Story Telling Game

The X-Files was a long running sci-fi style TV show about Agents Mulder and Scully investigating outlandish claims that were classified as X-files.  In the show they often found the outlandish claims were in fact true, but when reporting to their superiors, Scully would take the side of science while Mulder would always tell the truth, no matter how crazy it was.

In the game X-Files: Conspiracy Theory – Everything is Connected, you will play as Mulder as you try to explain the crazy things to your superiors with the evidence you collected.  On a player’s turn they will pull a prompt card from the deck, and with that prompt and the different evidence cards in your hand, try to weave together a story that the rest of the players will believe.  The rest of the players will be playing their superiors and will vote, not according to if they believe the story or not, but according to how they think everyone else will vote.  That’s because “the only thing worse than being an outlier is being a nut-case like Fox Mulder“.

Look for this game to arrive on store shelves in the later half of March, and then ask yourself, do you believe?

It’s the week after Thanksgiving, that means it’s the first official week of Christmas shopping, so lets see what else there is to spend your money on.  First is a new story telling “game” with some fun and interesting art, simply called StoryWorld.  It’s a simple game which is all about creativity, adaptability, and good story telling.  Each player will have a hand of cards consisting of characters, objects, places, actions, and some wild cards.  At the start a theme card will be flipped over telling you the overall theme of the story, like fantasy, comedy, and so on.  Then starting with the first player, they will play down one of the cards in their hand and tell a part of the story based on that card.  The next player will then get to play a card but must continue the story from the previous card, building on what was played.  This keeps going around, building and continuing the story with each card until everyone has played their cards.  And that’s it, so while it’s not so much a game, it would be a fun activity with kids as the art is very fun and whimsical and helps get the creative juices going.  You can find out more about this game on the Kickstarter page.

Next up we have a very pretty looking deduction game called Prismal, the first game in a newly created universe called the Kingdoms of Isempar.  In this game you are trying to figure out what the value of the face down cards are in the middle, given that every card is dealt out and that only one of each number exists in each suit.  From your information and the information given by other players via their played cards, you have to play down a number of cards in front of each hidden card equal to that hidden card’s value.  Play is extremely simple with only two options, play a card out in front of the face down cards, or discard a card face down.  You will always know how many cards of each suit are in play as they are clearly shown on the back, but it’s the value of these cards that you will have to figure out or make educated guesses on.  At the end you will flip over all the cards and figure out how many you succeeded on and how many you failed.  If your successes out weight your failures, you win.  To find out more information you can check out the campaign page here.

After that we have a new dice worker placement type game called Living Planet, designed by Christophe Boelinger.  In this game you are exploiting resources from a new planet and using those resources to build and trade your way to greatness.  They call it a dice worker placement style game, but you don’t roll and place the die, instead you will be playing cards which show different values of the dice.  On a turn you will play one of these cards and place your die in one of three zones, actions, production, or cataclysm.  On the production space you will produce resources on all the factories and resource spaces you have that match that die value.  On the cataclysm space if you match the color and value of a die on any hexes on the board, you trigger a disaster for that hex, which one is shown on each hex.  On the actions space you will get to perform two actions, with each action being modified or defined by the value of die you put on that space.  With the actions you will be able to explore more of the planet, build buildings, move units, get money, and so on.  Turns will keep happening like this until everyone has had 12 turns, then you will count up victory points and see who the winner is.  To read more about the game and to back for a copy, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

And finally, we have the random entry of the list, and that is the Animator vs Animation card game.  The game’s art and concept come from the stick figure battle animations you can see online, and with the same goal, to win the battle.  The game consists of picking a character, and then doing battle with the other characters as the animator.  Each round you will play different action cards on the characters, moving them, turning them, and clicking on them to do damage.  You will also be able to equip them with different items or use special abilities to modify the outcome of battle.  As you damage your opponents you will start collecting their cubes, and each cube will be worth one point.  When someone gets to 16 points they are immediately declared the winner.  So if this kind of silly take that style card game is your thing, check out the Kickstarter page.

Near and Far is an adventure game with a choose your own adventure story telling aspect to it, and people have loved it.  So naturally, Red Raven Games is looking to expand this game and so are turning to Kickstarter to get it funded.  Near and Far: Amber Mines adds four new things (now five with stretch goals) to the game that help increase replay-ability and just improve the game.  First is a replacement for the standard mine on this board, this new amber mine is card based and so what you get will be a little more random.  But what is good is that these mines will offer better rewards than the normal gem/coin combinations, making up for the more chaotic nature.

The next addition is adding magic to the game, allowing you to have special abilities during the game.  Need help with bandits?  If you get the lightning bolt spell you can convert a gem into three swords.  Running low on money?  With transmute you can exchange up to four gems for two coins for each gem.  Needless to say this opens up all sorts of new possibilities in the game as you collect magic in order to gain access to these different spells.

Third is a new general store, giving you the option to refill hearts and also gives you the opportunity to place camps there if you buy an advanced artifact.

Fourth are new dangerous encounters, so instead of just the same endless stream of bandits, you now have all sorts of new foes to fight, with also differing rewards for when you defeat them.

And finally, due to the stretch goal being reached, a co-op mode will be added to the game, allowing you to play cooperatively with your friends through any of the game modes.  This to me is awesome because playing this game you often forgot it was competitive, and so now with this you can play it cooperatively against the final bosses.

So if you love Near and Far, or if you missed some of the extra goodies from the Above and Below or Near and Far Kickstarters, check out this campaign today!

Here we are again, time to highlight a couple of Kickstarters we found this week.

First on the list is a game from The Creativity Hub called Untold: Adventures Await.  This is an RPG, story telling hybrid game that puts to use the many different sets of Rory Story Cubes that have been released to date.  It’s described as throwing yourself into your favorite TV series, but instead of just watching you are now creating the story that unfolds.  This is especially true because several dice sets have been released that are based on popular television IPs like Batman, Scooby Doo, and Doctor Who.  Whichever set of Rory Story Cubes you use will give you the framework to your story, and the game will guide you through the rest from the danger appearing to the final showdown.  Play will take about 60 minutes and you can reuse your created characters in later games, akin to continuing your TV series.  So if this sounds interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Next is a game getting an art overhaul and deluxified courtesy of TMG called The Flow of History.  This is a bidding/auction style card game where you are trying to build the best civilization out of them all.  In the game you will be buying and playing cards from 5 different ages, with each card having it’s own special ability.  Some cards give you icons, others give you resources based on those icons, and so on.  The game ends when the card “The Future” shows up in the market or is acquired directly, at that point you count up culture icons, each being worth a point, and any end game scoring bonuses to determine the winner.  What makes this version deluxe compared to the retail is the larger box, molded plastic tray, folding market board, and metal resource tokens.  So if a card based civilization game interests you, or you want a deluxe version of the game, check out the Kickstarter page.

Finally we have Archmage Origins, the latest card game from SolarFlare Games.  In the game you are battling your follow mages in an effort to collect the strongest army and be crowned the archmage of the realm.  To do that you will use a similar board setup and play style to that of a popular two player game, Targi.  In the game you will set out a 4×4 grid of face down monster cards, each having different strengths and abilities.  On your turn you can peak at a card to see what monster is there, next you have the option to swap it with another card, and then you play one of your mage cards around the edge of the board.  After everyone’s mage cards have been played, all the cards flip over and each monster card is resolved, totaling the value of mage cards in the column and row it occupies.  Whoever has the higher value gets to add the card to their army, and once all the cards have been given out, the highest valued army wins.  With some good looking art, simple and quick gameplay, this light filler game is worth a look.  Check out their Kickstarter page today, which also includes a tease to the next game in the same universe.

Looney Labs, the makers of such popular games as Fluxx (1997) and Pyramid Arcade (2016), has announced a commercial release of the popular print-on-demand game Nanofictionary, a story telling card game for 3-6 players. In Nanofictionary, players collect cards representing different story telling elements, such as characters, setting, problem and resolution. Once players have their hand, each tells a story based on the specifics of their cards. The players then vote on the best story to determine the winner. Read more about Nanofictionary here.

Expect Nanofictionary in stores on August 17, 2017.