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Classics: Arkham Horror

Back in 2005, when gaming was ruled by dry Euros (at least, the BGG rankings were), what was missing was adventure.  The kind that could suck you into another time and place.  The kind that could create a temporal vortex and leave you wondering where the last few hours just went.  Enter Arkham Horror.

It took up huge amounts of table space, had a lot of clunky mechanisms, enough randomness to scare away most Euro gamers and it was long: the time on the box said it could take 4 hours (and those are usually conservative to the point of deceit).

I loved it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Euro, but Arkham Horror provided something I’d rarely experienced in a boardgame.  Like being brought up watching documentaries and then seeing Indiana Jones for the first time, it was extraordinary.

Over a decade later and it is still one of my Top 10 Games of All Time.  Let me tell you about it…

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Paperback vs. Hardback

Paperback is an excellent little mashup of a word game with a deckbuilder.  It was on Kickstarter a few years ago, but it took quite a bit of time to seep into the collective boardgaming consciousness.  Part of this was because it never went to retail: if you didn’t back the original Kickstarter, the only way to obtain the game was to order it direct from Tim Fowers (the designer) via his website.

Even now, it is remarkably difficult to get hold of.  If you get the chance to play it, I highly recommend you try it if you like word games at all.  Last year though, another very similar looking game from Tim Fowers appeared on Kickstarter called Hardback, the so-called ‘pre-quill’ to Paperback.

I backed it as soon as I saw it and it arrived last week.  How does it compare to Paperback?  If you already own Paperback, is it worth buying Hardback as well?  If you own neither, which one should you buy?  Let’s investigate…

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