So I’m picking this one again because it’s one of my favorite themes and feelings in games. Also, the Dice Tower did a Top 10 list recently as well, so you can see how mine compares to theirs. But I am taking a slightly different…
I’m not going to even start out pretending, this was an instant back for me, and considering it’s almost 24 hours in and at 5 million, it was a back for a lot of people. Now, it’s a fairly expensive back, so let me go through a few pros and cons.
- Massive campaign
- Pedigree of game, Gloomhaven which it’s based on is #1 on Board Game Geek
- RPG Lite/Like game
- Legacy Style game (but can be replayed)
- Massive campaign game
- Cost or game/all in
Thoughts on the Campaign
So, let me start out by saying that this is a bit different campaign than some others that you’ll see. Yes, a big campaign style game is pretty normal for Kickstarter at this point in time, but Frosthaven is different in that it’s based off of a previous game, so it has some pedigree that a lot of them don’t, but beyond that with how Cephalofair Games runs their campaign is different. It’s not a plethora of minis, it’s not a ton of stretch goals, it’s not extremely vague on it’s shipping, it makes all of that clear. For some people that’s a detriment because you know a whole lot more what the cost is going to be going into it, so you know that you’re going to be putting down an extra $40-50 for shipping for everything and adding that to a $240 price tag is a lot, but it’s also more honest than most. With backing the 2nd printing of Gloomhaven, I can see why it would be a surprise, but shipping was also subsidized by previous sales of the game in that campaign where as this is a first printing of Frosthaven, besides that little thing, this is a very nicely and professionally done page.
Back or Brick
Back. For me it’s as simple as that, even if I wasn’t done with Gloomhaven having beat main quest of the base game and over half way done with Forgotten Circles the expansion, I’d still back this game. I like Gloomhaven that much, it’s #1 on Board Game Geek and my #1 game as well when I did my top 100 last year. I know that even if it’s delayed slightly, it’ll come out and it’s going to be a good project and a good game. I personally think that the insert is going to be worth it so the extra cost to get the extra things like metal coins, the Foreteller app, removeable sticker pack, to get the insert is going to be worth it. But if you’re just jumping in, you can grab Gloomhaven as well in the campaign as just an add-on or you could just just straight into Frosthaven, and you don’t need to get it all, you can just start out with the base game and call it good.
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News is still light with Covid-19 shutting down production sets, production companies, and movie releases, so I talk about some rumors that I’ve heard for Black Widow. Plus, the main topic, I talk about the characters from the following Marvel movie, The Eternals. It’s been…
I’m a little bit late to the party, but this show based off of a series of comics by Joe Hill. And I was very interested in it from having read the first trade paperback for it, but also because Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. So take one of my favorite authors, and find out that his son is doing a horror comic that’s being turned into a show, that sounds great to me.
Locke & Key follows a family who is moving back into the families home after tragedy has struck them. Rendell, their father, has passed away so Nina picks up and takes the kids from Seattle to Mattheson, Massachusetts. None of the kids, except the youngest, Bode, are excited to be there. But when Bode hears a voice in the well house talking back to him when he makes his voice echo, it’s clear that this isn’t a normal house. Soon Tyler and Kinsey are drawn into the crazy world that the house holds with many magical keys and Echo, the voice from the well who has gotten out. What does Echo want and why can’t their mother, Nina, remember anything about the keys?
Let me quickly give my thoughts on the show and then I’ll go into more depth. There might be some spoilers later on, but I’m going to try and keep them to a minimum. I really liked this show, even though it isn’t as dark and horrific as the first trade paperback, there’s definitely a very interesting and creepy story behind it. And that was enough for me, plus Joe Hill did the work on it to keep it in the spirit of the books, but not have to go fully dark. However, because of that it has much more of a YA feel to it, so if you’re a huge fan of the comics, know that before you jump in. There are a few things that stand out to me for the show.
The first thing is the acting. Most of the time, you have a cast that is mainly teen age (though teen in acting can be early 20’s) or kid actors, the acting will end up being suspect. However, in Locke & Key they do an amazing job. The actor who plays Bode, Jackson Robert Scott, does a great job. Bode is supposed to be a wide eyed 8-10 year old in the show, and you can really see that in the acting. He does a very good job of portraying an innocence and sincerity to his acting. And I won’t go into it a ton with the other actors, but the actors portraying Kinsey and Tyler, Emilia Jones and Connor Jessup respectively, do really good work as well. There are shifts in their acting as you get to see more of their character and as their characters change that are really well done. Even the adult acting is well done and it doesn’t just feel like so many YA stories where there’s a group of teens and no adults believe them and then the adults are wrong.
Another thing is that while this leans into horror tropes and supernatural elements that could seem cliche, it does a good job of keeping them different. When we were watching through it, it felt to Kristen and myself like several things we’ve seen or played before, Haven, Life is Strange, Oxenfree, and more, but it still felt unique. The element of the keys and how they work is really well done. And you can see where Joe Hill is borrowing form the work that his father has done before, but in a very respectful and well done way. I got numerous callbacks to IT in the show, and I appreciated that. It’s really that none of the tropes it used felt out of place or felt like they were forced in there because it’s horror or anything like that, it just flowed naturally.
Let’s talk a bit more about the story before I wrap up here. Like I said, the story is not going to be as heavily horror focused, which I’m fine with. While I love some good horror, there’s something whimsical about the keys that lends itself not just to horror but to this more fantastical element as well, and the show leans into that some more. As things unfold, there is definitely more horror and violence, but there’s also a sense of fantasy or magic to the story. Like I said previously as well, it doesn’t fall into the storytelling tropes of YA where the kids are smart and the adults are dumb and don’t believe the kids. It avoids some of that by a nifty plot device that they explain but also by just having the kids do their own thing. They use the grief of Rendell’s death and Nina’s reaction to it to drive some of why Kinsey and Tyler don’t bring as much to her as well, which I think is well done. And Bode is just too Bode to think about that.
So, I’ve said that I like the show, but would I recommend it to everyone? I’d lean towards no. It still has horror elements, so some people aren’t going to love that as much. Kristen actually stopped watching part ways through episode one because of some of the creepy stuff that was going on. But in the middle of the season, it hit more of that fantasy and whimsy, so I stopped and we rewatched it because I knew that she’d like it. So there’s definitely a piece where if people aren’t horror fans they’ll enjoy it as well, and like myself, Kristen and I are waiting for, hoping for, a second season to come out. Definitely an interesting show and if the trailer seems interesting, they do a good job and it’s worth checking out.
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Another mechanic that I really love, action points/allowance is basically how many things you can do on your turn. Now, I want to say that this differentiates from something like Monopoly or Clue where you can do multiple things on your turn, possibly. I doubt…