“You’ve come to make your fortune on Cooper Island, whose
untouched peninsulas stretch out like long arms into the wild Atlantic. With
two ships and a few workers, each of you has landed on a separate peninsula,
which you hope to explore, cultivate, and settle. But who will do this best?
And how? Will you expand your land quickly, or will you instead spend your
efforts cultivating it, making it more and more valuable and productive?”
Frosted Games along with Capstone Games have announced Cooper Island, a new complex strategy game from the brilliant mind of Andreas “ode.” Odendahl (La Granja). In Cooper Island, 2-4 players compete as explorers to colonize their island off the Atlantic peninsula. Players have 2 ships and a worker, and place landscape tiles over their island, gaining resources. Resources can be used to build structures with special abilities. Certain areas on the island are inaccessible and need to be cleared to gain access. Supply ships can come in from the Old World, helping the colonization.
As you can see, Cooper Island is a complex set of mechanical interlocking gears, melding together into a satisfying heavy euro game. The point scoring and tracking is yet another unique element to this game; each player marks their points by moving a small ship around the perimeter of their island. However, this ship can discover new lands, granting benefits to the player. After 5 rounds, the player with the most victory points is declared… well, the victor.
Backers of the previous The 7th Continent Kickstarter, and it’s expansion, have been receiving their rewards over the past month, and the creators at Serious Poulp have wasted no time in planning ahead for the system and world they’ve brought to life. For those who missed out on this last campaign and would still like to buy an exclusive copy, they confirmed that stock will be available while supplies last after they’ve completed their inventory in mid-July. Also, excitingly still, there will be a Classic Edition available from their online store in Q4 of this year, which will be a smaller box containing most of the original’s content sans Kickstarter extras (some of which will be sold separately). If all that wasn’t enough, they also announced an all new game on the horizon set in the same universe – The 7th Citdael.
“The 7th Continent adventure is coming to an end… but our desire to keep exploring and pushing all the possibilities offered by this system is not. Therefore, in parallel to following-up the end of production, we’ve started working on a new game based on the same system. […] The 7th Citadel will take place in a new unique “Dark Fantasy” world whose gameplay will be significantly enhanced compared to that of The 7th Continent.”
A Kickstarter campaign for this new title will be coming in 2020, with previews to be shared this fall. The teaser image alone is awesome enough to make waves as I’m sure there’s many details that didn’t escape notice nor hype. Most notably is how the tag line compares to the original – It’s identical except for having replaced the word “Survive” with “Build”, implying a much different shift in the backbone of the game than it’s predecessor. For more information about The 7th Continent, the upcoming Classic Edition, and the announcement of The 7th Citadel, look no further than the announcement titled “The Future” and that page’s comments and feedback.
Age of Sail is a thematic euro-strategy set in the historic age of discovery focusing on area control, resource collection, engine-building and action management. Endeavor: Age of Expansion allows players to continue growing their empire and expanding its influence beyond the edges of the map with a new Kickstarter campaign this summer.
The expansion features new cards and
additional game play mechanics for use with the base game. Improving
on the previous strategic experience, Burnt Island Games has
introduced new concepts including trade, fortify and
A new set of asset cards have been
added, and along with the new mechanics they offer an overall
improved game-play experience according to the publisher.
Endeavor: Age of Sail, was 910 percent funded on Kickstarter and met 22 stretch goals for over 7,500 backers. Burnt Island Games will try to repeat this success when the Age of Expansion campaign goes live on June 18, 2019.
Fantasy Flight Games is trying their hand at a whole new type of game that they are dubbing, Unique Games, where the contents of each box of the game are different than every other box. Think of it like a mash up of booster packs for a CCG and a boxed board game, but without the collectible aspect of it. While the core of the game mechanics and the pieces being used will be the same, the cards, scenarios, and campaigns will vary from box to box, giving each purchaser a unique version of that game. The first game in the series was Keyforge, a two player battle card game where each deck you purchased was completely unique from any other. But now they are being a bit more ambitious with their next game, Discover: Lands Unknown.
In Discover: Lands Unknown you are a group of survivors who are stuck on a mountaintop trying to stay warm, or maybe you are marooned on an island with strange creatures roaming about. Once you know what sticky situation you are in, you will need to get a head count and see who is there with you and how they can help you to survive. Maybe you have Jasmine the mountain climber who can get around easier, or Biff the lumberjack who can gather wood better, or maybe Laila the wildlife photographer who can find new features. Gameplay at the core will be the same though, gathering resources and exploring the terrain in an effort to survive and escape. During the day you will be doing actions, using up stamina as you go along, but make sure you get back to camp before you run out, or you risk spending the night vulnerable out in the wilderness. Manage to stay alive and complete all the objectives and you will be able to escape!
If I didn’t say this game greatly intrigued me I would be lying, but the unique game aspect has my a little concerned and I hope that one game isn’t drastically different than the others. But only time will tell, you can check out more information about the game on Fantasy Flight’s website, and look for the game to be released in the final quarter of this year.
Fans of historical exploration will soon have a new way to scratch that itch.
1500 – The New World, published by Dan Verssen Games, will have players exploring the New World, establishing colonies, building up those colonies, and collecting victory points based on how many successful colonies they have.
“During your turn, you’ll play as many of your cards as possible. There are two types of cards: tan cards, which you play on your turn as actions, and red cards, which are played in reaction to other players’ cards. Each card can be played for its text or to perform one of several basic actions, which are to build a colony, reduce a colony, repair a colony, or adjust Royal Support. Use your cards to build your colonies and earn the most victory points by the time the game ends!”
The game comes with 112 cards, counters, rules, and a mounted map. Alternatively, you can order a roll-up game mat to replace the map if you want to add bling to your game.
Also available are five nation expansions, which will allow players to add different nationalities to their game. Each expansion comes with 112 new cards that are nation-specific. These expansions include rules and cards that also allow solo play against an “AI” based on each nationality.
The five nationalities available are England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
All of this should be available sometime in January 2018.
Pretty sure my own wallet takes a kick whenever I do these posts, but then again, that just shows that there are lots of interesting projects out there to back. So here are some more for you to look at.
Fist up is a new game from Ludicreations that tries to tell the forgotten story of what happened during the destruction of the libraries at Alexandria. Alexandria is a euro game where you most precious resource is time, as the library is burning down around you and you need to get the most valuable treasures before they are lost forever. Each setup of the game is different with a randomly generated layout, and as you move from one room to the other you will be interacting and reacting to things that are there. You will have to plan your moves wisely, budget your time well, and make use of various items and books you obtain to secure what you seek. In the end you will score based on the sets of items you were able to rescue and the person with the most points is the winner. You can find out more about this game on it’s Kickstarter page, and also look at the wonderful illustrations done for it by the talented Vincent Dutrait.
Next is the latest game from Tim Fowers called Now Boarding. For those of us who have played game apps like Airport Mania, this game will feel very similar as it’s a race against time for you and your fellow pilots to fly people to their destinations. On a turn there will be new passengers who have places they need to be, and in order to get them there you will have to work together since each player owns certain air travel lanes on the board. Once the round starts you have 30 seconds to pick up passengers and drop their off as quickly as you can, any that don’t make it gain anger tokens. Once a passenger gets three anger tokens they are removed from the game and file a complaint, three complaints and everyone loses. Manage to avoid getting that third complaint and you all win! With a fast play time and great art, this filler game could hit the table multiple times. To find out more about the game and to pledge, you can visit their Kickstarter page.
After that we have the latest in the long line of werewolf themed social deduction games from Bezier Games called Werebeasts. So what makes this game different than the 50 other Werewolf style games? Well for one this one is a social deduction collection game, this means you are trying to figure out what people are collecting over identifying any specific individual. Each round you will be bidding for cards with one player being the auctioneer, and the rest bidding with whatever cards they have. The auctioneer gets to determine what they consider a higher bid and the highest bidder gets the card. You can accuse someone at any time on what they are collecting, but if you are wrong then you are eliminated instead. But why are you collecting cards? Each person has two goals on werebeasts they want to collect, and each one they collect is worth a point. At the end, the last one standing or most points at the end is the winner. So if you are in the mood for another social deduction game, check out the Kickstarter.
Next is a beautiful drafting card game from Dr. Finn Games called Little Flower Shop. In this game you are the owner of a flower shop trying to arrange that most beautiful flowers in your store window. To do this you will be drafting cards, with cards having vases, flowers, hanging baskets, or orders that you can fill. Each vase has a specific flower that needs to be placed in it, and if you manage to but them together then you can score that set at the end of the game. You can also earn points by buying the hanging baskets you draft with money you earn by fulfilling orders with different flowers. At the end whoever has the most points will be the winner of the game. Art for the game has a nice watercolor style to it and the gameplay is simple but fun. If this game sounds interesting then check out it’s Kickstarter page.
Up next is or token dice project of the week, and that is Deluxe Constellation Dice. These dice are a little pricey, but they are high quality and feature sides with different astrological symbols like Cassiopeia or Corona Borealis. The dice also feature some impressive coloring and even some glow in the dark features. Over all if you like dice with a star theme then you want to check out this Kickstarter. You can pledge for D10s, D6s, fudge dice, and even full poly sets at the higher tiers.
Next is an expansion for a game that hasn’t gotten a lot of buzz, but has excellent reviews, and that is The Networks: Executives. The Networks is a previous game that was Kickstarted by Formal Ferret Games and has you playing the programming manager for a fictional TV station. You populate your prime time lineup with shows, stars, and commercials in order to bring in the most viewers. Executives expands on that game by adding three new features to the game. First are Executives, those are essentially characters you choose to play as that have different special abilities and weaknesses. Next are more season 0 shows, giving you an asymmetrical start with different benefits as opposed to the generic same start that the base game had. And last it adds in Mogul cards which give you big bonuses when you achieve a programming milestone, giving something to work towards in that respect. These additions help to expand the game more and smooth out some rough spots in the game. If you want to get a copy of the expansion or the base game, check out the Kickstarter today.
Last is kind of a wild card game which came out of no where, and that is The Island of El Dorado. This game looks like a mix of Catan and an exploration game. On your turn you will roll two dice, you will pick one die to determine how many spaces you can move, and the other die will determine how many resources you gather. Moving is how you explore and reveal the tiles of the board, and when you gather resources you will gather them from areas you have built up or are present. With those resources you can then purchase more villagers, build forts to strengthen your villagers, build farms to gather more resources, or make offerings at temples to gain control of them. The strength of your villagers comes into play when you are moving across the board and another player is in your way. You can battle them, rolling dice and adding your strength to it to see who wins. This is also the way you can steal the final temple piece that is needed to win the game. In the end, whoever has made offerings at the three temples, and has control of temple piece wins the game. So if you like these kinds of mashup type games with lots of different mechanics, while still working well as a whole, check out the Kickstarter today.
Zendo, the rule guessing abstract game is finally getting an update and reprint. Zendo is an easy game to play, the active player will come up with a rule, like two pyramids must touch at the tip, and then the other players start building layouts tying to guess the rule. As the go along the rule maker will answer questions and let you know if you built something that satisfies the rule. Once someone figures out the rule they win.
When the Pyramid Arcade was announced and Kickstarted, everyone was clamoring for the game Zendo to be added to the list of games in the box. However, Looney Labs kept saying no, and then we found out that this was because they would reprint the game separately. And now we have a date to go with that, so look for the game to be back on store shelves in December of this year.
Wizkids has announced a new expansion to the Star Trek: Frontiers game, a re-theme and update to Mage Knight, called The Return of Khan. This expansion adds a whole new scenario to the game where Khan has returned and is looking to rule the galaxy with power he can steal from the Borg. It’s up to captains from across the Star Trek series, Picard, Kirk, Sisko, and more, to work together and stop him before he can complete his plans. This expansion you will give you all the tokens, tiles, and cards needed for this new scenario, as well as rules and tokens to be able to add a 5th player to the game. You can find this game on store shelves in November of this year, and you can head over to Wizkids’ website to read more about it.
Last from WizKids as well is the colorful euro style building game, Favelas. In this game you are building your own Favelas, a multi-level house painted all sorts of colors in order to beautify and rejuvenate the town. However there is a catch, the council over seeing this effort, and the one determining the point values, is notoriously fickle and will change their minds each year, changing the value of each color. So over three years in the game you will build up your town with colors that get you the most points before the council’s mood changes. The person with the most points at the end is the winner. Favelas looks like an interesting and colorful game, and it should arrive on store shelves in October of this year. Until then you can read more on Wizkids’ website.
Endeavor is a euro-style game that came out in 2009, and while you may not hear about it talked much, it is a solidly rated game with some good mechanics. So in order to bring the game back into print for more to enjoy it, Burnt Island Games and Grand Gamers Guild have teamed up to reprint the game. They have gone through and done the usual updating with better art and revised rules, but they have also gone the extra mile to include extras. Some of those extras include a second side to the board for a different player count, variable setups with new buildings, a new exploits mechanic, and more. Another aspect that was updated was how slavery was depicted in the original game, and while it is still present in this edition, they made it more risky. This was done with the possibility of slavery being abolished during the game, effectively ruining any strategy that uses it too heavily.
Having played the original I wouldn’t mind getting this game to see if the new changes improve an already great game. Watch for the Kickstarter to launch in January of 2018, and see it premiere in print at Essen next year. You can read the press release below for more information.
Burnt Island Games & Grand Gamers Guild Reissue Endeavor
Burnt Island Games & Grand Gamers Guild join forces in a bold new Endeavor designed and updated by Carl de Visser & Jarratt Gray
Toronto, Ontario, Canada & Grand Rapids, MI, USA—Today, Burnt Island Games and Grand Gamers Guild announce a co-publication updating the 2009 Endeavor.
Endeavor was originally published in the United States in 2009 by Z-Man Games. The game currently sits at #172 on BGG. This edition will hold true to its Euro-style gameplay, and introduces a number of new features:
⎈Double-sided board to accommodate different player counts
⎈Variable starting set ups with new Buildings
⎈Exploits to enhance the mechanisms and story of the different regions
⎈Updated visuals by the original Artist and Graphic Designer: Josh Cappel
In Endeavor, players strive to earn glory for their empires. Sailing out from Europe and the Mediterranean, players will establish shipping routes and occupy cities the world over. As they do so, players will leverage their growing Industry, Culture, Finance, and Influence, building their engine and extending their reach into the far flung regions of the world.
One of the most controversial aspects of Endeavor that has been a topic of much discussion is the Slavery aspect of the game. Historically empires capitalized on the backs of indigenous peoples, and this Edition will not shy away from this reality. Employing Slavery is gut wrenching, but can often be a winning strategy. Empires who rely on this unsavory means of prosperity might find themselves in ruins if the tide turns and Slavery is abolished.
Endeavor is for 2-5 players, ages 13+, and plays in approximately 90 minutes. It will be hitting Kickstarter in January 2018, with fulfillment in late summer/early fall, and have a convention premiere at Essen 2018. For more information visit the Endeavor website: endeavorgame.com or e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much more information coming soon!
About Burnt Island Games
Burnt Island Games makes games that are innovative, thought provoking, and beautiful. Their games are engaging in play and aesthetic. Burnt Island the sibling company of Kids Table Board Gaming (Foodfighters, Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants, and Haunt the House).
About Grand Gamers Guild
Grand Gamers Guild is the publisher of both Unreal Estate and Stroop, as well as the upcoming Pocket Ops. While they began with smaller titles, the Guild is excited to add Endeavor to the roster of bigger boxes to their production line.
Burnt Island Games, Kids Table Board Gaming, Foodfighters, Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants, Haunt the House, Grand Gamers Guild, Unreal Estate, Stroop, and Pocket Ops are all trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Another week, and another round of Kickstarters to deliver a pounding to your wallet.
First up is an expansion to an award winning game, and that is Beasts of Balance Battles. Beasts of Balance is a hybrid game where you stack geometrically shaped animals on a platform, and those animals then appear in an app you run to play the game. Throughout the game you will moving, combining, and stacking animals in an effort to have the highest score in the app by the end of the game. This is because while you may just stack animals in real life, in the app each action has differing effects, making this dexterity game much more interesting. What Battles adds to the game is cards that have effects that attack and remove your opponents animals. There are also a volcano to contend with now and divine guardians that give you special abilities during the game. So if you want to expand your Beast of Balance game, or jump into the game now, check out the Kickstarter.
Next up is a new tile placement and area control type game called Overworld. This game aims to capitalize on the nostalgia of Super Nintendo era RPG games, evident in their choice of box design and the similarity of game pieces to quintessential RPG characters. In this game you are slowing building out the map, and whenever you completely surround an empty square, that becomes a dungeon. Who controls the dungeon is determined by who holds a majority in all orthogonal directions. At the end of the game you will trace a route through all your dungeons and however many spaces it takes will be your final score, and most points is the winner. One other things to mention about this project is the puzzle lock system they came up with for the tiles, essentially making it so that if the pieces fit together, it’s a legal placement of the tile, a nice innovation to help simplify the game. So if you are interested, head on over to the Kickstarter page to check out this 16-bit themed game.
After that we have a family weight game called Pepper and Carrot, the Potion Contest. Pepper and Carrot is a tile manipulation game in that each turn you will be using action cards on the table or in your hand to manipulate tiles on your board. What you are trying to do with those tiles is get the right ingredients connected together to form one of the three recipes on the main board. Be the first to complete all three recipes and you are the winner. There are also additional game modes including solo mode and Chaosah mode, where one player plays as an old witch needing only to complete one recipe, but they are at a disadvantage to the other players. Art is excellent and very light, making this a great looking game. Check out the Kickstarter today.
Next we have the latest game from Victory Point Games, a deck builder with a board type game called Renegade. This is a cooperative game where you are playing hackers, fighting against the tyranny of the SMCs (super massive computers) that have brought the world to the brink. You will use cards to generate resources on the board, and with those resources you can perform various actions to combat the SMCs. As you generate resources, if you have three of the same kind in a spot you can convert it into an installation, allowing you access to more and stronger abilities. As with other deck builders there will be a hackers deck that allows you to buy upgraded cards with better resources and abilities. Can you stop the machines? Check out the Kickstarter page for more information and to pledge.
Now we get to the smallest of the Kickstarter offerings I will be talking about, and that is Twin Stars by Button Shy Games, part of their Wallet Series of game. These are a pack of solo game scenarios featuring the same game system, which utilizes four dice, some tokens, and three cards. The path to victory in each game is very different, but the core of the game is dice rolling to get combinations of symbols to activate abilities. The choices in the game come from deciding which dice to re-roll, can you accept a bad symbol combination resulting in a penalty, and how will you assign the dice to get the best effect possible. Some of the scenarios have been released in other Kickstarters like the Rule the World and Escape the Brig, but here you will be able to get everything in one spot, including some unreleased scenarios. Add in potential stretch goals and you could have lots of solo gaming for not much money. Check out the Kickstarter page, and you can pledge for just the cards, supplying your own tokens and dice, or go deluxe and get everything you need to play in one package.
Finally we come to the last project I will mention, and that is an expansion to Explorers of the North Sea called Rocks of Ruin. Explorers of the North Sea is a viking exploration game where you are sailing around in your longships, raiding towns, picking up livestock, deliver the livestock, and building outposts. There are lots of ways to score points in the game and it came with 48 tiles giving it a play time of about an hour. Rocks of Ruin adds new things to the game in the form of a 5th player, 24 more tiles that increase the map size by 50%, more buildings, fortresses, and shipwrecks that you can salvage. So if you like Explorers of the North Sea, this expansion will just give you more of what you love, with the option of adding another friend to the game. Also being included in this Kickstarter is a mini expansion for Runesaga, adding a fifth player to that along with three runestones and three inscription tiles. So if you are interested in these expansions, head on over to he Kickstarter page.
Reforged and Ninja Division are partnering to Kickstart a new game called Warforged: First Contact. Warforged bills itself as a skirmish level exploration game, similar to games like Descent or Shadows of Brimstone, but still very different. This is a one vs many game where one person controls the Mantra, an alien race that is invading through a portal at the center of a shrine. The many play as the Iron Legion, the military force sent to investigate the portal, with each player leading their own squad. Play is simple in that on your turn you have two actions to take, and your available options are move or shoot. Player order though is the interesting thing, as every figure has a card, and all the cards are shuffled into a deck, and drawing from that deck determines who moves. This means you will need to coordinate very well, because luck may fall to where the enemy gets all their turns before you, making your job that much harder. The map is also modular and hex based instead of square, allowing for more varied and eclectic map layouts. Will the Iron Legion be able to stem the tide of aliens and reach the portal, or will the Mantra horde overrun them?
The game has some excellent art and some nice sculpts for the minis included in the game. Gameplay is easy with all information on the characters contained on the turn order cards, and several scenarios ready to play right out of the box. You can head over to the Kickstarter page to check out more, and you can even see a gameplay video produced by the folks at Let’s Play.