Hello everyone.  Here is another double blog.  After swearing I would never get behind, here I am behind.  But at least I have a good excuse for once.  My wife cheated on me.  My world has been completely rocked.  We will be getting a divorce, and I moved two states away.  So I guess I can be forgiven for being a little behind huh?  Anyways, here’s for this week and next:

Mar 25:  Zombies!!! (Strategy Game)  And no the three exclamation points are not a typo.  This game is another homage to classic zombie movies.  The goal is to either kill 25 zombies or make it to the helicopter.  A rush to the copter never works.  So the strategy comes in, do you help another player, or let him die and run by while the zombies are snacking on him?  The game has 10 expansions and multiple spin offs.  So a lot of replayability.

Mar 26:  War and Peace (Board Game)  Avalon Hill published this game in 1980.  It is set in the time period of the Napoleonic Wars.  There are four separate boards.  Russia, Prussia, Spain, and France.  There are ten different scenarios in the game.  Typical war game with lots of strategy.

Mar 27:  Tomb Raider II (Video Game).  An astounding commercial success in 1997 and still plays well today, Tomb Raider 2 was a step in the right direction.  It had vast improvements over the first.  From using flares to light up rooms, to driving some vehicles it was a lot of fun.  Also Lara’s moves are improved.  The back flip and doing a 180 in the air combo was one of the best.  The game was a lot more challenging than the original.  The first one you only fought a total of 4 different characters with guns.  In this one you fight multiple enemies with guns.  Also the gauntlet you run on the first stage is probably more challenging than anything in the original.  I played this game so much I can still play it through beginning to end, and get every secret without any hints.  One of my top favorite five video games of all time.

Mar 28:  Ninja Gaiden (NES)  A landmark game in the late 1980s.  You play a ninja named Ryu.  It’s a side scroller.  And has anime cut scenes to advance the story.  Very cool.  The story alone makes you want to keep playing to see what will happen. Game is seriously hard on some parts though.  Still a stand out game.

Mar 29:  Halo Combat Evolved (X-Box)  We live in a world of video game shooters anymore.  But back in 2001 there weren’t a whole lot of them.  This game put shooters on the map.  It was THE reason you needed an X-box.  The game broke all kinds of sales records.  It remained at a $50 price tag for over 2 and a half years after it’s release!  Insane when now most games drop half price in 3 or so months.  But the thing about Halo was it hit a chord on all levels.  From the cool story to the superb graphics, to the awesome characters, to the challenge of beating it on Legendary, to the awesome multiplayer (finally a reason to link 4 X-boxes!) the game was a juggernaught!

Mar 30:   1914 (Board Game)  Avalon Hill game from 1968.  Set in WWI.  Combat was based on ratio charts.  And a six sided die.  In almost every battle both sides loss troops.  This was a design choice to represent the horrible loss of life in the war.  The game is played in turns with the German player always acting first each round.  And if that wasn’t challenging enough for you, try the advanced rules!

Mar 31:  Gettysburg (Board Game)  Civil War board game.  Originally released in 1958, then 1961, 1964, 1977, and the last time in 1988.  It originally started off as a miniatures game.  But gravitated with a hex board added.  The game is considered to be a landmark game.

AND NOW FOR NEXT WEEK:

Apr 1:  A Game of Thrones The Card Game (LCG) GAME OF THE WEEK!  Fantasy Flight games’ LCG idea is brilliant.  A game where to get the right cards, you just buy the expansion you need.  You automatically get the 3 copies.  The core set alone is stinking fun though.  And with 3 to 4 players it is absolutely brilliant.  Because of the influence board.  The art is great and you don’t have to even be a fan of the books or show to enjoy this.  Thumbs up on this gem.  Then when you add in the expansions, even more goodness to be had!

Apr 2:  Bioshock 2 (Video Game)  With the success of the original, a sequel was inevitable.  The second game saw our hero (different that the first) becoming the first big daddy and fighting for survival.  I thought it was fun because you got to play the game from a completely new perspective.  You have to use little sisters to harvest for you.  One complaint many gamers say is the big daddy’s power level is reduced.  I don’t see this as a drawback though.  After all, you are the original.  Of course you won’t be as strong.  In my eyes anyway, still a great game.  And the last battle before you get out, an inspired piece of the craziest fight you’ll ever play in your life.

Apr 3:  Tigris and Euphrates (Board Game)  A German design board game where 2 to 4 players play civilizations at the dawn of time fighting for supremacy.  The name refers to two rivers that run through the Middle East.  The goal is to strengthen your armies, but not too much specialization or the over balance can be disastrous.

Apr 4:  Take It Easy (Board Game)  In a lot of ways will remind you of bingo.  Each player gets a board with 19 hexes on it.  The object is to complete same colored or numbered line across your board.  But you only have so many options because one person draws a tile every turn and you are forced to follow suite.  Interesting theme.

Apr 5:  Abalone (Board Game)  Strategy game where you attempt to push 6 of your opponents marbles off the board to win.  Created in 1987.  I’ve never played it.

Apr 6:  Bull! (Card Game)  A bluffing game.  The object is to empty your hand.  All cards are played in sequence face down.  The object is to get rid of all cards in your hand.  The problem is you are forced to bluff if you have to play a number where you don’t have it.  If you get caught you have to pick up all cards in the pile.  But if you get accused and you weren’t bluffing, then the accuser has to pick up all cards.  Fun, but hard if you suck at lying.

Apr 7:  Go.  A 2,000 year old board game invented in China.  The winner has the most points at the end of the game.  Points are gained by controlling territory.  One player has black stones, the other white.  Simple to learn.  Hard to master.  Excellent strategy game.

And now for a bonus!  Test your game geekiness!  What does the term “German style” board game mean?  Stay tuned next blog for the answer!