cooperative game

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.

 

Lots of people have some sort of table decor in their home to bring delight to a room, from coffee table books to easy-to-play games. It’s a nice look to have a chess set or giant checkers in the living room. How about Knot Dice? They are beautiful, charming dice that do not show any numbers at all, but instead intricate silver lines used to create an incredible number of designs and probably look just as good, if not better, occupying a table. Knot Dice are now back on Kickstarter, the original crossed version as well as it’s expansion, so now you can pick up the originals that did so well plus many more.  These quality, hefty dice, aren’t just for show either, as according to the campaign page they can be used for a variety of puzzles and games as well.

“Some enjoy just making designs with them, or leaving them out on tables and counters to play with. But they also can be used to play a large number of games and puzzles. The original Knot Dice set includes 18 awesome dice and rules to 12 games and 7 types of puzzles, with dozens of individual puzzles.”

There are competitive, cooperative, real-time, and turn-based games, and having both sets through the campaign allows for totally new games and puzzles while also broadening the options in previous ones. The dice are simply captivating and I can see them being wonderful for guests and kids. They mix style and versatility, and being able to do more than just fiddle with them is even more value for money. If you are interested in learning more about Knot Dice, check out the Kickstarter page for videos, demonstrations of games and puzzles, community feedback, and updates.

Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new card game is called Heroes of Terrinoth. It is a reworked and rethemed version of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game.

Heroes of Terrinoth will allow one to four players to cooperatively adventure through eight missions in the Land of Steel on Mennara. Play time for a mission is 45 minutes or longer and the recommended minimum player age is 14. The game features many role-playing game elements. Players can choose to be a healer, warrior, mage, or scout archetype. The players can then branch from these archetypes into various classes. Over time their characters will gain experience, abilities, and equipment to help in later missions. Characters will use activation cards to choose between attack, rest, explore, and aid actions. Dice are used to modify the success of these actions. After each turn a peril token is moved along a peril track, which causes different events to happen. The final event on the track is the most dangerous.

The game will be available for pre-order at retailers any time now. More information about the game can be found here. For Dice Tower video reviews of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game, on which Heroes of Terrinoth is based, click here.

Some readers may know of Kingdom of Solomon, a worker placement game designed by Philip duBarry and published by Minion Games back in 2012. It’s a well-regarded and unique game that just didn’t have enough going for it at the time. With a distinctive theme of building-up ancient Israel, Kingdom allowed players to not only diversify their resources and how they got them, but also had a “cash in your chips” mechanic where you could give up all of your workers for a massive bonus if you felt it was worth the risk. I’m glad to write today that this cool design will not fade into obscurity as it’s new and improved spiritual successor, Wisdom of Solomon, is now on Kickstarter.

“Wisdom of Solomon is a worker placement game with a splash of network building. A typical game takes about 15 minutes per player, with games being a little bit longer the first time playing.  Wisdom of Solomon is a light to medium weight game, meaning that there is plenty of strategy for experienced gamers to enjoy but the game is intuitive and simple enough for new gamers to be able to jump right in.”

Now the game is back, with updated gameplay, art, and components, and ready to show everything that made Kingdom of Solomon so special all over again with it’s best foot forward. I particularly enjoy seeing a thoughtfully designed game like this being brought back in earnest, as it showcases a period of history that is worth learning about. The new publisher, Funhill Games, is also using some of the funds from this campaign to reprint Kings of Israel, a cooperative game as equally well-regarded and welcome again. If you are interested in learning more about Wisdom of Solomon, or Kings of Israel, check out the Kickstarter campaign page for the rules, gameplay videos, reviews, community feedback, and updates.

Dungeon crawls are usually more serious affairs and can get rather involved with games like Gloomhaven, Descent, and Massive Darkness.  But what if you just want to have a silly time dungeoning in a short time span?  Then Fungeon Party is here to save the day.

Fungeon Party is a light dexterity, party game that plays in only 3 minutes, and can support up to 4 people.  In the game you will pull 6 quest cards from a quest deck, and it’s these quests that you have to accomplish in order to win the game.  Each player will pick a class like barbarian, cleric, ranger, or others, with each class having their own special abilities to accomplish quests, and stats that can increase over time.  But two questions remain, what do you do on these quests and how does it play in only 3 minutes?  Well to answer the time question is simple, you get 30 seconds to complete each quest for a total time of 3 minutes.  As for what quests you will be doing, you will be doing things like stacking dice on your forehead, knocking down a meeple surrounded by dice, balancing a meeple on a stick, bouncing dice into the box, and more.  Manage to complete all six quests and you win!

Fungeon Party is a random and frantic game that while may not exactly scratch that dungeon crawling itch, it would definitely be a fun opening game before the heavy stuff.  Look for it in stores in June, but you can go and pre-order the game today.  Check out Wizkids’ webpage for more information.

Unique themes can be hard to come by, but this one manages to not only be unique, but down right cute.  In Rescue Polar Bears: Data and Temperature you and your friends are doing exactly that, rescuing polar bears before global warming claims their homes forever.  Play is easy in that on each turn you will move around the board, loading up polar bears on your boats, gathering data, and transporting both to your base.  But what also happens each round is that the temperature will continue to climb, and as it reaches certain points, the ice floes the bears are standing on will melt.  If a bear falls into the water you can rescue them with an emergency helicopter, but you only have so many, and once you run out then he next polar bear that falls in the water will perish and you will lose the game.  Another thing that happens is that baby polar bears will be born, meaning you now have more polar bears to rescue than you did before.  To win you have to collect enough data in order to fill in the data track on the board, thus giving you enough data to be able to save all the polar bears at once.  So put on your thermals and grab you snow boots, it’s time to rescue some polar bears.

The art for the game is pretty good, but the cute meter goes off the charts when you look at the bear meeples that come in papa, mama, and baby sizes.  So if you are looking for your next cooperative style game, give this Kickstarter a look.  A pledge for the game costs only $50 plus shipping, and you can pledge for multiple copies at a discount as well, but pledge early as there is only a limited number of copies available.

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!