It's always a treat to see someone unexpected embrace tabletop gaming. I just got the Netrunner: Revised Core Set, the latest edition of the popular and surprisingly immersive cyberpunk card game originally designed by Richard Garfield (who also designed of Magic: The Gathering). I decided to watch some videos on playing the game using the new set, as I haven't played in a while. I happened upon a series of videos by Muttnchop Piper, a YouTuber who runs a channel on pipe smoking and tobacco.
I was surprised by how good, and charming, these videos are. He talks about how the game brought him and his grown son closer together. His son is an artist, and growing up, wasn't into the typical things, like "hunting and fishing." His son introduced him to the game, and as you can clearly tell from the videos, Muttnchop Piper has really taken to it. He and his son play the game every Thursday.
In the videos, he describes the world of Netrunner, how to play one of the Corporations, how to play a Runner, and he runs through a sample game. There are a lot of how-to-play Netrunner videos out there, but I don't think there's a better intro series than the one from this unlikely of sources.
I also like this brief video explaining why you should play Netrunner. I love this game and think it evokes a cyberpunk world better than just about anything short of reading a novel in the genre. Read the rest
THE DEVIL'S LEVEL is the official card game of Da Share Z0ne, Twitter's most bad-ass meme machine. Contributors inclue Natalie Dee, Dril, Oliver Leach and Drew Fairweather, so you have... NO EXCUSES.
WHEN YOU REACH 6/6/6 YOU WIN
THE GAME IS FOR 2 PLAYERS OR MORE. PROBLY AS MUCH AS 8 PLAYERS.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A Z0NE HEAD OR READ MY SIGHT, IF YOUR COOL YOU WILL LIKE IT.
THE DEVIL'S LEVEL IS FOR AGES 18+ NO NUDITY BUT IT SAYS HORNY AND IT HAS SOME ADULT STUFF. SO NO KIDS BUY THIS PLEASE.
THE GAME HAS 132 CARDS I MADE MOST OF THE ART. I GOT SOME GUEST ARTISTS WHO MADE SOME OF THE ARTWORK'S:
Natalie Dee - @nataliedee
Dril - @dril
Evan Dorkin - @evandorkin
Sarah Dyer - @colorkitten
Ryan Cuggy - @frknbns
KC Green - @kcgreenn
Oliver Leach - @bakkooonn
Will Laren - @larenwill
Greg Pollock - @weedguy420boner
Drew Toothpaste - @drewtoothpaste
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The $2,500+ Rewards
IF YOU ARE RICH AND WANT TOO GIVE ME A TON OF MONEY THEN GO FOR IT. YOU WERE JUST GOING TO BUY STOCKS WITH IT OR SOMETHING STUPPID ANYWAY
Ben Barrett-Forrest created The Design Deck, a nifty set of playing cards that each have facts about graphic design on them. Read the rest
Guess the Artist (available for pre-order) is an art history quiz game that comes in a sleek, colorful package. Each of the 60 cards gives three clues from which the players must guess an artist (who is named on the back, like a flashcard). The clues/illustrations, which are done by Craig & Karl, range from things the artist might have worn to methods and iconography that they used.
Even if you don’t know your Monet from your Manet, the reverse of each card gives the artist’s name and explains each of the clues very clearly. Because of this, Guess the Artist can easily be a learning tool for anyone wanting to brush up on art history. This is a beautiful game that will stand out on any bookshelf or table, and the amount of information packed into this little box makes it something you can return to again and again.
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What if UNO were rebooted? JelloApocalypse's If UNO Was An Anime gives the mundane classic all the hackneyed tropes and stock characters of card game tie-in toons. Read the rest
The paradox of Iota ($8 on Amazon) is that the cards are small, but you need a decent amount of table space to play the game. You play by adding cards to a grid. There are certain rules for playing cards, depending on how their color, shape, and number matches or doesn't match the neighboring card. We enjoyed playing this game with two players and three players (you can have up to four players).
Here's a review:
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Playing Arts held a design contest then turned winning entries for each card into a beautiful deck. Emi Haze shared how the winning 4 of spades was created, detailed above. Below, the rest of the winning 4 cards. Read the rest
Everyone knows Monopoly is a bad board game (unless you play with alternate rules). It also takes hours to play, even after the runaway player has been identified. This graph says it all:
Monopoly Deal is a $5 card game that takes 15-20 minutes to play and has lots of player interaction, and no mind numbing roll-and-move mechanic. Many of the 110 cards in the deck look familiar (money, properties, utilities). There are also action cards which can be used to collect rent, steal another players' property, cancel an action card, or used as money. Best of all, even the richest player is at risk of losing, so everyone stays interested in playing till the end.
I think the standard rules are fine, but I'm curious if anyone has come up with their own house rules? Read the rest
See more photos at Wink Fun.
Odin’s Ravens is a gorgeous, quick, and easy-to-play card game for two players. The story behind the race at the heart of the game is simple: The Norse god Odin has two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. Every morning, he sends them out to circle the world and report back on what they see. The ravens have turned the daily ritual into a competition, as they race around Midgard to see who can return to Odin first. To win, neither of them are beyond calling on Loki, the trickster god, to thwart the journey of the other.
I absolutely love the production on this new edition of Odin’s Ravens, from the sturdy, very tome-like clamshell box, to the vivid and handsomely designed cards, to the two wooden ravens that serve as the playing pieces. Since the game itself is rather simple, it was smart of Osprey to up the aesthetic impact of the game. These two elements, ease-of-play and pleasing components, coupled with the mythological gloss of the backstory all combine to create a very satisfying gaming experience.
Odin’s Ravens is played out on a racing track of land cards. Each card depicts two different land types (mountains, forests, plains, desert, frozen northlands). Each raven starts on one of the two land tracks depicted on the two-part cards and races through all of the domains to arrive back at the beginning. Players have a deck of cards depicting the five different domains and must show a matching card from their hand that depicts the next land type they want to move onto. Read the rest
Churchill Solitaire is a card game for iOS that comes from an unexpected source: former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Inspired by a version of the game played by British war leader Winston Churchill, the game is free of charge and adheres to Rumsfeld's preference for minimalism and flat design, as seen in the post-2003 architecture of various Iraqi neighborhoods.
The Wall Street Journal reports that it's likely "the only videogame developed by an 83-year-old man using a Dictaphone to record memos for the programmers." Read the rest
See sample images from this game at Wink.
Pixel Tactics is a two-player war game where you’ll be playing the part of an elite leader, steering a war band against the enemy. Both players have an identical deck of 25 cards, each representing a different character. Each card here acts differently when played in a certain rank, or used for their order ability. There’s a lot of variance in this game, since the leader that you’re playing will affect your strategy regarding the rest of the cards in your deck. Some of the leaders are combatants, and some of them help out the other units in your squad. Play continues until one of the leaders is taken out.
It’s a very portable game since the decks are small, and the rules come on a giant poster that is the play mat when flipped over. The art direction echoes sprite animations from retro video games and is charming. It’s pretty easy to pick up and play, but with all the variance, some analysis paralysis can set in from time to time. The games run really quickly though, usually in under 15 minutes per round, and with 3 to 5 rounds per game.
– James Orr
Pixel Tactics Card Game
by Level 99 Games
Ages 12 and up, 2 players, 45 minutes
$15 Buy one on Amazon Read the rest
See more photos at Wink Fun.
Confession time: I’ve never read Moby Dick. I’ve meant to. I’ve tried to. I’ve even made significant headway. But I have yet to actually finish the novel. You might say that completing it is my white whale. Ahem. Apologies.
The point remains though, that even though I’ve never read the book, I know the story. I know the characters and I can make (most likely incorrect) references to elements from the book. Which is why, when I came across the Kickstarter campaign for Moby Dick, or The Card Game from King Post, I opted to back the project.
The delivered and currently available-for-purchase game is beautiful. 107 cards, 2 dice, and 40 oil tokens, plus rules make up the core set. The quality put into the components is outstanding – my set has been through numerous play throughs and still looks as clean and pretty as the day I got it. In fact, just in terms of art, this is one of the prettiest games I own.
But, how does the game play? This game will take some time and effort to play. Initial set-up is fairly easy and mainly involves putting a few key cards on the table. From there, crew selections are made. This is a longer process and where experience will come into play. Once the crews have been chosen, cards from The Sea deck are brought into play, putting the assembled crews through events pulled directly from the novel. If a whale card is pulled, the third part of the game, The Hunt, is brought into play. Read the rest
@RoboRosewater is a twitter account that posts, once a day, a Magic: The Gathering card generated by a recurrent neural network. [via Ditto]
This is an implementation of the science described by Vice's Brian Merchant in this article.
Reed Morgan Milewicz, a programmer and computer science researcher, may be the first person to teach an AI to do Magic, literally. Milewicz wowed a popular online MTG forum—as well as hacker forums like Y Combinator’s Hacker News and Reddit—when he posted the results of an experiment to “teach” a weak AI to auto-generate Magic cards. He shared a number of the bizarre “cards” his program had come up with, replete with their properly fantastical names (“Shring the Artist,” “Mided Hied Parira's Scepter”) and freshly invented abilities (“fuseback”). Players devoured the results.
Here's the code, and here's a simple text-only generator.
Magic: The Gathering is Turing-complete. Read the rest
Designed by both Elan Lee (Xbox, ARGs) and Shane Small (Xbox, Marvel), and illustrated by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), Exploding Kittens is a self-proclaimed “kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette.” This humorous, tension-building card game was both the most-backed and most-funded project in Kickstarter history in early 2015. The NSFW (Not Safe For Work) edition plays exactly like the standard edition, but contains mature imagery and text. This is definitely NOT for kids!
Instead of a loaded gun, you get exploding kittens. They’re not mean or vicious, just innocent and naïve (usually). They could mistake a stick of dynamite for a toy, or accidentally pull the pin on the hand grenade that they were munching on. If you draw an exploding kitten card on your turn, you explode, and are out of the game . . . unless you can diffuse the card by neutering the poor kitten, distract him with nature documentaries, or otherwise divert the kitten’s attention. Diffused kittens are always placed back into the draw pile.
The draw pile is never replenished, so the odds of drawing an exploding kitten increases as the game progresses. On your turn, you can play as many cards as you like, skipping your turn, attacking players, stealing cards, or negating a player’s action with a “nope” card. As the game goes on, the draw pile gets smaller while the tension gets higher. Only one person is walking away alive, and everybody knows it!
Exploding Kittens takes only a few minutes to learn and plays in about fifteen minutes. Read the rest
The Contender is a political debate card game that combines the fun of Cards Against Humanity with the realism of fibs, bluster, pandering, grandstanding, bombast, and every logical fallacy you can think of. It was created and designed by four Kickstarter veterans.
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Board game designer Robin David has made an Alphabear-inspired word game that uses printable playing cards.
Wildly-popular card game Android: Netrunner has an exceptionally diverse and inviting lore and universe, but its community of players still has to push back against the social stereotypes of the traditional card game scene. Here's how they're doing it.