In a world where radioactive dust of the Last War has turned the northern countries into a frozen desolate landscape, 2-4 players in Last Aurora will work to manager their crew to gather resources, recruit survivors, improve their vehicle, fight their enemies, and make challenging ethical choices, all while they race to reach the last beacon of hope before it’s too late: the icebreaker ship Aurora, which is looking for survivors.
Last Aurora takes place over 6 rounds broken into 5 phases in which players will explore locations to perform actions, decide to let exhausted survivors rest for one round or spend food to immediately recover them, fight dangerous enemies, and attempt to reach Aurora as it moves along the coast.
For more information about the game, be sure to visit the Kickstarter campaign page here.
Monolith Board Gamesis bringing us Claustrophibia 1643! This is a new and improved reintroduction of Claustrophobia from 2009. This is a 2 player game where Player 1 is the team of Westerners fighting to survive player 2 who is playing a demonic horde thriving in the underbelly of New Jerusalem. As you explore this dark, terrifying place you come upon any number of creatures and situations you have to survive or escape! The miniatures in this game would just be really fun to paint, I think!! They have amazing detail and the game dynamics work really well. Game play is also asymmetrical which makes the game even more story like working through a campaign- even though the game is very much about survival!
There is a LIMITED number of these being made. Only 10,000 are being offered worldwide on Kickstarter. And watch which pledge you choose because the pledges are location specific! Pick the location for where your game is to be shipped! You have until November 21, 2018 to make your pledge and get your copy of Claustrophobia 1643!
Fantasy Flight Games is trying their hand at a whole new type of game that they are dubbing, Unique Games, where the contents of each box of the game are different than every other box. Think of it like a mash up of booster packs for a CCG and a boxed board game, but without the collectible aspect of it. While the core of the game mechanics and the pieces being used will be the same, the cards, scenarios, and campaigns will vary from box to box, giving each purchaser a unique version of that game. The first game in the series was Keyforge, a two player battle card game where each deck you purchased was completely unique from any other. But now they are being a bit more ambitious with their next game, Discover: Lands Unknown.
In Discover: Lands Unknown you are a group of survivors who are stuck on a mountaintop trying to stay warm, or maybe you are marooned on an island with strange creatures roaming about. Once you know what sticky situation you are in, you will need to get a head count and see who is there with you and how they can help you to survive. Maybe you have Jasmine the mountain climber who can get around easier, or Biff the lumberjack who can gather wood better, or maybe Laila the wildlife photographer who can find new features. Gameplay at the core will be the same though, gathering resources and exploring the terrain in an effort to survive and escape. During the day you will be doing actions, using up stamina as you go along, but make sure you get back to camp before you run out, or you risk spending the night vulnerable out in the wilderness. Manage to stay alive and complete all the objectives and you will be able to escape!
If I didn’t say this game greatly intrigued me I would be lying, but the unique game aspect has my a little concerned and I hope that one game isn’t drastically different than the others. But only time will tell, you can check out more information about the game on Fantasy Flight’s website, and look for the game to be released in the final quarter of this year.
Pandasaurus Games has announced three new games coming out in August: Qwinto, The Mind, and Nyctophobia.
Qwinto, by Bernhard Lach and Uwe Rapp, is a roll and write game for two to six players and takes 15 minutes to play. In Qwinto, all players play simultaneously. Each player has a score sheet with three rows in three different colors (orange, yellow, and purple) and there are three dice (one of each color). Each row will contain mostly circle fields with a few pentagonal fields. The active player rolls one to three dice (their choice) and each player will choose whether to add the rolled sum to one available field on their score sheet. There are only three rules for writing sums on the score sheet:
The chosen row must be the same color as one of the rolled dice.
The numbers in the row must increase from left to right (leaving blank spaces is allowed)
No duplicate numbers may appear in a single column.
Any player may choose not to write a sum on their score sheet without penalty unless they are the active player; the active player must mark one of the miss-throw fields if they choose not to add the rolled sum to their sheet. The game ends when a player has filled two rows on their score sheet or when any player has filled in their fourth miss-throw field. Players then score points equal to the number in the pentagonal field for each completed column, points equal to the right-most number in each completed row, and one point for each number in each incomplete row. Each miss-throw is negative five points. The player with the most points wins! For more information, check out The Dice Tower reviews here.
The Mind, by Wolfgang Warsch, is a team experience for two to four players. Players are attempting to complete levels by placing their cards collectively in ascending order, but here’s the catch – the players are not allowed to communicate in any way to indicate what cards they have. The game includes numbered cards 1 -100, level cards 1 -12, life cards, and shuriken cards. Players will try to complete 12/10/8 levels for 2/3/4 players. For each level, the players will be dealt a number of cards equal to the level number (1 card for level 1, 2 cards for level 2, etc.) that are kept hidden from the other players. Then, all players will try to place their cards one by one on the discard pile face up in ascending order, not knowing what cards are in the other players’ hands. If a card is placed that is higher than one still in a player’s hand, that player will call a stop, the players will lose a life, and then the level will continue. The players also have shuriken cards, that can help them make it through a level. As long as all of the players agree, a shuriken card can be used to allow all players to discard their lowest level card, which then becomes public knowledge. The game ends when the players have successfully completed all of the levels or if the players lose their last life. For more information, check out The Dice Tower reviews here.
Nyctophobia, by Catherine Stippell, is a cooperative horror-survival game for three to five players that plays in 30 – 45 minutes. Up to four players will play as the Hunted and a single player will be the Hunter. The goal of the Hunted is to make it through the forest maze to their car and survive. The Hunter will win if any of the Hunted die. Sounds fairly simple, right? Here’s the hard part – all of the Hunted players wear black out glasses so they cannot see the board and can only navigate by touch.
At the beginning of the game, the Hunter (the only player who can see the board) will set up the board based on the scenario (axe murderer or mage) and give the players the general direction of their car (north, south, west, or east), but the Hunted don’t know where they are starting in relation to the car. On the Hunted player’s turn, the Hunter will assist the Hunted by placing their hand on their player piece. Then, they can explore the surrounding spaces next to their player piece. After exploring, they’ll decide on a direction to move. This may cause them to pick up rocks that they can later throw to distract the Hunter, bump into another Hunted player allowing them to coordinate and better determine their location in the forest, or run into the Hunter, taking damage. Each Hunted only has two health. The Hunter uses a deck of cards to determine their movement on their turn, but has certain rules they must follow, such as heading towards any noise markers (from thrown rocks) on the board.
There are two versions of the Hunter: the axe murderer and the mage. The ax murderer can chop down trees to get to the Hunted faster while the mage can manipulate the forest, moving trees and rotating the entire map, to confuse the players. To see more, check out the GAMA 2018 video here.
Saltlands is a post apocalyptic survival game where even though your survived the first apocalypse, now you have to survive the horde of raiders that are bearing down on you. The game is free flowing between cooperative and competitive as you can make and break alliances as you please, and the first group to be able to escape will be the winners. The game is not very complicated as you take different actions with your survivors by moving around searching for rumors about the locations of the exits to these safe havens. Along the way you will have to fight raiders, help others in need, and search for gear to be able to make it out alive. One interesting aspect of the game is that movement is mostly done on modified sailboards that now have wheels attached, meaning the direct of the wind will affect how well you can move. So, will you be able to survive or will you get overrun?
Saltlands was a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year and the manufacturing of the game is well underway, and once Kickstarter backers have their game, retailers will be right after. In January you will hopefully be seeing the base game of Saltlands as well as the first expansion, Lost in the Desert, on store shelves. That is, if everything goes smoothly.
In Vivarium it’s survival of the fittest as you play out the game with between 2-5 species (players) to see who can adapt the best and come out on top. Vivarium is a deck building game with some of area control added in where everyone starts with the same deck of fear and instinct cards, and as you go through the game you will get better cards to up your fitness level to help you survive. The cards can be population cards, (which relate to increasing the number of animals you have on the board) aggression cards, (which work to disrupt your opponents) ingenuity cards (which relate to destroying cards to thin out your deck) and territory cards (which deal with moving your animals). As you acquire and use these cards to expand your influence on the board and control areas, like the all important oasis, you will be able to improve your fitness even more. Event cards will change up the circumstances each round and battle cards help you to claim and defend your territories. Whoever is the fittest species at the end of spring in the 4th year is the winner.
By the sound of it you might think this game is trying to be like Evolution, but other than a similar theme of adapting your species, the two are very different games. Vivarium sports some excellent art and with the board aspect in play there is more to do than just augment your species. The combination of deck building and board worked well for Trains: Rising Sun and I think Vivarium will be able to do the same, head on over to the campaign page to check it out and pledge for your own copy.
Funforge, known for games like Tokaido, Quantum, and Phantom Society, are bringing a new game to Kickstarter – ZNA. This is a survival cooperative game based in near-future Boston. In ZNA, players work together to escape the ever-encroaching Fog while fending off the mutants it creates. From the Kickstarter page:
The city has been struck by a storm of dark smoke that the inhabitants will later call “the Fog”. This fog destroys everything in its path, leaving behind it a world plunged into chaos. Nobody knows the exact extent of the damage. The Fog concentrates as it settles over the areas it hits, making them dangerous, almost impassable, and infested with threatening mutants.
Together, you will progress across the modular game board, searching for equipment, swapping objects with one another, looting chemical storage facilities in order to mix up concoctions for various uses, and most of all, fight the Fog and the mutants it created.
ZNA is designed to offer players a large variety of choices and configurations, with first class-material. Find out the origins of the Fog, what happens to the survivors, and much, much more in 12 original scenarios.
ZNA is chock full of miniatures, double-sided modular terrain tiles, items, scenarios, events, and more. The game supports multiple modes including adventure, siege, and escape. The project is already funded but offers stretch goals galore including additional heroes, additional monster sculpts, and a companion app that includes a map editor, game guide (to help with setup), narration of story elements, and augmented reality allowing you to scan unexplored tiles for hidden threats. Check out the campaign page here to see if this game is right for you.