Did you have enough escape room puzzles for your living room table? I know we didn’t. The new pack of three Unlock! adventures comes at the perfect time. In Unlock! Secret Adventures we’ll go up against Doctor Noside again, we’ll ride the Tombstone Express and we’ll walk down the yellow brick road of Oz. Oh, the places we’ll go.
The first game eggertspiele presents with their shiny new logo (see photo) will be one of those heavy euro gems we all love them for. Coimbra by Flaminia Brasini and Virginio Gigli (Lorenzo Il Magnifico,…) takes us to Portugal during the Age of Discovery. As head of a house in the city that gives the game its name we want to earn prestige by funding expeditions and sponsoring the nearby monasteries, among other things. Doing that puts us in the fickle hands of the dice once more: Coimbra is a dice drafting game where each dice you take will dictate a number of things for your turn. You can look forward to many of those decisions where everything you do is good for some things and bad for others, but you still have to decide.
It’s time to drive the Great Western Trail further north. The expansion Rails to the North is coming, and the new railway system stretches all the way to New York. Doing business in these new cities will be harder than ever before and you’d do well to establish branch offices along the rails to keep you competitve. There’ll also be new buildings, new station masters and an expanded player board. Great Western Trail was already a deep game, but Rails to the North will push it even further.
Fantasy Flight Games
In an Eldritch Horror expansion names Masks of Nyarlathotep it’s easy to forget that there’ll be two new Great Old Ones for us to face. The one not featured in the title is the Antediluvium, a cult opening portals to the cyclopean, pre-human cities at the height of their power. We probably don’t want ot know what they plan to bring back. But when they open the portals to the past is our chance to step through and explore Mystic Ruins. Completely new terror awaits! (On a personal note: is it a sign of approaching madness that I can now spell Nyarlathotep without looking it up? I don’t feel good about that…)
We talked about Portal Games’s 2018 releases before, but there is some new information beyond that.
We didn’t start the Fire will not be the only Imperial Settlers expansion of the year. We’ll also get a new faction deck: The Amazons. The Amazons big special thing will be the ability to change their deck during the game. Unlike all other factions they won’t be locked into the cards they start with. That’s going to be interesting.
And then there’s the expansion for Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. We previously thought it would be titled The Lost City of Z, but as it turns out that’s only the name of the new, epic campaign. The expansion’s title is Mystery Tales, and the epic campaign is not all you get in the box. You’ll also get ten(!) new characters, a new Event deck, new Adventure cards, new Beast cards, new Mystery cards and a new Sanity mechanism. All of that will be fully compatible with previous scenarios. Yes, even the Sanity mechanism. Family Robinson will be so much more fun when daddy starts going crazy.
What does it mean to own a card in a game where you build a shared deck? The newest Edge of Darkness preview explains. When another player plays a card your guild owns that card doesn’t go to the common discard pile but to your guildhall. When the time comes to fill up your hand you draw from your guildhall first, only then do you take the rest from the shared drafting area. Effectively, you’ll have cards your guild owns in hand more often. And immediately I’m wondering if I can abuse that mechanism to clog someone’s hand with weak cards they claimed and keep them away from good cards to draft. That’ll be fun to try out!
White Goblin Games
Doesn’t matter how long some games have been around, they’re still fun and new expansions still make them better. Rattus: Spoils of War is a mini expansion with four new characters for Rattus. One of them needs Rattus Africanus to use, the other three are compatible with the base game.
Burnt Island Game
Another beloved classic boardgame is coming back through Kickstarter. Endeavor, first released in 2009, is set in the age of European expansion around the globe often called the Age of Sail. That’s the title of the new edition as well: Endeavor: Age of Sail. Everything from the first edition is still there, so you’ll slowly build your own global empire, explore the world, build profitable trade routes, just like you’ve always done. Or like you always wanted to, if like me you didn’t have the chance to play. Endeavor: Age of Sail does come with a few upgrades, too. The game board is now double-sided and optimized for different numbers of players on both sides. Rules and artwork have received some polish. And there’s an all new game options with Exploits, special rulesets unlocked by opening up the two regions associated with them. Finally I can try this game, too!
I really wish the Kickstarter page for Grand Fair revealed a bit more about the actual new game features. Alas, even the rulebook for Artipia Games’s Fields of Green expansion is coming soon. So here’s what we do know. Players will be able to visit the Agricultural Grand Fair and interact with all its attractions. Those will include an Agricultural Market and a Tractor Race. The expansion will also bring new cards of all kinds and components for a fifth player.
One game with two expansions is pretty common. One expansion for two games less so. But Age of Giants will work with Kingdomino or Queendomino and, presumably, both of them together. So what does this expansion bring? Most prominently, giants. They’ll move around people’s kingdoms (or queendoms) and crush buildings. Apparently players will be able to control their movement in some way and bring chaos to other kingdoms. Also new are challenge tiles with objectives for extra victory points. Sounds like two good options. They’ll mix up the game but not take away its beautiful simplicity.
When the game showed up on my Kickstarter I knew it was in trouble. It was one of those games with a rulebook so thin you could slide it under any door and a game play that goes on for half an hour. One of those games you don’t even need friends to play, although you can take one along if you like. My fingers started itching as soon as I saw the illustrations from original 1930s pulp magazines. I knew that Pulp Detective would break my heart over and over again every time I didn’t manage to solve the case before my time ran out. And I knew that, like a dog that’s been kicked but doesn’t have anywhere else to go, I’d keep coming back to it. Damn you, Todd Sanders, why must you do this to me?
This week’s banner photo doesn’t exactly show the historic center of Berat or Gjirokastra, but the light in this shot of Berat, Albania was too good to pass up. It was taken by Flickr user SarahTz. Thank you for sharing, Sarah! (Berat, Albania, SarahTz, CC-BY, resized and cropped)