Kevin Wilson has been pretty busy recently, and now there’s another game he’s working on for IDW Games together with Kevin Eastman. Eastman is not a game designer, but some of you may have heard his name: together with Peter Laird he created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The game the two Kevins are working on is, unsurprisingly, a TMNT game. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past will be a scenario-based game where up to four players play as the turtles against one player in the role of their nemesis Shredder. Between scenarios, players get to improve their equipment and fighting style to improve their characters throughout the campaign. I suddenly have this vision of Descent in the New York sewers, and I don’t dislike it. Since IDW also happens to publish the TMNT comic books, they’re hinting at expansions to the game matching the comics story arcs. That could turn into a very cool tie-in for Turtles fans.
A second expansion for Mac Gerdts’s excellent strategy game Concordia will be ready in time for Essen. Again you’ll get two new maps to expand the Roman Empire on, this time it will be Hispania and Bycantium. On top of that, the expansion will introduce salt as a new resource type and bonus tiles with special effects, both of which will be usable with the older game boards as well.
Japanese publisher UTSUROI have put their first Kickstarter project online: Iki. Iki is, according to the project page, the quality of being suited for life in Edo. In the game Iki, that quality consists of business acumen and strategic abilities, because your goal is to hire and manage artisans, street vendors and unique professionals like ear cleaners. I’m not kidding, they mention ear cleaners. Iki is based on a game called Edo Craftsman Story that was already very successful at the Tokyo Game Market, and this is the first chance to get it in English.
Plaid Hat Games
We haven’t had a preview for a new Phoenixborn from Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn in a bit. That’s mainly because we had all the ones included in the base game covered already, but nevertheless there is another one. If you preorder the game, you receive another one: Dimona, a battlefield commander who can remove exhaustion tokens from her troops. She also has her own contingent of knights that will be close to impossible to get rid of.
Fantasy Flight Games
As if the Harbinger of the approaching end of the world wasn’t enough, the new alternative ending in Talisman: The Harbinger adds more characters you don’t really wish to encounter. When playing with the Armageddon Crown ending, the corners of the game board will be taken over by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and you have to defeat them all before moving on into the inner region to grab the Crown of Command. But they are not all that stands in your way, in the inner region awaits the Beast, a foe that will be next to impossible to overcome. Also in this preview, you meet the new characters for this expansion.
Mafia or Werewolves style hidden identity games have been around for a while. You know them, the games where players are split into two factions, each night the werewolves (or gangsters) kill a civilian, each day the civilians kill someone they suspect of being a werewolf. Or a gangster – we should combine that and use werewolf gangsters. Anyway, Fantasy Flight announced an English edition of Mafia: Vendetta today, a Mafia game created in Russian by Hobby World and based on a design by Dimitry Davidoff. It pretty much followers the standard rules for a Mafia game, but has some interesting special characters and, if it follows Davidoff’s design in that, introduces action cards for special effects.
I’m still sad that Terraforming Mars is delayed until next year, but there is something new coming from FryxGames, and it looks like an expansion to their 2014 release Fleets – The Pleiad Conflict.
Werewolves and vampires have been at each others’ throats for much longer than I thought, at least if I believe the story of Blood of Rome. This new project under development by Game-o-Gami sets the supernatural conflict in ancient Rome and throws Witches, Gargoyles and Slayers into the mix, too. They fight for control over Rome by taking over various locations through their agents, cards specific to their faction with different special abilities. But all those creatures operate in secret, and that will be no different in Blood of Rome: what faction each player works is a well-guarded secret, players can use agents from all the factions to hide their own identity. Blood of Rome is still in early development and expected to show up on Kickstarter some time in 2016.
Dr. Finn’s Games
Steve Finn, designer of Biblios, is on Kickstarter with a new game project. The title, Foragers, tells you what to expect: the players are members of a prehistoric tribe, foraging for food and tools. Occasionally getting into scraps over leadership, too. You control your forager through action cards. Players simultaneously pick their card, but each card is not only one action to take, cards in Foragers have five actions on them with an associated strength, each round players take turns until everyone took four actions: if your card has five points of walking, you can use it to move five steps as one action, then use your next action to find tools, hunt for food and so on. The different values for each action on the card you pick make planning a bit tricky, it’s never clear which card will be better for you, especially since you compete with the other players for scarce resources. Another thing you compete for are common actions from a shared action cards, because each of these can only be picked once per round. Finn himself says this game is longer and heavier than his other designs, but still easy to get into.
Alderac Entertainment and David Mortimer have picked an unusual theme for a game designated age 14 and up: building a flock of birds. But for a cute, little game about colorful birds, Flock will pack a lot of strategy. To grow your flock, you have to allocate your birds to six different action cards, most of which let you trade some resources – birds, worms and nests – for some other resources. More birds let you activate more actions and score points from them by having the most birds on the card, but larger flocks require a high upkeep in worms and nests every round, so you’ll have trouble keeping a big flock alive. It’s a game about colorful, little birdies, but it doesn’t look like a kid’s game.
Czech Games Edition
Vlaada Chvátil is a versatile game designer, there are few genres of boardgames he hasn’t had his hand in. Until recently, the list of things he hasn’t created included word games, at least I can’t think of any. But with Codenames, that changed. Two teams of players try to contact their side’s agents, which they only know by codename. Two spymasters give hints which agents work for which team, but the single word hints they give, ideally, only tell their own team who to contact. And there’s an assassin between the agents that everyone wants to avoid. You can preorder Codenames from Czech Games Edition, it will first be available at GenCon.