Board Game Bucket List

I used to believe that gaming meant only using a console, handheld or using a PC. This summer, when I stayed in Winona, I discovered a cute little gaming store called River Quest. My roommate got a job working there, so I was in the store at least once a week or every other week. I got to know the owner, who is one of the coolest guys in the Winona area. I was opened up to a world of a different type of gaming.

I’m creating a Bucket List of Board Games that I haven’t played yet, but I intend to. I will sticky this to the front page of the Gaming Section and I plan to update it as I play new games. Also I hope to post a review on some of these board games especially the ones with the strike out through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also feel free to comment with various board games that I can add on the list.

Here is my Board Game Bucket List:

  1. Exploding Kittens Card Game
  2. Munchkin *any version*
  3. Ticket To Ride
  4. Dungeons & Dragons Role Playing
  5. Red Dragon Inn
  6. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  7. Star Wars X-Wing
  8. Red Dragon Inn 4
  9. Force of Will *card game*
  10. Pandemic
  11. Love Letter *card game*
  12. Smash Up
  13. Bang *card game*
  14. Red7
  15. Sentinels of the Multiverse
  16. Letters from White Chapel
  17. Here Kitty Kitty 
  18. Stone Age
  19. Agricola
  20. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  21. Seasons
  22. Ticket to Ride
  23. Takenoko
  24. Code Names
  25. Shadow Hunters 
  26. Dixit

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

Dice Rolling & Deck Building; Star Wars Destiny

My table top gaming consists of cooperative game play, but not deck building games. I dislike the complexity of deck building games like when I play Magic the Gathering some of the cards are difficult to understand and it leaves me feeling frustrated. A couple weeks ago my friend dragged me to the Star Wars Destiny card game release at my local game store. I absolutely cannot recommend this card game enough and I had a blast playing multiple games in a row with friends. This weekend I am teaching my brother how to play this game because I am trying to get as many people hooked to Star Wars Destiny as possible.

Star Wars Destiny.jpg

Star Wars Destiny offers two starter decks: Rey or Kylo Ren. I actually wasn’t able to buy either of these because my game store ran out of starter decks. I bought a bunch of booster packs and a couple people gave me cards to help me build a deck, but it does help to buy a starter deck first. I pulled Anakin Skywalker and he is super powerful in this game so I ended up building a Sith deck.

Star Wars Destiny allows players to roll dice to simulate attacks with characters and activate special abilities. When I roll Anakin’s die, I have a couple outcomes including a light saber attack, his special ability, and a blank. If I don’t like the roll, I can discard a card out of my hand to re-roll all my dice. I have essentially one action per turn so if I choose to tap Anakin to roll his dice, that’s the end of my turn. My next turn I could play a card or use one of the dice on my opponent.

It sounds confusing, but once you play a few rounds you catch on pretty quick. There was one game where I kept rolling Anakin’s ability 5 or 6 times in a row and I annihilated my opponent #sorrynotsorry. I also heard that Star Wars Destiny will include Rogue One characters and I will hopefully have that pre-ordered because Jyn Erso will be one bad ass character to make a deck with.

Star Wars Destiny is probably my favorite table top game I have played this year. So now your next step is to buy Star Wars Destiny, obviously. Check out the description over at Fantasy Flight Games/Star Wars Destiny. This card game was so popular that Fantasy Flight is sold out of booster packs and starter decks. Local game stores should have more information about this game if you’re interested in getting started. Star Wars Destiny is a fantastic, easy to learn table top game to tie you over until the release of the much awaited; Star Wars the Last Jedi. 

 

 

 

 

Easter + College Graduation!

I’m starting to think Easter is April’s version of Thanksgiving. I ate my cookies and cream flavored Easter bunny and decided to talk about my awesome weekend. I traveled near the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area to see the boyfriend’s side of the family. Also a lot of other life stuff happened so I’m going to throw that into this blog post too.

First off, this past week I finished my internship hours for college! I am all set to walk in the next three weeks. I am anxiously awaiting graduation and a little afraid of the unknown. I have been applying for jobs because I need to make money, but I’m also going on a road trip with my family in June. My positive self is looking forward to the road trip while also enjoying moving back to the Twin Cities area.

I am a Minnesota girl by heart, but the boyfriend took me to Racine, Wisconsin. This is a beautiful area of Wisconsin and I was impressed. The town is right by Lake Michigan and the downtown area had a bunch of cool art galleries, boutiques and smaller cafes. We also went to this restaurant that’s right on Lake Michigan for beer and food. The great lakes in the mid western U.S are stunning because they have that ocean feel to them since you can’t see the other side of the lake. I basically could ramble all day about how Racine is the only place in Wisconsin I would want to live, but I digress. Instead I’ll post these pictures at the bottom of this post.

I hope you all ate as much chocolate as I did and you spent time with the people who love you the most. The countdown to my college graduation has begun.

Brew House Beer April 15th 2017

Beer!!

Gelato in Downtown Racine April 15th 2017

Cookies & Cream + Espresso flavored Gelato! 

Lake Michigan Downtown Racine April 15th 2017

Take a trip to the Great Lakes sometime, you won’t regret it. 

Lighthouse April 15th 2017

Oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes

Racine Wisconsin

Lesson Learned after 22 years: Always wear sunglasses. 

 

 

The Tabletop Gamer Tag

Two weeks ago I participated in the gamer tag about my video game preferences. There is also a Tabletop Gamer Tag floating around the blogsphere and I happened to find it on this blog: It’s More Than Just Gaming. Now that you know my gaming preferences, let’s dive deep into the Bizarre Brunette’s Official Table Top Game Tag. 

Favorite Type of Table Top Game

Cooperative is my favorite. I like being able to pick a character and go through the game together. Some great cooperative games include: Arkham Horror, Pandemic and Letters from White Chapel. 

Favorite Game

Birthday Arkham Horror

Left to right: The boyfriend and my brother playing Arkham Horror. My 21st B-Day Summer 2015

Arkham Horror is my all time favorite board game. I have mentioned this game every chance I get, but I love it that much. This picture that I posted above is my boyfriend and my brother playing this game on our screened in porch. That was my 21st birthday and I was a little tipsy off of my martini I had at dinner. This was one of my favorite memories from that summer.

What game have you played the most?

Without a question Arkham Horror. 

What game do you want to add to your shelf?

Smash Up

Smash Up at River Quest

Smash Up is a game I definitely should purchase for my own collection. I love the cat deck obviously, but I also need the expansions too. It’s really easy to learn and goes by quick. Arkham Horror can take 5-6 hours which I am not always in the mood for.

Favorite Game to Share with Non-Gamers?

Shadow Hunters 2

Shadow Hunters is a great game for beginners. The artwork is inspired by anime which is great for all of your manga loving friends. This game also goes by pretty quick and it’s easier to learn too. In my opinion, it’s never a good idea to share a complicated game with a newbie. This game is simple and fun.

Well-Known Game you haven’t played?

Still have yet to play Munchkin! 

Show off your Game Shelf!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a game shelf. My room at my house at the moment is so small that my games are piled in the most random places. Instead of showing off my shelf, I’m going to show off some board game pictures I took. I tend to take a lot of pictures while playing board games because I like to upload them to my blog and it reminds me of memories while playing the game.

Shadow Hunters

Playing Shadow Hunters at my uncle’s house. My brother owns this game so it wouldn’t appear on my gaming shelf. This is a hunter card and she tries to hunt the demons and other such creatures. Isn’t the artwork super pretty though?

Here Kitty Kitty Game 2

Here Kitty Kitty is another quick game about collecting cats. At the end of the game you earn points based on what type of kitties you collect or what cards you have at the end of the game. It was a fun random night of gaming at River Quest. 

Red Dragon Inn

My last photo is from playing Red Dragon Inn 2 outside. Me, the boyfriend and my friend at the time drank some wine and played this game outdoors. This is one of my favorite memories of Summer 2015.

Link your Table Top Gaming tags in the comments because I would love to hear about your gaming memories.

 

Dietland & Discussions about Harmful Diet Culture

Dietland

Dietland Book Image from Sarai Walker’s Home Page

Weight loss products are everywhere. I googled how much we spend on diet products and an ABC article states around 20 billion dollars per year. The way we market weight loss is destructive to mental health, physical health and financial wellness. I was convinced the key to happiness was being smaller, but even though I have my insecurities, I generally like how I look. I live in a society that tries to tell me I could lose an extra 5 lbs. in 2 weeks. Dietland is an honest depiction of what it’s like to wander NYC and to be. . . fat. This book wasn’t what I had expected, but I still think it’s worth a read because it’s eye opening to how we treat people who aren’t skinny.

Dietland depicts the daily struggles of Plum Kettle. She hides her appearance behind baggy clothes and being quiet. She is dreaming of her weight loss surgery that will turn her into Alicia. Alicia is the skinny, beautiful woman who gets dates all the time and probably has a handsome boyfriend. Plum gets connected with feminist icons who teach her what beauty truly means and how to accept yourself.

That seems so corny, but I love how Plum develops throughout the book. She becomes such a bad ass in the end. She’s confident and proud of her body and I think a lot of women including myself struggle daily with this concept. Plum deals with negativity from men and being called a “cow”. It sickens me that as a culture we have become so mean. Many of us often assume someone’s health status based on their size when that’s frankly none of your business.

Steering this post back to harmful diet culture, the diet industry tries to make people (men are included in this discussion too) feel bad about themselves so they purchase these products that may not even be healthy anyway! Our bodies aren’t designed to lose weight quickly. Under my ACSM Certified Personal Training Certification, it’s healthy to lose 1-2 lbs. per week. So these products that are saying 5-10 lbs. in a week… it’s not reliable or safe.

To end this post, put Dietland on your book shelf and be kind to each other. Don’t assume someone’s health status and be proud of the natural beauty that we all radiate.

 

Bizarre Brunette Binges: Iron Fist

Iron Fist.jpg

Welcome to my second post on a new category I like to call, “Bizarre Brunette Binges” On this series, I will discuss the latest TV show I finished watching. All of my posts under this category will include spoilers.  Let’s talk about the show that caused the most uproar; Iron Fist.

Iron Fist is about Danny Rand who becomes a trained warrior titled the Iron Fist after his parent’s plane crash in the Himalayas. After 15 years he returns to modern New York and is quickly shocked to find that the Hand (terrorist organization that is the sworn enemy to the Iron Fist) has infiltrated Rand Enterprises/Danny’s company. The show basically tells Danny’s story as he takes back his company and uncovers what happened to his parents.

To make this post easier to read, I decided to put bullet points for my initial thoughts of the show. Another reminder that there will be spoilers after this paragraph. 

Marvel Defenders 2

Cast of the Defenders!

 

 

  • Finn Jones did an okay job being Iron Fist, but I think it would have been really cool if Marvel added diversity to the cast of the Defenders and cast an Asian American actor. Yes, this isn’t an example of white washing, but there are so many white male superheroes that we could have altered Iron Fist a bit to have an Asian descent.
  • Ward Meachum is an asshole in the beginning.
  • Wow Faramir is a bad guy and is portraying an evil dad, how ironic.
  • Iron Fist does a better job explaining the back story of the Hand than Daredevil Season #2.
  • I was shocked that Colleen ended up being a part of the Hand, I wasn’t expecting that. It goes to show how you can be so devoted to a cause without really understanding what you pledged yourself to.
  • Iron Fist goes at a slower pace than the other Marvel Netflix shows
  • Colleen Wing was my favorite character in the show along with Ward Meachum.
  • I felt bad for Joy Meachum because I feel she didn’t get the character development that she deserved.
  • This show isn’t mediocre because of Donald Trump’s presidency (Finn Jones blamed the show for being bad because of Trump being elected as president)

As for ranking the Marvel Netflix superheroes, Iron Fist is my least favorite. I don’t think the show was horrible like other reviewers stated, but it definitely has its weak moments. I will say that I was disappointed because I had high hopes for the show. I’m still excited for the Defenders, but if Iron Fist does receive a second season, I hope it will be better in quality.

 

 

The Gamer Tag!

I love casual blog tags such as this one. It adds some personality to my blog and sometimes I need extra inspiration for a blog post. I found this tag both on PrimaGeek and A Geek Girls Guide and I decided to incorporate this onto my blog as well. My gaming has decreased significantly, but I find random bouts of time to play.

1. What is your gamer tag?

Iceskater101 on Xbox Live. Being a figure skater since I was 6, I felt this was fitting and just iceskater was taken. I have thought about changing it, but I don’t want to pay the money.

2. PC or Console?

Console! I don’t have a computer at the moment that gives me enough memory to store video games on. Ever since receiving my Xbox 360 December 2007 (10 years ago!!!!!) was I converted to consoles.

3. Console of choice?

Xbox! As I said my Xbox 360 *nicknamed Sally* is still around. I have the chunky white 360 and I can’t believe it still hasn’t gotten red rings yet.

4. Handheld of choice? (DS, PS Vita, etc.)

yoshis-island

My purple 3DS sitting in my Hello Kitty case. I am playing through Kirby Planet Robobot and I’m enjoying it so far.

5. Keyboard or Gamepad?

My preference is the keyboard, but I’m not a huge PC gamer so I would be willing to try out a gamepad.

6. Singleplayer or Multiplayer?

Single player without a doubt. I love getting entranced into the story of a game. Multiplayer can be fun, but I can live without it.

7. What was the first game you have ever played?

 Dig Dug was one of my first arcade games I remember playing. I always grew up around pinball as my dad was a pinball fanatic. I also played a lot of Sims 2 growing up too.

8. Hardest game you have ever played?

Most games are difficult when you play on the hardest difficulty and I will accept any challenge. I remember Halo being super frustrating on the Legendary difficulty.

9. What was your first gaming system?

Technically the PC was my first system. I remember having a sleep over with friends staying up till 3:00 AM playing the Sims 2. I also played an online game called VMK which was for Virtual Magic Kingdom from Disney. Too bad it’s not around anymore.

10. What is your favorite game of all time?

 There isn’t just one game that is my all time favorite. Bioshock, Gears of War and Batman Arkham Asylum were three games that shaped me as a gamer. I also enjoyed Animal Crossing New Leaf for the occasional cutesy game.

11. What game is currently your favorite?

mercy-2

Overwatch!!  They just released Orisa the defensive guardian robot and whenever I’m on the defensive, I’m choosing her character.

12. Favorite video game genre?

First person shooters have always been my go to, but I have been mixing it up more as I try out new games.

13. Favorite video game character?

Kirby Planet Robobot

 Kirby is my favorite cutesy creature character. I also enjoy Lara Croft and D.VA from Overwatch.

14. Which video game character do you hate most?

I can’t think of a character I genuinely hate. The Joker from Batman Arkham Asylum is obnoxious, but he’s the Joker and he needs to be in the game.  

15. What new game you are most excited for?

I’m excited for the Call of Cthulhu game that is hitting consoles at the end of the year. Otherwise, I’m kinda out of the gaming loop. I have a lot of gaming to catch up on that I’m looking forward to than new releases.

16. Favorite video game company/developer?

Kait

Epic produced Gears of War which is one of my all time favorite franchises. I also do enjoy Blizzard Entertainment because Overwatch rocks.

17. What gaming systems do you currently have?

My Xbox 360 aka. Sally and my Nintendo 3DS. My boyfriend has the Xbox One which I use a lot. I have no plans at this time to purchase any other consoles.   

18. How long have you been gaming?

At least a decade, probably longer.

19. How long was your longest gaming session?

I wish I had the time for one of these! Usually I’m in bed by 9:00 PM. My last gaming session probably lasted till 2-3 AM, but again that was from last year sometime?

20. What game have you clocked the most time on?

d-va-2

Overwatch!! For right now at least… I would say the Halo franchise combined is where I have put most of my gaming hours at. Coming home from school and playing hours of Halo 3.. those were some good times.

Throwback to the 80’s; Paper Girls Volume 1 & 2

Image Comics is captivating comic readers with intriguing novels. The first word that comes to mind when discussing comics is superheroes. Superhero comics are cool, but there are so many other glorious comics to read that don’t have the appearance of Batman. One such comic that I’m loving right now is Papergirls. Image as you may have noted published this series. The random references to the 80’s, pterodactyl like creatures flying around Cleveland and female teenagers kicking ass makes Papergirls a must-read for 2017.

 

Paper Girls Volume 1.png

Image taken from Image Comics website

Papergirls starts the story of young Erin Tieng waking up in the early hours of the morning to deliver newspapers. After being harassed by some local boys, she is defended by Mackenzie, KJ and Tiffany. The quartet notices some pretty strange occurrences including locating an alien capsule, ninjas from outer space and flying pterodactyl like creatures. These four are the only hope that Cleveland has in preventing the destruction of planet Earth.

I will purchase any comic with mostly all female characters. Zodiac Starforce, Rat Queens and now Papergirls have all starred female ensembles and they’re awesome comics. I can’t choose a favorite character because they all add to the story and further the adventure. I have also heard that if you watched Stranger Things on Netflix you will love this story. I’m the opposite as I have never watched Stranger Things, but read Papergirls first.

Paper Girls Volume 2.png

This first volume mostly takes place in the 80’s, so there are numerous references. On one panel is a Bush 88′ sign outside the window whereas the dialogue references the AIDS epidemic and another reference to E.T. Reading through this, I feel that I missed out by not being alive in the 80’s.

I cannot rave enough how much I liked both of these paperbacks. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the third paperback. Image Comics is a force to be reckoned with in the comic universe and if you’re looking for a series that doesn’t include superheroes, Papergirls should be your next read.