Oof, it's 2016. We are all so old. I'm almost 40, and so are you. Even if you're 19, believe me, you're almost 40. Did you have a nice Christmas? Did you get any board games? Are you loved? Are you in control of your life? Well, bully for you, pantywaist. Shall we look ahead into 2016 in the world of board games and see what the big news might be?
Almost a decade ago I co-presented a BBC TV videogame review show called videoGaiden, and for some reason the BBC has brought it back to life in 2016. The show has been dragged out of the canal, the water has been stamped out of its lungs, and we're back filming it this week. What's different this time? Well, everyone involved is almost 40 this time. But also, we're covering board games. Yes, board game coverage is coming to the BBC. There'll be a bit about board games on the actual BBC TV and the iPlayer and everything. I haven't decided exactly what I'll be covering yet, but it should be interesting, and I'll be hoping to introduce some more people to the wonderful world of games of boards. So there's that.
I'm a big fan of the board game Zooloretto, where you build a little zoo and fill it with nice wee animals so that the animals can have sex. So I'm keen to get my hands on this new version of Zooloretto Mini, with all its streamlining and simplicity and sex. I like the cover art too, with its cartoon animals standing proud and erect, ready for sex. In truth, I'm probably better sticking with the animal sex thrills of the full size Zooloretto, but I just love to see new implementations of my favourite sex games. Board games, sorry. Sex board games. Of sex.
ALL QUEENS CHESS
I love ideas like this. Imagine that Chess only had Queens. Each player with a bunch of Queens, moving like Queens, sliding all over the shop. And imagine your objective was just to get four of your Queens in a row. That's simple and lovely, right? And it already sounds like fun. Like Connect 4 with Queens, on a Chess board, with a candlestick in the library. Check this shit out.
THE PRODUCER: 1940-44
As someone who works in the TV/Film Industry, I'm obviously interested in a game about making films. Particularly one set in the 1940s, when I was born. Players are making films, using scripts, casting stars, and dealing with real world issues – like Pearl Harbor and Mafia involvement. The artwork looks beautiful, and there are real-life movie posters printed on the cards. It's like a wee treasure trove for film buffs, with a game attached. Will the game be any good? Well, I have no idea. Gimme a damn break here. I'm not psychic. I'm just saying that it's one worth looking out for as 2016 rolls on.
I love wrestling, because I am a good man with a good heart, and I love to dream. Rumbleslam certainly looks like a game inspired by wrestling, but it looks absolutely nothing like wrestling at the same time. It looks bananas. It has a bunch of miniatures with fat bellies and singlets, and they are beautiful. There's also a team in it called The Heavy Pounders. Which is just hilarious. And loads of additional teams that you can pick up. It's a Kickstarter, ya know. I don't really know much about the game, I just know that it's about fat bellied wrasslers flinging orcs and skeletons out of a wrestling ring, and that it's gonna be gorgeous. Beyond that, it could be dogshit. Is it worth the risk for you? If so, you better back it soon, because time is RUNNING OUT.
THE WALTZING CAT
Do you fancy playing a game with lots of little cats printed onto wooden blocks, where you can push and pull the blocks about, in order to score points or declare the game's end? I have no idea how this game works. I've read the boardgamegeek description about ten times and it JUST WON'T GO IN. Look at this...
“The Waltzing Cat is a two-player game that consists of eleven wooden blocks, with each of those blocks depicting two differently-colored cats on opposite sides. Gold cats show up five times, red and blue four times, and white, black and green three times; no color is repeated on a block with another color that appears the same number of times, e.g., red doesn't share a block with red or blue, but it does with the other four colors.”
I'm already kinda lost. I can't make that last sentence go into my brain. At all.
“On a turn, a player pushes a block away from them (so that it falls on the table), pulls a block toward them, or declares the end of the game. If you push a block and the face that lands facing up appears on another face-up block, then you keep the block that you just pushed over. If you pull a block — thereby revealing a face that you haven't seen — and the face that lands facing up appears on another face-up block, then you keep both matching --”
Okay, stop! I have no idea what's going on. But it's a Japanese design, and the game looks BEAUTIFUL. And I bet, I just bet, it's one of those games that make more sense when you're actually playing. And I know what's going to happen here – you folks are going to appear in the comments section saying “Oh, it's totally clear what you're supposed to do” and I'm going to be all annoyed and stuff, because I'll feel like an idiot.
Anyway, look – CATS. Incomprehensible CATS. This is worse than the end of Trading Places.
Back on the recommendations train, with something that might be of particular interest to computer game fans...