Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Author Archive

My early gamer years (Part 2)

So last time we went through this, I focused on my days on the Commodore 64. The 64 was an awesome machine for its time, as I am sure you know. It made massive leaps with its’ sound chip, so Commodore had some really big boots to fill when the world changed and most of us went from 8-bit to 16-bit. The Amiga 500 which was released in Europe in 1987; I would have been 12 at that point in time. I can’t remember when I got mine, but I do remember saving up as much pocket money as I could so I could go to the computer trade show with my Dad to buy one.

My Amiga stuck around for years. It became the system I learned a lot more programming on; starting with Amiga Basic and going on to learn the fabulous Blitz Basic. It helped with typing up documents for school and became a companion in my bedroom, as I wrote thousands of words into my own personal diary. After going through several upgrades, it was eventually replaced by its successor the Amiga 1200 which stuck with me until after I left home for a job at 19.

The Amiga was a superb system for its time and if I named every game that I ever played we would be here for weeks. I’m just going to concentrate on the games that I remember the most, these may not be Amiga exclusives but it’s the main ones I remember.

(more…)


Harbour – By Scott Almes – Review

Harbour is a worker placement and resource management game, where you play an entrepreneur who has been invited by Dockmaster Schlibble and Constable O’Brady to set up business in their bustling town. You set up your warehouse and take a hard look at how the market is doing before making your first trades. Designed by Scott Almes and published by Tasty Minstrel Games it was first released back in 2015.

(more…)


Wibbell++ A card game system by Bez

Wibbell++ is not just a card game, it’s actually being sold as a game system. You may remember the review that I put together for the fun physical restriction card game called In A Bind? Well after we reviewed that, Bez the designer got in touch with us to thank us for the article and tell us that there was something new in development. Rolling forward after a successful Kickstarter campaign to UKGE this year and I receive an email from Bez telling me that there is a copy of the new game system waiting at a stand at the show for me.

Design

Wibbell++ has a very simplistic design. Each card has on it two large letters, a pattern around the edge and a number on the bottom of each card. It is Bez’ vision that with these three elements it is possible to come up with new games for it on a regular basis. Bez’s plan is to release at least one new game for the system every year to mark the anniversary of In A Bind on August 1st which is lovingly referred to as Bez Day.

In the pack you get instructions for five different games to play, I’m going to try and break these down and explain them to you here and have linked some of the videos that were released for the Kickstarter.

Wibbell

  • Players: 2-7
  • Approx play time: 10-25 minutes

Wibbell is a word game and you start it by dealing out two cards face down. When all players are ready you then turn over the cards and all players try to be the first to shout out a word that contains at least one letter from each card. The person who shouts a winning word first gets to take one of the two cards that are available and place it letter side up in front of them, therefore gaining a point. The next round starts with a new card joining the one that was left, now all the players once again try to shout out a word that has at least one letter from both cards as well as any card that is placed in front of them.

In the photo above we see a game in progress, our players here are Lola on the Left, Jazz on the right and Dave at the bottom. Lola has already won two rounds, Jazz one and Dave is yet to win a round, the two cards in the centre are the community cards. So in our example, Dave could shout words like “Yes, Sandy, Day” etc, Jazz could shout out “Escalator, Idle, Decade” etc, but Lola would have to use words like “Yesterday, Tapes, Watches”.

Play continues with a new community card until one player has four cards in their possession, that player then gets to take the extra spare card (making 5 in total). All players then turn over their gained cards and then two new community cards are dealt and play starts from the beginning. You continue like this until you run out of cards in the pack. Then count all of your cards and the player with the most is the winner. If it’s a draw you could perhaps play a sudden death round if you really needed to have a winner.

Alphabetickell

  • Players: 2-5
  • Approx play time: 15-35 minutes

Instead of words this time you are trying to create as much of the alphabet as you can from the cards. To start with each player is dealt three cards, they get to keep just one of these and then the rest get shuffled back into the deck. Next, the dealer turns over the top card of the deck and considers if they want to add it to their collection or not. If they refuse the same card goes to the next player and so on until either the card is taken or all players have refused and the card is discarded. Play like this continues until one player has 11 cards or you run out of cards entirely. All cards are then shuffled and scores are kept and another round is played until one player has 26 points.

Grabbell

  • Players: 2-7 players
  • Approx play time: 2-3 minutes

Shuffle the cards and deal one face down to each player, place all the other cards face up on a surface. Count to three and all players turn over their personal card and then grab cards from the table that match theirs. You can match either a letter on your card or the border. At any point in time, a player can slam their stack onto the table and shout the word “Grabbell”

The last player to stop gets to keep the remaining cards on the table as a bonus, every other player gets 10 points. All players pass their stack to the player to their left so that another player can check it. Anyone who makes a mistake scores nothing, but if your deck is clean then you gain the number of cards you grabbed as points plus any bonus points they have already won.

Faybell

  • Players: 2-5 players
  • Approx play time: 15-30 minutes

A cooperative story telling creative game. Think of this game as similar to using Story Cubes but with a bit more of a challenge. Each player takes a turn and flips a card face up and uses the letters on the card as initials of two words to nominate a story element. When there is a total of five story elements then players can start to tell the story, using the rest of the deck.

The next player turns over a card and must start their sentence with the letter on the top of the card. They then need to nominate a word using the letter on the bottom of the card for the next player. The next player follows suit by turning over a card and continuing the story, they must include in their part of the tale the word that was chosen using the bottom letter from the previous player.

Play continues until all the story elements that were devised at the beginning are included. Then all players work together to reach an end and as the instructions read “If anyone is happy you all win”

Phrasell

  • Players: 5-15
  • Approx play time: 15-30 minutes

First, you pick a judge for this round. Turn over a card from the deck and use it to inspire any subject you wish. For example, an ‘OC’ might inspire octopuses, as these are letters with curves. Then turn over two more cards from the cards revealing 4 letters. All players must then race to invent four-word phrases that use those letters as initials.

At any time the judge can end the round and then gives 3 cards to the player they thought had the best phrase. The judge may alternatively give two cards to a favourite phrase and one to a second favourite. The person who won the round then becomes the judge and the next round commences. Play continues until the deck is finished and the player with the most amount of cards wins.

Final thoughts

We would like to thank Bez for giving us a review copy of the game. It really means a lot to us that game developers want our opinion. Now I’m not just going to say Wibbell++ is great because Bez is such a nice person, no it is actually a great game system. It is after all just a deck of cards which makes it super portable. It’s also not age restricted, it will encourage younger players to increase their vocabulary and put older minds to work too. It may be based on the English language but I don’t think it will need to change much to work with others. At the time of writing it looks like Bez has managed to get some distribution for the game to various retailers around the UK. I’m very interested to see how Wibbell++ develops as a game system from here on in.

What do you think about the games that are in the system so far? Is this the sort of game you might play and take with you on holiday? If you have any ideas for the game system I’m sure Bez would be eager to hear them. Send us your thoughts in the comments section or over on Reddit, Facebook or Twitter.


Braggart – Card Game Review

You’ve just finished a hard day adventuring; You ache and you think you may have a new rash on your leg from that last battle. You’re sure it’s nothing and take some well-earned downtime in the local tavern. Sitting around the table are some fellow adventurers. The drinks start to flow and so do the stories, it’s time for you to become the biggest Braggart.

(more…)


Zombie Babies Kickstarter Preview

Just when you thought the world was done with Zombie’s another one rises from the grave. Well, in this case, the game rises from Kickstarter and we are very lucky to have a preview copy of it. So it’s time to check your pockets for useful items, ensure that your nappy is securely fastened and put on a brave face, it’s time for us to take on Zombie Babies.

(more…)


Urban Heroes RPG – Tin Hat Games – Intro

I found out about #UrbanHeroes from an email that hit my inbox, just before we went to UKGE. Tin Hat Games were promoting their new board game called Dungeon Digger, so I went digging into their history and found out about this superhero based RPG. The last RPG I looked at was Pugmire, which was not a full review, but rather an introductory look. By contrast, this article is a more in-depth look at the #UrbanHeroes RPG; All that I am aiming for here is an overview of the book, and how I feel about it as a person who has played a fair bit of D&D. I aim to introduce you to the “world” so to speak and give an opinion of what I think a game of it might be like.

(more…)


Family Plot – Card game review

It was back in October last year that I first supported Family Plot, and I was anticipating its arrival. I have had my final copy for a few months now and thought it was about time that I finally reviewed it.

(more…)


Follow – Sibro Games Review

Readers… we spoil you! Check us out; two board game reviews in the same number of days. If yesterday’s board game – Great Scott – was not your thing, then how about you try this offering from Sibro Games?

(more…)


Hunger: The Show – Board game review

Hunger: The Show is a survival game where you play a contestant on a reality game show on a desert island. It was created by Swedish designer Pim Thunborg and published by Phalanx Games in Poland.

(more…)


UKGE 2017: Games and RPG’s

As Joel (terraphi) mentions in his article we were at UK Games Expo 2017. Over the three days I spoke to a lot of people and walked several miles wandering around the show but we both walked away feeling like the show was generally very good. Joel and I sat down and had a little chat at the end of day 2 about what we liked and didn’t like about the show.

Games

Let’s start with awesome Polish publisher Board And Dice, I managed to get a bit more of an in-depth look into two of their games. Pocket Mars is a worker placement game where you aim to take all of your astronauts from Earth and place them on Mars and bills itself as a big game in a small box. From the explanation I got I can definitely see why and it’s gone onto my wishlist for the future. The second game of theirs was SuperHot a card game based on the computer game of the same name. SuperHot is a deck building game with a difference, where you can play in a solo mode, co-op or against a second player who plays as an AI and there is even a 2 on 1 mode where two players can try to take down the AI. It’s very true in the way the game looks and feels which is a huge credit. The game and the designer have even implemented a mechanic that attempts to simulate time moving when you do.

Next, we will move onto Brain Crack Games, who are based in Southampton. I played their corporate greed based card game called Down Size where you have to build up funds in a company as fast as possible and then think about firing all of your employees. I also played a fantastic little exploration game called Mined Out where you mine for gems in a very unstable mine, both of these games again appeal to me because the boxes are quite small and portable and there is enough gameplay in there.

I also had a go at a nearly complete version of Grublin Games heist game called Perfect Crime. This one is a bit more long form but is a very novel new concept and as far as I know, the only board game that uses blueprints as part of the design. As suggested by the title you play the part of bank robbers who set out to plan and execute a perfect heist. One player plays as the bank and then all other players (maximum 5 including the Bank) act as the robbers to try and find their way to the vault. The team at Grublin are looking to get this complete for September and even though I don’t do long form games that much this one has me rather intrigued.

RPG’s

The thing with RPGs at a show like UKGE is that you have very limited time to absorb them. That is unless you have done some research beforehand, so I tend to go on instinct with these things. I did come across two RPG’s that caught my eye and with any luck, we might be able to get hold of copies of them to give them a full review.

First off we have an RPG called Sins. Sins is a really interesting sounding game with a simplified dice system that I feel really works with its premise. It’s being billed as “a high-octane, dark and driven game of cinematic proportions“. I love the fact that the creators have already embraced that music can be very influencial in setting a tone and they have released a few Spotify Playlists to help players and the GM alike. I spoke to the designer Sam who is a really nice guy and very enthusiastic about his own product. Rightfully so, the demo book he had was beautiful and when he explained the dice system my interest really accelerated.

The second RPG that I found is from the Italian game designers Tin Hat Games who we hope to get hold of their new board game Dungeon Digger that was kickstarted in an amazing 3 days. They have a really nice super being based RPG called Urban Heroes. Having seen the actual print book again I must say it’s beautifully put together. Urban Heroes has been around for a while and if we can’t get hold of a copy for review then I am more than willing to dig into my own pocket for a PDF version at only $19.99 (USD).

That’s not all folks?

There is so much more and Joel and I will be working on getting more posts up related to UKGE over the next few weeks/months. Trust us when I say we have plenty of content to write up. I certainly would say that UKGE was a great expo and well worth checking out. Speaking to some of the people who attended it I got confirmation from them that it was well worth the money even if you only went for a day trip. Did you go to UKGE and if so what was your experience of the show? Did you manage to pick up any bargains from the show? Tell us all about it in the comments section below or over on Facebook.