Mobile Mayhem – Star Realms

A must-play for any gamer

While I always prefer to play a game with someone face to face, sometimes real life responsibilities prevent that from happening. Luckily, in this digital age, the old saying “there’s an app for that” applies to many popular tabletop games. Mobile Mayhem is a regular column from Unorganized Play about these mobile games and how they compare to the IRL experience.

In this blog, we’ll cover the app for the hit deck-building game, Star Realms by White Wizard Games.

  • Available Platforms: iOS, Android and Steam.
  • Cost: Free demo, $4.99 Full version, and various in app purchases for additional sets.
  • Game length: 10-20 minutes.

Star Realms is a deck-building game that adds something that other big name deck-builders such as Dominion and Ascension inherently lack – direct player interaction. The tl;dr version of the game is to buy ships and bases to strength your arsenal and reduce your opponent to 0 Authority (health) – so no victory point win condition. This makes the game ideally a 1-on-1 experience. In fact, the mobile app does not even give you the option for 3+ player games.

The app was first released on August 14th, 2014; I remember that vividly as I downloaded it just before playing in their first World Championship tournament at Gen Con (I lost in the Top 4 to the eventual winner). I remember it having a very crude UI, but still worth a few practice games to get more familiar with the game. My biggest gripe with the app was that action from online games did not happen in real time. A player’s turn was not visible to their opponents until it was completed, and there was a big lull between turns. There was also no real timer for a game, so your opponent may take one turn, not come back for hours, and make it a much slower process. A player would forfeit if they did not make a move in 48 hours. In the digital age of instant gratification, that’s way too much time.

SR4(Screenshot of the old UI)

I kept the game installed for a while, mostly playing their surprisingly challenging campaign mode. Players are pitted against an AI that had different special rules from chapter to chapter. Completing chapters in the campaign mode unlocked special user avatars viewable in online play as a badge of accomplishment. Once I finished that, I deleted the app to make space on my phone; I wasn’t as sold on their format for online play and wrote it off as another app that did not meet its potential…


Any issues I had with the app were fixed with a massive update that was released on May 14th, 2017. The game now has real-time games with a turn timer of two minutes. Also, the new UI and game-play animations are much nicer from a visual and functional standpoint. I immediately downloaded it and once again began slingin’ ships against players from all over the world. The update also introduced their Colony Wars expansion into the digital meta-game: a new set rather than the small card expansions that they historically had released. While Colony Wars can be a stand-alone game mode, players can mix and match any of their many expansions as they desire.


If you’re looking for something with a little more depth strategy-wise, this is the game for you. While there’s always variance in how the cards fall in the center row, your decisions of what to buy, what to attack (the player or their Bases) and what to keep your opponent from getting really make Star Realms a must-play for any gamer.


~ Chubbs

Unrivaled Response

A conversation between Chubbs and the Unrivaled team

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a blog about the Unrivaled Tournament Series – my first blog on the young site that is Unorganized Play –  to which I had zero expectations in terms of reaction. If you would have told me one person would read it, I would have been happy… well, it wasn’t just one person who read it, but one company in particular:

Hello Chubbs,

Thank you for the article on your website. I would love an opportunity to discuss it as well as our tournament with you.

Jerod Morgan, Unrivaled

In the blink of a few seconds, my internal thoughts went first to, “We have a Contact Us page on the website?”, then “Oh my god, that’s so cool that Unrivaled actually saw my article!”, to finally “Oh shit… am I about to get a black bag over my head and water-boarded?”. I quickly shared the news with the rest of the Unorganized Play team and the first response, which came from Drew, framed it for me: “Goodbye, Chubbs”.

Luckily (or sadly for some of you), I’m not writing this article from a black site within which Unrivaled has imprisoned me. I’m writing it from my living room, the very same spot I had a cordial and informative phone call with one of the people behind one of the biggest gaming events of the year.


The social media team at Unrivaled had come across my article and noticed that I had listed some specific details that weren’t accurate; they were reaching not to censor me, but to give me any information I wanted straight from them to make sure everyone was getting the correct details about Unrivaled. The biggest error was that I had said winners of the Regional tournaments would receive $1,000, which they do not… but they do receive flight, room and board to Las Vegas, which could probably retail at $1,000, and is most certainly worth playing for… Good thing I’m not an actual journalist. #FakeNews

I first emailed back and forth with Unrivaled’s Marketing Coordinator, Anthony Villegas, to discuss where I had gotten my info and which facts needed correcting. Once that was done, he offered to answer any questions or provide any information I may need about Unrivaled. I sent a bunch follow up questions, to which Jerod said he started writing out a reply but got two pages in to the first question, so it would be much easier to talk over the phone.

The next day, we spoke for a half hour about everything Unrivaled – who they were, who they are, and what they’re hoping to become. The concept for Unrivaled has been in development for over 2 years by Oomba Inc., a tech and social media company who have their own tournament software that is utilized with all Unrivaled events. While the goal of Unrivaled is to bring more exposure to table top gaming, Oomba will benefit from Unrivaled by registering thousands of users for their site (completely free). In that respect, Unrivaled has already been successful, but that will not make them rest on their laurels.

To date, just under 300 stores across the country have bought in to Unrivaled. In my original article, I spoke about how many stores that are hosting these events are not pushing and promoting as much as a quarter-million prize pool should garner. Jerod put it into perspective for me by saying that their involvement is also a risk for retailers as well. Unrivaled is a very new name that doesn’t have huge brand recognition at this current point. While what they’re offering is awesome, many stores don’t know for sure if Unrivaled is going to deliver everything they promised… mainly because they haven’t seen what the final product will look like… or in this case, the “Grand Final” product. From everything Jerod said, the Grand Final itself will be a spectacle that is just as the name suggests: Grand. From arena-style gaming stages to live coverage with special guest hosts and commentary, more news is still to come.

We spoke further about the perception of Unrivaled in the gaming community – “People either love us or they hate us.” But if this story tells you one thing about Unrivaled, it is that they are not shy and have the ambition to break into this industry. They have encountered their fair share of criticism and negatively since embarking on this venture, but Jerod made it very clear that anyone who has a question or problem with what Unrivaled is doing should not be shy to contact him directly – “That’s my job!”

I half-jokingly/half-seriously asked Jerod if my original blog fit into that criticism category, but he said I was very fair… a little snarky, but fair – I’ll take it, as I cannot deny my snark! I was excited to see how this Unrivaled thing unfolded before writing my blog, but now I feel invested having directly spoken with the man behind the plan.

To anyone curious about Unrivaled or concerned with where they’re at, I encourage you to reach out to them directly via their website. Better yet, you only need to write a social media post or blog about your opinions using #Unrivaled2017 (trust me on that one…). I would also encourage you to give Unrivaled at least this first year to win you over. If they deliver on half the things I spoke with them about, I truly believe they will be a name in the tabletop gaming industry for years to come!

Game Review – Overseers

ThunderGryph Games
Players: 5-6
Game Time: 30-45 minutes

os1 os2

Over the past few years, there has been a rise of casual games: games that can be played in less than an hour but still offer the same entertainment value as bigger board games. These games can serve as a good time-filler, as well as a palette cleanser between long games. It allows the play group to refresh and bring up the energy that may have been lost in longer games. Today, I will be reviewing one such game: Overseers.


Overseers is a card drafting game in which players take the roles of emissaries sent to Earth by a goddess. Players are to collect the virtues and vices of humankind in hopes of balancing the world…. Or not. Simply put, the players are drafting cards and trying to assemble a combination that gives them the most points. The player with the most points after 3 rounds wins.

Anyone who has ever drafted will know how this works. Players will be given six cards from the same deck. Each player takes one of these cards and passes the rest over to the player to the left. This continues until that player picks 5 cards; the last cards are put into a discard pile. The cards being drafted represent virtues and vices (Love, Hope, Anger, and Greed). Some cards are worth a set amount of points while others will grant the player more if they pick a combination of cards. The goal is to draft the most points, but be careful because the next phase is Judgment.

The Judgment phase is a voting phase in which each player will reveal three of the five cards they have obtained card on the table. Based on what they see, they must vote on the person they think has the strongest combination. That player then has two options:

  • Concede – Admit to having the strongest combination and discard any two cards the player is holding
  • Deny the Claim – Once all the cards are reveal, if that player did in fact have the strongest combination, they are forced to discard the two cards that give the highest value. If the player did not have the strongest combination, they may pick a card from the discard pile

Once the Judgment phase ends and the cards have been revealed, the Steal phase occurs. A player that has drafted the most Greed cards may steal a card form another player. After that, final scores are calculated and gold is awarded. This process is repeated two more times and the player with the most gold is the winner.

Players will also be given a random Emissary card before each round. Each emissary has a special power that can trigger during different phases of the draft. Emissary cards can hinder other players or award the players holding it. These cards might give each player a better idea of how they might want to play that round. Once a draft round is finished, the Emissary cards are reshuffled and a random one is dealt for the next two rounds.



Straight out of the box, it is a very beautiful game. The artwork on the Emissary cards alone is worth the $20 price point.  The layout on the cards is well designed and helps the learning process go quickly. This game delivers by supplying players with their own reversible cheat sheet. One side is a flow chart that explains the phases of the game; the other side tells you how many cards should be in the deck depending on the amount of players. After the first round of drafting, everyone should have a basic understanding of the rules.

I am always in the mood to draft, so I find this game very appealing. Similar to Love Letter, deduction is needed to figure out the best cards to draft.  The cheat sheet will let every player know exactly how many cards they will play with and how many copies of a card might be available. Emissary cards are also public knowledge so players will have an idea what to watch out for. I had a pretty good read at the table so I was able to squeeze out a victory by the end of the game.


Jared R
Final Score: 7/10

It is a beautiful and well-designed game that still has that back stab element I am always looking for. The ability to deduct and draft the strongest combination, while at the same time bluffing, made this game enjoyable. Some of the wording on the cards and in the rules did confuse the group and lead to a minor mistake, but it did not slow anything down. In terms of re-play value, I don’t see myself playing more than two games at a time, but that is the intended purpose of a casual game: a game that gets us ready for the next game.

Unrivaled Tournament Series

An Unorganized Opinion by Chubbs

When I first came across the Unrivaled Tournament Series as shared by Ascension’s official Facebook page, my first thought was “Is this thing legit, or is this the kind of scheme that’ll end up with me losing a kidney?” Well, the FAQ on their website addresses that very concern right off the bat, though with a different scheme metaphor that doesn’t involve having your organs harvested…

Is Unrivaled as fake as that Nigerian prince who emails me all the time?

No! We are Unrivaled, the largest tabletop tournament of the year! Our $250k in cash and prizes, staff (hello out there!), relationships with the publishers of all six participating games, and desire to create an amazing event for gaming fans out there are ALL 100% real.

In short, Unrivaled is a series of tournaments open to all gamers trying to bring tabletop gaming into the spotlight like its eSports counterparts. Players will be able to play in Satellite events at their local game stores. Winners of those tournaments qualify to represent their respective stores at one of 12 Regional tournaments where the winner will receive paid travel, room, and board to Las Vegas to compete in the Grand Finals that will streamed on OombaTV. The grand champion of each game will receive $10,000 cash PLUS various other prizes! There are 6 games that are featured in this series, each of which offers the same level of prizes:

  • King of Tokyo, a game that captures the awesome feeling of an early 90s arcade game…
  • Munchkin, a game that encourages you to essentially cheat without “cheating”…
  • Ascension, a game that I have played over 9,500 times according to their App…
  • Epic Spell Wars, a game that embodies what it would be like if Adult Swim had a nightmare…
  • Nevermore, a game by Smirk & Dagger (‘nuff said! <3)…
  • Villagers & Villains, a game I didn’t know even existed until this announcement.


Unrivaled may have sprouted up out of nowhere, but from everything I can see, this is the real deal – and a very welcomed addition to my hobby life! I’ve been an avid Ascension player since the game was released at Gen Con 2010, and have always looked at it as a game with potential for large tournaments. However, it never took off for a litany of reasons that I won’t go into… Nevertheless, even I could not imagine the possibility of playing a single game of Ascension for $10,000!

The oddest choice on this list for me has to be Munchkin mainly because of how open-ended the rules can be. Even their rulebook tells you to settle things by arguing, which could get really ugly with 10 grand on the line. Still, Munchkin is by far the most commonly known game of the list and a favorite for many (except Larry).

While there is a lot I’m excited about with this, there are also a few things I’m concerned about – mainly the fact that so many local game stores are not actively pushing this series. It would not shock me if this is the first time our readers are hearing of Unrivaled, and the fact that their Facebook page is sitting at a mere 183 Likes currently speaks a clear message – not enough people know (or care) about this than the prize money dictates.

There’s also room for potentially abusing their system at the Satellite level. To give you an example, their website has a map that lets players search out events in their local area. I searched around at the dozen or so stores in my area to see how many events were scheduled, yet only two had definitive dates posted. I figured stores were still locking down their dates… however, I check back a week later to see one of the stores had added a scheduled event, but it had already taken place that past weekend with a mighty attendance of FOUR players… they played ONE game, and crowned a winner.

If the store had posted that event on Unrivaled a couple weeks prior, your favorite gaming group whose blog you’re reading would have filled a car load of players and been there to compete. However, it is possible stores don’t want to advertise these events to benefit their own local players and loyal customers, mainly because the winners of each event represent that store at Regionals and the Grand Finals. Remember those sweet prize figures I mentioned above? Well, the stores receive those prizes as well if their champion wins, which could entice local stores to rig their events. To be clear, I’m not saying THIS IS happening, but the possibility is certainly there unless Unrivaled are doing some behind the scenes policing that a $250,000 prize pool should warrant.

I truly believe Unrivaled’s motives are a genuine attempt to bring more exposure to table top gaming, but there does seem to be a lot of room for improvement. For example, if you wanted, you could still apply for your store to be sanctioned by purchasing the kit for $250, despite the fact they’re already into Satellite season. Unfortunately, the kits only come with one copy of each game. What do stores do when 20 players walk in on the day of the event? Take turns playing with the one set? It is a recipe for disaster unless the store has the foresight to ask any players to bring their own copies of each game to the event. As a player, I encourage you all to take the initiative and do that anyway.

To find an event near you, visit and scroll to the bottom of their home page to find a sanctioned store near you!

On behalf of all of us at Unorganized Play, happy hunting and see you at the Grand Finals!

~ Chubbs

Game Review – Millennium Blades: CCG Card Simulator Game

Fun game with a lot of replay value.

Millennium Blades: CCG Card Simulator Game
Level 99 Games
Players: 2–5
Game Time: 80-120 minutes

During my middle school/high school life, I was a collectable card gamer. I would immediately run to my local comic shop just to crack a fresh pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I would open pack after pack with the hopes of finding that elusive power rare that would make my deck stronger for next week’s tournament. Nowadays, my choice of games has changed, but that does not stop me from buying a couple of packs of Magic every now and again.

I’m happy to say that all these feelings have been encapsulated in the “trading card game simulator” Millennium Blades by Level 99 Games. An obvious parody of hit shows like Yu-Gi-Oh, Millennium Blades has players partake in three card game “tournaments”. Points are awarded depending on tournament results and the player with the most points at the end of the season wins.  This game also introduces another aspect between the main tournament rounds: players buy, sell, or trade cards that will allow them to modify their decks for the next tournament. Certain actions in this phase such as building a collection or trading actions may award players bonus points.

Game Play

The game recommends novice players to participate in a “pre-release tournament”. Players receive a random starter deck of 10 cards to use for the first tournament. The objective is simple: win the tournament by earning the most points. Each player will have their own play board with six card slots and take turns placing cards on their board starting from the left most slot to the right.  The cards played will have various abilities that will award their player with points or hinder the other players. Once all players have filled their game boards, each player calculates points and a winner for that tournament declared. Theses results are recorded and victory point are awarded. Player will have two more tournaments to place higher.

Before the start of the next tournament, players have a timed round to obtain better cards and modify their deck.  Players are given an “allowance” during this round and may buy cards from the main store or the secondary market.  You may try your luck buying unknown card packs from the main store for a set price or buy specific cards available at the secondary market that could cost even more. Players may also sell their extra cards in the secondary market to gain more money or trade them value for value with other players.

During this phase, Meta cards are revealed that will indicate what element or type of cards will have an advantage in the next round. Players that use those cards will gain bonus points that can help them win that tournament. The excess cards a player obtains may also be cashed in for victory points at the end game. The bigger the collection, the more victory point you get.


The quick and simple game mechanics in the tournament phases makes this game fun. Veteran and casual players alike will easily pick up the mechanics after their first tournament. More experienced players will enjoy the immense variation and combinations this game provides. The extensive card pool as well as understanding the card placement and timing gives this game a subtle complexity.  The card-drafting phase is equally enjoyable. The 10 minute time limit gives the player a sense of urgency and keeps the flow going. As soon as the clock starts, it felt like a mad rush to the card counter to get the best cards and newest packs.

I had the opportunity to experience two playthroughs of the game. The first game was cut short due to a player leaving, but everyone at that table was itching to give it another try. This time we had a much better understanding of the rules and could focus on advanced strategy.

A minor issue I had with this game was that it has A LOT of cards without any expansions. The base set comes with 600 cards and players will use 400 of those in a game. While this will allow for repeated plays without getting stale, it also means there is a high learning curve. Specifically, there was a card ability that required the player to name a card; this was ignored simply because no one would know what cards to call out.

There was also another issue during the drafting phase: no designated order in acquiring new cards. This meant it was first-come-first-serve, and a situation came up where two players were vying for the same card. We simply flipped a coin for it but, it would help to have some sort resolution for this in the rules.

Jared R
Final Score: 8/10

It is a fun game with a lot of replay value. The mechanics are simple enough to understand, but veteran players can create complex strategies and combinations. The problems with this game are minor and don’t take away too much from the experience.  The amount of stuff in the base set alone at a $50-$60 price point gives you a big bang for your buck.

Game Review – Archer: Once You Go Blackmail

Sometimes an easy game makes for a GOOD game, and Archer Love Letter does what it is supposed to do.

Archer: Once You Go Blackmail
(A Love Letter Game)
AEG & Cryptozoic
Players: 2–4
Game Time: 20 minutes

From the main AEG product page:

“Your mission is to dig up dirt on Malory Archer and sell it to the highest bidder. To succeed you’ll have to deal with secret agents, the HR department, ocelots, and a mad scientist.”

Review by Fish

Archer Love Letter is a fast paced card game based on the popular Love Letter series, with a few minor changes to fit the theme (dolphin tokens that I would have paid for regardless). The theme can sell the game on its own, but there actually is a really fun experience to be had here in addition to shouting “Dammit Archer!” every so often. In my opinion, the greatest selling point is the simplicity of the Love Letter series. Players only ever have 1-2 cards in hand and a few rounds of guessing games happen before a winner is decided. It is listed at around 20 minutes, but the reality is that you can fit several rounds in under 10 minutes once you know the rules.

If you’ve never played a Love Letter game, the overall goal is to force other players to discard the highest value card (Malory in this case) or to win a one of the guessing games built into the cards. There isn’t a lot of strategic thinking here, but the game makes for a good refresher after playing other more complicated, competitive tabletop games. Granted turns can sometimes end a bit too quick, if the right situation happens, but it doesn’t happen often enough to really impact the playability. Especially since the game runs through several rounds before points decide a winner.

Final Score: 8/10

Archer: Once You Go Blackmail is fun, with rules that are so simple anyone can learn after a few turns. To be clear, this game isn’t reinventing the wheel or providing a profound gaming experience, however that’s alright. Sometimes an easy game makes for a GOOD game, and Archer Love Letter does what it is supposed to do.

Buy if:

  • You enjoy games that can be played between other games.
  • You want nice quality dolphin tokens.
  • You enjoy games for more than 2 players.
  • You love to watch Archer.

Avoid if:

  • You want a complex gaming experience.
  • You prefer 2 player games.


Review by Jared

While I agree with my colleague’s assessment of the game, I feel there is something that needs to be elaborated. He mentions that the game does not have much in the way of strategic thinking. He is correct that it is just “draw a card and play a card”, but I feel he is not hitting the subtle depth and finer points of this game. While anybody can play this game, it becomes apparent that the more you play the less random winning becomes. This is not a game based on luck, it’s a game based on observation.

This is deduction-based game where the information is presented to you and players should be able to make an educated guess on what cards other players may have in their hands. I have played this game a lot with others and when we play, we are not just randomly guessing cards and hope to get lucky. We are observing the cards that are played as well the players revealing them. Everyone at this table knows how many cards are in the deck and how many of each card is available. As more cards are played, you can start narrowing down the information and make better guesses. People who are able to card count and read people will find themselves winning more often.

Final Score: 8/10

Still, this is a great quick game that you can play with just about anyone. It doesn’t have to be played as seriously as others, but the option to is there – I know I have! Whether you play casually or seriously, there is always fun to be had.