Greater Than Games

Greater Than Games has just announced their new party game Medium, by designers Danielle DeleyLindsey Sherwood, and Nathan Thornton of Storm Chaser Games. In Medium, 2-8 players pair off into teams of 2, and each player in a team receives 5 word cards. Each player selects one of their cards, then link psychically and try to come up with a single word that ties the two words together. The pair then countdown and say their connecting words at the same time. If both members of a team manage to say the same connecting word, they win. If the pair are not yet mentally linked, no fear – they can draw new cards and try again. Medium is scheduled to come to retail in the second half of 2019.

   

Greater Than Games, perhaps best known for Sentinels of the Multiverse and Spirit Island, announced it has acquired Nevermore Games.  After previously merging with Dice Hate Me Games in 2015, the St. Louis based company will now take over Nevermore.

Details of the acquisition were not provided, but Greater Than Games will support Nevermore’s existing games, as well as, finishing fulfillment of their Dark Dealings: Dwarven Delve Kickstarter.  More details should be forthcoming.

Spirit Island (2017) by designer R. Eric Reuss has been one of the more interesting cooperative games in recent years, going so far as being a 2017 nominee for multiple Dice Tower Awards, and Golden Geek Awards. Greater Than Games has just started a Kickstarter Campaign for the second expansion to this great game, Jagged Earth. In Spirit Island, 1-4 players control Nature Spirits on a small island, influencing the native Dahan population to rise up and overthrow incoming invaders. And there are invaders aplenty – every round explorers show up on the coast of the island. These remaining explorers will build towns and cities if left alone, eventually creating a blight on the island, eading to the players’ demise. Each spirit type (and there are many) works in a very different way, having their own innate powers and abilities, income of energy, and power cards to instill fear in the unwanted explorers.

The new expansion, Jagged Earth, adds a number of extra features to the already challenging and thinky coop. Jagged Earth adds 8 new spirits to the mix, including Volcano Looming High and Grinning Trickster Stir Up Trouble. 2 of the new spirits come with new play mechanisms, including Badlands and Isolation. The original Spirits are given new life through “Aspects”, a way to swap in new innate powers for old ones. 5-6 players are now supported, using 2 new included island boards for a 6 piece giant board. Tokens are included for increased player count, 2 new scenarios, 2 new adversaries, 50+ new major and minor powers, 30 new events, 6 new fear cards and 6 new blight cards. For fans of Spirit Island, Jagged Earth adds more of what players love with enough new pieces to keep it interesting.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Spirit Island: Jagged Earth continues through November 16, and the expansion is expected to deliver in May 2020.

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Greater Than Games has announced the upcoming cooperative board game Legends of Sleepy Hollow from Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle, the creators of Wasteland Express Delivery Service. Legends of Sleepy Hollow will put four players in the roles of Tarrytown residents, witnessing the supernatural events surrounding Ichabod Crane and the infamous Headless Horseman. Playable characters include the Undertaker, the Minister, the Revolutionary War Veteran and the Tanner, all of whom will try to solve the mysteries in this cooperative miniatures based campaign game. Play involves an action pool mechanism, from which players select movement and abilities unique to their character, however refreshing those actions becomes increasingly more difficult as fear overwhelms the party.

Look for the Kickstarter Campaign for Legends of Sleepy Hollow October 17, and read more about the project in Greater Than Games’ press release here.

Greater than Games has quite a presence at GenCon this year. Specifically, they are launching three new titles this year. First up, to discuss is Spirit Island (also with Branch & Claw expansion). Spirit Island is a cooperative game with a little bit of a twist. In typical coops players join forces to beat some sort of catastrophic calamity. Well, in this game, players are spirits who are trying to ward off invaders from your island.

The Invaders expand across the island map in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they explore into some lands (portions of the island); the next turn, they build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. The turn after that, they ravage there, bringing blight to the land and attacking any native islanders present.

The islanders fight back against the Invaders when attacked, and lend the spirits some other aid, but may not always do so exactly as you’d hoped. Some Powers work through the islanders, helping them (eg) drive out the Invaders or clean the land of blight.

The game escalates as it progresses: spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. Each turn represents 1-3 years of alternate-history.

Not only does Spirit island, from a mechanics perspective, have a lot going for it, but it sports gorgeous and high quality components. From durable plastic cities (that can be used, itself, to represent damage taken by laying the city token on it’s side in various positions) to wooden pawn characters, Spirit Island is chuck full of fun with beautiful artwork. It is designed by R. Eric Reuss and is published by GTG “Fabled Nexus” division. It’s available at GenCon and is a must-have.

Also available from GTG is a Cthulhu themed game from designers Christopher Kirkman, Richard Launius (no stranger to Cthulhu), and Darrell Louder. This game also features detailed and durable miniatures and sports wonderful artwork. This game, unlike Spirit Island, is a head-to-head game where players are cultists trying to summon an ancient evil.

During the game, players use a variable hand of spell cards to do one of two things to aid their cult in their mission: Use the spell’s Astral Symbol to navigate the areas around Arkham on the unique Fate Clock board, or use the symbols in a location’s Astral Column to ready a spell. Readied spells can be cast at any time, but while in a cult’s Spell Reserve their primary Astral Symbol can aid in readying future spells, creating an engine for pumping out more potential power.

Also releasing with the base game will be the Beasts from Beyond expansion which, among other things, will allow the summoning of new Elder Gods: Shub-Niggurath, Ghatanothoa, Dagon, and Yig.

And if this wasn’t enough, Greater than Games is also releasing Lazer Ryderz. What is Lazer Rydersz? Think Tron light-cycle meets X-Wing.

Featured in these four retro-style VHS-like boxes, Lazer Ryderz comes with four different racers (each in their own box with their own race templates).

Lazer Ryderz is a trackless racing game for up to 4 players with light push-your-luck, area denial, and strategy elements. Players construct their lazer paths with various pre-formed punchboard pieces that are placed according to speed and desired direction.

Greater than Games has really hit it out of the ball park this year with some great releases. You can visit them this year at booth 1343.

 

 

Dice Hate Me Game, in conjunction with Handelabra Games, is bringing the baseball themed board game Bottom of the Ninth to digital devices.  They announced the impeding release with a Youtube video showcasing gameplay from the app.  Some notable features to the game include multiplayer and cross platform multiplayer, which are always requested.  The game will also feature fun animated meeples playing the game and running the bases as the dice are being rolled to see if they make it or not.

So if you want to take your baseball board game with you, look for the games launch on both Android and iPhone on August 17th.

 

Several board games began their Kickstarter campaigns this week, and all with vastly different themes:

Tesla vs. Edison: Duel is a 2-player card game from Artana LLC, distilled from the original Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents and advertised to play in only 30 minutes.  Players can choose one of 8 famous inventors (including Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, of course) and take their respective sides in the War of the Currents.  The inventors all play differently, but players can also differentiate their electric empires by hiring famous assistants, completing projects, investing in minor companies, and spreading propaganda against the other side.  The game is set to ship in October 2017.  For more information, check out the Kickstarter page here.

Sentinels of Earth-Prime is a new standalone cooperative card game that uses the rules of the hit superhero game, Sentinels of the Multiverse, in a new setting.  This time, the heroes have to protect Earth-Prime, the setting of the Mutants & Masterminds RPG from Green Ronin Publishing.  They are partnering with the publisher of the original Sentinels, Greater Than Games.  The game includes 10 hero decks, 4 villain decks, and 4 environment decks.  It is set to be delivered in April 2018.  More information can be found on the Kickstarter page here.

Chariots of Rome comes from Victory Point Games, probably best known for their historical war games.  In this game, however, 2-8 players take instead to the Circus Maximus in Rome in what appears to be a brutal chariot race in honor of the Emperor.  Players can control one of 12 single charioteers (with special abilities, obviously) or one of 4 different factions consisting of two chariots, all of which will not only compete for every millimeter on the hallowed track, but try to hinder their opponents’ progress along the way.  And on top of all that, racers will be subjected to the whims of the gods through global Fate events that may enhance or hinder even the best laid plans.  Visit the Kickstarter here.

Greater Than Games and designers Chris and Suzanne Zinsli (Tessen) have announced a Kickstarter campaign for Dubai: Rebuild the Ruins. Dubai is a resource collection and tile laying game in which players rebuild a post apocalyptic city of Dubai as one of 4 unique factions. The interesting mechanic of the game is the concept of a worker rotation on one of 3 rondel tracks. A player will place one of his workers in the next spot clockwise on either the ruins, engineer or port rondel. All players then can bid for actions around that rondel in counterclockwise order. Finally, the player who has the last spot on the rondel moves his worker and leads the next turn. This system offers a very dynamic turn order and keeps all players engaged each turn. The port rondel is for resource collection, the engineer rondel for collecting money or purchasing one of 5 types of structure tiles, and the ruins rondel is for receiving secret goal cards, building collected tiles or trading resources. Each rondel is a 3 dimensional attractive cardboard tower, and the campaign has options for upgraded resource pieces and metal coins. As players build tiles, they uncover additional bonuses by removing crystals from their faction board. Players earn victory points for area control, money, and achieving secret goals.

The Kickstarter Campaign continues through March 24, 2007 and is expected to deliver in March 2018. You can visit the campaign webpage here.

Green Ronin, publisher of the Mutants and Masterminds RPG, along with Greater Than Games, publisher of Sentinels of the Multiverse, are working together on a new game.  This new game will take much of the mechanics of the Sentinels of the Multiverse game and place it firmly in the Mutants and Masterminds RPG universe, titled Sentinels of Earth-Prime.  This means a whole new line-up of heroes, villains, and environments as well as new storylines to explore in this new game.  As a fan of Sentinels of the Multiverse, I am very looking forward to more original superheroes in a similar game type, hopefully with enough changes to make the two games distinct and worth owning both.

The current plans are for the game to be Kickstarted in April and then published in 2018 by Green Ronin.

Releasing this year from Greater Than Games (Fabled Nexus), Spirit Island pits players against careless colonists to protect the namesake island from destruction.  Each player takes on the role of an elemental Spirit with powers that can be used to force back the invaders, but only by working cooperatively with the other Spirits and increasing your strength.  The Spirits can play power cards that grant bonuses when matched to a Spirit’s elemental affinity and grow their presence over the areas of the island.  They can also work their magics through the native island inhabitants, helping them fight back the outsiders.  The game pits players against different colonists, each time with a different challenge level.  Spirit Island plays 1-4 and is set to release in June 2017.  For more information, visit the publisher’s site here.