Episode 337: The Crew

Release Date: Dec. 5, 2019

Download:  Enhanced  | MP3

Running Time:  109 min.

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The Crew is a cooperative trick-taking card game.

You and your fellow players are off to explore a mysterious new planet at the edge of the solar system. 50 increasingly challenging missions tell  the story of your crew's journey to Planet 9. 

How well can you work together when communication is limited as you cross the vast expanse of space?

If you know any classic card games, you start on familiar ground with The Crew. But be ready! Once launched, these missions will bend your brain and blast your expectations about something as time-tested as trick-taking.

Games can warp our brains. 

The Crew does this in a way that lasts. Listen in to find out how and discover why it earns our Spiel of Approval.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2019 - The Art & Science of Playtesting

Release Date: Nov. 13, 2019

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Running Time:   40 min.

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Playtesting is a critical part of the design process. A game fresh from the mind of a designer is destined to evolve once other players get a chance to explore it and push its boundaries.

We examine how different designers approach this process and how they use playtesting to shape the games that make it to your table.

The panel:

Bruno Cathala  (designer, Kingdomino)

Antoine Bauza (designer, 7 Wonders)

Friedemann Friese (designer, Power Grid)

Rikki Tahta (designer, Coup)

Smoox Chen (Taiwan Board Game Design)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2019 - The Con Game

Release Date: Nov. 12, 2019

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Running Time:   56 min.

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Conventions and trade shows are a growing part of the game community on a global scale. We examine the value and necessity of conventions and trade shows from an industry perspective. 

We explore the differences in events around the world and how publishers decide which ones to go to and what they focus on at each event.

The panel:

Ted Alspach  (Bezier Games)

Tiffany Caires (HABA)

KJ Lee (Happy Baobab)

Beth Heile (BGG)

Michał Zwierzyński (Galakta)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2019 - Teaching & Learning Board Games

Release Date: Nov. 11, 2019

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Running Time:   47 min.

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One of the greatest challenges that unites designers, publishers, and players is how best to teach and learn a game. From reading the rules, to online instruction, and teaching at the table, there's no single method for success since players learn in so many different ways.

We sit down with some experts to see how they approach teaching games and how they factor in different learning styles.

The panel:

Stella Jahja (Meeple University)

Beth Heile (BGG)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2019 - What A Difference A World Makes

Release Date: Nov. 8, 2019

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Running Time:   50 min.

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More and more, we see RPGand board game worlds converging . This panel explores how the two intersect to create a new breed of thematic and adventure driven game. 

What experiences can these games create that draw from both wells? How difficult and different is the design process? Can both worlds benefit from this convergence?

The panel:

Isaac Childres  (designer, Gloomhaven)

Julie Ahern (Greenbrier Games)

Błażej Kubacki (Board & Dice)

Ezra Denney (Quests & Chaos)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2019 - Love & War

Release Date: Nov. 7, 2019

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Running Time:   45 min.

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We examine how and why wargames today can appeal to a much wider range of players than your typical grognard. We explore the variety of reasons there are to love wargames and how this helps bring more players to the table.

The panel:

Martin Wallace (designer)

Katie Aidley (Board Game Brain Project)

David Chircop (Mighty Boards)

Max Michael (Stratamax Games)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2019 - Reiner Knizia

Release Date: Nov. 6, 2019

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Running Time:   48 min.

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If rock stars exist in the game playing world, Reiner Knizia is one. He is one of the most celebrated and prolific game designers on the planet. Join us for a wide-ranging discussion covering his career, his thoughts on game design and development, the game industry, and much more.

Our guest:

Reiner Knizia

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Essen 2019 - Life of the Party

Release Date: Nov. 5, 2019

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Running Time:   48 min.

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Views of party games have changed tremendously over the past 20 years. We explore how party games have evolved and how they are helping to expand the game community and drive the success of the game business.

The panel:

Frank DiLorenzo (R&R Games)

Darrell Ottery (Eclectic Games)

Thomas Provoost (Repos Production)

Vlaada Chvátil (CGE)

Rikki Tahta (La Mame Games)

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

Episode 336 - Songbirds

Release Date:  Oct. 18, 2019

Download: PDF

Designers: Yuo    Artists: Kotori Neiko, Claire Donaldson

Publisher:  Daily Magic, Homosapiens Lab, Gen-X

2 -4 players  | 20 min  |  ages 8+  | 5 min to learn | $20

 

You are a forest spirit, delighting in the songbirds around you. But which one is your favorite?  Gather your flock and send them out to battle for the sweetest berries. In the end you must choose one species as your own.   

Songbirds is a small card game full of big decisions. Pick a bird card and play it to the forest grid. The type, the number, and the location of the bird will influence each choice you make. This depth of decision, combined with a small hand of cards gives Songbirds a richness and beautiful agony to treasure. All in a very simple set of rules.

Read on to learn why we think Songbirds deserves our Spiel of Approval and a place on your table, too!

Written review continues after the break.

Episode 335: 5211

Release Date: Oct. 14, 2019

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Running Time:  79 min.

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5211 is a press-your-luck card game with deep roots in casual classics. On one level, it's a kissing cousin to stud poker. 

Cards are selected by each player in secret and then played out: first  2, then 1, then 1. Then we score. Only cards in the majority color score... as long as the total isn't pushed too high!

If everyone can plays nice, all have the potential to benefit. But, the minute you get too greedy, you're likely to get bit and another color will score.

5211 has two lives. One as a modern game that can be as thinky as you want it to be. One as a bridge for social interaction, inspired by card nights with family and friends from days gone by.

Listen in to discover how a game so simple in design but rich in its strategy and tactics can be a source of joy for all. We think anyone can play and find Major Fun in 5211.

Complete Show Notes continue after the break.

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