Dr. Finn’s Games
If you’re looking for a quick and ruthless filler game, then Dr. Finn’s Kickstarter Cosmic Run: Rapid Fire might just be the thing for you. It’s a dice-drive space race for one or two players marking their progress on the scoring pad. Once the dice are rolled, players take turns picking a die and applying its effect. This being a racing game, moving your ship is obviously an option, but other dice allow you to attack your opponent or to use a number of special effects, like putting mines on the race track. Just because it’s a race doesn’t mean you have to behave sportingly.
The Kickstarter for Thunderstone Quest has already destroyed its funding goal, but it’s still has a long time to go even higher. A good time for more detailed preview posts! This one talks a bit about quests, and combat, and why they decided to add dice to the game. Some monsters now roll dice before you fight them, and as you might have guessed you’re not generally going to like the outcomes. Also in this post are some really cool monster illustrations.
Red Raven Games
Ryan Laukat is at it again with a sequel to one of his greatest hits: Empires of the Void II. Again, the players want to carve out a space for their people in the galaxy, either by force or by diplomacy. The fringes of the galaxy, where all players arrive in their worldships, are more densely populated than you would think and there will be many planets already inhabited. You can conquer those for profit, or you can ally yourself with the natives. Alliances are not permanent, another player may gather more influence on a planet’s inhabitants than you have. But while they last, each allied people give you a powerful special ability. Empires of the Void II is going to be a long, strategic game that keeps up to five players busy for around two hours.
Greater than Games
The year is 2299 and the last war is distant history. But its consequences are still very visible in the ruined city of Dubai, that only now the descendants of the survivors begin to rebuild. That’s the premise for Dubai: Rebuild the Ruins, a worker placement game by Greater than Games. There are three locations for your workers to go: at the Docks all players act at once in an auction for resources, at the Engineer’s Guild they buy plans for your rebuilding projects and in the Ruins they construct them. That’s all simplified from the actual rules, of course. Especially it doesn’t mention that you don’t just place and remove your workers in Dubai, they rotate around their locations and will trigger actions when it’s their turn, controlling the game’s dynamic turn order that way.
Babylon Tower Builders is the next release by German publisher Mücke Spiele, and it’s a game that came out of an interesting premise: a game that uses the remaining stock of pieces from Wolfgang Kramer’s Alcazar, of which surplus game piece shop www.spielmaterial.de had rather a lot. Designer Channing Jones rose to the challenge and created not one but two games using those pieces, both of which are Babylon Tower Builders. In the tactical game players all cooperate to build one edifice from the tower and bridge pieces. In the real-time game, each player participates in building two, one with each of his neighbors. In both cases, points are awarded for each player’s noblemen on the building: by majority per floor in the tactical game and for topping towers (with certain conditions) in the real-time one. Both game variants are pretty quick to play, and making them is the best way I heard of to use up surplus components.
Card-driven racing game is not something that gets many gamers excited any more, and placing bets on those races is also not new. Ares Games had something special in Divinity Derby with the setting, a race between mythical creatures, with Zeus as the judge and the other gods betting, but they needed some new mechanism to make it interesting. That mechanism is card sharing: players don’t have their own hand of cards, they share a set of cards with each of their neighbors. It doesn’t sound like a big change of having your own cards, but it does some interesting things. You will always know half the information your neighbors have access to, but not all, and you can take those cards away from them and use them first. Now it sounds much more interesting, doesn’t it?
Lots of games have you flying around in your cool spaceship solving problems. Not so many let you build your own spaceship first. In Game Salute’s Farlight, you do both. First, you buy spaceship components, mission briefings and special actions. From the components you assemble your spaceship, if you can make the cards fit together. Components may give you bonuses once or every turn, and they increase your ship’s performance in various areas. This last part is important because it’s how you complete missions, your ship has to meet the mission’s parameters. If it doesn’t by the time the mission phase starts, then your bid on that mission is wasted and the next player gets a chance. I think in what order you bid on things will be key here, and Farlight will be very interactive because of that.