In less than two weeks, on May 6th, you can join the space race. Not the new, commercial one. The real deal. Up to four players reach for the moon in Boardcubator’s Space Race, an engine building game coming to Kickstarter. An action selection mechanism where you use each of your action cards exactly once during the game drives Space Race. You want to collect cards with the right abilities for your tableau so you can trigger them again and again with matching actions. You’ll compete with other players for scientific breakthroughs and secret government projects. And you’ll do it with gorgeously illustrated cards showing scenes from the original space race. If you pledge on the Kickstarter in the first 72 hours you get the expansion for free. And if you join the launch event of Facebook you have a chance to win the deluxe bundle, which is a pretty sweet prize indeed.
The first expansion for Funforge’s cooperative family game Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time adds a dash of magic to the game. Two new player characters join the team in Professor Evil and the Architects of Magic: Lloyd Right, Architect of the Impossible, and Morgane Cardini, Agent of Illusion. Beyond new characters we a fresh game mechanism with the Professor’s Possessions. These special treasure tiles give the players a bonus when they rescue them from Professor Evil, but if the professor squirrels them away to his vault they make the ever-ticking clock tick faster. Look out for them!
The third preview for Quined Games’ Terramara reveals the whole game board, and some of the hard decisions you will have to make during the game. The hardest decision will be made on the road, where each player has two carts driving downward. Going slowly and visiting each spot yields the most ways to score victory points, but arriving at crossroads early unlocks special actions. And that’s not all you find in this preview.
La Boîte de Jeu
Are Legacy games too destructive for you? All that ripping cards, writing on the board, and so on. La Boîte de Jeu may have a solution for you with It’s a Wonderful World, a card drafting, empire building game that goes on Kickstarter mid-May. They call It’s a Wonderful World a Heritage Game. The difference to Legacy games is that nothing gets destroyed, you only add to the game. At the end of the branching campaign you earn a pack of cards, the outcome of the story you just played through, that you then use in all future games. The campaign included in the base game is War & Peace and sounds like a fictionalized rendition of the founding of the UN. There will be another campaign available in the Kickstarter and in retail, with one more in the making, and I don’t see why there shouldn’t be more later.
Ravensburger / alea
Spiel des Jahres 2012 Las Vegas is one of the more popular dice games for strategy game fans. For those unfamiliar with the game, it goes like this: you roll a handful of dice, then you pick a number and place all dice showing that number into the corresponding casino. The player with the most dice in a casino at the end of the game will take all the money from there – unless it’s a tie, in which case the money goes to the runner-up. Why bring up a game from 2012? Because it’s back in a new edition. Las Vegas Royale comes in a fancy, black box and with shiny new components, but that’s not the best part. The best part is that it comes with an all new expansion included. With it in play, every casino gets a random special rule to consider for your dice placement. That rule may reward the first player to have five dice in a casino, it may give you an extra chance to gamble every time you place a die there, or it may even let you move dice and close other casinos. That’s a literal gamechanger.
Plaid Hat Games
In the probably not too distant future humanity has disappeared from the face of the Earth. Left behind are all the critters living in and fighting over the ruins of human civilization. Battlelands by Plaid Hat Games is the first look into the world of Aftermath, a coming Adventure Book game by Jerry Hawthorne (Mice & Mystics). Battlelands is a card game where your furry (or scaly, or feathery) hero cards take their equipment cards and fight over location cards left behind by humanity. For more details the rule book is available from Plaid Hat’s announcement page. You absolutely should look at the artwork, too!
Van Ryder Games
A. J. Porfirio’s Hostage Negotiator might be the most tense solitaire boardgame experience ever. As the title suggests, you are a Hostage Negotiator trying to get hostages away from their abductor by talking to him. Build rapport and convince him to release hostages, or maybe delay him until the extraction team can get to him, it’s all up to you. You can imagine it’s a stressful job, and the long term consequences of that stress are in the latest expansion. Hostage Negotiator: Career gives you a campaign of ten years, with one case per year. In that time you will have personal and professional events messing with your ability to do your job, but if you still do good you can climb the career ladder as well. Career ties all existing content for Hostage Negotiator together, but if you’re completely new to the game the Kickstarter has an option to get the whole shebang at once.
Fantasy Flight Games
After many Star Wars games where we play the Rebels or the Imperial forces Outer Rim is going to be a nice change. It lets us join the nasty underbelly of the Star Wars universe and make a living as smugglers, bounty hunters, or worse. This latest preview shows how to move around the galaxy’s outer rim. Let’s face it, movement isn’t the most exciting part of the game. You move up to your ships hyperdrive value through navpoints in space, planets and, if you want to get to Kessel, through the infamous Maelstrom. Wherever you end up you have an encounter fitting for that location. What will definitely cause some excitement are the non-player factions’ patrols. Hutts, Crime Lords, Rebels, and Imperials all have ships on the outer rim. If you encounter one who’s boss isn’t a fan things will get hot quickly.
Cleopatra and the Society of Architects (2006, Days of Wonder) is a fun, not too heavy game by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc. Players collect resources to buy pieces for Cleopatra’s palace and assemble said palace with the opulent 3D game pieces, while not gaining too much corruption from dealing with shady characters. The game has been a bit hard to get the last few years, but with this Kickstarter Mojito Studios will fix that. The components look super fancy, and you can get two new expansions with your pledge: The Cult of Sobek and The Whims of Cleopatra. Extra nice: if you have the old edition of Cleopatra and the Society of Architects then the expansions will be compatible and there’s a pledge level to get just those.
Board & Dice
Go West with Board & Dice. In Sierra West you lead a trek of pioneers across the mountains to California. Apparently you’ll build those mountains with overlapping cards, beyond that the game mechanisms are a mystery for now. What we do know is that the Sierra West will come with four modules to mix into the base game to create different challenges: Apple Hill, Gold Rush, Boats & Banjos, and Outlaws & Outposts. I hope I can share more information soon.
Also coming from Board & Dice is an expansion to Teotihuacan: City of Gods. Late Preclassic Period is an unusual name for a game expansion, but I’m certainly not going to argue against variable player powers, unlockable special abilities, seasonal events and more expansion modules to mix in any way you want.
The beautiful mosaic in this week’s featured photo can be found at the ruins of Xanthos. The Lycian city originally known as Arñna is in today’s Turkey. The photo was taken and kindly shared by Carl Campbell. Thanks a lot, Carl! (Xanthos (Turkey 24 July 1993) 8, Carl Campbell, CC-BY-SA)