Games News! 17/06/13

hot finagling, the centre of the earth, the health phase, fridge failures, dammit paul
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Quinns: IT’S HERE. Actually literally drop everything. Wok Star, the co-operative, real time game of running a Chinese fast food kitchen is now on Kickstarter. I heard about this game two years ago, and a reprint containing such dramatic extras as “Fridge Failure cards” and an electronic timer (instead of a sand timer) is finally upon us.

Just imagine. You and another 1 to 3 of your friends rolling dice together, racing to complete recipes against the clock. Spending money between “days” to buy new recipes. Arguing as Paul fails to collect enough tips. Again. If you have a friend called Paul.

“Warning,” the Kickstarter quips. “Wok Star may well result in high fives.” Well, that’s me sold. You’d better believe we’ll be bringing you the earliest possible review.

Whether you’re interested in backing Kickstarters not, they’re always fun to look at them simply as hyper-detailed game previews. That’s what I do! It’s because I’m cheap.


It’s been a good week for Kickstarters, however you use them. Let’s move on to the second of three amazing-looking ones: Rockwell, by a designer called “Sit Down!” Yes! Don’t worry, our lawyers are already enroute*.

You’ll want to click on that image to make it bigger. Rockwell has an interesting concept- players control mining companies, wielding various Vice Presidents, Drill Crews and Subcontractors like so many sledgehammers to tunnel through the board, with the twist that you’ll be forced into working with other players to get the results you need.

It looks gorgeous, obviously, but I’m very interested in (1) the tricky prospect of having to work closely with your competitors, with screens keeping your exact resources a stony secret, and (2) the fact the game ends when most players have reached THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH.

Oh, and the game will come with a soundtrack and a making-of .pdf file. I want it. Games with soundtracks definitely fall into that favoured SU&SD category of “Designs that get people laughing before they’ve even started playing.”

Kickstarter for Kremlin

Bureaucratic power struggles with occasional fatalities are, of course, a weekly part of running Shut Up & Sit Down. But what if you want to simulate them in your very own home? Well, you could do a lot worse than backing the Kickstarter for Kremlin, a terror / finagling simulator set in the Soviet Union.

Kremlin was originally published in 1986, though this reprint both looks incredible and contains an additional two versions of the game.

You get the original, which had fictional Russian politicians. You also get “Revolution”, a variant set in the 1920s with both real life and fictional politicians, with a much greater threat of being executed by the KGB. Finally, you get a modern version, with turn of the century politicans and a greater emphasis on entrenched beaureaocracy- beaurocracy- bure- legal stuff.

ANYWAY, it sounds amazing. At the start of the game players allot influence towards controlling the KGB, the Defense Ministry and “other ministries”, and only reveal how much control they have when they try and use it. And in true Soviet style, there’s a Health Phase where your favourite politicos become more and more likely to keel over with old age, creating sucking power vacuums.

Again: Doesn’t that sound like the best thing?


Personally (and obviously), this week I’ve been most re-reading this preview of the (nailbitingly close now!) first Deluxe Expansion for Android: Netrunner. Soon, 55 cards will be arriving to wreck all the delightful decks my friends and I have made like so much spilled water. When it arrives, that’s going to be a very, very exciting weekend.

Now! Now, last Friday I did a review of 1812: The Invasion of Canada. I liked it very much. It’s an incredibly light, clever wargame, but it’s also the first in the company’s “Birth of America” trilogy.

The second game, 1775: Rebellion, is out any day now. The gift I give you today is BoardGameGeek News’ preview of the as-yet-distant third game, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, which is actually co-operative.

It has players freeing slaves and trying to slip them into Canada, while trying to keep the abolitionist movement funded. Watching the video, it looks like this will be by far the most informatively of the series, as well as the most complex. Again, I’m very, very interested. Feeling quite spoiled this week, in fact.


Ultimate Werewolf: Inquisition

This is just the plastic cherry on a great cardboard cake. We reported on Ultimate Werewolf: Inquisition here. To sum up, it’s an attempt to take a game of pure negotiation and give it a physical board game presence. Or, as I put it at the time:

“In other words the politics of the game is turning from ‘LYNCH HIM, HE’S A WEREWOLF,’ into delicate maneuvering to first amass the required votes while keeping yourself safe. Better still, the game will support an even broader number of players- from a cosy 3 to a heaving 12.”

Good job, me. ANYWAY, BGG News have just posted a heaving great design diary, and… actually I haven’t read it yet. But I’m off do so this very minute.


*We kid! We’re just sending Brendan with a big stick.