The Battle of Versailles (Saturday Review)

This week, Hope Thompson joins us on the blog with her review of a game about the fashion show held in 1973 in Versailles, France that pitted newcomer American designers such as Anne Klein, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows and Bill Blass against the stalwart French designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior. Hope's father, David Thompson, talks to her about her experience of playing The Battle of Versailles by Eloi Pujadas and Ferran Renalias from Salt & Pepper Games.

Trick-Taking it to the Next Level – my fascination with trick-taking games (Topic Discussion)

As you probably know by now, I absolutely love trick-taking games. I have long wanted to share this love with other people, but found it can be hard to teach trick-taking to people who have never come across it. Luckily, in recent months, I have found one or two games that are great for introducing people to trick-taking. They have allowed me to share my passion for this genre of card games. They are great stepping stones. I can start to draw on this giant collection of games that are often great for all the family and key to many of my social interactions as a teenager - but let me explain.

The Royal Limited (Saturday Review)

The 60s in England were a time of new music trends and dramatic changes in fashion and art. Celebrities from around the world would flock to the country's capital London to immerse themselves in this wave of cultural changes. From there, these superstars would travel the width and breadth of the country using a train line catering to the well-off. While the luxurious railway carriages were reserved only for the VIPs, the less fortunate had to jostle for space in cattle class and hope they would get a glimpse of their idols. These were the days of The Royal Limited by Scott Almes from Button Shy.

Repeated Replayability – another look at games’ longterm interest (Topic Discussion)

I have previously looked at replayability in board games and I must admit, I still can't put my finger on why a game like Chess, which has no variability and no randomness, is so hugely replayable and remains interesting even after dozens of plays, while other games with variable setup, different factions and a large amount of chance are sometimes boring after only a handful of plays. So let me grapple with this topic in yet another article.

Taiwan Night Market (Saturday Review)

There was all sorts of Xiaochi and other street food on offer, as well as a variety of speciality drinks. It was still rather quiet, but already the stall owners were busy. The streets were heavy with the scent of various herbs, spices and all sorts of wonderful flavours. As it was getting darker, more and more people found their way into the wonderful maze of this amazing Taiwan Night Market by Zong-Ger from Good Game Studio.

Fun to Lose – how opponents’ skill levels affect gameplay experience (Topic Discussion)

I don't mind losing. In fact, when I play with my weekly game group, I usually lose. There are very few board games that I am confident that I will win or at least have a good chance of winning. However, there is something interesting I noticed recently. Irrespective of whether you're a sore loser or gracious winner, I think it is true that gameplay experience changes depending on the skill level of the other players. Playing the same game with people who are as good at a game as you just feels different to playing it with people who are better than you or worse than you. In this article, I want to investigate this a bit further.

Puppy Pile (Saturday Review)

There was a lot of yapping and barking, jumping and tail-wagging. Everyone was excited, but eventually, everyone settled down and lined up in a neat row. There were a few last-minute alterations, with dogs having to change spaces. However, when everyone was ready, it was time to choose the best dog, the winner of this Puppy Pile by Mike A Pratt from Thing 12 Games.

Last Bug Standing in the Circle of Doom! (Saturday Review)

It was either us or them. We were the only two teams on a planet far, far away, a planet that was crawling with bug-eyed monsters or BEMs as we had started to call them. My navigator moved around the directional grid to guide the vehicle across the planet's surface and allow the gunner to take aim at one of the weird inhabitants of this rock in space. We had to be careful though. We had to target the right BEMs to come out victorious in this fight to the end. It was all about who was going to be the Last Bug Standing in the Circle of Doom! by Bez Shahriari from Surprised Stare Games.

The Representation of Bees – the latest buzz in the board game hobby (Topic Discussion)

Here is another article inspired by the wonderful Bez from Stuff by Bez. She suggested I talk about the representation of bees. There wasn't any particular angle she wanted me to take, but the title alone gave me some inspiration. So in this article, I want to look at board games that feature bees in some way.