Finding old games
Desert Island Games
Letters to the Editor
June 23, 2005
I know both James Ernest and Mike Selinker. I've played games with both. And it's fair to say that they like the odd game of poker. In their new book, Dealer's Choice: The Complete Handbook of Saturday Night Poker Ernest and Selinker (with illustrations by Phil Foglio) offer up plenty of odd games. With a breezy writing style the authors make some good suggestions for hosting your own poker night, and then present a couple hundred poker variants for you to try. Most are crazy games that serious players will scorn, and some you'd have to be insane to actually stake money on. But everyone's likely find a new favorite or two inside.
April 07, 2004
I just received my copy of The Playmakers: Amazing Origins of Timeless Toys by Tim Walsh (see Featured Store Item, below right)-- a lavish coffee table book that looks to be a treasure trove of anecdotes, histories, and biographies of classic commercial playthings and their inventors. Twister, Operation, Magic 8-Ball, Marvin Glass, and dozens more-- it's all here. This is a top-notch production that not only contains fascinating stories and information, but presents it in an attractive, enticing manner. I honestly can't wait to dig in here. A full review will undoubtedly follow in the next TGR, but this appears to be an essential volume for anyone with a fondness for toys and games.
March 19, 2003
Fresh Fish, the inaugural release from Plenary Games, the first English publication of Freidemann Friese's mind-bending negative-space game. Nice artwork and sturdy components make this an impressive debut. Add the unique gameplay, and it's well worth your time to check it out. 2-5 players.
VisualEyes from Buffalo Games. 2-8 players make compound words and phrases from images rolled on 18 large dice, either listing them ala Boggle or racing to find them first ala Set.
March 10, 2003
Just received Rigamarole, a party game in a huge, cake box-sized package. Rigamarole aims to be a Cranium killer by offering 16 different activities targeted at ages 16 and older. A brief perusal of the game cards left me optimistic. Three teams of two players each is the recommended play configuration.
February 23, 2003
Just received at TGR: Ice Lake from Live Oak Games. In Ice Lake, 2-4 players skate across a frozen pond, using dry-erase markers to show the cracks in the ice they leave in their wake. Players can skate across cracks, but can't skate inside a crack. If you've got nowhere to skate, you're out.
February 12, 2003
Just arrived at TGR, two new Hip Pocket games and one from the James Ernest label.
Steam Tunnel: An 2-5 player abstract card game "vaguely associated with steam tunnels."
Light Speed: A 2-4 player real-time full-color card game of space combat from Tom Jolly and James Ernest.
Give Me the Brain: Special Edition: Full color edition of the 3-8 player card game set at Friedey's, the Fast Food Restaurant of the Damned.
February 07, 2003
Fresh from Australia, Sunda to Sahul has arrived here at TGR. This looks to be a first-rate production with a sturdy box, 136 jigsaw tiles of exceptional quality, a nicely illustrated color rule book, etc. Oddly, however, the components smell faintly of fish. The rules offer a basic and an advanced game for 1-4 players. Publisher Sagacity Games' web site offers photos and more info about the game.