SCREAMIN STEEN 2/5

LAUGHIN’ STEEN’S PICK OF THE WEEK—Munchkin!

Because, well, why the hell not? Them little buggers pretty much own the store, and I think that they’ve finally covered every conceivable genre. Silly game-play, goofy art, out-of-control-power-gaming-RPG/GM/nightmare—grab your beer, mead, or mountain dew, and try not to rupture yourself laughing.

‘Knights of Ten’ came in, offering up an interesting-looking little card game, and ‘Castle of the Devil’ is back. Castle had a nice little run, and then slowed down. It’s a Mafia riff (you all have role cards; no one knows who has what; and the game is all about sorting it out), setting all the players in a rockin’ carriage careening through stormy night. There are two sides; everyone is one or the other; the trick is in figuring out who you can trust and who you can’t. Fun.

Oh, boy—‘Ra’ is back, my all-time favorite auction game. I love the Egyptian Chrome and the cut-off bidding rule that knocks out Mr. (or Ms.) I’ll-go-last-and-scoop-up-everything-cheap. But what I like best is that I’ve never quite figured out the scoring system, so I spend the whole game wondering what the hell is going on, and am always a bit surprised by the outcome. * Oh, and ‘Ricochet Robots’ is back, and, uh, sorry about that. It just kind of fell through the cracks for a week or two.

‘Meeple Monthly! Meeple Monthly!’ Sure, it’s not a lot different than Game Trade Magazine, but it’s a hell of a funnier name. * Speaking of funny names—Aerakallis, Vampire Mermaid. Uh, Ariel’s goth cousin, maybe? And how about the ‘Pyg Burrowers’ and ‘Razor Boars’, running about Privateer’s Hordes battlefield. Squealing, no doubt.

Paizo has released batch of new material, and…and I saved this for last: ‘Princess Bride: Storming the Castle’ is back. Yeah, I liked the movie, but, hey, someone’s got to explain this to me. And, last, well—once upon a time a remarkable book appeared offering a Savage Worlds setting in a grotesquely illustrated microbial world. Yes—Low Life. And now, we have ‘Whole Hole Vol 1: Keister Island’. Screamin’ Steen lets out a howl and insists that we all should have a copy on our shelves, though it does sound more as though it belongs in a shabby video store in the room behind the curtain.

Innovation picks up its second expansion with ‘Figures in the Sand’, adding to that nice little sleeper. * ‘Against the Dark’ adds a little more medieval Europe info to Ars Magica. * And ‘2 de Mayo’ is back. It’s a curious little thing, half wargame, half Euro, and fits the two-player bill as well. Check it out.

‘Iron Kingdom’ is back, offering a little roleplaying to go along with the Warmachine ‘jackin’ around’. * ‘Fool’s Fortune’ offers up a pretty little card game that is getting some pretty nice reviews. Might be worth a look. * And the big one—the one that might have pushed Myrmes off the top—‘Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calender’ which includes working clockwork as part of the Euro mechanics. Cool.

Well, what do have? Let’s get back into this. Android Netrunner picks up its second expansion with ‘Trace Amount’. It’s been nice to see this great old nineties game thriving. Cool. * ‘Antike Duellum’ is out, offering a two player Antike—a really good game that didn’t really sell for us–which means, I guess, that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing by bringing in this version. Dammit—just give it a try; it’s one of many games we have that, though perfectly good, for some reason, just haven’t sold for us.

‘Wilderness’… Well, now, once upon a time there was a little gem called ‘Outdoor Survival’, the game of being dropped in the middle of nowhere and having to bumble your way back to civilization. It landed on many worst of lists, but had two redeeming features. The wilderness map was a godsend to early D&D players, and the game rules included the gem that you lose when your character is ‘rendered not survived’. Well, Wilderness, seems to have done it right, this time.

Mage Knight picks up the expansion ‘Lost Legion’, while Troyes (see above concerning unappreciated good games on our shelves) gains the ‘Ladies of Troyes’. * And, last, I give you ‘Ginkgopolis’, which I will just let lie, because, really, don’t you kinda just want to look that one up yourself? Go to Boardgamegeek. Really. There’s not a thing here that I can say that would beat the info there. I recommend it to anyone intrigued by the little half-witted jests that I throw out here. Give them a laugh, and then go get some real info.