Your stable is ready. There are the Chill Wraith, the Stasis Golem and the Skinling. You know that some of them will lose and some will win, which is fine. In fact, it's what you're betting on happening, because if you win your bet, irrespective of whether the creature wins or loses, it will give you a strategic advantage in the next round of combat. You are confident that you will come out on top in Underleague by Cogwright Games.
"Diamonds, gold, silver, cloth, spices, leather," you shout from your stall into the hustle and bustle of the market. You want to attract the Maharajah's eye and be granted one of his rare Seals of Excellence in the hope that you will become his personal trader in Jaipur by GameWorks.
"I know," said the King's master builder, "if we use modular rooms and manufacture several of them in our workshops, transport them to the site and connect them there to build a magnificent castle, we could build several castles, all as glorious as each other."
"That's madness," his apprentice exclaimed.
"Exactly," the King's master builder replied, "but imagine how amazed our Royal Highness will be when he surveys the construction from a vantage point Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig."
After finishing my shift in the press room at the local newspaper, I had returned home. I went over to collect my post and saw that someone had changed the padlock on my letterbox. Then I saw a note written by my friend Henry asking me to solve a little puzzle to get the code of the new padlock, which eventually lead me down a rabbit hole of puzzles of ever-increasing difficulty in Escape Room Puzzles by Carlton Books.
"...The World Health Organization has so far identified five different viruses in this global epidemic. A number of scientific laboratories across the world are working around the clock in an attempt to discover a cure." You switch off the TV, because you have to return to your fieldwork and help your team find cures in Pandemic by Z-Man Games.
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.
The air is still and the sky is mostly clear. The forest is flourishing, stocked with many great, big trees with long branches colonized by many fragrant flowers, marvellous mushrooms, wriggly worms and fantastic fireflies. You are proud of what you have achieved. It wasn’t easy but you pleased the spirits of the forest, the so-called Kodama: The Tree Spirits by Action Phase Games.
iHunt is a Fate powered pen and paper roleplaying game by Olivia Hill and Filamena Young. It’s based on iHunt: Killing Monsters in the Gig Economy by Olivia Hill, a series of novels available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
I bought my copy of the game on DriveThruRPG and despite owning a copy, I am just a tourist in the world.
Read the second page of the book, if you get a chance, and if it pisses you off, then put the game down and walk away. It’s not for you.
Our heighliner was positioned safely in Arrakis' orbit. A steady stream of Spice was filling our coffers, but we had to be patient and observe from afar the goings-on down on the planet itself. It was clear that House Atreides was pivotal in the unfolding events and our scheme had to remain hidden until the right moment was reached. The cogs were set in motion and doubts had been planted in the Emperor's mind that would lead to their unavoidable conclusion. The Spice needs to flow on Dune.
Imperial Assault offers any Star Wars fan the opportunity to roleplay their way through the galaxy dispatching stormtroopers and even facing the might of Darth Vader himself. There’s hours of play in the core box, with six different heroes to choose from and several paths through the campaign to discover. The game can also be played as a competitive skirmish game or as a fully co-op experience via the Legends of the Alliance app.
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.
Your tribe is sitting around the fire - an invention that will be the spark of things to come. However, it feels like you have been here before. The faces are different and so is the location, but the crackling of the fire trigger memories - memories of a bright future, memories of generations to come, of a civilization rising out of the plains. Yet, something is different this time. Your tribe of Traders has an extra coin and food in this more balanced version of Tapestry by Stonemaier Games.
In the future, mecha have been banned. These are weapons that can destroy cities, even planets and they’re operated by rogue pilots who won’t turn their license in. There may also be sinister warminds, AIs making inhuman calculations.
You sit quietly in your hide, binoculars in hand, peering out over the lake, with the grassland on the other side and the woodlands in the background. Suddenly you spot something new. Slowly scanning the woodlands, you see it again, hanging onto the trunk of a dead tree. It's a white-backed woodpecker, which is a new visitor and comes with 80 other birds in Wingspan: European Expansion by Stonemaier Games.
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.