Staying In Podcast
Super Arcade Football, Midnight Mass, and Greece Lightning - Ep137

Super Arcade Football, Midnight Mass, and Greece Lightning - Ep137

October 15, 2021

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00:00 - Willington Day, our favourite seasons, and the number five.

03:46 - "You couldn't read it".

07:04 - Super Arcade Football is from OutOfTheBit - of Super Arcade Racing (as heard on Ep77) fame - and it’s a delightful “jumpers for goal posts” game that feels like a spin on Sensible Soccer, but given a modern fit and finish.

28:57 - WizKids’s latest is Greece Lightning, which is somewhat of a racing board game simulation of Wacky Races in that it requires deviousness, cunning, and a little bit of luck.

40:43 - We’ve been chomping through Midnight Mass, which has a Jamesian “pleasing terror” to it, and is, in many ways, more unsettling than Midsommar. Perfect for a bit of Hallowe’en spookin’.

All that, and some unacknowledged hiccups, with Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Oh and hey! Give our Spotify Playlist set a go if you’re after something else to listen to after this episode. Lots of good stuff in there.

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

Deathloop, Squid Game, and Last Message - Ep136

Deathloop, Squid Game, and Last Message - Ep136

October 1, 2021

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00:00 - Butter spreading dangers.

02:07 - We hop on the Deathloop bandwagon and talk about why this cyclical murder sim from the folks at Arkane Studios is inspired by old school roleplaying games.

23:55 - Sam’s wild claims of popularising Pogs at his school, plus talk of Squid Game, which is a deadly version of Taskmaster directed by Lady Gaga.

36:51 - After aggressively competitive games with names like Boom Beach and Clash of Clans, Supercell’s latest is called Everdale, which is the nicest ever logistics simulator.

44:49 - Absolutely obscene tea drinking.

48:13 - How the Where’s Wally? trend is propelling the board game industry forward, as evidenced by whiteboard-based detective ‘em up Last Message from Coiledspring and Iello.

All that, and the other zeitgeists, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

Wordscapes, Mazescape Labyrinthos, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings - Ep135

Wordscapes, Mazescape Labyrinthos, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings - Ep135

September 15, 2021

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00:00 - Lightbulb moments.

03:20 - Dining out at the cinema and why Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a fantastic kung fu movie, with a more-grounded physicality in a universe where everyone has laser beams shooting out their eyes.

21:49 - What’s bigger than Kris's lunchbox? Being a VIP.

25:42 - We’ve been spending lunch breaks playing Mazescape Labyrinthos from Devir. The premise is very simple - just find your way through a maze - but that’s only the beginning, and the game builds and builds upon this idea to result in a satisfying solo experience.

33:44 - Imagine a crossword puzzle crossed with Scrabble; that’s Wordscapes from Peoplefun Games. It’s simple, light fun, testing and improving your vocabulary skills in a free-to-play mobile game where the hand of the monetiser is rarely felt (if you turn off the ads).

44:36 - A huge thank you to Mark (@lithiumproject) for sending us a question for this episode, which is: what are the best two player board/card games?

All that, and taking a cup of tea hostage, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

The Suicide Squad, Anno 1800, and The Bart Bonte Collection - Ep134

The Suicide Squad, Anno 1800, and The Bart Bonte Collection - Ep134

September 1, 2021

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00:00 - Play it slow or play it fast, SUPERHOT VR might just be the best way to experience the stylish first person shooter where times only moves when you do.

05:44 - A spice challenge at Seitan’s Corner.

09:13 - Anno 1800 is from Martin Wallace, via Kosmos Games and Ubisoft. It’s got a heck of a large footprint on the table and at first glance appears off-puttingly dense, but this board game adaptation of a classic video game series is actually highly thematic, and really quite approachable.

29:24 - We’ve talked about his recent mobile games before here on the podcast, but the Bart Bonte Collection is a compilation of 28 games, originally made in Flash, available now on Steam. This tapas-like selection of excellent little experiences is a great example of both video game preservation and, in a way, a kind of gaming archaeology.

41:00 - Look, we all know that Suicide Squad was awful. But The Suicide Squad? That’s a whole different kettle of sharks.

53:04 - Reviewing incinerators.

All that, and hoofing games, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

Flesh and Blood, UK Games Expo 2021, and Masters of the Universe: Revelation - Ep133

Flesh and Blood, UK Games Expo 2021, and Masters of the Universe: Revelation - Ep133

August 15, 2021

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00:00 - Using Lara Croft-esque flares for romantic photography.

03:30 - No matadors whatsoever.

05:04 - We had a fantastic time at the UK Games Expo this year, and the organisers did a brilliant job of making it feel as welcoming and safe as possible. Last year’s digital version - which we did a… unique?… video for was all well and dandy, but it’s wonderful to meet up in person and get hyped again for board games. Plus, we spill the tea on the attendees of The Festival of Quilts.

09:34 - Kris’s booty.

16:56 - We popped over to a booth run by Kingdom Gaming of Northampton at UKGE, as they were running Flesh and Blood, a TCG from Legend Story Studios that’s really starting to pick up a lot of plaudits, for one key reason: it’s real good. There’s a satisfying tension between playing cards and keeping them, a great back-and-forth between attack and defence, and a huge reduction in the amount of frustrating luck seen in similar games.

26:51 - Another great find at UKGE was Stop the Train! from Escape Plan Board Games. Fans of Werewolf will be right at home, but there’s more than enough here to set it apart from the classic social deduction games, with a train track providing a visual reminder of time running out, and individual conflicting goals casting suspicion left, right, and centre.

31:44 - Themeborne’s Escape the Dark Castle was at UKGE in a big way, so we took the opportunity to give it a go, and we’re super glad we did. It’s a mix of Choose Your Own Adventure and deck-based dungeon crawl, by way of the OSR; grim and perilous adventures, unique enemies and characters, and just the right combination of tactical nuance, ease of play, and some very flavourful writing.

37:51 - It’s always a pleasure to catch up with Bez at a show, someone who is perhaps one of the most prolific and consistent game designers with their ELL Deck (the new name for Wibbell++, which we’ve previously covered). We got to play a new game - possibly created at the show itself! - called Coupell, a “flip and write” that will put your vocabulary to the test.

42:14 - “You get a lot of game for your money” is a phrase we think is going to be synonymous with Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road, from Osprey Games. Pop on a spiced tea and take in the beautiful art, all while building an economic engine in an ancient city.

50:41 - The very deliberately named Masters of the Universe: Revelation TV series has an amazing cast, an incredible soundtrack, and a compelling storyline that successfully draws and builds upon 130 episodes of lore.

All that, and He-Man’s colleagues, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

Black Widow, Alone Against the Tide, and Genesis Noir - Ep132

Black Widow, Alone Against the Tide, and Genesis Noir - Ep132

August 1, 2021

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00:00 - The Calippo Shots generation.

04:38 - A bit of a saga.

07:21 - Black Widow is an action thriller in the MCU that explores some pretty dark and deep themes surrounding the character. It’s a good movie, with extremely visceral action scenes, but it doesn’t feel like a “phase 4” film.

19:40 - The solitaire Call of Cthulhu adventure Alone Against the Tide sits somewhere between Alone Against the Flames and Alone Against the Dark; it’s a solid challenge, but very approachable, with lots of cosy (?) psychological horror.

32:45 - Our pal Damien Faulkner asks the hardest question we’ve had to answer: just what are the must have Switch games?

45:43 - Genesis Noir is like an interactive art installation; a monochrome, film noir point and click theme, inspired by the works of Italo Calvino. It’s from Feral Cat Den and Fellow Traveller Games, and it’s wonderful.

55:07 - Getting Busy with the Knizy, and his latest games! Lost Cities: Roll & Write is from Kosmos, and it's a game that gives the Lost Cities feeling (obviously), but it's more approachable and, importantly, you can play it on a couch. AND we look at Royal Visit from Coiledspring Games and Iello, that has just enough edge and grit to its tug of war gameplay to make it super engaging.

All that, and The Kris Turn, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

Loki, A Gentle Rain, and Imperium - Ep131

Loki, A Gentle Rain, and Imperium - Ep131

July 15, 2021

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00:00 - Sleeping with Stephen Fry.

05:56 - It’s coming home. We’re going out.

09:00 - Marvel’s latest TV series - Loki - has aesthetics that are very reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange but, secretly, it’s the best Doctor Who series yet.

24:43 - The Willington Variants.

26:52 - We get into meditation with Mondo’s A Gentle Rain, an unbearably simple-sounding game, from Kevin Wilson, a person who we thought didn’t make simple games, but who has created a purposefully meditative game that really is an exemplary piece of design.

40:52 - Imperium Classics and Imperium Legends from Osprey Games are part of a set of superb and very generous deck builders that really get across the feeling of building a civilization. Plus giggling about murder, and people we look like from history.

All that, and a lovely spot of ASMR, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

Overboard!, Blades in the Dark, and EXIT: The Sacred Temple - Ep130

Overboard!, Blades in the Dark, and EXIT: The Sacred Temple - Ep130

July 1, 2021

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00:00 - UEFA Euro 2020 (actually taking place in 2021), plus: it all kicks off.

03:37 - We attempt to get away with murder with the keeping-your-story-straight simulator Overboard!, which appears to have come out of nowhere from inkle - the team behind Sorcery! and Heaven’s Vault. It’s glorious, with superb writing and a unique approach to “open world” game design.

18:00 - Surprise: we’ve joined a cult! But don’t worry, we’re actually only playing John Harper’s Blades in the Dark. Published by Evil Hat Productions, it’s inspired by things like Dishonored, Thief, and Peaky Blinders, with a mechanical focus on cutting to the chase, and a heavy emphasis on telling stories about risks, heists, and murder.

36:45 - A very lazy use for a Fitbit.

43:15 - The brilliant EXIT series from Kosmos has evolved over time in some fascinating directions, and for EXIT: The Sacred Temple it’s grown to include some mysterious new jigsaw puzzles that are incredibly engineered and have pushed the play length out longer and altered the pacing.

All that, and being woken up by DVD menus, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

Inkling, The Expanse, and Call of the Sea - Ep129

Inkling, The Expanse, and Call of the Sea - Ep129

June 15, 2021

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00:00 - A couple of rounds of toast before bed.

04:51 - Kris’s Special Place, aka Board Beans Cafe.

12:07 - Helvetiq and Coiledspring Games’s GoTown reminds us of Silk and Fluxx, but it has a sense of internal logic that calms the crazy and makes it all make sense in the end. Another “throw it in the bag” game, if ever we saw one.

19:31 - First there was Scrabble, then there was Bananagrams, and now there’s Inkling, an astonishingly good, super accessible word game from Osprey Games that’s an exercise in word chaos.

28:23 - The Expanse and its expansion Doors and Corners from WizKids feels, in some ways, like Geoff Engelstein’s take on Twilight Struggle. It’s got politics, it’s got intrigue, and it’s got some of the same mechanics, but it’s also got science fiction and a more compelling, streamlined experience, and if those things sound good to you, it’s well worth a look.

45:44 - Call of the Sea comes from Out of the Blue and Raw Fury. It’s a brighter, more beautiful take on the Mythos, with touchpoints like Myst, The Witness, and Silent Hill, all the while reminding us of Lovecraft’s ghost written and Dreamlands work.

All that, and The Great British Public, with Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

It Takes Two, Muffin Time, and Wide Ocean Big Jacket - Ep128

It Takes Two, Muffin Time, and Wide Ocean Big Jacket - Ep128

June 1, 2021

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00:00 - An alternative to exercise?

04:23 - A trip to Yorkshire and an unusual use of steam trains.

09:37 - Master Word is a cross between legacy game, word game, and deduction game, from Scorpion Masque and Coiledspring Games. You’re going to absolutely love it, just like we did.

14:42 - Muffin Time is by the people behind the popular web series asdfmovie and Big Potato Games. We talk about why the Trap Cards are so smart, how it keeps you on your toes at all times, and why you shouldn’t sleep on using the all-powerful blank cards.

26:31 - Hazelight Studios once again proves they’re the leaders in co-op video games experiences, with It Takes Two for PC and consoles. It’s a game for couples, in more ways than one, and when it’s not dropping new mechanics, it’s making you laugh uncomfortably with its dark sense of humour.

42:45 - At an hour long, Wide Ocean Big Jacket demonstrates a rare economy of storytelling in gaming. A well-scoped story, delicately told, with natural dialogue and eminently relatable characters; you really do need to play Turnfollow’s short and sweet adventure for PC and Nintendo Switch.

52:25 - We Make Someone’s Dreams Come True with the competition results from our previous episode about Forks in the Timeline.

All that, and the bath bomb backlog, with Dan (@ThisDanFrost), Kris (@DigitalStrider), Peter (@XeroXeroXero), and Sam (@MrSamTurner).

Links to where you can find us - StayingInPodcast.com

Note: sometimes we'll have been sent a review copy of the thing we're talking about on the podcast. It doesn't skew how we think about that thing, and we don't receive compensation for anything we discuss, but we thought you might like to know this is the case.

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