2018 Media Reviews
« 2017 Media Reviews
Life: book review, review, tabletop games, video games
I’ve appreciated when people take the time to write reviews and highlight connections to other good works. This is an in-progress list that I’ll update over the course of the year. Previously: 2014 2015 2016 2017
- Surgeon’s Mate, The Ionian Mission, Treason’s Harbour. The Far side of the World, The Reverse of the Medal, The Letter of Marque: Patrick O’Brian; historical
- More Napoleonic-era nautical adventures. Very fun reads.
- Fire and Fury: Michael Wolff; politics
- I look forward to the inevitable libel suits to see if there’s support for the unbelievable anecdotes in this book.
- The Undoing Project: Michael Lewis; pop science
- The personal history of the work of Kahneman and Tversky. Read Thinking, Fast and Slow instead.
- *Time Management for System Administrators: Thomas A. Limoncelli, self-help
- 2nd read. I’ve been revising my personal workflow and revisited a favorite.
- Pandemic Legacy: Season 2: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock; strategy
- Only played the prologue twice, but it feels like a nice balance of old and new mechanics. Really looking forwarding to playing through this.
- Unearth: Jason Harner, Matthew Ransom; worker placement
- Fun, quick strategy game with a nice amount of variance. Rules are a little unclear, seems like almost every action card has a corner case.
- Underlings of Underwing: Kevin Ballestrini, Stephen Slota, Alisha Volkman; worker placement
- A very cute resource management/worker placement game. I like the use of colors for crafting; much simpler and easier to learn than arbitrary resources would have been.
- Armageddon Preppin: Darth Rimmer; hand management
- Unclear rules, overwhelming variance, and an obvious dominant strategy.
- * Captain Sonar: Roberto Fraga, Yohan Lemonnier; deduction
- Real-time strategy game where two teams of four players eavesdrop on each other to have a submarine hunt duel.
- Burgle Bros.: Tim Fowers; co-op heist
- Teammates sneak through a random map to rob a bank. Really enjoyably difficult, lovely graphic design.
- Mottainai: Carl Chudyk; drafting
- A stunningly deep short game that I want to put a recommended star on, but the theme apparently drew its nouns and actions from a hat and it’s so incoherent and confusing that it’s not worth the time to learn. I’ve taught it to six people and all have been hopelessly confused for 2-3 games. (Fans made a nice solitaire ruleset, though.)
- Unstable Unicorns: Ramy Badie; Munchkin
- Basically Munchkin, but it plays much quicker so at least it’s over sooner.
- Imhotep: Phil Walker-Harding; strategy
- Has an incredible amount of zugzwang with two players. May be a fairly light game with three or four players, and I hope to try that.
- Tiny Epic Galaxies: Scott Almes; strategy
- Nice quick dice-rolling game with some ways of reusing your opponents’ actions so their turn is more than just waiting for yours.
- Kodama: Daniel Solis; strategy
- Arrange cards to grow a tree, very nice use of play space. Don’t miss that the max score per turn is 10 points or that cards can touch any trunk rather than just the obvious forks.
- Not Alone: Ghislain Masson; bluffing
- Clever asymmetrical bluffing game. Solid with two players and I’d love to play with a half-dozen.
- Fantasy Strike: David Sirlin; fighter
- Deep, accessible fighter; the first where I could recognize and enjoy the strategies of the different character matchups. Even figuring out how to counter “cheap” strategies is fun.
- Tonight We Riot: Pixel Pushers Union 512; beat-em-up
- A competent example of a genre I’m not interested in.
- The Witness: Jonathan Blow; puzzle
- Still in progress, but so far worth the motion sickness.
- Star Realms: White Wizard Games; strategy
- A deep game, though with very high variance (top players only win 60% of matches). The tablet-oriented UI needs keyboard shortcuts.
- The Daily; New York Times
- A “20 minute” podcast with 25-35 minutes on Donald Trump and up to 60 seconds of news. Dropped Feb 6 when their story on FISA abuse elided how the NYT hid the story for a year.
- Conversations and Seminars; The Long Now Foundation
- No idea why it’s two podcasts instead of one, but generally interesting, thoughtful talks related to long-term thinking.
- Future Strategist; James D. Miller
- Retreads of Less Wrong blog posts and interviews with alt-right kooks. Dropped when the against free trade is that it might lead to miscegenation.
- Star Realms strategy discussion. Worth it to start from the first episode, listen to the episode, play an hour or two, then repeat.
Last update: 2017-02-06