Box Breaking 202: Royals From Arcane Wonders

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Dec 192016

Watch as Matt breaks open Royals.  The area control game where players represent European nobles of 17th century struggle to hold influential positions.

I have played a half a dozen times now and I have loved every minute


Box Breaking 190: Onitama from Arcane Wonders

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Sep 202016

Onitama is a two player abstract game based on the complexity of a Martial Arts fight. With a random set up the players use their cards to move and outwit their opponent.  This wrestling match relies on the card players were dealt at the beginning of the game.



It is part of the Dice Tower Essentials line.


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Gen Con 2016 Coverage 8: Arcane Wonders Speechless Demo

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Aug 102016

Speechless is the new party game from Arcane Wonders.  It’s for 3 to 8 players and you act out 6 words in a minute and a half while others secretly give their best guess.

My words can’t describe what you’ll watch.

It’s a blast!


Words With Bryan Pope @ Origins 2016

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Jun 202016

At Origins 2016 I had a chance to catch up with my good friend Bryan Poe from Arcane Wonders.  We talked about Mage Wars Paladin and Siren.  Bryan may have leaked a few other things as well.

I do believe if you listen closely a couple of allusions can be heard.

Reflecting on My Time at Alliance Open House 2015

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Sep 282015

Alliance Open 2015 033About a week ago I drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the Alliance Open House. This is primarily a trade show for retailers allowing them to meet with manufacturers, sit in on seminars, and engage other retailers. Since I’m a news and media guy I was coming in with curious expectations.  All of which I would soon find answers to.


Alliance Open 2015 018The very first thing you get to do when you arrive is register and then play games.  Well, I spent as much time walking around and chatting with friends as I did gaming.  The first familiar face was Mike Webb, and then Tony Gulliotti, it wasn’t long before we were playing Dragon Tides.  Shortly after that I ran into Phil Reed and Rhea Friesen from Steve Jackson Games.  Rhea and I played Munchkin Gloom.  Wow, Munchkin Gloom is a unique experience.  Atlas did a great job with this.  I have never played Gloom and I want to know.  It’s like playing telephone with transparent cards that evolve. I spent  the rest of the night meandering and chatting with friends like Scott Morris and Aaron Brosman.

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Matt on Sheriff of Nottingham

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Feb 232015

In this no quite a play through and not quite a review Matt talks about the best part of Sheriff of Nottingham (lying, bribing, and stretching the truth) while having some fun.  Sheriff of Nottingham is a bluffing game for the whole family.



I look forward to posting a family play through in he future.  Sherrriff of Nottingham is one of the few games where you can let your personality shine.

Words With Scott Morris From Arcane Wonders @ Gen Con 2014

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Aug 262014

Scott Shares a quick Demo of Sheriff of Nottingham before sharing with us release details in the fourth quarter.  That includes talking abiut the Paladin and Siren coming out next year.


It is always good to see my friends from Arcane Wonders.

Final Hours for Through Gamer Goggles Gen Con Media Coverage on Kickstarter

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Jul 192014

Gen con 014Our relaunched Kickstarter has been funded largely because of what our first attempt taught us.  Even though our first project was a complete bomb it has been a great ride.  Gosh, I really don’t know how much to bore you here with our experience, so I’m just going to jump into the current project that is much more exciting.   I may touch upon some of the lessons we experienced.

Our current project was funded in just under 24 hours.  Why? Because we discarded all of the promotional items that inflated the funding goal.  This was the secret to our success.   We still have a T-shirt, but we felt the backers who were major contributors needed something more than just the media coverage.  All of our backers are major supporters, by the way, the average daily contribution has been about $70.  We can’t thank you enough for that!

For those of you that have backed this project, I’m not sure if you can see what you’re a part of.   The effort you’ve put forth has opened so many doors and taught me so many things it’s not funny.  Our blog and social media has increased nearly 30% in the last fourteen days, and that is because you have motivated me.  My eyes have been opened, because of you, to what the essence of Through Gamer Goggles  media truly is.  Back to that in a minute.

I believe I will have published 300 videos before Gen Con 2015.  That’s over 100 a year, plus reviews, radio shows, and release information.  Through Gamer Goggles is a happening place.  We offer a tremendous amount of content, but I have failed you.  I have failed because the vision or essence of what is Through Gamer Goggles wasn’t realized until we attempted to fund this successful project.  Through Gamer Goggles (TGG) was born with the vision of blending or balancing our gaming worlds with our real lives.  Not only is that a monumental task but it has proven to be a very difficult one.  Especially since very early on, I became nearly overwhelmed with the processing of game reviews.  But this project has made me realize that I have failed at reflecting my personality in the content.  I mean, I’m one of the most passionate gamers you’ll ever meet.  I go out of my way for the gaming community as a whole by organizing events, judging, and blogging.   I probably know hundreds if not thousands of gamers from such experiences.   So where am I going with all this?   The Gen Con Media project has kind of brought all of this to a head.  I have realized that I want to take a very different approach to media.  We have always been a part of the community and have run events for manufacturers (since 2000), but I don’t think it was enough to make me happy.  Now, you are a part of what we do!  That is the change that I was missing before.  More than ever Through Gamer Goggles is about blending our lives with our gaming world.  Which really means connecting with the gaming community in a unique way.  We’re committed to bridging the gap from manufacturer to gamer by being involved with you!  One of the results will be more of my super stunning personality as we continue to grow.  This will include everything we have done in the past plus more demonstration content and regular radio shows.  I might be rambling so onward to excitement!

The Project is all about going to Gen Con and having a blast with you.  There are some really cool concepts we are trying to do.

The Photo Tier – every backer gets their picture taken and more.

The Coupon Book – Every backer of $20 or more will receive a coupon book (similar to the convention book but smaller).  Currently we’re working with these great companies:

  • Academy Games – Kickstarter exclusive items available from Freedom, Rebellion, and Conflict of Heroes, more details to come. Priceless!
  • Adventure a Week – one month free. Worth about $10.
  • DGS Games – Details Pending
  • Hawk Wargames – Spend X dollars (amount to be determined) and receive a bonus mini.
  • Mr. B. Games
  • And the guys from Pure Steam are offering  free music with the purchase of their alternate Pathfinder setting

This is easily worth the $20.

Coffee with the crew – just as it sounds.

The coolest goal is a backer party.  Basically this will be a dinner where all are invited to have a meal at a yet to be determined location.  I have my eyes set on a steak house.   But we will see what happens.  It would be great for all of us to be in the same place at the same time to share our experiences and just get to know each other.

To celebrate our last hours I have come up with some unique ideas.

BoxRender_STE_ForgedInFire-Small-for-Web-Site-InsertionThe first is a backer give away.   For every ten new backers we get from now until the end of the campaign we will give out prizes to a randomly chosen backer. We are currently at 17 backers, so the prize thresholds are 27, 37, and 47.   I currently have 3 prizes to give away:  Combat Barbarossa 1941 German Infantryman Versus Soviet Rifleman from Osprey Publishing,  Scoundrels of Skullport from GF9, and a signed copy of Forged in Fire for Mage Wars.

Second, I have decided to add another stretch goal – a scavenger hunt.  This will be a simple game.  It will involve backers of any pledge level to run around the exhibitors hall and do things like play games and other neat things.   How dumb is that?   At the end of the day we will meet up and have a drawing to award a daily prize.  So far we have two Mage Wars Core Set and a copy of Forged in Fire from Arcane Wonders.   That is two days of dashing from game to game.   Who knows, we may create some other wacky ideas beyond game hunting.  In either case it will be a lot of fun.

Like I said the Kickstarter is a door opener.  It has started several new friendships, given us new direction and realization.  While we’ve focused on Box Breakings, Figure Forges, Flip Throughs, and written reviews, you’re going to see more engagement from us.   Beyond that we are going to strive to connect the manufacturers with you in an engaging way, while we continue to push the pace into news and media in exciting ways.   Will we be perfect?  No, but we have already proven that we learn from our mistakes, and that result means we will see you at Gen Con 2014 AND at Gen Con 2015!   My only question is will you be part of our future?


Matt Lemke