Designer Interview – Brent Critchfield

Today, I am excited to introduce a new feature to the pages of The Chubby Meeple – designer interviews!  In this first installment, I talk with Brent Critchfield from Studio Woe.  We talk about the history of the company, as well as his current Kickstarter project, Gruff: Rage of the Trolls.  So, without any further ado or fanfare, let’s dive right in!

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Origins 2017 Sets Record Attendance

Columbus, OH – Origins Game Fair welcomed thousands of guests from all over the world to the Greater Columbus Convention Center, June 14-18. This annual convention brings in gaming companies, authors, artists, and more for five days of events and family fun.

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Kickstarter Review – Underleague

Helgarten, a once quiet port town, has become the industrial hub of a vast empire. Ramshackle towers and factories blight the skyline, and a sick canopy of pipes and chains hangs over the cobbled streets. With the growth and expansion of the city has come a seedy underbelly – every day, pirates and smugglers import vicious creatures and fantastical beasts from across the globe, hidden among barrels of grain and sugar cane. These creatures are destined for the Helgarten pits. In abandoned sewers and overcrowded slums, the local degenerates breed these creatures and pit them against each other in gladiatorial combat. Huge amounts of money changes hands daily on the outcome of these bouts. You are one of these breeders, and through hard work and unscrupulous tactics, you hope to find your fortune. This is the world of Underleague, designed by Fergus Blair and published by Cogwright Games.

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2017 Dice Tower Award Nominees

The Dice Tower Network is proud to announce the nominees for the best games of 2016. A jury of more than seventy Dice Tower staff, prominent bloggers and reviewers went through all the games released in English in 2016, and chose the five best in each category – with ten games nominated for best game of the year.

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Kickstarter preview – Ore-Some

There are riches to be found in them hills! Grab your pickaxe, miner hat, and trusty pooch and get ready to dig up copious amounts of copper, silver, and gold. Ma Courtland and Baron Pearce are counting on you to fullfill your contracts and prove yourself to be the best miner in the land. Today, we take a look at Ore-Some, designed by Sarah Kennington and published by One Free Elephant, which will begin its Kickstarter campaign on February 14!

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Santorini – An Unboxing

Today, I received my copy of Santorini, designed by Dr Gordon Howard and published by Roxley Games.  Because I was so excited to get it in my hands, I just had to do an unboxing video for all of you.

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Dreamwell – A Chubby Meeple Walkthrough and Review

In a place outside the waking world, where children go while they sleep
Wander the dreamkin – lost sleepers whose souls this land seeks to keep.
Underneath the gentle waves of lucid seas we fell.
We’re off to find our missing friends in the vast Dreamwell.

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Survive The Horde – Kickstarter review video

A few weeks ago, I posted a preview of a game that was coming soon to Kickstarter – Survive The Horde from Laffgasm Games.  That game is now on Kickstarter and is closing in on the finish line.  Here is a review that I put together for the game to let you know what I think of it, and show you a little bit of the game play.

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The Chubby Meeple is now on YouTube!

Hi folks!  It’s been a couple of weeks since anything new has hit the Chubby Meeple blog.  For that, I apologize.  I began working a new j-o-b during the second shift hours.  This has caused my to reschedule my days in order to get playthroughs done so I can get reviews posted to the blog.  Since most of my game group works first shift, it has proven a bit difficult to get together in order to play games as often as I did before the new position.  This is the main reason for my lack of recent posts.  However, I return with good news.  In addition to the blog, I have launched (and will continue to improve) the Chubby Meeple YouTube channel!  The YouTube channel will allow me to post more frequently because I seem to talk faster than I type.  How did this come to be?

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Kickstarter preview – Survive The Horde Party Game

Zombies.  They are absolutely everywhere these days.  Movies.  Television.  And, yes, even in our games.  Zombies have become a staple in today’s modern culture, and quite a number of designers, developers, producers, writers, etc. use them to attract the hordes of zombie fans in the world today.  Along those lines comes Survive The Horde Party Game, designed by Evan Johnson (with art by Santi Jurado) and published by Laffgasm Games.

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Kickstarter preview – Game of Trolls

The internet has brought us many things since its time began.  Social media is exploding, thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and – way back in the day – MySpace.  We’ve been given powerhouse websites like Google, Yahoo, and YouTube.  But the internet is more than just a collection of websites.  The internet has also given us things like emojis, memes … and the ever-present troll.  With the popularity of internet memes, it’s a bit surprising that no one has made a game that centers around them – until now.  Coming November 1, 2016 to Kickstarter is Game of Trolls, a card game for 3-6 players (ages 7+) that can be played in 15 – 45 minutes and encourages players to awaken their inner troll with their favorite memes in an epic card game battle.  Let’s look at how the game works.

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Unboxing – Tiny Epic Western

This is the first of a new type of post I will begin bringing to the Chubby Meeple.  In addition to game reviews and previews for games coming soon to Kickstarter, I am going to begin posting unboxings of games.  These posts will be primarily photos, and will generally be games that I will be reviewing on the site in a later post.  This installment: Tiny Epic Western, designed by Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games.

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Review – Lotus

Every year, Gen Con is filled with so many games that I always end up missing some of the titles that I’m interested in.  A lot of the time, this can mean waiting months to get my hands on a copy of the games I missed.  Sometimes, those games are worth the wait.  Other times, I’d find I dodged a bullet.  This past Gen Con was no different.  There were several games – and publishers – I had my eye on that I simply did not have time to take a look at.  This year, one of those missed games was Lotus, designed by Jordan and Mandy Goddard and published by Renegade Game Studios.  I was recently able to attend a launch party for the game, hosted by Jordan and Mandy at Family Time Games here in Indianapolis.  So, was Lotus worth the wait?  Let’s look at how the game plays and I’ll share my thoughts at the end.

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Review – NecronomiCards

Lovecraftian horror is such a solid genre and, as a result, has become the theme of quite a number of games these days.  You can find Lovecraftian mythos across all types of games – card games, board games, and RPGs.  Some have even started referring to Lovecraft (more specifically, Cthulhu) as the next theme to be overused (after zombies and cats).  It seems that a lot of games that are released these days with the horror theme default to Lovecraftian horror.  Now comes NecronomiCards (designed, illustrated, and self-published by Andy Hunt), a game of horror, strategy, and luck for 2 to 4 players that can be played in about 30-45 minutes.  How does it stack up against other offerings available?

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Kickstarter Preview – Super Hack Override

If you’ve read my Gen Con – Day 1 recap, then you know that I had the privilege of meeting Nick and Carla Kopp of Weird Giraffe Games, and was able to play Between Two Cities with them.  In fact, one of the two cities I built during the game was built with Carla’s help.  We had a great time and, through conversation with them, I found out that they were preparing to launch a Kickstarter for their first game – Super Hack Override!  What is Super Hack Override?  How does it play?  Should I back it?

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Review – Thief’s Market

It may seem odd to start a review by talking about another game, but ….. my daughters and I play a lot of Splendor.  And, I mean … A.  Lot.  It is one of our go-to games because it was easy for them to learn, it’s simple to play (yet has some great strategic elements), has great replayability, and they love to beat me at it.  A.  Lot.

So when I first saw Thief’s Market (from Tasty Minstrel Games) on Kickstarter, I had to back it and add it to my collection.  Though it plays very differently, I saw a lot of the same elements in it that bring Splendor to our table so often.  But … does it live up to my expectations?  Let’s find out.

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Review – Tides of Madness

In 2015, Portal Games introduced the world to Tides of Time from designer Kristian Čurla.  Tides of Time is a fast-to-play card drafting game for two players where each person played as an ancient civilization and worked to build the most prosperous kingdom.  Now, Portal and Kristian are back and have given us the sequel – Tides of Madness.

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Review – Grimslingers

The land: the Forgotten West.  A desolate wasteland that is home to a plethora of mysterious – and dangerous – creatures.  You have been dropped into this treacherous world, having no idea why or how.  What you do know is that there is no way out, and you’ll be here for quite some time.  You’ve been turned into a Grimslinger, a witch who has been given special elemental powers and made part-machine.  Your “creator,” the mysterious Iron Witch, Icarus, wants you to fight against other Grimslingers to determine who can best be used to fulfill his own (unknown) purposes.

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Gen Con – Day 4

I feel like this post should have been posted sooner than today (now that we’re more than a week past the end of Gen Con).  However, I kept putting this post off because I feel like once I post it, Gen Con is officially over for me.  That, of course, isn’t entirely true.  I still have a number of games that I picked up and Gen Con to post reviews for (and those will be coming soon).  So, without any further delay, my recap of day 4 – my final day – at Gen Con 2016.

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Gen Con – Day 3

My third day of Gen Con started by playing Castle Panic (Fireside Games) with my girlfriend – someone who doesn’t play games.  I was excited when she said she wanted to give Castle Panic a try with me on the Saturday of the Con (her one day there).  My hope going into the event was that it would be the slippery slope that would bring her into my love of games.  If Castle Panic would get her going with gaming with me, it would be the absolutely BEST two dollars I’ve ever spent at Gen Con.

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Kickstarter Preview – Sharknado: The Board Game!

2013: The year a cultural sensation began.  Sharknado hit the SyFy network and took the world by storm (sorry … I couldn’t resist).  Full disclosure: I am a big fan of the entire film franchise.  I love the absurdity and the fact that the movie doesn’t take itself – or anything – seriously.  Since it’s release, it has spawned three sequels and a multitude of products (t-shirts, hats, bobbleheads, backpacks, etc.).  But there has never been a Sharknado board game.  Until now!  Sharknado: The Board Game! is coming to Kickstarter on Saturday, August 13!

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Imploding Kittens

I had the pleasure of picking up Imploding Kittens, the highly-anticipated expansion to the smash hit Exploding Kittens, at Gen Con this year.  Want to know how it adds to an already great game?  Read on!

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Gen Con – Day 2

Day 2 of Gen Con kicked off with an event I’d been looking forward to since the first day I saw it listed as available on the Gen Con website – a playthrough of Too Many Bones by Chip Theory Games.

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Gen Con – Day 1

Gen Con.  That magical time of year when thousands of gamers of all kinds – tabletop, board, card, video, RPG – flock to Indianapolis to enjoy four straight days of uninterrupted games!  I had the privilege to attend this annual event for all four days.  What follows is a recap of day 1.

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