Games News! 02/05/16
This week we’ve got news that all sorts of SU&SD favourites are getting improved and expanded, starting with Widow’s Walk, an expansion for bizarro horror movie simulator Betrayal at the House on the Hill. The spooktacular new box will add 50 new haunts, 20 new rooms and lots more.
And that’s not even the best bit. Let me walk you through why this announcement totally blindsided me.
First off, the haunts are provided by an all-star cast. We’ve got Cards Against Humanity’s Max Temkin, Pandemic Legacy’s Rob Daviau, Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian, Depression Quest’s Zoe Quinn and literally dozens of others. Ordinarily I’d just call this clever marketing, but if any game was going to benefit from wacky ideas with a complete lack of balance, it’s Betrayal, for sure.
The other reason I find this weird is that when we heard rumbles of a new release for Betrayal, I knew in my heart that this box had to be a new edition of the base game. Partially because I don’t know anyone who’s played more than 10 haunts from the original game’s 50.
But I also assumed what I did because when we reviewed the base game back in our Rapid Review Special we said it was fun, but it also features flimsy components, event decks that are so awkward as to appear drunk, a dull first 20 minutes and (occasionally) a mediocre final 20 minutes. Which, in a 40 minute game, isn’t so hot. Avalon Hill must have been planning to fix all that, and make this the game it could have been!
Widow’s Walk is an expansion that states “Problems? What problems?” Which… well, I guess I’m surprised that I’m even surprised.
Repos have announced a second expansion for the new edition of Cash ‘n Guns! Following on from More Cash n’ More Guns, the forthcoming box, Team Spirit, will add more cash, more guns and new features including team play! Yesss! Someone at Repos must have been listening during one of SU&SD’s periodic stretches of whinging about the lack of team board games.
I somehow missed how awesome these expansions are when we last talked about them. The first one has safe cracking, dual pistols and a giant revolver? And the second one has a taser and a GRAPPLING HOOK?
Team Spirit will also let players pay for Las Vegas-style shotgun weddings so that their loot is counted together at the end of the game. I don’t even own the new edition of Cash ‘n Guns, but now I might have to.
You’ve all bought (or at least played) Codenames by now, right? How would you feel if I told you that Codenames: Pictures was in the works? There’s no site yet but there doesn’t have to be. This forthcoming release is nothing more or less than Codenames with pictures on all the cards, due out later this year.
Now, initially I thought that was a little weak, but when I started looking at the above image I got a tingling sensation down the back of my neck. I think that Codenames Pictures might just be the definitive edition of Codenames that people are still playing five years from now. I reckon that trying to link pictures with a word is a little more flexible and creative than trying to link words with a word, and that there might be more room for interpretation and wit.
What do you guys think?
A new version of legendary 2007 subsistence farming sim Agricola is almost upon us! To celebrate the game’s 10th anniversary two new editions are being created, the first pictures of which you can see here, and many of the tweaks are listed here.
It sounds like there will be some substantial stuff in there. The game’s dedicated competitive community are a source of almost unparallelled feedback, which is allowing Uwe Rosenberg’s team to balance many of the cards in the game. The art design’s getting some loving tweaks, too, from the player boards down to fonts on the cards.
The first new edition of Agricola will arrive late this year, featuring 96 cards and components for 4 players. In otherwise, more than enough Agricola for everyone except the superfans. 2017 will see the release of a “deluxe” edition, which will be a far more expensive box containing components for 6 players, “guests”, “upgrades” and more than 1000 cards. In other words, more Agricola than you could conceivably play in a decade. Goodness me.
But best of all, I’ve just seen some forum chat hinting that we might soon be able to enjoy a new printing of Container! This is a beloved, brain-meltingly nuanced economic game where players produce goods, ship one another’s goods to a small island and then auction those lots of goods off to one another, with everyone simultaneously trying to hide what goods they really want so their competitors can’t then scalp them.
Basically, imagine Panamax if it was a Russian Doll containing sequentially smaller headaches. And wait until you hear about the Second Shipment expansion, which added monopolies, financiers and restrictions on warehousing!
I think I like the idea of these intense, difficult games more than I like the reality, but my goodness, I like the idea of Container a lot.
Stonemaier Games have a well-earned reputation for being Kickstarter-savvy, having crafted such success stories under as Viticulture, Euphoria and Scythe. This week they announced their next project, and I think it could be their biggest game yet.
Charterstone will be taking to Kickstarter in 2016, offering a cute village-building legacy game where players will compete over “action spaces” in what sounds like a traditional worker placement game, except with a village that you gradually build together across 24 games. And just like Scythe, what I’m most taken aback by is how accurately this captures the board gaming zeitgeist. It’s as if Stonemaier were throwing a pokéball at the zeitgeist with a baseball pitching machine.
Stonemaier’s games themselves have always fallen a little flat for me, but I’m definitely excited to see more people messing around with the legacy format. If you missed our review of Pandemic Legacy, which we now consider the greatest board game ever made, do check it out!
Finally, this week’s Kickstarter is a startlingly professional bag for carrying board games: Introducing… THE GAME CANOPY. It’s a padded, tough, water-resistant bag that will perfectly fit all your board games (except the ones that don’t fit).
Speaking as someone who used a satchel for long enough to give myself back pain, I’d advise against getting their shoulder strap for the big bag, but other than that it looks like a pretty nice deal. It’s crazy how professional the board game industry is getting, year on year!
Speaking of recent developments, what games did you guys get up to over the weekend?
Edit: Thanks to SU&SD user webs for suggesting cajon bags in the comments below, which are certainly a lot cheaper and can feature not one, but two backpack straps. They’re probably the route I’d go down, instead of a Game Canopy.