Games news! 25/03/13

stealth grandmas, sneezy themes, Meppyarrwhyyl
Quinns: We’re used to board games testing our brains, reflexes, even our privates. But lungs? That’s a new one.

Enter Antoine Bauza’s Rampage, which should be landing this year. Bauza’s one of our favourite designers here at SU&SD, having crafted 7 Wonders and Ghost Stories, both of which are capable of collapsing your face into deep thought like a strong man might fold a deck chair.

With Rampage, 2-4 players will be dropping their wooden kaiju monsters to crush buildings, blowing on civilians to claim their pathetic lives and even flicking themselves at one another in foul, animal anger. Doesn’t that sound perfect?

Hisashi Hayashi’s Trains

If you’re on the side of the civilians, though, you’ll want to take an interest in Hisashi Hayashi’s Trains, a respected Japanese game that’s arriving in the rest of the world this Summer. There are lots of railway-building board games. Who made them? And why? Like stonehenge, nobody really knows.

If, like us, you’re interested in solving this mystery, Trains looks like a great place to start. For a start, there’s the name. It’s not Bivalves and Cattle: Wisconsin Freight, 1840 Edition, or whatever. It’s just Trains. Would you like some trains? They’re in this box.

Actually, anyone looking for a step up from Ticket to Ride but still think Trains looks intimidating should keep an eye peeled for Trains and Stations, by Wizkids. No images of that one yet, but I’m curious. I’m positively vibrating with curiosity. That could just be the ADD meds.

But perhaps you wanted a Japanese-designed game you could buy now?

Love Letter

Got you covered. The new print run of Love Letter is arriving in shops this week, and I just ordered my copy. The hype is absolutely insane, especially so because all you’ll find in the box is a manual, a bag, some chits and sixteen cards.

Players are all suitors trying to get their love letter into the hands of a princess, but it sounds like this theme is a silken veil that would blow away if anyone sneezed. Basically, you all have one card with a big ol’ number. On your turn, you draw a card, and play one of your two cards for their effect, perhaps letting you compare your remaining card with someone, knocking the player with the lower valued card out of the round, or any one of a dozen different effects. The first player to win four rounds, wins.

Everyone’s saying it’s a tour-de-force of bluffing, chance and risk-reward. When the hype’s this potent, I buy now and ask questions later, but here’s a nice review for those of you on the fence.

Cards Against Humanity

The very THIRD expansion for Cards Against Humanity, a.k.a. “Apples to Apples for terrible people” is also landing in shops this week. Another amazing-sounding card game we still haven’t played.

Some friends of mine played it, though, and said their game peaked with a combination of “An international tribunal has found BLANK guilty of BLANK.” The winning answer was “God” and “Ghosts”.

If you’re interested in analog game design, bookmark this video right the hell now.

Last year I was lucky enough to see Dr. Richard Garfield, designer of Magic: The Gathering, Netrunner, King of Tokyo, Robo Rally and so much more talk on randomness in games. Today I discovered this! A recording of him giving the same talk at a different convention.

It’s not just that Garfield’s brilliant, he’s also entertaining and has a grasp of mathematics lends itself to the subject.

It’s the done thing to consider luck a vulgarity within game design. As an appetiser, consider Garfield’s point that luck increases the probability of unusual game states, demanding innovation and adaptability from its players. Then watch the whole thing because it’s AMAZING.

 Teramyyd: Earthsphere

In “Oh god this is coming to our shelves” news, steampunk “fantasy monster fighting / aeronautical questing” game Teramyyd: Earthsphere shattered its Kickstarter goals this week.

Now… look. Part of being a critic is keeping an open mind. But somewhere between the extra “y” in the title, the dragons, the player character that’s a fox, the player character with her tits out and the fact that her home port is “Meppyarrwhyyl”, my mind snapped shut like a mousetrap. LEAVE SOME CONSONANTS FOR THE REST OF US, GUYS.

Quick, someone get me a Kickstarter that doesn’t feel like someone spitting in my coat.

Alien Frontiers

Ah. This is nice. A Kickstarter to replace the player dice of the excellent Alien Frontiers, in which your dice are also your ships anyway.

No, hang on. The Alien Frontiers board is covered in nice squares in which the existing, chunky dice socket perfectly! ABORT. ABORT.

Descent: Second Edition campaign

And finally! The news you’ve all been waiting for. An update on my Descent: Second Edition campaign.

It’s going well! Three quests won by me, the evil Overlord, and only one by the players.

See that little grey guy on the far right, though? He’s a bastard. Tomble the thief can use the defense dice of any player he’s stood next to, as well as his own dice pool. That horrible little Irish Frodo wannabe.

Any tips?