Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fluxx Review

Fluxx by Looney Labs. This is one of my favorite games. The rules are simple and after this next sentence, you know how to play. The rules are, you draw a card, and play a card. That's it. You can all now participate in a game of Fluxx. Games can last from 5 minutes to around 45 minutes. It's usually on the shorter side taking only 15-20 realistically. There is one community deck of cards and contains new rules (Draw 3 Cards, Play All, Hand Limit 2), Keepers (Milk, Cookies, The Sun), Actions (Do something and the card goes away), Goals (Milk and Cookies, Peace no War), and Creepers (War).

In the beginning, there is no way to win. A goal has to be set out to give players something to achieve. The most common one is have the two Keepers on the goal under your control. A Keeper is played out in front of you and stays with you until it is destroyed, stolen, or changes hands some other way. Creepers keep you from winning and Actions are fun.

If this game doesn't seem like it's for you, they have options. Zombie Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Monty Python and the Holy Grail Fluxx, Martian Fluxx, even EcoFluxx. Each one can be mixed with each other and the original.

This game is really fun and gets better as more people are added. It is really simple to learn and can keep your family and friends entertained for a good couple of hours (most likely longer). The only downside is it that it is very luck based. Sometimes you can't help but let other people win as well. An example of this is you draw 3 cards and have to play them all. If you have a goal that gives your opponent the win, that's the breaks. Definitely fun for the whole family and it's all contained in a box you can carry with you wherever. Now go get it, what are you waiting for?

Question: What are some of your favorite games?
Quote: "We are shaped by our thoughts;we become what we think." -Buddha

Monday, April 25, 2011

Character and why you should have it.

You love them and you hate them. Characters. Whether it is in the book you just picked up, movies you watch, or NPCs (non-player characters for non-gamers) that you encounter. At least, you should love them or hate them. I recently picked up a new book this weekend and had to put it down after three chapters. This happens with both authors I know and don't know, big and small names. I've had this happen with non-player characters too where I could care less if I help them or not.

This can happen for so many reasons. I want to talk about the positive though because that's who I am. My favorite part of creating characters is their quirks. This is not only flesh and blood or lack of blood people/creatures, but the setting as well. Settings should be given the same quirks and distinguishing marks as people. Maybe that meeting place for your characters has a chalkboard or bulletin board of some sorts where people from the town or travelers leave notes or are looking for help. Possibly there stood a building in an empty lot that if they look through, they can find small pieces of  what once stood there. For people, it could be scars, hair color, or even how perfect they seem (because no one is) that sets them apart.

Characters you make need to show emotion. This is easier when you game because you get to act out your characters. Recently in one of my gaming sessions, one of our players said something highly offensive to the only NPC who would talk to us. I had to actively seek out this NPC to get more information and he was not happy I still hung around with the other player. He reacted exactly as you expected someone who was offended would. I was honestly sad when I said bye to him too because we had gotten along so well.

The point is, he seemed real. He reacted the way the way I expected him too. A character devastated by loss might tear up when they think of the person who is gone. A character might unexpected lose their poker face when presented with an item they've been looking for all their life.

I've covered the description of a character, noting anything radical or out of place. This is one way your reader or players connect. Also covered is the way they act or behave that can make them likable or not. Your reader or players become engaged when they connect with someone or something in the story. If seeing the person they were rooting for succeed or destroying somewhere that they loved affected them, you have done a great job.

These are things that really help me connect and fall in love with not just the characters and setting, but the story just gets interesting.

Question: Anything else that helps you connect with characters or places?

Quote: "I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing." ~ Anais Nin

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Zombies!!! Hybrid of Board and Card game

Zombies!!! by Twilight Creation is an older game that has numerous expansions. Unlike other board games, this one starts out with a single tile. Each player is required to turn over a tile from the stack to expand the map. Each tile pops up with zombies on it, and you start exploring. Combat with zombies is resolved with rolling a 6 sided die and a 4+ being a kill. You are given 3 bullets (which add 1 to any combat roll) and 3 hearts (which are rerolls). When you run out of hearts, you die and comeback with the starting 3 life and bullets, but lose half of your zombie kills rounded up.

The game ends when either a player has gained 25 zombies, which you get for killing them, or you make it to the helipad and there are no zombies on it. The helipad is the final tile that is place and come up with the maximum amount of zombies.

You get a hand of 3 cards as well which can for the most part be used right away. There are a few that you need to be at a certain location to use or equip, such as the fire axe at the firestation or a skateboard at the skate shop. These cards give you benefits or hinder your opponents.

Even with the short play rules, this game took us a while to finish due to only having 3 players. We found ourselves plowing through the deck of cards as well and having to reshuffle it. It was a fun distraction for about 45 minutes.  Our game ended with a total zombie kill of 25 as we kept throwing zombies in the way of the helipad. No one player clearly ran away with it which is a huge plus. There were times where someone would be stranded on a long dead end with no zombies and slowly making his way out.

This game isn't for everyone, I wouldn't recommend it for a family fun night or anything. My gaming group loves it as well as other board gamers. Anyone with geeky or zombie interests would find this fun. The level of learning this game is low, no complex rules really. Have a great time with it.

Question: Any other games you want me to review? (Fluxx or Arena of Heroes is next on my list.)
Quote: "Developing love and compassion and reducing anger and spite is a universal activity which requires no faith in any religion whatsoever." - Dalai Lama

Monday, April 18, 2011

What have I been doing with my break?

I have returned, not so triumphantly. In my absence, here are some of the things I have been up to. Feel free to skip to sections you want.

Gaming (Pen and Paper, Cards): 
I have a review copy of a card/miniature game coming to me in the mail which I will be talking about on here. We have tried out a couple of new games during this break and I plan on reviewing those as well. I am currently in the planning stages with another gamer about creating a world/adventures for a (pen and paper) roleplaying game which is going well.

I've actually canceled my Netflix account due to not using it anymore. I'm trying to think of a creative way to do the Unwatchable Movie Challenge without using Netflix. This idea might be scrapped entirely for just in general movie reviews. I'll add terrible movies to the Unwatchable list as they deserve that honor.

Not much writing has been going on story wise. I'm more involved with writing for roleplaying games than work on my book or short stories. As inspiration hits, I write though.
We met with the pastor, which made this wedding stuff real to me. A little more than a month from now and I'll be married. Never thought it would turn out this way, but I'm happy it is. :-)  Other than that, work and play as usual. And I'm addicted to Twitter now.

So here are some topics I will be covering. I'm working on the blogger roleplay idea because I think it has great potential and would be really fun. Talk with you again later in the week.

Question:  What kind of content would you like to see coming up?

Quote: "The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall." -Vince Lombardi

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't call it a comeback #2

Okay, fine, it's a comeback. It will be less regular than what it was, probably 3-4 days a week instead of 5.
Topics will include but not limited to: Gaming experiences, a return of the Unwatchable Movie Challenge, writing topics as well as short works, possibly a return to the blogger roleplaying experience, more music and so much more.

I just wanted to alert the masses of this. I look forward to visiting everyone's blog again as well. :-) See you soon.