Virus, the newest project by giochix.it and currently funding on Kickstarter and giochistarter, is going to be a new zombie game where the players have to infiltrate a laboratory infested with all sorts of unfriendly things, find a vaccine and get out. Nothing new there, but Virus brings together a number of mechanics that haven’t been used in one game before, but that promise an intense experience. First of all, the players’ action phase happens in real time, so everyone moves, sets up zombie traps and explores new rooms at the same time. Adding new rooms, unlike other games in this style, is not done randomly; players pick the rooms they want to add to the labs and try to balance their effects. In the second phase, the so-called slow time phase, players control the monsters hunting them. They have to obey movement rules, but they get to make strategic choices here, too. There is also a deduction element with clues where the vaccine is hidden. You also need some luck in the game, but it’s not by rolling dice but by tossing tokens on a board, gaining the effects of all tokens that land in boxes. Finally, different game modes range from fully cooperative to fully competitive, including one mode with a traitor. I’ve seen much less content from more expensive projects.
Did you have enough of Pandemic? Are you getting sick of curing people? Do you yearn to work for the other team and infect people? Maybe you’ve even dabbled with Plague Inc, the mobile game of spreading your disease around the world? Well, that’s exactly what you can do on your gaming table now, Ndemic Creations are kickstarting Plague Inc: The Board Game. Just like in the mobile game, you take control of a disease and evolve it into the next Black Death – but now you do it against other players with their own diseases. Everyone competes to wipe out the most countries, and dominating a country is how you collect DNA points and evolve your disease. So you might say Plague Inc. is a *puts sunglasses* sick majority game.
Fantasy Flight Games
As expected, the Rebels are not the only ones getting upgrades in Imperial Assault: The Bespin Gambit. The Imperial player has new options of his own. New mercenaries for him to hire, as useful as those Tinkers may be, are only the start of it. The new Black Ops class gives all units the Imperial player controls some spy training and allows him, for instance, to make his troops Hidden and thus harder to hit and more dangerous. Special fun should come from the new Enhanced Interrogation agenda that can use the rebels against each other with dirty tricks like making one rebel character suffer the same strain an adjacent rebel suffers, even if that means taking damage for him. Damn, it’s good to be bad.
The heroes of Descent have already traveled into the deadly Mistlands in Descent: Mists of Bilehall, but the mists are not done with them yet. In the new expansion The Chains that Rust they must return to the mists, either to continue their previous adventures or as a new, one act campaign. This expansion’s focus lies on the Overlord with new monsters and a new Overlord class that can make use of his minions’ souls even after they die. But there is a major new element for the heroes as well: hybrid classes. By leveling into a hybrid class a hero gains access to a second class deck plus some cards unique to their hybrid class. For instance, a Scout class can turn into a Monk and gain access to healing skills. Hybrid classing will let the heroes spring some surprises if the Overlord builds his deck only to counter their skills.
Mindclash Games have proven their ability to create amazing worker placement games with Trickerion, a game of stage magic and illusions. So I’m obviously interested in Anachrony, their new Kickstarter project. Also a worker placement game, Anachrony has some very ambitious features. Four factions, called the Paths, all want to control the fate of humanity, and to really mess things up they all have access to time travel. One consequence of that is that you can go and borrow resources from your own future. There will be no slow starts here, if you need something you send it back from the future – but make sure to send it back later on, or you might cause a time paradox, and that won’t work out well for you. And you have access to more high tech, too. While you can safely place workers in your own area of the board, they need exosuits to operate outside of it, so there are two things for you to keep track of. And then, in the middle of the game, a meteor impact just changes everything. Like I said, Anachrony is a an ambitious concept, but these guys are definitely able to do it.
NSKN Games are ready to take you back to their fantasy setting of Mistfall with their new Kickstarter project Mistfall: Heart of the Mists. It’s not an expansion to Mistfall but a new standalone game with new heroes, new monsters and everything you need for your legendary adventures, but you can combine it with the original game for an even bigger experience.
Plaid Hat Games
Being one of few survivors of the zombie apocalypse should be an emotionally scaring experience. It certainly is in Plaid Hat’s Dead of Winter: The Long Night that adds Despair as a new type of wound survivors can end up with. Despair counts as a wound for the purpose of a character’s death, but it can’t be cured like a regular wound. To get rid of Despair you either need the Pharmacist, one of the new characters in The Long Night, and his stash of anti-anxiety meds, or a self help book from the library. Really, this one work. A second, unwelcome addition to the game are the unruly helpless survivors. They contribute nothing to your colony, just like other helpless survivors, but when they get agitated they start eating all your food and make enough noise to attract more zombies. Do we really have to protect those guys?
The first game in Lookout Games’s 2016 release announcements is the family game Costa Rica. The players participate in a zoological expedition to the tropical island and do research on six species of animals, spread across the three kinds of landscape. One player leads the expedition and controls its movement, but all players collect their own specimen and may return to the base camp when they choose. Picking the right time to return seems to be the key to the game, because expeditions can be dangerous and not everyone returns in the end. Costa Rica sounds like it mixes set collection with a push-your-luck mechanic, a good combination for a family game.