Most logical deduction games get less interesting after a few plays. Faced with the same puzzle every time, strategy quickly becomes repetitive.The Search for Planet X, however, is one of the few that has actually gotten better the more I play it. With two difficulty modes and plenty of opportunities to lean on your opponent’s research, there’s room to play better. It all starts with a little survey, some wild theories and ends with a scientific breakthrough.
Here’s something you might not know: Critics hate review scores. In the minds of many of my colleagues, putting a score next to their articles diminishes their work. They are included out of obligation, and most believe they actively stifle quality conversation. So why do I use them? To me, review scores are not a constraint but a powerful tool of classification and discovery.
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.
Are miniatures making board games better? Certainly, a look at our shelves may make us wonder how they could not. Some of the largest and most celebrated titles of the last few years feature them and they are always the centerpoint of the biggest and most luxurious remakes. But this wealth of highly-detailed components isn’t all positive. Artistically, there are four main problems with the way miniatures are used in board games.
When it comes to Level 99, it’s impossible not to think about anime and Japanese video games. From BattleCON to Argent the Consortium, their catalog draws an immense amount of inspiration from them, both in looks and gameplay. I interview Brad Talton, designer of Millennium Blades and head of Level 99 Games itself about his influences and the way his nerdy adolescence shapes his work today.