Here we are with out first news post of 2017. Happy New Year to you all! Lets hope it will be a good year for everyone.
We already mentioned The Captain is Dead, a coming cooperative game from Alderac. Your very cool spaceship is in trouble, and the Captain’s untimely demise is only the start of that. But whatever happens to the ship, at least you can rest assured that the Medical Officer from the latest character preview will do his keep to keep the crew alive. And looking at his ability, he is very good at it.
Coming this month still from Alderac is Siege, a conflict heavy bluffing and deduction game. Each of the two to six players has an assortment of characters on their side, including assassins, courtiers, knights, kings and more. All those characters form a line of face down cards in front of their owner. They can be send to besiege an opponent, where their strength is compared to the card they end up fighting against to determine a winner, or they can be revealed to use a special ability. Kill an enemy’s king and he’s out of the game. Be the last man standing and you become the king of everything. Siege is a light game, but the bluffing and guessing is fun with the right people.
Devil Pig Games
You thought that four fantasy armies fighting over an insignificant hill was carnage – sorry, Kharnage – already? Then what about adding a fifth army? With Dark Rampage, the first Kharnage army pack, that is entirely possible, and the new army in question consists of the undead. Fighting the undead has the typical disadvantage of doing so: any unit you lose might get up and fight for the other team next round. The undead have a special reinforcement symbol that lets them take cards from the defeated pile instead of using their own troops. That will make fighting against them challenging, because you never know what they put on the battlefield next.
Escape Rooms are the big thing in geeky entertainment at the moment. If you don’t know the concept yet: you and your friends pay to be locked in a room where you toss the furniture in search for clues you need to puzzle out the code for number locks that let you access more furniture to toss, and you try to finish before the time, typically an hour, is up. Trust me, it’s a blast. There are some games and game series already that translate this concept to a boardgame, and with the Unlock! series Space Cowboys add their own. In the Unlock! games you have a deck of cards with locations, objects and puzzles to go through in an hour. Space Cowboys have some experience in that format, the escape room card deck is somewhat similar to their T.I.M.E. Stories. But in place of the time travel aspect, the Unlock! games have a sixty minute real time limit, enforced by a companion smartphone app that also validates the codes you puzzle out. The three initial packs The Formula, Squeek & Sausage, and The Island of Doctor Goorse all sound like a lot of fun. The downside they share is that you’ll have very little incentive to play the same set again. The preview invites you to play again and improve your score, but that’s really just memorizing the path, then.
Expedition: Endurance, the new scenario for T.I.M.E. Stories, is coming. We all knew it would be a tough challenge for the brave time agents to slip into host bodies trapped on a doomed polar expedition, but until the latest preview we didn’t appreciate just how tough. Hunger and cold are not the only dangers on the Endurance, something worse is also going around. I’m not talking about Carpenter’s The Thing, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an appearance, but about the consequences of the extreme stress. The hosts are already suffering from irrational behaviors like paranoia and agoraphobia. The agents will have to overcome those, on top of everything else, and still manage to close a time rift. Good luck, you’ll need it.
HUCH! & friends
HUCH! & friends will release a new game in Kris Burm’s GIPF Project, a series of excellent, abstract games. LYNGK will make players push pieces in six colors across the board and create towers of five different colors. Owner of a tower is the owner of the top piece. Things are rarely that easy, though. At the start of the game, all colors are neutral, the two players only pick two colors each during the game. Not knowing if you get the color you want will make strategy a bit difficult, I’d guess.
Haspelknecht is Thomas Spitzer’s game about early coal mining, depicting the time when people just started to dig the stuff up from the ground. But we all know that’s not the end of the coal story, and there is one place where it continues: the Ruhr Valley, for a while one of the largest coal mining regions in the world. Haspelknecht: The Ruhr Valley will expand the base game with two expansion modules offering additional challenges as well as twenty new development tiles to incorporate in your game. Haspelknecht offers a lot of replayability already, this expansion should get you many more games out of it.
At first glance, Sector 6 sounds like it should be a violent game: in a space prison, inmates have to enter a contest for oxygen because there just isn’t enough for everyone. Sounds like prison riots, or maybe gladiator combat, right? Wrong, actually, killing other inmates is not what you do in Sector 6. The contest is to navigate a maze of corridors and collect the oxygen supplies hidden inside. The maze, build from hexagonal tiles, is not a static thing you run through. As part of your move you can rotate tiles, changing the layout as you play. A couple of different game modes let you adapt the game to your liking and, for instance, play a simpler game with children or a cooperative version of the game. You can currently back the game on Kickstarter or Giocchistarter. It reminds me a bit of The aMAZEing Labyrinth, in the best possible way. In Sector 6 you rotate tiles instead of shifting them, but moving through a maze that you change as you go always was a great idea.
It’s time for a little boardgame vacation with the new Dirk Henn game, published by Queen Games. Your goal in High Tide is to set up your deck chairs at busy beaches and get as close to the water as you can, but without getting your feet wet. On each beach, the player closest to the water scores points, but the waves get closer each round, and as soon as the first player is washed away the game ends. High Tide is a quick press-your-luck game for up to six players, and I do rather like the theme.
Gale Force Nine
We haven’t given this game nearly enough attention: Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks by Gale Force Nine. I guess I don’t have to explain Doctor Who here, if you don’t know about the Doctor yet then you probably don’t want to know. In this game, the players are different incarnations of the virtually immortal time traveler. The various Doctors must work together because their – or is that his? – most persistent enemies, the Daleks, have decided to finally erase him from the timeline. The How To Play section on the Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks website is still sparse with details, but we can already learn some things about companions, differences between the Doctor’s incarnations and the not always reliable time travel with the TARDIS. I’m usually skeptical of games on a TV or movie license, but this one has me excited.