Cardboard Children: Boardgame News Roundup
Cyclades, Sentinels of the Multiverse and ZOMBIE TOWER 3D
It's February, and it's time for another blast of board game news. Did you have a good Valentine's Day? Did you play some good board games with your beloved? I hope not. I hope you just had sex instead.
You'll maybe remember that last week I told you that I'd got rid of Agricola as part of my ongoing cull of my board game collection. Well, lookee here. A new edition of Agricola is on its way, and the changes are interesting. First of all, it's for a maximum of 4 players now, instead of 5. That brings down the cost of the game, and I genuinely think that 4 is as many people as you'd want to play with anyway.
The cards included with the game – the cards that make every game of Agricola different from the last – are going to be looked at, with the weaker and less popular cards replaced with cards from some of the expansions. They're creating a new standardised deck for the game, which sounds to me like another reasonable idea – we'd reached a point where there were just too many expansion and promo cards, I think.
What I'm not so happy about is the fact they're removing the “family” version of the game from the standard release. Now the family game will be available as a separate product, and I'm not sure what the logic of this is. One of the things I loved most about Agricola was the fact that I could play the family game with my kid, then flip the board and pull in the cards to play with friends.
So will I be bringing Agricola back into my collection once the new edition appears? I'd certainly like to see what they've done with the cards, but aside from that, everything else looks a bit lighter on content. I'm...
...I'm not sure.
I wish people would stop changing things.
SENTINELS OF THE MULTIVERSE: OBLIVAEON
Just take a look at that title. “OblivAeon” sounds like some kind of bad crossover DC Comics would have done in the 90s. The kind of crossover that has superheroes fighting terrible alien mutant things with names like “DEVASTATORR” and “KILLGRA”. But this OblivAeon is the final expansion for the Sentinels of the Multiverse game, and then the line is coming to an end. Further than that, the whole universe of the game is ending, which is a very comic bookish way of doing things.
I liked Sentinels of the Multiverse quite a bit, but I never really kept up with the expansions, because I found the game system far too fiddly for what it is. It's a co-operative superheroes v supervillain game, and there is SO MUCH to keep track of that you really need a notepad and pencil by your side at all times. It just didn't flow well enough, and yet it remained genuinely engaging and quite thrilling. Maybe subsequent expansions helped with some of this fussiness, maybe some of you could tell me if they did, but regardless – I have an interest in finding out how they bring this “little indie that could” to a satisfying finish.
Of course, it's a Kickstarter, and look how much money they've made so far. I mean – LOOK.
Another Kickstarter, and this one is a little thing called Mythos Tales, which caught my eye because it re-implements mechanics found in one of my favourite games of all time – Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective.
Of course, this game brings that whole brilliant co-operative investigative lark to HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos setting, and probably brings with it a much more challenging game to write.
Let me elaborate.
With Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, the designers had to mimic Conan Doyle's style of writing, which is far more conventional and easier to reproduce than the manic stylings of HP Lovecraft. There's a feel within HP Lovecraft's work that is difficult to mimic without it feeling like crass parody, so it's going to be interesting to see how the people behind Mythos Tales deal with that task. Maybe they just won't, and will fling monsters at us to see if that's enough.
Over on the Kickstarter page, you can actually download a couple of investigations to see how they're shaping up, but I don't want to spoil the discovery for myself. This is definitely one I'll be covering down the line, because Consulting Detective + Lovecraft is a dream mix for me.
The brilliant Cyclades continues to expand. It's another of my favourite games, and I'll be covering the TITANS expansion soon. My original review speaks of just how thrilling the game is, and it's a beautifully balanced game too. MONUMENTS is an expansion that brings ten monument miniatures (and you just know these will be beautiful) and ten associated monument cards that bestow special powers on the players who erect them. Oh my GOODNESS.
My hope is that this expansion has been tested to hell and back to make sure that the balance and elegance of Cyclades is retained throughout, because a game this good barely needed to be expanded in the first place, and every step out from the original design is a risk. It's a risk that has paid dividends thus far, though, and we can hope Monuments continues the streak.
ZOMBIE TOWER 3D
I'm so sorry. It's another Kickstarter. But look yo. This one is 3D! What I mean is, look, it's CARDBOARD! It's a 3D CARDBOARD TOWER!
I honestly don't care what this game is like. I want that. I just want that. I want that.
I just want that.
Go and look at it! It's in 3D! It's a board game in 3 Dimensions! It's physically there, cardboard, and a big tower!
This I want.