It’s June! We’re smack bang in the middle of the start of the summer, unless you live in Scotland as I do. We’re still in winter, and will be until winter starts. But that doesn’t mean I’m not full of all the summer joys. I am. I am absolutely rammed to the gills with the joys of summer, so much so that my gills are about ready to explode with all that joy-juice. Shall we see what’s happening news-wise in the world of board gaming? I’ll cherry-pick a few interesting things for you to rub your nose into.
JUNE BOARD GAME NEWS
I’m a big fan of the game Catacombs – I have the first edition, and it’s a game about assaulting a dungeon to take out some big boss in the final room. So far, so board game. But what makes Catacombs different is that it’s a dexterity game. You flick your heroes through the dungeon, and you fire arrows and magic missiles by flicking little discs at baddies. It’s BRILLIANT. There was a new edition recently with art that is probably objectively better but just isn’t to my taste. Still, I’m intrigued by the newly announced standalone expansion that they’re calling Catacombs & Castles.
Now, this one is interesting because it serves as a kind of introduction to the system and allows for team-based skirmishes (whereas the base game has a team co-operating against one enemy player). It’s also less expensive than the base game, so is a nice way in for anyone who wants to try the game out. I think this might be a nice one to check out, so go do it. As we speak of dexterity-based games, I wish someone would Kickstarter a fancy new version of Ascending Empires, which, for me, is the best dexterity game of all time.
Now, you should all know by now that I’m a huge fan of HP Lovecraft. Yes, he was a weird racist, but that weird racist could really tell a horror story. It’s fitting, I suppose, that games inspired by this weird racist continue to hammer onto the shelves in the same year that a weird racist stands a good chance of being the President of the United States. The latest Lovecraft-inspired game is called Fate of the Elder Gods, and Richard Launius (of Arkham Horror fame) is involved in the design.
Every player controls a cult trying to summon their own favourite Elder God into the mortal realm so that, I dunno, it can go for a Nando’s or something. There’s not too much known about this one right now, but if anyone totally understands the Lovecraft thing, it’s Launius, and this game looks like a much lighter game than Arkham (or even Eldritch Horror) and that’s something there’s a little bit of a gap in the market for, I think.
I’m very excited about the newly announced Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons board game Assault of the Giants. Again, there’s not much known about this one yet, but there’s enough to get your mouth forming a fine froth, I think. It’s not out until next year, but we’ve been told that it’s a game about claiming land and resources (such as gold, ore, crisps) and doing said claiming by moving some really giant giants around the game’s board. Yeah, you got me. Okay, you got me. The exciting part of this game is the promise that it will come with BIG GIANT MINIATURES OF GIANTS. Do you still call Giant miniatures “miniatures”? Well, if you do, then get shouting about these giant miniatures which are, apparently, up to five and a half inches in height. The thought of playing a game with miniatures that are almost half as tall as my penis really gets my engine running.
King of Tokyo, that absolute classic, is getting a brand new print with updated art. I’m all for seeing this brilliant game go through some reimagining as it passes through the generations, and the new edition really does look beautiful. A couple of the monsters from the original version have been ditched (the Kraken is gone!) and replaced by a couple of new ones, a big penguin thing and a giant robot cat. I dunno why these changes were necessary, but the fresh lick of paint is pretty sweet. If you don’t have this game, it’s really time for you to get it on your shelves.
The Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games is being expanded, with new hero packs on their way. The good old Witch Hunter is coming, and to me, nothing nails the feel of that old Warhammer Fantasy setting better than the Witch Hunter. And the Troll Slayer will be a treat for any player who just wants to unleash hell on those card-construction dungeons. It’s great to see the game being supported in this way, because I think the game is strong enough to support this kind of embellishment in small chunks. Go have a look over at the FF website.
Okay, let’s talk a bit about this Monopoly musical. Variety reported this week that Hasbro has struck a deal with a Broadway production company to bring Monopoly to the stage. Our dreams have come true – we’re going to see the Monopoly Man in full living colour and full voice on the New York stage! Finally, the role I was born to play! It could work, though, couldn’t it? How about a period musical about the creation of Monopoly? With some fantasy-style segments featuring the little dog and the iron and the boot? Maybe a scene where someone wins a beauty contest? And of course, an ending that has a family breaking apart and the entire stage being flipped up into the air, with all the actors tumbling to the floor, dead? We can only wait and see!
That’s all the news that’s fit to print! I’ll see you next week with a review of something quite strange!