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Board Game News Brief: July 20th, 2016

Posted Wednesday, 20-Jul-2016

Codenames wins coveted Game of the Year award; new game from the creator of Above and Below; get ready for One Night Ultimate Alien – and more, in this week’s board game news brief.

Contributed by Calvin Wong

 

Codenames wins the Spiel des Jahres.

Chosen by a jury of board game critics from the German-speaking countries, the SdJ is the gaming Oscars – previous winners of the award include perennial classics Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Dominion.

 

This logo on your box guarantees sales in the hundreds of thousands of copies.
This logo on your box guarantees sales in the hundreds of thousands of copies.

 

Codenames, designed by prolific gameswright Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages, Mage Knight, Galaxy Trucker, Bunny Bunny Moose Moose), Codenames is a game of word association and deduction for two teams. Each team has a cluegiver, or spymaster, who must help their team to guess their words while not guessing any other other team’s words – or worse, the assassin word – which loses the game immediately if selected.

 

Guess the words - but only the correct ones.
Guess the words – but only the correct ones.

 

Codenames is Chvátil’s second SdJ win – the first being his 2009 real time co-operative Space Alert – a game where raising the shields is given equal importance to wiggling the mouse on the main computer so the screen saver doesn’t start.

The Kennerspiel des Jahres was also announced – this award is given to more complicated games, since the SdJ is aimed at families – and the winner is the tile-laying economic game Isle of Skye, set in medieval Scotland and with art by Agricola alumnus Klemens Franz.

 

The next One Night Ultimate game is Alien

Yes, that Alien. Bezier Game’s popular series of social deduction games (including Ultimate Werewolf, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, and ONU Vampire) has been extended to include the classic sci-fi horror/action series.

It’s easy to be excited about One Night Ultimate Alien, given that all ONU games are compatible with each other – potentially leading to shenanigans of the highest order.

ONU Alien (ONUA?) will be retailing for $24.95 with a Kickstarter to launch on August 29th. There will be a gameplay preview at Gen Con on August 5th.

 

Quick Kickstarters

Barnyard Roundup is a cute children-friendly game of bluffing and set collection set on a farm.

 

That's one smug farmer!
That’s one smug farmer!

 

Scare away crows, steal animals, and work on your poker face. Barnyard Roundup seems like a fun, easy to learn experience that will work with gamers of many different ages.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a reprint of Battle of Britain, the classic game of air combat designed by Richard Borg of Memoir ’44 and Battlelore fame.

 

Pheeeeooow! Ratatattat!
Pheeeeooow! Ratatattat!

 

The kickstarter promises “new streamlined dogfighting and fuel rules, ace fighter squadrons and the ability to play shorter scenarios in 1-2 hours or the full campaign game in 3-4 hours.”

If the magic of World War 2 air combat with Spitfires tangling with Messerschmitts over Southhampton has any appeal, give Battle of Britain a look.

I’m honestly shocked that it took this long for a game to call itself Deus Ex Machina – and this one is literally about the Greek gods.

 

Those are some fairly heroic poses.
Those are some fairly heroic poses.

 

The gods of Olympus scheme and plot against each other, and great heroes are their pawns in these games. Complete quests with your heroes, accumulate glory, and achieve your secret objective with a wonderful art style and cool looking gameplay.

Near and Far, Walking Dead begin their Kickstarter Runs

We have two major games starting their Kickstarter campaigns this week with Near and Far and The Walking Dead: No Sanctuary.

 

The Walking Dead No Sanctuary

If the box for Near and Far rings some bells, that’s because it’s the sequel to Above and Below, Ryan Laukat’s game of town building and exploration/adventuring that’s charmed the hearts of gamers across the world.

Near and Far adds onto that gorgeously-illustrated universe but switches genre into into an RPG-style campaign where you must recruit adventurers, go on quests, improve your character’s skills, and read from a book of stories as you journey to find a mystical lost city.

No Sanctuary on the other hand is a co-operative game packed with miniatures and cards. Unlike other zombie c0-ops like Zombicide, Cryptozoic’s Walking Dead series focuses on interpersonal relationships and the tension and distrust between the humans.

 

Gotta love that art style.
Gotta love that art style.

 

The campaign also allows for players to pick up the Prison and Farm expansions, based on events from later seasons of the show and introducing new characters and locations to play with.

Smash Up coming to Mobile and PC

And in our final bit of news this week, the card game of chaotic mash ups will be coming to iOS, Android, and Steam.

 

While it looks like it’s only going to contain the factions from the base set, the Smash Up app will remove the shuffling, so that’s a massive point in its favor – and if it does well there’s every expectation that expansions will be in the pipeline!

Published by BoardGamePrices.com



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