Archive for Reviews

Budget Bucket – “Coup”

So given that we at Wood Planet Gaming Lodge have touched upon this so-called “Dystopian” universe before, it felt only right to come back to visit the aftermath of the world introduced last time around. After all, we just can’t get enough backstabbing around these parts, and lying through our teeth is quickly becoming a game day past-time!

But first… let’s get the book-keeping part of this review out of the way.

Coup is a multiplayer card-game where each player is a power-grabbing royal in a cut-throat world of lies and betrayal run by multi-national corporations (a real stretch of the imagination these days, I know…). Every player commands a “court” of two powerful political figures, both of whom offers a unique set of abilities ranging from thievery, bribery, even so far as assassinations.

However, these courts are all kept in secret. Players have no idea which nobles their opponents have under their thumb. Meaning, players can… and will… lie and cheat their way to riches and power.

But is it any good? Or is this little power trip a fantasy best left in the Budget Bucket of Corporate Doom?

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Budget Bucket – “Uncharted: Board Game”

I should probably preface this entire review by saying I’m a really big fan of the Uncharted series on the Playstation console. I mean, I’m perfectly capable of saying when the series has faults (Uncharted 3, I’m looking at you). But still, a love is a love, and I have to profess it for this video-game series if we want full disclosure.

So when I saw they made a board game about this series, my first reaction was… well… honestly, pretty horrific. I’m a realist. A big video-game license, made into a board game? Yeah. I think I’ve heard that one before. That sounds like a quick cash-in if ever there was one, doesn’t it?

Well, then, what about Uncharted: Board Game? Does it even have a chance to be good? Or should this thing just be left in the Budget Bucket to rot?

Let’s find out!

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Budget Bucket – “SpyFall”

spyfall_beauty

So you’re sitting down in your office, having a cup of coffee and talking about your workday with your coworkers. You each discuss the watercooler moment of the day and exaggerate the frustrations of your last task. Everything seems normal. Your coworkers are normal people like you, right?

When out of the blue, one of your coworkers asks if you remembered your sunscreen. How… odd. That is, if you were playing any other game. In Spyfall, weird questions become the norm.

So is it any good, or should it be left in the Budget Bucket?

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To the Frontiers! – Reviewing Hard Nova II

Space is big. Really, really friggin big. Someone has to discover it.

So what are you waiting for?

Hard Nova II is the tenth-year anniversary, revised and expanded version of the 2004 role-playing game by the same name. It comes in smooth paperback form with attractive, hand-drawn artwork. Those with tablets may prefer the PDF version, which is readily available for the price of a latte and is of good transfer quality from the paperback form.

The rules themselves are quickly learned and will be very familiar to anyone that plays Savage Worlds. The system seems to stick to the model of “rules as resolution” and lets the mechanics be ignored in a typical game until they are needed to resolve a situation – something of which I, as a storyteller, am very much fond.

I’ll be honest. I didn’t know anything about the universe of Hard Nova prior to receiving this rulebook. Some quick Google-mining reveals a decently-reviewed RPG videogame of the same name from EA back in the 1990’s, though I can’t confirm that this game is the same intellectual property. Aside from that, there’s really not much to go on. I entered this read quite literally blind.

For those of you like me that know nothing of this game, the world universe of Hard Nova consists of an expansive alliance of populated planets called the United Sovereign Worlds (at which Earth seems to be, naturally, the center). Each world is populated by one or more sentient species ranging from humanoid to insectoid to robotic to a puddle of intelligent ooze (seriously!). Humans themselves have branched out into two distinct species – the cybernetics-enhanced Earth-based line and the psionic-powered thread that has evolved on Alpha Centauri.

The game is fast-paced. The system is easy to learn. And the source material presented in the rulebook is quite extensive.

So is this game any good? Read more

Budget Bucket – “Risk Battlefield Rogue”

About two years ago on the PC gaming front, Electronic Arts (EA) released the videogame Battlefield 4 on the market. It came mostly in direct competition with the ever-popular Call of Duty franchise at the time. I’ve been a PC gamer at heart for a long while, but this is a boardgame and role-playing game website, so I’ll do my best to skirt around that mindless nerdrage and instead focus on something that came out around the exact same time as the BF4 release: Risk Battlefield Rogue.

What is it with Battlefield and soldiers sprinting at the camera while on fire?

 

On the surface, a gamer would be forgiven for mistaking this game as a blatant piece of piggy-back marketing. And that gamer, for the most part, would be absolutely correct. This game has very little in common with its boardgame namesake, Risk, to which I’m rather partial given that (aside maybe from Monopoly) Risk was probably the very first bona-fide board game I played with my father that had tactics stretching beyond Chutes and Ladders.

Given these reasons, I’m sure most would forgive me if I approached this game with a roll of my eyes while thinking, Good God, Hasbro, what have you done?!

So. Risk Battlefield Rogue. Now that you can find it for eight bucks on Amazon or in the budget bin at your local Target, is it any good whatsoever? Or should it be left in the Budget Bucket?

Let’s find out!

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