A Magical Game

There are many boardgames that cause torment to its players: Monopoly with its slow decent into a cruel business owner, Munchin when the level 1 slime just HAPPENS to have a level 20 dragon as a friend, and SORRY! because NO ONE IS BELIEVING YOUR TERRIBLE APOLOGY WHEN YOU SLAM THEIR PIECE BACK TO THE BEGINNING!

I am pleased to announce that I have found a game that can be added to that coveted rank:

Magic Maze

To grossly simplify it because I’m not the game instructions: a 4+ player game where you’re 4 theifs who need to steal 4 different objects and then escape within the timelimit. You build the board as you go, discovering new parts until each are able escape.

There are THREE game mechanics that make this game a living hell:

1. Each player is in charge of one movement direction and one ability (e.g. you have the card to move up and to discover new rooms)

2. You are all incharge of each pawn. You can only move a pawn the direction that you’ve been given.

3. You can’t talk nor gesture to other players

Yeah… You read that last one right. There are different “campaigns” with a new layer of difficulty to add to the game but one of the first rules you get after the practice run is that none of the players can talk after time has started. Though there is no talking nor gesturing, there is one piece called a “DO SOMETHING” (literally what the game calls it) pawn that you can place in front of the person who needs to do an action.

I played this with my family and, normally, our form of communication during a time crunch is through yelling at each other, especially when we have to multitask. So you can imagine the pain we experience when we found out we couldn’t talk during the game. 90% of the game turned into us just aggressively tapping the “DO SOMETHING” pawn at a person and get even more frustrated when the person does the opposite of what we wanted.

It was a good way to develop a way of communication and planning inbetween the rounds, though I don’t think it did anything to help my hotheaded family members on a better form of communication.

-Mabel

#wethegeek #wethegeekmabel #boardgames #magicmaze #multiplayerboardgame #multiplayer #notalking #shhh #communication #frustration

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Role for Damage

When the Cubs won the World Series in 2016 one of my best friends held my hand so tight she almost broke it. I saw an grown man sit down on the ground and cry. And I just wanted to go to bed.

Right now, as I am writing this it is almost 1 am in the morning, a similar time to when the Cubs won, and I’ve been watching 6 people play Dungeons and Dragons on Twitch for the past four hours. And I’m going to be honest with you here, I’m crying because it feels like my team won the World Series. I have never been someone who was ever really into watching or playing sports, but right now, I feel like I just ran a marathon. I have been hyperventilating and yelling at my laptop while I watched 6 people I do not know describe themselves fighting and casting spells and rolling dice to see if they were successful. How did I get here?

Two weeks ago, I got onto YouTube and was looking to waste a little time before I would start my homework, and the livestream for Critical Role had begun about 40 minutes earlier. Critical Role started off as a part of Geek and Sundry, and their dnd campaign videos can be watched on the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel. It’s where a bunch of nerdy voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons. It has consumed my life.

I’ve watched parts of Critical Role before, but they are in the middle of a campaign right now, so I was not looking to commit to anything. I just wanted to see if the episode was interesting. It was. Two Thursdays ago I became enthralled by the characters and the story of Critical Role’s second campaign. Over the past two weeks I have watched 24 episodes trying to catch up (episode 43 aired tonight) because I cannot get enough of the Might Nein. I have watched with bated breath as I listened to backstories, watched fights, and attended festivals with Fjord, Beau, Caleb, Nott, Jester, Mollymauk, Yasha, and later Caduceus.

All my family, friends, and casual acquaintances have heard me talk about how I have been watching people on YouTube play Dungeons and Dragons for the past two weeks, and the only people who understand are my friends who play dnd. For me, I love Dungeons and Dragons for the same reason I love watching boomwhacker music videos: cooperation and teamwork. All the players work together to create the story of the campaign. They work together to help each other meet their group goals. It is fascinating to watch because it is also in the interest of their characters to keep some things secret. They walk a beautiful tight rope as they balance the interests of the group and their own self preservation.

I also love the epic story. Not an epic in the conventional sense, but an epic like the Odyssey. A long tale with many different stories woven together to create a whole. All the threads woven together to create a masterpiece. I love seeing characters and plots develop over long periods of time. I love watching relationships build up and sometimes seeing them get torn down. Dungeons and Dragons is all about the story, and the most important rule I’ve learned while watching Critical Role is everything is acceptable if it makes sense narratively.

I’m still reeling from everything that happened in tonight’s episode, but I am so glad to that Critical Role exists for me to help me avoid my homework. The only thing I have left to say is “Is it Thursday yet?”

-KaytheHuman

#CriticalRole #IsItThursdayYet #FjordTough #Fjord #Beau #Beauregard #Swoleregard #BigBeau #Caleb #CalebWidogast #Nott #NottTheBrave #JesterLavorre #TheTraveler #Mollymauk #Yasha #YashaNydoorin #Cad #Caduceus #CaduceusClay #Pumat #dnd #nerd #wethegeek

Wanna play a puzzle game?

Love puzzle games but can’t find any that is more than one player?

Have you entertained the idea of going to an Escape Room but don’t want to pay $30 per person?

Are your introvert friends clinging to the front door, saying that the Sunlight is burning them when you try to even take them to an Escape Room?

Then look no further than Unlock! the Escape Room like puzzle card game!

Released in 2017, Unlock! offers unique scenarios in which players have to puzzle their way out of within a 60 minute timeframe. The game includes an app that not only provides the countdown but also ambient sounds and clues if the player gets stuck. There are 9 all together, each scenario costing a mere $15!

Though the game isn’t repeatable once you play it, have your other friends play it and watch in glee as the joy on their faces drain when pitted against these puzzles and time limit.

-Mabel

T.I.M.E. for a new game

Released in 2015 by Space Cowboys, T.I.M.E. Stories is a max four person choose your own adventure board/card game.
Players are introduced to the world of T.I.M.E. agents, where you are sent back in time to prevent human caused anomalies using bodies of people who are already there. You and the other agents have to prevent the anomaly before time runs out. Use logic, planning, puzzle solving, exploration, and dice rolling to play through the mysterious world you’re dropped into. Run time 2-3 hours with seven unique expansions.

I absolutely ADORE this game. It would probably be faster for you to play this game than for me to gush about this game. I will tell you my top two reasons why this is a fantastic board/deck game:
1: the stories-
With eight unique stories, you never know what kind of curveball is going to be thrown at you. Are you a fan of creepy mysteries? Got a taste for fantasy? Historical? T.I.M.E. Stories has got an expansion for you! After you play the base game and understand the rules, each expansion offers players new unique stories with their own mechanics and puzzles that spice up the already enthralling world.
2: you’re against the board-
I’m not a very aggressive person when it comes to games so when I find a game that I have to destroy an inanimate object, I’m happy. I sat down with my siblings, grabbed my brain and played.

Base game: $50
Expansions: $25

*WARNINGS!*
-The approximate game time is a nasty lie. My quickest game was 3 hours long and my lonest was 5. My brother has GMed a 7 hour game.
-Please take the age restrictions seriously! It is 13+ for a reason because of the frustrating puzzles and some ingame topics. There is an expansion that is marked 18+ and it is so FOR GOOD REASON.
-Once you play through a story there’s no reason to play again (in my opinion) unless you’re playing as a GM for a new group.

Happy Gaming!
-Mabel