Japan was unified by three feudal lords. The first, Oda Nobunaga, spent twenty years bringing the nation under his power. After being betrayed, Toyotomi Hideyoshi governed for a decade before his death. The last one, Tokugawa Ieyasu, would create a dynasty after a military campaign lasting seven weeks. Matt Calkin’s Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan tells that story, in one of wargaming’s best and most elegant designs.
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!
Few would consider Secrets to be one of the best designs made by Eric M. Lang or his codesigner from my side of the pond, Bruno Faidutti. And yet, this lesser game of social deduction has managed to hit my table more than thirty different times. As players change sides, flip cards and betray their countries in order to become hippies, its flaws might be hard to ignore, but the fun of the resulting experience is also undeniable.
Slay the Spire is the world’s first deckbuilding roguelike. If you favour video games, you may recognize one of these terms. If you prefer board games, the other. Chances are, you won’t know either! However, there’s no need to. Its fusion of the digital tradition of dungeon crawls with the innovative card-play of the tabletop is excellent on its own.
Modern designers try not to include poor mechanics in their games. Losing a turn, for example, used to be absolutely commonplace, until they realized that not being able to play wasn’t much fun. However, designers are not always successful at avoiding their use. Sometimes, they make their way in, unintentionally. This is the case of Vagrantsong, whose 1920s cartoon extravagance is contrasted by its dated mechanical design.
For more than a hundred and fifty years, scientists have wondered what lies beyond the orbit of Neptune. By measuring the movements of comets, locating gas clouds, and checking for the presence of asteroids, they hoped to find proof of the existence of a new planet. The Search for Planet X translates this quest into the language of logical deduction games, building from the base of Cluedo and greatly surpassing it.