North Star Games

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Popular video game review site, The Escapist, is running a series of features in preparation for its annual The Escapist Awards. They have nominees in a myriad of categories ranging from games to movies to comics and more.

The most important awards are, of course, Best Board Game and Best Card Game of 2014. There are four nominees in the board game category and three for card games. Let’s dig in.

Board Games

Evolution by Dominic Crapuchettes and North Star Games

“Evolution charmed us and made us wish we could play game after game to explore all the combinations.”

five tribes board

Five Tribes by Bruno Cathala and Days of Wonder

“Days of Wonder don’t often create a game for ‘Hardcore Gamers’ in the tabletop sector, those seekers of games about points, scoring points, and nothing but the points, but when they do you should sit up and take notice.”

Shadowrun: Crossfire by Mike Elliott and Catalyst Game Labs

“Where Crossfire really excels is that it’s a consistently challenging experience in a world of milquetoast cooperative games.”

kings forge

King’s Forge by Nick Sibicky and Clever Mojo Games

“You get to roll giant double fistfuls of dice, and who doesn’t like that?”

Card Games

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest Core Set by Eric M. Lang and Fantasy Flight Games

“Conquest is a delightful game that balances quicker victory now against the possibility that you’ll deny your opponent victory in the future.”

doomtown premium

Doomtown: Reloaded Core Set by Mark Wootton and AEG

“It’s a harrowing experience that begs players to push their luck, attempt interesting plays, coming back to the game again and again.”

Magic: The Gathering Commander 2014 by Richard Garfield and Wizards of the Coast

“With five great decks, each really playable right out of the box and definitely including an obvious upgrade path for the deckbuilding-curious, this is a product you and a few friends can have a great time with even if you’re not Magic experts.”

Winners haven’t been announced yet, but given the interesting variety on these lists, we’ll be keeping an eye on The Escapist Awards throughout the end of the year. Head over to The Escapist to read more on their board game and card game nominees.

Don’t forget to check out Dice Tower’s reviews to learn more about these contenders.

Evolution, Game Boy Geek Preview
Five Tribes, Miami Dice Episode 147
Shadowrun: Crossfire Review
King’s Forge, Miami Dice Episode 145
Warhammer 40,0000 Conquest, Miami Dice Episode 146
Doomtown: Reloaded Review


North Star Games will be releasing their first strategy game later this year.  Usually known for their party games like Wits & Wagers and Say Anthing, North Star recently had their kickstarter project for Evolution funded and backers are expecting to get their copy in October and full release shortly after.

Billions of years of struggling for food…

Billions of years of evading carnivores…
Billions of years of adapting to a changing environment…
This is EVOLUTION. A new card game where your choices determine which species survive, which ones thrive, and which ones will forever disappear from the face of our beautiful blue planet.

evolution cards

In Evolution, players do the work of nature by putting species into play and evolving them trait by trait to help them survive in a changing environment. There are two threats that players have to deal with for their species: starvation and getting eaten by carnivores.

How to Play
Each round consists of:
1) Drawing cards: 3 cards + 1 card per species
2) Playing cards:
– Play one face-down card to determine the amount of plant food available this round.
– Play cards to create new species and modify existing species.
3) Feeding phase:
– Reveal the food cards.
– Feed your species plant food
– Attack other species if you have a carnivore
4) Clean up phase:
– Remove species that received no food.
– Reduce the population of species that were not fully fed
– Place the food in your score bag.

When the deck runs out, the players conduct one final round, then score points.

End of Game Scoring:
– 1 point for each food in your bag
– 1 point for each population of your existing species
– 1 point for each trait on your existing species