April 10, 2006

Games Magazine Contest - Win a Year's Subscription

Games.4.10.06.jpgThe Games Magazine website currently hosts a quiz to test your knowledge of board game history. The prize: a year's subscription of Games Magazine shipped straight to your door, for free.

Life ain't that easy, though. Unlike the normal Game Magazine brain teasers , this quiz sports 12 snapshots of classic board game hardware that must be identified by name. Some of the boards are very familiar, some.. not so much, and unfortunately it's not in your best interest to wildly guess -- incorrect answers 'award' you negative points.

The contest lasts until June, when Game's Magazine will award the top 5 entries with free 1-year subscriptions.

Pencils... down!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 22, 2006

Caylus is Back in Stock

Caylus.3.22.06.jpgThere has been a drought of Caylus ever since it stormed through stores on its initial release. Getting your hands on a copy has been a hit or miss endeavor, well, until now.

Caylus is an acclaimed city builder from Rio Grande Games, and a fad amongst those who thirst for complexity. The rules are thick, the gameplay is long (a couple of hours usually) and so Caylus isn't something you should pick up if you're just getting back into gaming. It's also a bad choice if you're bringing an outsider to the table for a quick game of 'something'. For that we'd recommend Carcasonne or Settlers of Catan.

However, if you've been the gaming scene for a while and like gobs of options at each turn, or the ability to effect the outcome of the game from multiple fronts, then Caylus is a great pickup. The game scales-well from 2 players to 5, and plays very differently depending on how many people are involved. Most importantly, is that it's been received fantastically well by almost everyone that's gotten their grubby hands on it. Heck, take as testament that Rio Grande was forced to run a second printing of the game less than a year after Caylus' initial release.

You might want to pounce-now and grab a copy before it disappears again. It's at FunagainGames.com for the cheap (10 bucks off MSRP).


The Company Line: 1289. To strengthen the borders of the Kingdom of France, King Philip the Fair decided to have a new castle built. For the time being, Caylus is but a humble village, but soon, workers and craftsmen will be flocking by the cartload, attracted by the great prospects. Around the building site, a city is slowly rising up…

The players embody master builders. By building the King’s castle and developing the city around it, they earn prestige points and gain the King’s favor. When the castle is finished, the player who has earned the most prestige wins the game.


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2006

Refurbished Games from JRC Collectibles

Midway.3.21.06.jpgWe just unwrapped a copy of Midway! (1964) that we purchased anonymously from JRC Collectibles' eBay store, and we're floored how lovingly refurbished this copy is. JRC told us that they took the choicest bits from multiple copies of the same board game. These lesser versions sacrificed themselves to create this final polished collection of pieces, boards, rules-- the works. They even gave us the original paper pads that game with the game over 40 years ago.

You can almost feel the post World War / mid Cold War American propaganda particles jump off the paper and onto your skin. This has that old board-game smell that all the pre-Regan titles have. It was only 40 bucks, and that friend's - is insane.

We found JRC while searching for some recent out of print titles. What we found was 8 pages of vintage board games from the hay day of our youth (and even further back in time). If you're looking for something from your childhood, or something to add your "History of Board Games" collection, then definitely check out their online auction store.

Note: JRC isn't paying us, at all. We're just happy with the product the sent us. :')

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 10, 2006

Rubik's Cube Coffee Tables

RubiksCubeTable.3.10.06.jpgGizmodo has a great find on a set of Rubik's Cube Styled Coffee Tables.

These things don't shift and twist like the true game, but they're certainly the spitting image. Best of all, they're available for purchase online! Jellio, the creator of the table, has some other freakin' cool things they've dipped into vats of acrylic, including a "Light Table" very reminiscent of a giant Light Bright, and a series of coasters made from laminated ViewFinder discs. Sweet.

You can never go wrong with ViewFinder discs.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 8, 2006

1UP.com Catalogs 100 Free Games on the Web

Games are good, and in case you slept through that crucial first session of Economics 099, then we should remind you of something else: Free is Good. So 1UP.com's list of 100 Free Games Online is two Good. 2-Good > 1-Good, by a factor of 2, and thus far superior to a standard game, or a free grilled cheese sandwich.

And nobody wants a free grilled cheese sandwich. Would you eat that crap? Did someone spit on this? Was it dropped on the floor? Was it poisioned? Why does it smell like pennies?? Stop pushing this sandwich on me! No - I don't know where the freakin' YMCA is!! STEP OFF!

*cold sweat*

Now, we realize we're a site focused on board-games stamped from the real-life carcasses of Brazilian Rain Forests, but that doesn't mean these virtual computertoric games should be ignored. The 100-Game List has a few genre subsections that might interest the table-top gamer:

Puzzle Games
Strategy Games

Special note on a confusing deja vu-fest: The 'Next Page' link on the bottom of Page 3 leads right-back to top of Page 3, and not to Page 4. There's an easy workaround - just go back to the story's front page and click on page 4 in the index near the bottom.

Oh, poor clown. The '80's are over; kids want brand-name talents now.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 7, 2006

3D Settlers of Catan Giveaway

Catan3d.3.7.06.gifThroughout the month of March, Funagain Games is collecting raffle entries for their $400 3D Settlers of Catan giveaway. This version comes with a slick wooden box to crown your bookshelf, and has some seriously well crafted pieces. Look at this thing! Cities are nestled between mountains and plains of wheat. Forest actually look like.. forests!

One of our problems with the standard version of Catan is that the terrain types aren't visually consistent with the design of the resource cards, and that's pretty confusing for new players. Well that's definitely fixed in the this version. Catan has never looked this vibrant and alive.

Purchase any MayFair Games (the publisher of Catan) title from Funagain's website to enter the raffle through the month of March. Considering the eleven-pages of MayFair's titles - that really shouldn't be a problem.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

February 24, 2006

New Releases - The Week of February 24th

Harry Potter makes a late Winter appearance this week, and Funagain restocks their shelves with Blokus and a remake of an old Roman War classic from Eagle Games.

* SceneIt_HP_2.24.06.jpg"Scene It?" released a Harry Potter edition of their popular line of DVD trivia games, and Amazon has it for the cheap. Man, Scene It? is on a serious roll.

The Company Line: Features questions and puzzlers from one of the most popular movie franchises in history! Includes real clips and content from the first four Harry Potter movies as well as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Includes a themed Flextime game board which enables players to choose the length of gameplay, high quality Harry Potter themed metal movers, oversized dice, 160 trivia cards, 30 Harry Potter themed Buzz cards, and a DVD with patented Optreve technology unique to Scene It? so you can play again and again without seeing the same questions repeatedly. For two to four players.

* Blokus.2.24.06.jpgFunagain Games have restocked their shelves with critically acclaimed Blokus, and at a price 5 bucks cheaper than Amazon's listing. Nice work!

The Company Line: "Develops logic and special perception while kids learn to be tactical. Players take turns placing pieces on their board, each starting from their corner. Each new piece must touch at least one other piece of the same color, but only at the corners! The goal is to get rid of all your pieces. The game ends when all players are blocked from laying down any more of their pieces. Includes one gameboard with 400 squares, 84 game pieces in four bright translucent colors, and an instruction guide. "

* ConquestOfTheEmpire.2.24.06.jpgAlso back at Funagain this week is Conquest of the Empire. This is great remake of the original Milton Bradley's Game Master Series version from 1984, and with Roman History more popular that ever, how could you go wrong?

The CL: Do you have what it takes to become the next Emperor of Rome? It is the 2nd century AD and the 200 year Pax Romana of Augustus Caesar has come to an end. With the death of the Philosopher-Scholar Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Empire is without a competent leader. Disorder reigns and civil war looms. Mars will * be pleased. It is a time for war. It is a time for Conquest of the Empire!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

January 19, 2006

Puerto Rico PC Game Giveaways

Puerto Rico Cover.jpg
A druken Intern at Eagle Games must have stumbled into the Puerto Rico Marketing Machine, knocking its lever off 'blitz' and locking it to 'testosterone'. There are ads splattered everywhere on the net, and we've also found two gaming sites showerin' the masses with prizes of boxed PC gaming goodness.

BoardGameGeek.com is running a Puerto Rico PC Game giveaway contest. Registered members of the site can answer 10 Trivia questions about Puerto Rico's history (Wikipedia.org will help you out big-time here.) Each correct answer lands an entry into the 20-game raffle on the eve of the game's launch, January 30th.

The online store Funagain Games has contest cogs churning-out sweet deals of their own. Preoders of the PC Game are discounted 10 bucks off the regular price (now $29). This is an obvious no-brainer for loyalists who'd rather forgo the contest bureaucracy for the assurance that they'll receive a copy as close to the game's launch as possible. Also, a preorder at Funagain automatically enters the purchaser into a raffle for one of 10 free copies of the game.

We'll keep you posted wiith any other deals we come across in the upcoming week.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 20, 2005

FunagainGames.com- A "5-10-15 Dollar Sale" on Boardgames

jackson20-11-20-05a.jpgWe're always on the look out to save a buck. Call us bold - but we assume you don't use Jackson's smug face to roll cigarettes either.

There are quite a few generic online hobby stores out there, and many lure in the hapless consumer by posting 'sales' of hundreds of products at discounted prices. Perusing the index, and on around page 5 or so, you begin to realize that most of this stuff you're flipping through is yardsale jetsam: Fuzzy dice, plastic poker chips, a standard deck fo cards, harmonica pen knife, etc. -- Where's the high quality merchandice at rock bottom prices?

ArrowContinue reading: "FunagainGames.com- A "5-10-15 Dollar Sale" on Boardgames"

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 17, 2005

Take Christmas Shopping to a Whole New Level with d10 Earings

Pick up a pair for that special someone who's all about the gaming. Now - you might find yourself relegated to the couch or slapped in the face if you lead Christmas morning with this gift, but at 5 bucks a pair they should serve as good stocking stuffer. These jobbers are hand made and come in various colors and all the dX varieties, which is great if the fashionable wearer has geometric prejudices.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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