Shuffle Grand Prix Game Review

Former American professional stock car racing driver, Jeff Gordon, said, “I think fear is what keeps us from going over the edge. I mean, as a race car driver, I don’t think what makes a good race car driver is a fearless person. I think it’s somebody comfortable being behind the wheel of something that’s somewhat out of control.” In this game, control is an illusion. You can equip your vehicle for speed, throw down traps to slow down your opponent, and even sabotage an engine or two. In the end, what will win the race is random lucky outcomes and close calls. Continue reading

Crimes in History: H. H. Holmes’ Murder Castle Review (prepublished version)

American serial killer, Dr. Henry Howard Holmes (better known as  H. H. Holmes), said, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than a poet can help the inspiration to sing.” So good was Holmes at killing that he constructed a building full of traps and prisons right in the middle of a street in Chicago, known now as the “Murder Castle.” You and a few other unlucky souls find yourself lost in the sprawling labyrinth designed to torture and confuse. If you hope to survive, you must find evidence and escape, but time is short! Continue reading

Fences Game Review

If you own livestock, you need two things right from the start: space and means to enclose said space. In this game, players will take on the responsibility of building their farmland, filling it with as much livestock as they can, and then closing it with fences to ensure the livestock doesn’t run amok. But there is only so much land to go around, and that makes claiming it just as important as building it. Continue reading

Darwin’s Choice Game Review

English naturalist, geologist and biologist, Charles Darwin, said about his theory on the survival of the fittest, “I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.” In this game, players will introduce new and wonderous animal species, mutating them to adapt to shifting climates in hopes of keeping them alive for as long as possible. What players will quickly learn that no matter how strong an animal might be, it will not be able to survive unless it has the capability of changing. Continue reading

Rune Game Review

You are a mighty Grand Master of the Runes. You know their secrets and their power. With the help of your lesser Rune Masters, you collect and focus energy to summon a creature from another world to do your bidding. But there is treachery among your ranks. Another Grand Master assisting in the ritual is working against you. The ceremony will continue, but who the creature serves will not be known until the ritual is complete. Continue reading

Dragon Market Game Review

Congratulations! Your family has the honor of being invited to the prestigious wedding of a young princess. You are required to attend – without having any choice – and that brings up the problem of what wedding gift to bring? You consider your options and decide that one will not do for a princess. Making a list, you give what items to purchase to your energetic and talented heir. It’s on them you put your hope that one of the items to be collected is a gift that makes the princess smile and brings honor to your family. Continue reading

Gridopolis Game Review

American business magnate, entrepreneur, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor, Steve Jobs, said, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” In this game, light game rules and abstract simplicity create a hotbed of creative focus and strategic engagement on literally multiple levels. Continue reading

The Rank Game Review (prepublished version)

Brazilian lyricist and novelist Paulo Coelho, said “Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.” Writing is but one form of how we share. We also share ideas, thoughts, and feelings through music, art, a conversation, and even through a light touch on someone’s shoulder when we pass them by. Of all these many ways we communicate with each other, how well do we know the person we are speaking and listening to? This game looks to answer that question. Continue reading

Roil: Defy Fate Game Review

King Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great or the Sun King (le Roi Soleil), was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. He said, “The ministers of kings should learn to moderate their ambition. The higher they elevate themselves above their proper sphere, the greater the danger that they will fall.” Politics can be a tenuous game of cat and mouse, with continuous tactical moves and deep strategy. We certainly see that in today’s politics, but it was so much more dangerous in the past when played at the court of kings and queens. You don’t lose your position, you lose your life and possibly your entire family line. In this game, your ambition to gain power must be tempered with building a foundation that can withstand the attacks from your rivals. In the end, only one house will stand above all others. Will it be yours? Continue reading

Crypt Game Review

The King is dead! Long live the King! His passing is a hurtful blow to the realm and to your wallet. The King promised you a number of his treasures, but those are now safely entombed with the remains of the fallen lord. Well, nuts to that! You will get what is rightfully yours! You hatch a plan to raid the crypt and steal back that which was stolen from you using your loyal servants. Unfortunately, your siblings have the same idea. Continue reading

King of the Ring Game Review

Sumo is a centuries-old form of martial arts that is very popular in Japan and poorly understood pretty much everywhere else in the world. The participants of the sport look very big – and arguably – overweight, but don’t be fooled. These men are professional athletes. Strong, robust, and healthy as bulls. And yet, this martial arts form appears (to the untrained eye) to be little more than two fat guys slapping the bejesus out of each other. Again not the case, but you wouldn’t know it if you thought sumo was anything like this game. Prepare yourself for nonsense. Continue reading

Spyfall and Spyfall 2 Game Review

Australian-born actress, Freya Tingley, said: “I really wanted to be a spy. I guess it’s a bit like acting, where you play a role.” To be a competent spy, you must hide in plain sight, listen intently, and be well-versed in the art of misdirection. Your survival depends on it! In this game, one or more spies will be hiding among the players. The goal is simple: find the spy, but nothing is as easy as it seems. Continue reading