I have good news, bad news and, bad news about Firefly: Out To The Black for y’all. The good news first, the game is now on Kickstarter and from reading the manual it sounds like fun. It’s a cooperative card game and actually pretty light on the rules, the 14+ age recommendation must be there for other reasons. It’s hard to say how the luck/strategy balance will be without knowing the cards, but a lot seems to depend on drawing cards. But it’s Firefly, I’m willing to overlook that. Now for the bad news: first, the funding period is only a total of 14 days, so you have to be quick. Second, and much worse, the project is US only because that’s what ToyVault has a license for. Foreigners need not apply.
Gloom: Unquiet Dead, an expansion for the original Gloom featuring the undead, is coming. We already knew that. New, however, are the previews of undead characters like the wereduck for your viewing pleasure.
Catalyst Game Labs
Just when I thought deck-building games couldn’t surprise me anymore, BoardGameGeek News posts an announcement about one that did. Gen Con visitors will be able to try Shadowrun: Crossfire, a deck-building game set in the cyperpunk / fantasy crossover world of the Shadowrun role-playing game. The game experience seems to cover everything you might be doing in the roleplaying game. You lead your team of runners into dangerous missions, from escorting a client to facing a dragon, and if you survive against all odds you upgrade your team with cybernetic implants and magic.
Fantasy Flight Game
Arkham Horror goes global! That’s the premise of Eldritch Horror, a new game by Richard Launius (one of Arkham Horror‘s designers), Corey Konieczka and newcomer Nikki Valens set in Lovecraft’s Mythos universe – just like Arkham Horror. And just like it, Eldritch Horror is a cooperative game for up to eight players, with a focus on creating a story and more paper in the box than you’d find in some public libraries these days. The plot is unsurprisingly the same as always: one of the Great Old Ones is stirring in its slumber and you have to sing it a metaphorical lullaby. But instead of staying in and around Arkham, this time you travel the world. Eldritch Horror wants to tell even better stories than Arkham Horror did, not only in scale but also in creating a different experience every time: each Old One comes with it’s own deck of cards to really make you feel the difference between fighting one or the other.
eggertspiele / Pegasus Spiele
Yet another new take on deck-building comes from Matthias Cramer (Lancaster, Helvetia) and father/son team Stefan and Louis Malz (Edo): in Rokoko, each card in the deck you’re building represents one of your employees in the all-important weeks before the big ball. They can tailor fancy clothes, contribute to the ball’s decoration, buy resources or go out and hire more people to work for you. But not all of them can do everything, and each of them grants a unique bonus as well.
Board games with a time limit are becoming more popular: Zombie 15′ by Guillaume Lémery and Nicolas Schlewitz is another one to use a soundtrack to tell you when the game ends and you’re completely screwed. You have 15 minutes to help your teenage game heroes escape from the zombies into which all adults have turned. With an easy set of rules Zombie 15′ sounds closer to Escape: The Curse of the Temple than to the more complex Space Alert, but as long as the gameplay is frantic, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. 15 minutes game time, 15 year old heroes, 15 scenarios in the included campaign – I wonder if I can hazard a guess about the price.
Jelly Bean Soup Games / Game Salute
Vici – I conquered, as in the famous veni, vidi, vici – is currently on Kickstarter. The fairly light two player battle game has four different types of units – Footmen, Spearmen, Horsemen and Bowmen – that have different special moves and different opposing units they are strong against: Footmen are strong against Spearmen, who are strong against Horsemen who are strong against Footmen again. And everyone kicks Bowmen butt if they get close enough, but Bowmen are the only ranged unit. Battles are resolved with dice, so there is some luck in the game, but deploying the right type of unit against your opponent gives you a definite edge.
The rules and a detailed description of A Study in Emerald are now online on Treefrog Games’ website. The game is based on Neil Gaiman’s short story of the same name where the Great Old Ones have awoken and are now ruling the world, but not so different from regular royalty and dictators. Nevertheless, some people want to get rid of them and so some players are with the Restorationists while others belong to the Loyalists and try to protect the royalty. Both sides use deck-building, agents and assassination to help their side win. There may be no trains or industry in the game, but going by the rules A Study in Emerald is one of the more intricate games by Martin Wallace, I’m most definitely looking forward to this one.
BAM! is a new party game in the tradition of The World as I see it and Cards against Humanity. But more family friendly than the latter one, because there is no way not to be. One player reveals a card that has a missing word, here replaced by a “BAM!”, the other players play word cards to fill that gap, the original player decides on the funniest to pick a winner. For example: “Luke, I am your BAM!” – “Lunch break sex”. Like its predecessors, it’s not much of a game, you don’t really play to win. But with the right crowd it’s a lot of fun.
The photo of the week was taken by Baptiste Lafontaine in the Banc d’Arguin National Park of Mauritania. The photo shows the coastal part of the national park, but it’s unique for it’s stark contrast between the coastal area and the desert that starts pretty much next to the sea, not at all a common environment or ecosystem. (Photo license: CC-BY-SA. Thanks a lot, Baptiste!)