🔥 Gentes Nemesis

Sep 15
2021

Stop Writing Flat Reviews

The Thoughtful Gamer

I think a lot about how to review board games. It’s what I do. I’m a bit obsessive. This particular topic has been on my mind a lot over the last few months. I fully admit that I often fail to meet the standards for which I’m about to argue, but please allow me to … Stop Writing Flat Reviews Read More »The post Stop Writing Flat Reviews appeared first ...


Sep 08
2021

The Alpha Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

The Alpha is the kind of game you pull out at the end of the night, when your capability to play something more complex has long gone, and you feel like a bit of trash talking. It’s a chaotic game, but one that contains most of its chaos in the actions of the players. The … The Alpha Review Read More »The post The Alpha Review appeared first on The ...


Sep 03
2021

Podcast Episode 88: Tile-Laying Games

The Thoughtful Gamer

Amber and Marc discuss tile-laying games since they’ve been playing a number of them lately. What makes tile-laying so compelling? Why is it a feature in so many of our favorite games? 1:29 — Carpe Diem3:46 — Is Carpe Diem simpler than Castles of Burgundy?9:35 — Tile laying: what is it?12:12 — Variables15:15 — Growth21:00 … Podcast Episode 88: Tile-Laying Games Read More »The post Podcast Episode 88: Tile-Laying Games ...


Sep 02
2021

Dune: Imperium and Mage Knight. Lessons in Deckbuilding

The Thoughtful Gamer

I don’t know why, but the lesson game designers seemed to take from Dominion is that deckbuilding is cool, but it’s not random enough. Or perhaps that’s just what has risen to the top in popularity. Star Realms, Ascension, Clank, and now Dune: Imperium have all gained tremendous popularity despite utilizing what I find to … Dune: Imperium and Mage Knight. Lessons in Deckbuilding Read More »The post Dune: Imperium ...


Aug 28
2021

My City Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

The legacy game, as a concept, is 10 years old and My City is the first one I’ve seen that’s wholly, unabashedly humble. After Pandemic Legacy blew everyone’s mind, it seemed like everyone started working on their own legacy game, each promising a bigger, more thrilling experience than the last. Leave it to Reiner Knizia … My City Review Read More »The post My City Review appeared first on The ...


Aug 22
2021

Podcast Episode 87: A Conversation with James Naylor

The Thoughtful Gamer

I sit down with James to talk about his excellent debut game, Magnate: The First City, as well as his next project, cleverly titled Boardgames: The Board Game (The Card Game), and his podcast called Producing Fun. Magnate is such a bold and interesting first design and I’m completely on board for whatever he makes … Podcast Episode 87: A Conversation with James Naylor Read More »The post Podcast Episode ...


Aug 08
2021

Podcast Episode 86: Chillcast 3: Revenge of Chill

The Thoughtful Gamer

Marc and Ben have been playing a lot of new games, and you’re going to hear about it! Come chill with us. 0:59 — My City5:13 — Coldwater Crown11:06 — For Science!19:51 — Legends of Andor27:11 — Downfall33:31 — Exodus Fleet38:29 — San Juan40:57 — Antike Duellum45:07 — The Alpha49:15 — Tasty Humans54:11 — Glass … Podcast Episode 86: Chillcast 3: Revenge of Chill Read More »The post Podcast Episode ...


Aug 05
2021

Coldwater Crown Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

How did they ever make a board game about fishing? It’s a terrible fit. Fishing is random and fickle and sometimes you spend an entire day doing it and have literally no success.  Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy fishing. I have many fond memories going out on the boat with my grandparents, trolling for … Coldwater Crown Review Read More »The post Coldwater Crown Review appeared first on The ...


Jul 31
2021

Check Out My Appearance on TableTalk

The Thoughtful Gamer

Although is it an “appearance” if it’s a podcast? Is there a word for this I’m missing? Anyways, I spoke with Cameron Art about game criticism before playing a game about board game awards. Spoiler: I did not do well. Check it out!The post Check Out My Appearance on TableTalk appeared first on The Thoughtful Gamer.


Jul 30
2021

Exodus Fleet Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

When you’ve played over a hundred midweight eurogames how do you get excited about them anymore? When you’re faced with a game that once again assembles tried and true pieces of the great games that come before it, can we fault it for doing what we know works? True originality is so precious and rare … Exodus Fleet Review Read More »The post Exodus Fleet Review appeared first on The ...


Jul 24
2021

Podcast Episode 85: A Conversation with Dan Thurot on Board Game Criticism

The Thoughtful Gamer

Dan Thurot has been reviewing board games for a number of years now, and for my money he’s the best in the business. I had the pleasure of sitting down with him to talk about games criticism, and in the course of the discussion we touched on history, economics, literature, and more. Also, lots of … Podcast Episode 85: A Conversation with Dan Thurot on Board Game Criticism Read More ...


Jul 21
2021

Further Thoughts on Macro-Theming

The Thoughtful Gamer

I’ve received some great comments in response to last week’s article about micro- and macro-theming. After considering them I don’t think I explained the idea of macro-thematic as well as I had wanted. I’m going to take this article to go into a bit more detail and to offer some other tangential thoughts related to … Further Thoughts on Macro-Theming Read More »The post Further Thoughts on Macro-Theming appeared first ...


Jul 17
2021

Micro- and Macro-Theme, Immersion, Why Words Are Fuzzy and Weird, etc. etc.

The Thoughtful Gamer

The way the word “theme” is often used in reference to board games isn’t particularly useful. I’m not here to dictate to people how they define words, but I do think I can make a pretty good case that we should open our minds to a different and more complex understanding of what theme can … Micro- and Macro-Theme, Immersion, Why Words Are Fuzzy and Weird, etc. etc. Read More ...


Jul 13
2021

Introducing the Card and Dice Poll

The Thoughtful Gamer

Board game awards are fickle. There is no perfect system for determining the best game and there never will be. The BGG list is populist and biased towards the recent due to the audience of users growing, though I do admit it’s interesting. Individual critic lists, including my own, showcase the tastes of that critic … Introducing the Card and Dice Poll Read More »The post Introducing the Card and ...


Jul 13
2021

Podcast Episode 84: Golf, Disc Golf, and Course Design

The Thoughtful Gamer

Marc and Bubba sit down to discuss two different forms of golf. They’re still games, just on a larger scale. What makes them compelling as games, and what kinds of lessons can we learn about board games by looking at the history and development of course design? 1:18 — Difference between a sport and a … Podcast Episode 84: Golf, Disc Golf, and Course Design Read More »The post Podcast ...


Jul 09
2021

Top Pop Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

Top Pop will be on Kickstarter July 13th. Photos are from a pre-production prototype. Art isn’t final, etc. etc. There’s a boundary surrounding every game, a demarcation in the minds and experiences of the people playing it (or at least me). It’s sort of a suspension of disbelief, but not quite. It’s related to theme, … Top Pop Review Read More »The post Top Pop Review appeared first on The ...


Jul 07
2021

First Look at Soul Raiders

The Thoughtful Gamer

The Soul Raiders kickstarter is launching tomorrow. This is a first look based on an incomplete preview prototype of the game. I was able to play with perhaps 50% of the mechanical features and less than 10% of the story content. Some may argue that exploration and board gaming do not combine. A video game? … First Look at Soul Raiders Read More »The post First Look at Soul Raiders ...


Jul 05
2021

Empyreal: Spells and Steam Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

Empyreal is a small game in all of its parts except for the ones you see. Not content with the cards-on-cards extravagance of Millennium Blades, Level99’s D. Brad Talton Jr has produced a box, and a game product inside of it, that tries its very best to evoke an immersive, fully formed fictional world experience. … Empyreal: Spells and Steam Review Read More »The post Empyreal: Spells and Steam Review ...


Jun 30
2021

Podcast Episode 83: Pain

The Thoughtful Gamer

Straight from the mind of Amber, this is an episode where she and Marc discuss games that are “painful”. Marc prefers the word “tense”. Regardless of what you call it, there’s a reason Agricola is both known as “Misery Farm” and beloved by thousands. What makes a game painful rather than pleasant? What tricks can … Podcast Episode 83: Pain Read More »The post Podcast Episode 83: Pain appeared first ...


Jun 22
2021

Archmage Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

If the problem is board game overproduction here’s Exhibit A. I can’t deny that I fell for its charms. I’d never heard of Archmage before spotting it on the PAX showroom floor. While chatting with the designer I heard about a labor of love–a game that embraces the rich setting potential of a fantasy universe … Archmage Review Read More »The post Archmage Review appeared first on The Thoughtful Gamer.