Cantrip Games Journal – Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of my games journal. This week I played a larger number of games, for a little bit of time. The first two are prototype card games I played at a local game design meetup. Then there’s a bunch of video games. Last, a recommendation for an entertaining YouTube video series about one of my favorite games, Final Fantasy VII.

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week of 5/6 – 5/11

Lost card game prototype

A hidden role game based on the Lost TV show. This is from a local publishing company that got a hold of the rights to the show. It was just OK. I could see it improving, but at this stage it seemed too difficult for the betrayer to win without some series talking skills.Cat game. prototype

Cat card game prototype

I’m in a weird spot with my cat card game. Overall, I’m happy with its mechanics, graphic design, and rules. Essentially, I’m ‘done’ with it. But, I can’t help but feel like there is something missing from it. A couple of play testers have really enjoyed it (both cat owners), but every other player seems kinda bored. Currently I’m tempted to toss it up on a print-on-demand service, then give away copies to my friends. Maybe after playing that version for a while I’ll figure out something else to do with it. The other reason I’m hesitant to work on it more is because I feel like some of my other card games are much stronger.

World Wide Wrestling RPG

Lately I’ve been getting more into professional wrestling. Of course, the more I watch the more I wish I could live that life, vicariously of course. While I could try out some of the video games, right now I’m more interested in a tabletop experience. I’ve heard good things about World Wide Wrestling, and I’m currently reading through the book. The first thing that sticks out about this game versus other Powered by the Apocalypse systems is how complicated it is. The basic move list for WWW is 4 pages with moves that only work in specific matches, or certain character types. This is on top of additional mechanics like “heat”, “audience”, and “momentum”. Now this isn’t a bad thing, this game does a great job of recreating the ‘mechanics’ of a wrestling match. But it does make it a bit harder to get totally understand and get into. The accuracy to ‘real’ wrestling gives this game another interesting angle: it can be used to introduce RPG fans to wrestling, or wrestling fans to RPGs.

Yakuza 0

So far, my favorite thing about Yakuza 0 is how it ignores video-gamey story tropes in favor of crime drama tropes. In the game there are three heads of the organization, each with a unique personality and specialization in the Yakuza business. Early on, one of these guys attacks you and is fought as a boss. After him, another of the lieutenants sets his sights on you. But unlike the first guy, who is in your face violent, the second specializes in information and blackmail. Normally in a video game your encounters with him would climax with a boss fight, but that isn’t his style in story. He tries to intimidate your character, who just walks away, no boss fight necessary. I really love that this game cares more about matching the feel of crime drama than it does the usual expectations of a video game. At least, so far. We’ll see how it shakes out as the game carries on.

Monster Prom

A competitive dating sim where you are monsters going to prom. We played it in person, passing the controller each turn. On your turn you get to make a series of choices, the ramifications of which play out in a visual novel style. Monster Prom has a very particular sense of humor, edgy and goofy, that didn’t resonate with me. The mechanics are also fairly shallow, the outcomes of decisions aren’t well telegraphed. Although this isn’t a huge deal as the surprising situations that arise are half the fun. The other half turns out to be reading the dialogue boxes out loud in goofy voices. I can’t say I was too impressed, but I’d like to try it again.


Played a bit of ladder with spiteful druid and aggro mage. Spiteful druid is a powerful and fun deck that lets you play some fun cards and win lots of games. I played a couple games with that deck before switching over to mage. Mage is traditionally one of my favorite classes because of the combination of secrets and burn spells. I’ve played some version of aggro/tempo/secret mage on ladder every expansion, and I must say the Witchwood version is the least fun. Secrets are still good, but less rewarding without Kabal Crystal Runner. You also only run 2 that are obvious for your opponent to play around. There is also a plethora of paladins that requires you to run janky cards like Arcane Missiles and Cinderstorm. In the future I will likely stick to Spiteful Druid when playing ladder.

Found in Translation FF7

I spent most of Friday watching this series on the differences between the English translation and original Japanese script of Final Fantasy VII. Its honestly more entertaining and interesting that that description makes it sound. Basically, written Japanese can say a lot more with a few characters than written English. This means that the English script is much more terse and clipped. Characters in the game can have very different personalities because of this. Plus, while the first episode is relatively dry, the production and entertainment quality quickly jumps by the second episode. If you like this game half as much as I do, you owe it to yourself to check this series out.

One thought on “Cantrip Games Journal – Week 2”

  1. I want to play all the Yakuza titles available on PS4. The problem is finding the time. Hearthstone is good fun. I like playing secret mage in wild.

    Liked by 1 person

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