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Donkey Kong Country – Where Setting Makes All the Difference

As a child of the 90s, the Super Nintendo played a distinct part in my elementary school life. There was Mario, sure, jumping along on mushrooms and pipes in worlds full of fireballs, turtles, and Bowser. But, when compared with the lush jungles, dark caves, and haunting seas of Donkey Kong, I couldn’t help but […]

Conquer the Galaxy – Star Wars Rebellion and a Board Game Feast

There are board games, just like there are stories, at every level of scale. Some put you in control of a single piece with one ability – often just being able to move in a direction. Others give you mountains of rules, pieces, and options and it’s up to you to parse what to do […]

Kubo and the Two Strings – The Folktale Made Visual

Every so often, usually when busied with some sort of mundane task, the wife and I will wander the vast labyrinths of video streaming services in search of some gem we’ve previously neglected. I’d seen Kubo and the Two Strings before, but Nicole hasn’t, and if there’s one thing that makes tedium easier to endure without sacrificing […]

Caravel Island – Avoiding the Sword – Part 2

There’s a certain image that comes up in “Fantasy” settings – usually some monstrous creature, a dragon, say, is facing off with a knight and his (or her) sword. A horse might be there too, for color. After a couple of sessions of Caravel Island, what I’m finding is that the combat is actually the least interesting […]

Caravel Island – On Playing a Game in a World You Create – Part 1

So, around a month ago and at the behest of a friend who’s been watching a lot of Harmonquest, I agreed to run a tabletop game for some of our local group. If you’ve never had the experience of being a GM/DM (game master, dungeon master – both interchangeable terms for the person in charge […]