Board Game Review: Steve Jackson Triple Threat!

A photo of the outer wall of the Steve Jackson Games booth at Gen Con 2016, with the mural consisting of a banner for the Simon's Cat Card Game.For my last entry about Gen Con, I’m going to do three board game reviews in one article. Why? Partly because the games are all short and simple. Partly because they’re all from Steve Jackson Games. Partly because it’s time to finish up the Gen Con posts and get on to something else! So we’re going to look at the three games they demoed at their ‘Play New Releases’ table: Simon’s Cat Card Game, I Hate Zombies, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Board Game.
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Board Game Review: Tell Me a Story

The box, about 3 centimetres by 7 centimetres by 5 centimetres, with the game Tell Me a Story. The box is black with various white line drawings all over it, and a large speech balloon with the title n the front and the lid.A brand new company called Escape Hatch Games had just released their first game a month or so before Gen Con. As I was wandering around the exhibit hall, I saw their booth, with the name of this first game proudly displayed on a banner behind them, and I knew I had to check it out. I stopped to ask them about it, and they did a quick one-round demo with me, and I knew I had to have it. Last week, I finally got to play a full game for the first time with three of my friends. It was epic. So now I shall review for you, my loyal readers, the wonderful game called Tell Me a Story.

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Creativity: The Driving Force in Games?

A photo of a sunset being painted by a hand holding an artist's paintbrush, symbolising the creativity of painting the world.The Oatmeal recently released a comic about creativity. In a nutshell, it points out that creativity is like breathing. You have to breathe in before you can breathe out. In this analogy, you can’t produce creative content if you don’t also consume creative content. Creativity is an energy, like electricity or heat; in order to use that energy, you have to get it from somewhere. This can come in the form of reading, watching TV or movies, listening to music, looking at visual arts, and many other forms besides. But in consuming the creativity of others, one becomes more able to create works of one’s own.

This is in part because ideas don’t spring fully formed into a creative person’s head. They are reworkings of things these people have seen or heard or felt or experienced. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, ‘Good artists borrow. Great artists steal!‘ Which is a valid, if somewhat flippant, way of saying that consuming the creative works of others is the essential fuel for one’s own creativity.

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Board Game Review: 51st State

A game of 51st State in progress, with the game box visible in the background.I recently got to play an interesting card game called 51st State. It’s a neat little game, set in a post-apocalyptic North America. I had fun playing it, and working out the strategies involved. Now the time has come for me to write a review of it so that you can decide whether it’s worth picking up a copy for yourself.

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Board Game Review: Area 1851

A photo of the Area 1851 game box, as seen from an upward angle. The cover art shows an old west style town with a banner across the street that displays the title, and in the foreground, a cowboy hovering by means of a jetpack shakes hands with an alien holding a pickaxe. The time has come once again for a board game review. This week, I shall look at a new game that was only just recently published, with the help of Kickstarter, and was introduced to me by my good friend John Trobare. The game in question is: Area 1851. It is a game of ‘UFOs meet cowboys.’ Aliens and old west characters are competing to gain the greatest amount of reputation by constructing and delivering strange devices.

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