Hot Games! 21/04/14

robot rebels, nanoplagues, holobabies, maybe chocolate will be better in the future
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Quinns: Are you enjoying your Easter break? Did you have an egg hunt? I’m doing an egg hunt right now! Except instead of eggs it’s news, and instead of chocolate there are no eggs. I mean, no news.

But like Jesus, I’ve got a plan! This week we’ll look at the top six games on BoardGameGeek’s “hotness” sidebar, which shows the games that users have been clicking on the most. Like Easter chocolate, this will be initially exciting, slightly tasteless, and maybe just a bit sickening.

Perched atop this post in all its partially-focused glory you’ll see Rogue Agent, a cyberpunk game of arresting criminals and defusing bombs in the mean streets of “Rain City”. Players scoot around a randomised board, upgrading their characters, murdering bad guys and even investigating one another! Because there’s a chance one of you could be a gross android who can gain points by killing other players.

…It’s also a game I’d sworn off, and not just because I live in rain city already. I popped the collar of my trenchcoat and turned away because it has the same designer as Panic Station and Dark Darker Darkest.

Both of these sounded super great, but disappointed everybody. Panic Station is a The Thing type co-op game where players gradually get infected, one after another, and Dark Darker Darkest saw players battling monsters by controlling fires and sneaking around. Though apparently they were both a bit damp.


Squeee! Netrunner’s been stuck atop BGG’s Hotness like a barnacle for months now, and with good reason. It owns. And yes, if you were wondering, it’s still devouring my life.

On the subject, Netrunner’s receiving its second “deluxe” expansion in just a couple of weeks. After 2013’s Creation & Control gave a ton of new cards to the Haas-Bioroid corporation and Shapers, Honor & Profit will soon be giving Jinteki and the Criminals a crapload of new options.

My picks for the game-changing cards in the box are the terrifying Inazuma and the still-more terrifying Fast Track. The latest series of expansion packs have all been good to the corps, but this is something else. 16 months and 13 expansions since Netrunner was released, I think Honor & Profit will finally make the runner the underdog.

Onward to Venus

Onward to Venus is our next most hottest game! Designer Martin Wallace’s games range from legendary (Brass, A Few Acres of Snow) to powerfully mediocre (A Study In Emerald, Witches: A Discworld Game), but this sounds like a keeper.

“The game is played over three turns; in each turn you whizz around the planets and moons claiming tiles. The tiles grant you cards, allow you to build a factory or mine, let you hunt strange beasts, or simply earn you some money. Other tiles allow you to attack other players or add to the crisis level on the planet/moon in question. You have to be careful with crisis tiles as if you let too many build up, bad stuff — Martian invasions, robot rebellions, space pirates, etc. — starts happening.”

Agree with me, friends. Robot rebellions are the best rebellions, strange beasts are the best beasts and “whizz” is the best verb.

Onward to Venus is out later in 2014, so we’ll find out soon enough where it lands on the Wallace-ometer.

Allegiance: A Realm Divided

Ah right. There’s always some gorgeous Kickstarter game currently being funded that’s lurking at the top of Board Game Geek’s hotness like a stealth advert. This week it’s Allegiance: A Realm Divided. A Hearthstone / Magic: The Gathering style card game with absolutely gorgeous illustrations, and the chance to level up your chosen hero as the game progresses.

Making an expandable fantasy card game now, though? For sales you’re going to be headbutting Thunderstone, Summoner Wars, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game and Magic: The Gathering, all of which have skulls like cannonballs. I don’t envy these guys. I like my brains right where they are.


Next up is MYTH! A Kickstarter which is on the hotness chart not because it’s being funded, but because a year later it’s starting to get shipped to backers.

Since the reviews have started coming, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Myth. This is a co-operative board game where players battle monsters, but with an interesting timing mechanic where anyone can act any number of times, but the more actions your heroes make, the more the forces of “darkness” on the board will fight back.

I think I moan about Kickstarter so much because I’m such an impatient person. If I’m excited about a game, it’s all I can do to not drop everything and go leap off a bridge onto the roof of a moving train, which will hopefully be travelling towards my local game shop.

It’s not just that I don’t want to spend money on a protracted, delayed reward. I don’t even know if I’ll WANT the game by then. And the thought of the first expansion being another year’s wait after that, because they’ll need to Kickstart that too? Ack!

When the first Myth expansion arrives it’ll be time for Descent 4th Edition, Paul will be dead from the nanoplague, and my Google Glass will be projecting a holoPaul for me to play with. Then the Myth expansion will arrive and how to play it won’t be in his firmware and I’ll need to update him and it’ll all be awful

Avengers Vs. X-Men

AND FINALLY, Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers Vs. X-Men has retained hot for months like some kind of dice-based jacket potato.

We need to review this one, actually. The tiny, delicious dice that Wizkids tested with Quarriors, accompanied by a decent, affordable, collectible game? That sounds like something I’d want my kids to play. Heck, if it’s as good as they say I’d have a baby just to justify collecting it myself.

Ah, you know what? I’m being ridiculous. It’s the Kickstarter problem all over again. Babies are cool and all, but who can wait nine months? And what if something better than a baby comes out in that time? Like a holobaby?

You’d feel so silly.