Next edition of the freshly added stuff! All the new, all the shiny, all the promising games!
Starting with Set A Watch: Forsaken Isles. Oh no! More ‘more of the same’! Don’t be afraid, this will be the only one, I can guarantee. So, here is the third and final installment in the Set A Watch series. As always, you’ll get a few heroes, a horde of monsters, and a dwindling fire. As is perhaps more intriguing is the announcement of an over-arching campaign encompassing all three games. A big box has been mentioned as well, which is surprising considering that the box lid has been a solid gameplay component so far.
Okay, I promised new horizons, so what about the ones that the new stand-alone Imperium title is offering you to explore? The game offers no less than 14 civilizations that all play differently; Taino, Inuit, Aksumites, Mayans, Tang, and Sassanids have so far been confirmed (and displayed on the box cover, by the way). Wait, what, you want new stuff like, actually new board games, not ones building upon already existing content? Well, if you want to dive into the unknown at the risk of being disappointed, I leave it up to you…
So, let us jump right In the Heart of Darkness, a board game set on an island where a mining business ceased to operate after mysterious incidents that it is up to you to investigate. Dice rolling and action points spending will be your guides as you unravel the horrors of the sinister Mora Island.
Let’s stay with the darkness in The Night, a wargame-lite solitaire zombie game (it actually says so on the box cover), heavily inspired by Romero’s pioneering movie aesthetics (although the computer rendition reminds me more of the House of the Dead video game series). The game is available already on the White Dog website, even including a PnP option to dodge the high shipping fees (still rather expensive for a PnP though).
Tired of the shadows? Let the sun shine in then, starting with Dawn of Ulos, a new title set in the Roll Player gamiverse, where you play as bored gods that draw entertainment from watching Fantasy factions tearing each other part. Place wages, manipulate the course of the war, and earn these mortals’ favor to become the greatest god in all of Ulos.
In a completely different tone and spirit, we have Toko Island, a nice and gentle game for age 6+ where you need to find 10 treasures (specified by cards) by flipping over tokens spread over the mysterious yet quite welcoming island of Toko. It’s a cooperative game for children from the Forts, a couple of veterans when it comes to children's games designs.
In the same peaceful and no-stress vein, Uwe Rosenberg is back with Applejack, a pretty simple tile-laying game by the look of it. Place nine tiles, score in the end, and beat yourself about your result. Age is 8+, so this clearly belongs to the lower complexity end of the spectrum. Actually, it’s a nice thing with Rosenberg, he really covers a lot of ground audience-wise.
And I have more in the soothing department. Featherlight is a card game from Wizkids featuring feathers you need to sort out. You swap cards between your hand and the central nest, each card in your hand scoring you points at the end of the game depending on which other cards you have in your hand and the cards in the central nest. It sounds pretty, light, simple, and efficient.
The last one in the series of chilled themes, Bonsai is a tile-laying game about growing your own Bonsai to compete in the “Emperor’s challenge”. Each turn you can either meditate (e.g. gain new tiles) or play tiles to your plant, hoping to achieve Goal tiles throughout the game, scoring plenty of points for these at the end.
The next three games are one with no theme, one with a weird theme, and one with an exhausted theme. Let’s start with the latter. Antares Kingdoms belongs to the beloved category of “euro-style kingdom builder card games set in a medieval fantasy world” – I’m not making that up, this is straight out of the game description. And just to strike the right tones of familiarity, you can play Dominion cards to boost your score by fulfilling achievements.
With no theme at all, Hi MiLo!, despite the boring look, gets a mention because it’s a soloable trick-taking game, a good representative of a new trend that has yet to impress. The twist of this game (because all trick-taking games need a twist) is that the rules for winning a trick change every round, but you may have some leverage on it. I have no idea how the solo mode is tackled. If you are interested, it is already available on the Game Crafter.
Finally, we have Hickory Dickory, the latest game by Plaid Hat games. Although they are more known for dueling card games and narrative-fueled Ameritrash adventures, here is a Euro game with all the hallmarks of the genre: tile laying, set collection, worker placement, and plenty of victory points to gather around to be the winner after a fixed number of rounds… The theme is a bit quirky, mice running a scavenging contest in a giant cuckoo clock, but, hey, why not?
And we’ll end the show with our lucky pick thirteen: Crystal Age. It has the same story as usual: corrupted stuff because of an evil mean baddie requires mighty heroes still in need of learning some skills along the way to save the world from supreme catastrophe. You’ll roll dice and fight monsters that, for once, set themselves apart from your usual lot of Fantasy critters. It might be good, it might be overproduced, anyway, we shall know more about it in a few months.
Coffee, Beer and U-Boats
Wait, what, no PnP? Yes, of course. I have Quests Over Coffee, a dice game about fulfilling silly quests, fully available from the BGG Files section of the game, WOLF, a Roll & Write game about WWII battles in the Atlantic, available for a small fee from the Wargame Vault, and last Wheat & Ale, a game about brewing beer to ensure the development of civilization, available here for a small fee as well.
#SetAWatch #ForsakenIsles #Imperium #Horizons #InTheHeartOfDarkness #TheNight #DawnOfUlos #TokoIsland #Applejack #Featherlight #Bonsai #AntaresKingdoms #HiMiLo #HickoryDickory #CrystalAge #QuestsOverCoffee #WOLF #WheatAndAle
All images are taken from the games' pages on BGG.