Geek and Sundry has put together some amazing shows that have me hooked better than a one-handed pirate fist pump and at first glance one would accuse such show producers of being sell outs with Table Top. Each episode is a thirty minute commercial filled with funny hijinks and recognizable celebrities playing a mainstream board game for our entertainment. What self-respecting game maker wouldn’t throw piles of cash at such a production? The effect has had such a reverberation throughout the internet and gaming community that a game store owner friend of mine told me that after the first episode of Table Top he received numerous calls as to whether he carried Small World.
So are they selling out the geek community? Well, let’s talk about this week’s episode shall we?
Guests this episode are Rod Roddenberry, son of the legendary Gene Roddenberry alongside YouTube heavy hitters Ryan Higa and Freddie Wong. In a break from established norms via previous episodes, Table Top showcases not one, not two, but three games for your viewing pleasure. Let’s talk about them in the order they appeared:
Tsuro The game of the Path, at first looked a little interesting. I think what caught my attention most on it had a bit to do with the fact players are dragons. Players are flying paths that are designated by the tiles players place down on an increasingly shrinking battlefield. The point is to be the last dragon on the board.
I probably will not be the first nor last to say this, but I absolutely need to buy this game now after seeing how much fun and strategy can be compacted into such a quick game.
Here is my spoiler free, yet full of intrigue, list of highlights for the Tsuro section of the episode:
1:18 – Tsuro rules explaned by Wil Wheaton
6:10 – Freddie talks about the ancient edge he might have
6:17 – Rod makes a fatal mistake
7:20 – Freddie brings out his A game
7:35 – One player is out!
8:28 – Wil shows his hustle
9:33 – Defeat?
10:10 – Possible new show name?
Anyone who frequents us here at Comic Booked might already know this, but I absolutely love Zombie Dice! The fact Wil had actual brain squishies as point counters geeked me out for a few minutes…as well as gave a great idea to make my games even more fun! Anyone who has never played Zombie Dice should check out this weeks Unpainted Lead for an in depth review as well as a review of its expansion Zombie Dice 2 Double Feature.
Some physics defying highlights from the Zombie Dice section of this episode:
10:24 – Zombie Dice explained
12:22 – Ryan goaded into continuing
14:00 – Wil flips out
14:12 – Wil talks game statistics in geek terms
14:45 – Wil resorts to swearing from what he saw
16:17 – Wil shows sportsmanship mid game
18:14 – Ryan shows his troll face
I always like to find new games to try out and this episode gave me
two, the first was Tsuro, the second is Get Bit!, a game of robots swimming away from an attacking shark. The game is played by having players place down cards to determine line order and ultimately who gets bitten. Think of it as a combination of Texas Hold ‘Em, Real Steel, and Shark Week… Yes, being a geek is always this awesome.
Get Bit! Best Bites:
19:27 – Get Bit! presented by Mr. Wheaton.
20:26 – Karma or Ghosts?
21:49 – How to avoid shark attacks in Ryan’s own words
24:58 – Robot disclaimer
24:21 – Freddie is psyched out
27:39 – Wil and Rod reveal a new strategy?
28:26 – The final showdown
28:53 – “Sit in your tower!”
29:39 – All you need is…
So to answer the above question, are Geek and Sundry sell outs? No. They are bringing out tabletop gaming on grander and more sociable level. Ultimately demonstrating the core of gaming is neither strategy, nor is it luck, it’s about having fun and the adventure getting there.
As always, I recommend to watch the player interviews just to gain a new perspective on the celebrities themselves. Admittedly I’ve only seen a few of Ryan Higa’s videos, but especially after watching his Table Top interview I have gained a newfound respect for the man. And if you read this Ryan, thumbs up for following your passion and changing your future. That takes a heck of a lot more guts than most will ever realize.
So what was your favorite part of the episode?
New episodes of Table Top appear every other Friday on Geek and Sundry’s YouTube channel.