horror theme

A brand new installment into the Arkham Horror universe is upon us. Arkham Horror: Final Hour is a cooperative game for 1-4 players designed by Carlo A. Rossi that can be played in an hour!

It is an hour until midnight and the fate of the world is in your hands as an endless swarm of monsters plague the Miskatonic University Campus. Players will have 8 rounds to gather clues and piece together how to reverse the ritual the cult is using to summon the Ancient One. There are 6 investigators to choose from with each of their own set of skills and a unique deck of action cards.

This game will focus more on combat than other Arkham Horror Files titles and there will be a limit placed on players’ communication with each other. All you will have are priority cards that allow you to express to your team how important which actions are to be resolved. As time is running out, players will need to fight back the monsters while discovering the necessary components to reverse the ritual and ultimately banish the Ancient One!

Pre-orders are available now. For more information, check out Fantasy Flight Games’ site here.

Fantasy Flight has announced a new expansion for Mansions of Madness, Path of the Serpent. In this expansion, the players are in the jungles of the Amazon, fighting for their lives as they face serpent creatures, explore the jungle and its many ruins and battle a serpent’s curse.

This expansion features 3 new scenarios as well as 4 new investigators. You can pre-order the expansion now or wait for it to appear on your FLGS shelves some time in the 4th quarter of 2019.

More information regarding the new expansion can be found here.

So you think you have bested Arkham Horror: The Card Game?  And the expansions? And the horrors of Arkham are no longer a trial for you?  Well, designer Matt Newman is issuing a challenge:

You heard me right: I am issuing a challenge. The first of many, in fact. Each of these “designer challenges” is planned to test your deckbuilding skills and your tactical prowess in various fashions. One challenge might involve an alternate way of building a deck or playing the game, or perhaps the challenge will require you to play through a cooperative scenario with extreme difficulty, or with special restrictions that force you to reconsider your usual approach.

My hope is that the Arkham Horror: The Card Game community can use these challenges as a rallying point of sorts. You can use these challenges as discussion topics online, or you might use them as the basis for regular gaming sessions with your friends at your local game store. Most importantly, think of each challenge as a call to action, a way to test your mettle against some of the hardest (and strangest) content the game has to offer!

Participation is easy.  Check out the Designer Journal for Arkham Horror: The Card Game at Fantasy Flight Games to see each challenge and how to set it up.  Then play the challenge.  Be forewarned, each designer challenge for Arkham Horror: The Card Game uses the system of Ultimatums. Each Ultimatum introduces a new rule or restriction that either alters the way decks are built or the way the game is played.

The first designer challenge for Arkham Horror: The Card Game is called, “Then It Multiplied.” Are you ready to face new horrors and impossible odds? The Designers challenge you.

Things got super busy in my neck of the woods and so last week got lost in the shuffle, but luckily for us most KS campaigns last a month, so I can pick up right where I left off and show you all some quality Kickstarters to check out.  First up is is a new game in a previously established universe, and that is Chronicles of Frost from NSKN Games, a deck building game set in the Mistfall universe.  In this adventure each hero player will have an exploration quest and a search quest that they will have to accomplish in order to win the game.  Playing the game is similar to other deck builders with some differences, mainly the exertion system that NSKN has come up with.  What this does is that every card available has a normal ability and an exertion add on, meaning that if you perform the action and then spend the skills or health to exert yourself, you increase the effectiveness of that card quite a bit.  But there is a limit to how much you can exert yourself, so you have to use it carefully as you go along.  When you use cards they will give you better equipment, movement/exploration points to explore the board, attack power, and resolve, the currency in the game.  Build up your hero and take on the monsters roaming the land to complete your quests and win.  For more info you can check out the Kickstarter campaign to be able to back for your own copy.

Up next is a campaign aimed mostly at the ladies in the gaming world, and that is board game jewelry called Tabletop Talismans.  This campaign is offering people the opportunity to get necklaces, bracelets, key chains, and even earrings featuring the quintessential board game piece, the meeple.  This meeple is a shiny aluminum version so that it is durable, light weight, and shines nicely in the light, and is being offered in several different colors.  So if you want to get some meeple themed jewelry, check out their Kickstarter page.

Next on the list is a sequel/expansion to the game Best Treehouse Ever, and that is Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun.  This expansion takes the original games and brings it into the forest, and with it some new mechanisms to help spice up the gameplay.  At it’s heart this is a drafting game where you are drafting different rooms to place in your treehouse to score the most points each round.  With the game being moved to the forest you now have additional bits like unique player powers based on where you are in the forest, animal cards that score based on room placement, and brand new room cards for a fresh game.  Of course this can be mixed with the original game, and there are even included rules to play the game with 8 people, so if you enjoyed the first game, this will just give you more of what you love.  To get this game you will have to hurry, the campaign ends on the 9th so check it out!


After that we have the digital game of the article, and that is One Deck Dungeon Digital from Handelabra Games.  This campaign was originally a stretch goal from the One Deck Dungeon Forest of Shadows Kickstarter, but they didn’t make it during that campaign so the digital adaptation was put on hold.  However, with Asmadi partnering with Handelabra Games, the possibility of a digital version of the game has been revived and launched on Kickstarter.  So in this campaign you will be getting the game One Deck Dungeon in digital format through steam.  This means that now where ever you have a computer with steam on it, you can pull out this highly rated solo game and delve through the dungeon.  The game includes everything from the base game, an excellent layout with all needed information easily accessible, a campaign mode, and animations and graphics to elevate the game from it’s physical counterpart.  So if you are looking for a nice digital version of the game, check out this Kickstarter today.

Next up is a game from Ankama Games, makers of the highly regarded Krosmaster Arena, where you are trying to scare students out of their wits.  Monster Slaughter is a game where you take command of different groups of monsters like vampires, werewolves, zombies,  or golem to scare some students.  On your turn you will take actions by rolling dice, and based on the number of successes you get will determine if the action succeeds, how much damage you do, or how many cards you can draw.  This is a competitive game where each player has a specific order in which they want to eliminate the students in, and so you will be playing cards to help yourself, but also help the students if they are getting picked on too soon for you.  Everything about the game is quick and light and in the end, whoever matched the elimination order the best will be the winner.  So if this monster movie type game is your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.

And finally we have the reprint of the list, and that’s the Folklore: The Affliction second printing.  Folklore: The Affliction is the horror themed RPG board game which aimed to turn a typical pencil and paper RPG into a self contained game.  In this game you are fighting the evil that has come upon the land, wolves, ghosts, vampires, and the undead.  Like an RPG you will be traveling around the world using a map of the land, and as you reach places in the world you will be able to zoom down onto adventure maps which are a couple tiles in size to explore that area.  You will play over a series of chapters to make up an entire campaign, and each of those chapters are playable within about an hour, allowing you to still play and progress the story even if you don’t have a lot of time.  So if you missed out on the first campaign, or if you heard great things and want to get into it now, check out the Kickstarter page today.

First in this trio of new games from Renegade is a shrub viewing game called Topiary.  In this game, it is up to you to make sure your visitors have the best experience at the park by making sure they can see the most sculpted shrubs.  Play is simple in that you can either place a visitor, or rearrange some of the tiles in the park.  The tricky part comes in that the park starts out completely unknown with all the tiles face down, and you only have a grid of 5 x 5 tiles to place your visitors around.  Then there is the line of site rules where you can only see a bush of a higher number behind the one before it, so having a 5 bush at the start means you can’t see any 4, 3, 2, or 1 bushes behind it.  All of these little rules and simple gameplay will make this game fun and easy to approach.  To find out more you can check out Renegade Games’ website and look for its release in early 2018.

Next up is a game that won the Cardboard Edison award for 2017, and that is Castell, a game all about building human towers.  In Catalonia, Spain, they have a rather odd tradition of building the tallest human towers they can, called Castells, at many festivals throughout the year.  In the game of the same name you will be creating your team of Castellers, “visiting Catalonian cities, expanding your team of Castellers, learning tower-building skills, and showing off your tower-building prowess at local performances and festival competitions”(Renegade’s website)  The player who is able to build the best towers throughout the game will emerge as the winner.  You can find out more information about the game here, and look for this award-winning game on store shelves in Q1 of 2018.

Lat of the three is the scary game of the bunch, and that is Lucidity: Six-Sided Nightmare.  This game was on Kickstarter not too long ago, and Renegade Games has decided to pick it up for wider distribution.  This game is a dice rolling push your luck game as you try to collect the most power in your dreams without being corrupted by the nightmares.  On your turn, you will roll dice to gain that power, but as you roll nightmare symbols they will build up, but you get more power the more of other symbols you get.  If you do get corrupted you then turn into the nightmare and have to fight other players and try to eliminate them.  At the end of the night, it will be the last dreamer or nightmare standing that will win the game.  You can find out more about the game on the Renegade Games’ website, which includes a nice rules explanation from The Rules Girl and look for this to hit wide distribution in early 2018

First in our lineup is the dungeon crawl game from Greenbrier Games called Folklore: The Affliction.  This is an RPG style board game where you are playing characters trying to investigate and drive back the evil that is gripping the land.  The game is themed around the horror genre so you will be fighting things like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and more.  In an interesting twist for this game, if you are killed you will become a ghost yourself, being able to continue with the party and attack enemies from beyond the grave.  The scale of the game is on two levels, with movement between locations being done on a map board with one pawn denoting the whole group.  Then when you arrive at a location it will zoom in to all of your characters being on another board representing the location for you to explore and fight monsters on.  The game comes packaged with a campaign broken up into smaller chapters that can be played in one sitting, allowing you to tailor the game length to your desires.  Look for this horror dungeon crawl on store shelves next month.

Coming later this month is a new game from Breaking Games called Sparkle*Kitty, a quick card game that turns the helpless princess trope on it’s head.  In the game you each play a different princess trying to escape from the “Cursed “No Cursing” tower“.  Not much else has been released about the game other then it being released later this month, and that the art is fabulous.  So keep an eye out for the game and hopefully it’s good.

Keeping with the light-hearted theme we have the next release from North Star Games, Happy Salmon Blue Fish.  Those hoping for an expansion to this loud and crazy party game will be a bit disappointed, but if you wanted more players in a single game then look no further.  Happy Salmon Blue Fish contains all the same cards and components as the original, only this time the player colors are different than those contained in the original green fish edition of the game.  This makes it easy to ramp the player count all the way up to 12, making for a game that is even louder and crazier than before.  So if you want to have more players, or just prefer the blue color, look for this edition on store shelves in September.

Wizkids has announced their latest game, and it is the generically named Empires, a new trading and negotiation type game.  In Empires, 2 to 10 players will try to expand their kingdom across the land by acquiring support.  To get support “by supplying your people with goods; goods are produced when your people work in your territories.  Players can gain people, territories, goods, and supporters by winning wars. Wars will be won by the armies raised by paying gold. Gold can be earned by winning wars and by selling goods.”  So as you can see there is a lot of shuffling around of resources, but you won’t always have all the resources you need, that’s where the trading comes in.  You are allowed to trade anything and everything between players, goods, player powers, people, territories, whatever you have so that you can achieve your goal.  So if this kind of game intrigues you, look for it on store shelves in October of this year.

Next we have something that is exciting for Tom Vasel, and that is the impending release of the next game in the Dice Tower Essentials line, Critical Mass.  The game used to be known as Starborne, and is a two player card battle game with some deck building.  Each player will pick their mech, and each mech comes with it’s own unique starting deck of cards.  From there you will play cards against each other attacking, defending, and upgrading.  Attacking and defending as self explanatory, and the upgrading action is what allows you to get more cards into your deck.  However, as you play more cards you will start to run out, and you don’t get cards back until you do a reload action.  As you take hits you will lose armor, lose too much armor and your core becomes vulnerable, allowing your opponent to stun you for a turn.  The winner will be the one who destroys all the armor on their opponent’s mech first.  Look for this game on the shelves of your FLGS in November.

Finally we have two new games coming from Ankama games later this year in Dino Party and Stellium.  Dino Party is a party game at the end of the age of dinosaurs, where you and your friends are trying to grow your herd and get to the protected spaces.  But with disasters happening all around you, will you be able to make it?  This quick party game will be released next month.

Stellium is a new abstract game where you are creators of the universe in the midst of creating that universe.  On a turn you will draw a colorful marble from a bag and place it on the board, aiming to arrange the marbles in specific ways to satisfy contracts.  But since this is being done by everyone on the same board, you have to be careful not to setup your opponent to score instead of you.  An additional layer of strategy is added with variable player powers, allowing you to place a marble and then manipulate them in different ways.  Look for this game to be released in October of this year.

Welcome to the first edition of the Wallet Kickers series of articles where each week we will cover a couple different Kickstarters in one article.  There will still be other Kickstarters highlighted on their own, but here you will get some rapid fire coverage of other Kickstarters we like.  So without any more delay, lets so what we’ve got.

First is a campaign for a one versus many game called Alone.  This is an interesting game in two ways, first is that the many in this game are the “evil” players who move and activate the monsters.  The other is that there aren’t traditional turns in the game, it’s always the hero’s turn and the evil players will interrupt him with reactions to his different actions.  The game also creates tension for the hero because he can only see as far as his flashlight will shine, meaning only a few corridors will be visible at any given time.  But not to worry, you have your trusty radar to help you find your objective, and along the way you will find useful items to help you stay alive.  But the real question is, can you survive when you are all alone?  Head over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy.

Next is a new board game being made by Lucky Duck Games, in partnership with Mobigame, called Zombie Tsunami.  Now you aren’t being deceived, this is indeed a campaign to fund the board game version of the popular phone app.  In the game you are leading your own zombie horde, and as the street cards are revealed you will be performing actions dictated by the card.  It could be teaming up to move a vehicle, picking between eating a civilian or bombing your opponents, and even having to make your zombies jump.  Just like the game there will be crazy stuff happening, upgrades to purchase, secret ability cards, and different ways to increase your horde.  Have the biggest horde after third trip down the street to be the winner!  So if you would like a copy of this app turned board game, check out their campaign page.

Another game being Kickstarted is a card game boasting the ability to play the game 240 different ways, Card City XL.  In Card City XL you are using the ‘I split, you choose’ mechanic to dole out cards to each player in the game.  They in turn will add those cards to their city, and if you built right, also allow you to add more cards from the reserve to your city.  But what goal are you building towards?  That is what you have to determine at the beginning of the game, picking a difficulty level (easy, normal, advanced), your victory condition (economic, happiness, commercial, etc.), and then if you want to use a variant or not.  Each different combination will give you a different way to play the game, adding up to 240 different combinations you can play.  So if you want a tight city building card game with variety of gameplay, give this campaign a look.

Last, and by no means the least, is Galaxy of Trian: New Order, a giant re-implementation of the original game Galaxy of Trian.  This is a 4X style game where you will be using the double sided triangle tiles to expand and explore the universe.  Then as you find planets, nebula, and various other celestial bodies you will begin to exploit them for resources.  Resources which you can then turn around to build space stations and research stations, and even upgrade the abilities of your race.  Finally you can fight other players for control of these valuable resource supplies in order to make sure you come out on top.  Because whoever has the most credits and resources at the end will be the winner.  You can check out the campaign page for more info, and to see the piles of minis you will get if you back this game.

Fantasy Flight Games knows exactly what an LCG needs in order to flourish, and that’s a steady stream of new cards.  So to start that off they have already released the first stand alone scenario pack called Carnevale of Horrors.  This 62 card deck contains all the monsters, scenario cards, locations, and more to be able to play this side-quest type scenario with your Arkham Horror Card Game base set.  This scenario will take you from the streets of Arkham, across the Atlantic to Venice to partake in the annual Carnevale of Horrors.  Everyone everywhere are wearing masks, so when things turn bad you have to first figure out who are the bystanders and who are the cultists trying to summon an ancient evil.  If you manage to prevent them from summoning their master, you get to add a mask card to your deck to take with you on other adventures.  Check out FFG’s preview of the expansion on their website and look for it now on store shelves.


A third expansion has been announced for Mansions of Madness Second Edition, although the first two expansions that have been released didn’t technically add anything new to the game.  All Recurring Nightmares and Suppressed Memories brought was any content from the first edition that wasn’t already included in the second edition, but now we have something brand new.  Beyond the Threshold will bring all new content to the game in the form of new characters, another monster called a Thrall, and more spells, weapons, objects, and affliction cards.  Associated with this expansion will also be two new scenarios that will be unlocked in the app that utilize the new content found in this expansion.

More content for this game is never a bad thing, and you can look for this to come out at the beginning of 2017.  To find out more information you can check out the preview on the FFG website.

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Zpocalypse 2: Defend the Burbs was successfully funded on Kickstarter just over a year ago, and we are finding out it will hit retail in spring of 2017.  Zpocalypse 2 is a tower defense type board game where each person is controlling a group of survivors outfitted with weapons, food, and various items.  Each day you will plan what your survivors will do such as foraging for food, upgrading the safe house, guarding the safe house or just resting.  Once you assign your people then the day comes and it’s time to do what you set out to do while contending with limited food and radiation poisoning.  Can you outfit your safe house to defend against hunger and zombies to survive in the Zpocalypse?  Find out next year.