Watch your Back: Week February 13 to 19 (Part 2)
Second part in this week's overview (here is Part 1), and we continue with another three games.
Ark Nova was one of the hottest retail releases of 2021, rumoured to be as exciting to play as Terraforming Mars, or even surpassing it. I haven't had the chance to grab a copy yet, and eagerly await for it to become more readily available. In the meantime, I see that Earth may be scratching a similar engine building itch. It has beautiful nature pictures on the cards, and your goal is to build an ecosystem and score the most points.
On each turn, you select one out of four actions, and activate the cards in your tableau. There are personal and public objectives that can boost your score. The game ends when you complete a 4x4 grid of cards. In the solo mode, you compete against an AI called Gaia.
Personal opinion: I was certain I was going to back this game until I read the word AI. I don't like playing against artificial opponents and only enjoy games with a win condition/point target. That's fine, I'll stick with Ark Nova.
Moving on to a 2-4 player cooperative (and semi-co-op) game that first launched back in 2016 and is now returning with a 3rd, revised edition. I'm talking about Bloc by Bloc: Uprising, a game in which you play as a group of Workers/Students/Neighbours/Prisoners engaged in street fights and riots against the police. You will be occupying city districts, building barricades, gathering loot and liberating areas - until the arrival of the military. This new edition introduces elements like meetings and mutual aid centers, and makes the police smarter and stronger. Check out the Gamefound preview until the launch on February 15.
Personal opinion: I wanted to back the second edition of Bloc by Bloc back in 2018 but ordering it with the textile board was too expensive. I suspect this will be the case again, but this time I may bite.
The last game featured is Frozen Frontier by Russian publisher Cosmodrome Games, also planned to launch on February 15. This is a competitive sci-fi area control game in which players are settlers on an inhospitable planet trying to develop it within the time frame of three generations. You will be constructing buildings, producing resources, securing funds, and sending resources back to Earth. In each round, you will be moving your air carrier across the board, picking up a project card (if available), and then performing an action. Solo rules haven't been revealed yet.
Personal opinion: I like the theme but the game may be a bit too heavy for me. Let's see the solo mode first anyway.