Social Deduction Game
Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics was never like this. 3 Laws of Robotics from Floodgate Games is a new social deduction game for 4 – 10 players. Each player is a robot in a holding cell who can see everyone’s rank and faction except their own. Each round, players may ask another player a question to determine their own rank and faction while complying with the robotic laws in play. Once all the robots from one faction have given their keycodes to the highest-ranking member in the faction, they are free. The game is easy to set up and teach, plays in about 30 minutes, and has no player elimination. The variety of rule combinations permits high replayability. 3 Laws of Robotics is available for pre-order in is expected to be released at the end of March 2019.
The One Night series from Bezier Games continues to go strong with the last entry being One Night Ultimate Alien. This time around instead of aliens, or vampires, or werewolves, you are trying to out the super villains in your midst in One Night Ultimate Super Villains. But you aren’t just any ordinary citizens, you are members of SCOOP, the Super Club Of Overt Powers, and so you have your own abilities that will help you discover them. Expect lots of chaos and fun in this new version, with art by Gus Batts and app narration by the talented Eric Summerer.
You can find out more information from the press release below, and look for the launch of the Kickstarter in July and it to hit stores before 2018 ends.
Louisville, TN – June 18, 2018. Today Bézier Games announced One Night Ultimate Super Villains, a new standalone game in the One Night series.
Unbeknownst to the citizens of Shady Grove, USA, a battle is brewing while they sleep. The most powerful heroes the world has ever known have converged to stop an onslaught of malicious super villains. The trouble is, these nefarious criminals are hiding in plain sight as residents of Shady Grove, so the heroes first have to find these treacherous evil-doers before it’s too late…
In One Night Ultimate Super Villains™, players take on the roles of heroes or villains, each with amazing superpowers that help further their cause. The vile trio of Rapscallion, Dr. Peeker, and Henchman #7 are intent on getting away with their crimes, while the members of the Super Club Of Overt Powers (SCOOP), are all out to catch them. Shady Grove… maybe even the world… will never be the same.
One Night Ultimate Super Villains is a standalone game in the One Night series that’s perfect for the whole family to enjoy, challenging you to capture the baddies and save the world! Super Villains can also be combined with the other entries in the series – One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Daybreak, Vampire, and Alien – to create even more fun and chaos.
While the free companion app is not required, it provides amazing narration from Eric Summerer that guides players through the night phase of the game. Super Villains features artwork from One Night artist Gus Batts, done in the classic 90’s Cartoon Network™ style.
One Night Ultimate Super Villains will initially launch on Kickstarter on Monday, July 30th, and will ship before the end of 2018.
While social deduction games have been around for awhile and they often follow a similar formula, every year we tend to see minor twists that shake up the experience to be fresher than before, and it’s quite remarkable that such a long-running genre of games is still evolving. You can see this in Bezier Games line of Werewolf games, from Ultimate Werewolf, to One Night, to the recently announced One Week, just a minor change can make a big difference. This is also the case with Forsaken Forest, now on Kickstarter, which takes a lot of inspiration from Werewolf but adds a secondary objective and action cards which bring more strategy and less bickering to the classic formula. As described via it’s campaign page:
“Forsaken Forest is a social deduction card game set within a mysterious forest, inexplicably warped by dark magic. In order to win, you must navigate to your team’s veiled Destination before the opposing team navigates to theirs, or eliminate everyone who stands in your way. The first team to either reach their destination, or eliminate enough of the opposing team’s players, wins!”
Now I don’t think that Forsaken Forest is going to unseat any other Werewolf title, but it is a welcome alternative for those that may felt that vanilla Werewolf and subsequent titles were more about arbitrary rambling than fun. What this game offers instead is a simple alternative win-condition – to reach a destination. If you know where it is you need to go, you can theoretically race to that destination, possibly making it before your team is picked off, and win even if you don’t know who else is sharing that victory with you. It means that players have to pay attention to a map and cards played in addition to what’s being said, and while it’s not much of a change it is just enough to be innovative and the board gaming community is better for it. If you are interested in learning more about Forsaken Forest, be sure to check out their Kickstarter page for rules, reviews, and updates!
Deadwood 1876 is a game published by Facade Games, and it’s now on Kickstarter.
Designed by Travis Hancock, this social deduction game casts players as bandits who are looking to steal all the gold from safes all over Deadwood, South Dakota. Players work in teams to find and collect gold, but with an added twist. Whichever team collects the most gold will then have to fight each other to see who individually comes out on top. Thus, you can spend time helping your team find gold or you can spend some time preparing for that final shootout if you happen to be on the winning team.
The game comes with three laser-cut wooden platforms that serve as the three locations, along with 79 cards, special tokens and custom-made dice, and a magnetically-closing faux book box with space for sleeved cards.
Some stretch goals include additional safes to be shuffled into the deck, as well as enhanced cards and a new optional rule added to the game.
This project is scheduled to fund on March 22, 2018.
For more information on this project, as well as a rules overview, go to the Kickstarter page.
Hello again folks, I know it’s been a while, but Kickstarter tends to flat line around the holidays and just after, but things are ramping back up so lets look at some worthy campaigns. First up is another in the line of solo fighter pilot games from DVG called Corsair Leader, an update to the original release in 2003. This is another entry in the Leader Series which has other air, sea, and ground based vehicle combat like Phantom Leader, Sherman Leader, and Gato Leader. In Corsair you are taken back to the beginning days of the US involvement in World War II, and it just shortly after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. You will pick either Navy or Marines for the campaign, and that will give you a selection of planes and armaments to choose from for your missions. Each mission will have you fighting either land or air targets and you will need to consider pilot skill and plan type as you ready for the mission. On the mission the dog fighting will be done through dice, so if you have some luck and good planning on your side, you will come out on top. A base pledge for the game runs $75 with the option to add on other games in the Leader series, check out the Kickstarter page for more information.
Next we have a new hidden role/social deduction game from Dog Might Games, makers of excellent wood carved dice cases, called Countdown: Action Edition. In this game you will have one person who is the action hero (or should I say, heroine), they are trying to figure out who are the hostages and who are the villains. The ultimate goal is for the action heroine to release all the hostages before the bombs goes off, thus ending the reign of terror of the villains and making sure no one got hurt. If a villain manages to escape or they don’t get all the hostages out, the villain’s reign continues until their next scheme. Each player will have a randomly assigned team card, which tells them villain or hostage, and a role card that they will have picked. Throughout the game the heroine will be drawing countdown cards, which is both a timer for the end of the game, and gives the heroine options for actions they can take. They get two actions per turn and vary from asking specific questions, asking their own questions, setting “hostages” free, and tying up the “villains”. There are action scene cards too that can throw a wrench into any plan, so pay attention, ask the right questions, and hopefully everyone innocent will make it out alive. A pledge of $29 will get you the base game, and there are upgrades to get a wooden carrying case shaped like a VHS tape, so check out the Kickstarter page today.
And finally we have another game and webcomic collaboration in the form of Last Stand, designed by 5 Color Combo Games and illustrated by Chris McCoy. Chris McCoy is known for his comedy webcomic, Safely Endangered, and his art style lends a more comical tone to a game which is all about knocking each other down. This game is all about taking out your opponents to be the last one standing, but there is a twist in this because as you take more damage, you become more powerful. How the game works is that you will start with all your cards out on the table, you will then roll 3 dice and use those dice to attack other player’s stacks of cards. But here is the twist, they will then pick up the cards you damaged, and they become usable on their next turn to gain more power. Some examples of powers you can gain include rolling more dice, re-rolling dice, moving cards around, and more. So that means that as you get hurt more and more, you get more and more powerful, but in the end someone is going to be the last one standing, and they are the winner. A pledge of $25 will get you this quick card and dice game, so head on over to the Kickstarter to check it out.
Blood Bound is a new social deduction game that is coming from Fantasy Flight Games that aims to bring you into the back-stabbing politics of rival vampire clans. But for this game, the back-stabbing part is quite literal, as on each turn you will be attacking and wounding other vampires representing the players. In the game everyone will have a role card which tells them their clan affiliation, Gargoyle or Phoenix, their rank within the clan, and their special ability. The object of the game is to capture the rival clan’s elder, the one who has the lowest rank number on their card within that game. On a turn you will attack another player and they will take a wound, upon receiving that wound they have to reveal something about themselves, either one of their clan affiliation tokens or their rank. Revealing a token could confirm or confuse people on which side you are on, revealing your rank allows you to use your special ability. These are powerful special abilities that can alter the game, and help you grab victory at the opportune time. But be careful, make sure you are going after the right person before you strike the final blow to capture them, else you may have put yourself in a dangerous spot.
You can find out more about the game on the preview page, and look for the game on shelves in the new year.
Tis the season for giving with Hanukkah upon us and Christmas close behind, but not everyone is in the know on what board games are good for different people so CMON is stepping in by offering a gift giving guide. While the list they offer is not exhaustive, it does touch on some key personality traits like people who are artsy, adventurous, a social butterfly, and even the know it all smarty pants.
For the artsy person in your life, CMON suggests either Reiner Knizia’s classic Modern Art, or their newly released game called Dream On. Modern Art is an auction style game where each player will be putting a piece of art up for auction, hoping that other players will buy it from him. If they buy it then he gets their money, but if no one buys it he can buy it from himself, but then he has to pay his money to the bank. This continues until all paintings are sold, and in the end each painting is valued by how many of it sold and the richest player is the winner. So while the game is a solid auction style game, the art of the cards is beautiful and feature a lot of classic and modern works, plus there is an included guide book in the instructions that talk about all the different works of art in the game. Then there is the fact that since this is an art game, you can find different versions of the game form all over the world, featuring art from that region, making it something truly unique for a world art lover. Dream On is a very different game but still taps into that creative side by being a group memory game with story telling and excellent art. In the game you will play down a card, each of which have beautiful abstract art, while telling a story about it, then the next person will do the same, continuing until everyone has played down their cards. Then it’s time to try and remember the dream by going around the table and saying what the next card that had been played is, so the more memorable a story you tell, the easier the memory part will be. Based on how far you get will determine your score, so the game definitely caters to those more creative people.
For the adventuring type, CMON recommends two of their newer dungeon crawl style games with Massive Darkness and Gateway: Uprising. Both games feature characters that you will be able to play through a campaign with, leveling up and gaining new abilities and gear as you go along. You will be fighting all sorts of evil and monsters as you journey through the game to it’s conclusion. The question is, what kind of adventure do you want to go on? If you want to be lightbringers fighting against the oncoming darkness, pushing back against the great evil trying to overthrow the world, then pick up a copy of Massive Darkness. Does fighting against an oppressive rule in your city that has outlawed magic in a bid to concentrate power into their own evil hands sound more like you? Then Gateway: Uprising is the game you are looking for.
For the social butterfly we have some brand new party games you can get int he form of Sherlook and Raise Your Goblets. Sherlook is an interesting party game in that you are famous detectives trying to solve a case, but while you were away from the crime scene a rookie cop messed it all up. Now it’s up to you and your fellow detectives to put things back where they were. In the game there will be two pictures, the original and what the room looks like now, and it’s a race to pick out all the differences between the two before everyone else. Raise your Goblets is more of a social deduction, party game that resembles a popular scene from the movie Princess Bride. In the game everyone is vying to become the next ruler, and is willing to eliminate all the competition to achieve their goal. Each round someone will secretly give out drinks with some being poisoned, and others being just wine, and on your turn you either drink what is in front of you, or swap it with someone else. Once everyone has either drunk or swapped, everyone drinks what is front of them and those who were poisoned are out. Last one standing is the winner.
And finally, we come to the recommendations for the intellectual of your group, with a heavier game like Lorenzo Il Magnifico, or a tough cooperative game like The Grizzled. Lorenzo Il Magnifico is what come call a crunchy game, something will lots of choices but not enough actions to be able to do everything you want. Plus there is a lot of things to juggle as you “gather resources, construct buildings, conquer territories, make powerful allies, and pay homage to the church” in a bid to become the most prestigious family. The game is undoubtedly fun, but it’s going to give you a mental workout as you play this game. The other game, The Grizzled, is difficult in a different way as playing the game is very simple, either play a card or withdraw from the round. The thinking part of it comes with how far can you push your luck? Who do I need to support to eliminate a troublesome negative effect? How many cards do we need to play in order to reduce the deck while not failing the mission? It’s all these questions and working with your friends to beat this game that makes it both tough and satisfying as you work towards victory.
You can read more about all of these games in CMON’s game guide article, and pick up any you might need at your friendly local game store.
PAX Unplugged is in the rear view mirror now and that pretty much marks the end of the major convention season, so lets see what we can get this week on Kickstarter to boost our spirits. First up is the next game from Piecekeeper Games and that is Gearworks, a card based puzzle game for up to four players. In the game you will be laying out cards onto a grid in order to gain parts and build contraptions which are worth points at the end of the game. The grid you are placing cards in have some rules though, you can only have one color per column, and the numbers have to be in ascending order going down the row. There are also some rules on gaining sparks based on the card you place, and these sparks give you special abilities like placing over cards or playing a second card. After you play you will rotate gears to indicate where you placed cards, and then acquire parts based on gear orientation across the board. And it’s these parts that build the contraptions, which at the end of the game are worth points and will win you the game. While this sounds complicated, if you have played Sudoku before you will find the rules similar and easy to pick up. So if you are looking for a puzzly card game requiring a bit of mental umph, check out the Kickstarter page.
Next is the latest in the long line of storage solutions for board games, and that is the Boxthrone. What sets this system apart from others it two fold, first is it’s all metal construction, making it tough and durable. The second is that the system is meant to house a single game on each shelf by making shelf height highly adjustable so you can fit one game in each slot, helping reduce box damage from too many other games being stacked on top. It also includes a fair bit of customization in that you can mix and match how you set up the shelves to be able to fit however many, and however oddly shaped, games you want. They even have the option of adding clear acrylic shelves if you want to display miniatures or other items along with your game. Thus if you are looking for something more than just another Kallax, check out this Kickstarter today.
From the makers who brought you Dragoon we have another game from the folks at Lay Waste Games, a social deduction game based on time travel called Human Era. In the game humans have finally discovered time travel, and like usual someone uses time travel to screw everything up, now it’s up to you and your friends to fix it. There are three teams you might play as, the humans who are trying to fix history, the robots who want the chaos so they come to power, or the cyborgs who play for both teams essentially. After everyone is dealt their identity cards the captain will then roll the die to see what era you will be traveling to. Once there they will pick a team of players for everyone to vote on as the ones who try to repair time. If the vote succeeds then the players will pass cards to the captain, if the vote fails then a random card is placed. Based on what cards are showing on the board at the end of the round will determine the score. You will do this rolling, voting, card placing process for ten rounds, and at the end of the 10th round the final score determines who wins. For the humans to win the score has to be 4-6, for the cyborgs to win the score has to be 3-5 (which means they can win WITH the humans), and for the robots to win the score has to be 2 or lower. There are other rules that go along with the game, but suffice to say, if you are intrigued by social deduction games, check out this Kickstarter project.
And finally we have a new engine building card game similar to Chain Reaction called Space Race – Interkosmos. This game is all about the space race, and so each player is playing a different country trying to make their way into the cosmos and explore it. How you will do this is through blind bidding and engine building with your cards, and cards you acquire from the main row. In each round there will be a display of cards up for auction, you will bid on these cards using control cards, each with a type and value associated with them. Win or lose that is the only time you get to use the cards to choose wisely. Once winner are determined then the cards are added to their tableau in front of them, and this is where the engine building happens. On each cards are four different lines, that as you put cards next to each other will form a string of actions that happen whenever you activate that line. This is the second part of the control cards you use because after bidding, you then use the card to activate a line on your cards to take those actions and hopefully explore space and get more cards. In the end, whoever has the best space agency and has explored the most impressive stellar objects will be the winner. There is much more to the game including a campaign mode, so if the games sounds interesting, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page.
Pretty sure my own wallet takes a kick whenever I do these posts, but then again, that just shows that there are lots of interesting projects out there to back. So here are some more for you to look at.
Fist up is a new game from Ludicreations that tries to tell the forgotten story of what happened during the destruction of the libraries at Alexandria. Alexandria is a euro game where you most precious resource is time, as the library is burning down around you and you need to get the most valuable treasures before they are lost forever. Each setup of the game is different with a randomly generated layout, and as you move from one room to the other you will be interacting and reacting to things that are there. You will have to plan your moves wisely, budget your time well, and make use of various items and books you obtain to secure what you seek. In the end you will score based on the sets of items you were able to rescue and the person with the most points is the winner. You can find out more about this game on it’s Kickstarter page, and also look at the wonderful illustrations done for it by the talented Vincent Dutrait.
Next is the latest game from Tim Fowers called Now Boarding. For those of us who have played game apps like Airport Mania, this game will feel very similar as it’s a race against time for you and your fellow pilots to fly people to their destinations. On a turn there will be new passengers who have places they need to be, and in order to get them there you will have to work together since each player owns certain air travel lanes on the board. Once the round starts you have 30 seconds to pick up passengers and drop their off as quickly as you can, any that don’t make it gain anger tokens. Once a passenger gets three anger tokens they are removed from the game and file a complaint, three complaints and everyone loses. Manage to avoid getting that third complaint and you all win! With a fast play time and great art, this filler game could hit the table multiple times. To find out more about the game and to pledge, you can visit their Kickstarter page.
After that we have the latest in the long line of werewolf themed social deduction games from Bezier Games called Werebeasts. So what makes this game different than the 50 other Werewolf style games? Well for one this one is a social deduction collection game, this means you are trying to figure out what people are collecting over identifying any specific individual. Each round you will be bidding for cards with one player being the auctioneer, and the rest bidding with whatever cards they have. The auctioneer gets to determine what they consider a higher bid and the highest bidder gets the card. You can accuse someone at any time on what they are collecting, but if you are wrong then you are eliminated instead. But why are you collecting cards? Each person has two goals on werebeasts they want to collect, and each one they collect is worth a point. At the end, the last one standing or most points at the end is the winner. So if you are in the mood for another social deduction game, check out the Kickstarter.
Next is a beautiful drafting card game from Dr. Finn Games called Little Flower Shop. In this game you are the owner of a flower shop trying to arrange that most beautiful flowers in your store window. To do this you will be drafting cards, with cards having vases, flowers, hanging baskets, or orders that you can fill. Each vase has a specific flower that needs to be placed in it, and if you manage to but them together then you can score that set at the end of the game. You can also earn points by buying the hanging baskets you draft with money you earn by fulfilling orders with different flowers. At the end whoever has the most points will be the winner of the game. Art for the game has a nice watercolor style to it and the gameplay is simple but fun. If this game sounds interesting then check out it’s Kickstarter page.
Up next is or token dice project of the week, and that is Deluxe Constellation Dice. These dice are a little pricey, but they are high quality and feature sides with different astrological symbols like Cassiopeia or Corona Borealis. The dice also feature some impressive coloring and even some glow in the dark features. Over all if you like dice with a star theme then you want to check out this Kickstarter. You can pledge for D10s, D6s, fudge dice, and even full poly sets at the higher tiers.
Next is an expansion for a game that hasn’t gotten a lot of buzz, but has excellent reviews, and that is The Networks: Executives. The Networks is a previous game that was Kickstarted by Formal Ferret Games and has you playing the programming manager for a fictional TV station. You populate your prime time lineup with shows, stars, and commercials in order to bring in the most viewers. Executives expands on that game by adding three new features to the game. First are Executives, those are essentially characters you choose to play as that have different special abilities and weaknesses. Next are more season 0 shows, giving you an asymmetrical start with different benefits as opposed to the generic same start that the base game had. And last it adds in Mogul cards which give you big bonuses when you achieve a programming milestone, giving something to work towards in that respect. These additions help to expand the game more and smooth out some rough spots in the game. If you want to get a copy of the expansion or the base game, check out the Kickstarter today.
Last is kind of a wild card game which came out of no where, and that is The Island of El Dorado. This game looks like a mix of Catan and an exploration game. On your turn you will roll two dice, you will pick one die to determine how many spaces you can move, and the other die will determine how many resources you gather. Moving is how you explore and reveal the tiles of the board, and when you gather resources you will gather them from areas you have built up or are present. With those resources you can then purchase more villagers, build forts to strengthen your villagers, build farms to gather more resources, or make offerings at temples to gain control of them. The strength of your villagers comes into play when you are moving across the board and another player is in your way. You can battle them, rolling dice and adding your strength to it to see who wins. This is also the way you can steal the final temple piece that is needed to win the game. In the end, whoever has made offerings at the three temples, and has control of temple piece wins the game. So if you like these kinds of mashup type games with lots of different mechanics, while still working well as a whole, check out the Kickstarter today.
Big Potato has released their two latest games, OK Play and Chameleon, and both are exclusive to Target stores. The first is Chameleon, a social deduction game in the same vein as Spyfall where you are trying to find the chameleon. To start you shuffle up the code cards and the chameleon card and give one to each player, then you will flip over a topic card and roll two dice. From those two dice and the code card it will indicate which topic, there are 16 on a card, the players will be talking about. At that point you will take some time to think of a word associated with the topic, something specific but not too specific. The chameleon’s job is to either blend in and not get outed, or if that fails, to figure out what the topic is. Everyone else’s job is to make it hard for the chameleon to figure out the word, and try to sus out who the chameleon really is. Tom Vasel give it a Seal of Excellence in his video review and so if you like games like Spyfall, give this one a look.
The other game is OK Play, a simple abstract game where you are trying to get 5 of your colored pieces in a row. Gameplay is super easy in that all you do on your turn is place a piece, or move a piece if they are all out, and whoever gets 5 in a row first is the winner. With quick and simple gameplay like that, Big Potato took the time to make sure the game is playable anywhere, and I think they accomplished that. The pieces are nice plastic tiles and the carrier for them keeps them all contained in four nice stacks, allowing for easy travel with this game. Tom give this game a Seal of Approval in his video review and so if you like simple abstract games like this, check it out. For more info you can read the two press releases below.
The Chameleon – Big Potato Games
Big Potato are back with a brand new game called The Chameleon. The indie games company will be releasing its game as an exclusive at Target this summer and the game is out now across all stores and on-line.
It was recently crowned the ‘Best Party Game’ at the UK Games Expo which is the third largest games convention in the world, and was awarded The Dice Tower’s reputable ‘Seal of Excellence’.
The Chameleon is a family-friendly, social bluffing game, devised by legendary board game inventor Rikki Tahta, creator of Coup. If you are the hidden Chameleon, your mission is to stay undetected and work out the secret code word. If you aren’t the Chameleon then you must track down that elusive Chameleon without giving away the secret word. If the wrong person is accused, the real Chameleon escapes. If the Chameleon is caught, they have one last chance to escape by guessing the secret word.
Games are short and sweet, and full of flying accusations, quick-thinking and Sherlock-like deductions.
For more information, visit www.thechameleongame.com.
• Ages 14+
• 3 to 8 players
• 10 minutes to play
OK Play – Big Potato Games
This summer, indie board games company Big Potato is releasing its new family-friendly travel game called OK Play. Big Potato is the only board game brand that is exclusive to Target and the game is out now across all stores and online.
OK Play is super-simple to learn but tricky to win. It’s like an off-road Connect Four but for 2-4 players and to win you’ve got to sneak a straight or horizontal line of 5 tiles in a row. There’s no board to stop the game going off in random directions and if you run out of tiles, you get to re-position old ones.
With toughened plastic tiles and a handy carabiner, OK Play is made to travel. Don’t leave home without it.
For more information, visit www.okplaygame.com.
• Ages 8+
• 2 to 4 players
• 15 minutes to play
About Big Potato
After the success of their trivia card game Linkee, founders Ben, Dean and Tris decided to set up their own business. Big Potato was set up in 2012 as an independent board games company. With all of the products created and designed in-house, Big Potato offers a variety of board games ranging from family games to adult party games. The Shoreditch-based company sell through UK retailers both large and small. Last year, they successfully entered the U.S. market through an exclusive deal with Target.
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