About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

A Scientist’s Curiosity Cabinet

ScientistsCuriosityCabinet

A friend of mine sent me a link to this site: A Scientist’s Curiosity Cabinet. Professor T. Ross Kelly teaches chemistry at Boston College, and has been collecting little oddities for over two decades. Many of them illustrate various scientific principles; he has motors, cannons, flash paper, illusions, and more. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: WordTov

WordTov

If you like variations on Scrabble, here’s one that has an interesting twist: WordTov is an area-control game that happens to use words as weapons. Use your tiles to spell words, and then flip tiles over to your color. Your score isn’t based on which letters you use, but rather on which letters you own by the end of the game. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

To Catch a Comet: PBS Documentary About Rosetta

Rosetta PBS

You may have heard the amazing news last week that the European Space Agency successfully landed a probe on a comet. This week as part of its “Think Wednesday” programming, PBS will broadcast To Catch a Comet, an hour-long, in-depth documentary about the the mission and how the ESA managed to land the Philae lander on an icy rock hurtling through space. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

A Super Writing Contest for Kids

Powerless, Super, and Villainous by Matthew Cody

I’m a fan of Matthew Cody’s Super trilogy, a series of middle-grade books about Noble’s Green, a small town in which all the kids have superpowers—except Daniel, who moved to town recently. To celebrate the release of the final volume, Cody and Random House are running a contest. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

See the World! Expedition: Famous Explorers

Expedition: Famous Explorers

It’s a big world, with lots of places to visit, people to meet, sights to see. In Expedition: Famous Explorers, you and other players direct the routes of three expeditions, trying to guide them to the locations that are important to you. Expedition: Famous Explorers is a new version of one of Wolfgang Kramer’s earlier designs, Wildlife Adventure. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Kickstarter Tabletop Roundup: Building Up, Tearing Down

WordTov

Well, I’ve done it again—I’ve found a whole bunch of Kickstarter board games that look like fun, and not left myself enough time to review them all before the campaigns are up. In some instances I’ve gotten a demo to try out, and in others I’ve just been following along with the campaign. Here’s a list of a few worth looking into, and I may follow up with full reviews as time allows. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: Mine, All Mine

Mine, All Mine

You’re in charge of a fleet of ships headed out to some faraway planets to mine valuable minerals there. Maybe it’s unobtainium? Oh, except there aren’t any pesky natives to worry about—at least as far as you’re concerned. There are, however, other fleets with the same idea—balance your speed, firepower, and cargo space. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

GIV Mobile: Charitable Cellular Plans

GIV Mobile

When you think about your cell phone bill, “charitable” is probably not high on the list of words that come to mind. But GIV Mobile, which operates on T-Mobile’s network, is trying to change that. It offers affordable, no-contract cellular plans that also support the arts, the environment, health, education, and more. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

What’s He Building in There?—A Game of Evil Geniuses

What's He Building in There

It’s the late 1800s. You’ve got your Evil Doctorate and you’re ready to start working on your Doomsday Machine. Obviously, London is the place to be—plenty of henchmen to be hired, resources to acquire, not to mention a great place to move up in society. There are other evil doctors there, of course, but they don’t know the brilliant ideas you have up your sleeve. You can hear them asking: “What’s He Building in There?” Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

2 Games for Polite Society

Marrying Mr. Darcy and Lords & Ladies

There are some themes that are pretty common in board games: fighting (zombies or monsters or just other people), magic, farming, animals. I haven’t played many games that focus on, say, attracting a suitable husband in the early 1800s or the intricacies of societal norms in the early 20th century. But—lo and behold—here are two games about polite (or sometimes not-so-polite) society: Marrying Mr. Darcy and Lords & Ladies. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Pandemic: Contagion—Mutate, Incubate, Infect

PandemicContagion-featured

Just last month, Z-Man Games released the latest title in the Pandemic line, Pandemic: Contagion. This time, however, you’re not trying to eradicate infectious diseases. You are the diseases, working to wipe out as much of the world’s population as possible. With Ebola and Enterovirus constantly in the news, you’d think we’re on the verge of being wiped out by infectious diseases. As it turns out, that’s not as easy as the media makes it out to be—at least in this game. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: Web of Spies

Web of Spies

Collect key assets. Eliminate enemy agents. See the world. Web of Spies mashes up deck-building with a high-stakes chase all over the globe. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Bounded Enthusiasm #9: Jennifer Holm and The Fourteenth Goldfish

The Fourteenth Goldfish - Jennifer Holm

Today’s episode of Bounded Enthusiasm is an interview with Jennifer Holm about her latest book, The Fourteenth Goldfish. Holm has written several books for kids, both novels and comics, and has won three Newbery Honors and an Eisner Award. In the podcast, we talk about Holm’s inspiration for The Fourteenth Goldfish, what it’s like being a parent and a writer, and why Jonas Salk was so cool. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: Dragonflame

Dragonflame-featured

Dragons, as you are probably well aware, love their treasure. What you may not have known is that they’re incredibly picky about what goes into their treasure hoard. And, of course, there’s always the problem of pesky knights—full of sharp, pointy bits that make the nest uncomfortable. In Dragonflame, you take on the role of dragons, collecting the right treasures and burning down a few villages for good measure. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.

Kickstarter Tabletop Alert: Truths Too Terrible

Truths Too Terrible

The world is full of mysteries, but you and your fellow investigators are on the case. Each case might involve local history, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence—but not everything is pertinent to the case. And, of course, there are some Truths Too Terrible to know. Continue reading

About Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit.