Guide to Green Games

Last week was G4’s Green Week and they published this article about games that are green friendly. Yes, just like board games. Since yesterday was Thanksgiving, many families are still together. What a better time to get the whole gang and play one of these games.


Do you know how much power they used in ancient Japan? Zero watts per hour. Samurai swords were banged out by hand, rice paddies were farmed by hand, and all of that fancy brushwork was done by … brush. But you know, while held in a hand. The Japanese had to rely on people power to get things done, and that’s exactly what you have to do in this area control game by prolific game designer Reiner Knizia. Warriors, priests, and peasants become your pawns are you try to capture places of power across the provinces of old Japan.

While you’re doing this, you’re keeping your pieces hidden behind your screens and looking to stick it to your fellow players. Going green might mean conserving energy, but it doesn’t mean you have to play nice. With high-quality ceramic pieces and awesome artwork, Samurai deserves a place on your table, even if you’re playing by candlelight.


Galaxy Trucker

In the future, making a buck as a company is tough because shipping parts all over the galaxy is a real pain in the ass. You have to build ships, hire pilots, and then wait for those ships to come back and do it all over again. So Corporation Incorporated has the bright idea to mash the parts together to make the ships, and then hire people off the street to fly them. That’s where you come in! It’s your job to get your rig to the outer bounds of the galaxy and turn a profit.

Along the way you’ll be looking for batteries to power up your weapons, fending off aliens, exploring derelicts, and dueling with your fellow truckers. Intergalaxy commerce ain’t easy, but Galaxy Trucker makes it extremely fun.

Formula D

F1 racing may not have caught on in the United States like NASCAR did, but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it on your tabletop. This game boils down what makes this type of racing fun: slipstreaming, drifting, high speeds, and hairpin turns and adds illegal street racing, custom cars, nitrous, and more. With different cars, drives, and gearboxes that you have to keep track of, Formula D packs in more multiplayer fun than F1 2011. (Sorry, Codemasters!)

But all of this high octane action doesn’t come without a price. If you head into a turn too fast, you can blow your engine, drop car parts, or litter the track with oil slicks. That means you’ll have plenty of obstacles to dodge if you manage to make it around the bend again. With tons of additional tracks, Formula D will be in your wheelhouse for months to come.


Backstabbing. Invasions. Retreats. Political intrigue. Diplomacy offers all of that, and much more. Players play one of the seven great countries of Europe in the years prior to WWI: Great Britain, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Russia or Turkey. With only two unit types, fleets and armies, it’s all about issuing orders, and setting up alliances with the other countries, or deciding to lie to them outright and do something completely unexpected when it comes time to issue orders.

There are so many websites devoted to all of the different strategies and opening moves in Diplomacy that you would think it was chess, but it’s much more fun than that. Technically, you could play this game without the board at all, but the Wizards of the Coast version comes with nifty bits and makes keeping track of everything much easier. Word of warning: friendships have been shaken to their core over this game!

board games

Dungeons & Dragons is the ultimate in sword and sorcery, magic and melee, dragon and dagger gameplay. Without it, we wouldn’t be playing games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and World of Warcraft. They’re all descended from the game that began for many people with graph paper, a pencil, and a some oddly-shaped dice. The good news is that D&D is still that very same game, and you can enjoy it all over again or for the very first time since they reintroduced the Red Box.

But, it’s also so much more than that. These days the game has a presence just about everywhere, including in the tabletop gaming world. Last year, Wizard of the Coast impressed with the first D&D board game that used their new Adventure System, Castle Ravenloft. They followed that one up with Wrath of Ashardalon, and then just recently they added Legend of Drizzt to the mix. If that wasn’t enough, and if you were looking more strategic adventuring rather than just dungeon delving, they also gave us Conquest of Nerath.


Sometimes the most basic of game premises, while low power, can yield bigtime fun. You don’t always need big strategy, zillions of pieces, and some sort of futuristic concept. Tumblin-Dice is much simpler than all of that. In fact, it’s so low-fi that it can be played with just one finger. That is, if you use the flick. Tumblin-Dice is all about rolling your dice, one by one, and trying to get them onto one of the higher-scoring tiers. The trouble is, those tiers aren’t easy to hit. So you have to use the wrist, the push, the thump, the flick, or many other different die-rolling moves to try and get it done.

At our game nights, Tumblin-Dice is always our starter, and more often than not we always come back to it. There’s something truly addicting about the wood board and the dice.  Trying playing that one on your StationBox 720!


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