Videogame and board game reviews by game critic Erik Twice. What does he think about the game of the year? And what about that forgotten classic? Read about it here!

Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition ★★

One of the strange things about the board game industry is that every successful title, no matter how simple, eventually gets a card or dice-based variant. These versions are rarely as good as the games they are based on and Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition is no exception. By reducing the scope of its mechanics, it loses the depth and nuance that defined the original.

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The Republic of Rome ★★★★★

The Republic of Rome is long, difficult and drenched with an extreme dose of randomness. It features no cutscenes or flavour text, choosing instead to cover itself in dice charts and a manual coded like a phone book. And yet, it’s one of the most immersive, thematic and plainly exciting games both in and out of its genre. It’s the perfect example of how mechanics can create an incredible narrative and unforgettable gaming stories.

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Riftforce ★★★

In Riftforce we fight for power and control. As magic broke into the world and elementals began to awaken, ten guilds sought to dominate this new source of strength. In this game of hand management and strategy, prevailing over our opponents will require all our wits and the understanding of the small subtleties inherent to each faction.

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Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis ★★★

Indiana Jones’s adventures stopped for many years after the release of his third film but he remained active in the realm of video games a bit longer. Released in 1992, one of them stands out even today. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is a point and click adventure by LucasArts, creators of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. It captures the spirit of the original films perfectly and remains a fun romp almost 30 years later.

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The Lord of the Rings ★★★★

The Lord of the Rings is not a story of war. At its core, it’s not even a story of orcs, elves or magicians but one of sacrifice and friendship. Knizia’s adaptation of the literary classic is the only game I’ve played that truly recognizes this fact. Through its mechanics, it reflects the difficult journey of the novel and how only cooperation could overcome such dire odds.

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