Join us once a week for a little escapism! Bush's Board Game Thing sees Andy Bush celebrating board games and the experience of gaming with friends Elouise Carr and Brian Murphy. Each week, expect passion, enthusiasm, and multiple trips through gaming wormholes. This podcast is powered by Zatu - we're making sure the board game cogs keep on turning. Each week, I'll be bringing you the best bits here on the blog and letting you shop the podcast! Whether it's Mordor, Narnia, Wonderland, or Oz, world-building is a fictional phenomenon that creates some of the best plots. While the examples given are from literary works, the same sentiment is true for a cracking game plot.
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The week, Andy, Elouise, and Brian take a look at games that have the best world-building. Of course, Lord of the Rings features heavily throughout this week's episode as Brian chucks a few facts about the franchise our way. Facts every already knows, according to Elouise! The team is also joined by game designer, Matthew Dawkins as he talks them through the process of game design and writing. Without further ado, here are the games the gang considered to have the best world-building elements.
Of course, this is a perfect choice for Lord of the Rings fans, however, this chunky boy (you can barely fit your hands around it) is ideal for anyone looking to fully immerse themselves in a mythical, mystical realm. Each individual game of Journeys in Middle-earth is a single adventure in a larger campaign. You can already tell from the outside of the box that the artwork is beautiful and by flipping it over, you see a picture of the board, that is not so much a board but an entire 3D layout of Mordor.
In this one, there's no dungeon master, but a companion app that takes on the role of carrying on the story. Don't let this be off-putting for those who are tech-phobic. The app allows the best parts of gameplay to flourish while smoothing and streamlining the nitty-gritty bits that can sometimes be a headache. The app adds an element of surprise to the campaign as you simply do not know what you are going to get until you launch it.
With The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth, you will find beautiful cards, exquisite 3D figurines, and detailed character profiles. If you're looking for a new obsession, this is the one for you. The adventures can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, with most campaigns lasting around 15 hours. Better yet, this game can be played solo or with a group of up to 5 players!
What's better than a sci-fi B-movie from the 1950s/60s? Playing a game based around them. We're talking Barbarella, The Blob, Forbidden Planet. They Came from Beneath the Sea! encompasses the horror and humour of all these low-budget thrill fests audiences loved and still love.
They Came from Beneath the Sea! is a role-playing table-top game that encircles everything 1950s. The bubblegum pops, the hair is slick, and the jukebox is on. Although of course, this couldn't be a mid-century themed game without some sort of extraterrestrial monster... And that is what you are battling against in They Came from Beneath the Sea! Aliens from, you guessed it, the sea!
Of course, there was going to be a post-apocalyptic themed game in this episode. Potentially the most popular genre when it comes to fantasy lands, people just love the thought of a dystopian future. Waste Knights is set in futuristic Australia destroyed by experiments of a powerful corporation. You will attempt to survive abnormal weather conditions and antagonists forged in old laboratories from before the bad times.
This game is special as the plots for each adventure can be tweaked to suit players' narrative choices. Waste Knights' unique selling point is its stories that are at the heart of the game. We mentioned escapism a little earlier, and you won't find a better example of that than with a game of Waste Knights.
You Shall Not Pass
You can catch up on all previous episodes of Bush’s Board Game Thing on any streaming service. In the meantime, you can check out our podcast-approved collection right here on the Zatu website. There you can find all the games we’ve discussed on every episode of the podcast, all in one convenient place.
You can shop everything from episode 31 in our handy podcast collection.