Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Awards & Reviews

In last week’s missive about Gale Force 9’s Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps I mentioned the game won the Charles S. Roberts Award for Best SciFi Fantasy Board Wargame in 2020. I started thinking about various issues surrounding game industry awards. It seems like summertime – and the blockbuster summertime conventions – is prime time for various game-related awards. The Origins Awards. Ennies. The aforementioned Charles S. Roberts Awards. Germany’s prestigious Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year). Awards have their place in recognizing creators and their outstanding work; but they do so using select criteria established by a governing organization and votes from a limited sampling of the overall gaming community. An award is rarely an accurate indication a game is right for any given gamer. It’s a validation of a game’s overall excellence when compared to others in its category, but individuals have other means – reviews and how-to-play videos, for instance – to evaluate whether an award-winning game (or any game) is right for them.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

A Tale of Two Alien Games

More often I’m exploring cooperative and solitaire games given their growing prevalence as a subgenre of the adventure gaming hobby and my limited player base. Frequent readers know I’ve discussed solo roleplaying game options before (and I’m still exploring more recent entries), but I’ve not really talked much about solitaire board or wargames beyond the “playing against yourself” variety. The pandemic had me exploring a host of different options, both purely solitaire games as well as cooperative games suitable for a single player. The intersection of these games with themes that interest me has brought a few new titles into my collection. As a fan of the first two Aliens franchise movies, I couldn’t resist picking up their associated games, each designed as a cooperative game suitable for a single player. Both remain true to their cinematic origins, but they offer quite different experiences on several levels.