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Cracked LCD- Review Corner Showcase- Charlie Theel, Byron Campbell, Kyle Mann

review corner


Something a little different for this week, then.

For the first time in Cracked LCD’s eight year history, I won’t be writing the reviews. Instead, I wanted to highlight some of the great writers I have working for me at Miniature Market’s The Review Corner. We’re coming up on six months’ worth of writing reviews for this project and let me tell you, applying the ol’ editorial red pen to six or seven reviews a week tends to make you VERY critical. Not that I wasn’t already.

So here are a couple of folks I’d like to bring to your attention- I think they’re doing great work and really carrying the torch for high quality WRITTEN reviews, which I still believe to be vastly superior to the hordes of cutey-poo video reviews that sadly pass for game criticism these days.


First up is Charlie Theel, who has been seen also around and He’s my Lead Writer, but secretly he is the Johnny Ramone of this entire Review Corner project. He masterminded it, brokered the concept with Miniature Market, and brought me on board. He came to me a while back looking for some advice about his writing and I gave him the “you’ll never make a dime, kid” but it didn’t work. I’m glad he stuck it out, because he’s a damn fine writer with a good critical eye and I’m happy to be working with him. Charlie tends to specialize in highly social games and miniatures, but he covers a wide range of titles. He’s also a designer himself- check out Fistful of Dinero.

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Charlie’s review of Star Wars: Armada

Charlie’s review of The Resistance


Next up is Byron Campbell. I just promoted this guy to Senior Writer and he has completely earned all five of the extra dollars that we are going to pay him per piece. I had never heard of Byron before Charlie recruited him and I kind of wish it had stayed this way because this guy is costing me money. His reviews of Darkest Night, Legendary Encounters and Sylvion opened my wallet like a smooth criminal. But more importantly, Byron’s reviews have a refined, multidisciplinary approach- he appreciates that games are artistic, expressive mediums capable of storytelling and illustrating themes. He’s written for Entropy Magazine, Indie Cardboard and NerdSpan and now he’s rockin’ his Mohawk for us on The Review Corner.

Byron’s Review of Sylvion

Byron’s Review of XenoShyft


Finally, we come to Kyle Mann. I fired Kyle on his first day on the job for insubordination but somehow he didn’t get the memo. He continued to submit reviews regardless of the pink slip, and I figured what the hell, I’ll publish them. And then I wound up promoting this lumberjack shirt-clad feller to Senior Writer as well. Kyle is my go-to man for any kind of wargames writing- he comes from an old school Avalon Hill background and maybe that’s what has informed him about what makes a really good “pop” wargame. But he’s versatile, and I’ve come to really enjoy editing- and reading- his fine work.

Kyle’s review of Quartermaster General

Kyle’s Review of Fortune and Glory

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We’ve got some other great folks on board too- Dan Thurot, Drew M., Craig Cliessen, Shane White, Pete Ruth, Nate Owens, Jason Meyers- check them out while you’re over there too. I’ll highlight some of their better work the next time I find myself with no article ready on Thursday morning!





Michael Barnes

Games writer Michael Barnes is a co-founder of as well as His trolling has been published on the Web and in print in at least two languages and in three countries. His special ability is to cheese off nerds using the power of the Internet and his deep, dark secret is that he's actually terrible at games. Before you ask, no, the avatar is not him. It's Mark E. Smith of The Fall.

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