Portal Games Talk Up First Martians and 51st State: Master Set

February 22, 2016 - 10:24am
February is almost over and more information is slowly starting to materialize about some of the most anticipated releases of the coming year. The latest Portal Games newsletter contains some interesting tidbits about two big names in particular: 51st state master First, the popular post-apocalyptic card game 51st State is being reborn in the form of a new 51st State: Master Set that combines cards from the original game with cards from both of the expansions, all recalibrated for optimum balance. The Master Set is already available for pre-order on Portal's website, (here), and although it isn't a crowdfunding campaign and the game will be published either way, it does offer a system of pre-order rewards and 'stretch goals', two of which have already been unlocked, ensuring each copy will come with a 51st State Transfer Book (summarizing all the changes between the original game and the master set) and an original story set in the world of Neuroshima. Portal have also promised that the new rulebook is almost finalized and will be made available soon. From the return of an old classic to what could potentially turn out to be the hottest new release of the year, the Portal Newsletter also included a link to a recent interview with Ignacy Trzewiczek himself (originally published in Polish here.) about the upcoming title First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet. First Martians, of course, is based on the extremely popular co-op Robinson Crusoe and is the next big thing in the recent trend of App-driven board games. Ignacy cites his experience playing X-Com as a major inspiration and motivation to move ahead with First Martians, because it showed him how useful an app could be in eliminating the boring overhead of games - "managing tokens, moving pieces and all that fiddly work which pulls us away from the essence of the game, from the fun." The interview also covers a variety of other topics including the game's current development progress - the game system is finished, but Portal is working hard to create lots of great encounters, events and campaigns; how First Martians will compare to its predecessor Robinson Crusoe - despite very significant differences, including a huge new mystery mechanic that will be further explained in the coming months, Ignacy expects that players familiar with Robinson Crusoe will be able to jump right into First Martians with minimal rules explanations; and also the current state and expected features of the game app - the app is already fully operational (a necessity, since the game cannot be played without it), and completely manages the adventures, events, et. al. which occur in the game, allowing players to choose between several different game modes and difficulty levels, but some features have not yet been coded, such as the ability to save your current game progress and come back later. Be sure to read the full interview here.