Tag: Alien

The Evolution of Deck Building Games

The Evolution of Deck Building Games

Let me start by saying that Deck Building is one of my favorite game mechanics, and one that has been around for a while. Also, let me say that there are two different, distinct ways you can qualify deck building. I am not referring to […]

TableTopTakes: Xenoshyft: Onslaught

TableTopTakes: Xenoshyft: Onslaught

“There’s so much on the planet, all this money to be made.” “What about the giant bugs?” “Hire some good security for the mines.” “And the scary looking brain scorpions?” “More security.” “And the hydras?” “Alright, mechanical armored security.” That’s how I imagine it went […]

This Is Halloween: Board Games

This Is Halloween: Board Games

THIS IS HALLOWEEN!

With possibly my favorite holiday coming up, probably Christmas then Halloween, I thought it would be a fun to toss out some of my favorite or good ideas for scary books, board games, movies, anime, or anything else. They are going to be horror focused, obviously, for Halloween, but there are probably going to be a few interesting ones out there that are more monster features versus Halloween horror.

So, starting with board games, because I love board games in case you haven’t noticed, what are some cool game options for Halloween?

Betrayal Characters
Image Source: IGN.com

Betrayal at House on the Hill

Super easy first option, this game is literally distilled Halloween, you could be playing a game where the traitor is death or you could get stuck in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. You never know, it’s the Cabin in the Woods of board games, it can hit every classic horror trope. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, you are exploring a haunted house, however, one of you in the betrayer. You don’t know who that betrayer is going to be, because omens of bad things to come start being drawn, and depending on what omen is found in what room, the haunt is going to be different. This game does have a few issues with some of the scenarios not being balanced, but it’s more about the horror feeling you get from the game as you joke around exploring the house, and suddenly, everything is serious.

Mansions of Madness

While I think that Arkham Horror LCG (Living Card Game) is more enjoyable for me to play, probably because I’ve played it more, Mansions of Madness hits the HP Lovecraft horror out of the park as you are exploring a location and all sorts of horrific things are happening. You and your group of investigators are pushing forward while fighting off monsters, solving puzzles, and trying to stop monsters from being summoned. This game has some of the same feeling as Betrayal at House on the Hill where you are exploring the house, finding what horrors might lie inside of it. I would recommend playing Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition as the app integration makes the game run really smoothly.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight

Zombie Dice

Because zombies, that’s really why it is on this list. Also because it’s a simple, light game, where you are just rolling dice. You are the zombies who are in search of brains, and trying to collect as many as you can and figuring out when to stop, before you get blasted away by a shotgun. Zombie Dice is a great ice breaker game because it’s easy to teach, turns go fast, and it’s easy for people to still have conversations while playing this game.

King of Tokyo

When it comes to Halloween, I still think of giant monsters. And while King of Tokyo doesn’t have deep horror roots, playing a bunch of monsters trying to get points and smacking the other monsters around is a blast. You can play as not-Godzilla, not-King Kong, and a lot of others. It’s another fight game, and the Yahtzee style rolling mechanic makes it an easy game to teach as people generally are familiar with that. This is definitely a more family friendly style of Halloween game, like Zombie Dice above.

XenoShyft: Onslaught/Dreadmire

I’ve only played Onslaught, but from what I know, Dreadmire has a similar feel. This is a fun horror/space marine sort of game in the vein of Alien and Starship Troopers. It’s less silly than Starship Troopers, but has the feeling of fighting off swarms and swarms of bugs as they try and overrun the base. You’re working as a team, each person defending their own side of the base from the alien bugs by building up a line of defense and hoping to get lucky. The game has a nice cooperative feel and generally feels like you’re close to winning, though, if you get the bugs in the wrong order, especially the wave boss bugs early in a wave, it can set you back a long ways. However, you get a chance to help your fellow marines while the bugs are attacking which gives the game a unique feel for a deck builder.

Image Source; Geek Alert

Dead of Winter

This is for the more serious zombie player. You’re trying your best to survive the cold winter, deal with zombies as they show up, and complete your objectives before time runs out. This game has a nice feel of somewhere between a classic zombie film and The Walking Dead where it’s more focused on the characters. The game runs with a lot of tension as well because there might be a traitor among you and you all have secret objectives, so everyone looks a bit like the traitor. Can you work together well enough to survive and complete your objective, will the traitor cause you to lose the game, and will you be able to complete your own objective. This game can have some heavy moments because of the Crossroads story cards it uses, so it isn’t a game to play with children.

Now, obviously there are a lot of horror or monster based games. Games like Descent, Claustrophobia, Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, and many more can work for Halloween. What are some of your favorite games to pull out at Halloween?


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From Book (or Movie) to Board

From Book (or Movie) to Board

If you go into Fantasy Flight Game Center (or to their website), you see loads and loads of board games that have Star Wars on the side of the box. They have X-Wing, Armada, Rebellion, Imperial Assault, Legion, and Destiny, and I’m probably  missing a couple, […]

Solo Gaming

Solo Gaming

It’s been a long day of work, school, or life in general, and you just want to unwind. It’s pretty normal for people to pick up a controller and play their favorite video game to unwind. This is something that people have been doing for […]

CONvergence 2017 Roundup

CONvergence 2017 Roundup

It’s that time of year again, folks! Peder and I just spent a fantastic long weekend at CONvergence, one of the largest nerdy conventions that takes place in the Twin Cities. In my opinion, it was one of our best cons yet, made all the better by the fact that I did not fall terribly ill halfway through the weekend this year like I did in 2016 (thanks a million, strep throat…).

The theme this year was Space Operas — think Star Wars, Firefly, Dune, and other such sci-fi epics. We were much bigger fans of this year’s theme than 2016’s (which was titled “But How Will We Get There?” and focused on…nerdy transportation? It was kind of a hot mess, to be quite honest). Being the huge space opera fans that we are, we resonated with the aesthetic, and there were a lot more panels we were interested in this time around, both space-y and otherwise.

A white humanoid robot statue dressed as Sigourney Weaver from Aliens
Connie, the CONvergence mascot, doing her best Sigourney Weaver impression

Panels are always a bit of a gamble in terms of enjoyment value, but the good ones we went to were real good. Some of our favorites were an inspiring panel called “Geeky Careers You’ve Not Thought Of” (featuring a full-time knitting designer and a dating/social coach for nerds, among others), a panel on Asian folklore that was a wealth of fantastic stories and tropes I’d never heard of, and a truly delightful fan panel about Stranger Things.

In a dim room, letters are suspended on transparent strings, seeming to float toward the ground against a red background
Better grab one quick before Uncle Vernon sees you!

Beyond the panels, we got the chance to experience all our favorite parts of the con, like copious amounts of people-watching (so many great cosplays!), seeing a few of our good friends play in a taiko drumming show, and hitting up the ever-amazing party rooms. Along with our old favorites, there were some great new ones this year, including a Spider-M an-themed room and a Harry Potter one that was so detailed and just impressive as all get-out.

A man dressed as Spider-Man sitting at a cluttered desk and holding a camera up to his eye to take a picture
Spider-Man thinks that turnabout’s fair play.

As far as cosplay went, we definitely did our fair share, but we decided to keep it more low-key this year (no, not Loki…not this year, at least) — after constructing Groot and Rocket costumes at like 2:00 in the morning the night before the con for the first year and fabricating/otherwise putting together so many pieces for my Rey and Raven costumes last year, I was ready for comfy clothes and zero body paint this time around. Nevertheless, we had a great time with our costumes! I was femme!Fourth Doctor on the first day, and Peder and I went as hipster!Beauty & the Beast on the second day, with our friends dressed as other assorted hipster-ified Disney characters (Smee, Tink, Ariel, and Hook, to be exact). Saturday was our favorite cosplay day–we went as Okabe and Kurisu from Steins;Gate, a new favorite anime of ours (which Peder reviewed a little while ago). It’s by far the most obscure cosplay we’ve done to date, so there weren’t many people who recognized us, but that just made it all the more fun when someone did. And we even spotted another couple who dressed as the same characters the day before, which was so much fun to see!

But enough squeeing for now…time for more pictures!

A woman wearing a costume that is a gender-swapped version of the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who smiles at the camera in front of a cardboard TARDIS, holding up a sonic screwdriver
A Doctor and her TARDIS
A group of friends dressed as hipster versions of Disney characters stands agains a beige wall, looking unimpressed
Fairy tales are just so mainstream.
A woman and man dressed as the characters Kurusu and Okabe from Steins;Gate do the classic arms-crossed-in-front-of-chest pose from the show
El…Psy…Kongroo!

All in all, this year’s con was highly successful — I felt like I got everything out of it that I wanted to, and planned things out well enough that I didn’t tire myself out in the process (something that must be learned the hard way, it seems!). We have all sorts of great memories from this year’s con, and are already starting to muse about what cosplays we’ll do next year.

If you’re in the Twin Cities area, did you make it to CONvergence this year? What were the highlights for you? If you’re not from around these parts, tell us about your favorite nerdy event to attend in the summertime!

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