Posted Wednesday, 20-Apr-2016
Dive, dive, dive! Hex your friends! And Prepare to Die – in this week’s Board Game News Brief
Contributed by Calvin Wong
Deep beneath the arctic ice two rival submarines dance – each of its crewmembers coiled like springs. The game divides its players into two teams, each composed of a Captain, First Mate, Engineer, and Radio Operator. Similar to games like Space Cadets or Space Alert, Captain Sonar’s players have specialized roles to locate, hunt, and destroy the enemy submarine.
While the Engineer is struggling to keep the sub afloat and the Captain barks navigation orders, the enemy Radio Operator is narrowing the search, feeding information to the First Officer in order to fire weapons at the correct spot. Captain Sonar [official site] is due in the 3rd quarter of 2016.
Two rockstar designers team up to bring magic to your tabletop. Previously named Generation Hex, Arcane Academy pits rival magic students against each other in a game of elemental combinations, magical item-forging, and tile-linking apparently.
This is the first collaboration between Eric Lang (Blood Rage, Chaos in the Old World, XCOM) and Kevin Wilson (Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Arkham Horror, Android), and is set in the world of the Finding Gossamyr comic series.
Based on the hit action RPG video game, Dark Souls bills itself as ‘a brutally hard exploration miniatures game for 1-4 players.’ Boasting a fast setup time and exploration mechanics, the game lets you uncover new locations, monsters, and features some punishingly difficult combat based around enemy behavior systems.
I’ve never played the Dark Souls video games, but they’re famous for having a lot of emergent storytelling and very deep lore – as well as being quite difficult, with patience and learning being key to emerging victorious over the game’s many enemies – including the Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough – which are featured in the board game. The game reportedly features a mechanic where the order of cards drawn from a deck is repeated so you can remember what a boss is about to do next, and it will be interesting to see how this critically acclaimed system is adapted to cardboard.
Highly aware that I just recycled 2 headline formats in a row, this co-operative deck-building game is also based on a popular video game franchise, this time in the tower defense genre. Defense Grid sees players killing robotic aliens with towers while a chipper British AI talks at you and attempts to recover his memory.
Promising deck construction and tower placement, the game is due in 2017 from first time publishers Forged By Geeks. Tower defense as a genre is nearly everywhere in mobile gaming but strangely absent from the tabletop – one hopes this title fares well.
2006 press your luck game Incan Gold is receiving a new edition. From designer Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Mascarade, Mission: Red Planet) and Alan Moon (Ticket to Ride), this version of the game features updated art, meeples, and cardboard chests for players to hide their treasures in.
This new edition will be widely available in Europe, Incan Gold being long out of print on that continent. Have a peek at Bruno’s blog for more art previews and details.
Ticket to Ride meets Carcassone – in Space. If that’s got you interested, check out Landed, a game of terraforming and contract fulfilment set on other worlds.
Queen Games is busting out the Paris Connection, a railroad game of stock manipulation and route building. While I personally don’t care for train games (Why build a train when you can fly a starship?) Queen Games has a sterling track record and this should go right up there with it.
Xibalba is a dieselpunk card and dice game set in Mayan myth. Mixing rifle-wielding samurai with old west stylings, the game draws from many sources and has a nice retro art style reminiscent of old pulp comics.
Speaking of old school, Great Scott! – The Game of Mad Invention has absolutely wonderful art, and who can resist a game where you can create incendiary bees?
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