Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Board Games and Hip-Hop

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Two things I love. And two things that, perhaps, some of my readers also love? I sure hope so.

In the Board Game arena, I have recently posted a review of Eminent Domain, which is a neat little game that combines mechanics from some of my favorite games like Race for the Galaxy, Dominion, and Glory to Rome. While not quite as addictive as its cousins, it’s still a very compelling game, and the fact that you have a lot more control over your hand and deck than the aforementioned games means that optimizing gamers will likely appreciate the possibilities.

In the Hip-Hop world, I believe I may have mentioned that Torrentz had released a (free!) new album called The Big Kahuna.* Here’s a pretty neat update: The Big Kahuna recently received an enthusiastically positive review in Wired. Granted, they gloss over my solo song “The Big Cheese”, but at least they mention my guest verse on “I Like Cookies”.

And if you take a venn diagram of the gaming circle and hip-hop circle, the entire chart (but especially the overlap) will appreciate** my latest crazy idea: A boardgame review done in the style of a freestyle rap:

Rappin\’ Reviews: Belfort

The freestyle was easy enough***, but it took forever to take pictures and put together the slideshow, so I’ll probably only do rap reviews occasionally and mostly stick with written reviews. Still, this was pretty fun to make. Also, Belfort is a pretty great game; as I mentioned in the review, everyone at my game night immediately appreciated the high-quality components and great theme, and continued appreciating the compelling mix between worker placement and area control.

Speaking of compelling mixes, I recently wrote a North Adams Mayoral Election Guide for my fair city, where I repeatedly mixed up the letters in each candidate’s name to reveal the truth about them through anagrams. Granted, this may be of less interest to those of you not in the Berkshires, but ANAGRAMS ARE FUN. That’s why I AM ARRANGE SNAFU.

*Which you should download. For free. There’s a link in the review.

**This is, perhaps, over-optimistic. Might appreciate? Will not immediately flee from?

***Notwithstanding the mispronounciations, the time I said “arves and dwelves”, and the few times I started to get off-topic.

In the very merry month of May

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

It’s a shame I was out of town for Spring. See, I’d gone to visit some friends on Friday, and it was suddenly a beautiful Spring day, after many months of winter and then a week of rain. And then when we returned two days later, it was 86 degrees outside and blazing hot summer sun. Basically, the Berkshires only gets a few days of Spring each year, and I’m sorry to have missed them. But no matter; enjoying the month anyway.

So tonight we’re sitting on the couch watching an action-packed movie with various things exploding and heavy gunfire in the middle of what is supposed to be a tense action sequence, and I realize that my partner and I are having a conversation about Spanish etymology.* This is indicative of something, which I had initially suspected might be the lack of acting talent** in the film we were watching, but which I eventually decided was simply the fact that my life is awesome.

Case in point: I’m now officially a Board Game Reviewer for For those of you keeping track, that means I now am a professional reviewer of board games, books, and restaurants. All I have to do is wait for someone to pay me to review my friends, and I will officially be a professional reviewer of everything I love.

Sure, it may not pay very well, but there’s something to be said for job satisfaction. I enjoy having a humor column where I can write about Tolstoy and truth if I feel like it. Or, if I’m feeling sillier, I can write about my propensity to consume questionable food. I’m pretty much living the dream***.

When I was young, I told myself one day I’d be fabulously wealthy and live in a house with a big room filled with food, and a big room filled with games. Well, here I am in a tiny victorian house, but it does have a pantry filled with food, and I do have a room filled with many, many boardgames. And heck, if one considers my friends rather than my finances, I would even account myself wealthy.

Of course, that kind of wealth doesn’t pay the bills, so don’t forget to buy my books.


*”Fuego” meaning fire, not only as in the sense of burning flame, but also in the sense of “to fire a gun”. This seemed like an odd coincidence to us. But the word “droit” in French means not only “right” as in the opposite of left, but also human rights. So maybe these bizarre connections are the same between languages sometimes. Then again, “watch” in French is “montre”, which means “show”, which is the opposite. So who knows. I suppose it’s possible the movie just used a crappy not-in-context translation. Or maybe fuego is like droit. I don’t know.

**Sylvester Stallone is probably not someone who springs to mind as a good actor. But then again, he did a quite decent job in comparison to Arnold Schwarzenegger. I guess when you’re making a film where the budget all went towards explosions and car chases, acting talent and non-sucky endings fall in the category of the Expendables.

***And not that one where you’re late for your final exam and also you forgot your pants.

****This footnote isn’t related to the entry, just closes it, but I wonder if all blogs have to either end up self-absorbed or talking about politics. Maybe next month I’ll write about politics. I suppose I could share rejected jokes with you, like my friend who talks about anime all the time who I call “The Last Earbender”.

2009, and I feel fine.

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Hello, new year! I greet you with open arms*! I enjoyed last year quite a bit, so I’d like to sign up for more of the same. That’s why we’ll start off the new year right with a column about infinite food, millions of wasted dollars, and clean plates.

I know, you’re thinking, “Surely you won’t manage a whole post without talking about board games?” Well, you’re right.**  Some of you know that I recently got yet another shipment of board games. Among them was Android: an epic adventure game with a much bigger rulebook than any other game I own. This is also the first boardgame for which I’ve seen a truly compelling trailer, which is linked in my review, which you should go read.

Man, that’s enough whiches to start a coven.

*To hug you. Also with open mouth, to eat your tasty food.

**And quit calling me Shirley.


Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy reviewing things? Well, I do. And hopefully you enjoy when I review things too. Because I have two recent reviews. One of them, team-written, can let you know where to get pizza in the Berkshires. The other will tell you whether you’re likely to enjoy a certain party board game, which happens to be a decent game for people who don’t like most board games.

And you should be glad that I’m happy writing these reviews. Because as I mention in yesterday’s column, new research suggests that your happiness is affected by the happiness of your friends, their friends, and even their friends. So if you’re looking to help yourself out by making me happy this holiday season, tell a religious friend about GodToVerse. Mentioning it to your pastor, your rabbi, or even fellow members of your congregation, would be appreciated. Definitely by me, and quite possibly by them as well.

Board Game Review

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

So, lately life has been pretty great. I’ve been doing what I’ve always wanted to, which is writing restaurant reviews. I like eating, and I like reviewing, so that works out pretty well. But I also spend a copious amount of time playing board/card games, which I really enjoy (comma optional).  Thus I am pleased to share with you my first in a series of board game reviews over at the Talkin’ About Board Games blog.

I’ve played enough board games at this point to feel like I definitely know what I’m talking about, so head on over and check out my review of Race for the Galaxy, with more to follow in the coming weeks. And if you aren’t fortunate enough to live near a game store, but have a thirst for board games, the fellows who run the blog also have a game-selling website with nicely discounted prices. (And for any Florida readers, it sounds like they run local game nights too…)