October 2013


Richard Borg isn’t a name you’re going to see in this space very often, but if you’re a fan of tactical two-player war sims like Memoir ’44, Command & Colors or BattleLore (which are all basically the same system), then you are familiar with most of his notable designs. He is also credited with the classic Liar’s Dice back in 1987, so he’s been around the industry for some time. His latest non-war offering is the fantasy trick-taking card game Dragon Whisperer, which was successfully Kickstarted and published by Albino Dragon just recently. READ MORE


Genre 101 is a series that looks at the past and present of a game genre to find lessons about what defines it. In this installment, guest lecturers Lucas White and Eric Albuen give a seminar on the fighter.

Learning from the sensei

Lucas White: 1984’s Karate Champ is the ostensible beginning of one-on-one fighting in video games. The player operates the game entirely with joysticks, and must simply land a hit to score. Karate Champ set the stage for many genre features: multiple techniques or “moves,” two-player competition and palette-swapped karate gis. READ MORE


At first glance, Armored Core looks a lot like a mech-based action game. When you go deeper, you realize it’s more simulation than action, and certainly not comparable to anything else on the market. Grizzled mech fans will find that the Armored Core franchise offers a lot of familiar concepts to go with all of the exclusive mechanics. READ MORE


Ah, the venerable Slime. The Dragon Quest monster is sometimes a mascot and sometimes a foe, but more often than not it’s something to be trampled and overrun with superior force. It’s rare when the happy little blob gets a position of honor or prestige. When it happens, though? It’s called Rocket Slime, and it’s magical. And in Japan, it’s a franchise.


It’s no secret that Telltale knocked it out of the park with last year’s The Walking Dead. What is surprising is that the format works so well when Clementine, everybody’s favorite walking conscience, is removed from the equation. Just like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is based on a series of comic books. This time it’s Fables, and aside from the lovely comic book aesthetic, the two games are completely separate beasts. READ MORE