This week marks my 1st full year as a board game blogger, and the existence of Roll to Review. It’s been an exciting journey, both in my real life, and in my writing on this blog. Like most I’ve had my doubts on continuing at points, especially when work picked up, but I kept on going because I enjoy writing, and enjoy reviewing, and enjoy the support this community has given me. Here’s to another year of WordPress subscription, and Roll to Review.
Osprey Games has teased a new game called Jonathan Strange & Mr Norwell: A Board Game of English Magic. That’s one heck of a title. It’s based on a book of the same name, but what’s more interesting is that Osprey Games’ hit rate is quite high – they know how to publish a good board game. With Ian O’Toole doing the artwork, let’s just say, that even though it comes from a different author I have Great Expectations about this one.
Vladimir Suchy, of Last Will fame, dropped a new game at Essen called Underwater Cities. Players take on the roles of the most powerful brains in the world trying to solve the overpopulation problem by moving into habitable underwater cities. Rio Grande has agreed to handle the American distribution of this, so you’ll be able to grab this one before the ice poles melt. Hahaha global warming. We’re all doomed.
In other news, there’s going to be an expansion to Barenpark! This one is going to include the king of bears – the grizzlies. It’s also going to be called The Grizzlies, or in German: Die Grizzlies – such an angry people. To get hyped for this one, it’s time to reread my Barenpark review.
This week in Kickstarter, Cool Mini or Not has resurrected the real time cooperative dungeon crawler Project Elite. Players take the role of adrenaline fueled meat heads and fight off wave after wave of aliens. This game originally came out in 2016, and people loved it – like really loved it. Famed board game personality Tom Vasel (Dice Tower) rated it the best game of 2016, while Richard Ham (Rahdo’s Runthrough) rated it the 2nd best game of 2016. The first Kickstarter lead to enough drama that the designer swore off making a second print run. CMON picking it up was a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one.
Speaking of games getting a second life, we’re days away from the Kickstarter of Claustrophobia 1643. Another dungeon crawler, but this time it’s two players only. One player plays the humans trying their best to survive some forbidden catacombs, while the other plays a demon horde attempting to drown them in numbers. This game is going to be published by Monolith (Batman Gotham City Chronicles), and publicly came out stating they don’t make enough margin on retail sales for them to go beyond Kickstarter. They’re taking a new approach to this Kickstarter by creating 10,000 copies of Claustrophobia 1643 before they begin and mailing them out at the end of the campaign. Not sure I agree with the practice, but like that they’re trying to innovate.
Also on Kickstarter is the sequel to Grey Fox Games’ Champions of Midgard – reviewed by StartYourMeeples. In Reavers of Midgard, it’s all about proving your worth as a Viking – which sounds cool now, but back then it meant covering yourself in blood and throwing yourself into a lot of sharp things, held by people who wanted to murder you.
Article of the Week
Fortheloveofgames has been steadily building up a great list of games in his Essen 2018 Highlight Preview. He’s got five posts so far, and the fifth one is a cracker. Every game on his list is something I’m interested in playing, if not buying. Definitely worth checking out all of the posts so far ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).