Tuesday, July 07, 2015

#20: Risk Legacy (Mark's 100)

Risk Legacy 

Mark's Ranking
  • 2014: 20th
  • 2012: 9th
  • 2010: 65th (Risk: Black Ops)
  • 2005: did not appear (original game)
  • rank: 94
  • rating: 7.83
Print Status
  • not in print... but still not difficult to find a copy
Why It's On The List
  • What if a game remembered what had happened during the previous games... and that game told an epic story? That's always been true in role-playing games - but Rob Daviau's brilliant design idea took the core engine of Risk to a whole new & wonderful mind-warping level.
Tips & Tricks:
  • I’m not sure how to extol the virtues of this wonderous Risk reboot without spoiling some of its well-hidden charms, but I’ll give it a shot.

    Risk: Legacy is…
    • …a product of nearly a decade of experimenting with this classic game system. (It incorporates ideas from Risk 2210 & Risk: Black Ops to make the game shorter & yet packed with thematic touches.)
    • …an innovative board game concept – something we don’t see nearly as often as we’d like to think. (The whole “open this pack of cards when this happens” way of changing the game is brilliant.)
    • …a reminder of what was really great about my old RPG days – we’re working together to tell a story about this new world we’re fighting over. (In our case, the founding of Great Humongustan, the DEW line populated with installations left over from the Battle of the Northern Wastes… and most recently, the Cataclysm in Southern Europe.)
    • …gamer catnip. (Let me explain – each time you get to open a new packet, it feels very similar to the “rush” you get when opening a new game or game expansion. And it not only gives you the “new car smell” effect, the added stuff takes the story of the game in a new direction.)
    • …fun even for people who don’t particularly like Risk. (One of the guys in our group – the founder of Great Humongustan – is not a fan of “dudes on a map w/dice” games & esp. not a fan of Risk. Yet he had a grand time playing Risk: Legacy with us… and even commented when he arrived after a game had started that “it was just fun watching you guys play.”)
  • If you choose to buy this here in the U.S., go to BGG and download/print the bonus cards which were not officially released stateside.
  • More importantly, don't spend a lot of time reading about the game before you play it! let the surprises catch you unawares - one of the packet reveals is easily one of the best gaming experiences I've had in the last 10 years.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

#21: Monopoly: Tropical Tycoon DVD Game (Mark's 100)

Monopoly: Tropical Tycoon DVD Game

Mark's Ranking
  • 2014: 21st
  • 2012: 30th
  • 2010: 18th
  • 2005: 17th (Monopoly - original edition)
  • appeared on all four lists
  • rank: 7594
  • rating: 5.84
Print Status
  • out of print (but pretty easy to find on Ebay)
Why It's On The List
  • It takes the classic game (Monopoly) and makes it extremely gamer-friendly by adding Cosmic Encounter-ish roles, a variety of choices for building, and a great point system that lets you stop the game at any point and declare a legitimate winner.
Tips & Tricks:
  • Basic Monopoly strategy still works with Tropical Tycoon... but there are major new considerations when you are building on monopolies. You can build for cash or for points... or for some balance point in between.
  • The more people playing, the more careful you have to be about how you make trades. Some of the cheaper properties can be converted into pretty powerful income streams if you plan correctly.
  • The only problem I can see with the game is the need for a DVD player - all of the card draws/random events are keyed off of the DVD.  That said, it works really well without being overly intrusive.
  • Here's two things I wrote about Monopoly on my blog aka pastor guy: Giving Away Your Own (Monopoly) Money and The World's Most Famous Game And How It Got That Way. In short: "most of you play Monopoly wrong... and that somewhat explains why so many gamers hate the game."
  • Here's what I wrote about Monopoly for The One Hundred