I first wrote a series of reviews for Games Trade Monthly many, many years ago, back when it was a trade-only newspaper. I’ll see if I can find you a photo for all those who only know its slick and modern current incarnation. Back then there was only one rules for reviewing: you had to find at least one nice thing to say about it. It could be that the art was nice or the paper it was printed on was particularly thick, but something. Anything. That’s never normally an issue as almost everything has some redeeming quality, and in all my time there was only one item that I had to give back unreviewed. A less critical soul than I did eventually write a review, but I couldn’t in all conscience do so. It was a badly designed game with rubbish art on shoddy paper and the book binding was falling apart before I read the whole thing. Luckily, we now live in the Golden Age of gaming and standards are very much higher than used to be the case. Long may it continue.

Since then I’ve been reviewing things verbally to anyone who’ll stand still long enough. I tend to buy and play a lot of games, and am often the first one in my gaming group to try something out. As I also design games for a living I have a rather different take on things from most reviewers. This is not necessarily a better viewpoint, just a different one. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether it’s your cup of tea or not 🙂


Individual Reviews

(last updated 8 Jan 2012)

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4 Responses to Reviews

  1. Ni Keni says:

    Hi Jake,
    I wondered whether you have come across Lords of War by Black Box Games? It was originally conceived by Nick Street who was a wargamer – he came up with it when he was trying to distill wargaming into a simple mechanic which would result in a portable tabletop game. It’s a great game – it won UK Games Expos 2013 Best Strategy Card Game award. They were at Salute and Essen this year and will be at Dragonmeet in a few weeks’ time. They have a kickstarter on at the moment to raise funds to launch their third double deck. They are lovely guys and have worked really hard and are really passionate about the game. The links are.

    Best wishes,

  2. Keith Mullumby says:

    Hi Jake
    I was recently inspired to create a board game that “felt” like Australian Rules Football, but don’t hold that against it.

    Instead of a I go, you go, or even a taking turns activating it very much relies on:
    1) Backs react to the Forwards they are covering.
    2) Forwards react to the contest for the ball.
    3) Team possessing the ball continue to activate down field forwards/ kick downfield until they score, or the ball is out of bounds or loose (note which team has possession can change several times during a turn – contested marks).

    Each turn has a “Strategic” movement phase where players are assigned defensive tasks, or moved longer distances. Then the disposal phase can like tennis have an infinite number of kicks and marks (but also like tennis doesn’t).

    I have play tested it a lot with the kids at my high school and a couple of gamers groups. It is at the point where I feel comfortable asking you to take a look at it, so….. What do you think.?

    Rules :

    Sample turn 1 :

    Rules with tables only :

    Play testing :

    Please let me know what you think.


  3. Keith Mullumby says:

    Links to the latest versions of the files available on request from

  4. Keith Mullumby says:

    FINALish version available from the Mantic Forums Dreaball section. Posted by BalrogBond

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