Games News! 28/04/14

mister cinnamon, the wizard lifestyle, tear stealers, billionaire banshees, beans
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Quinns: No question what story we’ve got to lead with. Esteemed French board game developer Bruno Faidutti, developer of such silly yet sharp games as Mascarade and Red November, has released the above image on his blog.

A prototype of a game he calls “Emotion”, we know absolutely nothing about it, but look at it! Note the stopwatch around Bruno’s neck. The anguish he’s conveying. The disdain on the woman’s face. It’s either the game we were born to review, or the one that’ll kill us.

The same post informs us that Formula E, his gorgeous-looking elephant racing game, is almost upon us. How could we not love Monsieur Faidutti? You want emotions, he’s got ’em. You want elephants, he can provide. You want something else? Stop being so picky c’mon elephants are good and so are emotions

Formula E

Many internet back-slaps to Eric Martin, editor of Board Game Geek News, who’s posted his THIRD huge preview of forthcoming 2014 release Time Stories for no other reason than he’s excited as heck. That’s the kind of giddy abuse of power I can get behind.

Sure enough, Time Stories sounds extraordinary. It’s a co-op game where players first pick a deck to “solve”, which might be a creepy monster-filled Arctic or a 19th century asylum, then in the manner of Quantum Leap or 12 Monkeys you leap back in time into some host bodies to try and fix it. Here the game becomes a complex choose-your-own-adventure, with players spending precious time to travel between areas, find items, and try and save the day… all without knowing quite what they’re there for.

But as Eric observes, what makes Time Stories a clever time travel game is that once you’ve failed utterly to save anything at all, you re-set the game and try all over again, using everything you learned in your first run-through.

I couldn’t be any more jazzed for this. A story-driven co-op game you have to play over and over sounds like a horrendous undertaking, but from reading Eric’s previews, it sounds like publisher Space Cowboys is doing everything they can to get it right first time*.


Enthusiastic license-peddlers Gale Force Nine of the nearly-great Spartacus and the not-so-great Firefly: The Game are making Sons of Anarchy: MEN OF MAYHEM! The official game of the tv series.

I didn’t care much for the show, although Ron Perlman’s oatmeal-like face and burned oatmeal-like voice carried me through two whole seasons, but I’ve got moderate hopes for the game. With Spartacus, Gale Force Nine were on the cusp of something great, and when they say Sons of Anarchy will be a game of “making and breaking alliances”, I get shivers where the sun don’t shine, as a cool motorcyclist might say(?).

I don’t know much about Vikings, except that it came out in 2007 and Z-Man Games are re-printing it next month, but I’m all for promotional videos with a supreme lack of dignity. Of note:

00:25 – Great to see vikings showing due diligence to that antique doorframe. I hope there’s a deleted scene where they take off their shoes, still screaming with rage.

00:32 – I just really like the idea that the vikings rowed over, ran all the way to the house, and the only thing they want to pillage is this one game, and then run away screaming again

00:39 – This is my friends’ actual face when they show up and I haven’t even opened the manual.

Billionaire Banshee

Quickly then, some Kickstarters! Billionaire Banshee looks just great to me. A “would you rather”-type game that encourages players to decide what they would and wouldn’t date.

There were actually a couple of moments where I knew I was sold. The first was on reading the bullet points on the cards, which bring them to life. The second was during the video, when designer Steven Bailey says through playing Billionaire Banshee, he found out one of his friends “didn’t approve of ‘the wizard lifestyle'”. Done. Sold. Next.

Black Forest

Linking this more because it’s a neat idea than I trust it’ll be decent, but Black Forest is an Agricola-style farming game… mixed with Werewolf. One farm owner secretly controls minions of the night, and the chance to build barricades or visit the seer in the Werewolf style are tucked right in there with the option of tilling the fields.

With Archipelago being one of our favourite games of 2013, of course we’re keen to see more of this genre-blurring stuff.

Escape: The Curse of the Temple Kickstarter

AND FINALLY! Queen games are running an Escape: The Curse of the Temple Kickstarter that’s aggravatingly good value.

People may remember from my review that I loved the game, but the first expansion was one of those rare occasions in board gaming where I felt ripped off. There’s such a high price for the few components you’re getting, so much so I chose not to buy the 2nd expansion, and now look! A Kickstarter for the base game, both expansions and a ton of promos, for one discount price.

Though actually, the Kickstarter names “Treasures” and “Curses” as extra “Expansion modules” you get for backing in addition to the base game, but they’ve always been included in the base game! Total misleading bullshit. Escape: The Bullshit of Queen Games, more like.

AND DOUBLE FINALLY! Here’s a video of some nice men making Jenga a lot more exciting with the addition of a chess clock.

Have a nice week, everybody!

*DO YOU SEE because time travel and