We begin today’s news on a sad note: Paul Dean is leaving Shut Up and Sit Down. No one can deny the influence the guys at SUSD have had on board games and their reviewers, and Paul has been a huge part of that. So it’s sad to see him go, but with the best wishes from myself and the rest of the board game community I’m sure.
Moment of silence….
Now, time for games. This week there’s a slew of Kickstarter board games to get through, but before that we’ll look at some other news around the industry. Res Arcana is a new Tom Lehmann game. If you’re wondering why that sounds so weird, it’s because it’s not prefixed or suffixed by Race for the Galaxy. Tom has won me over with the way he designs engine building within that franchise, so I’m looking forward to what he can do with a new theme.
Hokkaido from Renegade Games has been announced and is the sequel to the popular game Honshu, not to be confused with Yokohama – another board game based on a Japanese city. I liked the look of Honshu so much I bought it, but never got around to playing. Never-the-less they’ve kept the same pleasing aesthetic, making this one to watch out for.
In other news, Shem Phillips the creator of the recently reviewed Raider’s of the North Sea, has mysteriously talked about a new Sci-Fi series coming out next year.
I will continue to release games in the new West Kingdom trilogy. Aside from that, next year I plan to release the first, in a series of sci-fi games and potentially another project with a senior concept artist from Weta Workshop (LOTR, Narnia, King Kong, etc).
However, the biggest surprise for me this week was the pre-release of one of the games I’ve talked about previously: Shadows: Amsterdam. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough to snag a copy, however I will be refreshing this page frantically over the coming weeks.
If the sea was expenditure, Kickstarter is the Siren that sinks sailors. This past fortnight has been the best/worst weeks of Kickstarter board games in a long time. With more to come, it’s forced at least one board game buyer to be extremely picky with what gets the green light.
Privateer Press has put up a reprint of their game Level 7 [Omega Protocol] which looks as close to being X-Com the board game, without actually being X-Com the board game. It’s a 1 vs many dungeon crawler, and according to many it’s THE 1 vs many dungeon crawler. It is lauded for balance, and immersion. However, because it’s been out of print for a long time, it makes this Kickstarter hot property.
Tidal Blades might be the most beautiful game I’ve seen all year. A fantastic beach atmosphere, that takes me back to the Blitzball stadium of Final Fantasy 10. It’s a die worker placement, with asymmetric characters which level up throughout the game. It also seems like you fight monsters, as well as complete feats of strength. I’m a bit wary of how light the game feels, but otherwise it looks damn good.
From the creators of Too Many Bones – a game sitting at 8.6 on Board Game Geek – comes the new game Cloudspire. It’s design is inspired by tower defence, and multiplayer online battle arena games like League of Legends, and DOTA 2, and it looks damn interesting. Although, there’s not much to go on – as there aren’t any gameplay videos yet – you’re really buying into their success of their previous game. This publisher also doesn’t release their games to retail, so the fear of missing out is strong.
Lastly is the new Spirit Island expansion Jagged Earth. Spirit Island is a brilliant game and one of my favourites, and this expansion for it looks banging. I can’t wait, but I have to – until 2020. That’s a long time. Combined with the extravagant cost of Australian shipping, and our dollar sinking faster than the Titanic, I’m definitely more hesitant than I should be.
That’s all folks. Hope you’re enjoying these board game news updates. What was the most exciting announcement this week? And why was it Level 7 [Omega Protocol]?