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Agricola: All Creature’s Big And Small Comes To Steam With Plenty of Big, Very Little Small




Agricola was one of the first board games I fell in love with. Now, this love was difficult to explore, because it turns out none of my friends were really interested in a game known as “the human starvation simulator.”

Okay, so it can be kind of brutal. Agricola is a resource management and worker placement game based around subsistence farming. You control a family of two living in a small house. You plant crops, develop the land, raise animals, and grow your family. At the end of each season you have to provide enough food to feed your family or you need to beg to eat, which results in a deduction of points. Also, you have to tell your children you decided to have them instead of feed them, which is just an awkward conversation.

If all of that sounds overwhelming, and you’re joining my friends in not wanting to play this game, don’t worry. The creators of Agricola released another version of the game: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, now available on Steam.

This new game chose a focus: raising animals. This version is also a two-player variant. Your goal is to not only have all of the available creatures, but to have more of them than your opponent. That sounds much less daunting, right? This game is wonderful for introducing newer players, including children, to the world of Agricola as well as worker placement and resource management games in general. The digital version in particular is a fantastic teaching tool.

Each round you have three workers to place at various spots on the “board.” Players alternate taking turns, with one of the spots available allowing you to claim the first move. There are three resources in the game: wood, stone, and reed. These materials are necessary to build fences and various farm buildings and upgrades. You’ll want to pay special attention to these options because they are vital to housing as many animals as possible.

There are four animals available: sheep, cows, horses, and pigs. You will need multiple of each animal to avoid losing points at the end of the game. Your starting house can hold one animal. Each fenced in square can hold two animals. Only animals of the same type can share a space. Two animals of the same type will result in a third animal during the final phase of a round. Various constructions can be built to allow for more animals to live in a space. A feeding trough, for example, can be used to double the limit on animals. A stable can be built on an empty space to house three animals, and does not require fences.

There are various options for the types of buildings that can be built, and some of these will change game to game. It’s a good idea to survey the board at the start of every game to see what your options will be further down the line. While playing the game, any options you cannot choose will be greyed out and not allow a worker to be placed there. You can click on any action space at any time to get a description of what that action does.

Now, while this does provide a bit of training wheels, the real benefit comes in being able to play against an AI. This way, new players can learn the game and test out strategies without ever needing to face an experienced player. This game mode also allows you to play locally with another player, side by side. Perfect for teaching a friend, a child, or even your pet.

The other two game modes, Ranked and Casual, are online. In Casual Play, you’ll be able to connect with friends on Steam to play games against each other. Ranked Play puts you in a queue to play against other players. This mode also keeps track of your game data, so if you have a competitive streak this is the style of play for you. Climb the ladder and become the best farmer in Agricola!

This game translates fairly well to a digital platform. The only drawback I’ve noticed is I do find it difficult to keep track of when I can place fences without spending extra resources, which has resulted in a few misplays. Unfortunately, there is no undo or back button, even against AI, so you live and you learn. The games play fairly quickly, assuming your opponent is paying attention! Games can also swing rapidly as well laid plans come to fruition in later rounds. It is almost required to constantly think a few turns ahead.

If you’re looking for a relaxing but challenging digital gaming experience, check out Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small from Asmodee Digital.

Images Courtesy of Asmodee Digital

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Let’s Unpack This: Chickapig






Mutant pigs, cow poop, and Dave Matthews? I’m honestly as confused as you are.

The game, originating from Chickapig LLC, is currently available from online retailers, with the version in this video selling at a limited special holiday price of $22.00.

*Thanks to Chickapig LLC for the images and material for this review.

Image courtesy of Chickapig LLC

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The Outer Worlds Announced as Obsidian’s Latest





the outer worlds reveal featured

Ever wanted a Borderlands/Fallout: New Vegas hybrid? Miss speech checks and genuine role-playing in your big-budget RPGs? Are you mad about the Fallout 76 debacle and looking for something to scratch the itch Bethesda has failed for years to get at? The Outer Worlds looks like the game for you. And for me. Oh hell yes is it for me.

It certainly helps that Obsidian is making it.

A new single-player sci-fi RPG (with a dash of Borderlands-style Western influence), The Outer Worlds sees the player lost in transit on a colonist ship heading for the edge of the galaxy. You wake up decades later on the planet Halcyon, which is in control of a corporation. From there, you will encounter various competing factions and chart the course of the story based on your actions.

I know that sounds like typical PR talk, but this is Obsidian. Fallout: New Vegas had the same setup, and based on your actions could lead to one of 4 major factions winning in the end, with the fate of numerous other minor factions at your control as well. If any company knows this style of game, Obsidian does. Really the only question left for me regards Obsidian’s spotty history of buggy games at launch. So long as The Outer Worlds isn’t completely broken, I think I’ll manage.

Add in the dash of Borderlands humor and aesthetic, and I am beyond hyped. The Outer Worlds will release on PC, the Xbox One, and the PlayStation 4. It’s currently scheduled for release sometime next year.

Video and Images Courtesy of Obsidian Entertainment

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Pokemon Moon, a different take





Majority of pokemon games have shown us that even though we are completing the same goal, we still want to continue on this journey. Every Pokemon game in my opinion never felt boring or similar to the previous games. Game Freak takes the same formula time and time again, but they improve upon the story and game play. This formula has worked for a long time, but the biggest change to this system was with the release of Black/White 2. For the first time we had a Pokemon game that had a sequel. For a long time we had games that were separated from each other so that each one felt like a fresh start.

Now the big questions is, why did they decide to do this? Other games do this and succeed, but Pokemon never did this before. My guess is that there were unanswered questions at the end of the game. The bigger question is why not just make a bigger game? The fans would love a longer Pokemon game to get themselves into and draw them to anticipate another game of the like. Maybe Game Freak decided to make more money by splitting a game in half since dlc isn’t something they can add to their game. I say that, but they can make it easier for you to acquire shiny Pokemon and the like, but for their sake, I hope they never do that.

Those were just, what ifs, things that may or may not have happened. I can’t even tell you if that is true since I didn’t even finish Black. I can tell you that Moon/Sun is the game where they truly took a risk. They decided to take the game in a completely different location, change the gyms into a different type of battle and also change the race of the character we were used to seeing. I think that was the biggest thing that surprised me when I first learned about this game and it still surprises me that the character isn’t white or Japanese. Just by the looks of the sprites, it never occurred to me that the character would be Japanese even though the game was made in Japan. I always thought the character would be white, but now I realize that they were just Asian with the old anime art styles.

I think the reasoning that I thought this is because I never really thought of Pokemon as an anime or anime game. There aren’t a ton of animes that have aired as long as Pokemon and even if they had, they weren’t in the limelight on American television. Only two that I know of that have shown on major networks are Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh.  Anime games give a certain feel to it and it usually follows a certain timeline in the anime, so it is best not to watch the anime if you don’t want anything spoiled for you. Pokemon has a different storyline from the show so that you didn’t have to relive the episode again. It is smart to think that the people buying the games, are the same people that are watching the show. It isn’t true for every show, but Pokemon has been running for a very long time and it doesn’t seem like it will end anytime soon.

Moon feels great because you don’t have your Pokemon learn hm moves this time around. Pokemon with the moves are given to you so that you can train your Pokemon with any moves you see fit. It is the only game where I didn’t actually catch as much Pokemon because I didn’t need a filler Pokemon to learn the hm move. That was a big thing to me because I lost interest in those Pokemon because they were good for getting me places, but not good in a fight. Moon seemed too fast to me because once you beat all the Kahunas, you were already at end game. You did have another goal while on your way to the final four, but it didn’t give you any character development. Let me rephrase that, you didn’t get any character development for your character, but you got it for all the other characters around you. Then again, Pokemon never really felt like a game that gave you great character development for your own character.

Moon was strong with changing the gym system and giving us a villain that we could actually relate to. In my eyes, it revolutionized Pokemon games in the near future. I was happy with the game, but it left me wanting more, like there was something taken from it for another game. Maybe that game will be called Super Moon/Sun. Another game that gives you more story and some additional Pokemon and legendaries as well. If I didn’t know better, I would think that this was Game Freaks way of having dlc. This is just my own opinion, so please tell me what you think about Pokemon and what the future will hold for the game series.


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