Quinns: The other week I was in a board game shop, doing my thing, when the girl I was with asked where the games were that weren’t oppressively nerdy.
Her and I aren’t talking anymore, obviously, which is annoying because this week’s news features NOTHING but games with approachable themes. Not so much as ONE grimy alien or breastplate in sight.
Impossible, you say? Hard to believe? See for yourself.
That header image is of Yedo, of which an English-language edition was finally announced this week. Damn Europeans! Having fun without us, with their liberalism and feta cheese.
Yedo lets you control clan elders in 17th century Tokyo, dispatching your spies and servants across the city, trying to complete missions. Want to assassinate someone? Well, you’ll need some ne’er-do-wells, and some decent rope… Alternatively, you can hobnob with the Shogun, or shame other players by “buying lots of luxury goods from the European merchants.” Damn Europeans! Will we never escape their feta tyranny.
In all seriousness, what’s white-hot about board games right now are the projects that combine German-style immaculate design with rich themes, and that’s exactly what Yedo is supposed to do. Very excited about this one.
Island Fortress looks just as rich. Shipping this week, it’ll have players competing to build a prison. Look at that art! Ooh, you can practically smell the rain.
But look there, at the board in the middle. You’re actually building a prison from the ground up, securing tile after tile in configurations that’ll benefit you, personally, in the world’s bleakest version of Connect 4, all while managing labourers, convicts and precious jade. Jade! Not even gold. That’s how you give a game class.
Pandemic is a gorgeous co-op game where 2-4 people play disease control specialists, and do their best to swallow hot mouthfuls of panic as four diseases spread across the world.
“We have to do something about India! Won’t somebody think of India!”
“No, look, one outbreak in London will cause an outbreak in France, and THEN in Germany!”
In 2009 this terror was magnified by Pandemic: On the Brink, adding all kinds of variants, including one where a player might be a secret bio-terrorist. In the Lab promises something even stranger. There’ll be a new, micro-scale board to go with ordinary global one, where players will control individual scientists navigating a lab to take samples and, presumably, not get infected themselves. No pics as yet, and a new minigame seems like a lazy way to expand something, but who am I kidding? These guys know exactly what they’re doing.
And now for something completely different.
A preview of AttrAction, from the inimitable BGG News blog. I’d have called it something sexy like BAD MAGNET, but whatever. It looks like the best game ever.
Annoyingly AttrAction is totally ungoogleable, but I put on my wizard hat and was able to find it available from the publisher here. Currently weighing up the merits of not eating today and spending the money on this instead.
So long as I’m linking videos, Desperate Gods makes me laugh. A bold, entirely mad step in the continuing journey of figuring out how to make board games work in a digital age, it’s a 7-day game jam project that lets you play a board game online in a very literal sense.
A cross between a game and a seance, the program itself does absolutely no book-keeping, and everyone’s free to move anything at any point. It speaks volumes that not only is Desperate Gods utterly ridiculous, it’s the most appealing way I’ve yet seen to play board games online.
And finally, some Kickstarters you could jump on! Like some kind of… money… toad.
Paradise Fallen has the most gorgeous art & theme I’ve seen for a while. Go see for yourself! A game of island hopping in a post-apocalyptic paradise, but also socketing thematic encounters between islands, to help your journeys and hinder your opponents. Sharks! Reefs! Wooden canoes! Ration management! Deadly raiding tribes! Crabs– ok I’m too excited let’s move on.
Oh, man. This isn’t going to help with my excitement at all.
The Mafia players, aware of one another, have to kill off the citizens, one each night. The citizens have to try and figure out who to trust, and lynch a player each day. But as with Ultimate Werewolf, what you’re paying for are a zillion (approx.) variants, from a scenario where there’s a bomb under a table, to more than 40 roles, including the Consigliere, who can’t say the word “Mafia” or they die.
Here at SU&SD we love The Resistance for its lack of player elimination. But if you’re eliminating players anyway, it’s hard to imagine having more fun than with this.
My Netrunner deck’s coming along just fine, thanks for asking. Competing in a tournament in a few weeks. Gon’ get beat up by a 10 year old with a name like “Oswald” or “Fig”. It’s gonna be awesome.