Welcome back to Vox Republica, the Cardboard Republic Podcast!
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DESCRIPTION: It’s October, which means Halloween! Which means spooky things! Which brings us to the idea of gaming atmosphere. Why is it that exactly that board games struggle so hard to generate feelings of dread? What makes this medium, as opposed to movies, books, and even RPGs, so much more difficult? This week, Erin and Ryan parse over the possibilities behind it. Then, they venture back to the early American Frontier with a review of the dice allocation game Discoveries.
RECENTLY PLAYED GAMES – (01:39):
- Strife: Shadows & Steam by V3G
- Ahead in the Clouds by Button Shy Games
- Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation by Fantasy Flight Games
FEATURED TOPIC – (13:15):
- It’s rare for a horror themed game to make you feel afraid, upset, or otherwise creeped out. Why is it that board games as a form of entertainment fare so much better at causing that to happen as opposed to movies, TV, or even classic RPGs? Some things we discuss to that end include:
- What is it about them inherently makes this difficult
- The difficulty of being surprised when you know what can happen
- Outside influences such as lighting, music, and even scents can help set the mood
- How whole genres of board games avoid theme as a primary goal to begin with
- How app-enabled games may help going forward
QUICK TOPICS – (22:59):
- Erin makes an announcement about her participation in a new positive launching soon that’ll focus on the positive things board gaming offers.
REVIEW – (25:35):
- Discoveries is a 2015 dice placement and dice manipulation game by Ludonaute & Asmodee Editions. Designed to be a lighter experience to their heftier title Lewis & Clark while maintaining a similar theme, this game does exactly that. In this dice rolling adventure, each player is a member of the famed Lewis & Clark Expedition. Their goal was to venture across the American Frontier through unexplored lands (to the Europeans anyway) and take note of everything they experienced, from the plants and animals, to interactions with the various American Indian tribes, to mapping out the land itself. This is represented by each player having access to a handful of resource dice that are rolled periodically.Through a series of turns, players allocate dice results to different actions as a means of befriending tribes as to claim their cards for more powerful action abilities, and / or complete journal cards to score VP. The goal is to essentially have the most complete (i.e. valuable) journal at the end of the game. With excellent artwork, simple rules, and a uncommon theme, Discoveries does a decent job conveying this game’s purpose. That said, as we explore it, it’s evident that much like the Expedition, Discoveries runs into its own share of obstacles.
PLUGS – (58:50):
- We reviewed The Guardians: Explore!
- We’re also also raffling off a copy of Tides of Madness to a lucky Patreon backer. Consider donating today!
- As always, Cardboard Republic YouTube videos and the BGG Guild are still ongoing. Subscribe to either – or both if you really love us. You do really love us, right?
Audio Credits: Intro music track is “Swing!” by Bargo!, used under Creative Commons license.