GAMES NEWS! 04/03/19

a dog becomes a waitress, matt falls in a well, wine for dinner again
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Quinns: Matt left for a skiing holiday this weekend, while I stayed in and didn’t just play Scrabble, I lost at Scrabble.

The less said about this horrid state of affairs, the better. I hope Matt skiis down a well. Let’s get on with the news.

Our top story this week? BoardGameGeek News has posted the above video walkthrough of Taverns of Tiefenthal, the next game in the series that brought us Quacks of Quedlinburg, and it’s got my hype gland all a-quiver.

This game is what I like to call a genre fiesta. Players run their personal tavern by constructing and tinkering with a little deck of upgrade cards, then drawing a hand of those cards each night and placing them around their tavern so as to make it an efficient business, and then drafting dice (which sort of represent your ability to serve customers?) which you assign around your tavern, making money that you reinvest in your pub.

It sounds fascinating, it’s a superb theme, it’s from a designer who’s going from strength to strength, and the box itself will ship with all sorts of expansion modules including guest books and liquor. What else could we possibly ask for?

(Also, you can flip over a dog and it becomes a waitress! Will wonders never cease?)

AEG has announced that it’s bringing Taiwanese game Walking in Burano to English-language audiences. Inspired by Burano, Italy (another place Matt has been) (I’m not bitter), players will spend coins to assemble beautimous pastel-coloured houses from a central shop of cards.

It’s simple, it’s appealing, and the rules look neat. Why aren’t there more games about things being lovely and having a lovely time?

I bet Matt would have something clever to say about Venice here, if he wasn’t once again gallivanting around Europe.

2013 saw the release of Relic, a reimagining of classic (bad) magical (bad) quest game Talisman (which is bad), set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

WELL, fans of the video game franchise Kingdom Hearts will soon also be able to go on a (bad) magical quest! Talisman: Kingdom Hearts Edition will once again see players travelling interminable circuits around a board, but this time encountering Donald Duck and Buzz Lightyear instead of a big orc or a wizard in a bush, and collecting “Munny” instead of “Money”.

Let me resist being facetious for a hot second to say that actually, I don’t hate the core structure of Talisman. I think as a goofy gambling game, it’s actually quite exciting- you have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen to you on your turn, and there’s a lot of comedy and excitement within that uncertainty. I just think finishing a game of Talisman takes too long, and there’s too much downtime between turns. If the designers of Talisman: Kingdom Hearts Edition felt inclined to fix these problems, a new edition (packed with Disney characters, no less) could be pots of fun.

Z-Man Games has announced a superlative new edition of classic card game Love Letter, broadening it from a 2-4 player card to a 2-6 player game.

The new edition will no longer be set in AEG’s long-defunct Tempest universe, and will instead boast a simple, classic-looking design with art from Andrew Bosley, who recently illustrated that lovely new edition of Citadels. Best of all, it’ll still retail at the same low price.

And I know I care about this more than anyone else in the universe, but I’m also loving the look of those rich-yet-simple card backs. “Baby Got Back”, in the words of Sir Mixalot, who I’ve always thought of as something as a kindred spirit.

Dungeons & Dragons is enjoying a phoenix-like resurgence at the moment, which is certainly good news for fans of roleplaying and table-gaming. A lot of that’s down to the appearance of D&D streamers, as well as growth of the tabletop industry as a whole, but we definitely have to give props to Wizards of the Coast- they market their product very shrewdly. This month, in another wise move, they’ve announced a D&D starter set inspired by the D&D depicted in Stranger Things.

The box will release in May, feature a Demogorgon miniature, and include a full adventure titled “the Hunt for the Thessalhydra” that the characters in the show are progressing through. Lovely stuff.

We’ve an unusual Kickstarter for you this week. Consumption: Food and Choices is a game about “meeting your body’s needs” designed by a registered dietician, and it looks like a cross between a meal planner and Lisboa.

While I have no idea if this game is good, I will say that I had a whale of a time reading the manual (which is available to download online). There are sentences like “When a player dines out at the Pizza To Go space that player takes all available food tokens from the spaces above and places them in their body.” Also, while players are mostly trying to assemble recipes, there’s an action titled “Snack” that allows you to consume a single ingredient token, which makes sense, except some of the tokens depict bottles of water, wine, or a picture of an entire live chicken, all of which would make uniquely horrifying snacks.

Let me be clear- this is a game where you can bake and consume an entire tray of brownies, put that in your body, have some wine (as a snack), and then head off for an evening of water polo (which is an “activity” card). Meanwhile, your friend could be seeing if they can cook anything at all that won’t bring on a game-losing bout of heart disease.

I’m laughing just typing these sentences. I love the surrealistic narratives that come about from overambitious, granular theming, and Consumption looks like it has that in spades. I can’t eat Chinese food tonight because my friend went there earlier and already ate literally everything there? More of this sort of thing!