Sunday, November 8, 2015

Push Your Luck Podcast Ep68: What have we played?

Its been some time since Jon and I got together to chat again and this time we talk about some games we played recently! Games covered are: 

Pandemic Legacy
Inhabit the Earth
Advanced Civilization
The Pursuit of Happiness
Grand Austria Hotel
Dark Moon

Exciting news! My 2nd article at Kotaku has been published and its all about Pandemic Legacy! You can read about it here http://kotaku.com/the-great-board-game-pandemic-is-even-bett...

Also, I have released a game! Its called Gutsy and it was designed together with Susan Perkins and Barry Joseph from the American Museum of Natural History. Its my first card game and more details will be released once the boardgamegeek site is up. You can order the game here http://shop.amnh.org/a701/amnh-gutsy-card-game.html

Push Your Luck Podcast is a BIPPITY BOPPITY BOOP member of the Dicetower network. Visit our websitewww.pushurluckpodcast.com, follow @duckizz on twitter and subscribe to our youtube channel youtube.com/duckizz for other random blabbering and video reviews - VISIT NOW!

Podcast can be found here

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Woot Woot! my second article on Kotaku talking about Pandemic Legacy!

In short, its an amazing game. Never has a boardgame made me want to keep playing it so often! Contender for my Game of the Year!

Check out the link for more on the article!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Push Your Luck Podcast Ep 67: Let's Talk with Emerson Matsuuchi and Arnold Rauers

In the next installment of Let's Talk, I chat with Emerson who designed Specter Ops, a tabletop game inspired by a video game, and Arnold who designed Card Crawl, a card based video game that looks to be inspired by a tabletop game. In Let's Talk, we chat with a video game designer and a tabletop game designer and discuss game design concepts and I try to get different perspectives about games from their respective industries.

Exciting news! My article at Kotaku has been published! It is about the Best 5 recent games you should be playing right now and you can find it here http://kotaku.com/five-new-board-games-you-should-play-17316...

Push Your Luck Podcast is a ADAPTING member of the Dicetower network. Visit our websitewww.pushurluckpodcast.com, follow Eric as @duckizz on twitter and subscribe to our youtube channel youtube.com/duckizz for other random blabbering and video reviews - VISIT NOW!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Push Your Luck Episode 66: Essen Top 7 and a new section!

Jon is back and we talk about our Top 7 anticipated games from the upcoming Essen convention! I also introduce a new section called Can't Stop the Sackson where my classmate Alexander Bevier and I discuss his thesis where he is writing a paper or a book about Sid Sackson, the designer of Acquire and many other games. Every episode, I will interview Alex and discuss what he has found out, researched and hopefully reveal to you more and more about Sid Sackson and his influence on the modern boardgame industry. If you want to chat with Alex, he can be found on twitter as @AlexanderBevier

Exciting news! My article at Kotaku has been published! It is about the Best 5 recent games you should be playing right now and you can find it here http://kotaku.com/five-new-board-games-you-should-play-1731648888
If you are visiting this website because of the article, thank you for reading and checking out my twitter and this page! I am very excited and hope to continue writing for Kotaku on a more regular basis!

Push Your Luck Podcast is a TRENDING member of the Dicetower network. Visit our website www.pushurluckpodcast.com, follow Eric as @duckizz on twitter and subscribe to our youtube channel youtube.com/duckizz for other random blabbering and video reviews - VISIT NOW!

You can check out the podcast here:


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

CODENAMES Tournament! (NYU Game Center students only)

Well its official! I will be organizing a CODENAMES tournament for NYU Game Center students on 1st October 2015, thursday, 7-10 pm (after playtest thursday).

Form teams of 4 members each and sign up here http://goo.gl/forms/6eIFvgtrrW by end of September!

The tournament is free to enter and the winning team members will stand to win 1 copy of CODENAMES each! Much thanks to Czech Games Edition for sponsoring the prizes!

The game is easy to learn and play so even if you want to sign up by yourself and form a team then, please feel free to do so!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grief and The Grizzled

For the "Lost Generation", World War I was the Great War, the War to End All Wars. Today, what we remember are the numbers - 100 years ago, 19th century tactics against 20th century tech, hundreds of men charging to their deaths between the trenches.

The war has stopped becoming deeply personal. Lost in the statistics is the fact that it claimed the lives of individual people who were spoonfed abstract notions of brotherhood, liberty, and country. We don't think about their suffering anymore simply because too much time has passed - and because there is still quite enough suffering today.

But The Grizzled has stepped in so that we can experience some of that suffering. It is a cooperative card game that puts you in the shoes of French infantrymen trying to survive in time for the war's end. You play, win, and lose together, trying to answer the game's tagline: "Can friendship be stronger than war?"

Before you find out, you need to know how to play. Here's the quick version; for the full explanation, check out Eric's video review. The game moves through Missions, and you deal out Trial cards from the Peace deck. When the Peace deck is gone and you can see the Dove of Peace, everyone wins.

Different cards in the original French game, courtesy of boardgamegeek.
There are 6 types of trials, and you must play these Trials from your hand without talking about what your hand contains. But if there are 3 types of any Trial at a time in the center, you lose the Mission. So you can withdraw from the Mission in order to help your friends, but any cards you have left in your hand will add cards to the Peace deck, making it harder.

See the Peace card in the center? We almost won! But Eric died of his wounds, so we all lost.
Two things are immediately apparent about the game: first, it is really, really hard to beat. Trials that are Traumas, Traps, and Phobias make it difficult to complete Missions. One bad Mission will eventually cause the Peace deck to just fill up and make it impossible to win.

Second, there is just so much grief inherent to the game and its creation. The soldiers you play as have the names of actual people, the designers' ancestors, who fought in WWI. These same names are carved into a Monument card, placed opposite the Peace card, which signals that you have lost the game. And artist Tignous was killed in the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this year just after submitting his final illustrations.

This makes playing a very emotional experience. At the very least, you don't talk about the Trials in your hand, which in some sense parallels the reluctance of trauma sufferers to speak of their experiences after the fact. Anyone who hadn't been through it simply wouldn't understand.

Can friendship be stronger than war? I do hope so, but The Grizzled makes me skeptical. I think it is a "must buy". The game simply seems set up to make you fail, which I love since so many friends did die during the war. It is a work that delivers a very tough experience which is highly relevant to its theme, and hits on emotionally bittersweet spots along the way.

The homage to Tignous, bottom right.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Area Control with a Chinese Flavor

Legend has it that the board game Go was used to train future leaders in the hopes that it would aid them in the struggle for control of a fragmented China. Had it been around, Eternal Dynasty might have been a better simulation of the trials they would soon face. Playing it just seems so much like preserving an empire that is constantly under attack.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Ultimate PS Vita Twitch Game - Beat My Record!

Just a bite sized update before Eric shows us all the wonders of Gen Con! This isn't a board game review, unlike what I've written before about Specter Ops and Warhammer Conquest.

I quickly look up at Pedro, who gives me a thumbs up. "36 minutes, looking good." I look down again and tap. The screen refreshes.
A checkered display of good blue marked out in a sea of bad red. I take a breath.
Tap. Fingers fly to the blue. Tap. Eye scans. Blue there, yes! Blue, yes. Blue. Taptaptap. Red - stop. Stop.
Blue to the left. Tap. Swipe up. Tap. Pinch here. Tap. It's pinch, dammit. Taptap. 
New screen. Flip. Rightleft. Flip. Updown. Tap. Ugh. Red. Instant failure.
But I love it. Tap.
The screen refreshes.

@brkg_ shows us how to play Squares! (Yes, you need to shake the #psvita like that)
Posted by LEAP Game Studios on Monday, July 20, 2015

So Squares is a really fun, super reflex intensive PS Vita game that just came out last week (iOS version is currently in the works). I got the chance to play it right before launch, and it is the perfect combination of challenging and addicting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Push Your Luck Videos #67: Codenames

Alright after playing a few games today I had to get my video review in ASAP because it is a good game. Similar in feel to games like Fake artist goes to NY, Spyfall and Mysterium, Codenames is a light social game that creates a lot of discussion between players and will be a good way to start or end a game session.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review - Specter Ops

I'm smirking, smile so wide it seems to be eating my face. I've just finished all my objectives, the hunters have no idea where I am, and I'm about to make a break for the closest exit. Victory should just be a matter of time. 
Suddenly one of the hunters points at my exact location, throwing his hands up. "He's right here. I know it. I have a feeling." Ugh, the jig is up. They know exactly where I am. 

This is Specter Ops, a thrilling game of hide-and-seek for up to 6 players. One of you is an Agent prowling secretly around the map trying to fulfill objectives. Meanwhile, everyone else is a Hunter trying to capture the Agent. The Agent secretly records their moves on a sheet that is a copy of the game board, while the Hunters are always visible on it.
The game board! Looks good, feels nice. Very glossy.
And the board is a beautiful and glossy grid of coordinates that offers a lot of different places to hide. It's made up of these tight spaces that are separated by streets the Hunters have full visibility on. Players can move up to 4 spaces on the board in any direction, but the Hunters get a car that can move up to 10 spaces on the streets.

So here's what I like about the game: it fits its theme really well. It’s simply thrilling to play the Agent, listening as the Hunters try to catch you in their ever-shrinking net. There's so much tension as you weave in and out of danger, moving suboptimally or using your gear in order to fool the Hunters.

Playing as the Hunters is equally tense. It's a race to uncover the Agent’s whereabouts before they can get to their objectives and escape. The mechanics of the game cleverly make it feel like a frustrating logic puzzle: the Agent has a known starting point, a finite number of directions they can take, and must leave behind a “last spotted” token on the board if they cross a Hunter’s line of sight (the Agent is only revealed on the board if a Hunter has a direct line of sight on them at the end of any turn). Plus each Hunter has a special ability that helps to track Agents down, ranging from the Beast's enhanced senses to the Prophet's mind reading.
Agent's flashbang, top; one of the Hunters, bottom.
But this "logic puzzle" feel can also be a weakness to the game. It's very easy for one of the Hunters to become a puppet master, second-guessing everyone else's moves if there's a more reasonable option. It’s an acute problem in games of cooperation, and other hidden movement games like Letters from Whitechapel seem to have at least tried to address that issue by having a “turn leader” that switches every round. Specter Ops doesn't do so.

Still, even with this problem the game feels really good to play. There’s just enough room for subterfuge while playing the Agent, and you’ll get an adrenaline rush like no other when outwitting the Hunters around you. On the other hand, the Hunters have just enough clues, and seemingly overpowered abilities, to track the Agent down. Once the Agent is spotted once, it's very hard to outwit the Hunters again.  

Overall, Specter Ops is a solid game, especially if you love hidden movement mechanics and using your deduction skills.
My Agent sheet when I played with Eric. He captured me on turn 22 :(

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Push Your Luck Podcast Ep62: Spiel Des Jahres 2015 predictions!

Eric and Jon discusses the games recommended and nominated for the Spiel Des Jahres and Kennerspiel Des Jahres 2015 awards. They also discuss 2 games they have played recently which is Aquasphere and Queen's Architect. Also Jon has a small life question at the end. :)

Listen to it here


Thanks for listening and let us know what you think by giving us reviews on iTunes!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Push Your Luck Episode 61: Session Impressions

Push Your Luck Podcast Episode 61 is released! 

Jon and I discuss some games they have played recently.
Games covered are:
Deep Sea Adventure
XenoShyft Onslaught
Letter Tycoon
Dark Seas
Antike II
VISIT our website www.pushurluckpodcast.com, follow @duckizz on twitter and the youtube channel youtube.com/duckizz for other random blabbering and video reviews - VISIT NOW!

Friday, May 22, 2015

One Day

So just as an aside from boardgaming, I will be displaying One Day with my classmate Angela today at our End of Year student Game show! If you want to play it, check out the link below:

One Day is an interactive story generator that creates poetic snapshots of a survivor's life. Sentences, images and music are knit together to form small glimpses into the daily life of a survivor. With up to 2.5 million possible combinations each story is unique in its own way. One Day is simple and easy to navigate so anyone can sit down and enjoy the quiet atmosphere the game creates. 

Consider giving Angela and me some support by clicking on the donate button in the link. It will go a long way into allowing us to further advance One Day!

Stuff we are considering:
a) Release this on iOS devices
b) some more polish
c) better music

Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Arboretum - My Print and Play version

Arboretum, a 2015 release by Z-man games, is a set collection game designed by Dan Cassar. Players are trying to play cards into their play area (or Arboretum) in such a way that when the end game scoring comes, they will first qualify to score points and then score as much points as they can based on the card placement. The copy that Z-man game has released has very clean and beautiful looking art based on trees but not that appealing to me so I decided to create my own version using animals which are cuter, in my opinions ;p

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Guts of Glory! No guts, no glory!

My tongue's not so big and long ;p
Guts of Glory was a 2012 release, funded via Kickstarter by designer Zach Gage who is probably more well known in the video game industry. It is a 2-4 player,  light player tableau management game where players are creatures trying to chew and swallow 7 glory points worth of items. The first to do so will win the game. The theme is quirky and the cards are humorous and coupled with wonderful looking art makes this quite an interesting game to seek out and try.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Love Letter: Hobbit edition

Really great art!
So while visiting the AEG booth at the Toy Fair, I was introduced to 2 upcoming Love Letter editions, Batman and Hobbit. Now when I first heard of these many many editions of Love Letter, my first reaction was "Oh no, they are just revamping the art and milking it for all its worth.....". To my surprise though, there are some changes in the rules and Todd from AEG mentioned they do check back with Seiji san (original designer of Love Letter) to seek his advice and approval which, to me, is quite cool. So just how different does The Hobbit love letter play? Lets take a look.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

For the Love of Lore - Warhammer 40k Conquest Review

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest is Fantasy Flight’s latest LCG that was released in October last year. Eric and I got our core sets a few weeks ago with a bunch of our classmates, and I've been obsessed with playing it ever since. If you're a 40k fan, you'll find it fun too! 

Conquest has an interesting combat and resource system in its own right, but I'm going to mostly review how it represents the canon and wider 40k universe. I'm a huge 40k fan, so it was important to me that the game portray the lore well in addition to being fun and interesting to play. Bottom line, it generally does a pretty good job! For starters, every card looks great - the artwork is consistent with, for example, the Black Library book covers.
Space Marine Relic from the Core Set: glorious art.

The game's 7 factions - Space Marines, Astra Militarum (made up of Imperial Guard and other non-Marine Imperials), Orks, Chaos, Dark Eldar, Eldar, and Tau - also represent their in-universe races pretty well, for the most part. Chaos has a lot of cards that involve sacrificing Cultists to summon demons, Dark Eldar is all about bleeding opponents of cards or units in order to kill them slowly, and the Tau have lots of Attachments that upgrade their units with BattleSuits and the like.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Xcom - omg omg then meh

Relatively clean board after our first round
I LOVE XCOM the video game. I remember playing its first version and loving the tactical placement of my squad as well as the management of the base so as to advance my technologies and ensure my soldiers are better equipped to eliminate the aliens that the game throws at us. The latest version of XCOM provides not only enhanced graphics but the tactical battle can be seen like a miniatures game of sorts as you control your soldiers and decide how many steps to move and what actions to take, based on an action point system. The game definitely have many elements that can carry over well onto a tabletop format. To that end, Fantasy Flight Game released X-COM the boardgame in 2014 but it really saw the market in a big way in 2015.  So how is the game and had Fantasy Flight Games done a good job ?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Too many Cinderellas - or can I pass my cat off to the prince?

Yes that's a cat with a wig. Yes you can marry the cat off to the Prince!
Released in 2014 by Taikikennai Games and soon to be distributed by Grail Games, Too Many Cinderellas pits 2-4 players in an attempt to marry off one of their charges to the befuddled Prince. At the start of the game, players are dealt 4 cards each and have 2 chits, a OK and a NO chit. The cards contain different characters and they have ranks 1-18 as well as certain attributes that distinguishes them. In addition, they have conditions. During a player's turn, they are to play a card from their hand face up on the table. When that happens, the character on the card no longer becomes relevant and players are focused on the condition. Players then get to choose one of their chits face down and then reveal them simultaneously. Any NO chits are placed on the card which means the condition is null and void. If there are none, then the condition is active until the end of the game. The game ends when every player has placed 2 cards at which point, they will choose 1 card from their remaining 2 and reveal simultaneously. The player whose chosen card best matches the conditions depicted by the face up cards on the table wins the game. If there is a tie, the rank that is the highest (smallest number) will win the game. 

Cat box lite - it's the MEOW

Print and Play version
Prolific designer and artist Aza Chan has created at least 4 boardgames in 2014, all of which are well designed, different and shows what a great artist he is. He also has an active Designer blog and from it I found this Print and Play version of Cat Box Lite, which he is releasing in 2015 (the full version). You can find the link here

In Cat Box, which plays 2-4 players, players are given 1 hidden Cat card, which determines what cats will score you points. There will be a stack of double-sided cats card and from it, players will draw 2 cards and 1 card from the draw deck will be placed in the center of the table. During your turn, players are allowed to play a card form their hand OR play an opponent's card (keeping the side facing you placed faceup on the table). Players are allowed to cover 1 square of another card on the table. If the card they are playing has a box on the faceup side, then they are allowed to cover up to 2 squares of the cards on the table. The game ends when the draw deck is empty and players count the number of cats of their type that is exposed on the table. In addition, players will choose the biggest cluster of their cats and score an extra 1 point for each of their cats in that cluster. The player with the most points wins!

8 the liar

Components of the game

8 the Liar is a party style game that plays 2 - 8 players. In the game, players are trying to empty their hand of cards as well as 3 Liar chits they have before they can win. During your turn, you can play any number of cards from your hand, facedown into the center of the table. Before the next player plays his or her cards, anyone can challenge you by placing their Liar chit down. Whoever loses the challenge will have to pick up ALL the cards on the table. If the challenger was correct, then the Liar chit is discarded. Play continues until one player has won.

When we first started playing, all of us were quite excited and intrigued. We do like good party games and the group I was with especially liked bluffing elements in games. We quickly realized that discarding cards was easy, getting rid of the liar chits is difficult. This is made even more difficult because we have so many players so really knowing when each other is lying is crucial. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Push Your Luck Podcast 51: Top 7 game worlds we want t live in!

Jon and I discusses Top 7 games whose world they want to be part of, a character in, or live in! Very interesting contrasts between what I want and what Jon strives for. Maybe some psychologist out there can analyze if there are some issues? I worry for Jon sometimes ... lol...
As usual, do join the guild http://bgg.cc/guild/1513 and leave us comments and feedback there. Also tell us what game worlds do you want to live in ? Participate in the forum post here http://bgg.cc/thread/1303918/push-your-luck-podcast-51-top-7-game-worlds-we-wan

BTW, to listen to our podcasts, subscribe to and you can see the whole list here