Monday, 4 December 2006

Xmas Hell Part 1! Game Help!

With the Christmas season now officially upon us, I was given the idea of writing a Festive Gift ideas list. Now there are two ways I could do this; I could either just copy what the big retailers out there think you should buy because it will make them lots off easy money, or I could do it the more fun way and point out loads off cool shit you have probably never heard but will make your life full off happy smiles if you listen to my pearls of wisdom and buy them all. In a Shaun of the Dead style….the second one.

Everyone loves playing games at Christmas, if you don’t your probably a Nazi or dead, so I think ill start there.

•Ticket to Ride: Ill start with one off the things I doubt you’ll have heard about. Ticket to ride (or “the Train Game” as it has affectionately become known as in my circle of friends). Basically the point off the game is to score as many points as you can this is done by collecting train cards and then using them to claim train routes across North America, the longer the route the more points you get. As well as that you also need to try and connect specific cities, which are usually stupidly far apart. The joy of this game come from its sheer simplicity, it’s the classic formula of taking only minutes to learn, but you’ll then constantly develop and change your strategy every time you play. Add to that the look your opponents give you when you build on a piece of track they desperately need, and you’ll soon see why this game has won all manner of game of the year awards and sold around half a million copies in around 2 years.RRP £29.99

•Munchkin: This couldn’t be more different to Ticket if it tried. It’s basically a card game where your character is battling through a dungeon inhabited with all manner of lovely creatures, and its your job to swiftly kill them with a big sword and then move on to try and kill more things until you reach the all important Level 10, when this happens you win. Doesn’t sound that interesting I hear you say? Well I did also forget to tell you its kinda crazy, the weapons range from your common all garden sword to the slightly more interesting rat on a stick and boots of butt kicking, you could end up fighting a potted plant with a chicken on your head and trust me never pick up a duck in a dungeon. I have played this game for hours on end, usually with the odd can of alcohol in easy reach, and can’t recommend it highly enough.

It’s not the easiest thing to pick up but when you do you’ll be throwing curses at each other, stabbing people in the back and generally acting like complete git to make sure you win in the most humiliating way possible.
RRP £14.99

•Villa Paletti: If I start by simply saying Jenga, you will get a vague idea of what sort of game this is. You use bits of wood to make a tower, but unlike Jenga, this game is actually pretty good.
In the tradition of a Jengaesque, you simply have to take the wooden poles from the lower levels and move them higher, making sure you don’t send the whole thing crashing. It’s a fantastic party game, and I know this after hours of rigorous testing in the many pubs of Cheltenham, usually with quite a few people staring at me as I search for a piece that can actually be taken out safely; of course once that happens you have to try and find a new home for it which is equally nerve shattering. You don’t know what fear is until you see the most ungainly, yet some how spectacular, tower nearly keel over in front of you as you take out a piece and then realise you now have to find a home for it. But of course that’s what makes it fun, so ignore Jenga and Tumba and all manner of other buildy type games this Christmas and buy Villa Paletti right now!!! Please?
RRP £19.99

So those are the three I would most recommend to you but there a few more I want to mention.

•Apples to Apples- Essentially the point of this game is to argue the toss with everyone until the dealer agrees with your opinion, and its great fun. I scientifically proved this on Boxing Day last year.
•Polarity- Make magnets balance in mid air and score lots of points, just won the first ever Science Museum Toy Award.
•Zombies- It’s got zombies in it, what more do you need to know about it!!!!! OK, a little more I suppose, you go round shooting lots of little plastic zombies while trying not to die. It’s basically every Zombie film you have ever seen but you control it, which is nice!

OK so that’s my game recommendations done, hopefully soon ill give you some Toy/Action figure ideas, a List of DVDS you must buy people this Christmas and then a random array of other stuff.

All Hail Matt Thomas

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