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Freshly Added to BGG - March 2, 2023

There has been a feast of announcements these past few days which made my job easier than usual, so I am somehow thankful to Awaken Realms and Restoration Games, two giants of the crowdfunding landscape.

But before, you know how here at Solitaire Times we love featuring indie games, so I will open the post with Six Sided Summoner, a Tower Defense Fantasy game featuring magical spirits defending the Fairy world against an onslaught of shadows. This game is actually not new, as it has been kickstarted and published in 2018 and 2019 respectively, to a rather restricted audience I must say (94 backers in total). However, Ply Games decided to reimplement it (hence the new addition to the BGG database), offering it a hopefully wider release. The game apparently relies a lot on dice rolls, as the title may have let you guess.

And now we have the little Awaken Realms trilogy of big box campaigns, starting with Dragon Eclipse, on which we have very little past a pretty cover and a trailer which could be for a mobile video game for all I know. This seems to be a card game mostly, but given the size of the box, I expect very much a plethora of other components. The story tells about a world ruled by magnanimous dragons, only to be disturbed by the opening of shadow gates pouring out demons as usual, that twist the people's will against their previous sovereigns. Not all, however, are easily subdued by these tantalizing prospects of emancipation. War ensues. You play that war.

The second one adapts a very famous video game franchise, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a game set in the city of Chornobyl, where a new catastrophe has spawned ferocious mutants and physics-distorting artifacts. The board game adaptation claims to feature exploration, adventure, and tactical combat, as well as miniatures of course. The game is composed of a succession of missions, each with its own separate box of components.

The third game that got announced is a new entry in the Nemesis series, Retaliation. You play a team of marines tasked with the destruction of the aliens' nest. As Karsten Spiller from the 1PG put it, "this time it will be more like Aliens instead of Alien." So if you like shooting down hordes of xenomorphs (I am not exaggerating, the BGG description does advertise hordes of them), throwing down rains of rolling dice at their plastic face, this should be a title for you.

After demons, mutants, and ever-spawning extraterrestrial predators, what about some peaceful farming? Peter Jank, the designer of Quest of the Lost Pixel, is bringing you Cozy Oaks, a game with a definite "Stardew Valley" flavor, where you are granted three years to make the most star points through husbandry, fishing, and mining. The game mechanics rely on skill cards, that are time-costly to play but can improve your actions over the course of the game. I am pretty much willing to be that, like most of the designer's other games, this will be made available on the Game Crafter.

And what about a dog companion to make your new life easier? Dog Park: New Tricks is an expansion to the dog-training-themed Dog Park, adding multi-breed dogs, training dogs to do tricks, and super locations. Since I know very little about the base game (nor want to know more; sorry, I'm on the cat side), I do not know what this entails exactly. The description mostly boasts about the inclusion of a fifth player (which entails a new bone-shaped Gametrayz I guess), which is not exactly relevant for solo play.

Let's keep on with the peaceful vibe thanks to Happy Campers, a multilingual roll & write game from the Netherlandsditches where you will set up your campsite by drawing trees, tents, toilets, water, and entertainment, forming areas depending on your dice roll. There seem to be a few rules to foster player interaction, so I do not know if solo play just ditch them off-board or provides a meaningful alternative. Anyway, you score points by forming clusters of a given type, and by fulfilling the conditions set by challenge cards (I assume that a different set of challenge cards are randomly drawn each game to provide variability across games in the scoring conditions).

Now brought from Italy, Penny Dreadfuls of Victorian London: Sensational Tales of Terror offers you to investigate supernatural events in the Great Wen with a team of characters that were but ordinary and appropriately Victorian gentlepeople. This is chiefly a deduction game, and the game plays over different scenarios called "Tales". The originality of it is that depending on your ability to solve the mystery that you are facing, you are directed towards different outcomes ranging from utter failure to brilliant success, therefore apparently adding a BYOS dimension to the game, which is not too common for a deduction game.

The final "big hit" of today's post is Unmatched Adventures: Tales to Amaze from Restoration Games, which adds co-op and solo play to the Unmatched system, pitting you against a card-driven AI opponent like the Mothman or invaders from outer space. The hallmark of the Unmatched series is to feature well-known figures from the public domain; here, you will have the iconic scientist and engineer Nikola Tesla, who ended his life in utter misery, mocked and forgotten, far from imagining that he would become a key figure of the twenty-first-century pop culture; the Golden Bat, a superhero from Japan, a necromancer born in the Ancient Atlantis and recently awakened, who defends justice and honor and whose appearances are preceded by the fluttering of a golden bat; Jill Trent, a comic book heroine from the 40s who uses science and deduction to solve crimes; and Annie Christmas, a 7ft keelboat captain from the African American folklore. I knew only Tesla, to be honest. Anyway, if these characters do not entice you too much, know that you can bring in any character from the previously released sets to play through the adventure (my Beowulf vs. Little Red Riding Hood set will finally have a use besides its collector value!).

I will conclude with Finding Fishbone, a print & play solo RPG where you dive into the bowels of a giant whale in search of riches, and printable in a simple letter-size sheet of paper that may fit within a bottle (because that's where most people store their PnP, right?). It can be played in fifteen minutes, it requires two dice and a pencil, and it can be purchased for $3 on the designer's website.

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Mar 06, 2023

The campaign for Unmatched Adventures will be North America only.

European gamers will get access to all of it through standard retail channel, as the game will be distributed by iello there.


Mar 04, 2023

I am very likely to back both Six Sided Summoner (provided the rulebook feels clear enough; it seems this was an issue in the previous edition and I've become rather picky on that point) and Unmatched Adventures, for several reasons: the first Unmatched set has always tempted me, but I had no reason to get it; I own Beowulf vs. Red Riding Hood because I collect all Beowulf-related board games; finally I am especially fond of Nikola Tesla (I even forced my parents to go to Belgrade to visit the Tesla museum) and they couldn't have chosen better to draw me in.

Despite the farming theme, Cozy Oaks is something I would like to try someday, but it being published…


Mar 03, 2023

I really appreciate the indie additions to these lists, it's what I live and breathe for :) Nothing that would catch my eye this time though, which probably is a good thing, but it's a bit disappointing. It's not about finding games to buy, more like finding interesting things. But I feel a bit uninspired from reading. Though Six Sided Summoner made me look up the previous version.

I know Awaken Realms is very popular and dragons and 1-2p should make me drool, but it's not clear if it's coop, might be competitive (also the trailer hints at 2 sides, either you side with dragons or against them, which makes me think it will be competitive)... and also AR has…

Mar 05, 2023
Replying to

There's a jist to all of them. They're not hard games, heck I have like 85% winrate with Onirim. Once you discover the inner workings, you can consistently do well in them. However I still love the charm of how they work. It's clever.

But I totally get when someone doesn't get into them. I have similar thing with Friday. Once I figured out the jist after less than 10 games, I won once against the pirates and was done with the game and didn't touch it since. I still have it, partly cause it's so small, partly cause I didn't bring myself yet to recycle any game and it's not worth trying to find a buyer for it. With…

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