Companion App

Flyos Games has a campaign running on Kickstarter for Until Daylight, a cooperative survival game for 3-6 players. You must survive in a chaotic world with infected humans and hordes of raiders constantly attacking your group – for 10 rounds.

Each turn, you must search rubble for objects, weapons and ammo that will help you survive the next round of attacks. Search quickly and effectively because you never know when the attack will come! Once combat begins, establish your strategy to scatter and eliminate your enemies. Take care of your group – if one of you die, it is game over.

Inside the box

  • 6 unique characters
  • 95 horde cards
  • 185 rubble cards
  • 47 objective cards
  • 6 combat dice
  • 1 fate die
  • 1 leader token
  • 1 sand timer
  • 12 barricade tokens
  • 6 trap tokens
  • 1 rulebook
  • Other game assets can be unlocked with stretch goals

 

Companion app adds even more

A free downloadable companion app for Until Daylight will be available for your smartphone and tablet (on Google Play and the App Store). The app replaces the sand timer provided in the game box and ensures you have the best gaming experience. It also has original and specially composed atmospheric sounds and music. In addition, it keeps track of the round number, calculates the number of enemies in the next horde and generates the random timer for the search phase. The app will frequently be updated to offer new features and the greatest usage possible.

Two pledge levels are available during the Kickstarter campaign. The “Wanderer pack” includes the basic game box and all the unlocked stretch goals. The “Brute pack” includes the basic game box, all unlocked stretch goals, but also allows you to enjoy even more Kickstarter exclusives and discounted add-on prices. The add-ons available are an art book, a comic book, a survivor satchel, posters, playmats and a deck holder.

Until Daylight will be available in English and French. The Kickstarter campaign runs until October 8 and the game is planned to ship in May 2019. This is the second Kickstarter for Flyos Games (the first was for Kiwetin).

Have you ever wanted to bring your iPad into a massive, dark dungeon? Well, now you can. CMON has launched an app that lets you leave your physical Hero Dashboard in the box.

The Massive Darkness Companion App keeps track of each character’s inventory, experience, and skills. Choose any of the Hero characters, including promos, and the app does all your paperwork for you. As you reach higher levels, new skill options are displayed and the app incorporates pertinent new game effects.

Beyond character tracking, the app offers some extra features as well.

• A virtual deck of equipment cards allows you to control your heroes’ inventory.
• An Action Bar that keeps track of each action as you take it.
• Networking capabilities that allow each player to use their own device and synchs them to create a common game-state.
• Virtual control of the Monster, Equipment, Door and Event decks.

The Massive Darkness Companion App is currently available for the iPad and iPhone via the iTunes App Store (requires iOS 7.0 or later) as well as Google Play for Android users (requires Android 5.1 and up).

More details on Massive Darkness are available here. Take a look at Sam Healey’s review of the Massive Darkness Core Box here.

Mixing board games with required apps is a very hot topic in board gaming right now, some say it’s great, some march to the chorus of get your digital out of my analog.  Either way you look at it, games are still going to come along that try to use app integration to make it better, and Chronicles of Crime aims to do that is a very unique way.  In this game you are detectives trying to solve a case, but you aren’t some famous or classic detective, you are modern day detectives utilizing modern day methods and resources.  Once you have selected a case you will start going from location to location, questioning suspects and looking for clues.  You will also have the chance to talk to your experts to get their analysis of evidence, all while discussing the case and clues with your fellow players to determine the culprit.

Now if you are wondering where the app comes in, well it is used in every aspect that I just described above.  You will select your case in the app so it knows what clues to give you, when you go to a location you will scan the code on the board in order to go there.  Once there you will clip on a pair of VR glasses to your phone and then start looking around the crime scene, describing it to the other players and looking for key clues in the 3D rendered environment.  Don’t have have the glasses or don’t want to use the VR function?  That’s fine, the app supports also just displaying the environment on your phone and you can just tap and swipe to explore the area.  So grab your friends, put on your thinking caps and get out there and catch that criminal!

If this game has piqued your interest like it has mine, check out the Kickstarter page for more information and to pledge for a copy.  A base pledge with just the game and companion app runs $39 plus shipping, and the VR glasses add-on is additional $10, which also comes with an additional case.  Or you can go full deluxe for $89 which include the base game, VR glasses, and two additional expansions putting you in a film noir type setting as well as a kid detective type setting.  And one final thing, since the cases are app driven, you can play the same scenario over and over since the app randomizes the result for each game, making sure each case is unique.

Renegade Games has been partnering with Dire Wolf Digital to bring some of their physical games into the mobile space, such titles include Lotus and Lanterns: The Harvest Festival.  So to kick off the holiday season they have announced updates to their digital games of Lotus and Lanterns as well as a new update to their companion app.

Lotus is a game all about forming beautiful flowers and using some area control to make sure that when the flowers finish and score, you are the ones getting the points.  The app version of this game brought the game into beautiful 3D with excellent graphics and animation, bringing this simple card game up to another level.  The update featured for the app is that the leader-board and friends list of the game is compatible with Lanterns, so now you can challenge friends from either game to either game you own.  You can purchase the app in the App Store or on Google Play.

Lanterns is a simple tile laying game where you lay down tiles in order to collection various colored lantern cards.  You will then use these lantern cards to make dedications and depending on which array of colors you turn in will net you different points.  Like Lotus the app version of Lanterns elevates the game by giving it some beautiful graphics and scenery along with great animation.  The app even has the expansion, The Emperor’s Gift, available for download as well.  The update featured for the app is that the leader-board and friends list of the game is compatible with Lotus, so now you can challenge friends from either game to either game you own.  You can purchase the app in the App Store or on Google Play.

And finally, Renegade games has updated their companion app, adding in some content for their latest game, Clank in Space.  Already the app includes content for the games FUSE, Flatline, and the original Clank game.  But with this latest update you will now be able to play Clank in Space solo, with you going against the AI as you explore Lord Eradikus’ starship alone.  The update has already been made so you can either check your app now, or download it for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Portal Games has announced a plethora of new games and expansions for 2018. As it is apparently 2018 in Poland (I did not fact check this, it might still be 2017) many of the mini-expansions announced are available now.

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet

Now available in both Europe and North America, Portal Games describes First Martians as the most anticipated game in Portal Games history. Strong pre-orders make it hard to argue that fact. Based on the adventure gaming engine from Robinson Crusoe, digital apps do a lot of the heavy lifting in First Martians. Portal Games announced new content almost exclusively driven by the app for 2018:

  • First Martians rules Almanac in PDF form
  • 7th stand-alone Removal mission release
  • Community created content delivered via app
  • New app features
  • Tutorial mission

Portal Games also plans to release a new Epidemia mission as well as an in-store event kit.

First Martians is getting a new mini-expansion, in this case a set of extra ROI tiles. This mini-expansion is available now.

 

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe gets a pair (and a half) of big announcements. The first is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a companion app! The game isn’t getting any easier, but it is getting additional content as the app will add new events and new adventures to the game. Portal Games also describes the app as allowing players “to choose a theme for each scenario.”

The second big announcement is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a second big expansion. Similar in size to the Voyage of the Beagle expansion from 2013, the Lost City of Z expansion will also follow a single explorer. Players will follow Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett on his expedition through the Amazon in search for the Lost City of Z. Lost City of Z will add Horror and Sanity into the game, add new characters, beast and a mystery deck. The game adds 5 new missions for an epic campaign.

To tide you over until the app and expansion come out Portal has released another mini expansion – Herb Garden and Pen cards. This expansion is available now.

Alien Artifacts

It’s never too early for new content. Alien Artifacts was just released this week, and already Portal Games has accounted a forthcoming expansion. The Alien Artifacts: Discovery expansion moves the storyline of the game forward and introduces Alien Resources to the game. The small (but not mini) expansion adds a total of 50 new cards to the core game.

Imperial Settlers

Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire is the third Empire Pack of Imperial Settlers. Empire Pack’s don’t add new factions to the game, but always add new mechanics and an expanding selection of cards to integrate into the core game. Portal describes the new expansion as adding new cards and increasing the replayability of the game.

Imperial Settlers is getting a Diplomacy mini-expansion which is available now. The new expansion adds two double-sided tiles that add new rules for player interaction through diplomatic mean. The double sided tiles are Declaration of War & Mobilization and Golden Route & Confiscation.

Neuroshima Hex

Neuroshima Hex will also be getting an expansion in 2018. The Iron Gang Hexpuzzle Pack is an expansion for the Neuroshima Hex! 3.o base game that will introduce puzzles on the hex board that will need to be solved. The expansion will be playable both solo and competitively with other players. The expansion will include a bonus army tile for the Iron Gang Army Pack.

Monolith Arena – A Fantasy Battleground Boardgame

Speaking of Neuroshima Hex… Portal Games is also introducing new games in 2018! Michal Oracz, creator of Neuroshima HEX, has created a fantasy battleground boardgames. Wage war against your opponents on a familiar hex board. Five factions will each have unique abilities and unites, along with literal monoliths looming large over the battlefield.

Monolith Arena has an estimated playtime of 30-45 minute for 2-4 players aged 10 and up.

Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame

But wait! There’s more! Przemyslaw Rymer and Igancy Trzewiczek have designed a board game that tells actual stories. A modern crime boardgame, Detective will focus on stories inspired by true events. Sleuths will have a variety of modern tools at their disposal including checking the internet, investigating clues and pouring over the facts. A variety of high quality components will be introduced over 5 unique scenarios. Detective plays out over 90 minutes for 1-4 intrepid investigators aged 14 and up.

It’s shaping up to be a big 2018 for Portal Games!

First on our list of new releases is a card drafting game from Osprey Games called Samurai Gardener.  This card game was previously released in Japan back in 2013, but now after four years it has made it’s way to these shores.  In Samurai Gardener you are trying to develop the most desirable garden in order to bring honor to your lord.  You will be speed drafting cards and placing them into your arrangement to have long rows and columns of the same type of squares.  Now what is speed drafting you ask?  Well, it’s real time drafting where at the start of the active player’s turn, they will flip up cards equal to the number of players, then after a count down everyone will simultaneously slap the card the want.  If you are the first to get there you get the card, else you will need to pick a different card.  After everyone has been the active player once the round ends, and a scoring round happens.  When the deck runs out the game will end and the highest score wins, so slow or fast, make sure you have the cards you need to win.  Look for it on shelves in October this year.

Next we have the latest game coming from Greenbrier Games, and that is Vengeance, a fast paced game about avenging yourself against the bad guys who wronged you.  This is a competitive game where you start out battered and bruised, and over the course of the game you heal up and gain new skills in order to seek revenge.  Battles are dynamic with dice based puzzles where you are trying to take out the gang boss by triggering a series of special moves from your character.  There is also a bit of cooperation in the game in that the final goal is to eliminate all the gangs from you city, but always remember there will be only one winner at the end of the game.  Look for this game and the Rosari expansion, which adds a 5th player, on store shelves in November.

Finally, we have the latest adventure update to Road to Legend, the companion app for playing with Descent 2nd Edition.  This one adds the adventure model Trials of Frostgate, which departs from the other updates in that instead of a traditional campaign, this one offers four different trails for you to attempt and get that high score.  They include:

  • the Trial of the Bear, pitting your might against endless hordes of enemies
  • the Trial of the Hawk, forcing you to show speed and cunning as you banish baleful spirits before they call down more perils
  • the Trial of the Lion sends you into pitched combat with the most powerful and dangerous of your enemies
  • the Trial of the Wolf bids you escort the spirits of your ancestors to the afterlife, protecting them from any danger along the way

This update is available now so you can go download it from your Road to Legend app, or check out more information from FFG’s website.

Food themed games have been popping up lately, and here is another one that takes the buffet style approach in gameplay and theme.  Smorgasboard plays like a food themed version of Cranium, where you will be playing one of four different games revolving around food.  First is 4BIDDEN-FRUIT, this mini game plays like Taboo and has you trying to get your team to guess the food, without saying it’s name or 4 other words which are forbidden.  Second is KITCHEN-KAOS, in this game it’s a race to find the food in an anagram that will either complete the classic recipe, or spoil the recipe.  Third is NUÜDLE-DOODLE, here you are playing Pictionary to get your team to guess the food, but the trick is that you can’t lift your pencil once it touches the paper, making your drawing look like a pile of noodles.  And last we have TASTO-QUEST, this is where you will answer general food knowledge questions, true/false questions, or multiple choice questions.  As your team succeeds in each of the mini games you will move your pawn around the track, be the first one to the finish line to win!

Smorgasboard will no doubt hit home for food lovers who like mass market party games like Taboo and Cranium, and the wonderfully stylized art helps that as well.  This game also boasts being conceived, designed, and made in Ireland, something that might be important to discerning backers.  Another unique feature of the game is that they are including an app “booster pack” which increases the number of cards in the game significantly, making sure the game never gets stale.  You can read more about the game and pledge for it on their Kickstarter page.

More than likely to coincide with the launch of their latest Zombicide Kickstarter, CMON has released a companion app for the Zombicide: Black Plague game.  This app effectively removes the need for a survivor board and will track all the needed information about your character on your device.  There are also other additional features that make this app special, such as:

• A virtual deck of equipment cards allows you to easily control your survivors’ inventory, switching cards around with a flick of the wrist and no fear of cards slipping around.

• You can also let the app control the Zombie spawning deck, for an even easier time!

• As you gain experience and new Danger Levels, your new Skill options are automatically displayed, and the app incorporates any pertinent new game effects.

• Having a hard time keeping track of your actions as you gain new free ones? With the Action Bar, you can tick off each specific action as you take it, so you always know what actions you have left.

• Roll virtual dice for any of your equipped weapons, automatically calculating successful hits according to any combat skills you may have (and with sound effects to boot!)

• Choose any of the Survivor characters, including the promos. Up to 24 Survivors can be managed on the same device.

• Network capabilities! Each player can use their own device if preferred, and the app will maintain the whole game-state gracefully!

With a list of features like that, I don’t know why you wouldn’t get the app.  You can find it in both the App Store and Google Play, and you can check out the article on CMON’s site for more info.

In the board gaming world, it’s easy for older titles born before the recent golden age to fall into obscurity and rarity, even those with sound and unique design features. The market demand for new editions, reprints, and remakes remains high because of this, and there’s a certain nobility and appreciation to try and redeem lost or forgotten games with a new face-lift. It’s finally time for a publisher to use that demand to preserve those games and revitalize outstanding great ideas and fun. Today marks the arrival of Restoration Games whose goal is to do just that. As described via press release:

“Restoration Games is a new company, whose mission is to take games from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, fix them up, and bring them back for the modern gamer. The new games pay homage to the spirit of their predecessors but feature updated art and graphic design and improved rules and mechanisms.”

Formed by attorney and game designer Justin D. Jacobson in partnership with prominent designer Rob Daviau, Restoration Games is kicking off their debut with three titles slated for release for Gen Con 2017: Stop Thief!, Indulgence, and Downforce. From the descriptions to follow, it can be seen that Restoration Games is taking the task of remastering these titles with sincere quality in mind.

Stop Thief! is a family-style deduction game published in 1979 that used a small electronic device that would play a variety of noises representing the last traces of a criminal while they were escaping. Up to 4 players used those clues to deduce where the suspect was and hopefully where to find them. The 2017 remake will be replacing the “Electronic Crime Scanner” with a free mobile app which promises better sound quality and a dynamic range of functions. The level of commitment to bring a game like Stop Thief! up-to-speed by utilizing mobile technology is impressive by itself.

Indulgence will re-implement Dragonmaster, a trick-taking game for 3-4 players published in 1981. Dragonmaster itself comes from a long line of “trickier” trick-taking games, tracing back to Barbu from the 1930s. Indulgence will feature a re-theme of papal intrigue within the Italian Renaissance, with players using tricks to fulfill variable contracts. The newest iteration will feature beautiful art on par with it’s fantasy predecessor, produced by Chelsea Harper.

Downforce is the latest and most refined form of Wolfgang Kramer’s Top Race, originally published in 1996. Up to 6 players bid on racing contestants while simultaneously playing cards to manipulate the standings. Kramer’s original design had seen many versions with continuously improved rules, and Restoration Games has promised that Downforce will be the best to date with “component quality befitting it’s pedigree”.

This is all incredibly exciting news, to have a publisher willing to put such stern focus on older games for the betterment of the gaming community as well as gaming history. Admirable still is that Restoration Games is open to suggestions! Simply visit their website to suggest games for them to work on, or take a survey to essentially vote for what you’d like to see next. Be sure to follow their Facebook page for more announcements, and look forward to these great games and more at Gen Con 2017.

mansions of madness comp

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition from Fantasy Flight reprints its predecessor with some major changes. Players each take on the role of one of eight investigators with unique skills and abilities. Investigators work together to solve mysteries in the streets of Innsmouth and an eerie mansion.

The addition of a companion app releases one player from the ‘keeper’ role making the game fully cooperative. Instead of the keeper player controlling the threats to the investigators, the app does it all, including randomly generating the scenario’s map, creating unpredictable combinations with every play. The app adds another layer of terror in the game by obscuring unexplored parts of the unique map until players reach that area. Another big addition to the game made possible by the companion app is solo play. The app will be available from the Apple iOS Appstore, the Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore, and for Mac and PC from Steam.

If you are a fan of the original Mansions of Madness, and still have a copy, you can incorporate it’s components, including monsters and investigators, to this new addition. There is also a conversion kit that will be available which extends the combinations possible with the previous components, although the kit is not necessary to combine the versions.

Fantasy Flight announced that this will be available in store, online, and at Gen Con on Aug 4th.

Read the full announcement and FAQ from Fantasy Flight.