A game for the criminally imaginative, that’s the tagline. Whilst board games have enjoyed a massive resurgence in the 2000’s and beyond, so too have games where there are less typical boards involved. This month, we investigate a game that’s been on my “to play” list for quite some time – Rogues to Riches. This was a game I backed on Kickstarter quite some time ago and I received it late last year. We finally got around to playing it as a small group at this past GeekOut Bristol Meet and I will say it’s one of the most funny games I’ve picked up in quite some time. Read on for our full review!
If you are coming along to our little geeky get together on Friday try to hang around and look out for me when I arrive (around 6 or 7pm). Say hello and remind me that I carry upon my person a little Print and Play version of a crowd-funded card game called Temp Worker Assassins. Yes, once again we have been blessed by wonderful creators who have sent me all the relevant files, to which I have spent my lunch hours over the past few days cutting up these cards with a guillotine. I’m not the most dexterous or accurate person in the world so forgive me if the cards are a little wonky and don’t look their best.
Co-operative to a point, Welcome to the Dungeon is a game about deceit and peril for one unlucky adventurer. But everyone who plays this game is the same hero, as you all vie to psyche one another out and enter the Dungeon. Timlah investigates one of the most recent additions to our collection of games.
Recently, I decided I wanted to get myself a Loot Crate box. So that I did, when they released some of their older boxes. I went and bought myself the Play box, which had some great items inside, but there was an item I didn’t see listed – or at least I didn’t know what it was at first. When I opened my box, there it was sitting neatly near the bottom of the box… The exclusive Superfight deck for Loot Crate. But just what is Superfight and is it any good? Read on to find out more about the game. WARNING: This game is Not Safe For Work…
I’m going to warn you now: I compare this game to Cards Against Humanity… And it’s up to you to decide which game you would prefer sitting on your shelf. Both games are great fun.
Very simply put, this is Cards Against Humanity in Superhero dream-fight scenario format. You have white cards and you have black cards, not much new here so far. What is new however is that instead of playing a white card (answer) to a black card (question), you have black cards (attributes) and white cards (characters). Also, it’s got an interesting drawing mechanic, where you draw three black and three white cards at the start of each turn.
Your character could be anything, from an average woman, to a young boy wearing his underwear on his head; or more specific characters, such as George Bush. You give your character an attribute and it goes around in turn order for players to unveil what their superhero is. The remainder of your hand goes into two separate discard piles, one for the black cards and one for the white cards. When everyone has done this, each player picks up another black card and puts it on their superhero. Then, the players discuss who would win the fight. The winner scores a point and the game continues until an end point has been decided.
It’s not necessarily the most safe for work game out there, but some of the combinations are outright hilarious, so it’s worth a look at. One pro side to this is the majority of the cards seem relatively inoffensive. With this in mind, if you want to play a silly game with people who prefer games that are a little more politically correct, whilst I’ve not seen all of the cards out there, this game might offer that “CAH-Feel” without all of the hoo hah of having to explain what Bukakke is. If you don’t know, don’t look it up. We accept no responsibility if you do look that up.
Presentation and Cost
Same as Cards Against Humanity, the game is really well presented. It’s very simple too, with two different decks, representing two types of cards. It’s really easy to understand, simply based on the looks of the cards. The game comes in a nice enough box, again sharing an incredibly familiar trait of Cards Against Humanity of the black on white feel. You know that when you open the box, it’s going to be a lot of cards. The game certainly feels well polished and nicely packaged, plus it doesn’t take up too much room.
Cost is hard to define when we don’t have a similar game, so we’ll be comparing the base set of Superfight with the base set of Cards Against Humanity. When we talk about cost, the game is slightly more expensive than Cards Against Humanity, which is at a simple and clean twenty pounds. Also, whilst Superfight comes with 500 cards, Cards Against Humanity comes with 550.
I really like Superfight and it makes for a really nice replacement or even compliment to Cards Against Humanity. It’s a nice addition to our little geek game set and because it’s not purely about “who is the funniest”, but rather it has a lot more depth to with its ‘character creation’ (sort of.) This earns it a unique spot in our geek games collection. It’s easy to get into, especially if you’ve played any card games of its kind before. Have you played or heard of Superfight? Would you rate this or Cards Against Humanity higher and why? Let us know in the comments below, over on Twitter or Facebook.
Those who have been around this website for some time will recall the Kickstarter campaign that both Joel and I ranted about for a little while, Exploding Kittens. Whilst we never did a Kickstarter Highlight on it, as the game was already way over 100% funded by the time we’d heard about it, I knew in my heart that this was a game I wanted to pick up. Not just because it has the word Exploding in it, certainly not just for the kittens, (although they do help sell this game,) but because it sounded really simple.
One of the issues I have with plenty of traditional games is the time needed to learn the game. Picture this: You walk into a pub, filled with all of these really fun people who are readily playing board and card games together. You’ve never been to an event like this before, so you want to join in. You rush over to the nearest seat “Ah, hello, we’re about to play [Insert Board Game Here]!” “Oh, I’ve never even heard of this game”, you cry out. “Don’t worry… It’ll be easy.” One hour later you still don’t know what you’re doing, but you’ve likely had a pint or two by now so instead opt to just talk to people.
Occasionally for my meetups, I like to buy a new board game to introduce to the well played collection I appear to have amassed.
I mean let’s think about it: If you have a monthly party where the party plays out exactly the same way each time, but just with a few other people, it has to get relatively stale for the host. So I decided whilst I was London Anime and Gaming Convention to go ahead and buy myself a new board game. I approached a dealer who was selling a lot of board games on the stalls closing hours and he said “You’ve gotta think fast, we’re packin’ up over here.”
Dixit is a simple game which features wonderful little bunny rabbits as the characters that represent you, the player.
As you hop and jump through a magical dream-world like state, your goal in this beautiful game is to get to the number 30. Why 30? I dunno, something to do with you getting 30 points and winning the game or something.
It’s a deceptively simple and all around adorable game. Each player is given 6 cards, each of which have nice large illustrations on them. The purpose of the game is to tell a story or to describe your picture in a way that some people get it, but not everyone. Once you’ve described your card, you place it face down around the board and the other players put down a card that they feel is similar to what you said. These get shuffled up, the story is generally repeated and then the cards are placed face up so people can see the cards around the board. Once all is said and done, the players must then decide which card was the story tellers card.
The game can be played between 3 to 12 players, but I’d say it’s recommended with at least 6 players. If you have more than that, you are required to vote for 2 cards, yet if you have 6 – You have a bigger range of cards to choose from and you basically have a 1 in 6 chance of getting the answer right. In a game with just 3 people, it’s quite easy to guess which card belongs to the story teller, but this is down to the creativity of the story teller in general.
I first played my new set of Dixit Odyssey in our recent Taunton meetup. We were playing this game after a good number of us had consumed a reasonable amount of alcohol, which really made some of our descriptions of our cards quite warped in a fun and friendly way. The most amazing thing is, we played this game right after we had played Cards Against Humanity. As such, we expected we’d have made all of the lovely pictures out to be a lot worse than what they are – but we didn’t. Dixit truly is a beautiful game which allows people to be creative without the need of being obscene.
Each player is given a voting card, which has 12 holes in it. Players then also get either 1 voting peg (for up to 6 players) or 2 voting pegs (between 6 to 12 players). Scoring is quite simple too: If some (but not all) of the players guess the storytellers card correctly: the story teller gets 3 points. If everyone guesses the storytellers card correctly, then everyone except for the storyteller gets 2 points. If no one guesses the storytellers card correctly, then again everyone except for the storyteller gets 2 points. Players also score an additional 1 point for each other player that voted for their card, rather than the storytellers.
If you’ve played the standard Dixit before, then Odyssey might be somewhat disappointing to you, as it is basically the exact same game. There are a few basic variations to the rules, which is easily replicated over to the standard Dixit game. The only thing that isn’t so easy is the fact it has 12 voting cards unlike the normal Dixit. But with the amount of cards you get in Odyssey, you will quickly run through them all and start reusing cards. It might be worth investing in the expansions, but these can go for an extra £10-£15 a piece!
Have you ever played Dixit before or Dixit Odyssey? What did you think of the rather dream-like qualities of the game? Have you ever been able to make one of the most magically innocent games into something warped!? If so, shame on you – but tell us your stories below!
What a weird name for a Top 10, right?
I mean, it’s all well and good that this is a Top 10, but are we really going to celebrate those times you die in a game? Well no, we’re not. This Top 10 is dedicated to those characters that start the game dead.
That’s right, they’re dead before things happen in game. Nevertheless, these dead characters are important to their respective games and franchises, so we feel like they all deserve to have a tip of the hat as it were. Without delaying you from this awesome list any longer, here we go!
Top 10 Dead Characters in Gaming
10. Carlos Calaca – Guacamelee!
The big bad guy of Guacamelee! imposes his way to number 10.
Originally a human, Carlos made a pact with the devil himself by selling his soul to win a competition. Well, the devil tricked him and yes – this makes Carlos a bit angry. So he exacts his revenge… By turning the devil into a chicken.
Now, an undead who’s in the land of the living, Carlos is looking for a way to bring the lands of the living and the dead together so he can rule over both.
9. Jackie Estacado – The Darkness
The game based on the comic book series begins with the legendary line “I remember the day of my 21st birthday. That was the first time I died.” Jackie is kept immortal by the inherited power of The Darkness, a demonic force that not only serves as a devastating weapon, but also rebuilds the body of the host if slain.
It’s debatable whether or not Jackie Estacado is dead, but he undoubtedly deserves a place in our list for one hell of an introduction.
8. Sandro – Heroes of Might and Magic
Sandro is one of the few characters to appear (at least by mention) in every single version of the Heroes of Might and Magic series. Now in its’ sixth title, the necromancer has made a triumphant return to the game (albeit as a separate entity with the same name – and indeed nickname – to appeal to fans) after a brief disappearance in the fifth, but even then held no small influence on the games’ storyline.
Cunning, diabolical, and completely skeletal, Sandro became the focus of his very own expansion campaign in HoMM 3: The Shadow of Death; and again in HoMM 6: Danse Macabre.
7. Aiden – Beyond: Two Souls
Jodies spiritual partner throughout the game is Aiden, who you later find out is *BLEEEEEEEP SPOILERS*. Ahem, excuse me.
Aiden is really impressive throughout this game, as you don’t see who Aiden really is until right at the end of the game (in any physical form, this is) and he has direct influence over the entire game. He is able to interact with the lands and if you have a player two plugged in at the time, player two can be Aiden! I felt this was an excellent mechanic that could really have done with having more exposure.
If the lovely 1001-Up are reading this, I would have put Jeff here, but sadly Aiden had more of an impact on the story. Jeff is a personal honourable mention of mine!
6. Kain – Legacy of Kain
A magnificent anti-hero, the saga of the vampire Kain tells of his growing narcissism, how his jealousy caused him to destroy his greatest lieutenant – Raziel – and cast him into the abyss and creating his mightiest enemy.
Kains’ death at the hands of an assassin begins the series in which he plays both protagonist and antagonist; in the final instalment (Defiance) alternating between the two as the game progresses. At all times however, he is an arrogant and self serving tyrant.
5. Sorin Markov – Magic: the Gathering
The vampire Planeswalker of Magic: the Gathering makes his mark at number 5.
Ascending into the status of a Vampire Planeswalker, Imprisoning the Eldrazi at Zendikar, leading vampires. Yeah, Sorin has a pretty impressive resume. Players who go against a deck with Sorin in it will feel the effect of his presence very quickly. Just hope he doesn’t keep draining your life with his sangromancy!
4. Sir Daniel Fortesque – MediEvil
When one of the main features of you is that your head comes off and you can put it on little scuttling hands so you can scout around the place, you know you’re pretty much dead. Well, yeah in fact Sir Daniel is brought back from the dead to fight off the evils that are plaguing the land!
Hence the name of the game. MediEvil. See? There’s a reason for everything. This game was hack n slash action greatness… Pick up number 2, at very least. That game rocked my childhood and it’ll equally rock yours.
Plus, you get to run around with big ol’ guns and swords. What more could you want when dead!? Oh, yeah: You get to end number two by going back to your deathly slumber with your kick-ass sidekick by your side!
3. Cave Johnson – Portal 2
Do you know who Cave Johnson is? He’s the man who’s going to burn your house down! With the lemons!
Although he never appears, Cave Johnson – former founder and CEO of Aperture Science – is an integral part of Valves’ Portal 2. Through his voice-over guide through the old test chambers in the second half of the game reveal his declining health, how his insane ideas put the company into deep jeopardy, and the origins of GLaDOS herself. His exposition and ranting is also rather important to the very last puzzle in the game, so pay close attention.
2. Vecna – Dungeons & Dragons
For many years Vecna has been a member of the Dungeons & Dragons pantheon. Once a mortal man turned undead through arcane prowess, turned divine by cunning manipulations and powerful friends. His legend is a long story in its’ own right, but now he spawns a wealth of undead-inspired campaigns and famous in game stories.
Most famous for his missing his hand and eye which are themselves artifacts that feature in every core rulebook, Vecna is perhaps the most famous NPC to grace the game.
1. Manny Calavera – Grim Fandango
The smooth talking salesman from the game directed by that smooth talking developer, Tim Schafer. Manny Calavera has a crummy job and is looking for that one lead in his life. He’s looking for his own ticket on the number 9, but we decided to give him the ticket to our number 1 spot instead.
Friends with a demonic mechanic, making enemies who are the dead equivalent of the Mafia, riding around in hot rods. Running hotels, fancy suits… Manny Calavera is truly a man’s man and a ladies turn off. Just like how we all want to be in the real world… Wait, what?!
Shooting, crime, deception, you name it – it’s in Grim Fandango. It’s a classic adventure game that’s due a remake.
… Any time soon.
Sheesh, even in death we’re not giving these guys a break.
On the plus side for them, they still get a mention as they are pretty damn cool dead characters, so at least it’s not all bad news. They just missed out on the Top 10 for various reasons, however we’ll probably explain why in their listings.
Probably, because you know: These guys are dead already, I’m sure they won’t mind if we “accidentally” forget about them!
Dry Bones – Mario
One of the most lovable dead characters in existence, Dry Bones doesn’t quite make it to our top 10 list but still gets a mention. Sheesh, not even in death does this little guy get a break!
Dry Bones, albeit has been around for some time, is not important to the story in any real way. Sure, there may be one or two games that promote Dry Bones to a more “important” role, but even then: It’s merely a role. Dry Bones is never a star, but it doesn’t stop Dry Bones being absolutely adorable and
when if I die, I’d like to look like Dry Bones. Although I’d like to not have the weaknesses of Dry Bones while we’re in fantasy world.
Ronan O’Connor – Murdered: Soul Suspect
Ok, neither of us have played Soul Suspect yet, but the idea of playing a guy investigating his own murder appeals more than enough to get Ronan O’Connor onto our list. The opening scene depicts his traumatic entry into the haunted world, complete with bullet holes opening in his chest as Ronan watches his body being perforated to ensure the job is done.
I’m a fan of the noir genre, and investigation games especially (Diskworld Noir being a firm favourite of mine) so this is definitely on the to-do list. Maybe then Ronan can rest in peace on our Top Ten.
Well, that was our Top 10 dead characters in gaming. I hope you enjoyed our list as much as we enjoyed making it!
Come on you gaming veterans out there. Tell us how wrong our list is, or tell us where we’ve done good. Let us know who YOUR favourite dead characters in gaming in the comments section below. Who knows, perhaps we’ll like your suggestion so much that we include them on our list!
Yes, it’s true. We have a bit of a soft spot for those cuddly looking maulers, bears. In gaming, they can be an intimidating force to be reckoned with… Or they can be one of gamings best running gags.
Join us as we list our personal top 10 bears in gaming.
Top 10 bears in Gaming
10. Bear Simulator
Originating from Kickstarter, Bear Simulator reached a staggering pledge of $100,571 out of a target goal of $29,500.
All of the money would go towards paying for better things, as the base of the game itself was already made. Animators, models and more would still need to be bought and made, so off to Kickstarter this bear game went.
I could BEAR-ly contain my excitement in knowing that there is a demand for being a bear.
9. Bears – World of Warcraft
With a funky dance, the bears of World of Warcraft are always memorable. From the Darkmoon Dancing Bear mount, to the Druid bear form, there are plenty of ways to make bears dance. Of course, you could be like me and approach a druid whilst wearing the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire and force them to dance.
… That didn’t sound good on my behalf, did it?
8. Kuma/Panda – Tekken
Kuma and Panda are two separate characters in the Tekken franchise. Kuma does seem to love Panda, but more importantly, they are both pets to one of the fighters in the game. Kuma is the loyal pet to Heihachi Mishima and Panda is the pet and friend of Ling Xiaoyu.
As well as having been in the Tekken franchise for some time, the cut scenes these two get are usually simply hilarious. After all, who’d expect the loyal pets to win the King of Iron Fist Tournament? Although as I always point out to my friends, why wouldn’t a bear win?
An incredible board game from Asmodee sees the emperor of Japan tending his bamboo garden with his pet panda gifted to him from China. Players build up the garden, grow bamboo and feed the wandering panda, trying to complete goals determined by cards in their hands. This game is incredible fun, really easy to play, and has a panda with an umbrella.
6. Teddy – Among the Sleep
Your companion in a big, scary world, this Teddy will be your friend.
This game really captures upon the innocence of the child protagonist and the demons the child has to face. Being the only friend the child seems to have in this dark world, Teddy is always around to help the child through the terrifyingly large world around them.
This game is riddled with symbolism in a very stunning way, so please do go and check it out.
5. Bear token cards – Magic: the Gathering
Whilst playing a game of Magic: the Gathering with one of the GeekOut South-West social event members, I noticed he had a rather peculiar deck.
The whole deck was built around those lovely creatures that are bears. So all bears get +1/+1, all bears are vigilant, all bears are bears. Prepare yourself for the bearpocalypse! Ultimately, I can’t help but look at these token cards and smile each time.
They poke fun at their own creations and make a bear deck look truly fantastic. Magic: the Gathering is well known for its witty humour, but I think with these tokens, you’ll just have to grin and BEAR IT!
4. Owlbears – Dungeons & Dragons
Staple hybrid monstrosity straight out of dungeons and dragons, I’ll see your hippogryph and offer you a bear with a beak and a terrifying shriek!
Based on a plastic toy Gary Gygax himself found in a shop in Hong Kong that immediately entered his new game, the owlbear has not only been in the first monster manual of every edition, but it was also listed as the second best D&D monster of all time, knocked off the top spot by a giant cube of jelly. It’s also spread across dozens of other games in various forms.
Also its’ bear hugs end in a pointy beak!
3. Monzaemon – Digimon
A puppet Digimon who makes people around him feel happy with his cute body (and scary eyes).
Monzaemon interestingly is named after the famous puppeteer, Chikamatsu Monzaemon. He is an Ultimate digimon and is exceptionally powerful. Whenever I played Digimon World as a kid, I used to always want to get my hands on Monzaemon as soon as possible, as he was able to do just about anything! After a certain point in the game, he arguably becomes one of the easiest to obtain ultimate Digimon, too.
He has also been around since the very beginning of Digimon and has also been named “Teddymon”. Basically, I really like
2. Dovahbear – Skyrim
Originally an animation by YouTuber Bows, Dovahbear has actually become a playable mod in Skyrim. Allowing you to have your very own Dovahbear companion, who acts just like a companion and a bear, as well as having the shouts of the Dovahkiin.
Dovahbear Fus-Ro-Dahs his way to our second slot on this list, as he started life as a series of animations and then he was created… And you wouldn’t be playing Skyrim to its maximum potential if you weren’t playing with your very own Dovahbear companion.
1. Enviro-Bear 2000
Easily taking the number 1 spot of our Top 10 bears in Gaming, it’s Enviro-Bear 2000.
This is a game where you drive in a car as a bear. You need to collect some berries and fish before quickly going to hibernate. The climate is getting colder so it’s your job to gather and eat as much as possible whilst wasting as little energy as possible. So the bear found himself a car and decided to drive around the forest to gather and eat as much stuff as he can.
There are plenty of YouTube videos for Enviro-Bear 2000, but please, check out the above one by Markiplier just to see what Enviro-Bear is all about.
We have two picks that are our honourable mentions for the top 10 bears in gaming. They didn’t quite make the cut for the top 10, but only BEAR-ly.
Ursaring – Pokemon
We wanted to like Ursaring more than we did, but we had to mention him somewhere on this list!
We felt he deserved to be mentioned as let’s be honest, he looks like an absolute beast of a Pokemon. He has a great attack base stat at 130, which in Pokemon is really high! One of my personal favourite Pokemon, Haxorus, which has one of the highest attack stats in the game has 147 attack. So, for a much easier to get pokemon that’s a pure normal type (Immune to ghost moves) and loses that new found weakness to Fairy types, Ursaring is the beast for you!
Plus he looks cuddly.
Sir Bearington is one of these stories in RPG that quickly became a legend.
Originally just Bearington, a bear rogue with all of his points in deception and a butler who could understand bear, Bearington was knighted to become Sir Bearington! Now Sir Bearington is on top of the world, with people doing his bidding.
This story has been retold amongst tabletop enthusiasts for many a year, but each time I always come back to this quote:
“Mr. Bearington is a pillar of our community and he will not suffer the slander and mudslinging of a nincompoop! Methinks, if you cannot handle your wine you should not partake! Guards, remove this man from the grounds!”
I’m terribly sorry if you felt this post was a little… Un-BEAR-able. But don’t worry, there will be more articles like this in the future. I’d like to thank Joel for his help on this article, as he chose our number 4 slot – Owlbears and our number 7 slot – Takenoko.
Do you think we missed any really awesome bears in gaming out? Do you like or dislike some of our choices? Why not let us know in the comments below? We’d love to hear from you!