The C&C Shout Outs

Good afternoon (or whatever greeting is appropriate for your place in time)!

While we here at Chaos y Confetti are always keeping an eye on the future, we also understand the importance of appreciating the past.  Before we fully entrench ourselves in 2023, we would like to take one final look back on 2022.

Welcome to the Chaos y Confetti Closeout Celebrations and Shout Outs!

We hope to use this space to think back on all our hobbies in order to give a few special shout outs to products and experiences that made them even more enjoyable.  Here we highlight our favorites from the year 2022.  

If you’ve been following our blog for a while some of these shout outs may not surprise you, but the praise is still well earned.  We will also cover a few hobby areas that we haven’t written about as much over the last year (tv, movies, etc.).   

In each of our hobby areas there is so much produced that it would be impossible to fairly consume and consider each product, so again, we are only thinking about what we personally experienced during the year, whether it is something new from 2022 or something we only just got around to discovering for ourselves.

Here’s to all the great content out there!!

BOARD GAMES:

  • Frosthaven – The sequel to Gloomhaven finally hit our doorstep and we couldn’t be happier.  We love exploring the new scenarios, characters, and mechanics of Frosthaven.  It quickly became our top played game of 2022 and it won’t be leaving our gaming table anytime soon.  This is a strategic dungeon crawler (and so much more) that is crammed with so much gameplay goodness.
  • Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game – Chaos’ favorite deckbuilding game that gets better every year as its already massive expansion library keeps growing.  In 2022, we added the Messiah Complex, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Black Widow expansions to our collections.  This game is always offering new schemes and challenges to take on.
  • Feed the Kraken – Our new favorite social deduction game.  It’s sailors vs. pirates vs. cultists.  Each team battles to sail the ship to their chosen destination.  Mutinies, secret alliances, monster attacks, and surprise powers will make for a memorable voyage.
  • Shovel Knight: Dungeon Duels – This game perfectly captures the sidescrolling feel of the Shovel Knight video game, as new tiles are added each round and old ones fall away.  It has great table presence with its board and miniatures, but still manages extremely approachable gameplay.  Players will have a blast fighting monsters and each other.
  • Flamecraft – A beautiful and cute game that focuses on using dragons to do good for the town of Flamecraft.  Players will enjoy planning on how to maximize the town’s dragons and strategizing around the available shops and objectives.
  • Werewords: Deluxe Edition – A beefed up twenty questions with a social deduction aspect.  Players will either be guessing the mystery magic word or trying to sabotage the guessing while looking innocent.  With plenty of roles to add to the standard villagers and werewolves, this quick game has a lot to offer.
  • Cat in the Box A trick taking card game with a unique twist.  Here none of the cards have suits, so players get to decide what they are playing each round.  However, as more cards and suits are claimed, there become fewer options.  Players will work to take tricks and score points as the possibilities slowly collapse toward a paradox.

BOOKS:

  • Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (full review here) – A novel about love, music, legacy, family, and sacrifice.  A music teacher trying to pay the devil back seven souls.  A student looking for her place.  Aliens figuring out what home really is.  This book covers a lot but the characters are memorable and their journeys are wonderful to follow.
  • The Push by Ashley Audrain (full review here) –  Usually children are a blessing.  Sometimes they are the worst thing that can happen.  Blythe believes there is something wrong with her daughter Violet.  Is Blythe right or is it all in her head?  Then there is the terrible “push” that will scar Blythe’s life forever.  This is a tense drama that constantly pulls readers in despite the building dread they will feel throughout.
  • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (full review here) –  Sanderson introduces readers to a world where chalk drawings (chalklings) can have incredible power, a land where wild chalklings can mean danger and students may attend The Armedius Academy to learn to wield chalk effectively.  Then he fills that world with compelling characters and a murder mystery.  Excellent characterization and worldbuilding.  This book needed a sequel years ago. 
  • The Fireballer by Mark Stevens (full review here) Frank Ryder is the talk of all of baseball.  He consistently pitches well over 100 mph, so fast that batters can’t react to his throws.  However, this seemingly unstoppable nice guy is actually dealing with handling a childhood trauma that still threatens to tear his life apart.  Add to that that those in charge of the sport are looking to change the rules to slow Ryder down and readers will have plenty of drama to watch unfold.
  • Hide by Kiersten White (full review here) –  What is supposed to be a reality show game of hide and seek turns out to be something much more sinister.  A horror story with a quickly building sense of dread that has readers confronting the ideas of grief, legacy, survival, and guilt.  
  • Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (full review here) While a little dated, Salem’s Lot is a fantastic horror story that stands the test of time.  This vampire story is some of King’s best work.  He isn’t afraid to go dark and really let readers squirm with this one.
  • No Exit by Taylor Adams (full review here) –  As if being snowed in at a rest stop with several strangers isn’t bad enough, Darby soon discovers that there is a kidnapped child locked in a van outside.  Unsure who to trust or what to do, Darby will soon have to make some tough decisions in order to save the child and herself.  This is a nonstop dark thriller that will have readers racing to the end.
  • The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey (full review here) –  The teenage years can be rough and confusing for any young girl.  Parents, boys, siblings, friends, work: It all seems to be changing in strange ways.  Then, one of your best friends is murdered and any illusion of safety goes away too.  The Quarry Girls delves into the hardships of being a young woman in a world that wasn’t built for them.
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens –  Kya Clark is a unique woman who lives out in the wilds.  Isolated, she yearns for both her natural world and for a human connection.  Seen as an outsider, her life is already tough, but it will only get more troublesome as she must deal with the draw of romantic love and the possible accusation of murder.

MOVIES:

  • Spirited (2022) – A fun Christmas musical that adds its own twist to the classic Christmas Carol story.  The music and comedy are pretty good.  This hits all the right notes for a modern Christmas classic (at least in our house).
  • Honk for Jesus! Save Your Soul! (2022) A mockumentary covering the journey of a pastor and his wife who have fallen from grace but are looking to rise again as they reopen their church.  This is a ridiculous and enjoyable dark comedy that provides quite a few good laughs.  
  • Wakanda Forever (2022) – The Strongest of Marvel’s offerings this year (though we also enjoyed Multiverse of Madness and Love and Thunder).  After the loss of Chadwick Boseman, this movie had both a lot to live up to and a lot to overcome.  The studio handled the continuing story well and introduced several neat characters.  Woo Namor!  
  • Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) – A dark and satirical comedy that isn’t afraid to poke fun at today’s youth.  When someone ends up killed at a party, all hell breaks loose as the remaining guests fight to survive and figure out who may be coming for them next.
  • Not Okay (2022) – A young woman’s lies lead to people believing she might have been present for a terrorist attack.  Instead of correcting everyone, she decides to roll with it, in order to get the attention and love she feels always wanted.  How long can she keep the ruse up and how bad will it be if the truth is discovered?
  • The Batman (2022) – While far from a perfect movie, The Batman does a great job of sharing a tale about a less experienced Batman.  It’s an interesting take on the caped crusader as he figures out what he should stand for while failing plenty along the way.  
  • Encanto (2021) – Disney hit it out of the park with this one.  The music is fantastic, with the soundtrack full of songs worth listening to on repeat.  The story itself is also very solid as it explores the dynamics of family roles and expectations.  

PUZZLE GAMES:

  • Scarlet Envelope VIII. Dinner with Anonymous (our review) – A madman seeks to punish his guests while hosting a deadly dinner party.  Excellent puzzles and story that all start by opening a simple red envelope.
  • Never House (our review) – High quality puzzles and components that are sure to immerse players into the story of a haunted home they may wish they never encountered (except they’ll be pretty glad they played this game).
  • Taco TWOsday (our review) –  Two players must team up to take down the evil Guaca-Mole.  Each player will have to work together and share separate information in order to solve puzzles.
  • Light in the Mist (our review) – A deck of tarot cards that contain several puzzles and a lot of story.  Fantastic and unique puzzles embedded into beautifully designed cards.  

COMICS:

  • Runaways by Rainbow Rowell – Rowell brings the Runaways back together but also embraces all the history and growth they’ve experienced during their several years apart. This series perfectly hit the dysfunctional family dynamic, mixing both comedy and heartfelt moments.  Unfortunately, the series ends with a cliffhanger, but it’s still well worth checking out.
  • Amazing Spider-man by Nick Spencer – Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man run started off really well and despite a few missteps along the way, remained pretty solid.  His Spider-Man/Peter is well written but Spencer also did a good job of highlighting the support cast as well.  The series builds up to a clash with pretty much every Spider-villain and while not everyone will love Spencer’s final reveals, he does use his run to get a lot of Spider-man’s history back into proper place, while still leaving his own footprint for other writers to build upon.
  • Bear by Ben Queen – A cute graphic novel about a seeing-eye dog that goes blind.  After getting lost, Bear has to learn to trust others and his other senses in order to get back to his owner.  This is a sweet story that is also pretty funny.
  • Fantastic Four by Dan Slott: Slott has always been a good idea man and he brings many of those solid ideas to The Fantastic Four.  He does a good job letting each character shine with their own moments and stories while also getting each family member’s voice and characterization right.

VIDEO GAMES:

  • Horizon Forbidden West –  The incredible sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn.  Aloy’s story continues in new and interesting ways as she explores even more of her post-apocalyptic world.  This game improves on an already great game.  We are already wishing and begging for another installment. 
  • There is No Game Wrong Dimension (our review) – A meta adventure that will have players both thinking and laughing.  Players will enjoy figuring out what they’re not supposed to be doing just so they can do it.  
  • Escape Academy (our review and dlc review) – A game that truly brings the fun and challenges of escape rooms home.  The puzzles are well designed and the clicking clock is sure to get players’ hearts pumping.  A lot of fun with more dlc coming in the near future.
  • It Takes Two (our review) –  A lengthy two player experience that is constantly offering something new for players.  This game isn’t afraid to introduce new gameplay elements while still advancing a story about love and forgiveness.

TELEVISION SHOWS:

  • Peacemaker – A spinoff from The Suicide Squad, following The Peacemaker as he works with a team to bring down a alien threat.  Between Guardians of the Galaxy, Suicide Squad, and now Peacemaker, James Gunn has mastered the art of comedic ensemble pieces that lean into the ridiculous while still maintaining character and heart at its center.  Even some seemingly throw away jokes eventually circle around to carry a lot of depth later.  Also, bravo to John Cena for really coming into his own as a comedian and finding the right line between weirdo, action star, and ham.
  • Gravity Falls – Dipper and Mabel Pines visit Gravity Falls for a Summer and discover more adventure then they could have ever imagined.  It’s a mystery/adventure of the week type of show with a deeper overarching mystery brewing throughout.  This is a perfect example of a kids’ show that can actually be enjoyed by all ages.  At only two seasons, Gravity Falls did what it wanted and then ended before it overstayed its welcome (though we would totally be open to more).  
  • The Afterparty – A murder mystery that does everything right.  The characters are all great with tons of potential motives for wrongdoing.  Each episode another character shares their recollection of the night, and each episode becomes a different genre: musical, horror, romcom, action, etc.  There are plenty of clues throughout to help viewers solve the mystery themselves and quite a few puzzles to solve as well.  Great acting, great humor, and super fun to watch.
  • Better Call Saul – The (mostly) prequel to Breaking Bad that follows the origins of criminal lawyer Saul Goodman.  This one might actually top the original Breaking Bad.  The evolution of Saul’s character is riveting and so well done.  The other characters, those unique to Better Call Saul and those from Breaking Bad, also all have interesting stories to follow.  This show is constantly doing everything right.
  • Harley Quinn – A comedic take on Harley Quinn and the DC universe in general.  The over-the-top humor and action provide a lot of fun, but he show never loses sight of its characters’ heart and growth.  This is the story of Harley Quinn finding her worth as an individual and learning to pursue her own passions.
  • I Am Groot – Baby Groot goes on a bunch of quick and silly adventures.  This series is broken up into several shorts on Disney+.  They may not be the most essential MCU viewing, but they are sure to put a smile on viewers’ faces.
  • Sweet Magnolias – show focuses on friendship between three main woman characters and life in a small town. Based off a book series, the show has lots of twists and turns within the story arcs. I would describe it as soap opera light, in a charming way. 
  • She-Hulk – A MCU Disney+ show that perfectly showcases the character of She-Hulk and what readers expect from her comics.  While we might have preferred a bit more courtroom drama, the show overall was a blast.  The show did a good job of fitting into the MCU mold while also trying a few new things out.  Though the show did say it wasn’t a guest of the week type show, the many special appearances it did have were well used and usually added to the show.  Also, woo Daredevil!
  • Emily in Paris – fun escapism show about an American marketing executive living in Paris and learning french. Fun hijinks ensue with lots of romantic subplots. 
  • The Floor is Lava – This show is just good stupid fun.  Teams complete to traverse obstacle courses, doing their best to avoid falling in the lava.  The first season is magical with later seasons trying to make some unneeded tweaks (please do away with the final climbing the volcano challenge).  No matter what season they watch, viewers are going to get interesting courses and contestants that are giving their all to shine as athletes and reality show stars.
  • Severance – In Severance people have the option of completely separating their work selves from their non-work selves, basically creating two people who share a body.  Each half is only conscious during their appropriate time, work/out-of-work.  This divide turns out to be less than ideal for both halves, especially the workself.  This is a mysterious and tense piece of sci-fi that will have viewers thirsting for answers and to see how the story progresses.

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