Who's The Boss? A Single-Take Review of The Boss

Who's The Boss? A Single-Take Review of The Boss

Don't worry, Tony Danza isn't lurking around the corner of this review. Today Jeremiah's taking a look at The Boss, from Blue Orange Games. The Boss is a bluffing and hidden-information game for 2-4 players. Players are gangsters looking for their shot to move up the ranks by making hits on cities across the country. 

So is the Boss a made man, or does he wear cement shoes? Let's check it out!

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That's How I Roll - Episode 44 - Aura, and Commitment

That's How I Roll - Episode 44 - Aura, and Commitment

It's episode 44 of That's How I Roll
Today Jeremiah hits all your favorite segments:

What's Good in the Neighborhood:
Jeremiah teases two really big things coming down the line!

Drive-By Review
Aura from Breaking Games
2-4 Players, 30 min. playing time, 8 Yrs. and up!

Corner of Thought and Conversation
2 Legitimate Questions about the games we play and the lives we live:
1 - What are you favorite "legacy" games?

2 - What does commitment require?

And the Feedback Loop is back! Get yourself featured in this segment next week by writing in at TheologyofGames@gmail.com or on Twitter @TheologyofGames!

Produced by Jeremiah Isley

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Kickstarter Weekly - March 13, 2015

Kickstarter Weekly - March 13, 2015

Featured Campaign!

Far Space Foundry - Justin Shaffer/Terra Nova Games

Far Space Foundry is a strategic board game for up to four players with a solo version thrown in there as well! You'll be snagging resources from asteroids, refining them and then manufacturing goods. Far Space Foundry is designed by Dan Manfredini and looks like a really slick -and nice to look at- Euro, they're well on their way to funding and have some nice stretch goals in place as well. This is definitely worth a look!

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Breaking News: New Doubleclicks, and Fluxx!

Breaking News: New Doubleclicks, and Fluxx!

Well, things have been a little, ok a lot crazy around here for the past few weeks. I (Jeremiah) had an emergency appendectomy, and spent the better part of about 7-10 on the couch -I don't really remember how long it was... And Scott has spent the last several days out of town. But amidst all of the craziness, we got a spiffy little email from our friends over at Looney Labs sharing with us some cool news!

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Kickstarter Weekly - August 28, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly - August 28, 2014

Here we are, just rolling through the month of August. GenCon is over, kids are going back to school, football season is quickly upon us, and this all means that fall is on its way. That means cold temps and the perfect weather to stay inside and play board games with friends and family! Here's a look at games that want to be on your tables in the months to come...

Let's jump in!

Let's jump in!

Featured Campaign

Clockwork Kingdom - Mr. B Games

Mr. B continues their march of big box games, having successfully funded Spurs, and Alien Uprising and getting them to market. Clockwork Kingdom is a worker placement game -which is unique to titles previously released by Mr. B, it's also set in a pretty sweet looking steampunk land as players attempt to become the next ruler of the Clockwork Kingdom. Mr. B has a great track record of delivering games as promised, and so far they've been well worth the investment! Be sure to check this one out!

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Kickstarter Weekly - August 21, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly - August 21, 2014

Well, the GenCon dust is settling, and we're working on bringing you a recap of all things GenCon-ish. In the meantime let's take a quick look at some awesome campaigns that have been launched during/around the time of the biggest Con in North America!

Featured Campaign!


Dead Men Tell No Tales - Minion Games

Well it's no surprise that a pirate game made its way onto Kickstarter, and subsequently into our little Kickstarter roundup... But what you will find surprising about this one, is that it's not all about being a cutthroat, swashbuckler trying to hijack your opponents and sink their ships and all that usual pirate fare you'll see in a pirate game. Dead Men Tell No Tales is a co-op game in which players team up to steal treasure from a besieged ship that is on fire. It's a fun and unique spin on both the pirate, and co-op genre, and definitely worth taking a look!

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Kickstarter Weekly - August 1, 2014

Kickstarter Weekly - August 1, 2014

It's hard to believe that July has already come and gone. And the arrival of August means the imminent approach of the flagship event in gaming: GenCon! But before we turn our sights towards this gigantic gathering of gamers, there are a TON of great campaigns on Kickstarter looking to make a place into your game collection! Let's do this!

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When Was the Last Time....?

When Was the Last Time....?

The gaming world appears -at least from an "outsiders" point of view- to revolve around a select few titles. You know the ones we're talking about, the "gateway" games, for the sake of conversation, let's say they are:

  1. Settlers of Catan
  2. Carcassone
  3. Ticket to Ride
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2013 Holiday Gift Guide—Party Games

Well, here we go again with our 2013 edition of the Holiday Gift Guide. So let's get this PARTY started with Party Games! These are the games you'll grab when you've got a room full of friends over and someone says, "Let's Play Apples To Apples!" Once you kick that dork out of your house, you can pull out one of these fun games...

AvalonThe Resistance: Avalon—Yes, The Resistance was on last year's list, too. But that's because it's not just the best large-group game out there, IT'S THE BEST GAME OUT THERE, PERIOD. It's a hidden-role game, where some people are loyal knights of King Arthur, and some are secretly siding with the forces of Mordred. This one includes specific roles with special powers, and new ways to play. And this will work for as many as 10 people—I'm not sure it's good with that number, but it does go up to that number. Longtime readers are sick of us talking about how great this game is, but it's ridiculously fun.

MSRP: $20 (Find it online)

Ages: Probably 14 and up

Review: http://wp.me/p2hTk7-mI

Reverse Charades boxReverse Charades—If you like your party games a little more traditional, then Reverse Charades is the game for you! Players form teams, and instead of one player trying to get his/her team to guess the answer to what they are acting out, the entire team acts out clues while one player attempts to guess the correct answers. This one is lots of fun, and great for any social gathering! Every time we play this I end up with a headache from laughing so much! And a year later, the folks who played it still bring up the image of my friend Joe acting out Baby Powder... *shudder*

MSRP: $20 (Find it online)

Ages: Probably 10 and up. There are other editions, including a Junior one with easier clues.

Review: http://wp.me/p2hTk7-Dt

ChooseOne-3DChoose One—A simple party game from the folks who brought us Fluxx, Choose One is great for both old friends, and as an icebreaker for folks who’ve just met. A new spin on the classic “Would You Rather” type games, Choose One gives two hypothetical options to a different player each round. The rest of the players then vote on which option the current player chose. The current player reveals their choice, and points are awarded depending on who answered correctly and who didn’t. Look for a review from us soon!

MSRP: $30 (Find it online)

Ages: 14 and up, according to the box.

Review: Coming Soon

Two RoomsTwo Rooms and a Boom—This one isn't out yet, but you can print-and-play the game until it does come out, so there's no excuse. (Even if you don't want to, you could pay to have Kinko's print it out for you.) The more people the better, here. The idea is that there's a President, and a Bomber, and after a certain number of rounds, the Bomber wants to be in the same room as the President, and the President doesn't want to be in the same room as the Bomber. Their respective teams are trying to manipulate things so their team's goal is in place at the end of the game. There are a TON of roles in the game, and when you get ~15 or more people playing, it's just an amazing experience.

MSRP: Not sure since it's not out yet—probably ~$20-$25.

Ages: They say 8 and up, though that seems young to us.

TimeTime's Up: Deluxe—Yeah, this was also on last year's list, but I (Firestone) played this again last night, and it is SO. MUCH. FUN! We play in teams, and everyone is given the same 40 names of famous people. You play in three rounds: In the first one you can use words and actions and sounds and pretty much whatever to get your team to guess the name. In the second round you're all playing with the same exact words, but this time you can only use one word (but still actions and sounds). And finally, in the third round, again using the same batch of words, you can only use actions and sounds.

Cost: $30 (Find it online)

Ages: Adults (I don't think this would be a good game for teenagers—too many names they've never heard of.)

PtD-coverThe Princess Bride: Prepare to Die! If you're like us, most of your friends and relatives want to play Apples to Apples… again… And we… well, don’t. Prepare to Die is the perfect solution to give your friends the experience they want, while diffusing your urges to rage quit because you once again got the oh so clever “Paris, France” card to play… (Yawn). Prepare to Die is mechanically the same: One player reads a card, “Hello my name is… [Fill in the blank]” and the rest of the players play a “You (Blanked) my (Blank), Prepare to Die!” card. The major difference being the pop/geek culture references in Prepare to Die! are much more interesting and entertaining. Again, this one is a great game for fun light-hearted social gatherings, and who doesn’t LOVE the Princess Bride!?

MSRP: $25 (Find it online)

Ages: 8 and up. But younger players may not get all the references

Preview: http://wp.me/p2hTk7-GB

Well there you have it! Are there any we left off? Any that shouldn't be there? Have a great Thanksgiving, and we'll see you after the holiday. Play some games with people you love!


Jeremy Hogan, Designer of Dreaming Spires—An Interview

2ac599ee11cdd627edef44f93c13be47_largeToday we’re joined by designer Jeremy Hogan, whose most recent game, “Dreaming Spires,” is being Kickstarted right now via Game Salute.

Jeremy, thanks for joining us. First of all, would you take a second and introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, I’m Jeremy, I’m a game designer living in London, UK. I work as a designer in the video game industry and make board games the rest of the time!

Can you tell us a little bit about The Secret Games Company?

The Secret Games Company is a group of people in London, and further afield, who love to make games around our other, better-paid jobs! We set it up to release our two games,; one is Dreaming Spires, and the other is Rise, which is a board game-inspired video game that will be ready next year.

So, Dreaming Spires, an old school game… And by “old school” we’re, of course, talking about Oxford… Where did you get the idea to theme a game around Oxford?

I studied at Oxford, and while I was there I kept hearing these amazing stories from its history. It’s so old—900 years—that it has seen so much of English history and produced some extraordinary people along the way. When I was sitting down to begin a new game project, I decided I wanted to do something with a really strong theme and a lot of research and writing in it, as I felt this was an area where we could do a good job. Oxford was the obvious choice as I knew a lot about it already, so I looked into it and there has never been a board game about Oxford’s history, so we felt like we’d struck gold!

How would you summarize the game play and “feel” of Dreaming Spires?

Dreaming Spires is a building game using tile placement like Carcassonne, with two card systems layered on top, which allow the player to accrue reputation in different areas, which is then crunched by our innovative scoring system to determine the winner in the end. The Scholar cards allow the players to use a lot of different special abilities, which are based on the person in question. For example, Adam Smith’s is called ‘Wealth of Nations’ and lets the player spend any money coin (1, 2 or 3) to draw two more randomly. The Scholar cards each also have beautiful illustrations and their own quotes on, so they bring a lot of theme. The Event cards have stories on them recounting a famous event from Oxford’s history and initiate a quick auction or other type of activity that the colleges compete in for a reputation boost in an appropriate area.

dreaming spires people

How did you land with Game Salute, and how has the game changed since they’ve come alongside you to get it ready for market?

Game Salute have been really supportive but they have left us to get the game ready and focused their efforts on helping us to promote it and prepare it for production with Panda GM, who are our manufacturers.

So, why tabletop games? And what got you into game design?

I have always been crazy about games. I played a lot of cards with my Grandmother as a kid—she was a real card shark! I also played chess with my Dad and used to start crying as soon as I could see I was going to lose, so he would switch the board round at that point so I could play with his pieces; that cheered me up! My Grandfather and I played Mah Jong with a beautiful old set of his, so all my family have played their part in my ending up as a game designer!

Which type of gamer are you going after with this game? The casual player? The Family Game Night players? The "in-it-up-to-their-eyeballs" heavy player?

As you can probably tell, the game is really thematic. It’s a medium weight with simple systems, so anyone can play and have a good time, but there’s a lot of variety and interesting decisions so seasoned gamers will still be honing their strategy after loads of plays. We have had good reports back from testers at all points on the gaming spectrum!

What's the timeline for release of the game?

We are doing our final pass on the art files now, so we hope to submit them to Panda in the next couple weeks. Then there are a few steps to the production process before the games are put onto boats and shipped to the US and UK. We hope they will arrive in early May next year, but we have said June in our Kickstarter to give ourselves an extra month in case of any delays.

Dreaming spires coverNow that Dreaming Spires will be brought to market, are you working on your next greatest thing? Will we see expansions for Dreaming Spires?

We also have our video game project Rise, which you can check out on our website: www.secretgamecompany.com. As for Dreaming Spires expansions, we have a lot of ideas. We would only do one, but we’d put everything in there including a 2 player variant. It all depends on how well the game does next year; our fingers are firmly crossed!

Ok, the rapid-fire section! We ask the questions; you answer them with one word (or super-short phrase)! And, GO!

Have you ever not "minded the gap"?

I am the gap.

Every time you call someone in the States, do they answer singing "London's Calling"?

It’s more like: “Awww, say that again, you sound so cute! So do you know the queen?”

Favorite Monty Python member?

Michael Palin because he is in Dreaming Spires!

We heard you crashed the Royal Wedding; is that true?

My lawyers have asked me not to comment on an ongoing criminal investigation.

Are you terribly annoyed at the narrow scope of the last four questions?

Not at all, I wish I could answer all interview questions this way!

Jeremy, thanks so much for joining us today, we wish you the best of luck with Dreaming Spires and your further endeavors with The Secret Games Company!

You can find Dreaming Spires on Kickstarter until November 30, 2013.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to subscribe over on the right --->

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