Last weeks gaming 10/09/2018

Hostage Negotiator Box Art

Board Gaming wise, it was Escape the Dark Express Negotiator with Dragons.

Last week’s games article has fallen victim to the IT gremlins, but it’s not going to stop me talking about them here!


I have gotten to play a bit of Downforce lately.  Partly because of bigger game groups, partly excitement at the (due to arrive today!) expansion Danger Circuit.

This was one of my first Restoration Games experiences, and it lives up to their guidelines of ‘Make Games Great’ and ‘Do Good Works’.

Downforce is a car racing game that has everyone in the running to win, making it a fun and quick game to play and teach, with different mechanics available to help streamline play.

Watch out for a review of Downforce soon 🙂

Downforce Danger Circuit Board

Colt Express

Remember those old heist movies?  Why remember them, when you can play them!

Colt Express is a simple but surprisingly deep program action game for up to 6 players.  Each player has a character with a special ability, and everyone is trying to rob the same train at the same time!

The goal is simple, end up with more loot than everyone else.  But watch out for that Sheriff, he will make your life hard.  Now I have a group familiar with the base game, a review will be coming after the expansions have had a play as well.

Colt Express Begins
Want to teach a fun action programming game? Colt Express will work for you! **Promotional mat not included. Blame Alpal for that awesome 🙂

Hostage Negotiator

When you want something a little heavy but solo, Hostage Negotiator is a great choice.  I have spoken about the app before, but I have big plans for the site and this game.

This week was just for me though, and Connor E. Ogden managed to beat me 3 out of 4.

My only real issue with Hostage Negotiator is the space required to play it. At home, it’s a great escape that tests your logic and pushes your luck.  Get ready for more on this game in the near future 🙂

Hostage Negotiator Abductor Pack 1 Connor
The expansions are the size of a TCG Booster Pack, but change the game immensly

Escape the Dark Castle

When I am working on a PC for more than 12 hours a day, coming home to a video game or screen sometimes doesn’t cut it.  I might want to play a game, but the thought of even sitting on the PS4 or the Switch shows me another screen, or needs more brain than I want to invest.

As reviewed and played on the site before, Escape the Dark Castle is a great solo or multiplayer escape game.  With setup being only shuffling some cards, I spent a good couple of hours trying to get through the final boss with only 2 characters (solo is just impossible!).

Still a challenge and a heap of fun, Escape the Dark Castle is still on the quick access shelf.

Escape the Dark Castle Ready to play
The castle ready to play, with spare cards off to the left. Beware the Tailor and the Cook!

Dragons Breath

Dragon’s Breath was a quick game Alpal showed me, and it’s a heap of fun.

As we discussed in the HABA Blatherings, HABA has a history of quick simple fun for everyone.  Classifying them as ‘Kid’s Games’ can be dangerous, as there are a lot of things aimed at younger children that I have no patience for.

HABA seems to find that magical sweet spot where a game is designed for young kids, but adults have just as much fun playing the games as well!

Dragon's Breath
Another great HABA game. Dragon's Breath is quick, simple, and most of all fun

Destiny 2 Forsaken

I ran around, shot some things, collected some things, in short – I played Destiny.

With the Forsaken release last week, jumping in to see the changes was always on the cards.

Destiny 2 has me in a weird place now.  If you like games like Call of Duty or Battlefield, it’s now probably more for you.  But for me and other ‘casuals’, the Forsaken moniker seemed to be well named.

Check out my Forsaken review here.

Destiny 2 Forsaken Riding with Cayde
A dream come true - but not for long.

Octopath Traveler

Just starting the second round of Chapters for my party, Octopath Traveler is a game I will be picking up and putting down for the foreseeable future.

I think I am starting to hit the ‘grind’ of the RPG, but I still want to make sure.  I think my primary party is starting to form, but another 10 or so hours will test this.

If you have a Switch and enjoy old-school turn-based RPGs, do yourself a favour and just grab the Octopath Traveler demo from the eShop.  If you fall in love with the game, the progress you made transfers to the full game – it’s well worth your time.

Octopath Traveler Sample Screen
Is it a beautiful example of where the 2.5D graphics could have gone? Is it pandering to the retro fanbase? Yes to both, and it's amazing for it

So that was my week – what have you been playing?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

Until tomorrow,


Hostage Negotiator is now available on iOS and Android

Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 01

The negotiation game that takes ‘Rolling the Dice’ to a whole new level.

Hostage Negotiator is a strange game. It’s a solo deck builder where you have to negotiate for the release of hostages. That’s given away in the title. You ‘talk’ to the hostage takers with conversation cards, represented by the deck you build. The hostage-taker responds with dice rolls from a six-sided die. Half the die has blank sides which are fails. There are two success sides and a single partial success side. If you roll a partial success, you can sacrifice two cards to create a success. You can buy more powerful cards, but this leaves the hostages in danger from the Terror deck. These Terror events represent the Abductors actions during the game and act as a timer.

Hostage Negotiator is a unique experience that I pull off the shelf now and then and enjoy. The main negative of the game is it takes up a surprising amount of space. This is because of all the cards that need to be laid out to play, especially the conversation deck. While it is a great game to take with you especially when you’re on the road, it’s not a great game to play on the road. You will need to be somewhere you can set yourself up to play comfortably.

Well, that used to be the case. Hostage Negotiator is now available on iOS and Android for about AUD$6.50. It comes with the three base opponents available in the core game, with the first of the Abductor pack expansions already unlockable as an in-app purchase.

This is a hard game. Not because the app version makes it harder, it’s just the odds are generally against you. Hostage Negotiator does a terrific job of building tension through the conversations, and the app recreates this incredibly well. In grabbing some screenshots for this article, I went through 3 rounds without rolling a single success and lost because more than half of the hostages were killed. This isn’t normal, but like pulling the wrong card in Pandemic, a bad roll can cost you everything.

The app isn’t perfect. The implementation is graphically very simple and utilises the card art. I use a phablet-sized phone and have no issue with reading the text when the cards are zoomed in on, but I can see some people having trouble with it.

An update came out yesterday that fixed a few rule bugs, but seems to have introduced some visual glitches on my phone. It’s nothing game-breaking, but it was working perfectly so with luck that can be rectified soon.

If you are looking for a solo challenge you can take with you and play anywhere, I recommend giving Hostage Negotiator a try, especially as the board game version is hard to get in Australia without importing it yourself.

Check out Hostage Negotiator on Google Play or the App Store.

You can also see the original board game over at Board Game Geek here.

You can also check out the game designer playing the game below!

Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 01
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 01
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 02
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 03
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 05
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 06
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 07
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 08
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 09
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 10
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 11
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 12
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 13
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 14
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 15
Hostage Negotiator App Screenshot 16

Until next time,