Christmas time, mistletoe and board games! I think that’s how the song goes…
Yes, hello, welcome back you lovely folk. We’re Timlah and Joel and today, we’ve opened up the “Large, Flat Green Present at the back”, as your choice from last week. Lo and behold, the present happened to be this week’s Top 10, our Top 10 Board & Card Game Stocking Fillers. These are all small games, under £20, along with their price and a relevant Amazon link – You know, for them last minute purchases you totally needed to do.
What? We can’t assume you’re prepared for Christmas, can we? (more…)
I did something similar to this article a while back on the subject of Minecraft and the various titles that followed in its wake, some time shortly after an explosion of some of the less exemplary Minecraft-ish games. Under a similar umbrella find Cards Against Humanity, whose irreverent and unapologetically offensive game caught the world’s attention, and many people looked to its simplistic format and said something to the effect of: “I can do that, but what if this time…” (more…)
Wibbell++ is not just a card game, it’s actually being sold as a game system. You may remember the review that I put together for the fun physical restriction card game called In A Bind? Well after we reviewed that, Bez the designer got in touch with us to thank us for the article and tell us that there was something new in development. Rolling forward after a successful Kickstarter campaign to UKGE this year and I receive an email from Bez telling me that there is a copy of the new game system waiting at a stand at the show for me.
Wibbell++ has a very simplistic design. Each card has on it two large letters, a pattern around the edge and a number on the bottom of each card. It is Bez’ vision that with these three elements it is possible to come up with new games for it on a regular basis. Bez’s plan is to release at least one new game for the system every year to mark the anniversary of In A Bind on August 1st which is lovingly referred to as Bez Day.
In the pack you get instructions for five different games to play, I’m going to try and break these down and explain them to you here and have linked some of the videos that were released for the Kickstarter.
- Players: 2-7
- Approx play time: 10-25 minutes
Wibbell is a word game and you start it by dealing out two cards face down. When all players are ready you then turn over the cards and all players try to be the first to shout out a word that contains at least one letter from each card. The person who shouts a winning word first gets to take one of the two cards that are available and place it letter side up in front of them, therefore gaining a point. The next round starts with a new card joining the one that was left, now all the players once again try to shout out a word that has at least one letter from both cards as well as any card that is placed in front of them.
In the photo above we see a game in progress, our players here are Lola on the Left, Jazz on the right and Dave at the bottom. Lola has already won two rounds, Jazz one and Dave is yet to win a round, the two cards in the centre are the community cards. So in our example, Dave could shout words like “Yes, Sandy, Day” etc, Jazz could shout out “Escalator, Idle, Decade” etc, but Lola would have to use words like “Yesterday, Tapes, Watches”.
Play continues with a new community card until one player has four cards in their possession, that player then gets to take the extra spare card (making 5 in total). All players then turn over their gained cards and then two new community cards are dealt and play starts from the beginning. You continue like this until you run out of cards in the pack. Then count all of your cards and the player with the most is the winner. If it’s a draw you could perhaps play a sudden death round if you really needed to have a winner.
- Players: 2-5
- Approx play time: 15-35 minutes
Instead of words this time you are trying to create as much of the alphabet as you can from the cards. To start with each player is dealt three cards, they get to keep just one of these and then the rest get shuffled back into the deck. Next, the dealer turns over the top card of the deck and considers if they want to add it to their collection or not. If they refuse the same card goes to the next player and so on until either the card is taken or all players have refused and the card is discarded. Play like this continues until one player has 11 cards or you run out of cards entirely. All cards are then shuffled and scores are kept and another round is played until one player has 26 points.
- Players: 2-7 players
- Approx play time: 2-3 minutes
Shuffle the cards and deal one face down to each player, place all the other cards face up on a surface. Count to three and all players turn over their personal card and then grab cards from the table that match theirs. You can match either a letter on your card or the border. At any point in time, a player can slam their stack onto the table and shout the word “Grabbell”
The last player to stop gets to keep the remaining cards on the table as a bonus, every other player gets 10 points. All players pass their stack to the player to their left so that another player can check it. Anyone who makes a mistake scores nothing, but if your deck is clean then you gain the number of cards you grabbed as points plus any bonus points they have already won.
- Players: 2-5 players
- Approx play time: 15-30 minutes
A cooperative story telling creative game. Think of this game as similar to using Story Cubes but with a bit more of a challenge. Each player takes a turn and flips a card face up and uses the letters on the card as initials of two words to nominate a story element. When there is a total of five story elements then players can start to tell the story, using the rest of the deck.
The next player turns over a card and must start their sentence with the letter on the top of the card. They then need to nominate a word using the letter on the bottom of the card for the next player. The next player follows suit by turning over a card and continuing the story, they must include in their part of the tale the word that was chosen using the bottom letter from the previous player.
Play continues until all the story elements that were devised at the beginning are included. Then all players work together to reach an end and as the instructions read “If anyone is happy you all win”
- Players: 5-15
- Approx play time: 15-30 minutes
First, you pick a judge for this round. Turn over a card from the deck and use it to inspire any subject you wish. For example, an ‘OC’ might inspire octopuses, as these are letters with curves. Then turn over two more cards from the cards revealing 4 letters. All players must then race to invent four-word phrases that use those letters as initials.
At any time the judge can end the round and then gives 3 cards to the player they thought had the best phrase. The judge may alternatively give two cards to a favourite phrase and one to a second favourite. The person who won the round then becomes the judge and the next round commences. Play continues until the deck is finished and the player with the most amount of cards wins.
We would like to thank Bez for giving us a review copy of the game. It really means a lot to us that game developers want our opinion. Now I’m not just going to say Wibbell++ is great because Bez is such a nice person, no it is actually a great game system. It is after all just a deck of cards which makes it super portable. It’s also not age restricted, it will encourage younger players to increase their vocabulary and put older minds to work too. It may be based on the English language but I don’t think it will need to change much to work with others. At the time of writing it looks like Bez has managed to get some distribution for the game to various retailers around the UK. I’m very interested to see how Wibbell++ develops as a game system from here on in.
What do you think about the games that are in the system so far? Is this the sort of game you might play and take with you on holiday? If you have any ideas for the game system I’m sure Bez would be eager to hear them. Send us your thoughts in the comments section or over on Reddit, Facebook or Twitter.
You’ve just finished a hard day adventuring; You ache and you think you may have a new rash on your leg from that last battle. You’re sure it’s nothing and take some well-earned downtime in the local tavern. Sitting around the table are some fellow adventurers. The drinks start to flow and so do the stories, it’s time for you to become the biggest Braggart.
Game of Thrones is a certified smash hit that has gone from a nerdy, cult-fantasy show to a full-blown cultural phenomenon. With this success, it shouldn’t be surprising that the action-packed world filled with knights, sorceresses, and intrigue has been reproduced in more than a few board games. It’s no secret that board games have been experiencing a huge resurgence in the last several years and, frankly, we couldn’t be happier about it. These are five of the greatest games centred on the series, from new inventions to fresh takes on old classics.
There’s something weirdly therapeutic about shuffling a deck of cards, and for enthusiasts of all stripes there’s an ever increasing number of games to choose from across a wide variety of genres, so many in fact that I for one do not remember the last time I played a game with the classic four-suite deck. The combination of a randomised deck, the resource-management elements of a hand, and the sheer volume of options afforded by the printed space on cards make them a versatile utility for any game designer.
But with such an array of choices, how do you know what’s right for you?
The structure of decks, and how those structures are reached can vary wildly:
Pre-built decks are the most common by far, and most frequently multiple decks control different elements of the game. For example, in Munchkin the Door deck describes your encounters, and the Treasure deck rewards you for your efforts. In Bucket of Doom (a recent acquisition of mine) players are required to formulate escape plans drawn from the Situation deck using one of their Item cards as the most essential component. Or to take it one step further, in Boss Monster, you have a Dungeon deck with which to built your evil lair, a Spell deck that grants you special powers, and all players are at the mercy of the Hero deck.
Deck building games most commonly feature a single deck around which the entire game focusses, which is slowly divided amongst the players. The DC Deck Building Game is a favourite of mine, in which players begin with only a handful of powers, and must gather more powers, as well as allies, equipment, and even a few enemies in order to strengthen their chances of securing better cards as the game progresses, and work their way through the super-villains. Smash-Up takes a different course, where the deck is built right at the beginning by combining any two of the large choice of factions together, using complimentary tactics to compete for control of the bases.
CCGs (collectible card games) offer players a library of cards from which they can collect and horde, and building a deck from what cards they amass from booster packs and boxes. Whoever can build the best deck wins. This type of game lends itself to victory through study, knowledge, and yes, more than a little cash spent on cards that can assure victory, and this can create a rather elitist type of gamer, or just a bunch of people who really enjoy testing their strategic thinking.
The real beauty of the deck structure is that it is easy to expand upon. As a perfect example, Cards Against Humanity having such a simple structure allows the creators to bring out new decks based on what’s funny to a geographical area (or hand us some lazy British stereotypes, cheers lads) or simply add more material to keep the game fresh. Smash Up gains more factions to mix and mash, and CCG’s expand upon the ever growing market, changing with the time so as to prevent older players gaining too strong an advantage over new players. It never quite works out like that though…
Your only resource is the cards in your hand. Games may differ, changing the way cards are played depending on other elements of the game, but ultimately you can only control what you do with what you have. Card quality can vary, and you can end up with some hands offering you next to no choices, while others grant you significant bonuses in any situation. You’re frequently limited as to how many cards you can hold, and almost always limited on how many you replenish, so managing this precious resource is a tough balancing act of weighing pros and cons of each play, calculating the best order, but leaving yourself prepared for what may come.
It’s little wonder it can take some people an hour to make up their minds.
The random nature of a well-shuffled deck can be a blessing and a curse. Some players may find that the cards they draw just aren’t good enough, or are stuck with the agony of choosing which of their incredible choices would be best used in the moment, only to find another, better situation arise soon after. Magic the Gathering players will be familiar with the terms Mana-Screwed or -Flooded referring to having too little or too much of the essential resource card. Fans of Cards Against Humanity or Dixit will know the sting of picking up “The Perfect Card” the moment they made an inadequate play.
This level of chaos can put some people off playing, but sometimes it’s best just to make the best of what you have and hope for a change of fortunes. And if it never happens you can always blame the cards.
Recently, I decided I wanted to get myself a Loot Crate box. So that I did, when they released some of their older boxes. I went and bought myself the Play box, which had some great items inside, but there was an item I didn’t see listed – or at least I didn’t know what it was at first. When I opened my box, there it was sitting neatly near the bottom of the box… The exclusive Superfight deck for Loot Crate. But just what is Superfight and is it any good? Read on to find out more about the game. WARNING: This game is Not Safe For Work…
I’m going to warn you now: I compare this game to Cards Against Humanity… And it’s up to you to decide which game you would prefer sitting on your shelf. Both games are great fun.
Very simply put, this is Cards Against Humanity in Superhero dream-fight scenario format. You have white cards and you have black cards, not much new here so far. What is new however is that instead of playing a white card (answer) to a black card (question), you have black cards (attributes) and white cards (characters). Also, it’s got an interesting drawing mechanic, where you draw three black and three white cards at the start of each turn.
Your character could be anything, from an average woman, to a young boy wearing his underwear on his head; or more specific characters, such as George Bush. You give your character an attribute and it goes around in turn order for players to unveil what their superhero is. The remainder of your hand goes into two separate discard piles, one for the black cards and one for the white cards. When everyone has done this, each player picks up another black card and puts it on their superhero. Then, the players discuss who would win the fight. The winner scores a point and the game continues until an end point has been decided.
It’s not necessarily the most safe for work game out there, but some of the combinations are outright hilarious, so it’s worth a look at. One pro side to this is the majority of the cards seem relatively inoffensive. With this in mind, if you want to play a silly game with people who prefer games that are a little more politically correct, whilst I’ve not seen all of the cards out there, this game might offer that “CAH-Feel” without all of the hoo hah of having to explain what Bukakke is. If you don’t know, don’t look it up. We accept no responsibility if you do look that up.
Presentation and Cost
Same as Cards Against Humanity, the game is really well presented. It’s very simple too, with two different decks, representing two types of cards. It’s really easy to understand, simply based on the looks of the cards. The game comes in a nice enough box, again sharing an incredibly familiar trait of Cards Against Humanity of the black on white feel. You know that when you open the box, it’s going to be a lot of cards. The game certainly feels well polished and nicely packaged, plus it doesn’t take up too much room.
Cost is hard to define when we don’t have a similar game, so we’ll be comparing the base set of Superfight with the base set of Cards Against Humanity. When we talk about cost, the game is slightly more expensive than Cards Against Humanity, which is at a simple and clean twenty pounds. Also, whilst Superfight comes with 500 cards, Cards Against Humanity comes with 550.
I really like Superfight and it makes for a really nice replacement or even compliment to Cards Against Humanity. It’s a nice addition to our little geek game set and because it’s not purely about “who is the funniest”, but rather it has a lot more depth to with its ‘character creation’ (sort of.) This earns it a unique spot in our geek games collection. It’s easy to get into, especially if you’ve played any card games of its kind before. Have you played or heard of Superfight? Would you rate this or Cards Against Humanity higher and why? Let us know in the comments below, over on Twitter or Facebook.
What a name for a title, right?!
Just me? Okay.
Just under 2 weeks
What am I blabbering on about now? Well, it’s just under 2 weeks until I am going to Kitacon: Invasion 2014. Why is it Invasion? I don’t know. Ayacon was Ayacon Apocalypse, so why shouldn’t this be Kitacon Invasion, right?
But no, seriously, with anime conventions in the UK, at least with the bigger ones that I’ve attended thus far, there appear to be themes. When I went to Ayacon Apocalypse, I chose Zidane Tribal as my costume of choice (I refuse to bring that image back up over here. If you’re that curious, check out some of the earliest “Cosplay posts”.
What sort of things do you take to a convention?
For me, it’ll be the costume and some extras for the costume (Change of some of the basic clothing, etc). I’ll be taking my phone – So I can keep you all up to date, as well as a charger. I’ll take my 3DS, why? Because anime conventions seem to love the 3DS. Seriously. I’ll be bringing my Magic: The Gathering decks as well as my Cards Against Humanity and Zombie Fluxx set.
Sounds like a lot of stuff for just 3 nights and it is. But, there’s so much to do in such a short amount of time. I want to get out there and talk to as many fellow cosplayers, gamers, anime fans and spectators.
Other things to take, include props, signs, anything that you think will get people to notice you and join you in your quest to meet fellow fans.
I want to see if I can speak to Ellen McLain, as that’d be great. I’m hoping to get a small object relating to Portal and get a signed piece.
What will happen to GeekOut South-West during the time I’m at Kitacon?
I’m thinking of doing some “Micro-posts”. These will be no more than 500 words, with a picture or two to highlight what is happening at this event. I want to share the event with all of you, in hopes that, if you’ve never taken the financial plunge to go to an anime or games convention, that you eventually pluck up the courage to do so.
The “Micro-Posts” will consist of some of the greatest cosplayers I have seen in the day, some of the panels I attend (Possibly footage, if my phone agrees to do so and the panels permit it!), the sort of foods we’re eating if it’s Japanese foods, etc.
I’ll fill you in on all of the highlights and even if there are some low points. I really hope there are no low points!
I’m going to be meeting up with Craig, Kim and Phil of 1001-up.com to talk geek, gaming, cosplay and hopefully play a game of Cards Against Humanity! I’ll put some of the best quotes up here if they agree to play the game! *PRE-WARNING – That game can get pretty offensive. I’ll be putting warnings on those posts!
Another piece of the puzzle
Well, since I’m slowly, but surely, uploading pieces of my costume, here’s the coat.
Pretty nice coat, huh?
That’s all for today, have a great rest of the week and I’ll be sharing more geek stuff throughout the week. Wednesday, as always, will have our Kickstarter Highlight of the week, this Friday will have a run down of the “Geek news” I’ve collected over the past 2 weeks.
Tomorrow, however: We review an anime. What one, you ask?
Possibly, one of the most influential animes ever made. Whether you like it or not, this anime influenced the whole of my generation.
I can’t wait to review it and share in the gripes that the whole world has with it, as well as praise it where it’s due.
One clue about it: Don’t let them look at the full moon!