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Reviews Written by
Roger Jay (London, UK)

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Coup Card Game
Coup Card Game
Price: £11.50

0 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars hyped, 14 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Coup Card Game (Toy)
In the same category as Love Letter and The Resistance but worst. Theme is irrelevant and so is artwork as you rarely see the cards. Could be played without looking at your card since roles keep changing and it's kind of head or tail. Get all the hype because it is an interactive bluffing game. Well, try Kakerlaken Poker Royal, that's what I call fun.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 30, 2014 12:18 AM GMT


Love Letter Card Game
Love Letter Card Game
Price: £7.99

9 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless, 8 July 2013
This review is from: Love Letter Card Game (Toy)
The mechanic is simple: take a card, play a card, either the one you had or the one you just took, and then do what it tells you to do. Strategy? 0. Planning? 0. Excitement? 0. Fun? 0. Replayability? -1.

Beside it's a game with player elimination, which means that you can be watching paint dry from an early stage, which is somewhat of a relief considering how broken and tedious the game is.

And anyway, what is this princess doing running around when she is supposed to be in her room? And where is that letter you are supposed to bring to her? And what guessing who your neighbour is has to do with playing the messenger? Don't you know who's who in a 16-card game with 8 characters?

A hit, for an unfathomable reason, but after all, Monopoly is also a hit... Pointless.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2015 10:52 AM BST


Alderac Entertainment Group Thunderstone Board Game
Alderac Entertainment Group Thunderstone Board Game

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deckbuildng worth building!, 16 Feb. 2013
When I was looking for a deck building I did exactly as suggested above: I endured blistering winds and scorching desert, climbed to the highest room of the tallest screech.... maybe not! I readalot and watchalot and hoursalot later I could not really make my mind.

I was lucky enough to try Ascension which I immediately liked (dungeon, two currencies system, sparkling VPs!) and also to watch people play Dominion (lots of cards in plastic polypockets, groups of people playing what looked like a solitaire card game) which I immediately disliked. In between stood Thurderstone Dragonspire, which I bought first. Shortly after I also bought Ascension. What had happened?

I am not going to try to compare the three games (especially that I have not played Dominion, just watched it being played), though the comparison is unavoidable to some extent. I'll leave that task to other.

So what is Thunderstone about and what do I like and find in Thunderstone (and Ascension) that I don't like or don't see in Dominion? For a start, there is a strong feeling of purpose in Thunderstone. Your goal is clear, you have to put together a team of heroes, equip them with weapons and then enter a dungeon full with monsters which when defeated give victory points, like a trophy (the head! gimme the head!).

Fighting monsters requires putting together the right team of heroes with the right equipment and provide them with some light before they enter the dungeon. There monsters are not passive but will fight back. You don't always win (not everybody is a mathematical genius! And sometimes there is value in loosing). But if you do, you get VP but also a reward (money or bonus) that can help you in the future. Put simply, Thunderstone comes with a narrative.

There is an element of luck when setting up the game. Some find it annoying. For instance the dungeon may contain a number of monsters which will affect your ability to light it up or to use or carry some weapons. In some cases the village where you buy equipment and enrol heroes does not offer the best items providing light or the type of weapons/heroes. Well, that's life; if you were able to order on Amazon everything you needed and get it delivered to your team before entering the dungeon, where would the fun be? That's where you need to be clever, put together the right stuff and attack at the right time. In Thunderstone when you buy something it is for a purpose. A hero is for fighting, weapons are for killing, and light is for lightening. When playing Thunderstone you play purposely with items and heroes designed purposefully.

Then there is something interesting in Thunderstone as a deck building: player interaction. Some of your cards can affect other player's hand. This can be very annoying but at the same time exciting when you thought you had the perfect hand to fight this strength 8 monster that requires magic attack, decreases the strength of your hero and therefore its ability to carry that heavy but cut-throat weapon, but then someone comes up with a Selurin or other hero that forces you to discard a card which he will use to kill the baddy, pocketing the 7 VP just before you were going do it yourself!

There are obviously a few issues with the game. The rules could be clearer, the quality of the card is okay with a nice linen feeling but I had a few cards with scratches. I don't care much for the art, so I won't pass judgement; let's say it does not bother me. The combat system can be challenging with the light system at first but after a couple of games it is very easy.

The game is best play with 2 or 3 players, more and the visible part of the dungeon gets depleted too quickly (the same applies to Ascension). It also plays well solo.

And finally, it is worth buidling because adding a couple of extensions is a must.


Yggdrasil
Yggdrasil

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, fun to play and very tense, 9 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Yggdrasil (Toy)
Yggdrasil is a cooperative board game were players do not play against each other but together to stop Norse demons taking over.

The game is beautifully designed, easy to explain, offers a variety of actions and strategies, different levels of difficulties and plays well and fast. As the game progress the tension raises inexorably to climax with the (rare) victory of the player but more often that of the demons.

If you like co-op this one is a great one.


The Unincorporated Man (Sci Fi Essential Books)
The Unincorporated Man (Sci Fi Essential Books)
by Dani Kollin
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pro-capitalist pro-market apologist, 9 Feb. 2013
The starting point is not new, a man from the past wakes up in a distant present. Here the twist is that the market now extends to "incorporation" of human beings from birth.

The idea is not un-interesting, but the writing is lifeless and the whole feels like a long pro-market pamphlet, and a boring one. The book felt of my hands page 128.

If you like the concept, just read the Economist.


A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire)
by George R.R. Martin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

4 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Definitively not Tolkien... or anything close, 7 May 2012
I bought this book in Seattle and carried it to London and Bangkok where a ruthlessly abandon it due to its complete failure to bring me into the story.

I thought the writing "dated", (some have noted the passage about "the seeds quickening"... ROFL!) the characters clichés (the story with the revengeful brother pushing his sister in the arms of a barbarian smelled pathos). I felt I could predict the story without even reading the book (I may be wrong but will never know). There was no sense of mystery or magic and not even of Fantasy.

Lots of hype, not much talent.


Iron Council (New Crobuzon 3)
Iron Council (New Crobuzon 3)
by China Miéville
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1.0 out of 5 stars A miss, 7 May 2012
[Contains spoiler] Mieville's universe offers a huge potential for original and enthralling storylines, unfortunately, the Iron Council turned out to be a real disappointment. The story drags on and on and I really had to push myself very hard to read the last third of the book (that's two hundred pages, read mostly in diagonal), hoping for some climax moment that turned out to be rather an anti-climax.

In its construction the novel reminded me a lot of Q by the anonymous Luther Blisset quatuor. In the later, the end does not matter as much as the narrative, the life of the characters. But here characters come and go with a few constant, with uncertain motives, if any. The authors seems to know what they are here for, we don't.

With the Iron council, boredom seized the reader quite early on. The political side does not shine by its dept and the story can be summarised as a train leave and then return. Endless description forces the universe into the reader rather than subtly laying layer upon layer (think Dune).

If you are interested in reading Mieville don't start by this one.


Scat
Scat
by Carl Hiaasen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slow, boring and cliche, 1 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Scat (Paperback)
Ok, this is written from an adult perspective, but one who enjoy reading teenager's book (as long as they are not Stephenie Meyers...), particularly if they take me way form everyday's mundanity.

I thought that Hiaasen made a good attempt at writing for a young audience whilst incorporating latest technological development (such as Facebook and iPod) on a modern political background (the Iraq War) but apart from that, I gave up after 110 pages because really, not much is happening.

What I disliked most are the characters, mono-dimensional and very much cliché. The weirdoes tick all the boxes to the point it feels an uncomfortable moralist read. Scrod Jr is like he is because "his father is a whack job" (page 13), whilst Nicky has an honourable father fighting for his country and therefore is on a much better course... The teacher's weirdness extends to having stuffed pet with the name of pupils who she does not like.

I will never know what happened to Biology teacher Mrs Starch, what conservation issues were going to be explored (if they are not mentioned by the third of the book there is a problem) but honestly, I can't care much, and somehow I doubt many youngster of today would be interested in reading a book where so little happens, and most of it is so ordinary.


Century Rain: Totally Space Opera
Century Rain: Totally Space Opera
by Alastair Reynolds
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but missed execution, 17 Mar. 2011
I only read it, and painfully, up to the end because I wanted to know what was behind the premises. Well ... I won't say more.
This is a long and boring read that has little to do with Science Fiction. One can't really feel anything for the characters whose constancy and actions are erratic. The story is one-sided with the Villains' side inexistent and told through the heroes.
The style is average, sometimes Mickey Mousing "a la" Dan Brown where the reader feels lectured about this and that.
It is a shame because the starting point was great but the execution is not. Beside it feels like a grand opening for the next Stargate Sg-1/Atlantis series.
Disappointing.


The Social Network (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2011]
The Social Network (2-Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Jesse Eisenberg
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.30

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars As dull as Facebook, 10 Feb. 2011
As some previous review noted, this is a great in-flight movie. It is not much demanding, not much happens as we all know the story, the acting is average, but for Timberlake who is below average (with the exception of the scene where he is scared of being beaten).

It will leave you cold as a Zuckergerg.

And if you did not have the chance to watch it on a long-haul flight, wait for it to be screend on a second-rate channel on a sunday afternoon.


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