I’m sorry for the lack of a review this weekend – apparently someone drew my city card and then dropped a blue disease cube on my head. At least I felt like someone did. Fortunately someone cleared the cube before we could have an outbreak. Enough with the Pandemic analogies already, I’m better now, just a bit tired. Not too tired to present with the news, though.
Days of Wonder
The rules for Small World Realms are available online now. Even if you don’t usually get excited about looking at the rules of games you don’t yet have, go and make an exception for this one. The reason? The rulebook also has all the premade scenarios for Small World Realms, and they are fun to look at. They go from “oh look, a river” to “lets put a new name on this and sell it as a $40 big box game”, it’s really pretty cool how far Philippe Keyaerts’ rules stretch to allow for new playing experiences. My favourite is still Crops of Power, it has such potential for carnage …
One place that I won’t put on the list of vacation destinations: the Caverns of Bane. Honestly, there are things creeping around in that cavern I wouldn’t want to meet in daylight, much less in the dark. Speaking of the dark: the first preview this week is still about cards that interact with the level of Light in the dungeon. Other monsters in the caverns don’t do new and interesting things, but they have what you might call an old an interesting ancestry: they originated back in the old day of “the world’s most famous roleplaying game.”
Some things just go well together. Coffee and milk. Rock music and driving fast. Chocolate and ketchup – okay, maybe that’s just me. Fluxx and Cthulhu will go together very well though. The one drives people insane with the mere mention of its name, the other is a Great Old One. It’s a match made in heaven. Or maybe hell. R’lyeh. Anyway, I’m unsure if we really need more different Fluxx variants at the moment, but with a dash of Lovecraft I’m as good as hooked.
They weren’t content making small, (relatively) quick games any more. The new project at Z-Man Games is Christian Marcussen’s Clash of Cultures, a member of the biggest and longest genre of games short of wargames: civilization games. Among those, Clash of Cultures is actually intended to be ambitiously short, only one hour per player. More about how to play will come out in the next few weeks, for now we know that you’ll be able to do everything you expect from a civilization game – found cities, build wonders, advance in technology – but will also be able to control the way your cities develop and influence your people’s happiness.
I had almost believed this game dead, but there is still a bit of life in it: Lookouts, another game based on the Penny Arcade comic, but not on its stars Tycho and Gabe. It’s more of a fantasy boy scouts setting. There are still not exactly news about it, but cover art is a pretty way to tell us that the game is still out there.
Evil Hat Productions
You roleplaying geeks out there probably know Spirit of the Century – a FATE based RPG in the world of pulp adventure novels. Race to Adventure! is the boardgame to go with that RPG. It’s an action selection game that makes you travel around the world, collect passport stamps and complete missions. The basic game seems very basic indeed, but the shadow side of the variable game board looks promising. The video explanation on Kickstarter does a great job giving you the details.
Split Second Games
I may be biased on the subject, but seeing two games with zeppelins on Kickstarter in the same week makes it a good week in my book. Quicksilver is a racing game, you decide a course on the map, place some obstacles and off you go, may the faster one win. Or maybe the one with the bigger guns or the more cunning saboteurs, because you can bring other airships to the ground. In pieces, if you have to.
This week’s banner image shows one of the rare industrial revolution world heritage sites: the Verla Groundwood and Board Mill in the Kymi river valley, Finland. The photo was taken by Shaun Dunphy and shared with a CC-BY-SA license. Thanks, Shaun!