Hit Manga and Cat and Chocolate

•September 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Just in time for my trip home, I got the package that I was waiting for!  I opened it up, and inside were two small boxes, about the size of playing card packs.  They were the two new editions of the game Hit Manga.

I didn’t know anything about the game until Andy K pointed it out to me, but it started off as a cool little karuta/hyaku isshu variant.  Basically, in the original game, there are 100 different cards that have a picture and the 2nd half of an ancient poem.  Someone reads a poem from a deck of random cards, and the players have to grab the card that finishes off the poem before everyone else.  It get’s pretty intense; kids bicker and grown ups use fans to smack the card and anyone’s hands that are in the way.

In this game, however, there are a ton of panels that are typically found in manga.  The original game was just generic manga, but they’ve just come out with the sci-fi and school versions.  In this game, the players take turns grabbing a card from the deck.  Each card is exactly the same panel as a card that’s laid out on the table, complete with empty word bubbles.  The person “reads” the card by acting out the voice of the characters or what-have-you, and the players try to grab the right card.  Getting it right first nabs you a point, but getting it wrong means you have to sit out for the next round.  If nobody gets it right, the reader takes a penalty card.  It’s a simple game and it sounds like a ton of fun.

After all the karuta I did while teaching kids English, I never thought I’d want to play again, but there you go.  You can check out this blog entry here for a video of it being played.  It reminds me of another card game I got somewhat recently, Cat and Chocolate.

I picked this up a couple of months ago, but when I went back the other day to get some more copies for friends, they were totally sold out.  I guess it’s super popular.  It did have its own, sold out, panel at JGC…

Anyway, in this game, there are two decks of cards: one deck consists of dangerous situations you might find yourself in while in a haunted house.  For example, you’re falling asleep but you can feel someone coming behind you, or the walls are closing in on you.  The second deck is full of items–some mundane, some useful, and many whacky.  You can find mirrors, flower bouquets, lighters, and the like.  The object is to come up with a way to save yourself using the items you’ve got in your hand (1-3 cards at a time), while the others judge whether or not you’ve succeeded.

The example given in the book shows us a player who has pulled a danger card that tells him that the doors down the hall has opened, and blood is filling the hall.  He’s got to do something before he drowns.  Unfortunately, he only has the titular Cat and Chocolate cards.  So he lures the cat using the chocolate, and as he sinks under the blood, he grabs the cat and sucks the oxygen out of its lungs to keep from drowning.  Of course, the other players tell him that, Sorry, it’s not going to work.

Both games look like a lot of fun with the right group, and both are small, easy to carry, have little set up.  Perfect to take with me to the US.  Let’s see if I can get someone to play!



•September 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It was pretty frustrating to have the momentum that I was trying to build up a couple of weeks ago on this blog cut short.  Unfortunately, I have nowhere near as much time as I’d like to work on the number of projects that I’m trying to get done at the same time.

That being said, Andy K and I conducted an interview with a couple of really interesting people that I’ll be posting soonish… though it’s in Japanese.  I’ll be posting the interesting points sometime around then.

We’re also working on an article about TRPGs to be included in a magazine from the UK.

Unfortunately, at the moment the big thing that’s been taking all of my time is my imminent trip home to LA and my wedding!  We’re finally knocking the ceremony off the list of things to do, so my wife and I are going to be in the states for a week or so.  Hopefully when we get back things will slow down (hah!) but I’ll do my best to update this thing as often as possible!

Happy 15th Anniversary: Satasupe!

•August 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Satasupe: The Asian Punk RPG, a game published by Bouken Keikakukyoku/the Adventure Planning Service and written by, among others, Kawashima Toichiro, the man behind Shinobigami.  As one of Kawashima-sensei’s first games, its streamlined rules and sharp focus have kept it in print and has spawned several supplements, such as the awesome Dead Man Walking.

Continue reading ‘Happy 15th Anniversary: Satasupe!’

EndBreakers SGC: Amatsukagura and Quarriors

•August 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

At JGC I had the chance to jump into some demos of board/card games in the dealer’s room.  There were lots of board games all over the place, but I was able to try out a couple of new and interesting games that I’m going to introduce here.

EndBreakers SGC: Amatsukagura is a SGC (strategy card game?) similar to Thunderstone/Dominion, while Quarriors takes that same gameplay and adds some randomness in the form of dice.

Continue reading ‘EndBreakers SGC: Amatsukagura and Quarriors’

Nechronica ~The Long Long Sequel~

•August 22, 2011 • 8 Comments

Probably the most memorable game that I came across at JGC was Nechronica.  (Warning: graphic imagery awaits any who follow that link to the true Nechronica site, by clicking the top of the two options).  It is put out by the same group that brought us Yuuyake Koyake, Tsugihagi Honpo.  This game, however, is a completely different world with a completely different feel.

Abject and graphic horror.  And, when the body parts are put away, real emotion. Continue reading ‘Nechronica ~The Long Long Sequel~’

Post-JGC Week!

•August 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Well, the Japan Gaming Convention has come and gone.  I met lots of interesting people and played a bunch of incredible games.  I bought way too much stuff (or not enough) and came home with lots of interesting stuff.  I’ve got enough material to write about stuff all week, which is what I’m going to try to do.  We’ll see how far I can get!

Shinobigami Kai + JGC 2011

•August 17, 2011 • 7 Comments

A few weeks ago, The Adventure Planning Service released the sixth book in the popular Shinobigami series of role playing games.  This time around, the book is set neither in the original universe, nor the sengoku /warring states period that the last book, Shinobigami Ran, was set in.  In fact, the book represents a reboot of the series and, in a sense, the rules themselves. Continue reading ‘Shinobigami Kai + JGC 2011’