Games News! 20/07/15

professional pretzels, whispering applications, slipping at the pool
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Quinns: Paul, wake up. It’s time to do the Games News again! This week, we have all sorts of interesting things. There’s technology and Italians and convention news! Hurry up, we can’t dally!

Paul: Oh boy, was I sleeping? Why was I sleeping?

Quinns: I got excited about Flick ‘Em Up and threw a wooden chopping board at your head.

Paul: Flick ’em Up? The wild west dexterity game you spotted back at the Gathering of Friends (that we weren’t invited to)?

Quinns: The very same. Professional press photos have been released, and first time publishers Pretzel Games has already announced an expansion adding horses, lassos and ramps!

Flick 'Em Up

If I’m honest, I’m not sure whether Pretzel Games quite understand how the board game industry works. They’ve announced an expansion before the base game’s out, and they have a nice website with professional photography and excellent copywriting. Someone should tell them that’s not how the industry operates. They’re making fools of themselves!

Just look at this video they released of a wooden cowboy getting shot off his wooden horse. I don’t know what to say.

Paul: Me either. What’s next?

Quinns: Do you want to see a game with bears in?

Paul: Does a bear bear in the woods?

Batallia: The Creation

Quinns: Okay. Batallia: The Creation is an explosion of colour and a collision of different ideas. Bouncing happily atop a modest pile of Kickstarter cash with two days still to go, Batallia mixes deck-building with tile-laying, much like the tremendous Mage Knight, but this looks like it’ll a little bit less complex than Vlaada’s high fantasy epic.

Paul: Wow, this really is a… collision. I like that putting up rules on your Kickstarter page is becoming the norm, as well as their charmingly kooky-looking international team. I have to admit, I’ve had a few opportunities to play Mage Knight over the last year and I haven’t taken them up. I’ve always been a little intimidated each time. I would really like a game that offers something similar, but makes itself a bit more accessible.

ePawn Arena

So, wait, does this mean that we’re not saving Kickstarters till last today? Now that the games industry is 90% Kickstarter (and 10% water), I’ve bumped into a plenty of my own this week. In fact, I bumped really hard into the ePawn Arena the other day and I’m still feeling kind of stunned.

This is a flexible surface and set of controllers that allows French people to remotely move playing pieces that they put on it. The surface could do a very, very good job of representing a game board and the pieces could calmly, carefully take their turns, or you can do something a bit more fervent and play a racing game where you all crash into each other. Or do all of that remotely, with other people, over the internet.

Which really is exactly what I need. It’s not enough that my Carcassonne app already whispers IT’S YOUR TURN NOW in the witching hour. What I’m hoping for is a game whose pieces could grind their way across the table ENTIRELY BY THEMSELVES AT ANY TIME OF DAY OR NIGHT. Why can’t we be happier with simpler things, like good old Dark Tower?

Quinns: My god. What a video. I wonder if any board game publishers want to give us a large amount of money to do a 1980s style TV advert for them? I’d wear one of those brightly-coloured hats with the spinning rotors on.

Mafia Vendetta

Oh no. For the third time in recent years, Fantasy Flight isn’t so much “dipping a toe” into party games as slipping on the diving board and giving themselves a concussion. First we had the mediocre Blood Bound, followed by the even less appealing The Last Banquet. This week they’ve announced Mafia Vendetta, a shiny version of classic party game of Mafia.

Paul: Wait. Isn’t Mafia basically just Werewolf? Didn’t we review Ultimate Werewolf years ago? Followed by the deliciously different One Night Ultimate Werewolf and its assorted expansions? What makes this special?

Quinns: A few new roles, but overall it sounds less generous and/or less interesting than modern releases of Werewolf. And that’s not even the most surprising part. While Ultimate Werewolf can serve 5-68 players, Mafia Vendetta will seat between 7-17.

Paul: Oh no. Let’s move on, before FFG’s goons come and get us. Did you see the giant Ri-


Quinns: Giant Risk board? More than eighty players from across Italy coming together to play a super-sized version of the game? Yes I did! The Mayor says he likes to play as green. This looks like tremendous fun, thoubh I don’t know about you, but if I wanted to play a bigger version of a board game I might try for something a bit livelier than Risk.

Paul: I’d go for Space Alert. With actual humans running around an actual space ship board, acting out the orders that they’ve worked out, hauling energy cubes into the engine or firing the lasers. I’d make the player who flies the shuttle craft climb into a little child’s car and zoom off…

Quinns: Oh, and there’s just time to tell everyone that Shut Up & Sit Down’s forum moderators will be running the games lounge at London’s Nine Worlds convention!

We’ve visited before, but not in this capacity (Paul did a panel about Game of Thrones and we dropped by to support friends of SU&SD giving talks). The D9: Nine Dice Gaming Lounge will seat 350 people and offer a library of games to borrow, as well as a session on Introductory Board Gaming, an RPG-making jam and games of Two Rooms and a Boom. Plus, you get to meet the stellar folks who moderate (or, as they keep telling me, have no need to moderate) the lovely forums available to our Gold Club members.

We won’t be there, sadly, but there’s no-one we’d trust more to run an event in our stead. Drop by by and play a game! Join in! Or enjoy the happy accident of running from hall to hall, learning about everything from My Little Pony fandom to how to make your own steampunk kettle.

Paul: Accident… steam…

Quinns: Okay, I’ll be straight with you, Paul. There was a crash. You’re in a coma. I’m not really here. All this is one elaborate dream telling you it’s time to wake up.

Paul: No! It’s all so real. Wake up? To do what?

Quinns: To write the Games News. Paul, wake up. It’s time to do the Games News again!