All posts tagged 'Unplugged'

Unplugged: Holiday Guide 2015

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 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 2013,  2012,  2010, and 2009.

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Unplugged: The Little Prince: Rising to the Stars (Boardgame)

the-little-prince-rising-to-the-starsDesigners: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Ludonaute
Players: 2-6
Ages: 6+
Time: 15-30 minutes

 

 

 

 
Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), protagonist of the third most translated book in the world, is back in the form of another boardgame.  This time, it’s a young aviator who is leaving her grandfather’s house to fly to meet the little prince on his home planet.  Players use cards to move their personal aviator across the map while collecting stars.  The twist is in the turn order.  The last place plane always takes the next move.  The Little Prince is a quick little game that makes a good filler (a quick short game), but despite its art and straightforward rules it does have some aggressive play that may not fit well with younger players.
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Unplugged: The Star Wars RPG – Force and Destiny

force coverStar Wars: The Force Awakens is set to appear a month from now.  Aside from repeatedly watching the film’s trailers, how will a Star Wars fan manage to occupy their time?  Enter the Star Wars Role Playing Game from Fantasy Flight Games.   A story-oriented game, it features streamlined rules so that player actions aren’t bogged down with complicated rules.  Many aspects of combat, such as range, are abstracted and most actions are quickly resolved with a simple roll of custom dice.  The core rules have been released in three different settings, with the newest one, Force and Destiny, focusing on force sensitive characters under the Empire’s rule (Episodes IV through VI.)  

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Splendor (Boardgame, PC, iOS, Android)

 

sp_Icon-Splendor_152Splendor is a gem-themed game of economic growth.  Players use consumable gem chips to purchase point cards, which serve as permanent gems.  As players accumulate cards, they are able to purchase more expensive cards worth more points.  In this way, the game steamrolls into a finale of large point card purchases.  While it sounds rather dry, the game has an attraction as a simple “snowball” game where one’s resources accumulate and become more powerful over time.

 

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Unplugged: Fish Fish Squish! (Boardgame)

fish fish boxA good kid’s game will involve a bit of actual thinking (looking at you Candyland) and a bit of physical interaction (to help those squirrelly ones.) Fish Fish Squish! has a bit of both, matching cards and smashing play-doh fish as a reward for success. This makes it fun for kids and agreeable to parents playing along.

 

 

 

Fish Fish Squish!
Publisher: Winning Moves
Ages: 5+
Players: 2-4
Time: 20 mins
(Review copy provided by Winning Moves)

 

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Unplugged: Patch Products (Kid’s Games & Toys)

mytouch screenI like a nice, deep boardgame: something fun to play that would last 60-90 minutes. However, with two young boys and a toddler girl I am always on the lookout for games and toys appropriate for my younger crowd. Patch Products have none of the former, but specializes in games and toys for the younger (or family with younger) crowd. Scoping out things for the holiday season, here are three newer items of note from the company. They aren’t going to collect awards as grown-up games, but all three were a big hit with my kids.

 

 

 

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Unplugged: Cinelinx

CINELINX_BOXCinelinx is a card party game for 2-6 players. It says on the box that this game is for people who love movies. And that’s definitely true. The object of the game is to connect cards together that have something in common, and all the cards are film genres, titles, and movie stars. Whoever can connect all their cards and get rid of their hand first, wins!

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Unplugged: Cardline: Dinosaurs

CardlineDinos boxWhich is larger, a tricerotops or an ankylosaurus?  If you already know, you may be in the target audience of Cardline: Dinosaurs.  The Timeline family of card games challenges players to place cards representing items and events in chronological order.  In Cardline: Dinosaurs, players place their cards in order either by weight or by size.  While similar to the previous games, the dinosaur theme may be more attractive to younger players.

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Unplugged: Legacy-style Games

pandemic legacy boxSit down to a boardgame with your friends and enjoy a night of fun. Next week you can play it all again, but what if each time you play the game it is subtly altered so you never play the same game twice? About 4 years ago, Hasbro went out on a limb and released Risk Legacy. It was the Risk game known to many, but this time around every game played physically changed the game. What if the green army wins one game and comes back with advantages the next time around. What if western Australia was nuked, a sticker was placed on the board, and that location will never be accessible again. Risk Legacy was a hit amongst the boardgaming crowd. The idea of a boardgame that evolves and permanently changes was out of the bag and now several new titles are coming down the pipeline.

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GamerDad Unplugged: Highlights of GenCon 2015

GenCon 2015 logoI visited GenCon last week, one of the largest gaming conventions in the U.S. 60,000+ people mobbed downtown Indianapolis for the four days of the event. All types of games were covered including boardgames, roleplaying games, and collectible card games. I have an entire series covering many games in detail over at OpinionatedGamers. I have a rundown of dice games, more complex games, family games, children’s games, and a mix of roleplaying and “everything else.”

However, to save everyone some time, I’ve dug out some of my favorite games of the convention so you don’t necessarily have to wade through all my reports (unless you want to see some of the variety at the convention.)

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