Quinns: Ava, before we get started on the news, I have to tell somebody. I had the most fabulous time playing Don’t Get Got last night.
Ava: Oh yeah?
Quinns: Oh my goodness. The paranoia. The guile. The outraged howls outside the pub when I managed to win just before we all went home by getting another player to say “I love you.” It was exactly like someone scoring a goal in the closing seconds of the match.
Ava: Wait, what? Are you sure this was a game, and not just a creepily competitive take on date night?
Quinns: Never you worry! I just need to find a place on the site to examine it in earnest.
On with the news!
Quinns: Iello has announced King of Tokyo: Dark Edition, a “collector’s edition” that takes the popular game of dice-rolling monster mayhem and makes it… erm, dark. Or, more accurately, gives the game a kind of Sin City aesthetic where strips of lurid colour punctuate a black and white backdrop.
Ava: I never really got on with King of Tokyo, although I think it’s just because I always play too risky and get knocked out early. I’m not sure ‘making things a little harder to see’ is what will fix my issues. I guess maybe I should be playing with my therapist rather than waiting for a special edition.
Quinns: You know, I never got along with it either. In hindsight, I think I found it haunted by the ghost of more traditional games where you “Wait for your turn to roll the dice.”
I do wonder what other board games would benefit from a “dark edition”. Agricola? It could take on a sort of Children of the Corn vibe. Sushi Go Party? Sultry sushis winking at you from ill-lit plates?
Ava: I’m after Mage Knight directed by Ingmar Bergman.
Ava: I’m not convinced that boardgamegeek’s hotness chart is a useful metric for ludo-enthusiasm, but I do pay attention when something jumps to the top of the charts immediately after a big convention. The Magnificent did just that, and was apparently at the top of BGG’s ‘geekbuzz’ chart by the end of the enormous Essen Spiel convention. So maybe it’s worth a look.
In a brooding fantasy world, players will be managing rival circuses. You’ll be placing tiles to build an encampment of entertainers, and competing to put on the best shows. The Magnificent promises to be a taut economic game of tetrominoes, dice drafting and special abilities. A nice touch is that if you draft multiple dice of the same colour over the course of the turn, you add them together. So if you focus on one type of action, you get stronger and stronger, at the risk of dropping other spinning plates. And the cost you pay at the end of the round is the total of your highest dice colour, so you’ll never stop juggling costs and benefits.
I’m curious to hear more about why folk are so excited for it. Is it Magnificent? Are goth circuses the new zombies?
Quinns: Oooooooooooh. Oooooh. Ooh. Ava, this is from the creators of the really-quite-good Santa Maria! Except this time they’ve chosen a theme that’s sexy and striking, instead of one that, if it was a man, would smell of mothballs and hug you for slightly too long. I’m excited!
Ava: I can’t say that I’m genuinely excited by this, but I think it’s such a bizarre move that it warrants a mention.
As a birthday treat, they’re making a limited edition game about their games called ‘The Queen’s Collection’. Cards will be laid out showing a selection of their back catalogue, and players will be moving pawns around the collection to put the right pieces into their boxes after everything’s got jumbled. The game can be played solo, co-operatively or competitively, and I have no idea who would love a publisher enough to buy a game about organising games, but presumably they think somebody will be keen.
Quinns: Ooh. I would have been here for a special Queen Games game game where moves in this little collectible game would then be settled by whole games of Shogun, Fresco, Lancaster, Franchise and Luxor.
Ava: Ooh. I forgot about Franchise. What a great bowl of economic spaghetti to drown in. They do definitely have quite the back catalogue.
Matt: Just to interject here as a News Interloper, I honestly can’t stand the aesthetic of this. It’s like a children’s TV nightmare fuelled by over-the-counter flu medicine: I never want to see it again, if possible. Thanks.
Ava: Deranged looks like an interesting little beast, and has just found a US publisher in Semi-Pro.
Players will navigate some horrific city to complete a hidden objective, constantly at risk of turning titularly ‘deranged’. Once a player goes evil they have to kill another player to turn human again, but each time someone dies, the situation gets worse for everyone. It sounds like an interesting take on semi-co-operative nonsense, with a combination of hidden goals and heel turns.
It could be interesting, but I only want it so I can put on Bowie’s ‘I’m deranged’ and sing it badly every time someone turns. Neither song nor game is exactly the best treatment of mental illness, but at least the song comes from a ludicrous album from Bowie’s bizarre 90s multimedia era.
Ava: Multi-classed writer/actor/games fan Calvin Wong has been digging underneath the Essen hype machine to uncover some unusual oddities. He’s written a piece on three of his favourites from the convention that other people aren’t talking about.
I’m particularly intrigued by the uninspiringly named ‘Geometric Art’. Another drawing game with players simultaneously trying to communicate a concept to the collective. The smart thing about this game is that all players will be limited to the same randomised set of shapes. Using two triangles, a circle and a hook to make a horse, hearse or horticulturist sounds like exactly the sort of tickly little wrinkle to a common gaming structure I like.
Ava: In ‘things I keep seeing linked to on twitter’ I’ve been enjoying the creations of this algorithmic dungeon generator.
One Page Dungeon will draw a randomised dungeon for you, but the most pleasing touch is the way it adds little plot hook style descriptions to each room. Honestly, if I was in a pinch, and didn’t have a session planned, I’d be happy DMing with just one of these maps to give me the nudges I need. Which is quite an impressive promise from a lovely tiny free thing.
Quinns: Actor and comedian Paula Deming is an industry treasure, and this week she released quite the treat from her creativity pipes. Do you remember the song Part of your World from The Little Mermaid? It doesn’t matter. Click play, and enjoy.