It’s time for another list. It has been quite some time posting anything. With a new baby in the home it has been challenging to find the time. Gaming has slowed down a bit, but it definitely hasn’t stopped. Looking back at last years anticipated list is a little sad as I only managed to play 2 of the games on the list. Although, I did enjoy those 2, Imperial Settlers: Roll and Write and Wingspan, quite a bit. I now own them both and they are good games. Others like Journeys in Middle Earth and Neta Tanka fell off the list as I discovered more about gameplay and lost interest. The list this year seems pretty strong and makes me want to try these games out even more. Without further ado lets get down to it. Enjoy!!!
This is a co-op game where players take on different roles trying to protect various species. You are trying to protect their habitat while influencing UN ambassadors to vote yes on an animal protection resolution. If players can do this in time they win. I love this theme quite a lot and hope this game does well as it spreads a good message of conservation and stewardship. It would fit nicely into my classroom and board game club at school. The base game comes with two scenarios, sea otters and tigers, and there is already a panda expansion in the works. the publisher has already said they have multiple ideas for other species to be plugged into the system to change gameplay up a little, which increases replayability. Check it out if you love co-ops and the theme speaks to you.
This game comes from the same minds that created Street Masters and Brook City. Those two games were wildly successful on kickstarter and featured modular decks that allowed players to customize games and play as different heroes fighting against different villains. Sentinels of the Multiverse was another modular deck game that I wrote about last time. That one eventually became just too fiddly for me, but this one promises to be better, at least for me. I wasn’t as interested in the themes of Brook City and Street Masters, but this fantasy setting is right up my alley. Players pick a custom hero deck, a quest deck to accomplish and an enemy and villain deck and they’re on their way. Mixing and matching decks promises to give this game legs for quite some time and I’m very interested to see how it turns out.
I’m still trying to find a board game that gives me a role playing feel with good gameplay attached. Mice and Mystics had a great story, but the gameplay left a lot to be desired. Descent was okay, but didn’t quite do it for me. This looks good and promises a massive 34, 220 quest combinations so no two games feel quite the same. With a “choose your own adventure” style of narrative I’m extremely interested. I find dice in these games to be a little annoying, but this one claims to have a unique system. If the gameplay is as good as the narrative sounds this could be a real winner. Here’s to hoping.
Dwellings of Eldervale
This one contains lots of mechanisms I enjoy. It gives you worker placement, area control, engine building and asymmetric factions. The thing that first drew me in though was the artwork. I really like the look of the game and hope that the gameplay is at the same level. Engine builders are something I enjoy quite a bit as you may have seen from past posts. This is primarily a multiplayer game, but comes with a solo option that I hope is just as good.
This one has me excited on theme alone. It comes from Van Ryder Games and at least one of the designers did Hostage Negotiator. I’ve played that one, and didn’t really love it, but they claim this has some key differences in gameplay. I hope so because I love the theme of you playing as the final survivor in a horror film fighting back against the killer. Players can choose from multiple characters and pick from multiple killers who all have different threat decks. This was supposed to come to kickstarter this summer, but has been pushed to an undetermined time next year. Hopefully it sees the light of day before next year is over because I’d love to give it a shot. This is also the only game on this list that is strictly solo playable.
Return to the Dark Tower
This is the next one from Restoration Games and it has a lot of designers involved such as Rob Daviau and Isaac Childres. Rob Daviau is known for several legacy games which I haven’t tried and Isaac Childres’ big hit Gloomhaven holds no real interest for me. Despite that I am interested in this one. It is supposed to be a sequel to the 80’s board game The Dark Tower. Players take on the role of heroes gathering resources, erecting buildings, fighting monsters and going on quests all awaiting a final confrontation with an unknown foe. The game boasts a technical component unlike anything seen before, including the tower itself. This one sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to give it a try.
Rome and Roll
From the minds that brought us games like Anachrony and Cerebria comes another roll and write game. Roll and Writes have become quite popular in the last year or two and I have managed to play a handful of them. While some are better than others I have been pretty impressed with the ones I’ve managed to play. In this one players are unique characters competing to craft and empire. Most roll and writes are rather simple, but this one seems to be much heavier in comparison and gives players a large list of actions they can perform. The designers are also well know for creating great solo modes and I’m sure Rome and Roll will be no different.
The Isle of Cats
This is a tile laying game with a bit of a bizarre theme. Players are traveling around an island rescuing cats and placing them on their boats. Cats come in different families and players must try and keep them together. The cats are all different shaped tiles, think Tetris, and the artwork on them is gorgeous. You can also collect different stories which gives players unique ways to score. The player with the most points wins. The game can also be played in a family mode for newer players and a solo option is available as well.
Adventure Tactics: Domianne’s Tower
This is another one that I’m hoping gives me a bit of a role playing feel. It’s a cooperative campaign where players will level up and unlock different classes. These classes give them access to new actions, equipment and abilities. The different classes sound like they can make this game at least decently customizable and give players different ways to progress and uncover the story. This is another one with great artwork as well. It’s more cartoony, but I enjoy it quite a bit.
I love mythological themes in games like Cyclades and Kemet. This one has roots in Celtic and Nordic mythology. I’m not a huge fan of CMON as it seems like most of their games are all flash and no substance. I’ve tried a few and wasn’t particularly impressed, but this one intrigues me. The game seems very narrative and as you play through you actually alter the board by placing cards in slots and changing up gameplay in future games. Since the changes aren’t permanent you can play through the story multiple times to get a slightly different experience. Of course, it wouldn’t be CMON without the beautiful minis and this one seems to have those just like all their other titles.
Dice Throne Adventures
This is really more of a cooperative expansion for Dice Thrones, but it makes it different enough that I’m counting as a game in itself. What it does is change Dice Throne from a player v. player combat game to more of a dungeon crawl adventure game. The characters from Dice Throne Season 1 and 2 can be used to travel through these dungeons taking on minions, collecting loot, upgrading decks and finally taking on a big bad. The bosses all play differently I believe and it seems like an interesting way to play the game that allows you to play when you don’t have anyone around who is interested.
Oathsworn: Into the Deepwood
Another narrative focused adventure game that may have some interesting combat mechanisms. Encounters can be multi-staged boss fights that sound really interesting. It has a legacy style campaign, which I’ve never tried, but would be up for as long as it isn’t destructive. The combat system adds a push your luck dice component that might make it a little more interesting. Also, the artwork looks incredible and while I don’t necessarily go for minis these look fantastic.
This is the only multiplayer only game on my list, but I couldn’t help myself because it looks and sounds amazing. Just look at the picture above. I’ve only seen a few pieces of the art released so far, but they all look incredible. The premise is that the inhabitants of Wonderland are going to war and that the winner will be crowned the new ruler of Wonderland. Players meet at a tea party to draft cards to gather forces, build towers, recruit characters and upgrade their chosen leader. This all culminates in a battle and then players return to the tea party to muster more strength. After 3 rounds the ruler is the one who has scored the most points. The game also involves bag building and area control. All in all it sounds like a fun time.
This one is a worker placement game where players are drafting honeycomb tiles that they will place in their hive. Each of the tiles represents a different action. When a certain pattern is completed a string of actions is triggered in the order the player chooses. Sounds like engine building to me and that gets me all jazzed up. It looks like it is a competitive game that comes with a solo mode and its one that I’d love to give a try some time.
Hour of Need
Yet another modular deck system game from the Sadler brothers. You can pretty much just insert my feelings for Altar Quest that came previously. This one also has a theme that I find more interesting than Brook City or Street Masters. I like the customizable nature that these games provide. Being able to mix and match decks to quickly change up gameplay is great and you don’t even have to build the decks yourself as they’re ready to go. Excited to see how this one turns out.
Perseverance: Castaway Chronicles
This one comes from Mindclash games who created one of my favourites, Anachrony. This one uses dice drafting and placement on worker areas constructed by the players. The game is five episodes that tells a story about survivors creating a civilization on a dangerous island. This one is a euro game that seems to bring along a decent narrative with it. You can play the episodes as standalones or as a continuous story. When played as a story the outcome has an influence on the next game played. This is a non-legacy format though and is replayable afterwards. This one doesn’t currently have a solo mode, but Mindclash has always said they will do them when feasible, and they’ve had one for every game so far. So, here’s to hoping.