Roundup: The best “escape room” games for a breakout party

Enlarge / Some typical escape room components—plus a “Chrono Decoder”—from Escape Room: The Game. (credit: Spinmaster)

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.arstechnica.com—and let us know what you think.

I don’t know CPR. I can’t tie a tourniquet. But I can work my way out of a locked, puzzle-stuffed room in 60 minutes or less.

I’ve been honing this vital skill over the last year as the current mania for physical “escape rooms” has made its way to the tabletop. In an escape room, a team of players works together to solve codes and puzzles that will eventually provide a means of escape. Usually this requires organizing a group, traveling to a physical location, and paying a significant per-person fee.

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Source:: Ars Technica

Persona 3’s ending made me appreciate all of life’s little endings

Enlarge / It’s hard to tell from this promo image, but this game is a poignant meditation on friendship and death.

It was easier for me to walk away from Persona 3 than I expected. The game about nine friends and a dog—which celebrates its tenth anniversary in the States this year—follows a similar arc to most role-playing games. That means the gang of plucky young people ultimately saves the world. Yet its 21st century characters and setting made Persona 3 far more relatable and endearing to me than the high-flying heroes of Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger. It helps, too, that this was the series’ first game to sport a now-signature blend of dating sim and turn-based dungeon crawling.

Playing Persona 3, I felt I was experiencing the first game designed to let me take my time. Whether that meant meeting up with a friend for kendo practice or hanging out with a couple of elderly used booksellers, there was nearly always something more digestible, recognizable, and less world-shatteringly urgent to do than fighting gods and monsters. It’s the kind of stuff that let me inhabit a game’s world for a bit rather than simply tour through it. Tearing up specters and saving the Earth from supernatural threats is fun, but it’s a bit harder to relate to in a way that feels like my real life.

By the end of the game, I was nearly as attached to the city of Iwatodai and its inhabitants as I’ve ever been to a real place. The downside is that this made it that much harder to eventually say goodbye to those virtual sights I saw and friends I made along the way. What made that goodbye easier was a special, quiet message before the closing credits—one …read more

Source:: Ars Technica

New trailers: Game of Thrones, Wet Hot American Summer, and more

The last two movies I saw were Magic Mike XXL and The Invitation. The former is a tale of male strippers, friendship, and the danceability of “Pony,” while the latter is a terrifying, suspense-driven look at a (fictional) Los Angeles cult.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea, but Jake usually writes about the most recent movies he’s seen in this intro. I guess what these movies say about modern cinema is that there really are a lot of options if you ignore superhero movies.

In that spirit, here are eight non-superhero trailers from the week below.

Mutafukaz

Mutafukaz is the feature-length companion to a French short and comic book series. It follows a teen pizza delivery boy, Angelino, around the streets of the fictional Dark…

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Source:: The Verge – All Posts