Archive for December, 2008

Discworld author Terry Pratchett knighted

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

That’s right – fantasy author and occasional gamer Terry Pratchett has been knighted for his work in literature. Dealing with early-onset Alzheimer’s since last year, Sir Terry is the author of the immensely popular Discworld books – if you haven’t heard of them, you just don’t go into bookstores, do you? In any case, just remember – that’s Sir Terry to you, now.

OgreCave review – Toboggans of Doom

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

In case you have some downtime this Christmas – waiting around for the holiday feasting to begin, perhaps – we’ve got a quick review to keep you entertained for a bit. Demian has slid through Toboggans of Doom by Bucephalus Games, and provided us with his impressions on the slightly strange game. We’ll have a few more reviews for you before the year is up, so stay on your toes.

OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2008, part 4

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Now that Christmas is just a few days away, you’re either all set for gift giving, or just about to panic. Fear not – the Cave dwellers have one more list of gift suggestions for you, and this time none of them require shipping. Therefore, we wrap up (*ahem*) our eighth annual holiday guide with An Aetheric Christmas Dozen – 12 Gifts in Electronic Formats. Pick a few, burn them to a disc, and dash away to all your last-minute holiday engagements.

And for anyone still looking for ideas (or planning to spend some gift certificates soon), don’t forget to check our other lists for 2008:

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the staff of OgreCave!

Hasbro drops Scrabulous lawsuit

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

‘Tis the season to resolve one’s differences, it seems. Scrabulous, an online clone of the classic word game Scrabble, was created by two brothers in India and went on to become tremendously popular on Facebook. (Why the brothers thought they had the right to do this, I have no idea.) Since this was done without Hasbro’s permission, Hasbro sued the brothers for violating Hasbro’s copyright and trademarks. The lawsuit, which demanded the removal of Scrabulous and asked for unspecified damages, was dropped early this week. Though an exact reason for the charges being dropped was not given, the brother’s company, RJ Softwares, have agreed not to use the name Scrabulous, and their new Facebook game, Wordscraper, is significantly different. Game developers, take heed: don’t infringe on a major company’s copyright and trademarks so obviously and thoroughly that they have no choice but to level both barrels of their legal team at you. Common sense, really, but apparently some guys need to be reminded.

Goodman Games sounds last call for 3.5

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Goodman Games has reminded us that the end of the year, December 31, is also the end of their 3.5 product sales. If you want any of those Dungeon Crawl Classics that you’re missing, you have two weeks left to get them direct from the source – in print at 50% off, or PDF for $2 each. Grab ’em while you can, ’cause no one wants to hear your whining later.

OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2008, part 3

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Despite the unusually heavy pressures of the holiday season this year (just speaking for myself here – jury duty stinks), the Cave dwellers have continued OgreCave’s annual gift list with due diligence. Part three of our eighth annual recommendations list, the OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2008, has gone live to assist in your gift giving (or receiving) efforts. This third section, Twelve Boxes for Christmas, offers ideas for boardgames, both hefty and slim. Have a look, get out there and finish any shopping you have left, and we’ll have our final list – downloadable gift ideas – in the days ahead.

OgreCave review – Battue: Walls of Tarsos

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

We’ve got a new review up today on the first expansion for Red Juggernaut’s Battue – the boardgame nominated for an Origins Award and an Ogre’s Choice Award last year. Lee’s given us his thoughts on the expansion, Battue: Walls of Tarsos, which adds complexity to the game, as well as a quirk or two.

FFG releases Revised Fourth Edition Talisman

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The newest take on Talisman – the Revised Fourth Edition – has arrived today, so look for it in your local stores or grab it directly from the FFG site. To me, the most interesting news here is the olive branch Fantasy Flight is extending (well, selling, actually) to gamers who picked up the Black Library edition not long ago, in the form of the Talisman Upgrade Pack. Priced at $19.95, FFG describes the Upgrade as “an affordable solution for players who have already purchased Talisman 4th Edition and want the improved game components and expandability of the Revised 4th Edition.” I suppose a free download wouldn’t have worked well, nor would a proof-of-purchase mail-in program for a free upgrade. Paying to upgrade to an edition that can pay for add-ons is somewhat amusing, though.

Space Monster unleashed on Invisible City

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

This month’s free game from Invisible City is Space Monster, a mostly cooperative game pitting the players against the horrible beast terrorizing Deep Space Outpost 233-B. I say mostly cooperative because it’s always an option to race for the lone escape pod, leaving everyone else to rot. Thanks to a modular board and variable powers for the creature and players, this looks to have a lot of replay value. It also looks like a good spiritual successor to one of my old favorites, Task Force Games’ Intruder. It’s almost as if they knew today was my birthday….

Games of the Ninja 2008

Friday, December 5th, 2008

As night approaches, be wary – the Day of the Ninja is in full effect, and silent death lurks around every corner (and in today’s graphic). However, to celebrate the occasion, and to distract said assassins when they come for you, we’ve put together a group of products we like to call Games of the Ninja. Will we survive to have another list next year? Who knows. So enjoy these fine titles for some honorable gaming – the ancestors demand it.

The Day of the Ninja is upon you

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Watch yourself today – you never know when they’ll strike. We’ll have a little something to honor the sneaky fellows later today (they’ve already begun their assault, as you can see), but in the meantime, stay on your toes. The Day of the Ninja is nigh!

Fantasy Flight holiday sale is on 'til the 9th

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

More WotC layoffs

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Just like back in August, Wizards of the Coast has laid off employees today. Rumors are still swirling about the number of employees affected, though around 24 seems the prevailing estimate. According to a post at ENWorld by Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens, today’s layoffs include the following:

  • Randy Buehler (VP of digital gaming)
  • Andrew Finch (director of digital games)
  • Stacy Longstreet (senior art director)
  • Julia Martin (editor)
  • William Meyers (creative manager, digital design)
  • Dave Noonan (game designer, D&D podcast cohost)
  • Jennifer Paige (online community manager)
  • Jennifer Powers (marketing)
  • Jonathan Tweet (game designer)

With today’s staff cuts, WotC joins Upper Deck in having a pair of layoff rounds this year alone. While this has some gamers wondering if the layoffs are caused by D&D 4e being less successful than expected, others mention similar cuts made shortly after the release of 3.0 and 3.5.

State of the Mongoose 2008 report posted

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Still a significant publisher in tabletop gaming, Mongoose Publishing has just given its fans a status update in the form of its annual State of the Mongoose report (also copied below). Points of interest include plans for Hammers Slammers, a full color Traveller-powered game based on David Drake’s classic sci-fi series; a 25th Anniversary edition of Paranoia; the end of the Babylon 5 line and license; new supplements for Wraith Recon; a multiplayer Lone Wolf gamebook; and plenty more. Add in an overview of what Mongoose went through in its (ultimately failed) attempt to set up its own printing facility, and I’d say the current state of the Mongoose is “surly and determined”.