Dad Reviews: Doodle Dice Monsters

Doodle Dice Monsters is a new dice game from Little Red Goblin Games that combines the fun of rolling dice with the fun of drawing crazy monsters and creatures.  The basic idea of this game is that each player draws one or more creatures and then has an agreed upon number of dice sides (we played mostly with 60 total sides) with which they can ‘buy’ whatever type of dice they want.  The game specifically references normal gaming dice: d20, d12, d10, d8, d6 (a normal six-sided die) and d4 but they also give suggestions on how you can use non-standard dice.

When I originally started reading the rule set for Doodle Dice Monsters I completely intended to play through the game with the normal group of Crimson Bastard Game Testers, most of which are either involved in our weekly podcast or do reviews here on the site and in some cases both.  Once I finished reading

the rules however I realized two things: First, my kids love crayons and second, they always want to play with my gaming dice.

So I played this game with a four-year-old, a six-year-old and an eight-year-old.

I didn’t tell them what we were playing or what any rules were up front, I just told them we were going to play a game, we needed some paper and all of our crayons and that they got to roll my dice.  I have never seen them

more excited.  I dropped a big box full of crayons that we keep in an old family sized pop-tart box in the middle of the table, cut printer paper in half and handed it out with the instructions “everyone take five minutes and draw some cool monsters, then we’re going to fight them!”  In that five minutes each of us drew two to four monsters.

Afterwards I went to each of the kids and asked them to tell me each creature’s name, weapon etc. and to pick dice to go with the monster.  Once we were done with that, which took as long or longer than the drawing in large part because of names like “Spikey-Shield Big-Killing Monster”, we setup our initiative order for the monsters and started fighting.

Honestly this was the part I had worried about.  I didn’t know how the kids would take to rolling the different dice and possibly loosing one of the new monsters they had just spent so much time drawing and telling me about.  It turned out great though.  They had so much fun describing the attacks and what was happening that they didn’t get bothered at all when a creature died and we ended up playing Doodle Dice Monsters until well after their normal bedtime, which now that I think about it probably made them like the game even more.

In the end what I expected to be another great game that I could play with the

guys during our rare game nights ended up being a great game that I can play with my kids or with the guys.  The appeal of this game is much wider than I had expected and we had so much fun that the kids are still talking about the game days after we played.  I can’t recommend this game enough to parents with imaginative kids and gaming groups that need a break from the normal day-to-day gaming from time to time.  It is well worth the time and money.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

CLANG Project Kickstarter Review

In keeping with my kickstarter project reviews I found (and backed!) another project on kickstarter.  This project was actually the brain child of Neal Stephenson.  Yes, that Neal Stephenson.  The guy who wrote the books Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon is now trying his hand at creating a new genre of video game.  He decided that we all needed a better way to play sword fighting games that was more realistic than just pressing a button on a controller to swing in pre-programmed motions.  Instead this game, code named CLANG, will use existing hardware and the Unity game engine to create a better way to make this happen where the user actually has to go through the motions of swinging a sword to play.  People already asked why not use the wii remote or the xbox kinect but it turns out those aren’t sensitive enough to reach the realism they are shooting for.  Instead they are going to use the Sixense Razer Hydra mouse/controller.  This provides the quick and speedy updates of real time angles and position as well as the millimeter precision needed for sword fighting.  Also with the latest update from the Unity project will now support Linux then this game SHOULD be able to come out on all three PC, MAC and Linux.  I’m hoping this will turn out better than what they are thinking and becomes the new standard in sword fighting genre video games.  The only problem I can see not being able to overcome is the sudden stop two swords make when they CLANG!

Tabletop Forge Kickstarter Review

A new kickstarter project you should be interested in called Tabletop Forge has hit the streets. Their plan is to build this as a plugin for the Apps portion of a Google+ hangout.  It would allow you and your friends to play something like Dungeons and Dragons over a Google+ video hangout.  What is a Google+ hangout?  In case you haven’t joined the plethora of geeks on the new social network from Google, Google+ is their answer to Facebook.  As an aside, my favorite feature of Google+ is being able to edit your posts after you post them to fix spelling and grammar mistakes, etc.  A hangout is something like Skype video calling you can have up to eight people join.  It shows one main video window then the other windows lined up underneath as smaller video thumbnails.  It automatically switches the person talking to the main window on the fly so as the conversation goes around it’s easy for everyone to see who’s talking.  This app will run on the side and will give everyone access to things like maps, dice, character info, character tokens, drawing tools, area of effect templates, and many other tools to make playing a table top RPG over the internet easy and fun.  The idea is to make it all in one place on Google+ without have to break out multiple tools like RP Tools and Skype.  The idea is to make everything very customizable and very easy to use for both the DM as well as the players.  This looks to be a very promising replacement for the people who currently use other means to get your game on with your friends that live too far away to play around the same table.  I would recommend backing this project even though as of right now they have already gotten $12,000 pledged of the $5,000 they wanted.  Keep an eye on this project and give it try once they finish it!  Did I mention their idea is to keep it free?  Here’s a line from the Kickstarter page:  “No matter what, Tabletop Forge itself is going to remain free because this is a product we feel that the community deserves and we want to encourage new gamers in the hobby.”

Diablo III

If I had to describe Diablo III in a word I would choose “Boring” with very little hesitation. I played the first ten levels and walked away because I completely lacked the desire to keep playing. I think the painful truth is that Diablo should have been allowed to stay a cool game from more than a decade ago instead of making this monstrosity and ensuring that any fond memories that I had of the franchise are good and dead. Let’s take a look at the timeline. The original Diablo was released by Blizzard on 12/31/1996 and the Hellfire expansion (which was not a Blizzard product) for that game came out less than one year later on 11/24/1997 and then Blizzard released Diablo II four years after their original game on 06/29/2000. I played all of these games from start to finish multiple times which will not surprise the people who know me. I have an addictive personality and when I get started on something I keep going with it until I have completely dominated it; that’s just what I do. I have over 24 hours of playtime of Sudoku on my phone (I just checked) and I would rather play that than Diablo III. D3 was released in North America on 05/15/2012 almost sixteen years after the original and twelve years after the last installment. At this point the game has completely lost relevance. I did not go back and play the first games to “ramp myself up for D3” so some of the names of people you meet in D3 sound familiar but honestly it’s been so long ago I cannot remember why they are important. Continue reading “Diablo III”

D&D Essentials – Rules Compendium

DnD Rules Compendium
A Game Reference For All Players

 

Not all of us D&D players feel like carrying around our entire library of players guide books (aren’t there three of them now?) along with all the other base, core rule books.  This can get heavy and cumbersome and some of us just want things simple.  Enter this book.  The only real book you need as a beginner or even seasoned D&D player.  Let’s see what all this $20 book covers shall we?

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“Retro” Game Review: Wyvern

While visiting my dad a few weeks ago he gave me this starter deck I had there and forgot all about.  It is a collectible card game fairly similar to all the other ones.  The dragons all have a strength and a power number.  Instead of tapping land for mana to use to pay for creatures and items to take away your opponents life points, you start with 25 gold pieces you use to pay for everything.  You use your dragons to attack the other player’s lands.  The first person to lose all of their land and dragons is the loser.  However, matches are usually decided by several games with scoring in between.   Continue reading ““Retro” Game Review: Wyvern”

Game Review: Munchkin Zombies


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Have you ever played the hilarious card game, Munchkin, by Steve Jackson Games?  This review is all about the latest expansion and stand alone card game, Munchkin Zombies.  Most of you reading this blog may have already played it a million times but for those who haven’t I’ll give a little history.  In the regular Munchkin card game all the players are heroes that take turns kicking open doors (by drawing a card from the “doors” pile) in hopes of revealing a simple monster to defeat such as the Level 1 Potted Plant.  You defeat a monster by having a higher level plus all your spiffy items and weapons you pick up from the treasures deck such as the Broad Sword (usable by females only).  You gain a level for every monster you defeat plus some treasure.  The first to level 10 wins the game.  So it behooves the other players to add monster enhancing cards such as “angry” or “undead” that adds +5 or sometimes +10 to the monster making it an “Angry, Undead, Potted Plant” of level 11.  If your numbers are smaller than the monsters then you have to run away by rolling a 5 or 6 on a D6.  If you fail to run away then you get the bad stuff listed on the monster card which usually makes you lose some items or die, causing you to lose all your items and armor and weapons, etc.  You get to come back on your next turn you’ll just be a little bit nekkid. Continue reading “Game Review: Munchkin Zombies”

Game Review: The Legend of Drizzt

The Legend of Drizzt

The concept behind this game is actually quite good.  You get to explore dungeons as Drizzt or his companions, OR you can choose to spice things up and play as one of the villains from the books.  First-time players will find the pace to be slow and confusing, but once you get down the concept, it goes much faster.

When choosing a character you get to select from several abilities (determined by each individual character), and can change them up from game to game.  The object of the game is to explore the dungeon and successfully win your encounters while keeping all party members alive.  Should a party member drop to 0 hit points, and not be able to heal themselves or be healed by the party for 1 full turn, the game ends, and the encounter is failed.  The dungeons are completely random, and utilize a tile-based system to determine the layout.  Tiles are placed one at a time as the party explores, until the final objective is reached.  (It is important to note that tiles can still be placed after this point, but there is rarely a reason to do so.)

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Will D&D 5E Unite the Fold?

Wizards of the Coast caused quite a stir in the D&D community when they recently announced an upcoming complete overhaul of the game. It’s been less than 5 years since the original release of the last edition (D&D 4E), so you may be asking yourself why are they already changing things up? In his official announcement of the project, WoTC’s head of R&D, Mike Mearls says, “We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game.”
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Cthulhu Dice

It was only a matter of time before I bought this game, and looking back on it now I can see that as clearly as any doomed man looking back at the choices that led him into the clutches of the dead Cthulhu after stumbling upon R’lyeh. For me the path is as simple as it is convoluted: I am a big fan of Lovecraft and all things Lovecraftian, and I love to play Munchkin. Combined, those two components make buying Cthulhu Dice from SJ Games pretty much a given.

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