High Noon Saloon by Slug Fest Games: I enjoy a lot of Red Dragon Inn but I hadn’t heard of this one before. Luckily for me I have someone in the house who loves westerns, so the game was well received. After opening it I wasn’t super impressed with the bits but after doing a little more research I was happy to see it got a decent BGG rating. Which was a huge plus for a game I hadn’t heard of before that was published five years ago. I’m really hoping this game will be a diamond in the rough.
Taking a temporary divergence, Final Fantasy XI used the PlayStation 2's online capabilities as an MMORPG. Initially released for the PlayStation 2 with a PC port arriving six months later, Final Fantasy XI was also released on the Xbox 360 nearly four years after its original release in Japan. This was the first Final Fantasy game to use a free rotating camera. Final Fantasy XII was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and uses only half as many polygons as Final Fantasy X, in exchange for more advanced textures and lighting. It also retains the freely rotating camera from Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIV both make use of Crystal Tools, a middleware engine developed by Square Enix.
Basically, what Corndance Tavern has done is section off a bit of the restaurant near the Corndance bar and turned it into a mini-restaurant/butcher shop. They have a little cold case with a selection of maybe 10 different meats that are shooting for an upmarket clientele. We're talking 55-day dry-aged beef, which if you know your steak is super difficult to find anywhere, not just South Bend. Alongside that are some nice pork chops and some house-made sausage.
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Overall I'm not really impressed with my box. Yes, I was happy about one of the games but I would have preferred two solid games over one solid and two mediocre games. I don't feel as though I've received a deal since two of the three games are unlikely to be played. I understand that this is the risk you take with mystery boxes but I just don't think Board Game Bento is going to be the right subscription box for me.
However, unless you have a particularly robust collection or are like several GeekDad contributors (who shall remain nameless) and have a Kickstarter obsession, you’re probably safe. The games are generally from smaller, independent publishers and started out on a crowdfunding platform. Which–to me–makes them all the more exciting. These are games that might not land on “hot” lists but still deserve table time.
As I said, Board Game Bento guarantees at least an $80 value. The four games in this particular box retail for about $100. Some boxes also include accessories, such as dice or other ephemera, so your mileage may vary from month to month. However, a one-month subscription would make a great gift idea for any gamers you know. Because let’s be honest: who doesn’t love opening a mystery box?
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If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.
I originally wasn't going to subscribe for this one as the theme didn't really interest me, but a discount offer, the mention that this box would have over $100 worth of games, and the hint that one of the games was a Spiel des Jahres nominee got me to give in. Based on the month's theme, I thought the SdJ nominee would've been Codenames or less likely, T.I.M.E. Stories. Alas, the "nominee" was Spyfall. Overall, I'm not very excited about this box as I don't play these types of games, though Salem looks interesting.