Rattle Battle and Grab the Loot review

Almost done bringing the GenCons to table for their first games.

This is another of the new Portal games. The main gimmick of this guy, other than the cute pirate ship building, is that fighting is done by physically dropping dice into the box, then moving them around using card powers.

Not a very deep game, but a fun little sorta-mini-war game, with an interesting sorta-mini-engine builder, and very high quality art.

Let's talk about my combos
Let’s talk about my combos

Here’s an example of a mini engine. Kid generates extra cubes, hopefully rum, feed the rum into Luigi or Olaf, and storing rest in super hold. Every time you hire a sailor, it triggers Lilly for an extra point. Once it ramps up, you should be making gold about twice as fast as anyone else, especially in a multiplayer game since it doesn’t rely on too much hunting success.

Your mileage may vary.

Evolution review

So way back when I won a minor contest and the prize was all the Evolution bonuses from the kickstarter. I ended up backing the remake+flight expansion so that I’d be able to actually use them.

Clever ruse, Evolution people.

Picked up our copy at GenCon and brought it to table.

Evolution+Flight, pictured are the kickstarter coasters I won

It ended up being a really good mid-complexity game. Lots of hand building, lots of engine stuff.

As a bonus, Angelica being an ecologist, she liked the theme. It reminded me of SimEarth so I was a fan too.

My kickass predator
My kickass predator

Above is the predator that carried me through the game, up until everyone else realized it was probably a dang good idea to kill him off. Erin has a wicked engine at the end too, with multiple Coöperations and Foragings to just devastate the plant food supply each turn.

Very good game, highly recommended.

GenCon: RattleBones review

No relationship to Rattle Battle.

Angelica’s friend Aurelia introduced us to RattleBones. It’s a game in a genre that would be called “dice builder” if that wasn’t already a different thing. You literally build dice in this one, as you pop sides out with a little plastic prong, then add new sides in.

RattleBones board
RattleBones board

See how the dice have little colored circles in them?

RattleBones, close up
RattleBones, close up

The idea is you add new facets to the dice, then when those facets come up, that power triggers.

Good game for kids since being a dice game you have a pretty good change of winning no matter what you do. Looking forward to what other game styles will come out of that mechanic.

GenCon: Village + Inn review

We did a session playthrough of Village with the Inn expansion.


While the inn adds a lot of new mechanics, it also makes the game feel really arbitrary. I can see it being popular with people who want to add some randomness to it, but I think I prefer it without.

Angelica was interested in the sea expansion though, seeing as traveling is her favorite part of the game.

GenCon: The library featuring Galaxy Trucker review

The GenCon library was probably our best use of tickets of the entire con. Giant collection where we checked out some stuff we were considering (Abyss) and played some stuff just for plain fun, including Robo Rally and Galaxy Trucker

GenCon library, playing Galaxy Trucker at that moment
GenCon library, playing Galaxy Trucker at that moment

CGE’s Trucker, if you don’t know it, is a cute ship tile “drafting” game with a mini low-interaction adventure afterwards. Good game when you’re running on 4 hours of sleep and have an hour to kill.

GenCon Library: Spyrium review

Another pleasant time passer: a worker placement mini called Spyrium that I totally missed hearing about when it came out. Thank you to Andarel for introducing me to it and playing the game through with me.


Really similar conceptually to Sail To India in the sense of being a mini game with cards as board that uses workers in a clever way, and a constant rushed feeling of always being on the edge of running out of time.

GenCon: Portal draft review

Cryptozoic was previewing a draft of their Portal board game.

It’s not a lot like the video game (on purpose) and a bit more like a competitive version of the little informative cartoons that came with the game.

Portal board game, from Cryptozoic
Portal board game, from Cryptozoic
The entire game board is constantly moving towards the right as pieces fall into the incinerator, so the players are constantly trying to move left while keeping their cake alive.

The gameplay wasn’t super deep yet, and in particular the GlaDOS contribution was minimal at the moment (purely decorative), but at the same time I can 100% guarantee I will buy it since, well, Portal.

Good lunchtime-at-work game as well, seems to run ~30 mins assuming people play aggressively.

GenCon: Russian Roulette review

Cute GenCon preview game: Russian Roulette (new name pending).

Premise is you aim a gun at your head, then push your luck to see how many cards you flip. The bluffing aspect is that you’re allowed to remove one card that might be a bullet (cheating) or might be an empty chamber.

Here’s a very excited man demoing it:

Russian Roulette at GenCon
Russian Roulette at GenCon

It was fun if not overly complex. If you like the party/social bluffs, you certainly could do worse, and while I usually hate push your luck games, this one was alright.