You’ve been taken to the lands of the fae, will you be able to find a portal and escape in this narrative and exploration game by Greenbrier Games? Pros Solo game play Theme Not a campaign Story elements Price for Retail Established Company Cons Shipping …
We’re not looking at a board game today, instead we’re looking at a board game accessory, something for holding the tokens and other pieces that you use in your games. Pros Amazing Look Functional design Cons Some options seem less functional Price The Page This …
Is this pop-up style board game takes you on an RPG like mystery as you try and investigate, interact with objects and solve what is happening.
- Mystery adventure game
- Pop-up book style rooms
- Developers project management experience
- RPG Lite
- New Kickstarter company
- RPG Lite
So I point out in the cons that this is a new kickstarter company, but looking at the layout of everything, this isn’t someone who isn’t familiar with Kickstarter, they clearly know what they are doing with the layout, the graphics, the shipping, and everything, so while it’s always a con, I think it’s more of a con because it might be delayed more than some other Kickstarters, not because I worry about them not fulfilling.
I like the diversity in the cast of characters in the game as well. It’s better than a lot of games where it’s your standard fantasy cast. They seem like fun characters and a good group to play with. While I’d definitely say they fall into tropes for RPG’s, I think that works well.
But let’s chat about this RPG element a little bit. This is something that always concerns me in these type of games. I know that T.I.M.E. Stories has this as well as a kind of selling point. I think games like those can have it, but it’s generally brought by the players, it isn’t something that is inherently part of the game. Unless you’re talking about dice rolling for checks, which really isn’t an RPG element to me, I get that’s where it comes from, but not enough to be called that.
Back or Brick
This one is a tough one for me. The game looks beautiful, but I need to sit down and watch videos as to how this plays and see people’s thoughts on it, because I worry about the game element itself. With that said, I think that the price point is amazing and the game, even without it ever being played, is such a beautiful piece of artwork that it probably could be bought and displayed just for that. I think I’d more likely be in on this game with less hesitation if my kid wasn’t a toddler right now and was 7 or 8 years old. I worry that it might just be one that sits on the shelf for a while until that point in time, which is 5-6 years down the line. I have it notifying me for the final 48 hours, and I’m going to be keeping an eye on it, plus, GloryHoundd and DrGloryHogg are going to be discussing this one Friday as part of their weekly Kickstarter video, linked here, and I’ll be in the chat, hopefully, discussing it with them and hearing other peoples thoughts to help me figure out my own. Right now it’s a brick, but that’s mainly because I want to look into it more, but I could easily see this switching to a back.
How about for you, is this a game that looks interesting to you? Are you going to back it?
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I’ve spent a lot of time talking about gaming, at least in terms of board game and RPG, but there are other major types of fans out there that need their own gift lists as well. Today it is Superhero Fans. This can be of them in the comics, of them on the small screen or silver screen, or however they are fans. In some cases, they might already have them, such as graphic novels for a comic book fan, but those ideas will be better for the fans of the movies who haven’t dived into the comics yet.
Trade Paperbacks/Graphic Novels – Like I just got done saying above, this is probably not for the comic book fan, they are going to have a number of these, but there are plenty of options for people who like the shows or the movies to get them a trade paperback or two. I’d recommend sticking to some big storylines that the person might be a bit more familiar with, or the start of an authors run with a character. If you want to get a Thor trade paperback, don’t grab Thor volume 12, that might be confusing. But there are a lot of great options, volume ones for characters, or compendiums, as often those cherry pick out a few of the bigger story arcs for a character. But then there are bigger stories that you can look at as well. Infinity Gauntlet, Civil War, or Secret Invasion would all be good Marvel comics to get a fan of the movies. The DC shows are currently doing or starting soon Crisis on Infinite Earths, that’s a TPB you could grab, or an iconic Batman story, like The Killing Joke.
Funko Figures – You’re familiar with them, the big headed toys that are for a million different types of characters. I currently have two Stranger Things and Alice Cooper with me at work. But there are a ton of Marvel and DC ones for this. And you can even get it in game form if you want with the DC Funkoverse game. But you can also find unique ones to give as well, there was a whole run for Marvel Funko figures where they were all gold, so if someone already has some, it’s a unique different one. There is also Deadpool dressed up as Bob Ross. There are so many unique ones that it would take a while to list them all, and there can be rarer ones that, if you want, you can track down on eBay. I personally like them as something to put up in my cube at work, because they are pretty small.
Action Figures – Slightly different from Funko figures. Those are more of a caricature of the characters they are. Action figures are going to be closer to the comics and often tied directly into a storyline from the comics. I had a Magneto standing over a destroyed Xavier’s School for Gifted Children. Or Cat Woman stealing a gem from a safe in a Spiderman scene. These figures are also articulated so that you can pose them. Depending on what you get, they can run a little bit more than a Funko figure would. I personally really like the Diamond Select Marvel figures, which may or may not be made anymore, but I have been able to find on Amazon. DC has some nice ones as well. With these, since they can tie into a story as well, you can sometimes tailor it to a big event in the comics that is the person’s favorite.
Disney+/HBOMax – Give the joy of streaming this Christmas and give someone a few months of Disney+ or HBOMax, I could say, give the person a movie or a season of a TV show, but that is something they might already have. With Disney+ or when it comes out the new HBO streaming service (I believe it’s HBOMax) will have Marvel and DC respectively. If someone has been curious about the DC shows like Titans or Doom Patrol, that’s going to be a spot for them to check it out. Or if someone has been a Marvel fan for a long time, they can go back and watch classic episodes of the 1990’s animated Spider-Man or X-Men on Disney+. Plus, Disney+ has more streaming, like the majority of the MCU movies.
Marvel Legendary/Champions – I found a way to fit board games onto this list, and this is for someone who already likes board games. If they are a Marvel fan, both Marvel Legendary and Marvel Champions would be enjoyable for them. The games are two different types of deck builders where the players are trying to take out a villain and stop their evil schemes before it’s too late. Marvel Legendary is later in it’s life cycle where it has a million expansions, which aren’t needed. But if someone already has the game, you can probably find an expansion that they don’t have. Marvel Champions will be getting more expansions over time. The other good thing about Marvel Legendary is that you can tailor it, with the expansions, to make sure the person is getting their favorite character in the game.
Five Minute Marvel/DC Spyfall – Now, if you want lighter games, these are a couple of other options for board games. DC Spyfall is a social deduction game with the DC characters. You are trying to figure out who the bad guy is, but each character has their own unique powers as well that you can use. In Five Minute Marvel, it’s a very fast card driven game that plays, as the name says, in five minutes. It’s also where I got the name for my podcast #10MinMarvel. Especially Five Minute Marvel is going to be good to play with kids as well, because it is a fast paced game and the theme works while being a simple game. Both of these will work well with adults also, so it’s not just for kids, in fact, DC Spyfall, while being fairly simple, might be a concept that is a bit trickier for younger kids.
Artwork – I don’t think that you need to do commissioned superhero pieces, but there are plenty of cool art pieces out there. You can find unique ones on Etsy, or official ones, such as movie posters or even frame some comic books. In our house, we have a couple of pictures that are framed comic books. I have generally used a slightly larger frame with double glass, so no back cardboard on it, and then you just center up a comic in it. I also like using older comics as it gives the look a coop retro vibe. And while there are certainly very expensive older comics out there for beloved stories, you can find a lot of cheap ones that also have cool covers. This is a good option for someone who likes the comics and the movies, and has a lot of those things, but maybe is moving out on their own or needs someone to hang up.
There are going to be more options to give to that superhero fan in your life. Lego, for example, does awesome superhero sets, or there are video games, other board games, RPG’s (though not specific to Marvel or DC currently) and more. I think what I’ve listed out is going to do well for a good age range of superhero fans and you’ll be able to tailor it to them a little bit more. They are also not extremely expensive whereas some things, like Lego, can be quite expensive for larger sets. Hopefully there is some idea for that superhero fan in your life.
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So it’s time to get holiday gifts for your friends, family, and various minions. And the nerdier the better! You begin your benevolent plotting…and that’s when you remember that the mall is a terrifying place at this time of year, the roads are icy and nasty to drive on, and to top it off, you’re short on cash.
Never fear! There are other ways to show the nerdy love without having to wade through waves of humanity, risk your neck on the open road, or spend all your hard-earned moolah. Yes, I’m talking about crafting!
“But handmade gifts are so lame!” you say. “Nobody ever wants that crap!” To which I say, you’re probably thinking that way because of bad memories associated with the macaroni portraits and construction-paper-based oddities of our youth. But I encourage you to dream a little bigger. With resources like Pinterest and Ravelry and the scads of great crafting blogs out there, crafting is easier and more accessible (and less corny) than ever. Even novice crafters can find something that appeals to them and learn new skills to create a finished product they’re proud to give to someone.
One of my favorites for this purpose is crochet and knitting. There are patterns for anything you can think of, from Doctor Who scarves to plushies to cat-ear hats. And even if you’ve never knit a stitch in your life, there are plenty of step-by-step videos on YouTube for any technique you could wish to learn. Best of all, many patterns online are free, or a few bucks at most.
If crochet and knitting aren’t your thing, you could try your hand at some old-fashioned artwork. Make some fan art of your friend’s favorite character, or do a hand-lettered or calligraphy version of your brother’s favorite book quote. If you’ve got a steady hand and a good eye, there are tons of possibilities here!
If neither of those are hitting the right notes for you, there’s lots of options for constructable gifts. Build a dice tray for your favorite D&D player, make comic book magnets, or put together a hobbit hole terrarium!
And of course, there’s the ever-popular food gift! Bake some Star Wars sugar cookies, make a batch of lembas bread (my personal favorite), or put together a kit for making a nerdy cocktail (Sonic Screwdriver, anyone?).
These are just a few ideas to get your creative DIY juices flowing. But don’t stop here! Go forth and find what inspires you, or make something up from scratch. We’d love to hear about your ideas — share about your handiwork in the comments! Or if you’re not making handmade gifts this year, tell us about the best handmade and/or nerdy gift you’ve ever received.
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