Dan

Sep 232021
 

Topic – GenCon 2021! In this episode, I finally get the chance to meet a long time friend to both the show and myself, Erik Carl. We spend some time catching up then discuss the convention.

Hosts – Dan, Erik Carl

Media –

Metagamers Anonymous

Loughmiller’s Pub and Eatery – This is where you can find the burger that Erik and I mentioned at the end of the episode.

Sep 012021
 

GENCON 2021

The Titan Cometh!

This year, once again, the biggest and best tabletop gaming convention in the country is returning to Indianapolis September 16th-19th.  GEN CON is back and we’ll be there!  if you can’t or don’t want to come to the convention in person there are several ways to be involved this year, including GEN CON Indy, GEN CON Online, Pop-Up GEN CON, and GEN CON TV.

GEN CON Indy is the Superbowl for tabletop nerds!  

“Celebrating its 52nd year in 2019, Gen Con “The Best Four Days in Gaming!”(tm) has become the largest annual consumer fantasy, electronic, sci-fi, and adventure game convention in North America. Each year, gaming enthusiasts converge in Indianapolis to share their enthusiasm for all things gaming; whether its tournaments, celebrity appearances, exhibit hall booths, electronic games, workshops, seminars, anime, art shows, auctions, or countless other activities.

With an avid following of more than 140,000 consumer and professional attendees, Gen Con is THE destination for everyone from serious fans, to those simply interested in casual gaming. Many people ask “Gaming? What kind of Gaming?” Gen Con appeals to all hobby gaming enthusiasts, essentially all gaming except sports and gambling.

Game manufacturers and publishers consistently utilize Gen Con as the place to launch new games and new products, show off the latest and greatest game expansions and features, and host incredible tournaments. From world championships awarding thousands of dollars to non-professional games created by passionate enthusiasts, playing games is what it’s all about.”

GEN CON Online allows you to take part in the convention from the comfort of your living room…  or office…  or restroom… whatever.

After a successful first year in 2020, Gen Con Online will return in 2021, running concurrently with Gen Con Indy and Pop-Up Gen Con!

Gen Con Online is our online convention program featuring gaming, entertainment, and lots of other types of events, plus a packed schedule of livestreaming content on Twitch, a vibrant community on Discord, and more!

Pop-Up GEN CON brings little baby GEN CONs to your local game store!

“Gather with your local gaming community and try out hot new games before anyone else, all from the comfort of your friendly local game store. Each FLGS will determine how they want to host this event based on COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and conditions in their area. Check with the store for details on what they are planning.

Pop-Up Gen Con will take place on Saturday, September 18, 2021.

If you can’t make it to Gen Con Indy this year or can only come for a day, check out Pop-Up Gen Con at your local game store”

 

However you plan to experience GEN CON, be sure to let us know how it goes.

Also, if you‘re going to be in Indianapolis September 16th-19th be sure to connect With us.  We’ll have a meet up each night!

Aug 302021
 

Puppetland RPG

Topic –    In one of my favorite interviews ever, I had the pleasure of sitting down with someone who changed the way I looked at story structure, character developement, and gaming as a whole.

John Scott Tynes wrote Puppetland more than 20 years ago, making him a pioneer in the “storytelling” game world.

The concept was a twisted mixture of the familiar and the macabre, where the innocence of childhood sensibilities rides the center line, crashing headlong into visceral and existential horror.

There is a new, (beautiful!) edition of Puppetland available now.  John tells us the story of how it came to be.

In one golden hour, you and your friends tell a story that may very well stick with you forever, for better or worse…

…at the very least, you’ll never look at puppets the same.

Enjoy the show!

 

Media – 

John’s website – http://www.JohnTynes.com

Purchase the Puppetland RPG –

On Amazon

On Indie Press Revolution

ArcDream Publishing – http://arcdream.com/home/

The New Delta Green RPG –  http://www.delta-green.com/

The new Unknown Armies 3rd Edition RPG – http://www.atlas-games.com/unknownarmies/

RPPR Actual Play podcast- http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/

Holospark, the video game start-up where John works – http://www.holospark.net/

The Impossible Travel Agency (John’s first virtual-reality project with Holospark) – http://impossibletravelagency.com/

The original version of Puppetland – http://johntynes.com/revland2000/rl_puppetland.html

The (very “drippy”) cover art from the 1999 release from Hogshead Publishing:

Puppetland

 

John Supported:

The Siblings Trouble storytelling card game – http://www.pencilfirstgames.com/the-siblings-trouble/

Just for fun, here is the Santa Claus, Punch,and Judy video that I was talking about on the show:

 

Subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes!Subscribe on Stitcher Internet Radio!Like us?...Then like us!Follow us!Send us an email at dan@carpegm.netOur HomepageReccomend us on RPG Podcast.com!

Aug 072021
 

S02E00 – Welcome Back! – Fallout Wasteland Warfare

Modiphius-Calling-Small

It’s Season Two of Modiphius Calling! It’s been four years since our last episode and we’ve come a long way! In this episode, James Sheahan tells us about Fallout: Wasteland Warfare which combines RPG and skirmish wargame elements into a game that’s dripping with theme. Giles tells us how he became a game designer and why he loves the  Symbaroum RPG and Zach tells us how knowing about the history of weapons can make your games feel more “real.”

1:54 – What’s On Your Table?

17:38 – Interview – James Sheahan – Fallout Wasteland Warfare

34:45 – Meet the Hosts – Becoming a Game Designer – History of Weapons

 

Music courtesy of Joshua John O’Connor
Visit us at Modiphius.com!Please subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes!We're now on Stitcher Internet Radio!Recommend our shows on RPGPodcasts.com!Like Modiphius Games on Facebook!Follow Modiphius on Twitter!Circle Modiphius!Purchase Modiphius products on DriveThruPG!Join the conversation on our forum!

Aug 052021
 

RPG Review – 7th Sea Second Edition

7th Sea Second Edition cover

 

At A Glance –

For those of you who don’t know, 7th Sea 2nd Edition is a tabletop RPG set in “Theah”, a world very similar to 17th century Europe.

Pirates, heroes, political intrigue and secret societies in a world peppered with legends and lore, a pinch of sorcery, and a punch of corruption set the backdrop for the fantastic tales of your swashbuckling, savoy heroes.  All told with cinematic flare in this beautiful little 300 page gem by John Wick.

As most of you know, I don’t usually like to compare games that I’m reviewing with other games. That said, this is the 2nd edition of a game that I enjoyed very much so I think the review needs a little comparison to be complete. I really liked the original edition of 7th Sea.  It was a fun and refreshing look at the genre presented in a way that hadn’t really been done before. pussy88

The second edition is trimmed down a bit.  Sleeker mechanics and speedier action make for slightly fewer choices for the players but add so much more to the collaborative storytelling aspect of the game.

In short, I LOVE this edition!

Now that we have that out of the way,

On with the review!

The Book –

The book itself is absolutely beautiful.  The pages are filled with gorgeous and immersive landscapes, believable character portraits, and inspiring scene captures by a team of fantastic artists.  The rules are concise, with examples of execution, well laid out, and easy to find.

The Setting –

As mentioned before, the setting is roughly 17th century Europe with the names changed to protect the innocent.  This allows the players and GM to draw on the shorthand knowledge that they have about the real world country and/or culture upon which it is based.  The first 130 pages or so are dedicated to fleshing out Theah.  This section breaks down the individual countries, some of their collective views and values, a brief overview of the customs, important people, social strata, military, religion, etiquette, etc.  I wanted to just breeze over this section but wound up reading every word.  The attention to detail exercised here really comes through in the final product.  There is even a beautifully rendered coat of arms displayed for each one.  An important detail for a pirate campaign, methinks.

Be sure to click the link below to see a map of Theah!

7thSea_Map_1

The System –

The conflict resolution system for this game really sings.  It utilizes a d10 dice pool.  The size of your pool is determined not only by your stats, but also the type of action that you choose to take, as well as how you plan to portray that action in game.  In short, the more cinematic the action and immersed in the character you are, the more opportunities for success you have.  You are rewarded for using different types of actions in a scene, promoting the use of any and all skills that your character possesses.  This helps to eliminate the hack and slash feel that you get with a lot of games.  Sometimes it may make more sense from a productivity standpoint to just slash with your sword again instead of punching the bad guy in the jaw, even though in a lot of cases the right hook would just feel better.  This game rewards that sentiment.

This game approaches scene setting in a manner very similar to the medium that inspired it…

You guessed it, swashbuckling movies!

The scenes are framed by the GM.  The individual players announce how their character would like to approach the problem.  Whether they decide to be talky, sneaky, fighty, flighty, sexy, etc., the GM decides what stats and skills apply. Then he tells the players what the consequences of their actions will be as well as any opportunities that will arise from them. The players roll their dice pool, collecting “raises” (sets of dice that add up to 10) and choose how to spend their raises in regards to completing their goal, overcoming consequences, taking advantage of opportunities, helping out their fellow heroes, etc.  They can also choose to simply fail.

I love this mechanic!

Sometimes the hero gets captured, drops the McGuffin, or slips over the edge.  This game rewards that decision to heighten the tension with something called Hero Points.  Hero Points can be spent later to accomplish truly awesome things when they most matter. (Just like the movies! Huh…imagine that.)

The heroes don’t have “hit points”, they take wounds as a result of bad rolls or choices they made while spending their raises. These wounds are tracked by a portion of the character sheet ominously called “the death spiral.” This is a spiral of circles and stars that get colored in as heroes get injured.  Every fifth wound taken by a hero is a “dramatic wound”. Wounds themselves are no big deal but dramatic wounds serve to heighten the tension of the scene.  And once again, the further down the death spiral the hero falls, the more awesome stuff he can do…

Just like…well, you get it.

The game handles conflict resolution in social situations, action scenes, and large scale battles in pretty much the same manner, what changes is the time that elapses in game and the scale of the conflict.  This, as well, is beautifully executed as it breeds familiarity with the system allowing it to take a back seat to the story sooner regardless of what size or type of pickle the heroes have found themselves in.  Also, because of both the intuitive nature of the system and the speed with which the players and GM achieve familiarity with it, most conflicts are resolved very quickly regardless of size.  There are so many more subtleties to this system that I can’t touch on them all here without just rewriting the rules for you.

As a special note, the naval rules in this game are some of the best that I’ve ever seen.  They come complete with descriptions of the types of ships available, as well as list of the positions and personnel needed to man them. As with a lot of naval legends and lore, ships in this game are characters unto themselves. In this chapter you’ll find superstitions, adventure seeds designed for the advancement of ships, and even rules for bringing them back from the dead.  I’m understating this on purpose.  The naval rules alone are worth the price of the book.

I want to steal them…

…incorporate them into every game I play…

…lie to my players and tell them that they’re mine…

…be revered as the greatest GM of all time…

*rubbing hands together “MUHAHAHAHA!”

Character Creation – 

The character creation process is, for lack of a better word, deep.  In a lot of RPGs you create a framework of a character and hang personality on it like a mannequin.  In 7th Sea Second Edition, this process is front loaded so that when you sit down at the table for your first session you have a fully realized hero complete with an identity, a personality, an outlook, a past, and their own story to tell.  The character creation process begins with a concept and then you are asked to consider 20 questions about your hero.  Most, but not all of these will be answered from your hero’s perspective.

Rest assured this isn’t a hippy-dippy-story-sticky type of game, however.  There are more than 20 pages with lists of traits, backgrounds, advantages, skills, and other things to keep the min-maxers and number jugglers in your group happy.  This doesn’t even count the sorcery section of the book which we’ll get to shortly.

I suggest having a character creation session with your group.  Watching all of the heroes take shape together will both help you as the GM become familiar with the character concepts and you’ll see that the players begin feeding off of the creative energy in the room.

Magic – 

Magic in this game is as varied as the cultures of Theah. Meaning that there is no specific system that governs the use of all magics.

It’s more of a sorcery flavor selection, like a fountain at a large gas station that dispenses magic instead of soda.

Each of the cultures has their own brand of the supernatural and they are all represented very well in the book, beautifully capturing the essence of their superstitions and mysticism.  The chapter on sorcery is worth reading just for the flavor and immersive way that it’s presented.

The GM – 

A lot of the work for a campaign is, like character creation, front loaded because as the GM is building the framework of the story that will be told by the group he must also consider the stories of the individual characters in the group.  At first glance, this game looks like it brings back the “Workhorse GM” concept of running a game but, trust me you get very adept very quickly at leading players through the story once you actually begin playing.  Improvisational GMing is definitely possible with 7th Sea 2nd Edition but that’s no excuse for poor preparation.  The last chapter in the book is extremely informative for both new GMs and those that are just new to the game.  Even old guys like me will probably learn a thing or two.

Read it.

Price Point – $24.99 (PDF) – $59.99 (Hardcover)

For this price, you get the entire game.  No other books are needed to play.  Considering the quality of the book, art, and mechanics, this is a fine price.

Versatility – 

Tabletop RPG experiences are as varied as conversations among friends.  Because of this, the game itself must be versatile in order to stand up to years of playing.  The framework has to be flexible in order to tell a myriad of stories.  While I haven’t had it for years, you can tell when a game is a one trick pony and this one is not.  As well as the swashbuckling stories that were the inspiration for the game, John Wick and company have put together a beautiful toolbox with which to tell tales of dark fantasy, political intrigue, or “lone wolf’ stories ranging from grim-dark street level campaigns to high profile kingdom-shakers.

The choice is yours, it will not disappoint.

Rating – 10 out of 10

I rarely hand out a 10 in regards to an RPG.  My reasoning for this is that any given session of a tabletop RPG exists in a vacuum and the experience is subject to the moods and whims of those around the table. This can make it very difficult to give a game a fair shake upon reviewing if somebody in your game group had a rough day at work.  The way I rate an RPG is by assessing how well it does the job that it sets out to do.

This one performs beautifully.

If you want to tell stories like “The Three Musketeers”, “The Man in the Iron Mask”, “The Mask of Zorro”, “Robin Hood”, etc., this is the game you want.

Final Thoughts – 

 By changing the way that wealth and equipment work to a more abstract system, as well as lossening some of the restrictions on skills and such, the second edition of 7th Sea does trim out some of the bulk of the original edition, this is sure to ruffle some feathers.  That said, I beleive that it was done in good spirit with the motivation being to streamline scene setting and resolution with a focus on getting the players into the action.

To me, this game is a truly romantic exploration of the of swashbuckling genre through the lens of a contemporary tabletop role playing game.

But then again, this is just my humble opinion.

-Dan Whorl

(CarpeGM.net Game Reviews)


 

Full Disclosure – 

A review copy of 7th Sea Second Edition was given to me by the game developer for an honest review of their product.  No money or further compensation changed hands or has been promised for a good review.  They earned it!

Kickstarter Preview – Vegas Wits and Wagers

 Announcements, Dan Whorl  Comments Off on Kickstarter Preview – Vegas Wits and Wagers
Sep 062017
 

Kickstarter Preview :

Vegas Wits and Wagers

fce044188874c5006976c1c868f8ceab_original

While stumbling around GenCon this year, I found a little piece of Las Vegas at the North Star Games booth. The geographical anomaly was due to Vegas Wits and Wagers, the newest expansion in the line.

image1

Wits and wagers is a juggernaut in the trivia, betting, bluffing, party game section of the gaming market.  Over the last decade or so it’s racked up more awards and accolades than the Mohave desert has gangster bones.

094052469475a504d3194cfb0e7fc7c1_original

Because of this, you aren’t reading a review of Wits and Wagers, per say, but a review of the currently Kickstarting expansion pack that makes the newest edition so…

Well…

…Vegas

A brief overview –

Vegas Wits and Wagers is the limited run expansion pack for Wits and Wagers Party that contains a large (like, really big) neoprene, double sided play mat, new, high quality, cardboard chips with larger denominations including $500 and $1000(for that big, “No Limit” feel), another betting card, marker and pair of player chips allowing the game to be played by 7 people, and  two “closed” betting covers (also high quality neoprene).

However, the real commodity on the table is the presence that this game brings when you lay it out.

d51acf6c795b503a84e762b4e195fdc4_original

A little deeper –

As well as the new components, there are now more betting options. For the skittish, there are now “safe bets,” betting on the red or black side of the board for a lower pay out. However, in true Vegas fashion, there are now “long shot” bets that pay out 10-1 where you can bet on an individual player before their answer is revealed. This comes in handy if you have reason to believe that Johnny happens to be an expert on toilet paper advertisements from the 1950’s. Lastly, the game is played in seven rounds with the stakes raising each round. With these new options and mechanics, every question is potentially a game changer. That said, as I mentioned before, it’s the game’s presence that is truly astounding. The art, the colors, the mood, all blend beautifully with the mechanics making it a spectacle worthy of its name.

557ba0e48630f3bd65b7289949b0d48e_original

The Kickstarter –

The Kickstarter ends at 11:00 PM, September 7th. As of the posting of this review, they’ve raised $50,000+ and have exceeded the goal by more than $20,000.

What’s the buy in?

For $25 you get the Vegas expansion. This is everything that I outlined above but does not include Wits and Wagers Party. You’ll need this in order to play the Vegas version of the game. If you have older versions, however, the back of the neoprene mat is printed with the original layout so you can still utilize it.

For $40 you get the Vegas expansion as well as Wits and Wagers Party, which is everything you need to set the stage for your gaming extravaganza!

a1619e71a2ab98419ae5dfee6794b6e6_original

Stretch goals?

Several stretch goals have already been unlocked. Every $5,000 over the goal unlocks a new themed pack of all new trivia questions. So far, packs about the Ocean’s movies, Las Vegas trivia, music, television, and celebrities have been unlocked with several more goals slated to be announced. xe88

As of this posting, there is a little more than two days left in the Kickstarter. If you’re interested, don’t waste time. You’re not going to want to miss this.

Kickstarter Link – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/northstargames/vegas-wits-and-wagers/description

If, for some reason, a pink van full of Elvises and aliens pulls up and drags you away from your internet connection before you’re able to pledge, don’t fret. North Star Games is planning on releasing Vegas Wits and Wagers to a store near you in the Fall of 2018. The only problem is, while the boxed version will have all of the
new options and rules of the limited edition, the gorgeous neoprene table mat, and cover slips, etc, will be made of the more familiar felt or cotton materials found in previous versions, thus making it just a little less…

Well,

…Vegas

Final Thoughts – 

Wits and wagers has been a favorite in my household for many years now. Even before the newest expansion, it played quite a bit like Trivial Pursuit had a love child with a craps table and left Las Vegas on the fastest flight back to Maine. I’m truly pleased to have been able watch that child grow up,

put on the cape and jumpsuit,

and steal the show.

To me, this is a brilliant and exciting thematic step in the right direction for a fantastic party game.

But then again, this is just my humble opinion.

-Dan Whorl

(CarpeGM.net Game Reviews)

Full Disclosure –

A review copy of Vegas Wits and Wagers was given to me by the game developer for an honest review of their product.  No money or further compensation changed hands or has been promised for a good review.  They earned it!

 

12 Realms: Dungeonland – What is it?

 Dan Whorl, Guest Authors  Comments Off on 12 Realms: Dungeonland – What is it?
May 132017
 

Our friends at MAGE Company are, once again, entering the Kickstarter arena with the next chapter of the 12 Realms saga;

12 Realms: Dungeonland!

 pic3225635_lg

A big box, miniature laden, dungeon crawler with several modes of play, this is sure to be a favorite on game night.  As with previous titles in the 12 Realms line, familiar faces from fairy tales and lore are in the cast of playable characters (as well as some of the baddies).  I’ll have a more in-depth breakdown of mechanics and gameplay in the coming days, as there is a Print and Play trial version of the game available here.  (Spoilers! it’s a lot of fun!)

Also, once it’s live, you can find the kickstarter here.

That said, I asked the fine folks at Mage Company if they’d like to write an article about the game and how it’s different from previous iterations in the 12 Realms line.

So strap on your little riding hood and grab your axe because over the hills and through the wood, to Dungeonland, we go!

Exploring Dungeonland

Exploring 12 Realms: Dungeonland

12 Realms: Dungeonland is a standalone game set in the 12 Realms Universe. It is a cooperative dungeoncrawler, where each player takes the role of a Hero from fairytales and explores dungeons and magical locations. They battle against evil monsters and epic bosses controlled by AI, and evlolve through the way. So no need for anyone to be the bad guy. In Dungeonland everybody is a Hero. But what makes 12 Realms: Dungeonland different from the other 12 Realms games and what are its key features?

1) Not an expansion. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is a standalone game. This means you do not need to have any of the other 12 Realms games. This is not an expansion. You can just grab a box, gather with friends and start your epic battles!

2) Cooperative, but not as 12 Realms base game. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is a cooperative game too, but it offers a completely different experience from 12 Realms base game. The only thing these two games have in common is the theme. They are both set up in a fantasy fairy tale world, so Heroes, items and monsters will be inspired from this theme. However the gameplay is totally different and the two cannot be compared.

3) The Campaign Mode. The main way to play 12 Realms: Dungeonland is through the campaign mode. The Heroes explore their way through multiple scenarios. All of the scenarios all linked to each other and the decisions you make will affect the plot of the scenario. This means that your decisions affect the story, so be careful what you choose and what you do!

Exploring Dungeonland Ambush

4) The Arena. The game also includes an Arena board, where up to 8 players can involve in battle. The Arena offers 2 different game modes: The Duel: Players create 2 teams of 2, 3 or 4, depending on their number and battle each other. Which will be the team to be the last one standing? Waves of Enemies: This is a tower defense type mode, which will be used as a bonus stage between the different scenarios. In this mode, the Heroes battle against waves of enemies. The more waves they manage to defeat, the more rewards the get to continue their campaign.

5) The Master Quest. This is one of the unique features of 12 Realms: Dungeonland. You want to get the feeling of a complete campaign, but you do not have the time to play all the scenarios? 12 Realms: Dungeonland will feature the Master Quest, a single scenario that will give you the feeling of a complete campaign. This means that you will get the chance to experience the Hero development, the different choices that lead to different story endings and the Boss battle, all in a single session. No need to arrange several meetings with friends, experience everything in a single go.

6) Character Development. Each Hero has their unique starting gear and ability. During the campaign you can evolve your Hero by finding new items, weapons, spells, potions etc. At the same time, you can unlock new skills from the various skill categories that are offered through the game, to suit your playstyle. This means that even if you play the same Hero twice, they can be a totally new character and offer a different experience.

7) Exploration. The exploration mechanism is one of the key features of the game and offers great replayability. Through this clever mechanism, the dungeons and monsters are randomly generated each time, which means that two playthroughs will never be exactly the same. Furthermore, this mechanism is designed in a way to make you further immerse in the exploration of the magical dungeons, thus enhancing the game experience.

Exploring Dungeonland Wind

8) Gameplay. 12 Realms: Dungeonland is designed in such a way that it is streamlined and easy to learn and play making it suitable for families, without taking away the depth and strategic options that gamers would like to experience in a dungeoncrawler.

9) The perk of having the previous 12 Realms. As we said, you do not need to have the other 12 Realms games to play Dungeonland. However if you own any of the previous games, a conversion kit will be offered through the Kickstarter campaign, that converts all Heroes and their starting gear and abilities from the existing 12 Realms titles, making them suitable for Dungeonland. This means that you can take your favorite Hero and their miniature and use it in the game.

Interviews -EP 18 – Escape Room – The Game

 The Carpe GM Gamecast  Comments Off on Interviews -EP 18 – Escape Room – The Game
Sep 302016
 

Escape Room - The Game

Topic –    Live from GenCon 2016!  I was invited to a special, after-hours edition  of the live action escape room the Spin Master Games had erected to support the release of their new game, “Escape Room – The Game”.  While I was there, I snagged a few minutes of audio with game designer, Brady Lang about the new venture. buy dnp online

Enjoy the show!

 

Media – 

GenCon 2016 

 Spinmaster.com

Escape Room – The Game

Where to buy –

On Amazon

At Target.com

At Toys-R-Us.com

At Walmart.com

 

 

 

 

Subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes!Subscribe on Stitcher Internet Radio!Like us?...Then like us!Follow us!Send us an email at dan@carpegm.netOur HomepageReccomend us on RPG Podcast.com!

Game Review – Ice Cool

 Dan Whorl, Game Reviews  Comments Off on Game Review – Ice Cool
Sep 282016
 

GenCon 2016 Game review – Ice Cool

IceCool

At a glance –

School is almost out in Antarctica but a few of the penguins are too hungry to wait!  They skip out on class and, racing through the hallways, make their way to the cafeteria to grab an afternoon snack.  Will they make it before being caught by the dreaded hall monitor?  Welcome to “Ice Cool”.

“Ice Cool” is a surprisingly fun and innovative “flicking” game for 2-4 players published by Brain Games.  The gameplay is fast and intuitive.  Although it’s geared to younger players, I’ve played the game with several different age groups, including a mixed session, and the result is always the same, LOTS OF FUN!

8fbe28_b86fe61c8ebf4bd28d0871faa4ef4a3d

The Object – online casino singapore

 The players choose a color and collect the corresponding penguin and ID card.  One of the players is chosen to be the Hall Monitor (called the Catcher). The other players (called Runners) take turns flicking their penguins, trying to get them through the doorways that have their fish clipped to the top.  If they make it through, they collect their fish and score a fish card.  On their next turn, they begin making their way toward their next fish.

The Catcher has a different goal.  He or she is trying to collect the IDs of the Runners by flicking their penguin so that it touches the penguins of the Runners, thus, collecting their ID cards.  A round ends when either, one of the Runners collects all of their fish, or the Catcher has all of the IDs.  There are as many rounds as there are players so that everyone gets a turn to be the Catcher.  Also, there is a bit of a “rubber band” mechanic built in.  You look at the ‘fish cards” as you collect them.  If, at any point in the game you have collected two cards that only have a “1” on them, you can “ice skate”.  You turn over your two “1” cards and get to take an extra turn.  After all of the rounds have been completed, the players total up the numbers on their “fish cards” and the highest total wins.

The Board – pic3188780_md

The board for this game is a VERY innovative design called “Box in a Box”.  Inside the box are 5 smaller boxes with holes in the sides and art depicting the different rooms of the school.  These all clip together with the holes matching up to create the doorways and a kind of obstacle course for the players to navigate by flicking their penguins from room to room, collecting fish and (hopefully) avoiding the Hall Monitor.  The art on the board/boxes themselves is a convincing depiction of what a penguin school would look like, complete with overhead views of desks, chairs, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, all of which are complete with nice little touches like posters, drinking fountains, and basketball rims.  (Even though I’m sure that penguins are terrible at basketball)


8fbe28_407f327266a44ba2a39921d72625f763

 

What’s in the Box? –

(4) Plastic penguins;

(5) Cardboard boxes – rooms;

(16) Wooden fish tokens (12 fish in 4 player colors and 4 fish in white color);

(45) Fish cards (each showing 1, 2 or 3 victory points);

(4) Color reminder cards;

(4) Penguin ID cards;

(1) Rules booklet

Several re-sealable bags for component storage

Components –

The components for this game are quite nice. The cards are of good quality, and the “fish” are solid wood and seem to be very durable.  The real features of this game are, as described above, the board itself, and the adorable little penguins.  The penguins are rounded at the bottom, and weighted so that they can’t lie on their side.

For those of you who know what they are, think Weebles.

il_fullxfull-260793308

When flicked, they flop and flounder, spin and turn, but what they don’t do, is lay still.  With a little practice, you can begin to steer them around corners, make them jump over walls and, if you’re really good, you may even be able to get them to travel in a straight line!

Check out the “Ice Cool” promo video on YouTube to see an AMAZING shot near the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhzIZUQvLng

If you’d like to listen to our interview with the man who, both, made that trick shot, and helped design this game, it can be found here:

 https://carpegm.net/interviews-ep-17-ice-cool/ ‎

Learning Curve –

This is an easy one to grasp for kids and adults alike.  If you’ve ever flicked things on a table you already have the basics down.  Spend a few minutes reading the rules and a couple of minutes setting up the board and you’re ready to go. There is a bit of a learning curve as you figure out how to make those pesky penguins do what you want, but not so much as to make the concept unattainable.  In any case, in a game like this failure can be just as entertaining as success!

pic3188778_md

 

Packaging –

As I said before, I’m absolutely enamored with this box.  Not only does it hold all of the smaller boxes, but, because there is no insert for the smaller pieces, the designers included small, re-sealable bags for storing the other components.  This allows “Ice Cool” to pass the “shake test” with flying colors.  Store it however you’d like!

Rules –

The rules document for this game is clear and concise, has little comic-style penguins all over it making it fun for kids to read, and even covers some of the unpredictable things that can happen when you get a few people around a table flicking plastic things through cardboard things.

Play time – 30 minutes

 

The “Sweet Spot” –

The game is rated for 2-4 players.  The sweet spot for this game, in my opinion, is 4 players.  The more pieces that you have flying around the board, the better!

Replay Value –

Due to the shape of its components and the nature of dexterity games in general, the replay value of this game is quite high.

Price Point – $39.99

 

Notes – 

Even though most of the components are cast or printed in bold primary colors, color blindness may be a concern.  That said, because of the gameplay and the mechanics involved, this could be overcome with just a little assistance by other players. The cards are easily read, but the penguins and wooden fish are all the same, only differing in color.  However, adding multiple casts to a game is extremely expensive, sometimes adding tens of thousands of dollars to a game’s initial bottom line.  This would have probably priced it out of its market and, all things considered, is probably not necessary for our chromodysoptic friends to enjoy it.

Rating –  9 out of 10

 

Final Thoughts –

Even though “Ice Cool” is targeted toward younger players, I think gamers of all ages will have a lot of fun with it.  I’ve seen older gamers pull the chairs away from the table so that they can line up their perfect shot as if they’re playing a tiny game of billiards, while a game with younger players looks and sounds exactly like what you may think;

 Raucous excitement sometimes mixed with the spell cast by a basketball circling the hoop in an Antarctic gymnasium.

I highly recommend this one, particularly if you have children.  However, I think this game would be a welcome addition to any collection, whether it’s found in a kid’s closet or the college campus.

In a word, “Ice Cool” is white-hot!

But then again, this is just my humble opinion.

 -Dan Whorl

(CarpeGM.net Game Reviews)

 

 

A review copy of Ice Cool was given to me at GenCon 2016 by the game designer.  No money or further compensation changed hands or has been promised for a good review.  They earned it!

 

Interviews – EP 17 – Ice Cool

 The Carpe GM Gamecast  Comments Off on Interviews – EP 17 – Ice Cool
Sep 212016
 

IceCool

Topic –    Live from GenCon 2016!  I was able to spend a few minutes talking with Egils Grasmanis From Brain Games about their new, super fun dexterity games “Ice Cool”  We talk a little about the design process and how the idea for one of the most popular casual games of the year came to be.

Enjoy the show!

 

Media – joker123

GenCon 2016 

 Brain Games.com

 Ice Cool

 

For our full review of the game, go to

 https://carpegm.net/game-review-ice-cool/ ‎

Egils Supported:

Mikkel Bertelsen’s game “Klask

Check out the Ice Cool promo video!

 

 

Subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes!Subscribe on Stitcher Internet Radio!Like us?...Then like us!Follow us!Send us an email at dan@carpegm.netOur HomepageReccomend us on RPG Podcast.com!