Thalara: The Last Artifacts Game Review (prepublished version)

Magic, like any other resource, is finite. It has great power but was squandered on petty miracles and destructive wars. A new age is now beginning where the magic in the world has become rare, but its potential is still limitless. You frantically search for powerful artifacts that contain magical reserves that you can tap into. As magic dwindles, the hunger of those who use it grows ever more intense. Now you and others fight for the magical table scraps that remain. Continue reading

Top Tale Game Review (prepublished version)

American spiritual teacher,¬†psychologist, and author, Ram Dass, said, “Each of us finds his unique vehicle for sharing with others his bit of wisdom.” Humans learn by observing and listening. There was a time when everything you knew was passed down to you verbally or through physical instruction. This was later enhanced with books that captured ideas that could be shared again and again. Now we have the internet that allows us to share pretty much everything. And yet, we still yearn for the quiet moments where we can just sit and talk. In this game, taking a moment to pause, share, and laugh is the player’s only goal. Continue reading

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Game Review (prepublished version)

One of the United States’ most respected former basketball coaches, Dick Motta, said “War is the only game in which it doesn’t pay to have the home-court advantage.” In this game of war, where the soldiers the players will command are literally thrown and tossed into the warzone, there is no advantage to be gained. Victory is simply a matter of luck and good timing. Continue reading

Big Bad Fables Game Review (prepublished version)

American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor, and film producer Walt Disney said, “All cartoon characters and fables must be an exaggeration and caricatures. It is the very nature of fantasy and fable.” Stories capture our imagination and serve to not only entertain, but to teach. Embedded in the stories we were told as children are lessons to learn. Danger and hope lurk in our nursery rhymes and fables. There are monsters and heroes. In this game, the Big Bad Wolf is out-and-about, but safety can be had if a sturdy house is built. 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

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

Xenofera: Galactic Market Game Review (prepublished version)

As a Royal Huntsmen, you enjoy the thrill of hunting down elusive and rare alien animals across the galaxy. These Xenofera, once captured, are worth a great deal of money to collectors. But hunting takes time and is dangerous. Instead of loading your plasma rifle and wearing layers of protective gear, you do your hunting at specialty auctions where the Xenofera can be found. While this is certainly safer than hiking through poisons swamps, you must still be on your guard. Other hunters are at the same auction, too, and only one of you will walk away with the prize! Continue reading

LumberJerks Game Review (prepublished version)

American actor, Sean Gunn, said: “I’d always rather be a jerk than a loser.” If such is the case then Mr. Gunn would love this game! The goal is clear: cut down your tree. But, of course, it isn’t that simple. Wildlife will get in your way, dirty hippies will chain themselves to the tree, and your ax has a tendency to not cut as deeply into the wood as you would like. To win, all you need to do is chop faster and stronger than the competition, but always be a huge jerk to the other lumberjacks. Sharpen your ax and get ready to cut into the competition! Continue reading

Moonrakers Game Review (prepublished version)

After space travel became commonplace, men and women looked skyward for opportunities to get rich and have a better life. Living in space is dangerous, but the pay is good. You’ll find many different types of folks floating around, but none are more dangerous or unpredictable than the mercenaries. Helpers to some and space pirates to others, these individuals take jobs that pay well and don’t much care about the risks. This was the job you were born for and love your work, but there is only so much work to be had. Time to put the competition out of business. Continue reading

Triumphus Game Review (prepublished version)

American author and television personality, Ted Allen, said “Planning a dinner party in a way that you’re actually capable of getting it done without panicking is important. It’s bad hospitality for the host to be freaked out.” Good advise, but what if the success of the dinner party determined if you lived or died? Now that is stressful and worth panicking about. In this game, the Emporer’s previous party planner has made their last mistake, losing their job and their head. Now the position is open and you hope to please the Emporer with your elite party planning skills. Continue reading

Equip: Zupper Dolls Game Review (prepublished version)

American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, said “I do not believe in using women in combat, because females are too fierce.” But, alas, Ms. Mead was not aware of the awesome power of dolls. In this game, players take on the responsibility of training animated dolls, brought to life just in time to fight not only each other but eventually aliens. Maybe. The backstory on this game is pretty confusing. Regardless! Dolls! Battles! Go get’em, Teddy! Continue reading

Twisty Little Passages Game Review (prepublished version)

Hungarian inventor, architect, professor of architecture, and the creator of the Rubik’s Cube, Erno Rubik, said “When you are studying from a book, lots of people go straight to the end to look for the answers. But that’s not my style. For me, the most enjoyable part is the puzzle, the process of solving, not the solution itself.” Suggesting that the path to the puzzle’s solution is the adventure. In this book of puzzles, you take on the role of a spy who must risk it all to save the kingdom from a powerful evil. Each step is a puzzle to solve and a danger to encounter! Continue reading