Features

sbgsnow

The end of the year is a great time to reflect, so we’ll be doing just that. From now until January, we’ll be sharing what we think, both individually and as a group, are the best that 2014 had to offer. If you do need something to pick up, rest assured: we’ll put you on the right path!

Also, in this holiday season of peace and joy, maybe play some fun games with friends? Or settle down at the table with a good unplugged title? Maybe even use our Amazon page to order some things, and give us the gift of being able to pay our hosting bills.

Mostly, though: have a happy holiday! We’ll be back to our normal schedule in January.

sero_castlevania2

Lev Grossman is one of my favorite authors. The first two books in his Magicians trilogy, The Magicians and The Magician King, are right up my alley. They’re Narnia meets Harry Potter with a macabre twist. The series is scary, realistic in its own way and has a protagonist whose voice matches my own at times. It really does feel like it was written for guys just like me; obsessed with fantasy and not exactly sure what to do in life. The third book was released recently, The Magician’s Land, and it, too, was spectacular. Some scenes were so beautifully written that I will never forget them. But something wasn’t quite the same. READ MORE

gnoty2013

We’re human. We don’t always get to every game before the end of its year of release. This is our way of making amends: the best games we missed out on until 2014. Because we can’t go back in time and honor them in a more timely fashion. READ MORE

emergentsgenesis1

Emergents: Genesis is a new deckbuilding game currently finishing up a successful Kickstarter campaign. Designer Anthony Conta took some time out of his schedule to talk to us about the game.

Snackbar Games: To begin, tell us a little about the Emergents Universe.

Anthony Conta: The Emergents Universe is a world where individuals have begun to realize powers that lay dormant within them. As the storyline unfolds, peoples’ powers emerge and they start to become extraordinary. The first emergent, Zeroth, uses his powers to recognize and fend off an alien invasion, with the help of several others he gathers to fight. The others that fight also have powers, and after the battle, the four go on to form a school to teach others These four others — Helios, Moxie, Billy Stopless and The Abyss — were each members of the Genesis Squadron, the first team of Emergents. Thus, we’ve named this game after them: Emergents: Genesis. READ MORE

ngp_toadforza

It’s the end of another packed year of new game releases. Some might consider it a lackluster one (I know I do), but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile at the end of the day. When December rolls around, we don’t often find time to pay attention to any last-minute releases. Sure, some games manage to squeeze in right at the last minute, but they are rarely worth your attention. This year, however, there is one well worth your time, and one that might just fit alongside other, larger releases: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. READ MORE

mfg_portal2_fixes

In the My Favorite Game series, get to know us better as staff writers share the game they love most and why.

I’m a high school teacher, and inevitably, my students learn about my obsession with video games. Without fail, the next question I’m asked is, “what is your favorite game?” I’ll admit, I struggled with this question for a long time. There are so many amazing games that I didn’t think it would be possible to narrow the list down to a singular title. In a lot of ways, this is true, but answering “it’s too hard to choose!” is definitely not satisfactory for high school students. Lately, my answer to this question has finally settled down and become fairly consistent.

My favorite game of all time is Portal 2. READ MORE

multitap2014

December’s when we celebrate the best that 2014 has to offer, and it’s a great time — especially around the holidays — to play some games with friends, so why not combine the two? I’m here to share the top local multiplayer experiences of the year, and I couldn’t do it alone; after all, these games are only great if everyone‘s having fun. So I turned to the experts on how much fun my friends had playing the year’s releases: my friends. READ MORE

acunity_sero

The cynical part of me rears its annoying head once in a while, reminding me video games are a business first and always. The industry has expanded since the NES launched in 1985, bringing us unmatched content for nearly every digital desire we could possibly imagine (within reason, holodecks are yet to come). People have become deservedly rich from creating, distributing and selling games and consoles.

Most of us are willing participants because we feel games are, mostly, a strong product. They can be played as many times as you wish, and many have multiple reasons to return. They can be discussed in great detail, played with others in the same room or even around the world. They are constantly evolving, bringing new ideas, challenges and artistic interpretations straight to our living rooms. They are truly a marvel, and we are lucky to be in a position to play games so often when others are much less fortunate. READ MORE

unplugged_FiveTribes

When you first sit down to a game of Five Tribes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. A grid of 30 tiles, representing five different types of district in the sultanate, each begin with three randomly-assigned colored meeples, representing the titular five tribes. A market of cards representing various goods are laid out to one side, and a selection of djinn on the other. Your mission is to maneuver the meeples to specific tiles to best take advantage of both the tribes and the tiles. Sounds simple, and it is, but it sure doesn’t seem that way when starting out. READ MORE

ngp_acunity

Assassin’s Creed is one of the most inconsistently amazing and frustrating franchises of the past five years. It utilizes immense creativity and takes us on journeys we rarely experience in other games, yet does so covered in the annoyances that seem to coat most triple-A games these days. Needless to say, it’s a mess of a franchise, but one with an unparalleled amount of potential.

READ MORE