Author Archives: Denis Moskowitz

Review of changes in Pokemon gameplay

It's apparently time for my yearly post. Hello everyone!

I just wanted to point at this: A Brief History of Pokemon Battling at the Ogiue Maniax blog. I'm not very familiar with the franchise, but this was a great explanation of how the gameplay of the Pokemon video game has evolved through the years.

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Humor in Boardgames

After playing a game of Galaxy Trucker last night, I was pondering "funny" games. The post-game discussion consensus was that GT is "funny like RoboRally" as opposed to "funny like Munchkin.

In Munchkin-funny games, the components are funny. The cards have funny names or flavortext, and it's amusing to be attacked by thousands of orcs while you have a duck stuck to your head. I'd put Illuminati and Chez Geek in this category as well (not that Steve Jackson Games has a monopoly on these). These games are very funny to begin with, but (to me at least) become less amusing as you become more familiar with the cards. It's probably no coincidence that Munchkin and Chez Geek have a lot of expansion sets.

In RoboRally-funny games, the gameplay is funny. You make plans, you have an expectation of what will happen - and then something completely different actually occurs. Instead of sprinting along the conveyor belt and jumping off just as you reach the flag area, someone accidentally pushes you onto a turning block and you sprint in the entire wrong direction, jumping onto the conveyor belt that throws you into a pit. I'd also put Wiz-War and maybe Fluxx in this category. These games don't sound as funny on first glance or on a read-through but in actual play both the players and bystanders were laughing raucously as our Galaxy Trucker ships got blown to pieces by asteroids and pirates. These games stay funny as you play them.

A funny subject or cards, like in Munchkin, can be applied to a very strategic game (I'm sure there's some way to make Go funny) but RoboRally-funny games are by definition not strategic at all. I'm sure some people would be too frustrated by this to enjoy the game but I really like them.

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Pictures of Lunar Rails locations

Hello! I'm Denis Moskowitz, an occasional player on the Gameshelf. I'm a fan of board games and video games.

If you are both a) a fan of the game Lunar Rails and b) able to read Japanese katakana, you may enjoy this. (I know at least two other people like that, so it's not just me.) The Japanese lunar orbiter Kaguya has been taking some beautiful pictures of the moon, and on this NHK page there is a map of the Moon which links crater names (in Japanese) to pictures Kaguya has taken of them. Lunar Rails cities that are listed include Hertzsprung, Mare Moscoviense, Tsiolkovsky, Copernicus, Archimedes, Aristarchus, Orientale, Mendeleev... (There are some craters and locations whose names are given in kanji, so they may also be LR locations and I wouldn't know.)

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