Top 10 Story Driven Games

When I look at my games I tend to rate 9's and 10's, one thing that I have noticed is that a lot of them are what I call "scenario based" or "story driven" games. Now scenarios are more a case of me putting in the story as I play, but I love a game where there is already a story in place and you're playing through it via the game mechanics. So here are my 10 games where I feel the story is the strongest element for me enjoying them. What are your picks, I'm sure there are plenty more than the 10 here, let us know in the comments and explain why they're your chosen picks. Also I hope you like the revised transitions and lower thirds used in this video. I feel they link better to the intro style and are certainly A LOT quicker for me to edit in the post production process. 0:30 - Intro 03:36 - 10 06:15 - 9 09:37 - 8 12:38 - 7 16:19 - 6 19:00 - 5 22:00 - 4 27:12 - 3 30:11 - 2 33:46 - 1 38:21 - Honorable Mentions



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Anthology Review #5

2 games from a few years ago that have surprised me. Could I actually like a train game? Is Roll and Write over-used now? Can the Ominverse put out another classic? Find out and more besides in the next Anthology Review! Aerion - 01:18 Happy Pigs - 07:28 Corinth - 14:26 Spike - 21:54 Space Gate Odessey - 30:27 UBOOT: The Board Game - 39:36



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Podcast - S03E04 - MUSEUMS & EXPOS

Sorry for the long period without the sound of my voice.  . . . . was anyone losing sleep over that?

On today's episode, I talk about my experiences with Museum from Holy Grail Games and Downfall from Tasty Minstrel Games. Then I go over my future convention plans but focusing on my thoughts as we lead up to the UK Games Expo - has the appeal degraded for me over time or do I simply have an alternate reason for visiting compared to my early gaming days?



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Journeys In Middle Earth Review

If I could be plagued by recording issues it happened here. Light batteries failing, my microphone not working despite being plugged in, etc. Thankfully I think I managed to salvage it in the editing room so hopefully this will still be a decent video for you.

This has been getting a major divisive reaction on social media, you either hate its guts or you love it to bits. Really? I expected this from other hyped games this year, but this wasn't the game I would have picked to receive it.

So as I adventure through Middle Earth, are these reactions justified or is there a middle ground?

0:20 - Intro & Overview
05:08 - Duration
07:22 - Ease of Play
12:10 - Tactics/Strategy
17:10 - Aesthetics
20:13 - Immersion
26:58 - Longevity
33:06 - Final Thoughts




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Underwater Cities Review

Pulsar 2849 was the biggest surprise for me from last year. A bone dry point salad from an unknown designer that I ended up loving. Can this designer make lightning strike twice and produce another solid hit for me?

0:20 - Intro & Overview
03:45 - Duration
07:06 - Ease of Play
10:16 - Tactics/Strategy
14:44 - Aesthetics
18:19 - Immersion
20:33 - Longevity
25:04 - Final Thoughts

What do you think of Underwater Cities and Pulsar 2849, let me know in the comments!



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Anthology Review #4

Some real new hotness on this list of reviews. What are my thoughts on the hyped to death Wingspan? Has Portal expanded two of their best games with more greatness? Can you make a racing game outstay its welcome? Find out more in the next Anthology review!

Arkham Horror: The Circle Undone - 01:40
Wingspan - 08:35
Queendomino - 16:16
Thunder Alley - 21:34
Detective: LA Crimes - 34:40
Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales - 42:05




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Solo Plays - Galaxy Trucker (STEAM)

It's not my favourite game ever, but apps do have a habit of making games more accessible and at times more enjoyable. How does Galaxy Trucker in its STEAM form fare? Here's my solo runthrough!



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Top 10 Games That Scale Well

When you think about it - many games do not scale well at all. 2 - 5 players, most of the time I guarantee the two player version is bad and the 5 player version is too long and boring. It's very hard to scale a game for all players though, but I think I've found 10 good ones here to talk about.

What are your picks, I'm sure there are plenty more than the 10 here, let us know in the comments and why you believe they scale well?

I might make this the last video I use the Top 10 Transitions on. As much as they give a more professional feel, you have no idea how much longer they make editing on these Top 10's and I have to cut editing down as much as I can. So I'll likely be finding a quicker, easier alternative for future while still retaining the "quick announcement of the game" factor.

Also I'm suffering a bad hair day in this video, just pointing it out so you don't have to! ;-)

0:30 - Intro
03:26 - 10
06:45 - 9
08:46 - 8
10:55 - 7
13:21 - 6
15:44 - 5
18:01 - 4
20:33 - 3
22:45 - 2
25:05 - 1
30:01 - Honorable Mentions

What are your choices, let me know in the comments!



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The Quacks of Quedlinburg Review

Yes I don't have a great history with the games from this designer. But everyone was raving about Quacks and it won the Kennerspiel and that made me think "hang on.......Kennerspiel"??

With that category being more for strategic games I was certainly intrigued to know why a simple bag building game went in there rather than the Spiel, not that those awards are much use these days anyway other than to sell games.

So is Quacks worth all the buzz? Has Wolfgang made a genuinely good game for me? Should the catch-up mechanisms get a serious re-write?

Also I had a play around with the Lumetri Colour Correction settings on Premiere Pro for this video to try and make the colour more vibrant and warmer compared to the fairly cold normal output from the camera - did it improve it? Let me know what you think!

0:20 - Intro & Overview
04:23 - Duration
05:40 - Ease of Play
07:12 - Tactics/Strategy
12:20 - Aesthetics
15:39 - Immersion
19:27 - Longevity
21:11 - Final Thoughts

What do you think of Quacks, let me know in the comments!



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Top 10 Games I Love To Fail At

If you're confused by the title, let me explain! I try to win every game I play but winning is never important to enjoy a game as you know. However some games you'll play for hours and hours and getting beat on leaves a sour taste. However some games leave you either laughing your head off so much or with insane stories to tell, that you don't care about who wins one little bit. In some scenarios you actually think you enjoyed it more by doing badly. Yeah I know, it's a weird topic, but hopefully when you see the games it will make sense. People got uptight about doing a video that others had done (because "the internet") so if you want unique, here you go! :P Also sorry for the PSA at the start, but after recent events, it needs to be said. 0:30 - Intro & PSA re Trolls/Speech 05:14 - 10 07:32 - 9 11:12 - 8 14:30 - 7 17:22 - 6 20:05 - 5 21:56 - 4 24:06 - 3 26:20 - 2 30:46 - 1 33:50 - Honorable Mentions What are your choices, let me know in the comments!



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Podcast - S03E03 - Quacks & Kickstarter

A brief summary of how AIRECON and STABCON SOUTH went during March. Then I talk about 3 games I've played recently including Quacks of Quedlinburg, Space Base and Blue Lagoon. Then the discussion topic for today is Kickstarter - pros and cons, has it benefited the hobby or has it still got a way to go?




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Top 10 Annoying Characters

This video took me twice as long to edit as any other. Because there's some cool moments in it and I had a blast watching it again. This was definitely one of my favourites to record and edit, I hope you like it too!

We all love factions, characters, races etc in our board games as they increase variety and create some great thematic moments. But there are some occasions where one monster gets on your nerves when it appears or there's an NPC that you just want to slap. Turns out there was quite a lot of choices available - so here's my 10 favourites!



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Victorian Masterminds Review

CMON has a shaky track record with me. I adore Rising Sun, but Blood Rage was overrated. And I find that many times it's all about the miniatures and bling rather than the gameplay or value.

Now I'd never heard of Victorian Masterminds, but with Bauza helping out as well, maybe a duo with Lang can bring me a nice surprise to what has so far been an underwhelming 2019. Or is it just another overpriced Euro that will be forgotten before the year is over?



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Anthology Review #3

It's been a while but my last set of videos DIDN'T RECORD THE AUDIO!! So I had to start again hence the delay!

Here's a new set of quick fire reviews back to back to make up for it!

Narabi - 02:00
Isle of Skye: Druids - 05:30
Res Arcana - 11:45
NEOM - 16:44
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar - Rise & Fall of Anvalor - 25:15
Stone Age: Anniversary Reprint - 31:50



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Anthology Review #2

Note - apologies - I had to set up the default camera etc after doing the solo play and I had the lens bokeh set wrong so the background is more in focus than the game I'm holding in my hand. It's a minor quibble and will be sorted for next vid. Here's a new set of quick fire reviews back to back! Walking In Burano - 01:25 Spy Club - 06:19 Chronicles of Crime - 14:52 Caverna: The Forgotten Folk - 23:05 Raccoon Tycoon - 26:56 Dinosaur Island: Totally Liquid - 35:52



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Solo Plays - Coffee Roaster

Here you go!! My first tabletop Solo Play video since Season 1! Now I've started with a simple game and a simple setup because I need to figure out where the best path to go is. So I would appreciate constructive feedback particularly from the photography/video geeks out there. Just a few details from a tech side: I have 2 cameras in use here. One is my Samsung Galaxy S8 which records the view to my right. All the light is there and it's nice and bright and clear. Great phone camera. The overhead one is my Canon EOS 80D that I use for my normal videos, except I had to revert back to the original lens it comes with because the others I use are fixed zoom (24mm and 50mm) and have the bokeh effect that I use to slightly off-focus the gaming shelf. The basic lens is still fine but it has a high aperture rating (5.6) and this means I can't get the light to enter the lens no matter how hard I try. I would love a variable zoom lens that has a low aperture, but they would require my Patreon campaign to quadruple in size! For now I have my fixed zoom lens both with very low apertures. The Rode VideoMic Pro off to the left recorded the voice fine, but the phone audio wasn't bad either when I played it back, except for the huge hiss. Now I have a Rode VideoMicro that attaches to a mobile phone - is it worth giving that a try? - I didn't take the phone off the stand when it was on its Gimbal DJI cradle, it didn't seem necessary, but in larger games I can see it been needed. - The overhead view seeemd a little redundant but maybe that's because the game I was playing had such a small footprint that the phone view was good enough. But that aside, here is my solo play of Coffee Roaster!



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Top 10 Annoying Gamer Traits

This is a tongue-in-cheek list!! Right we've got that covered! We are all guilty of these traits at times, but we all must admit when we play games with different people, you'll always have some personalities that rub you the wrong way and it's not usually intended in a bad way or deliberate just to be a jerk, but there's going to be something, you can't like everything and everyone!

So as a fun Top 10 I've wanted to do for a while, these are my Top 10 Annoying Game Traits - not poking fingers or singling anyone out, I'm not even specifying between genders here, I've met people who exhibit these traits from all aspects of society.

Do you agree with this list? Did I miss some traits that really tick you off? Let us all know in the comments!



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Comanauts Review

Comanauts is the second installment in Jerry Hawthorne's Adventure Book system following Stuffed Fables. This game of exploration and danger builds on the mechanisms first introduced in that earlier title, providing a new experience for more mature players. Race against time to revive Dr. Strobal by exploring his tormented mind. As players work together to uncover the secrets of the doctor's subconscious, they will follow his inner child across eleven different Comazones. There they attempt to locate and overcome the Inner Demon that holds Dr. Strobal hostage. Assume the role of 22 unique avatars as you explore the dangers and secrets of each world locked inside the doctor's dream. Can you free Dr. Strobal from his own mind before it's too late?

I never played Stuffed Fables, but this theme despite being a bit overused right now is still interesting. Can this more adult version of the system win me over or is the story more interesting than the gameplay?




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Solo Plays - Mystic Vale (STEAM)

SOLO PLAYS HAVE ARRIVED!

Right, now I know you're expecting tabletop plays. . . . and you'll get those, don't worry. What's going to happen is that this will be a "mixed" segment. Some will be tabletop plays using 2 cameras (testing still being done) and some will be app based.

Nomad Games were kind enough to donate me a STEAM key for the new Mystic Vale port and being a game in my Top 100, I was keen to see if they were faithful to the source material.

So what follows is a full solo play of me vs the nearly hard AI. Will I stand or will I fall? Let me know in the comments what you think, are you happy with this plan going forward, are there any other game apps you want me to look at in the future?



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Podcast - S03E01 - PortalCon

I'm back!! Season 3 of the podcast begins with a simple talk about my experience in Poland attending Portalcon in January 2019.





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Top 10 Worker Placement Games

Now I don't want to do many of these lists where it's just one designer or publisher or genre, but occasionally I feel some need mention. Mainly because of how oversaturated the industry is. Worker Placement games are a dime a dozen and there's so many to choose from and a ton of great ones, way more than a Top 10 can manage.

So with some difficult rankings, here's my Top 10 Worker Placement Games. What are yours, leave them in the comments and discuss, I'm sure you'll come up with many I love and the odd couple I don't! :P

Also thank you for providing feedback on the Rode VideoMic Pro audio from the last video, I'm glad to see this new setup is an improvement for you.




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Top 10 Ugly Games I Still Love

Let's plough through some more Top 10 lists! Next on the list is my Top 10 Ugly Games I Still Like - art and aesthetics really help a game for me, but some ugly games I still give props!

Of course it's purely subjective as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but name a game you love that you consider ugly as sin?


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Gugong Review

Players take on the role of powerful Chinese families trying to gain influence and power by exchanging gifts with Officials. The gift cards you offer as a player have to be of a higher value than the one you receive, forcing you to make strategic choices regarding which actions you want to take each turn. You will travel around China, sail down the Grand Canal, purchase precious jade, help construct the Great Wall, secure advantages through decrees, influence the game through intrigue, and ultimately, receive an audience with the emperor. If only 1 player succeeds in doing so, he wins. If several players succeed, the player with the most VPs among those players wins the game. With an interesting and unique card play system, can Gugong stand up against the rest of the mid-weight Euro crowd with a bit more care about the theme as well as the mechanics?




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Top 10 Games of 2008


Finally another Top Ten List! Thanks for putting up with the slowness of Season 3 releases, it's not easy to get to grips with new software and experiment! Tonight I'm talking about my favourite games from 10 years ago (yes we're only just into 2019 so I'm still considering 10 years ago to be 2008)!
What titles of old still hold up to this day? What are your favourites from that year? Let us all know, provide feedback and if you like what you see, please subscribe!
Hopefully this is a good starting point for the Top 10 lists. I appreciate the audio could be improved, it seems that having the VideoMic Pro on the camera about 4-5 feet away (due to Geeknson table) forces me to use the +20 DB setting but that makes it a little echo-y at times. To combat this I've invested in an extension cable and mini-tripod to see if I can position the microphone right next to me rather than from the camera, thus allowing me to not have to use the +20DB setting to get volume.





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Anthology Review # 1


Right, let's get down to business! I have a ton of games to catch up on so let's deal with most of them in one big Anthology review to catch up!

MoM 2.0: Horrific Journeys
7 Wonders Armada
Solenia
Cerebria
Kanban: Drivers Edition
Gen7
Spell Smashers
Catan: Rise of the Inkas


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Season 3 Begins! - I'M BACK!!

I'M BACK!!! OH MY GOD!!! It's a slow start, but I'm getting there with the Adobe software. I have to recreate everything from scratch, it's basically a real mission to do. That bring said I have two videos for you ready. This introduction to me and the channel and Season 3 and a fully rendered Anthology Review video that I'll publish on the weekend. You want to know more about what I do and what's to come? Check out this video and as always, I thank you all for your patience these last few weeks.




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