Archive | Other Games

Billzilla

Aye, Dark Overlord! Game Review

Posted on June 25, 2009 by

Aye Dark Overlord! defies precise description. It is at once a board game, card game and has elements of a party game and role-playing games as well. The players take on roles of sniveling servants of the Dark Overlord, a vengeful chap whose patience with his inept followers grows thin…

Players begin by randomly drawing a hand of six cards – three hint and three action cards. One player is selected to play the role of Rigor Mortis; the Dark Overlord of the title. Once the players have their cards in hand, the Dark Overlord addresses one of them by saying something like “So my faithful minions; I ordered you to kidnap the princess. Has this task been accomplished?” The player indicated must then fabricate a brief story – using the elements illustrated on the cards in the player’s hand — explaining why the task was not completed, and in so doing shifting the blame for the failure to one of the other players.

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Flames

A Planeswalker’s Guide to Alara Review

Posted on June 24, 2009 by

The guide itself does a very nice job breaking up the different planes. It gives quick rundowns on all the species you would find there, some brief history as well as each plane wishes to see. It also gives a very good indication of the dangers of traveling to each plane. A traveler can get a good sense of how to understand the culture they find themselves in.

After an overview of all the planes it also gives a well rounded layout of planeswalkers that can be found on each plane. It includes their species, current residence, home, and magic specialties. There is only one plane that does not have a listed resident planeswalker and that is Grixis. It is very clearly stated that Grixis should be a place to travel to study only, and to not make your home their too long. Death and plague rule the land, so it makes sense nobody wishes to live amongst that.

Review by Crystal Mazur

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Billzilla

Little Nightmares – Privateer Press

Posted on June 18, 2009 by

privateer-logoIt’s difficult to imagine the miniatures world without in it, yet this company has been in existence for less than seven years. With their breakout hit Monsterpocalypse and their solid Warmachine and Hordes skirmish-level combat lines, Privateer Press is well-situated to be a force in the industry for years to come.

The Warmachine and Hordes product lines mesh well with dark fantasy, as they have a number of factions tailor-made for people of such inclinations. A perfect example is the Gorax, a light warbeast from the Circle Orboros faction in Hordes. The Gorax, looking very troll-like – or even like an Oni from Oriental mythology – strains at the chain that holds him to a large boulder. The pose is interesting and well-executed, and the figure’s rippling musculature and tufts of scraggly hair combine to give this model a ton of character. At a $17 MSRP, this model is a smidge pricey, but a first-class sculpt never the less.

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Billzilla

A Touch of Evil Board Game Review

Posted on March 31, 2009 by

Flying Frog Productions has only produced two games so far; so far — in my humble opinion — they have two winners. The First, Last Night on Earth, is a zombie survival exercise with real goals to achieve that put Flying Frog on the adventure gaming map. Their most recent title is A Touch of Evil, and fans of the Johnny Depp version of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow will find this game somehow familiar…

Players begin by each choosing one of eight characters to portray. Each character has a score of from one to five in four abilities: Spirit, Cunning, Combat and Honor. Players may increase these scores during the course of the game through a variety of means, and all four abilities will come in to play at some point. In addition, each character also has their own unique ability to give their player a particular advantage.

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Billzilla

Little Nightmares – Mississinewa Minatures

Posted on March 12, 2009 by

Mississinewa Miniatures is a little-known miniatures company from Indiana. Specializing in Zombie-themed figures, they have an impressive selection, if not a broad range – yet. Mississinewa sent Flames Rising a generous selection of figures to review. Sadly, I can’t do justice to them all so I’m going to concentrate on what they do best: Zombies!

The zombie line is reasonably well- fleshed out; 18 different models shamble their way to your gaming table, and while the variety isn’t truly spectacular, it’s solid. The first six are all naked zombies. Before you get too excited, let me first point out that there are no naughty bits in evidence; they’re more like zombie mannequins than anything else.

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Billzilla

Monster Mayhem Game Review

Posted on February 12, 2009 by

Since monsters of various types are pretty much White Wolf Publishing’s stock and trade, it makes sense that they would attempt to diversify their product line to include horror-themed board or card games. One of White Wolf’s offerings, Monster Mayhem, has each player taking on the role of a different classic monster, seeking out victims and devouring those parts of them each fiend finds most delectable.

Players begin by selecting one of the five monsters – Vampire, Werewolf, Mummy, Zombie or Poltergeist – and placing the token for that monster on its starting space. The board is a grid of hexagons, and the players flesh out the city by placing the notable location tiles, either randomly or according to one of several sample layouts provided. Each player then draws three victims from the Victim deck and places that card by their monster’s data card.

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Billzilla

Little Nighmares – Cardstock Scenes

Posted on February 6, 2009 by

Empty Room Studios produces full-color tiles for use with miniatures in an adventure-game setting. The sets I’ve looked at most closely are the Blasted Canyon and the Caverns Tiles Base Set 1.

The Blasted Canyon set provides a wide variety of terrain features that can be printed and cut out to produce more than four square feet of unique terrain. Box canyons, cul-de-sacs, a large temple, a marketplace, transition pieces, dungeon entrances, and an oasis are all included, each with either a desert background or with canyon walls added around the edges. This is a handsome set, and much thought clearly went into its design.

Review by Bill Bodden

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Billzilla

Little Nightmares – Disposable Horrors

Posted on February 3, 2009 by

After a long hiatus, Little Nightmares is back. This month, I’ll be covering somewhat related products from two different companies; full-color stand-up cardboard figures from Precis Intermedia, and ready-made maps from Empty Room Studios.

Precis Intermedia produces stand-up cardboard figures, called Disposable Heroes, in a variety of themes. Since this is Flames Rising, they sent us a pack of monsters to look over: Disposable Heroes: Horror Statix 1. The figures themselves are available in two different formats within each set: two-sided and three-sided. The two-sided figures may require some kind of plastic stand to assist them, as the fold is at the top like a sandwich board sign. Printing the figures on lightweight cardstock before cutting them apart will probably remove the need for bases – at least until the figure has a few miles on it and the crease begins to wear. The front of the figure is a full color image and the back is a black silhouette of the same image for ease in determining rear/surprise attacks.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Wolves at the Table

Posted on January 20, 2009 by

White Wolf Publishing is well known for their Horror and Dark Fantasy RPGs. From the World of Darkness to games like Exalted: Abyssals, White Wolf creates great tabletop RPGs that define and shape gaming. In addition to their core game lines, White Wolf Alternative Publishing products include a wide selection of horror board games that range from World of Darkness games to fun board games for kids.

Flames Rising has been fortunate to receive support from White Wolf over the years; they’ve provided us with review copies, contest prizes and give-a-ways. When we mentioned we wanted to check out their recent selection of board games, Kelley Barnes-Herrmann (White Wolf Marketing Director and all-around awesome individual) agreed and sent us a box of games to dig into. The box arrived a day or two ago and we’ve only had the chance to crack them open a bit. So, what follows are our initial impressions after messing around with the contents and skimming the rules. More complete reviews will be on the way after we’ve had the chance to play the games.

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Flames

Vampires Quest Card Game Review

Posted on November 27, 2008 by

“Vampires’ Quest” is a card game about competing vampires and is the first offering from Headless Games. In “Vampires’ Quest” players compete to match Bite cards with Victims, turning them into vampires and racing to create an army of the undead.

The game is played in rounds, scoring points based on the number of bitten victims claimed.

There are 15 different kinds of cards (including Bite and Victim cards) that can affect game play. Some allow you to steal claimed victims from other vampires, send claimed victims back to the deck or counter other players’ cards.

Review by Michael Erb

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Billzilla

Little Nightmares – Iron Wind Metals

Posted on November 20, 2008 by

Our next contestant is Iron Wind Metals. Rising from the ashes of the fallen Ral Partha Miniatures, Iron Wind first began cranking out miniatures in 1999. Since then they’ve attempted to resurrect many of the figures for which they became famous in the 1980s and 90s, but have so far found little success getting their re-tooled fantasy lines into stores. Ordering online might be your only option to acquire these beauties, but check your favourite local game store first; they may be willing to special order Iron Wind Metals miniatures for you.

The miniatures we’ll be looking at come from several different product lines. As usual, I will list the miniatures by name, stock code, and by MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price). I try to include the sculptor’s name whenever possible; credit where credit is due, after all.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Torches and Pitchforks Card Game Review

Posted on November 10, 2008 by

The Card Game of Monster Movie Mayhem!

This is a funny card game from Green Ronin with spoofs on various horror classics ranging from Frankenstein to Dracula with ghosts, beasts and other monsters mixed in to keep things interesting. The local townsfolk team up to destroy these monsters and deal with mayhem along the way.

There are three decks in this game, Townsfolk (representing the local “citizens” that are battling the monsters), Mob (including weapons, actions and other enhancements) and Monster (which also includes events that are often detrimental to the heroes).

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Matt-M-McElroy

Cthulhu Rising Game Review

Posted on November 6, 2008 by

The stars are right and the time has come to summon Cthulhu from the watery depths…

A new fast play game from Twilight Creations feature the classic theme of cultists vs. investigators for two players. This particular game is quick to learn and plays pretty fast. The entire rules fit on a single sheet explaining different turns and victory conditions for each side.

The game board is simple with some fairly classic Lovecraft-inspired artwork.

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Monica Valentinelli

Magnetic Monsters Review

Posted on October 29, 2008 by

What do a deep sea beast, a lizardman and a flying cat have in common? Well, if you say they are all monsters you’d be right!

Dubbed the “Monsters Magnetic Action Figures,” this set of over forty magnets and four background scenes is perfect for the monster lover in you. Illustrated by Justin Parpan, these Monsters magnets come in a decorated tin with two, reversible backgrounds. I really enjoy the artwork of these magnets because it’s a nice blend of traditional Halloween monsters with new, more imaginative beasties like the two-horned, one-eyed furry redhead. The technique used is pretty interesting because the Monsters body language is very cheery, but there’s just enough creepy to make it work without appearing overly “campy.”

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Billzilla

Little Nightmares – Reaper Miniatures

Posted on October 24, 2008 by

Greetings! In the coming months I’ll be giving Flames Rising readers a look at some of the miniatures out there for horror-conscious consumers. For now I’ll be covering one company at a time, giving an overview of what they have to offer that falls within the category.

Our first contestant, by virtue of being the quickest to respond, is Reaper Miniatures. Reaper has been a mainstay in the gaming community since the early 1990s, really taking off with the closing of Ral Partha Miniatures only a few years later.

The miniatures we’ll be looking at come from several different product lines: Warlord, which supports Reaper’s fantasy miniatures rules; Chronoscope, giving Reaper greater license to explore historical and alternate historical periods; Reaper’s newest experiment – pre-painted plastic miniatures, and the Dark Heaven line, representing the jewel in Reaper’s crown.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Munchkin Bites 2: Pants Macabre Review

Posted on October 21, 2008 by

Plenty of new cards, bad jokes and all, are included in this expansion for the Munchkin Bites card game from Steve Jackson Games. The set we got did not have any additional rules for the game and we did not run into any problems with the new cards (after all the information on the cards usually explains everything you need to know).

Expanding on the jokes in the core box, Pants Macabre has plenty of puns from horror films and horror RPGs (and LARPing). Most of the jokes are fairly predictable, but worth a good laugh if the player manages to add a little style to the delivery.

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Billzilla

Unspeakable Words Game Review

Posted on October 8, 2008 by

Lovecraft Aficionados are well aware of the pulp author’s use of large and obscure words; it was practically his trademark, and has befuddled eager young readers ever since he first began publishing his work in the 1920s. How appropriate then that there should be a word game using many of his creations as a backdrop — Unspeakable Words is a card-driven word game that challenges players to spell without going mad, and believe me, it isn’t easy!

Created by the talented game design team of James Ernest and Mike Selinker and produced by Playroom Entertainment (www.playrooment.com), Unspeakable Words begins with each of the players receiving a hand of seven cards.

Review by Bill Bodden

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Flames

Battlestar Galactica: Board Game Review

Posted on October 3, 2008 by

When I first heard about the Battlestar Galactica boardgame, earlier this year, I was interested in the game but not really dying to buy a copy. Sure, the Shadows Over Camelot-like approach to the game sounded fun, and the theme interested me, but I wasn’t so excited that I kept a close eye on rumors and new about the game. And when presented with an opportunity to buy the game at GenCon, I let is slip through my fingers (unlike The Black Goat of the Woods, which I immediately snagged). It wasn’t until I started hearing about the gameplay that I directed serious attention at the game.

Review by Philip Reed

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Flames

Zombie Cinema Game Review

Posted on September 26, 2008 by

Zombie Cinema is a storytelling game of the Living Dead. It allows players to explore a world that they create based on the zombie classic Night of the Living Dead. The goal of the game is to tell a compelling story of your characters facing zombies. A compelling story will always win over a character making it out alive at the end of your movie.

The rules of the game are rather simple. There are 3 types of character cards that you choose from, but there is no limit to how many you can choose, as long as your character is compelling. You then flesh out a background for your character, and can go as in depth as you want it to be. Your characters start at their starting point, and the zombie marker starts at its place. A red marker is used to show who the director of the scene is. The director sets the scene and is the decision maker for any non-character conflicts that may arise. The director lets the characters set as much of their scene as they want.

Review by Crystal Mazur

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Flames

Zombies!!! Review

Posted on June 26, 2008 by

Can you make it to the safety of the helicopter before the zombie hoard makes a meal of you? Do you risk a run for ammo or try to slip past unnoticed? Why not slow them down with a few friends instead?

Players each take on the role of one of four survivors in a town overrun by the undead. The game uses a combination of miniatures, tile laying, dice and cards to simulate the twists and turns of a zombie horror flick. Each player has movement, represented by the rolling of a six-sided die; cards, representing different events or items; and tokens, representing a character’s health and how many bullets they have.

Review by Michael Erb

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