Conventions

BostonFIG Fest Recap

When I checked in to get my wristband for 2019’s BostonFIG Fest the guy at the table astutely observed that I probably wanted directions to

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Reviews

Reigns: The Council Review

Regins: The Council is on Kickstarter for 10 more days! What kind of bizarre, hilarious thought process resulted in the creation of Reigns? This quirky

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Reviews

Godsforge Review

The best movie fight scenes are rarely about the fighting itself. When I think about the fight scenes most notably implanted in my mind, I

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Reviews

1846 Review

Ever go to a board game con and look in the train room? Ever wonder why they dedicate entire rooms to train games? “What kind

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Reviews

Vinhos Review

Writing’s been tough the past couple of weeks. I’m hesitant to use the word “writer’s block” because that seems like a copout but the words

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Preview

FAZA Preview

FAZA is available on Kickstarter right now! A couple of years ago while wandering around PAX East Matt and I saw an Unpub booth and

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Reviews

Tiny Towns Review

Call me the board game Nostradamus. Back in December I got to demo Tiny Towns at PAX Unplugged and I predicted that it would be

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Reviews

Tussie Mussie Review

Tussie Mussie is avialable on Kickstarter until 6/8/19 Full disclosure: Tussie Mussie won a design contest in which I participated. My game was far, far

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Uncategorized

Dr. Esker’s Notebook Review

In my review of Exit: The Pharaoh’s Tomb I speculated about the naming ritual of calling such a puzzle game an “escape room”, it lacking

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Reviews

Crusaders Review

How can I talk about Crusaders without discussing the theme? The Crusades are a deeply uncomfortable part of western history and while I’m fairly ignorant

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Reviews

Innovation Review

I don’t know what Carl Chudyk looks like, but I picture him in mad scientist garb, cackling over card templates as he conjures up his

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Reviews

Big Dig Review

Just look at the box cover of Big Dig and you’ll see why I jumped on a chance to review it. That woman is so

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Reviews

Antinomy Review

Antinomy is on Kickstarter for just a couple more days! It’s fitting that Antinomy grants first player privileges to the person who has most recently

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Reviews

Hanamikoji Review

Look, people. I know I come across as this paragon of Aristotelian temperance, but when three people I trust tell me that a particular game

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Welcome To 2-Player Game Month!

Abstract month got pushed back a bit, and you’ll still see some remnants from that into February (like this afternoon’s podcast!), but starting with yesterday’s

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Reviews

Fry Thief Review

Fry Thief is on Kickstarter until 2/24. Check it out! I have never seen a game with a more relatable theme. You’re at dinner and your partner has ordered a burger and fries. In

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Reviews

Pioneer Days Review

A version of this review first appeared at Love Thy Nerd. Check it out! The cover of Pioneer Days depicts a colorful cast of eclectic characters smiling in the sun and looking like they’re having a splendid time

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Reviews

Tak Review

As abstract game month here at The Thoughtful Gamer spills into February for a bit, I have to admit that I’ve fallen more and more

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Reviews

Drop It Review

Drop It, the silly abstract dropping-things dexterity game from Kosmos, is part of that eclectic board game sub-genre where the title of the game is

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Reviews

Master of Wills Review

After opening my review of SPQF talking about the slightly strange occurrences when two movies with very similar premises are released at the same time,

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Reviews

Anthelion Review

Anthelion is on Kickstarter until 1/18/19 Some games feel open and comfortable. Whatever system the designer created feels like it could contain endless iteration and

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Welcome To Abstract Month!

For 2019 I’ve decided to implement one major change for The Thoughtful Gamer. We’re doing themed months! January will focus on abstract games, and while

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Reviews

SPQF Review

In film there’s a bizarrely frequent occurrence where two movies with remarkably similar premises or inspirations will release at roughly the same time. Like, remember

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Reviews

Dice Forge Review

So much of the pleasure of board gaming comes from moments of frisson, those exciting moments of suspense and anticipation before pulling a key card,

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T-Shirts Available!

As you can probably tell, I’m not much of a graphic designer or someone who has any eye for that kind of visual, but I’ve

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Reviews

Nusfjord Review

I suspect I have somewhat of an unusual perspective in the board game world, being a reviewer but still feeling somewhat outside of the board

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Surprise Stream! Netrunner

Netrunner may be now officially dead from a corporate perspective, but it’s still alive in our hearts. If there’s anything the game’s taught us it’s

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Reviews

Telepathy Review

I can distinctly remember the first time I played Mastermind. We were in Canada on vacation. My grandparents had rented a house for the summer,

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Uncategorized

Top 10 Games Of 2017

Listen, people. I know. 2018 is over halfway done and here I am posting a top 10 of 2017 list like I’ve lost track of

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Reviews

Eminent Domain Review

More than any game I’ve played in recent memory, Eminent Domain truly feels like a game made for dedicated gamers. It’s not particularly complicated, it

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Commentary

Kickstarter Curmudgeon: August

We’re in the dog days of August, and I guess that seasonal malaise affects board game marketing, because there were a surprising absence of interesting

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What I’ve Been Up To

Hello, all! I realize it’s been a little while since I last posted anything here (10 days by my count–yikes!), so I wanted to make

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First Impression

Burning Rome First Impression

Burning Rome is a game I’ve had a very difficult time contextualizing. It comes in this saturated blood-red box with the subtitle “Rome’s Nightmare”. The

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Podcast

Podcast Episode 36: Ameritrash

Marc, Orion, and Bubba talk about that most peculiarly-named genre of game: Ameritrash. We talk dice rolling, card pulling, combat-focsed narrative games. What makes some of

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Reviews

Carthage Review

Did you know that there’s a segment of the Gladiator film score that Hans Zimmer apparently turned into the main theme for Pirates of the

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Preview

11:58 Preview

Humanity is in crisis. Major governments of the world have combined into two superpowers: The Coalition, and The League. As these two regimes face off

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Podcast

Podcast Episode 34: Elegance

Marc and Orion talk about elegance in games. Is it a simple matter of rules complexity vs. strategic complexity? Or are there additional elements that

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