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Subject: OGRE CASTLE Review, by two kids and an old guy rss

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Tory Niemann
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bragi1013 wrote:

The 7 year old boy, who is still talking about the game from last light, gives it a 200.


Hilarious!

As an adult who has played this game mostly with other adults, I'll say that though it looks shallow, with the right group of ruthless players, this game is brutal fun. Every time we get together to play it, I'm surprised and how much fun it is and how players get into it. It's not really strategic, there's a lot of luck, but moments of narrow escape, vicious beatdowns, and stunning betrayals are great even for adults.
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Thanks for the wonderful review. Sounds like the kids really enjoyedOgre Castle.

I'd just like to comment on a few of the items you mentioned. The game is self-published. I did as much of it myself as possible and used off-the-shelf components where I could. It is unfortunate that "home made" often comes across as "cheap" but I did the best I could. :-)

The tube "box" was actually fairly expensive. I wanted something that made the game "stand out" on the shelf and the tube packaging seemed like a good way to achieve that.

Likewise, the game "board" was not cheap, either. Especially in sweat equity. Buying the bolts of cloth, washing the bulk cloth to pre-shrink it, cutting down the cloth to map size, washing them again to get the unraveling fringe, ironing each cloth map, working with a local screen printer to put the map on each cloth. Well, it was very involved.

The card decks were, of course, contracted out to a card printer and cost what they cost. Not much one can do about that. I was actually VERY pleased with the quality of the card decks.

Dice are dice and I tried to get the best price possible.

The rest of the components...tokens, chips, rules...are the game's weak spot. All my prototypes used D&D painted miniatures but Hasbro was not eager to let me license them for inclusion in the game...and I really did ask them, too. And, since I only produced 250 copies of the game it was not cost effective to have custom molded miniatures made...so I fell back to the printed miniatures on card stands.

Well, there you have it. If the game does get a 2nd edition...sales really aren't pointing to that outcome, however...then I will do everything possible to upgrade the rest of the components, for sure!

Thanks for playing and thanks for the review.
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Graham Smallwood
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bragi1013 wrote:
We simply changed the Ogre's requirement from 6 gems to 4, and the game went so smoothly the absence of the Middle Child was quickly forgotten, like--well--the absence of a middle child. Anyway, let's begin.


As a middle child, I feel I must object. But nobody listens to me so it doesn't matter...
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Hal

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Thanks for the review!

I have this on my watch list. It sounds like it has aspects from Fearsome Floors, Hey, that's my fish, and Niagara.

The cardboard player markers always seemed to be strong candidates for replacement by whatever mini's I had laying around. That doesn't bother me.

Points on the tube box and fabric board. That's cool.

I agree that this seems like a kid's game that could be played on a different level when adults get involved: alliances, further planning ahead, etc.
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SGT Dave...I forgot to mention how much I appreciate that picture of the Ogre Castle game box sitting on your shelf. It really says A LOT about how easy the tube is to store, and how little space it takes up, and how easy to spot it is among a full game closet.

Great picture!

 
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Warren Sistrom
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Is it just me, or is the actual review missing from the top of this thread?
 
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Hmmmm...that's kind of weird, huh? It was there...I'll see if I can find out what happened to it.
 
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OK, I emailed SGT Dave and he sent me his original review text to repost. Seems there was some sort of computer problem in his household that messed with some of his accounts. Anyway, here's the original review.

bragi1013 wrote:
OGRE CASTLE Review, by two kids and an old guy

"The ogre's name is Lizard Skin! No -- Pickle Nose!"

Thus our trial run of Ogre Castle began.

A four player family game is perfect for the three older kids and myself. The hot games at our house, lately, have been Munchkin, Talisman and aMAZEing Labyrinth. This game should offer the chaotic, card-slamming of the first, the luck and fantasy elements of the second, and the blessedly short play time of the last.

Unfortunately, Middle Child was at a birthday party. The Sergeant Major was at a church function, and Junior is only 1 years old. That left us with three players. I was apprehensive about basing an initial review on a game modified for 3 players, but I promised the game designer a review, and, dag-nabbit! he was going to get one. We simply changed the Ogre's requirement from 6 gems to 4, and the game went so smoothly the absence of the Middle Child was quickly forgotten, like--well--the absence of a middle child. Anyway, let's begin.

PARTS:
The "box" is a little tube. I can see this as being a cost saver. Cheap? Yes. But also unique and compact. I like it.

The cloth board is also unique, and should be relatively inexpensive to screen. Its gets points for creativity and durability. However, to many it may appear to over-simplified, and they may yearn for some more detail.

The cards are a little thin, but are glossy and plenty resilient. I have the booster pack, and they match perfectly with the standard deck. I'm sure printing the cards soaked up most of the game maker's budget.

The player pieces are a real weak point. Folded, printed pieces, on heavy paper. We will probably replace these very soon with minis.

The gems are standard glass beads. They look and feel good. The "armor" tokens are standard bingo chips and can use an upgrade.

The art: The kids like the art. I hate it. For me, the art was almost distracting. Again, my kids didn't notice at all. But that may be because it looks like one of them drew it. All the other cost-cutting measures were understandable; all except the artwork on the box, the tokens, and the cards. It kind of looks like Napoleon Dynamite was the artist. Don't get me wrong, I know it's a kids game, and I don't think it needs Frazetta, but something along the lines of at least Bridge Troll, or even Munchkin. On the other hand, like I said, the kids didn't mind at all. In fact, my 7 year old son said he likes it.

Production Value gets a 4. It would be lower, but some creativity made up for some of lack of production budget drawbacks.


RULES:
The rules fit on both sides of a small photo-copied sheet of paper, complete with several gameplay examples. Simplicity rules this game, and is a huge strength for Ogre Castle. Were playing in less than 5 minutes.

Rules get a 9, minus 1 for being a photocopy.


GAMEPLAY:
The game is fast, and fun. I think a group of adults could play a game or two a month, but there seems no limit to playing with kids. I had to cut the kids off at 3 games because it was bedtime. I'm sure they would have played all night if I let them. This is primarily a luck based game, but much brainpower is still required for strategic movement and effective card playing. Most games lasted 15-40 minutes.

Gameplay gets a 6 if you remember Elvis dying; a 9 if someone had to explain to you who Michael Jackson was.

Overall this is an excellent game for a filler, or for family game night. It induced a lot of smiles and laughs. I certainly hope it draws enough attention for a 2nd edition with a bigger budget someday, so it can get a cosmetic makeover worthy of it's playability.

The Old Man gives it an overall 6.5.
The 11 year old girl gives it a 9, but I still likes Munchkin better.
The 7 year old boy, who is still talking about the game from last light, gives it a 200.
 
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