Cardboard Children – Goodbye

Goodbye youse.

It’s been six long years since Cardboard Children began here on the world’s best computer games website, and it’s time for the column to come to an end. Yes, I’ve packed my bags, and I’m standing by the RPS door, ready to leave. My hand is on the doorknob. But before I go, I’d like to point you towards some of my favourite pieces during the run, so we can all have a little nostalgia trip together.


So why is it the end? Well, there’s really no need for Cardboard Children anymore. When this column started, there weren’t that many people reviewing board games. But these days it’s almost like a little industry of its own – there are entire networks of people reviewing these games now, my goodness, and so you are all very well served indeed. There’s no need for me to be here, really, other than to add my own voice to the pack. And that’s not really necessary, I don’t think.


I’d like to apologise for a few things. First of all, I’d like to apologise for constantly saying I’d do one thing then doing another. I’d promise to review one game next week, then another would appear instead. I’d promise to transform the column into an existential review column written under the dark influence of a sentient tree, and then do a joke column about wasps or something instead. I suppose I just always saw this column as a playful space, and I played in it.

I’d also like to apologise for costing you all so much money with my amazing recommendations.


I leave you with a selection of my favourite pieces. This isn’t really me blowing my own trumpet here – it’s more like me inviting you upstairs to look at my trumpets in case you missed them.

THIS was maybe the funniest column I wrote – and it’s a review of the great Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective.

THIS ONE is an experimental column reviewing a game that didn’t exist. Except, it DOES exist, right?

HERE I attempted to review dice. Yes, dice. I really like this one.

Here are the rules for life itself.

THIS ONE is about Fighting Fantasy books and the death of my mother.

HERE is a link to my Top 50 Boardgames of All Time videos, directed by my wee lassie. And these were a blast to make. And let’s be honest, they’re cute. The list is out of date now, though. So many changes.

AND THIS is a statement about games, why we play them, and probably the best thing I did here.

And – look, hey, I did loads of other stuff too. Six years, every week? Must be close to 300 columns. I’m sure there’s plenty of old stuff for you to dig into and enjoy if you fancy pouring a little liquor on the Cardboard Children grave.


So, this is the end. I’d like to thank everybody at RPS over the years for making me feel like part of the team, and for letting me write whatever I wanted. I’d like to thank you readers, too, for many kind comments over these hundred of weeks. Thanks for indulging my nonsense.

Where now for me? Well…

I’m doing a little project with my daughter called Land Of Excitement. It’s a blog that she edits and I just write for. And we’ll be talking about all sorts of exciting things, including board games, video games, toys, films and such. And it’s a family friendly blog that kids and parents can safely check out. My wee girl is 9, and she’s excited to run her own wee site and work on some writing about the things she enjoys. And I’m excited to be working for her. So, if you want to keep an eye on my opinions on board games and stuff, that’s where you’ll find me! There will also be other stuff there too, including videos and silly things. It’d be sweet if you checked us out from time to time. We’ve also got a little Patreon RIGHT HERE to support it, for reasons I explain over there.

And now, that is it. I’ll leave the final word to my good friend, Solomon Kane star James Purefoy.

“Hi, James Purefoy here. It’s amazing to think that my friend Rab has spent six years of his life writing this nonsense about kids toys. In that same space of time I’ve been in numerous films and played the villain in a hit US TV show. I have nothing but respect for his commitment to his readers. Now, if you’ll excuse me, this jetpack won’t fly itself to the Playboy Mansion. Farewell! And Stay Dicey!”


  1. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    • Plank says:

      “It’s been six long years since Cardboard Children began here on the world’s best computer games website”

      RPS is not the world’s best computer games website.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Get your salt out of my sweet.

        • Josh W says:

          Agreed, this is either someone missing with the post button and hitting reply, or trying to hijack the first post for their own superficial trolling. It shouldn’t be here.

          Your video choice was appropriate.

      • bonuswavepilot says:

        No? And what would your contender be instead?

        • shde2e says:

          There is this beautiful little website I recently found:
          It’s an adorable little website edited by a 9-year old(!), and they talk about everything from board-games to toys to netflix series.

      • Don Reba says:

        World’s best PC gaming website since 1873, ask anyone.

      • Minsc_N_Boo says:

        Most people would say it’s subjective, but I disgree. RPS is the bestest review page of all things gamey

      • rochrist says:

        Oh look. A dick.

  2. Daave says:

    You’re a top writer lad. I’ll miss you.

  3. thekelvingreen says:

    Crikey, that’s unexpected.

    Thanks Rab, and good luck.

  4. Duke of Chutney says:

    the article YOUR IN SPACE got me to buy my first designer boardgame and into the hobby. Ascending Empires is still my favourite boardgame some 300 later. Back then boardgames seemed forgotten to me and having coverage on a mainstream pc gaming website was really something else. Thanks for all the articles Rob, it would be good to see the occasional guest piece as I love your writing.

  5. Tiax says:

    So what, no XCOM review part 2?

  6. Easy says:

    I’ll really miss you Rab.

  7. Puppaz says:

    Have a blast whatever you’re doing Rab, was great fun watching your top 50 series.
    When are you ever going to finish Raw Danger by the way?

  8. qrter says:

    Thanks, Rab. You’re a wonderful writer (and performer), and you fitted in so perfectly with RPS. Sad to see you go, but excited to see where you go next.

    • qrter says:

      Land of Excitement sounds, well, exciting, so I became a patron, just to fully enable Hope to push her Daddy to new heights.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      I’m pretty sure that the third-person singular past-tense conjugation of the word fit is “fat”.

      And, goodbye, Rab. It’s a sad day.

      • qrter says:

        I genuinely wondered about that. “Fitted” still looks wrong.

        • Llewyn says:

          “Fit”, I think. It’s one of those verbs.

          Technically I think “fat” actually ought to be correct, as fit in this sense appears to have been a misreading of sit – one of those rare occasions where the old-style ‘s’ gets taken at face value. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it used though.

  9. ocelotwildly says:

    Sad to see you go, but happy trails and all the best for whatever you do next.

    I loved your stuff, but it was your review of a game which and that made me unexpectedly breakdown in tears that I’ll not forget.

    • ocelotwildly says:

      Ah damn, that was meant to say “game that doesn’t even exist”, but apparently simply html tags are beyond me

    • manybothans says:

      I also felt a lump in my throat upon reading the Jumanji review… thank you for your contributions to the Internets

  10. Ace Rimmer says:

    Turns out the dicey stayed in us all along. Thanks, Rab.

  11. qrter says:

    Oh, and I always loved this particular column, structured like a Fighting Fantasy book:

    link to

    One of Rab’s funniest, I think.

  12. tuzgai says:

    I’m sorry to see you go! Your enthusiasm has always been one of the things that reminds me why I got into tabletop in the first place. Thanks for a great six years.

  13. SweetJustice says:

    Good luck with everything you (and your family) do going forward. There may be a lot more coverage of board games these days, but your voice was unique and entertaining. Thank you for all the great reads!

  14. X_kot says:

    So sorry to see you go! Between Cardboard Children and Downtime Town, you’ve been very generous sharing your enthusiasm for games and your humor with us. Thank you for everything.

  15. hernique says:

    oh my god, I feel like part of my life is gone. and also old, six years already? I’ve even read Discworld books during that time, something that I hadn’t before. thanks for introducing me (and, consequently, many of my friends) to this wonderful hobby.

    also, this is one of my favorite pieces of this column: link to

  16. Brinx says:

    This makes me very sad. Your piece about Conquest of Planet Earth is probably my favorite thing in board game writing.
    link to

  17. DrMcCoy says:

    Wait, what?!? Nooooo. :(

    Goodbye… :(

  18. skeletortoise says:

    So long and best of luck. Not much of a board gamer myself, but I’ve gotten one game off of your recommendations and intend to get more. You were always a delight to read though, so your column will be missed.

  19. Ross Turner says:

    Cheers Rab, it was completely due to this column that I first got into board games proper, then all my friends, and now I have shelves of boxes of games that I’ve never played to upset the wife with. All the best and thanks!

  20. Nice Save says:

    Any recommendations for columns about board games to read instead?

    • Tiax says:

      My favorite is link to , by far.

      • geerad says:

        And it’s co-founded by Quinns, formerly of this parish!

        Pip, currently of this parish, does some work there, too.

      • Nice Save says:

        Ah, I had heard of that but for some reason I thought it was all video or podcast based, neither of which I’m too keen on. Thanks for nudging me into actually checking, I’ve got it all RRS’d up now.

      • EMI says:

        Important to note that Quinns and Paul admit to be hugely influenced in video style by Rab’s Consolevania series, so it’s all connected.

    • Immobile Piper says:

      Drake’s Flames was irreverent and fun, though he stopped doing reviews back in 2014. Good big backlog to sift through though:

      link to

      Dan Thurot is my #2 favourite written board game reviewer after Rab:

      link to

      SU&SD is super cool too.

  21. BathroomCitizen says:

    Good luck on your future and with your family, Rab!

    Has been a real pleasure reading your pleasure, and I must say that I’m a bit sad that slowly the ol’ RPS crew is all fading away.

  22. geerad says:

    If Hope is as good of an editor as she is a director, Land of Excitement will be something to see. Cheers, Rab.

  23. daver4470 says:

    I’ll really miss this column. Even though I don’t buy a lot of board games, it was always good to hear about what I was missing…

  24. Shinan says:

    I remember I bought Libertalia basically only on the recommendation here. It was one of my most played games one year. Though it hasn’t been brought out in a while now.

  25. Phinor says:

    Your extremely enthusiastic posts around 2012-2013 is what is at least 50% responsible for my room running out of space because of board games. Back then I was having another look at this hobby called board games and luckily/randomly RPS also happened to have this feature called Cardboard Children about the very thing. I bought my first board games entirely based on Cardboard Children and my wallet has never since recovered.

    So thank you Rab for these years! I will miss your enthusiasm and unique style. Board games media is in a much better place than six years ago but you were always my favourite :)

  26. Premium User Badge

    Spottswoode says:

    Well, shit…

    Thanks for the last six years Rab, you’ve written some absolutely wonderful things – not just informative and entertaining, but at times genuinely moving. Cardboard Children has ranked right up there with the very best of RPS over the years, and the internet will be a lesser place without it.

    Good luck with LoE and all your other projects in the future, and thank you once again.

  27. McDan says:

    Oh Rab, you’re a legend of a man and we’ll all definitely miss you on here. It’s been a good run! Look forward to following you into your future work.

    It’s been an amazing 6 years and great to see you got in touch with your pal Purefoy again. All the best!

  28. frenz0rz says:

    Sad to see you go Rab. Thanks so much for all your recommendations over the years.

    I most definitely wouldn’t have started boardgaming if it wasn’t for this column; thanks to your insistent enthusiasm for a few particular games I took the plunge a few years ago and never looked back. The boardgame virus spread quickly around my friends, and I now regularly play dozens of different games with a couple of groups. Our most recent acquisition is Forbidden Stars and oh my, I think it’s the best yet.

    But oh, where will I go to get my boardgame recommendations now?! After all, I don’t trust that shifty Quinns fellow.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Oh no! :(

    I’ll miss this column. Thanks for writing it!

  30. Freud says:

    I don’t really play boardgames but I’ve enjoyed this column as a glimpse into another world. Thanks.

  31. iswehr says:

    Probably my favourite column on RPS – going to miss reading it.

  32. Immobile Piper says:

    It was your and SU&SD’s enthusiasm that got me into board games. You had a good run. Stay awesome.

    Will be checking out Land of Excitement.

  33. Stellar Duck says:

    Happy trails Rab!

    I’ll miss your voice here greatly.

    You’re doing yourself a disservice when you say that your voice was just one in the pack. Yours is a unique voice and one I enjoy reading more than the rest. So I’ll miss your voice.

    Thank you for all the laughs, the insights and the recommendation. And say hi to James Purefoy!

  34. Xantonze says:

    I got back into the hobby thanks to your DUNGEONQUEST article.
    Can’t say I agree with every game you supported since, but your writings have always be a joy to read.
    Many thanks and good luck in your future endeavors!!!

  35. Sizeable Dirk says:

    Thank you for the time! (and all the amazing recommendations I never could afford before they sold out)

    I bet the board gaming comeback even surpass the geekery in the 80/90’s with the amount of stuff surrounding the hobby now. People even do Let’s Play videos and PnP RPG campaigns with thousands of views (damn millennial voyeurism).

  36. Zankman says:

    Rarely did I read these columns, if only for one simple reason – I ain’t got money to buy these blasted games you write about, so, why bother and why, well, torture myself by creating interest for something that I can’t have.

    Still, I read them here and there and they were interesting.

    Anyway, seeing this column go is definitely a big thing – an end of an era, I feel. It will feel odd to come to this website and no longer see Cardboard Children.

    May you have good luck in your future projects; the one you’re doing with your daughter sounds very amusing and unique (as well as excellent from a parenting/family bonding perspective) – so, may it all go well!


  37. FatOak says:

    There may be many more voices in the pack now but yours was always the most entertaining, and more like hearing personal recommendations from a mate than a borin’ old review.

    And personally I always enjoyed the in-joke of the broken promises from last week’s column.

  38. Scrote says:

    Goodbye Rab! I’ll miss you. Never much of a boardgamer, you inspired me to buy several boardgames which I’ve really enjoyed with my family!

    AA+++AAA++ would read column again

  39. April March says:

    Aw, Rab. Now I won’t have a column to post an indignant I THOUGHT THIS WEBSITE WAS ABOUT PC GAMES, DAMMIT. I never did that, but I liked having the option.

    (And RPS, since a spot opened, how about a column on pen-and-paper RPGs?)

  40. tigerfort says:

    Farewell Rab, and thanks for all the fun.

  41. teije says:

    Been a pleasure reading your stuff – best of luck!

  42. Derty says:

    Well this sucks, I always enjoyed these…

  43. mariandavid says:

    All the best and many thanks.

  44. bonuswavepilot says:

    You’ll be missed, Rab. Thanks for the words, and associated thoughts (both to create the words, and those sparked by reading the words).

  45. gwathdring says:

    It has been a pleasure reading your words every week. Good luck in future endeavors, and thanks for six years of lovely, bizarre, exuberant stuff about board games.

  46. Nick says:

    za ooh za buddy, za ooh za.

  47. Burius1981 says:

    Wow, I hope you are successful in future endeavors. Cardboard Children put the bug in my ear about modern boardgames and for that I thank you while my wallet curses at you.

    Evertime I saw a new entry to the column I was genuinely ezcited to read it. Your top 50 with your daughter was adorable, I look forward to sharing my games with my son. Not yet though, he is just 3 years old.

    Thank you again Rab, and good luck!

  48. racccoon says:

    I’m sorry this is one article that’s been here that I really just left behind as i scroll through the various reviews…till now.. so anyway sorry to hear its going as I’ll miss having to scroll by it. ;)

  49. sleepylemur says:

    Of all the lovely writers here at rps, you were my favorite. Thanks for the good years. Best of luck with your next venture!

  50. RobF says:

    I’ll miss this dearly, one of my favourite regular reads.

    Bye then, Rab. You did the good words. Keep on with that and thanks for the past few years.