thematic

Burnt Island Games seeks to broaden your horizons with a new expansion for Endeavor: Age of Sail.

Age of Sail is a thematic euro-strategy set in the historic age of discovery focusing on area control, resource collection, engine-building and action management. Endeavor: Age of Expansion allows players to continue growing their empire and expanding its influence beyond the edges of the map with a new Kickstarter campaign this summer.

The expansion features new cards and additional game play mechanics for use with the base game. Improving on the previous strategic experience, Burnt Island Games has introduced new concepts including trade, fortify and conscription/mobilization tactics.

A new set of asset cards have been added, and along with the new mechanics they offer an overall improved game-play experience according to the publisher.

Endeavor: Age of Sail, was 910 percent funded on Kickstarter and met 22 stretch goals for over 7,500 backers. Burnt Island Games will try to repeat this success when the Age of Expansion campaign goes live on June 18, 2019.

Final Frontier Games would like to announce Rise to Nobility, “a 1-5 player worker placement game set in a beautiful fantasy world.”  Rise to Nobility is a dice-based worker placement game set in The Five Realms, the same fantasy world as Cavern Tavern.  The game features a strongly thematic engine-building mechanic and many paths to victory.

The following quote from the game’s Kickstarter page describes the basic mechanics of the game and what makes it unique:

“At the beginning of each round, every player rolls 5 dice that represent their available actions in the game. The locations in the city have requirements for certain dice values…The challenging thing is that the total value of dice each player can use during the round is determined by their reputation in the city. Players start with 9 reputation and can increase or decrease their reputation by taking certain actions in the city. With numerous options for spending their dice, players will need to carefully plan their strategy and prioritize their actions.

Each player takes on the role of a landowner with a unique ability. Your goal is to rise from anonymity to the rank of lord. At the end of 10 rounds, the player with the most victory points takes over the head seat at the Stone Council and wins the game.”

Rise to Nobility is for 2-5 players ages 13 and up and plays in 25 minutes/player.  For more information, visit the game’s Kickstarter page.

 

USAopoly would like to announce the upcoming release of a new board game featuring the iconic video game franchise, Super Mario Bros.  Super Mario Level Up! is a board game that features a 3D game board, 13 Character Movers, Power Up cards and “?” Block Chips to offer an immersive, thematic experience reminiscent of the well-known video game experience.

The publisher’s website states the following about this release: “Join Mario and his pals as you advance them up the Mushroom Kingdom while challenging other players to gather the most coins and reach the castle at the top.”

Super Mario Level Up! is a game for 3-6 players ages 8 and up.  For more information about this release, visit the publisher’s website.

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On Thanksgiving Day, NSKN’s blog brought us some solid food for thought: how should game designers and publishers, not to mention gamers in general, consider the impact of thematic content in the games they design and play?  In this entry, NSKN presents the conflict that can sometimes arise due to various elements of theme in games.

It’s quite likely that every gamer has become involved in a game where some aspect of the theme struck a nerve with someone at the table.  A solid theme brings the mechanics of a game to life, allowing us as gamers to make connections that suck us in and immerse us in the experience of the game.  There are, however, elements of life, philosophy, morality, and the human experience, that we find unpleasant, disturbing, and sometimes quite revolting.  Whether the subject matter is as “in your face” as playing on a sheet of human skin in Chaos in the Old World, or something deeper and more subtle like the “colonists” in Puerto Rico, it’s difficult to be callous to others when a particular aspect of a game’s theme strikes that nerve.

A mature response in this area is to make one’s own decisions about a theme and to be careful to avoid pressuring others to play games with themes that are difficult for them.  However, even in this light, designers and publishers should carefully consider the impressions that will be left on others by the delivery of theme in their games, and be prepared for any negative reactions from thematic elements that come close to established social and moral boundaries.

The article makes observations about how a person can find one edgy theme acceptable yet be very bothered by another theme that could be considered controversial.  To read the article in full, visit the NSKN blog page.