Things of No Interest: What I've Been Playing August 2017

Things of No Interest: What I've Been Playing August 2017

Well, last month was surprisingly hectic for whatever reason and not much writing has gotten done and not much hit the tabletop for me. One of the main reasons? Legendary DXP was released and I've been playing the crap out of that. My thoughts at the time of its release can be found here. Here we are a few weeks later (and at least three patches later), and I'm still playing the crap out of the game. There are still some issues that I have with the game:

  • Not being able to examine cards in the discard pile, KO pile, VP pile (yeah can "see" cards, but not examine them, and the layout of those piles hides the important details)
  • No confirmation on discards or KOs (which is more annoying when you are trying to look at your own cards and an event takes the card you have touched or are looking at). I'm used to it now, but this is a constant source of frustration for new players.
  • No needed information available on schemes including the number of "things" (wounds, villagers, escaped "things") that effect winning or losing
  • There are still a handful of card interactions that don't work properly (and like most software, a new release seems to fix some and breaks others that were fine before)
  • There is no log of things that have occurred - look away for 40 seconds and your hand can be drastically different because the game discarded for you and you don't know why. 
Like a lot of the players who have played the hell out of the game, I have gotten to a point where I tolerate that stuff because I like the game a lot and I know the cards enough to either avoid the issues, or I just know the game enough to be careful.

Is the game better than the when it was in beta? Hells yes! Is the game better than when it was released? Yes. Is it still getting better each week? Again yes.

The development team is working their ass off to fix issues and put out a constant stream of fixes. They are working on a revised UI to address a number of things that the community has said the game needs in terms of features. They have made themselves available to anyone that wants to voice their opinion on Discord and they are really responsive to suggestions and bug reports. I've seen (and experienced) them working with individuals to resolve problems.

They chose to release at GenCon when things were not 100%, but have been trying to get past that and the stream of patches and marked improvement from launch week shows that.

Do I think the game was worth $2-$5? Yes, easily. Is it a game of the year candidate? Not currently, but maybe it will be by the time it hits Steam in Dec or January. Is it for everyone? Nope. The limited platform (currently only iPad 4 or better) and online only (even for solo play) makes it a no for a lot of people. The limited player pool at the moment also makes finding matches hard at times, but I'm enjoying solo play a lot (it is a bit faster than playing with real people). In the next few months, Android users should get to play and PC/Mac users after that. That should make the pool much more interesting.

I've also been playing a lot of Paperback (the app, not the physical boardgame). For those that haven't heard of Paperback before, it is a deck builder meets Scrabble. If you don't like deck builders or word games, you can be done right here. For the rest of you - this is a great game and I think that because it is such a niche game, it hasn't gotten all the recognition it should (maybe recognition is the wrong term here because I believe it is currently the number one word game on BGG).

The idea here is that you have a deck of cards that will grow as the game goes on. Each card may have a single letter or sometimes a pair of letters (like "CH" or "ES") and a value. Some cards also give you the ability to increase a word or neighboring letter's value, get free cards, draw more cards etc. When you string together the letters to make a word, that word's value is totaled up and you have the ability to buy either new letters or VP cards (in the form of wild cards). You need those wilds to build bigger (longer) words, but those same cards that are your endgame score do not help your word's value during the game. You both need them and they clutter your deck.

It really is a clever game and has been a nice change of pace from Legendary. And while not required, its fun to see what words you can come up with when your hand is a "N", "T" and 4 wild cards. Sure you could just play "NOT", but its always a good time sending something funny to your opponent. There is a good AI (the hard AI basically cheats and pulls crap out of its dictionary) for solo games and async play for playing against friends for bragging rights. Also, playing against other online writers and editors from the Punchboard Media group is tough (though fun).

Gameruman: A Tale of Two Gamers, Part 2

Gameruman: A Tale of Two Gamers, Part 2

Low Player Count #54: Gaming Reimplementations

Low Player Count #54: Gaming Reimplementations