Review: Viticulture Essential edition

soIMG_2177      Viticulture Essential Edition, published by Stonemaier Games and designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone, is a game that sets out to extract, distill, and bottle the challenges of running a vineyard into a clever worker-placement game. Admittedly, I don’t know much about wine. Just a few weeks ago I was at a bar waiting to watch a magic show. While the bartender was

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First Play: Food Chain Magnate

     I’ve heard that Food Chain Magnate by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga is an unforgiving game where early missteps can hinder your path to fast food franchise greatness. Well, I got the chance to play it today, and, wow, they were not kidding.


Player guide feature useful information and are also cleverly designed to look like diner menus.

     There are plenty of impactful early game decisions in this game of greasy spoon franchise entrepreneurship. You start off as the CEO of your own fast food restaurant with only one action at your disposal. You can hire one of the eight basic employee cards that range from errand boys who collect drinks from distributors to Management Trainees that allow you to play more employees per turn. Continue reading

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Review: Pizza Boy (iPhone)

ACNE Play’s latest game, Pizza Boy, is now serving up bite-sized, retro-style gaming on the iPhone. Does Pizza Boy manage to deliver a satisfying slice of mobile gaming? Does it manage to avoid being too cheesy? Can I force any more puns into my review? Read on and find out. Continue reading

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Review: Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Xbox 360)

Like any good partner, I make it a point to immerse myself in the interests of my significant other. That’s why I didn’t blink when my wife-to-be asked me to pick up Travelers Tales’ LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for the Xbox 360. Well, actually I did blink…and I put off her request for few days. Even though I really enjoyed playing Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, and Lego Batman with my girlfriend, I was still a bit hesitant. Continue reading

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Filed under Video Game Review, Video Games, Xbox 360

Thoughts about crummy films


     I really expected to hate Vacancy. It just seemed to me that Owen Wilson running around for an hour and a half trying to avoid being murdered by Frank Whaley and company would get old pretty quick. Fortunately, the movie manages to keep a brisk pace despite Owen Wilson and Kate Beckinsdale’s un-energetic portrayals. I think that this film would have been a lot better if it was cast with unknown actors instead of Wilson, Beckinsdale, Whaley, and Embry. 

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Los Hermanos Mario?

I saw this painted onto the side of a taco stand. Is it me, or does this character bear an eerie resemblance to Super Mario as depicted on the cover of Super Mario Bros. 2?

Note: image of SMB2 was taken from

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Real Life Zuma…

So I came across this mural a few weeks ago as I was on my way to the voting booths. My fellow video game nerds will immediately notice the similarities between this lovely mural and the stage select screen for the Xbox Live Arcade game Zuma Deluxe. Is this an example of video games borrowing from real life? Or is it merely a coincidence? You decide…


Pictured: Mural (Top), Video Game Stage Select Screen (Bottom)

Click on thumbnails for larger images

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Filed under Video Game Look-Alikes, Video Games