I hope everyone had a happy Easter celebration – or at least better than ours. We were stuck in the Meeple Cave with the last remnants of the Meeple Flu and poor Pixie the Cat with a lampshade on her head. Suffice it to say that not much was going on this weekend, but now we’re all getting better. The holidays did not slow down the game news one bit, however, and here is the long list of things you might be interested in this weekend. By the way, if you don’t want to wait until Tuesday every week to find out what’s new, why not follow us on Facebook or Google Plus and get the freshest news as soon as we find them?
When I read the title of Artipia Games newest announcement, for a moment I was struck by a horrible fear: Among the Stars might have been some sort of celebrity themed game. I’m glad to report I was wrong, we’re talking about literal stars here, those that are a mass of incandescent gas (or, according to newer music, a miasma of incandescent plasma). Up to four players find themselves playing as different races among the stars, after the great war has finally ended in a peace treaty. Now they are locked in a more peaceful competition: who can build the best space station from drafted location cards over the course of four rounds.
The release cycle of deck-building games is so short, it amazes me: Thunderstone Advance hasn’t had time to settle into the store shelves yet when the first expansion is already in the making: Thunderstone Advance: Caverns of Bane. But with new cards to use like the Disowned Bloodrager here, I’m not complaining.
But it’s not all expansions in the world of violent card games: we talked about Paul Peterson’s shufflebuilding game Smash Up last week, now some more detailed information is available.
And back to expansions once more, Nightfall will also receive a new set of vampires, werewolves and other things that go ROAR in the night with Nightfall: Dark Rages. (via GameSalute)
Off your Rocker, the party game that lets you pretend to be insane, is now live on Kickstarter. All but one of the up to 12 players get to pretend they are, well, off their rocker while the last player tries to diagnose them with pointed questions, points are awarded for the funniest answers. I was worried that everyone would portray Tourette’s all the time just for an excuse to curse loudly, but I’m happy to report that the quirks are more silly than that. I really like “Players think they are trapped in a bottle.”
Fantasy Flight Games
The Blood Moon is drawing nearer, the horrible season of werewolves and other things that go ROAR in the … wait, I already used that joke. Anyway, werewolves. They join the long line of things that can kill you in Talisman, and they do it in a vengeance. The werewolf stalks the players across the board, and when he catches them he may merely kill them, but being infected with lycantrophy instead might be the proverbial fate worse than death. Although getting a turn at stalking your opponents might make the disease worthwhile.
Rio Grande Games
The very popular Race For The Galaxy will have another expansion that, only combines with the base game, not with the earlier expansions. Author Thomas Lehmann describes it as a reboot where he wants to avoid the power creep of previous expansions. In this expansion, everything is about the hunt for Alien Artifacts. If you just want more cards for your Race For The Galaxy then Alien Artifacts includes 45 new cards to enhance your game plus material for a fifth player. The more exciting part, however, is the Alien Orb scenario. The Orb is a giant alien artifact that all players explore together, trying to find the most powerful artifacts inside first. Exploring the orb is a new action to pick, so making progress here comes at the cost of neglecting your empire-building.
MafiaDollar, Heiko Weyen’s first game – at least as far as we can tell – will be available this July. The card game gives you control of your own mob of mobsters, or maybe gang of gangsters, in the prohibition era, the best era to rake in the cash in illegal businesses. You hire gangsters, equip them and send them out in the streets to do your dirty work – and when the streets stop being profitable, you can always take some money out of your opponent’s vault. (via Purple Pawn)
The 2011 Kickstarter project Rolling Freight (Kevin G. Nunn) is arriving in project backer’s mailboxes these days. In this dice-driven railroad game, your responsibility as a company manager is to build new rails, establish shipping routes and move cargo in order to increase company value. And gain more company stock for yourself, no one would want to be a manager for pure altruism. Those who didn’t back the Kickstarter project will have to wait for June or July to get their hands on a copy.
Ted Alspach is working on his newest project, the city-building tile-laying game Suburbia. The goal is to have the highest population for your little town. To do that, you build it up from hex tiles with residential, industrial, commercial and civic areas, creating an economic engine that makes you money that you desperately need to grow your town. The available tiles will be different in each game, the same game should never happen twice. Suburbia sounds very exciting, but for reasons that will be immediately obvious to our regular readers, I would have gone with one of the working titles: Meeptropolis. Suburbia will have a Kickstarter campaing soon – we’ll keep you informed – and there will be a German edition from Lookout Games. (via BGG News)
Small Box Games
After all the recent mouth-watering illustrations, now we get to know which game they are from and how to play it. The rules for Tooth & Nail: Factions, at least the rough outline of them, are now available on Small Box Games’ Facebook page.
Fun to 11
Miskatonic School for Girls is another successful Kickstarter project that is now available to the general public. The deck-building game about school girls and tentacled abominations has the unique twist that you get to add cards into other players’ decks which slowly drive them insane.