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…)
It was a happy Hallowe’en. And it wasn’t even Hallowe’en.
Let it be known that I do not cosplay often… read “ever”, so even my low-energy effort as the “Quest Giving NPC” still took some work but it’s not easy to carve a question mark out of styrofoam, get it painted yellow and affixed to a headband securely enough in between all the writing and full-time-job-having. It didn’t quite work out as planned, and five minutes after settling into Sweet and the quest marker was in three useless pieces. I took my frustrations out on Murray’s Magic deck and an oversized milkshake.
Kudos to Murray for his cosplay, he endured his wig, makeup and heels for most of the day, boosted along by the compliments of strangers. Sat next to him I felt woefully under-dressed. (more…)
We’re closing in on AmeCon, a celebration of all that is anime that’s taking place in the legendary Warwick University. For Joel and myself, this is a seriously important location for a convention, so join me as I take a look at what’s been announced for AmeCon, as well as what I’m looking forward to and what the GeekOut guys will be up to on this weekend anime loving extravaganza.
As you probably know, we here at GeekOut are always on the lookout for interesting developments in a lot of areas. We always try to back upcoming games if we can, as well as technology and more. I must admit I am a bit of a fan of card games like Cards Against Humanity and Bucket Of Doom, and last week a game called Death Wish caught my eye with the campaign via Kickstarter. After watching the promo video I decided to bump up the £20 for the base game.
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.
You voted for it, you can’t unvote for it!
Although actually I must say that despite our initial terror, this may well have been our most easily decided list to date. Tim and I working in some bizarre mental concert, as though our very grey matter were some sort of colony, a thriving collaboration a… oh, what’s the term I’m looking for?
If it’s black, yellow, and buzzing like a saturday night on the town then we gave it due consideration, from all walks of nerdom and geekery, we put together our Top 10 Bees… oh but wait! That wasn’t what you picked now was it? Or was it? It’s a little hard to tell. Welcome, then, to our assembled list of… Bees?
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.
Last year I fully intended to attend a convention where I knew that I’d know no one, I’d be forced to interact with people without the safety net of familiar faces around me. That plan fell through and I ended up with Tim at ALcon 2014. After this year I now know that I’ll never be able to attempt a convention flying solo ever again. Let me explain: (more…)
Did you ever see someone that you’ve never met wearing a Qwertee t-shirt and want to run up to them and yell “Oh my gods that is awesome!”?
The problem is that sort of thing only seems to fly at a convention where you know it’ll be well received. On the street there is always the ever-present fear that that person will look at you like you’re a lunatic rather than a kindred spirit, where the convention crowd are almost universally open to any conversation you pitch them. Or maybe you think that other people will react negatively to a pair of geeks gushing over games or comics in the middle of town. Even though geek culture is rapidly becoming the norm, we’re not exactly forming massive crowds and taking to the streets like – say – sports fans.
I have spent a long time pretending to be confident. Eventually the pretence rubs off and you start believing your own lies. So here’s a couple of stories: