Ack, I've only been back at my desk for a few minutes and I'm already playing havoc with the Games News brand. Not one of those links takes you to a rousing piece of honest-to-betsy board game news. Please, let me start your week with some links that do.
As always I like to give the top story to the game with the prettiest header image, and this week that means the glossy Kickstarter of "Ridley Scott's Alien but Don't Tell His Lawyers" board game Nemesis. As any Shut Up & Sit Down reader will know, you'll struggle to find a Kickstarter curmudgeon that ol' Quintinius P. Smith, but Nemesis' campaign is so assured, so dramatic and so generous that even I found my mouse finger twitching towards the "Back this Project" button.
It's a game about freeing slaves, about subverting and ultimately abolishing the slave trade, and it's a co-operative challenge that you can also try solo. It's also monstrously difficult. Too difficult?
That’s right, babies! You asked for more regular podcasts on your subscriber questionnaires, and we’re doing exactly that. The system works! Ignore that clattering and keening coming from our servers. Right now, in this moment, the system works.
Packed into podcast #11 are discussions of Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Keyflower, Space Cadets, Rattus and Cosmic Encounter. We discuss whether Trains has made Dominion redundant, answer a bushel of questions on the subject of imbalance in games, AND devote an entire, loving segment to the board game we’ve played more than any other- Descent: Journeys into the Dark.
What’s your favourite broken monster, readers?
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Freedom is a card-driven, cooperative game for one to four players in which the group is working for the abolitionist movement to help bring an end to slavery in the United States. The players use a combination of cards, which feature figures and events spanning from Early Independence until the Civil War, along with action tokens and the benefits of their role to impact the game.
Players need to strike the right balance between freeing slaves from plantations in the south and raising funds which are desperately needed to allow the group to continue their abolitionist activities as well as strengthen the cause.
The goal is not easy and in addition to people and events that can have a negative impact on the group's progress, there are also slave catchers roaming the board, reacting to the movements of the slaves on the board and hoping to catch the runaway slaves and send them back to the plantations.
Through careful planning and working together, the group might see an end to slavery in their time.
Just imagine. You and another 1 to 3 of your friends rolling dice together, racing to complete recipes against the clock. Spending money between "days" to buy new recipes. Arguing as Paul fails to collect enough tips. Again. If you have a friend called Paul.
"Warning," the Kickstarter quips. "Wok Star may well result in high fives." Well, that's me sold. You'd better believe we'll be bringing you the earliest possible review.