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Funkhouser

KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings

Oh, Hello: the play with too much of a lot of things

Oh, Hello: the play with too much of a lot of things

Creators tend to find low-key ways of sneaking indulgences into their projects.  There are some shining moments that seem like they were created just to amuse the creator. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In Netflix’s special, Oh Hello on Broadway, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney go on an amusement rampage.  Under the guise of grizzled geriatrics, the two put on a “br’dway” play that seems to scratch every itch on their funny bone. As a viewer, I enjoyed the theatrics, but there were moments that made me feel used like an audience of stuffed animals surrounding a toddler.  We were just there for Kroll and Mulaney’s indulgences. It makes a girl wonder, is was my delighted juice worth their indulgent squeeze?

Grossest sentence ever typed.

Oh Hello is for a specific type of audience.  Gil and George speak to people who enjoy things that are peculiar and slightly cringe-inducing. Their material includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sick Au Bon Pain burns
  • Referring to fingers as “fingies”
  • Feuding with off-stage Ravi
  • Improvisation for non-listeners
  • Casual references to Clamato
  • And bestiality with raccoons
  • And this….

It’s a smorgasbord of things only Kroll and Mulaney could concoct.  I genuinely believe that they would riff off of each other about “protected settlements” to an audience of none. The play within a play brings me so much joy, except for that nagging feeling that I’ve been tricked.

During the prank talk show, Gil and George pluck Steve Martin out of the crowd for an interview and offer him “Too much tuna!” (It’s better than it sounds.)  For other showings, they got to prank talk to Chris Pratt, Alan Alda, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and more. They were living the too much tuna dream.  It’s possible they were also having too much fun. There comes a point where the guest wish list is just an excuse to hang with other cool dudes and chicks.

Artists create their art, so they are entitled to cast the love interest that is out of their league, or go to exotic locations to film or trot out a long list of celebrities to prank interview. However, there were little tiny cracks that reminded me that George and Gil were not concerned about the audience’s amusement.  The faults include, but are not limited to:

  • The bloated introduction to the play. (Too much exposition!)
  • Gil’s untucked shirt was excessive. (I don’t need multiple examples of a slovenly disposition. The socks and sandals are enough)
  • Disrespecting Matthew Broderick’s time

These tiny cracks are frustrating because I’m envious. I want to create perfectly choreographed and thoughtful jokes that are completely silly and put me at the same table as Steve Martin.

Regardless of these tiny cracks, Kroll and Mulaney are in it for the love for the game. After their “high production value” dance sequence, the two collapse on the stage out of exhaustion. The result is a perfect self-indulgent moment.  The two minute real time break lets the actors regroup, but more important improvise random request of Ravi.  They would prefer to have a Ferrero Rocher and some Kashi good friends.  To recoup, the two need an ultra specific headshots brought to them.  Literally, it’s two dudes laying on the floor cracking jokes.

If I had a specific request, it would be that they wouldn’t stop.

In the end, I’ll watch any of the shenanigans that Kroll and Mulaney cook up.  I will soak up their sauce with my polenta body and bask in their indulgences.

Ok, so that’s the grossest sentence ever written.

Regardless, Oh Hello is for people who can tolerate this peculiar brand of comedy where two dudes spend an hour and half of your time doing whatever they please on screen.


Origins 2017 – Climbing Columbus

Origins 2017 – Climbing Columbus

Well, another Origins Game Fair has come and gone, and I wish that it could happen every month.  Origins is one of the more laid back gaming conventions that you can attend, as the attention seems more so on actually playing games and enjoying time with friends, than being a place where so many titles are released. Origins essentially takes over the 4-5 block area around the Greater Columbus Convention Center, which was already packed due to it being Pride week as well. You can find tons of groups playing games in the open gaming areas, as well as hotel lobbies or during meet-ups at bars and restaurants.

Origins 2017 had a different feel to me than the previous conventions, as the hype machine didn’t seem to really be in full force, with many games not being released until Gen Con or Essen.  I went into the convention not really excited about coming home with many of the games for sale in the convention hall, but I was optimistic that I would find something unique that would pique my interest.  It just so happened that apparently, I was in a climbing sort-of mood this year. So, today on Funkhouser, I’m featuring three climbing themed games that really caught my attention at Origins 2017: The Climbers, Rhino Hero: Super Battle, and Summit.


The Climbers – Capstone Games

One of the best things about Origins Game Fair is that the exhibition hall is much less crowded than that of GenCon, especially on Thursday morning. Walking around with crew from Blue Peg, Pink Peg Gaming Podcast, we made our way over to Capstone Games where the above game was hanging out on the table. The Climbers was originally published back in 2008, but is seeing a reprint in 2017 by Capstone Games as part of their “Simply Complex” line.  It took just a ten second explanation to fall in love with this game.

The goal of The Climbers is to get your colored figure as high on this block tower as you can by the time no one can make any more moves. To move your piece up the tower, you can only move to blocks that have your color as the top part of the block. On your turn, you can take any unobstructed block from the tower, turn it in any direction you like, and place it anywhere on the tower where the base of your block sits flat (no hanging off the edge). Your figure can step up to a higher level if the step is shorter than the height of your pawn. However, each player is given a tall and short ladder, which can be used to make larger jumps.  The tall ladder helps you move up two full block heights, while the short ladder helps you move up one full block. The problem is, once you use the ladder, it’s gone for the rest of the game. You also get one piece that you can place on the tower that can block anyone from moving there, but once you use it, it’s gone.

This game is so simple to learn and teach, and will be a great game for kids and adults. It has such a great table presence, as the bright colors and “Little People”-esque figures just seem so inviting. Note: the above picture is not a final published copy, and will look a little different when it is released. Capstone will have a very limited quantity at Gen Con 2017, and hopefully we’ll be able to get our hands on it there!


Rhino Hero: Super Battle – HABA USA

One of the very first booths we made our way to Thursday was HABA USA.  HABA is known primarily for their wonderful kids games, which are designed so well that adults tend to find enjoyment in them as well.  So it was no surprise when we found ourselves squaring off in HABA’s new hit, Rhino Hero: Super Battle.

RH:SB, much like its predecessor, Rhino Hero, is a game about building an apartment structure one floor at a time.  Each player gets three tiles in their hand, which are the floors to the apartment building. When you play a tile, it will show you what walls need to be underneath it (Two Tall, Two Short, One Tall & One Short). The game has three ground tiles to start, with marks of where you are allowed to play your first floor walls, but once you start building the tower, you just have to make sure you can build upon the levels that currently exist. Once you build your floor, you get to roll a die to move your super hero character up that many levels on the tower (the die rolls from 0-2, if I’m not mistaken). If at any point, two opposing heroes are on the same floor of the same building, you must have a roll off to see who gets to stay on that level. Some floors also make you put an Evil Spider Monkey on that floor, which are reminiscent of the “Barrel of Monkeys” monkeys, and you must hang a spider monkey off the side of that particular tile, adding to the possibility that the tower gets knocked over.  Whoever’s hero is highest on the building when it inevitably collapses, or someone’s unsteady hand knocks it over, is the winner.

It definitely seems that HABA knows that adults love Rhino Hero, so they made a game that was a little more complex, but not so much that kids wouldn’t enjoy this too.


Summit – Inside Up Games

The third of our climbing game trio is certainly the most intense of the three games, but it came out of Origins with a lot buzz. Today, just two days after the end of Origins 2017, Summit sits fourth in the Board Game Geek ‘GeekBuzz’ list, behind convention (colon-laden) hits: Codenames: Duet, Century: Spice Road, and Bärenpark (horizontal colon). Summit is the first published game by Canadian designer Conor McGoey, who looks to have a hit on his hands when the game has its release at Gen Con 2017.  The game has Competitive, Cooperative and Solo modes, all brutal in their challenge, but still an accessible game all around.

In a competitive game of Summit, players are on a race to get to the peak of the mountain and return to base camp. While it is a race, it’s a race for points, which means there are multiple factors involved. If you are the first to reach any of the given checkpoints, you will get more points than your competitors, but that’s not the only way you get points. Karma plays a major factor in the game, so much so that there is a Karma track on the side of the board. As you racing up the same mountain with your competitors, you may play Karma cards that will either help or hinder your opponents. By helping them in certain ways, you move up on the Karma track, which will help you get end game points, but you can also be oh so brutal to your opponents, which will move you down the Karma track. Your karma level at the end of the game results in certain end-game points. But, hey, it’s a race, and there’s a good chance not everyone will survive.

Each player is a different character with asymmetric player powers, and a pretty rad character board. On the character board, you keep track of your stats such as: Food, Oxygen, Weight, Health and Speed. At the beginning of the game, and at halfway camps, you get to choose how much food and oxygen you want to carry. The more equipment you carry, the weight stat increases. The higher the weight, the slower you move. Your movement refers to the number of spaces you can move in your turn. As you explore the mountain, you lay down triangular tiles, which have paths on them denoted by ropes. Each knot on the rope is a movement point, so if your speed is five, you move five knots. But, some tiles are icy (more knots which slow you down) and others are low oxygen (use up oxygen upon entry). Also if an opponent is blocking your path, you have to ask them for permission. If they let you around, you can move on through, but if they say no, you have to carve out a new path (they also lose two Karma).

There’s a lot going on in Summit, and we haven’t even gotten to Co-Op, solo, the 190+ unique cards, items, events, Yeti expansion… So we’ll save that for our look at the game, once we get our hands on it in the coming months.


Were you at Origins 2017? What did you see that excited you? Let us know at @funkhouserksr


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Season 3 Review

The Game of Thrones review on KTR has made it to the most controversial and shocking moment in the show’s history.  Nick Roush and T.J. Walker share their initial reactions to the Red Wedding, where the Starks went wrong and the fallout from Tywin Lannister’s sadistic scheme.  Other highlights include…

—  Malisandre’s meeting with Arya and a premonition that could soon come to fruition.

—  The show’s first resurrection from the Lord of Light.

—  Will we ever see Gendry Baratheon again?

—  Two minutes too long of talk about Samwell Tarley.

—  Rickon, Bran and Jon Snow are almost reunited in the North.

—  Why Jaime Lannister became the Kingslayer.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Movie Posters Explained By Kids:  Summer 2017 Edition

Movie Posters Explained By Kids: Summer 2017 Edition

In this Funkhouser series, I conduct spontaneous interviews with my daughters, “A” age 11 and “E” age 8, where they are shown an image of a theatrical movie poster and asked to share their insight in an attempt to decipher the forthcoming feature film’s plot.


Baby Driver (June 28th)


A:  This kid who really wants to drive, so he steals a car from like some bad guy types with tattoos, guns, and stuff, and he’s trying to get away from them during the whole movie.  Probably really loud.
E:  He’s really immature and that’s why even though he’s a teenager, they still call him baby.  He thinks he’s a good driver, but he’s actually not.

Austin Found (July 7th)


A:  A mom who loves her daughter named Austin so much, and she spoils her a lot and does everything to make her rich and popular, but she’s a brat and runs away or maybe she’s kidnapped—but she doesn’t die.

War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14th)


E:  Apes and more apes.  How many apes is too many apes?  There’s just way too many apes, and they’re making a mess of the planet.
A:  People hate the apes cause they’re different, and they’re messing with everybody’s stuff.  Even some of the apes are getting on the other apes’ nerves, and it’s finally come to this.

Girls Trip (July 21st)


A:  This looks inappropriate.
E:  Looks like they saw something that they’ve never seen before.

Atomic Blond (July 28th)


E:  A girl who’s really cool but dangerous, and not as good as Wonder Woman.
A:  About a blond lady who’s having problems, and she decides to kill some of them.

Brigsby Bear (July 28th Limited)


A:  Guy who’s really creepy and his best friend is this bear, or really obsessed with it, but it’s really him the whole time.
E:  About this nerd who wears this scratchy and gross Five Nights at Freddy’s costume, and he’s all lonely, but the bear suit is all he has—and it’s killing him from the inside.

Strange Weather (July 28th)


E:  Old lady emotions.
A:  Well isn’t this strange weather we’re having?  Based on that saying.

The Dark Tower (August 4th)


E:  Something like Dr. Strange.
A:  These people are out to change the world for the better, but it’s not working out too well.

Detroit (August 4th)


E:  What does Detroit mean?
A:  It’s a place.
E:  Nevermind.
A:  I heard it was pretty rough there, and they’re showing how it got that way.

The Glass Castle (August 11th)


A:  She’s in trouble and has her home taken away, so she has to move somewhere with a new family and her new step sisters, and these are her bad memories.

Good Time (August 11th)


E:  A cool party guy is having too good of a time, and he drinks all this beer and wakes up shrunk inside a bottle, trapped forever.  This is why you shouldn’t drink so much.

Polaroid (August 25th)


A:  There’s this antique polaroid camera in a shop that’s a no-touch item, but someone steals it from the collector.  They try it out to see if it works, when they take a picture it takes them into another world, and it’s terrible and scary and they’re trapped forever in the photo.  Goosebumps did it first!


Media Weekend Forecast

Media Weekend Forecast

Welcome back to the Media Weekend Forecast! I’m your Mediaologist Brad Morris. The past couple of weeks has been spent under the sweet summer sun with the rug rats, but playtime is almost over. It’s time to get back into the swing of things. So let us look upon what to watch this weekend.

Netflix: 13 Going On 30

Why To Watch: It is hard to believe this rom-com is 13 years old itself this year. Following a similar formula to Big, Jenna Rink wakes up one morning going from, you guessed it, 13 to 30. Much like Tom Hanks Josh, Jennifer Garner’s Jenna has a sweet innocence to her that makes for awkward encounters and retro music choices. Because unlike Big, the time that Jenna has aged has actually passed. This movies plot is simple, but for some reason has assumed somewhat of a cult following. While I’m not a huge watcher of rom-com’s, 13 Going On 30 is one that can be watched over and over again.

Hulu: Ace Ventura-Pet Detective 

Why To Watch: Jim Carrey took his TV success and parlayed it into his first leading role as Ace Ventura. The completely over the top sleuth is tasked with finding the missing Miami Dolphins mascot Snowflake just before the Dolphins play in the Super Bowl (I know, total fantasy). Ace Ventura walks a fine line of over the top zaniness from Carrey, and famous one-liners. I still catch people making an off handed comment that can be traced back to Ace. So enjoy this laugher again.

AMC: Turn-Washingtons Spies

Why To Watch: The final season of the semi-historical series has arrived. Following the network of spies that helped General Washington in the early days of the Revolutionary War, Turn has had its ups and downs. What fascinated me about the series was having context to Benedict Arnolds treason and the politics of that time and era. Jamie Bell has been in several movies over the years, however his best work has been that as Abraham Woodhull. It’ll be interesting to see where the series ends and what time period of the war we are left off on.

Movies: Cars 3

Why To Watch: Ah the dreaded third movie of a trilogy. So many have fallen short over the years, from Godfather Part 3 to the Matrix Revolutions. However, this story seems to be solid from the promos. Lightenen’ McQueen is in the twilight of his career and wants to capture that one last victory for himself to prove he is worthy. The villain is a mirror to McQueen from his early days. Jackson Storm is the newest car on the track and appears to be superior in every way. It will take Lightenin’ and his friends to find what truly motivates him to the final checkered flag.

Sports: U.S. Open

Why To Watch: If there is any indication this could be a hot weekend on the golf course, one only has to look at the blimp that crashed and caught fire on Thursday. Rickie Fowler started off the tournament with a -7 under 65 and is in position to get rid of the label “best player to not have won a major”. Fan favorite Bubba Watson and Kentucky’s own J.B Holmes will try to bring home the crown. It’s also noteworthy of Phil Mickelson withdrawing from the tournament to attend his oldest daughter’s high school graduation.

 

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Media Weekend Forecast. Yours truly has another day at the beach and a few brews to get to before reality sets back in next week. Until then, I’ll have my toes in the water, butt in the sand. Here’s to hoping you will too this summer.


The Entertation Index: June 12-16

The Entertation Index: June 12-16

Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

———

Amazon — This morning the tech giant announced its plans to buy grocery juggernaut Whole Foods for a whopping $13.7 million. The deal should be solidified by next week, but if they buy it in the next 24 hours they can get it by Sunday, June 18.
Link: Amazon is Buying Whole Foods for 13.7 Billion

Doo, Scooby — Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn told Facebook this week that his 2008 live-action Scooby Doo movie was originally meant to be an R-rated film better suited for adults than kids. The most obvious difference? That we all stop pretending we don’t know what Scooby Snacks are. WE ALL KNOW WHAT SCOOBY SNACKS WERE.
Link: James Gunn Reveals the R-Rated Scooby Doo We Didn’t Get

Dylan, Bob — It’s no secret that troubadour Bob Dylan has been widely suspected of plagiarizing other artists for years, but the weirdest proof of this may have just come in the form of Dylan’s recent Nobel lecture, where he may have lifted up to 21 instances of copy from the SparkNotes text summarizing Moby Dick. The most telltale sign, however, is the part where he told the audience about that time he got a rope tangled around his neck and a whale dragged him down into the ocean.
Link: Accusations about Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize Lecture Rekindle and Old Debate

Jay-Z –During Jay-Z’s induction into the Songwriter Hall of Fame this Week, regular-guy-sitting-back-and-having-a-beer-these-days-not-worried-about-anything Barack Obama delivered a pre-taped speech on how the rapper influenced him. Although I’m a little surprised that Obama admits to having told then-president of France Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011 that he’s not a businessman but rather a business, man.
Link: Barack Obama Helps Induct Jay Z Into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Johannson, Scarlett — The Avengers star, after her last hosting appearance on Saturday Night Live, has been seen since all over New York City on dates with the show’s Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost. So good news, guys! You don’t even have to be that funny to have a shot with Scarlett Johansson! You only have to be a little funny. At best!
Link: Scarlett Johannson and Colin Jost Enjoy a Cozy Night Out in New York

Jost, Colin — See: Johansson, Scarlett

Show, Mr. — Okay, so this isn’t news, but it’s preoccupied me for so long I thought I’d share it with you guys: Splitsider’s take on the 24 best Mr. Show sketches. It may look dated in 2017, but I assure you there’s enough comedy here to get you through your Friday. And if you missed the Mr. Show era and always wondered what the fuss was about, here’s a great primer.  R.I.P. Mr. Show.  #neverforget
Link: The 24 Best Mr. Show Sketches, In Order 

Yachty, Lil’ — What began as a potential reach for the Tonight Show turned into something really cool this week when rapper Lil’ Yachty joined Fallon and the roots to rap about 59 Simpsons characters. Sure, it starts out with the basics; but by the time you get to deep cuts like Mr. McGreg, Artie Ziff and the original Fallout Boy, you can’t tell me it’s not pretty impressive.


WATCH: Every Single Death in Game of Thrones

Normally I reserve my Game of Thrones content to Kentucky Thrones Radio, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.  For the five people reading who aren’t watching the best show on television, keep on scrolling.  For the rest of you, find your seatbelt.

A YouTuber, Leon Andrew Razon, created a compilation video featuring every single death in Game of Thrones.  This video isn’t for just main characters; he covers direwolves, sheep and even the manticore that almost took out Khaleesi.  In the 21-minute video there are 150,966 deaths covering the first six seasons of Game of Thrones.  That number is the best estimate you can find, a careful calculation of all battle and civilian deaths.

If you want a heads up on what to expect, read beyond the video, but I suggest you experience the intensity blindly first.  Viewer beware: it’s gory, grotesque and might be disturbing to some viewers.

Observations

— I need a cigarette.

—  This guy isn’t out to offend those north of The Wall, using PC terms like “Free Folk” and “The Others” instead of what we all call them, White Walkers.

—  It’s tough to capture the big battles, but man, that’s one hell of a succinct look at the hour-long Battle for Castle Black.

—  I still hate seeing the Red Wedding.  Catelyn’s death might be the most painful, because she knew something was wrong (but let’s be real, Grey Wind’s death is more heart-breaking).

—  Even though dragon’s are the most fundamental mythological creature in Western culture, I’ll never not be entertained when they start murdering fools.

—  Does Jon Snow’s death technically count?

—  This compiler was wise to not show some of the more difficult deaths to deal with (Stannis’ daughter, Ned’s beheading etc.), but to only give us snippets of Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton’s slow, painful deaths? Come ON!

—  Picking a fight with the Cleganes is a terrible, terrible idea.

This was a nice refresher before the July 16 season seven premiere, but I suggest you listen to the KTR podcast, returning Monday night with a season three review.


Pop Culture Horoscope

Pop Culture Horoscope

Here’s a fun fact, horoscopes are silly. Here’s another fun fact, we read them anyway.  Regardless of whether the moon is in transit or some celestial body is in retrograde, your predicted future is probably easier to foresee through your pop culture diet than a small window of dates on the calendar. With the help of some simple channel surfing and digital/”divine” intervention we’ve identified what the universe has in store for you by reading the signs from what you’ve most recently watched.

The NBA Finals

A wave of entitlement is coming your way.  While others were debating ridiculous hypotheticals, you managed to consistently maintain your correct opinion.   Until the next NBA season, you will reap the benefits of remaining smug while ultimately arguing with those who are basically saying the same thing.  Don’t shy away from the debate, iron sharpens iron and whatnot.

The Bachelorette

You have a firm grasp on your future and the remote! Enjoy these moments of “me time.”  Life can get hectic but finding ways to decompress and center yourself are essential. Mark your calendar for June 12th.  This will be a day when something you’ve been waiting for returns.

The Mummy

Take a moment  to do a post-mummy “audit.” It may be time to “go clear.”  Today, focus on the thousands of past lives that you’ve lived. Feel free to isolate yourself from those you love and embrace the new mate the church has found for you.

Did this horoscope resonate with you? If so, you’ve been Cruised. You’re a Scientologist now. Please see Katie Holmes for any help with canceling your membership.

The Game of Thrones Trailer

Today, you may find that your patience is wearing thin. Anxious anticipation is brewing in your gut. You find yourself reminded of stories from long ago. Eggs in your fridge remind you of hatching dragons and your pet dog seems to understand more than you thought. Now is not the time for looking backwards.  Use this time to get caught up on previously neglected tasks because after July 16th, your agenda may get more full.

Twin Peaks

Things may feel a bit confusing and odd today, as if everything were played backwards on a record player. Every moment might have an ominous and erratic tinge to it. Today, you’ll be reminded how comforting it is to reminisce with old friends and memories.

House of Cards

Embrace your urges to get an asymmetrical dress and smart haircut. Feel free to voice your opinion as an aside during any given conversation. Trust me, this your time to be ruthless and eat a rack of ribs.

 

Jeff Sessions Testimony 

Heads up!  During this time you will feel extra sensitive. Your mantra for this summer: opinions don’t count unless they are tweeted.  This cycle will be guaranteed to help you attract (and repel!) friends.  Coupling with the House of Cards sign might make an interesting romantic pair!

 

It’s hard  to imagine that these predictions could be less than 100% accurate at least 50% of the time.


Funkhouser’s Origins Game Fair 2017 Preview

Funkhouser’s Origins Game Fair 2017 Preview

Starting Wednesday, June 14th, Origins Game Fair will be underway in Columbus, Ohio. Origins began in 1975 in Baltimore Maryland, at Johns Hopkins University. Since then it has grown into a destination for gamers, residing in Columbus since 1996. In 2015, 15,480 unique visitors made the trip to Central Ohio to get their game on.

I will be in attendance at Origins 2017 for Funkhouser on Thursday (and possibly Friday night), so if you see me come say hi, or come play a game with me. I’ll be posting some images on our Twitter account: @funkhouserKSRso be on the lookout for those.

As I get prepared for the event, I thought I might showcase some of the games that I’m looking forward to getting a chance to play/get my hands on during the convention this weekend. These are in no particular order:


Codenames: Duet

We’ve always been a big proponent of Codenames here at Funkhouser.  Winner of the 2016 Spiel Des Jahres award, Codenames has become a massive hit over the last year with three different versions (Original, Pictures, Deep Undercover), with three more on the way (Disney, Marvel, and Duet). Codenames has found a prominent spot on the shelves at Target, and is the first game I pull out at a game night with a larger group of friends.

However, Codenames Duet is not for a larger group of friends.  As the name suggests, Codenames Duet is for just two players.  The game works in the similar fashion as its predecessor, in that you lay out a 5×5 grid of words on the table between you.  You are given a single key on a vertical stand that is set between you and your partner, which designates which words you’re trying to get your partner to guess.  Three words on either side of the key match, meaning you and your partner could be giving clues to the exact same word. Each side has an assassin, which if your partner guesses it, you immediately lose the game.  If you can uncover all 15 “agents” (correct words) before time (number of clues) runs out, you win. I’m very interested to see how this version of Codenames works out, as the franchise has been a pretty big success thus far.


Rhino Hero: Super Battle

If you’re looking at this box and thinking, “wow, that sure looks like a kid’s game,” you’d be right.  Rhino Hero: Super Battle has an age range of 5+, but this game is one that has really claimed the hearts of kids and adults alike.  In the original Rhino Hero, each player was given a certain number of floor cards.  On their turn, a player places a floor on the table, then uses bendable cards to make walls on designated spaces on the “floor”.  The next player has to play a floor on top of those walls, and the game continues as this apartment tower gets built higher and higher. The Rhino Hero comes in as some floors had a Rhino logo, meaning you had to place the Rhino Hero figure on that spot when you built that floor.  However, he may have already been on a different floor, so you have to move him from one floor to a higher level without knocking over the tower.  It’s like Jenga, but you built the tower piece by piece too.

In Rhino Hero: Super Battle, there are now four super heroes that will battle, but they will also be battling fearsome spider monkeys. The tower cards have gotten much bigger as well, meaning for taller structures and better collapses.  Really looking forward to getting to try this one out.


The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire

If you are a fan of The Godfather movie franchise, then The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire is shaping up to be a game for you. This is designer Eric M. Lang’s love letter to one of his favorite movies, and of all people to take great care of a franchise, he’d be the one to do it. Lang likens this game to a “dude’s on a map game”, as a “thugs on a map” game.

Each player takes the role of a different family who is trying to shake down different businesses, get illegal goods, and trying to get as much money as possible.  The person with the most money at the end of the game wins, but it’s not about how much cash you have in hand, you need to launder money into your suitcase, and all that money counts as your score at the end of the game.  The laundering is important, as at the end of each of the four acts, you have to discard down to a certain hand size, meaning even if you did a bunch of cool stuff, if you didn’t square away money to your suitcase, you could lose it at the end of each round.

There is area-control involved as well, as you gain bonuses at the end of the game if you control certain areas of turf.  If you control certain areas during the game as well, you may get extra items if people take actions on your turf.  Last thing to touch on is that you can kill other people’s “family members” on the board, and when they die, you actually toss their figure into the river on the board.  C’mon, how cool is that.


Flatline: A FUSE Aftershock Game

FUSE is a dice rolling, bomb defusal game that came out in 2015, where you tried to stop bombs from going off.  In Flatline, some of those bombs went off and now you’re tying to save patients, by rolling dice.

You will have a series of patients that you need to save before the end of the game to be able to win. Each round, players will be rolling dice and making decisions within a one-minute timer to try and meet the needs of the patients and also take on other emergencies that might be happening over the course of that round.  Some items on a patient can only be cured by one player, while others will need the assistance of multiple or all players to put their dice on the patient.  Clearing patients will give you certain benefits, but if you clear a patient while the life support dial in the middle is pointed towards a negative result, you will receive a negative effect.  So the game is all about communication and working together in a hectic time span to treat and cure patients.

I purely like the idea of the full minute of shouting back and forth at one another to try and make the right decisions.  Many co-operative games suffer from a “quarterback” problem, in which one player makes all the decisions for everyone. In a game when you only have one minute to decide your actions, the QB effect is somewhat negated as you don’t have time to tell everyone what to do, so all players get to make very crucial decisions, even if they’re the wrong ones.


Again, there are going to be a lot of games to see this year at Origins Game Fair.  Not as many are for sale, as a lot of releases are coming at GenCon or Essen, but it will be very cool to see some of what’s coming down the pike.  If you’re going, be sure to say hi. I’m sure I’ll be wearing some sort of KSR gear.


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Season 2 Review

Nick Roush and T.J. Walker continue their pre-season six review of the HBO hit show by taking a look back at Season Two of Game of Thrones.  After a traditional storyline in the first season, the second pits five kings against one another in the race for the Iron Throne, culminating at the Battle of the Blackwater.  Highlights:

—  Dany’s Biblical journey in the dessert and foreshadowing from Qarth.

—  Craster’s sick, twisted Wildling mind north of The Wall.

—  Of the five kings vying for the Iron Throne, who’s claim is the most legitimate?

—  Nick likes Margaery Tyrell a little too much, while T.J. explains why he loves Stannis so much.

—  Theon is a turd; how the Greyjoy came to be a ward for the Starks.

—  Edric Storm > Gendry Baratheon

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


The Entertation Index: June 5-9

The Entertation Index: June 5-9

 

Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

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Barney — Move over, friend-of-KSR Fake Barney; the real actor who portrayed Barney the Purple Dinosaur has decided to step forward to answer questions about the role he played for ten years between 1991-2001. David Joyner told TechInsider that the colorful suit weighed 70 pounds and could heat up to 120 degrees inside, also adding that Barney residuals have paid him very well. His biggest regret? That the nine children his character ate in the direct-to-DVD special “Barney Sings Silly Weather Songs” was probably unnecessary and upsetting to the families of those involved.
Link: This Guy Played Barney for 10 Years and Has Some Secrets to Spill

Davis, Anthony — Beloved Kentucky Folk Hero and Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week to discuss his first car (a white-on-white Bentley that was “too fast”), his clothing line, and a story about the procuring and handling of his one-time pet monkey. Meanwhile, no one interviewed Daniel Orton at home about his fourteen cats and freezer full of Hagen-Daz.
Link: Morning Monologue – Anthony Davis Discusses Pet Monkey on Jimmy Kimmel

Gambino, Childish — The hip-hop persona Childish Gambino, alter ego of actor and comedian Donald Glover formed through mixtapes in 2008, will be retired by Glover as he’s established the character and music is no longer “necessary.” If you’ve heard Glover’s music as Gambino you’ll know that this is a real shame; there’s nothing safe enough for work that I can post here but look him up on YouTube and get familiar before his final album.
Link: Donald Glover is Retiring Childish Gambino

Kesha — Poor Kesha. Not only is she not really that famous anymore, but now Jerry Seinfeld won’t even let her hug him. During a recent Kennedy Center Honors event, the “Tik Tok” (remember that? Brushing your teeth with Jack Daniels doesn’t sound healthy OR practical) singer approached the comic while he was being interviewed only to be shut down by Seinfeld twice — then remarking to his interviewer “I don’t know who that was. Oh well, I wish her the best.” Seinfeld’s got a point. I mean, what is the deal with Kesha?
Link: Watch Jerry Seinfeld Refuse a Hug from Kesha

Mummy, The — Tom Cruise’s The Mummy has hit theaters this weekend and has been roundly panned by critics, with reviews citing it as “Tom Cruise’s worst movie ever” and “eliciting boos from the audience.” I guess no one wants to go watch a movie about a dusty, creepy old mystical weirdo. OR a Mummy. See what I did there?
Link: Rotten Tomatoes – The Mummy 

Radiohead — A recent Rolling Stone interview with Radiohead revealed a surprising nineteen things the author learned while spending time with Thom Yorke and company, including that the band has never felt cool, they might not show up if they get inducted into the Hall of Fame and Jonny Greenwood hates guitar solos. It would have been twenty things but the writer committed suicide before the interview was finished.
Link: 19 Things We Learned Hanging Out With Radiohead


Kentucky Thrones Radio: Season One Review

We were warned.  Now Winter is finally here.  Before the War of Fire and Ice, Kentucky Thrones Radio returns to help prepare you for the penultimate season of the hit HBO show, Game of Thrones.

Ahead of the July 16 premiere, Nick Roush and T.J. Walker will take you on a journey through the Seven Kingdoms by reviewing the show’s six previous seasons.  Each week they’ll help you remember the finer details and point out pieces of the plot that could impact the final two seasons of the show.  They start the journey today in Winterfell when Ned Stark warns us for the first time, “Winter is Coming.”  Highlights:

—  Nick incorrectly shares the show’s premiere date.

—  What caused the demise of Ned Stark.

—  Littlefinger’s resemblance to Rick Pitino.

—  How Benjen Stark started R + L = J.

—  Daenerys’ transformation from abused little sister to Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons.

—  What if Robb Stark killed Jaime Lannister when he had the chance?

Two additional requests: Your feedback is encouraged.  It’s a little different than what we normally do during the season; your input (@RoushKSR & @TWalkerRivals) will help us put out the best product possible.  Secondly, if you or you company would like to be a part of the show via sponsorship, contact us at Nick.Roush@KentuckySportsRadio.com or Maria@KentuckySportsRadio.com.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.