Valentine's day is approaching, and the love for new releases is strong. I have seven games planned to launch this week on my list, so let's see what they are.
It has often been said that Spirit Island could have featured the Dahan - the native tribe of the island - more prominently, and made them protagonists instead of NPCs. The upcoming Tindaya seems to try to do exactly that. It is a 1-4 player cooperative/competitive game set in the Canary Islands during colonization times. The natives are fighting against the colonists while also making sure they have enough resources for their own survival and are keeping the gods pleased.
You are going to be using action selection to perform tasks and upgrade your resources. Over the course of the game, the gods will inflict natural disasters like tsunamis and storms on the villages, but you will also be given hints as to how to protect your people. Gamefound launch date: February 14.
Personal opinion: Tindaya is a more traditional euro-style game than Spirit Island. It has farming and trading, and generally focuses on resource management as a means of survival. I would happily play it, if given the chance, but I'll likely skip it now because I've backed Atlantis Rising.
Almost everyone must have played Dominoes at some point in their life, so the abstract game SUM8 will feel somewhat familiar. It comes with curved tiles with pips on both ends which you can place next to each other if the pips match, or if the sum of the pips is eight. You score one point for matching pips, and two points for a sum of 8. You will also try to fill circular boards with these tiles, and your goal in the solo mode is to fill them all. It will launch on February 15.
Personal opinion: it looks like a nice 2-player Domino variant. I'm not sure about solo because I don't know how easy it is to fill up those disks. If it's easy, then it becomes a BYOS which I'm not interested in.
Designer Marcin Welnicki gained popularity through his previous game, Aeon Trespass: Odyssey, and the quality of the minis his company puts out. Kingdoms Forlorn is his next creation, and it is a cooperative 1-4 player storytelling adventure. Each character has a personal quest (described in separate booklets), and they will be exploring different territories and parts of the kingdom. Eventually, they will have to face enemies and a boss (the Egg Knight in the first chapter). During combat, the more damage your character takes, the stronger they become but the enemies are going to get tougher too. Launching on Kickstarter on February 15.
Personal opinion: These games always lose me at 'storytelling'. I tried it with Tainted Grail, I just hate stopping the gameplay again and again to read text. I'm also not sure if it's fun to revisit the game after you finish it with one character. I like the epicness but I'm not really eggcited.
On the same day, we have Retrograde: a real-time roll 'n' write about playing an arcade game from the '80s. You start by setting up target cards on the table, and then rolling 6 dice as fast as you can (you set a timer in the solo mode). The target cards show the aliens you need to take out. To eliminate an alien, you have to roll two symbols matching the shape of the alien. Dice can be re-rolled as many times as you want until you're satisfied with the results. Then, you claim a card and mark the aliens you killed on your sheet. You win by beating your previous score.
Personal opinion: I never play real-time games.
... to be continued in Part 2.