Cooperative tactical board game Machina Arcana goes for the next round. The next expansion to the lovecraftion steam punk dungeon crawler is titled To Eternity and leaves the basics intact, but makes some interesting and welcome changes. The biggest and presumably most welcome changes should be faster gameplay and reduced randomness. Even more important, though, will be all the new content. New scenarios let you explore the story of the mysterious Sentinel conglomerate, confront you with new monsters, hand you new gear to deal with them. They’ll also bring the story of Machina Arcana to its conclusion. This is where it all ends. Maybe you’ll still be yourself.
A theme park with real, living dinosaurs. I’ve heard that idea before somewhere, but for the life of me I can’t remember where. Well, at least the whole thing should be safe. After all, we promised our investors we’d keep an eye on the death toll. Hello, and welcome to Dinosaur World, the new Kickstarter by Pandasaurus Games. Workers of different types, drafted each round, will help you build your park’s attractions, create dinosaurs from DNA fragments, and run jeep tours through your park for money and fame. You want your park to be exciting, but with excitement comes a certain risk of visitors not leaving the park intact, so build wisely. In the same Kickstarter campaign, you can also get Dinosaur Island: Rawr ‘n Write – yes, they made that pun – a roll and write game with the same premise. The workers here are dice that you draft, and your park becomes a puzzle where you try to fit all your attractions into the limited space you have. Don’t look at Rawr ‘n Write as a Dinosaur World light, though. It’s its own game with its own charm, and if I had space and money to get both of them, I would.
The king of the yokai spirits is gone, and as always happens in that kind of situation, competition arises to take his place. To prove your worthiness you must create sacred places in the island kingdom of Night Parade of a Hundred Yokai. You can’t do it alone, though. You’ll need support from other spirits you recruit along the way. Night Parade of a Hundred Yokai is an engine building game. Every spirit you recruit joins the other spirits of its tribe that already support you, and when you pick your actions for a round you always activate the entire tribe of spirits and take all the actions they offer. Your goal is to put enough of your spirit meeples on a location to declare it sacred, and be the first to do that five times. With more and more spirits joining each player, Night Parade of a Hundred Yokai has a very satisfying acceleration: you can do more and more things each turn, but so can everyone else. It also has beautiful, thematic illustrations and, not to put too fine a point on it, some of the most adorable meeples ever. Like, really, ever.
Pendragon Game Studio
Paranoia is the theme and driving force of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Who can you trust when anyone could be the shapeshifting alien in your midst? What can you do when you could get infected any time you encounter an alleged friend, and when there’s no escape because outside is just miles and miles of polar ice. The Thing: The Boardgame, on Kickstarter by Pendragon Game Studio, captures that feeling well. It’s a hidden identity game where one player is the Thing from the start, but how that player can hide is ingenious. Each turn, players secretly pick action cards, the round’s leader then shuffles those cards and assigns those actions to characters on the board. If there’s an action there to destroy important equipment, you’ll never know where it came from. You also won’t know if the leader really picked what they think is the least dangerous thing to get damaged, or if maybe they are the alien. I guess you see where this is going. If you don’t have trust issues going into the game, you’ll certainly have them coming out.
Coming soon to a Kickstarter near you is 2 Kings, a two player strategy game by Jocaranda Games. Each king commands their own army of dice and tries to collect points by attacking the enemy castle on the far end of the board. Both kings also have access to powerful magic to bolster their forces, hinder their opponents’, or just plain old throw fireballs at things. 2 Kings is going to be a quick abstract game with about twenty minutes play time and a rather adorable design where the two parts of the box transform into the game board and the spell list, respectively. Quick, strategic, portable – if that sounds like your kind of game, you can now sign up to be notified when the Kickstarter launches.
Three years ago, 7th Continent came to Kickstarter as the biggest, fanciest Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game I can think of. There was so much to explore there, so many things that could happen, so many hours of game time, and such a quality story, too. Now it’s finally time for an all new adventure. Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter are back on Kickstarter with 7th Citadel, a new game in a new world continuing 7th Continent‘s approach of giving you a huge game world to explore and all the freedom you could want to explore it. The setting of 7th Citadel is a medieval post-apocalyptic world. You start as a slave gardener, but as the game progresses you may develop your character in many different directions, you build a city to bring hope to the people of the Collapsing World, and maybe you’ll even defeat the mysterious threat after many hours of playing. If you’re looking for a really big adventure, this is it.
Glass Cannon Unplugged / Frosted Games
Some of you may know computer game Frostpunk, a steampunky city management survival game in which the world was devastated by ice storms and you’re the administrator of the last vestiges of civilization, huddled around a geothermal heating tower that is the only thing keeping everyone from freezing solid. That cheery scenario will soon come to your tabletop in an adaptation by Adam Kwapinski (Nemesis, Sigismundus Augustus, …) as the first Kickstarter by new publisher Glass Cannon Unplugged. A German version will be available from Frosted Games. The game is cooperative for up to four players, and it includes all the important aspects of the computer game. That means building your town in the ice is only the start of your problems. You’ll also have to keep your citizens as happy as the situation allows, and your decisions will have far-reaching consequences in that regard. Even without much detail information, I think it’s safe to say this will be a heavy game that you probably won’t win the first time you play. It will also have an impressive table presence, especially if that heating tower is a standard component. Even without it, though, Frostpunk will be a game that people stop to look at.
This week’s featured photo shows Resurrection Church at Manastirea Sucevita (Sucevita Monastery) in Romania. It’s one of the eight churches of the Churches of Moldavia World Heritage Site, famed for the beautiful Byzantine fresco paintings covering their outside walls. This photo was taken and kindly shared by Witold Waschut. Thanks a lot for sharing, Witold! (Manastirea Sucevita, Witold Waschud, CC-BY-SA, cropped and resized)