For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with Games and puzzles.
For two years (until the advent of defective yeti) I wrote a bimonthly games ezine entitled "Aces Up" There I wrote reviews, articles, session reports, and posted original games that I had invented. Most of the content that was on "Aces Up" can be found below.
The bi-weekly Beer And Games Enthusiasts
League has been meeting in Seattle since 1997. Originally consisting
of a dozen Amazon.com employees and partners, the group now has over 30
members, with a typical turn-out of 15 on any given night.
B.A.G.E.L. focuses on light "family" games, suitable for play amongst friends
and between brews. The current favorites of the group include Call
My Bluff, Royal
of Florence and Settlers
of Catan. The bulk of the B.A.G.E.L. game library can be found
And you can read some older session reports over
Birthday Treasure Hunts and "The Bolivian Games"
Since 1993 I have held an annual birthday treasure hunt for my closest friends. Players assemble into teams and solve a series of clues (usually 5-8), each a puzzle or riddle which, when solved, reveals the location of the next. An example of a clue is my Infamous Xylophone Puzzle, which was found in my 1999 Hunt. Teams entered a classroom containing three toy, xylophones and a tape player. Each bar on the xylophone was marked with a letter of the alphabet, and a looping tape played a 14-note "song" that featured a xylophone identical to those in the room. If a Hunter played the 14-note song on one of the xylophones, they would simultanously spell out a 14-letter message that lead to the location of the next clue. The problem was that, with up to three teams in the room at the same time, Hunters had difficulty discerning which notes were coming from the tape and which were being struck by their opponents. Possibly the most diabolical puzzle I have ever employed in one of my Hunts.
You can read recaps of the last two Treasure Hunts here:
I have created a number of original games, some of which are actually playable. Here's a few:
Corporation: A negotiaton game, for 5-8 people, playable with an ordinary deck of cards (or two). I was surprised to discover, earlier this year, that someone translated Corporation into French.
Sibling Rivalry: A two-player strategy game, playable with a chess set and checkers, in which the winner is the last one to die.
Futbolito: Bolivian soccer is an imprecise art. This game recreates the chaotic "sport" of the Traditional Sunday Futbolito Match. This game first appeared in the Bolivian publication El Canje.
Threedom: One of my favorite standard-deck-of-cards two-player games.
Swipe: A dice-and-card game for 3-6 players. Not a bad bar game , really
Treasure Hunt: Collect more diamonds than your opponent
in this game of shifting landscapes. Playable using a deck of ordinary
cards or the special cards supplied.
Aces Up (Although some of these were previously covered in The Game Report, the reviews themselves are different.)
Great Dalmuti, The
Hare and Tortoise
Hera and Zeus
Kohle, Kie$ & Knete
Lord of the Rings
Monsters Ravage America
Take it Easy
Titan the Arena
Web of Power
|The Games Journal
Updates to Classic Games
No Second Place
Good Gift Games 2000
The Presidential Election: A Game Review
The Emergency Gaming Kit
I used to be an active member of rec.games.board. Then I switched to posting exclusively to the Spielfrieks Yahoo! Group. I even wrote a text-only filter for Spielfrieks to facilitate reading.
Here are some (sorely outdated) links to game websites.
Here are some letters
I received (and replied to) back when I was running Aces Up.
Over the years i have taught myself to make a wide variety of puzzles
by hand, from crossword puzzles to