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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Top 5 Coolest Hearthstone Cards from Witchwood

The newest expansion for Hearthstone, Witchwood, has been out for a little while now. In the past I did my card picks right before the set came out, but when I reviewed them the cards tended to be flashy clunkers. This time I decided to mess around with the new cards awhile before making any picks. This isn’t to say these cards may be unimpressive in the long run, they are pretty interesting. Generally I lean towards cards that open up new archetypes and gameplay options, which there are quite a few of in this expansion. Click on for my top 5 coolest cards from Witchwood!


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Solving the Mana Problem

In my mind the biggest issue with MTG (other than cost) is its mana system. Anyone who has played MTG can tell you about the many times they’ve lost games because they either drew too much, or not enough mana. This problem is so old and common it has a name known by both its players and developers as Mana Screw. While this problem can be managed to a certain extend by good deckbuilding and mulligan practices, there is nothing preventing it from rearing its ugly head in any given game of magic.

mana vs mana

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Can good components make a card game more fun? (Dungeon Busters Review)


This year at Origins Game Fair I had some time to kill, so I wondered over to the Mayday games booth and played a demo of Dungeon Busters.  What drew me to it was the cute JRPG style characters depicted on the box and cards.  After trying it out I decided to pick it up, it was on deep discount and had a fun theme, so why not?  But is it worth its full asking price? Read on to find out.

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Zombicide and Awkward Board Game Controls

Recently my friends and I met up to play a new game that one of them had just acquired, Zombicide.  I’ve seen people playing this game at store and conventions, but I didn’t know much about it myself.  It’s easy to tell from the title and cover that it’s another zombie game.  I’ve been over zombie themed things for a while now. So while it wasn’t something I’d go out of my way to try,  I’m always down to try a new game.

Because I only played this game once, this post should be considered a first impression, rather than a full review. That said, the play through I got gave me a lot to think about in regards to the way board games allow us to interact with their systems.


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Card Drafting Made Easy with Sushi-Go!

I love card drafting games.  I started with Magic the Gathering drafts, and later played 7 Wonders.  Drafting MTG can be intimidating because you must understand how to play MTG, how to build decks, and do it in a limited amount of time.  7 Wonders is simpler, but its symbol heavy cards and resource management rules can still be very intimidating to new players.  Sushi-Go is a much easier card drafting game to learn and play.  In this post, I’d like to take a closer look at how Sushi-Go takes these more complicated games and streamlines them into something more accessible.


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Love Letter (Card game review)

The last few card games I looked at were big complicated games featuring lots and lots of cards. I love games like these, but some people may take one look at the stacks of card board and run the other way.   I thought I’d take a break from 100+ card count games and look at something much simple, the 16 card game, Love Letter.


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5 Coolest Card Designs in Knights of the Frozen Throne

Knights of the Frozen Throne, the latest hearthstone expansion, launches today.  This set looks unlike any other set we’ve had in hearthstone.  In many ways, it reminds me more of an MTG expansion (which makes sense as they’ve brought on an ex-MTG designer for this expansion).  There are many large and interesting ideas, as well as more counter play options.  For this list, I’ve chosen the 5 cards that stood out most to me while perusing spoiler lists.   Each of these cards I think will add interesting decisions during gameplay and deckbuilding to Hearthstone.  This list isn’t a ranking of how powerful I think these cards will be.  But I do think each is strong enough to see some play, otherwise they wouldn’t be adding interesting decisions to the game.


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