Category Archives: NTBoardGames

I Can Deal #020: Narrative in Board Games

Adam and CJ take another stab at recording the topic of narratives in board games; joining them is a guest, Ruth. Three types of narrative are brought up and discussed.

This is same topic that was originally intended for episode seven but was lost due to technical issues. The same issue has appeared but not as bad; forgive the quality for the sake of good discussion.

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Weekly Spotlight: Infamy



Going to take a break from spotlighting Lovecraft games this week. Instead, I’ve chosen to focus on another genre near and dear to my heart: Cyberpunk. For those of you unfamiliar with the theme, it’s a near future setting in which power is held by massive corporations, organized crime, and police-state militias. Caught in the middle of that is everyone else, trapped in a perpetual rat race to get ahead beneath a glass ceiling as thick and strong as vault steel.

Infamy takes place in such a setting, where the players start with a hand full of cash for bribes to finally end on top of one of the powerful organizations or to reach the ultimate level of infamy. The game’s scope is ambitious, to say the least. Instead of zooming in on microcosms within the setting, like Netrunner with corporation growth pitted against hacker saboteurs, or Murder City and Android with a noir-esque murder mystery, Infamy attempts to condense the entire genre into a 90-120 minute experience. Does it succeed? Ehhhhhh… sort of. It makes a valiant attempt. But the real question is: is it fun anyway? Continue reading Weekly Spotlight: Infamy

I Can Deal #019: What’s a REVIEW Anyway?

Adam and CJ are back to discuss a topic very important, reviews. What is a review? What are we actually watching and reading? If there is money floating around, is it coming from the right or wrong place? Who do you trust? All this and more in the exciting review episode!

*This was the second try at recording it since batteries died on us the first time this was attempted.

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Weekly Spotlight: Lost in R’lyeh


I know, I know — another Cthulhu game. I realize I just talked at length about one, but I do have something of a confession to make. I’m a sucker for Lovecraft, well… anything… but especially games. I know they spawn like flies in the realm of tabletop, and I know not a single one truly encapsulates the gloom and doom of inescapable horror. The theme is getting close to the point of supersaturation, and yet the Mythos’ rate of use continues to grow. Even as I saw this game at Origins Game Fair, I rolled my eyes and let out an audible sigh… but knew deep down that I was going to play it. And I did. Because of course I did. What I didn’t expect was this particular game stands out not for its theme, but for its twist on a familiar mechanic. Continue reading Weekly Spotlight: Lost in R’lyeh

Has Cards Against Humanity run its course?

These days it is hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of the card game Cards Against Humanity, whether it is from playing the game or the moral objections based on the cards within its box. It hit at the “right” time and now it is almost everywhere. It all started on Kickstarter and now another company has a replacement product for those tired of their friends suggesting to play CAH.

Continue reading Has Cards Against Humanity run its course?

Origins: Blood Rage Tournament Results



Amongst the greatness that is wandering the Main Hall and Expo Hall of Origins Game Fair 2016, there are tournaments. When you aren’t busy demoing games, buying games, or checking out accessories, you can jump into one of their many tournaments if you have the tokens!

CJ and I decided to partake in a Blood Rage Tournament since he mildly likes it. And what happened?

Continue reading Origins: Blood Rage Tournament Results

I Can Deal #018: Origins 2016 Retrospective

Adam and CJ sit down with a friend after Origins to talk about the game fair. Hear some stories and experiences with some of the games that were played/demoed/shown off. There was a lot of cover and we only scratched the surface!

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Origins and NTBG!

NonTraditional Board Games will be at Origins this year. Myself, CJ, and friends will be roaming around Thursday through Saturday checking out games, playing games, and talking about games. So if there is anything you want us to check out for you or think we should pay attention to, let us know in the comments or send an email out to us.

The next episode of I Can Deal will be recorded during that time as well, please forgive the wait.

WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT: The Stars Are Right 2016-06-13 18-52-03

Looking at The Stars Are Right on the shelves, you’d notice a few things: it’s a Steve Jackson game (maker of Munchkin), the shape of the box is oddly familiar (same box shape as other Munchkin boxes), and the creatures depicted on the box are Lovecraftian(ish) cartoons by Goomi (artist for Munchkin Cthulhu). So it’s a Munchkin game! YAY!!! (or BOO!!! whichever way you tend to lean).

Except, it’s not a Munchkin game. In fact, I’m a little pressed to call it a game at all. Strictly speaking, while The Stars Are Right fits the textbook definition of a game, at its core, it’s really little more than a spatial puzzle– one you try to solve faster than everyone else at the table with strategic placement of cards. 

You play the role of a cultist– as you do in any Cthulhu inspired game where you aren’t playing one of the hopeless saps (aka investigators) trying to keep the ancient beasties from inevitably waking. And your goal as a cultist is to invoke the power of said indescribable horrors to manipulate the night sky, aligning the stars to summon more and more powerful tentacly critters. Except you have rival cultists trying to wrest control of the night sky from you to raise their own servitors and elder gods. Continue reading WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT: The Stars Are Right