What comes to mind when you read the phrase “video game adaptation”? Jean Claude Van Damme as Belgian Guile? XCOM: The Board Game: The Companion App? Endless Resident Evil sequels? An absolutely epic pile of cardboard tokens for Civilization? Turning a video game into a movie or a tabletop game is a difficult challenge. Robots Love Ice Cream: The Card Game, designed by Chad Elkins and published by 25th Century Games, makes a an admirable effort at turning a popular single-player mobile game into a semi-cooperative card game, but still misses the mark. » Read more
Re-makes are not really my thing. The Ben-Hur movie of 2016? Woof. Crystal Pepsi? Trying too hard. Every Disney animated movie ever now coming back as live action? NO. So when I heard that there was now an entire tabletop game company, Restoration Games, devoted to remaking* classic games, I was … skeptical. Then I heard about Downforce. And my inner 10-year-old demanded a play though.
One of my recently adopted criteria for a good family game is total length – from setup, through play time, to teardown. In this, Clear for Takeoff excels. Designed by Hagen Temeryazev, an airline pilot, illustrated by Etienne Hebinger, and published by Blue Orange Games, Clear for Takeoff is a card game that has you racing to get all three of your planes down the runway and into the air before anyone else. Hampered by an over-dependence on luck, and at times descending into maddening waits for just the right card draw, the game is still a fine amusement for a wide age range when you’ve got only a few minutes for play and even fewer for reading a rulebook.
I love playing games with my kids that have either a simple setup, a simple cleanup, or simple rules. Battle Sheep, designed by Francesco Rotta and published by Blue Orange Games, has all three. With just a handful of quality components and a very limited set of choices to make each turn, games are breezy fun with your little lambs, but there’s surprising strategic depth when playing with older ones.
Let’s take a look at the game, and I promise to not use too many baa-d puns.
First and foremost, you need to understand that Campaign Trail is not a simulation.
The sooner you get notions of realism out of your head, the sooner you will love this game.