Renegade Game Studios
Let me make one thing clear: when I’m playing, there is no such thing as a cooperative dexterity game. When it comes to dexterity, I’m at my most dangerous when I’m trying to help you. So maybe I won’t be a big help when playing Kane Klenko’s Flip Ships, coming this summer from Renegade Game Studios, but I’m still interested. Players in Flip Ships are pilots defending Earth against an alien invasion – by flipping their ship onto incoming alien fighters and their mother ship.
Powerboats by Dutch publisher Cwali is a pretty fun racing game – if you can find it. If you can’t, which is much more likely now, then the Kickstarter for Powerships is your chance, because it uses similar mechanics for a race IN SPACE! Sorry, I get like that when talking about space. What are those similar mechanics? Players control the speed of their vessel with a number of three-sided dice, and per turn they may only add or take away one dice to accelerate or slow down. If you slow down too late and can’t travel your full roll in a straight line, you bump into a planet and take damage – which is obviously not good. Powerships has special spaces that rotate your ship or give you double speed from the get-go, a feature that Powerboats only added with an expansion and players overwhelmingly agreed made the game more tense. So you’d get all the good stuff … and your race would be IN SPACE!
I’m not happy with Kickstarter projects that don’t have a written “How to play” section on the project page. Really not happy. But not so unhappy that I would ignore Cytosis, a worker placement game set entirely inside a Human cell. And because publisher Genius Games specializes in science games, your workers will use actual cell organelles to produce things like mRNA and ATP to ultimately score points for producing hormones or enzymes. Me being a science geek as well as a game one, this sounds very exciting. And for added tension the Kickstarter project includes the Virus expansion where you must produce the antibodies against different virus strains if you don’t want to lose the game in a whole new way.
The heroic agents of T.I.M.E. Stories have just returned from the polar cold of Expedition: Endurance, they deserve a nice vacation somewhere warm. How does 15th century Spain sound? Oh, there is one small thing to be done while they’re there anyway. Nothing big, just recovering a mysterious rock. That enemy agents might also be after. With possible supernatural support. And don’t get caught doing anything that might look heretic. Your vessels are religious people at a secret meeting of military Christian orders, doing things that look like witchcraft might put a quick end to mission Lumen Fidei.
In Artipia Games’s The Pursuit of Happiness you play out a life all the way from birth, taking on projects, getting an education, working jobs and raising a family. It’s a bit like The Game of Life, only it’s a cool worker placement game instead of an annoying roll-and-move, and it’s a bit like The Sims as a board game. And like in The Sims, there are many ways to expand the game. The first official expansion called Community is now on Kickstarter. On the new community board you will interact with your local community, participate in community projects and do your best to become popular. There’ll also be new options for everything from the base game (jobs, projects, items, …) and components for a fifth player.
With their first announcement for a 2018 release Portal Games will go from boardgames that tell stories to boardgames that break the fourth wall. Detectice: A Modern Crime Boardgame is going to be a cooperative detective game that comes in a box, but it will take you far outside the box to solve the five cases. Specifically, they use the World Wide Web to get information. Some will come from sites created for the game, but the idea is that other online resources like Wikipedia should be used to solve the cases. The example from the press release is checking the history of WW2 to verify a witness statement. I imagine finding the right balance will be tough. Breaking a case because you figured out a witness was lying sounds very satisfying. Verifying every single statement on Wikipedia sounds more tedious than fun. But I trust Portal Games to get it right, they have yet to make a game I didn’t enjoy.
Come for the unique look, hopefully stay for the game. We don’t know much yet about how to play Unearth by Brotherwise Games, only that it’s going to be a dice placement game with two ways to score that players will have to balance. What we do know is that the game about unearthing the ruined cities of the distant past has a unique and charming visual style that makes me want to try the game before I know anything about it.
Apparently Mad King Ludwig got bored of castles. Probably they were to small, because the King’s solution is to upgrade: This year you’ll build The Palace of Mad King Ludwig. This new game by Ted Alspach and Bézier Games obviously has similarities with The Castles of Mad King Ludwig beyond the name. You’ll still be building a pompous place to live for the king by placing and connecting rooms. But this is not the same all over again, it’s a new game with enough changes to keep everyone happy. The auction for rooms is gone, they all end up in the same, shared palace, anyway. There is an impressive end game timer with the moat that slowly closes around the palace and stops the game when its ends meet. And resource management will become more interesting with swan tokens that act as currency, points and can be used to unlock mysterious abilities. I wonder what King Ludwig will get up to next. What’s bigger than a palace?
Renegade Game Studios
What new ideas can spice up a deck-building game? Double-sided cards where you choose which side you play sound like an interesting twist. What makes it even better is that this coming game from Renegade Game Studios adapts the wonderful Scott Pilgrim comics and the two sides of the cards either let you work hard too improve your life or let you go wild with video game violence and giant hammers. So fall in love, rent your first apartment and get your indie band on stage, or deliver a crazy combo attack beatdown in Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game by Keith Baker.
I’m a self-confessed fan of 1950s pulp sci-fi stories. Not all the time, but often enough. So The Island of Doctor Necreaux is right up my ally: Heroic agents infiltrate the island of a mad scientist, avoid his traps, rescue a kidnapped researcher and escape. Time is of the essence, the agents have every reason to race to their objective. But speed is a core concept in this game, the faster you go the higher the risk to stumble into the Doctor’s traps. Maybe your agent’s special powers can help you, though. It bears mentioning that many dice will be rolled on your way off the island, but in a pulp game I find that very appropriate.
Plaid Hat Games
A new social deduction game played on a three minute timer? Don’t mind if I do, Crossfire by Plaid Hat Games sounds like it has something to add to the genre. It’s set in the dystopian universe of Specter Ops and the players will either try to protect a VIP or assassinate him. But no one knows who anyone is, you only have three minutes before you have to shoot someone, and some people are just innocent bystanders that eliminate players who shoot them. Beyond this, there’ll be different game modes and a variety of roles to keep the game fresh. I’m looking forward to the future posts going into these details.