This week Matt and Dave look at Forbidden Desert, the notion of games that “fire” another and how simple games can be a lot of fun.

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Matt and Dave look at a pair of fun family games, and Dave teaches Matt how to remember the spelling of “desert” vs. “dessert.” They make a Dune reference and then dive deep into Forbidden Desert from Gamewright Games.

Featured game review: Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert

  • Designers: Matt Leacock
  • Publisher: Gamewright Games
  • Artists: C. B. Canga and Tyler Edlin
  • Players: 2-5 (Best with 4)
  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Game Type: Cooperative, grid movement, modular board

Sometimes a game will come out that succeeds an existing game, fixing errors with the original. In this instance, it can be said that the successor fired its predecessor. We can safely say that Forbidden Desert fired Forbidden Island. Dave points out that playing the progression of the D&D board games lets you see issues get fixed in subsequent releases.

Finally, WizKids have taken over D&D Board Games.


Dave: A definite buy. Kids and gamers will enjoy it. Fixed all of the issues that its predecessor introduced.

Matt: A must-buy, for all the same reasons.

If you like…


This is the segment that introduces you to new games. This week our feature review was Forbidden Desert. If you like that game, you’ll probably like:

Pandemic, of course! There are very strong similarities between the two. In this game, you’re scientists traveling from continent to continent trying to combat a spreading disease. It’s a milestone cooperative game that helped solidify the genre. Here’s some more Pandemic goodness that the guys mentioned:

  • The expansion “On The Brink” adds a new disease and a bio-terrorist, who works against the group.
  • The expansion “In The Lab” adds a lab.
  • Pandemic: The Cure is a dice-based version of the game.
  • Pandemic: Contagion lets you play as the disease.
  • Pandemic: Legacy is unique in that the results of one game (or play session) permanently affects the game for all future playthroughs.

Also, “Beating a Dead Horse Munchkin” exists.

What we’re playing


  • Dungeon Roll. A press-your-luck dice game put out by Tasty Minstrel. Walk through a dungeon to gain treasures, XP and glory. What’s neat is two players have something to do with each turn, with one player being the adventurer and another the dungeon master. These rolls move as the turn goes from player to player. It’s fun, but seems to be biased to the person who is exploring the dungeon.


  • Igloo Pop. This crazy game has you picking up little plastic igloos, shaking them and listening to guess how many plastic beads are inside.
  • Progress: Evolution of Technology. A card game about moving your civilization through various stages of progress. It’s complex and the guys want to play it a few more times before passing judgement.


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Hello gamers and friends! In this episode of the Monday show, Matt and Dave share some story-telling games and combat “zombie fatigue.”

Right off the bat, Matt and Dave address the growing number of gamers who are tired of seeing zombies all the time. They term the condition “zombie fatigue,” and even propose a solution: wolves. Want to play Dead of Winter (we discussed Dead of Winter in episode 005) without the undead? Just swap in some wolf pieces. It works thematically and still lets you enjoy a great game. Then they speculate about removing zombies from other games, as well as adding zombies to games that don’t feature them ordinarily. Undead Carcassonne, anyone?

Featured game review: Say the Word


The guys are giving away a copy of Say the Word from Peaceable Kingdom (today — Nov. 3 — is your last chance to register to win), which is our featured review.

Say the Word

  • Designers: Joyce Johnson and Rosie Roberson
  • Publisher: Peaceable Kingdon
  • Artist: (Uncredited)
  • Players: 3-6
  • Ages: 10 and up
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Game Type: Story-telling, memory, acting, party

Dave likes Say the Word a lot. It’s a fun, storytelling game with a little Concentration and Mad Libs thrown in.


Dave – Definite buy if you’re looking for a family game.

If you like…

This is the segment that introduces you to new games. This week our feature review was Say the Word. If you like that game (or storytelling games in general), you’ll probably like…

Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game. Each player receives a hand of cards that they use to tell an ongoing story. Meanwhile, everyone has an “ending” card that they must satisfy to win. But really, the fun is in putting the story together. The gang on Tabletop played Once Upon a Time.

What we’re playing

machi koro


  • Dread. A story- and character-driven RPG that uses a Jenga tower as its main mechanic, as opposed to dice. It does a fantastic job of building tension. You can read about Dave’s adventure playing Dread in this “RPG Diaries” post.


  • Witch’s Brew. This bluffing, fantasy card game accommodates five players. Matt calls it fun, but says there are better games out there that do the same sort of thing.
  • Greed. A quick drafting game with a 1970’s crime theme. There’s a lot of reading to be done up front, but once that’s done, it gets fun. It’s a good filer game, but the theme isn’t entirely family-friendly.
  • Machi Koro. Card drafting and dice rolling. You’ve got to build a town, and you start with a  wheat field and a bakery. The goal is to earn enough money to flip your building cards and thereby build them. Here’s Machi Koro on Watch it Played.

I love a good family-friendly party game. The type with simple rules and plenty of opportunities for laughs. Today we’ve got a look at the award-winning Say the Word by Peaceable Kingdom. Does it meet…

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Hello gamers and friends! In episode two of the Monday show, Dave and Matt reviewed Dead of Winter from Plaid Hat Games (spoiler: OMG they loved it) and more.

Featured game review – Dead of Winter

dead of winter

Despite having played this game only twice each, Matt and Dave both highly recommend Dead of Winter. It’s got so much of what we love, including zombie killing, thorough theming, role-playing aspects and great-looking components. Dave likes that there’s almost always something to do, even when it’s not your turn.

  • Zombicie is less story, more zombie killing.
  • Krosmaster Arena features gorgeous pieces that are difficult to assemble. In fact, neither Dave nor Matt will put their copies back into the box.


Matt: A must-buy

Dave: A must-buy

What are we playing?

DaveApocalypse World (plays 3-5. Mature audiences only, as characters may have sex/flirt).  This role-playing game is like a cross between Fiasco and…an nightmare. You can read about Dave’s experience with character creation in this edition of RPG Diaries. He’s eager to start playing for real.

MattSherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective. You must beat Holmes to solve the case. Interesting components make this game a lot of fun, and it’s possible to be led on a wild goose chase. It plays 1-8 players, age 13 and up. Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective won the 2012 As D’Or.

Matt’s also playing Quilt Show (plays 2-4 ages 10 and up) which has you assembling quilt tiles to construct a quilt that you then try to sell at a show. Both Matt and Dave are stunned at how much money can be made from selling real quilts.

If you like…


This is the segment that introduces you to new games. This week our feature review was Dead of Winter. If you like that game (or zombie games in general), you’ll probably like…

  • Akram Horror. Lovecraftian terror for 1-8 players. If elder gods are your thing, tuck in. For 1-8 players aged 14 and up.
  • Eldritch Horror. As Matt says, you can’t mention one without the other. It’s not an expansion, but rather a companion game with a few gameplay twists of its own. For 1-8 players aged 14 and up.
  • Last Night On Earth. A fast-paced shoot-em-up. Shoot for the head! For 2-6 players aged 12 and up.
  • Mice and Mystics. Curses! You’re bold warriors who’ve been turned into mice! This game plays a lot like D&D and is a lot of fun. Good story and good combat. Just watch out for the cat. She’s nasty. For 1-4 players ages 7 and up.
  • Zombicide. Tired of all that pesky “story” and just want to bash some undead heads. Enjoy. For 1-6 players aged 16 and up.

Finally, Dave played the video game action to discuss Galaxy Trucker for iPad. It’s a beautiful digital interpretation of Vlaaďa Chvátil‘s board game of the same title. An excellent tutorial and multiple play options, including two multi-player variations, make it a winner.