#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.

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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.