Review: ‘Ten Candles’

Definitely not a Molly Ringwald film – instead, an innovative horror game that was nominated for several categories at the ENnies (though sadly did not win).

Ten Candles is a game I supported on Kickstarter a couple of years ago and mostly forgot about. I mainly went in on it because of its core mechanic: games take place by the light of ten candles (with optional extra lighting, obviously), each of which darkens as the game goes on. When all the candles are out, the game ends. It certainly caught my attention, plus the tagline was ‘A storytelling game of tragic horror’. So, y’know, my kind of thing. I’m actually really pleased I backed it on a whim, because it’s brought up some great concepts. Continue reading


Review: ‘Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple’


I’ve reviewed Daniel Solis’ excellent storytelling game, Happy Birthday, Robot! elsewhere on this blog, but he’s most famous for his charming family-friendly RPG Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. A FATE edition, Do: Fate of the Flying Temple, has recently been released, and Solis has produced an enviable number of tabletop and card games, as well as making some pretty great statements on inclusive art direction in his games. I pretty much want to read everything he’s ever written now! But for now, I’m reading Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, a gentle fantasy game with easy-to-grasp mechanics that don’t lack for depth, inspired by the wondrous tone of adventure stories like Avatar: the Last Airbender. Continue reading


Review: ‘The Play’s the Thing’


Roleplaying and Shakespeare? The Play’s the Thing was always going to catch my attention, but I didn’t expect for it to be quite as strange and cool as it is. The players, guided by the Playwright, are actors in a theatre troupe trying to act out a play – however, when anyone can suggest weird and wonderful edits, who knows where things will end up? The Play’s the Thing is a fantastic way of acting out your favourite Shakespearean dramas – just be ready for everything to change at the whim of the players, or sometimes the pettiness of the actors!

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Review: ‘Breaking the Ice’

breaking the ice

Breaking the Ice by Emily Care Boss is a two-player game that tells the story of a relationship through its rocky start into a bright future. I was initially dubious about this game, as I felt that it would inevitably be awkward and weird to play, provoking lots of trashy novel descriptions and stilted, melodramatic dialogue, but I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s fresh, fun and opens a dialogue right from the start about comfort levels. Continue reading


Review: ‘Monsterhearts’


Monsterhearts is one of those games that’s acquired a sort of mythic status (certainly where I live). It’s known for being emotionally powerful, excellent for genre emulation and potentially hugely variable depending on the campaign. Maybe that’s just in my friends’ circle, but there are good reasons for this reputation. Continue reading


Review: ‘Happy Birthday, Robot!’


Happy Birthday, Robot! is a lovely game that is self-contained, quick to learn and designed as a group storytelling activity for children, in a classroom environment or elsewhere. I’m reviewing it partly because I find it a fascinating example of roleplaying games as a teaching tool. Specifically, what it’s teaching here (as well as verbal skills, socialising, reasoning, grammar, etc.) is collaboration. Continue reading