Diatoms (Saturday Review)

There. It was done. The mosaic was complete. It was tiny, about the size of a full stop. However, under the microscope, it glistened and glinted, it sparkled and shined. It was a wonderfully symmetric arrangement, forming the overall shape of a circle, intersected into various quadrants. Yet, it was more than just geometry and scientific fascination. It was art. There they were, the wonderful Diatoms by Sabrina Culyba from Ludoliminal.

In All Seriousness – board games with sensitive topics (Topic Discussion)

I know that many of us play board games to have fun. Whether we enjoy lighter or heavier games, it's all about spending time, either alone or with friends or family, getting away from the day-to-day worries and immersing yourself in another world for an hour or two or three. Yet, there are games that are set against the background of a very serious topic. These games want us, the players, to engage with the topic in a safe environment. They will never be perfect representations of the reality they portray, but hopefully, they will make us want to engage with the topic further.

Next Station: Tokyo (Saturday Review)

We were on our way to the city's main station to board the bullet train to Kyoto. Travelling on the Asakusa underground line towards Ikebukuro, we had just passed through Kasumigaseki and arrived at Ginza station. We were nearly there. It was Next Station: Tokyo by Matthew Dunstan from Blue Orange.

I C E (Saturday Review)

The snowshelf reached from horizon to horizon in all directions. We were in the Valley of the Ancient Ones, which was a frozen region, pounded by deadly storms, but which had made space for a single, lone city. It was summer and time for the guilds to go on their annual pilgrimage and explore this tundra. As one of the leaders, you were about to take your guild to look for vestiges of a civilization whose existence had been passed down through myths and stories. If you were successful, you would bring riches and prestige to your lodge. You knew the risks, but you were prepared to go out onto the I C E by Bragou and Samson F. Perret from This Way.

Single-Use Games – the board game hobby’s throw-away attitude (Topic Discussion)

Let's be honest. Most of us in the hobby buy games that we play once or twice or in rare cases, three or four times. In fact, the term "shelf of shame" is a thing, describing games that people have bought but not yet played. The thing is, these games sit there unplayed for months on end and may never see the welcome sight of a table, let alone a board game table. So in this article, I want to look at this a bit further and investigate why we don't play the same games more than a handful of times.

Top 5 Games of (and I reviewed in) 2023 (Saturday Review)

Announcing the annual Top Table Award is always a pleasure and an honour at the same time. Choosing and deciding the order of the top 5 games I reviewed in 2023 is never easy. There usually isn't much between the games and they are all great for their own reasons. So, irrespective of which one won the coveted award, all of the games are worth a closer look. Here goes...

Stop Toying With Me – when gimmicks in board games have a purpose (Topic Discussion)

Some might argue that board games are basically just toys. Some games add to that argument when they play on the toy factor by including one or more components that are basically just a gimmick. These components could easily be replaced by something else without affecting gameplay. Yet, some games are accused of capitalising on the attraction of gimmicks when these playful components are actually an integral part without which the game wouldn't function. In this article, I want to look at this a bit more closely.

2023 – A Year in Review (Saturday Review)

Another year is almost over - and what an eventful year it has been. It is time to talk about everything that has happened, the events I attended and the games I played, give you all an update on the financial state of the blog and maybe share some sneak peeks for the year ahead. So, here goes...

No Win Situation – a look at victory conditions in board games (Topic Discussion)

Whether we play competitive or cooperative games, we all expect someone to be the winner. Even if it's "the game" who wins in a cooperative game. In fact, there is usually a single winner or a team in team games. Most games will list one or multiple tie-breakers to decide who is the ultimate winner. So the idea of victory conditions has become second nature to most of us in the board game hobby. Yet, there are games that don't elect a winner and in this article, I want to talk about what this might feel like.

Gold n’ Grog (Saturday Review)

Ho, ho, ho and a bottle of rum! That was the song that accompanied the small boat being rowed by a motley crew of scallywags. We were heading to our secret pirate treasure island to retrieve the loot we had stashed over many, many years. The problem was, none of us knew exactly where we had buried our spoils. We had packed plenty of shovels though to make short work of this small patch of land. After we pulled up on shore and spread out on the island, it was time to dig for Gold n' Grog by Jake A Smith from Next Adventure Games.