Greater than Games has quite a presence at GenCon this year. Specifically, they are launching three new titles this year. First up, to discuss is Spirit Island (also with Branch & Claw expansion). Spirit Island is a cooperative game with a little bit of a twist. In typical coops players join forces to beat some sort of catastrophic calamity. Well, in this game, players are spirits who are trying to ward off invaders from your island.
The Invaders expand across the island map in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they explore into some lands (portions of the island); the next turn, they build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. The turn after that, they ravage there, bringing blight to the land and attacking any native islanders present.
The islanders fight back against the Invaders when attacked, and lend the spirits some other aid, but may not always do so exactly as you’d hoped. Some Powers work through the islanders, helping them (eg) drive out the Invaders or clean the land of blight.
The game escalates as it progresses: spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. Each turn represents 1-3 years of alternate-history.
Not only does Spirit island, from a mechanics perspective, have a lot going for it, but it sports gorgeous and high quality components. From durable plastic cities (that can be used, itself, to represent damage taken by laying the city token on it’s side in various positions) to wooden pawn characters, Spirit Island is chuck full of fun with beautiful artwork. It is designed by R. Eric Reuss and is published by GTG “Fabled Nexus” division. It’s available at GenCon and is a must-have.
Also available from GTG is a Cthulhu themed game from designers Christopher Kirkman, Richard Launius (no stranger to Cthulhu), and Darrell Louder. This game also features detailed and durable miniatures and sports wonderful artwork. This game, unlike Spirit Island, is a head-to-head game where players are cultists trying to summon an ancient evil.
During the game, players use a variable hand of spell cards to do one of two things to aid their cult in their mission: Use the spell’s Astral Symbol to navigate the areas around Arkham on the unique Fate Clock board, or use the symbols in a location’s Astral Column to ready a spell. Readied spells can be cast at any time, but while in a cult’s Spell Reserve their primary Astral Symbol can aid in readying future spells, creating an engine for pumping out more potential power.
Also releasing with the base game will be the Beasts from Beyond expansion which, among other things, will allow the summoning of new Elder Gods: Shub-Niggurath, Ghatanothoa, Dagon, and Yig.
And if this wasn’t enough, Greater than Games is also releasing Lazer Ryderz. What is Lazer Rydersz? Think Tron light-cycle meets X-Wing.
Featured in these four retro-style VHS-like boxes, Lazer Ryderz comes with four different racers (each in their own box with their own race templates).
Lazer Ryderz is a trackless racing game for up to 4 players with light push-your-luck, area denial, and strategy elements. Players construct their lazer paths with various pre-formed punchboard pieces that are placed according to speed and desired direction.
Greater than Games has really hit it out of the ball park this year with some great releases. You can visit them this year at booth 1343.