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Game Review: Dynamite Nurse

Three years ago Japanime released an English version of Dynamite Nurse (originally published in 2011) via Kickstarter. Although we added this take-that deck building game to our collection earlier this year, it took a bit of time to find some friends from our various gaming circles willing to play the game given the boundary pushing artwork. The character illustrations are in the style of anime - colorful and detailed - but bordering on pornographic. In making a case for the game's merits, I pointed out that Dynamite Nurse is centered on strong female characters (sure, the nurses are barely clothed and poses provocatively but they’re the main focus of the game and hold all the power). Also, the game has an interesting storyline. In Dynamite Nurse, players take on the role of nurses competing to save patients who have been severely wounded while out exploring dungeons. Fun fact: in an odd parenthetical note, the rulebook states the characters are actually doctors that are simply re…
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Cerebria: The Card Game

Given the reputation of Mindclash Games as a producer of well themed and sufficiently complex games, I was quite optimistic about getting Cerebria: The Card Game on the table. Designed by István Pócsi and Frigyes Schőberl, the game was released in 2018, and it was due to arrive on my doorstep in March.
Once the box arrived and I saw the cutesy artwork by Villő Farkas, Jamie Sichel, and Pedro A. Alberto, I prepared a little space in my heart for the love of the game that was already starting to develop. The illustrations are playful, family friendly, and reflect the theme very well.

In Cerebria: The Card Game, we are organizing and controlling our emotions while toying with the emotions of others. The theming overlaid on the gameplay here works well with regard to what we are doing with our actions, but there is no explanation of who we are or why we are in this situation we find ourselves. I would have liked to see a better developed contextual narrative for the game.
Thanks to bus…

2013 Travel Lookback: Winter Escape to Hawaii

Continuing my project to journal all of my travel adventures, we come to an entertaining entry: The Big Island of Hawaii and the Great Luggage Chase of 2013.The trip was well planned but poorly executed due to weather mishaps. I was supposed to fly DCA-JFK-LAX-KOA but snow dropped visibility to near zero at JFK so my plane was rerouted to Providence, RI after we took off from DCA. After several hours Delta put everyone back on a plane to JFK and rescheduled the connecting flights outbound from there. There was no way I was going to make it out to LAX in time to catch the Delta flight to Hawaii,  but as I was still a shiny Diamond Medallion back then and mattered to the airline, Delta put me on an AA flights to ensure I would get to Hawaii one way or another. The AA flight routed through PDX (Portland) and because of more weather problems our flight into Portland was delayed and I missed my Hawaii flight after all. Now I was stranded in Portland overnight, while my luggage (including m…

Board Game Review: Heart of Crown ハートオブクラウン

Recently Japanime games sent me a copy of Heart of Crown. It’s a Japanese deck building game designed by Ginko (ぎんこ) that first debuted in 2011 and then was reprinted through a Kickstarter in 2016.  Heart of Crown  includes a handful of cardboard tokens and multiple card decks (which should hold up reasonably well under regular use, especially if sleeved) illustrated with family friendly anime. A small team of artists worked on the playful illustrations including  Haniwa, Yuji Himukai, Medilore, Chosuke O-ide, Yuki Takahata, and Nemigi Toto. In the game, we learn that the royal kingdom has experienced a great loss in the death of its Emperor. Seven Princesses are thus vying to take over the kingdom and each player has a responsibility to select a princess (or the twin princesses) for the position and attempt to coronate her by accumulating a minimum of twenty succession points.  Every player is dealt a starting deck comprised of worthless filler cards (value: –2 succession points a…

Board Game Review: Cyclades with the C3K (Creatures Crossover Cyclades Kemet) Expansion

My husband bought Cyclades some time ago, but after watching a few reviews of the game describing it to be slow building, he just couldn't work up the enthusiasm to get it on the table for play. So when I recently ordered Kemet directly from Matagot, I added the C3K Creatures Crossover Cyclades/Kemet Expansion (which allows players to use the monsters from each game in the other game) into my cart as well because I'd read that really spices up each of the base games, especially Cyclades. We have a regular group of friends we play area control/combat games with and I invited them over for a Cyclades game night a couple of weeks ago once the expansion arrived.  When we finally opened Cyclades, I was very impressed with the component artwork. Just as with the box cover art, the illustrations drawn by Miguel Coimbra and used on the game components are lovely and well suited for the Grecian theme. The miniature figures used in the game are detailed nicely. It’s a pleasure to play …

The Best of St Petersburg Crammed Into One Weekend

For our upcoming Azamara Baltic cruise in June, we will be docking in St. Petersburg. I am so excited about this because I fell in love with this grand city when I visited it once before, in the autumn of 2013. There was a discounted fare available to Russia at the time, so I took the opportunity to fly to St. Petersburg for a self-indulgent weekend. The city stands in sharp contrast to Moscow with regard to its culture, cuisine, and tourism (see the travel post on my Moscow trip here). Whereas it was difficult to find English speakers in Moscow, I had no trouble with language barriers in St. Petersburg as many people spoke English. The city has a European vibe and reminds me of Vienna. With just two days to explore the city that weekend, I tried to include the most interesting experiences into my itinerary. I had a scrumptious breakfast each day at Coffeeshop (a Parisian style cafe), wandered the streets people watching, toured the Winter Palace and felt like a princess (alas no time…

Board Game Preview - Glen More II: Chronicles

My husband and I started collecting board games in a purposeful and well-researched fashion in 2014. There are plenty of fantastic games that came out before then that are missing from our collection either because we weren't present for the wave of new-game-itis and no one we follow talks about them, or because the games are out of print and so we can't easily purchase them even if they've been recommend to us. Glen More falls into the latter category. Many gamers have told us how awesome the game is, but it’s no longer sold through retailers. So we were especially excited when it was announced that Glen More II: Chronicles was going to debut on Kickstarter this year. We were invited by the publisher (Funtails) to sit down with their team in Germany and play this sequel to the first edition a few month ago. We gathered around a virtual table, through the wonder of Tabletopia, and played through a full game. In Glen More II: Chronicles (designed by Matthias Cramer), we are…