Not sure what the deal is with bug games lately, but I can think of at least four games about bees and another three about butterflies. So I guess that is the thing now. Since I did a preview of a game about bees, it was only fair that I also do one about butterflies right? So enter Fluttering Souls.
Will "Hungry" Brown
The game plays out over the course of three months, at the end of the first two there will be debates on a variety of broad topics, though candidates do have the option to bring non-related topics into it if they choose.
In the world of a game a planet in a distant galaxy has been obliterated by some "warp" event. The planet is in tatters, and most of the races of the planet are now exiled to roam about the planet-scape mad max style. Each player represents an alliance of two different races, as you strive to take control of what remains of the planet. To do this you will be eliminating the roving Mad Max style aliens (hope you don't run into Charlize Theron out there, or you will be in for a bad day), extracting gold and power from the planet, deploying your troops, and upgrading your buildings. Why? Victory points of course! The game has regularly rotating missions that will award victory points for anything from having a hand full of a certain type of card to bribing your opponents.
The game itself is a lightning fast, simple game for 1 or 2 players. In the game you will be sending your sub fathoms beneath the surface of the ocean to research the sea critters. Each time you discover something new you will have the option to collect the specimen, or use the same card to upgrade your sub, and occasionally you will come across something large that will panic and potentially damage your sub.
Herbaceous is a relatively simple set collection, push your luck style game, where you are trying to create the best set of potted herbs. Do do this, you will be planting herbs in your personal garden and the community garden.
I am slightly ashamed to say that I was not particularly familiar with Lucky Duck games until I managed to get myself on their reviewer list. You see I really wanted to check out a game they were looking for reviewers on, and I didn't get, but they did wind up sending me Tang Garden which I was able to very favorably review. However, what stuck with me was how good the production on it was. It was fantastic, and the gameplay itself was surprisingly significantly better than I anticipated. So I will not lie, I knew NOTHING about Court of Miracles when I learned I could review it, but Tang Garden was quite good, and looked awesome, so I was in for Court of Miracles as well.
Quin is an interesting game to me, because it is definitely different than anything I have on my shelf. The difference is not that is uses magnets (I have Coloma after all), or because it deals with light and shadow (I have plenty of adventure games after all...though this one kind of is literally about light and shadow, not metaphorically). The difference is that I have never played a game with more variety of rules for each individual type of playing piece you have.
So in Monsters on Board you find yourself in the highly unenviable position of having car fulls of Monster Lords on their way to a party at your place, and you are out of Spook Juice. I mean you are totally out. You don't even have any of those frozen from concentrate versions in your freezer, nor do you have and powdered versions. The only option is to get some, and get some now!
Dice command is a semi abstract, worker placement strategic combat game. Each round you will be rolling the dice you have in your barracks and then assigning them to various worker placement spaces. These spaces might get you more troops, more money, research, or let you put troops out onto the map.
We all have those games from our youth that we remember fondly...but honestly have no idea if it was actually good or not. Hogs of War is that game for me. I legitimately have great memories of playing the game on a PS1 rented from Blockbuster...and I remember the voice over being all kinds of fun...but I have no clue if the game was good or not. None.
Steve Finn holds a special place in my catalog of reviews and previews. Come October of this year I will have reviewed four of his games. That is more than any other designer, though Jonny Pac is just behind with 3, and he will be tied with Steve Finn whenever I get to review Coloma. Anyhow, the points is that I keep saying yes because Doctor Finn does something in his games that I greatly respect. He makes games that know exactly what they are, they do not try to do anything more.
Want to know how to make me take a second look at your game? Make it fantasy. I just can't help it. Toss some swords, and some goblins, and like a moth to the flame I am there. Luckily for me, I have become a bit more discerning and I do not immediately back these games, but I spend some time really examining the mechanics of the games before I make a decision.
Forgotten Waters tells the story of a rag tag group of pirates who set out to do something pirate-y. The game utilizes an app to tell the story of the game. As you move your ship around the game board, you will find new hex tiles that will guide you to an entry on the app. The app will then narrate (or you can read it yourself) a story, and set the stage. Then you turn to a page in the adventure book and off you go!
A couple of years back Gloom of Kilforth was all the rage. Well maybe not all the rage. But a lot of rage. It had a very successful KS campaign, then another very successful reprint campaign. I got in on the late pledge of that, and at the time there was an option to pre-pledge for Shadows of Kilforth (though it was called something else then). I was severely tempted, but since I had never even played the base game I figured I could jump in later if I wanted.
I have always liked the idea of expandable card games, but they are usually quite sprawling, and, for me, I want all of it, but it becomes very challenging to find someone to play with. The majority of these games are competitive, and even ones that are co-op are not always the best playing solo, because they can become overwhelming to me.
My first love in board games, after Mysterium and Red Dragon Inn, were adventure and dungeon crawl games. Recently I have been learning to love euro games. So when I learned a little about Fuji Koro which is an adventure game, with elements of euro games, from respected Euro game publisher Game Brewer I had to try it.
When Mike from One Stop Co-op Shop told me he had a lead on a 4x Co-op game that he thought I might be interested in trying to preview, I about laughed in his digital face. What did he think I was? A fool?! 4x games are about crushing your opponents into so much dust, then using that dust to make flour, using that flour to make bread then use that bread to feed your armies as they populate that land once belonged to said opponents.
Oh human hubris. What won't we do that will result in a horrible monster showing up and rampaging all about smashing and killing? Monster Highway is a game that is the end result of such hubris. Can you escape the monster and drive to safety?
Lockup is a worker placement game that plays over six rounds. Each player is a gang in the clink. At the end of the 6 days which ever gang is the baddest a$$ will get fight for their freedom. You earn prestige points by crafting items to make you tougher, or by hiring various goons to be your running crew.
There are not a ton of games that I really call travel games. By travel game, I mean ones that I can toss in my back pack and forget about, and at the same time take up no more space than an airplane tray table. Bonus points if it is a game that I can play while camping, or at the pool. So when Green Skull showed up, unannounced packed in a glorified pencil pouch I was intrigued.