Regular readers will have noticed that there wasn’t a review this weekend. That’s an almost unprecedented occurrence and I’m sorry it had to happen. The sad truth is that the other job has been taking to much of my time recently and I couldn’t devote as much time to testing games as they’d deserve for a fair review. But there is a silver lining, the situation is clearing up a little and we should have a review this weekend. Until then: news!
Neuroshima Hex fans are looking forward to an expansion to their game. And we all know it’s coming by now, Steel Police is on its way. But if you really can’t wait until Steel Police hits the store shelves, you can have a look at the new units that await you. As a fan, you will be able to make sense of the symbols I’m sure, but as someone who never played Neuroshima Hex I’m quite confused.
Fantasy Flight Games
FFG has recently pushed many games from the production pipeline to your friendly local game shop – and presumably the unfriendly ones as well – and now something new has to take that place in the preview posts. One new game to take that space is Talisman: The Blood Moon. The newest expansion for the epic – in story and time requirement – fantasy adventure game introduces an important element of all horror stories to Talisman: the night. Monsters are weakened by the light of the sun, but at night under the blood moon the gain new powers and many adventures can take a very different turn. And then there’s the werewolf, an unstoppable beast that turns players into lycantrophes like himself. Blood Moon should be available around the middle of the year.
As game titles go, I know that many people will rather buy a game titled Texas Zombies than, lets say, one called Cat & Chocolate. Although personally I’m up for cats and chocolate any time you might ask. Imagine those people’s surprise when they find out that both are the same game, only with a different setting. Cat & Chocolate by Japanese author Ryo Kawakami is a story-telling game with cards: the players are in a haunted house and have to overcome threats each round using the item cards from their hand. For example: cat and chocolate. Texas Zombie does not, however, give you an army of undead and a whole US state to overcome your troubles. Regrettably. The title here describes the scenario: you’re in Texas, dealing with a gang of drug dealers using zombies for their dirty work. In both games, the other players get to vote whether your story was convincing enough. To keep things tense, everyone is a member of one of two teams that win together, just so you don’t vote against all the stories. Texas Zombie will be available soon through Asmodee.
Another Moonster Games game announced for later this year, by another Japanese author: Kim Satô. In his Ryu the players represent one of the five humanoid species in a far-away galaxy. Their planets can be prospected and mined for resources, four other players give access to aid from politicians, smugglers and other criminals as you build your ryu, the living space ship that will let you explore the universe.
Commercial fishing is definitely one of the less used themes for boardgames, and I’m quite looking forward to seeing the implementation. You’re launching a fishing fleet in a pristine Canadian bay where fish are abundant. You’re different types of ship to launch – which are cards – need a license to use them – another card – which you pay with more cards from your hand and receives a card as captain. You guessed it, Fleet(Ben Pinchback, Matt Riddle) is going to be a card game. Since you only draw one type of cards to your hand, you better put some thought into which you use as currency, which you launch as boat and which you make captain. It’s a sign of Gryphon Games’ great reputation that, with 52 days to go on the Fleet Kickstarter campaing, the project is more than 200% funded. But don’t take that as an excuse to not have a look.
While the trailer for Winter Tale doesn’t say much about how the game is played besides hinting at a strong element of storytelling, it sure does set the right mood:
I already want it before I have a clue how to play it.
Even successful, well-established publishers like Queen Games are now turning towards Kickstarter to accelerate their production schedule. Making high-quality boardgames is an expensive business, you may have to wait for the previous one to actually sell before making the next. Advance funding via Kickstarter can help with that, no matter how successful you already are, and Queen Games won’t be the last publisher to make use of that. The project, Escape… from the Temple Curse, is a cooperative, dice-driven real time game with a soundtrack. Yep, real time with a sound track. I’m a huge fan of Space Alert, so expanding this genre is something I’ll gladly pay for. Of course, given how well we all here at the Meeple Cave roll dice, we’ll never live to see the end of a game.