exploration game


Designed by Aaron Dill, John Kovaleski, and Sean Sweigart, Star Trek: Ascendancy is a 4X game based in the Star Trek Universe where each player takes on the role of a major faction all vying for position and power within the galaxy.  Coming off of their release of Star Trek Ascendancy at GenCon, Gale Force 9 has announced they will be adding both the Cardassian and Ferengi factions as player expansions this fall.

 “A true victory is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place.  To force them to acknowledge your greatness.” – Gul Dukat


The Cardassian Union is the first expansion to be released for Star Trek: Ascendancy, complementing The Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans that come in the base game.  If brutalizing and dominating the other races in the galaxy is your thing, the Cardassians is a must have!

“Millions of new worlds at our very doorstep.  The potential for Ferengi business expansion is staggering!” – Grand Nagus Zek

The Ferengi Alliance is the second expansion to be released for Star Trek: Ascendancy, complementing the previously mentioned races.  If domination through commerce and military utilizing the Rules of Acquisition is your style, the Ferengi is for you.

Both Cardassian and Ferengi expansions contain everything needed to add both races to your game, from player cards, ships, fleets, homeworld, and all necessary tokens required to play.  Each expansion also increases maximum player count to 5, and each player adds about 1 hour to game play.  Both expansions are scheduled to release this fall.

For more info on the base game and each expansion, please click here.

Lamp Light Games, creators of Space Junk and Nautilus Industries, is going to be launching the Kickstarter for their latest game, Whelps to Wyrms, this Friday the 24th.  Whelps to Wyrms is touted as a “dragon-based tile exploration game that bites back!” where you take on the role of a newly hatched dragon as it seeks to build it’s first treasure hoard.  In the game you will be exploring different tiles where you will be able to gain loot to grow your hoard, or eat livestock and people to gain experience points and grow in size.  As you grow in size you will get access to new abilities to customize your dragon, but be careful, the people of the land won’t sit idly by, they will be fighting back and trying to take you out.

The game sounds pretty good and with the art they have shown so far, will look pretty good too.  It will also come with a modular board so each game will be a little different.  Look forward to the launch of the campaign on Friday, June 24th.


Giochix.it has launched two concurrent funding campaigns for this game, one on Kickstarter, and the other on their own platform Giochistarter, and both campaigns together will determine what kind of extras you get in the game.  The game itself is called Virus, and is a dungeon delving type exploration game, only the dungeon is an underground bunker of a lab where a virus has been released, virus Q, that is mutating everyone it infects.  The monsters that people turn into are devastating creatures and so you need to get into the lab to find the antidote, but you have to be careful of the monsters so they don’t infect you too, plus you have to get out before the lab explodes creating even more pressure.  The game is played in alternating phases, first is a ‘real time’ phase where everyone takes there actions like exploring, fighting, searching for clues and trying to find the exit.  The next phase is called the ‘slow time’ phase where you collect up the resources you found, place out new monsters, move and activate the monsters on the board, and buy upgrades with the resources you have collected.  Where you find the antidote is different each game as it uses a mechanic similar to Forbidden Desert where as you explore, clues will reveal aspects of the antidote location like color of the room, how many doors it has and so on, once the description is complete the antidote appears.  Grab it and run for the exit because you are on the clock.  Also if you get caught by the monsters don’t worry, if you get infected then you just change sides and now play as a monster trying to get all the other players.

virus minis

The minis look good and the game sounds like fun and with elements of exploration, upgrading your character, and the innovative fight resolution system called “roll the cube”, very intriguing as well.  If this sounds interesting you can head over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy, as well as see an run thru by Rahdo to give you a better feel of the game.


Legacy games have become all the rage lately with games like Risk Legacy starting the trend and Pandemic Legacy bringing it notoriety. Now we have the first game built by Rob Daviau as a legacy game from the ground up, Seafall.

In Seafall you will be taking on the role of ship’s captain as you set out in the open seas to explore the coastal islands, discover lost civilizations, or just sail until the sea falls off the end of the world.  The exploration aspect is quite apparent when you look at the board because a majority of it is blank, and there are also status affects that will change things like breaking your sail until you can get it repaired, and abilities associated with different characters making it a true legacy experience.


The game will be released soon after Gencon with a few copies being available at the convention, you can pre-order the game now at the Plaid Hat site, and if you pre-order through them you also get for free metal coins to upgrade your game.  Also, starting on May 17th, they will be releasing designer blogs written by Rob Daviau that will go into more detail on the mechanics of the game, until then you will just have to satisfy yourself with the launch video.

steamforged mini

Dark Souls has become well known as one of the most punishing games currently out, and so of course with that kind of notoriety someone has to turn it into an equally tough game.  Steamforged games will be publishing the Dark Souls game and have said it will be a brutally hard exploration game for 1 to 4 players.  The game will focus on fast set-up with a long reveal, which translates to a small initial setup with a board you explore and expand similar to Escape: The Curse of the Temple, so you don’t know what is coming before it’s right on top of you.  They hint at an innovative behavior mechanic to control the monsters which will force players to play strategically and manage their stamina in order to survive.  The minis are also shaping up to be high quality and they have said the base game will include a good amount of content with Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough being two of the bosses being included.  Plus with tons of already created content from the Dark Souls video games, they won’t being running out of ideas they can add for a while.

Needless to say, they are doing good so far hyping the game and we won’t have to wait long for more information as the Kickstarter campaign launches on the 19th of April.  You can head over to the Facebook post to read all the info and you can also Like the Steamforged page to get more updates.



Impression has released it’s latest announcement on new and upcoming releases that they will be distributing.  First for the just arrived in store is JunKing.  JunKing is a card game for 2-6 players where you assume the role of a Scavenger Imp sifting through the massive piles of garbage in the Junklands, looking for prestigious items to raise your social standing with the tribe.  Play is simple with a draw one play one type system and special abilities on cards.

pixel tactics 5

Next for just arrived are the latest expansions for Pixel Tactics, Pixel Tactics 5 and Pixel Tactics Deluxe.  Pixel Tactics 5 is more of the same with Pixel Tactics and continues to expand the game and add more cards.  Pixel Tactics Deluxe is the master set for the game which contains everything you need to play the game, including punched tokens, but also offers a storage box to fit all currently released expansions to the game.


Last of the just arrived is a small board game called Skulldug!  In Skulldug! you are adventurers out trying to cash in on the next great discovery.  In the game you will take your adventurer and explore caverns searching for treasure, but you don’t know what is around each bend since you build the board as you go, handling traps and other obstacles as the come along.  But once you get the treasure you will find it cursed and so have to deal with negative effects for taking it.  First person to get three treasure and makes it out wins.

For upcoming releases we have a small card game called Perspective.  In Perspective it’s a bit like Hanabi in that you see the back of your cards, but it’s the front of your cards that you have to match to the goal sequence of colors you have in front of you.  Each turn you play a card for it’s action and try to accomplish your goal.  Look for it to hit the shelves in April.

And lastly, all the Catacombs expansions for 2nd edition are now officially out of print, which isn’t so bad with the 3rd edition starting to ramp up with it’s expansions.  You can read the announcement in full and see all the RPG releases as well on the Impresssions site.

scuba board

Martin Looij, a certified scuba diver and game designer, decided to bring his two passions together to make a new game called Scuba.  In Scuba you are a diver who is swimming around trying to spot all the different types of sea creatures in the area.  But be careful, the current can move animals around before you can spot them, other divers can obstruct your view by kicking up dust, and then there is the always critical supply of air to keep you from drowning.  This may all sound complicated but Martin has been able to keep things simple in order to keep the game at the family level, while still retaining a rule set for those who want a more in depth experience.  The art is also very vibrant and colorful, capturing the amazing shapes and colors of the sea creatures they aim to depict.

You can check out campaign page for more information includes rules and reviews of the prototype and then you can pledge for you own copy.  One nice option for 91 euro is to get your name on one of the animal cards in the game so you can always be a part of it.  Check it out.

enwp solo

Expedition: Northwest Passage is an excellent strategy, exploration game with a very interesting sun mechanic that freezes or thaws the sea as it rotates around the board.  The game released in 2010, designed by Yves Tourigny, and published by Matagot.

Matagot released a variant that will make slight changes to game play and scoring to allow solo play.