Tag Archives: fun

Tiny Sword Tactics

Brandon: Good morning! Is it morning? I can’t even tell anymore; with the student teaching and having to set our clocks back an hour, and the election for the President of the USA. Happy election day! Where was I? Coffee! No. I mean, yes. Of course yes. Because, well, coffee. Right?

But, no, because Tiny Sword Tactics. Tiny Swords Tactics is an interesting game and I’m not really sure how to classify it. Is it a tile laying game? Technically. You do lay tiles down. You also move these tiles. Is it a fighting game? Absolutely. Is it an elimination game? Yes! Unless you don’t really want it to be. Well, it is regardless, but you can still give those who are eliminated purpose….

Let’s back up. You start with a Heart Of the Fight tile and then everyone takes turns laying down tiles from their team that they chose until all their tiles are down. Hold on. Let me set this up for you.

All setup and ready to go. Also, coffee.

All setup and ready to go. Also, coffee.

In this picture you can see how the game gets set up. You will notice that the tiles must touch sides. There’s no diagonal tile touching here! But now what? Hold on. Coffee. Mmmmmm, coffee.


rock, paper, scissors

Now you take turns moving, flipping, or fighting. Why? To kick your friends off the table, defeat their team, and win! Moving allows your team to run away from someone who might defeat them or even allow you to push someone else’s tiles along or even out of the game. Flipping tiles can limit or expand a tile’s actions. Fighting, well, is fighting. You defeat a tile or you lose a fight. Fights are mostly simple affairs that play out as rock, paper, scissors. I say mostly, because there are also damage tokens that come in to play based on how the battle goes. A player wins by having the only remaining tiles.

That brings us to player elimination. You can play that way, but there is also a variant where eliminated players get to move the Heart Of The Fight Tile. It’s a great way to mess with everyone who destroyed your team.

What is it like to play this game? Hold on. More coffee.

OK, this game has a lot of strategy and a lot of making plans only to have them immediately thwarted. Think of four way chess. Now think of four way chess where the battles aren’t as easy as rook takes pawn. Now add in fun retro 16 bit graphics.

Look at the graphics on these captain tiles.

Look at the graphics on these captain tiles.

Tiny Sword Tactics is a lot of fun and has a great look. We really enjoyed playing. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, aren’t you. Go ahead and get your own cup of coffee. I’ll wait. Just know that it’s not so much a shoe as it is a flip flop.

Does this game look great? Is it fun? Is there good player interaction? YES! There is, however the issue of player elimination. Sure, you can use the variant where the eliminated player messes with those still in the game, but it’s not as long lasting in the fun dept. as one might hope.

I forgot to mention something fairly important. Tiny Sword Tactics is currently on Kickstarter. As of the publishing of this review they have 10 days to go. $30 gets you a full version of the game. It seems a little high, but this is a kickstarter and with the total amount they are looking for I get the sense they’re trying to actually kickstart a business and not just create pre-orders.

So, my two concerns are player elimination and the price. That being said I still play Axis and Allies (hello mega player elimination) and I really want this game to make it. Tiny Sword Tactics looks good and plays well. Definitely check it out!

Here’s a link for you: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/637771097/tiny-swords-tactics

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Interview with Souljar Games

Today we are joined by SoulJar Games. We first ran into them at Gamestorm 17. We were immediately impressed by Alyssa’s knit beholder hat and then by their games, Torn Armor and Dice Crawl. You can see Brandon talking about them here and look for a review of Dice Crawl soon(ish). Be sure to visit them at http://souljargames.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/SoulJAR.Games


How did Souljar games come about?

We were a group of friends and industry developers who met through the wonderful means of social media. Once we encountered each other and started to talk, we knew that we had to produce something together.

What does the name mean?

HA! The truth is, we just wanted to tap into the soul of gaming: the fun, the enjoyment, the friends around the table, all sharing in the soul of what it means to play. The name was accidental, but driven by that spirit,

How did the three of you come together? 

Facebook. I’d like to elaborate on that further, but the simple truth is that via the social channel of Facebook we met and were able to experience each other’s views on gaming. and design.

What do each of you bring to the team?

Jim brings great game design, Jack brings stunning attention to detail and a insurmountable ability to bring red tape together, and Natalya just loves the spirit of social networking. Great games, designed and built by the best companies, delivered to your for your learned and respected consideration.

What are the challenges in having your creative team spread out? 

Communication and understanding; what everyone is doing, where they are at, and bringing the mutli-faceted parts of game design together … and to your mail box … in a manner that is clear and understood by the entire team. This is a big question in many ways. Jim does an excellent job of creating a new game with wholly new mechanics, but then he doesn’t necessarily know where we’re at with the promotion of the same game, or gathering of component quotes, unless we make a strong attempt to communication these facts to each other. And that’s really the greatest challenge: clear communication.

What is the design process like for SoulJar?

Jim dreams up a game – I’m not entirely sure how he does it – and he pitches it to the team during our next meeting. if we like the idea – and we typically do – we then get a draft set of rules and pieces from him. jack and I play the game through with friend, and at the same time jim is playing with his friends, and together we hash out any tweaks, adjustments, and changes that need to occur. Over a series of months we hash out the draft rules, bring in industry experts, give them a play test, and gather their feedback. Ultimately, at the end of the day, the final game form has had much input and the creative feedback of 24×7 gaming professionals, so by the time we’re ready to crowd fund a game, we know that it’s the best that it can be.

What challenges do you run into as an indie game company?

Figuring things out that the big boys already figured out years ago. Shipping to Australia and New Zealand I think is the biggest one right now =D

Dice Crawl

What lead to the creation of Dice Crawl?

The desire for a family orientated, competitive game, inspired by the dungeon crawl classics.

You ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign for Torn Armor. What was that like?

Stressful, but also rewarding. Crowd funding is an artform and the epitome of social interaction, but with hourly feedback when you are getting it right or wrong. There were great highs, but terrible lows. It is a psychological experience more terrifying than going against Cthulhu.
Torn Armor
What lead to the design of Torn Armor?
A desire to bring about a quick to learn, low cost, skirmish based game. I love wargaming and I think that it could have a broader audience, but cost, time, and play-area holds a lot of people back. We wanted to design something that was extensible, but also provided an introduction into a much larger genre.

Any plans to revisit Gondola?

Yes, absolutely. Gondola is a great, family orientated game; who doesn’t like the prospect of racing a gondola through the canals of Venice?

What are your hopes, dreams, and goals for SoulJar?

To provide entertaining and unique gaming experiences.

What’s on the horizon for SoulJar?

100 AD; a politically driven games in the Roman Empire.

What’s the best gaming experience you have had?

Honestly, any gaming experience in which you come away smiling, happy, content, and having bonded even more strongly with your friends … that’s the best gaming experience. If we had to choose -as a team – then it would have to be Geekdad playtesting 100AD with us … and wanting to play through to the end .. and winning .. with lots of smack talk along the way. We lost … but it was glorious.

100 A.D.

What lead you to design games?

The joy of games and wanting to give a new and unique gaming experience to the gaming audience.

What do you want people to come away with after playing a SoulJar game?

Simple to learn, deceptively deep, lots of options, fun to trounce the whole family into the dirt.

What keeps bringing you back to board/tabletop/rpg games?

Friends, family, fun.

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