#231 - Everything is an Abstract

[episode removed due to accidental embargo breaking]


On this greasy episode of the Shut Up & Sit Down Podcast, we’re talking about a whole BINDLE of games. First up we chat about YET ANOTHER Devir small-box Eurogame (The White Castle) before then talking about Soulaween - an abstract game that’s had Quinns making sweeping, terrifying statements. Finally, some chat about a bundle of little card games sent to Tom - including recent review Five Three Five alongside Harvest and Bridge City Poker.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


02:44 - The White Castle

14:58 - Soulaween

28:30 - Five Three Five, Bridge City Poker, Harvest

[link removed]



They haven’t, you know. It’s still at the same cloudfront download link. But I’ll respect their poorly-expressed preferences and remove the link from here.


I’d also already downloaded it on my podcast app so it kind of feels like the cat is already out of the bag.

I haven’t listened to it yet however so maybe they did give a lot away when they talked about it?

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I’ve got it in my pod catcher, listened to it a little bit ago and don’t remember much. I did have the podcast on as background noise while doing other things so only half-listening.

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Yeah, it’s in my queue after NPI’s latest.

On the subject of abstract games, I don’t think it’s a binary classification; rather, there are several related things going on.

  • Pure abstract: 6 Nimmt, lots of traditional card games. The game doesn’t “represent” anything.
  • Low theme: Letter Tycoon, Grifters, Lemminge, Onitama. There’s a theoretical thing that the components represent, but there’s little or no attempt to make the gameplay match that theme. This could easily be given a different theme without changing the gameplay, and it would be just as good a fit.
  • (various other games strung between low and high)
  • High theme: Firefly, A Touch of Evil, Rallyman. You couldn’t easily re-theme this without making substantial changes.
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Where would you put chess on there? Low theme, since it represents an abstract war/battle?

Yes, Just above draughts (checkers); they’re called “men” and “kings” but I don’t think there’s any suggestion of a struggle in more than the abstract sense.

Someone who’s very good at a game may well play it at a more abstract level; I think to a serious chess player the names of the pieces are just handy labels.

This one’s back up now, at least on iTunes.