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Wednesday
Jul152015

Retro Review: Knizia's Easy Come, Easy Go 

(With the demise of Armchair Empire, a great videogame website that hosted my early board game reviews, much of my board game-related writings have disappeared from the Internet.  I’m going to reprint them here at Nerdbloggers with some alterations and annotations based on how my impressions of the games have changed.  This review, in a slightly different form, originally appeared August 13, 2005)

Easy Come, Easy Go from Out of the Box is a simple and fun dice game by Reiner Knizia that offers a lot of the appeal of Yahtzee with more player interaction and a more festive atmosphere. In the game, players race to be the first one to have three luxuries in their possession at the beginning of a turn. The game usually plays in around ten minutes, though it can drag if players are constantly stealing luxuries from other players.

 

The game’s components consist of nine heavy, thick luxury tiles with dice combinations printed on them, four six-sided dice marked zero through five, and a nice rolling cup. Everything is well made. I have little doubt that the components will hold up to hundreds of sessions. The art on the cards is amusing and attractive.

 

During the game, players roll four dice in hopes of rolling one of the combinations. After every roll, the player is forced to “lock” at least one of the dice in place. The round ends when all dice are locked whether or not the player has earned a luxury. If they do, they get a card and pass the dice; if not, the dice are simply passed to the next player. This continues until one player starts his or her turn with three of the luxury cards, at which point they win the game.

 

Some of the cards are easy to get (“Straight”, “Two pairs”), while others are more of a challenge. Since all of the cards on the table, whether or not they are already in the possession of another player are up for grabs, it makes a lot of sense to go for the harder cards early, as they are less likely to be stolen. This game play element makes for much more interaction than the group solitaire dice games like Yahtzee, but it also means the game can drag if players continuously manage to lift a card from an opponent right before he or she would win. The drawn-out end game has only happened to us once in about ten games though, so it shouldn’t be much of a deterrent. *

 

We already play a lot of dice games for light filler in our group (Liar’s Dice, Can’t Stop, mostly), so I wasn’t sure another light, fast dice game was needed. However, Easy Come, Easy Go went over very well with everyone I introduced it to while playtesting for this review, so I wouldn’t be surprise to see it hit the table at regular intervals over the course of the year. Regardless, the game is great for family game nights or any place gamers need a fast, fun game to pass the time.

 

 

- Danny Webb

(August 13, 2005)

 

*Follow up:  I’ve played this game three times this year, so it is still being played nearly ten years after I wrote this review, but it doesn’t get to the table often because the ability to steal luxuries from other players caused the game to drag more than it initially seemed it would.  This means the game actually plays smoothly with three or two people and not as well at the other numbers, which makes it a tad too specific to be worth throwing in the game night bag.  I do have some buddies that love dice games, though, and that group pulls out Easy Come, Easy Go on occasions, and still really enjoy the game.  At this point, I’d much rather play Qwixx for my light dice fix. 

Easy Come, Easy Go is currently out of print, but the Out of the Box Productions edition can still be found for cheap on Amazon.com

Sunday
Jul122015

Nintendo's Satoru Iwata has passed away 

Sad news out of Nintendo today.  CEO of Nintendo America Satoru Iwata who had overseen the release of so many wonderful games in his thirteen years at Nintendo died of complications from the removal of growths on his bile duct.  Iwata was beloved by fans of Nintendo for his playful appearances in Nintendo Directs in the last couple of years.  He always appeared to be a happy, kind man, and the video game industry is made less by his passing.  Our thoughts go out to his family and co-workers.

 

Here is the press release from Nintendo.

Friday
Jul102015

My first Rocket League (Multiplayer, Online) Goal...

This game is a blast.  I'll be writing (probably a lot) more about it soon and likely posting a gazillion videos, but now that the online servers are up and stable, I thought I'd share my first online goal.  Actually, this was technically my second goal, but my first was one that made the score 1-8 with my team losing and I forgot to hit the [Share] button.  This one tied the game and we went on to win, so I'm going pretend the other didn't happen. If you want to play some Rocket League with me, I'm Armchairdan on PSN (1. PSN really needs to let people change their usernames 2. Armchair Empire R.I.P.).  Add me and we will play.  I swear I rarely yell GOOAALLL!!! at the top of my lungs with the microphone on.

 

Tuesday
Jul072015

These anatomical paintings of fantasy creatures are stunning

The best thing about Kickstarter, as far as I’m concerned, is that is has allowed great artists that might have otherwise not have had a good opportunity get their work out into the world.  One such artist is Christopher Stoll, whose current project A Natural History of the Fantastic is on Kickstarter now (go ahead and click; the link will open in a new window).  The Kickstarter is for a book that collects Stoll’s amazing paintings of fantasy creatures along with paintings of their anatomical structure.  I’ve always enjoyed the blend of fantasy and science and Stoll’s work does that combo beautifully.  This book is not only full of amazing paintings, but the art is accompanied by prose and poetry that fleshes out the world and lives of his creature (think an Audubon Field Guide that fell through a mysterious portal into our world).  Check out the examples of the work below.  Then, if you like what you see, get yourself over to the Kickstarter page and show Mr. Stoll some love.  While you guys do that, I’m going to contact Mr. Stoll and see how much a print of the Spore Cultist (see below) will cost me.  I’m thinking it will go great next to my Michael Whelan Cthulhu prints.  

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul012015

Hawkeye and The Black Widow have unrealisticly-sized heads here, but they speak the truth