Awaken Realms / Rebel
You wake up from hyper sleep. Your head is spinning. Your stomach is revolting. The body in the pod next to yours looks like it exploded. Alarms are blaring. Something is moving in the wall. And things are only going to get worse. When it comes to sci-fi survival horror Nemesis really has everything you could ask for. Your enemies are stealthy, fast, and deadly – and the longer the game goes the more powerful they become. Depending on the game mode, they may not be your only enemies, either. There is a fully cooperative mode, but there is a semi-cooperative mode as well where all players want to survive but they each have their own, secret agenda as well. Pair all this with beautiful components and amazingly detailed miniatures and you know why the Kickstarter went to more than €700.000 on the first day.
It’s tiny! It’s epic! It’s under attack from the undead! Scott Almes’s Tiny Epic series of games keeps going, and I have yet to find a dud in it. Maybe there’ll be one at some point, but it’s not going to be Tiny Epic Zombies. It sounds accessible but by no means trivial, just like the other games in the series, and it has zombies. What’s not to like? The player characters are holed up in a mall – always the most popular place to hide in a zombie apocalypse scenario – and have to complete three objectives before they are completely overrun. There are different game modes to do that: competitively or cooperatively, both either with a player controlling the zombies or the game mechanics. Plus a solo mode, makes it five. Besides the many ways to have fun, Tiny Epic Zombies also has the ITEMeeples first introduced in Tiny Epic Quest: meeples that can hold stuff in their hand. I just hope those madmen don’t give them opposable thumbs next, or we’re all screwed.
In their latest newsletter Horrible Games have anounced a veritable deluge of games in various states of completion. Let’s have a quick look.
The first to be available will be Railroad Ink by Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva, a multiplayer puzzle game where each player has their own erasable board to draw rails on. All players use the same pieces pf roads and rails, determined by the dice, to make connections on their board. Whoever made the most completed connections between cities wins. Two version of the game will include different extra dice that, if used, confront you with problems ranging from lakes to meteor strikes.
Later this year there’ll be The King’s Dilemma by the same two designers. This one has an interesting new, concept that combines deck-building with a branching storyline. The players represent various factions on the king’s council. They draw cards from a shared deck that will confront them with a new problem the kingdom faces. How a problem is to be solved they have to bargain and negotiate among themselves. Their solutions may remove cards from the deck, or add new cards to it, and thus affect the future of the realm. But there’s always the dilemma: what is good for the realm might not be good for your faction. How much war and famine are you willing to risk for power?
Still from the same designer duo, and still coming this year, is Omega Jump (working title). Platform games are hard to transfer from video game to boardgame, but the Omega Jump idea sounds fun. Players all roll their dice at the same time to get the action symbols they need to advance through the level: move, jump, punch, and who knows what else you’ll need to do. The first player to stop rolling is also the first to move, so they’ll have the best chances to collect coins and extra lives. It should be obvious what the extra lives are good for. The coins buy you upgrades to improve your chances.
With no indication when it might be released yet we have Unicorn Fever (working title) by Lorenzo Silva and Lorenzo Tucci Sorrentino. It’s a successor to their Horse Fever, so the unicorns will be racing while you bet on them. And there’s still no good reason to stay honest about it, either!
And finally there’s Vampires (also a working title) by Bruno Faidutti and Charlie Cleveland. The vampires in this game are the players. They have three ages to gain more influence than their competitors by enslaving powerful humans. The game replicates how the vampires grow in power through their action cards: they have all the cards from the previous age, plus some new ones. So you know your opponents’ older tricks, but they always have a few new ones.
Phew, that was quite a list. Now, when can I have these?
Next Move Games
From Emmerson Matsuuchi, designer of the Century trilogy, comes Reef. Nothing much to say about this game yet, the players build the reef, deciding in what shape and color to grow it. The more beautiful the reef the more points they’ll score.
The gorgeous banner image this week was taken by Chris Parfitt at the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient thermal spa, bath and temple in Turkey. Thanks for sharing this photo, Chris! (Hierapolis, Chris Parfitt, CC-BY, resized and cropped)