After a short journey by train, you arrive in Berlin at Friedrichstraße central station. Wasting no time, you immediately take the stairs down to the U-Bahn platforms. However, as you arrive on the platform, you notice there are no trains running. It seems weird, but this is On the Underground London/Berlin by LudiCreations.
The four armies have landed on the beach of the abandoned island and deposited their troops. They are here to claim their stake and become the new rulers. Yet, battles are rare. The invaders mostly compete for majority, tolerating their opponents' presence, while brave cohorts cross the seas to reach neighbouring islands in this tiny archipelago. In Eight-Minute Empire: Legends by Red Raven Games, you and up to three other players try to manoeuvre your armies over eight to eleven rounds.
Lancer is an RPG from Massif Pres which you can download for free or for $25 for art, setting and loads of gear. I got my copy from their successful Kickstarter.
There’s a curse with super successful Kickstarters. You have to live up to expectations. I think Massif and Lancer have managed just that. It’s a game that feels different from anything else in my collection. It feels like an actual mech skirmish game that’s genuinely merged with an indie RPG. It looks like an indie comic.
Don’t Mess With Cthulhu is a simple social deduction game based on an older title called Time Bomb, with the slightly more palatable theme of cultists summoning an elder god as opposed to terrorists setting off a bomb. At its heart though Don’t Mess With Cthulhu is simply a guessing game, the theme is irrelevant.
You and a handful of brave explorers have finally found the entrance to Mount Arima, the fearsome volcano that has laid sleeping for decades, and which hides an important secret in its maze of tunnels. Tales of a magical sanctum have drawn you and your fellow adventurers together. You promise to work together and face whatever dangers you may encounter in the depths of this mountain. Yet, none of you have realized that your allegiance will be tested to your death, if you are not able to escape.
Game Night Review - Admiral’s Log: Admiral Saul Tigh - Deep Space - 33 days since the attack. Caprica is lost, according to the reports from our civilian fleet, the other 11 colonies fared no better. The Galactica suffered heavy damage before being ordered to retreat to the rendezvous. We waited as long as we could but no other Battlestars made it, we are alone.
The smell of grease is in the smoke ladened air and the roar of the crowd rises above the screech of the tires on the blacktop. Vektorace is a game for 2-4 players which uses movement templates to create a fast paced racing game without a board to limit your play. Create any track you want, race as one of 8 different racers, grab your upgrades, pick your gear and go.
New ways to play, new bots to mix things up, new mashups like Fatelephant Bot (Fatal + Elephant), Shunt (Pit + Stomp) and Boomerang (Shot + Begone). There’s no card I actively dislike in this set (I’m looking at you, Ram Leader Bot) and they are all perfectly playable with just the base grey set.
Here is a game that has been around the blocks for a few years, but still seems very popular amongst people who like trick-taking games. Skull King by Schmidt Spiele* does a few things differently to other trick-taking games, which is why it's so much fun and a game that you can teach to people who are new to trick-taking games. Yet, there is as much depth in this game as there is in other trick-taking games.
The price bubble has burst and the property market has crashed. People have lost a lot of money. Yet, there are also a number of happy faces around the table. These are the property tycoons that managed to make it big in Magnate: The First City by Naylor Games.
Nick Fury sighed and looked at his roster of heroes, "b-listers at best" and he had a Loki sized problem brewing on the horizon. He needed new blood, bigger heroes, better heroes. He needed the Avengers… and Spiderman… and sure, throw Wolverine in there for good measure.
The entire structure moves at a slow pace, like an iceberg, but the ice is replaced with glass and concrete pieces. Unlike an iceberg, there is nothing underneath to catch an unexpected ship, except a cardboard tile and beneath that, the warm brown varnish of a dining room table. The finger controlling the move stutters slightly, as if the varnish underneath has an imperfection which is stopping the traversal to the final destination. Some things should be wiped up after dinner..
Through five millennia you guide your civilization from the discovery of fire through vastly different eras to its ultimate end. You discover and develop different technologies, flex your military muscle, explore new lands and execute unexpected and sometimes devastating science experiments as your people advance from generation to generation. In Tapestry by Stonemaier Games, you write an alternative history that has echoes of mankind's but turns out completely different.
Game Night Review - The two storey walk-up had shuttered windows that barely blocked out the pink neon glow from the bustling Hong Kong streets. I could smell the stench of urine mixed with blood, it was as unmistakable as the grime stained wallpaper in that low rent brothel, a wallpaper I had seen once too often in my line of work.
A man dies in suspicious circumstances and you think nothing of it until a package arrives on your doorstep containing a notebook, a dossier of receipts and surveillance photos and a letter begging you to look below the surface and find the truth behind who killed Joseph Bremer.
Game Night Review - The King looked out across the green and verdant land. It was filled with peace and tranquility. The Merchant was trading goods in the market, the Architect was quietly thinking on new designs in the library and the Bishop was tending the poor houses. Wait… Where is the Assassin?! The King’s realisation came to late…
Rhino Hero is out and about protecting the city from the vile darkness that his masked enemies seek to envisage upon it. The problem is that Rhino Hero, while well-meaning, is rather heavy and sometimes he ends up demolishing the high-rises that he is trying so hard to protect!
There is absolute silence and the flickering candles cast eerie shadows of the four people sitting around the table. Everyone has one hand on the table and moves their gaze from face to face, trying to lock onto the thoughts that waft through the other person's mind. There is a faint sound of ticking, as if from a grandfather clock, but it's not real. It's in everyone's head. It's time to get into synch as the game of The Mind Extreme by Nürnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag begins.
It's been a very long time since I have played one of the classic, German trick-taking games, like Skat or Doppelkopf. I had very much forgotten how much I loved these sort of games. However, when someone bought Vivaldi by XV Games at Spiel Essen this year and brought it to the Gaming Rules meet-up, we had so much fun and all my fond memories flooded back.
Games allow us to step into roles we never thought we would get a chance to experience: explorer, investigator, wizard, space captain. These roles tend towards the heroic, giving us a sense of accomplishment as we save the world, defeat the villain, liberate the populace. Sometimes a game comes along that allows us to experience the other side of the coin: to manipulate, exploit and subjugate. Magnate: The First City, the debut game from designer James Naylor allows us to do just this...
Here is another beautifully illustrated game by Ryan Laukat. You will immediately recognize it from his other games, such as Near and Far. You will also recognize a lot of the characters he created in his other games and which appear in Roam as well. Yet, this game from Red Raven Games is quite different from the others. There is no resource management, no movement and no storytelling. Instead, you get a lovely, light game that is very easy to explain and learn and relatively quick to play.
Game Night Review - Every little boy likes to play with toy guns and when we can’t get toy guns we’ll happily use our fingers to shoot our friends, in jest and in anger. As grown ups, the overwhelming desire to shoot your friends, family and co-workers with toy guns has to be tempered with a little thing called societal expectations. However, in Cash ‘n’ Gun’s you get to relive that childhood feeling of taking a foam pistol and holding it gangsta-stylie to grandma’s head whilst helping yourself to a fistful of diamonds.
Game Night Review - Theodora sat upright in the little girl’s bed and rubbed her glass eyes. “Wake up everyone.” She called “Our girl is asleep and the witching hour is almost upon us.” Obediently the other stuffies did as they were told. Flops hopped up the bed her long ears flapping behind her as she did so. “Where to captain, my captain?” The eager young rabbit cried, donning her bow and quiver. “To the Fall, where else?” Theodora replied. “Not the Fall.” bemoaned Lumpy, the grumpy elephant. “Yes, we must. Crepitus’s forces are massing beyond the veil and it is up to us Stuffies, we brave and valiant few, to defend our girl from his clutches.” replied Stitch the ancient sock puppet. “For tonight, young stuffies, we go to war!”
The golden rays of sunlight bounce off the blacktop and the melodic overture of the bird song is drowned out by the roar of a pushrod v8 engine. Tires squeal and smoke and the crowd cheers as forty muscle cars careen around the track like savage beasts chasing a gazelle.
Game Night Review - In Sheriff of Nottingham players are essentially trying to collect sets and the most of each set to score the most points. This is however made more difficult by the addition of the sheriff. In Sheriff of Nottingham there are two types of goods, legal goods like apples and bread and illegal goods like alcohol and crossbows.
Game Night Review - Each round a number of property cards are dealt face up equal to the number of players. In turn order they each bid on the highest value card. A player must either outbid the last player or pass (paying half their maximum bid) and taking the lowest value card from the centre of the table. When the last player passes the remaining player takes the highest value card and pays their full bid. This continues until all the cards have been bought.