Bigger and hairier than ever before, Bezier Games are on Kickstarter with a new Werewolf game. This one isn’t a new werewolf-themed spin-off game with new rules, it’s the classic returned. The new edition of Ultimate Werewolf, titled Ultimate Werewolf Extreme, is the classic social deduction game with new artwork, extra roles, extra extras, and a mobile app to support the moderator, not replace them. If you’re missing some version of this classic game, here’s your chance to get the biggest yet.
Indie Boards and Cards
It’s a good Kickstarter week for social deduction games. Next to Werewolf, the next big name in that genre is The Resistance, and its designer Don Eskridge has his newest game on Kickstarter. Quest runs on the same basic engine as The Resistance: the leader for the round selects a team to go on a quest. Each player on the quest plays a card to support or sabotage the quest, and one traitor is enough to make the quest fail. Quest is even more streamlined than The Resistance, there is no vote if a mission should go ahead, the leader’s decision is all that’s needed. Character abilities and a bit of magic add variety, but Quest still looks like one of the quickest to play social deduction games.
Grey Fox Games
I think card drafting games are one of those things I’ll always enjoy. You have little downtime because everyone plays at once, you interact directly with other players, but you don’t attack them, and cards you pick contribute to your options for the rest of the game. All those pros apply to Arcana Rising, a card drafting game by Grey Fox Games. The players are wizards and collectors of magical artifacts. Every card they draft is a new artifact for their collection. Instead of keeping their card for the round, they can also decide to discard it and activate some of the artifacts they already collected. Depending on the phases of the two moons they’ll activate all the artifacts in one or two groups. Timing when to activate your artifacts is just as important as collecting the right artifacts in the first place.
Massive Darkness, CMON’s 2017 dungeon crawler, is undeniably massive, with an estimated cubic meter of CMON’s amazing minis and the future of the world at stake. While the world seemed safe at the end of that game, the heroes back then didn’t do the full job. Massive Darkness 2: Hellscape is now on Kickstarter, it’s massive, and once more you’ll have to fight the darkness. The sequel keeps its ancestor’s basic rules, but there are a lot of tweaks and changes that will make it even more compelling. The big one that I think will really elevate the gameplay to a new level is that the heroes are now mechanically asymmetric. Depending which of the classic fantasy RPG classes you play your game experience will be entirely different. Rogues will use a bag building mechanism, Rangers have what looks like a press-your-luck card draw, and so on. If the stakes of a single game are too low for your taste, the same Kickstarter has the Heavenfall campaign mode expansion where the forces of hell try to take over heaven. Guess who’ll have to clean up that mess.
Lucky Duck Games / Lumberjacks Studio
Lucky Duck Games will soon have a global release of The Court of Miracles, first released last year by Lumberjacks Studio. The Court of Miracles is not a game about gods and magic, as you might think from the title, it’s a game about competing rogues’ guilds in 16th century Paris. Their way to control the city is worker placement, but these workers are better than usual at keeping secrets. They come in three ranks, and your opponents don’t know which of your workers you sent where. Only when it comes to a standoff between rival guilds will you reveal your rogues and see who really dominates that neighborhood. Rogues with special abilities you recruit and plot cards add more layers of strategy.
Hall Games / Pegasus Spiele
For a long time, the bonfires in the cities have illuminated the world. Even the forest-dwelling gnomes need their light. But then the bonfires went out, and when the gnomes went to investigate the cities were abandoned. The gnomes don’t like the cities, but if they want to live it’s up to them to reignite the bonfires and bring back their guardians. That’s the fantastical setting of Bonfire, a new game by Stefan Feld, and going just by the rules one of his heavier games. There is an element of tile placement by which players gain their actions, some resource management and completing missions to reignite the bonfires, and some parts that defy simple categorization in how you move the guardians through your cities. There are also different bonuses to consider from sending your gnomes to the High Council, and bonuses from gnomes you recruit along the way. Now that’s something for Feld fans to look forward to.
This week’s featured photo shows the coast of Shiretoko Peninsula, Japan. The peninsula and surrounding ocean are home to rich, interacting ecosystems. The stunning shot was taken and kindly shared by Dick Thomas Johnson. Thanks a lot for sharing, Dick! (Shiretoko, Dick Thomas Johnson, CC-BY, resized and cropped)