The Big Sky – Tiny Epic Galaxies preview

I’m delighted when I see new designers start to truly make a name for themselves in our little world of gaming, and even moreso when their creations really fit in my wheelhouse. Scott Almes’ Tiny Epic Kingdoms went insane on Kickstarter and is now gracing tables around the world, offering a fantastic gameplay experience that I’ve returned to again and again since getting my copy. Tiny Epic Defenders is currently on the conveyer belt over at Gamelyn Games, but the latest in the series was shown to me while at Essen this year – it’s called Tiny Epic Galaxies and great as they are, this one is easily better than its two predecessors.

Your Gains From CFD Trading

CFD trading allows you to contemplate on the rise and fall of the different prices of assets on a wide range of financial markets including shares, indices, bonds, currencies, and commodities. One such platform that allows users to carry out CFD trading is the Crypto CFD Trader, which is fully automated and optimizable. Users can gain several advantages from trading using the CFD.

Advantages of CFD Trading

  1. One of the major advantages while trading using the CFD is that it allows the users to be benefited from both the rise and fall of markets. This adds in a flexibility factor so that users can gain maximum.
  2. Moreover, CFD trading is easy and accessible.
  3. Additionally, the strategy behind CFD trading allows users to forecast movements in prices.
  4. Moreover, it allows users to shoulder power against the price fluctuations.
  5. CFD trading removes the middleman involved, that is, there is no need for a stockbroker to carry out your trading activities.
  6. CFD trading allows users to minimize their losses and avert risks by closely protecting their trade positions. Users are allowed to limit their risks by the use of hedged positions. Thus, CFD trading brings in a balancing factor that allows users to balance their losses and prevent future failures.
  7. In addition, selling shares through CFD trading is easy, hence users can easily profit from CFD trading even during a falling market.
  8. Moreover, CFD trading also allows its users to trade with different contract sizes of varying styles and types. This indirectly benefits users with more than one type of investment account. As a general rule, it is best advised that new amateur traders opt for smaller trade sizes until they have established some experience in the field of CFD trading.
  9. Further, CFD trading allows its users to deposit only a part of the overall trade size in each of their trade transaction. This way, users are provided with a trade margin to be on the safer side of the trading business, thus enhances the returns on the capital invested.

However, like all trading activities, CFD trading too is associated with certain risks.

Risks associated with CFD Trading

  1. There are times when amateur traders begin to over-leverage their trade positions, thereby increasing the risks and losses associated with each transaction. This leads to trading abuse.
  2. CFD trading does not guarantee its user the right to vote in the company’s stakes.

Ways to prevent risks in CFD Trading

  1. By practicing trading that is restricted and consistent during the initial days
  2. By setting stop orders to reduce/limit the size of trade losses

Offering a comprehensive but pocket-sized 4X experience in around half an hour, I think that TEG (as it will become known) is going to break the records set by the earlier games in the series. Quick playing yet satisying, TEG will never see you looking to chuck out your copy of Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition – but you won’t have to schedule a visit to IKEA to buy a second table next time you want to play around a mate’s house either.

The game sees players attempting to reach a certain score, racing to utilise and colonise a series of planets that appear on cards in the middle of the table. Each card is laid out in a similar fashion, a numbered ladder on the left hand side, a symbol in the top right corner showing whether it’ll yield you Energy or Culture when you land a ship there, its points value in the bottom right and – probably most vital – the planet’s Colony Action. Players also have a larger Home World card in front of them that acts as a base as well as a way to track your stats and resources (the previously mentioned Energy and Culture).


The grid basically shows how you’ll (hopefully) progress through the game – start at the lowest level with four dice, two ships and zero bonus points. You’ll have to spend either Energy or Culture to upgrade to the next level (only once per turn) and pull in new stuff to use.

Your selections are dice driven with everyone kicking off the game rolling only four dice, but depending on how things turn out you could well be hurling seven of them across the table – and this is one thing you should be aiming to do as more ships mean more options AND more points. At the beginning of a turn you roll your allotted amount then, depending on what’s landed face-up, take actions. A single re-roll is allowed in case what you want doesn’t quite come up (which you will use a lot) and you’ll then, one-by-one, resolve the dice you’ve got. One lovely little element to TEG now shows its face – when you trigger an action, a player may spend one of their Culture Points to trigger that same action themselves, even through it’s not their turn. You might think you’ve got some excellent plan up your sleeve, but a Culture rich heavy player could potentially screw you over over the course of someone’s turn – even your own.

So, what can you do? Well, arrows allow you to move one of your ships around, either to the planet’s surface (which will pull in Energy or Culture if those symbols are rolled) or to the card’s Diplomacy track. Roll those symbols (a $ and ! in the current prototype) and you’ll move up the ladder, claiming the planet for yourself and tucking it in underneath your Home World. The final symbol shows the Colony Action, a potentially gamechanging thing that’s entirely dependent on the planets you’ve added to your collection. Everyone begins with the same ability – spend a set amount of one resource to upgrade your Galaxy (meaning more dice and Victory Points, as mentioned), but with each planet offering some kind of rule bending power, you’ll be seeking out the best ways to turn things in your favour.

A few of the planets you'll hopefully collect. Top right tells you what resource you'll grab, Diplomacy Track is on the left side, bonus and VPs on the bottom!

A few of the planets you’ll hopefully collect. Top right tells you what resource you’ll grab, Diplomacy Track is on the left side, bonus and VPs on the bottom!

As the game progresses, players’ tableaux eventually hopefully grow into a splendid collection of planets, pulling in all manner of useful resources and looking grand, tucked underneath your Home World – but all the while there’s that sneaking suspicion that everything will crumble beneath you, that all your plans will come to nothing thanks to that bloody rule of other people copying your Actions. Got your eye on picking up another planet? Tough, someone else has stolen it from under you, AND ON YOUR OWN BLOODY TURN AT THAT. Notice that someone seems to be running low on a resource? They won’t be for long, pushing their trackers up on your go. And this is wonderful as it means there’s pretty much no downtime in TEG – you’re constantly paying attention to what’s being rolled and when the dice are triggered. Manage to do this well and by the time your turn comes around to you again, you’ll be able to pull off some incredible stuff.

And that, for me, is what makes the game so damn good. Sure, it plays out in about half an hour, but for that whole time you’re watching, waiting, ready to jump while also planning your own strategy out. It’s a glorious, exhausting thirty minutes, fun as all hell, and when it launches in January on Kickstarter, you’d best get in on it. Tiny Epic Galaxies is showing that Scott Almes is growing into a truly talented designer, and it’s so exciting to thing that if he’s turning out games like this now, what kind of stuff will we see from him in a few years? If the game is this good with no graphic design and relatively plain iconography in a PNP, imagine what the end product is going to be like.

Tiny Epic Galaxies will be on Kickstarter in January 2015. You will want a copy of it. Cheers to Michael Coe at Gamelyn Games for handing over a copy for us to check out!

Maps – Cartography review

Give Emma a game that the enjoys and you’ll get a well crafted write up. Give her a game that she loves and her mind will explode over the keyboard. We gave her an advance prototype of Cartography, currently on Kickstarter, and it ended up like that old advert for Maxell tapes from the eighties.

Some Pointers For An Investor About CFD

CFD is the short for “Contract for Differences”. As an online investor, it is essential that you learn some useful insights regarding CFD to benefit the maximum out of it.

  • CFDs are basically formal contracts between an investor of virtual assets and an investment firm or an investment bank.
  • CFDs are used as a means for investment in moving assets that has a large underlying value associated with it, without having to actually buy or own the asset physically.

Trade Positions in CFD

Understanding the opening and closing of a trade position in CFD is important. However, its application using CFD is relatively simpler.

  • For example, in CFD, users can open a position when the value of the assets goes up or goes down and users can close this position when they are satisfied with the trade results that have been achieved.
  • In addition, trade positions can be closed when a particular CFD has attained its expiration time.
  • On termination of the CFD contract, the two parties involved are allowed to exchange the resulting difference that arises as a result of the opening price and the closing price of a particular financial instrument that could be shares or any other financial commodity.

In short, a CFD trading allows users to speculate on the rise and the fall of an asset value. There are several online CFD trading platforms such as the Crypto CFD Trader, where users can trade to the maximum potential and earn huge returns.

How to trade with CFD?

In order to get started with CFD trading, follow the below steps:

  1. Choose the market of interest where you want to trade
  2. Decide whether you want to buy or sell an asset
  3. Choose the size of the trade
  4. Incorporate a trade stop loss to minimize on trade losses if the perceived value is higher than your expectations
  5. Monitor the trade and decide when to close based on real-time profit and loss trend
  6. Exit trade

Why is the CFD so popular?

The CFD as a financial instrument has become increasingly popular over the last few years mainly because of the following reasons:

  • It is a relatively simpler financial instrument to use for trading purposes.
  • It is also easy to understand, both by a professional and by an amateur.
  • It is also has a very high accuracy rate in terms of its results, as it guarantees high achievable returns that are well above the industry’s average value.
  • It also generates huge returns on the investments.

"What's a tape, Michael?" - Countless LMDS Readers

“What’s a tape, Michael?” – Countless LMDS Readers

Shut up, insolent children! Shut up and read!

Right, no more review openings where I want to provide you with some context for who made the game and when, and then realise I know nothing whatsoever about anything and have to go and do research before I can actually write. I know exactly when Cartography came out, because it hasn’t yet. Currently on Kickstarter/soon to launch on Kickstarter/recently on Kickstarter/currently shipping from Kickstarter (delete as appropriate, depending on when Michael puts this up) [Oi, I’m on time for once! – Michael] Cartography is a tile-laying abstract strategy game for two players, with games taking anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, depending on how bloody-minded the players are. The most distinctive components in the game are its lovely triangular tiles – they’re made of a pleasingly-weighted wood and interlock, giving the whole thing a very satisfying jigsaw puzzle feel – each of which contains a varying number of dots, separated by walls and towers. The rules are simple enough – on your turn, you add one of these tiles to the table, then place one of your counters on a dot. Dots you play on have to have empty spaces connected to them, and if you surround a group of your opponent’s counters with your own, theirs are removed and added to your score. Players can pass if they don’t think any move will benefit them, and the game ends when both players pass, after which you score the number of counters you have left on the board, plus the number of your opponent’s counters you’ve captured. That’s it.

Now, those among you more well-versed in the history of board games may here be pointing out that those are basically the rules of Go, and the ‘designer’ of this game and its supporters are clearly uneducated philistines who won’t consume any media older than they are. In which case, wow, you’ve got a bit of an anger issue. But you’re largely right about the rules – as acknowledged in pretty much every piece of writing about Cartography, it is heavily influenced by Go, with Jon Adams (the designer) seeking to make something between classical Go and Carcassonne, but I think the complete transformation of the board from a 19×19 grid to a shifting array of triangular tiles and walls has completely changed the game, if you’ll pardon the semi-pun.

As an aside to those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about – Go is an East Asian strategy game, originating in China about two and a half millennia ago, and it’s like a thousand years older and orders of magnitude more complex than the (in my eyes) overrated exemplar of classical strategy, chess. Plus, what other game can boast this much history/mythology, including one famous game where one player was given three moves during the game by ghosts, and the other vomited blood on the board, then died after conceding? [That happened to me in a My Little Pony CCG tournament – Michael] What I’m saying is, you should probably check it out.

Anyway, to get back to reviewing games that didn’t come out thousands of years ago, Cartography. Yes, a lot of the gameplay feels a lot like Go, but let’s look at the things that make it different. Naturally, this is the board, as its constant evolution during play means that a) you’re never totally sure of your position, as your opponent could suddenly open up new fronts you weren’t expecting, and b) every game is different, offsetting a lot of the dry mathsiness you get in abstract games. Also, the change from a square-based grid to a triangle-based one, as well as the addition of walls (which stop adjacent spaces being counted as adjacent) means that any of your friends who do play Go won’t just steamroll all over the newbies, as a lot of the standard strategies and shapes don’t work any more. Also, I like the simplicity of the scoring as opposed to Go – in the latter, it’s all about the empty territory you have (either actually or effectively) surrounded, and calculating that can be a bit of a faff, but here, it’s just about stones on the board, both making counting up easier and the gameplay more aggressive, as players have more of a tendency to fill up spaces in their own groups for more points, making them more vulnerable to attack. Another advantage the modular board brings is the variability of play length – a game of Go can take anywhere up to several days, depending on how hardcore the players are, but here, the rulebook states that you can effectively create a time limit by putting a cap on the number of tiles that are available, with each adding about a minute to play time. Now, I’ve only been able to play short games, since my demo copy only has like 15 tiles instead of the full 40, but I cannot wait to get a full copy and see how quickly I can melt my brain with the whole set.

Normally, this is where I’d be listing the game’s shortcomings, but I’m having trouble on that front. Probably my biggest problem is that the rulebook’s a bit fuzzy on some points, but that’ll almost definitely get ironed out when it goes to publishing. Apart from that, the only reservation I have is that it might be a little too heavy for some people – this is definitely on the brain-burny end of abstract strategy, but if that’s your bag (and oh, is it mine), Cartography should be right up your alley. If, however, you prefer not to think series of moves ahead in your games, and hate the idea of somebody resigning because they can see how one bad move will come back to bite them in eighteen turns’ time, maybe not the one for you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to write some new Problems of Life and Death…


Throw your money at Cartography here! Designed by Jon Adams, the standard set plays with two people only, but there’s also a four player set available. As an aside, I played against Emma and lost my mind as well as the game. I assume the four player game would have driven me to murder (in the best possible way, of course).

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Dead of Winter review

Stuart has been a busy chap, attempting to keep his own little corner of the world from falling apart following the recent zombie apocalypse. You missed out on that? Oh.

7 Points To Know About The Crypto CFD Code

  1. The Brains Behind – The Crypto CFD Trader was developed by Lenny Hyde, an expert software developer cum trader of online digital currencies. He has several years of mining cryptocurrencies, which is how he ultimately decided to tap into the power of cryptocurrency mining and trading returns.
  2. Modus Operandi – It is a sophisticated algorithm that combines both machine learning and practical concepts of artificial intelligence (AI). It is fully automated and optimized hence does not requires its users to have any previous experience in online trading. The software performs three main roles, which includes monitoring, analyzing, and making forecasts on the current stock markets for virtual assets. Different digital currencies including Bitcoins, Ethereum, Litecoins, and others can be used for trading using this software.
  3. Costs Involved – The software is freely available for use. No payment needs to be done to operate the software. However, a minimum deposit of $250 is required, which will be transferred to your trading account and will be considered as your initial investment amount. You can later use this money to trade. This is made mandatory to keep away the non-serious traders who tend to misuse the software or fool around.
  4. Software Features – Some of the features that make this CFD trading software interesting are:
  • Autopilot capabilities that permit the system to trade by itself on behalf of the user
  • Full responsibility of the market analyses without the involvement of emotions
  • Completely web-based, hence no need to download the software on different systems that you are most likely to use
  • Round the clock customer support that can be contacted for any assistance at any time
  1. Getting Started – In order to start trading using this software, you need to avail a trading spot, which are released only in minimal amounts that are only 10 free licenses per day. For this you need to the fill in the form with all your basic details required to open a trading account. Following this, you are requested to make the minimum trading deposit of $25, which goes under your capital investment and can be used only for trading purposes. Once this is done, you can activate the autopilot based on the settings adjusted by you.
  2. What Next – Once the set up is completed, trade consistently and see the results. You can withdraw the funds earned by submitting a withdrawal request.
  3. Conclusion – The software is 100% legit and is definitely not a scam. The software is one of the most efficient trading systems, built upon a user-friendly platform, which eases out the whole trading process. Additionally, it ensures customer safety with its software encryption that protects both the user’s personal data and investments.

Dead of Winter

I’ve owned Dead of Winter for ages, and have now played it close to a dozen times with two, three, four and five players. I’ve sat in front of this keyboard several times and tried to summarise these thoughts into a coherent and entertaining form, and it’s really difficult. Why has this been a challenge? Is it because I am a mediocre writer? Almost certainly, but also DoW is full of contradictions and problems that should hold it back…

(Heads up – there are no rules descriptions or gameplay examples here. Go watch a video if you want that – this is analysis.)

Firstly, I’ll focus on the bad.

Any way you cut it, the ‘survive the zombie apocalypse’ theme is a tired one. This is not entirely Plaid Hat Games’ fault, but I can’t help but wish that had the ever growing threat had been criminals (Assault on Precinct 13?) or even the popular suggestion of wolves at the gates as opposed the commercial decision to tap into the zombie phenomenon, the game would have felt fresher.

DoW is mechanically simple. To a fault? Well, one of the highlights and real hooks that differentiate the game from the throng of co-ops that are released each year are the player specific hidden goals that force players to look after themselves, as well as the communal goal. The vast majority of these hidden tasks are simply requisites on what you can and can’t have in your personal inventory at game end. There’s nothing particularly interesting about ‘have a book’ or ‘don’t have anything except medicine.’

On that note, much of the game does boil down to going to a location (effectively a deck of cards) then rooting through to find items. Once again – pretty mundane.

Finally, the social contract that players enter into when sitting down at the table has to contain a couple of amendments for DoW. If a player – traitor or otherwise – wishes to take the attitude that if they can’t achieve their own specific objectives then the world can burn, tanking the game for everyone else isn’t going to be that difficult and can leave a sour taste in the mouth of the other players at the table.

Oh God Oh God OH GOD (Thanks Daniel Thurot for the image!)

Oh God Oh God OH GOD (Thanks Daniel Thurot for the image!)

So, in summary… Dead of Winter is my current game of the year.


Yes. This is one of those beautiful games, nay pieces of art where analysis of the component parts in isolation doesn’t change the fact that as a whole, this is a masterpiece. It’s a mess, but a beautiful one that simply works.

No matter how clichéd, old or passé the zombie theming is, this is a proper thematic game that generates the most fun I’ve had around a gaming table this year. Is it the best designed? No. But that doesn’t impact a genuine sense of fun that permeates the games’ soul. DoW draws you in and puts you at the very heart of the narrative – rather than being a third party that watches someone else’s story – this is YOUR story and you and your friends are living it.

The traitor, or threat of one, fundamentally changes how players feel about other players going about their mundane tasks. Is Neil going to the library for the good of the team? Is it for his personal task? Is it because he wants us all to fail?

When decisions are made by the group, you have to live or die (or un-die) with the consequences. If the players choose to bring in another helpless survivor to the colony and you were the only dissenting voice then you have a right for some moral indignation when it is a lack of food that saps away that all important last piece of morale. Even more so when Hamish, that traitorous bastard, wanted us all to fail all along. These moments are crafted by the players, interacting with each other and the mechanisms of the game. These moments are also truly things of beauty and will live long in the memory of this gamer.

Just go and buy Dead of Winter. No funny closing line. Just get it. Even if you wouldn’t be seen dead playing a zombie game.

Cards DOW

Dead of Winter is available now and yes, you should get it, for it is wicked awesome. Designed by Jonathan Gilmour and Isaac Vega, it was released by Plaid Hat Games at Gen Con earlier this year (where it promptly sold out). Between two and five can play with games taking a a good couple of hours at least, and though a lot might come across as pretty straightforward it really is a brilliant, immersive experience.

I, Spy – Dead Drop review

If you sit down with anyone who uses the site regularly to turn games from idea to reality, you’ll undoubtedly hear that “Kickstarter is changing”. As someone who has gone from backer to creator, I can only agree – the site is constantly evolving, and sometimes not for the better. That, however, is a topic that is for another column, and this is a review, not an opinion piece. However, the reason I bring this ever-changing note to the fore is because we now seem to be in a period of negativity. Quality games from established companies are struggling to hit targets, never mind burst through them in a matter of days and go on to pad out the final product with countless stretch goals. A perfect example of this is Dead Drop, currently looking for you to open your wallet and show it some love.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum – Key Differences


It’s too late to evade the cryptocurrency buzz, as not only because the news about them are everywhere but, also because the world is gearing up very fast to embrace the technology and therefore, it is only sensible to adapt and enjoy the necessary benefits. To do so, you have to start securing the cryptocurrencies by investing in them, for which the trouble less option called the automated cryptocurrency investment system such as like the Crypto Code is available readily for all of you.

With this cryptocurrency robot to the rescue, you can start investing in any of the prominent cryptocurrencies like the Bitcoins, Ethereum, and the Litecoin and prepare yourself for the digital future! Among the popular cryptocurrency choices, we are here to understand the key differences prevailing between the top two, that is the Bitcoins and the Ethereum, which would not only help you understand their nature and the benefits perfectly but also help you choose the right choice or perhaps, the both as your investment choice.


The purpose

The purpose of the Bitcoins is limited, which is mainly supporting the digital currency, such as transferring them quickly, securely, cost-efficiently and so on. Whereas the purpose the Ethereum is wide, facilitated perfectly by its feature called the smart contracts. Through this feature, anybody can write applications known as the Dapps to accomplish any task of importance to them, which ensures security, speed, transparency, efficiency, savings and so on.


Currency Issuance

Bitcoin network generates 12.5 new bitcoins for every 10 minutes and whereas the Ethereum network generates 3 new Ether for every 15 seconds. This is because the block generation rate of the Bitcoins is slower when compared to the faster Ethereum.


Currency availability or Currency cap

We know most of the available cryptocurrencies are limited in number and the pioneer Bitcoins are not an exception. There are only 21 million Bitcoins available to the world, of which 16.7 m have been mined or created so far.

Thankfully, Ethereum does not belong to this ‘limited’ category and therefore, as of now, there is no hard cap on the currency’s availability. Currently, there are 96.4 m Ethers that have been generated!



Bitcoins’ hashing algorithm, which is SHA-256, is capable of performing efficiently with some specially designed hardware known as ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit). But, the Ethereum’s hashing algorithm (KECCAK-256) is memory intensive and therefore, it is very arduous to build a special purpose chip for it and, also, it is not economical. This ensures the greater mining decentralization nature of the Ethereum, undoubtedly. But, Ethereum has already made plans to move away forever from the mining concept by changing the algorithm from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to the Proof-of-Stake!


Considering that the entire game consists of only a handful of cards numbered from zero to five, with higher values being much rarer in this slender deck, this is probably one of the more tense gaming experiences I’ve had in a very long time. A race to be the first to deduce (or is it abduce?) the value on a face-down card, the rules to Dead Drop can be explained in a matter of moments. First, begin by placing the mystery card on the table, then lay some face up ones next to it. Immediately you have some information and are able to eliminate some of the possibilities. With a small hand of cards in addition, you’re given a few more clues to what that hidden card may be, but it’s still not enough – and it’s here where our game begins.

Now, it’s probably easier to describe the process of how you announce what you believe the hidden card to be before going any further. To do this, you take two cards from your hand and lay them out before you, the total of which will hopefully be the value on the mystery card. If you’re correct, great – you claim a point and the game restarts for the next round. If you fail, the enigma remains unsolved and left face down while your cards are added to the face up selection for all to see, probably eliminating a few answers from everyone else’s minds as you sit there and curse yourself for not paying more attention at spy school.

A round in which Michael has muffed it completely. It's going to be a bloody zero, isn't it?

A round in which Michael has muffed it completely. It’s going to be a bloody zero, isn’t it? Could be a four, I suppose.

With that out of the way, you’ll need to know how you reach your conclusion. It is, of course, done by giving and taking cards to and from each other. Option one is to take two cards from your hand, sharing them with another player. Should they hold a card that is equal to the total of the two you’ve shown them, they must give you that card in exchange for one of those you’ve revealed. For example, you think they’ve got a three. You correctly show them a two and one, take their three and secretly slide your choice of either the one or two their way. Information has been shared and everyone is delighted.

Should you wish to take a bit more of a chance, you can always choose another player to swap a single card with. Again, they must give you one in return, but at least both parties get to choose how much detail to give away. Of course, you can always just switch a card out with one of the face up ones, but that’s a rather desperate act where you’re not gaining that much information, so why do it? Well, once a player completes their action, they have the option to attempt to grab the victory, but they may not have the right cards in their hand to get the exact total for the reveal – and it must be bang on.

The advance prototype deck I received has some pretty sweet espionage-style artwork going on, and as the campaign has progressed, all stretch goals have been unlocked to entice new backers  into committing to the project. All manner of different decks will be thrown into the box, with the fantastic Kwanchai Moriya’s set probably being my favourite – the kids all running around playing at being agents has a real Calvin & Hobbes vibe, but with another six alternative decks included in the Deluxe Edition pledge level, this is a bloody bargain. You’re essentially getting EIGHT different copies of a really smart card game that will leave you shouting at yourself and your fellow players in glorious, brutal frustration. There are few games out there that offer this level of making you feel so utterly stupid when, only moments before, you truly thought that you’d worked out the lot.

Seriously, how can you not love this?!

Seriously, how can you not love this?!

Now, I’ll have to admit that it takes a few rounds for things to click. It actually took a couple of games for things to fall into place for me, and I found that initially I was winning rounds more down to other players’ errors rather than my Sherlockian deduction powers. However, once that light switch flipped it was awesome. Think like when Keanu Reeves first went back into the Matrix and went “woah”. This moment is just like that, albeit more with cardboard than some sweet shades and an old-school Nokia phone. Once you hit that tipping point, the game truly opens up and you’ll feel very smart – for a few moments, at least.

My one caveat – I don’t really like Dead Drop that much as a game for two. In all honesty, if I only have a single opponent, I prefer to play something a little heavier with them – Agricola: All Creatures Big And Small springs to mind, for example. However, in a pinch it’ll do well as a quick blast, a nice way to spend ten minutes. With three or four though? Give me the box, it’s time to play!

Dead Drop has all the hallmarks of what should be a successful campaign. There’s a young but established designer, Jason Kotarski, who has created entertaining and esoteric games like Great Heartland Hauling Company and FrogFlip. We have a solid company, Crash Games, which has grown over the past couple of years and staked its claim as a name you can trust to deliver a great product. So why is Dead Drop crawling its way to the finish line? With a couple of days on the clock at the time of publishing, it looks like the campaign is certain to fund but man, it’s been a struggle. I only hope that this write up brings in a few more backers because this is a truly fun way to kill a few stolen moments of gaming time. Just remember, never guess that it’ll be a zero. It’s never a zero. Never.

You can back Dead Drop on Kickstarter right now, but you only have until Friday. Get on with it: click here!

Here is how you must get started with cryptocurrency trading

Have you heard about cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are completely digital currencies that seem to have taken the whole wide world by a storm. They are so revolutionary because they do not exist in physical form at all. Add to this enigma the fact that banks and other regulatory institutions have no role whatsoever in the trade and exchange of this currency and you have in your pocket (well virtually) something that is truly magical.

A few of the cynics will not stop reminding you that it is a bubble waiting to burst:

Skeptics are continuously at it. They keep warning people from attempting to trade, exchange and secure cryptocurrencies because they believe that it is a bubble that is waiting to be burst. But it has been ten years since the first cryptocurrency was launched and today it is so strong and valuable. Does it say anything on the contrary yet?!

The risk is for sure:

There is no kind of trading today or ever that was that is devoid of any kind of risks. The risk associated with cryptocurrencies is higher because it exists virtually and cannot be acquired physically. That is a valid point to moot but think about all the people who have exchanged and acquired these cryptocurrencies and have done very well for themselves. How will you write off their success stories?

The time to enter the field is now:

And the program that you should choose to trade in cryptocurrencies is the one and only Crypto Code. This brilliant honest software created by Derrick Simmons is one of a kind and totally legit software that specializes in trading in cryptocurrencies. You name it and they have it. With more than fifty assets and counting this is one of the best cryptocurrency CFD software that you can lay your hands on.

It is safe and reliable:

I can vouch for its safety and reliability because I have used it firsthand and I know that the software that places its customer satisfaction before earning any profits for itself can never ever be a scam a la its contemporaries who are out there to trap gullible traders and make a feast out of them.

If you think that trading in cryptocurrencies is your thing and that you are looking for that big breakthrough in life, then look no further than this impressive software. Believe me, you will never regret!

What type of features can you expect from the best crypto trading bots?

What type of features can you expect from the best crypto trading bots?

To begin with, every trader has the big decision to make- to use a trading bot or to fully carry out the trade himself. Once the decision of using a trading bot is taken then comes the process of choosing a bot that is dependable. Online investments should be done carefully given that there are so many options out there. The number of scams that pop up in the name of trading bots is increasing steadily. But along with that, there is also an increase in the number of legitimate trading bots.

Trading bots make cryptocurrency investment simpler

When it comes to cryptocurrency trading there is a tight competition. You really have to keep working on your strategies and would have to keep expanding your knowledge. Technical analysis and fundamental analysis are both essential when it comes to trading. Fundamental analysis performed on cryptocurrencies can be very limited. Given the very brief history to study to understand a currency you would have to hunt for other ways to know about a cryptocurrency exchange. With such sophistication, the idea of using a fully automated tool that can do everything involved in crypto trading looks very attractive.

Handy features that crypto trading bots offer

While there are many scams there are some crypto bots like Crypto Robot 365 which are popular all over the world. Here are some features that give the reliable crypto bots a competitive edge over the others:

  1. Customer support

Whether the bot is used for mining currencies or whether it is for the entire trading procedure, there is excellent customer support offered by many trading bots. Customers can reach out to the team through various channels and can get their queries answered. The teams are trained experts in crypto trading so customers can get timely assistance.

  1. Free registration

With most of the tools, it doesn’t cost money to start using the tool. The registration process can take place in a few simple steps. And once you have registered as a crypto trader you can then proceed to explore its features and make profits.

  1. Demo account

Demo accounts are not offered by all crypto bots. But this is a handy feature to have. Demo accounts can be used soon after the registration process is done. If there is a demo account, then you would receive a small number of cryptocurrencies in your account and you could use them to carry out your first few trading decisions.


Episode 82 – Resorts and general Lounging!

Good day to you, dear listeners! Another episode of The Little Metal Dog Show appears to entertain you and give you another peek into the worlds of the folks who make the games we love to play. This time around it’s Ben Harkins from Floodgate Games, discussing what he’s been up to over the last year; we’re talking Epic Resort, his brand new title that launched at Essen, as well as Legacy and his lovely little card game, King of Clubs. After that, I’m joined by Alex Gregory, creator of The Lounge – currently on Kickstarter, this new Mafia title aims to make the world’s favourite big group game even bigger!

Advantages Of Smart Contracts


Any two parties or persons entering into an agreement is bound by the terms of the contract that ensures security and clarity for both the involved parties. While this conventional contract lacks the added protection of the technology, the smart contracts powered by the revolutionizing Blockchain technology is what the future wants and expects to enjoy several less-known benefits, about which we are here to see in detail.

But, before that, this smart contract feature of the Blockchain technology is highly-supported by the growing cryptocurrency known as the Ethereum, which has interested many to invest in them to ensure their favorable situation in the future. If you are so eager to join the wagon, thankfully, you have the choice of automated cryptocurrency investment using the reliable system like the Crypto Code that can make your cryptocurrency trading journey not only possible but also profitable and uncomplicated!


Smart Contracts – What are they

The smart contracts supported by the Blockchain technology is self-executing, which is bound by the set terms and conditions laid out within them. Using the support of the smart contracts, anything of value, say the money, shares, property can be exchanged amicably, without having to worry about anything.




  • Very Accurate

Smart Contracts are free of human errors and therefore, they are accurate all the time. This ensures that no terms and conditions are overlooked benefitting everyone bound by the virtual contract.


  • Transparent

Say, if you are deciding to use the smart contract feature of the Ethereum then, all the terms and conditions of the contracts are explicitly mentioned and available to all the relevant parties. This makes sure that the proceedings are carried out in a very transparent nature without causing any dispute, unfavorably!


  • Speed

Can the speed of the mortal human be a match to the expeditious Blockchain technology? Not at all and therefore, the executions carried out by the smart contracts are always faster that saves lots of your time and energy.


  • Highly-efficient

Since speed is the power of the blockchain-enabled smart contracts, higher volumes of transactions can be processed in no time, which serves as the proof for their efficiency.


  • Clarity

Every rule specific to the specific smart contract is written clearly and incorporated perfectly into the system and therefore, there is no room for any miscommunication or misinterpretation.


  • Eco-friendly

With the arrival of the smart contracts, you can put an end to the paper-abuse, which would not only benefit you but also benefit the environment surrounding you, greatly!


  • Highly-secured

Blockchain technology is impregnable and hence, these smart contracts empowered by the technology are no doubt highly-secured and trustworthy, all the time!



Links? Why not.

Direct Download for this episode:

Floodgate Games site:

The Lounge on Kickstarter:

We Are The Royal – King Down review

I have never been a huge fan of Chess. I dabbled a little at school, occasionally swapped my usual haunt of the library for the Chess Club when I wanted a change of scenery (I was never one to go outside – imagine!). Once I was convinced to attend a local competition where I was knocked out in the first round by a 6-year-old… I was 14. While I’m well aware of the rules and a couple of openings are stuck inside my head to this day, Chess has never really been a go to game for me. My eye, however, has occasionally been caught by some of the variants that make their way into the nerdy world of games – not to say that Chess players aren’t nerds; they’re just an entirely different class of them – as they sometimes offer something more than just the pure game so beloved by many that drives me to tears.

Important Terms and Terminologies Of Binary Options Trading


The news about the unconventional binary options trading practice is all over the net that can accept the eyes of the eager trader! Yes, anybody interested in venturing the trading practice cannot avoid the choice of binary options trading practice, as it is straightforward, profitable due to higher returns, time-efficient and so on and therefore, to understand and appreciate the practice better, let’s start learning the significant terms and terminologies associated with it.


Asset: Asset in binary options trading practice refers to the instrument upon which the prediction task is carried out. This asset can be anything be it the shares of a specific concern, the hard or the soft commodities, the currency, indices and so on, which means the choices are innumerable for the trader.


Call option: A call option refers to that option, which the trader chooses only when he believes that the price of the involved asset would increase before the set expiration period.


At the money: When the underlying asset’s price at the time of expiration is just the same as the start, then the position is referred to as ‘at the money’. In this case, the outcome is neutral, that is neither gain nor loss for the trader!


Expiry time: Every binary options trading is bound by a pre-defined time limit called the expiry time. While reaching this time, the price of the underlying asset is compared to its strike price and accordingly, the results are declared. This expiry time can also be as short as 1 minute!


Put option: The exact opposite of the call option, in where the trader buys an asset only if he believes that the price value will decline by the expiry time.


In the money: This term refers to that scenario in where the trader has achieved the profitable output. That is the trader’s prediction has succeeded, as follows.

In the case of the call option, in the money refers to that case, where the price of the underlying asset is higher than its strike price. Whereas in the case of the put option, in the money refers to the scenario, where the price of the asset at the time of expiry is lower than its strike price!


Out of the money: When the trader has predicted the results wrongly to only encounter the losses, the situation is referred to as ‘out of the money’. Here, during the call option, the price of the asset at the expiry would be lesser than its strike price and during the put option, it is the exact opposite.


Thus, these are the significant terms of this binary options trading practice, which you can either understand or evade successfully and yet, enjoy the profits by resorting to trade the automated way using the Fintech LTD!

And so when Saar Shai, the mind behind Kickstarter darling The Agents, gave me a shout to see if I’d be interested in checking out King Down… well, who am I to say no? I thought his first big hit had some great ideas and I was intrigued to see how he’d change a centuries-old classic to appeal to the modern gaming audience. If you take a look at the crowdfunding campaign that’s running now and surpassed its $50,000 goal on the first day, you’ll see one of the reasons: a metric crapton of minis. Thankfully, he’s thought that it may be an idea to actually include a game in there as well as a LOT of plastic, and it’s really not bad at all. In fact, I’d say it’s downright entertaining.

King Down is actually being pitched as ‘The Prequel To Chess’ – a rather bold statement considering its creator is a relatively new designer – and while it certainly feels very familiar when playing, there’s enough of a difference to consider it something that can stand on its own. The first major switch is that the game is planned to play with up to four people, though at the moment only the rules for two are available. Rather than use just the board and pieces, each player also has to handle a deck of cards that bestow special abilities upon your side, and there’s no taking the King to win; instead, this is a race to score eight victory points. These can be gained by taking (and keeping) opponents’ pieces and occupying the four central squares of the board, called The Capitol in a very Hunger Games style.

All pieces bar the King have been renamed (though I’ll use the standard names here) and there are also five extra piece types that have been introduced;  Beast only moves around the board when it can Take, while Bow attacks enemy pieces from a distance. Bash is sacrificed when it Takes, Block is invincible and Cog… well… that’s not been revealed yet. The pieces look very lovely indeed, just like the standard ones that can be used for a regular game of Chess.

KD 3D Prints

Players begin with a smaller amount of pieces, none of which are actually on the board. To bring them into play – or indeed do anything in the game – you’ll need to spend Action Points, and each turn sees you start with four. There’s a range of basic actions that you’ll be using most of the time: Call (4AP) brings a piece of your choice into play on your home row, and Move (2AP) allows you to move your piece like you would in a normal game of Chess; Bishops on the diagonals, Pawns one forward, that kind of thing. You can’t take anything using that Action though – that requires a Take action costing 3AP, basically an amped up Move. Finally, you can Draw a card from your deck for 1AP.

Those cards, as mentioned before, give you special powers and abilities that also require the spending of Action Points. They’re split into two types, Calling Cards and Spells. Calling Cards are specifically targeted at certain pieces to either bring them onto the board cheaper than a standard Call or boost their abilities if they’re in play. Spells allow you to do all manner of oddities, from stealing back already taken pieces, moving to any position on the board or even saving a piece from danger and returning it to your stock. No matter they type, each card has a cost printed on it and remains in play until the beginning of your next turn as some have lasting effects.

King Down has proven an interesting little game to play. I think that a lot of the focus in the campaign is going to be on the admittedly lovely miniatures, but the game does deserve time in the spotlight as well. Chess has been boiled in a pan with a shot of Eurogame Sauce and has turned into something that even I can enjoy. Rather than a stilted affair that is dependent on knowing countless openings and how to react to them, learning the rundowns of thousands, perhaps millions, of previously played games, King Down presents the basic rules that pretty much everyone is aware of and puts the choices in your hands. Do you start with your King in the far left corner, then aim to surround it with other, more powerful pieces? Perhaps you’d think it better to race to the Capitol and take over the spaces you’ll find there? Or should you take a super aggressive tack and attempt to steal as many opposition pieces as you can? King Down has given Chess something I’ve always found sorely lacking – choice.

KD Kings

Now, instead of reacting to your enemies’ moves, you have options on your side. Yes, in Chess you may have an optimal move that you should pretty much always do, but with King Down there’s an awful lot of things to do, all of which can be seen as viable. Where many variants have been rather dry, this one is far more appealing to someone like me who has a love of modern board games. Yes, there’s a danger of Analysis Paralysis creeping in with King Down, especially with players who may have forgotten the basics, but this is definitely something that I’d have a part of my collection, whereas I’d happily never have played Chess again for the rest of my days.

King Down was designed by Saar Shai and plays between two and four people, with games taking around 30-60 minutes. Currently on Kickstarter, you can pledge for a set for $80 (which will come with ALL the minis). The campaign ends on october 13 with the game scheduled for delivery in March 2015. Thanks to Saar for the advance look at the cards!

Little Wonders – Hue, Gem, TKO and Fly reviews

For once, a banner telling the truth!

Characteristics Of Binary Options Trading


Although there are innumerable ways to grow one’s fortune, for long, the trading practice has remained the preferred way for the obvious benefits of profitability, variety, time-efficiency and so on. Of the choices of the trading practice, the comparatively newer ‘Binary Options’ trading practice is gaining popularity, as it is something different than the other conventional trading choices like the forex or the stock market, which you can clearly understand by discovering the below-mentioned significant characteristics of this binary options trading practice!


  • It’s all about prediction in this trading practice! As a trader, you are expected to predict the price movement of the underlying asset, such as the stocks, currency, or the commodities, which when happens the predicted way yields you the relevant profits. Hence, this practice is pretty much straightforward to be grasped even by a newbie trader!
  • The trading period is fixed! This is indeed a great benefit of this practice, as you would know when to expect your definite result, be it the loss or the profit and therefore, not too much of your time and energy are wasted in the process. Binary options trading duration can be as short as 1 min, which means by the end of 1 min, if the movement of the asset goes the predicted way, you could make the desired profit, favorably.
  • It is not limited by the leverage feature! The binary options trading practice does not support the concept of leverage and therefore, your losses cannot be cruel. In the case of leverage, although you have the benefit of enjoying a worthier trading position with the help of ‘margin’ from the broker, when misfortune attacks, the losses can be very devastating and thankfully, such is not the case with the binary options trading practice!
  • The amount of price difference does not influence your losses or profits! In the binary options trading practice, your profits or losses are not depended on the amount of price change of the particular asset and therefore, you need not worry much regarding this topic.
  • You know, what you are up to, much ahead! Your payouts and as well as the losses are fixed and therefore, you can prepare yourself accordingly and clearly!
  • Binary options trading is easier to accomplish even for the newbie traders, thanks to the growing choices of automated binary options trading robots. When you use one of these reliable robots, such as like the Fintech LTD, the super-smart trading algorithm can take care of every action specific to the trading practice, such as the market monitoring, market analysis, market prediction, executing the trades and so on, which leaves the novice traders tension-free all the time!


Innovation isn’t often found in the world of gaming, but sometimes there’s a little thing that really catches my attention. In the case of today’s review, it’s actually four little things that are currently on Kickstarter and have really rather impressed me. Designed by Chris Handy (previously best known for his ace horse racing game, Long Shot), a new series of microgames going under the banner of Pack O Game (like a pack o’ gum, see?) landed on my doorstep while I was over in the US at Gen Con. On getting back earlier this week, I cracked them open with my little group and we played the four of them.

No-one was really sure what to expect, to be honest. The idea is sweet enough, but the gameplay is what matters, not the size of the package. The selling point behind Pack O Game is that they’re microgames that fit in your pocket but still offer a wide range of gaming options, so in tribute to the teeny size of the boxes – seriously, you can easily fit the four of them in your pocket – I figured it’d be best to put together mini-reviews on each one.


First up, Hue, a charming and surprisingly brain burning abstract that sees players laying their cards out to create fields of colour across the table. Each card is separated into at least three sections – starter cards have nine – but your aim is simple: make large areas of colour, then score the three colours that are on the final card in your hand. Squares are worth three points, the smaller rectangles one apiece, but there are a couple of twists. First of all, you’re not just laying the cards next to each other as you play each game; you’re also allowed to lay them on top of each other as long as you’re only covering one square, meaning you can cut bigger areas in half and ruin the plans of your opponents.

If you’re feeling particularly vicious, you might even throw out a poison card, a nasty piece of work that sports a skull and crossbones in its middle section. Link that to an area of the same colour and the whole thing is worth nothing when the game is scored, so this adds a rather ruthless element to a game that initially comes across as sweet and lovely with everyone collaborating to make pretty patterns. It’s only when you realise that hey, we’re actually looking at scoring points here that your placements need a little more consideration. Game one is a delight. Games two to infinity are as cut-throat as any other title you’d care to mention – it’s just that Hue only takes ten minutes.


Next it’s auction time with the sparkling Gem where players collect sets of six different precious stones using very limited resources. Played out over a series of rounds where the options get more and more limited as time progresses, everyone begins with three cards in front of them that represent their funds split into a 3, 2 and 1. All cards in this game are double ended, with the green end showing that the money is available, the red end meaning it’s been spent – for now. Rounds play out quickly with the active player checking out the cards on offer (and the gems they depict, of course) then declaring a bid; note that they don’t have to say which card they have their eye on. Everyone else gets the chance, once around the table, to either up the bid or pass, and as you’d expect the highest claims whichever card they please. To show the money’s been spent, you rotate your cards around to point the red sides into the play area, and the just-purchased card slides into your tableau showing its red end too. Once all cards have been bought – a zero bid is totally fine, by the way – players who have any funds left get to ‘invest’ in the gems they have, spinning the cards to their green side which can be used in future rounds to pick up more gems. Before the next round, your coins refresh so you have something to use, but splashing out may not be the best idea every time…

At the end of the final round, only gems that are active – ie: green side in – will contribute to your set. If you have the majority of a gem type you pull in three points, sharing a majority is worth two, and you get one for each stone in your line up. I’ve made that whole thing sound so much more complicated that it really is – out of the four titles sent over, Gem is undoubtedly the most elegant – but it’s incredibly simple once you get it laid out before you. I can’t get over the feeling that it should be part of a much larger beast, but for a microgame that plays out in fifteen minutes this is a brilliant little thing that I recommend entirely. If you’re only grabbing one, this is the choice for me.


TKO was the most curious of the bunch, a two player only effort set – surprise! – in the squared circle of the boxing ring. This is a quick playing affair (even when compared to the other games) where you need to win two rounds in order to claim the TKO Belt and a glorious victory. Each of the eight fighter have their own stats, shown by four sliding markers that represent Uppercuts, Head Blocks, Body Shots and Body Blocks. Before the fight these markers are set to the lowest numbers on each fighter’s cards – and then it’s time to rumble!

Think of this one as Rock Paper Scissors with a bit of bluffing, a dash of strategy… oh, and four options instead of three. Each player hides a card under the table that shows the four moves and selects one by pinching the card in the right place – it makes sense when you play, honest! Both players reveal at the same time and we work out the result. Uppercuts are cancelled out by Head Blocks, Body Shots by… you can probably guess for yourself. If you successfully get a hit in or manage to block a punch, you move the markers up the requisite track. If you happen to do that and the other player doesn’t you gain a small advantage as the POWER card comes your way, meaning that you can raise the value of any of the four tracks if you score a hit or block. Get all the way to the end of one of the tracks and you win a round – get to the end of two and the title is yours!

TKO was the only one of the four that we had to house rule as it wasn’t entirely clear if you reset your fighter to their basic stats if you won a round (we did as we felt that made more sense), and it felt like the lightest and most throwaway of the set. With eight fighters in the package, each with their own look and set of stats, there’s plenty of replay in the pack but this would be the last one on my list. Not that it’s a bad game at all, it just wasn’t as great as the other three.


And with that, the awesome surprise of the bunch, Fly! I thought we’d managed to make the world’s smallest dexterity game with Sprocket Games’ FrogFlip but now I concede and hand the crown to Chris Handy. I do this gracefully and with love, because Fly is frankly bloody hilarious. Twenty-seven cards are laid out (twenty-five with a fly each and two blanks) to make a tabletop, one card representing The Sky is tucked into the box and two swatter cards are kept aside, ready to take those dirty bugs down. One by one, players drop the swatter card from above the sky, hoping to take down a fly or two by covering them up entirely. Manage to do that and you claim the card(s) as you look to make sets of the same colour or shape that are shown on the bugs’ butts. The table shrinks and flies move around as the game continues, points are awarded for sets and no-one cares about the score because you’re too busy shouting at each other for daring to breathe while you’re setting up for a particularly tricky drop. Fly is a party game disguised as a dexterity game disguised as a fight waiting to happen – and it’s fantastic.

To wrap it up, the four titles from the Pack O Games series that I’ve managed to play have been very impressive. Chris has managed to create four very different games using only thirty cards in each pack and, to be honest, that’s a feat in itself. The fact that they’re all fun and entertaining is even more incredible – and he’s got even MORE available on the Kickstarter. Head on over to the page, check out the options available – I particularly like the look of Bus – and throw some money his way. Innovation should be rewarded – particularly if it’s wrapped up in a bunch of really fun games that you can whip out and play at a moment’s notice.

Hue, Gem, TKO and Fly are four of the titles available in the Pack O Game line, all designed by Chris Handy and up now on Kickstarter. A mere $6 will get you one of the games, with $24 grabbing you all four PLUS three other ones as stretch goals – and there could be more! Check them out today – the campaign ends this weekend!

Episode 80 – Trust in the Realm!

Another Episode of the show rolls off the audio production line, and this time it’s a doozy! First of all, Darwin Kastle from White Wizard Games steps up to chat. Who? Well, just one of the guys behind one of the hottest games around at the moment: Star Realms. After pretty much taking over every square inch of space at Origins, he’s gearing up to do pretty much the same at Gen Con 2014; we talk design, Darwin and co.’s background (which is hardcore) and all the usual rambling you expect from one of my interviews. After that, I’m joined by friends of the show Jason Kotarski and Philip duBarry to discuss their latest game Fidelitas. Currently going down a storm on Kickstarter, it’s the first release from Jason’s new company Green Couch Games, and I heartily recommend it. Check out the review here!


Direct Download –

Star Realms site –

Fidelitas on Kickstarter-

Jason’s Site –

Philip’s Site –