GAMES NEWS! 29/08/16
Paul: Yes! Terrific! What good news! This isn’t propaganda at all and we’re very excited to see this game do so extraordinarily well! Oh God-
Quinns: KEEP SMILING.
Paul: If you didn’t catch our 42nd Podcast, we played a very quick game of this nonsense political propaganda piece, which is all about policies, pleasing and applause. It’s a delightful sort of miniature roleplaying game where you take the role of Kim Jong-Un and his advisors, turning over ideas about how to run the country and trying to pitch ideas that will please your leader but also shame your political rivals. And kiss a lot of arse. And clap to show approval. It really is amazing, though there shouldn’t be that backwards R there. The Я is Russian and actually has more of a Y sound-
Quinns: YOU’LL GET US SHOT.
I’ll tell you what else is exciting: MORE CYCLADES. The newly announced Monuments expansion adds a boxful of buildings to the game, each of which has a very particular and very potent power. These curious constructions can prevent your islands from being invaded, or save your ships from sinking in combat, but building them also counts toward building stages of the cities you need to win the game. This means it’s entirely viable to construct a cool monument with a cool game-changing power, as it also contributes to your final goal.
For reference, we didn’t like Cyclades: Hades, we adored Cyclades: Titans and probably won’t get around to reviewing Monuments. Cyclades (in its various well thought-out forms) has already gotten two video reviews and one written review out of us, which is more than we’ve given any other game!
Just as exciting is the news that Citadels is coming back–
Paul: Didn’t we already cover-
Quinns: -and it costs just $13?! Wait. Wasn’t it just a few weeks back I was rolling my eyes at Asmodee for figuring out ways to charge us $35 for a new version of an old thing?
It says here that Windrider Games will also be releasing the above affordable, portable, no-frills edition, which is absolutely awesome news. I’d love to see publishers put out cheaper versions of their best games. When I’m recommending games to people who are curious about the hobby I’m always reaching for boxes in that elusive £5-£15 price point, which basically amounts to Love Letter, The Resistance and Skull. I’d love a few more games to recommend as part of a starter set.
(If you have any recommendations, please do let us know in the comments!)
There’s never going to be a shortage of games at the other end of the spectrum, at least. Next year we’ve got soldiers-on-a-map game Rising Sun to look forward to.
Being from Eric Lang and published by CMON it looks to be the spiritual successor to Blood Rage, a game which it’s fair to say I didn’t love, but I’m nonetheless excited about this one! It promises to take a more diplomatic angle, taking influence from the venerable Diplomacy and encouraging players to consider negotiations and alliances. An honour track will even allow everyone to see just how, well, honourable a player is actually being.
I had a chat with Eric at Gen Con and he told me – as you can see above – that with Rising Sun he’s also managed to get CMON to commission sculpts of warrior women who aren’t dressed like strippers. So that’s neat.
Paul: I also caught sight of Carcassonne Amazonas this week and though I should be a man getting excited about all things Carcassonne, I’m actually… not necessarily. I’m conflicted I think.
Base Carcassonne is great and I also think that several of its expansions work extremely well to make the game richer and also sassier, but oh my God is Carcassonne pumped out like so much mayonnaise. Amazonas is the latest in the standalone “Carcassonne Around the World” series, after Gold Rush and South Seas, and I’m not sure how many more games we need based on the similar-yet-tweaked mechanics of laying and then claiming tiles. Amazonas will probably be at least quite good, I guess? Will it be different enough to the other Carcassonne games to warrant playing and owning? Who out there owns completionist sets of these and do you find them all satisfyingly different?
Quinns: The guys over at Heavy Cardboard were talking in episode 51 about the Asmodee takeover. They suggested that we can expect more sequels and spinoffs to popular games, since that’s what happened when other entertainment industries became drawn in under one roof. On the plus side, the board game industry was doing that anyway, right? The umpteen editions of Carcassonne, Munchkin, Fluxx, The Resistance, Werewolf? It can’t get much worse, right?
Anyway! Let’s stay positive. Why haven’t we covered Cry Havoc yet? We’ve done things a bit backward this month and reviewed the wonderful Inis, bucking the trend like a demented donkey, while the rest of the games industry has been as pumped as a bulbous bike tyre over this game of space colonisation and yet more dudes-on-a-map.
You’re friends with designer Grant Rodiek, Paul, so you need to stay quiet.
I played a teeny demo game at Gen Con and thought it was pretty interesting! I like how profoundly asymmetrical the different sides are. You’ve got an advancing robot metropolis, the trooplets from Starship Trooplets, some aliens who are trying really hard to just play a Eurogame on their side of the board and then some monsters who actually live on this planet you’re attacking. I’m curious! I would play it again.
Paul: FINE. Look, here’s another game we’ve not talked about yet. Unicornus Knights by Seiji Kanai and a designer by the name of “Kuro” looks to be the biggest box yet from the creator of Love Letter, and a co-operative game at that. Players are all generals racing to safely escort a princess back to her kingdom, beset on all sides by evil generals who all have some relation to you in a gradually-unfolding narrative.
Also, modular board! I love modular boards. Imagine if the whole world was modular!
Quinns: You like that, do you? Probably don’t click on this link. You’ll never come back.
Paul: And finally, I feel compelled to mention this closing Kickstarter for some wizardly-shaped dice from PolyHero. They’re sort of… oddly repulsive, yet fascinating. The idea is that these wizard-themed dice, all of them strange shapes, will perfectly suit your wizard character in whatever roleplaying game it is you play. If you’re a warrior, there’s also a different set, appropriately designed and…
Well. The funding for this has already gone through the roof and, sure, I can see the appeal. There’s all sorts of cool colours and also you don’t have to have a D6 simply be a cube. However. HOWEVER. Every time I look at these something inside my head just says “tiny sex toys” and then I die.
Quinns: Is that really how you want to close Games News?
Paul: I’m so sorry.