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!

Gradius II ★★★★★

As I took the Vic Viper across burning suns and lava-born dragons I began to realize the scope of the adventure unfolding before me. Gradius II is a game of blinking lights in computerized bases and dodging lasers in asteroid belts, a story in which large mechanical enemies are defeated through quick reflexes and sheer force of will.

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Root ★★★

Before rising to stardom as a game designer, Cohle Wherle was known for being an avid gamer. He could be found on Boardgamegeek, sharing his thoughts on highly combative titles like Dune, wargames or the 18XX series. His first designs, like Pax Pamir and An Infamous Traffic kept that belligerence and added his own sardonic wit.

It should be expected, then, that Root would be about cute animals and the violent struggle for power between them.

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The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine ★★★

Trick-taking, the last frontier. For all my gaming experience, nothing remains as intimidating as four grandpas playing Bridge or Hearts. Hidden behind simple rules and a familiar façade there’s an amount of trickery and depth I’ve never been fully able to understand.

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, a cooperative take on the genre, has made me see the possibilities for the first time and all while having fun.

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Wingspan ★

Wingspan cover

Bird-watching may be a more exciting hobby than it’s given credit for, but Wingspan does little to change that impression. Stonemaier’s latest best-seller is a much duller game than I hoped for and also far from the simple, thematic experience promised by the box.

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