I don’t think there has been a year that will have more retrospectives than 2020 for maybe a generation. That is a huge sentence but I think it’s still true. This has been a grueling, devastating, damaging year. People all around the world will be feeling 2020 for years to come. 2020’s going to get its own Dewey Decimal number.
Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
The hard boiled side of Nero Wolfe
I have been reading a lot of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe this year. It has been an insane, stressful year for the entire world. Sometimes, it’s been hard to focus enough to read but Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin have been reliably able to decompress me. Even so, I have focused much more on the novellas than the book-length works.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Squire for Hire is Inventory the Game
Squire for Hire is a tile-laying game disguised as an inventory management game disguises as a dungeon crawl.
Friday, December 25, 2020
How we had a Harry Potter Christmas
Without actually intending it, getting a LEGO Advent calendar every year has become a family tradition. Which is beyond fine in my eyes because LEGO is the world’s best toy system :)
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Kurt Edward Wagner’s Kane is a jerk!
After I finished Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, I decided that it was time I finally looked at Kurt Edward Wagner’s Kane stories. So, from a young adult series to an immortal, amoral mass murderer. Quite a jump.
Monday, December 21, 2020
Ugly Gryphon Inn: a nightmare of customer service
Earlier this year, Buttonshy started a new subsection of their wallet line called Simply Solitaire with Food Chain Island by Scott Almes. Now they’ve announced the next one, Ugly Gryphon Inn. Also by Scott Almes. He’s making all of them? I’m OK with that.
Friday, December 18, 2020
Why the Kane Chronicles made me a Riordan fan
Every year or so, I reread one of Rick Riordan’s young adult series. This year, I reread his Egyptian mythology trilogy, The Kane Chonicles. (Now that it’s all published, I’ll read the Trials of Apollo sometime soonish)
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
The world is full of tinier games!
Monday, December 14, 2020
Solitaire RPG or writing exercise? Does it matter?
Friday, December 11, 2020
Okay, PnP gift ideas
Holy cow, Christmas is barreling down on us like a runaway toboggan. As a lazy PnP guy, I feel like I should make suggestions for PnP games for gifts.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Hey, Neil Patrick Harris wrote a kid’s book!
The Magical Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris is the third series (at the very least) I’ve read that uses a Lemony Snicket-style narrator. Which seems incredibly fitting since NPH played Count Olaf in the most recent adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Monday, December 7, 2020
Board games and art criticism
I recently saw a thread on Board Game Geek about how ugly, functional game boards are better than pretty ones. I’m pretty sure that idea gets batted around at least once a month and I think the original idea misses a crucial point. (Which I’m sure came up if I read every page of the thread)
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Why VHS as a cultural shift makes me feel old :P
For a lot of people I know, the Disney version of Winnie the Pooh is the definitive version. However, growing up, I was really only exposed to the franchise as a child through Milne and Shepherd. I am sure that I saw the original movie at least once as a child but it was a shock when I saw it as an adult.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
The Sandbox of Zelda
Our child, and I’m sure he is not alone among young kids in this, loves open world, sandbox video games.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
My November PnP
November. After three months of saying I’d do it, I finished Agent Decker. As lazy as my methods are (laminate instead of using modge podge or such), it really says something about 2020 that it took me so long.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Clans - this simplicity couldn’t have been easy
Leo Colovini has been a mixed bag for me. Alexandros spent a long time in one of my groups as the standard for a terrible game. I may never life down bringing it to the table. And Cartagena never clicked for me no matter how hard I tried it. However, Clans still stands out for me as a really solid game.
Friday, November 27, 2020
Lifeguard is not bad but that might not be enough
I’ll be honest. While I look at every entry in PnP contests and download them, the low ink, low construction games are the ones that get made right off the bat. (Larger games require consideration) Which is why I’ve already tried out Lifeguard: Surf and Rescue. It’s a Roll and Write that consists of one page of play sheet and one page of rules. I duplexed it and laminated and was done in one sheet of paper.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
So Kim Newman really does write fan fiction with his own characters?
I hadn’t planned on blogging about Kim Newman and his Diogenes Club stories again or at least not for a while. And then I read Cold Snap.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Osmo tricks our son into measuring stuff
Like just about everyone else in the quarantine world who has a child under 18, we have been inundated with ads for educational stuff for kids. I remember thinking back in the spring that the problem wasn’t finding stuff but figuring out what would actually help.
Monday, November 23, 2020
Sometimes, a little bit of random is what makes the difference
For a while, Leo Colovini’s Alexandros was considered the epitome of a bad (or at least disappointing game) While it wasn’t really the worst game any if had ever played, it was a very frustrating and disappointing experience and our opinion of Leo Colovini never really recovered.
Friday, November 20, 2020
Bleed in RPGs needs purpose
Every once in a while, I go back to the Indie Megamix Mixtape. It’s a rather large collection of tiny indie RPGs inspired by songs and created to raise money for creators in need. I have intentionally treated every game as a single entity and taken my time to look at them. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve looked at the collection this year.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Kim Newman is a strange flavor of brilliant
I decided that I needed to read more of Kim Newman’s Diogenes Club stories. I’m not going to try and read them all since I’m not sure what books and stories by Newman count and which don’t :D (I also have to note that only Moriarty and Irene Adler get pinched from the Holmes cannon more often than the Diogenes Club)
Monday, November 16, 2020
My changing opinion of Handful o Hazards
Handful o’ Hazards is the first (but not the last!) game I’ve tried from the 2020 PnP Solitaire Contest. It’s a set of tiny little scenarios for a tiny little dice system. Each scenario is on a wallet-sized card and I’m a big fan of games that you can take anywhere.
Friday, November 13, 2020
Twice As Clever isn’t bad but it’s not that much more clever
When I learned that I could play Twice As Clever as a solitaire online, I knew that I was going to be doing just that. (http://www.brettspielwelt.de/Other/Clever/) Yes, I had to actually find the rules but that wasn’t too hard.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
The second season of the Hollow justifies the cartoon’s existence
Last year, I watched the first season of the Netflix cartoon The Hollow. I just finished the second season. And it is ridiculously better than the first season.
Monday, November 9, 2020
Lost Cats is terribly clever but not my cup of tea
If you ever wanted to play Three Card Monte as a solitaire game with an ‘robot’ player moving the cards around, Lost Cats is the game that you’ve been looking for.