I really, really wouldn’t like to live in Tokyo. Every other week, something arises from the ocean or comes down from space to destroy the city. What kind of life is that? What is the weather forecast like there? “Tomorrow will be sunny with light wind from the east and a 74% chance of giant lizard.” And Crisis: Tokyo makes everything so much worse. The players in this new card game – the first game by Ramón and Sebastián Torrente – compete in destroying Tokyo, and whoever does it best will become ruler of the world. Monsters destroy the city, heroes can be used to stop opposing monsters. The game offers anime style illustration and, according to the publisher, very light rules but interesting card combos to discover. Unfortunately, though, there is no mention of a non-French edition.
Christian Marcussen’s civilization game Clash of Cultures is up for an expansion with 14 more civilizations to pick from. The current title Clash of Cultures – Civilizations Expansions might lack a bit of originality, but we’ll see if that is indeed the final name. The expansion will also come with new pieces to expand your cities as well as new units mounted on horses or elephants, available only to cultures that actually had them. (via ICv2)
After another long silence about Ludovic Maublanc and Antoine Bauza’s Rampage, yet another update comes through the blog of the game’s artist Pierô. The announcement that the game should finally be available around the end of this year is sweet already, but the large gallery of sketches and illustrations that comes with it makes it even better. As a little reminder, since we last talked about the game quite a while ago: in Rampage you’ll play a monster destroying a city with multi-colored meeple inhabitants by flicking your monster into buildings, or dropping it on buildings, and eating all the meeple you can get. You can probably guess how eagerly I’m waiting for this.
White Goblin Games
Two-player, asymmetrical card games seem to be Mark Chaplin’s mission in life. After the two Revolver games and their expansions, his new game Invaders follows the same basic principle, but in a completely different setting. One player plays as the invaders from Outer Space, with high tech weapons and genetically engineered monstrosities, while the other takes Earth’s brave defenders with much less shiny toys at their disposal but so much more to fight for.
Czech Games Edition
I always get excited with news about a new Vlaada Chvátil game, and this one is no exception. Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends is the newest game by the Czech designer, an arena battle between two to four powerful summoners and their minions. To field monsters beyond your regular, boring minions, you have to arrange your pieces in the right summoning pattern to play a monster card from your hand. Those summoned monsters are big, and nasty and enter the game with special effects – and arranging them in the right pattern lets you summon legendary creatures in your service. All to entertain the audience, and because they get bored easily a game will only take around twenty minutes.
Fantasy Flight Game
Fantasy Flight Games is in a warlike mood this week. First, they announce a second edition of Richard Borg’s fantasy wargame BattleLore. Designed for two players, one plays as the Daqan Lords defending their cities while the other as the black magic wielding Uthuk Y’llan is on the attack. Both sides field their own miniatures, on their own choice of battlefield: each player selects one half of the game board. The game is played with a variation of Borg’s Command and Colors system from first edition. You still use command cards to order your units and for other effects, but each unit has individual stats now. Just like you’ve come to expect from FFG, the illustrations and miniatures are top-notch, too.
The second game of conflict announced by Fantasy Flight Games can’t really show off its miniatures, because it has none. Because, obviously, Warhammer: Diskwars is played with disks. The remake of the 1999 Diskwars is transported to the world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, but other than that old hands will feel right at home. Warhammer: Diskwars is played with disks representing your units that move around the battlefield by flipping over their edge into their new position. Landing on top of an enemy disks prevents that one from moving and lets the two units fight. Each unit also sports a special ability, giving you more things to think about on each move. Nevertheless, a game should only take about an hour. Unlike the old Diskwars, this game is not collectible, the core set has all you need for up to four players. But you can hear the expansion bells ringing already.
Japanese designer Seiji Kanai is quickly becoming famous outside of Japan thanks to Alderac’s Big in Japan series of games. After the very well-received Love Letter and the soon-to-be-released Cheaty Mages, another of his games is coming in the same series. Mai-Star is a game of geishas in feudal Japan. Geishas live by their reputation for performance, service and intelligence, and half the game is finding advertisers to spread the word about your geisha’s skills. The other half is then using that reputation to attract wealthy, well-paying customers. Both roles are performed by the same cards and deciding what to use them for is the key to winning the game by making the most profit. Like Kanai’s other games, Mai-Star is a quick and quirky card game, advertised to play in 30 minutes, and sounds like those 30 minutes will be fun.
Th3rd World Studios
Comic book publisher Th3rd World Studios is testing the waters of the boardgame market with Generation Hex. Based on their comic book series Finding Gossamyr, set in world where magic is powered by math, players in Generation Hex will participate in card-driven duels between students of magic. While the description “elegantly simple and quick-to-learn” sounds more like a broad appeal family game than a game for gamers, the names of the designers promise otherwise: Generation Hex was designed by Eric Lang (A Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Card Game, …) and Kevin Wilson (Descent, Arkham Horror). Let’s see how it will turn out. (via BoardGameGeek News)
Making games from big media licenses is often just about bringing in the cash, not so much about making a playable game. But the little information and the art mockup of Ender’s Game Battle School give me hope that this might be one of the other ones. It doesn’t plaster large character portraits everywhere – except on the Commander Cards, but without any photos it wouldn’t be a proper movie tie-in – and doesn’t have a ton of expensive but useless components. In fact, the hex board on which you will try your skill at the battle simulation played in movie and novel looks more like an abstract game. That leaves space to make an actual good game. I have hope.
Assassin’s Creed is still one of the most popular video game series out there. Still, I was surprised by the announcement that there would be a board game based on it. In Assassin’s Creed: Arena players will sneak around old Constantinople (the setting of the first video game, if I’m not mistaken) looking for profitable assassination targets. Unfortunately, those have guards, and the other players want them for themselves, and so you will spend some time hiding and waiting for the right moment and the right combat cards. More detail is hopefully coming soon.
I’m not sure if the new game based on the The Walking Dead TV series makes more or less sense than the previous The Walking Dead Board Game. Where that one was a competitive game, The Walking Dead: The Best Defense is a fully cooperative game. That would be more reasonable in a zombie apocalypse scenario, but no one on the show seems to get that point, either. Nevermind my rambling, in The Best Defense all players will team up to defend four locations with resources against approaching walkers and other disasters.
Historical Games Factory
There are only three days left to go on the Spieleschmiede campaign for Theomachie, and the last few Euros are still missing. If you had reservations about the card game about the war of the gods because of player elimination, you don’t need to worry any more: the game will now come with a variant where you play for victory points instead of last man standing. That’s my point of concern out of the way, at least.
This week’s featured image was taken by Flickr user Lies Thru a Lens. It shows the canal district of Amsterdam, Netherlands, built in the 17th century for reasons of logistics, defense and draining the swampland that originally surrounded Amsterdam. (Image license: CC-BY)