2001 A Clash of Kings A Feast for Crow A Game of Thrones A Scanner Darkly A Storm of Swords Abney Park Adrianne Palicki AEG Aether Shanties alderac Allen Steele AMC Andew Stanton Anne McCaffrey Asimov Assassin's Creed Atari 2600 Atlanta Nights audio books Babylon 5 Barsoom Ben Bova Bill & Ted 3 Blade Runner Blind Guardian Blue Oyster Cult Bo Hansson Board Game Board Games Bob Catley Books brian lewis Bruce Boxleitner Bruce Sterling bucephalus C.S. Lewis Cady Coleman Captain Robert card game Carl Sagan Carol Clerk Chad Jensen Charlton Heston Christmas music christopher badell Chronicles of Narnia Civilization COD Comic Books comic books Commentary Conan Conan movie Cons Contact contest Conventions conventions Corey Konieczka crysis 2 dance with dragons Darkwalker on Moonshae Darrell K. Sweet Dave Brock David Arkenstone David Bowie David Gerrold David Gregg David Mack d-day dice Deathlands Dejah Thoris Diamond Dogs Digital Content Disney doctor who Dominion Dork Tower Double Fine Adventure Douglas Adams Douglas Niles DragonCon Dragonriders of Pern DRM Drowning Towers Dune dungeon crawl Dungeons and Dragons Echo Edgar Rice Burroughs Edwin A. Abbott EEdgar Rice Burroughs Elric Eminent Domain emissary Emmanuel Aquin epic duels ereader Facebook fallen Famous Monsters of Filmland fanboy fandom fantasy Fantasy art Fantasy Flight Fantasy Lit fantasy literature Fantasy music Fantasy quotes film Flatland Forbidden Island Forrest Ackerman Frank Frazetta Frank Herbert Frankenstein Friday From the Earth to the Moon furniture Gabriele Mari Gadgets game of the year Game of Thrones game review Game Table Gamewright Gaming Furniture gaming table Geek Chic Gene Wolfe George Alec Effinger George R.R. Martin George Turner GGeorge R.R. Martin Gianluca Santopietro GiftTRAP Glory Road Glory to Rome GMT Games gozer games Graphic Audio Greater Than Games Gryphon Games GtR H.G. Wells Halo Harrison Ford Harry Harrison Hawkwind Hollow Earth Expedition Hollywood Homeworld Horror Humor humor Ian Anderson Idoru Ignacy Trzewiczek Infinity Beach International Space Station interview Intrigue Isaac Asimov J. Michael Straczynski J.R.R. Tolkien Jack L. Chalker Jack McDevitt Jack Vance James Axler James Bama James P. Blaylock Jason Momoa Jeanne Cavelos Jethro Tull Jhereg Jim Burns JJames Axler Jodi Foster John Carter John Carter of Mars john hughes John Kovalic Johnny Rotten Jules Verne Jungle Tales of Tarzan Justin Oh keanu reeves Ken Kelly Kenneth Branagh Kentucky Kevin Wilson Kickstarter Kim Stanley Robinson Knizia Langdon St. Ives Larry Elmore Larry Niven Last Man Lazarus Long Leigh Brackett Lemmy Leonard Nimoy Les Johnson Letters from Whitechapel Lifeforce Lost Horizons Lynn Collins Manowar Mansions of Madness Margaret Weis Martial Law Martin Mary Shelley Matt Leacock Max Holliday Mayday Games Michael Apted Michael Chabon Michael Moorcock Michael Stackpole Michael Whelan Middle-earth Midnight at the Well of Souls Monte Cook Mostly Harmless movie Movies music NASA NBA Nebula Awards netflix News nexus games Nightfall Nik Turner Nine Princes in Amber Ninjas Niven's Laws N-Space Octavia Butler out of the box Outlanders Parable of the Sower parents' guide PARSEC Party Game Patrick Stewart Paul Kearney Paul Koenig Pern Peter David Peter Jackson Philip Jose Farmer Philip K. Dick photoshop Pirates Planet of Mystery portal publishing post apocalyptic Potion making practice Poul Anderson prequels Pret a Porter Print-and-play qFantasy quotes Race for the Galaxy Ray Bradbury Reach reboots Red Mars remakes review reviews Ridley Scott RightGames Ringworld Robert E. Howard Robert Heinlein Robert Kirkman robots Rock Roger Zelazny Role-playing Games rook city RPG RpgFan Rush San Juan Satire Science Fiction Science Fiction art Science Fiction music Science Fiction quotes Science Fiction Writers of America script Sean Young Sentinels of the Multiverse sequels Sergey Machin Seth Jaffee SETI SFWA shakey cam Sherlock Holmes Slough Feg Small Matters Smurfs Southern Fandom Resource Guide space flute space rock Space Shuttle spiel des jahres Sports Stanislaw Lem star trek star wars Starworld steampunk Steven Brust strike force one Stronghold Super Dungeon Explore super heroes T.H. White Tabletop Game of the Month Tad Williams Tars Tarkus Tarzan Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar Tarzan the Untamed Tasty Minstrel Games Taylor Kitsch Terror Bull Games Terry Bisson Terry Pratchett The Hobbit The Adventurers The Beasts of Tarzan The Black Wizards The Boat of a Million Years The Book of the New Sun the coldest war The Complete Elmore Artbook The Dark Glory War The Death of Tragedy The Difference Engine The Dragoncrown War Cycle The Dying Earth The Fellowship of the Ring The Gods Themselves The Great Tarzan Adventure The Heretic Kings The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy The Hobbit movies The Lord of the Rings The Lord Weird Slough Feg The Matrix The Moon is a Harsh Mistress The Moonshae Trilogy The Newspaper Clipping Generator The Once and Future King The Saga of Hawkwind The Secrets The Shadow of the Torturer The Shadow Within The Son of Tarzan The Stars My Destination The Walking Dead The Wind Whales of Ishmael therapy thrift store Time Enough for Love Time Machine Tour Titan Books titans of industry To Green Angel Tower To the Stars Toc Toc Woodman Tracy Hickman Traveller Ursula K. Le Guin valentine's day Valley Games Victorian Undead Victory Point Games Video Games Voyage of the Dawn Treader Voyage to the Red Planet War Against the Chtorr Wargame wargames watchtower games Well of Darkness Wheelworld wii Willem Dafoe William Gibson William Shatner Wonder Woman word game worker placement Writer Beware Writing Yahoo Zelazny Ziggy Stardust zombies
Search Nerdbloggers:




Nerdbloggers RSS

What'd You Know? Somebody Else Liked Branagh's Frankenstein Too!

I saw Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein on the big screen back in 1994.  I liked it.  I felt bad, however, when Roger Ebert gave it a bad review because we generally agreed on most movies.   (No, I’ve never actually met the guy, but he was always the one I cheered for in the heated debates on Siskel and Ebert!)  I thought that Branagh brought a whole new Shakespeareanesque-tragi-brooding thing to the good (?) Doctor.  And De Niro definitely brought the Monster to life.  (If I remember correctly, De Niro’s performance was the one thing Ebert liked about the movie.)  Seriously, I felt this version delved more into the moral ambiguities that make Shelley’s novel what it is.  It was never a monster story; it was a story about what makes one a monster.  For that reason alone, I prefer Branagh’s vision to all the others I’ve seen. 

FINALLY, someone agrees with me!  What makes me happier still is that I found this article on Roger Ebert’s website.  You can read it here.      

Who knows?  Maybe Ebert will even change his mind about it.                       


Strat-O-Matic Turns 50

Strat-O-Matic turns 50 this year.  The quintessential baseball board game, Strat-O-Matic sucked up a lot of my time over the years, though, because of a lack of face-to-face opponents, I played most of my games solo with both the physical board game and, later, the computer version.  The game is a great time-killer for a baseball fan, but it really shines head-to-head.  Some of my favorite moments from gaming come from the two years I played in a Strat-O-Matic league.  The ability to play an entire series in less than an hour (much less really) and an entire season in a few months of weekly game nights just makes the game a marvelous collection of stories.  I have little hope that I'll be able to get my daughter to play the game, but I can't wait until my son gets old enough to understand the game.  I forsee number of games in my future.

Anyway, enough about me.  Here is a great New York Times article on the 50th anniversary celebration.


The Spiel des Jahres committee announces a third award.


According to the Spiel Des Jahres website, they will be giving out a new Game of the Year award.  This one is for the best game for experienced gamers, one that challenges the novice players in different ways than they are used to.  The new award has been added due to the change in climate in the gaming market where there is now an increasing demand for more challenging games.  The main award will remain just that, the Game of the Year for "all".

This change comes after a few years of special recognition for "gamer's" games that made a splash during the year but didn't have the accessability to be a SDJ winner.  Gamers have been increasingly frustrated with the award which is designed to grow the hobby in Germany by getting the winner into as many homes as possible.  Will this change be enough to restore the awards to their former luster?  Time will tell, but I, for one, am glad to see a more formal recognition of the kinds of games I play.



AEG Giving away free Thunderstone promos!

If you haven't played Thunderstone yet, you need to.  You can find our review here.  Everything about AEG's handling of the game and its expansions has been perfect, from the awesome storage option provided by the first expansion box to the free (ish) Dwarf hero promo card distributed through Boardgamegeek.com.  Now, they are offering a cool promo set which includes a full play-set of eight different cards!  That is going above and beyond as far as fan service goes, and good on 'em for it.  Apparently, not many of the 4000 sets they printed are left, so get over there soon.  But, catch this, AEG has already decided to keep taking orders for the free cards and to order a new  printing as soon as they have enough orders.  Thunderstone is currently the only AEG game I have in my collection, but given the way they treat their customers, I think I'll be adding a game or two of theirs to the next NB game order.


Review: Take it Easy! by Peter Burley (Gryphon Games Edition)

Take it Easy!

Peter Burley

Gryphon Games

When my interest in games shifted to “German” games back in the early 90’s, I read everything I could get my hands on, not that there were many options.  One game that kept coming up in session reports and the new-to-me Five and Dime lists (these are games that gamers note they have played 5 or 10 times in a given year) was Take it Easy!  Nearly 20 years later, I finally picked up a copy of the game and I now regret that I didn’t pick it up back then.  It would have likely been played hundreds of times over that time.

Modern Euro games often get labeled as multi-player solitaire by fans of classic American and British hobby games.  Take it Easy!  is certainly a game that could be held as an example to prove that point.  Each player gets his or her own board and set of pieces.  All game play is done on those boards and there is zero interaction between players.  In fact, the game plays solitaire fine with no adjustment to the rules needed.

Here, however, multi-player solitaire isn’t much of a criticism.  Take it Easy! is basically a completive puzzle game.  Players are competing to score the most points while placing an identical set of hexagonal playing pieces on to their boards.  The pieces have color lines crossing from side to side so that they can potentially matched up in six different ways.  The goal of the game is to form lines on your board (think  a Bingo board with hexagons instead of squares) that reach from one edge of the large hexagon to another edge. 

The game could not be easier to learn or teach.  One player turns his tiles face down and mixes them up.  The other player s leave their pieces face up and organize them so they can find the piece they need easily.  The “caller” then turns over one of his pieces, describes it to the rest of the players.  All the players then decide where to place that piece.  When enough pieces have been flipped up to fill the board (which uses 19 of the possible 27 tiles, so the game is different every time), the game is over.  Players score for any line they formed that goes from one side to another.  Highest score wins. 

I’ve really enjoyed my plays of the game so far.  I think it will make a great lunch time game for the office, and I’m already regretting not picking up an extra copy when it was on sale because there is no limit to how many people can play the game together.  The best part is that the game plays as fast with twelve as it does with three, though every player added increases the odds of hitting a player who suffers from analysis paralysis.

For what it is, Take it Easy! is a complete success.  It even contains a rubric akin to those wood puzzles at Cracker Barrel restaurants to rate you performance when played solo or with others. 

Take it Easy! plays in about ten minutes (the box says 10 to 20) and is great for a wide range of ages.    


Score: 7.5/10