Monthly Archives March 2013

Portals of the Week

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Kickstarter Round-up: March 25 – 29

Kickstarter is quickly becoming a favorite place for us here at Castles and Cooks to mine for our next great game or piece of cooking equipment. While the risks are well established, the chance to discover something truly unique is one of the things that keeps us coming back for more. From time to time we’ll aggregate our favorite Kickstarters here and tell you why they are worth supporting.

Methodology: We do not actually back every project listed in this round-up (though we do specifically indicate those projects we have helped fund). The projects that we choose are based on several factors, but we tend to gravitate toward projects that have low risk, great value, and where there is excellent communication about the economics. It also helps for the product to just be awesome, something that we would want to play or use.

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Interview with Jasn Painter, Co-Creator of DrunkQuest

For a few years, Munchkin was the game of choice when my friends and I would hang out and drink. The novelty was new and the cards were entertaining, but we soon found the game lacked the depth we wanted. Then I found out about a little game on Kickstarter last year that seemed like a project that was almost too perfect for Castles & Cooks not to back: DrunkQuest.

DrunkQuest is a party game that feels a lot like Munchkin in terms of fantasy-inspired card combat, but with one big twist: you don’t just kill monsters by having power – you also have to drink them.

Finally, a drinking game that’s an actual game! DrunkQuest combines competitive mechanics with quick and fast gameplay to create a party game like no other!

Before PAX East, I got the chance to talk to Jasn Painter, the co-creator of DrunkQuest about gaming, drinking and Kickstarting.

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Arena Review: Cards Against Humanity Third Expansion

In our initial review of the card game Cards Against Humanity, we commented that one of the potential issues is a level of fatigue that can set in from playing the game too often. One of the best solutions to this issue is to simply issue more cards to help keep the game fresh. Coming off of PAX EAST 2013, a third expansion for the game has been released.

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.

Suggested ages: 17 and up
Number of players: 4 to 20+
Playing time: 30 to 90 minutes
Contents: 112 cards (75 white and 25 black, 8 blank white cards, 4 blank black cards)
Retail price: $10 on Amazon
*Note: This expansion requires the core game to play.

Cards Against Humanity has become one of my go to games for large gatherings. The rules are simple, there’s really no need to keep score, and the game is social enough that over a dozen people can play at the same time, with no real change to game play. Trying to “win” isn’t really part of the core experience.

Right in time for PAX EAST 2013, a third expansion to the adult themed card game was released. If you’ve played the core Cards Against Humanity, you’re about to get more of the same. There are no new mechanics, card types or anything that changes the original experience. Something that was true about the last expansion as well. Players still play topic cards (white cards) in order to answer questions or complete sentences Mab Lib style (black cards). The cards are then judged by one player and a winner is selected. Rinse and repeat.

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PAX East Recap: Ascension News, New Games, and Serious Exhaustion.

After three long days, another PAX East has come to a close. We’re recovering, slowly… very, very slowly.

Here are some of the highlights we had from our three days of non-stop gaming.

Ascension: Rise of Vigil debuted at PAX East and the newest expansion is very interesting, especially the energy mechanic. After a handful of games, Tom and I are still debating whether or not it’s unbalanced, but one thing is true: energy denial is a ruthless way to win – which explains why Tom placed 3rd in the Rise of Vigil prerelease! [Tom’s Note: Jesse is a bit annoyed that I beat him heads up.]

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Portals of the Week

Happy first day of PAX East! Tom and Jesse will be at the expo all weekend, but to hold you over are some portals!

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Magic: the Gathering Duel Decks Review: Sorin vs. Tibalt

The newest Magic: the Gathering Duel Decks got released over the weekend, and like always, the price kept climbing so I waited until I spotted them for MSRP and picked up a pair. Once a year, Wizards release a set of Duel Decks focused on a pair of Planeswalkers battling it out and this year, we’re going back to Innistrad as Sorin and Tibalt go head to head.

Suggested Ages: 13+
Suggested Players: 2 players
Contents:

  • Two ready-to-play 60-card decks
  • Two deck boxes
  • Two creature tokens
  • A strategy insert
  • A Magic “Learn to Play” guide

Retail price: $19.99 available at Amazon.com

Like the other Duel Decks, Sorin vs. Tibalt is two 60-card decks specially made to battle one another. For the spring releases now, it seems like Wizards is sticking to two planeswalkers from the previous block which I love for two big reasons: it makes planeswalkers super accessible to casual and new players and it ties back in with sets you can currently buy. These Duel Decks also include two spirit tokens with Magic card backs (with the Avacyn Restored art),  two deck boxes (which can’t fit sleeved decks), a how-to-play insert and a strategy insert outlining how the decks work.

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Arena Review: DC Deck-Building Game

Deck building games may have finally gone mainstream. In the span of a few months, Marvel and Upperdeck teamed up to produce Legendary while DC Comics and Cryptozoic joined forces for the blandly named DC Deck-Building Game.

I wish I were kidding.

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Portals of the Week

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Kickstarter Round-Up: March 10 – 15

Kickstarter is quickly becoming a favorite place for us here at Castles and Cooks to mine for our next great game or piece of cooking equipment. While the risks are well established, the chance to discover something truly unique is one of the things that keeps us coming back for more. From time to time we’ll aggregate our favorite Kickstarters here and tell you why they are worth supporting.

Methodology: We do not actually back every project listed in this round-up (though we do specifically indicate those projects we have helped fund). The projects that we choose are based on several factors, but we tend to gravitate toward projects that have low risk, great value, and where there is excellent communication about the economics. It also helps for the product to just be awesome, something that we would want to play or use.

Read More