My work deadline just got postponed by a month so it means I have time to dive into the new games! Let's see if some are worth it in that lot.
Hmm. It might not be a great start, but at least it's an improbable one. Worminators: Inside Job is a game about earthworms being cops in a corrupt city. That's quite a hardcore take on the anthropomorphic trend. This actually came out of an event called "design a game live", where the "crowd" poured random ideas during a panel at PAX West, so maybe it explains part of it. And if you think about it that's really the next step in a crowdfunded world - we are living the future as of now and it's giggingly exciting. I'd even munch some mud to celebrate. Anyway, Lynnvander Games tried to package these wild ideas into an actual product, with co-op play, deck-building, and not much info overall.
I guess to celebrate the marching progress of our times, nothing is better than Twisted Trumpets. This is a tile-laying game where you build a very convoluted trumpet and try to fulfill a variety of scoring objectives to rake in points. This comes from a new designer/publisher, and I do not know what are the plans regarding release.
Keeping up with rather improbable themes, Salt&Paper, the publisher of Resist! and Witchcraft!, have hired Scott Almes to design a bag-building game about canned fish. Sometimes it feels like life has been written by a poorly calibrated AI. Anyway, that's Conservas and its 12 scenario campaign through outer space, sorry, through the fluctuating financial sustainability of fishing along the coast of Spain. Scott Almes believes the game will come through Gamefound, but we don't know if we can trust him.
Now I need a shot of Fantasy, sorry. There are only so many real-life themes I can go through in a row. So, Story of Many. At least a Fantasy theme that acknowledges that all Fantasy games follow more or less the same plot. You can already see the minis, a big guy with an even bigger axe, some anthropomorphic knight, and a fearsome pirate: that's a good start, if a bit of a mish-mash. The game comes with everything you may expect; dice rolls, 400,000 words of adventure text, open-world exploration, skill trees, "a world filled with profound lore", branching narrative paths, etc. Is it ambitious for a first-time publisher/designer team? Certainly, but Fantasy is all about bravery, and the wit of a little Hobbit that braved the biggest danger on Middle Earth even though everyone else thought there was not even a chance in succeeding. So I guess it's fitting. To be Kickstarted in 2024, if you haven't noticed.
Some relaxing abstract perhaps? Flora & Fauna is a game that has already been released by Ridley's Games, and it can be found relatively easily, at least in the US. But I hadn't heard a single word about it so chances are, you neither. It seems to be a card-driven set collection game where you arrange cards in four layers to form trees and gather the species you need according to the blueprint you draw at the beginning of the game. The whole product seems as eco-friendly as a game can be and pretty relaxing. At least that's what they advertise.
A bit of Ancient Egypt with Sneferu: Builders of the Pyramids (really, I always marvel at the endless succession of new games that keep exploiting the Ancient Egypt theme, but I guess when your civilization last a few millennia, you earned that right). From the designer of Project L, with art by The Mico that I didn't recognize from the cover alone, and published by a well established Czech publisher, this tile placement game will go through a crowdfunding campaign at Gamefound. As for what the game is about, beside building pyramids, you'll get to gather resources, food and time mostly (so really the basics), and you gain more food whenever you complete a pyramid section, while time depends on the position of your boat on the Nile. Hmm. Thematic nonsense in the horizon, I'm afraid.
But since using far-fetched themes to sell basic game mechanics is really the thing to do, I'll add Newsboys, a roll-and-write game from Japan you'll probably never be able to acquire, where you circle colored dots and gain points while pretending it all has a meaning.
The next title is FateFlip: Washed Ashore, a solo card-driven narrative adventure where you play the role of Robinson Crusoe once again. It really is a Choose Your Own Adventure, but with some resource management on top of it. Anyway, card implementations of CYOA seem all the rage (Cartaventura, Andor: StoryQuest, Eila and Something Shiny, Fantasy Fighting Adventures), so why not adding a popular concept with a popular theme? The end result may even be good, who knows. This is by the designers of the K-SdJ winner Challengers!, and published by the well-established Red Cat games, so if you are interested in it, you should have the opportunity to get it in retail rather soon.
There have been many emulations of Pokemons: Digimons, Yu-Gi-Mons, Robomons, Dragomons, and now, we have simply Mons. At least it's straightforward. In Mons and Mages (the mons are what you catch, the mages are what you play), another monster-taming game to add to the newly active trend, you'll engage into dice-driven tactical battles. This one is much more abstracted out than the competition, focusing on fights alone, and the taming occurs within the fight itself. So it really is a combat game. To be Kickstarted next month (might be next week for all I know). By the designer/publisher of the PnP Shu's Tactics.
What's this huge beast with plenty of cards, minis, tokens, dual-layer player boards and an over-extended neoprene central board? That's Go On Board next take on The Witcher's IP, Path of Destiny, ready to ripe millions through their upcoming Gamefound campaign on October 19. Now they have brought famous faces on stage, meaning Geralt, Yennefer, and Dandelion, so this should drive all the fans beyond crazy. As for the board game part, it's a narrative thing with three tales to go through, but only one is solo-compatible. So don't get over-excited... From the look of it, it plays much more like a Euro than The Old World, with tableau-building and drafting at its core. And even though the players collaborate through the adventure, there is only one victor who is crowned the main protagonist of the tale.
I usually only advertise free PnP but I'll make an exception this time for The Cursed Menagerie because I thought the illustrations looked cool (and now that a lot of PnP go through KS it's hard to find entirely free ones every week). It will launch on KS, probably next week (they only stated that the campaign would end on October 13). I read the description but I didn't get what the game was about. Roll dice, collect stuff, win/lose, some talk of campaign, well, I don't quite know, but it seems to be about ghost hunting. A frequent concern in October season.