After yesterday’s and the day before’s irregular news about Kennerspiel and Spiel des Jahres 2012, we’re returning to our weekly news collection today. Of course, no news collection about the boardgame world has any hope to be complete, but if you miss news about your favourite publisher here then why not help us be complete-er and tells us to add them?
Libellud / Asmodee
Seasons (Régis Bonnessée) is due out in August, and it looks great. You take part in the legendary wizarding tournament of the kingdom of Xidit – no relation to any other Libellud game there – to become the new archmage of the realm. To get there, you use power cards that you chose in the beginning which interact with the seasons and with the actions determined by dice rolls. Some luck, a lot of strategy if the announcement is to be believed and awesome artwork. I’m sold.
Asmadi and Aaron Belmer are sending us to the Sanitarium. I admit that of all the subgenres of horror movies the trapped-in-an-old-sanitarium ones are among the most creepy to me, and that’s exactly the scenario Sanitarium places the players in. You find yourself in the sanitarium without any memories how you got there, you only know that you have to escape. You move through dark corridors and, well, even darker corridors. Some items help you cling to your dwindling sanity while hallucinations and shadows eat away at it. There’s even a creepy child in there somewhere. This might be the first game I know about that really, actually manages to be creepy.
There will be at least two new releases at this year’s Essen fair. Maximum Security (Rafal Cywicki, Krzysztof Cywicki, Krzysztof Hanusz)is the first expansion to last year’s Alcatraz: The Scapegoat. We already knew that the expansion would allow you to play with five players, but there’ll be much more inside the box: new locations, new blackmail cards, and new mechanics like the Chief of Security, Sentence cards that give you special abilities and the Sucker. The Sucker is a bit of an odd one: he can’t complete tasks, but he also can’t be the scapegoat, I’m not sure at all how that will integrate into the game.
The second Essen release is an entirely new game by the same team of authors titled 1984: Animal Farm. I’m not sure how 1984 figures into the game’s plot, the driving theme is clearly Animal Farm. After the revolution of the farm animals against their human masters dies down, the fight against each other breaks out. Each one wants to be the only dictator, but no one can make that goal on their own. You’re thus forced into alliances with the other players while ultimately only fighting for yourself. This will be one of those games that you lose friends over.
White Goblin Games
It’s like I keep saying, deck-building games are meant to be expanded. Core Worlds is no exception to this rule and we should see Galactic Orders some time this year still. I won’t sum up everything said about the new cards and new mechanics because game designer Andrew Parks does all that and grants us a look into the background of designing a deck-building game on top of that. Cards in Galactic Orders are actually designed to help less successful strategies to gain some ground on the popular winning moves. It’s a really good read.
By now, I’d be really, really disappointed if there was no Smash Up preview, I’m enjoying them a lot. Lucky for me, disappointment was not on the calendar this week: the previews show us the supernatural powers of lesser and greater wizards. What they have over everyday muggles like you and me is speed: everything the wizards do lets you either take more actions or draw more cards to use in those actions. Let’s do the timewarp again!
Nightfall fans shouldn’t feel neglected either. The card previews for Dark Rages continue, not only putting cards on display but also telling the story why they are there and why they are awesome. Speaking of the story of Nightfall: here’s a post about the story going on in Dark Rages and the whole European arc of Nightfall.
Fantasy Flight Games
The FFG news of the week may not give us a deep insight into how they make games, but they’ll nevertheless make some people happy: Talisman: The Blood Moon is now available and the same goes for the rules of Fortress America but not for the game yet. The Descent: Journeys in the Dark preview is more exciting and introduces us to the Healer archetype and its two classes.
The newest deck-building game by Cryptozoic will be 3012 (Charles Tyson), where it turns out the nut jobs who misinterpreted the Mayan calendar were right, after all: the apocalypse did happen in 2012. Now it’s 1.000 years later and humanity has changed. Evolved – or maybe devolved – into five different clans, what is left of us is struggling to survive deep in the Yucatán jungle. And as usual when people struggle, we struggle against each other. Champions of the clans find allies, gear and action cards in their quest to subdue the other clans. 3012 promises to bring more interaction to the genre, claiming that players will be involved in almost every turn.
Tasty Minstrel Games
Skyline is a dice game by David Short. The goal is to do what I do during every game involving more than two dice: build towers with them. Depending on your roll, the dice fit into different kinds of buildings, some with low risk and low profit, some with a better margin but less chance to complete them. The game will be very quick, lasting only about 15 minutes and, here’s the kicker, if the Kickstarter campaign for Ground Floor goes over $70.000 in the 12 days it has left backers will receive Skyline on top of their other perks.
Okiya is the newest work by Bruno Cathala, a light strategic game that picks up a popular recent game mechanic: your move determines your opponent’s possible moves. In the case of Okiya, placing one of your geishas in the imperial garden you remove a garden tile, your opponent then has to place his geisha with a tile that either shows the same plant or the same detail, giving him a choice of six tiles in the beginning of the game. Whoever manages to arrange his geishas in a square or a line this way, wins.
This week featured photo was taken by Alastair Rae and shared with a CC-BY-SA license. It shows Saint George, one of the monolithic churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia. These incredible buildings are exactly what the words “monolithic” and “rock-hewn” say: churches that were not built but hewn out of the rock, the whole building is one piece of rock and still part of the mountain.