Archive for the ‘#03 Board Gaming’ Category

20130302-213938.jpgIs the AMC version of The Walking Dead board game any good?  Yes… Oh yes it is!  And here is my full review!

Overall rating 91/100 (Outstanding!)

Who Would Enjoy this game?
Obviously if your even reading this article your one of three people.  Either you’ve read the comic books and wanted to give this version of  the board game a try.  Or You’re a huge fan the AMC show and want to take your fanboy status to the next level.  Or your a Zombie fan looking for a good zombie game.  If your any of these three – there isn’t a chance you won’t love this game.  In fact people who don’t even know anything about “TWD” really enjoy this game because the game play elements are fantastic.

What’s in the box?
Everyone wants to know if the price tag is worth it, right?  If you go to Barns and Nobles you can pick up this game for 39.99 (Like i did) or you can pick it up for cheaper if you don’t mind a wait from amazon for about 31.99.  I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the materials of this game.  The most outstanding feature which I have never actually seen before is the board it’s self.  The board is a large mat (same material that mouse pads are made from) that rolls out.  There is a protective coating on the top of it to prevent scuffs from happening.  This is the greatest idea I have ever seen in board games.  You just roll it out, then roll it back up.  No more carefully folding some board out or in trying to prevent the inevitable rips in the seems of the board.  My hat off to the Cryptozoic company that made this game.  The playing cards are large and have a real playing card feel to them.  They won’t rip easy.  The other parts of the game are all made from thick, thick cardboard.  It would take some serious carelessness to bend one of these things in half.  The durability of this game I would rate a 10 out of 10.

20130302-213632.jpgGame Play
For the purpose of this article I won’t dive too deep into the mechanics of the game – rather give you the over all feel and style.  The game can be played 1 – 4 players.  (That’s right – this board game you can play by yourself! WIN!)  This is currently the only board game I own at the moment that can be played solo.  Nice feature!  Just now I played with my wife.

The goal of the game is to get supplies from 4 different locations on the four corners of the map and make it back to camp before dying.  It sounds simple enough.  Each player is on their own – we can travel together or in different directions.  You get “Ally” tokens representing more people in your individual player party.  As you fight zombies along your jounrey – but lose – you will lose an “Ally” token.  That Ally dies and doesn’t come back.  Lose all your Ally tokens and get bit by a zombie and your dead… for a turn… then you come back as a zombie and try to kill other players!  TWIST!
There are a limited number of supplies in the whole game.  Once the supply deck runs out – its out.  Just like in the real world they don’t self renew – so you must use each card wisely.

My wife and I thought this would be easy to do.  But right during the first turn she had to choose between using two of her precious weapons or take a chance and lose an Ally – she sat there for 10 minutes trying to decide what would be the best thing to do.  We got really really into this!  Each turn was a fight for our lives as the supplies were running low.  Both of us made a few minor mistakes which eventually cost her, her life.  Sadly when she came back as a zombie she was in the last area I was trying to get to and I kept having to fight her without any success.  I was low on supplies and out of Allies… Dead.  SO MUCH FUN!

What are the Negatives?
Virtually none.

  1. The only thing I kept thing was that this board game was created during Season 1.  So all the characters and objectives are based off of season 1.  I do wish that had released a newer version by now that included more locations from the other two seasons.  Or more characters from the other seasons – no Daryle was a bummer.
  2. The game only goes up to 4 players.  This seems like a great game for 6 – 8 players.  I hope they release an expansion soon!

Please note these negatives are trivial at best.  Other games I will be reviewing in the future I will have a mouth full to say about this section.

20130302-213909.jpgShould I buy this version vs. the comic book version of the game?
So just to be clear there are TWO walking dead board games.  One based on the comic book, and this one based on the TV series… which is based on the comic.  Just to be clear – I read the comics first, then watched the show.  I love both – but… the comics are better lol.  That is not to take anything away from the show, because the show is very well done.  Just a fact.  So for me to tell you to skip the comic book version of the board game and pick up the TV show version says a lot.  The comic book version, (from what I’ve read – not played myself) is slow and boring.  But read up on it yourself if your still not sure.

Final Thoughts
I am a huge board gamer.  Ticket to Ride, Munchkin, MTG, Risk, etc.  I like to play anything that’s not by Hasbro – which has had a monopoly (No pun intended) on board games in stores for a while.   So please understand the weight behind this statement even if you have not read the comics or seen any of the episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead – but simply want to play a survival game – don’t look any further.  I cannot wait to get another two people with us so that we can do the 4 player mode!

Final Scoring.
Physical Parts of Game = 10
Game Play Balance = 9
Immersion Into Game = 10
Re-playability = 9
Learning Curve = 8 (Can learn to play in 15 minutes or less)
Overall Score (not an avarage) = 91% (Outstanding!)

tabletopMost of us have played Monopoly, only to flip the table in a fit of rage because your bleeding money left and right.  There is always that one player, who you land on their property – you don’t have the money then you end up making some twisted deal with the devil so that you can get out of paying.  But within 3 turns you go bankrupt anyway.  I don’t know about you – but I hated board games growing up. They were either way too simplistic, winning completely by chance, or Monopoly.  After one particular family game night turned into “The Night of Horror” which ended in everybody expect oldest my sister crying – I swore off board games and stuck to video games.

Fast forward 12 or so years and my oldest sister invites me to a game night with her and her husband and a few of her close friends along with my girlfriend.  I was so nervous… I hadn’t played a game since “The Night of Horror”.  But the game we played was unlike anything I had ever seen.  I’d never seen the game in Walmart, Target, Toys R Us.  It was called “Betrayal at House on the Hill”.  Great… But as the rules were explained and we started playing… I actually was having fun.  It was unlike anything I had ever played before.  From that day forward I began to play more board games.

Turns out there is more to life than Monopoly, Life, and Sorry.

Let me break down for you the different type of board games you can play.

Games of Chance
These are, as the title suggests, games they require a HIGH amount of luck for you to win.  Games like Sorry, Life, Pirates Cove, Uno, Go Fish, etc.  These are great games for gamers and people who just want something casual.  These are the games available at most retailers for whatever reason.

Games of Cooperationshadows
You won’t find these games in your local store.  You’ll need to go to your local hobby store or comic book store – even Barns and Nobles are starting to carry these types of games.  Games like Shadows over Camelot, Betrayal at House on the Hill – These are games where you are (mostly) playing against the board game.  You are collaborating with your team mates to overcome some great challenge.  You all win together or you all lose together

Games of Back Stabing
These games are a ton of fun for people who enjoy deception as a gaming element.  The most basic form of this would be poker.  However the board game forms are the two games mentioned above.  Shadows over Camelot for example is a game where all the players are trying to save Camelot together. However there is the possibility of a TRADER among you.  This introduces amazing new game play elements are you are now trying to determine if the actions of a player are helping the team or hurting the team.   The closer to Victory and Failure progress so closely to one another it is hard to tell until it might be too late IF there is a trader among you – its also possible there isn’t.

risk-board-game-strategies-21294771Games of Strategy Against other Players
The most common example is the classic game RISK.  You have an army and your goal is to take over the world.  This game is great fun for competitive people.  You can have the perfect strategy, overwhelming armies, but if the dice don’t fall in your favor you will be at the mercy of your friends – hence the name “RISK.”  Other games are Munchkin, Magic the Gathering, Axis vs Alies, etc.

 


TicketToRide-closeup1Games of Strategy NOT against other players.
This is an important category.  Many people actually enjoy strategy – but don’t like going head to head with several other friends.  Ticket to Ride (which is probably my fav game right now – which I have convinced dozens of my friends to also buy) is a great game where you are trying to connect train routes across the U.S. However as the game progresses your route and other players routes might get in the way of one another.  There is never any hard feelings though because no one no’s where anyone else is going – so it’s not your fault if you cut someone off.  Great game because it never gets old.

So Why Do I NEED to Buy a Board Game? Because not all games are like LIFE or Monopoly.  There are TONS of games out there that are a TON of fun.  Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing all the board games my wife and I have in the hope that you will decide to buy one of them as well.  If you have any games you recommend I buy and review – please leave the name in the comments below!

Introduction!

What’s Up World!  My name is Theo Davis and I’m a hobbyhalic.  Very excited about the start of this Blog of mine.  I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but it has been terribly difficult for me to narrow my blog down to one thing.  Once I saw word press allowed me to create Categories it sparked the idea to blog about all the hobbies I love!  And I love a ton!  I’ve started 18 Categories today which I will slowly start to fill with posts.

Why 139?

Well… I have my reasons.  But my goal is to name 139 hobbies to blog about and entertain the world 😀

The Goal?

Some day I would love to start an actual website, but for now blogging just makes sense.  If you like a post PLEASE leave your thoughts!  I would love to hear your feedback, it might prompt me to blog more about that particular topic.  Well… Here we go!