Cardboard Children – January 2016 News

Hello youse.

Oof, it’s 2016. We are all so old. I’m almost 40, and so are you. Even if you’re 19, believe me, you’re almost 40. Did you have a nice Christmas? Did you get any board games? Are you loved? Are you in control of your life? Well, bully for you, pantywaist. Shall we look ahead into 2016 in the world of board games and see what the big news might be?


Almost a decade ago I co-presented a BBC TV videogame review show called videoGaiden, and for some reason the BBC has brought it back to life in 2016. The show has been dragged out of the canal, the water has been stamped out of its lungs, and we’re back filming it this week. What’s different this time? Well, everyone involved is almost 40 this time. But also, we’re covering board games. Yes, board game coverage is coming to the BBC. There’ll be a bit about board games on the actual BBC TV and the iPlayer and everything. I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll be covering yet, but it should be interesting, and I’ll be hoping to introduce some more people to the wonderful world of games of boards. So there’s that.


I’m a big fan of the board game Zooloretto, where you build a little zoo and fill it with nice wee animals so that the animals can have sex. So I’m keen to get my hands on this new version of Zooloretto Mini, with all its streamlining and simplicity and sex. I like the cover art too, with its cartoon animals standing proud and erect, ready for sex. In truth, I’m probably better sticking with the animal sex thrills of the full size Zooloretto, but I just love to see new implementations of my favourite sex games. Board games, sorry. Sex board games. Of sex.


I love ideas like this. Imagine that Chess only had Queens. Each player with a bunch of Queens, moving like Queens, sliding all over the shop. And imagine your objective was just to get four of your Queens in a row. That’s simple and lovely, right? And it already sounds like fun. Like Connect 4 with Queens, on a Chess board, with a candlestick in the library. Check this shit out.


As someone who works in the TV/Film Industry, I’m obviously interested in a game about making films. Particularly one set in the 1940s, when I was born. Players are making films, using scripts, casting stars, and dealing with real world issues – like Pearl Harbor and Mafia involvement. The artwork looks beautiful, and there are real-life movie posters printed on the cards. It’s like a wee treasure trove for film buffs, with a game attached. Will the game be any good? Well, I have no idea. Gimme a damn break here. I’m not psychic. I’m just saying that it’s one worth looking out for as 2016 rolls on.


I love wrestling, because I am a good man with a good heart, and I love to dream. Rumbleslam certainly looks like a game inspired by wrestling, but it looks absolutely nothing like wrestling at the same time. It looks bananas. It has a bunch of miniatures with fat bellies and singlets, and they are beautiful. There’s also a team in it called The Heavy Pounders. Which is just hilarious. And loads of additional teams that you can pick up. It’s a Kickstarter, ya know. I don’t really know much about the game, I just know that it’s about fat bellied wrasslers flinging orcs and skeletons out of a wrestling ring, and that it’s gonna be gorgeous. Beyond that, it could be dogshit. Is it worth the risk for you? If so, you better back it soon, because time is RUNNING OUT.


Do you fancy playing a game with lots of little cats printed onto wooden blocks, where you can push and pull the blocks about, in order to score points or declare the game’s end? I have no idea how this game works. I’ve read the boardgamegeek description about ten times and it JUST WON’T GO IN. Look at this…

“The Waltzing Cat is a two-player game that consists of eleven wooden blocks, with each of those blocks depicting two differently-colored cats on opposite sides. Gold cats show up five times, red and blue four times, and white, black and green three times; no color is repeated on a block with another color that appears the same number of times, e.g., red doesn’t share a block with red or blue, but it does with the other four colors.”

I’m already kinda lost. I can’t make that last sentence go into my brain. At all.

“On a turn, a player pushes a block away from them (so that it falls on the table), pulls a block toward them, or declares the end of the game. If you push a block and the face that lands facing up appears on another face-up block, then you keep the block that you just pushed over. If you pull a block — thereby revealing a face that you haven’t seen — and the face that lands facing up appears on another face-up block, then you keep both matching –”

Okay, stop! I have no idea what’s going on. But it’s a Japanese design, and the game looks BEAUTIFUL. And I bet, I just bet, it’s one of those games that make more sense when you’re actually playing. And I know what’s going to happen here – you folks are going to appear in the comments section saying “Oh, it’s totally clear what you’re supposed to do” and I’m going to be all annoyed and stuff, because I’ll feel like an idiot.

Anyway, look – CATS. Incomprehensible CATS. This is worse than the end of Trading Places.


Back on the recommendations train, with something that might be of particular interest to computer game fans…


  1. Gothnak says:

    Board game coverage on national tv? That’s even less likely than computer game coverage… Who did you have to sleep with? :)

  2. Matt_W says:

    Oooh. The Producers does look interesting. I’ve been working my way through Rahdo’s podcast about the 50 upcoming games he’s most interested in and haven’t heard that one come up yet.

    I play Zooloretto with my 5 year old. It’s a simple (though elegant) game with simple rules, simple strategy, and no reading required. A junior version seems completely unnecessary.

    • Skabooga says:

      Maybe that took out all the sex parts for the junior version?

  3. Skabooga says:

    I have a friend whose life goal is to understand the end of Trading Places.

    • wraithgr says:

      The good guys gave the bad guys a fake report saying the harvest would be bad, leading them to believe prices would go up (the real report, which the good guys had, was not yet public at that time). The bad guys then started buying to corner the market, and the high volume caused others in the market to follow the same pattern. When the price went high enough, the good guys started selling to everyone.
      When the real crop report came out, saying the harvest was unaffected, everyone started selling like crazy. When the price went low enough, the good guys bought back what they sold and locked in their profits. Because the exchange rules mean you don’t have to put up any money to back your trades until the end of the day, they were able to do this on a lot more money than they actually had, so afterwards they could afford the nice island with the boat etc.

      Of course, I say “good guys” and “bad guys”, but they’re all bad guys: trading on material nonpublic information is a crime called “insider dealing”, so don’t do it, kids!

  4. Author X says:

    Oh, well, from the except of the Waltzing Cat rules you posted, it’s totally clear what you’re supposed to do. Each block has a face you can see and a face you can’t. You just look at the blocks that are already knocked over and try to match one by revealing a face you can see (one point) or revealing a face you can’t see (two points).

    How was that? Sufficiently smug?

    To be fair, it would have been much easier to understand if those paragraphs were flipped, as the second explains the goal of the game and the first is simply a deluge of data which is useless if you don’t yet know how you use it (to guess which cats are on the faces you don’t see).

    • wraithgr says:

      Actually the moment it becomes clear is when you see that picture. But still unclear how the game starts, right now it seems that player 1 would have a massive advantage…

  5. Philotic Symmetrist says:

    Regarding the sentence you couldn’t get into your head “no color is repeated on a block with another color that appears the same number of times” is the key part. Phrasing it another way, you have three groups of colours: {gold},{red,blue} and {white,black,green}; the tiles have every possible colour-pairing, but the colours have to be from different groups. The number of each colour is actually the result of the groupings not the cause: there are 5 tiles with gold because there are 5 other colours, but for pairs with white, 2 of the other colours are not allowed so there are 3 tiles.

    Assuming the objective is to get as many pairs as you can, the game is about ‘card’ (tile/colour) counting (and manipulating the information with which to count); for example, if you can see a green cat and have seen tiles with gold/green and blue/green then you know that you can pull that tile toward you to reveal a red cat. Obviously if there is a green cat facing up and a green cat facing you then you can simply push that tile to make a match, although you will then never see the other side of the tile while your opponent will then have seen both sides, so pulling tiles to make matches is trickier, while pushing tiles gives more information to the opponent.

    Oops, I mean, oh, it’s totally clear what you’re supposed to do…maybe.

    • Philotic Symmetrist says:

      Oops, misread/ forgot to check the bit about keeping tiles; as Author X pointed out you keep only one if you get a match from pushing, in which case going purely from the excerpt it’s not as clear whether or not you see the other side of tiles you keep.

  6. ironman Tetsuo says:

    Oh Rumbleslam, you had me right up until the Amazons…

    As a nearly 40 myself I found the news of more Video Gaiden fantastic!

    • Matt_W says:

      Can’t I just be in my late 30’s? I’ll have a whole decade (starting in — gulp — less than a year) to be in my 40’s.

    • Morph says:

      Exactly. Surely at this point game companies realise that more people will not buy your game with ridiculous skimpy clothed models than otherwise would.

      • ironman Tetsuo says:

        “This is a game about muscles!” the game designers claim early in the pitch, and look at those giant musclehead characters they’re awesome! I’m already forming an image in my head as to what the female team will look like, I wanted them to be as big as all the others, hugely over-exaggerated, this game looks like a right laugh. But no, I scroll down and find a bunch of pole dancers supported by a male Tree (why isn’t the tree femnale!?!?). Instant no-sale.

  7. JB says:

    Congrats on the vG news, Rab. That’s great stuff!

  8. VisibleMachine says:

    Rumbleslam looks like fun, very Blood Bowl which should be a good thing (I’m not sure Games Workshop are equally happy).

  9. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Woa, I did not know that Mr.Florence was enough of a bigwig to have his own Wikipedia article!

    • Immobile Piper says:

      To my knowledge he’s the most televised RPS contributor. Own show and all. I don’t think anyone else has done other than the occasional interview at best.