Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast #054: Gen Con 2018 Board Game Review Special


In a special solo episode, Cody discusses his favorite games from Gen Con 2018 and offers some buying recommendations if you’re looking for the latest and greatest in strategy board games. Plus, learn a little about the role-playing game worlds of Starfinder, Arcanis: The World of Shattered Empires, and Savage Worlds. (more…)

Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast Episode 42: Defenders of the Triforce Real Escape Game and Trevail Kitchen


Cody reviews his experience playing The Legend of Zelda themed Real Escape Game “Defenders of the Triforce,” and Jon explains why his birthday meal at Trevail Kitchen was one of the most unique dining experiences he’s ever had. Plus: a SPECIAL SURPRISE ENDING!

Show Notes:

Game/Life Balance U.S. Podcast Episode 22: Mighty No. 9 Launch, Kickstarter Fails, and Booking Air Travel


 Jon and Cody discuss the epic tale of the Mighty No. 9 launch, plus other Kickstarter projects they’ve backed in the past. Then, Cody launches into a tangent about the Tremors movie series, Jon talks about Father’s Day, and Cody shares some tips and tricks for booking international travel online.

Show Notes:

TOE TAG RIOT: Zombie Punks vs. The Westboro Baptist Church – comic book series launch!



For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Launching today on Kickstarter: the controversial comic book series TOE TAG RIOT from writer/co-creator MATT MINER (LIBERATOR, OCCUPY COMICS, LIBERATOR/EARTH CRISIS) and artist/co-creator SEAN VON GORMAN (PAWN SHOP, FUBAR, OCCUPY COMICS).


Told in a tongue-in-cheek style that can best be described as a comical orgy of blood and guts, the story follows TOE TAG RIOT, a mid 2000s street punk band who are cursed with temporary recurring zombification that transforms them into rotting undead whenever they perform their music. Meant to destroy their career, the woman who cursed them clearly understands nothing because Toe Tag Riot’s new monster-punk look only propels the band into punk rock stardom.

Finding that the transformation back into regular, filthy, punk rockers is taking longer and longer every time, the members of Toe Tag Riot go on a last cross-country tour in pursuit of the cure to their affliction, but being the ethical sometimes-zombies that they are, the band sticks to slaughtering only the worst of what humanity breeds: the homophobes of ONE MILLION MOMS, sexist date rapist DUDEBROS, and racist SKINHEADS, all on a path to an explosive showdown with the “God Hates Fags” hatemongers known as THE WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH.

Combining elements of classic horror like Night of the Living Dead with a comedic monster edge a’la a GWAR live concert, TOE TAG RIOT is being described as “a satirical book for anyone who loves FUN and hates JERKS like the Westboro Baptist Church.”

“I’ve always wanted to take a look deep inside the mind of a Westboro Baptist Church member. And by that, of course, I mean I want to see zombies eat their freakin’ brains.” – MATT MINER, writer.

We all know deep down inside that Shirley Phelps is a terrible human being and we want to show people some of those insides. Like on the floor, or wherever.” – SEAN VON GORMAN, artist.



Standard Cover Colors: Doug Garbark (PROPHET, IN THE DARK)
Variant Wraparound Cover Art: Vincent Kukua, colors by John Rauch


Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform used to fund new ideas and bring new concepts to life. Toe Tag Riot’s Kickstarter project is running for 30 days, starting May 22, 2014.

Backers to the Toe Tag Riot Kickstarter project have a wide range of rewards available to them including copies of Toe Tag Riot, original art, T-shirts, and appearances in the book itself.

The Kickstarter can be found at:

or by using the redirect URLs of or


Please direct all media inquiries to

Matt Miner on Twitter: @MattMinerXVX
Sean Von Gorman on Twitter: @VonGormanArt

Toe Tag Riot Twitter hashtags: #toetagriot #godhateszombies #punkisundead

Kickstarter direct link:

Redirect URLs that point to the Kickstarter project: and

Confessions of a YouTube Addict: Kung Fury



After a brief hiatus for the holidays I am back with some new YouTube goodness.  This week’s video come’s courtesy of my co-host JS aka The French Canadian Sensation and was discussed on the latest Gonna Geek Podcast.

This week we have the trailer for a Kickstarter film project entitled Kung Fury.  If you’re a fan of 80s cop/action movies you’re going to enjoy the video.  I don’t want to say anything else for fear of spoiling you, but its a great ride.  If you enjoyed the video and want to see a full length film there are 13 days (as of Jan 11, 2014) remaining on the Kickstarter.  Personally, I’ve dropped 30 bucks to back the film and receive a region free blu-ray of the movie.

Tabletop Tuesday: Holy Red Shirts and Russians, Batman!


Greetings once again, dice slingers, card wizards and tabletop enthusiasts!  This week’s Tabletop Tuesday takes us from the 40’s to the 60’s and then all the way to the 22nd century.


To begin, we start with an old favorite of mine – Batman.  No, not Christian Bale.  Obviously not Clooney or Kilmer, either.  Not even Keaton.  That’s rights, folks.  We’re talking Adam West.  The year is 1966 and for 3 seasons Adam West and Burt Ward would don the guises of Batman and Robin (respectively) and face off against a colorful array of the caped crusader’s most conniving criminal counterparts.  With Caesar Romero as the Joker, Burgess Meredeith as the Penguin, Vincent Price as Egghead and no less than 3 Catwomen (played by Julie Newmarr, Eartha Kitt and Lee Merriwether), this campy take on the Dark Knight is a far cry from the darker and more violent films of recent memory.  I only ever caught episodes in syndication more than 20 years after it had aired, but the show definitely has it’s charms and more than it’s fair share of fans.  To that end, WizKids has been releasing teasers for their next line of HeroClixBatman Classic TV.


Now, the HeroClix site has been abuzz with updates for this expansion for a while now, but it wasn’t until I saw this Joker preview that I got really interested.  I’m still waiting on the set as a whole before I can put together any sort of opinion on the new mechanics/abilities/figure options, but the fact that WizKids is reaching way back to the Batman TV Series is pretty exciting.  I think there’s a lot of potential here for them to have fun  and for players/fans to snag some really great models.

I also think the “Bang! Boom!  Zap!” bubbles are a great touch.

Who knows?  If this takes off, Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond sets might not be far behind…


As a quick addendum, in other Heroclix News, Wizkids announced the original Enterprise (as in, the one from the show of the same name) would be debuting for Star Trek HeroClix Tactics Series III.  They’ll be joining the likes of the Borg and will allow players to conceivably field 3 generations of Enterprises on the battlefield!


Moving away from Clix, there’s been some hot buzz over on Kickstarter lately.  Way back in March, Fantasy Flight Games announced that they were handing the reins of their excellent World War II board game series Tide of Iron over to 1A Games.  The transition of ownership took place over the summer months and now 1A Games is set to begin distributing the same great game on their own.  To that end, they’ve begun a Kickstarter campaign for a new starter set and the Stalingrad expansion.  Both the new core box and the expansion will be 100% compatible with the Fantasy Flight original and Stalingrad is set to add more urban maps and an entire Soviet army.


The Tide of Iron franchise offers a rich, deep WWII strategic combat experience with many of the bells & whistles of a full-on miniatures game in a neat, controlled board game package.  It also has a ton of top-notch components ranging from variable boards for different scenarios to oodles of detailed plastic infantry and tanks – so, you know, I’m sold.

Tabletop Term of the Week: Board & card games are a substantial investment and protecting them so that they’ll last is always a good idea.  There are a great many things you can do to extend the lifespan of your games, but one of the big ones is sleeving your cards.  Companies like Ultra Pro, Mayday and Fantasy Flight Games all make plastic sleeves for various different card sizes.  Choosing which ones are right for you is largely a matter of preference and you can get them in a myriad of colors or with artwork on the back to suit you.  The only downside?  Sleeving cards can be expensive.  In the end I often have to decide which games are worth sleeving and which ones probably aren’t going to see enough action to warrant worrying about wear and tear.

Tabletop Tuesday: The Returnening


Greetings, fellow dice fiends!  It has been a few weeks since my last column and for that I owe you all an apology.  My greatest nemesis, real life, got in the way when I began a new job.  Now that I’m settled in, I’m back to bring you the best highlights from the world of cardboard.

Now, I’ve missed some big bits of news, but with GenCon around the corner, there’s no shortage of new info coming out.

hcommandFirst off, Privateer Press has announced Hordes: High Command.  This strategic deckbuilder will act as a counterpoint to Warmachine: High Command.  For those of you unfamiliar with Privateer Press’ main moneymakers, Warmachine pits powerful wizards in command of steam-driven robots against one another. Hordes, by comparison, is about large beasts under the thrall of potent warlocks.  The catch is that both of these games can be played against one another.  That’s right – your 20 foot tall steampunk robot wielding a flaming ball and chain can go toe to toe with the alpha of a werewolf pack.

But I digress.  High Command (in either the Warmachine or Hordes variety) promises to be a compelling deckbuilding experience that fully leverages the rich intellectual property that is Privateer Press’ Iron Kingdoms setting.  Players will be able to choose a faction and then draft units into their decks to compete for various objectives.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one for my personal collection!


Now if there’s one thing I like, it’s a good historical game (like Founding Fathers or Twilight Struggle).  If there are two things I like, then the other is a game that isn’t afraid to tackle an interesting and perhaps controversial topic for a game (like Pandemic or Archipelago).  Enter Freedom: The Underground Railroad by Academy Games.  This Kickstarter project blends a tumultuous time in United States history with compelling cooperative mechanics.  Players work together to gain funds and further the abolitionist cause while moving slaves along the Underground Railroad.  The game will throw pro-slavery events and slave catchers at you, though so you’ll have to be savvy with your actions and funds.

The game is already funded, so backing it at this point is a sure thing (or as sure as Kickstarter projects can get).  I have to admit that the title didn’t grab me at first, but the artwork did.  The graphic design choices for the component’s they’ve shown have me very intrigued.  The campaign has 25 days left, so give it a look!



Aaaaaaand finally, we come to Star Wars.  I’ve been playing a bit of the Star Wars card game from Fantasy Flight Games whenever I can get a chance.  In fact, a certain webcomic reviewer has been hounding me to play lately.  As if the game weren’t compelling enough, Fantasy Flight announced the game’s next big box expansion – Balance of the Force!

This new expansion adds mutliplayer modes to the game.  Two light side players can tackle two dark side players or a group of 2-3 players can tackle one super-powered rival!  If neither of those is your particular cup of tea, though, the box still has several new objective sets that can be added to your existing one-on-one decks.  Look for Balance of the Force in stores during 2013’s fourth quarter.


Tabletop Term of the Week:  Since we’ve got 2 card games in the news today, I figured I’d cover a fairly common term in the tabletop world that has come to have 2 distinct meaning – deckbuilding.  Classically, deckbuilding refers to constructing a deck from a pool of cards.  In the case of classic collectible card games like Magic: the Gathering and Pokemon this would constitute sitting down with your collection of cards and choosing which ones to include in the deck you plan to use against a given opponent.  The Star Wars card game from Fantasy Flight Games has this kind of deckbuilding component (though each game does it a bit differently and Star Wars’ method is unique – that’s a story for another time).

On the flipside, a more modern genre of card games has emerged over the last few years where players build a deck of cards while they play.  The grandaddy of this genre is Dominion by Rio Grande Games.  Players will start with a small number of basic cards (usually some form of currency) and use those cards to draft more options into their deck from some form of central supply.  As new cards get added, new abilities may be unlocked that will allow players to combo cards together to achieve the particular game’s victory condition.

Deckbuilding in either form is a bit tricky to explain in short, simple terms but that’s the basic idea.  Stay tuned because next week, I’m going to go more in depth with some of my favorite “traditional” card games and how deckbuilding works for them.

The Next Exciting Episode of Robotech


In 1985, Robotech was first brought to the US by Harmony Gold.  The series blended animation from 3 different Japanese series – Super Dimension Fortess Macross, Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada.  This amalgamation created a series which captivated American audiences and helped usher in the huge surge in anime’s popularity during the 90s.

Now, I’m no Robotech expert.  I’ve seen most of the series and have really enjoyed it, but I only started researching the fascinating backstory behind the franchise when I learned about the topic of this article – Robotech RPG Tactics by Palladium Games.  The project is a tactical miniatures game currently being funded on Kickststarter.  As of this writing, the project has received an astonishing $328,000 out of its original goal of a mere $70,000.

But why mention it on GonnaGeek?  Miniatures games are a dime a dozen on Kickstarter these days and there are already so many established games with years of development and fine-tuning behind them.  Here’s grabbed me (and might just grab you) about Robotech RPG Tactics:

  1. The game has a fantastic license with plenty of room for expansion and a solid fan-base.  Watching just a few episodes of Robotech on Netflix should give any potential investor an idea of the kinds of scenarios that will be playable right out of the box.  Future expansions (and/or stretch goals) could really open up the game with new miniatures and characters from the series.
  2. Palladium sticks by their products.  The company has been publishing the Robotech Roleplaying Game since 1986 and has a catalog of over a dozen sourcebooks for the series.
  3. It’s already funded!  That’s always a blessing with a Kickstarter project since it means that anything you throw in at this point (usually) goes towards making the final product better.
  4. The game is mostly complete.  A recent demo video filmed at AdeptiCon 2013 showcases the basic rules behind the system as well as several of the excellent prototype models for the game.  Being able to see the mechanics in action is always promising for a tabletop project that is looking for funding.

It’s an exciting time for tabletop gaming these days.  Kickstarter has made it possible for games like this to become a reality and as long as Robotech RPG Tactics continues to churn out fantastic looking updates, they’ll get my pledge and hopefully yours, too!

A Kickstarter Project Changed Apple Policy?


I’ve always kept watch on a variety of Kickstarter projects.  I tend to watch and see what, if any, projects are interesting.  If I find something interesting then its time to do some research and see just how feasible the end result of the project might be.  Doing the research I what has caused me to hesitate when it comes to funding most hardware and software projects.  There’s a lot of variables that can go wrong.  In fact, the only Kickstarter projects I have personally backed have been comic related.  But that’s a subject for another time.

One project that has garnered a lot of attention was the POP portable charger by a company called Edison Jr.  This project was designed to provide portable charging for a variety of iOS products.  When the Kickstarter project closed out it had raised close to $140,000 dollars.  That’s pretty impressive and goes to show that a lot of people found the project promising and were hoping to pick up a POP of their own.

Here’s the catch though, this project was funded and closed out just about the same time the Lightning connector was announced for the iPhone 5.  The POP was originally designed for use with the older 30-pin connector.  The company planned to move forward with an adapter that would function with the new iPhone/iPad that had the Lightning connector.  The problem is that the company’s adapter did not meet Apple’s new requirements for using the Lightning connector.

It was announced that the successfully funded project would have to be closed down and Edison Jr was left in the position of trying to figure out how to refund money back to the investors.  That sounds easy at first until you realize that Kickstarter takes about 5% of the money raised and there is a 3% credit card fee associated with each transaction.  Edison Jr. reached out to Kickstarter to see if they would be willing to refund their 5% cut, but the company was going to have to pay the 3% credit card fees out of pocket.  The refund process was going to be problematic to say the least, as Kickstarter is not equipped to handle refunding since their business model is setup around only collecting funds if a Kickstarter project meets its funding requirements.

But, here is where things take a turn for the better.  James Siminoff of Edison Jr posted an update regarding the project on its Kickstarter page yesterday:

As you know on Thursday we sent you an update that because of Apple’s rules around Lightning we would be canceling POP. The story got A LOT of news and reactions, way more than we could have ever imagined. In fact it became such big news that 24 hours after we posted Apple changed their guidelines for Lightning.

It was an incredible turn of events for us. We never could have imagined that we would be able to change Apple’s rules.

Based on Apple’s change we can make POP the way we had promised and the project is back on. We will not be processing refunds and are going full speed ahead to produce and deliver the product to you ASAP.

We hope to do another update in the next 7-10 days to give you a new estimated delivery date.

Happy Holidays and thank you to everyone that has stood by us and helped us through this process. We are thrilled to finally be able to bring this great product to you.


How cool is that, Apple backed down from their usual closed off stance when it comes to 3rd party hardware. I really doubt we will ever see this with a software project but its good to see Apple change their mind.

However, there is a lesson to be learned here.  Regardless of how sound a Kickstarter project looks and no matter how well your research turns out there is still a chance the project will not happen or fail.  When that happens you will not receive a refund nor should you expect to.  When you fund a Kickstarter project you are acting as an angel investor and there is not guarantee of success.  Just keep that in mind when you are deciding whether to support a Kickstarter project.