We were on Mars. Our colonization team had arrived. The mission of our corporation was to make this planet inhabitable and do so in the most economical and efficient way possible. There were many challenges ahead, but we had a great mix of engineers, researchers, technicians, managers and construction workers and everyone was fully committed to our goal. We were fully aware that this project would take us a number of generations and we were ready to begin Terraforming Mars by Stronghold Games.
Progress was slow, but it was very satisfying seeing the little pea seedlings grow and then, eventually, flower before finally producing pods that slowly swelled up to bursting with new peas inside. We carefully crossed different plants in the hope that they would create new varieties and over time we were able to predict the height of the plant, its flower colour, the pod colour as well as whether the peas were smooth or wrinkly based on their parentage. We were finally ready to work out each plant’s Genotype by Genius Games.
We had been growing tea for generations on our large plantation. We knew everything there was to know about the cultivation of the plants, the best time and method of harvesting the leaves and how to treat them to turn them into wonderfully aromatic tea, ready to be steeped and drunk. We even had ships waiting for our teas to take them out into the world. But for the moment, it was time to relax and enjoy a nice cup of Chai: Tea for 2 by Steeped Games.
My two best friends were here and we decided to go out into the yard and see who else was about. Chef and Prince were hanging around the street at the back of the house, while Smoke and Doc were playing tag. Blitz and Sweet Pea were up the ash tree in the neighbour’s garden. It was a motley crew, but we usually got up to some fun. Suddenly I had an idea. It would be cool if we had a little competition with all the other kids in the neighbourhood and see who could build the biggest and strongest Fort by Leder Games.
We had been transported to another world, another time maybe. The stars were all wrong, not matching any of the charts we had on board our ship, the Manticore. Captain Sofi Odessa decided we should make landfall and spotted a natural harbour nearby. As we got closer, we saw an old woman waving to us from the shore. It seemed like she had been expecting us. Once we had dropped anchor, we went to the starboard side to speak to the woman and find out what she wanted. She was clearly excited to see us and immediately told us that we were here to wake the Sleeping Gods by Red Raven Games.
Building the Colossus was going to require a lot of resources. Some iron for the base, many carefully hewn and ornately dressed stones to create a strong structure that would represent our most revered sun-god Helios. Chares, the sculptor, oversaw the project from start to finish to ensure the Gods would smile on us and our country’s fortunes well into the future. We all knew it was going to be hard work, but it seemed that the Gods helped us along and building the whole structure was over more quickly than anyone expected. In fact, it was so quick that we couldn’t wait to build yet another One Card Wonder by Ape Games.
Our peace had been shattered. We had been living underground for centuries, happily going about our daily chores. We had spread across many moons around the planet and were very content and happy until one day a meteor impacted and threatened everyone’s lives. It was time for us to come above ground and start mining our moons for resources, so we could build new technologies that would save us. We were able to communicate with the other moons and co-ordinate our efforts, so we were hopeful. Yet, time was running out and we had to be quick and efficient if we wanted to escape our doom and flee to Uranus by The Dark Imp.
We were at the dawn of a new civilization. We didn’t know it yet, but we were going to embark on an exciting adventure that would offer us a lot of new opportunities, some challenging times and many new discoveries. It would take a very long time indeed, but we would not only master fire, but eventually reach the stars. We would explore the world and stamp our mark on it. We were ready to make a reality of our Plans & Ploys by Stonemaier Games.
“Asbestos and its use have a long history. A naturally occurring mineral, asbestos was once celebrated for its seemingly wondrous resistant and strengthening properties until it was declared a human carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1987. […] This odd dichotomy between the recognition of the harmful effects of the mineral and lure of the potential to make a profit on it is by no means new to industry or unique to asbestos. As game designers and game players, however, this is thought provoking.” From the rulebook of The Cost by Spielworxx.
As a board game reviewer, you need to have access to board games. That’s obvious. Some reviewers rely solely on games they bought themselves, maybe got as presents or borrowed from friends, while others will only review games sent to them by the publisher or even the designer. Many reviewers will rely on a mix of both. What I want to look at in this article is how review copies, which are (usually) free, may influence a review and what the relationship between publishers, or designers, and reviewers may look like and how it can also play a part in how a review is written.