Thematic Games

Chrono Corsairs, designed by John Brieger and Vincent Hirtzel, is a game for 2-5 players that are locked in time!

Players are pirates on the cursed shores of Ouroboros Island where a time storm causes them to live the same day over and over again until the time storm finally breaks. The game is played over a series of loops where players will select plans at the beginning of each loop to move their crew around the island and collecting treasure along the way. The same events will keep happening each loop at the same time, so players will learn what the repeating day holds as the game unfolds. Once the time storm subsides, the game is over and the player with the most treasure wins the game!

For more information, click here.

Obscurio, designed by L’Atelier, is a 2-8 player game that places players in a Sorcerer’s Library with the need to escape!

Players will need to work cooperatively to find the exit from the Library as one player takes on the roll of the clue giver utilizing cards with various images on them to guide the players out of the Library. However, there is a traitor among them trying to prevent them from finding that exit! Their are a wide variety of traps throughout the Library that players will need to overcome if they are ever going to escape.

For more information, check out their site here.

Fans of the classic Stephen King novel, 1990 miniseries, and recent 2017 remake alike will be pleased to discover that Pennywise and the Losers’ Club are making their way to the tabletop space with IT: Evil Below, coming this fall from The OP (USAopoly).

IT: Evil Below is a 2-7 player cooperative game in which players take on the role of the Losers’ Club as they traverse their neighborhood in Derry, ME, tempting fate in numerous encounters and using their character-specific abilities to take down the menacing clown and stop the child abductions once and for all. But if just one player runs out of health, the objective fails and Pennywise continues to wreak psychological havoc upon the citizens of this quaint New England town for years to come.

For more information on the game from The OP, click here.

On May 20th, Modiphius Entertainment announced The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms, a narrative miniatures game designed by Mark Latham (The Walking Dead: All Out War, The Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game) which builds upon the core mechanics of Modiphius’ Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, but rewritten and reworked to fit into the Elder Scrolls franchise and universe. Modiphius has planned a release date for the game of Christmas 2019.

The Elder Scrolls: Call to Arms will have you and your band of heroes set out on narrative-driven scenarios, ranging from treasure-seeking dungeon delves to Tamriel battles, completing quests and objectives – and enjoying high quality 32mm resin miniatures each with its own custom base (including fan favorites such as Hadvar, Ralof, Yrsarald Thrice-Pierced, Marcurio, Mjoll the Lioness, Ulfric Stormcloak, Galmar Stone-Fist, General Tullius and Lydia).

In the first wave, players will lead their forces of the Stormcloaks or Imperial Legion – comprised of 1-5 heroes and 3-15 troops – to fight for the future of Skyrim in the civil war. This wave of releases will be a two player starter set and reinforcement sets of resin miniatures for the Stormcloaks and Imperial Army, as well as a Dragonborn single player set. Planned future releases include additional races and characters from across the Elder Scrolls franchise.

Leading up to the launch, Modiphius will be releasing promotional miniatures, including the Dragonborn miniature which is available in limited quantities online but will also be available at the UK Games Expo in June and GenCon in August.

For more information, click here.

nemos war comp

Literature fans, solo-gamers, and combinations of the two should take notice.  Nemo’s War: Second Edition is on Kickstarter, and has already more than doubled its goal with twenty-five days left.  Nemo’s War is a theme-dripping solo adventure game based on Jules Verne’s sci-fi classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  This 2nd edition completely overhauls the 2009 title and features new artwork from Ian O’Toole (The Gallerist).
Nemo’s War
 places you in the titular role of the captain of the Nautilus, an electric-powered submarine.  You pilot your vessel around the board battling ships and sea-beasts and attempting to accomplish an array of objectives you choose at the outset of your adventure.  Victory conditions and difficulty are variable, making Nemo’s War a replayable  solo experience.  The game was designed by Chris Taylor (Astra Titanus) and will be published by Victory Point games.  For all the details, sail over to the Kickstarter page.










valley of kings afterlife

Over on Alderac Entertainment Group‘s (AEG) blog designer Tom Cleaver discusses his design for the followup game to Valley of the Kings (Tom’s review here).  In this he discusses what he envisioned when AEG came to him looking for another title in the line.  Originally he had conceived an expansion but was asked by the publisher to put out a combinable standalone game more along the lines of something like what Dominion Intrigue did where you can add the expansion onto the base game but also play it as the stand alone game as well.

Of note within this game is that he had to figure out a way to correct some issues that were identified by game players with the initial game while still keeping its same feel.  Additionally he encountered a conundrum of not repeating the same artifacts within the game.  His solutions for both of these problems give some good insight into the decision making process of a designer.

valley of kings afterlife cards

Furthermore he talks about how he tried to address some of the common strategies taken by players in the original Valley of the Kings so that while they may remain a valid strategy they do not necessarily become the only strategies someone could choose if they wanted to win.  He did so by adding cards into play which may favor other strategies.

Finally he talks about striving for historical accuracy while keeping the game playable.  Focusing on keeping hte mechanics and actual game play the same so that someone who has played the game before can dive right in without redoing the initial learning curve.

For his full blog post head to AEG’s site here.


Rio Grande Games has announced a number of new titles, reprints of their classic games, reprints of other peoples classic games, and an expansions.  They will be releasing three train games soon “TransAmerica” which is a reprint from 2001, “20th Century Limited” which is a brand new title, and “Mogul” which is a 2002 Spiele Aus Timbuktu games.  They are also releasing “My First Bohnanza”.  Finally with a slightly firmer release of June is the “Arctic Scavenger: Recon” expansion along with a version that includes the base game and the expansion.

Publishers Descriptions Below

trans america


America in the 19th century: railroads are booming! Pioneer spirit and vision are everywhere. Everyone wants to be the first to build a railroad network across the country.

Each player has five cities and tries to connect them with a shared network of tracks. As soon as a player has done this, the round ends and the other players lose points. At the end of the game, the player who has the most points left is the winner! Who will be the first to connect his cities?

2-6 players
Ages 8+

20th century

20th Century Limited

Become part of a U.S. National Institution of the early 20th Century, as you build the routes and reputation of The Most Famous Train in the World: The 20th Century Limited!

You are American rail luminaries, creating small independent lines to serve local cities. Plying your business acumen, you plan to sell these lines to larger companies. Of course, you wouldn’t be where you are today without knowing a thing or two about turning tricky situations to your advantage. You have a scheme in mind to get the big companies what they need, without necessarily having, shall we say, exclusive ownership of it.

20th Century Limited condenses the history of the American railroad into a sixty-minute game. Players take on the roles of the great railway robber barons as they set up small railroads, turn them into larger rail lines, then sell them off and start all over again. The spread of the North American rail system can happen on your game table in about an hour as the network develops in a fashion similar to the historical model.

2-5 players
Ages 14+
30-60 minute play time



In the twenties, the stock exchange experienced a previously unknown growth. Everyone speculated and many become millionaires overnight!

Players portray enterprising moguls competing for the auctioned shares of five major railroad companies. As players buy and sell railway shares and try to outsmart the others and the market, they must keep in mind, a crash can happen at any moment, and players can lose it all.

There are four to seven shares of each of the five railroad companies. Each turn, one of the share cards is revealed and an auction ensues. Players earn money by dropping out of the auction, but the last player in wins the right to take the card or sell shares he already owns. Points are kept on a scoring track. When the crash card is revealed from the deck, the game ends. Players earn $1 for each share still in front of them and each five bidding chips they hold, in addition to the value of their depots. Whoever has the most money wins!

3-5 players
Ages 13+

first bohnanza

My First Bohnanza

Whoever thinks that the classic Bohnanza game is something only for adults is completely wrong. Older children everywhere, who love planting, trading, and harvesting beans, already enjoy the game!

With My First Bohnanza, even younger children will be able to learn the game in small steps. We introduce 10 new types of beans – just for kids – and they can begin their bean farmer journey earning gold coins.

3-5 players
Ages 4+
30 minute play time

artic scav

Arctic Scavengers: Recon Expansion

Recon expansion: The world of Arctic Scavengers pits players against one another in an attempt to survive a post-apocalyptic ice age. As the competing tribes developed and grew, headquarters were established for each tribe (supported via the HQ expansion that shipped with the first release). As the tribes evolved further and struggled for dominance, information has become the most valuable currency. In this new world, deception reigns, leading to a need for reconnaissance.

Arctic Scavengers: Base Game plus Recon Expansion

In the year 2097, the entire earth was enveloped in a cataclysmic climate shift plunging the globe into another ice age. Over 90% of the world’s population was eliminated, driving the survivors to band together into loose communities and tribes. Each player is the leader of a small tribe of survivors. Resources, tools, medicine, and mercenaries are all in scarce supply. Each tribe is pitted against other tribes in a fight for survival. The players build up their tribes, skirmish against other players’ tribes, and can even bluff on the way to victory. The leader who gathers the largest tribe will win the game!

The HQ expansion is the first expansion for Arctic Scavengers introduces the notion of a base camp or headquarters for each tribe. This base camp consists of a Tribal Leader (complete with special abilities) and the potential to construct buildings that can be used strategically during game play. Additionally, the game introduces alternative victory paths, new mercenaries, new tools, and the addition of the “engineering schematics” pile.

This version also includes the Recon expansions and comes with a plastic insert to organize all your cards for ease in play setup.

2-5 players
Ages 13+
30-60 minute play time

Following on a successful Kickstarter campaign last fall Minion Games is finally bringing Dead Men Tell No Tales out in April.  This fun pirate themed cooperative does a nice job of pairing the hidden information aspects of a game like forbidden desert with the strategy of a game like Pandemic or Flash Point.

While the distributor of this game has announced that it will be available in April the Kickstarter page for this project does not indicate that shipments have necessarily began to backers.  This indicates that the April ship date may slip.  Based on concerns voiced by the publisher in comments for the campaign they may be facing the same shipping delays that have plagued much of the industry for the last few months.

That being said Minion Games does have a track record of taking care of their Kickstarter backers properly.  If this game sounds interesting keep your eyes peeled mid-April for it.

Publishers description below

For years you’ve been tracking Skelit’s Revenge, the most notorious ship on the high seas, and now you’ve finally taken it. Your Captain has informed you that there are treasure chests hidden on board full of the most valuable treasure the world has ever seen and now is your chance to take it all. Players take on the role of Pirates who are boarding Skelit’s Revenge for one purpose….to take the loot. They must battle the flames, the skeleton crew, and their own fatigue if they hope to make it out alive.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is a cooperative game for 2-5 players. The game uses the common Action Point system to determine what a player does on their turn….with a twist. As players work together, they can pass their Actions on to their teammates in order to best utilize the assets that they have. Players will build the board as they play, ensuring that no two games will ever be alike. As they search the ship for the Treasure, they will encounter Enemies and Guards that they must battle, along with various items that will help them in their quest…. all the while, battling the inferno that resulted when they took over the ship. Unique systems for tracking fire, enemy movement, and a player’s fatigue all combine into an interesting and unique cooperative gaming experience.

Do you and your crew have what it takes to make off with all of the Treasure and live to tell the story? Or are you going down with the ship, in Dead Men Tell No Tales…

2-5 players
Ages 13+
60 minute play time

The new two-player deck building wargame Hands in the Sea was launched on Kickstarter this past week by Knightworks Games. The game takes its inspiration from A Few Acres of Snow and is set during the First Punic War between Rome and Carthage from 264-241 BC where players will colonize, maneuver navies and do battle in order to emerge victorious.

The project is already nearly two-thirds funded with 28 days remaining, you can check out the project page here.