Melissa Makak

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Melissa is a mental health counselor by day and a board game enthusiast by... well just all day and all night. She spends her free time diving deep into the board game hobby as well as dabbling in the arts, and whatever her new obsession of the week is. Melissa can be reached by e-mail at melissa.makak@gmail.com or on Board Game Geek via the username starbuck7660. She can also be found on Board Game Breakfast in the segment "Smashin' Buttons and Slammin' Cards"

Zombicide: 2nd Edition takes the original Zombicide and gives it a fresh look as well as an updated rulebook and promises a faster set-up! Designed by Raphaël Guiton, Jean-Baptiste Lullien, and Nicolas Raoult, this 1-6 player cooperative game just got a whole new wardrobe.

For those who just want to upgrade their original copy of Zombicide, there is a pledge level for that, but those new to the game can jump right in with the Reboot pledge (comes with the core box). However, there is much more in this campaign. CMON has introduced a new expansion, Washington Z.C., which gives Zombicide a story-driven campaign where there will be surprises and choices to be made.

The campaign also introduces Zombicide: Chronicles- The Roleplaying Game that allows players to explore the world of Zombicide and create their own stories of surviving a zombie apocalypse!

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Ni No Kuni II: The Board Game is a 1-4 player cooperative kingdom building game designed by Bryce Johnston and Steve Margetson. The Kingdom of Ding Dong Dell has fallen and it is up to the players to build a new kingdom in Evermore!

Players will work together to go on quests, gain resources, defeat monsters, and win the citizens round to build the kingdom of your dreams. Your kingdom must overcome the darkness and become a place where the people can live peacefully and in harmony.

For more information, click here.

Blitzkrieg! is a 2 player World War II game that can be played in 20 minutes! Designed by Paolo Mori, this game allows players to recreate one of the biggest wars in history.

This game was designed for those interested in playing a wargame without being a wargamer. Players will fight battles by allocating their military resources to each theatre’s campaigns in the attempt of winning victory points, obtaining resources, and gaining special weapons. This is all done without any cards or dice! Instead, players draw army tokens from a bag that will determine their forces.

For more information, click here.

For those familiar with Minecraft the video game, you will know it is a sandbox-style game. Ravensburger has collaborated with Mojang to create Minecraft: Builders and Biomes as a board game! Designed by Ulrich Blum, this game is for 2-4 players that can be played within 30-60 minutes.

Players will compete to gain the most points by the end of the game by mining rare cubes, fighting dangerous mobs, and building structures as they explore the Overworld. Collecting weapons and using resources mined from a block of 64 cubes will aid players in ensuring a victory!

Pre-orders for this game is available now. For more information, click here.

Code 3, by Black Key Games and designed by Brandon Byler and Matt Ruggiero, is a cooperative, sandbox-style game for 2-4 players!

Each player will choose two police officers to be Beat Partners and combine them to make their own unique deck. In this story-driven game, players will choose a scenario and set up a modular board of city tiles an then it’s time to kick down some doors! Players will need to complete goals to unveil the next part of the story, but if too many 911 calls aren’t answered, the game is lost. The way these scenarios are up to the players! They can either play by the books or bend the rules.

Black Key Games is also hosting a Cyber Cop Challenge in which every copy of the game comes with a scenario checklist. If you beat them all, you will be mailed a reward of The Cyber Cop and his unique deck of officer cards!

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

The Isofarian Guard by Sky Kingdom Games, designed by Eric Bittermann, Sean Craten, and David Yanchick, is a solo and cooperative story-driven game for 1-2 players.

This game comes with 4 unique campaigns as players customize their own characters, travel across the country of Isofar in the land of Telios, and craft equipment as they explore this open-world, voice-narrated story! The Isofarian Guard utilizes bag building and card/tableau building mechanics to explore, enter combat and go questing, and encounter events along their journey. The game offers 30+hours of play as well as the ability to replay the campaigns due to the branching paths within the story.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Detective: City of Angels, from Van Ryder Games and designed by Evan Derrick, is a 1-5 player deduction game that is now back on Kickstarter with a brand new expansion, Smoke and Mirrors!

The base game is set in 1940’s Los Angeles where players take on the role of LAPD Homicide detectives as they are taken along a narrative-driven experience and attempt to solve 9 different cases. Each detective is competing to be the first to solve the case. However, one player is The Chisel who is attempting to misdirect the players! If you want a cooperative experience, there is a mode for that as well.

Detective: Smoke and Mirrors adds 4 new cases to the game (originally 3 but the stretch goal was reached). These cases are more complex and challenging than the cases from the base game with new mechanics, new types of cards, and new requirements to solve the case! Instead of just identifying the guilty suspect, the murder weapon, and the motive, players will now also have to identify each additional accomplice that was involved as well as where the next crime could take place.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Aeon Trespass: Odyssey, published by Into the Unknown and designed by Marcin Welnicki, is a cooperative campaign game for 1-4 players filled with exploration, adventure, and giant monsters!

With over 200 hours of game content, players will go through a choice-based narrative as they enter tactical combat against monsters, come across choose your own adventure-style encounters, and manage the crew, their characters, and their ship. All of this will add to an overarching narrative that players will shape into their own, unique story.

The core box includes an introductory prelude campaign as well as the full 200+ hours campaign, 24+ miniatures, 1500+ cards, and 200+ tokens and tiles.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

Stronghold Undead 2nd Edition from Portal Games and Stronghold Games, designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, is a stand-alone game based on the expansion that came out in 2010, but now has new artwork, new components, and a new streamlined rulebook!

This 2-player game has 1 side playing as the Undead army lead by Necromancer attempting to siege a Stronghold played by the opposing side protecting a powerful artifact. If the Undead army manages to break through and enter the Stronghold within 8 turns, that player wins the game! However, if the Stronghold can withstand the Undead army’s wrath, then the power of Necromancer fades away leaving nothing but dust.

Stronghold Undead will hit Kickstarter November 14 and will be available for retail in 2020. For more information, check out Portal Games’ website here.

Myraclia, from RUDY3 Publishing and designed by Rudolf Priecinsky, is a game of drafting, terraforming, and expanding for 2-5 players.

The planet Myraclia is a deserted and inhospitable place that players are attempting to turn into the planet of their dreams! However, this is no cooperative game. You each have your own idea of what Myraclia should be and so, you each are fighting over resources to create your vision.

Players will begin by drafting elements and determining player order, then turn by turn they will terraform Myraclia by utilizing the resources they drafted, and finally they will expand using a tile-placement mechanic.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.