It’s the week after Thanksgiving, that means it’s the first official week of Christmas shopping, so lets see what else there is to spend your money on. First is a new story telling “game” with some fun and interesting art, simply called StoryWorld. It’s a simple game which is all about creativity, adaptability, and good story telling. Each player will have a hand of cards consisting of characters, objects, places, actions, and some wild cards. At the start a theme card will be flipped over telling you the overall theme of the story, like fantasy, comedy, and so on. Then starting with the first player, they will play down one of the cards in their hand and tell a part of the story based on that card. The next player will then get to play a card but must continue the story from the previous card, building on what was played. This keeps going around, building and continuing the story with each card until everyone has played their cards. And that’s it, so while it’s not so much a game, it would be a fun activity with kids as the art is very fun and whimsical and helps get the creative juices going. You can find out more about this game on the Kickstarter page.
Next up we have a very pretty looking deduction game called Prismal, the first game in a newly created universe called the Kingdoms of Isempar. In this game you are trying to figure out what the value of the face down cards are in the middle, given that every card is dealt out and that only one of each number exists in each suit. From your information and the information given by other players via their played cards, you have to play down a number of cards in front of each hidden card equal to that hidden card’s value. Play is extremely simple with only two options, play a card out in front of the face down cards, or discard a card face down. You will always know how many cards of each suit are in play as they are clearly shown on the back, but it’s the value of these cards that you will have to figure out or make educated guesses on. At the end you will flip over all the cards and figure out how many you succeeded on and how many you failed. If your successes out weight your failures, you win. To find out more information you can check out the campaign page here.
After that we have a new dice worker placement type game called Living Planet, designed by Christophe Boelinger. In this game you are exploiting resources from a new planet and using those resources to build and trade your way to greatness. They call it a dice worker placement style game, but you don’t roll and place the die, instead you will be playing cards which show different values of the dice. On a turn you will play one of these cards and place your die in one of three zones, actions, production, or cataclysm. On the production space you will produce resources on all the factories and resource spaces you have that match that die value. On the cataclysm space if you match the color and value of a die on any hexes on the board, you trigger a disaster for that hex, which one is shown on each hex. On the actions space you will get to perform two actions, with each action being modified or defined by the value of die you put on that space. With the actions you will be able to explore more of the planet, build buildings, move units, get money, and so on. Turns will keep happening like this until everyone has had 12 turns, then you will count up victory points and see who the winner is. To read more about the game and to back for a copy, head on over to the Kickstarter page.
And finally, we have the random entry of the list, and that is the Animator vs Animation card game. The game’s art and concept come from the stick figure battle animations you can see online, and with the same goal, to win the battle. The game consists of picking a character, and then doing battle with the other characters as the animator. Each round you will play different action cards on the characters, moving them, turning them, and clicking on them to do damage. You will also be able to equip them with different items or use special abilities to modify the outcome of battle. As you damage your opponents you will start collecting their cubes, and each cube will be worth one point. When someone gets to 16 points they are immediately declared the winner. So if this kind of silly take that style card game is your thing, check out the Kickstarter page.
Outlaws: Last Man Standing is the newest game on Kickstarter from Holy Grail Games, the company that brought you Rising 5. Outlaws is a very different game than Rising 5, this time going the route of pure competitive play in a bluffing and deductive kind of way. If you have played Stratego then you will see some similarities in the feel of the game as the object of the game is to deduce several things about your opponent and play area. But first, lets start at the beginning, you will set up the game by taking all the characters of your color and setting them up facing you, and taking two characters and placing them face up in the “saloon”. Your opponent will do the same immediately across from you, and then a row of tokens will be placed between your two rows of characters. On each turn you will either swap two of your characters around, or reveal a character in order to take an action. The actions available are to peak at the token in front of that character, guess the token in front of them, or to use the special ability of the character. Grabbing the tokens in front of you is important because they are used to win the game, so you don’t want your opponent to have any. But revealing characters is risky because of the three win conditions, win the vote with your mayor, kill the mayor with your assassin, or arrest the assassin when they try to kill someone. Being able to do any of these three require knowledge about the tokens on the table and the position of each character. But don’t worry about having to remember everything, they give you tokens to use as reminders. First person to achieve a victory condition is the winner.
Art looks great for the game and if you like deduction games, this should scratch that itch well. One copy that can play two players runs a pledge of 18 Euro, while you can also add a second box with different colors to allow for up to 4 players to play for just 30 Euro. Stretch goals are being unlocked that add more characters to the game and an event deck, which will keep you on your toes. So if any of this sounds interesting to you, head on over to their Kickstarter page.
Captain Sonar has been an absolute hit this year, which is surprising for a game that requires 8 people to get the full experience. So Asmodee wants to roll with the punches and has announced a family version of the game simply called Sonar. In this version of the game your crew size is cut down to 2, meaning a full game only needs a much more manageable 4 people to fill every spot. Half of the roles and a lot of extras steps have been removed and you just have two positions, the captain and the radio operator.
The radio operator has the same role as before, listening to the other team’s captain as they move to try and determine where they are on the map. For the captain, they will announce the movement as well as mark off energy on their board as they move. When you get enough energy you can do things like activate sonar, run silent, or launch a torpedo. Running silent means you can move a space without announcing it, sonar makes your opponent to reveal either the column or row they are in, and firing a torpedo has you picking a coordinate to try and damage your opponent. First sub that takes two damage loses.
Hopefully the fun and feel of the larger game is still contained in this trimmed down version, but it does take the teamwork aspect of the big game down a notch, so we will have to wait and see. You can pick up a copy of Sonar later this fall, so until then you can read more about it on Asmodee’s website.
Fantasy Flight Games has announced Whitehall Mystery, a new standalone game in the Letters From Whitechapel Series. In Whitehall Mystery, the year is 1888 and construction of the New Scotland Yard in London’s Whitehall District has been interrupted by the discovery of a woman’s torso on the police’s doorstop. 2-4 players take on the role of either detectives or Jack the Ripper himself in this four round game of cat and mouse. Jack must leave body parts in four discovery locations, one each round, before the detectives can catch up. Each round ends either when Jack moves 15 spaces, or when a new grisly discovery is made by the police. Whitehall Mystery is a game full of historically accurate locations and characters, and can incorporate some elements from Letters From Whitechapel and it’s expansion Dear Boss.
Whitehall Mystery is due in stores Q3 of 2017. You can read the full press release from Fantasy Flight here.
Plaid Hat Games has announced a new game in the Specter Ops universe, Crossfire by Emerson Matsuuchi. In Crossfire, players join the struggle between Raxxon and A.R.K. trying to either kill or save a Raxxon VIP. Players are divided into two teams of assassins and agents, and need to use deduction, social skills, and their limited information to figure out who among the crowd of bystanders is the VIP, and whose side each player is on. After three minutes of play, players need to decide on one person to shoot. If the VIP is still standing, the Agents win, otherwise the assassins win. But be careful, because anyone who accidentally shot a bystander automatically loses.
Crossfire is due to be released this summer. You can read the full news article on Crossfire here.
Bellwether Games has announced a Kickstarter Campaign for Antidote: Lab Alliance, the expansion to their popular 2013 social deduction card game Antidote. In Antidote, 2-7 players are lab scientists when 1 of a possible 7 deadly toxins has spilled. The players need to scramble to determine which toxin is killing them and place the appropriate antidote card in their hand. By trading and discarding cards, players use deduction to figure out what is the one toxin card removed from the game. The expansion adds 78 new cards and 5 new game modes, which add more players (up to 9), teams, faster game play, truth serum and even romance.
The Kickstarter Campaign for Antidote: Lab Alliance continues through March 21, and is expected to deliver in December 2017.
Mayday Games and Lifestyle Boardgames have started a Kickstarter Campaign for Macroscope, a2-6 player image deduction game. Macroscope features a unique cardboard apparatus which allows the players to see small pieces of an image card. The players try to be first to guess the image, and players who guess with fewer windows gain greater rewards. Macroscope comes with 400 image cards, giving great replayability, and the Kickstarter Campaign will be open until February 27, 2017.
Macroscope is expected to deliver to backers in September 2017. You can see the Kickstarter Campaign for Macroscope here.
The Boss is a bluffing, social deduction game where you get to be an organized crime Boss! You need to insure you get your “piece of the action” from jobs performed in the cities of New York, Boston, Detroit, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Memphis and Philadelphia. The game includes 40 cards, wooden cubes, a score board, and tokens. You better read the other players reactions in order to determine the card that scores the most points, or it could be curtains for your crew! It is a 2-4 player game for 10+ ages and takes 30 minutes.
Blue Orange is releasing the game in January and pre-orders are already being taken. A game you can’t refuse: The Boss!
We previously reported on Asmodee reprinting the game Watson & Holmes, and so to help build interest in the game Asmodee has released part of a new case on their website. On the page you will find part of the case file as well as some of the locations you will find in the case, giving you a head start on solving the mystery. Once the game Watson & Holmes has been published they will release the full files for this free bonus case for the game so you can print it up and add it to your game. Will you be able to solve the mystery of Case X?
I will hand it to Asmodee, releasing additional content like this ahead of time is a solid way to get people interested in the game ahead of it’s release in 2017.
13 Clues a new game designed by Andrés J. Voicu and published by dV Giochi (responsible for the BANG! series of board games). 13 Clues is a 2-6 player deduction style game in which each player is trying to solve their own case and figure out which of the “13 clues” match their case. dV Giochi has recently published the rulebook for the game and it can be downloaded here.
The game’s components will include:
30 Clue cards
6 card holders
6 hiding screens
12 plastic stands
6 top secret folders
a pad of Casebook Pages
10 Magnifying Glass tokens
1 Secret Informant board
You can find out more about the game by visiting dV Giochi’s website here.