To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Space Invaders, the officially licensed board game is on Kickstarter. This is the real deal, unlike a fewother games in past years that have tried to replicate the same feel of the arcade cabinet. 2 to 4 players will move their cannon and shoot aliens competing for points in this deck-building-driven adaptation. Shooting aliens gives you upgrades, bunkers protect you from retaliation, and the player with the highest score at the end of it all will be deemed the best moon defender.
“As long time fans of tabletop games and electronic games alike, we were astounded that, during all this time, nobody had yet developed a genuine SPACE INVADERS board game. […] Our primary goal is to create a fantastic board game experience while remaining true to the original game’s visual presentation and atmosphere.”
While this isn’t an average video-game adaptation, it’s not an average deck-building game either. Really this is as thoughtfully produced and designed as modern board games get, and I justify that statement based on the excellent 8-bit graphic design, the appropriately-jagged components (especially the translucent deluxe edition pieces), and the palpable sense of fun from seeing waves of enemies get wrecked in demonstration. At the time of writing this the project has already funded and is already working towards stretch goals for both it’s standard and deluxe editions, and there’s a commemorative diorama available for purchase for super fans of the arcade classic. If you’re interested in learning more about Space Invaders – The Board Game, check out the Kickstarter page for more images, rules, and updates.
If you’re a fan of narrative driven games, historical themes, deck-building, punchy two-player experiences, or all of the above, you will be interested in Undaunted: Normandy coming this August from Osprey Games. It comes with some whopping credits behind it, designed by both David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin (both of whom created the recently popular War Chest) with art by Roland MacDonald (whose brilliant, sharp illustrations are featured in Western Legends and Stop Thief!). This campaign-style game follows the history of the US 30th Infantry Division, where one player operates a deck representing those US troops as they drive into occupied France, while the other player controls the German opposition. Both participants must manage troops, reinforcements, and casualties as they simulate this titanic point in WWII history through tactical choices and card play.
“Undaunted: Normandy is a deck-building game that places you and your opponent in command of American or German forces, fighting through a series of missions critical to the outcome of World War II. Use your cards to seize the initiative, bolster your forces, or control your troops on the battlefield. Strong leadership can turn the tide of battle in your favour, but reckless decisions could prove catastrophic, as every casualty you take removes a card from your deck.”
While there are no shortage of war games that are capable of providing a tension-filled window into the Invasion of Normandy, this is no-doubt a much faster, more personal approach. Where there is a lack of miniatures, there’s an excellent use of Roland McDonald’s work that provides fresh, evocative faces of the stakes both players know. It may not have an expansive spatial element to it, but the struggles your deck will go through should more than impress. If you’re interested in learning more about Undaunted: Normandy, check out Osprey Games’ website/blog for further reading and announcements.
The 2017 Spiel des Jahres nominee, The Quest for El Dorado, is getting it’s first expansion – Heroes & Hexes! Reiner Knizia’s deck-building racing game through South America can be expanded to add heroes and demons to the course, injecting riskier decisions and daring rewards. Demon spaces are cheap, costing nothing to enter, and can even offer shortcuts, but all of it is for a price. Demon spaces bring curses, burdening the player with unsavory effects they’ll have to deal with for the rest of the game. It’s not all bad though, as everyone starts with familiars in their deck offering one-off powers and tavern spaces on the board provide heroes that can really give you an edge on your way to the City of Gold.
“To play with this expansion, you must use the “Caves” variant of The Quest for El Dorado base game in which mountains are loaded with cave tokens. This expansion includes new cave tokens to be mixed with those of the base game, as well as four new types of expedition cards (with three copies of each) that can be pulled into the market once a stall opens. […] The expansion includes six suggested map set-ups — all at medium or hard levels, and all with three new terrain tiles — as well as guidelines for how to create maps yourself.”
Knizia’s games are often mechanically strong, elegant, and lacking frills, so to see an expansion to one of his designs which adds risk/reward systems is exciting. Do you take the path that’s really less traveled, or take the longer route to come out of this race with a clean soul and sounder mind? To me this feels like a must-have expansion for anyone who loves The Quest for El Dorado, as the familiars, cards, and map variability alone breathe more zest into an already rock solid game, all the other bits are an even more pleasing bonus. The expansion is slated to make it to retail soon, or at least before the end of the year as far as I can find, but If you’d like to find out more be sure to check out their website for rulebooks and further announcements.
Contents include: 84 Standard Main Deck Cards, 35 Genius Waves, 15 Smith Family Cards, 20 Morty Waves, 16 Portal Guns, 7 Nemesis Cards, which include Seal Team Ricks, 15 Location Cards, 9 Access Tokens, 1 Location Token, 6 Oversized Rick, Morty, and Summer Character Cards, 1 Rulebook and an oversized Promo Jerry card (first printing of game only!)
Legacy games continue to be the hot item, and Indie Boards and Cards is joining in with a legacy game based on their popular Aeon’s End deck building game. Aeon’s End Legacy is unique in terms of legacy games in that you aren’t playing a one-off type game where it’s used up at the end, nor are you creating a game like you do in Charterstone. No, in Aeon’s End Legacy you are creating and building up your own unique character that you can then take to play in the rest of the Aeon’s End content. But at the start of the game your character is bland and rather weak, so you have to play through games, called chapters, that allow you to get more powerful cards and add new abilities to your character. This will mainly be done through adding stickers to your player board, until at the end of the game you have a fully fleshed out character with their own unique starting deck.
A base pledge of $65 plus shipping will get you Aeon’s End Legacy. You will also be able to add on various expansions from the base game along with the base game itself in case you need those. If you want to run through the legacy game multiple times you will need recharge packs that cost $25 a piece. There are even options for accessories to up the component quality of the game, and a playmat to help keep things organized on the table. So if the idea of creating your own character in Aeon’s End appeals to you, along with just more content for the game, you will want to check out their Kickstarter.
Asmodee Digital continues to up it’s game by entering into a partnership with Playdeck. Four games that will immediately be transformed under the new brand are Ascension, Twilight Struggle, Summoner Wars, and Agricola. Notice that these games aren’t new to the app space as they have been previously under Playdeck, but now they are under Asmodee Digital’s control. Will we see new updates or additional versions of the games in the future? Well we won’t know until Asmodee tells us about it. You can download the games from your respective app stores, and check out each of the links above for more information on the individual game apps.
Things are returning to normal in the land of crowd funding, so here are some more campaigns for you to check out. First one the list is the latest expansion set for the Red Dragon Inn, and that’s the Red Dragon Inn 7. This new set finally brings the tavern workers into the mix, so now you will be able to see if the servers can keep up with their patrons. Red Dragon Inn is a game all about drinking, brawling, and gambling, with the person who is the last one standing, while stilling having some gold, will be the winner. Each round you will be playing cards to get people to drink, gamble their hard earned money, or just try to beat the tar out of each other. But be careful, if your fortitude ever meets your drunkenness, you pass out and are out of the game, or if you run out of gold then the bartender tosses you out. The expansion will come with everything you need in order to play the game, plus promos or metal coins depending on the pledge level you go for. A copy will run you $40, but if you have Red Dragon Inn 5, you can opt for an ECO option and they will send just the contents to you without the box for $5 cheaper. You can check out the Kickstarter campaign now to pledge for your copy.
Next up is a new worker placement and deck building game all about launching your new cafe in the diverse city of Berlin, called Seize the Bean. In this game you are trying to hit a certain level of good reviews, but to do that you need to be able to consistently serve your customers. You will first have to build up your cafe through worker placement, getting ingredients, attracting customers, and upgrading you cafe to make your actions more powerful. At the end of the round you will shuffle up your customers and draw some, then using your collected supplies you will try to satisfy their orders in order to get their good reviews. Components for this game are excellent, art for the game is also good, and the written reviews on the tokens are funny as well. So if you have a passion for coffee or the unique city that is Berlin, check out the Kickstarter campaign, a base pledge costs you only 39 euro.
Next is a simple and strategic card game called Home on Lagrange, where you are trying to build the best space station among the other players. You will be doing this through multi-use cards, which can be played for effects, used as currency, or used as resources in the modules. Modules are what you will be going after because once someone finishes an entire station with the four different modules, the game will end. Each of these modules by themselves will score a certain amount, but if you can stack one, two, or three resources on them you can increase it’s score. Plus the action cards give you special actions to help you get a leg up on the competition. So be careful with your building, if you don’t pay attention to the scores you may end up triggering the end game without having the winning hand so to speak. You can check out the Kickstarter campaign here, and a copy of the game will run you £25.
And finally, we have a family friendly deduction game called Noises at Night. In this game each of the players will be a different character like the boogeyman, a rat, dad, mom, ghost, and so forth, trying to score the most points. You will score points in three different ways, one is by having your icons scoring on the cards being played, second by playing cards to your secret location, and finally by guessing who everyone else is. Play is simple in that on your turn you will play cards out onto the board, trying to maximize your points without giving away who and where you are. After everyone has played out cards you will go into a guessing phase where you can guess who other people are. Get it right and you get some bonus points, get it wrong and they get the points instead. After ten rounds the player with the most points is the winner. So if you are a fan of deduction games, and this family weight one seems your speed, then head on over to the campaign page to check it out. A pledge of only $19 will get you the base game and any stretch goals they unlock.
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.
Somewhere out there, a nerd is crying because I am about to talk about a DC Deck building release and Marvel Legendary release in the same article. Anyway, first of the two releases I will be talking about is the upcoming DC Deck Building Game: Confrontations. This is a stand alone game and plays similar to the Rivals set where it was Batman vs. Joker, but expands the roster on both sides and expands the player count up to 2 vs 2. On the heroes side you will be able to choose from Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, or Zatanna, and on the villain side you will have your choice of Lex Luthor, Circe, Ocean Master, or Felix Faust. You can even combine this with the Rivals set to expand the options and gameplay. You can read more about the upcoming release on Cryptozoic’s website, and look for it on store shelves towards the end of the month.
The second release we have is from Upper Deck for Marvel Legendary, and that’s Marvel Legendary: Champions. This set takes it’s heroes and cards from a very recent addition to the comic book universe, specifically the Champions series which debuted at the end of last year. This set will bring in a selection of younger heroes with a more cooperative and less violent bent to them. You will see the return of the keyword Versatile, as well as the addition of a new keyword, Cheering Crowds (yes it’s two words but work with me here). The cheering crowds mechanics allows you to return a bystander you rescued to be able to activate that card a second time, opening up new options for gameplay. There are also lots of new strategies to be had with characters like Viv Vision being able to rescue bystanders while recruiting. So if this sounds like something you want to add to your Legendary collection, look for it on store shelves in early 2018, and you can check out Upper Deck’s website for more information.
Grey Fox Games has announced SUPERHOT Card Game, based on the popular FPS video game SUPERHOT. SUPERHOT Card Game is a deck building game based on Agent Decker (2015), which can be played solo, cooperatively with 2, competitively 1 on 1, or 2 vs 1. As in the videogame, time moves forward when you take actions, meaning the more cards you play, the faster a line of obstacles moves towards you. Look for SUPERHOT Card Game in December 2017. You can read more about SUPERHOT Card Game on Grey Fox’s website here.
Grand Gamers Guild is bringing Pocket Ops, a 2 player competitive deduction/abstract game, to stores in December. Based on the Tic-Tac-Toe framework, players anticipate each others’ moves and stay one step ahead. Victory can be snatched or thwarted by clever use of elite agents – the sniper, assassin, pusher, grappler, or hacker. First to capture both parts of the doomsday device wins Pocket Ops. For more information and pictures of the excellent components, visit the Grand Gamers Guild website here.