I can’t find a rulebook for any of the Coded Chronicles games yet, The Op’s series of escape rooms in a box, so I can’t say anything about their game mechanisms. What I can say is that a The Shining escape room, in a box or not, appeals to something deep inside me. Despite my misgivings against games based on movie licenses – admittedly recently assuaged by some really good such games – and despite being pretty much saturated with escape room style games, Escape from the Overlook Hotel has me excited.
Somewhere between bluff and strategy lies Bristol 1350, a macabre racing game to escape from the Black Death. When the plague breaks out in Bristol, three carts full of people try to escape the city. The first cart to do so wins the game, but only if none of its occupants are infected. This is where the racing game gets interesting. Every player has symptom cards, and during the game they may have to draw more or shuffle them up with other players and redistribute them. If your cards ever add up to six or more, you’re infected, and remain so even if you lose the cards again. Your new goal is then to make everybody else lose the game as well, either by infecting them or by crossing the city limits in their cards – which works better if they don’t suspect that you’re infected. That kind of good-natured malice that works best in shorter games, and with a game time of twenty to forty minutes Bristol 1350 has just the right length for it.
Button Shy Games
Button Shy’s Wallet Games series regularly demonstrates with how few components a game can still be interesting: just a few cards, they literally fit in your wallet. The new sub-series Simply Solo goes even further, you don’t even need another player. The first game in this series is Food Chain Island, designed by the prolific Scott Almes. For some reason, best not to think about it, your goal is to have all the animals on the island eaten, safe one. To do that you move animal cards on a grid. An animal may eat another if that animal’s value is one to three points lower. That triggers the eating animal’s special effect, which may be beneficial or not. A nice little puzzle game for when you have a few minutes to spare, and easy to carry around for just that case.
Matagot’s popular strategy game Kemet gets a new edition, and being an Egyptian god set on conquest might just be more fun than ever before. Kemet: Blood and Sand is still very much Kemet, but the rules have been streamlined a little and some new features added as well. Below the changes it’s still the same action selection game of gods using their powers and summoned monsters to control all of Egypt – which is all we want from Kemet. The new illustrations and components are pretty sweet, too!
Can’t get enough of creepy monsters sneaking after you and the feeling that your friends might be in league with them? Wait, that came out wrong. Do you want more claustrophobia and paranoia with a high risk of death? Um… whatever, I’m trying to tell you that the standalone sequel to sci-fi horror game Nemesis is now on Kickstarter. Nemesis Lockdown has an entirely new setting in a multi-level laboratory somewhere on Mars, new characters, new locations, new items – new ways to die. My favorite part of Nemesis Lockdown is energy management. Each section of the base has its own energy supply, and when the power goes out things stop working, especially the light. We all know the best moments in horror, especially in sci-fi horror, are when the lights suddenly go out.
This week’s featured photo shows and was taken in the Pamir mountains in the Tajik National Park, Tajikistan. It was taken and kindly shared by Kalpak Travel. (Pamir, Tajikistan, CC-BY, Kalpak Travel)