Undermined! Pairadice City (Saturday Review)

Howdy partner. Welcome to the Wild West, where there is gold to be found in them there hills. Only the most daring souls will find the riches. Mining is dangerous work. So helping your fellow human is the right thing to do, but getting repaid for your kindness is not guaranteed. I'll start you off with a pick-axe, some safety gear and a few sticks of dynamite. It's on the house, because I'm sure you'll soon be back to stock up. Now, off you go. Make your fortune in this wonderful place we call Undermined! Pairadice City by Chris Fisher and Nick Barker from Devilfly Games.

UK Games Expo 2024 (Saturday Review)

It is always a pleasure to arrive by train at Birmingham International train station, which not only gives you access to West Midland's main airport, but also to the amazing NEC. It is in this huge exhibition complex that the UK's largest hobby games convention takes place every year. The event welcomes tens of thousands of visitors over three days who explore the three main halls of the NEC as well as a number of rooms in the nearby Hilton Metropole Hotel. You will have guessed it. It is, of course, UK Games Expo 2024.

Abandon All Artichokes (Saturday Review)

Artichokes come in two main forms: globe and Jerusalem. Both are lovely vegetables with many health benefits. As culinary ingredients, some love their wonderful flavour, while others hate them for the same reason. However, we want to talk about globe artichokes specifically here. So while you might love these wonderful green plants, as relatives of thistles it is no surprise why one might be desperate to Abandon All Artichokes by Emma Larkins from Gamewright.

Doomlings (Saturday Review)

Space: an endless void with countless stars, some of which capable of harbouring a planet that can support life. On one of these Goldilocks planets far away from our own, life has indeed emerged. Yet, nothing is ever allowed to last. One day, the inevitable end will come. So in the meantime, life on this planet is competing for supremacy. They do not know it yet, but they are the Doomlings by Justus Meyer and Andrew Meyer from Doomlings LLC.

UK Games Expo 2024 – looking ahead (Topic Discussion)

Another year has gone by in a flash and it's time again for me to start another convention season. Well, I say "season", but that's exaggerating it. I'm actually only attending two board game shows this year. I just can't afford to fly everywhere and spend time away from home. So I chose two events that I really enjoyed last year and that won't cost me the world. The first of these is, of course, UK Games Expo 2024.

Sea of Thieves: Voyage of Legends (Saturday Review)

Build your reputation, they said. Complete voyages, defeat foes and gather treasures, they said. Visit the outpost to sell cargo and make repairs, they said. Having two sloops under my command was supposed to make this easy, but the truth was far from it. A pirate's life for me, my barnacle. It was a huge challenge from the start. It was almost impossible to safely navigate this Sea of Thieves: Voyage of Legends by Mat Hart, James M. Hewitt, Steve Margetson, Sherwin Matthews and Sophie Williams from Steamforged Games.

Paper App Dungeon (Saturday Review)

Welcome, adventurer. You are about to embark on a very unique dungeon crawl. Sharpen your pencil and be brave. You are about to face an almost endless cave system stuffed to the brim with coins, treasure chests, spiders' webs, enemies and even the odd portal. So off you go, brave fellow, and descend the stairs into the amazing Paper App Dungeon by Tom Brinton from Lucky Duck Games.

Boiling Point – why tension and escalation matters in games (Topic Discussion)

Hi, it’s Joe Slack here. I’ve written a few guest posts for Oliver in the past and I was delighted when he requested another guest blog, so here we go! Something I think about a lot as a game designer is how to create tension in a game as well as ensure that players feel a sense of progression as they play.

Star Trek: Away Missions (Saturday Review)

After the battle of Wolf 359, the team consisting of Commander Riker, Lieutenant Commanders Data and Shelby and Lieutenant Worf on board the U.S.S. Enterprise were doing all they could to protect the ship against the invading Borg, led by Locutus of Borg, formerly Captain Picard of the Federation. It was a strange situation. The alien drones seemed oblivious to the starship's crew as both sides went about completing their objectives and overall missions. Our training kicked in and it was as if we were on Star Trek: Away Missions by Andrew Haught, Mike Haught and Phil Yates from Gale Force Nine.