Pandemic Legacy (S1) – A Midseason Report

Before you get worried, don’t. I shall not spoil this board game, which, arguably, began the increasingly popular trend of turning tabletop entertainment into TV series. Rather than a repeatable setup meant to tell a new story every time, Pandemic Legacy and its ilk instead endeavor to tie some measure of every game’s actions to […]

Doom and Organic Storytelling

Yes. You’re reading that correctly. First, a definition: Organic storytelling is, essentially, the opposite of plotting. It’s what happens if you throw a bunch of ingredients together and sit back to see what they do. A rowdy bunch of dwarves into a crowded tavern, say, or a terrifying disease released into a sealed, populated space […]

The First Haunt in Betrayal: Legacy is a Perfect Introduction

Board games as a medium compete for our entertainment time and dollars against the whiz-bang effects of movies and video games, the melodrama and binge-worthy serials on TV, and offer up as a hazard the general adult difficulty of getting people physically together in a room to do something other than gripe about their jobs […]

Sidereal Confluence: Alien Shoutfest

Say the name. Speak it aloud. The very syllables conjure up digital armies of robots in a technocratic future where Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Terminator all beam themselves into your every dream. In today’s world, however, Sidereal Confluence is only a board game. And I use the word “Board” loosely here – as […]

Failing the First Mission in Gloomhaven

The tutorial: a gloved hand that guides you through the systems of anything reasonably complex. Some come in the form of step-by-step written guides, others arrive via talking, animated paper clips. Still more attempt to throw you directly into the situation, gradually escalating the complexity and hoping you catch on. Gloomhaven, a massive board game, […]

Harry Potter and the Continual Quest

Most board games are one-and-done affairs – you might replay them, but the starting ‘board state’ is going to be the same every time. Monopoly always starts with everyone as middle-class, vagrant pieces. Risk has people’s armies scattered across the globe like some terrifying tornado swept up whole countries and flung them about at unknowable […]

Bob Ross and the Art of Chill – A Boardgame that Actually Exists

Gag gifts. Those things given for laughs that, often, become nothing more than Goodwill fodder after the mirth has fallen away. Bob Ross: The Art of Chill Game, given to me by my brother-in-law for Christmas, is not a gag gift. Or rather, it is, but one with substance. Not a lot, but even a small bit […]