Nikki Valens

For anyone who enjoys programming, deduction, and/or cooperative games, keep reading. Designed by the excellent Nikki Valens (designer of Mansions of Madness 2E and Legacy of Dragonholt), Quirky Circuits is coming from Plaid Hat Games this summer and features some of the most adorable miniatures ever created. 2-to-4 players cooperate in one of twenty-one scenarios to complete their goals before their batteries run out. Using the same scenario book system that other Plaid Hat releases such as Stuffed Fables and Comanauts have used ensures quick and easy setup to support the fast and engaging gameplay.

“Players place programming cards face down, only knowing what types of cards their friends have played – movement, turn or quirk. Quirk cards must be played before a player uses any other card in their hand and every player must play at least one card per round. Using deductive reasoning, all players will move the robo-buddy around the board, trying to complete its mission!”

“Quirky” really is an appropriate adjective in the title, because that’s precisely what I wanted to write several times during this article to describe it. Everything about the look of the design is cute, fun, compact, and to-the-point, and that’s a great advantage for this game. Not to be understated, Quirky Circuits fits an excellent niche in the market right now, being a much more accessible point of entry to teach programmed movement and deduction, in stark contrast to the long-lived Robo Rally. Moreover, this is only the second cooperative version of such a mechanic after the heavyweight Mechs vs. Minions, where the speed of setup due to Plaid Hats innovation will really shine in comparison. If you’re interested in learning more about Quirky Circuits, check out Plaid Hat’s news and product pages for updates, pictures, full rules, and availability.

Fantasy Flight Games, courtesy of designer Nikki Valens, have completely redesigned Arkham Horror for its Third Edition. The original Arkham Horror, designed by Richard Launius, was released in 1987, and the Second Edition, which was co-designed with Kevin Wilson, was released in 2005.

While Mansions of Madness is set in specific locations in the city of Arkham, and Eldritch Horror spans the globe, Arkham Horror plays out its narrative across the entire city of Arkham. This Third Edition combines mechanisms from the other Arkham Horror: Files family of games, and adds some new twists not found in the others. It supports 1-6 players (instead of 1-8 in the previous edition), for players aged 14+ (instead of 12+ in the previous edition), but still plays in 2-3 hours.

Players take on the roles of investigators who cooperatively seek to drive back the darkness and defeat an unknowable evil before they’re either driven insane or ripped apart by monsters from the world beyond. Iconic investigators such as Jenny Barnes, Wendy Adams, Agnes Baker, and Calvin Wright, make a return with 12 investigators available for selection. Every investigator starts the game with their own, unique ability and a customizable starting kit, so that players can outfit them to suit their needs.

“Each game of Arkham Horror Third Edition sees you and your friends exploring one of four different scenarios in the dark and deadly town. Each adventure brings your investigators to the edge of their sanity and beyond.

These scenarios see a race between the investigators desperately searching for clues across the city, and the forces of evil spreading doom to further their cause. Finding clues can advance the narrative of each scenario, inching you closer to victory. Spreading doom not only produces effects that will hinder you, but can lead to a very different conclusion… one where the world isn’t so fortunate.

While this push and pull between uncovered clues and impending doom will often determine how the narrative advances, other factors can come in to play, including choices made by the players. The fate of the world is in your hands. Do you have what it takes to succeed?” [source]

Investigators will gather clues and overcome enemies over a number of rounds, consisting of four phases, which should feel familiar to other Arkham Horror: Files games. There are the Action, Monster, Encounter, and Mythos phases. Investigators act in the Action phase, the enemies in the Monster phase, while the Encounter phase tests the investigators as the world of Arkham comes to life, and the Mythos phase advances the narrative and pushes the city closer to its doom.

Expect Arkham Horror: Third Edition to release in the 4th quarter of 2018. Pre-orders can be placed at the Fantasy Games website which includes a deluxe, hardcover rule book as an exclusive promotion. See the Fantasy Flight Games website for more information.

rebel transport

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures: Rebel Transport

The first big ship has entered retail orbits and ready for battle.

As it introduces the game’s first huge ship, the Rebel Transport Expansion Pack marks the beginning of an exciting new era for X-Wing, filled with richer Cinematic Play experiences, Epic Play battles, and massive starships that maneuver and battle differently than the game’s smaller starfighters.

With new rules, one Rebel transport miniature, one X-wing miniature with an alternate paint scheme, and a wealth of new ship cards, upgrades, and missions, the Rebel Transport Expansion Pack allows you to recreate the drama of the Rebellion’s desperate escape from Hoth, pursue new tactics in tournament play, and wage massive battles that are destined to shape the fate of the galaxy!

forsaken lore

Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore

Forsaken Lore is an expansion for last year’s Elritch Horror, a cooperative, adventure game of Cthulhu terror.  Designers Corey Konieczka and Nikki Valens take players back into slithering peril with serpents and Yig, the Father of Serpents.

The fate of the world grows even more uncertain as the malignant influence of Yig, the Father of Serpents, extends across the globe. Previously defeated Ancient Ones attempt to reclaim the world once again, forcing Investigators to solve new mysteries to keep them at bay. All the while, terrible new Epic Monsters and dangerous new Encounters keep Investigators racing across the globe to stave off the collapse of the world.

Forsaken Lore adds over two hundred new cards to Eldritch Horror, including over one hundred new Encounter cards, twenty-four condition cards, and fourteen new mysteries.

honor and profit

Android Netrunner: Honor and Profit

Honor and Profit is the second deluxe expansion for Android: Netrunner hacking into stores with a total of 165 cards for runners and corporations.

Honor and Profit draws us into the conflicts between the Jinteki corporation and three notable Criminals. Both of these factions are known for their aggressive approaches to the game, and the tricks and traps that they uncork during their struggles will have resounding implications for the entire net. Players must tread carefully; all bets are off with this latest addition to the game.