Video Game Review – South Park: The Stick Of Truth

Adam infrequently reviews games weeks after they are released because he has a job and can’t complete them fast enough. Potential very minor spoilers included.

South Park: The Stick of Truth was released in the EU on March 7th, developed by Obsidian and published by Ubisoft. It is PEGI 18 rated for swearing, violence and sex. The most notable thing about SOT, as a licensed game based on a beloved TV series, is the direct involvement of the show’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Putting aside how badly other licensed games often turn out without this, I remember (in the before time, in the long, long ago) playing the N64 game slinging snowballs made with yellow snow at turkeys, or trying to drive through Spooky Vision on South Park Rally on the Playstation. Both of those games were pretty terrible, and had very little involvement from Parker and Stone other than voice acting. SOT however, feels like a labour of love.

It is very much like playing a 10 hour episode of the series, and the game is a sort of mash up between parodies of Lord of the Rings, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and Game of Thrones. Character creation is fairly standard, choosing your basic look (which changes almost immediately so doesn’t really matter) and your character class (Fighter, Mage, Thief and Jew. Yep). You are the new kid in town, amidst some vague mystery surrounding your mute character, and your first quest is to start making friends, keeping track of them using a mock Facebook that acts as your various menus. Here you are recruited by the human faction (led by the Wizard Cartman) to defend the Stick of Truth from the elves (led by Kyle). You are taught magic, which is entirely based on different types of fart, and sent on various quests to gain loyalty from other factions and investigate the deeper story that begins to unfold. In typical South Park fashion it becomes hilariously over the top, the stakes manage to get higher but everyone in the town actively dismiss it, leaving the kids as always to sort the mess out.

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I said this game was a labour of love. It is also a love letter to the 17 seasons (over nearly 20 god damn years, there’s terrible ‘old’ feeling again). The story covers so many moments and characters from the entire run, from Professor Chaos to ManBearPig, anal probes to underpants gnomes (who shrink you and fight you underneath your parents while they are having jerky, unsettling cartoon sex). Even every item you pick up is some form of callback to a random episode of the show. By the end of the game I had, amongst other things: 4 Alabama Man figures, 6 Nazi armbands, the Biggest Douche Award, a driedel, a torn condom, a Guinea Pig Costume, Mr. Twig, a used syringe, lice, a Stupid Spoiled Whore doll and 9 copies of The Poop that Took a Pee. They all serve zero function other than to sell for cash, but they are fun all the same.

In the spirit of the show, Stick of Truth is predictably offensive. So offensive in fact, that over here in the EU we got a censored version off the game. What this meant was that at several points in the game, when Ubisoft decided the game went too far, we got a censored screen poking fun at the censorship and us for not being able to play this particular segment. Here is an example:

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This happens at two major points in the game, and several times at each. The first involves anal probing (the image above was taken from one of those scenes), and the second involves a visit to the abortion clinic. The latter involves your character, in disguise as a girl, trying to access records at the clinic. But to gain access, you end up being seen by Dr. Poonlover, who offers you a booster seat, and then apparently performs an abortion on you. Not that that makes any sense, but as I didn’t see the scene I can’t tell you how graphic it is. This is shortly followed by a scene where you perform an abortion on Randy (also dressed as a woman) in what the censor screen called a fun mini game. I assume it is the same as a moment very late in the game where you carry out a short mini game on a machine, which seemed really weird and out of context without the earlier go at it.

I’m going to be honest, while the language used in the censor screens was funny, the fact that censoring had occurred at all bothered me a great deal and took me out of the game experience somewhat. First, I don’t understand why the EU version was censored, (and on consoles only, the PC version remained intact) while in the US it was fine to ship in its entirety. It seems so arbitrary. Second, in my mind there is plenty left in the game that is just as bad as what is censored. In the same abortion clinic level, you fight Nazi zombie foetuses. You fight crawling, biting foetuses which spout random authoritative German, and explode like a balloon full of blood when you defeat them. You see an old man’s dick near the end of the game. You miniaturise yourself and crawl up someone’s arse, chopping down semen and broken condoms, passing pool balls, flash lights, bats and using a dildo to clear a path through shit. These things aren’t censored at all, and I find it really odd that anything is. I’m not defending the content, but my issue is censoring at all. This is an 18 rated game. That alone should mean the title ships intact, especially if it was fine to sell in America. It wasn’t the ratings board who censored it, it was the publisher and I just think that makes no sense to me. And censoring some offensive stuff and not others makes even less sense. I found this to be a real shame, because any of it would have been fine in an episode. I can only assume that being interactive makes the player more complicit in the action, maybe they thought it would make people uncomfortable. What would have been a better way to handle it would be like that infamous Call of Duty level, just whacking up a screen saying ‘your character is about to perform (insert obscene act here). If you would like to skip it, press O. If you would like to play it, press X’.

The game itself is very satisfying, if a little short. Quests do get a little bit repetitive and fetchy, but continue to be thematically entertaining. The gameplay is pretty easy, and if any fights give you any trouble you are probably trying them too early. This happened to me once on a side quest, but its unlikely to happen in the main quest as you level up pretty appropriately. The visuals are probably the best part, looking exactly like the show without trying to do anything flashy. I did experience the odd glitch in the game, but nothing game-breaking. Overall I would definitely recommend this game, despite the censorship and length, although if you aren’t a South Park fan a lot of what makes the game so fun will likely be lost on you. Hands down my favourite part is the mission to Canada, entirely because of the way the mission and the location are presented. I won’t spoil it though, but I think anyone would agree that it is perfect and makes total sense for the South Park take on ‘the land in the north’.

Score – 7 Anal Probes out of 10

Why Aren’t There 22 Million Serial Killers on the Loose?

Nath has a go at folks who blame real world violence on the video game industry

I’ve gone and done it. I wasn’t going to write an article on it, but I feel as if something needs to be said about video game violence. It is a topic I have debated with friends and family over the years, and in the modern day of gaming, it is a very touchy subject.

First things first though, lets not argue against something that is painfully obvious. Video games are violent. Of course they’re violent. You’d be stupid to argue that they weren’t violent. How do you kill enemies in Dead Space? Shoot off their limbs. How do you get the “Judge, Jury and Executioner” achievement in Gears 3? By executing enemies with all the weapons. Case and point.

Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve even bothered to write this article when I’m agreeing that video games are violent, it’s because it’s not the violence I’m trying to defend, it’s the accusations against the industry itself. I literally hate people who sit there and say people who play video games are more violent than people who don’t. If you are one of these people, then I really can’t respect your opinion, because it so freaking ridiculous.

One example would be Michael Bloomberg on the release of Grand Theft Auto 4. He said “I do not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers.” First of all Mike, if you had played the game, you would’ve known that you probably would’ve got points for killing police officers, but your wanted level would’ve gone up almost immediately, and eventually you would be arrested or killed. Secondly, ever heard of Die Hard With A Vengeance? Or CSI:NY? Maybe even the Godfather? Let’s face it, it’s not just Grand Theft Auto 4 which is making New York look unsafe. Die Hard has a lot of people dying throughout the film, CSI:NY is based upon murders that occur in New York and The Godfather has mob wars and shootings across the city. How can you be so blind and immediately point the finger at Rockstar? You were mayor of New York City, how could you be so blind?

Another classic example is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the infamous Moscow airport level.

Let’s not beat around the bush, it is a pretty gruesome and violent level, however what people seem to forget is that you have 3 options:

1. Play the level, shoot a fuck load of civilians, upset some people, get branded a serial killer.

2. Play the level, don’t shoot your gun, get called a pussy.

3. Skip the level at the start, never play it, live your life wondering what you could’ve missed.

There you go people, you have a choice, but say you went with option 1, does that make you a serial killer? If that were the case, there would be, at maximum, 22 million serial killers in the world right now and I’d be one of them. I haven’t killed anyone and I don’t plan to. I’m pretty certain that can be said of most people. People will claim that the Norway attacks in 2001 were because of Call of Duty, but apparently it was used for training more than anything else.

I will say though that the language used online in this game is definitely some of the worst I’ve ever heard. I’ve upset a lot of people with some of the things I’ve said, but I have to turn my headset off and shut off all conversations with other online players as they are just awful, annoying little racists who apparently have sex with my mum all the time. Parents are often complaining about the language they hear online and I won’t lie, I have 2 complaints against me for foul language. But what really annoys me is, why are you letting your 10-year-old child play a game that is clearly made and rated for adults? If you let them play online, of course they are going to hear all this swearing from other players and you wonder why they start swearing.

Also let’s face it, it’s not just adults that are swearing online either. I have been called every name under the sun when playing online, especially from teenagers. And you’re now swearing at me and I imagine your parents are sitting there listening to your foul language and letting you carry on. It’s a good thing that my headset is now muted, because you have no idea how many profanities I can throw back at you. Seriously parents of the world, if you’re going to let your kids play games like this, then either mute the headset or play with them and punish them or others who swear at your children.

When it comes down to it though, video games are violent, but you can’t blame the industry for the violent behaviour of single individuals. There are too many other factors to consider into whether why someone is violent. You could argue that violent video games don’t help the cause, so why do you let those individuals play them? There needs to be less finger pointing at the video industry and more fingers directed towards the people that are playing them. The video game industry is constantly trying to find ways to tackle violence in games, even introducing the similar certification classification for films. Maybe more needs to be done, who knows? But what I’m going to say is think about every aspect before you blame video games, because the video game community is not a violent place. If it were, then the title of this article will be worryingly true.

Nath

The Lost Lighthouse Reviews: Titanfall 360

So, since Titanfalls announcement many moons ago I knew this was the game for me. After a few delays I've finally got a copy for the 360. Yes it's another FPS. Yes it's made by some of CODs developers but hold your horses Mr! There are 3 reasons I love Titanfall over the others.

1. 6 vs 6. Simple but effective. I'm not a fan of 30-60 players a side. It's not personal enough. If someone kills me, I want to know I've got a chance to take revenge. Or more likely, they kill me another 20 times. 

2. Manoeuvres. Do I like running along the walls, double jumping and leaping from building to building with ease? Yes, yes I do! I don't want to spend the match trying to jump to that sweet spot. I love doing cool moves that do not take much attention away from me finding my next target. 

3. Errrm, what else, what else. Oh yeah! Massive fucking robots! Yes the titans themselves. Now let me tell you, just because you embark into one of these iron giants doesn't mean you are invincible! You've got other titans to take care of and if a few pilots team up with their anti-titan weapons then you will be reduced to scrap metal in a matter of moments. 

So this title has shot to the top of my FPS list and I don't see it leaving anytime soon. I expected to like this game, I didn't expect to love it! What ever the future holds for this series, I can happily say I'll be aboard for the ride.

8.5 Pilots out of 10

Gary

Why the hell haven’t you played Chrono Trigger yet?

Every few weeks I will write an article on what I believe to be the best games you need to play before you die. These are games from all platforms and all differing in genre and gameplay, whether you play them or not is completely up to you, but I’d recommend it – Nath

I imagine most of you has played this, but I’m putting it in any way as it is one of the best RPG games ever made. The characters, storyline and gameplay are absolutely fantastic and it has 14 different endings! That means you can play it 14 times, how epic is that!

 

It was first released in 1995 for the SNES by Square, now known as Square Enix, it has gone to be redeveloped for the Playstation 1, Nintendo DS and Smartphones. You play the silent protagonist called Crono, who has large red spiky hair and is armed with a sabre and lives in 1000AD. You go visit the Millennial Fair in town to see your friend’s experiment with someone you bumped into and basically everything goes to shit because otherwise there would be no game. You have to go back in time and rescue your friend but whilst that happens, you end up being transported forward in time to 2300 AD where the apocalypse has happened and friend you bumped into decide it would be better to try to stop this from happening. Basically a giant shit storm and you have to be the good guys and stop Fallout 3 from becoming a thing.

The is the premise of the game, your party travels backwards and forwards through time in order to prevent the apocalypse from occurring. Simple storyline for an RPG game, but the way it engrosses you is brilliant as you are constantly wondering where you’ll end up next and what might happen in each era you visit. All the characters are from different eras too, Chrono, Lucca and Marle are from the present. You later find Robo the robot (not very imaginative) from the future, Ayla from the prehistoric age and finally Frog, a talking frog with a sword. That’s a frog with a sword. You shouldn’t need any convincing.

The gameplay is simple, easy to understand and very fun. Each character has their own magic element, but when a new technique is learnt, they can be combined with other characters to make extremely powerful combos. Some are done with 2 characters and some with all 3.

I know some of you may be thinking that the graphics aren’t great, but if the storyline and the gameplay is solid then graphics don’t matter. Seriously, this game is worth your time and energy. I genuinely believe it is up there as one of the greatest RPG games ever created. Happy cycloning.

Nath

Kill it so I can wear it

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The problem with playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate almost exclusively in multiplayer is when I return to my solo game I’m pretty much THE shit. For those of you that don’t know, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a game where you hunt monsters (ironic, I know) and when you’ve killed or captured them, you get bits of them which you can make into weapons and armour. It’s like pokemon, if you were the one beating the crap out of Pikachu, then making a sword out of him and proceeding to beat the crap out of his mates with your new zappy sword. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has three tiers: Low Rank, High Rank and the Holy Grail of G Rank. Because I’ve racked up nearly 200 hours playtime, almost exclusively in multiplayer, I made G rank my bitch quite a while ago and am currently wearing some kind of demonic overlord as a fine hat. Cue me returning back to my solo village and the townspeople are being terrorised by something that I wore as a shoe twelve levels ago.

Whilst the single player is fun and engaging, it’s the multiplayer that really shines for me in this game. Not because I get to pwn all the n00bs online as MH3U is a purely PvE game, but because I get to play with my friends in my living room. It’s understandable as to why this game is on Nintendo consoles since it incorporates something Nintendo adores; being physically social with people whilst gaming.

Part of the great functionality between the Wii-U and the 3DS really gets to show off in this franchise. I have Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on my (Pikachu) 3DS XL (suck it) and my partner has the game on our Wii-U. However will we play together?? OH WAIT THEY THOUGHT OF THAT. The Wii-U acts as a hub which up to three 3DS handhelds can connect to and Lo! You’re all in the same lobby and can run around beating things in the face with their brethren to your heart’s content! Again, it plays into the game’s hands as Monster Hunter is not afraid to use ‘old skool’ difficulty when it comes to big monsters. You’re fighting a poisonous dragon, it’s not going to be easy thus it’s great to have a friend around to distract it (read: Be bait) so you can chug and antidote.

I personally think that more games need to abuse this feature. I can’t count the number of times we’ve ended up having a pizza party with everyone playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate whilst we hunt the thing the lowest level person wants to wear next. A lot. Because Brachydios needs to drop that damn gem so I can upgrade my Dual Swords DAMMIT!

 

Kii

MERCS: Welcome To The Cause

So we return to posts about the different wargames we enjoy. In this post I’m going to talk about MERCS. Me and a few friends discovered MERCS at Salute. Well it all started by me seeing a battle foam bag I really liked and that tuned out to be a bag designed for MERCS.

After taking a look at the minis and the rulebook we decided to take the plunge and buy a faction each. The background story behind MERCS, in a nut shell, is that countries and their borders have dissolved and now massive corporations dictate the borders and their territory. The full history can be found on their website. One friend bought the CCC, the American based faction. They’re an all rounder of a unit. They have nano armour that repairs itself and some great weaponry! A solid first choice. Another chose the Sefadu. An African unit that relies on speed and maneuverability. I choose the FCC which are a freedom fighter movement. They rely on quick moves from cover to cover and automatic fire weapons. The also have a grenade launcher that is a nightmare, which often keeps the enemy in check.

I think the first thing that grabs me is the artwork. Just look at it! Simply amazing. I love the comic book feel to it all.

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MERCS is a tabletop 32mm skirmish game. The main difference between MERCS and other skirmish games is that there is no tape measure needed. Each character has a card detailing their equipment, armour, stats and special abilities. The card also has grooves that fit the models base in it and the character moves the distance of the card or several depending on the models stats etc. It’s a hard thing to explain in a short space but it’s really unique.

ErK0GXnGYv816EJH3fWORZlVs3KNOmEwJuHDRTbbCw=w326-h217-p-noThe game itself has a strong following in America and Australia but not so much in the UK. If you get a chance for an intro game I’d give it a go. I really enjoy the game, though I would say looks a little rules heavy to begin with but they are quite intuitive. It does have a clever system where you introduce certain rules after a couple of games so you get the basics secure.

I’m not going to give it a score or a rating but I’ll simple say I enjoy the game and will definitely keep playing it.

As an added extra the company that makes this game is also raising funds for MERCS:Recon. A MERCS based board game which can be found here.

Byyee
Gary

The Lost Lighthouse Reviews: Eldritch Horror

Name: Eldritch Horror
Players: 1-8
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Tagline: “A Board Game Of Global Mystery”

So, this was probably one of the most anticipated board games of the year. It’s pretty much a squeal to one of FFGs most successful titles, Arkham Horror. A quick run down of Arkham Horror: you and a team of investigators solve “mysteries” around the fictional town of Arkham, trying to slay monsters and close gates. All in a desperate bid to prevent an eldritch god from consuming our world.

Where Arkham Horror was set in one place, Eldritch Horror is a global affair. The first thing you can tell when opening the box is that, once again, FFG is giving you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s bursting with great components and the card style is simply superb. The board itself is presented very nicely and it even includes a useful legend for travel routes. You also get a quick reference guide for anything you might get stuck on mid-game. This is a great idea! Through play testing they have clearly found points in the game where you might get a tad confused and supplied this to help keep the game going at a fast pace.

Eldritch HorrorThe game itself seems to me like Arkham Horror with slimmed lined rules and a slightly faster pace. You are against the clock to save the world, in this case the clock is the well named “doom track”. You also have a cool “omen track” which dictates exactly how f**ked you are! The main aim is to solve 3 “mystery” cards, I like these a lot. They really add to the narrative. The game play is spilt into 3 phases: the action phase, the encounter phase and the mythos phase.

In phase one you perform actions like travel, buying items, resting etc. In phase two you have an “encounter”. This is my favourite phase, FFG have done amazingly here. Depending on where you are on the map you have a specific encounter for that location, and there are a lot! Very cool. Phase 3 is the mythos phase. This is where the bad stuff happens! This can be anything from gates spawning, monsters appearing, the omen chart changing and the doom track counting down!

Now, did I enjoy it? I hate to use a cliche but it’s not you, it’s me. I think I want more out of this game. At some points I had lots of fun but during most of it I found I was just going through the motions: move here, pick up a card, roll some dice, move here, pick up a card, roll some dice. Maybe I was just having a off day. There are two mechanics I hate in this game, and I really mean HATE! The first of which is the “delayed” mechanic. If you get “delayed” you basically miss you next turn, all games can be improved by losing the “miss a go mechanic”. The worst thing though is that, at points, this game encourages you to become delayed by giving you reward if you do so! The second thing I hate is very occasionally, depending on cards you draw, if you fail a test you may have to shuffle a solved mystery back in the deck! Bear in mind these mysteries can take around an hour to solve if you’re not doing well.

I feel I’m putting too much of a negative vibe into this review. I do enjoy this game. The problem is it’s a very narrative game, why is this a problem? If your players really dig the Lovecraftian mythos etched into this game then it’s not, what so ever. In fact it’s a good thing. But if you are playing with people who don’t know their Yog-Sothoth from their Dunwich horror then the narrative won’t impact on them nearly as much. Also I would not want to play with more then 4 players, maybe 5-6 if they are experienced with the game. On the plus side you can go globe trotting with a bull whip and a bottle of whiskey! Who doesn’t want that?!

Overall I would recommend this game if you enjoy anything Lovecraft. If you don’t then maybe try something else.

Gary

More Than One Million People Didn’t Need a Burn Heal!

If you have seen the news recently, or you may decided to look at some news because you were bored at work, you may have stumbled onto a new internet social/gaming experiment entitled “Twitch Plays Pokemon.” No doubt you’ve heard of it, but if not, it is simply an online version of Pokemon Red, but with a twist.

You start in a chat room and basically there are 2 modes of gameplay. Democracy gameplay is where each player inputs a command over a 30 second period and the key with most votes is inputted into the game. However when Anarchy gameplay starts, any key that is pressed is inputted into the game, allowing for a mass amount of chaos.

As you can see, it looks like a giant clusterf**k of people just hitting in commands in order to complete the game, but eventually it was completed. However it wasn’t an easy process due to the amount of absolute assholes who started playing and thought it would be funny to make the gameplay more difficult.  Asshole might be an understatement when you consider the following occurred:

  1. People jumping off  ledges during the long maze areas of the game
  2. Bloody Sunday where 12 Pokemon got released
  3. Repeated use of the start command and using items that really weren’t necessary
  4. Constant use of the Pokedex
  5. Constant saving

I know some of the above may not seem too much of a problem but seriously people, releasing 12 Pokemon? What the actual fuck? That’s 2 teams of Pokemon. You people who call yourself “Trolls” and think it’s funny are just fuckheads. You even released the starter Pokemon! A level 34 Charmeleon! He was 2 levels away from being a Charizard!? Charizard is one of the best Pokemon in the game. He flies and breathes fire. I hope you’re all ashamed of yourselves and you quietly die in a hole.

Maybe a bit over the top, but nevertheless, the trolls probably did die in their respective holes as the game was completed. It proves the gaming world is full assholes but eventually, with enough perseverance, gamers can rally together and finish one of the greatest games ever made.

If I’m honest, I wish I had the opportunity to take part in this experiment, but luckily the anonymous designer has applied the same idea to Pokemon Crystal. I will having a crack at that and make a valid attempt at completing it as my life plan is to not die in a hole.

Would You Kindly Get Me Into the Gaming Industry? Chapter Two

Our contributor Nathan continues his journey into games design.

For those of you who want to know, I passed the introduction to my course WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! So off to a great start and now I can really dive in and get started.

I received the next part of my course and got straight on it. First section was entitled “The Game Development Cycle” which shows the complete process of design and development of a game. I knew games required a lot of planning but I was blown away by how much. I won’t go into detail as to how much there is, but there are approximately 12 processes a game goes through from concept to release. A very brief lesson to begin with but with enough information to give a basic outline of each concept.

The next section was all about game genres. Luckily through my many years of gaming, I knew a lot of genres so this section was a breeze, however I feel they missed one huge genre out. Why would you skip horror and everything it includes? Horror games are huge at the moment, with the latest release of Dead Rising coming out with the new Xbox One and then series like Dead Space and Resident Evil being the pinnacle of the genre. Have to say I was a little disappointed.

The next section focused more on the business sides of things. It was SWOT analysis and Competitive Game analysis which is nice to know about as the developers aren’t just people making video games, its a business and money has to be made.

The next section was called “Hardware Formats”. This section I found very interesting. It was all to do with the different hardware formats games can be played on, such as Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo and PC. It goes into detail on how each system has different requirements and what is included. Playstation have a document called the Technical Requirement Checklist, Nintendo has Lot Check and Xbox has Technical Certifications Requirements and all these are checklists used by developers to make sure that the game they develop can work on the specified console.

The last section starts on the basics of documentation. I won’t lie, it was pretty boring but I stuck with it. It talks about how to pitch the game and the documents needed to pitch it and a unique phrase called “Razor X” which is a one-line summation of why your idea is a winner. There are also mock examples of these documents to allow you to get a better understanding.

That’s all for this section on my journey into the gaming industry. Next time I will talk about my registering for GameJam 2014, where students on the course meet up, design and make games over a 48 period. I have already been entered into a team and we will see how it pans out unless I end up punching them all in their stupid heads because their ideas are stupid and they’re stupid.

Nathan

Gary’s Top Three 2-Player Games

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The dreaded top 3 list! They are difficult for anyone to write, particularly when the subject is something they are passionate about. I was toying for ages with this one. 2-player games are something of a precise art form. It needs to be engaging enough to keep both players hooked. With more than 2 players you tend to get the banter between the other participants while one person decides what they are going to do. With 2-player games you don’t get that grace. So with a lot of thought, here are my top 3 in reverse order:

3. Cube Quest

This is a perfect little game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. In a nutshell, two waring armies made up of cubes are secretly set up on opposite sides of these nifty mouse mat battlefields. Then the generals – you and a friend – take it in turns to flick the warriors (cubes) at each other to try and knock the other player’s king off the table. How are the glorious kings represented you ask? Well…they are just other cubes…with a crown sticker on.

2. X-Wing

Is it a board game or a miniatures game? Well it says miniatures game in the title but it’s made by one of the biggest board game publishers around, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Ether way I don’t care, it’s awesome! Do you want to be looking up one of a hundred possible manoeuvres then cross referencing it with your opponent’s? No, of course not. You want be snapping necks and cashing cheques! X-Wing uses an innovative manoeuvre dial system so your opponent’s move is a secret to you and your’s are to him. They’re then revealed in order of who has the best piloting skill. I highly recommend picking up the core set. It is futile to resist.

1. Netrunner

Yes yes I know it’s a card game but I still think it counts. Netrunner has exceeded all expectations I had. Also published by FFG, it will have you pulling your best poker face all game. It’s an LCG (living card game) not a CCG (collectible card game) like Magic: The Gathering. Which means you won’t be spending lots of money trying to find that illusive rare. You can just find the card you want from the expansion it’s in.

I very much consider this game a combo of risk management and high-powered bluffing. If you read easier than a Beatrix Potter book then it’s time to get practicing, as you’ll have nowhere to hide. One player represents the “runner”, a cyberpunk hacker who wants to show the corporation as the dirty, lying, stealing thugs they are, while taking a few credits for themselves along the way. The other player represents the aforementioned dirty, lying, stealing “corporation”, trying to secretly score “agenda” points.

This, to me, is the best card game on the market and I can’t get enough of it. You can pick up the core set for around £30. Well worth it in my opinion. I have two! I wanted three of each card – I know, I know, WHAT A NERD!

Well that’s my top three 2-player board games, though none of them really uses a board. Oh well they are all awesome anyhow. X-Wing and the Netrunner core game can both be picked up from Element Games.

See ya soon, cockers!

Gary

What are your top three 2-player games?