Games News! 22/09/14

waterworld, gawping faces, difficult faces, widdle wargames, ian's box
Quinns: Morning, everybody! For the second week running we’re leading with our Kickstarters, this time with action movie RPG Feng Shui 2.

I know about the original Feng Shui because of the time my friend was breathlessly espousing one of the mechanics. Your character is more likely to pass a check if they’re doing something ludicrous. So, shooting two bad guys is a harder check to pass than throwing a bottle between them, then shooting it so it explodes. Or dodging a falling rock is harder than uppercutting it in half.

If that hasn’t sold you on it, I’m not sure there’s anything else I could say. But I’ll try!

Here, try my alternative sales pitch- this is a game so crazy that time travel is a paltry fourth on its feature list. Also, a $15 add-on gets you ten of the original Feng Shui’s sourcebooks. That’s not so exciting until you hear their names: Seed of the New Flesh, Elevator to the Netherworld, Four Bastards, Seal of the Wheel, On Location, Thorns of the Lotus, Gorilla Warfare, Blood of the Valiant, Iron & Silk, and Glimpse of the Abyss.

Help. I can’t stop. I’ve just looked up the description for Four Bastards:

“A callous orphanage attack…

“A gigantic conspiracy, crossing junctures and factions…

“And four fatherless men, each related to the others by blood.

“Air, Earth, Fire, Wood, Water – the cornerstones of an abominable plot to control the world’s chi. To stop it our heroes must wage a kung fu campaign across time, from modern-day Hong Kong to 1850s Canada to 2056 Containment Site DS4S. The missiles-flying, choppers-exploding, bullet-ridden climax brings them to Three Gorges Dam, a colossal structure that will divert the flow of the hallowed Yiangtze River.”

When was the last time you saw the word “choppers” used unironically?

Knee Jerk: The Party Game of Instant Reactions!

This week’s other Kickstarter is Knee Jerk: The Party Game of Instant Reactions! A project with the noble goal of collapsing your brain like an accordion.

You can guess how it works from the above image. Three cards are laid out, and the first player to yell out a “valid” answer wins, with the host breaking ties for their “favourite” answer. Two entirely subjective conditions that are bound to get everybody arguing. Which is, of course, no bad thing.

There’s a heaving pack of positive reviews on the page, but I’m not sure Knee Jerk even needs them. Imagine what your friends would say when the question is “I feel Protective, at the wedding, because someone showed me…” Now imagine they’re all racing so fast that someone’s inevitably started speaking before they know how the sentence will end.

Oh god. I’ve just realised that this game is just a simulation of how I actually talk.

XCOM board game

Remember the upcoming XCOM board game that we got the chance to play at Gen Con? The most controversial feature is that it uses an application that you run on a smartphone or tablet, and Fantasy Flight has posted a big ol’ preview on how exactly it works.

As we said before, it’s an absolutely awesome feature and we’re thrilled to see the great glacier of board gaming drifting towards more modern waters. Because you know what happens when it gets there! That’s right. It melts, raising the global fun level. It’ll be just like Kevin Costner’s Waterworld, except it’ll be Entertainmentworld, and instead of shooting people and drinking our own pee we will mostly just play games and drink our own pee.


Continuing to be curiously independent from his publishers, designer Antoine Bauza has posted the above image on his blog. There’s a second Tokaido expansion coming, it turns out! It is called Matsuri, and that’s all we know right now. OR IS IT? I got in touch with SU&SD’s resident Japanese translator My Friend Ian.

Ian: Well she’s dressed in a kimono, which is what women wear to a matsuri (festival)…

Quinns: oh SH**

Ian: I don’t think it’s pointing to any specific festival

Quinns: why wouldn’t she be facing the camera though

Ian: if I knew my astrology she could be looking at the stars of altaiir and vega, signifying tanabata, but then they’d probably show some bamboo, as that’s the more obvious visual signifier for that festival. Ummm. Maybe cos the artist can’t draw faces?

Quinns: Thanks, Ian. Back in your box now.

Ian: I don’t want to go back in the box


You can see our reviews of Tokaido here and the first expansion, Crossroads, here.


Melee is a newly announced title following the microgames trend, but this time it’s a widdle wargame. Imagine having a teeny Eurogame like Province, Loveletter and Skull & Roses in your bag at the same time! Ahhh. Soooo cuuuute. <3 <3 <3

Castles of Mad King Ludwig

AND FINALLY, I can’t tell you how much I love these huge design diaries that board game geek post. This week’s it’s the turn of the brilliant Ted Alspach, talking about the forthcoming Castles of Mad King Ludwig. If you’ve ever wanted to gawp in horror at how much work goes into designing a great game, they’re what you need to be reading.