Another batch, so soon! Even though KS seems to have gone into hibernation these days, the stream of new additions to the BGG database does not falter from the cold days and is as vivid as ever!
Since Christmas is approaching, let’s start with a small socket game – and designed as such, Pocket Aquarium from Mark Tuck, renowned for Orchard and Grove. In this 18 card game published through the Game Crafter, you must re-arrange tiles forming an aquarium by either activating the fish special actions, or flipping them over so they can swim in the opposite direction. Apparently there is also a cat involved.
Another game from a rising designer is Fliptown, by Steven Aramini (Sprawlopolis). A solitaire only game about exploring a Wild West town, again involving flipping cards over, but also writing stuff on custom sheets of paper. This should be coming to KS at some point.
If you prefer the open wildlands to the dusty city atmosphere, you can venture across them in Panorama, a drafting game where you try to build the most beautiful landscape possible (and by beautiful, we mean it brings you lots of points).
Since sightseeing is the new hype, people have started to cut out Crop Circles in the wheat fields. In this roll-and-write game, you want to attract tourists with this new and juicy agricultural business. Too bad it’s not about asthmatic aliens…
Let’s continue along this trend with something a tad more mysterious: in the latest volume of the Adventure Game Series, Expedition Azcana, you’ll venture into the jungle to solve whatever mysterious secret the plot revolves around.
And if you want to explore further, you can also join the Trailblazers, people who fool around in large natural landscapes thanks to whatever transportation means is the trendiest these days: biking, hiking, kayaking, everything is good when it comes to take pretty pictures for your Instagram account. I guess that’s where the points come from in the game, right? Wildlife comes in an expansion. They’re not included for free in nature these days.
But let’s focus instead on what is truly natural for once: the human impulse to wage war on its neighbors. And we have plenty examples of it in today’s batch. In Lanzerath Ridge from DVG, you will lead a platoon of American soldiers, defending the Belgium town against WWII Nazis – everyone’s favorite fodder. This is the fourth game in the Valiant Defense series initiated with Pavlov’s House.
If you prefer to take down another kind of fascists, you may go to Spain with Resist!, in which you play a band of Republican loyalists trying to take back Spain from Franco’s clutches, using deck building as your weapon of choice.
Next you have a game tackling modern day warfare with the 2017 Battle of Mossoul against Daesh. In We Are Coming, Nineveh!, published by Nuts!, you are trying to take back Mossoul as fast as you can, while trying to minimize civilian losses. The game advertises low complexity and yet a rich treatment of this battle’s intricacies.
To lighten up the atmosphere, and following the recent good advice of Derek, I’ll end today’s post with a bit of Sci-Fi. All three games are planned for a Kickstarter launch. Let’s start with Jurassic World: The Legacy of Isla Nublar, appropriately named as it indeed features legacy elements. As you create new dinosaurs species, these will survive over scenarios (remember, “life always finds a way”) and roam the island, possibly devouring a few visitors during their daily jogs.
A bit further in the future, we have the gritty Cyberpunk 2077: Gangs of Night City, because every successful video game needs its own board game adaptation. Your gang will fight for control of the city, possibly by throwing heaps of delightfully detailed miniatures at each other: yup, it’s a CMON campaign.
Finally, I take you far from this lowly Earth to the confines of space in Terminus Frontier, which emphasizes quite well that you cannot go much further. It's an open-world narrative-heavy game (as if these two features were easily compatible) in which you play as an elite team of mercenaries called the Darkstar Hunters. Decidedly, this game promises to be full of oxymorons.
All images taken from the respective game's pages on BGG.