|Index||3 reviews in total|
I heard of this show on Facebook. I went ahead and watched the first episode and every one of them since. Basically, Wil Wheaton gets together with other movie stars and figures from geekdom and plays a board-game. They show highlights the game rules and the progress made while showing Wil and his pals having a great Friday night. Every friend who I have turned on to this series has become a follower of the series. I look forward to it each (other) week. The production is slick and the rules are generally explain well enough that one could go and buy the game and play it immediately. Side Note: I went to my local game shop to look at one of the games featured (Tsuro) but it had sold out over the weekend, the manager sited the program as the reason. So, if you have 30 minutes to spend every other week and you are a gamer or perhaps you want to understand a gamer, check this out!
I've seen a few episodes of this show that open up simulation gaming
(or a facet of it; relational role playing) to mainstream America, and
was very much amused. The first episodes I saw was Wil's hosting of an
add-on he wrote (battle-set in war-gamerese) for a game called
"Fiasco". When the second and third episode rolled around the laughs
came harder and faster as the story of "Saturday Night 78" unfolded
before the audience.
But, beyond the "Fiasco" episode, subsequent session weren't quite as funny but still highly entertaining, including when I got to see Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games give us a rousing round of the very hilarious (in a D&D Role Playing kind of way) "Chez Geek".
I guess the reason "Fiasco" was so entertaining is because back in the day, when I was part of a writers' pow wow, the ideas flew fast and furious amidst much laughter and serious tones alike; i.e. "Good idea, laughs, serious tone as we all make notes, another idea, everyone applauds, more note taking, then the next idea which will look like a deep dramatic moment on the big screen." It was kind of like that if you've ever been part of a writer's group. Great stuff, because that's essentially what happens in a writers' session when you're trying to come up with ideas.
Otherwise "Table Top", at times, comes close to something like watching that late night poker show that used to be in a few years back. The running commentary as we get to hear the participants' thoughts have moments of laughter, and educate us as to what's going on in terms of rules and player strategy. Wheaton (or his writers) definitely have their finger on he pulse of gamer / tech-geek / movie-geek society; the male who keeps tabs on science, trends, and pop-culture alike, whose pop/science data-base is brimming with knowledge to laugh at zingers referencing those very things.
Well, where you might see a derivative of Monopoly or its unauthorized but perfectly legal knockoff played on this show, you won't see D&D nor "War in the Pacific" (a behemoth SPI WW2 Pacific Theatre sim), but you'll see games that take a little work to play, but are more user friendly to a more mainstream audience set who are more inclined to go to cocktail parties or a wine and cheese, as opposed to a weekend gaming session at your friend's living room with other die hard gamers.
A great watch, which, if the game is right and participants are right, can be a real delight (Fiasco Saturday Night 78 battle-set was absolutely brilliant), otherwise it's a bit more run in the mill, but can definitely educate the avid gamer on more mainstream games that have a bit of punch and pizazz for their friends.
*EDIT* Sept 5th, 2014 Okay, I'm coming out retirement here to modify my review. I just saw the episode where Wheaton plays "Gloom" with three lady card gamers who are also Youtube media types, and I haven't laughed so hard since I saw "Used Cars" or the "Saturday Night 78" Fiasco episode. The deadpan deliveries with just outrageous stories had me slapping my desk and roaring with laughter.
The episode after that was the Dragonage board game, where Wil Wheaton just blatantly used his Wesley Crusher status to mock-bribe one of the players to support his forces in the game. Again, my eyes were watering as I slammed my hands on the desk.
If you have any ounce of a Gamer in you or your family, then you must see this show.
This show has excellent production values. The captions are good. The
camera is top quality. And from here the show goes downhill. The
explanations are not so good. If you are into board games and Youtube,
Tom Vassel has far more value in his reviews than the gameplay here.
And sometimes the rules are either badly explained or plain wrong. And
the shows continues its descent. The participants are starlets and
Youtube personalities and they are all willing to make a good
impression. So they try so hard they go over the top. Fake. Forced. And
Contact me with Questions, Comments or Suggestions ryitfork @ bitmail.ch
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