Robbing a moving train on horseback, is there any way that couldn’t be fun? Well, maybe there is, but Cryptozoic’s coming game Train Heist sounds like it will be a whole lot of fun. Either in a team with your friends or competing with them for the best loot you ride up to the train, move inside and on top of the train to grab everything you can and then get out before the Sheriff shows up to catch you. And then you go back and do it again, but with a growing reputation, a higher bounty on your head and new special abilities that will hopefully save you from the gallows. All this is controlled by a special three suit Poker deck from which you must build the best hand you can to have the most action points. Train Heist is not an entirely new game, it was previously on Kickstarter from Tower Guard Games, but the Cryptozoic release should make it more widely available.
Usually, when you get any sort of insect people in a game you can be pretty sure they’re the bad guys. Godforsaken Scavengers by Drawblack Games breaks with that tradition and makes insectoid warriors the heroes in game of survival where everything else is much bigger and much more horrible than they are. Our insect heroes have to scavenge for food and useful things in order to survive the different scenarios. Depending on your preference, scenarios can be cooperative or competitive, or you can try yourself against the solo scenario. For all scenarios, the core mechanic stays the same, a push-your-luck card draw where you not only decide how far you push but also how much risk you’re willing to take for better rewards. Either way, you shouldn’t expect everyone to make it through alive. And to go with that cheerful idea, Godforsaken Scavengers also has a bright and happy illustration style. Jokes aside, the art really is gorgeously sinister.
We’ve been following the Evolution line of games by Rightgames ever since we tried Evolution: The Origin of Species. Evolving your own species of animals to eat each other was fun with the base game, and the expansions upgraded it with more options. But one thing has always stayed the same: if you couldn’t eat the other players’ animals then your food supply was randomly dealt out by the die. It could be frustrating at times. Well, no more. The newest expansion Evolution: Plantarum lets you grow your own food. Just like you do with your animal species, Plantarum lets you evolve plants with a variety of traits and different ways to add food tokens to your ecosystem. I always liked Evolution, but replacing the die with something you can control could make it so much better still.
Fantasy Flight Games
Fantasy Flight’s Lovecraftian horror dice rolling game Elder Sign takes you out of the city of Arkham once more. After the last expedition took us to the eternal snow of the North, coming expansion Omens of the Deep goes out on the ocean. Everything you do in this expansion will happen on or around your ship, the Ultimate Thule. New card decks for traveling the oceans might let you discover mysterious islands along your course, but they might also bring your ship under attack by the Deep Ones. Beyond that, all Lovecraft fans will already know what lies under the sea: R’lyeh, where Cthulhu fhtagns until the stars are right once more. Yes, you will be able to explore his city. I’m not so sure if you’re supposed to be happy about that.
When we enter the Dreamlands in the Eldritch Horror expansion of that name, new locations to visit are not everything you add to you your game. As always, new Great Old Ones and new Investigators are also in the box. The new Investigators presented in the latest preview post showcase two common mechanics of this new expansion. Tasks and Talents, two new kinds of cards, have one thing in common: they give the players a decision. Tasks are assets that you decide to complete at some point, earning a reward. The idea seems to be that holding on to them for longer improves the reward, but of course it won’t do you any good if you die first. Talents are like Conditions, cards you flip to find unpleasantness on their backside. But unlike regular Conditions, which are triggered by an external condition, the player chooses to trigger Talents for the benefit they bring, but not knowing what will happen when the card is flipped. That’s nicely thematic, being pushed into using the Talents but having to deal with the consequences. And more decisions for the players to make are never bad.
Fox hunt games have been around since at least the 1400s. The term describes asymmetric games where one player controlling one piece, the Fox, must escape another player controlling multiple pieces, the Hounds, that must surround the Fox. Clint Bohaty and Atlas Games have created a modern take on the concept with Hounded. The Fox still has to escape the Hounds, but instead of a static game board Hounded uses tiles as a variable board. Flipping those tiles to reveal special actions on the back is part of the game, but strategy is more important than the luck of flipping the right tile. On top of sounding like a fun strategy game without too many rules, Hounded looks great. I love the fox and hound pieces.
The photo of the week was taken by Arian Zwegers in Istanbul, Turkey. It shows the Blue Mosque (officially: Sultan Ahmed Mosque) which is part of the Historic Areas of Istanbul World Heritage Site. Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo, Arian! (Photo license: CC-BY)