Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Monday, September 14, 2009

Go "vote" on the À La Carte card game award

I've always enjoyed reading through the results of the best card game award given in Germany, the À La Carte. Kind of like the Spiel des Jahres or International Gamers Awards, this award is given by an editorial board. However, this year they've opened up an online poll--not to decide or change the outcome of the award, just as a fun check between what the game-buying public thinks is the best game, compared to that editorial board thinks.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Gamewright euros (and testing Twitterfeed)

Gamewright is mostly known for mass market kids' games that are notably better than what you usually find on the shelf at Toys R Us or Target. They also do an amazing job at sneaking a little educational value into some of the titles (often math), while others are just silly fun.
Another sneaky move they pull off is bring eurogames by award-winning designers to America by skillful retheming of the games. That's how we got Turn the Tide (aka Zum Kuckuck by Stefan Dorra/FX Schmid), Loot (aka Pirat by Reiner Knizia/Amigo), and Ka-Ching (aka Combit by Palesch & Rösner/Winning Moves). That's fantastic! Our only quibble might be that they keep the designers of these games almost a secret, putting their credit in small print at the end of the rules, and on the back of the box.

I just received a batch of new & old Gamewright games, many of which I hope to try soon and discuss along with previously played Gamewright titles in an upcoming podcast. While reading the rules to one, I thought how the mechanics sounded similar to Circus Flohcati or Cheeky Monkey. Sure enough, I looked hard and found it was designed by Knizia. Another one is an American version of the newest game in the Schmidt Spiele EasyPlay line.

Has someone made a Geeklist of these clandestine eurogames brought over by Gamewright? I didn't find one.

(With this post I'm also testing my new Twitterfeed linkage. Could be the best of both worlds if I can do a "full" blog post here and have it picked up on twitter.)