Games News! 12/10/15
Board Game Geek News has a Big Book of Madness designer diary up, and goodness me this game looks like a treat. It’s a deeply co-operative, Harry Potter-style deckbuilder, but with a more flexible interpretation of deckbuilding that I find very welcome.
Players are attempting to close an evil book and defeat all the monsters spilling out of it, but you’re not simply slowly improving your deck as the game goes on. You can improve your deck, or spend your turn putting good cards in your friend’s deck, or trying to expunge horrible Madness cards that you’ll slowly amass as the game goes on, or actually closing the damn book.
Designer Maxime Rambourg says he was inspired by Friday (see our review of that here, replete with trilobyte comment thread), which can only be a good thing. I liked everything about Friday except that it was a solo game.
Oh, and click through to the designer diary and just look at the high-res version of some of that art by Xavier Durin. He’s absolutely on fire (and so are some of his charismatic teenage wizards and witches).
“But Quinns,” you cry. “I like my card games published in 2007, with lasting appeal and a natty indigo colour scheme!”
I’ve got you covered. Race for the Galaxy might now be vying with Roll for the Galaxy for our hearts, but it’s still got some fight in it. Specifically, it will soon be gaining an entirely new war.
BGG News has published a designer diary of its upcoming Xeno Invasion expansion, wherein horrid xenophobic aliens will be attacking the titular galaxy. That means 51 new cards to shuffle into your teetering RftG deck, as well as a whole new way to play where the game ends if the Xenos either take over the galaxy or are repelled by the players.
It remains completely awesome how Race for the Galaxy’s expansions all add new eras onto the game’s timeline. So first we had a Gathering Storm, then Brink of War, then Rebel Vs. Imperium, and now Xeno Invasion? I love that when you think back to playing it without the expansions, you weren’t just playing a smaller game, it was just a simpler time in the galaxy. So cool.
In other space-card news, Star Realms is getting two more expansions, one of which is a big ol’ standalone game! And if you don’t think the fist-sized box on the left is a big box, you should see the size of its other expansions.
Star Realms: Colony Wars is a new two player deck for Star Realms, similar to how the big box expansions for Dominion can be played by themselves or combined with the base set. Meanwhile, Cosmic Gambit will give each player two one-shot gambit cards that can be used at some point in the game. Yet another eyedropper of colour squirted onto Star Realms’ cheerful war.
If you missed our coverage of this one, Star Realms won Surprisingly Good Game during the recent Quinns’ Corner Awards. It’s cheaper, smaller and more fun than it has any right being.
The hugely anticipated Scythe is alleged to launch on Kickstarter this week, and The Boarding Kennel has a timely preview article up on this beautiful wargame.
I’ll save my gut feeling on whether you should back it for next week’s news when I’ve seen the full Kickstarter pitch. For now, I’ll just admit to being as suckered in by the 19th century Easter European Steampunk art as everybody else. It’s stunning. I’ll also say that this game has real potential in bringing Eurogame engine management to a game offering full-on aggression. I feel like Terra Mystica whetted the world’s appetite for that, and I’d love to see more.
Here’s an interesting Kickstarter that you can actually back right now. Src:Card is an entirely novel game about hacking giant robots that uses real-life coding concepts. After an 8 card “bootup phase” your robot can be hacked by the other player, so you’re simultaneously shoring up your defenses, creating attacks and anticipating threats.
It’s the idea that Src:Card is even vaguely educational about how hacking works that excites me, though. At $20 including global shipping, that might be worth your time?
Possibly of interest is that I’m in the Guardian again, bringing board game news stories to the masses! As a counterpoint to my last article about what video games should steal from board games, I’ve now written about some of my favourite things about board games that video games can never have. Fun!
I got a mention of Night Witches in there too, which is nice. I’ve heard rumours that Hilary’s about to start a campaign of that one, so I think we can expect a SU&SD review at some point soon. I’m SO excited.
AND FINALLY! Comedy Central’s wonderful Drunk History series has covered the life of Milton Bradley, founder of (wait for it) American game giganto-company Milton Bradley.
I can’t watch the sodding thing as Comedy Central’s videos are only available to those within the United States, but hey! If you’re from the United States and you caught it, why not tell us the best bits in it?