Today I decided to group games by pair, so you’ll have 6 “duels” between games sharing obvious similarities.
Human life on Earth is threatened in Ginormopod 2050 A.D.: Attack of the Giant Bug Monsters, and as usual, it’s up to the Americans to save the world while the rest of Earth is slacking off. The goal is to complete a biological killing agent before the Ginormopods raze off your laboratories. The game has the typical hallmarks of a wargame, namely squared cardboard units, dice rolling, and devoted attention to historical accuracy. If you prefer a much lighter game, you can push your luck in DEVOUR, playing a Red Fox who needs to hunt prey to feed their family before the Mountain Lion catches you for dinner. There even is a campaign mode, featuring 25 scenarios – not a small feat, for a 55 cards game.
2. Playing with cubes
Let’s begin with Cube Monster. The pitch of the game is that the Cube Monster has awakened, so you must race to the top of a mountain to beat your competitors, sacrificing cubes along the way. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but it’s a strategic engine-building game, so who needs a sensical theme when you’ve got nice mechanics in need of optimization? Next, we have Tesseract, a game where you manipulate dice obtained from a central block containing 64 of them (I bet it’s a horror to set up). Let it collapse and the game is lost. I have checked the description twice and, no, it’s not a dexterity game, but a square and sound puzzle.
The app-driven narrative and exploration game Destinies sets foot into folktales with the Witchwood expansion. I would say the cover features the fearful Baba Yaga’s house, but if you have a better idea, please chime in in the comments! Far from the turmoil of Fantasy, Endeavor: Deep Sea reimplements Age of Sail and invites you to an underwater exploration institute aiming to research and protect marine life. As a true researcher, you will raise funds, gather a highly skilled and motivated crew, and write brilliant papers that will reach a worldwide audience and raise awareness about the ecological realities.
Anteater meeples, bag building, spatial patterning over a hexagonal grid, a giant 3D waterfall... Life of the Amazonia sure features a lot of stuff! The goal of this future Kickstarter is to create the most ecologically rich jungle. So if you have always dreamed of playing demiurge over the rain forest, I guess you don’t want to miss this one. Onmyodo is a card game set in feudal Japan which bears no more relationship with the previous game than the occasional occurrence of a waterfall. This is a game of journeying across a Fantastical Japan, fulfilling mystical quests and helping travelers along the way. You also place cards to unravel a path, as is exemplified in the picture above. The game may be released through a Kickstarter campaign or not; if you are interested, the best you can do is probably to follow the official website.
5. Love and Slumber
In World of Draghan: O Dodo!, you will play as dragons enamored of their dodos, living happily in the Draghan mystical world until the evil Dutchmen came in and released all sorts of nuisances on the island, endangering the very survival of the dodos. It’s up to you, as a dragon, to rescue them from their sinister fate. The game revolves around a push-your-luck mechanic, and in solo, you’ll gain new, better cards each time to pass a score threshold, increasing your chances to go past the next one. Incidentally, ‘O Dodo’ in French sounds like ‘Au dodo’ which means ‘Go to bed’, which brings us to… The Yawning Portal. If you are not repelled by the almost Pollockian nature of the game’s looks, you might be interested that it is set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, more specifically in a tavern where you need to fulfill orders for adventurers. That way you will collect gems, earn points, and achieve victory.
6. Pulp games
If you remember the (failed) Kickstarter campaign for Toongeon Fights and enjoyed the 1930s cartoons aesthetics, you may be interested to hear that the team is launching a new KS soon for a Print and Play game, Roll&Ghosts - a dice allocation game about collecting treasures and trapping ghosts in a derelict haunted house. You're more up to something more rooted in the firm shadows of reality? In The Night Stalker, you will investigate murders committed by a serial killer on the loose. It’s up to you to gather evidence and frame the culprit before the killer vanishes forever, leaving your career as dead cold as your case. All the relevant files are available for free in the relevant section of the BGG game page.
All images are taken from the games' pages on BGG.