mystery game

Have you ever wanted to go on a real adventure? To see new places, solve riddles, uncover mysteries, and discover something new about the world (and yourself) along the way? That’s what The Enigma Box is all about. At first glance The Enigma Box looks like a bigger version of the escape room games which have become popular recently, except filled with strange tools, hidden documents, and advanced technology, all to help with an even bigger goal – for you and your companions to find the location of the “Arcanum Arcanorum”, the Secret of Secrets, a discovery which will change our understanding of the world and the destiny of humankind.

Sounds a bit much, right? Too good to be true? But…what if it’s not? That’s the hook, and what a well-crafted hook it is. We see A LOT of Kickstarter campaigns here on Dice Tower News, but I personally have never seen one so intriguing and tempting as this one. The charm of it is in your face from the first description and even the name – “The Enigma Box” – sounds like something cinematic in origin, doesn’t it? Like a plot device or a cool prop from a popular film, except it’s not a prop – it’s a real proposition. See how it’s described on it’s campaign page:

“With all the research, enigmas, and new revelations, the team from “The Rhomb” have designed an international challenge and a new form of entertainment which will change the way games are made, revolutionizing and creating a definitive experience never seen before and giving you a chance to discover the “Arcanum Arcanorum”, the Secret of Secrets” 

While before I had said that it looks like an escape room box, that’s not entirely inaccurate although it does fail to describe the scope of the product regardless of it’s loftiness. The Enigma Box not only features 6000 minutes of gameplay but also has “legs” in the form of continued content after it reaches it’s initial conclusion . Furthermore, this additional content will still use many of the tools originally available in the box, so the experience isn’t as consumable and disposable and it’s certainly not as short lived. However, the value of this is far more complicated than I can analyze or describe here, so if you’re interested in The Enigma Box, please check out their Kickstarter campaign page to learn more.

Here we have a trio of new game announcements from some notable names in the industry, Asmodee, CMON, and Plaid Hat Games.  First we have Asmodee and Space Cowboys with a new edition of the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective game, which was last printed by Ystari back in 2015.  This new edition contains the same ten cases as before, however, they have retranslated and revised all the cases so the solutions and clues in some of them will have changed from the Ystari version.  So while it may not be much new content for the owners of the original, this still brings the game back into print for those wanting a mind melting challenge.  Look for this new edition on store shelves in the third quarter of this year, and you can check out the preview on Asmodee’s site.

Next from CMON we have the announcement of the next game in their Zombicide line, Zombicide Green Horde.  They are staying in the middle ages with this one and so will be a sequel to the wildly successful Zombicide Black Plague.  The terrors will be numerous and overpowering for our warriors in this game, but together they just might be able to pull through.  “If Zombicide: Black Plague gave you nightmares, Zombicide: Green Horde will make them come true.”  You can see the announcement for the game on CMON’s page, and look forward to the Kickstarter later this year.

Finally we have a new game being developed by Plaid Hat Games called Crystal Clans.  This is going to be a two player tactical card game in a similar vein to Summoner Wars with different armies, card based units, and included maps to deploy on.  However, in the comments of the announcement they have stated that is where the similarities end, and that Crystal Clans is going to have fresh new mechanics to make it stand out.  The game is being designed by Colby Dauch, Andrea Mezzotero, and J. Arthur Ellis along with illustrations by the talented Martin Abel.  You can check out the announcement on Plaid Hat’s site to see some of the excellent art being put together, and then prepare yourself for it’s planned fall release.

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a very highly rated, and highly difficult, game where you put your wits up against the great Sherlock Holmes.  In the game you are trying to solve a mystery, and all you have are the clues left behind, the newspapers of the day, and witness testimonies to figure out the case.  But even with this information, there will be a healthy amount of brain power needed to put it all together.  But say you have solved all the cases in the base box, what do you do now?

Asmodee has heard your cry and is reprinting the expansion to the base game called Jack the Ripper and West End Adventures.  This new box will come with 10 new cases for you to burn your brain over as you try to catch the notorious Jack the Ripper.  Also of interest is that 4 of those cases are contained in a mini campaign that takes you from the streets of London to the Whitechapel neighborhood.  Will you be able to solve the four horrible murders one after the other, or will he get away yet again?

To read more about the expansion you can check out Asmodee’s preview page, and look forward to it’s release in the 4th quarter.

tragedy looper

Z-Man Games announced a Japanese, mystery, deduction, co-operative game, Tragedy Looper.  Designed by BakaFire and originally released in Japan, Tragedy Looper is debuting later this year, at Gen Con 2014.

Tragedy Looper is a scenario-based deduction game for four players: one scriptwriter and three detectives. The game consists of four location boards and a number of character cards. Each scenario features a number of characters, hidden roles for these characters (serial killer, misinformant, murderer), and some pre-set tragedies (murder, suicide).

Each “day” (turn), players and the scriptwriter play three face-down cards onto the characters, then reveal them to move the characters around or affect their paranoia or good will stats. At the end of each day (turn), if the scenario has a tragedy set for that day, it happens if the conditions are met, i.e., certain characters have certain stats or are in a certain location together (or not together) with others. As tragedies happen, players loop back in time, restarting the scenario from the beginning and trying to deduce who the culprit was and why along with all of the other hidden rules for the scenario.