Sunday, December 19, 2010
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I started a twitter thingy recently (mostly to report the games I play via the nifty BGG twitter feature) but I figure I could "twit" or whatever when I post new columns...
So, theoretically, it would be easier to use Twitter to do the kind of thing this RSS feed does.
If anyone still reads this and doesn't want to follow me on Twitter instead (I don't plan on posting often, just when I play games and when I post new game stuff, although Science Theater stuff might mix in there...) Let me know and I'll figure out something.
Otherwise, this "blog" might die off and I'll be using Twitter instead.
My twitter feed is under "ScienceTheater"
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Why Obama should play boardgames Some thoughts on how boardgaming would teach a president a few lessons...My Annual Holiday Boardgame Guide at www.GamingWithChildren.com
This space intentionally left blank- (mostly just a link to a St. Petersburg session report)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Here are my GenCon reports from August:
At BGN: (Boardgame News)
Aug 21 - Matt Carlson: Gen Con 2008 Photo Report
Since that time (Aug 21st) I’ve written several more articles over at GamingWith Children. If you’re interested at all, check out Gen Con – The Boardgame, Gen Con – The Video Games, and/or Gen Con – The RPG.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Unplugged: A Different Kind of Game
An introduction to modern boardgames and a bit of intro of myself.
Unplugged: The Awards Shows
My take on some of the boardgame awards and the games that have won them.
Well, I'm back againf finally and GamerDad.com has moved. It is now combined with GamingWithChildren.com. I'll still be writing a biweekly post on boardgames of some sort, its just now at a new URL (GamerDad.com will continue to exist and will forward you on to the GamingWithChildren site.)
As part of the move, I'm revamping some of my old "classic" articles for inclusion on the Gaming With Children archive. In the meantime, I will be transferring some of my old reviews onto the BoardGameGeek web site while trying to simultaneously create a bit of new content for posting as well...
In the meantime, here are some of my latest ramblings over at Boardgame News where I'm also a biweekly contributer:
April 5, 2008 - Concentrated Gaming
March 22, 2008 - Matt J. Carlson: The Return of the Club
March 8, 2008 - Matt Carlson: Secondary Boardgaming
February 23, 2008 - Matt Carlson: A Risky Retrospective
February 9, 2008 - Matt Carlson: Is Your Game Tight or Baggy?
January 26, 2008 - Matt Carlson: Unnecessary Pieces
January 12, 2008 - Matt Carlson: A Hello, a Lack of Dimes, and an Election
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Unplugged #79: 1960: The Making of the President
Take a liberal amount of quality mechanics, add one part history, and mix to result in an excellent game that can also teach.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Unplugged: 2007 Holiday Shopping Guide
Fun doesn't have to be plugged in. Check out a few of these suggestions and enjoy some face to face gaming this year.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The conclusion to my D&D and RPG gaming kick... a few books and modules to help an overworked DM get his/her players more involved in the game...
Unplugged #77: Buying Creativity
For a modest fee, a role-playing DM can get a creative prod or a fleshed-out new challenge saving time and effort.
Monday, November 12, 2007
While Gucci and Loren steer clear of role playing games, you can still spruce up your game.
A short little review of several accessories to make roleplaying better, faster, stronger... well at least faster and better.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Unplugged #73: A non-collectible, board-based card game
How well can you mix a collectible styled card-game with a boardgame theme?
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Here are all the articles covering various topics from this year's GenCon convention in Indianapolis, IN...
Unplugged: GenCon 2007 Indianapolis, invaded!
Unplugged: GenCon 2007 - The Video Games All your board are belong to us!
Unplugged: GenCon 2007 - The Role Playing Fear the brain in a jar!
Unplugged: GenCon 2007 - There's always a first time Boardgamer and family man, Larry Baxter, describes his first visit to a game convention.
Unplugged: GenCon 2007 - Boardgames, Boardgames, Boardgames An alphabetical tour of publishers from Asmodee to Z-Man Games
Unplugged: GenCon 2007 - And more Boardgames The second half of our alphabetical tour
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Unplugged #72: The Expanding Colosseum
Currently, I sweep out the lion cages, but what I really want to do is direct!
A pretty good game. Not great, but definately above-average. It is targeted at lighterweight gaming but the complex forward planning necessary for good end-game play limits its beginner accessbility. The "intense auctions" variant makes the game a more intense game, at a slight reduction in player interaction. (less trading.)
Monday, July 30, 2007
Unplugged #71: Stonehenge - The Swiss Army Knife of Boardgames
Play one of the five games in this pentalogy, or design your own.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Unplugged #70: Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery
The bittersweet tang of limited actions and too many good choices are mixed to create an excellent family strategy game.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Unplugged #69: Martian Steampunk, who could ask for more?
Take a Martian theme, add in some Jules Verne, and mix liberally to create a fun, family boardgame.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
If you like dexterity games, puzzle games, or pattern matching; I have a game for you.
A review of:
Wicked Witches Way - Asmodee
Ricochet Robots - Rio Grande
Chopstick Dexterity MegaChallenge 3000 - Pair-of-Dice Games
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Some inexpensive accessories to spice up your role playing game, for when you have more money than time
(Mostly some maps and other props that can add a little spice to an RPG...)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Unplugged #65: Command and Colors
The best light wargame system on the market, you are commanded to check it out.
(This is a review of C&C: Ancients and BattleLore, as well as an overview of the whole C&C system.)
I also broke out the three available versions of the game (Memoir '44, BattleLore, and C&C Ancients) into their own review link. A fair bit of background is the same for them all (explaining the game system) and then I go into details for each game...
Fun, fast, and easy to teach, it is the best darn fantasy miniatures game around...
Command and Colors: Ancients (Boardgame)
A great, accessible wargame that recreates battles of the Roman empire.
Memoir '44 (Boardgame)
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
The Dungeons and Dragons role playing game, now 33% more user-friendly!
(Wherein I look at the D&D Basic Game, D&D Player's Kit, some new developments in modules, the Fantastic Location line of supplements, and the Complete ----- line of books.)
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The attempt was to do something humorous, while still pointing out reasons there is plenty of cross-over between boardgame and RPG players. (If you're unfamiliar with the site, it is a group blog primarily focused on boardgames, with different folks contributing, mostly on a biweekly format. I write biweekly on Wednesdays. It is one of the more well read boardgame-focused blogs around...)
Here's the URL of the article if you're interested: http://boredgamegeeks.blogspot.com/2007/04/eurogame-review.html
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Unplugged #61: Igloo Pop
Shake, rattle, and roll you way to victory in this fun party game that’s not just for kids.
I like the game enough to pull it out at the start of some of our biweekly gaming gatherings. It is great for loosening things up if some people are new...
Monday, February 12, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Recent posts include:
Gaming by the Numbers - trying to set up a multiaxis measurement of games to provide gamers with a way to describe their preferred "n-dimensional game space"
Spread the Joy - thoughts on spreading the fun of playing games, and some insights about the local game club
Beyond Nickels and Dimes - my 5 & dime list of the year, also looked at in light of time spent on games rather than # of plays
Guilty Pleasures – Why I hate Tigris and Euphrates
Second Place for the Win - should one always go for the win, always try to place as high as possible, or just optimize for the best showing each time?
Strategy and Tactics, a couple of definitions - short term vs long term planning.
Monday, January 29, 2007
by Dr. Matt Carlson
January 30, 2007
The most popular PC games often spawn expansion packs. The same is true for popular board games; here are a few to spruce up some of your favorite games.
Unplugged: GenCon SoCal from a Height of Four Feet
January 06, 2007
Another year older and a few inches taller, GamerDad's youngest reporter returns to GenCon in Southern California.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
And now, the recent Articles:
Unplugged #57: Mattel gets an upgrade
by Dr. Matt Carlson
November 13, 2006
Known primarily for its basic toy and game line, Mattel has jumping into the modern boardgame arena with two new games from the same author, Brian Yu.
Unplugged #56: Two New Wondrous Games
by Dr. Matt Carlson
October 30, 2006
The latest from Days of Wonder, the Blizzard Entertainment of boardgames.
Unplugged #55: Darkness Falls on Sevinpold
by Dr. Matt Carlson
October 02, 2006
Thankfully, the game is much easier to play than to spell…
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Unplugged: GenCon Indianapolis 2006 - Day 2, Friday (part I)
GenCon at its finest: sheep, dice, and applying for a job?
Unplugged: GenCon Indianapolis 2006 - Day 1, Thursday (part II)
You’ve got videogames in my boardgame convention! – D&D Online, Ryzom Ring and more
Unplugged: GenCon Indianapolis 2006 - Day 1, Thursday (part I)
A homicidal maniac, and WotC – the big fish in the pond
A game for any bird-brain, and one for the (geologic) ages.
Unplugged #53: Dragons or Darters, both are a smart choice
It’s Rube Goldberg meets Dragon-herding in this 2-player game.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Unplugged #52: Play a card game? - No Thanks!
June 25, 2006 Politeness has never been so vicious!
A review of the excellent filler card game: "No Thanks!", where players auction off NOT to take a card.
Unplugged #51: Insanity is best shared with a friend
June 11, 2006 Things that go “bump” in the night? Monsters terrorizing townsfolk? The awakening of ancient evils? At least you have your friends!
This rather elaborate game, Arkham Horror, by Fantasy Flight Games has lots of little bits and is pretty fun, but can get long if you play with too many players.
Unplugged #50: WoW, a boardgame!
May 28, 2006 No voice chat programs are needed to play World of Warcraft on your kitchen table.
The board game version of World of Warcraft is pretty fun, but also has the "Many, many little bits" problem. It can last awhile, but is a good game for fans of the computer version.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Here's the link:
Nexus Ops Unit Purchasing 101
Humans ... Fungoids ... Crystallines ... Rock Striders ... Lava Leapers ... Rubium Dragons. Which to buy? There's more to the units in Nexus Ops than meets the eye. (more...)
Monday, May 01, 2006
Well, here's a run-down on the bigger names in the line (mostly Wizards and Wizkids). (Oh, and the bigger names are also making bigger miniatures... :)
Unplugged #48: It’s a game of miniatures, not a miniature game!
The world of miniature games just got a whole lot larger....
Sunday, April 09, 2006
First, an overview and the "big" expansions:
Unplugged #46: Heroscape Expands
March 27, 2006
They’re not dolls, they’re action figures! Expansions for the Heroscape boardgame.
Finally, a look at all the smaller expansion packs (4 waves of 4 packs):
Unplugged #47: Heroscape, catch the wave!
April 02, 2006
Your guide to the waves of Heroscape expansions.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Unplugged #45: It’s in the cards
When a simple deck of 52 isn’t enough, a few card games for a deeper challenge.
(The second of two columns on card games...)
Gloom (Atlus Games)
Ark (Rio Grande)
Fairy Tale (Z-Man Games)
Are all provided...
Monday, February 27, 2006
Unplugged #44: It’s in the cards
February 27, 2006
From shooting ducks, to eating leftovers these card games are playable by anyone.
These are on the lighter side and great for younger families or fillers for fans of more complex games...
Poison, Sitting Ducks Gallery, and Leftovers
Unplugged #42: Five and Dime
January 15, 2006
Time for the Doctor to put his money where his mouth is, what has he played lately?
I go over my paultry five and dime list for the year of 2005 with a few comments.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Unplugged #41: On the Road
And I, I played the game more easily traveled by.
I comment on "Dancing Eggs", Tsuro, and a few others...
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Unplugged #40: Videogame Aliens and Railroads Invade!
Both Doom and Railroad Tycoon make their appearance as surprisingly good board games.
Have a great holiday season!
Monday, December 05, 2005
Our newest reporter, 8 year old Aiden, is sent to tour GenCon SoCal and report back on his first gaming convention in:
Unplugged #39: Through the Eyes of An Eight-Year Old
by Aiden & Richard Parker
December 04, 2005
Our 8-year old correspondant takes in the 2005 GenCon So Cal gaming convention.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Categories include kids games, family strategy, 2 player, party, light wargame and advanced strategy. Each game is given a score as well as a brief blurb of our "KidFactor" to explain the appropriateness of the game for different age groups.
Many of the games are not new to 2005, although some of those were new to me this year. As always, the intent is to serve as a guide to those somewhat new to the boardgaming hobby. Reccomends this year include Shadows Over Camelot, Attika, For Sale!, and Heroscape.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Unplugged #37: Take your family to the Rio Grande
Several family-friendly titles from Rio Grande Games
I have a capsule review of Rio Grand Games as well as three of their titles:
Around the World in 80 Days,
In addition, I have a more complete review of Cartagena:
Cartagena (Board Game)
It’s just like Candyland, only with Pirates, and not mind-numbingly boring.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Unplugged #36: Tile Games, what’s next, linoleum?
Tiles, they’re not just for bathrooms anymore… an overview of two games based around tile-placement with elements of area control.
I've never been as big a fan of Tigris & Euphrates as some, and I explain the game and end with some thoughts why it's not my favorite.
Then I give a review of a game I'm currently quite fond of: Wildlife.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Do you play a game to achieve the best final outcome possible, or are you always playing to win?
This week I discuss decisions gamers make in the mid to end game. Some play to place in the best final position possible, while others make riskier moves in order to attempt to win a game outright. Knowing which style of play you prefer is almost as important as knowing which styles your opponents tend to use.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Unplugged #34: Better than Ebay
It’s like surfing Ebay without ending up with a garage full of junk, two light games based around auction mechanics.
Buying a home was never this easy – an excellent auction-based card game playable in 15 minutes.
Fist of Dragonstones
Bid for gemstones to try to gain victory points to get ahead, or win the auctions for special powers to hold your opponents back – where will you spend your fairy gold?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Unplugged #0: GenCon 2005 - Day 1
A quick tour of the floor, D&D Online, Hasbro’s HeroScape, and a finale of Parthenon - scalped tickets anyone? - Dr. Carlson writes of his first day at the gaming convention.
Unplugged #0: GenCon 2005 - Day 2
Bored of World of Warcraft? Try a haunted house or a True Dungeon? Just let the chips fall where they may, Dr. Carlson spends Friday at GenCon.
Unplugged #0: GenCon 2005 - Day 3
With Saturday to be his last day at the Con, the good Doctor goes on a whirlwind tour, including NC Soft, the Nokia, and the big guns in board games.
I'm heading into a biweekly schedule again, but will continue to post here whenever new columns appear. Drop me a line if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
As the summer winds down, the Doctor's thoughts turn to GenCon which starts this week in Indianapolis.
As I prepare for GenCon in Indy, I give a little background on the convention as well as a quick rundown on some of the many game companies I hope to visit.
Watch for a full day-by-day overview of my visit early next week (or even over the weekend if I have the stamina).
One final note, the end of summer brings with it the start of school. As I'm a teacher in my "day job", the Unplugged column will be headed towards a biweekly schedule, with a few possible special exceptions.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Read about it at:
Unplugged #32: Tending the Garden
My favorite games involve growing my own little empire
Monday, July 25, 2005
Unplugged #31: Z-Man Games
An interview with the man behind Z-Man Games, Zev Shlasinger.
A pair of brief reviews of Z-Man games are included at the end of the interview.
Our full reviews of the games have been posted as well:
Grave Robbers from Outer Space (Card Game)
The card game that is a B-movie horror flick in disguise… and that’s a good thing.
Primordial Soup (Boardgame)
A board game about eating, excreting, and evolving – it’s more life-like than Life!
Monday, July 18, 2005
Unplugged #30: Summer Fun
Lazer Tag and Super Soakers – why play a first person shooter inside when you can recreate one outside?
Lazer Tag (Toy)
With wireless communication and on-board computers, the current generation of home Lazer Tag equipment has come a long way from its 1990’s roots.
Super Soakers (Toy)
Super Soakers are some of the best squirt guns available, but there are enough models to choke a horse. Which should you get?
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
This week I look at two games from Your Move Games.... Succession and Space Station Assault
Unplugged #29: Your Move Games
An up and coming company presents two titles for your inspection.
The more thorough reviews can be found at:
Space Station Assault (Boardgame)
Defend your station from the assault of your opponent’s spaceships in this two player card game.
Succession: Intrigue in the Royal Court (Boardgame)
Being the King is all right and good, but do you want all that pressure? Ply your skills to be the voice behind the throne.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Unplugged #28: The Three Musketeers
Its all for one and one for all in three different board games based around cooperative game play.
A short discussion of cooperative board games, with some pitfalls common to the genre described. Three titles are described as examples of games in the genre: Shadows Over Camelot, Lord of the Rings, and Vanished Planet.
Also posted are full reviews of the titles.
Shadows Over Camelot
Honor and glory, or stealth and betrayal, which is your role in this cooperative board game?
The universe is being consumed by a growing, black menace. Can you and the other aliens cooperate well enough to save your home planets?
Lord of the Rings (*Note, this is primarily a repost and reformat of a review posted back in the spring of '04).
One game to rule them all! - A cooperative game based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Unplugged #27: Three from Avalon (http://www.gamerdad.com/detail...)
Not Arthur and friends, but three lightweight family board games recently published by Avalon Hill.
There's a short history of Avalon Hill and an homage to some board games that inspired several classic computer games (Reach for the Stars, Master of Orion, Sid Meier's Civilization, etc...) concluding with a short review of three recent Avalon Hill releases: Sword and Skull, Monsters Menace America, and Nexus Ops.
Also posted are full reviews of two of the titles:
Sword & Skull (http://www.gamerdad.com/detail...) Ahoy, Matey! The pirate games are a’coming fast and furious – prepare for boarding!
Monsters Menace America (http://www.gamerdad.com/detail...) Who can resist the chance to stomp on the talking Paul Bunyan statue in Minnesota or mutate by walking over Three Mile Island?
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
www.GamerDad.com is a web site dedicated to video and computer games written from the perspective of involved parents. Games are evaluated both on their quality as well as appropriateness for kids. Some games may be highly rated in quality, but be inappropriate for younger gamers.
The GamerDad Unplugged column was started as a way to expose more people to one of my favorite hobbies, board gaming. You can see a backlist of all past columns here: http://www.gamerdad.com/list.cfm?itemID=12&listID=columns There is also a searchable list of all board game reviews on the site.
My intention is to use this Blog, combined with setting up an RSS feed, to help let folks know when new posts have been made.