Shut Up and Sit Down Recommends 🍐
July 7, 2018 7:50 PM   Subscribe

In this golden age of board games how can you sift through all the new releases and find the gems and avoid the duds? Shut Up & Sit Down is a website all about board games, card games, and all the other games you can play in your very own house. They have podcasts and videos as well as written reviews. They also have their own convention - Shux18.

Here are a selection of games that have earned the Shut Up and Sit Down Recommends Badge

Gateway Games
Ticket to Ride
Sushi Go

Engine Building Games
Machi Koro

Realtime Games
Captain Sonar

Dexterity Games
Junk Art
Looney Quest

Party Games

Legacy Games
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Cooperative Games
The Mind
Burgle Bros

Two Player Games
posted by poxandplague (21 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Oooh. I’ve been wanting to try Mysterium. The older I get, the less I want to play competitive games. Let’s all win!

But even more lately, I’m thinking maybe I don’t even want to play with other people, maybe I just want to watch people play. I’ll give these videos a look-see!
posted by greermahoney at 8:06 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]

Really enjoy these guys. Picked up Captain Sonar based of their review, and it definitely doesn't disappoint. Whenever I'm curious about a new game I check to see if they've written about it, and visit regularly just to see what's new.
posted by calamari kid at 8:20 PM on July 7

Here's their review for Gloomhaven, which is currently the #1 game on BGG in the overall, thematic and strategic categories, apparently.

Wait, #1 in strategic? As an owner of the game, I can say that's totally ridiculous. Oh well, that's a topic for another post.
posted by Edgewise at 8:21 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]

I've fallen off but I used to absolutely love SU&SD. Some of those videos are very amusing, and as greermahoney alludes to, sometimes it's preferable to experience something as intense as board games can be more vicariously.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 8:27 PM on July 7

Yes, I find them quite entertaining and interesting despite not really ever playing board games myself (solitary animal that I am). I do feel mildly guilty about this as one of their big goals is to Get People Into Board Games...
posted by inconstant at 8:52 PM on July 7

Every board game I've ever bought has been the result of a SU&SD recommendation, and I've never once regretted a purchase. They are really good at laying out the precise flaws and strengths of a given game in such a way that you can tell if you, personally, would like the game regardless of whether it's explicitly recommended by them or not.

SU&SD is also one of the only board-games spaces I've ever been in that just felt really, really welcoming to newcomers- hell, forget board games, it's one of only a few nerd/geek spaces where I haven't ever had to brush off toxicity as the price of admission. They are unapologetic about taking to task the racism and sexism that can be endemic in games. I remember one particular review, on the game Istanbul, where Quinns actually brought on a sociologist to discuss its orientalism (the discussion begins at 11:05 in the linked video).

Also if you have an hour to spare, their let's play of a megagame (50+ players!) is incredibly fun to watch.
posted by perplexion at 8:58 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]

Their review of Cards Against Humanity is spectacularly spot-on.
posted by Paragon at 9:00 PM on July 7 [9 favorites]

One of the special things about the SUSD reviews is that they are scripted (with genuinely hilarious one-liners), shot with multi camera angles and are tightly edited.

Elaine and Efka's video reviews at No Pun Included have a similar aesthetic and are definitely worth watching.
posted by cwhitfcd at 1:45 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]

It was a comment here on the Blue a couple months back – in the Gloomhaven thread, as a matter of fact -- that led me to this team, and I've been devouring their content ever since. I would echo perplexion's comment above, that these reviews are not only entertaining and funny, but also can be very thoughtful and reflective on the hobby as a whole. They cover an enormous range of games as well, and each of them tend to have genres they prefer. Paul, for instance, seems to lean towards the "heavy Euros", while Matt's enthusiasm for bringing in new players lends him well to reviewing their "openers", games that are well-suited for people new to the hobby. Quinns is attracted to games as puzzles to solve, it seems, yet he reviews the widest range of all. His reviews of Tales of the Arabian Nights and Pandemic Legacy Season 1 in particular are ones I've rewatched multiple times for their insightfulness. All of them have an ability to cut through the typical board gaming BS and really get to the heart of the matter, "Should you play this game?"

Like perplexion I won't buy another game without at least their reviewing it. Since getting into the hobby a couple years back, I've made too many bad purchases based on reviews or recommendations elsewhere. These guys are my gaming touchstone now.

And they even tried a short campaign of D&D!
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 5:06 AM on July 8

I send people who aren't fans of game streams to watch their d&d game so they can see how a game of d&d runs. It's a good length and the DM is quite good as well. They did World Wide Wrestling too, which captures just how crazy the game is.
We're even going to SHUX this year, since we can write it off as a business expense.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:46 AM on July 8

Their review of Gloomhaven is indeed great and very accurate - in the sense, it will make clear whether Gloomhaven is a game for you or not, and if not, you can at least appreciate what other people might see in it. Somehow it was the first thing of theirs I've actually listened to and got me more interested in both the game and their other reviews.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:27 AM on July 8

Also, re: their recommendation, if you're looking for a two player game for say, a couple to play of a quiet evening -- pick up Codenames Duet, which is the 2-player version, it's a lot of fun.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:35 AM on July 8

Shut Up & Sit Down is an absolute treasure. Watching their delightful backlog of reviews while building board game inserts out of foamcore helped me get through a rough spot in my life a few years ago. I'm a regular donor these days.

Their review of Cards Against Humanity is spectacularly spot-on.

It is, and I was really frustrated at how MeFi largely rallied to CAH's (a truly execrable "comedy" "game" that is nothing but a way to enable people to chortle at shitty racist, sexist, ableist, etc-ist card combos while ostensibly letting them off the hook for it) defence when that review was posted here back when it was fresh. I'm too lazy to find the thread now.

Also, seconding cwhitfcd's recommendation of No Pun Included. SU&SD is sort of a genre starter for this style of board game review, and while NPI was initially criticised as an SU&SD clone, I think it was a bit unfair back then and would really be now. They have their own distinct identity, and they complement SU&SD well by bringing some alternative viewpoints to the table (and obviously by not having an identical selection of reviews).
posted by jklaiho at 11:18 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

yeah I first ran into SUSD via the CAH thread here. not quite a banner moment for the blue

even if I have no interest whatsoever in the game being described, a new SUSD video is always a must watch for me. this is spot on:

it's one of only a few nerd/geek spaces where I haven't ever had to brush off toxicity as the price of admission

and what's great is how they are, without ever needing to be explicit about it, wonderful exemplars of being joyous and funny and fun without ever straying into exclusionary or shitty behavior or falling back on lazy ideas about who would/should be into the games they review.

Cool Ghosts (Matt and Quinn's video game YouTube channel) is also fabulous and similarly great regardless of interest level in the product being discussed, FWIW.
posted by Kybard at 11:42 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Hadn't seen the Cards Against Humanity thread, just read it. Whew. I'm surprised that so many people seemed to willfully disregard the point of the review, which is that regardless of the fact that Cards Against Humanity can be played in a fun, unoffensive way given the right people and rules, it is designed to be played offensively. The tagline explicitly says so! I'm thankful the craze for it has died down.
posted by perplexion at 12:07 PM on July 8 [3 favorites]

Here's their review for Gloomhaven, which is currently the #1 game on BGG in the overall, thematic and strategic categories, apparently.

I was pretty hyped for this when it first came out, but as a sleever, the amount of cards (and other stuff) in that box is overwhelming. I used to enjoy big, sprawling games - like A Touch of Evil with all expansions, or mixing all D&D Adventure System content together, or setting up Mage Knight and then putting it away again after one round because of how boring it is - but lately I just don't have the energy or inclination for epic stuff like that. It's just so much admin. Biggest game I have now, that I play regularly (solo), is WH40K Relic (with all expansions) but tbh I'm much happier with a quick game of Hero Realms or Aeon's End.

Also, SUSD are the bee's knees. Love their stuff. There's another UK channel with a similar tone, a woman and a big beardy guy (not sure if they are a couple?), the name of which escapes me right now, but which is also excellent and gives insightful reviews.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:16 PM on July 8

I really, really love Shut Up & Sit Down. I think they're a great example of folks who are successful in an industry not because they cutthroat capitalists but because they're genuine, welcoming, and kind to everyone.

All three of the creators are vocal critics of sexism in the games industry. They've come out with a strong, visible anti-harrassment policy for their SHUX convention. They frequently signal boost women and feature writing by women who are their friends on the site. Like perplexion mentioned, they're not afraid to call out racism and sexism in their reviews.

Paul has written some incredible, moving articles about living in poverty; I think his Stardew Valley piece, in particular, is a work of art. Matt has been very open and honest about getting through a rough patch in his mental and physical health, and the impact that this has had on his ability to create content. It seems like the other creators just β€” let him work based on his capacity, kept paying him, and gave him some time to take care of himself, which is a business model you do not often see in entrepreneurship.

If you read between the lines of their content, you really get a sense of what kind of people they are and what kind of community they're trying to create around them β€” and frankly, I find it quite inspiring.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 1:55 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]

Oh, and for fans of both No Pun Included and Shut Up & Sit Down β€”you can watch SU&SD and NPI play the game Meeple Circus together, which is great fun.
posted by fire, water, earth, air at 1:58 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]

Also, kudos for including a standard reference pear in the post title.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:51 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]

*puts on board game addict hat*

Most of these recommendations are great but I gotta say I was let down by Captain Sonar. It basically felt like a more fiddly and complex version of a concept that was perfected in 1967. Fiddly and complicated is not necessarily a deal-breaker for me but boring certainly is. I'll be over here playing Arabian Nights or Gloomhaven until my eyes fall out of my head. Gloomhaven is like what would happen if Mage Knight was fun!
posted by zeusianfog at 2:45 PM on July 9

that Captain Sonar review is excellent. I might have to convince my friends to play it.
posted by numaner at 6:01 PM on July 10

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