Flamme Rouge (Saturday Review)

We had started in Florence when everyone was still fresh and raring to go. An endless sea of bicycles with teams sticking closely together had lined up at the starting line. The support teams had only done their last checks minutes before and everything was shiny and gleaming. Now, several thousand kilometres later, everyone started to show signs of slowing down. Yet, at the horizon a welcome sign became visible. We knew it wasn't going to be much further. There it was, the red flag, the Flamme Rouge by Asger Harding Granerud from Lautapelit.fi.

Early Finish – why we don’t always have to finish games (Topic Discussion)

There is an unwritten social contract that, when you choose to play a board game, you agree to play it to its conclusion. Everyone around the table expects to finish the game. Everyone wants to have an equal chance of winning. People want to be able to come back from behind and snatch their victory right on their last turn. I think that expectation is perpetuated by how games are designed. So in this article, I want to explore this a bit further.

Shikoku 1889 (Saturday Review)

The period of sakoku has only recently ended, and now with the Meiji Restoration in full swing, the country is investing heavily in new technologies. Locomotives have become the leading symbol of the nation's modernization. Across all four islands, new railway operations are created and entrepreneurs attempt to profit from the money being injected into the economy. Our small island is no different. It's the same here on Shikoku 1889 by Yasutaka Ikeda from Grand Trunk Games.

Round and Refined – when games are perfectly designed (Topic Discussion)

Games come in all shapes and sizes. Designers create them in different ways and with different intentions. Some games are an interesting mix of mechanisms, others are a passion project that tries to evoke certain emotions when people play them. Games can have simple rules with deep emergent gameplay or they can be rules-heavy. While some games take minutes to play, others can take hours to complete. However games are designed, there are some that feel round and refined, while others seem awkward or overly difficult. So in this article, I want to investigate what it is that makes a game perfectly designed.

Mayan Curse (Saturday Review)

We made it! We finally decoded a very important ancient Mayan manuscript and found the temple described in the old document deep in the jungles of El Salvador. As we were standing at the entrance, we saw in front of us a very long paved road, leading to a circular pyramid. Each paving slab had a different symbol on it and we knew from the manuscript that we had to align them to make our way safely across. As keen as we were to get to the end, we also knew we had to get back out alive. After all, the secret underground pathway we had discovered was protected by an ancient Mayan Curse by Sylvain Plante and Joe Slack from Crazy Like a Box.

Rule Breakers – when breaking the game rules is more fun (Topic Discussion)

Good games will have had a lot of time put into them to ensure they create the experience that the designer wanted. The rules will have been created with intent and purpose. Rules are the skeleton around which the muscles, sinews, skin and the whole living body of the game grows. Games are meant to be played by their rules, or at least that's what we're being told. In this article, I want to look at why rule-breaking can be a better option.

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.