Meeple Like Us

The Home of Meeple Centred Design


Kingdom Builder (2011)

There aren’t many names in the field of modern, designer board gaming that raise expectations quite like Donald X. Vaccarino.  I mean, look at that name – it even has an X in it like he’s some kind of Marvel super villain.  Vaccarino is the mastermind behind the perversely popular Dominion, a game that was so unlike anything that had…

7 Wonders: Duel (2015) – Accessibility Teardown

I made a reasonably big thing about the Splendor link in 7 Wonders: Duel – while the latter is a substantively different game, the central core engine building feels very similar. Both are excellent games, and we reflected our enjoyment of 7 Wonders: Duel with a four star review. Splendor is one of our highest ranking games in terms of accessibility – will we find that 7 Wonders: Duel has that in common too? Let work out if we find a game of bricks and leave it a as game of marble. I guess marbles is already a game. God, this didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. Shut it down. Shut it all down!

7 Wonders: Duel (2015)

Do you like the idea of Splendor’s core game design, but really wish it had a mechanic where you could metaphorically punch your opponents right in their metaphorical dumb faces?  Man, do I have a game for you! I’ve never played the original 7 Wonders, so I am spectacularly ill-equipped to answer the obvious question of ‘Which game is better?’. …

The Ballad(s) of the Fancy Lads

There’s a new reprint of Games Workshop’s Blood Bowl coming. This is a game I have only ever played the digital version of, and I’m absolutely going to pick it up. It’s a horribly random, frustrating game but it’s also one with moments of hilarious consequences. I was reminded of (two) such games today, and looked out the poems I had written to commemorate the occasions. I present them here, for your enjoyment, or otherwise! With apologies to Ploosk (the handle of my opponent), Cyanide (who wrote the shitty software that resulted in a dialog I couldn’t dismiss, thus losing me the game), and the basic concepts of rhyme and scansion.

Small World (2009) – Accessibility Teardown

Small World is a fun, if somewhat unchallenging, game with several interesting and innovative features. It’s reasonably good – we gave it 3.5 stars in our review as recognition of its fundamental okayness. I appreciate that’s not an endorsement likely to make you reach reflexively for your wallet, but there are many people who like the game much better than I do. You are free to be influenced by whoever you like in terms of consumer guidance. It’s fine. They’re only feelings – they’ll heal.

Small World (2009)

I’m a huge fan of the Civilization games. Or at least, I’m a huge fan in theory.   You probably wouldn’t have guessed it by how much I hated the vanilla game of Civilization V.  That though was only because it was a betrayal greater in scale than Pearl Harbour.  Seriously, if the Hague had jurisdiction over video games, Jon Shafer would…

Watch the Skies Dundee

“A good chunk of Washington has been destroyed, mister President” We had been expecting that ever since the ‘crop circle’ that had been burned into the concrete of Washington.   When, with Japanese help, we deciphered its meaning as ‘gather Earth’s warriors here’, we didn’t interpret it as a sign of peace.  Also, a similar circle had presaged Tokyo’s recent obliteration.…

Isle of Skye (2015) – Accessibility Teardown

As a Kennerspiel des Jahres winner, Isle of Skye is a title that has an unusual degree of importance attached to its accessibility. The Spiel des Jahres winners end up in supermarkets where anyone can pick them up, and the implicit endorsement there is that anyone should pick them up. They’re accessible in terms of the ease with which people can buy and play. Are they accessible in the ways that matter to us? We’re going to find out, because that’s what we do here. Just in case you didn’t notice. We gave Isle of Skye four stars in our review so we’re hoping it’s a title that you can easily make part of your gaming library.

Isle of Skye (2015)

A few months ago, the board gaming community held its collective breath as it awaited the results of the Spiel des Jahres awards.  If there were an Oscar for board games, the various Spiel des Jahres accolades would be our golden statue.  It’s our Pulitzer, our Cannes, our Grammy.  And this year the Kennerspiel des Jahres went to Isle of Skye.   The…

180 Days Later…

Introduction We’ve just passed the point where Meeple Like Us has been running for 180 days.   That’s not quite half a year, but it’s close enough and a round-ish number that makes for a satisfying blog post title.  I thought it would be worthwhile here to do some summing up of how it’s gone, and what’s in the works. Some…

Skull (2011) – Accessibility Teardown

Skull is a game that is almost entirely dependent on group composition. With a good group, it’s a lot of fun – that’s why we gave it three and a half stars. With a bad group, it’s a slightly more interactive version of watching paint dry. Many games are improved, or otherwise, by the people playing. Skull is one of the rarer games that will live or die on that basis. As such, it’s important that the widest range of people possible can play. Can they? Let’s find out!

Skull (2011)

If there were ever a box to make you think it opening it would inflict upon you a sinister Aztec curse, it’s the one for Skull. It’s appropriate that the visual design is so striking for this game – it has to be, really.  You can make your own version of skull right now with a few beer mats and…

Dobble (2009) – Accessibility Teardown

Dobble is ridiculous amounts of fun, albeit in relatively short bursts. It’s fast, it’s frantic, and it’s very, very funny. It’s a game that deserves to be on the shelf of every gamer, regardless of how serious they think the hobby should be. It packs an awful lot of entertainment into its three and a half stars. Do you want to play it? I bet you do. Can you play it? Let’s flind out with an allsessable tyredarn!

Dobble (2009)

There is a condition called expressive aphasia which impacts on the language centres of the brain.  It causes people to mix up the words they use, choose the wrong word for the wrong purpose, and put together the syllables of words in a way incongruous with experience and intention.   It’s caused by a number of things, including strokes, head trauma,…

King of Tokyo (2011) – Accessibility Teardown

For such a simple game King of Tokyo is bags of anarchic fun. Simple enough for children to play, and exciting enough to keep families interested. Its three and a half star review means that we’d be happy to recommend it as a gaming experience. Could we do the same for it as an accessible experience? Let’s do to the game what the monsters did to Tokyo, and tear it down!

King of Tokyo (2011)

We had a ten year old boy in the house a few weeks ago.  It’s okay, – it was with the full consent of his parents and I was supervised the whole time.   I took the opportunity to try out a couple of games aimed at the younger end of the age spectrum.  One of those was King of Tokyo,…

Tales of the Arabian Nights (2009) – Accessibility Teardown

Tales of the Arabian Nights is a fantastic storytelling experience, but a poor game. Nonetheless, it’s so good as an engine for creating narrative that we gave it four stars and don’t regret a single one of them. Since it’s basically a big Choose Your Own Adventure engine, it’s going to allow us to explore some of the accessibility landscape we haven’t had a chance to look at yet. So, hop a carpet and fly into another Arabian Night!

Tales of the Arabian Nights (2009)

It’s rare that you find a box that makes such a concentrated, directed effort to seduce you from the start. I mean, look at it!  It’s gorgeous.  It feels heavy and substantial.  It’s sinuously seductive.  You can all but smell the assorted exotic spices of far-away lands mingling with the heady scent of fine perfume.  That box will transport you…

Flash Point: Fire Rescue (2011) – Accessibility Teardown

Flash Point: Fire Rescue at its best crackles with energy. Every turn is full of tension. A roll of the dice can be the difference between a cake-walk and the fiery incineration of all your hopes and dreams. At its worst, it can be the most pedestrian of days at the metaphorical office. We gave it three and a half stars in our review. It’s good, but not it’s not great. The game has plenty to recommend it though – let’s find out if accessibility is one of those things. You’d better bring your hose because it’s gonna get hot. And bring your axe too. Sometimes it’s just fun to chop stuff.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue (2011)

If you ever saw the Doctor Who episode ‘The Empty Child’, you’d be forgiven for finding the cover of Flash Point just a little bit creepy. Flash Point is not a Matt Leacock game, but it definitely seems to have been spliced together from some of his DNA.  It’s not ‘Pandemic, but with fires’ but there are certain core mechanisms…