cooperative game

Osprey Games is publishing Embers of Memory: A Throne of Glass Game, a two-player co-operative card game set during the events of Kingdom of Ash, the epic climax to Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling seven-book Throne of Glass series.

Two players must work together to delve into the memories of the young queen, Aelin Galathynius, as she faces one of the toughest challenges of her life. Imprisoned and tortured, Aelin must ignite the embers of her memory and face her inner demons before she is overwhelmed. With each victory the players achieve, the story unfolds and the difficulty increases.

Speaking about the project, author Sarah J. Maas said, “I am so excited to see the Throne of Glass series brought to life in an all-new medium! Coralie Jubénot’s art for the game is beyond incredible, and I can’t wait to sit down and play!”

The game design is by Kuro, a Japanese game designer, known for The Ravens of Thri Sahashri, The Terrifying Girl Disorder and Seventh Hero with stunning, newly-commissioned artwork from Coralie Jubénot.

Sarah J. Maas is a #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author.

Embers of Memory: A Throne of Glass Game is planned to release in October.

With the new year comes new game announcements, and AbacusSpiele isn’t holding back on theirs.

First on the list is the next game in the 3 Secrets line, this time called Crime Time.  In the 3 Secrets game there is one person who is the informant and knows the truth behind the crime, and it’s up to the rest of the players to question them to get clues.  Get enough clues and you can reveal the 3 secrets and solve the case!  Not much has changed with this new one except for the setting, which this time has you playing time traveling cops, going back in time to solve the mysteries of the time.  This game will be available in February of 2019.

Pearls is a new hand management style game where you are divers trying to dive for the most valuable pearls.  But the more valuable the pearl is, the fewer there are, and when you surface you only score the cards showing the same number and color.  But don’t just chuck the lower value pearls, those can be combined into necklaces for bonus points, helping you getting closer to victory.  Do all this within a 10 card hand limit and you just might win the game.  This game will be available in March of this year.

Next we have the latest in the Deckscape line, and that is Deckscape: Behind the Curtain.  In this version of the game you are the recipient of tickets to see the final magic show the great Lance Oldman.  As the show goes on you start to figure out the tricks behind his magic, but then the show takes a surprising twist!  Now you have to uncover all the magician’s secrets if you want to escape.  Look for this to be available in February of 2019.

Next we have a re-implementation of the game Dancing Eggs, called Crazy Eggz.  This is a fun kids game where you will be grabbing and trying to hold on to a bunch of eggs, but where you have to hold them is determined by the roll of a die.  Will you they be between your knees?  In the crook of your elbow?  Will you have to cluck or be silent?  You will have to roll the dice and do what they say until you can hold 5 eggs and be crowned the winner.  This is the latest release they announced so far with it coming out in May of this year.

And finally we have a trio of Sherlock games called Death on the 4th of July, Last Call, and The Curse of the Qhaqya.  These are deduction games similar to 3 Secrets, but this time no one knows the truth and so you will all have to figure it out together.  Everyone will have a hand of clue cards and on your turn you will decide if you want to play it out on the table, or discard it.  Played out cards are clues that you have collected and can help you solve the case or, if they end up being irrelevant, lose you points at the end.  You are free to talk about any of the cards you have in your hand, but while they are in your hand the information you can give out is incomplete and may not give the full picture.  Solve the case and catch the killer before he gets away!  Look for all three of these to be available in February of 2019.

Sit Down! has three new products in the pipeline this first month of the new year, all having been shown off at the previous Essen show. All three are slated for initial release in European Markets, with future distribution unannounced. Their newest title is Gravity Superstars, a competitive game for 2 to 6 adventurers that emulates platforming games of old as each player jumps and runs along platforms to capture stardust . It’s a very cool and innovative design where each player deals with a different puzzle because their piece sits facing them in one of the four cardinal orientations of the board, a different perspective giving a different set of challenges.

     “What is really original about Gravity Superstar is the manner in which the players’ pawns move: Each turn, they move one or two spaces, then they are affected by gravity, which makes them fall until they are stopped by a platform. This effect is made possible by the fact that the pawns are used lying down on the board. Thus, they move up (above their head), down (below their feet), left, or right. During its movement, a pawn can collect stars (to score points at the end of the game) or replay tokens (to take a second consecutive turn), and eject opponents’ pawns from the board.”

The next two products are for the Magic Maze line, starting with Magic Maze Kids XXL. It’s pretty much exactly what it reads on the tin, it’s a giant board (70 x 70 cm) compatible with Magic Maze Kids that also adds a few new rules, and that sounds like a lovely addition to an already excellent children’s game. Last is a much awaited expansion for the original Magic Maze hinted at during the Dice Tower Awards ceremony last July, Hidden RolesThis appropriately-named expansion (one that I have been very hyped for) can be added to any game of 3 or more players to allow for a potential traitor who doesn’t want the team to succeed, but if they’re called out they are removed from play and must give up their action to someone else. All of these sound amazingly fun in all their own ways, and if you are as excited as I am to see more from Sit Down!, be sure to check out their website for future announcements!

Capstone Games is ready to ring in the new year with two new games coming in January.

Magnastorm is a 2-4 player tactical board game that uses a sci-fi theme and resource management to help players on their way to victory by creating suitable mining areas on the planet. Players perform actions, buy influence, manage their resources and keep an eye on their opponents to time their moves perfectly to achieve victory. At the end of the game, players receive a card that can be beneficial in future games, changing up the replayability. It is for ages 12 and up and has a 70-100 minute play time.

Fuji is a cooperative dice game in which players roll simultaneously and secretly behind screens, much like in Roll for the Galaxy. Players must use their dice and terrain cards to move to a safe village and escape the lava of Fuji. But you can only move if you match the requirement on the terrain card better than your opponent. It is a 30-60 minute play time for ages 10 and up.

You can find out more about both games here.

Concept is a popular party where players try to guess a word or phrase using a series of icons to represent icons.  Now Repos Production has developed a new version especially designed for children who do not know how to read yet. Concept Kids: Animals is a cooperative game for children ages 4 and up where players attempt to guess the name of an animal being described by the icons on the board. The child friendly board groups the icons in recognizable characteristics of animals:  where it lives, what color it is, how it travels, physical features, what it eats, and if it is a day or night time creature.  It is an excellent way for young children to learn how to describe various animals.  The game contains 110 colorful illustrations of animals to be guessed. Players will attempt to guess 12 animals each game, attempting to earn the highest score possible as a group: Legendary Lions!  Go to Repos Production website to learn more about Concept Kids: Animals.

Z-Man Games has announced Narabi, a cooperative card game for 3-5 players.  The cards in Narabi range from 0 to 9, along with blank cards.  Each player receives a subset of the cards, along with a “restriction card” which governs how the cards can be swapped with other cards.  Players can ask each other yes or no questions in an effort to deduce the various movement restrictions and arrange the cards in numerical order in as few turns as possible.

“In Narabi, numbered stone cards will be randomly sleeved together with restriction cards that control how a stone moves. Players must exchange stones, working toward the correct arrangement one move at a time while still following the rules on each stone.”

With numerous card combinations and rule variations, Narabi appears to offer varying degrees of difficulty in a relatively quick playing card game.

Z-Man’s announcement indicates that Narabi will be available early 2019.  You can learn more at the Narabi product page on Z-Man’s website.

Last year, Restoration Games announced their intention to bring back Fireball Island during the Dice Tower Live show at Gen Con. Their project erupted onto Kickstarter and funded exceedingly well, to the tune of 2.8 million dollars. It was no secret then that Restoration Games was going to set it sights to bigger and bolder projects. Today during the same annual show, we learned what the next one will be – Return to Dark Tower, co-designed by Restoration Games’ own Rob Daviau and Isaac Childres, multi-award winning designer of Gloomhaven.

This restoration project is based on the 1981 classic, Dark Tower, a competitive adventure game featuring an electronic tower that took inputs and tracked stats, battles, and equipment. Players would navigate the board to bolster up their forces and brave random encounters on their way to the titular tower in the center in the hopes of being the player to ascend it and quash the denizens within. It was no surprise why it was such a hot toy at the time, being this device-driven game in a high fantasy setting. It’s equally no shock that the game was so highly requested, and now it will get the full Restoration Games treatment with no less level of attention that Fireball Island got, with it’s own Kickstarter to boot in 2019 for a projected 2020 release.

“Daviau and Childres—along with Jacobson and Restoration’s Tinker-in-Chief, J.R. Honeycutt—have been working behind the scenes for months to develop the core game mechanics. The game strives to provide players with interesting choices about which quests to pursue, how to best use resources to keep the growing evil in check, and when to make that final decision to assault the tower. Jacobson revealed that, while the game is still early in development, one of the reasons for the announcement’s timing was to allow them to do significant playtesting without fear of the story leaking.”

The only detail we know that’s been set in stone is that this new iteration of the game will be cooperative. Rob Daviau is quoted via press release in saying, “We always believed that, had it come out today, Dark Tower would have been a cooperative game. The real threat is that imposing tower. It will take all of the players working together to defeat it.” This is a very cool development, and I agree, cooperative games like Legends of Andor have accomplished some of what Dark Tower originally set to achieve within a framework of one of the most classic fantasy tropes – an adventuring party. This shift is a good fit for Dark Tower, and with the team of rockstar game designers and developers at the helm there’s a lot here to be ecstatic about. For more information about this project as it unfolds, be sure to check Restoration Games’ website for updates.

Play as your favorite ninja warrior and team up to win in Power Rangers: Heroes Of The Grid- a cooperative miniatures board game. Defeat villains Rita Repulsa, Madame Woe and more in the core game. Grab the expansion Shattered Grid to add new locations and Lord Drakkon with his deadly army to the mix! Also, add to your team new allies from other times and dimensions to create a Power Rangers Hyperforce. Work together and use your mighty morphin martial arts skills, weapons and zords to conquer the enemy and defend Angel Grove. Meant for 2-5 players ages 14 and up Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid and the Shattered Grid Expansion will be available on Kickstarter on August 14th 2018.

Renegade Games will also have playable copies of the game available at Power Morphicon in Anaheim August 17th-19th.

CMON Kickstarter campaigns are often big and exciting, and this newest one is no less the case. Cthulhu: Death May Die is the newest big box game with the sort of high-quality large figures that CMON is known (and named) for. It’s a cooperative game for 1-to-5 players, designed by the rockstar team of Rob Daviau and Eric M. Lang, and artwork by Adrian Smith and Karl Kopinski. If a Cthulhu-themed cooperative romp sounds an awful lot like long-popular Fantasy Flight flagships Arkham Horror or Mansions of Madness, you wouldn’t be wrong. Where Death May Die differentiates itself is, unless the worst befalls your party early, you’re going toe-to-toe with a big nasty Old One in a really clever use of episodic materials that could only be designed by the master of hidden-things-in-small-boxes himself. As described on the campaign page:

     “The Death May Die core box contains smaller boxes that hold the modular elements to create each unique game session. Players choose one of the two available Elder Ones and combine their contents with those of one of the six available Episodes. Each of these boxes contain unique figures, tokens, and cards that are only used when playing with those elements. The Mythos deck used in each game is a combination of cards from the chosen Elder One box and the chosen Episode box. Each Episode not only indicates the map setup using the various tiles in the game, but also new actions the investigators can perform in order to accomplish the tasks required to disrupt that episode’s ritual. They each also bring their own Discovery cards for players to explore, and the monsters’ behaviors and abilities are tailored to each unique story.”

While the use of tactile tools to create a narrative-driven experience in a world where app-based dungeon crawls exists may seem like a step backward, the application of the components is demonstrative of the innovation those tools have gone through despite the current ecosystem. It’ll be really cool to see how the game is received for it’s composition and table presence after it arrives to backers who haven’t been crushed under the weight of it’s intimidatingly large, detailed monsters. Between the publishing and design caliber behind it, the miniatures, and the deft application of theme, it’s no wonder that this Kickstarter has already (at the time of writing this) passed 600% funding and trending towards millions of dollars. Update: In fact, all of the early bird waves have sold out, but CMON has responded by creating more expensive waves of limited product to be released further into 2019. If you are interested in learning more about Cthulhu: Death May Die, check out the campaign page for previews, in-depth rules explanations, community feedback, and updates.

Arcane Wonders has two new games coming soon to game stores.

First is RWBY: Combat Ready, a cooperative game for 2-5 players set in the world of the popular animated series RWBY.  Each player plays as one of the show’s main characters – Ruby, Weiss, Black, Yang, and Penny – in a scenario against one or more villains seeking to destroy the world of Remnant. With each victory, players earn experience they can use to upgrade their abilities and powers for the next battle.  Victory is achieved when all the villains in a campaign are defeated.  Each character has her own starter deck of special abilities and powers and unique upgrade cards and ultimate attacks cards.  Likewise, each villain is unique and may hove their own objectives and minions to challenge the players. Game components from the cards to player boards contain original artwork true to the RWBY animation series.

RWBY: Combat Ready plays 2-5 players, ages 14+, in about an hour.  Contents include scenario book, 5 player miniatures, 5 player tracker scrolls, 5 player starter decks (30 cards each), 5 semblance tokens, 1 play board/villain board, 3 villain decks (26 cards each), 3 minion decks (18 cards each), 18 objective cards, 1 die, 24 plastic upgrade cubes and various chipboard status/damage tokens.

RWBY: Combat Ready was kickstarted last September and with an expected delivery of late July 2018.

Next is Goodcritters, the latest addition to the Dice Tower Essentials line. In Goodcritters, players are animal characters and members of a criminal organization dividing out the loot from their latest heist.  The player acting as the boss of the organization determines how to split the loot, but if the split does not satisfy most of the other players, a new boss may be selected to head the organization.  Players not only vote to accept the distribution of loot, these criminals may skim loot from the loot pile, rob other players, or guard against such actions to take loot from attacking players.  Getting rid of the boss adds more loot to the pile.  The crime boss needs to keep enough of his or her gang happy to remain in power, but in the end, the player with the most loot is the winner.

Goodcritters plays 4-8 players, ages 12+, in about 30 minutes.  Contents include 140 Loot Cards, 40 Action Cards, 40 Payoff Cards, 1 The Fuzz! Card, 8 Threat Markers, 1 Boss Marker, 16 Payoff Tokens, 9 Plastic Stands, and rulebook.

Learn more about Goodcritters at Arcane Wonders.  Look for the game in stores near you in September 2018.