Kickstarter Weekly - May 13, 2013

This week we're starting off with a Kickstarter Weekly! So let's get rolling! The fine folks at Game Salute/Springboard are currently running two campaigns right now:

Alien FrontiersAlien Frontiers 4th edition - This edition of the Kickstarter classic is being packed out with new game components, some new promo cards, and a new double-sided game board! $50 gets you a copy of the game and some cool promo goodies! Check out the campaign here!




epic death boxEpic Death! - In this card game players control a party of adventurers seeking the glory of battle and attempting to achieve the most "Epic Death" to create a great legend for themselves. Of course, their opponents are trying to kill them off in the lamest way possible. The campaign funded in just one day, so you can bet they're gonna smash some stretch goals! You can score a copy of the game for a pledge of $35, and secure yourself all of the stretch promos as well!  Check it out here!

stgorytellerStoryteller Cards - Buttonshy

As we said in our last Kickstarter Weekly piece, Jason Tagmire of Buttonshy has launched the first campaign under the Buttonshy brand. Storyteller Cards are a creative tool for writers, teachers, game masters, game designers, etc. If you're looking for a cool tool to get your creative juices flowin,g this is it! The campaign is halfway funded and it only takes $10 to get yourself a deck of the cards! You'll find all the details here!

Going Once...

Francis DrakeFrancis Drake - Eagle Games The campaign for Francis Drake has been a smashing success and is going to fund! There is still time to jump in on this one but it closes this evening! $59 scores you a copy of the game and helps them hit another stretch goal before the clock runs out! Check it out here!

Thanks so much for reading! Don't forget to tell your friends about us by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and Instagram as well as subscribing over on the right!

Kickstarter Weekly—May 4, 2013

It's another Saturday edition of Kickstarter Weekly! This week we feature white whales, a new iteration of LARPing, and some railway dice rolling fun. All that and much more, so let's get started! The RatRace Board Game - Innov8Seven Design


RatRace is an interesting take on a board game. In a sense it's a type of LARP game. The game board is a calendar, and the events you face in life become allies or foes you defeat. Twenty British pounds will get you a copy delivered to your door. Find out more here.


Moby Dick, or, the Card Game - King Post Productions

Moby Dick - Example of the three different decks used for the game.

Great literature translated into a game? Apparently so! Moby Dick is a card game for up to 4 players. Players are embarking on the epic voyage to find the elusive white whale. You can get in on this campaign for $30, which will score you a physical copy of the game and a print-and-play pre-release version. Check out the details here.

Canterbury - Quixotic Games

Canterbury - Tons of game bits included with the game!

Canterbury, is a civilization building board game. Players take turns building different structures in the medieval town of Canterbury. Each structure supplies different needs to the town, and scores points.  The game looks cool, but it's a little pricey, with a $60 price point to get a copy of the game. But you will get your name on the box at that pledge level as well! Check out the campaign here.

Railways Express - Gryphon and Eagle Games

Railways Express - Prototype map and tile pieces

An express, dice rolling version of Gryphon and Eagle Games' Railways of the World board game. The game feature lots of dice-rolling, and tile-laying as up to four players compete to finish their railway routes. The game play looks fun and fast. You can still get in on a few remaining early bird pledges for $38 after that it will cost you $40 for a copy including free shipping. The details lie on the other side of this link.


fox and chickenFox & Chicken - Michael Fox A few weeks ago we told you about Michael Fox's Werewolf interpretation, Fox & Chicken. The campaign closed this week and it is fully funded and all of the stretch goals were unlocked! Congrats, Michael! Check it all out here!


Coming soon!

Buttonshy's upcoming Kickstarter

Storyteller Cards - Buttonshy

Jason Tagmire of Pixel Lincoln fame is launching his first product under the Button Shy brand. Look for the Storyteller Cards project to launch on Kickstarter May 5th.

Thanks for checking in with us this weekend! Are you backing any of these projects? We'd love to hear which ones, and why!  And don't forget to look for us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram! Have a great weekend everyone!

What You Missed...

MeThanks for joining us on another grand week here at Theology Of Games. Here's what you might have missed. After playing the DC Deck-Building game with Son The Elder, I wondered if anyone out there let their kids win. We got some great responses!

Then we brought you the news that the 4x game Eclipse is out on the iPad!

We interviewed Arctic Scavengers designer Kyle Gabhart.

The we had a Double Double-Take Review, of the cute games Pick-A-Pig and Pick-A-Dog.

And finally, Firestone took a look at the trick-taking game Little Devils.

That's it for this week. Stay tuned for more fun next week! (And we'll have a big Kickstarter Weekly tomorrow. Don't miss it!)

Pick-a-Pig/Pick-a-Dog—A Double-Double-Take Review!

pigYes, you have arrived at TheologyofGames,com; no, we haven't changed to a livestock or 4-H blog. Today we're giving you our thoughts on a nifty set of sister games from Gryphon Games called Pick-a-Pig and Pick-a-Dog. Each of these games is identical—with one significant distinction: one features a pig on each card, and the other... wait for it...a dog!


  • 96 - Square playing cards featuring the animal species of that particular game. (i.e. pig, or dog)
  • The rules
  • Yep that's it!


Deal each player one card (which is called their Captain Card) and then deal out a 5 x 6 grid of cards, face up. Put the rest of the cards aside.

(left) Mr. C getting off to a good start. (right) Mr. X checking his cards after a round.


On the word "Go!" each player tries to find a card matching their Captain Card, or a card that has only one attribute that is different from their Captain Card. If they find such a card, they grab it and stack it face up on top of their Captain Card, and then search for a card that matches—or only bears one difference from the new top card of their stack. This is not done in turn: Players are reaching for cards, throwing elbows, flicking the backs of others' hands, etc. trying to make a mad grab for their cards all at once. Once a player has determined that they can no longer legally grab a card, they slam their hand down and yell "STOP!" Everyone double-checks to see if the player who yelled stop was correct; if they were, they get to add an extra card from the grid to their pile. If they jumped the gun, they discard all the cards they gathered that round.

Then all the players lay their cards out in order to check that they made no errors; if they didn't make mistakes, they keep all of their cards (which count for 1 point at the end of the game); if they made even one error, they lose all of those cards.

Then each player is dealt a new Captain Card, the grid is refilled, and a new round begins. The game is over when there are not enough cards to refill the grid (usually after about 3 rounds). The cards are counted and the player with the most wins!

Image from BGG user KrisVanbeeck

Here are the differences on the cards:

  • Size of the animal (big/small)
  • Number of arms (one/two)
  • Color of the animal (brown/pinkish)
  • Wearing sunglasses/Not wearing sunglasses
  • Holding popcorn/Not holding popcorn

A single set of either game supports 2-5 players, and adding the two sets together will allow you to play up to 8 players, and also allows for an additional one difference: the animal species itself!


      • Kids/Families? Absolutely! The game plays fast, and is easy to learn!
      • Veteran Gamers? Probably not! It's a fast filler, but just not very deep. So leave this one home and play with the family.
      • Party Game? Probably! Again easy to learn, and brings out a little competitive edge in folks.
      • Youth Groups? Yep! The narrower the age gap, the more competitive it gets. You could totally run a tournament around this game, because of the speed in which it plays!

The Firestone boys scrambling for cards!

The Verdict

Jeremiah—First off, I really like this game, but I probably won't bring it out at a game night. My kids and family love it and we have lots of fun with it, but it's just not a "Daddy's game night" sort of game.

Firestone—Yeah, there's no reason to ever bring this to game night with my regular group. But that's fine; it's not aimed at that audience.

Jeremiah—It's designed for ages 8+. My oldest will be 7 in a month, and he does well with it. Our youngest is almost 5 and he doesn't do so well with it.

Firestone—Yeah, our 5-year-old was on my "team" and he kept grabbing the absolute wrong cards...the little stinker. But he'll be ready for this in a couple of years.

My wife seemed to enjoy this one, too. It might be because she and her Type-A personality CUH-RUSHED us. Any game my wife likes is a win in my eyes.

Jeremiah— We've had the game only a few weeks and the boys love it; we've brought it out to play with the grandparents and friends. We've combined the games and played with 7 players—it's sheer pandemonium! Lots of vicious competition, and good clean fun!

Firestone—My one complaint is that—as someone who's color blind—I had a little trouble telling the color difference between the cards. In fact, the difference was so subtle to me that we played two rounds before I even remembered that was a thing... Once I was intentional about it, I could tell the difference—I just had to try harder to see that difference. Not a big deal at all, but it's there.

Jeremiah Final Thoughts— Pick-a-Pig, Pick-a-Dog is a great set of family games that you can play when you may not have a lot of time. Pick it up; this is a no-brainer! It plays fast, it's competitive, and you can teach new gamers how to play in about 90 seconds. The more we play it, the better we get at it, and the more fun it becomes!

Firestone Final Thoughts—The MSRP on these is a mere $10—who can argue with that price-point? It's a great, cheap family game that plays in 10 minutes...and I'm just awful at it.

Thanks for reading!

Reverse Charades—A Double Take Review

Reverse Charades box Ugh. Do we really need another charades game?

Yes. Yes we do.

Reverse charades is like reverse. Instead of one person trying to get multiple people to guess a word or phrase, Reverse Charades is multiple people trying to get one person to guess a word or phrase. And it's a ton of fun.


  • 1 timer
  • 360 double-sided cards
  • 1  set of rules—the easiest, simplest rules card we've seen in a long time.



Players are divided into teams of at least 3 or more players. When it's a team's turn they choose someone to be the lone guesser and the rest of the entire team takes the stage! The other team then holds the cards and reveals one at a time so only the actors can see them, and then the zaniness commences! The team of actors has to act out as many of the clues as they can, scoring a point for each card they get the guesser to correctly guess. The one strict rule in the game is that you can not make a sound, you can't mouth words to another actor, or to the guesser. But you are certainly allowed to use objects, and people as objects, to get the guesser to shout out the word(s) on the card!

Play continues until a point goal is reached, or until everyone is laughing too hard and can't go on any further!

Recommendations -

  • Parties/large gathering
  • Youth events
  • Team-building exercises

photo (1)

Jeremiah—We really enjoyed playing this game; we had some teenagers over and I busted it out—what a hoot! It takes about 45 seconds to explain, and we had some great laughs.

Firestone—I played it with our adult small group from church—4 vs. 4, Guys vs. Girls. When I told them the premise, they were interested. When we got done playing, they wanted to know where they could buy their own copies...

Jeremiah—If there's one downside to the game it's that it requires a larger group (at least 6 people or more) to get a game going. And that's not much of a downside, it's just the nature of how the game works. Anything less and it's just plain old Charades.

Firestone—My one complaint is that the two sides of the cards are identical. They should at least be different colors so we can easily track which words we've run through. I can't believe no one thought of that. It's my only complaint, and I can just put used ones upside-down. But come on, guys! :)

Jeremiah—I love that there are a ton of words/cards included, I'm very interested in checking out the expansions. (Especially the holiday edition! I think this would be a great game for a Christmas party!) I will say that the best and most fun clues were ones that required a team effort. Things like clothesline, assembly line, etc.

FirestoneYeah, some of the words didn't lend themselves well to the group doing anything together ("Moustache," for instance). It was much funnier when the words did, and the majority of the words were that way. I fear I will never be able to wipe clean the mental image of the guys acting out "Baby Powder"... *shudder*

Jeremiah—The concept is such a simple twist on (what I feel is) something that is kind of worn out. But that twist makes it about a million times more fun than the original. We found that folks who wouldn't normally feel comfortable playing charades in a traditional format—getting up by themselves and feeling singled out—jumped right up when there were other victims involved in the public ridicule!

Firestone—Being alone up there giving clues can be terrifying. Being in a group somehow makes it way easier. One of the quietest people in the group dove right in and was hamming it up.

Jeremiah Final Thoughts - We had a TON of fun playing this game! It definitely takes a party atmosphere to get it going; it's not your typical Board Game Night type of game. This is a top-notch party game, a very well done spin on something that has been public domain for some time. Reverse Charades will be a part of my party game collection and find its way out to many parties and large gatherings!

Firestone Final Thoughts—This is definitely going to every party with me for the foreseeable future. Everyone had a blast, and we laughed A LOT. If you're sick of Apples To Apples and Scattergories, give Reverse Charades a try; you won't be disappointed—unless you're at the bottom of "Dog Pile." Ouch!

Thanks to Gryphon Games for providing review copies; this in no way affected our opinions on the game.

Thanks to you for reading!

I'm The Boss: The Card Game—A Double-Take Review

bosscoverUsually, we here at TOG agree on games. There are some games, after all, that are just good, solid games and there is nothing to disagree about—and things are nice and civil here on the blog and it's all "Hey, you're right, I love that about this game!" and "Oh yeah, I totally agree with you about that!" Well...not today, folks. We received copies of I'm the Boss: The Card Game from Gryphon Games to review. And let's just say, there's a bit of a difference of opinion.

Before we go any further here's the run down of the game:


  • 96 deal cards in three colors
  • 3 "X" cards
  • 6 multi-colored "wild" Piece Of The Action (POTA) cards
  • 1 Boss and 2 Cousin tokens
  • 12 double-sided "I'm In/Pass" disks
  • 1 "2X" disk
  • 90 money cards
  • Rulebook


The game length is a set amount of rounds, depending on the number of players. Each player takes turns being the boss; they will either be the boss once, or twice—again, depending on the number of players.

The Deal—Once players have been dealt their cards (8-10 depending on the number of players), and been given two "I'm In/Pass" tokens, the boss starts the deal by playing a card. The color (1 of 3) of that card played is now the color of the deal, and all cards played during this deal must be of that same color. Once the deal is started play continues around the table.

Player turn—On their turn a player may choose two different actions: 1) play a card, or 2) pass. If they choose to pass they do so by turning over one of their "I'm In" tokens to the "Pass" side; once they have turned over both of their tokens to the Pass side, they are out of the deal, and can no longer play cards, or have cards played on them. Here are their options should they choose to play a card.

  • Dollar value cards—Playing these cards will affect the value of the deal; there are both positive and negative values on these cards. If you're not in the deal, you may want to throw negative cards in to the mix to stop folks from making a ton of money while you're left with nothing.
  • Piece of the Action cards—This card gives you just that: a piece of the action. This is how you get in the deal if you are not the Boss or a Cousin (we'll explain Cousins in a minute). One thing to clarify though: It does not divide the deal further; it is actually a multiplier. For each Piece Of the Action card in front of a player they either receive or pay the final value of the deal multiplied by the number of Piece Of the Action cards AND add another for being the Boss or a Cousin. These cards do not have to be played in front of you; you can play them on any player at the table (as long as they haven't passed twice this deal). It's the perfect way to help out an ally, or destroy an enemy when the deal is in the negative!
  • Reverse cards—These cards reverse the value of the deal for the player who has it played front of them. Say it's a huge deal; well maybe you'll toss a reverse value on the person next to you—or if the deal is way in the red, you can salvage it for yourself and leave the rest of the players holding the bag. You can also save yourself from a reverse card with another reverse. Having an odd number of these cards in front of a player means the value is opposite of the deal as it stands; having an even number means you're in at face value.
  • Move cards—These cards have a value printed on them from 1-3. They allow you to move cards either a) from the deal to the discard pile, b) from in front of you to another player or the discard pile, or c) from another player to in front of you or to the discard pile. They're a great way to steal someone's Piece Of the Action, or get rid of a negative card in the deal, etc.

bosscomponentsThe Boss has one more power each round: He or she gets to select who their cousins are by handing them a Cousin token. (The selection of cousins is negotiable; you can bribe, coax, and lie your way into getting that cousin token!) Players who are either the Boss or a Cousin will be getting a piece of the action. The Boss doesn't have to give it to anyone, but won't get anything extra for not handing it out. And the same person can't get both Cousin tokens.

Once all the players have passed twice (these passes don't have to be both in a row, you can pass on one turn and jump back in and play a card on the next), the deal ends and players get cash according to their Boss/Cousin status and how many pieces of the action they're getting.

One important thing to note is that as the game progresses, the payout will scale from 2x to 5x. After all the rounds have been played players count up their cash and the richest one wins!

Jeremiah—I've probably played this games at least a half a dozen times over the past month. The game is sometimes luck (depending on your hand, and the color of the current deal), but at all times it is about outsmarting, and outbluffing the other players at the table.

Firestone—I've only played this with gamers. At first I thought it might be a light negotiation game I could bring out with nongamers/casual gamers, but it's just too clunky for that, I think.

Jeremiah—It is true that there may be deals you can't impact very well, or much at all due to lack of cards. I always look at those times as opportunities to bluff my way into a cousin token, pass twice to get out, and make a new enemy. That's what I enjoy about this game: Sometimes it has everything to do with how you play the cards in your hand. Others it has everything to do with how you play the cards that aren't in your hand.

Firestone—The luck of the draw is what ultimately killed this for me. We played with 5, so there were only five rounds. The way the payouts scale (from a start of 2x up to 5x), you'd better hope you're in a good later round, because if it's a positive payout x5, and you're not involved, welcome to to not-first-place. Unfortunately, with three suits there will likely be rounds you're completely out of because you don't have any of that suit. (This happened multiple times to multiple people.) Sure, you can try to bluff your way into a Cousin token. But with nothing to contribute, that's tough. Plus, what if it's a negative payout? You have no way to change your circumstance. Just sitting there with nothing to do for one (or more) of the only five rounds was lame.

Jeremiah—The components are well made, definitely no complaints there. Of course I always would prefer room in the box to sleeve the cards though.

Firestone—I agree on this point! The components are high quality—the tokens and disks are chunky and the cards have a nice linen finish on them.

Jeremiah—There's just a warm spot in my heart for games like this, that cause good friends to have overly suspicious staring matches, and make idle threats. I've literally caught myself, in full out good fellas mode saying things like "If you make me your cousin, I won't be your enemy," to a very good friend of mine—and I meant it!

Firestone—That threat only works if I can back it up. Depending on the cards, I might not be able to...

Firestone Final Thoughts—This game was just too swingy for me. Also, the Move 3 card just shouldn't exist: that thing is way, WAY too powerful. I wanted to like this; I've liked all of the other games in Gryphon's Bookshelf series that I've played. This one just fell completely flat for me. But I'm glad Jeremiah likes it so much!

Jeremiah Final Thoughts—I've played this game with my veteran gamer friends, and the casual gamers alike, and we've all had a great time, many laughs, and more than a few icy stares thrown in one direction or another. While card management can be tedious from time to time, the over-arching mechanic is to be devious and outsmart the other players, not the game. And that I appreciate. I've won the game a few times, and I've lost a few (mostly because I was wrapped up in trying to tank other players and forgot to take care of myself) but every time I've had fun.

Well there you have it, folks. PROOF that we don't have identical taste in games. Which one of us do you agree with? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Why, You 'Cheeky Monkey'—A Double Take Review

IMG_0867 We know how much you all love to hear the thoughts we both have on games, so here we go with another Double-Take Review! This week's lucky contestant is Reiner Knizia's Cheeky Monkey, from Eagle and Gryphon Games.


  • 1 very adorable and VERY soft plush monkey (who is a double leg amputee and has had his abdominal cavity hollowed out in some sort of freak accident). This acts as the bag, from which you'll be drawing chips.
  • 52 white plastic poker chip tokens
  • 1 sheet of animal stickers, which you'll place on those poker chips.
  • 7 bonus tiles, which are large cardboard disks with animals (and the number of bonus VPs they're worth) on one side, and facts about the animal and its habitat on the other.

IMG_0864Gameplay—Players simply take turns pulling tokens out of the abdominal cavity of the plush monkey, and placing the tokens in front of them. If a player draws a token that matches the top animal of any player's stack, they get to capture that token as well and place it in front of them. If they draw a duplicate to one they've already pulled that turn, they lose everything they've gained that turn. If they decide to stop after drawing any number of tokens, they keep those tokens and place them in a single stack in any order they choose. Then play continues to the next player.

Going Cheeky—If a player draws a Monkey token, they can choose to "go cheeky" and take the topmost token of any player's stack—exchanging the Monkey token for the chosen one.

The game is over when the last token has been drawn and stacked. The tokens are sorted by type, and each bonus token is awarded to the player with the most tokens of that type. Each regular token is worth 1 point, and the bonus tokens are worth their face value. The scores are totaled up and the highest score wins.

The exuberant 5-year-old shakes the monkey...

The rules have several scaled-down variations to help younger players learn and play the game—such as using no bonus tokens, or not being able to go cheeky. This is a nice way to get younger kids into the game, and then gradually introduce a new rule or two in subsequent games. (And there will be subsequent games...)

Jeremiah—When the package containing this game arrived and I pulled it out, my boys immediately wanted to play! The monkey "container" is cute and soft and looks great sitting on the shelf in my nerd room.

Firestone—That's exactly what happened here, too. "Dad! Dad! What is that? It's a GAME?! Can we play?"

Jeremiah—The downside of the components is the stickers! I was totally okay with having to put the animal stickers on the tokens; the problem was they didn't come off of the paper cleanly or easily. So it took forever trying to peel the perfect circle of paper off of the back of the stickers.

Firestone—I have never felt as uncoordinated as when I tried getting those stickers off the sheet. It was like Andre the Giant trying to thread a needle while wearing mittens... But once I got the stickers off, they went on great, and I haven't had any problems with them peeling.

Jeremiah—The game is pretty fun and has lots of teachable moments for younger kids. My youngest often gets very upset when someone takes his favorite animal from the top of his stack (which is often whatever animal is on the top of his stack!). So there are lots of "being gracious" and "good sport" talks that happen around that aspect of the game. Despite that, my boys both LOVE the game and think it's really fun.

Firestone—My teachable moments involve learning when to press your luck, and when not to. "Son, you have all but one of the animals already on this turn. The chances of you drawing an elephant are slim..." He, of course, draws an elephant and I realize they haven't learned A THING!

Jeremiah—The length of the game makes it the perfect kids filler game. Or the "we don't have time to setup/play anything else right now" game, but they're not getting cheated out of playing a great game. It just happens to be shorter, for those nights when bedtime is eminent.

Firestone—We (try to) have Family Game Night every Monday, but sometimes the evening gets away from us and we realize it's nearly bedtime. Cheeky Monkey is the perfect length for a quick game—though if the kids are really pressing their luck, sometimes the game can get "stuck" for a little while.

This game gets a solid 7 from me—a great game that the kids love to play. The monkey bag gets a perfect 10, though. Overproduced, unnecessary, and completely wonderful.

Jeremiah - It may be hard to think that a game this simple has even simpler rules, but those scaled down rules made it super easy to teach my 4-year old the game. I told them when we started that there were other rules and when we finished the first game they immediately wanted to know the rest of the rules. When I explained the "Going Cheeky" rule, they both grinned ear-to-ear and my 4-year old exclaimed, "If I get a monkey, I'm going to go cheeky!"

I'm giving it a bump up to a 7.5—my boys really like this one...a lot. It's totally a kids game that will never see the light of day with my gaming friends. And in the category of inexplicably disfigured but amazingly cute and cuddly plush animal containers, it scores an 11!

We'd like to thank Gryphon Games for providing a review copy of Cheeky Monkey, and you for reading! We would LOVE it if you liked us on FaceBook, and followed us on Twitter!

Wizard's Brew—Kickstarter Weekly

wizardcoverThis week's featured game is actually a reboot of an older one: Das Amulett, an out-of-print 2001 game from designers Alan R. Moon and Aaron Weissblum. It was on the short list for Spiel des Jahres that year, but lost out to Carcassonne. Gryphon and Eagle Games have launched a Kickstarter for Wizard's Brew, a new version of Das Amulett, with a few small differences and improvements. They passed their $10,000 goal just this morning, so it will be funded in 18 days—and this will be a limited edition that will include a small expansion and promos only available through the Kickstarter campaign. Some of the stretch goals include component upgrades and even more expansion spell cards. The game looks to combine resource management, auctions, and player interaction into a meaty filler that plays in around an hour. Check out the campaign for yourself, and as always, thanks for reading!