cooperative game

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.

In 1956, fresh within the Cold War, a nation-wide revolt erupted across Hungary against the choking grip of the communist government. In the capital of Budapest, students and laborers who were fed up with the low standards of living and eager to build relations with the western world began to protest and criticize the Soviet policies driving their country, eventually leading to resistance, gunfire, and revolution. This is the theme for Days of Ire, an asymmetric game successfully crowdfunded in July of 2016 where players took on the role of those rebels against the Soviet troops. Now it’s sequel, Nights of Fire: Battle for Budapest, is on Kickstarter along with an expansion that ties both games together for a truly thematic and evocative historical experience. As described via the campaign page:

“Nights of Fire is a thematic sequel to the well received Days of Ire. While directly connected in theme to Days of Ire, Nights of Fire is a standalone game which can be played solo, cooperatively by 2 players, or by 1-2 players against a live opponent in charge of the Soviet troops. Days of Ire is not required to play, however, the Days & Nights: Red Army Pack expansion contains rules and cards for campaign play of both games in sequence and 28 miniatures usable in both games.”

Designing a board game steeped in such history certainly can’t be easy, and doing it twice even less so without needing to mention the ability to combine the two, which is entirely what makes this project special. It’s also very cool to have an asymmetric 3-or-less player title that is flexible enough to allow for competitive or cooperative play as well as appealing to wargamers and non-wargamers alike. For those who missed backing Days of Ire, it too can also be purchased through this campaign at a few pledge levels. If you are interested in learning more about Nights of Fire, be sure to check out it’s Kickstarter campaign which has, as of writing this, reached nearly 200% funding!

Rambo is the quintessential action movie, and no one can mistake who it is when you see the big muscles, black hair, and iconic red bandanna.  So turning it into a board game was going to happen at some point, and Everything Epic is taking their shot with Rambo the Board Game on Kickstarter.  This is a full y cooperative game where you will take on the guise of Rambo and his special forces friends as they go on missions to raid enemy encampments, recuse POWs, defend a secret base, and more.  Each mission has it’s own box of cards, thematically shaped like a machine gun magazine, that contain tactic cards, equipment cards, as well as the objectives and threats associated with that mission.  From there it’s up to you to figure out how you want to complete the mission.  You can use stealth to try and get in and get out without being noticed, you can lay traps and draw the enemy in to take them out, or you can get go in guns blazing and sort things out later.  Any way you choose, card play will be key to success as battle is determined by dice rolling.

The base box comes with everything you need in order to play out the events in First Blood Part II and will run you a pledge of $60.  You can add another $40 to get an expansion to play out the original Rambo Movie, First blood, as well as get minis for all the enemies to replace the standees in the base game.  And finally, you can back at the all encompassing level of $150 to get another expansion added on to play out the missions in Rambo III.  Needless to say, if you ever wanted to live out the dream and be John Rambo (at least in cardboard form), check out the Kickstarter today.

When you talk about easy to learn and play cooperative games, you will often to hear Forbidden Desert or even Forbidden Island mentioned.  Both of these games are Matt Leacock designs in conjunction with Gamewright, and both have the reputation of being well regarded cooperative games for families.  However, since the release of Forbidden Desert was back in 2013, we thought that was going to be it for the Forbidden line, but thankfully Gamewright has proved us wrong.  In no less than a movie trailer like fashion, Gamewright has announced a new game in the Forbidden line, Forbidden Sky, that will be released this summer.  I for one am excited for this as I have loved both the previous games, you can check out the video on Gamewright’s Facebook, and start wondering just what this new game has in store for us.

Minion Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for the first expansion to the 2015 release Dead Men Tell No Tales which is entitled Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken.  Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken is designed by Kane Klenko and the artists are Jason D. KingsleyChris Ostrowski.

In this expansion, players will face the dreaded Kraken.  Adding the expansion adds a few new conditions to the game such as requiring players to kill the Kraken before they can escape the ship with their treasure and lives.  If the Kraken pulls the ship down or destroys it, the players lose.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken comes with 1 Kraken miniature, 15 tentacle miniatures, a new character with meeple and miniature, status tokens and board for the Kraken, 42 game tokens, 1 cloth bag, new cards, and 5 player aids.

The campaign also offers a set of 7 miniatures for the base game characters that can be purchased alone or as an add-on.  Finally a start board that is split apart so that it is easier to mark tiles exploded is available as an add-on.  This new start board can be used to replace older versions of the base game before the the start board was updated in later editions.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken campaign is running now and will end on February 15, 2018.  Please see the campaign page for any information on pricing.

Nemesis is a new Kickstarter Project from designer Adam Kwapiński, Awaken Realms (This War of Mine), and Rebel Games (Dream Home). In Nemesis, players take on highly asymmetric roles on board a starship, knowing that an alien presence is on board. Straight out of the SciFi survival horror genre, 1-5 players need to work together to explore the starship for resources, and escape before they are found by the aliens, or the ship launches into hyperspace killing everyone on board.

Each character type (Captain, Scout, Soldier, Pilot, Scientist and Mechanic) has individual strengths and weaknesses which complement each other, but players also have hidden goals, making it difficult to fully trust the other players. Just to make it more difficult, the aliens will not only react to the noise you make on the ship, but will evolve into more fearsome forms as time goes on. Nemesis will ship with options to play as a semi-cooperative or fully cooperative game, with the added feature to have a player control the intruders.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Nemesis continues through February 7, and the game is expected to deliver in September 2018.

Fans of Arkham Horror: the Card Game are always on the lookout for new content, new mysteries to explore, new monsters to fight.

Sometimes, though, returning to the old can be good too.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the release of a new upgrade expansion for Arkham Horror: the Card Game, this time returning to one of the core set campaigns.

Return to the Night of the Zealot takes investigators back to the Night of the Zealot campaign from the core set, adding new challenges, new encounters, and new boons as well as upgrading cards from the original campaign. While it may seem like you are reliving the nightmare you started with, new terrors await you.

“In Return to the Night of the Zealot, the stars may have aligned to open a door to your past, but things are not precisely as they were. The evils you defeated once have become stronger. It seems if they have been lying in wait for this moment to occur, to get another shot at destroying you, and this time they are not alone. This upgrade expansion features new scenario cards for each of the three scenarios in the campaign: now marked as Return to The Gathering, Return to The Midnight Masks, and Return to The Devourer Below. While these titles may sound like a resurgence of the familiar, the experience is anything but. Return to the Night of the Zealot also stacks your encounter deck with two new encounter sets, filled with monsters and treacheries more terrifying than any you have faced. Ghouls from the Ghouls encounter set are replaced by Ghouls of Umôrdhoth and Cultists who once belonged to a Dark Cult now align with The Devourer’s Cult.”

The upgraded expansion also includes a premium box that can be used to store all of your Night of the Zealot content, both old as well as the expansion. It comes with dividers marked for each encounter, allowing you to organize things neatly for easier access. This box will also contains a list of achievements that will add to the challenge. Perhaps you’ll manage to keep a weapon from breaking through multiple encounters, or stay in the house long past the time when others would go insane.

All of this will be available in the 2nd quarter of 2018, and is available for pre-order now.

Find out more in the Fantasy Flight article.

Tak has been getting a lot of good buzz. It’s a two player abstract strategy game with a ton of great reviews, landing it at number 16 on BGG for abstract games.  One thing about the game though is that it’s not small, nor is it exactly cheap, both aspects which Cheapass Games has aimed to fix.  In late February they will be releasing Tak: University Edition, which features the full game, but in a smaller and more affordable package.  The game itself has a deceptively easy goal, just create a road connecting your side of the board to the opponent’s side.  But accomplishing that goal is much more difficult because they can block you with walls, cover your pieces with their pieces, and even lock pieces in place.  But manage to out smart your opponent and you can claim victory.

Next is an expansion for Dropmix, a game being talked about not so much because of how good the game is, but because of the cool technology involved in game play.  The main component of the game is an electronic board that connects to your phone via bluetooth, and it’s on this board that all the magic happens.  In the various game modes you will be playing down cards onto the board, and depending on where you play them you will pull in different aspects of that song into the mix.  You might pull in vocals, the bass, the drums, and so on, all coming together to create a unique mix of music.  So far there have been cards produced in the pop, hip-hop, rock, and electronic genres for use in the game, but now they are adding something new, country.  This new pack will be like the others and include 15 cards along with one hidden track card, allowing you to pull your favorite country songs into the mix.  Look for this pack to be on store shelves at the start of February.

Back in the days of WWII, Berlin had been famously split between east and west, and West Berlin was controlled by the allies, but completely locked in by the Soviets.  This meant that land delivery of food was impossible, and so Operation Candy Bomber was launched to supply the city with enough food to survive the winter.  In the game Operation Candy Bomber, you and your fellow players are working together to accomplish that very goal.

In this game the board will start out seeded with food, but every round you will flip over a card to indicate where food will be eaten.  Now it’s up to the players to take their limited actions in the best way possible to resupply the people with food and candy.  As typical with cooperative games there are lots of ways to lose, but only one way to win, and that’s to complete all your missions and keep everyone fed.  At the start of the game you will flip over a mission/quest card, this will tell you where you need to go in order to complete the mission and any other special rules.  Now it’s time to go and deliver food and candy to the hungry people, all while trying to complete the mission.  Every once in a while a card will come up that moves the storm track closer to winter, and when it hits you will be grounded because of the cold weather, ending the game.  If you take too long to deliver supplies to the people then they will start to go hungry, if they get too hungry they will starve, also ending the game.  But if you can keep everyone fed and complete all your missions, then you will win the game.  Think Pandemic but in reverse.

The game is included in the $49 pledge and also comes with a poster to display on your wall if you so desire, you can even pledge to get the 70th anniversary edition of the book, The Berlin Candy Bomber.  So if this family weight historical game sounds interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Christmas gets closer the and pickings are starting to get slim on Kickstarter, but there is still one or two projects left to use that Christmas bonus on.  First on the list is a super premium edition of a game, and that is Lycans vs Vampires, The Full Fantasy Backgammon Collection.  That’s right, in this campaign you will be able to pledge for some very high quality and impressive looking backgammon boards and tokens.  Backgammon is a classic abstract game and in this campaign there are three boards you can choose from, each with a different type of cover art, but similar art for the inside of the game.  Each option also comes with marbled plastic playing pieces, as well as a set of metal coin playing pieces, dice, a doubling cube, and pouches to carry everything.  There is even an add-on option if you want an additional set of metal coins with different designs and colors on them.  Overall if you like backgammon, and have a soft spot for fantasy horror art, this is something for you to take a look at.  Find out more on the Kickstarter campaign page.

Next up we have Red Sonja: Hyrkania’s Legacy, another game in Lynnvander Studio’s legacy line of games, not to be confused with legacy games like Pandemic Legacy.  Red Sonja is a cooperative adventure game for up to four players, with each player taking on the role of a different hero in the lore.  The overarching goal of the game will be determined at the start by the quest card, this card will tell you how it is you can win the game.  But you still have the find the places you need to go on the board, and then survive your trip out in to the world as there are dangers lurking around every bend.  On your turn you will gear up and start exploring, revealing tiles along the way and possibly monsters as well.  Once you are out of actions then the monsters will attack, hopefully not while you are unarmed and vulnerable.  If you fall in combat that’s okay, you will be able to come back, but this heightens the despair in the land, and if you get too much then you will lose the game.  But if you manage to complete your quest before then, you will win the game!  To find out more about the game and to pledge for a copy, check out the Kickstarter before it ends on December 20th.

Lastly we have a light-hearted and comical card game called Seat Wars, where you are trying to claim a seat on a packed out bus.  Play is simple in that on your turn you will play a card to take a seat on the bus, but there is more to it than that.  If the seat is empty then you play them there, if there are no empty seats then you have to bump someone out, and that is where the card’s attack value comes into play.  If your attack is higher, great, you take that seat and put your passenger there, but if not then you will have to play out some equipment cards in order to bolster your value.  But the key to scoring your passengers is this, they have to remain seated for one full round, so you need to make sure there is either lots of empty space on the bus, or making sure they are too tough to move.  Add into this mix event cards that effect everyone, and special item cards that give bonus points, and you have a fun and quick little card game.  You can check out the Kickstarter campaign for more info and to pledge for a copy of this fun looking game.