Every couple of months I feel the urge to talk a little bit about games that I’m interested in or excited for, whether they are new releases or upcoming. In recent months I’ve made videos on this, but at the moment I’m a bit pushed for time so I thought I’d get back to a bit of old fashioned blogging on the topic.
As much as I like to keep up to date with my games news I do sometimes miss the boat entirely and when I do it’s an absolute clanger. But for those times I overlook a Kickstarter game or see one that I can’t afford to back, I am then pleasantly surprised when a few months down the line it’s available for pre-order. Then I know goodness is on the way. Mostly I find out about new games from an Instagram or Twitter friend, and other times I’ll just trawl the Internet on a game hunting mission. So read on to hear just a little bit about a few that caught my eye of late…
Doomtown: Reloaded reloaded
Anyone who knows me will know that I absolutely love Doomtown: Reloaded. When it ended with AEG last Summer I was really sad. Even though I hadn’t played too many of the expansions (as I discussed in my Arkham Horror post, LCGs are an even more expensive hobby than board games) and I didn’t really keep up with the inner story of the game. But I always enjoyed the games I had. I’ve literally never turned down a game of Doomtown, I just think it’s so thematic and so clever. I enjoy the poker-playing element, and I love the shootouts and how epic they can be. I liked all the weird west characters, especially the ones that you can equip with hexes. Even though it had many hardcore fans it always surprised me more people weren’t into it. But then I remember the early games and how fiddly it seemed and how confusing the terminology appeared to be and I think that can put people off. But it’s one of those things, after a while it all made perfect sense. I always thought of it like Magic The Gathering to make it easier (e.g.- to ‘boot’ a card means to tap it). Anyway, when it came to an end I was like ‘Whaaaaa? No more Doomtown? That sucks’. I felt especially gutted after watching Westworld late last year and getting nostalgic for the weirdy westy stuff. Yet here we are a few months down the line and hell yeah it’s coming back! Pinnacle announced on their Deadlands Kickstarter update that the rights to Doomtown: Reloaded have been passed back to them, and they will be releasing new material with Pinebox Entertainment. Thankfully it’s going to add-on to the original game. We will be in for a bit of a wait I should think, but I was really made up to hear this news. You can read more here.
XYBrid is Kickstarting in March and looks really rather nifty. Yes I’ll admit that transparent cards (bear in mind I don’t actually own a game with such things as of yet) caught my attention when I saw this on an Instafriend’s page. My first thought was ‘oooh transparent cards’ followed by ‘a hawk with robotic arms, what the hell is this all about?’ and in XYBrid you are creating a magnificent mechanical beast to fulfill the mad whim of whoever you’re supposed to be playing as (I’m not super clear on this yet myself). But y’know, why not? Over three rounds you are card drafting in order to build your monster machines with endless ways to assemble them. This one has definitely peaked my interest and I’ll look forward to checking it out.
I must have been living under a rock because Button Shy wallet games are a thing, and now I want them all- awesome, clever and unique games in wallet size. I love ideas like this- that games don’t have to be epic space-hogs to pack a wallop. I especially like the sound of Ahead In The Clouds designed by Daniel Newman. This is described as ‘euro influenced resource management distilled into 18 cards’. In brief you are an industrialist living in a fictional world where air is no longer breathable, and you are collecting dust particles from the air and water vapor in the cloud city to convert into hydrogen and oxygen. You collect and convert resources to fulfill specific contracts and the player to do so first wins the game. You can read more about the game play on the link above. I really can’t wait to get this, I think it looks and sounds like awesomeness.
Described as a ‘green strategy’ board game by Blue Orange Games. You can read the little blurb here, as I have no information other than what I’ve seen over on BGG and photos on Sweet Lemon’s Instagram page taken at the Nuremburg Toy Fair. Let’s just say I’m intrigued.
Again there’s not too much on this one as of yet, but I like what I’ve seen so far on the publishers website and the BGG page. It sounds very much like a solid Eurogame, and I love my Euros. The Kings Will is set in the 10th Century where you play as Dukes, building up provinces and accumulating prestige, meeting your own objectives whilst keeping the poor folk happy…and if said people are unhappy you’ll feel their wrath at the game end (I’m predicting in the form of hefty VP deductions!) The designer Hans Peter-Stoll mentions in the video on the BGG page that the victory conditions change every game and players are allowed to select those conditions…interesting. I think this is going to sneak up on us this spring and I’m keeping my eyes open for it.
I discovered Deadline whilst poking around the Internet last week, and somehow ended up on the Cross Cut Games website. This sounds like a really interesting co-op mystery game. It is in the same vein as Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective as in you have a number of cases to choose from and each game you work on one case together to investigate clues and answer set questions at the end to see just how well you did or didn’t do. The difference however is that instead of sprawling maps, newspapers and casebook, Deadline is condensed into a card game. You follow the story through the cards and each use your own hand and character’s skills to meet the objectives on the clue cards and progress the case. The more you move through the game the harder the clues become to solve. I also adore the setting- it’s ‘30s Film Noir style and looks very cool. I’m looking forward to this one.
I’ve recently fallen in love with Tyrants of the Underdark from the Dungeons & Dragons family and I’ll be talking about this on the next Five By podcast. One of the first things I said was ‘I hope there’s an expansion on the way’. So imagine my joy when I discovered that the Aberrations & Undead expansion is coming soon. That’s two new half decks to combine with the core game- unhappy dead things & badass monsters. I want in, now.
Carcassonne was one of the first modern board games I played and it’s always a nice comfort game. It’s friendly fun isn’t it? Aside from the Star Wars version I haven’t really gone in for any of the large expansions. But Manege Frei! has got me. I’m such a sucker for an old-fashioned circus theme and it just looks like a super adorable and fun expansion. I’ve never actually been to a circus and I’m very much against the use of animals for entertainment, but in terms of board games a circus theme (not the enslaving animals part) is ok. And what do I love most about Carcassonne? The old school wooden meeple of course. Circus meeples. It’s a yes from me.
I was really annoyed I couldn’t back Unfair on Kickstarter. I was so into it from the moment I heard about it, signed up for updates, followed it until launch date and then literally had no spare cash for the game. I was hankering for a decent theme park game since Coney Island, which was a cute game for sure, but I didn’t really enjoy it. Steampark never took my fancy, and Alan’s Adventure Land looked quite good, but was met with fairly ‘meh’ reviews, that coupled with the fact that there is no two player option just didn’t buzz me. Then Unfair came along. A card based board game incorporating some of my favourite mechanics; set collection, hand management, variable player powers with a promising cutthroat edge to satisfy the meanie gamer in me. It’s now on pre-order here in the UK, and I can’t wait.
I’m not in the position to be making any large Kickstarter pledges. It’s a big unfortunate no-no. But $20 for a fun little card game featuring some beautifully illustrated B-movie classics? Why not right? I’ll have a spare £18 in a couple of weeks surely. If not the Specsavers bill will have to wait again. I’ll be so happy to have that pop through the post this summer. It’s by Keymaster games whose recent Kickstarter release Control was very well received. In Campy Creatures you are a mad scientist using the likes of The Blob, Dracula and The Mummy to capture poor mortals to experiment on, which is deliciously horrible. It’s a bluffing and deduction set collection game, and it looks to be light and easy to pick up. In all honesty I usually try to avoid anything too light nowadays, but I had in mind that this would be a good one to play when my non-gamer brother (who is a horror movie nut) and his girlfriend come over to play. It’s live for another 15 days if you want to check it out.
Backpacks & Blisters
I just loved the idea behind this game, brought to us by UK publisher Ragnar Brothers. It was actually released all the way back in 1993, and last autumn it got a reboot on Kickstarter where it funded successfully. I managed only a small pledge, and I am still to pre-order my copy, but hope to get one in when I can. I liked the theme as I have enjoyed a ramble in my time. I rambled all around the Isle of Wight once, and feared for my life when we stumbled upon a field full of angry sheep, and I’m telling you it was scary. Backpacks and Blisters however is set in the lovely Lake District and in this 1-6 player game your exploring the mountains, villages and lakes of the area on a central and rather nice cloth map. Board game reviewer Rick Royal made a great demo video, and he described it as a ‘Euro game with a British heart (or Brit Box… damn I wish I’d thought of that one). Starting out at 10am you walk on through to dusk, picking up points for locations that you visit and the routes that you take. In a multi player game you are also trying to reach the ‘cairn’ locations before your opponents to score the greatest bonus points. You execute this using your rambler cards and by picking up equipment or a refueling chocolate bar (always a must have). Like on many walks in the open countryside the weather is often not your friend and how this changes can affect the course of the game. You also want to avoid the heavy rucksack and blister cards at all costs. It’s like a slow and steady racing and route making game, I just think it looks so fun and lovely. You can check out the Kickstarter page and still pre-order the game here.
That brings my post to a close, with so much good stuff coming out there’s literally never a dull moment in the land of tabletop. Love it.
Thanks for reading!