The King’s Dilemma

Well, we’re right in the middle of convention season and after a successful Origins and Dice Tower Con, we are right at the onset of Gen Con. This is the 52nd year for Gen Con and for those not familiar, is happening right in the middle of Indianapolis (at the convention center).

This year is reported to have over 65,000 attendees (the largest yet) and feature over 19,000 different events. This is the 6th year I’ve had the opportunity to attend and, as I’ve done in the past, I would like to take a little time to feature some of the highlights of what to expect this year.

First up is Blue Orange Games (booth 1813). They have a few new releases that I was excited about. The one I was most excited about is Slide Quest. Are you a fan of Sorry Sliders? Now add a fantasy theme and a bit of RPG to the mix and you have Slide Quest. In this game, you work as a team to move a knight around a board – maneuvering around obstacles and monsters. This is achieved by lifting up on one of four different levers to move the hero (who has a rolling ball at the base of the figurine). This is an extremely fun family hit!

Next up is Kingdomino Duel. Roll-and-Write’s are extremely popular these days and Kingdomino Duel brings Blue Orange into the mix of fun R&W’s. For those familiar with the domino-building kingdom game in which it is themed (Kingdomino) in Kingdomino Duel, you are combining two different dice values to form a domino and then, in turn, use it to draw it into your kingdom. To find out more about the game you can view the Dice Tower’s review here. If you’re a fan of the original game – and enjoy the Roll & Write craze – this game is for you!

Speaking of Kingdomino, Blue Orange Games will be hosting their USA championship tournament during GenCon

During each hour, 36 participants will be divided into 8 groups of either 4 or 5 players. Groups of 5 players will play with the Kingdomino expansion Age of Giants. The winners of each group will be divided in 2 groups of 4 and will play another game. The 2 winners of those groups will have to come back at 7pm for the Grand Finals.

You can find out more about the tournament by visiting Blue Orange Games’ website here.

Next we’re on to Horrible Games and their release of The King’s Dilemma
(booth 3065 – Luma Games). This game is a turn away from their successful Dungeon Fighter line-up and is more of a narrative game that features many evolving decisions made to build an evolving deck of cards.

You will draw one card from the “Dilemma deck” each round and experience the game story as it unfolds. Each card poses a problem that the Council has to resolve on the King’s behalf. As members of the King’s inner circle, your decisions determine how the story proceeds and the fate of the kingdom. Each event happens only once: You discuss and bargain with the other players, then finally you make a choice, determining the outcome, progressing the game story, and possibly unlocking more events.

Let’s now focus some attention on Portal Games (booth 2443). Portal has long been one of my personal favorite Publishers. With hits such as Robinson Crusoe and the recent hit, Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame, designer (and company owner) Ignacy Trzewiczek, along with Joanna Kijanka, have released Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North. This is a standalone game (set in the Imperial Settlers universe) where players will take on the leaders of either the Scotsmen, Inuits, or Vikings to make them the best empire in the world.

Develop your economy, deflect your opponent, and fight for dominance in the north. Learn new mechanisms, and experience a unique style of Imperial Settlers. Will you be able to create the most successful civilization in Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North?

Anomaly

Last is a visit to Starling Games & Sparkworks (booth 2225 & 2317). Available from Starling is Anomaly – a hidden movement deduction game in which one person/team plays students who are up against a feeding anomaly. What’s unique about this one is that players (students) will use special ability cards that will then be fed to the anomaly, in which case they will be used for their inverse abilities which will benefit the entity. Check this out along with some other light games such as Blindspot (an inventive word game) and Penny Lane (a small worker placement game) both pictured below.

Penny Lane
Blind Spot

Keep your eyes out for future articles that I’ll try to post over the next couple of days.

A new distribution agreement has been struck to bring Horrible Games’ titles to the U.S. and Canada. The Italian-based publisher will have all games for the foreseeable future brought to North America by Canada-based publisher and distributor Luma Games. Horrible Games to be carried by this deal include hits like Potion Explosion, Dragon Castle, and Railroad Ink, but this will also include all future titles from the publisher as well. This is a mutually beneficial deal which will see more exposure for both companies across North America.

“Under the new agreement, Luma will distribute all our upcoming games, including Similo and The King’s Dilemma, and take over distribution of backlist games such as Potion Explosion, Dragon Castle, and Railroad Ink as existing stock sells down and new printings are done. Luma will also handle retail and event support for our catalog.”

Keen observers will notice that this is a huge boon for Horrible Games as Luma is taking over the exact same capacity that CMON did for all of their current catalog. While CMON will no longer be distributing the above-mentioned titles after the stock sells, the prolific publisher already has a release schedule and brand presence that is strong on it’s own. On the other hand, Luma has only been able to distribute a select few titles, such as Museum and Memoarrr!, and this partnership will surely escalate their outreach and footprint in the states through Horrible Games’ existing excellent catalog. If you’re interested in reading more about this distribution agreement, or want to learn more about Horrible Games or Luma Games, check out their websites for their own news posts and products.

Horrible Games is attending the Spielwarenmesse (International Toy Fair) 2019 held in Nuremburg, Germany, from January 30th to February 3rd. Tickets for this fair can only be purchased by trade professionals, but Horrible Games has made available a list of games which they will showcase there.

Their most anticipated game is Alone, a dungeon survival sci-fi horror game, to be Kickstarted mid-February, which includes more content and support for more languages.

The King’s Dilemma, by designers Hjalmar Hach, and Lorenzo Silva, is an interactive, narrative experience with branching story lines based on a deck-building mechanism. Players are various families who lead the government of a kingdom by drawing cards from a common deck which allows a story to unfold. Players discuss, bargain, and make decisions which builds the cards remaining in the deck and shape the story of the kingdom. The King’s Dilemma supports 2-5 players, aged 14+, plays in 30 mins, and is expected to release in Q3 of 2019.

Fantastiq, by the same designers, has players commissioned to create works of art simultaneously each round, using modelling clay, based on titles they’re given. Once done, everyone exhibits their creations which are also matched to the titles. Creations correctly matched score points. Fantastiq is for 3-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in 45 mins. The release date is yet to be announced.

Similo, designed by Martino ChiacchieraHjalmar Hach, and Pierluca Zizzi, is a co-operative deduction game utilizing a deck of 90 large cards which have portraits of famous historical or fictional characters (such as Buddha, Abraham Lincoln, and Cleopatra). A clue giver gets the other players to guess the correct character, from 12 displayed on the table, by giving them clues in the form of cards of characters which have something in common with the one they’re meant to guess. Players remove 1 or more characters which they think don’t have anything in common with the clue. If, at any point, the correct character is eliminated the players lose. If the correct one is the final one to remain the players win. Similo supports 2-8 players, aged 8+, and plays in 15-30 mins. The release date has not yet been announced.

Unicorn Fever, designed by Lorenzo Silva, and Lorenzo Tucci Sorrentino, is a game of racing unicorns. Players place bets then watch the race unfold while trying to influence the outcome by “fixing” it. Unicorn Fever is a spiritual successor to the 2009 title, Horse Fever by the same designers. The game supports 2-5 players, aged 8+, and plays in 60 mins. No release date has yet been announced.