I appreciate when GMT Games makes non-wargames. I enjoyed all games by them I tried, but the whole war thing isn’t for me. One coming game in my area of interest is Welcome to Centerville by Chad Jensen (Dominant Species). The game board has multiple areas where you develop your position: you may take political office, develop the greenbelt, further your education and develop building projects in the town proper. In everything you do, you have to split your attention between two separate scoring tracks, Wealth and Prestige, because only the lower will count as your final score. Welcome to Centerville is a dice-driven game and supposed to play in 15-20 minutes per player. Quite a lightweight compared to other GMT games.
Politics are evil, doesn’t matter if it’s in the real world or in a fantasy realm. But the latter at least makes all the corruption appear far away, so Corrupted Kingdoms is comforting, in a way. In Artana’s latest Kickstarter project the players are corporate lobbyists trying to get laws in their favor passed in the kingdoms of gnomes, elves and the like. They craft bills in favor of their special interests, and if they can convince the Council – which is, of course, paid well by them and the other players – to pass it they score extravagantly evil prices like panda fur coats. Negotiation, threats and bribery are your tools in Corrupted Kingdoms.
Historical Games Factory
Last week Polish publisher Historical Games Factory announced Saints and Sinners, a new game by Adam Kwapínski about good, evil and monarchy. Two players representing Good and Evil, fight over the souls of Polish monarchs. Playing their Deadly Sins / Heavenly virtue cards on the monarchs they try to pull them to their side, and depending what side they are on they have different special abilities. The game sounds lighter than other HGF games we know, but with art inspired by Polish painter Jan Matejko the components will be sure to stand out.
Hush Hush Projects
There are some themes that come up again and again in games, mostly those with inherent conflict. Other themes don’t come up as often. It seems harder to make a game about romance, for example. But that’s exactly what Hush Hush Projects are doing with their Kickstarter project Fog of Love: it’s a romantic comedy narrative game. Two players have to bring their characters to a happy ending together by balancing their needs in a way that satisfies them both – or maybe not, because it is possible for only one player to win, matching movie plots where one character decided their other goals are too important to be sacrificed for the relationship. But being a narrative game, Fog of Love is less about winning or losing and more about creating a satisfying story, and more than 100 story cards will give you a good number of those.
Small Box Games
It’s a good week for two player games, Small Box Games have just launched another one on Kickstarter. In John Clowdus’s Neolithic each player controls a small stone age village that just starting out on its way to civilization. They send out their villager cards to complete tasks and advance the village in some way, be it by gathering resources, domesticating animals or coming up with cultural advances. On a later turn they’ll call all their villagers back and will be able to play some of those cards. All cards have two uses, only one of which can be chosen in any game. They provide icons to your village that, in turn, may be needed to play other cards. Typical for a Small Box Games games, Neolithic is a quick game with only a few rules, but very tactical.
The old jarl is looking for a successor, and In the Name of Odin, that successor is going to be you. In NSKN Games’s latest Kickstarter project, the players compete to succeed the jarl by recruiting viking warriors and heroes, sending them out on raids in longboats you build and by building your village to be the best in Scandinavia. You do all that with action cards where you have to pay the card you want to play with other cards showing the right symbols, so you’ll always have to decide which cards to play and which to pay. The symbols used to pay can also show up on buildings in your village, so building those to match your overall strategy seems to be important as well. In the Name of Odin makes you pick between a lot of options on your way to victory, and picking them better than your competitors will not be so easy.
In Oceanos, a new Antoine Bauza game published by Iello, players take their submarines deep under the sea searching for treasures and rare marine animals. Upgrading your submarine will increase your speed and maximum depth so you find more animals and score more exploration points. We don’t know more than that yet, except that with a play time of 20 minutes and recommended for ages 8 and up Oceanos will be a family game.
This week’s photo was taken by Liam Quinn at Freshwater Lake in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica. Makes me want to go there. Liam kindly shared this photo with a CC-BY-SA license. Thank you, Liam!