a haunted mansion to collect all the Treasure Jewels and escape the house before it is overtaken with ghosts. It is that rarely-seen gem of a game that can be enjoyed by kids or adults.


Kid-friendly Boardgame Round-up

unplugged_titleGaming isn’t always about serious strategy, staring at a board until your opponent makes their next thoughtful move. There are many games on the market perfect for players looking to add a bit of dexterity and/or silliness to their next game. This can be great for younger gamers who might otherwise have a hard time sitting still. Here are a few games I’ve played over the past few months that seem to fit the bill.




Unplugged: New York 1901 (Boardgame)

ny1901Become a real estate magnate by constructing the best and the most skyscrapers in New York. Players take turns claiming lots and placing buildings almost-Tetris style onto the game board. Larger buildings are harder to squeeze onto open spaces and are worth more points. At game end, bonus points are awarded for having the most buildings along specific streets as well as a special scoring that is different each game. New York 1901 is a solid entry in the family gaming category. Fun for the older folks, but still playable by the younger (early grade school) set.


New York 1901
Publisher: Blue Orange Games
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-4
Time: 45 mins
(Review copy provided by Blue Orange Games)


Unplugged: Pingo Pingo (Boardgame)

PingoPingo_3DboxTake Slapjack, add in some silliness and a dart pistol and you have the kid-friendly boardgame Pingo Pingo. Accompanied by a changing soundtrack, players take turns playing cards and watching for the right conditions to slap the pile and claim a treasure. Meanwhile, events come up forcing a player to perform one of several actions, which include shooting at targets with the supplied gun. Mistakes cost a life point, and the player with the most treasures (and not dead) wins the game. Loads of silliness packed into a cool 15 minutes, Pingo Pingo is great for a family game night.


Pingo Pingo
Publisher: IELLO
Ages: 6+
Players: 2-5
Time: 15 mins
(Review copy provided by IELLO)


Unplugged: Survive: Space Attack! (Boardgame)

survive space attack coverCan your people leave the collapsing station, avoid the aliens, and make it to safety? Players take a turn by moving crewmember, destroying part of the station, and then moving one of the aliens. Get caught on a destroyed piece or eaten by aliens and your crewmember is no more. Reach one of the escape routes with a crew member to score points. The game is simple to understand, but the fun part comes in using special abilities and simply picking on the other players. A quick conflict-ridden game that allows players to really stick it to their neighbors.



Survive: Space Attack!
Publisher: Stronghold Games
Ages: 8+
Players: 2-4
Time: 60 mins
(Review copy provided by Stronghold Games)


Unplugged: Duplik (Boardgame)

duplik boxIn Pictionary you draw for speed, but in Duplik you draw for elegance. Duplik is a party game where one player describes and all others draw a detailed scene. Players then judge each other’s creations on ten, previously unknown, criteria. Players score points for correct drawings while the caller scores points for any player who meets a criteria. After points are awarded, drawings are shared around and hilarity ensues. Duplik rewards thoroughness (not necessarily skill) under pressure and is a great choice for a drawing-focused party game.

Publisher: Asmodee
Ages: 8+
Players: 3-10
Time: 45 mins
(Review copy provided by Asmodee Games)