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.