Introducing War Stories


If you have been listening to the podcast you know that we have another game on Kickstarter called War Stories: Red Storm. Actually we have both Red Storm (east front) and War Stories: Liberty Road (western theater) both on Kickstarter simultaneously sold either separately or in one large package.

This is a World War II block game which can also be played as a miniatures game. We have the rights to the World of Tanks Museum minis as well as sculpts from 21st Century Toys for the Liberty Road minis. So basically we have a lot of cool pre-painted tanks, anti tanks, and trucks which may be used in the game. You don’t need the minis to play as it works great as a block only game. But the minis just look damn cool.

The idea behind War Stories is to take what is normally a fairly complex genre (World War II tactical games) and break it down into a very easy to learn and play game with all of the detail and charts and minutiae boiled down into cards.

Check out the Kickstarter videos. I made the videos so if they look cheap — that’s all me baby! It’s already funded but we’d like to keep it rolling.

In other news, I have been knee deep in the development of Tomorrow. It’s winding down and I am really happy with how it’s turned out. We have added stuff like espionage, new objectives, discovery cards, reworked how diplomacy and cyber warfare functions — a lot of new stuff. I submitted the first draft of the “final” manual and when that’s done I will post a link so people can download it.

I can’t wait to show if off this summer.

A Week with Kingdom Builder

kingdom builder box

Why hello. Take a glass, and pull up a chair. Let me tell you about my week.

On Thursday a box arrived containing a copy of Kingdom Builder, winner of the coveted 2012 Spiel des Jahres award. That night I slotted into my well-worn groove on the settee and got down to the job of removing shrinkwrap and popping cardboard. Sadly, and perhaps surprisingly, that task gets tiresome when you’ve done it as many times as I have.

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Cracked LCD: Three from Small Box in Review


small box

Small Box Games, the imprint for the unusual and idiosyncratic card games designed by John Clowdus, is at it again with a set of three limited release titles that fans of Omen and Tooth and Nail may want to take note of. Shadow of the Sun, The Valkyrie Incident, and Stone & Relic make for a nice set, really kind of representing a “greatest hits” package of Mr. Clowdus’ core mechanical concepts and design sensibilities. I don’t think any are as particularly strong as Omen or Tooth and Nail, but all remain high quality, unique card games with mostly great artwork and appreciable depth without rules burden. Subject matter is compelling- one game is about a sci-fi mech-war between factions of female warriors, one is a multiplayer continuation of the twilight power struggle depicted in the earlier Hemloch, and the other is a kingdom-building game set in a vague fantasy kingdom. Continue Reading…

King of the Hill

king of the hill koenigsegg agera r

See that car right there? That’s a Koenigsegg Agera R. It’s a pretty sweet car. It has an approximate top speed of 273 mph. It can reach 200 mph in a hair over 17 seconds and then brake to 0 mph in less than half of that. At the current exchange rate, it costs around $2 million, but that’s for the carbon fiber version which adds an extra $270k.

Along with being a hypercar that I will never be able to afford, or probably even be allowed to look at, it is the final car to beat and then shut down in Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

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Sword of the Stars: The Pit in Review


The other day, I was thinking “wow, I sure would like to play some kind of turn-based Roguelike…but with maybe a science fiction setting.” As if fate decreed, I got an email from thousandaire board game tycoon and AWOL NHS editor Bill Abner. It was a forward from the PR gentleman at Gamer’s Gate and on offer was a review code for their new $10 corker The Pit, from Kereberos Productions . It was exactly the game I wanted to play at exactly the right time. It reminded me of the time that I was dying to hear Soft Cell and I turned on a random stereo on display at a Best Buy literally right as the first notes of “Tainted Love” blared through the speakers. Continue Reading…

Jumping the Shark Update

No High Scores Podcast Logo

Just a quick update on the JTS status for the week. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances made it so that Bill could not attend this week’s show. Todd was sailing the high seas, like the slacker man of leisure that he is, so that left just me to do the show. I think it’s safe to say that I am barely competent when on the show with two other people, so doing a show solo would lead to nothing good. Yes, I have done it in the past but that was with time and preparation on my side, two things I didn’t have this time around.

So, in short, I’m very sorry that there’s no new episode this week. If you missed last week’s episode, on account of no one posting about it because Todd was gone and we’re all lazy sots, here it is. I’ll do a better job in the future covering for Mr. Brakke and making sure that JTS gets served up hot and fresh. I’m grateful that people care when we miss an episode and I don’t feel particularly good about taking that for granted. For that, I apologize.

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Calendar Man – Week of 3/4

square E3 preview tomb raider shot 1

A lot of games are coming out this week, yet the only one I care about is Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, the gods of GameFly saw fit to grace me with a PS3 copy and not an Xbox 360 copy, but given how many points are available only via multiplayer, I guess that’s ok. I prefer the 360 gamepad over the DualShock, but alas, I will raid the hell out of some tombs nonetheless.

Until Tomb Raider shows up, I have two more races to complete before successfully coming in first in every single player event in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Both are speed runs, and one is a hard speed run, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it, but hopes are high. It certainly doesn’t help that no one on my speed wall has completed this particular run. I’m a trailblazer! Other than that, I’m still loving Fire Emblem and am very happy with my decision to play on Casual. Otherwise, I’d be knee deep in corpses right about now.

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance in Review

games of q1 metal gear revengeance

Irresponsible, irreverent, and illogical, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a peanut butter and chocolate proposition for folks that love video games in the classical sense, pairing up Kojima with Platinum for an operatically absurd masterpiece. It is the heir apparent to two of this generation’s best action titles, Bayonetta and Vanquish, and it’s also one of the best and most focused Metal Gear games to date. It’s the kind of video game that makes me want to go out and gut punch every failed Hollywood screenwriter that thinks they can make it in this business by making games more like movies. It’s the kind of game that makes the claim that Japanese design is heartless or passionless look completely wrong, slicing and dicing with a rarified energy and a preposterous- but completely not macho- level of aggression.

With his high heels, eyeliner, and Aqua-Net abused hair, Raiden is a glitter rock cyber-ninja, the blatantly androgynous and homoerotic hero of the greatest electro-chanbara movie never made. He’s had his star turn in the Metal Gear Solid games before, sharing the bill with Solid Snake in Sons of Liberty, but never before has he been so fleet of feet and quick with a blade. Revengeance is fast as a shark, standing in stark contrast to the slower, measured pace and intentionally clunky controls of the core Metal Gear titles. Lightning Bolt Action indeed. The action is furious, with dramatic parries of skyscraper-sized swords and acrobatic counterattacks punctuated by the occasional slow-motion blade mode wherein Raiden can slice through a cyborg assailant and rip its spine out, drenching himself in precious nano-fluids. Continue Reading…

Cracked LCD- LOTR LCG Retroview


I  reviewed Fantasy Flight’s Lord of the Rings Living Card game not long after its core set released back in 2010. To refresh, there were some things that I liked about the game but I chafed at its packaging and the way that Fantasy Flight was effectively limiting the game’s capability as a standalone product by not including a nominally complete and self-contained set of cards that would not require further purchases to link to existing keywords, combinations, or other potentialities. I stand by this review, but I thought it would be interesting to try the game again now that it’s matured over the course of nearly two years with monthly expansion packs and a couple of larger add-ons.

I felt that the game was good enough to give a second chance, and thus here is the first ever Cracked LCD Retroview- a post facto review where I’ll go back and re-examine games that got middling to even bad reviews to see how they fare a few years on. I’m not going to tell you how to play the game, describe every piece in the box, or anything like that. Read another review if you want that. This is a way to dig a little deeper and analyze a little harder with the “new” worn off and with the hype long dead.  I think this is particularly a compelling opportunity to revisit games that have changed a lot or that have taken on a life of their own Continue Reading…

Talking About Television on the Ouya

As I mentioned on the podcast a few weeks ago, Clayton Grey, No High Scores reader and Don’t Shoot the Food Photoshopper extraordinaire is currently working on Television, an adventure game/WarioWare-esque mashup for the Ouya. Clayton and his partner-in-games Sam Strick recently took the Most Surprising award in the Create game jam sponsored by Kill Screen and Ouya.  Clayton was kind enough to answer some questions via email and give a glimpse as to what life is like for independent developers looking to make a go on the Ouya.

Once you’re done reading, be sure to head over to their Kickstarter for Shift, a single card CCG currently in development.

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