GAMES NEWS! 23/01/17

diceberts, batguins, laxatives, venmo for the human condition
Quinns: Good morning, Paul! Ready for Games News? How are you feeling today? Rambunctious? Meticulous? Corrugated?

Paul: No, no. Dispirited. Crenelated. Crepuscular. My prandicle is absquatulate.

Quinns: Good God, that’s our SEO ruined, for sure. Perhaps you’ll be emboldened by THIS wonderful news. SHERLOCK HOLMES CONSULTING DETECTIVE IS GETTING SWOLE because the first(?!) standalone expansion is ALMOST HERE

Paul: OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO EXPLODE

Quinns: HAVE YOU FINISHED THE ORIGINAL TEN CASES YET

Paul: NO

Quinns: ME EITHER

After decades, one of our very favourite games is getting even more cases, giving players a chance to solve more mysteries in the dark, gothic corners of Victorian London.

Jack the Ripper and the West End Adventures is just weeks away now, and it’ll contain 10 new cases, 4 of which are a campaign hunting the titular Ripper. That said, the most exciting element of this might be that SU&SD may be able to recommend a version of Consulting Detective that doesn’t have translation errors from the original French.

It also turns out that West End Adventures is just the start, with Asmodee teasing that we should keep our eyes peeled for even more boxes later this year.

Paul: Despite its foibles, Consulting Detective is one of the best co-operative game experiences there is (though right now I’m also having a fun time with Mythos Tales) and the thought of new cases is very interesting indeed. While the original game seeded little clues between adventures, I like the idea of a more interconnected series of cases with a firmer narrative running through them. Though you know what? Sometimes I still wish there was a game where I could build a cardboard tower and put some sort of large animal on it, perhaps a hippo or a-

Quinns: Rhino?

Paul: EXACTLY.

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Quinns: Well, Paul, I have even more good news for you, because that’s exactly what you can do in RHINO HERO SUPER BATTLE, an enlarged, expanded version  of Haba’s cult dexterity game Rhino Hero. This time your extraordinary towers will be climbed not only by Rhino Hero himself, but also Giraffe Boy, Big E. and Batguin.

Paul: Batguin.

Quinns: Batguin.

Paul: The hell.

Quinns: Is… is this a joke we made? Paul, did we design this game?

Paul: I promise I definitely did not design this, but I’m now really, really keen to play it. I mean, it’s probably going to be nuts, but I lost my mind years ago, so that suits me fine.

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What I am feeling a little more timid about is Yamatai, Bruno Cathala’s next colourful and complex game, which is all about ships and islands and construction and… look, I was not much of a fan of Five Tribes, okay? And we were both lukewarm on Abyss. We just this moment got new images for Yamatai hot off the press and it looks very, very attractive indeed, but I can’t help feeling a little trepidation here. THAT SAID, I’d expect nothing less than good production values and something accessible and polished from Days of Wonder, so I’m going to keep my mind open. Just look at these pictures. They’re wonderful, vibrant collages of colour. If nothing else, this is going to be an attractive game.

Quinns: How about that press kit though

Paul: Pardon?

Quinns: The Yamatai press kit that Days of Wonder sent us last week. It was just amazing.

Paul: What?

Quinns: It had crazy high-res images of everything, from the logo, to the game, to the art, to the box. It made writing this news post so much easier.

Paul: Pardon?

Quinns: It was so good

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As I’ve said many times, there are publishers out there with such a formidable reputation that they can announce a new game and I’ll sit up straight in my chair, pop on my journalist’s trilby and shout “Oh boy, what a scoop!” even though I’m alone in my living room.

Wizkids is one of the publishers that announces a new game, and I’ll open a box of bees (that I keep for special occasions) and while everyone is distracted I can try and climb out of the toilet window, because it’s probably safer for everyone if I don’t get excited.

It’s not even that they make bad games! That would be too simple. For every Star Trek Frontiers (which is good!) there’s a Star Trek: Expeditions (which is not!). And when Fantasy Flight began releasing beautiful “epic” ships for their X-Wing Miniatures Game, Wizkids responded with this.

Paul: Yes but I had to be excited about a follow-up to Five Tribes, so you can be excited about Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysium Quadrant.

Quinns: Talk about a title that needs a laxative.

Paul: QUINNS.

Quinns: SIDEREAL CONFLUENCE is a game WizKids just announced from a new designer where 4-9 players will trade and negotiate their species towards success. The game will feature a whopping 390 cards and 292 wooden pieces so we’re talking about a seriously big, expensive box, and I’ve never played a negotiation game of such scale before. Maybe it’ll be great! We honestly have no idea.

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Paul: So how do you feel about Wizkids’ second announcement, pulp detective co-operative game Deadline?

Quinns: Hmm. It sounds a bit like Time Stories, with players playing a board game with cards and tokens to get actual clues to solve an actual mystery? I’m not 100% convinced that solving literary mysteries as part of a systemic board game is great hybrid design. Basically I get nervous when I hear about “plot twist” cards, because a good plot twist isn’t just a standalone thing that can be thrown into a story, it requires foreshadowing, timing and wit. But I’m no criminal expert, I’m just a humble thug with a box of bees.

Paul: Clues lead to more clues lead to… I think conceptually this is an interesting idea, but this sounds more like the cold and abstract mechanics of an adventure than an actual adventure. I am not inspired. That said, I’ll try and keep my mind open about this one, too. About everything. Oh, I don’t know. I think the coffee didn’t kick in today.

Quinns: I don’t think it’s our fault. There should be more info on these games when they’re announced, so we have something to show and say about them!

Oh man, I’m still thinking about that Yamatai press release. It was so good

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Quinns: I reckon if the idea of stacking rhinos perked you up, so will the idea of DICEBOT MEGAFUN, the game of far future robot conflict, where you can use dice to custom build your robot before you send it into battle? Yes, the title is not the best, but the concept?

Paul: quinns this is another wizkids game why are there so many

Quinns: paul

Paul: quinns my robot has an uzi

Quinns: ha I jam your uzibot with my robert’s jammer

Paul: is this the end for my dicebert

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Paul: Let’s end on a high, with a new Kickstarter that looks absolutely fantastic.

Pitch Deck (from the creators of the wonderful Monikers) is the latest spin on the theme of improvising your way around, into or out of a crazy idea, challenging players to pitch ideas for terrible companies or products according to whatever card combinations they find themselves holding. Yep, it’s certainly similar to games like Snake Oil, The Big Idea and perhaps even Funemployed but, you know what? I’m okay with that. It’s like a new jazz improvisation around a familiar tune and while not everyone likes jazz, I know there are going to be a lot of people just dying to give their own angle on “Tinder for Lonely, Confused Men.”

Quinns: Oh wow, “Roomba for Vaping”. “Venmo for the Human Condition”. “Tinder for My Parents”.

Paul: Games like these are as much about the players as anything else, but the best ones are those that give you as generous a canvas as they can for you to paint new kinds of nonsense across. And this looks like quite the canvas.

Quinns: Exactly. We like The Big Idea and Snake Oil just fine, but having a browse of this Kickstarter I can immediately see the advantage of a game that has a more modern, focused concept. Silicon Valley startups are in desperate need of being mocked. Plus we can trust the Monikers people to deliver a fabulous box. I’d back this in a heartbeat.

Finally, we move on to our reader gallery! And one Justin Trupiano has sent in quite the thing.

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Click for bigger!

Yes, it’s the lovely Transport for London poster that you might have seen in the background of my videos but NOW IT HAS A PEAR IN IT. Which rather makes me feel that the actual poster in my actual flat has been impoverished slightly, but what can you do?

If you have a photo or picture that you’d like to have featured in the Shut Up & Sit Down news, email [email protected] with the subject “Gallery!”