Chris Ingersoll

gravwellGR3

How hard can it be to move from point A to point B? A lot of the most basic games out there have this as their sole mechanic: Candy Land, Chutes/Snakes and Ladders, Sorry!, Trouble and many others. It’s not usually a premise we see in modern, European-style board games, although you can still distill a few of them down to this simple challenge, like RoboRally or River Dragons. Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension, the debut design from Corey Young (published by Cryptozoic), asks this in the most straightforward manner yet. All you have to do to win is advance 54 spaces from the center of the board to the end of the single track. Sounds easy enough, right? READ MORE

replugged

Board games are awesome, but they are not without their flaws. The number one flaw, of course, is the fact that you actually have to get together with other people in the same physical location to play them. What is this, the Dark Ages? Note that for the purposes of this article, “the Dark Ages” includes the entirety of mankind’s existence on Earth prior to the mid-1990s.* Although probably only the period after the invention of the first board game counts, which is still a lot when you consider the likes of Go and Chess. READ MORE

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When I first heard that Martin Wallace (The Witches, Ankh-Morpork and other non-Discworld games I haven’t covered) was designing a board game based on Neil Gaiman’s Sherlock Holmes-Lovecraft mash-up short story A Study In Emerald, my response was literallytake my money!” I haven’t even read the story yet, but the concept and talent involved sold me. So how did the actual game version of A Study in Emerald turn out? It’s mixed, honestly, but on the whole a satisfying experience. READ MORE

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At the risk of repeating myself, if you’re a fan of the Professor Layton franchise, you don’t really need to be reading this review. You know what you’re going to find here, and you probably don’t need my recommendation to pick up the sixth and final(?) chapter in the Professor’s puzzling adventures.

If you’re choosing now, of all times, to just get into the series? You might just be picking up the best iteration yet at the worst possible time. READ MORE

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After a couple years of dormancy, Race for the Galaxy has re-emerged with a new expansion, Alien Artifacts. However, unlike most expansions, Alien Artifacts is the beginning of a new arc for Race, incompatible with the previous add-ons. Games played with Alien Artifacts will be played with just it and the original base set, providing a fresh new take on these now-classic cards — and a smaller deck to shuffle, which is always nice. READ MORE

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After much delay, Sentinels of the Multiverse: Vengeance has arrived to Kickstarter backers. Originally planned as a standalone expansion, it has since been re-branded as a “mega expansion” but could still be played on its own if you don’t mind the lack of HP tokens and possibly needing to download the core rulebook. More importantly, what Vengeance brings to the table is an entirely new way of playing Sentinels. READ MORE

huntersnotes7

Hunting is mostly a vicious cycle, a war of escalation between you and your eventual target. Every quest is another battle in that war, but heading into battle without a clear gameplan can make your life harder than it needs to be.

Let’s say that some Rathian armor has caught your attention. You’ve taken down a few of them, but you still don’t have all the parts you need to complete the set. Specifically, you need something called a Rathian Plate to finish the waist-piece. How the heck do you get one of those? Obviously from fighting Rathians, but is there something specific you need to be doing against them? READ MORE

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The latest offering from Stonemaier Games, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, is one of those awkward games that is easier to play than it is to teach. While certainly not intentional, it does accidentally tie into the game’s dystopian theme of knowledge being dangerous and carefully controlled. In fact, despite the game’s solid mechanics, Euphoria‘s theme is probably its most defining and memorable feature. READ MORE

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Hunting solo is a fool’s errand. Sure, early on you don’t have much of a choice, but those aren’t exactly the most dangerous quests either. Fortunately that you won’t be stuck by yourself for very long. Although given the quality of the help you do find, sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference. READ MORE

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In Hunter’s Notes, Chris Ingersoll aims to provide the insight and advice needed to understand the ins and outs of Monster Hunter and become immersed in its world. For more, check out the archive.

Hopefully by now you’ve developed the skills you need to more efficiently take down the large monsters, like learning tells and knowing when to get in hits and when to run away. It’s all down to observation and practice, but there are other skills you can pick up to give you an edge. Have you talked to the Wyverian Blacksmith lately? This diminutive man is an invaluable resource, and really probably the most important member of Moga Village as far as you’re concerned. His ability to turn various monster carves, ores and whatnot into different weapons, armor, and decorations is crucial. Without a decent weapon, you won’t do enough damage, and of course without decent armor you’ll be taking far more damage than you probably want to. But armor has more uses than just being a barrier between you and sudden death. READ MORE