Primarily, you get fun, and learning, and a chance to play across age groups. There's a new expansion for Harry Potter which looks like a good one; and a new expansion for Magic as well. But what other card games are out there? The list is almost endless. What can you play with your 5 to 8 year old that won't numb your mind and not leave them whining "but mo-o-o-o-ommie, I don't get it!!!"? Good question. Let's see if I can manage some good answers. . .

Ever since Magic: The Forest Killer! Came out, card-based games have received a bad rap. This however, doesn't stop me from checking out card games that aren't collectable. For me, there's just something really coolabout being able to pull a random deck out of your pocket and play a game with some friends. Mission I.S.S. has found a permanent spot in my magic book bag.

Deep inside what looks to be a concrete bunker, the evil mastermind Dr. Trask gloats over the restrained form of Agent 25. "I'm so sorry you won't be able to see my fireworks Agent 25. I can assure you they will be quite spectacular."

In the lead up to this review I said Violence was "so degrading, so disturbing, so vile and loathsome that you may very well never recover from reading it, let alone playing it.". In actuality, that's a lie. Really, if you are anything but a total newbie to roleplaying, Violence won't offer up anything you haven't seen before. The book isn't some psychotic's thoroughly researched tome into the dark and macabre, it's fairly tame in the scheme of things. It doesn't even need to be poly-bagged.

Throughout the last decade I have owned just about every game system out there. Everything from the Sega genesis to the Dreamcast to the Playstation to the N64 has been attached to my television at one point or another.

When I opened up my birthday present this year and found a copy of the D20 Conversion for Holistic Designs' Fading Suns RPG, my first thought was, "What in the world do I need this for?" But being the rules geek I am, I had to pick it up and read it. While I can't say I loved everything about it, by the time I finished it, I had to admit, I was impressed.

There is a game genre often shunned by loyal RPG-ers and CCG-ers: the standalone card game. And I now feel it is my duty to do a little evangelization for these gems so often ignored. What is my angle, you may ask? Gut-busting, tongue-in-cheek, wit amplifying humor.

I don't know about anyone else, but I have always felt a strong desire to live inside of a Mickey Spillane novel. I love the idea of sitting in an office with one of those frosted glass windows. Of course, I want a clothes tree to be next to the door with my trusty trench coat and fedora hanging there for me. In the right bottom drawer of my desk is where the bottle of 150 proof "medicine" would be found. Taped to the bottom of the middle drawer would be a .38, another one would be in the top left drawer (you just never know when you're going to need two). I could sit there, in the dim light of a desk lamp smoking a Pall Mall or a Lucky Strike waiting for a dame with a problem to walk through the door.

I picked this up on a whim. All of the other d20 books I had bought were based upon franchises I was familiar with. I have to say I am happy with my purchase. I've found a game that mixes my sci-fi with my fantasy and shoots out Drow Elves in jackboots carrying laser weapons and working as a sort of Imperial Gestapo. What more could a gamer ask for in a setting?

Back in the early days of gaming there was One Game to Rule Them All. AD&D captured the hearts, minds and wallets of nearly every gamer out there. While other games had their market share (Champions and GURPS come to mind), everyone knew only one game was a household word. Negative press took TSR a step further, and by the time they released 2nd edition they were by far the largest game company out there.

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