Transcript of our podcast from 1 April 2009

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Games Galore!

by Moritz Eggert

...Seems to be the motto of the last months, while the game industry as a whole resists being pummelled into submission by the economic crisis. Even the Dice Tower cannot keep up with ALL the games published in the last months, weeks, days, so I am going to give you the rundown on games Tom and Sam might have missed.

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First there is "Bubble Trouble" by Parker Brothers Germany, quickly reacting as always to current trends. In this game players try to create the biggest economic bubble there is while keeping their assets safe.

The game plays within only 15 minutes maximum, and is recommended for kids from 2-4, an unusual move by the company, but a wise one when you consider the fact that a 2 year old kid is probably more intelligent than the head of your average bank, and they only need chocolate bars as a bonus which is a ...bonus.

All you need is some water and a bathtub.

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Trading Games in the Mediterranean - a glorious theme that never is out of fashion. It is so much in fashion in fact that Steve Jackson Games has decided to publish the "Big Metagame of Trading Games in the Mediterranean". Players represent budding game designers who try to publish their own design of a trading game in the Mediterranean in a market that can only be described as cornered... in a big way. The first player who manages to publish this game AND get a positive review by the fabled Sam and Tom from the Dice Tower wins instantly and can buy a house overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean trading scene in a seedy quarter of Marseille. Just lock your door when you're away.

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All people who haven't seen the final episodes of Battlestar Galactica should stop listening....NOW, as Fantasy Flight has just announced their first expansion to their immensely successful "Battlestar Galactica" game, simply titled "Earth". In this game the characters try to mutually overcome the dreadful realisation that Earth is just a smouldering and nuked ruin and that basically everything and everybody including themselves is a Ceylon toaster. When they finally realise that even their toaster is a toaster they begin killing themselves off in various ways - whoever manages to do that in the most surprising an unexpected way wins the game, bonus points are gained for doing it in front of a mirror, after a great night out with your ex-lover.

Of course things are not made easier by the fact that there are human traitors among the group, belonging to the legendary "Final Fab Four", a super-secret group of humans with silly haircuts. Suddenly 4 of the players are brought together because they hear the song "Yesterday" in their heads. They meet in one of the mixed bathrooms for which the show is famous, only to find out that somebody has left the radio on.

"It will be a corker" says Christian Petersen.

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Hans im Glück has announced that they are affected by the financial crisis. Bernd Brunnhofer, CEO of Hans im Glück has declared in an interview that their yearly output of 78 Carcassonne expansions has been reduced to 77, and that their main provider of die-cut cardboard tiles has cut it's workforce by 5%. "Even if we survive this year" says Brunnhofer, "we are looking into even less Carcassonne expansions next year, perhaps only 75, or even 74 in the worst case. We should brace ourselves for the fact that we won't be able to meet the high demand for these expansions anymore and that some shops might run out of one of the last 2456 expansions".

The Carcassonne world has been deeply shocked by this news and the current expansion 2457, "Son of Carcassonne", has been delayed 5 minutes. It's tragic.

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The shortest game of "Cash'n'Guns" was recently recorded in Novosibirsk, Russia. A couple of geek gamers from the local slums had illegally downloaded the rules for this fun for all the family game from the internet, and had created the game material by themselves. Little did they know that a certain game mechanic would bring their game session to an aprubt, if not totally unexpected end. The Russian prime minister has already announced a ban on Eurogames that will be a further blow to the gaming scene.

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I might run out of good Kimchi references lately, as Sam from the Dice Tower has duly noted, but Tenki Games thinks that this might be a subject that could be further investigated. In "Away with the Smell" players represent a couple of stewardesses on a flight to Korea who have just found out that half of the plane has ordered Korea's favourite killer food with a special dose of garlic. In a manner not dissimilar to "Café International" they now have to change the seating order so that nobody passes out from the fumes while keeping the restrooms in good order.

They always fail, but hey - that's the fun!

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Cooperative games are all the fad - now comes the new rage: "non-cooperative games". After "Pandemic" Heidelberger has now published "Enemica", a game where nobody is each other's friend and nothing can be achieved at all.

The game comes in a heavy and beautiful box with a cover painting by the famous graphic designer Christof Tisch. Players then proceed to either refuse to read or explain the rules, set up the pieces or even open the box at all. They then go sullenly in a corner, each in a different one, to brood. The winner is the person who has refused to buy the game in the first place - a paradox creating idea that will soon be stolen by the writers of Lost.

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There is nothing wrong with your iPod. I control the sound as well as the meaning. I can make it LOUD as well as stupid.

Now go home and hug your wife, I beg you.

Moritz over and out.

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2009, Westpark Gamers