the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘gaming’ Category


We have returned, victorious from GrandCon!  A new gaming convention in Grand Rapids, MI, GrandCon featured pre-scheduled gaming events, a ginormous gaming library you could sign games out from, a Pathfinder competition, table top roleplaying, game demos, a really nice dealer room,  seminars, and more.   I’m happy we got there early in the morning on Saturday, as the registration lines only grew and grew into the afternoon.  I heard at one point that over 1200 badges were printed and that they ran out of programs.  I think they’re gonna need a bigger hotel/convention location next year!

There was also an adventure to a brand new comic/gaming shop in the city, and an unintentionally SFnal dinner involving LED lights in a sushi presentation.

While I write up a longer post about the super cool World building panel that was presented by Tracy Hickman, Ed Greenwood, Steven Schend and Jeff Grubb,  you should enjoy these photos.

photodump commencing in three. . . .  two. . . . and we have lift-off/photo dump!

These huge cardboard monsters were set up in the lobby, they were part of an oversized gaming demo for King of Tokyo



The game comes with regular sized dice, and regular sized cardboard characters that go on a regular sized board, but throwing big plushy dice is so much more fun!

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this weekend was the game convention Marmalade Dog over at the local university.  Run by the university gaming guild, a few hundred geeks take over the top floor of the student union and game till the cows come home (or till they kick us out on Sunday evening).

There was a TON of tabletop RPGs, a little bit of LARPing, a lot of Warhammer stuff (which I don’t understand, but it sure looks cool), a few gamer rig PCs set up, and plenty of good ‘ole boardgaming.

I ran Ticket to Ride, and thanks to a friend who also brought his set, we were able to run 2 games at a time, Europe and India proving most popular. I bought the new Africa map from one of the vendors, so I’m looking forward to playing that one, and seeing what its special twist is.

Ticket to Ride India

Ticket to Ride India

Ticket to Ride Europe

Ticket to Ride Europe

I suppose I should do a Ticket to Ride post some time?  anyone interested in something like that?

There were plenty more games being played, here’s a few photos:

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Long Live the Queen!

No, not that queen, this little queen!

She might be dressed like a school girl, but she’s royalty in the making, and through your decisions she can rise through the ranks, or get assassinated. Or poisoned. Or embarrassed. Or imprisoned. Or assassinated. Again.

A cross between a Choose your Own Adventure story and a visual novel, Long Live the Queen is the newest sim game from Hanako Games. This game may have a plucky and overly cute anime style and star a plucky and overly cute main character, but it’s much, much harder than it looks. Also, incredibly addictive.

You control the choices of teenaged Princess Elodie, whose royal mother has just passed away. She’s got to learn new skills, avoid dangerous neighbors, and win the hearts of the royal court. Every week you can choose two skills to advance in, but random events and interactions with other members of the royal court along with your social activities directly effect your mood and your skills bonuses. Did you spend your Saturday sneaking out of the castle? You gain some points towards willfullness, earning you a negative against earning skills in elegance, but giving you a healthy bonus towards learning magic.

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A number of years ago my husband dragged me kicking and screaming to a “game night”.   This was not your mamma’s scrabble night. On the table were Mystery of the Abbey, St. Petersburg, Ticket to Ride, and probably some others. That first night I wasn’t so sure about this whole Euro-gaming thing. Victory points? Nobility track? Resource tokens and Trade Goods? how in the world was I supposed to keep track of all of it??

It did take a while for me to get the hang of it.  At least a year, probably two.  (You know how some people aren’t math whizzes? I’m not a “resource token” whiz.  I just want one of those red cubes, I don’t care if it’s supposed to be rum or tobacco or gold pressed latinum, I just know  I need a red one!)

But boy am I happy I did!  I dont’ think I’ll ever be that gamer girl who games 5 night a week or more, but a few times a month with my friends makes me a very happy camper. err, umm, gamer.

I live in a college town, and every year in early spring the local university hosts a gamers convention.  Organized by students and held on campus, if you’re brave enough to search for a parking spot you can enjoy 48 hours of gaming and geekery. Euro-games, roleplaying games, a LAN party, collectible card games. . . . .  and of course games and cards for sale and overpriced food in the basement. I’ve never been into roleplaying games, but there was a Vlad Taltos system that tempted me!

This years university gamer convention was last weekend, and I ran Ticket to Ride: Europe, which is my favorite kind of Euro-game: the kind where you can learn the rules in 60 seconds, the game takes less than 2 hours to play, and it isn’t going to fry your brain.  Even better, I got to introduce a buddy of mine to gaming. I pretty much dragged him kicking and screaming to my table and said “you’re going to play this!!  okay?”

and he had a good time, see?

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.