Video Game Experts Help Players “Go Analog” with Board Game Recommendations

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Dan “Shoe” Hsu is a former video game journalist and editor who has spent eighteen years writing about video games for magazines and websites such as EGM, 1UP, Bitmob, and GamesBeat/VentureBeat. Over the course of a year, Shoe wrote a series for VentureBeat about great tabletop games for video gamers—and now he has turned this concept into a brand new web series.

Going Analog features veterans of the gaming industry reviewing board games that they recommend for video gamers. In the pilot episode of the show, the reviewers break down the pros and the cons of Privateer Press’ Level 7 [Omega Protocol]. They also take turns discussing how it reminds them of XCOM, the popular series of strategy (video) games where you manage Earth’s defenses against an alien invasion.

Not safe without headphones: There’s some explicit language in the video.

Shoe and friends decided to steer clear of Fantasy Flight’s XCOM: The Board Game due to its status as a licensed game. Showcasing Level 7 [Omega Protocol] instead helps fans of XCOM find a board game that they may not have otherwise discovered.

[Omega Protocol] is a science fiction strategy game where two to five players form a Special Ops team sent in to neutralize a government facility and all of the nasty aliens within. The Overseer works against them, in a role not unlike that of the Keeper in Mansions of Madness, constantly throwing more aliens and challenges at the other players. The designers of the board game seem to have made specific decisions to help the similarity along, such as turning adrenaline into a countable resource and bringing the strategic, turn-based combat to a board game format. In the video above, the Going Analog team goes into detail on how successful [Omega Protocol] is at replicating the experience of XCOM and on how enjoyable the game is in general.

Shoe stresses that Going Analog is solely a passion project fashioned out of the blood, sweat, and tears of his friends and fellow gaming experts for our enjoyment. The wall of board games that serves as a backdrop during the video is just a hint, a small taste, of the effort and time put into this project.

What board games would you recommend to your video gamer friends? Are there any other games that you think match the style and theme of X-COM? Let us know in the comments!

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