Category Archives: Game Commentary

Free Play Week 2 (Honey Heist)

This week we played a game called Honey Heist. Honey Heist is a game where the players play as bears. In this game you have to understand your character and this ties to the leadership trait of knowing ones self. Knowing what your own goals and traits are is important to understand what you need to do to be a good leader. This game does a good job of making this easy to understand because for the bears your goal is to just try to obtain honey without becoming to bearish or a straight up criminal. While goals may vary a little bit more in real life the concept remains the same. But in Honey Heist how do you obtain this honey?

To obtain honey in Honey Heist is in some cases quite difficult. Honey Heist is a roleplaying game where almost every success and failure is decided by a six sided dice. In the game I played I was a Scottish grizzly bear named Scotty o’Mara and I was a retired hacker. The goal for my group was to steal a honey fountain from a mansion across a bridge. While in the end we succeeded my bear was the only one who didn’t make it out and was put in Bear jail. Overall I had a lot of fun playing the game but struggled with several mechanics. The most difficult part of the game was that although we had a clear goal there was no clear path to reach the goal. The plan for the heist was entirely up to the imagination which left a limitless number of options for us to steal the fountain however it did not give us any clear paths to reach the fountain. This mechanic made the game interesting as well because none of the players really had a good idea of what the other players were planning.

If I had to recommend this game to anyone I would probably recommend it to my friend Jacob. Jacob already enjoys the game Dungeons and Dragons and I think they would also enjoy this game because it allows for similar role playing mechanics as well as the chance that comes from rolling the dice. I would also recommend this game to my Mom for the same reasons I would recommend this game to Jacob. Overall I think this game would be a lot of fun to play with a group of friends.

Free Play Week 1 (Incan Gold)

This week we played Incan gold, a game about taking risk in an attempt to obtain treasure hidden in the Incan pyramids. The game addresses risk taking as you are an explorer who while searching for gems and treasure has to also avoid multiple dangers. Risk taking is how this game connects to leadership. In taking risks this game demonstrates the ability for the player to assess risk vs reward and determine whether or not to take certain actions in a similar way that a leader must assess risk and reward when taking certain actions.

The game itself works well with the concept of risk as well as its other mechanics. In this game you are competing against other players to attempt to collect the most gems and at the end the player with the most wins. To earn gems players must venture into the Incan pyramids and face the dangers inside. With multiple players playing this game gems are divided evenly among players in the temple with players having the option to leave early. The first question that many would ask at this point would be why should these players ever leave the temple early. The answer is simple and part of the games mechanics. The dangers of the temple, if the player sees two of the same danger they drop all of their gems and vacate the temple. These mechanics make the game interesting because it pits the players against each other where they will want to risk as much as they can to get ahead of the others so that they do not have to share the gems. I think this mechanics is also what makes the game most difficult because as a player you have to assess whether or not it is worth it to continue to venture into the pyramid or if you will lose out more by continuing forward.

As a risk taking game I think my brother would really enjoy playing this game as he enjoys playing these types of games a lot. Whether he just likes getting really lucky or actually mathematically figuring out the best solution I am unsure but nevertheless I am sure he would enjoy this game.

Honey Heist

Honey Heist is a fun, one-page, one-shot RPG with a great story and a fun atmosphere. The group I played with was willing to step out of their comfort zones and become bears conducting a heist. It’s a great game to embrace the absurdity of its premise with, and to allow cartoon humor to run wild. The hardest part of the game is probably taking yourself seriously and immersing yourself in the absurdity of the role-play scenario, especially if you aren’t a bear, which I assume most players are not.

I think this is a great game for literally everyone. Everyone should play this game, even if they aren’t big on RPGs, it’s a great introduction to the roleplaying element of the game and it does a great job of being an entertaining concept to mess around with. It is probably not a great game for you if you’re a bear, because bears can’t necessarily talk.

This game is great for leadership, afterall, every heist team has different skills that need to be applied in the proper plan. This game allows for the players to work together to find the best plan that will definitely never go wrong, ever…ever. This game is great for teamwork, for improvisation and for a creative outlet.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen was an interesting take on representing identity in games, it allowed the players to step into the role of Victorian caricatures and through two different, but related gameplay loops attempt to outperform the other teams to be the richest guy and the prettiest girl at the ball. Overall, the loop of the ladies side of the game, the side that I was able to play, was fun and if not taken seriously this game has a lighthearted tone with very strong parody elements to its aesthetic and how it treats itself.

The hardest part of the game is trying to not only strategize with your partner,but also to take yourself seriously with such a silly premise and tone. With the limited communication between teammates until the purchasing stage of the game, the “lady” must not only think about what will score the most points but also what is affordable, while the “gentleman” needs to get as much “money” as possible to take advantage of the “lady’s” choices for the sake of scoring more points.

I think this game can work for any group of people that are comfortable with each other, I think part of the fun is playing into the silliness and that definitely works best when people are comfortable with one another. This game ties into leadership because of how it addresses and circumvents the idea of identity by making a mockery of the Victorian stereotypes it uses as its aesthetic.

Dungeons and Dragons

In class, we played Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition for three weeks, it was an interesting experiment in roleplaying and an interesting way to demonstrate leadership. Having played Dungeons and Dragons before, both Fifth Edition as well as spending about 5 or so years toiling away with the Revised Third Edition, I would consider myself fairly experienced with D&D, I always think the hardest part about D&D is the role-playing, especially when the game is played over the internet, whether it be a voice call or a text chat. It is difficult for many players to step back from themselves and into the role of a character that has (likely) never existed before. The mechanics of the game can be taught and learned by anyone, roleplaying on the other hand is more difficult and depends on the person, it will come more naturally to some than it will to others, but it can be learned with practice and time. All of that said, D&D is a fun game, I enjoyed the three short sessions I played in class.

I think D&D is a game for everyone, every player will get something different out of the experience, and with 5th Edition especially, it is a nice introduction to Tabletop RPGs. I think the main drawback to attempting to play D&D in a classroom setting is that the sessions felt a bit rushed, each time a question arose of what to do and where to take the party of characters next, there was a solid minute of staggering silence. While this would not normally be an issue in D&D, the shortened time frame to accomplish the goals of the session made the lack of decisive action a bit frustrating. I had resigned myself to a background role, as I wanted to make sure that other players had a chance to take the spotlight more often, given that I consider myself experienced and I would hope that everyone who was playing for the first time would have a good first experience.

On the other hand, I understand that roleplaying with a group of people you don’t really know can be intimidating and that there is a bit of shyness to the first couple of sessions. I had never attempted the “Lost Mine of Phandelver” module, so I was going in blind, but the game was run well enough by our guest DM and I had fun with my Blue Dragonborn Tempest Cleric, and I figure that’s all that really matters.

Lasers and Feelings

This week, for the first free play session in class, I grouped up with classmates to play a game I’d never heard of, a one-page, one-shot RPG called Lasers and Feelings. The game’s mechanics relied primarily on the role of a die to determine the success or failure of actions related to either sci-fi action (lasers) or to the more social side of storytelling (feelings). The hardest part of the game, as with many RPGs is the difficulty with coming up with the story as the story is being told, my improv skills were definitely put to the test with just how open this game was.

Overall, it was a fun little game made better by my classmates’ abilities to improvise the story and the world as the game went along. The world of the game, and the story we told allowed me to step out of my own skin for a little while and tell a silly story about a goofy, former “Space-FBI” agent with a flair for the theatrics of 70’s crime dramas.

I think this game is good for any group of people that wants to put their teamwork, and improv skills to the test. I think creative-types would be able to make full use of the open-nature of the game, but most importantly I think this would be a fun game to play with a group of friends that are willing to make the story fun.

Honey Heist RPG

Honey Heist is a rpgwhere the players are bears that are trying to pull off a heist to get honey. The complication is that the two stats each character has means that they are only a few rolls away from betraying and abandoning the crew and becoming a criminal full time or going full bear and possibly eating the crew. 

I was very happy with my bear since they were able to balance the ridiculousness of both pure criminality and pure animality. Stealing some lovely honey, but eating it out of a hat. Each of our characters were unique and contributed hilariously to our cause, stealing a honey fountain. Our luck in rolling die meant that none of us went full bear or full criminal.

Working together to infiltrate the gala led to some wonderful displays of leadership, such as an impromptu cover of Wonderwall, a dance with a security guard, car theft, and a beary large brawl. All of this somewhat coordinated since the rpg was focused on being a crew that planned out a heist so we really had to talk it out and work together to reach the clear goal of honey. Reacting to the various conflicts and traps that we came across meant we had to adapt quickly together and still make sure that we did not expose our sticky paws. We were extremely chaotic and utilized it by aiming it at our shared goal, honey.

Dungeons and Dragons

Once again, a key part of my experience is how it was impacted by being virtual. It made it hard to work together and see how the others felt about each group decision. It was extremely amusing to see my fragile warlock get down to 2 and 0 hp in the first two sessions, with a long rest in between. I knew my warlock would be soft when I made him, but since it was my first time playing a character that is primarily a magic user I wasn’t expecting that level of squishiness.

We spent time enjoying my near state of death and trying to get closer to the solution to solving the issue of where all these goblins came from. No one was quite willing to be the one to speak out and offer a course of action. Likely due to not being able to see the reactions of the other players and their reactions to different options. At least, that was why I kept fairly quiet. It wasn’t fair to our DM and definitely increased the uncomfortableness, but it was hard to get over it when trying to not speak over anyone. 

Overcoming these obstacles happened more easily and more often towards the end of the three sessions. While we still struggled to communicate, the plot motivated us to work better together and get involved and invested. Leadership was shown when everyone trusted our DM and each other and put in the effort to try and work with each other to have fun and follow the goblins.

Ladies And Gentlemen

Though we got off to a delayed and scrambled start, by the time we got to the second day phase we were all trying our best to figure out how to play and have some fun with the voices. We had fun trying to address each other in outrageous posh voices and attempt to understand our partners.

I started playing as just the gentleman, but then partway through, after it would have taken too much time to start over with the odd person playing the courtesan, a player playing a lady seemed to lose all connection and after several attempts to bet in touch with them I played the part of their lady as well until they could either return or time was up. I was pleased that everyone was so willing to work around misunderstanding parts of the game at first and relax together to have fun.

Leadership in this game was a little less obvious to me than in previous games. To me it came through in having to be able to trust your partner to pick up on your cues and pick the best choices. It was a balancing act of preparing and trying to make the most of your side and trusting that your partner will do the same.


In the second and third week of games, we played Fiasco. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of the game, some of the most fun stories that are told are those of criminals and how their plans go awry, so I was excited to try and have a similar experience. I think one of Fiasco’s strengths is also one of the parts of the game that is hardest to master, that being the improvisational nature of the storytelling, with each scene and the direction of the story being entirely up to the players, with no facilitation from a designated game master. It was difficult to get into the flow of the game, but by the time my group hit the tilt, we seemed to have a pretty good grasp of how it worked.
For Fiasco, the ties to leadership are most prevalent in establishing the scenes in which the game is played. The player needs to take a lot of initiative in crafting their own game world and in establishing the story, there are no real rules for what you can and can’t do within a scene. It’s a very amorphous and free-flowing game, where the players’ choices will control not only the narrative but also the rules to some extent.
For the first week of Fiasco, the important task was to understand how one’s values would come into play over the course of the game. Over the course of the first session, I found more and more that I was allowing myself to play the character and set my own personal values aside. Personally, I am not someone that would engage in sports gambling or other types of acts, and yet I was perfectly fine to play the character of a bookie. I think the important thing to remember in the case of role playing games, like Fiasco, is to allow yourself to separate what you do from yourself because you are playing a character.
During the second week of Fiasco, the “tilt” took place. During the tilt, my character was taken hostage by organized crime. And while the game did not end well for my character from a consequences perspective, the flow of the game was greatly improved and expedited. Overall, my experience was incredibly positive. This is a game that I would recommend for team bonding exercises.